Groping Through the Fog

A Metasynthesis of Women's Experiences on VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean Section)

Ingela Lundgren; Cecily Begley; Mechthild M Gross; Terese Bondas


BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2012;12(85) 

In This Article


Due to the rising CS-rate increasing numbers of women and health professionals have to decide mode of delivery in the subsequent birth. Vaginal birth is recommended as best practice for the majority of women, associated with lower maternal mortality than repeat CS, and less overall morbidity for mothers and babies. However, there are few studies about women's experiences of VBAC. This metasynthesis based on eight studies from an Anglo-American context, where informed choice is an option, raise the question of why women's experiences are not studied in other countries and maternity care settings. The study gives an understanding of how difficult VBAC is from women's perspectives. The women are groping through the fog and must have a strong sense of their own responsibility for giving birth vaginally since VBAC is mainly described by health professionals in relation to the risks involved. Women are well informed about these risks, but positive aspects of VBAC are mainly described by the women themselves. Giving birth vaginally is described as empowering, as best for the baby and as important in a life-perspective for them as women. In order to promote VBAC, more studies from different countries and maternity care settings are needed. Maternity care professionals must give women evidence-based information not only on risks but also on positive aspects of VBAC.