For some women, a cesarean birth may be needed. In this type of delivery, the baby is born through an incision in the abdomen and uterus. Some women may know during their pregnancy that they will be having a cesarean delivery. This may be because:

  • The position of the baby makes vaginal delivery impossible.
  • You or your baby have a medical condition that would make it harmful to have a vaginal delivery.
  • You have had a certain type of cesarean delivery with a past birth.

It may be necessary to have a cesarean birth if:

  • Your baby is too large for you to deliver vaginally.
  • Your cervix has not opened completely.
  • The baby is showing signs of not tolerating labor, which is determined by the baby's heart rate during labor.

Your health care provider and nurse will monitor you and your baby (with a machine that checks your baby's heart beat). They will explain what they are doing and answer your questions.

Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC)

It is possible for many women who had a previous cesarean birth to have a vaginal birth with the next child. Discuss this with your health care provider. VBAC classes are available to assist you with the decision about what type of delivery to choose with your next pregnancy, and how to prepare for it.

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Highland Family Maternity Center

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