Tips for a successful VBAC- what to do during pregnancy? - Mothering Forums
VBAC > Tips for a successful VBAC- what to do during pregnancy?
WindyCityMom's Avatar WindyCityMom 08:20 AM 01-05-2012

Hello everyone.  I just found out that I'm expecting #3 this fall (though I'm not sure when, as this was a surprise & I'm not sure when I conceived!).  My first birth in 2007 was a vaginal birth.  My second birth in 2009 was a cesarean birth.  I'm hoping for a VBAC this time around, and my midwives do VBACs.  

 

What can I do *during* pregnancy to increase my odds of having a successful VBAC?  My body has birthed before, my cervix has dilated twice before (once on its own thumb.gif ).  

 

What should I *NOT* do during pregnancy?  What would be considered unhelpful and even dangerous for a VBAC mom?  I know Evening Primrose Oil is out if I go "postdates".

 

Does anyone have a list of VBAC pregnancy dos and donts?



akind1's Avatar akind1 08:44 PM 01-08-2012

hmm. I did EPO. I don't know that it helped. but it didn't seem to hurt.

 

Chiropractor, esp if you can combine this with therapeutic massage. I think it's one of the things that helped me be successful.

 

hire a doula.

 

If I had the $$ I'd do acupuncture too.

 

my VBAC baby was as post-dates as my c-section baby. I eventually helped the labor process along/self-induced with a breast pump. That did the trick for me. But I would have kept on trucking had my BP not been going up, and the AFI going down (and so was being kind of strongly encouraged to either go into labor on my own or have a c-section).


MovnMama's Avatar MovnMama 01:06 AM 01-09-2012

Subbing! notes.gif


Lovin_Life's Avatar Lovin_Life 07:14 PM 01-09-2012

Just doing everything that you would do for a normal healthy pregnancy. Prenatal yoga, a doula, a supportive midwife, and a chiropractor are always good to have. Look up encouraging good position for baby. Stay healthy and active. You will do great. :)


musikmama's Avatar musikmama 07:47 PM 01-31-2012


Quote:
Originally Posted by MovnMama View Post

Subbing! notes.gif



LMAO!  Luckily, I had my son before I subbed...about a month after I graduated. ;)  Now, I have my own classroom...not sure if that's better or worse. Since coming back from winter vacation...worse. :P


pianojazzgirl's Avatar pianojazzgirl 08:01 PM 01-31-2012

For me I'd say the most important thing was educating myself about birth.  Lots and lots of reading and research.

 

Perhaps equally important was hiring a doula.  I really recommend you do this if you haven't already.


azzeps's Avatar azzeps 08:54 PM 02-02-2012

Join your local chapter of ICAN - International Cesarean Awareness Network.  www.ican-online.org.  There will be lots of women who have had a VBAC in your area and can help you out with whatever support you need.  Goes hand in hand with the education someone previously mentioned.  I think also having a supportive provider makes all the difference.  If you don't have a local chapter of ICAN, you can join the national (international) Yahoo group e-mail list.


Millicent's Avatar Millicent 11:47 PM 02-05-2012

I would suggest Birthing from Within classes and/or trauma therapy to deal with any issues from the previous birth or issues that may have caused the c-section.  (Control issues, childhood trauma, fear, distrust of body or self, etc.)  Robbie Davis-Floyd talks about how she had to take responsibility for her part in her c-section before she could vbac.  Getting past victimization, integrating heart/soul and body, building faith.  


~pi's Avatar ~pi 10:14 PM 02-10-2012

These are things that helped me have a VBAC. They may or may not all work for you.

 

- Lots of exercise during pregnancy. About an hour a day, every day. Lots of swimming, especially.

 

- Having supportive care providers. (It sounds like yours are, that's great.)

 

- Hiring a doula.

 

- Letting go of expectations as much as possible. I wanted a VBAC, but I made peace with the idea that I might need a c/s again. I put some plans in place for a better potential c/s. This was reassuring at the end of pregnancy when my anxiety ramped up. Having accepted a range of possibilities helped me relax somewhat in the face of the uncertainty, which I felt made it easier for me to have the VBAC.

 

- Not overthinking it. I tried not to think about it or read too much about it. My attitude was: Do what I can to help my body and baby be as healthy as possible, make the best decisions I can with the information I have. After that, there are a bunch of factors that are out of my hands, and I'm not going to worry about things I cannot control.

