Seeking Mom's VBAC Support

Updated on April 04, 2008
N.F. asks from Albuquerque, NM
10 answers

I am 17 weeks pregnant and hoping to have a VBAC. Are there any moms that can give me some positive feedback and tips for preparing for my birth? I have a great doctor, who has had three VBACs herself and a supportive birth team. I just want to know from other moms that I am as prepared as I can be.

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answers from El Paso on

I am a mother of two and I did have a successful VBAC. Who is your docotor - we are new to the area and I heard there wasn't anyone who would do them here.
As for preparing, Stay active and within your weight gain recommendations. My husband and I had taken Bradley classes for our first baby and then she flipped breech right before she was born so that knowledge helped out for the second birth. I hope that helps.



answers from Houston on

First, let me say, "Congratulations on the new pregnancy!" It is wonderful that you are investigating VBAC as an option for this birth.

I have helped several women have successful VBAC experiences, as a labor assistant and assistant to a midwife. I would be more than happy to help you too.

One of my all time favorite births was one I was asked by an OB to go to. The OB practiced at a hospital that had a strict "No Trial of Labor" Policy for previous cesarean moms, though he strongly believed in VBACs. He referred my senior midwife and I to this mom so she could "Labor at Home until it was 'too late' to do a c-section." The senior midwife and I were NOT prepared to do a birth (we weren't supposed to), but the mom refused to go to the hospital.... She had a BEAUTIFUL baby girl at home with no rips, no interventions, and bigger than her previous baby that was a c-section because of CPD (Cephlo-Pelvic Disproportion).

In the mean time, here are some more websites to check out:

Just a FEW of the books I recommend for reading:

Henci Goer has excellent literature summaries in The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth.

Silent Knife by Nancy Wainer Cohen and Lois J. Estner

Husband Coached Childbirth, by Dr. Robert Bradley

Special Delivery, by Rahima Baldwin

Heart and Hands, by Elizabeth Davis

Childbirth Without Fear (19.95 at Amazon book) by Dr. Grantly Dick-Read.

The Birth Partner, by Penny Simkin

If I had been faced with the decision to have a VBAC, I would have insisted on the following:

1) That I be LISTENED to. If I am complaining, am I complaining out of fear (because pain caused by fear is a REAL pain, and needs to be addressed), am I complaining because something is really wrong, or am I complaining because I'm close to delivery?

2)I would want the following involved with my birth (whether I had my baby in a hospital, a birthing clinic [a close second choice], or at home [my first choice]): a) MY HUSBAND - he is to be with me ALL THE WAY AND TIME. b) A midwife (preferrably a direct-entry, licensed or documented) c) a doula with a specialization in massage therapies, d) a chiropractor, e) a high-risk OB/GYN, AND f) a good neonatal pediatrician.

Optional to the above: A care provider for my child, and my child (who has attended a siblings at birth class).

3) During labor, I would want the baby's heart tones monitored (and the intensity of my contractions felt with the palm of someone's hand) every 15 minutes of active labor, every 5 - 10 minutes during "pushing" - if you have that long (I typically only have 5 "pushing" contractions). After labor, I still need to be "monitored" for bleeding and uterine firmness...I can do that, and I can show you what to feel for if I'm not being coherent enough.

Good luck, and congratulations again! (and tooting my own horn...) I hope to hear from you!

C. B.



answers from San Antonio on

If you are very set on doing this I think the biggest thing you would be up against is your labor and delivery nurse...the one you get at random at the hospital.

I am a woman who did not want a "natural" (drug free) birth...I wanted an epidural (preferably in the parking lot).

When I told my labor nurse that she visibly relaxed and was suddenly much nicer and easy to get along the time I delivered she has told me all about the "horrible" women who came in with birth plans, music, candles, etc etc and how "silly" that all was and even commented on the VBAC ones.

I happened to want her particular view of the best birth "plan" and so we had a great time together...but God forbid if I had wanted anything different, she would have been very difficult to work with.

I think every woman should be able to plan and try to have the best birth experience for, on that note, a doula would probably be a really good idea to help work with the nurse in getting you the best birth for you..instead of what the nurse thinks is best.

Sending you a great big hug {{{{{hug}}}}}



answers from Houston on

Thumbs up! I am so happy to hear that there are still some ObGYNs out there promoting VBACs. MY OBGYN was willing to try with my second but breathed a sigh of relief when I decided against it. But I'm sure my situation is different then yours- I have the vertical incision and a uterine abnormality that prevents the baby from being head down- no VBACs for me!

I have met a number of women who have had multiple VBACS. they say what is key is that you remail calm and focused because if you are stressed then it's hard on the baby and you will have a harder time dilating. Will she let you use a birthing tub? try different ways of birthing, such as sing the ball and walking. Do not just lay there flat on your back for laboring, and you can be in a birthing chair or even on your hands and knees or in the tub to deliver. Women who just lie flat on their backs for the whole thing are more likely to have intervention.

