Although you may have had a Cesarean (see-zare-ree-an) section (C-section) with previous births, changes in attitudes and advances in medicine and technology have made delivering your next baby vaginally an option you can consider.

Vaginal birth after a C-section can mean a safe and comfortable labor and delivery, and a shorter hospital stay. But keep in mind that it has some risks, too.

The first step towards deciding if you can try a vaginal birth after a C-section is to talk to your doctor. He or she will discuss the pros and cons with you, taking into account your previous birthing history and the general health of you and your baby. Before making a recommendation, your doctor will discuss reasons for your previous C-section, such as failure to progress during labor, position or size of a previous baby, fetal distress, toxemia, bleeding, and location of the prior incision.

If you are planning to have a vaginal birth following a C-section the final decision will be made during the actual labor and delivery. Your healthcare team will continuously monitor your and your baby’s health. If any questions should arise, your doctor can respond quickly to determine the safest delivery option for you.

You can find more information by visiting The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website.