 

As you may already know, being young and having had a previous vaginal birth both increase your chances of having a VBAC. Congrats on your pregnancy, and good luck!


phaedra13's Avatar phaedra13 08:17 AM 02-20-2012

Things that helped me:

- all the regular pregnancy stuff....good doula, good care provider, good relationship with husband/partner, yoga, nutrition, etc.

 

- I also did a lot of therapy work on my c-section and that helped immensely. I really worked with my mind/emotions so I could let go of that previous experience once labor began. It really helped. One thing, in particular, that I did was create a visual representation of what the first birth felt like and what I wanted the second birth to feel like. I experienced this in colors...and I came back to that during my VBAC birth.

 

- I did quite a bit of work with a chiropractor and craniosacral therapist this time around and it really made a difference to me (you can see my full VBAC story that I posted earlier today for more info). If you can find someone who does good bodywork, I highly recommend it.

 

- Clarifying (and discussing with your partner and doula) where you want things to be DIFFERENT in this labor. Are there things you would have done differently before? At the end of the day, what's REALLY the most important to you? For me, I knew that, bottom line, no matter what else happened, I did NOT want to have another surgical birth....primarily because I wanted to be able to go home and hold my toddler and care for him. I was willing to deal with the gamble of a long and difficult labor that might end in a c-section, but some people decide they dont' want that. Some people give themselves limits - I will labor for this long or until it feels this exhausting and then, if it doesn't work, I will do the c-section because I don't want to have one after really putting myself on the line emotionally and being physically spent. This bottom line clarification also helped me feel good about having an epidural when I wanted one.

 

I'd say I did most of the difficult emotional work in the 1st and 3rd trimesters. In the 2nd trimester, I just kind of relaxed and wasn't as stressed. I'd say everyone is different, though, of course!

 


JaimeF's Avatar JaimeF 05:25 PM 02-26-2012

The Natural Pregnancy Book really helped me to learn what to do and not do.  I am planning my VBA3C this July and want to do all I can to make sure all goes well.  Some things are:

Yoga as much as possible, I joined a prenatal yoga class and try to do it every night before bed.

Herbs like Burdock root and red rasberry leaf that I get in bulk cheap on vitacost.com.  I make my own tea.  Boil 1qt water and use 1oz of the herbs and seep over night and drink 1qt a day for uterine tone among other things.  I also use Nettle leaf to keep my iron up.  And in 3rd trimester use False Unicorn and Primrose oil.  I plan to consume my placenta which will help with bleeding and emotions among other things.  Look it up

Read as much on Natural Birth as you can, books like Trust Your Body Trust Your Baby, Pushed, Spiritual Midwifery, Hypnobirthing, and Birthing From within and Birthing without Fear among many others.

Eat as healthy as you can, a mostly raw plant based diet is very beneficial, limit meat and dairy.  Studies show a healthy diet can make labor better and lots of dairy can make it worse.  You can get protein and calcium from fruits veggies, nuts, seeds and beans.  Take whole food or raw supplements not synthetic.  Alfalfa is full of nutrients.

Deal with all your fears and negitive emotions before labor.  Fear and anything that causes you to not be able to relax is what causes pain. 

Find Ina May on youtube and watch her videos.

I have a Natural Birth group and and VBAC group on Facebook if you are interested.  I have lots of resources there.  I have a list of reminders for labor and such.

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/255241661212143/

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/183444955077965/

 

I hope this helps


Lynann's Avatar Lynann 05:52 PM 02-28-2012

Things I did differently with my 2nd (HBAC) from my 1st (home birth-transfer-c/s)

 

1. High doses of Vitamin C from 20 weeks onwards. This was at the suggestion of my CNM as the big issue 1st time around was my waters breaking before labor, and the Vitamin C was to strengthen the amniotic sac. It worked as my waters didn't break until the first spontaneous push.

 

2. Eat a LOT more protein, especially towards the end, when I was having protein milkshakes every day to keep my protein levels up.

 

3. The Pink Kit childbirth preparation material. It taught me so many skills that helped me labor well, especially how to relax those inner pelvic muscles.

 

Congratulations, and good luck with the VBAC.


~Nikki~'s Avatar ~Nikki~ 06:25 AM 02-29-2012

 These are all fantastic recommendations for preparing during your pregnancy, but it's important to go into labour with a few things in mind, as well.  Do you know the reason why you had a c-section the first time around?  I only ask because in my situation, there were a lot of interventions done that I think lead to the c-section, in the end.  I think I went into the hospital too soon (first time mother, all hyper about getting there "on time.")  They broke my water to get things going, and then when things stalled, gave me pitocin to get things going.  Nobody talked to me or explained anything.  I felt like a science experiment.  I was in labour for 44 hours before they decided to do the c-section (due to fetal distress...duh!)  

