While a vaginal delivery is anticipated and preferred initially for all patients, a natural, vaginal birth is not always possible for all babies. In some cases, delivery through a cesarean section, surgical incisions in the abdomen and uterus, is necessary. A cesarean section may be needed for many reasons and may even be planned in advance, but is often an emergency procedure.
Cesarean birth is often used for multiple pregnancies, labor not progressing, concern for the baby and placenta or position problems. A cesarean section is needed in about one in four women.
Recovery time is longer than a vaginal birth. One can learn more about a cesarean section before giving birth through classes and readings in order to better prepare for the possibility of having this procedure.
At this time WHC does not offer vaginal trial of labor (VTOL) after cesarean sections due to the risk and severe health implications of uterine rupture. If a patient would like to attempt a vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC), we would refer her to the Maternal Fetal Medicine group.