Once upon a time, most women didn’t think about how to prepare for a VBAC. The consensus around town was that once a cesarean always a cesarean.
But something shifted and women start to prepare for VBAC birth. Do you know what that was? Women began to educate themselves and instead of being told what to do they started questioning the logistics of it all.
So let’s start with what a VBAC is.
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What is a VBAC
To Prepare for a VBAC you must understand what it is and who can have one.
A VBAC is a vaginal birth after cesarean section birth. Girl, just because you had a previous cesarean section, you do not have to have another one.
VBACs are pretty darn successful. In fact, the rate of successful VBACs is 60-80%! Uh…hello! That’s a good success rate.
So, Who Should attempt a VBAC?
First off, just because you are a good candidate doesn’t mean you will have a successful VBAC. BUT it does increase the likelihood and helps to prepare for a VBAC. And the chances of a successful VBAC are in your favor.
Your success increases if:
- You’ve had a previously successful VBAC
- You have already had a vaginal delivery (maybe before your cesarean birth)
- Your cesarean was a low transverse incision
- Age: you are under 35 (over 35 can still try)
- The reason for your previous cesarean was a baby issue and not a mommy issue. For example fetal heart rate acceleration, a breech baby, so on!
Tips for a Successful VBAC
Here are my tips for how to prepare for a successful VBAC and I am rooting for you to be just that…successful.
1 | Educate the heck out of yourself!
I know, I know, I say it all the stinking time. Educate yourself and empower yourself. That’s my motto mama!
First and foremost, Do you know the number one reason they don’t want you to have a VBAC?
But did you also know that the chance of that happening is less than 1%! Being educated allows you to combat the resistance that’s coming your way. Trust me, it’s coming. Be prepared.
You should most definitely take a class to best prepare yourself. Start looking for a local class or take an online one. A great way to find a class is to ask in a mom’s group on facebook or to call your local hospital.
Here are a few birthing classes I highly recommend as I know the instructors are all about you exercising your rights.
I love to read so it would be crazy if I didn’t suggest a few books for you to check out.
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (MY BIRTH BIBLE!)
Cut, Stapled, & Mended (more of a personal account)
2 | Positive Thinking
A successful VBAC starts with a positive mindset. Girl, I promise you that in all aspects of birth, your thinking makes a difference. These successful VBAC tips won’t be as powerful if your thinking negatively.
Going into birth with confidence along with education can be the difference between a successful VBAC and a failed one.
3 | Believe in yourself and believe in your body. You can do this.
This is key, I mean the key to all things birth, I want you to believe in the power of that body of yours!
Your body is amazing. Know that, embrace that and believe it.
Believe you can, and you’re halfway there! ~ Theodore Roosevelt
4 | Provider whose supportive of VBAC
I am a cheerleader for you choosing the right provider for your pregnancy and birth plan. This is something I scream from the rooftops even if you are not planning a VBAC. You should and can interview providers to find one who is supportive of VBAC births and can share successful VBAC tips with you.
5 | Where you give birth is critical
Choosing where you deliver is hand in hand with who you choose as your provider. You want a VBAC friendly facility. Make sure you ask about the hospital’s policies for VBAC birth. If they have policies that are not in line with your desires, find another place. Fighting hospital policies can be daunting.
Call local birth centers and ask them about their VBAC policies and their successful VBAC tips. They can be a wealth of valuable information for you to have throughout your experience.
6 | A Stellar Birth Team and A Doula
Having the right team around you during your birth can make or break the experience for you. A successful VBAC can depend on the ability to advocate for yourself. No one can advocate for you like your team and your doula that you handpick.
7 | Birth Preferences plan
I am one of those crazy “natural” labor nurses who encourages you to go armed with a plan. Watch this video for why and how I suggest creating the perfect birth plan.
You can grab your free birth plan right here and get started creating your preferences.
The reason I am so convinced you need to create a birth plan is that the creation of your plan, means you have to think these things through. That is the power of a birth plan.
8 | Labor at home as long as you can
This one might just get me into trouble. I understand the reasons you need to be monitored and I completely agree with them. However, I also understand the importance of being in your own environment to feel safe and supported.
As with all my successful VBAC tips, you need to discuss your plans with your provider. Your provider knows your history and your current health status.
9 | ICAN network for support
ICAN is the International Cesarean Awareness Network. Within this site, you can locate local support groups and more.
Check out their Mission and Vision Statements and can I get a Hallelujah!
The International Cesarean Awareness Network is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by reducing preventable cesareans through education, supporting cesarean recovery, and advocating for vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).
A reduction in the cesarean rate driven by women assuming responsibility for their healthcare by making evidence-based, risk appropriate childbirth decisions.
10 | Be prepared for A Cesarean YOUR WAY!
If for some reason you end up in the OR, I want to prepare you with a plan. Take the time now to read how and why you should ask for a family-centered cesarean. I am rooting that these successful VBAC tips will get you to the goal but be prepared just in the off chance they do not.