 

So the second time around, I made sure to labour at home as long as I could stand it.  I refused medication (even an epidural) because I was worried that these things had contributed to the complications the first time around.  I learned relaxation techniques for natural pain relief, and planned for a labour in water to help with the pain as well.  I had a labour coach there that had experience with VBACS, and she did not leave my side for the entire labour.  I had a successful VBAC five hours after arriving at the hospital.  Third baby?  Successful VBAC after four hours at the hospital.

 

I don't know what your situation was, but I definitely found it helped to think about the reasons for the first c-section, and what I could control the second time around to lead things in a different direction.

 

Good luck!


Blue Eyed Baby's Avatar Blue Eyed Baby 01:21 PM 03-11-2012

Just a few short lines, find a Webster-certified Chiropractor (Webster is a technique that helps realign pelvic and sacral joints to restore natural pelvic balance) it has a very high success rate. I'm going to be scheduling a consult with a Webster-certified Chiropractor tomorrow as I plan on TTC #4 soon.) # 3 was my first attempt at a VBAC, (she was OP due to my pelvic and sacral joints needing realigned) which we did not realize until late in labor, I pushed for over 2 hours and she would not descend past 0 station. Also check out Spinningbabies.com, they have ton of awesome/useful information. Get your post-op reports so you know for sure the reason behind your Section. Find a supportive care provider, be it a midwife or doctor (yes they can be found, myself have one.) Walking and other exercise is great too, both before and during labor.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post

Hello everyone.  I just found out that I'm expecting #3 this fall (though I'm not sure when, as this was a surprise & I'm not sure when I conceived!).  My first birth in 2007 was a vaginal birth.  My second birth in 2009 was a cesarean birth.  I'm hoping for a VBAC this time around, and my midwives do VBACs.  

 

What can I do *during* pregnancy to increase my odds of having a successful VBAC?  My body has birthed before, my cervix has dilated twice before (once on its own thumb.gif ).  

 

What should I *NOT* do during pregnancy?  What would be considered unhelpful and even dangerous for a VBAC mom?  I know Evening Primrose Oil is out if I go "postdates".

 

Does anyone have a list of VBAC pregnancy dos and donts?



 


Blue Eyed Baby's Avatar Blue Eyed Baby 01:22 PM 03-11-2012

Who told you EPO was out?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Eyed Baby View Post

Just a few short lines, find a Webster-certified Chiropractor (Webster is a technique that helps realign pelvic and sacral joints to restore natural pelvic balance) it has a very high success rate. I'm going to be scheduling a consult with a Webster-certified Chiropractor tomorrow as I plan on TTC #4 soon.) # 3 was my first attempt at a VBAC, (she was OP due to my pelvic and sacral joints needing realigned) which we did not realize until late in labor, I pushed for over 2 hours and she would not descend past 0 station. Also check out Spinningbabies.com, they have ton of awesome/useful information. Get your post-op reports so you know for sure the reason behind your Section. Find a supportive care provider, be it a midwife or doctor (yes they can be found, myself have one.) Walking and other exercise is great too, both before and during labor.

 



 



 


Blue Eyed Baby's Avatar Blue Eyed Baby 01:31 PM 03-11-2012


Thanks for the Vit C tip. I've heard of it before, but since this was my first natural labor (with baby # 1 I was induced out of medical necessityat 33 weeks due to a raging case of severe Pre-e, that ended in a CS after 36 hours of labor, 4cm dilation and -1 station, number 2 I was pushed into an RCS by a very PRO-CS OB, #3 was a VBAC attempt which failed due to baby girl being OP. Since I went into labor naturally with her I didn't know at what point my water would break, so as I said, I didn't use the tip, will next time around though! Oh, and my water actually broke as I was getting the Epi, all over my poor, sweet nurse. It broke at only 2, we were a classic OP case.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynann View Post

Things I did differently with my 2nd (HBAC) from my 1st (home birth-transfer-c/s)

 

1. High doses of Vitamin C from 20 weeks onwards. This was at the suggestion of my CNM as the big issue 1st time around was my waters breaking before labor, and the Vitamin C was to strengthen the amniotic sac. It worked as my waters didn't break until the first spontaneous push.

 

2. Eat a LOT more protein, especially towards the end, when I was having protein milkshakes every day to keep my protein levels up.

 

3. The Pink Kit childbirth preparation material. It taught me so many skills that helped me labor well, especially how to relax those inner pelvic muscles.

 

Congratulations, and good luck with the VBAC.



 


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