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Planned C-section or VBAC?

(11 Posts)
threefeethighandrising Fri 22-Jul-11 20:37:20

I'm posting on behalf of a good friend who is pregnant with week to go to her due date.

She asked me my advice today on whether she should go for a planned C-section but I have no idea! I suggested she post here but she said she's too busy nesting and asked if I could, so here goes.

With DC1 she had a very long drawn out, painful labour over a couple of days where her she didn't progress and it ended in an emergency C-section at the end. She found the whole experience very traumatic and it took her a while to get over it physically and emotionally.

She is very petite indeed at 4'7'' and has always wondered if she can actually give birth naturally without complications.

The hospital have offered her the option of a planned C-section, and she's wondering if she should take it as a planned section is definitely better than what she went through last time.

Does anyone have any wise words about planned C-sections that might help?

Or does anyone know anything about possible complications if you are a very petite person? Are her fears here reasonable?

All advice gratefully received smile

threefeethighandrising Fri 22-Jul-11 21:06:04

Hopeful bump (no pun intended!)

grrd Fri 22-Jul-11 21:13:56

I had a VBAC and the doc told me that the best candidates for VBAC are the ones who dilated quickly, but had the C-Section for other issues..

So if your friend had issues dilating she might not be the candidate who then manages to have a VBAC...

Having said all this, I am not sure if having a VBAC might be overrated.. I think if you go for it then you better prepare for the birth properly (breathing technique etc)..

There's lots of information here's a link to an organisation:

Anomaly Fri 22-Jul-11 21:53:32

The success rate of a VBAC depends on a number of factors. The fact that she didn't dilate much before does lower her chance of a successful VBAC. I opted for an elective because I only dilated to 3cm and my first son was over 9 pounds - bigger babies are also less likely to be delivered by VBAC.

If I were her I would want to know what monitoring they would have during labour and how long they would allow her to labour for. I knew I would have continuous monitoring and would only be able to labour for 12 hours. I didn't rate my chances of avoiding an emergency section under those conditions and preferred to have an elective. The elective was fine and it was lovely not to be exhausted when I held my son.

Squiglettsmummy2bx Fri 22-Jul-11 21:59:22

My 1st birth was very much like your friends & 2nd time around I was advised to have elcs as i probably wouldn't dilate again & as I almost lost DD I couldn't bear the thought of all that again. Personally I would say elcs all the way.
Wish your friend luck whatever she decides x

threefeethighandrising Fri 22-Jul-11 22:36:28

Thanks for your replies, much appreciated. smile

It sounds like elc could be a good idea for her then. I'll read her your responses when we have a chat on the phone tomorrow.

(She's avoiding the computer because she says has too much nesting still to do and if she sits down and gets on the computer she reckons she'll not get off it!).

TurtlesAreRetroRight Fri 22-Jul-11 22:43:46

It's a really personal decision and one that she should discuss thoroughly with her consultant and those around her based on her own individual circumstances. She'd need to take into account what she would/wouldn't be 'allowed' (recommended really) to do, how they manage vbacs at her hospital, what the events of last time mean for this time, recovery rates, implications for caring for dc1, consultant recommendation etc.

I needed to know before I even thought about vbac that my consultant and I had the same ideas. That certain things would or wouldn't be dismissed, that my first and second stages would continue for a predetermined time and then options to move to intervention discussed promptly.

If I didn't have such a big thing about having a go at a normal delivery, I'd probably opt for a elcs as the known quantity. If your friend has no emotional investment in a vaginal birth- or an elcs for that matter- she should just investigate the facts, talk to her cons and make a decision based on her gut feeling at the end of it all.

MrsHoolie Fri 22-Jul-11 22:47:18

It depends what she wants really.
I couldn't decide....a wentfor a vbac then on my due date I asked if I could book in for an ELCS blush

I did go into labour so decided to give the vbac a go but I didn't dilate beyond 4cm which is what happened first time round. I am tall and big boned by the way!
My DS was 10lb 6oz so I was relieved in a way.

threefeethighandrising Fri 22-Jul-11 23:07:54

Is there a big difference between a planned C-section and an emergency C-section? Is there any difference in recovery?

threefeethighandrising Fri 22-Jul-11 23:08:32

10lb 6oz, phew!

ShowOfHands Fri 22-Jul-11 23:23:05

Planned cs can be very different to emcs. Depends on what happened during the labour before emcs. You can be exhausted, depleted, already had things like an episiotomy and then have to have an emcs, sometimes a crash cs where you're not even awake. With an emcs you just never know.

With a planned cs you see the surgeon first. You talk to the anaesthetist. You know roughly when and how. You go into it well rested if possible, you have choices. There's no rush, you are not in shock.

Recovery wise it depends on the person and is different cs to cs but it makes sense I think that it's easier to recover from elcs because you haven't had a labour go wrong beforehand.

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