You are a candidate for a VBAC if … you’re pregnant had a previous Cesarean. These are the only two criteria. Seriously these are the only two criteria. There’s another aspect you might be considering which is the pros and cons of having a vaginal birth after a c-section. And for this you need to make a list. Only you know your personal situation so only you can actually make a list of those pros and cons. Birthing Better families want to make certain that you include the skills you used to prepare your pregnant body to become a birthing body as well as birth and birth-coaching skills so you can work through every contraction whether painful or not on your way to your VBAC.
You become a better candidate … one who will have a successful VBAC if you are highly skilled.
- Because you’re pregnant you will give birth
- Giving birth or being born is an activity you and your baby must do together.
- The word ‘activity’ is the operative word.
- What skills do you already have to do the ‘activity’ giving birth?
We’ve come to think that birth is only a ‘choice’ but that is actually not possible. There is no way to know what your birth will be like therefore ‘choosing’ a birth is really not possible.
You should express your choices … and having a VBAC might be one ‘choice’. However, giving birth is an activity and the present trend in childbirth does not include the skills you and your birthing partner need to do the ‘activity’. In reality, if you had skills in your previous birth you might well have avoided the Caesarean to begin with.
The vast majority of Caesarean deliveries are done during the labor part because women aren’t coping with the natural occurring pain of contractions. They look, sound and behave overwhelmed and the medical profession doesn’t want you to suffer. It’s simple, if you have skills then you are more likely to cope, manage, deal with, handle, work through, stay on top of and in control no matter what is happening to or around you. When your obstetrician or midwife sees a mother-to-be and father-to-be/other working together throughout their labor they are much more likely to feel relaxed and encourage you to keep going as long as everything is fine.
Make a skills-based Birth Plan
If you determine that you are a candidate for a vbac then you’ll also be focused on creating a Birth Plan about what you want and don’t want. One thing you don’t want is that ‘cascade of interventions’ that might lead to another cesarean delivery. There are two things you can do to approach this. First, stop using the word ‘interventions’. Instead use the words assessments, monitoring and procedures (AMPs). Make a list of all the medical assessments that you may have. Do you react negatively to those? Make a list of all the monitoring. Do you have a negative reaction to those and how can you negotiate them. Make a list of procedures. How do you feel about each of them. These can be negotiated as well.
You will negotiate better if your obstetrician, labor and delivery staff or midwife see you coping well! So please create a Skills-based Birth Plan. Tell your obstetrician and midwife what skills they will see you using then use them! If your conventional Birth Plan unfolds as you want, your skills will probably play a role in that. If your choices change, your skills are there for you no matter where you birth, with whom or what is happening to or around you.
So, it’s your ‘choice’ … no matter whether you ‘choose’ a VBAC or not … become skilled.