Women's experiences following failed vaginal birth after cesarean delivery

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2007 Nov;99(2):113-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2007.04.043. Epub 2007 Jul 27.


Objective: To assess the experience of women in whom a trial of vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) has failed.

Methods: Pretested self-administered questionnaires containing both open- and closed-ended questions were given to the participants while they were waiting for an antenatal check-up. The responses to the closed-ended questions were analyzed with descriptive statistics. Content analysis was used for the responses to the open-ended questions.

Results: The women with a history of a successful vaginal delivery reported a positive experience whereas those with no history of vaginal delivery reported a negative experience. The women found the limited options available to them the most dissatisfying aspect of attempting a VBAC.

Conclusion: An unsuccessful trial of VBAC could have significant adverse effects on women, especially on those who have never given birth vaginally. Adequate antenatal education for women planning a trial of VBAC, postdelivery support following an unsuccessful trial of VBAC, and research aimed at expanding the options available to women as they are attempting VBAC are recommended.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Trial of Labor*
  • Vaginal Birth after Cesarean* / psychology