5 Ways to Increase Your Odds of VBAC Success

5 Ways to Increase Your Odds of VBAC Success

You had your last baby via cesarean birth. You’re pregnant again and wondering whether you can have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) this time. Maybe you’ve heard stories of people getting pushed into cesareans they didn’t want or being told their hospital won’t support VBACs at all. So what can you do if you really want that VBAC? Here are five tips to increase your odds of VBAC success:

pregnant mom in red dress

  1. Connect with your local ICAN Chapter. ICAN is the International Cesarean Awareness Network. For those in the Philadelphia area, it’s here. ICAN is a valuable resource to find information, support, and advice about VBAC in general and your local providers, birth places, doulas, etc. who are the most supportive of VBAC and will help you increase your chances of VBAC success. I am a professional member of ICAN and can attest to the value of this committed group.
  2. Hire a doula. Research shows that doula support results in a decreased risk of cesarean birth and interventions such as pitocin, pain medications, forceps, and vacuum as well as an increase in satisfaction with the birth experience. Your doula can help you throughout your pregnancy as well, helping you locate supportive providers, educating you on options at your chosen birthplace, helping you maintain a healthy pregnancy, and supporting you with great education, resources, planning, and support so you feel empowered and prepared to navigate your birth and control your medical decisions. Whether you have a vaginal birth or a cesarean birth, your doula will help you feel prepared, supported, and more satisfied with your birth experience.
  3. Find a VBAC supportive provider and birthplace. This can’t be said enough. Your VBAC chances are greatly influenced by the standard practices of your provider and birthplace. How can you find out the real scoop on their practices, experience, and willingness to really support your goals? Your doula can share questions that can get past generalities to find out how well they fit your needs. And if you are seeking a supportive provider, she can help point you in the way of great options in your area. Your local ICAN chapter can also help share experiences of local parents who have had or tried for VBAC with the providers in your area.
  4. Get educated. There’s a lot of information out there about VBAC, and unfortunately not all of it is accurate or up-to-date. Your doula can provide you with current, evidence-based resources to learn the real facts about VBAC. She can help you find a great fit for a childbirth class that can best support your VBAC goals. She can help you prepare for how to navigate your decisions on the big day and how to advocate for your goals.
  5. Labor at home as long as possible. VBAC labors typically take longer than births to parents who have delivered their last baby vaginally. They may start and stop or stall in early labor, and laboring longer at home before getting to the birthplace reduces the risk of the cascade of interventions. (Note that each parent’s definition of “as long as possible” may be influenced by other factors of the mother or baby’s health and parents should make their decision about appropriate timing for arriving at their birthplace in consultation with their providers). Your doula will help you prepare for how best to manage your early labor and will support you throughout your birth.

Want to learn more? Contact me now to prepare for your VBAC.

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