Pros and cons

Read about the pros and cons of vaginal birth and planned caesarean section when you have previously delivered by caesarean section

What does it involve?
​Attempt to give birth vaginally
Planned caesarean section
  • You arrive at the hospital in an early stage of labour so that the midwife may monitor you and your baby during contractions.

  • If you need pain relief you will have the same options as any other woman in labour, including an epidural.

  • You are allowed to have several relatives attend the delivery.

  • You may participate in setting the framework for the delivery, such as communication and pain relief.
  • ​You are admitted to the maternity ward at the hospital on the dayof your scheduled caesarean section.

  • You will be awake, will feel no pain and be able to be part of the birth of your baby.

  • You will remain in the hospital for about two days after the caesarean section together with your partner or another relative.

  • You may have a relative/partner with you during the caesarean procedure and during admission.

What are the pros?
​Attempt to give birth vaginally
Planned caesarean section
  • You will avoid yet another scar on your uterus and a surgical procedure.

  • At vaginal delivery the fluid in the baby’s lungs is squeezed out. This will help the child to breathe after the delivery.

  • The child’s production of combat hormones is activated.

  • You will be able to go home shortly after the delivery, often on the same day.

  • You can elect to deliver vaginally for future pregnancies.

  • You can avoid an emergency caesarean section, unless you go into labour before the date of the planned caesarean section.

  • You may schedule the caesarean section together with the obstetrician. This may give you a peace of mind during your pregnancy

What are the disadvantages and negative effects?
​Attempt to g​ive birth vaginally
Planned caesarean section
  • ​The scar in the uterus from the last caesarean section may rupture. This is rare but may be serious for you and your child and will necessitate an emergency caesarean section.

  • If it becomes relevant to induce labour, it may be done by pricking a hole in the amniotic sac, but not with cervical ripening pills.

  • If it becomes relevant to use a labour-inducing drip, it will be administrated with even greater caution than for first-time deliveries due to the scar in the uterus.

  • You may end up having an emergency cesarean section, where the risk of infection and other complications is higher than for a planned caesarean section.
  • Wounds in the uterus and stomach which must heal.

  • Yet another scar on the uterus may lead to a caesarean section for future pregnancies so that you will not be able to deliver vaginally.

  • The child may have difficulty breathing and may need treatment in the paediatric ward. This means that you will be separated from your child immediately after delivery.

  • It takes the body about 4-6 weeks to recover from a caesarean section, and you may only lift the equivalent of the weight of your child (including car seat) for 4-6 weeks.

Responsible editor