The adage “once a cesarean, always a cesarean” is archaic, outdated, and simply untrue. Women CAN have vaginal births after cesarean delivery. VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) are increasing the United States! There are many reasons why one would choose a VBAC: afraid of surgery, recovery was difficult, birth trauma and the list continues. An expecting woman's decision to have a VBAC is personal, important and her right.
3 Important Tips for Having a VBAC
- Get Educated - 90% of women are candidates for having a VBAC. One of the main concerns with VBACs is the risk of a uterine rupture. Some other factors that wouldn’t make someone a good candidate for a VBAC are: location and size of previous incision, a large or breech baby, previous uterine ruptures and (sometimes) more than one cesarean. Connect with other mothers, in your community or online, who have had VBACs. Get educated, understand and know your options.
- Find a Supportive Provider - Finding a provider who will support your desire for a VBAC is extremely important. Not every provider is supportive or experienced with VBACs. Take the time to interview different providers. Talk to them about your desire to have a VBAC. Talk to them about your concerns and how they will support you during this time. Having an honest and open conversation with your provider will allow you to determine if their views align with yours. It will also help you determine if you’re a good candidate for having a VBAC. This also applies to hospitals. Make sure where you want to give birth does not have a mandate regarding no VBACs.
- Hire a Doula - When thinking about your VBAC dream team, having the support from a doula is crucial part. Doulas bring a calming presences which helps give the laboring mother comfort, strength and the confidence to labor. In the event of an emergency, a doula will also prepare the mother for a repeat cesarean. A doula will be there every step of the way.
With the right preparation and birth team having a vaginal birth after cesarean is doable!