• By Laurel Kelly

Consumer Health: Considering a vaginal birth after a cesarean

May 6, 2021
a little girl touching a mother's pregnant tummy.

If you've delivered a baby by cesarean section, or C-section, and you're pregnant again, you might be able to choose between scheduling a repeat C-section or a vaginal birth after cesarean.

Many women are candidates for a vaginal birth after cesarean. Still, the choice to pursue a vaginal birth after cesarean or schedule a repeat C-section can be difficult. And a vaginal birth after cesarean isn't right for everyone.

Compared with having another C-section, a vaginal delivery involves no surgery, none of the possible complications of surgery, a shorter hospital stay and a quicker return to normal daily activities. A vaginal birth after cesarean also might be appealing if you want to experience vaginal childbirth.

However, eligibility for a vaginal birth after cesarean depends on many factors. And while a successful vaginal birth after cesarean is associated with fewer complications than an elective repeat C-section, a failed trial of labor after a C-section is associated with more complications, including a uterine rupture, which may be life-threatening for you and your baby.

Learn more about the pros and cons of a vaginal birth after cesarean, and whether one might be right for you.