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Tips for a successful VBAC Pls add here!
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Posted 03 November 2008 - 04:30 PM
This is a thread where anyone who has had a sucsessfull or unsucsessfull VBAC can post their experiences and tips for other women wanting a VBAC.
I guess you could also put in anything you would do differently. If anybody refers to statistics it might be nice to also post a link if possible so we can read where the stats are from? Having it in black and white makes it all the more real I think I'll start
The First thing I did was hire a Doula. They are just a wealth of support and knowledge. Sometimes DH can feel a bit threatened but the doula can usually put their mind at ease that they aren't replacing them but there to help. SOmetimes us VBACing women need a bit of extra support as we have more hurdles to overcome than others and hubbies don't often know how to support us through these hurdles.
I read 'Ina Mays Guide To Childbirth' by Ina May Gaskin. An awesome book which will open your eyes to how birth should be.
Had midwifery led care to increase my chance of a VBAC. Instead of OB led care.
Practised 'Calmbirth' to help achieve my goal of a drug free birth as I was aware of the problems that can occur when drugs are used during labour.
Practised visualisation everyday of 'the birth'. It is like a reahursal (sp?) for your mind and body.
Practised my breathing everyday.
If I had my time over I would have done perinium massage, which I didn't do. Or used the epi- no. I placed a lot of emphasis on managing cx and thought the hard part was done after you are 10cm and in a good position to push bub out. I pushed too quickly and even with good positioning sustained a 2nd degree tear.
I'll be sure to add any more ideas I think of. Sooo. who's next?
Posted 03 November 2008 - 06:23 PM
I am hoping for a successful VBAC so while I don't have anything to add (yet), i wanted to thank you for starting this thread.
I'll be reading with much interest.
Posted 03 November 2008 - 06:48 PM
I got a OB that understood about VBAC and specialises in it.
Trust your body and believe you can do it.
Im a bit of a statistic and infomation person and googled it all the time, i ended up with a mountain of info about VBAC (sorry i printed it but didnt bookmark it will try looking for it again), I think that some OB's try to scare you off with the problems that can occur like a scar rupture i went in with my own statistics and that is not the case, the chance of scar rupture is very small lucky my Dr was great.
Try not to be monitored all the time, being stuck on the bed is very difficult (most hospitals like constant monitoring), get up and move, get in the bath, do whatever feels comfortable.
Be strong and know that you are doing it for the right reasons.
recovery time for my VBAC was so much less than my c-section and i felt very empowered to have acheived it. JMO
(nothing against people who choose to have a c-section)
Good luck to everyone attempting a VBAC
Posted 03 November 2008 - 07:21 PM
Go with what you happy and confident with - whether that is a homebirth with a midwife, a public hospital, or a private OB.
Have people with you that support your decision.
Do NOT discuss it people who don't support you - you don't need to convince anyone else of why you wanting a vbac.
And one that not everyone will agree with, as it kind of contradicts the power of positive thinking ... plan for a c-section. Work out what you want in the case of a c-section, discuss it with your care-provider. Write down the details and anything you can think that would make a c-section a wonderful experience. THEN put it out of your mind. For me, it meant I had my back up plan, my OB knew what I wanted in that circumstance. And I could go on and try for my vba2c without having the worry in the back of my mind of having another c/s, because that was all planned, and I knew if things did go that way, it would be the best experience possible.
Posted 03 November 2008 - 08:08 PM
Learn about Optimal Feotal Positioning. Posterior labour is the last thing you want to get in the way of a vbac. You have enough hurdles to overcome mentally and support wise so make it easier on yourself and educate yourself on Optimal Feotal Positioning.
There is book that you can buy (and many other great books) from www.capersbookstore.com.au called Optimal Feotal Positioning and there's a website that you can check out called www.spinningbabies.com that has a ton of info too.
Like the PP's have mentioned support was paramount for my vbac and without it I would have struggled to follow through.
Learn about normal physiological birth. Its amazing how much easier it is to understand why our bodies work with us and against us during labour if we understand how labour and birth works. It is amazing to learn how we can actually encourage our bodies to get through rather than be ignorantly doing things that is actually hindering a progressive labour and birth.
Stay active and get in the water!!!!!! If you plan to stay at home for as long as possible - hire a birth pool and spend your labour in there, you can still move around and yet feel the bouyancy of the water and not exert too much energy. It is awesome!!
Things I would do different - Avoid unsupportive people. This means care providers, friends and family. If someone dosn't support vbac then they are not educated about it.
Not stress too much. Birth is birth right? So many women have been there and done that and many many have done it easily. There's a reason for this!!! If you're stressing and worrying about every little aspect of it, you're likely to slow things down and cause undue delays. If you're relaxed and calm, baby will come.
