- Department of Women's Health
- Obstetrics, Gynecology & Midwifery Services
- Labor and Delivery
- Most women with routine or High Risk Pregnancy will have a normal vaginal birth.
- The baby is delivered through the birth canal without the use of instruments.
- There is a risk of tear in the birth canal with any type of vaginal birth. Occasionallly there is a need to make a small incision in the birth canal (Episiotomy) to facilitate birth. These can be easily repaired by your delivery Provider.
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Operative vaginal delivery is delivery of the baby with Forceps or Vacuum.
These procedures are reserved for specific obstetrical circumstances:
- Mother is unable to expel the baby because of fatigue.
- Certain medical conditions that make pushing dangerous to your health
- Your baby’s heart rate is non-reassuring (the Provider is concern that the baby may not be getting enough oxygen)
- At the very least, your cervix must be fully dilated (10 centimeters) and the baby’s head must be low enough on the pelvic floor to qualify for operative vaginal delivery
- Each of these procedures have their unique set of risks, advantages, and indications. Neither one is superior to another and the choice will be determined by the delivering physician.
- Your Provider will discuss with you in detail if there is a need for operative vaginal delivery in your labor course.
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- The historical adage, “once a C-section, always a C-section”, is no longer true.
- There are scientific data showing that under the right circumstances, Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Section (VBAC) can be a safe alternative to Repeat C-section.
- There is a 0.5-2% chance (depending on how many prior c-section, the duration between pregnancies, if you go into labor / induced, etc) of significant complications (uterine repture) with this approach.
- Having an elective Repeat C-section does not nullify the risk of uterine rupture. The uterus can still rupture even if you do not labor.
- Due to the risks associated with uterine rupture, an obstetrician and L&D team capable of performing an emergency C-section will be immediately available until the delivery of the baby.
- Your Provider will discuss with you specifically the risks and benefits of VBAC versus repeat C-section and also assess if you are a good candidate for VBAC or Repeat C-section.
- If you decide to elect VBAC, we must review your prior C-section report.
These are reliable medical websites regarding VBAC and Repeat C-section
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