Is hospital the best place for me to have a VBAC?
Your particular circumstances dictate whether you should, can or will have your vaginal birth after a c/s in hospital or home. Most pregnant women and the majority of expectant fathers will choose to birth in a hospital for a VBAC. The primary reason most VBAC families will say is that hospital is a place that is perceived as ‘safe’ … ‘If something goes wrong then I’ll already be in hospital’. Your family has to discuss the pros and cons of hospital VBAC or home VBAC. No one can answer that question for you.
While you’re thinking about your vaginal birth after your previous caesarean section when did the Cesarean occur? Did it occur during the ‘labor’ part or during the vaginal part? This is important to answer. Most frequently and for the majority of birthing women a surgical delivery happens during labor. Yet the term you and all of us use is VBAC … vaginal birth after caearean.
Actually, in order to get to the vaginal birth part you need to get through the labor part first, get fully dilated, have your baby come down and through both your cervix and pelvis in order to get to your vagina. Then you have to open your vagina to let your baby out without too much delay. That is what a VBAC actually is! And all of these things have to occur whether you are going to VBAC in hospital or home.
Please consider the following so that your VBAC is more likely to be successful:
- Prepare your pregnant body to become a birthing body. Many Cesareans are done because birthing women do not know how to ‘open’ their body to let their baby come down, through and out.
- Learn birthing skills and birth coaching skills. Most fathers-to-be are being asked to ‘support’ at birth rather than be a real help.
- Use your birth and birth-coaching skills so you cope, manage, deal with, handle, work through, stay on top of and in control of the natural occurring pain of labor contractions. Your behavior is essential. Even with medical issues, if you behave stressed and overwhelmed and others see you that way then you are more likely to have another Caesarean even if the medical issues are not the major issue at the moment.
- Use your birth and birth-coaching skills with and around all the medical assessments, monitoring and procedures you’ll have. Treat them as those rather then get hooked into the common word … ‘interventions’. No matter what is happening to or around you you are birthing your baby. Don’t miss an opportunity to use your skills.
- Use your birth and coaching skills as soon as your pregnant body changes to becoming a birthing body. Do NOT wait until you have trouble coping with the natural occurring pain. You’ll have wasted hours letting labor ‘happen’ to you rather than ‘doing’ it.
- You got pregnant to have a baby not a birth. Pregnancy is ALWAYS the time to become skilled birthing parents.
- Giving birth and being born is the activity you and your baby do together no matter how your baby is born. You and your partner can always work with your baby’s efforts to be born.
- If you end up with a non-laboring cesarean delivery, no matter how disappointed … totally enjoy learning the skills during pregnancy (just because you are pregnant) then use your birth and birth coaching skills on way to hospital, while being prepped and during surgery.
- If you labor and have an emergency Cesarean continue to use your skills while being prepped and during surgery.
- AND … because the focus is on achieving a ‘vaginal birth’, there is absolutely NO focus on you being able to labor even if you or your baby needs a cesarean delivery. You can labor! You must labor before you achieve the VBAC.
For whatever reason you are choosing a hospital birth for your VBAC, you and your partner absolutely should be skilled parents and commit to working with your baby’s efforts to be born.