Birth After a Previous Caesarean Birth – What Birth is Right for Me?


Birth after a previous caesarean birth – What Birth is Right for Me?

Vaginal Birth After Caesarean or Elective Repeat Caesarean Section? (VBAC or ERCS)

This is a personal decision and only you know what is right for you and your baby. Health care professionals should advise you on the risks and benefits of both vaginal and repeat caesarean births (based on evidence), but they shouldn’t tell you want to do.

Some women and birthing people know straight away what birth they want and that’s great.

But some are undecided, these are some questions to ask yourself to help you decide.

I have broken it down into 3 sections, Feelings, Risks & Benefit and Recovery.


  • How do you feel about your previous caesarean birth?
  • Was your previous birth traumatic?
  • What did you like/dislike from that birth?
  • How do you feel about this pregnancy and birth?
  • What do your instincts say?
  • What are you fears?
  • How would you feel if you had an unplanned VBAC/CBAC?


In my hypnobirthing courses we cover fears, and I provide a fear release relaxation track and exercise, we will also work on techniques on how to feel confident and in control of your birth. But if there is anything specific you would like to work on, please get in touch.

If you experienced birth trauma or PTSD from your previous birth and need a bit more support, I highly recommend Melanie from Big Steps Little Feet, she does 3 Step Rewind which are birth trauma recovery sessions.


Another option is to have a debrief.

Debrief with your Hospital – You will go through your medical notes and the consultant midwife will discuss what happened. This could be traumatic, and it will come from a hospital policy side of things.

Or Independent debrief – some independent midwives and doula’s offer a debrief and they will discuss what happened but also cover your feelings.


Doula UK

A lot of birth trauma comes from how you feel, not what happened to you, feeling out of control, belittled and not listened to are big factors in birth trauma.


Risks and Benefits

  • Caesarean cut – horizontal or vertical
  • Why did you have a previous caesarean?
  • What are the risks and benefits to you?
  • What are the risks and benefits to your baby?
  • What are the risks and benefits to future pregnancies?
  • Do you have any complexities in this pregnancy that might impact birth?


VBAC Resources

Caesarean Resources



  • How was your recovery from your previous caesarean birth?
  • Were there any complications with your recovery last time?
  • Caesarean birth; is not driving for 6 weeks practical for you and your family?
  • Do you have any older children to care for?
  • Length of hospital stay – longer with a caesarean birth.
  • Do you have postpartum support?


You already know what a caesarean birth recovery is like! No driving for 6 weeks, can’t lift anything heavier than your baby, anti-blood clotting infections, some sexy socks and lots of pain relief and a longer stay in hospital.

Do you have postpartum support? how much time will you partner get off work? Do you have family or friends around to support you? Can you hire an independent midwife or postnatal doula to help and support you?

Nothing can guarantee a certain type of birth, so even planning a vaginal birth there is still roughly a 25% chance you will have an unplanned caesarean. (same as a first time parent) There are ways to reduce this percentage, but nothing can guarantee 100% you will have a vaginal birth.

And likewise, if you plan an elective caesarean, you might go into labour before your surgery date.

Whatever birth you decided to plan for, you should also create a badass back up plan – with your own terms and conditions.

Jodie x

Hi! I'm Jodie

Fully qualified Hypnobirthing coach.

Read more

Hi! I'm Jodie

Fully qualified Hypnobirthing coach.

Read more