Going into Labour

Labour Delivery

What happens if I go into labour when I’m planning VBAC?

You will be advised to deliver in hospital so that an emergency caesarean delivery can be carried out if necessary. Contact the hospital as soon as you think you have gone into labour or if your waters break.

Once you are in labour, you and your baby’s heartbeat should be monitored continuously. You can have an epidural if you choose.

What happens if I do not go into labour when planning a VBAC?

If labour does not start by 41 weeks, different options will be discussed with you by your obstetrician. These are:

  • Continue to wait for labour – however, a fetal well-being scan and NST should be performed to ensure that the baby is healthy and it is OK to wait
  • Induction of labour. This increases the risk of scar weakening and hence, generally speaking, induction of labour is not advised with a previous LSCS scar.
  • Repeat elective caesarean delivery. This is probably the best option for previous LSCS patients who do not labour spontaneously.

What happens if I have an elective Caesarean section planned and I go into labour?

Telephone the hospital to let them know what is happening. It is likely that an emergency caesarean will be performed once labour is confirmed. If labour is very advanced, or if the labour is early (before 37 weeks), then VBAC may be more suitable. Your obstetrician will discuss this with you.


This document has been based on the patient information section of the Royal college of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, London, UK