Many women who have had one previous caesarean section can safely have a vaginal birth (VBAC) in a subsequent pregnancy, or they can choose to have a caesarean section. A very small number of women may be advised to have another caesarean section depending on the reason for their first caesarean section or if complications develop in the current pregnancy.
At UCLH we aim to give you the right information that will enable you to consider your options and help you make the right choice for your next birth. When in labour women can access the home from home room on labour ward, which includes the use of the birth pool and cordless fetal monitoring.
Most reasons for having a caesarean section are unlikely to recur. 70% to 80% women (7- 8 women out of every 10) who have had one caesarean section before, should be able to achieve a vaginal birth. If you have previously had a vaginal birth as well as a caesarean section, your chance of having a vaginal birth in this pregnancy then goes up to 90% (9 women out of every 10).
It is helpful to talk to a midwife or doctor about why you had your previous caesarean section. You will be offered the opportunity to discuss the choices available to you in the dedicated birth after caesarean clinic during your pregnancy.
For more information, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has a leaflet on birth options after previous caesarean section (PDF, 357kb).
Most women will have a choice between deciding on a vaginal birth or an elective caesarean (planned caesarean section). The videos review the risks and benefits of both, and describe labour and birth options to women who are opting for a VBAC.
The videos were developed at UCLH through focus groups with women who have had a previous caesarean section. It is designed to be a simple, comprehensive guide for pregnant women, thier partners and health care professionals. It will facilitate decision-making to ensure women make the birth choice that is right for them.