This past month, I’ve had the honor of attending three successful VBACs, or vaginal birth after cesarean. Choosing to have a VBAC is sometimes a hard choice for a mother, often because her last birth was filled with trauma and disappointment. However, choosing to plan for a VBAC can be a cathartic, fulfilling experience! Here are three things I knew before supporting these moms, but it became extremely clear how important they are over the past month...
#1 Choose a Supportive Care Provider
This is so important! Finding the right care provider who will support your choice for a trial of labor and VBAC is one of the best things you can do. Often, obstetricians work in a group practice and it is important that all of the care providers share the same philosophies. Review your birth plan with them early on in your pregnancy and don’t be afraid to make the switch if you start seeing red flags.
#2 Know that Induction is Not the Enemy
It may not be your first priority to be induced, nevertheless, I have seen supportive care providers use gentle induction techniques to safely encourage baby’s arrival. A gentle induction often uses a Foley catheter, minimal uses of pitocin increased slowly over time, and/or breaking the bag of waters. Just be prepared for things to go very quickly in the end.
#3 Hire a Doula
Because you most likely have feelings about what happened at your previous birth, a doula can help you navigate those emotions. In addition, a doula can help guide you through the stages of labor you may not have experienced before. Plus, learning how to best take care of your body physically during your pregnancy and through your labor can be very helpful for women. A doula and partner together will make you a priority and take care of your emotional, mental and physical needs during birth.
Just remember, the past does not dictate the future. If your labor stalled during your first birth or your baby was stressed out during contractions or any other number of reasons led you to a cesarean, that doesn’t mean that you have to have another cesarean for your next birth. Every pregnancy and baby are unique. Education, preparation, and commitment are the keys to your success!
I had the honor of being the doula for Andressa's first birth which was a cesarean after a long labor. It was a joy to watch her have her second baby, a sweet girl, with a rather quick labor and successful VBAC!
This was Nicole's 6th baby! She had previous had 3 vaginal births and 2 cesareans. This birth started with an induction that was slow and gentle and it ended with a beautiful baby girl via VBAC!
Melissa had a rough first birth experience. The entire process wasn't what she envisioned. During her second pregnancy, she worked so hard to stay fit, eat right, and get ready mentally. It paid off big time as she enjoyed welcoming her sweet girl via VBAC!