What Makes for a Successful VBAC?

I would love your input on this article- post to the blog so others can see your ideas… but last night I had a client have a wonderful VBAC and it made me think about what helps make a VBAC happen… here are a few ideas to ponder:

Choosing the right care provider. I put this first because I think it is paramount! Ask your doctor or midwife a few questions- how often do their previous cesarean patients choose to go for a VBAC? How many are successful? Do they enjoy working with moms who choose VBAC? Often times a care provider may say they are supportive but their numbers will show a lot. Often times they change their tone as you become more pregnant. Or they support it only if you birth by your due date- going over your due date is not acceptable. Some will help you into labor if you desire with breaking your water or low dose of pitocin. Others will only schedule another cesarean if you do not birth by your due date. Make sure they are really on board. Make sure you are a good candidate for a VBAC in their view before you proceed.

Choose a doula. It may be helpful to choose one with experience with VBAC but supporting a woman is universal- but having a doula there to help encourage you- to help remind you of your ideals- to help you in determining what may be considered in labor- these help. The studies show a doula reduces the chance of the initial cesarean but I think having one for a VBAC is essential for most couples. They are there to support the partner as well as the mom.

Take a preparation class for your VBAC. Read about how to help you achieve this. Learning techniques that help to align the baby properly- (www.spinningbabies.com), taking a yoga class or a mediation class that will help you get in touch with a mind body connection before hand will help. Take a class, especially if you did not take a childbirth preparation class the first time- techniques to help with pain will be beneficial. Also classes that help you process ideas and concerns- even fears that may be hidden will help.

Keep fit. If the reason your baby did not come out vaginally last time was due to the size- or at least the reason you were given- consider watching your diet closely to help you gain healthy weight- not bulk weight- and keeping your diet in check is good but so is keeping healthy and exercising to keep you fit.

Consider what worked last time and do it again- and consider what you felt hindered you last time and remove it.
For instance if you had people with you last time that did not fully support you in the birth ideals you wanted… don’t invite them back this time. If your partner was not on board last time with your choices- help him or her get on board this time in order to be the support you need. If you arrived too early last time to the birth location, consider staying home longer this time.

Work through your worries before you birth.
Often times folks say they have no worries. The fear or worry may be hidden- but it comes out during labor. So, work through your thoughts. Think about how you want your labor to unfold. Consider what you can control from your previous birth this time. Consider how you will handle things differently this time. See yourself coping differently. There is so much fear around having a VBAC… some need to be addressed and some need to be researched to determine their veracity. Do the research so you will know what is true for you.

This type of preparation helps you achieve the birth you desire whether trying to achieve a VBAC or a vaginal birth anytime. Set yourself up to win.

VBACs don’t usually just happen- they happen most often when women set themselves up to win!

I welcome comments from those who have VBAC’d and those who help women achieve this experience.