Over the course of the past 15 years, I have come across a lot of misinformation about VBAC. All of the myths below have come straight from readers who have asked me, “Is this true?” And every single time, the answer as been, “No.” I thought it was time to pluck out the most pervasive VBAC myths and assemble them into one article… and downloadable handout. These myths cover basic things like uterine rupture rates to difficult topics like death and logistical things like hospital policy. In the end, all of these myths confuse birthing women and people about their options making it impossible for them to make a truly informed decision between vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) and elective repeat cesarean section.
ACOG’s 2010 VBAC recommendations affirm that VBA2C (vaginal birth after two cesareans) is reasonable in “some” women. But they remain silent on VBAMC (VBAC after multiple cesareans.) Some have interpreted that silence to mean that ACOG does not recommend VBAMC, yet ACOG is clear that women shouldn’t be forced to have cesareans.
Most women planning a VBA1C (vaginal birth after one cesarean) are aware of the risks of uterine rupture. However, women planning their first vaginal birth or VBA1C need the WHOLE picture so they can really work to prevent an unnecessary cesarean.
These are the complication rates that Silver 2006 found in 30,000 women during multiple cesareans.The rates quoted were what he found during the third CS but, I think the accreta and previa rates illustrate the risks that are present during a third pregnancy after two prior CS.
Per Silver (2006), “The risks of placenta accreta, cystotomy [surgical incision of the urinary bladder], bowel injury, ureteral [ureters are muscular ducts that propel urine from the kidneys to the urinary bladder] injury, and ileus [disruption of the normal propulsive gastrointestinal motor activity], the need for postoperative ventilation, intensive care unit admission, hysterectomy, and blood transfusion requiring 4 or more units, and the duration of operative time and hospital stay significantly increased with increasing number of cesarean deliveries.”