How many cesarean sections can a women have?


My daughter –in-law has a two year old and she believes that she can only have one more child since she has to deliver each baby by cesarean section. I believe that Dr. Hilgers addressed a similar question on Catholic Answers but I do not recall the answer or possible resources. I want to provide her with reliable information and sources.


It depends upon the woman. It also depends upon the doctor as well. They are obligated to tell a woman that each c section adds some risk and some women take that to mean that they shouldn't have another child.Some doctors due to the incredibly high rate of lawsuits will not perform more than 2 on a woman. Every woman who has a c section look into VBAC. Vaginal Birth After Cesarean. That isn't always possible. I would say for a general rule in a healthy woman they can safely have 3 or 4. But as I said it depends upon the risks- scarring and thickness of the uterus and some other factors. Most of the women on here with multiple c sections will tell you that they heard that they shouldn't have any more and they went on to be fine. But again, every individual woman must weigh the risks.

Some links to view--


My wife had 8, plus one major surgery to repair her uterus after it was punctured during a procedure to remove a baby that had miscarried. So, it was the equivilent of 9 C-Sections.


Four is the maximum you will see happen around here. I know others online who have had many more than that, but four is the real-life number I see.

VBACs are definitely a possibility. I know one mom in particular who has had five VBACs with no problems. It might be tricky to find an OB who will do one, depending on where you live, but it would be worth a drive, in my opinion.


I've already had three and I specifically told my Dr. that I would like more children in the future and I asked what they thought. She said it wouldn't be a problem as I have a nice thick scar. It depends on the individual but there is no rule that says 2 is the limit!


My OB has said that he doesn't feel the evidence supports limiting the number of children a woman should bear via C-section, and that he would be comfortable doing as many as I needed should that become necessary (I'm persuing VBAC). I think it depends mainly on the doctor. There is some increased risk of uterine rupture after each C-section, but there are also ways to manage that risk. The only way she'll be able to learn the limit with the OBs available in your area is to ask around.

I second the advice to look into VBAC and see if it is an option in your DIL's case, if she hasn't already. It's much easier to have a VBAC after one C-section than after two. Unlike Cesareans, VBACs don't increase your subsequent risk of uterine rupture. In fact, having a succcessful VBAC puts you at LESS risk for uterine rupture in a subsequent pregnancy. Again, don't know if this is an option for your daughter - but if it is, it's one well worth exploring.


I personally know two people who have had 5 each. It's not just the number you have, there are other factors that mitigate that number. Also, having 2 c-sections close together might be very different from having them with more time in between to heal. There are a variety of risks, and a variety of situations. But if I had a doc who was telling me I needed to stop after only one or two, I'd seek a second opinion.


Wow! This is the first time I posted a question and I really appreciate all the helpful response. It is very kind and thoughtful of you to take your time to help others. I am impressed! THANK YOU!


I have had 3 c-sections so far, and am having my 4th in a few weeks. I was unable to have v-bacs since my 1st and 2nd child were less than 2 years apart, and the doctor would not allow a trial of labour. (We had also moved from another province when I was about 8 months pregnant, so I did not have time to look for a 2nd opinion). After 2 c-sections, and then a 3rd baby less than 2 years after the 2nd, my husband & I decided that the risks of trying a vbac were too high, and any future babies would be delivered by c-section.

I think the number of c-sections allowable should really be decided on an individual basis. Some women are fine to have multiple c-sections (I know a lady who had 7), while others whose scars have not healed as well may be taking larger risks in having many. Unfortunately, a lot of doctors are worried about getting sued, and so will not do more than 2 c-sections.


[quote="ChosenAndCalled, post:3, topic:177386"]
My wife had 8, plus one major surgery to repair her uterus after it was punctured during a procedure to remove a baby that had miscarried. So, it was the equivilent of 9 C-Sections.


Ethyl Kennedy (wife of Robert Kennedy) had all 8 of her children by cesarean and that was back in the 60's! :eek:


Why not a VBAC? I am attempting a VBAC with this pregnancy and my OB has told me that I have a 75-80% chance of a successful VBAC.

I have had one prior c-section due to a breech baby. What is the reason for your daughter's c-section? Why does she need to have future c-sections? Just curious to see if there is a medical indicator or not. If there is no imminent medical indicator, then she should be fine for trial of labor.

Please make sure she is aware of the medical studies out there on VBACS. In Canada, we have the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (Guideline of VBAC). I'm sure America has something similar that American OB's follow.

Also, as long as your daughter's OB / midwife is affiliated with a hospital that performs VBACS, then it should be ok. Some hospitals in the U.S. will not perform VBACS b/c of the 1% risk of uterine rupture as they don't have emergency protocols in place for an emergency c-section if needed. The hospital must have the people and emergency mechanics in place to perform a c-section within 20 minutes in the event of an emergency and not all hospitals have that in place.

Could that be why she things she'll have to have another c-section? If that's the case, I've heard of women going to a hospital 2 hours away where VBACS are allowed. Labor usually lasts a good 12 hours or more, so getting there shouldn't be a problem.


I know someone who has had 7, but the doctors have told her that she can’t have anymore :frowning: It all depends on the individual


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