Posted 04 November 2008 - 07:22 AM
Some of the things I'd do differently when I attempted a vbac has already been posted here but I thought I'd post anyway.
1. Surround yourself with people who are on exactly the same page as you and believe in you. You don't need to prove anything to anyone. The more people you talk to about your plans the more open you are to receiving negative comments. The RIGHT kind of support is most important!
2. Don't believe 'everything' that obs say. This is just my personal opinion, but I believe that most obs are only good for emergency situations. Most of them just don't know how to sit back and let nature take it's course. A lot of obs will dish out their pessimistic views and so called stats on vbacs and try to scare you off, which leads me to my next point...
3. If you do hear a negative or disheartening story/comment from anyone (including medical pros) don't let it bring you down. The more you let negative comments get to you the less chance you have of getting what you want. I've become a big believer in the power of the mind since learning about hypnobirthing, and I know from experience that letting the slightest comment get to you can effect your confidence.
4. Unless there is a 'real' medical reason involved, try to stay home as long as possible in the early parts of labour. I made the mistake of going to hospital way too soon in my vbac attempt just because the hospital advised me to because I was a vbac candidate. The sound of other women screaming in the birthing suites next to me just put me right off focus and that was the beginning of my "FTP" c-section. And not only that, but the sooner you go to hospital when going for a vbac, the more pressure you will receive from obs to have intervention. And although I may be a strong willed person, I was still vulnerable during labour.
Sorry for dragging on lol basically to sum it up, I would just have more faith in myself and trust nature and trust my body. After all, I now realize that I know my own body and what it's capable of better than any one else would.
Hope this helps.
Posted 04 November 2008 - 02:25 PM
I am going to add my 'Birth Preference List' so other VBACers can see the sort of choices they might have in a hosptial setting and hopefully give you all some ideas for your own birth.
In saying that because I went public this time I was able to have ALL the things I wanted, there was nothing they could do about it . Although I did have to explain myself to an OB who questioned my decisions and I was met with quite a bit of opposition. If you have a private OB you may not have the range of choice I had. My doula helped me write this up. It may seem complicated but I was just covering my bases, it's broken into stages to make it easy for midwives to refer back to it during my labour.
Birth Preference List
The desire for the mother is for a drug free active birth in a peaceful and calm environment.
This birth will be videotaped
Clock on wall to be hidden or taken down until birth is imminent (A timed uterus never dilates)
Mother requests no continuous monitoring. Intermittent Doppler please (No research to support a better outcome with continuous monitoring, restrictive and increased risk of CS)
Vaginal examinations on mothers’ request only (Didn’t want to get on the bed a lot or have strangers’ hands inside me. Felt this would slow labour)
No cannula please – Happy to reassess if the labour becomes very long (Making my arm very sore)
No rupturing or sweeping of membranes unless labour has stalled for a long period of time (No interventions, have had ruptured membranes before, which led to a CS)
Mother would like a mirror to see her baby being born (It really helped me to see the progress I was making)
Dad is to catch the baby please (So beautiful and intimate that Dad was the first one to touch him, not a midwife or OB)
Dad to announce the sex of the baby
After baby is birthed Dad will put baby directly onto Mum’s chest
~Mother requests no injection to birth the placenta – She understands this requires a hands off approach. Should a PPH occur she will happily reassess the injection. ~
Dad to cut cord after it stops pulsating
Mother would like to see the placenta and have it explained to herself and partner.
~Hope this gives someone out there ideas for thier birth plan~
I'll also add my 'Baby Care Plan' when I get a chance
Posted 06 November 2008 - 01:05 PM
Many VBACers come onto this site and hear about how having an OB can lower your chance of a VBAC. This is because they tend to handle birth with a very interventionalist approach. Not ALL OBs but an aweful lot. Well I am going to provide a link to a very credible reasearch paper than was given to me by my Doula about the intervention rates in public vs private care.
It is a medical journal, a study in Aust. so forgive the medical jargon. Here's the link, pls read.
Posted 06 November 2008 - 03:01 PM
Another tip that helped me.
Usually unless there is a real emergancy, no decision needs an answer straight away. You can ask for five minutes or however long it takes, to think about it. Also you can ask for the caregivers to leave the room while you talk to your support people in private. This gives you the power in the situation.
In my labor, they wanted to induce me as my waters had broken 12 hours prior. I told the registar that I couldn't make that decision without my husband present. He was home having a rest while I had a girlfriend with me. I must have annoyed the registar as I never saw her again and she communicated through my midwife. Also I think my midwife realised I was serious about what I wanted and helped me greatly to achieve a birth that I wanted not what the hospital wanted.
