Giving Birth After A Cesarean: It’s Your Decision

vep-1Care providers have an obligation to share information with you about your care. To present the risks and benefits of planning a VBAC or choosing a routine repeat cesarean. When you have received all the information you need to feel confident to make a decision, the choice is yours.  No provider should frighten or coerce you into having a routine repeat cesarean.The decision to have a repeat cesarean or labor for a VBAC is yours.

Prenatal visits give you the opportunity to have a frank discussion with your caregiver about your concerns and how you will be cared for. It is your right to participate in all decisions regarding your health and the health of your baby.


  • During your pregnancy, you should have several discussions about the benefits and risks of VBAC and repeat cesarean.
  • Ask your caregiver about his/her VBAC rate, repeat cesarean rate, and VBAC success rate.
  • Discuss your personal medical condition with regard to VBAC and repeat cesarean. You may need to review your operative record (documentation of the surgery.)vep-2
  • Ask what safety measures are in place to respond to an obstetric emergency including a uterine rupture.
  • Try to get the hospital informed consent forms for procedures that you may need (for induction, an epidural, pain medications) during your pregnancy so that you have the time to read and understand them.
  • Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of planning a VBAC or scheduling a repeat cesarean and discuss them with your partner.
  • Consider having a doula at your birth, a midwife as your primary caregiver, or giving birth in a birth center.

Giving birth is a transformative experience. Your caregivers should make you feel cared for, respected, and supported in your wishes and needs.

For more information about your rights in childbirth see the slides in Module 12 of the VBAC Education Project.

Reblogged with permission from Nicette Jukelevics, a member of ICAN’s Advisory Committee, from her website The VBAC Education Project, as outlined at that site, is a powerful teaching tool for communities and embraced as part of the educational initiative of ICAN. 

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