VBAC - success through knowledge & support
Updated: Mar 9
Planning and preparing for a vaginal birth after casaerean (VBAC) is so much about gathering knowledge and having the right team around you. Like any birth! But, even more so with VBAC. Because there's more to navigate within the system and sometimes your own 'stuff' from your previous birth experience(s) to resolve or overcome.
Empower yourself through quality childbirth education (like the Hypnobirthing Australia Positive birth program ;-)) and exercise your rights as a childbearing woman. Explore and gather in knowledge about:
the benefits of VBAC or a repeat casearean, for you and your baby
potential risks factors that influence those risks
success rates at different birth places and with different models of care / caregivers
what you can do in pregnancy to improve your chances of a VBAC
what your plan / preferences are for labour to give you the best chance of a VBAC
positive VBAC stories
woman-centred / maternal-assisted / positive caesarean.
Here are a couple of useful resources to get you started:
Childbirth connection: collection of resources and research
International Childbirth Education Association: The VBAC Education Project
Having a team that is genuinely supportive of you and your choices, and who will work with you to achieve your VBAC is crucial, as this Rebecca Bell's beautiful story shows (no relation :-)).
If you're going private, do your research and ask questions to find a pro-VBAC obsterician or speak to a private midwife about planning a Homebirth After Casearean (HBAC). If you're going public, you'll work with midwives in the Normal Birth After Casearean (NBAC) clinic and see a doctor twice as well.
Develop your birth plan / preferences in consultation with your caregiver and have them sign off on it, including any deviations from standard policy / protocol.
Finally, consider having a doula to support you and your partner. Evidence shows we help to reduce the rate of intervention and caesarean birth, and to create a positive birth experience no matter how your baby is born. I've supported a number of couple's planning a VBAC, including Gael & Greg for their successful VBA2C (VBAC after 2 casaereans). Gael did her research, made sure her caregivers understood and were onside with her wishes, embraced her Hypnobirthing Australia preparation, and she did it! You can too!