Can I Have a VBAC After a Cesarean for Failure to Progress?

19 Oct

Yes! Failure to progress is one of the four main indications for a cesarean. Often, a woman in labor is restricted to bed and if she has reached full dilation she pushes her baby while on her back. The most painful and most difficult position for giving birth. A U.S. survey of childbearing women found that only 4 out of 10 women walked in labor once they were admitted to the hospital and regular contractions began. Nearly 7 out of 10 women pushed their baby out on their back (lithotomy position). Women who have had a cesarean for failure to progress very often go on to have a VBAC.                                                             1_page_08

A woman’s body changes during pregnancy to prepare her for birth. Connective tissues soften the joints. The pelvis expands to accommodate the baby during labor. The baby’s head molds as it moves through the mother’s pelvis. Having the freedom to move and knowing which positions are helpful during labor and birth reduces pain and helps labor progress.

  • Staying upright and walking during labor makes contractions more efficient, helps the cervix to dilate, moves the baby down, and decreases back pain.
  • Lying on your side helps with back pain, provides added oxygen for mom and baby, makes contractions more efficient, and can be used to give birth.1_page_12
  • Sitting on a rocking chair or sitting and leaning over the back of a chair helps with back pain, makes contractions more efficient, helps the cervix to dilate, and to move the baby down.
  • Squatting for birth widens the pelvis by 20% to 30%, relieves back pain and provides more oxygen for the baby.

Childbirth educators, doulas, midwives, and some nurses know how to help mothers stay upright and change positions during labor to minimize pain and help labor progress.

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For more information about helpful positions for labor and birth download Module 6 of Deciding If VBAC Is Right For You: A Parent’s Guide.

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