Molly asked, can you have a vaginal delivery of twins if you’ve already had C-sections with your previous children?
VBAC with Twins
Molly, the answer is yes, you can, and having a vaginal delivery after a C-section is called a VBAC (vaginal birth after Caesarian). This can be done with twins or with a singleton birth. With twins it does get kind of tricky, so if you want to plan for a natural vaginal delivery, even though you’ve already had the C-section before, you have to be a good candidate for a vaginal delivery with this pregnancy, just like you would with any other pregnancy. You need to talk to your doctor, and lots of doctors do not want to do vaginal delivery of twins after you’ve already had C-sections, so you need to find a doctor who is open to this idea.
Once you find a caregiver that is agreeable with your desire to have a vaginal delivery, the next step is to check the hospital, because some hospitals will not allow VBACs, and so that will complicate matters even more, even if you find a doctor who is willing to do it. So talk to your doctor and find out the policy at the hospital where you would like to deliver your twins to see if those are both viable options.
Considerations for Vaginal Delivery of Twins
Now, babycenter.com has a great list of specific things to look for to see if you’re going to be qualified for a vaginal delivery after having had a C-Section. There are some other things to point out. For instance, why did you have a C-section with your last child? Is it because of the way the baby got stuck, or the baby was having trouble descending, or the baby’s heartbeat started to drop? There’s a lot of different reasons why you may have had a C-section the first time. Now if those are due to your body or restraints around how you’re built, then you may not be a good candidate for a vaginal delivery with your twins.
Another thing to consider is whether there has been a short time between the pregnancies. So if you had a C-section and then got pregnant shortly thereafter, your body may not have had time to heal fully, and it may be difficult to have a vaginal delivery. Also, if you have a history of surgeries, especially in the abdominal area, those may also impact your ability to delivery naturally.
A C-section May Be Necessary
So when delivering twins, position in-utero will determine if you can go ahead with a vaginal delivery or if you’re going to need a C-section. So even though you may have a hospital that’s agreeable to a VBAC, and a doctor that’s agreeable to having a VBAC, if the twins are not in the right position, if one of them is breach, you’re probably going to have a C-section. You can try to have a VBAC if your doctor is supportive, but remember that you need to keep your mind open to the possibility that you may end up having a C-section after all to safely deliver your twins. So as long as you’re open to that possibility, you’ll be fine.
This question was originally addressed on the Dad’s Guide to Twins Podcast Episode 41: VBAC with Twins, Activity Schedules, Birth Order Secret.
Picture by kiwi huang