Posted 18 November 2008 - 08:14 AM
Go in thinking you can do it.
You do not see most women going into VB with doubts about acheiving a VB so really, why is a VBAC any different.
I went in thinking that I would be having a VBAC and that was that. This time the thought of NOT having a VBAC has not even entered my mind.
plan for a c-section. Work out what you want in the case of a c-section, discuss it with your care-provider. Write down the details and anything you can think that would make a c-section a wonderful experience.
I had a section of my birth plan "in the event of a c/s" My OB even added a few points with me ensuring we would get around certain hospital policies if necessary
Edited by DancingPrincesses, 18 November 2008 - 08:20 AM.
Posted 18 November 2008 - 01:42 PM
You do not see most women going into VB with doubts about acheiving a VB so really, why is a VBAC any different.
It really is no different. Especially when your rate of rupture is the same as a women being induced with her first baby.
Posted 19 November 2008 - 01:10 PM
This link is to some information writtem by the risks associated with an epidural. Written by Pinky Mackay
Having an epi while trying for a VBAC greatly reduces your chance of a natural delivery
Taken from the site. In a nutshell I think..
An epidural will often slow a woman's labour, and she is three times more likely to be given an oxytocin drip to speed things up6,7. The second stage of labour is particularly slowed, leading to a three times increased chance of forceps8. Women having their first baby are particularly affected; choosing an epidural can reduce their chance of a normal delivery to less than 50%9.
This slowing of labour is at least partly related to the effect of the epidural on a woman's pelvic floor muscles. These muscles guide the baby's head so that it enters the birth canal in the best position. When these muscles are not working, dystocia, or poor progress, may result, leading to the need for high forceps to turn the baby, or a caesarean section. Having an epidural doubles a woman's chance of having a caesarean section for dystocia10.
Edited by lizzylou82, 04 February 2009 - 12:24 PM.
Posted 24 November 2008 - 10:28 AM
Okay so I'm going to ad my CS birth plan. I know we all want a VBAC but it's a good idea to write one of these up and put it away so you can stop thinking about it. Just in case it doesn't go to plan. SO here was mine.
Caesarean Birth Preference List
Mum will provide baby blankets and beanie from home for baby to be wrapped in. (So that baby is wrapped in something that has your smells from home)
Dad to be with Mum while she is having spinal put in.
Should all be well Mum requests green screen to be lowered BEFORE baby is birthed so she can see the baby come out.
Dad to announce the sex of the baby (Rather than the OB. Much more personal)
If baby is well cord to be left to pulsate before being cut. (The huge benefits of that final dose of cord blood for baby shouldn’t be wasted)
Some cord length to be left for Dad to cut (Something special for Dad)
If all is well, Midwife to hand baby to Dad who will be waiting with warm towels to place baby on Mum’s chest to help with bonding.
Alternatively, if all is not well with mum, baby can be placed on Dad’s chest with warm towels to bond and connect.
Hep B shot delayed and Vitamin K shot delayed as per Baby care plan (Who wants to welcome bub into the world with a needle)
Dad and baby to be with Mum in theatre
Mum would like skin to skin and first feed in recovery.
GENERAL ANASTHETIC BIRTH
A CAMERA WILL BE GIVEN TO THE MIDWIFE
DAD WILL BE WAITNG FOR BABY AFTER BIRTH. WHEN ALL IS WELL BABY TO BE PLACED ON HIS CHEST WITH A WARM BLANKET.
Edited by lizzylou82, 24 November 2008 - 10:29 AM.
Posted 01 December 2008 - 01:28 PM
For those of you who are told your baby won't fit or 'might be too big' we need to do a CS. Watch this vid about women birthing after being told they had CPD.
Thanks Buzz for suggesting this (in another thread)
Posted 01 December 2008 - 03:33 PM
Hypnobirthing all the way. I was 10cms before they even allowed me in the birth suite to be checked- gave then a shock and not alot they could do at 10cms and pushing.
Posted 14 December 2008 - 10:33 AM
1) Heaps of people around you that believe in you, and are willing to be positive about the choice to have a VBAC. In my instance this was my husband and my fantastic midwife.
2) Plan for a c-section and then put it out of your mind - this has already been said and it sounds a bit back to front but it's true.
3) Optimal fetal positioning - as said before ...get the baby in the right place if possible.
4) A private midwife was probably the one thing that guaranteed I had a VBAC.
5) Self belief.
Posted 04 February 2009 - 12:22 PM
Bumping this as there are a lot of new faces who have just had a VBAC and a few who are planning one. What were the things that helped you achieve your VBAC? Pls add ladies!
Posted 10 February 2009 - 11:31 AM
Awesome reading! Thank you so much for bumping it up....
