Birth after a caesarean delivery

​You have two options after a previous caesarean section: Vaginal delivery or a planned caesarean section. 

You have two options after a previous caesarean section:

  • Vaginal birth is when you attempt to give birth vaginally – this is a mutual decision between you and your obstetrician and midwife.
  • Planned caesarean section is a cesarean section which is planned for a certain date around your due date.
There are pros and cons associated with both options, and you should be aware of these before talking to the obstetrician. This is why we ask you what is important to you during the delivery and the time that follows. You should start to consider what is the best choice for you in regards this delivery.

Not everyone has a choice

Not everyone is able to choose how they would like to deliver. Your obstetrician may recommend that a caesarean section is the only option for you and your child if:

  • The placenta lies in front of the opening to the cervix (placenta previa).
  • The fetus is in a transverse or tilted position (shoulder presentation/transverse presentation).
  • You have a vertical scar in the uterus after previous surgery, for example a caesarean section performed abroad.
There may be other medical reasons why you should have a caesarean section for this delivery as well.

We recommend there are at least 18 months between your caesarean section and your next delivery. If there are less than 18 months between your caesarean section and your new due date, you will probably be recommended a caesarean section.

Different deliveries, different experiences

All pregnancies and deliveries are unique. Some women have a good experience with their first delivery while others have a bad experience, one which they do not wish to repeat. One example could be worrying about a prolonged labour.

You should have a say in the decision. You need to know the pros and cons and the consequences for you and your child. This way, you will have a clearer idea of what is best for you and your child.

No two deliveries are alike, and no one can predict with any certainty what will happen during your next delivery. There are many reasons for having a cesarean section with your first child. Therefore some women may feel that they are giving birth for the first time once again.

What does it involve to try to give birth vaginally?

You will be admitted to the maternity ward in the early phases of labour. Two belts are wrapped around your abdomen to monitor the baby’s heart rate and your contractions. 

The midwife will be with you during the entire active phase of labour to ensure that you and your baby are doing okay. This means, among other things, that you cannot give birth in a tub or at home. You will be discharged shortly after the delivery, often on the same day.

Your options for pain relief are the same as for other women in labour. If it becomes necessary to induce labour or stimulate your contractions during labour such as a labour-inducing drip, we will use this with even greater caution than we do in first-time deliveries. If there is not sufficient progress during your labour process, we recommend a caesarean section.

What does it involve to have a planned caesarean section?

You are admitted to the maternity ward at the hospital on the day of your planned caesarean section where you will be prepared for the procedure. You will be awake, will feel no pain and be able to be part of the birth of your baby.

You may have one relative/partner with you during the caesarean section. You will remain in the hospital for about two days after the caesarean section together with your partner or another relative.

Your experience from your first delivery may affect your decision. You will have an opportunity to talk to your midwife and obstetrician about this experience. Your experience will be taken into consideration when deciding how you prefer to deliver.

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