Tips for Normal Delivery After Caesarean

February 19th, 2024 | 10:18 am


Pregnancy marks a journey of new experiences cherished by women and their families alike. However, the process of birth may pose challenges for women who wish to have normal (vaginal) delivery without having to go through sedation and associated complications. Fortunately, innovations and advances in medical science have remarkably enhanced the chances of a successful normal delivery, reducing a caesarean section (C-section) delivery to just an alternative. However, a C-section becomes necessary in some cases. 

Vaginal delivery and caesarean section delivery offer different experiences to women giving birth. Some women even wish to have a normal delivery after a previous C-section to evade the negative after-effects it entails. With the right plans and taking some extra good care, it is possible to have a vaginal delivery despite having given birth via C-section previously. 

In this medical guide, you can find some important tips and advice to improve your chances of having a normal delivery after a caesarean section delivery and make it a good birthing experience.

Is it Possible to Have a Normal Delivery after a Caesarean Section Delivery?

Yes, it is possible to give birth normally (i.e., vaginally) during a subsequent pregnancy after having given birth through C-section in a previous pregnancy. 

Many women are concerned that they might not be able to deliver normally after having a C-section. While it is possible to make vaginal delivery work as there is some advice to follow and things that such women need to do in order to increase their chances of successful and smooth vaginal delivery after a C-section. 

What is Vaginal Birth After caesarean (VBAC) Delivery?

VBAC, or Vaginal Birth After caesarean, is the process of giving birth vaginally after a previous C-section. It is an option many mothers may consider due to potential benefits, such as avoiding the hassle of surgery, reducing the risk of infections, and facilitating a faster recovery. However, the decision to deliver normally should be based on an elaborate evaluation of the woman’s overall health and a discussion with a doctor about their chances of complications or risks. 

What are the Benefits of Vaginal Birth After Caesarean?

Normal birth via vagina entails many benefits, including – 

  • A vaginal birth after caesarean section can be beneficial for the mother to boost her confidence. 
  • Less painful and quick recovery with shorter hospital stay
  • Lower chances of infection, which is high in C-section surgery
  • It may also be less stressful for the mother as well as for the baby than a repeat caesarean section. 
  • In addition to that, a normal delivery may be less expensive than a caesarean section.

What are the Risks Associated with VBAC?

Around 25% of deliveries may be performed via C-section. A normal delivery after a C-section may be possible, but there are some risks that should be considered before opting for a normal delivery. 

One of the biggest concerns during a normal delivery after a C-section is the tearing of the scar from the C-section incision. This condition is known as uterine rupture, which may cause some serious complications for both the mother and the baby. This may be avoided by planning and spacing out a subsequent pregnancy and by getting checked by a doctor to understand the ability to undergo a normal delivery.

Tips For a Successful Vaginal Birth After Caesarean

Giving birth normally after having a C-section can be worrisome as pregnancy itself is a journey of anticipation. However, with great care during pregnancy and a thorough evaluation of the mother’s health, they can opt for a normal delivery. Here are a few tips to follow during your pregnancy so that you can ensure that your delivery can be smooth and less complicated.

1. Keep a Positive Attitude

Pregnancy is a journey of blissful anticipation, and welcoming your baby into this world can be a wonderful experience. Therefore, to make the process of birth a successful one, it is important to keep a positive attitude, as it can make a huge difference in yourself and give more power to your mental state that may be needed to bring your baby into this world. Positive thoughts can ease your stress and worries.

2. Consult Your Healthcare Provider

If you wish to have a normal delivery after a C-section, it is extremely important to consult your healthcare provider to understand your chances of success and help yourself prepare for it. It is imperative to build a strong connection with your treating doctor, who can guide you in your pursuit of normal delivery. Discuss all your concerns and queries so that they can help you understand the process as well as assess your health condition, and provide a possible list of pros and cons for opting for normal delivery. Regular and in-depth correspondence with your doctor is essential to determine if a normal delivery after a C-section is right for you.

3. Stay Fit and Active

In order for your body to be able to manage the stress of normal delivery after a C-section, you should have a fit body and stay strong even during labour. Staying active through regular workouts or yoga can also help relieve stress, which can also be beneficial during delivery. You can also opt for swimming as an alternative to exercising as it may be gentler on the body.

4. Be Mindful of Nutrition

When discussing the importance of staying healthy for the delivery, the role of a healthy and balanced diet cannot be forsaken. Try to incorporate whole foods with a lot of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Drink enough water, and take your medicines and supplements on time to support your growing baby and yourself. Take care of your blood sugar and keep it steady, as this may give you more power to make contractions easier.

5. Keep Stress at Bay

When preparing for labour and delivery, it is important to manage stress as much as possible. Try meditation and deep breathing techniques to keep yourself calm and composed as much as possible. You can also make your environment comfortable for yourself by bringing things that make you feel good like nice smells and good music to keep your mind relaxed. 

6. Take the Support You Need

During the journey of pregnancy, having the support of friends and family can be immensely motivating and uplift your mental state while navigating through the ups and downs of pregnancy. Having a supportive partner is of the greatest help. Discuss your intentions of giving birth normally, as they may be pivotal in supporting you throughout the journey of pregnancy, labour, as well as childbirth, and beyond. Parenthood is a shared responsibility, so learn about ways to manage pain and ways to relax during childbirth and in the postpartum period together.

7. Learn Labour-ready Techniques

Learning about the process of giving birth and practising ways to make it easier can be significantly helpful in relieving stress and boosting confidence about giving birth through the vaginal route. Apart from talking to your treating doctor, you may opt for parenting or birthing classes where you may be able to learn more about these processes as well as practise them with other fellow mothers. Having a supportive environment may also help you relax better about giving birth.

How Long Should You Wait for Vaginal Birth After C-section?

Ideally, healthcare providers may recommend waiting for at least 18 to 24 months before planning to give birth vaginally after a C-section. This time is essential to let the body heal from the C-section.

Regardless of the means of giving birth, pregnancy and childbirth can be worrisome and complex. But you can prepare for labour and childbirth with utmost care and compassion under the care of the best maternal and neonatal care specialists at Giggles Hospital. Consult with our specialists today for a personalised care routine that meets your needs and goals of pregnancy and parenthood.