My 5 Tips On Planning Your VBAC
Congratulations on your pregnancy! Preparing for Birth can be overwhelming, especially if you are attempting a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). If you are going for a VBAC, here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Find a supportive provider. Whether you are choosing to Birth at a hospital, birth center, or at home, make sure to talk to your provider on your desires of having a VBAC. Ask yourself, is my provider VBAC supportive or VBAC tolerant. Feel free to make your first appointment an interview to see if that specific provider is a good fit for you and your family. If you don’t want to take too much time away from work, ask for a Televisit. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have all learned that you can do almost anything virtually.
2. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask your provider questions. Go ahead, ask the uncomfortable questions. Do you support me going past 40 weeks? Do you support me going into labor on my own? Remember, you are the consumer in this transaction and they are working for you. Some red flags would be if they insist you go into labor before X weeks, baby must be under X lbs, or insist on placing an epidural just in case. A big one, the provider only shares with you the risks of a VBAC and not a repeat C-section.
3. Educate yourself. Take a Childbirth Class outside of the hospital. There are so many wonderful Birth workers who provide Childbirth classes outside of the hospital. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many have online courses available. Read books and blogs and listen to podcasts. I’ll share my favorite ones below. Check out the hashtag #VBAC on Instagram. Get ready to go down a VBAC rabbit hole!
4. Find support. Join a Parent Support Group, attend your local ICAN chapter meetings where you will find other VBAC parents. If others come and want to tell you the risks or share their cousins or sisters best friend horror birth stories, politely (if you can) tell them thank you but no thank you. You are well aware of the risks and they don’t serve any purpose on your VBAC journey.
5. Hire a Doula. I’m a little bias when it comes to Doula’s. Having a Doula can be a vital component for your VBAC. Throughout your pregnancy, your Doula can help prepare you for your VBAC while educating you on how to make informed decisions and on how to advocate for yourself and your baby. Not only does your Doula provide support for you and/or your partner, they are educated in the different phases of Birth and can help you cope throughout your labor. I recommend looking for a Doula as soon as you find out that you are expecting. But it is never too late to hire a Doula.
Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to labor and birth. Do your research and educate yourself as much as you can. That is going to be your biggest tool throughout your VBAC journey. Trust yourself, trust your body, and trust the process. I hope these tips were helpful. I wish you all the luck in the world!
Book recommendations: The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
Give Birth A Chance by Ilia Blandina
Cut, Stapled, & Mended by Roanna Rosewood
The VBAC Link
Evidence Based Birth
The Birth Hour
Free Birth Society
If you found this helpful, please comment below. If you have a VBAC story you’d like to share, feel free to email me at KeikiNest@gmail.com.
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