The big thing people worry about is uterine rupture, this happens in healthy pregnancy around 1%. Why Think about doing a VBAC? Heres the shortlist: Shorter hospital stay( if birthing there), quicker and easier recovery time, less risk of surgical procedure, easier for baby to transition, skin to skin bonding, baby gets the microbes it needs coming through the birth canal. Here are a few tips to prepare for a VBAC:
1. Choose a VBAC friendly care provider and place of birth- This is probably the most important. I did a birth a few weeks ago (my client said for me to share her story. I also want to note I do not know this doctor or even their name and have never done a birth in this hospital before) Where my clients was 391/2 weeks and went into her doctor to express from her heart how important it was for her to be given a chance to have her baby vaginally. We had prepped for it and she was so excited and felt so empowered. The doctor was supportive up until the end when she said, “ Why would you want to ruin your vagina? You seem like a type-A wouldn't you want to plan this? You know this hospital doesn't really love to do VBACS which means I would need to be available 24/7 for you”. My girl left there feeling so defeated, pissed off and disempowered then asked me if it was too late to change doctors. I called one of my doctor friends who supports VBACs and works in a hospital that I work in a lot that supports them as well. This doctor took over her care the next day, they met that morning and that night she went into labor and went on to have the most beautiful VBAC ever! The emotional release of joy her and her partner had, well let's just say there was not a dry eye in that room.
2. Educate yourself - Learn the facts read all about VBACs, explore if you are a good candidate for one, know your choices, the risks, read vbac birth stories. Here are a few good books: Ina mays guide to childbirth, Silent knife, vaginal birth after Caesarean, The VBAC companion. Remember Knowledge is power.
3. Avoid induction - You don’t want to overstimulate the uterus.
4. Hire a doula - The American journal of managed care discovered continuous support of a doula throughout the birthing process reduces the chance of c section by 80%.
5. Process any past birth trauma. Find a therapist, somatic bodyworker, doula or someone you can work through your past experience in birth. I have seen it come up in VBACs because it takes you right back into the past wound.
6. If you are choosing to get an epidural wait until active labor if you can. With epidurals you are laying down before getting one You can stand, walk, birth ball and move around using gravity to help your body and baby to bring your baby down. Sometimes epidurals can slow down the labor if you get them too early on then you might need Pitocin to get it going again. Around active labor, the baby is more engaged in pelvis and your body is releasing tons of hormones on its own that will help your labor to keep going. If you did need pit at this point you won't be on it for so long.
Here is a quote from my client about her VBAC:
“I don’t think I have ever been so emotional in my entire life feeling my little baby’s head and then pulling her from my body and onto my chest. My heart grew tenfold that day. It was a feeling of pure love and joy and the feeling of overcoming a huge obstacle.I can’t emphasize enough how I was in control this time of both my body and my baby without all these people around deciding when they would hand me my baby after birth. I fought hard to have a successful VBAC, and surrounded myself with people who only supported me, and all those emotions just came pouring out when I grabbed my daughter and held her for the first time. I remember thinking, I did it! This time I was in control. No one was taking her from me in that special moment. It may not be for everyone, but I wish this for every woman who wants it, especially at least to be given the choice.
I left my doctor 2 days before I gave birth because I knew my doctor wasn’t with me 200%...and for a VBAC your doctor and birth team have to be completely on board. They have to be your cheerleader. I’m so lucky Lori never stopped encouraging and believing in me, and for guiding me to the right doctor, Dr Crane who I am forever grateful to, who took me under his wing at the last possible minute. I was worried it would be taken from me again. But he never lost confidence during labor and kept saying, I’ve never been more confident this will happen. To be so invested as a doctor and to have that continued support and enthusiasm for my birth journey is priceless, especially when I was at my most vulnerable during labor and birth. I wish all women had that experience. I cry writing this because I wanted it so badly, and it took me 9 months to believe I could do it. I was scared to think about it because I didn’t want it to be taken away from me. It’s never a guarantee but if you set yourself up right mentally, and with the right team, it can happen. It will be the best moment of your life. I can’t compare it to other births, but as a mom who had a c-section, I am so much more appreciative and grateful and I don’t take the birthing process for granted.” - Kaci Geller