What are my chances of giving birth vaginally after having a Cesarean (C-section)? | by Beth Lewkowski, MD


Posted on Sun, Nov 11, 2012

OB/GYN, Mountain Vista Women’s Care, Swedish Medical Center

Beth Lewkowski, MD, OB/GYN Mountain Vista Women’s Care Swedish Medical Center

Beth Lewkowski, MD

Each birth situation is unique, especially when a woman has previously had a C-section. However, it’s not impossible for women to have a vaginal birth with an additional child. The success rates range from 60-80% but depend on a variety of factors, including the type of previous C-section delivery. For example, if a C-section was performed for an arrest of labor or a failed operative vaginal delivery that required the use of a vacuum or forceps, the chance of a vaginal birth is lower than if the procedure was performed for a non-recurring reason such as breech presentation or fetal heart rate abnormalities. In addition, for women who are overweight, older, have a large baby, are past their due date, or have a short interval between pregnancies, their chances for a successful vaginal birth are lower. Conversely, women who go into labor spontaneously rather than being induced, and have had a prior vaginal delivery as well as a C-section, are more likely to have a successful vaginal birth.

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