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VBAC vs. CSection Recovery

Forum: VBAC: Vaginal Birth After a Caesarean


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October 12th, 2012, 10:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 5
I had an emergency csection with ds and am planning a vbac for this baby. However, I am curious for those of you who have experienced both types of birthing.... what are the differences in recovery time, post delivery pain, etc.

Thanks girls!
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October 14th, 2012, 04:51 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: El Paso, TX
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The recovery was like night and day. No comparison. I had c-sections with my first two and a vba2c with my third. With the c-section I was holding a pillow to my incision, afraid to laugh or cough. Couldn't stand up straight, hurt to walk, and took weeks to recover from. After my vaginal birth I was up and around, in my pajamas, feeling great. I did have some bad tearing but that was nothing compared to an incision.
NutMeg76, TaraJo29, Memi and 1 others like this.
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October 25th, 2012, 11:56 AM
Mega Super Mommy
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Agree... vbac is tons better to recover from then c-section! After the c-section I had to wait over an hour to hold baby. All the pain meds made me drowsy and sick. It took about 8 weeks for me to feel like I could do things without pain. With my vbac, I was up walking around the room in less than 2 hours. There was some pain... but I could have handled it without pain meds if wanted to. 2 days in hospital vs. 5 was nice! And when I got home I was able to jump back doing things pretty much right off the bat.
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October 25th, 2012, 02:05 PM
lhug_nar's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Totally agree! I wasn't able to hold DS2 for the first hour, I was asked not to nurse him for the first 2 (still don't get that), I wasn't "allowed" to walk around for the first 48 hours after the c-section, not to mention I had weeks upon weeks of pain from my c-section. After my VBAC with DS3, I was up, took a bath, ate, got back into my own clothes, we went home 24 hours after he was born. They were actually going to let us go home right away but they needed to do the PKU test before we could leave. I was able to do everything that I did the day before when I got home and I wasn't afraid of letting my older boys sit on my lap. VBAC vs. C-Section? Hands down VBAC is so much easier! (This is coming from someone who ended up with a 43 hour, 3 hour pushing, pitocin and forceps being used VBAC!)
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April 18th, 2013, 03:42 PM
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I haven't had both only a csection but i find my experience with a csection a little different than everyoneelse. I was super sore for weeks but after 12 hours the doctors were trying to get me to walk around. Aslo after the csection I had to spend an hour in the recovery room before I went to my normal room but during recovery I was given my daughter to hold and nurse.
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April 18th, 2013, 07:28 PM
MrsHoot's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I don't have a vaginal birth recovery...yet (fingers crossed!) but tbh, my c section recovery was not too bad at all. It was not fun having to be lifted and cleaned while I was numb and those stupid pressure things you have to wear on your feet are the worst! My at home recovery was pretty good though. Iwas off pain pills after like 3 days ( well the Vicodin, not the ibprofun I don't think). Really hoping for a vaginal next time though...c'mon VBAC!!

One angel baby lost at 8 weeks in June 2016
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May 19th, 2013, 11:17 AM
HorseGal's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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VBAC hopeful here too, the thought of being around my two year old after a c/s is scary as hell. He already hurts my growing belly enough right now on accident.
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June 18th, 2013, 12:55 PM
Mega Super Mommy
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I haven't had both to compare yet (fingers crossed)
With my C-Section, I was in the hospital for 5 days, 4 nights. I did not get up until Day 2 at least as I was in pain.
I couldn't feel my arms and legs for hours after my section. I was able to have the baby though immediately. I attempted to nurse her although my milk didn't come in for another week.
Overall, the recovery wasn't so bad.
I'm terrified of 'tearing' this time around. It just sounds so painful.

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June 23rd, 2013, 06:18 AM
Memi's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Mine were night and day. With my CSection I was in excruciating pain for weeks. I wasnt able to take care of kyself much less my new baby which made the recovery emotionally difficult as well. On the other hand thirty minutes after my VBAC birth I was doing things that took me days or even weeks to do after my cesarian. I was sore and swollen, sure, but the recovery was so easy in comparison!!
Expecting #3 in January 2016!

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June 27th, 2013, 07:13 AM
alwayssmile's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I had a pretty easy c/s recovery. I was driving 1.5 weeks after surgery (had no choice - had mastitis and no one else was around to drive me!). I was walking without help after 24 hours. The only pain meds I was given when I left the hospital at 36 hours was 500 mg motrin (lame!). Zero issues really. My VBAC I had a 2nd degree tear. I was walking after 2 hours. Showered after 6 hours (would have been sooner but Zoe was having temp issues and we were doing kangaroo care till then). Walked out of the hospital at 24 hours. A week after birth I walked along the beach. I took care of both kids alone at 1.5 weeks pp for 2 days. Really was night and day. The recovery really is what made my VBAC fantastic! Worth everything I went through!
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June 27th, 2013, 07:22 AM
alwayssmile's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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As far as tearing goes, I didn't feel it or notice it till after baby was here and in my arms and they were sewing me up. I won't lie - that was the most painful part of my VBAC by far! It was 30 minutes of torture (the local they gave me didn't quite take)....but I had my sweet baby girl in my arms the whole time. I used my hypnobabies again like I did during birth and concentrated on her. I was standing up and walking awkwardly afterwards, but I was able to stand and walk immediately unlike a c/s! Got some lovely ice packs for down there. Once home I did sitz baths a few times a day (it was a lovely excuse to be alone for a few minutes!) for a couple of days. But in the end it was nothing like the pain after my c/s. It healed well and never had a single issue.
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June 30th, 2013, 09:45 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 105
ooo man seriously words can't express how MUCH better it is with a vbac hands down!! I mean yeah you still hurt but not nearly as much as with a c-section. You also recover a lot quicker and up and walking around faster.
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July 10th, 2013, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by HorseGal View Post
VBAC hopeful here too, the thought of being around my two year old after a c/s is scary as hell. He already hurts my growing belly enough right now on accident.
You took the words out of my mouth! I had a scheduled c/s the first time around but my recovery wasn't that bad because I had a basically immobile baby to snuggle. When this one is born I'll have a rambunctious 3 year old to deal with.