...off now to research hypnobirthing
Posted 13 February 2009 - 10:05 AM
Its interesting reading everyones experiences with VBAC. I was only told yesterday of the risks involved as I was only told previously that even if you have had a c-section before there are no probs with going natural the next time. So I didn't look further into it, I was just going to go with the flow and whatever happened, happened. After my 36wk checkup at the hospital I was informed of all of the risks and was quite shocked. I am now doing my research and have another appt next week to give them a decision on what I want to do. Never thought that it would be this difficult and I am thankful that there are some really positive stories on EB to show me that plenty of mums out there go through this.
Posted 05 April 2009 - 02:38 PM
Sorry if I double up here. For those of you who do choose to go with an ob in a private hospital setting like I did for my VBAC, make sure:
* Your ob is totally supportive of a VBAC and not just telling you what you want to hear. I've heard of a lot of women having to change carers more than half way into their pregnancies as their obs changed their minds/their advice.
* Make sure you discuss in detail what you think you want your support person to help you do well in advance.
* Consider the amount of time it will take to drop older kids off to babysitters into account for your trip to the hospital if you go into labour.
* Don't go into hospital until the contractions are really close together or you can no longer endure the pain.
* Sit on a fit ball from about 28 weeks onwards, it helps with optimal foetal positioning. Also use it during labour, it really helps bub engage properly.
* If you can get a book/DVD/attend a prenatal yoga class I highly recommend it. It really helps you figure out which positions are comfortable for you and you can use them and the breathing techniques you learn in labour.
* If you need to scream, DO IT. Don't worry about what other people will think. It is a great energy release and helps get rid of all the adrenalin in your system which can slow the progression of labour.
* Water water water! For me I couldn't have got through my VBAC without the shower positioned right on the small of my back.
* Use pain relief if you need to but do try and avoid an epidural.
Lastly, if you believe in yourself, your body and your baby, you can accomplish a VBAC but if something happens and you don't get the birth you wanted just remember that you gave it your best shot and ultimately you have to do what is in yours and your baby's best interest.
Posted 01 May 2009 - 11:32 AM
I found that there were a few 'keys to unlock' on my vbac journey and I still advocate the following tips, although not all of them will suit one particular person, but some of them will be for you.
1, Do a VBaC Workshop. Some hospitals offer these now (especially in WA), and they are hospital specific, which is great as you need to know your constraints where you will be birthing. But it is good to do an independant one too, as these tend to be woman specific.
2, Seek like minded women who are supportive of your decisions. Don't speak to family members or friends about your plans if they think you are nuts for even trying. Join a group like Birthrites: Healing after caesarean. They have a great VBaC forum on their website which gives some fantastic support.
3, Get a doula - or some other support person other than your partner. Better if this is not a family member, as they tend to be a bit too close to you and think they have your best needs at heart, when my experience is that they have no idea why you really want what you want.
4, Take someone with you to EVERY OB appointment. Safety in numbers
5, Face those fears. It is really good to talk through your previous birth/s It will take a lot of pressure off the current one if you have dealt with some issues from your past.
6, Midwifery led care!! This has the best results for VBaC - stats proove it.
7, Caesarean Birth Plan, Most women only put together a vaginal birth plan, but if the labour goes pants, and you are looking at another caesarean, then it is really important for you to have the best birth possible. This will be achieved by making sure your care givers know what you want in the theatre, should the need arise.
Hope these help, but just remember that birth is not a pass or fail event. Try to focus on an empowered birth at all costs, not a vaginal birth at all costs...
Posted 12 August 2009 - 08:58 PM
I love you girls for starting this thread!!!
I had an emergency c-section with my daughter Hayley and while I was just happy that she got out safe, I was a little disappointed that it wasn't a VB. Though I kinda had everything going against me as I was over by about 10 days and had to be induced with the drip and had my waters broken, so I was stuck to the bed from the get go. Ended up being an emergency c-section, due to me not dilating and Hayley getting distressed.
Anyways, skip to now and I'm 11 weeks pregnant and I thought that because I had a CS, that there was very little chance that I could have a VB this time around. I'm so glad that I found this thread and I am really looking forward to labour (call me crazy I know lol)
I'm already looking into hypnobirthing and bought a book online about 10min ago and am going to look at the spinning babies website too.
Also this time around, I'm promising myself that I'm going to have sex every night from 38 weeks on. Anything so I don't have to be induced again hubbie will be happy
Posted 09 September 2009 - 10:47 PM
Oh wow thankyou so much for this thread and for those who replied in it with suggestions and birth plans!!!
I now have a few more good idea to put into my plans thankyou!!!
Will let you know how it goes at the end of January/early February
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