Epidural anesthesia and VBAC

Epidural anesthesia is considered safe and effective for controlling pain during childbirth. Studies have shown that epidural anesthesia does not increase uterine rupture rates during vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) trials of labor.1

Epidural anesthetic is injected into the space around the spinal nerves in the lower back. It numbs the area below the point of injection and allows you to remain awake during the delivery. If you cannot feel the urge to push, you may need coaching to know when to push.

When epidural anesthesia is used, fetal monitoring is recommended along with continuous attendance by a health professional.


  1. Cunningham FG, et al. (2005). Prior cesarean delivery. Williams Obstetrics, 22nd ed., pp. 607–617. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Last Updated: April 17, 2009

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