This blog was written by my friend Amelia from Wonder Birthing. It includes wonderful advice from a Facebook Live she did with Jen Hazi on Tips for a Successful VBAC. Doulas can make a big difference to VBAC mums - we make a positive impact in every section that Jen and Amelia talk about below:
- we can debrief their last birth making sure that any residual queries or feelings are resolved
- we form part of their cheerleading team, providing physical and emotional support during this special time
- we keep your mindset positive and actively encourage you on your journey
- if you're feeling rushed in labour or interventions are being suggested that you're not sure of, we help you use your BRAIN (Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition, Nothing)
- we help clarify your birth wishes and assist in you writing a great birth plan
How to have a VBAC ? These 5 tips will help you feel more confident in VBAC decision making and support you on your journey.
Also in the Facebook group, I run with Jen Hazi and Samantha Gunn …. we host LIVES every Monday night. A couple of weeks ago Jen I hosted one on How to have a successful VBAC… if you are keen to watch join our group and find it in the VBAC units sections. We have a whole range of topics organised into units with a wealth of information. If you haven’t already joined our supportive evidence based group, then here ’s the LINK.
I’ve summarised the 5 key points around having a successful VBAC for you here.
I absolutely love working with VBAC women as I find their intensity, passion and determination so inspiring. These tips are designed to help women to achieve a successful birth (and that actually doesn’t need to be that vaginal birth). Positive Birthing experience and connection is all about being in control, and having informed choice.
1. Emotionally Process Your Last Birth
If you are having your second child, or third or fourth- you need to emotionally process and release the emotions attached to those previous births. Perhaps you feel like you are unsure about what actually happened and why all those decisions were made in your previous birth, perhaps you feel things weren’t explained to you properly and you may have felt out of control. Get help- chat to your previous care provider – your GP or get specialist help if you need it. The last thing you want to be bringing into this next birth is unresolved feelings, fears and trepidations. You really want to start fresh for this birth, and lose your fear of childbirth. You need to remember and believe that every birth is different. ‘How to Heal a Bad Birth’ – book is a great place to start. Here
2. Get Your Cheerleaders Around You!
Find a supportive caregiver and ask questions. Get a load of supportive people around you to fly your flag and cheer loud and strong.
Who you chose to care for you has the biggest impact of your birthing experience.
ASK QUESTIONS EARLY
This will also help you decide if they are actually a good fit for the type of birth that you are looking for. Know that you can change care providers if you are unsatisfied – although this can be stressful so it’s better be sure to pick the right one for you in as early as possible. Follow your gut instinct.
Questions To Ask.
What’s your success rate of VBAC? This can be a really good indication of where they are actually at with their support of VBACS.
What are the sorts of things that may happen during pregnancy that may reduce my chances of a VBAC? If they say something like if ‘baby grows too big’. There’s actually not a great deal of evidence around that this can impact a vaginal birth – although its commonly told to pregnant women.
How many weeks will we wait for spontaneous labour. Care providers may want your pregnancy to complete at 39-40 weeks – if your previous pregnancy was 41 weeks then that may be unrealistic to expect you not to go similar times. Other care providers may support you with going to 42 weeks. (WHO recommends 37-42 weeks as usual pregnancy times)
And many more that I’m sure you will think of.
Perhaps you never went into spontaneous labour in your other birth, so you are worried and thinking that- ‘maybe my body doesn’t actually work’ Hey here’s a thought lets flip it- Maybe your body wasn’t quite ready to go into labour at that time? How many weeks were you? So instead of thinking ‘my body doesn’t work and taking that into a birth’ how about the affirmation ‘my body works – I have faith and trust in my wonderful body’
Jen spoke about seeing women – who’s labour previously stalled at 6 cm going for VBACs watching their labour start to do it again at exactly the same time- as they remember that this was the time when things started to go pear shaped last time. This is why it’s soo important to be in control of our thoughts and it really shows how influential our mind is in affecting change in our bodies. This is the time when you REALLY need those cheerleaders- ‘things are going to be different this time’, ‘you can do it’.
By surrounding yourself with positivity about birthing and VBAC birthing you will absorb others confidence and commitment. You will also learn so much – which will boost your confidence in asking people questions when it comes to your care. There are so many supportive VBAC Facebook groups join an Australian one HERE.
4. Take your Time - Not Their Time
ASK QUESTIONS- Don’t’ let them rush you.
If you don’t feel something wasn’t explained sufficiently then ask again.
Also, know that your VBAC uterine risk is similar risk as to having your first baby, so don’t let this be a factor of fear.
Here’s a thought – why are women taking in evidence based info proving to a care provider that actually this thing isn’t beneficial…Isn’t it actually the space and job of the health care provider to provide YOU – the consumer with the evidence based research saying why this intervention is a great idea?
5. Write a Really Good Birth Plan
Women do have complete autonomy in this country about their birthing needs - sometimes women don’t realise this. I often hear women ask - Am I allowed to do that? What can I do? Sometimes we can mistake hospital policy for the law- and it’s actually not!!
Sometimes hospital policy may be a good idea for some people but actually not what is going to suit you birth the best.
Always be using and looking for evidence based information.
This is where really good birth plans help.
Know that you have many choices - Go through everything systematically you have a choice about every single thing that happens in your birth. Some will be important to you and others may not be. The key is knowing all your options and being able to speak out about them. Just a couple-
Know you can wear what you want
Know you can choose your own birthing positions! Get off the BEDS. Quick Video
Know that you have a choice about fetal monitoring
Know here that you can eat and drink
This is just a few things- there are literally 100s so get planning for that awesome VBAC birth.
For the complete LIVE chat, here ’s the LINK.
Search VBAC in the units- you will find it there. The live has further tips and also stats about which providers have the best chance of VBAC success.
I have a supplementary birthing program that I teach for VBAC mums to be, involving, self-hypnosis, relaxation and preparation for VBAC. If you want further support or enquiries email me or check out my general birthing program information here- to see if my style suits your needs. Best of luck and let me know how you go!!