Birth after caesarean (BAC)

If you have had a caesarean birth, you may be thinking about how to give birth next time.

Planning for a vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) or choosing an elective (planned) repeat caesarean section (ERCS) have different benefits and risks. To help you decide, your maternity team will discuss your birth options with you during your antenatal appointments and during our virtual Birth After Caesarean (BAC) workshop.

Antenatal BAC workshop

If you have had one uncomplicated caesarean before and have no problems in your pregnancy, you will be invited to attend a BAC workshop after your 20-week scan and before your 28 week appointment. This is run by a senior midwife from the Birth Choices team and our antenatal class teacher, and is informal, interactive and lasts for about an hour. Information on both of our maternity sites at West Middlesex and Chelsea and Westminster hospitals will be covered and you will be able to ask questions. It is run every 2 weeks.

The workshop covers:

  • Choices for birth after having one previous caesarean
  • The chances of a successful vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC)
  • The risks and benefits of VBAC and when it isn’t advisable
  • The risks and benefits of a planned repeat caesarean (ERCS)
  • What happens during labour if you’re planning a VBAC
  • What happens if you are planning a VBAC but you don’t go into labour
  • What happens if you have an ERCS planned but you go into labour
  • Extra resources to help you make your decision via a further resources padlet

Individual support with birth planning

We hope that the information you receive during the workshop will enable you make an informed decision for your birth which you can then discuss with your midwife at your 28 week antenatal appointment. 

If you feel that you need additional help with birth planning, you can book an individual appointment with a senior midwife from the Birth Choices team when you are around 30–34 weeks to make personalised plan based on your individual circumstances.  

You are also able to see an obstetrician during your pregnancy if you have any additional concerns that you would like to discuss to help confirm your birth plans.

What if I have had more than one caesarean section

If you are considering a vaginal birth but have had more than one caesarean birth before, you should have a detailed discussion with a senior obstetrician and/or consultant midwife about the potential risks, benefits and success rate in your individual situation.

For more information please speak to your midwife or doctor and book a place via Eventbrite.

georgiaku George Vasilopoulos