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  1. #1
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    Vaginal Birth after Several Caesareans?

    I was just perusing Google News about VBAC - when I came across this article about Vaginal Birth After Multiple Caesareans (known as VBAMC). I have spoken to many women over the years who were wanting a normal birth after 2 or more caesareans. The actual research was limited and the health care providers willing to support these women were even less. While the research numbers in the original study referred to was small - it was supportive for women choosing a birth after 2 or more caesareans. What has been your experience?
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    Well I had a cesarean with my son and I was told that I have to have one now with my second son. Me and my husband wanted to see if we could do a normal birth, but my doctor advised that we do another cesarean because it would not be healthy for me. What my concern is with cesareans are they really bad to have? I mean I have heard that you can be at risk as well as the baby. I am not really understanding this at all at the moment.

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    Risks of caesarean birth

    While we hear of the risks of vaginal birth after caesarean - we don't often hear about the risks of caesarean birth. Here are some of the risks of caesareans for the mother:

    • Bleeding - there is more bleeding with a caesarean birth than a vaginal birth. The risk of haemorrhage is greater. Around six in one hundred women will need a blood transfusion resulting from a caesarean.
    • Infection either in the caesarean scar or in the surrounding organs.
    • Operative injury to other organs like the bladder or bowel
    • Adhesions (where tissue internal adheres to each other) - making future surgery more difficult and cause health problems later on.
    • Increased risk of placenta praevia or placental abruption in future pregnancies
    • Increased stay in hospital
    • Increased pain in the postnatal period and longer recovery (one in fourteen women report scar pain six months or more following the caesarean)
    • Side effects from medications used during the caesarean
    • Increased risk of the mother dying compared to vaginal birth
    • Risk of needing a hysterectomy
    • The woman may experience negative emotions following a surgical birth
    • The woman may experience difficulty bonding with her baby


    The risks of caesarean birth for the baby:
    • Increased risk of experiencing breathing problems after the birth - labour stimulates the baby to breath at birth
    • Surgical injury to the baby
    • Premature birth - the gestational age of the baby may not be calculated correctly. Baby's should not be born to early. Caesareans ideally are not performed before 38 weeks of pregnancy (and preferably later) unless there is a real medical problem.
    • Baby may be born with a low APGAR scores
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  4. #4
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    i had a successful VBAC after 4 c/s. my 1st 3 births were vaginal. my 4th labour was classed as "failure to progress" & resulted in a c/s. I attempted a VBAC with our 5th child which again resulted in c/s. when expecting our 6th child my local hospital was adament that I have an elective c/s due to my 'high risk'. With little understanding of my options i reluctanltly agreed. when it came time to have our 7th baby i researched & found a more supportive hospital with a pro VBAC Head of OB. due to our financial situation, public hospital was our only real option. i had conditions placed on my attemtped VBA3C but i did feel generally supported by my caregivers. unfortunately things didn't go to plan & I had a 4th c/s. i returned to the same hospital for my care during my next pregnancy. Again i felt supported but with conditions. i had a lot of restrictions placed on me...no induction, continous monitoring, specified time frame for labour. This time i had a Doula to help keep me focussed on my goal. my 8th birth was finally another vaginal birth.
    I had some trouble convincing midwives that i could birth vaginally. The trouble was that there is little information to support either a VBA4C or a 5th C/s. The tiny amount of info I could get suggested they both had similiar amount of risk. i'm lucky in that my pregnancies & births have all been very similiar so I know that i will be at least a week overdue & that i have large posterior babies & that my labour slows with pain relief. I now tell other VBAC mums to research, research, research. The more info you have the easier it is to deal with caregivers & make an informed choice about your birth instead of being a passive bystander for the most important thing you will ever do.
    We are expecting our 9th bub. I contacted my local hospital hoping that my last birth would lower my 'risk' level & they would let me birth there again. i was told they are supportive for VBA2C but not for any more c/s than that due to the unknown risk factors.

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    Thank you for sharing your story Gez15673. Midwives and doctors within the hospital system often have very little (if any) experience with women who would like a VBAC after more than one caesarean. This inexperience and lack of knowledge in some cases leads to fear. I certainly hope you have a positive experience for this baby. It is such a shame your local hospital will not support you. Have you found a hospital that will?
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  6. #6
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    Hi Everyone - Gerri (Gez15673) has kindly submitted her inspirational birth story. I have put her story up on the main website on this page - enjoy.
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    thx jane...i will return to the same hospital where i had my vbac, John Hunter. They have had a change in head of OB so there will surely be some debate regarding the best option. I am lucky that the last OB Head w,who attended my vbac, is still there & i'm sure we can both convince them that it will be ok.

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    Wow, she has a lot of children. I am totally impressed by this story. And a bit scared too. I mean weren't you scared to try a natural birth after so many c/s.. I had a C/s for my first child and on my second I was really hoping and praying for a natural birth but was unsuccessful. So I have had two cs. And now I am just worried that I may not be able to have a vbac. Is this really possible? I would love for more women with similar experiences to come forth. I think after one cs it is ok, however I was told after two you can only have one other child and that has to be by cs as well.

  9. #9
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    Yes it is possible to have a vaginal birth after two (or more) caesareans. Finding a health professional to support you is more challenging. The success of a VBAC very much depends on why the previous caesareans were done and the support you can get from a midwife and/or doctor. I suggest doing some research on your options. Where are you located? I might be able to post some resources for you.
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    VBA2C in SE suburbs

    Quote Originally Posted by aussiemidwife View Post
    Yes it is possible to have a vaginal birth after two (or more) caesareans. Finding a health professional to support you is more challenging. The success of a VBAC very much depends on why the previous caesareans were done and the support you can get from a midwife and/or doctor. I suggest doing some research on your options. Where are you located? I might be able to post some resources for you.
    Hi! I've started to look into having a vba2c for my next baby (I'm not pregnant yet, but hope to be soon!). I've had two previous elective caesareans with no labour. Health-wise, both babies and pregnancies were fine, and so was I. So, hopefully I can give it another shot- but where to find care at a price that's not going to see us all eating cardboard for the next year? I live in Noble Park (south eastern suburbs of Melbourne). Do you know of anyone/anywhere that I can go, and what public hospitals would take me?

    Kind Regards,
    Regan <3

  11. #11
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    Hi Regan - Welcome to the forum. My suggestion would be to talk to the privately practising midwives in your area. They will be able to let you know what services are available and what your options are (and the cost). If you visit the Find a Practitioner search - you can select midwives and put in Noble Park - I noticed that there are three midwives listed in your area. Good luck. Let me know how you go.
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    Great! Thanks very much for that, I will definitely have a look at that now!

  13. #13
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    Let us know how you go.
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  14. #14
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    Here is another VBAC after multiple caesareans birth story - read here.
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    Thank you so much for the inspirational stories. I am "having" a vba2c at Nepean Public. I don't have the support of the mw there but the ob who I am assigned to has said we can give it a go subject to a few guidelines. I have a doula, the famous Emma Peric and my husband to help me, other than that, what can I do to "help ease my mind" with the mw on the day. I really don't want to hear one single negative word throughout my whole labour... i'm rather nervous as everyone talks about how important it is to trust your caregiver, but I simply don't trust mine at all cause they have never given me the time of day to the extend where I was assigned to caseload but they dumped me after 1 week cause they received too much pressure from HQ...

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