Caesarean section

The majority of women who have previously had a caesarean section can give birth vaginally the next time. However, it is important to consider the circumstances of your caesarean and to consider how you feel about that experience, and any preferences you may have.

At the Rosie we recommend that most women plan for a vaginal birth. This is called a VBAC – vaginal birth after caesarean. Before you decide whether to plan for a vaginal birth or elective (planned) caesarean section, it is important to consider and understand what the advantages and disadvantages might be with either type of birth.

It is helpful to talk with your midwife or doctor about why you had your previous caesarean. There may have been worries over your baby’s heart rate, a very long or slow labour, or your baby may have been born in a breech position (bottom first) - all of which are unlikely to happen again.

Most women have a 70–90% chance of a successful VBAC, depending on why they had a caesarean before and whether they have also had any vaginal births. This means that seven–nine out of every 10 women who have had a previous caesarean should be able to have a vaginal birth. Occasionally you may need a caesarean for a different reason altogether.

You will be offered a consultation with a midwife or doctor and invited to attend a clinic with the women's health physiotherapy team to discuss your options.