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August 24th, 2013, 10:55 PM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I haven't had a VBAC yet (hoping this time), but I've had 4 vaginal births and 1 c-section. It was definitely night and day. I had no idea a c-section recovery could be that hard. My incision hurt like heck and I felt like my guts were going to pop out every time I accidentally laughed... or sneezed. I would almost cry (sometimes I did). The first time I peed my insides hurt SOO bad I was alarmed that they had maybe cut my bladder or something (lol). It killed. I couldn't hold my toddler and that was really hard for both of us emotionally. I couldn't walk while standing upright (I had to kind of hunch over) for a couple weeks. It was really rough.

After my vaginal births usually I could get up and use the bathroom within an hour or so and the worst part was that my hoo-ha would be a bit sore from stitches (not even a remote comparison to the c-section incision) and my hips and pelvis would pop and be pretty unstable for several days. But I could walk, talk, sneeze, laugh, shower, hold my toddler without worrying about getting jabbed in the belly, no problem.

(BTW, I'm Tara, 38 weeks pregnant. Usually I just hang out in the Sept DDC but thought to pop in over here and see what's going on. )
Mom to Titus (12), Isaiah (10), Noelle (8), Joel (6), Hannah (4), Elijah (1), and baby due Nov 4!

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September 7th, 2013, 08:08 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5
It varies so much; a complicated VBAC can be just as tough to recover from as a c-section. My 1st VBAC was a much easier recovery than my planned c-section, but my 2nd VBAC was much harder than my c-section.
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October 9th, 2013, 12:18 PM
mzshell13's Avatar Super Mommy
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I haven't had a VBAC yet, but I've had one vaginal birth before my emergency c-section. I'm going to be in the minority and say the pain was comparable for both. My vaginal birth was almost too fast (I was vomitting from either the pitocin or the epi and would push too hard with each episode). I tore like crazy and it hurt to move, sit, or walk for more than a month, and to have sex for almost a year. My c-section was painful too but I kept thinking "at least I can pee and poop without crying" lol. It sucked because I still couldn't sit or lay down without pain (though the source was different) but I also couldn't pick up my then 2 year old, which really sucked. I still have random throbbing pain where my c-section incision is.

I think it depends on the person and the delivery- I know people who were up walking around 2 days later after both a VBAC and c-section like nothing was wrong. I unfortunately seem to have a hard time healing.

I've been weighing the pros and cons and I think I'm going to try a VBAC as long as I don't need another emergency c-sect. There's nothing like being able to hold your baby in your arms right away and nurse, I really missed that with my last. Like some other posters mentioned, I'm terrified at having 2 kids under 4 whom I can't pick up, especially since I'm a SAHM now. Plus the sense of accomplishment that comes with actually pushing out a baby is amazing. I'm going to try to hold off on the pain meds since they made me violently ill, and hope that this baby comes out gradually to prevent all the tearing.

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November 5th, 2013, 05:47 AM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 7
I was a VBAC hopeful too, unfortunately DS is breech so the doctor scheduled me for an elective CS.
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February 6th, 2014, 10:36 PM
MandyMae833's Avatar Regular
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 66
My first born broke my tail bone as he was coming out and it took 4 years to fully heal. It took weeks to be able to sit or stand without horrid pain. My second child c section took me about 2 weeks to fully recover but the pain was dull and managable unlike a broken tail bone
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February 14th, 2014, 05:45 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,398
There was no comparison for me. It was night and day. A week post partum and I'm mostly back to normal. The only thing that kind of twinges here and there is my episiotomy stitches, but it's not bad at all. Stitches down stairs are so much easier to heal from than major abdominal surgery. A week after my csection saw me moving slower than molasses and still in a lot of pain. Night and day and I would totally do this again even if I need stitches again next time.
Mom to a 2 year old baby girl, 2 week old baby boy, and one in Heaven.

In loving memory of our angel baby, with us for 4 weeks. Baby went to be with God July 24th, 2009.

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March 17th, 2014, 07:53 AM
melaniek85's Avatar Frankie and Ronin's mommy
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For me The vbac recovery was soooo much easier. I was up walking about 2 or 3 hours after the birth and went home 24 hours later. I had a tear from my Perineum to my labia requiring about 6 sutures but that was nothing compared to the c section incision. I felt almost back to normal at a week and 100% by 2 weeks.
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