Risks and Benefits of Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)
It is understandable that expectant mothers would prefer vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). A vaginal delivery is more natural, has a faster recovery time, and avoids the possible complications of surgical procedure. When the mother had a prior cesarean section, however, vaginal birth carries additional risks.
Possible VBAC Complications
- Uterine Rupture, located at the prior cesarean scar
- Hysterectomy (removal of the uterus)
- Cesarean section
- Uterine infection
- Wrongful death or stillbirth of the baby
- Wrongful death or the mother
- Oxygen deprivation, leading to developmental delays or cerebral palsy
Are You A VBAC Candidate?
A doctor or midwife must take care in determining whether a woman is a good candidate for a VBAC. In order to permit a trial of labor after a prior cesarean, these criteria are necessary:
- One prior low-transverse cesarean section (instead of classic, or low T-shaped incision)
- Clinically adequate pelvis
- No other uterine scars
The following will disqualify a woman from VBAC:
- Prior classic or low T-shaped incision
- Multiple uterine incisions
- Contracted pelvis
- Previous uterine rupture
Duties of Your Medical Team
Your obstetrician must be immediately available during active labor for problems and concerns in this high-risk situation. It is extremely important that the baby be observed using continuous electronic fetal monitoring. Finally, because cesarean section is always a possibility, anesthesia and a qualified surgeon must be ready.
When a child suffers injury after a voluntary VBAC, it is natural for the mother to wonder if she was the cause of his injuries. However, medical providers owe a duty to mothers and their children, and if VBAC is unsafe, then they must give that information. If you want to know whether your doctor should have provided more information about your delivery options, contact our medical malpractice attorneys at (440) 252-4399 or online for a free consultation.