When a mother becomes pregnant after a previous c-section, it is important she makes an informed decision and knows her rights, but she can only do this if she has all the information surrounding VBACs.
A VBAC is not only the birth of your baby or your mindset; it is the health of your child. It becomes your lifestyle throughout your pregnancy and making sure you know all the facts, and how to deal with different situations is key to a successful experience.
I try very hard to educate women globally about VBACs so they can make the right choice based on what they want from their birth.
I also recondition how mothers view their births if they planned a vbac but ended up having a cesarean. It is evenly important to plan for a c-section on your vbac journey to ensure you can be in control of the cesarean you may have. Apart from being well informed, is making sure you are prepared for both types of births even though your goal is a VBAC.
Knowledge is power and every woman who's had a VBAC will tell you, once you have the right information, no one can destroy your hopes of having a VBAC. The road is very sticky, and for some, when you feel you are on the right track, you get knocked down by some negativity.
Knowing how to overcome let downs or negativity is also a major plus to help you stay on track of your goal.
Becoming a mother to a new baby, whether your first one or your fifth child, takes careful planning and thought, which can become very scary at times, especially if you only have a limited amount of information or a bunch of people sharing their views.
Many mothers feel they have been bullied into a repeat c-section and they have had no say and input into their birth. Unfortunately, this happens to many parents around the world, but it does not mean it is right.
It happened to me...
In many countries around the world, women are prohibited from having VBACs in hospitals, not to mention banned from having a home birth, so I want to show you five tips to help you fight for your VBAC.
1. KNOW THE FACTS When people hear the word VBAC they associate it with uterine rupture and death to mum and baby. I want to set the records straight and let you know, YES, uterine rupture is a dire situation when it happens, but it needs to be put into a realistic percentage, so you can understand how likely it is to happen.
The research is that between 70-90% of women will have a successful Vbac and if you have had a natural birth before you have a better chance of a VBAC. Unfortunately, because VBAC is looked on as a catastrophic event, women are sidestepping vbacs and opting for a repeat c-section. Not many women have VBACs, the rate is about under 10% of women globally choose Vbac as a mode of delivery.
2. UTERINE RUPTURE / SCARE DEHISCENCE- Every woman who chooses to have a VBAC is worried about uterine rupture or scar dehiscence. A uterine rupture is when the wall of the uterus tears and a scar dehiscence is when the scar becomes thinner and/or starts to separate from the uterus. What we are not told is a uterine rupture can also occur in women with no prior scar. The research shows us under 1 percent of all women have a rupture. Of course, you need to weigh your situation up but looking at the facts makes it easier to make an informed decision. If you have a uterine rupture, your midwife, DR Or obstetrician will be able to pick up on it and act accordingly to keep you and your baby safe.
3. PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE. During any pregnancy, preparing is the key to making sure you know whats expected of you and your baby. I speak to so many women who do not prepare for their birth, and they end up in a situation they were not ready for.
There are so many ways to prepare for your birth: a. Antenatal classes b. Hire a doula c. Do miles circuits d. Eat a healthy balanced diet e. Engage in light exercise f. Do your research on caesareans and VBACs g. Do pelvic floor exercises
Hardly any mothers plan for a caesarean when they are going for a VBAC because they are so fixated on having a VBAC. We must be balanced in our approach and make sure we leave no stone unturned because a repeat caesarean could, in fact, be a reality, and you do not want it to be an experience you have no control over.
4. GENTLE CAESAREAN
I was not told about gentle caesareans with my first and 2nd babies; I found out when I did my doula training. A gentle caesarean is a caesarean performed in a calming and serene way, with mum being fully in control.
1. She will need to have an epidural rather than being fully asleep to perform operation. b. She can have music, c. She can have skin to skin straight after the birth if everything is ok and there are no emergencies d. The baby can be automatically given to mum after the birth e. Dad can cut the umbilical cord f. The birth can be recorded
and so much more....
5. FETAL MONITORING ON OR OFF I know this is a topic mums feel unsure about, Just like the topic of VBAC. Is it safe to have fetal monitoring? From experience, there are a few aspects to this topic.
b. Continuous or intermitted fetal monitoring Continuous fetal monitoring means you are strapped to the monitors and you and your baby are monitored continuously throughout your labour. This restricts your movement and can inhibit your birth because you are continuously on alert for any irregular problems with your babies health, and you simply cannot move as much as you would like to. Intermitted fetal monitoring is when you are put on the monitors for about 15 minutes or so to hear if the baby is ok. There is a clear difference between the two, and depending on your personal preference will determine which one will be better for you. I must stress that during your vbac, you want to be in an up right position, standing, squatting or on all fours, which will allow you to open your pelvis, big enough to house your babies head for delivery.
The (2.)nice caesarean section guidelines state: fetal monitoring should be offered to all women who are birthing after a previous c-section and that they should be close to an operating room in case mum needs to have an emergency caesarean.
Please click this link for more information on fetal monitoring:
6. HOW LONG SHOULD I STAY AT HOME BEFORE I GO TO THE LABOR WARD? To tell you the truth, stay at home for as long as you can. The truth is as soon as you go the hospital, you will have 24hrs to give birth and your time starts the moment you get to the hospital. What many mothers say is they are forced to have a caesarean after the 24hrs are up. I would suggest staying at home until your contractions are every 2-3 minutes apart, taking into consideration how far your local hospital is. Alternatively, better than that birth at home.
I know for some VBAC mothers, birthing at home is an absolute NO NO.. and I can understand why...
7. INTERVENTIONS Now, interventions are something all women trying for a VBAC should stay away from as much as possible unless it is necessary. We need to think of each intervention as 1 step closer to a caesarean birth.
8. HOW LONG SHOULD I WAIT TO GET PREGNANT AFTER A PREVIOUS C-SECTION I got pregnant four months after having my 1st c-section, then, three years after my second c-section and I was fine, but research tells us if you can wait and have a long space between your pregnancy, you have an incredibly small chance of your scar separating. This is where it is important to make sure you make an informed decision. However, many women do not have any problems.
Research seems to show a small decrease in scar separation rates with a longer gap between pregnancies. However, the risks are small in all cases, and most women who have a short gap between pregnancies do not have problems.
If your caesarean section was not done with a low, horizontal cut in the uterus, you would need more information to make a decision. Ask your midwife and/or consultant about this. Sourced from: https://nct.org.uk/birth/vaginal-birth-after-caesarean-vbac
I hope this blog has helped you understand the logistics regarding vbacs. We all can make whatever we want our reality if we believe in it long enough.
Thoughts become dreams and dreams become your reality....
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