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VBAC after HELLP Syndrome?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to see if anyone had any success with a vaginal birth after c-section when a previous c-section birth was the result of having HELLP Syndrome. I had my daughter by emergency c-section when I was 37 weeks pregnant due to the sudden, severe onset of HELLP Syndrome. I was heartbroken because, as weird as this sounds, I was always looking forward to the challenge and experience of a vaginal birth. It is my hope that with baby number two I will be able to have a VBAC. I'm not pregnant yet, just exploring my options before I get my hopes up. Has anyone had HELLP Syndrome with a previous birth that went on to have a successful VBAC? Thanks!

post #2 of 6

I just came across this post because my best friend has HELLPs and I was brushing up on my science after I had HELLPs 5 years ago. Sounds like you and I had a very similar experience.  I was diagnosed with HELLPs just shy of 38 weeks, and had a csection within a few hours.  I experienced the same feelings of disappointment you did and I did a LOT of research and saw a few docs for consultations before I was pregnant with my second.  I ended up going to a midwife who helped me deliver my beautiful baby girl by VBAC, and I got quite a birth experience the second time around and I wouldn't have done it any other way.  Obviously, I'm not a doctor, but from what I know the fact that you had HELLPs doesn't preclude you at all from having a VBAC for baby number 2.  Best of luck to you!!  

post #3 of 6

I was admitted to L&D with BP 250/210, liver and kidneys shutting down, ect..  Diagnosed with HELLP, put on mag sulfate, and induced.  27 hours later, I has a c/s. 


11 months later, we found out baby #2 was on his way.  I was put on bedrest and BP meds at 17 weeks and VERY closely watched.  At 39+5 my BP started creeping up and things started looking sketchy on the preeclampsia front, so my nurse-midwife and I decided to induce before my body became too sick.  I started the induction at 8am with a posterior, closed tight, high, thick cervix. 9 hours later my beautiful baby boy was in my arms - successful VBAC.


I'm hoping with baby #3 things will go even better.  Just know it is DEFINITELY possible to have a better experience after HELLP.  Yes, I still had BP issues - but they were controlled.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much to both of you for sharing your stories.  I love being a mom and always wanted a larger family, but the recovery from being so sick with HELLP and then a c-section was awful.  I feel like I missed out on the whole first couple weeks of my daughter's life because I couldn't even focus.  I also know your risks with c-sections increase the more c-sections you have so I really want to do everything I can to have a VBAC.  Thank you again for sharing your stories!!!  I'm so glad to not be alone!!!

post #5 of 6

I'm sorry to hear you had such a sudden and unexpected experience due to HELLP :-(


I had a similar experience, minus the c-sec.  Having that constant issue of blood pressure even after my son was born and almost being readmitted a week after his birth really upset us...... but now that I am pregnant with #2, I will tell you what every health care provider has told me (including my husband, lol!)


Before TTC baby #2, I had a consultation appointment with my dr.   I was, of course, really concerned about having another high risk pregnancy.   He assured me that while having pre-e/ HELLP once puts a mom at a slightly higher risk or having it again, that the majority of his patients do not have a repeat.  


Now that I'm pregnant again, I ask my midwife or dr at every prenatal appointment, "So how am I doing?  Am I going to end up with HELLP again?" and they always assure me that it is not as likely this time around.  


If you look into some of the statistics, you can see that even if you were to develop HELLP again, that the severity is usually much less in the second incident than it is in the first.  Which, if it happened to you again, would mean that your symptoms would be less severe, less concerning, and that even if you were hospitalized, you might still be a good candidate for induction and VBAC.  


If it puts your mind at ease, I'd say definitely make a consultation apppointment with your OB or with an OB that specializes in high risk (even if you don't plan to use him or her for your actual OB care)


The statistics are really in your favor and I definitely think you could do just fine!!  But seek some input from your dr... I feel much more assured now and I'm 25 weeks along :-)

post #6 of 6

I just noticed something cinderella said, too.  


With baby #2, she decided to induce when some of the pre-e warning signs showed up.  That's a really good point and definitely something worth talking to your provider about, too.  

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