Want to VBAC? 5 ways to Prepare for a Successful VBAC
The term VBAC stands for “Vaginal Birth after Cesarean,” and in most cases is safer than scheduling a repeat cesarean. See Baby Midwifery and Dr. Bootstaylor believe in supporting many birth options, and that VBAC is a safe, and appropriate option for many Mothers and Families. In 2017 ACOG (The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) released new guidance on TOLAC (Trial of Labor After Cesarean) and VBAC, stating that:
Vaginal birth after cesarean delivery (VBAC) should be attempted at maternal care facilities that typically manage uncomplicated births if they are capable of performing emergency deliveries…
There are many myths and a lot of misinformation that still surround VBAC, and many care providers who either go against evidence and do not support VBAC, or say that they support VBAC but in reality do not. One of the unique aspects of maternal care with See Baby is that in one group patients have access to Midwifery Care and the care of a Perinatologist. The See Baby Midwives and Dr Bootstaylor work together, with patients, to prepare for, plan and support the birth experience a Family wants–which might be a VBAC.
If you are interested in having a VBAC, there are 5 things you can do to prepare for a successful VBAC:
1. Gather a Birth Team that is 150% in alignment with your decision.
This is an important step to any birth preparation, and it’s importance can not be overstated. Your Birth Team should be a group of people who you trust, and who also know that VBAC is a safe and appropriate birth choice. This team can include: Your Partner–Whether your Birth Partner is your spouse, your parent or your friend, this person knows you well. This is someone who can support you and believe in you through hard times. It is important that your Birth Partner understands why you have chosen to VBAC and is completely on board with your decision. Your Provider– This is very important, and can be the determining factor in having a successful VBAC. The provider you choose should not only support VBACs but truly believe in them. Choose a provider with a history of successful VBACs and who is prepared to do everything they can to support the success of your VBAC. Talk to your Provider early in your pregnancy, and trust your gut. Your Doula– Doulas are an integral part of many births, and especially with VBACs. A Doula has your well being in mind and answers only to you. A Doula is knowledgeable in the ways of birth, and helpful ways to support a VBAC. A Doula is emotional as well as physical support for you and your partner, and is proven to increase your chances of avoiding a cesarean birth. We have Atlanta Doulas listed on our Birth Pro Directory, and we believe in the value of Doulas so much that we even have a Doula Consortium
2. Get Informed
To have a successful VBAC, you have to really want it. Arm yourself with knowledge. Understand the misinformation and myths that still unfortunately surround VBAC. Do your own research, and confirm that you believe that VBAC is the safest option for you and your baby. You need to trust that you are preparing for a normal birth experience, rather than taking a risk. Below is a list of resources to start with:
3. Create a Birth Plan…
Or more accurately, a “Birth Preferences Plan.” Birth can be unpredictable, but figuring out your specific preferences beforehand will make things clear to you and your Birth Team. Make sure your whole Birth Team is familiar with your preferences as well, including your Nurse during labor if you are planning on having a hospital birth. Your Doula can help you figure out what your preferences are, and many Doulas help you create a Birth Preferences Plan.
4. Take a Natural Childbirth Class
Not only will a Childbirth class help you and your partner to be informed, but it will also give a time and place to honor your birth choices. You will learn ways to increase your chances of a successful VBAC. In Atlanta there are many wonderful Childbirth Classes, and you can find some of your options on our Birth Pro Directory. The more you know about unmedicated childbirth, the easier it will be to be your own advocate, and go into labor not only knowing that you will most likely do this, but that you can do this!
5. Give yourself Grace
We recognize that often a VBAC is desired because of a previous birth that was disappointing, and sometimes even traumatic. We hope that this birth will be a healing experience, but we also know that Birth is unpredictable.
Regardless of mode of delivery, Birth should be honored as Birth. Cesarean Birth is still Birth. We hope that all Women, at all times and including during Birth, are treated with respect. Shared Decision Making and Informed Consent can sometimes be the means needed to heal.
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