Pregnancy after c section, is it possible??
The short answer – yes!!
Unless you have a very specific medical reason why pregnancy isn’t possible, yes you can get pregnant after your c section.
And it’s actually quite safe. (again, unless you have a medical condition that would prevent pregnancy or make it unsafe.)
I was TERRIFIED to be pregnant again after my first c section. It sounds crazy, but I thought my expanding belly would open my incision!! Don’t worry, even though that’s technically possible, it doesn’t really happen very often.
Once you realize that pregnancy after c section is possible the burning question is:
How long should I wait before getting pregnant after my c section?
The quick answer is as long as possible. Most doctors in the United States will recommend 18 months between your c section and and the date of conception.
This is considered an ideal amount of time to give your body to heal.
More helpful tips if you’re considering getting pregnant again after a c section:
- wait as long as you can before conceiving in order to give yourself plenty of time to heal
- Massaging your scar can help release any built up scar tissue which can help with conception
- Use lots of lotion on you scar if it get’s itchy as your belly grows
Below are the answers to some more commonly asked questions about pregnancy after c section:
Can my c section affect my ability to get pregnant?
Maybe, but probably not. Some studies suggest that c section moms have a more difficult time conceiving after their birth as opposed to mothers who birth vaginally.
But most providers agree that fertility issues after a c section are of minor concern.
Plus fertility issues after a birth can be attributed to many different factors, not just birth method.
I struggled to conceive after my first c section, but I had also been on very strong hormonal birth control for over a year before we started trying for baby #2.
Was it the c section or the birth control that was the root cause of my secondary infertility? I will never know but my money is on the birth control.
Is pregnancy after a c section considered high risk?
Not necessarily, that will depend on your specific situation and why you had a c section the first time.
Just because your last pregnancy ended in a c section – or was considered high risk – doesn’t mean your next pregnancy will be the same.
You will need to discuss with your doctor the reason for your c section and what that could mean for future pregnancies.
How many c sections can you have?
It depends on the woman. Some women can have many c sections with no problems. Others won’t be able to have more than two or three because of the way they are healing (or not healing).
It might also depend on how well you feel after a c section. It certainly would be no easy task to take care of a newborn, yourself, AND 2-3 older children after a c section.
My OB once told me women could have as many as they want. That seems like a bit of an exaggeration, but you’l need to talk to your doctor about your specific situation to decide how many c sections you can safely have.
I’m also a huge advocate of a VBAC (vaginal birth after a c section). It’s much safer than many women believe it to be, and most c section moms are good candidates for a VBAC.
If you’re looking for a bit more info on a VBAC, check out this crash course for VBAC prep. You can finish it in one afternoon, while you’re wearing sweats and chilling on the couch. It’s incredibly affordable and a great way to help yourself learn more about VBAC’s.
What IF I get pregnant before the 18 months AFTER MY C SECTION?
Don’t panic! Many women get pregnant after their c section well before the 18 month mark and go on to have perfectly healthy pregnancies. In fact many of those women even go on to have a VBAC – I was one of them.
You don’t need to worry. Just be sure to see your OBGYN regularly so that you can receive the best prenatal care possible. Take care of your body, get plenty of rest, and eat nutritious foods.
When I do get pregnant should I have a repeat c section or a VBAC?
This question will depend on many different factors, including why you had a c section the first time. If you do choose to have a VBAC I highly recommend preparing your body for labor while you are still pregnant.
Anything I can do during pregnancy to prepare for a c section?
Absolutely! Staying active as much as you can and eating nutrient-dense food during pregnancies are two of the easiest and most impactful ways to prepare for your c section and postpartum recovery.
Also, preparing yourself for what to expect from your c section recovery can help tremendously. Check out this resource for planning your c section recovery.
I’m scared OF PREGNANCY AFTER C SECTION
It’s completely normal to feel scared about a pregnancy after c section. You might be worried about how your body will feel being pregnant again, worry about your scar tearing (I know I was!), or worried about the birth – whatever you’re scared about it’s ok to feel that way.
It’s normal, but don’t let it deter you from pregnancy after c section. Many women go on to have a completely healthy pregnancy. Many even have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).
Talk to your husband and doctor about your fears. And be sure to receive regular prenatal care to monitor your health and the health of the baby.
will the kicks of the baby harm the uterus after a c section
Probably not – after a woman has had a c section there is always a concern of uterine rupture with future pregnancies. But the chances that a baby’s kick could cause a uterine rupture are very small. Especially given that uterine rupture is incredibly rare anyway, baby’s kicks will likely not cause any harm to the uterus.
if the uterus does rupture can it be fixed so you can get pregnant again?
Yes!! If you experience a uterine rupture during a pregnancy in many cases the uterus can be repaired. In fact, most studies indicate that women with previous uterine ruptures have a “favorable outcome in subsequent pregnancies.” source
A repeat cesarean delivery will be recommended for a woman with a history of uterine rupture. Often the c section will be scheduled before 38 weeks.