Induction for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)

By Sara Chambers, RM

What do studies say about induction for a VBAC after one cesarean (greater than 24 month time lapse between cesarean and VBAC)?

For a birthing person with more than 24 months between their cesarean and proposed VBAC, studies suggest that VBAC is a safe choice for most people who have had a c-section.  You would have the highest chance of having a VBAC if your labour starts spontaneously. 

Your chances of having a VBAC are increased if:

  • You have already had a vaginal birth
  • You don’t have the same clinical picture that led to your prior cesarean.  What this means is that if you had a cesarean in the past because you had a breech baby and this time your baby is not breech, the odds are better that your VBAC will be successful

Your chances of having a VBAC are decreased if:

  • Your labour is induced – depending on the method of induction, the risk of uterine rupture is slightly increased if you’ve had a previous cesarean birth. For this reason, not all care providers offer the option of induction for people planning a VBAC. 
  • Your previous cesarean was less than 24 months ago

It’s impossible to say whether you will have a VBAC but research shows that even if your chances of having a VBAC are decreased, you still have a more than 50% chance of having a vaginal birth. This is good news! It is important to discuss the details of your previous cesarean, your current pregnancy, and your birth goals with your care provider to make a plan that fits your needs.

Sara Chambers RM
Kensington Midwives, Toronto

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