VBAC: Participation During Birth

Topic Overview

You and your birth partner can take part more fully in a vaginal birth than you can in acesareandelivery.

During a cesarean, the mother gets either aregional anestheticor ageneral anesthetic. She can't fully take part in her baby's birth.

  • Some mothers feel very strongly about being able to bond with the baby right after birth. Unless there is some complication, a mother can usually hold her baby within the first few minutes after a vaginal birth. After a cesarean, the mother's time with her baby may be briefly delayed as her surgery is completed. This delay can be longer if she stays in the recovery room for a time after the birth.
  • When a general anesthetic is used, the mother is unconscious through her baby's birth. This most often happens during an emergency cesarean.
  • If regional anesthetic is used during a cesarean, the mother stays awake. But she may not be as actively involved in the birth as during a natural birth or a birth without using medicines. If she gets sedatives, she may be groggy. Or she may fall asleep or not remember much about the birth.

Whether you plan avaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)or a repeat cesarean, discuss anesthesia options with your doctor before your delivery.

If you have a routine cesarean, your birth partner can hold the baby while your medical needs are taken care of.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology

Current as ofNovember 21, 2017