I am asking this question because I am concerned for a friend of mine who is having a baby.
Her first child was a c section thirteen years ago.
She wanted to try to have a natural child birth, but her doctor now told her that she has to have a c section.
Shouldn’t her uterus be healed after thirteen years?
She really wants to have a natural child birth, what should she do?
In most cases, a vaginal birth would be okay, but there are some reasons why a repeat C-section would be in order. For instance, if she had a vertical incision into her uterus (which is rare, and usually only done in the case of a true emergency), then she’s at a greater risk of uterine rupture during labor. As far as time of healing–from what I’ve read, the risk of uterine rupture is greatest if the woman gets pregnant within a year from her last C-section. But the overall risk is low, even in this case. Induction and augmentation greatly increase the risk of uterine rupture, so if she goes into labor naturally and labors naturally, the risk of rupture is extremely low. I’d suggest looking at ican-online.org for more information on this subject. That’s the website for the International Cesarean Awareness Network, and they have a *lot* of information, including things specifically for VBAC. I would also check out what Henci Goer has to say (hencigoer.com), because she has links to discussions of studies on this and many other birth-related topics. And go to independentchildbirth.wordpress.com, and read the Feb. 8 article, with the link to the article “Patient Choice Vaginal Delivery?” which appeared in the Annals of Family Medicine, discussing this issue.
Some hospitals and some doctors do not allow VBACs nowadays (also check ICAN for more info on this); however, according to a law by the name of EMTALA, if a woman presents to a hospital in active labor, the hospital must accept her and treat her according to her wishes until she delivers the placenta, or risk a $50,000-$100,000 fine. A vaginal birth is what happens when nobody interferes. She may be a poor candidate for a VBAC, so she needs to get the specifics of *why* her doctor won’t allow her to have a natural birth. If it’s just because he doesn’t want to allow it, then she can look into alternatives. Depending on how much she wants to have a vaginal birth, she can change care providers, change hospitals, or have a home birth. If her doctor is unwilling to allow a VBAC and she stays with him, she’ll have an unnecessary repeat C-section, or else she runs the risk of having an adversarial relationship with him during birth, which won’t be fun. It’s been done, but she shouldn’t have to fight for her right to give birth. Hopefully she can fully research this issue, and decide for herself which is the best course of action to take. In the process, she may be able to win over her current doctor to her point of view.
Yes, many c-sections are needed but many are not and it’s going to be up to you to make as informed a decision as you possibly can. Doctors dont’ want the risk. In the case of a VBAC it’s often a small risk, but it’s enough of a risk that a doctor will prefer the c-section.
Generally, thirteen years after a c-section is enough of a healing period for a vaginal birth, however the last incision can be a deciding factor. If she had a vertical incision that almost always requires a c-section. But your overall health plays a part as well. Why did she have a c-section the first time?
And of course there are hospitals that don’t do VBAC’s but you can find doctor’s and hospitals that will cooperate with your wishes. Depending on the individual it can also depend on how far into the pregnancy she is, switching gears in mid-stream can be hard, it’s possible but can take its toll.
Start by finding out the reasons why her doctor wants the c-section, really examine those reasons and question them if in doubt that they are sound. If it turns out that a c-section is reallly the best thing then focus on being prepared not only for the surgery but for healing afterwards.
Getting prepared properly and focusing solely on healing and bonding with baby are important factors for having a successful less stressful c-section.
My name is Michelle and I’m 8 weeks pregnant with my 3 child… I was wondering I had a C-section with my 1st child cause my cervix was too small and I had an emergency with my 2nd one He was 5 months premature so does that mean with my 3rd one I will need a C-section? Can I request to have one done? due too my other C-sections and the complications I had before??? Someone please let me know
Many women have C-sections due to slow dilation — the cervix not opening enough quickly enough. It’s often diagnosed as “failure to progress”; but frequently these same women will go on to have vaginal births, with a more patient birth attendant, proving that their bodies do work just fine, and given enough time they can give birth vaginally. Your second birth by C-section, though, is problematic, because your uterus was cut open when it was not as big as it is when you’re full-term. Have you ever drawn or written on a balloon before it was fully blown up? — the balloon starts off really small, and then swells tremendously, and the drawing also gets bigger and “moves” higher and wider. In a similar way, the scar from the second C-section may be stretched more in a subsequent pregnancy, potentially putting you at a higher risk of uterine rupture if you give birth vaginally. This may not be the case, so check with a doctor if you want a vaginal birth. Most likely, you will be able to request a C-section, even if you’re not at a higher risk of problems, with many doctors and hospitals refusing to allow VBACs even if you wanted to, but requiring repeat C-sections.
Hi, I so wanted a natural birth but i used to have painless contractions. I was overdue by two weeks as I refused to get induced before that. Doctor finally induced me by 11.30 am and I was 4 cm by evening and my water was broke. But then no progress till morning and my child’s heartbeat was going down everytime I had contraction. So doc advised for c section next morning. I was heartbroken, the whole experience has scarred me.\ even now after a year. What choice did i have in this?