Are you faced with the decision of attempting a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) or a repeat c-section? I know you want to do what is best and safest for baby and yourself. I want you to make the right choice for you! So I decided to gather some of my favorite resources and post them all here so you can read through them and make your informed choice! -Darla
I really love this article even though it is based out of Australia, she does a fabulous job of explaining the risk of uterine rupture and describing the numbers and what they really mean. She gives suggestions on how to prepare during pregnancy and what to expect while you’re in labour! I highly recommend this read!
To be honest, as a midwife uterine rupture is the least of my worries when caring for a woman having a VBAC. I actually think the mountain that has been built out of the risk-molehill requires more energy and attention. These women do need special treatment, but not in the form of disempowering fear-based counselling or practice. They have often had a previous traumatic birth experience and are dealing with fear from family, friends, and the medical system, in addition to their own worries. They have been labelled ‘high risk’ and are constantly reminded of the potential disaster waiting to occur. They also risk ‘failing’ if they encounter any complications or end up having a repeat c-section. This impacts on their ability to trust their body, follow their intuition and allow the physiology of birth to unfold. Often these women need more nurturing, reassurance and support from those involved in their birth.”
This is the place to go to get great info, myth busting at it’s finest!
“Many women believe that the only safe choice after a cesarean is another cesarean. Social pressure plays a huge role in a woman’s decision making process and the prevailing American conventional wisdom is greatly influenced by persistent and pervasive myths about vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). The result is a 86% repeat cesarean rate in America among women with one prior cesarean (1) despite the fact that most women are candidates for VBAC and most VBACs are successful. Let’s draw a clear line between myth and fact.”
So much great information, it’s very thorough in answering questions many women face.
What is the bottom line?
If you do not have a clear and compelling need for a cesarean in the present pregnancy, having a VBAC rather than a repeat c-section is likely to be:
- safer for you in this pregnancy
- far safer for you and your babies in any future pregnancies
When thinking about the health and safety of your baby in the present pregnancy, there are trade-offs to consider: VBAC has some advantages, and a repeat c-section has others.
This is the gist of the guidelines put out by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, if you want to read the full in depth report you can find it here.
“Attempting a VBAC is a safe and appropriate choice for most women who have had a prior cesarean delivery including for some women who have had two previous cesareans.”
Here you can find the benefits and risks laid out for you as well as answers to some of the more frequently asked questions!
My last thought is to take into consideration your birth team. Having your care provider on board with your hopes of a VBAC put you on the path to a good birth experience. Consider hiring a doula to help your prepare prenatally through working out any fears or doubts you have, and releasing your previous birth story. The extra support during labour can be a game changer!
I hope these resources help you and your family make the right choice for YOU!