Hey friends! So last week I shared my positive VBAC birth story with y’all, if ya missed it you can read it here! This week I want to give you all the info on how to prepare for a VBAC!
What is a VBAC?
So what does VBAC mean? Simply stands for Vaginal Birth After Caesarean. In other words, for whatever reason a mother had a c-section with one baby and with a future baby successfully delivers vaginally.
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Why Have a VBAC?
- No surgery or the complications that could arise due to surgery.
- Shorter hospital stay.
- Healing is quicker.
- Family planning, multiple c-sections can lead to complications.
- The experience.
How to Prepare for a VBAC
First, my biggest advice when preparing for a VBAC is to make sure your partner and your care providers (whether that be an OBGYN, homebirth midwife, hospital midwife, whoever) is 100% supportive of your decision. If someone isn’t on board 100% you will be left with doubts and uncertainty. I switched care providers 3 times to find the ones that completely supported me. My husband and I also had discussion after discussion to make sure we were both in this together. Pregnant moms need support, pregnant moms attempting a VBAC need even more.
READ! And when I say that I mean the positive stuff! I read so many positive VBAC birth stories and natural birth stories, even some homebirth stories even though I knew homebirth was not our plan. I highly recommend these books:
Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn The Complete Guide, by Penny Simpkin
The Birth Partner, by Penny Simpkin
Courses to Prepare for VBAC
Take a labor and delivery course with your partner, I don’t mean one at the hospital either that lasts for about an hour and goes over the basics. Take an in depth class that covers all of the things! My husband and I took an 8 week course that a local business was sponsoring! We gained so much from that class! Ask your care provider, friends, family, search online, find something near you! I know a lot of small businesses that are motherhood related will host things like this so check with them too!
Get a doula! I’m not kidding! Doulas are amazing, even if you’re not after a VBAC, every birthing mother could use a doula. They are worth every penny! Do I need to say it again?! Get a doula! I’ve had a doula with my last 3 babies (this last baby, she almost didn’t make it in time, who am I kidding, I almost didn’t make it to the hospital!) But she stayed with us for hours after the baby was born. I remember with our 3rd child I had lost quite a bit of blood after delivery and I felt like I was freezing! My sweet doula sat at the end of my bed and rubbed my legs for what felt like hours to help relax me. Both of my doulas have a special place in my heart! And now I might go cry!
Mindset to Prepare for VBAC
Get your mind in the right place! To do this you might look into different techniques like The Bradley Method, Lamaze, Hypnosis! This may not be your thing either. I didn’t use any of these. If you do plan to use these then you need to look into it, research it, and make you’re practicing it throughout your pregnancy, if not, birth will hit and it won’t be like second nature to you when you need it.
Avoiding interventions, I believe, helped set me up for my successful VBACs. I tried to avoid induction for as long as possible. I was only induced with my first VBAC after 42 weeks of pregnancy and trying all the things (did you know since my first birth was a caesarean I will always be considered a VBAC, even though I’ve given birth vaginally 3 times now?) Also, I avoided using pain medications for all of my VBAC labors and deliveries as these can stall labor sometimes. So take into consideration how you want to manage labor.
In conclusion, come up with a birth plan with the help of your partner, provider, and doula. Remember this is just a plan with your wishes on it. At times you may go off of the plan. I have before, but it’s just important to lay it all out on paper and go over it several times to prepare for a vbac or even your next birth!
Tools & Resources to Prepare for a VBAC
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin
- Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn The Complete Guide, by Penny Simpkin
- The Birth Partner, by Penny Simpkin
- Birth Affirmations on Pinterest
- Drop your e-mail below for my printable birth affirmation cards