Have you previously had a c-section and now want to have a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)? We have had great success with our VBAC clients and can help you have a great VBAC too. In this blog post, we’ll discuss who is eligible for VBAC, the risks and benefits, and what you can do for self-care.
Who Can Have a VBAC?
To attempt a VBAC with My Family Birth Center, there are a few guidelines we must follow to ensure the safety of the mother and the baby. If you have previously had only one c-section, have a horizontal scar rather than vertical, and are otherwise at low-risk during this pregnancy, you may be a good candidate for having a VBAC at the birth center.
If you are debating whether to have a VBAC or schedule a repeat cesarean, consider this: by having a successful VBAC, you will be avoiding surgery and the risks that come with it. You will be able to heal and get back to your daily activities sooner. You should also think about any potential future children you may have. If you have more than one c-section, you will not be qualified to attempt a VBAC in the future.
Risks and Benefits
When attempting to have a vaginal birth after a cesarean, you should know the risks. One such risk is rare, but life-threatening if it occurs. Uterine rupture occurs in 1% of women attempting a VBAC and threatens the life of both the mother and the baby due to loss of blood, blood clots, infection, and may require a hysterectomy. The signs of uterine rupture are:
Sharp abdominal pain
Low blood pressure
If you think you are experiencing a uterine rupture (even if you’re not in labor), go to the emergency room immediately. The symptoms of uterine rupture are not subtle, something will definitely feel off and you’ll likely be in tremendous pain.
The benefits of having a VBAC include:
Lowered risk of future c-sections
Higher chance of successful breastfeeding
Vaginal births help clear the baby’s lungs as they pass through the birth canal
Many women who have had a c-section, especially those who had emergency cesareans, experienced some form of trauma as a result. If you have held onto trauma from a previous c-section, you may have some unlearning to do such as what your body is capable of physically and mentally. Oftentimes it can be helpful to talk through your fears and past trauma with a trusted friend, family member, doula, or your midwives.
Build a support team that will lift your spirits, who believe in you, and will advocate for you. Your support team will likely validate your feelings and reassure you in your ability to have an unmedicated birth.
Honor and connect with your body. Meditation, yoga, massage, and breathwork are all great ways to get in touch with your inner self and practice mindfulness. Try to remain as active as you were prior to pregnancy and eat well with a protein-rich diet to help build a strong scar to prevent uterine rupture.
Being able to relax during labor will allow your body to do all the hard work and bring your baby into the world with a peaceful environment. While you’re focusing on relaxing every part of your body and mind, you will have more energy for the marathon of birth, and it may allow your labor to progress quicker.