Can I have a natural birth after a C-section?

Q: I had a Caesarean with my first baby as he became distressed during labour, but I’d really like a natural birth with my second. Will this be possible?

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Obstetrician Leonie says:

Giving birth to your baby naturally after one C-section is called a VBAC – vaginal birth after Caesarean section.

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If there were complications with the first baby that are likely to happen again, a planned Caesarean birth will be recommended. However, recurrent complications are rare.

First babies are more likely to be distressed than subsequent babies, so in your case there is no reason that VBAC is less likely to be successful. Most women (65%) who plan VBAC will achieve this.

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The only risk in VBAC is a small chance that the scar from the first C-section may rupture during labour. If this occurs, an immediate Caesarean is required to prevent the baby becoming distressed, and your midwife will monitor you and your baby carefully during active labour for signs of this.

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