You’ve had a baby, and you’re pregnant with number two, three (or more). You feel excited to welcome another child into your family, but you also feel apprehensive about going through birth again. Maybe you had a healthy baby, but things didn’t go exactly ‘to plan’, and you missed out on the vaginal birth you really wanted. Now that you’re pregnant again, you’re wondering if it is possible to have a vaginal birth after a caesarean section.
Perhaps you are seeking that oxytocin high that people talk about after a vaginal birth. Or you want to avoid the 6 weeks recovery from another caesarean section?
Sound familiar? …. You deserve answers to your questions, to feel empowered to make your own decisions about what feels best for you, your baby and go into your VBAC feeling confident, prepared and excited for the big day?!
Is it safe to have a vaginal birth after a caesarean?
It does depend on the reason you had a caesarean in the past, however VBAC’s are a safe option for most women. In fact, for women who have had one previous caesarean section (no previous vaginal birth) the VBAC rate is 72-75%. With one previous caesarean section (at least one previous vaginal birth) the VBAC rate is 85% – 90%!
What about the risk of uterine rupture that the care providers keep talking about?
The risk of uterine rupture is 0.5% for those aiming for a VBAC and <0.02% for those who choose to have a subsequent caesarean section. Nothing is risk free and only you get to choose if you are comfortable with this small increase in risk, not your care provider.
Due to the marginally increased risk of uterine rupture, the hospitals will usually advocate for a repeat caesarean section, even though caesarean section does not guarantee you will not have a uterine rupture and the risk profile is very similar.
So when it comes to having a VBAC where do you start?
The location (hospital/birth centre etc) you choose to give birth in and the care provider you choose as a support, will have a significant impact on the likelihood of achieving a positive VBAC.
It is critical to find a care provider that is a genuine advocate for the outcome you’re hoping for. Traditionally this is seen with midwifery lead care, as midwives are the experts in physiological birth. There are some obstetricians that genuinely support VBAC’s, but we need to remember that they are experts in surgery and many do not support VBAC’s. Often, they will only agree to support a VBAC if it is on their terms and these terms are not backed by evidence, such as induction of labour for VBACs.
As a Hypnobirthing Practitioner and Positive Birth Advocate for the past 4 years, I believe knowledge is power when it comes to you having the birth you desire, particularly when aiming for a VBAC. The Positive Birth Program, where I help guide you to better understand the physiology of birth and the things that you can do to advocate for yourself and your baby, will give you the best opportunity for a VBAC. You will learn techniques to help prepare yourself mentally, and about how to move
your body to create space within your pelvis and to encourage baby to get into the optimal position for a vaginal birth.
You and your birth partner will also learn what questions to ask to get the information that you need from your care providers to make a fully informed decision. When women come from a place of being fully informed and educated and they feel like they have been a part of the decision-making process, they can reflect on their birth positively, no matter the outcome.
We cannot 100% control the outcome of our birthing experience, but we can make educated decisions throughout pregnancy and labour to help reduce the potential of unnecessary interventions. Preparing for a VBAC is like training for a marathon, firstly you need to believe you can do it, educate yourself how to do it, train and fuel your body for the big day and pace yourself through labour as it is an endurance event like no other.
There is no better feeling then knowing you have given your baby the best start to life and be able to look back at your birthing experience in a positive way.
VBAC Mama Alicia : I DID IT!!! I manifested this moment for so long! With the help & education from Danielle @your.sacred.spae I totally smashed my physiological VBAC birth. The hypnobirthing classes gave my partner and I the knowledge, tools and confidence to have the birth I wanted, not what the hospital wanted for me !!!
The Positive Birth Program is run monthly at Bodyfit & Flex in Birkdale, Brisbane.
The ideal time to start The positive birth class is from 20 to 30 weeks. However, I believe that there are benefits to doing the program at all phases of pregnancy no matter what your individual fears and concerns are.
Click here to find out more