If you are interested in having a VBAC, there are 5 things you can do to prepare for a successful VBAC:
1. Build a supportive Birth team
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–This can be your partner, spouse, friend, relative, or anyone you trust. This is someone who will support you with no judgement and complete devotion. 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. (50% reduction in cesareans) We have plenty of recommendations for local doulas, so you have options.
2. Be Informed
To have a successful VBAC, you have to really want it. Read statistics, understand why you had a csection in the first place and build a supportive network during your pregnancy. Understand the misinformation that are still spewed by many practitioners regarding the safety of VBAC. Do your own research, and affirm 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
Birth is a natural event that 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 Nurses during labor if you are planning on having a hospital birth. (Your nurses are in the room with you 90% more than your OB/Midwife). Your Doula can help you figure out what your preferences are, and many Doulas help you create a Birth Preferences Plan.
4. Complete a Childbirth Education 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. 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! There are many childbirth education classes in Central Florida. I recommend Hypnobirthing, Birth Ease and Lamaze classes to start.
5. Be Graceful with yourself
We recognize that often a VBAC is desired because of a previous birth that did not go as planned. There may be trauma lingering from that experience, so it is important to recognize that birth is more often out of a woman's control.
We hope that this birth will be a healing experience, but we also know that birth is unpredictable.
Shared Decision Making and Informed Consent can sometimes be the means needed to heal. Most women who feel unfulfilled by their birth (Whether vaginal or c-section), bring up how they were not listened to or did not feel in control of their bodies and the decisions made on behalf of their birth. You want a provider that will listen to you and provide you with enough knowledge to make an informed decision.
BIRTH IS BIRTH. At the end of the day, you birthed your baby that you grew in your uterus for the last 10 months. Now that is something to celebrate!