If you can do it, get a doula to help you during the delivery! The DR won't be there the whole time, but a doula will.

I pray you have a wonderful delivery!



answers from College Station on

The cesarean-section that doctors do now, the bikini cut, makes for the least likely chance of problems with VBACs (the cut is in the low section of the uterus where there is no major uterine muscles). Good luck.



answers from Houston on

i had a c section with my first, it was an emergency c section and very traumatic for my body, and the baby.
when i got pregnant again my ob said once you have one c section their policy is to always do them in case your scar ruptures during delivery, so i agreed.
but my little girl was having none of it, the day b4 i was scheduled i had a three hour labor, no time for any pain relief and she came out easy - my scar was fine, and the healing was so much easier.
i think it depends on why you needed the c sect the first time, my first was posterior positioned and would not come out naturally, so if your baby is poorly positioned then you may opt for c section, but i can tell you seconed labor is much easier and quicker, and if you can do it natural your body will work for you.



answers from Houston on


I am a VBAC survivor. I will tell you that I'm glad I was able to experience both the vaginal & c-section birth process but that the VBAC nearly became another emergency c-section. I was not one to go into labor on my own or with drugs, my doctor had to also break my water and even fill me back up with water when my son went into distress. My son was in distress due to cord strangulation and I became an emotional basketcase during the birth. My son also has a scar on the top of his head from the screw they used to connect the monitors to him (while in the canal), which are required for the VBAC. I only thought the pain from my c-section was bad until I had to pee or sit on my butt for the first time and the scare from the cut never healed exactly as it should have. I guess your answer should come from the reason you had the first c-section?



answers from Houston on

Hi N.,
I had two emergency c-sections on in 1989 and one in 1997, then when I was due to have my 3rd in 1999 I was told that I needed to schedule my c-section. I was too risky after two to have it naturally. I disagreed. I searched high and low for a midwife that would work with me and they were all too nervous, so I decided to have the baby at home on my own with my husband. We were fully prepared to go to the hospital if there were any complications, we had a stethoscope and listed for the baby to make sure he wasn't getting distressed, we filled a tub with warm water in the living room. I walked through almost the whole labor, then when I couldn't walk I squatted in the tub listened to soft music low lighting etc it was great, when I went into transition and thought wow I could use some med's this didn't last long and I delivered my baby boy squating in my hands. I took him to the pediatrician to be checked and went to my obstitrician that I had been hiding from because I was due to have the baby 3 days earlier and they kept calling me to schedule the surgery. I knew that I wasn't broken and my body would go into labor when the time was right and it did. She chewed me out for having the baby at home, going on about how she could lose her license and that I was selfish etc etc. I was like excuse me I am a grown women I studied for 8 months, I followed what the midwives stated in their books, using olive oil to stretch the perineum and more. I did not tear and felt great within a couple days. I was up and able to do everything I needed for my baby, unlike my major surgeries that I still have phantom pains from that itches at times and hurts if bumped 10 years after the last opening. I don't regret my decision one bit. I think hospitals are great for people with complications and issues, but healthy people I would highly recommend a birthing center. I have a friend at work whose wife almost died from a c-section. The usual she wasn't going into labor when they wanted so they induced, then they broke the water, still not happening fast enough because duh her body wasn't ready to go into labor. Anyway they cut her open and nicked an artery, they stitched her back up and she told them she thought was bleeding eventually they listened to her when she passed out, they re-opened her but couldn't find the artery, the stitched her back up and called in a specialist team from Houston opened her again and this time were able to clamp the artery and fix the problem, by this time she had lost most of the blood in her body and had to have transfusions. Another great story of c-section happy doctors. You have to do what is right for you, but if you do go to the hospital don't be in a rush try to do as much labor at home as possible because otherwise you will end up with lots and lots of intervention, IV's, lying on your back and things that stress you out and slow down the labor. Good luck and God Bless!



answers from Houston on

Good for you for carefully researching your options. They're not as limited as some would have you believe. I have had 2 HBAC's (home birth after cesearean) and it was so much better for me and my babies. My suggestions are to be adamant about no inductions or augmentation of labor. If this is your first vaginal birth, expect labor to last about the same amount of time as a first time mom +/- 24 hrs and make sure your birth/support team understand that it is okay. I really suggest you read Henci Goer's book "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" It has so much pertinent information to think about. Blessings to you and your family.



answers from Houston on

I HIGHLY reccommend getting a midwife or at least talking to one... You should start doing lots of research if you are serious about having a VBAC. Most women don't bother to find out anything about pregnancy and childbirth and just do whatever the gyno recommends. Be proactive about every decision. This is a controversial site: but it is full of intelligence that you won't find anywhere else as well as a wealth of information. Contact me if you need more help.

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