Anyone have advice for a successful VBAC? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 11-20-2007, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am planning on a VBAC. I found the doctor, the hospital, and I have DH support. I want to know from BTDT moms what I can do on my own to help my chances of having a successful VBAC. Was there anything you did that you really think helped?

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#2 of 27 Old 11-20-2007, 09:24 AM
 
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You're in Germany.

That's a great advantage right there.

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#3 of 27 Old 11-20-2007, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I wish! I'll only be in Germany for about one more month. We had the first one over here and REALLY wanted to get the second one out over here, but it took about 2 months longer than planned to conceive this one .

I actually never even considered a VBAC until I talked to my OB over here. When I told her it was normal in the US to be forced into a c-section after having one that way, she looked at me like I was crazy. She is the one who told me there was absolutely no reason for me to have a surgical birth again.

I really wish I could bring her back with me!

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#4 of 27 Old 11-20-2007, 01:48 PM
 
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For me, mental preparation was the key. Well, besides finding the right care provider. That was #1.

Believe and understand that birth is a natural and normal event. I had to meditate on that thought everyday. Telling myself that it was possible for me to birth my baby without intervention really put my mind at ease and gave me the confidence i needed to birth my baby. When labor got tough, I didn't automatically think, "i need someone to get this baby out!"...but instead i realized that i had to push my baby out if i was ready for it to be over

Trust your body...let your body go into labor when it is ready and labor alone with your instincts for as long as you can. That is my humble opinion.

hth!
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#5 of 27 Old 11-20-2007, 03:52 PM
 
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What allowed me to have a VBAC: staying away from the hospital.

Look into homebirth. Even if you decide it's not for you, talk to others who have done it and give it a fair chance.

Danell - Craft Savvy mama to Evan (3/31/06) and Andre (8/29/07)
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#6 of 27 Old 11-20-2007, 04:18 PM
 
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Once I realized I wanted a vbac, it had to be away from the routine procedures and protocols that took me down the road of interventions to the 1st c/s. That meant a home birth w an experienced VBAC lay midwife.

EFM continuously only b/c your a vbac prevents movement in labor by the mother and thus prevents mama from moving baby down and out. Being told I have to stay still b/c moving throws the monitor off the baby happened w my first birth and thus he never moved down well.

IVs complicate matters for the mother's health.

Not being able to eat in a long labor wears a mother out and then she has zero nutrients left for the hardest part - - pushing.

Being told what I can and can't do based on malpractice insurance dictating patient care will keep me from having a baby in any hospital given I've had 2 c/s.
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#7 of 27 Old 11-20-2007, 05:36 PM
 
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Eat VERY WELL. Get a VERY balanced diet with plenty of protein. Exercise daily. YEs, daily (I know it's hard with a toddler, but make the time, even bring the toddler with you!). Take a Bradley Class. Get a doula who is accustomed to supporting VBAC (and has successful ones under her belt) and if you DO choose hospital birth (with the understanding that hospital VBACs are less likely to be successful because of the lawyer based protocols that the staff must follow), make sure your doula is accustomed to attending births at THAT hospital. Make sure that you speak to your local ICAN chapter and your local homebirth midwives. Find out who THEY recommend (collectively) to attend your VBAC insofar as a practitioner and hospital. Get regular chiropractic care and use proper body dynamics to be sure as you can that baby is in the optimal position for birth. Know you CAN do it!

Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!

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#8 of 27 Old 11-21-2007, 01:09 AM
 
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What type of care are you getting? Military?

If so I have found that the military is quite VBAC friendly.
I would also seek out a midwife before I would use an OB.

Good Luck
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#9 of 27 Old 11-21-2007, 01:18 AM
 
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I would plan an HBAC. If you have to birth in a hospital, do not do it without a doula and the most natural birth friendly OB and hospital you can find. I would not be above paying out of pocket to avoid an unnecessary surgery, and I am by no means well off financially.

Read as much as you can!
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#10 of 27 Old 11-21-2007, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What type of care are you getting? Military?

If so I have found that the military is quite VBAC friendly.
I would also seek out a midwife before I would use an OB.

Good Luck
No, we're not military. We are just seeing a regular doctor over here. I'm actually fairly confident about the hospital I have chosen. There are only 2 doctors allowed to deliver there and it was set up specifically for the purpose of allowing the local Amish women to birth. It's really small. I think they only do about 300 births a year and have a 98% success rate for their VBACs and they do about 50 a year. DH is only agreeing to a VBAC because the hospital guarantees an OR ready and waiting during every VBAC in case of rupture. He would NEVER go for a home birth.

I have been considering a doula. I have searched the mothering and dona database, but I cannot find anyone in the area we're moving to. There has to be someone there, but I think I'll just have to wait and ask around once I get there.

Thanks again for all the advice. I feel like I'm at a huge disadvantage when moving 6 months into the pregnancy. I need everything I can get to feel prepared to take this on!

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#11 of 27 Old 11-21-2007, 12:08 PM
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You dh sounds just like mine 1 year ago. Now my dh brags about my VBAC and can't understand why his co-workers automatically sign up for repeat elective c/s.

Find a doula w/VBAC experience, preferably one who has had a VBAC herself. A doula will support you and dh through your fears. Yoga and other relaxation techniques will help you through a natural labor and give you confidence (I joke that my 68.5 hour VBAC labor was a yoga marathon). Labor at home for as long as possible, take lots of showers, it really helps w/labor. Good nutrition and exercise increase your chances of a natural delivery. Refuse as many medical interventions as possible, because once you accept one intervention, it's a slippery slope straight down to the OR.

"Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?" - Andy Warhol
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#12 of 27 Old 11-22-2007, 02:05 PM
 
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the top things on my list physically would be

EXERCISE - 30 minutes a day, get out there and walk, swim, run, whatever you like to do.

EAT RIGHT - eat your fruits and veggies and protein and whole grains! take a prenatal vitamin and omega 3 supplement every day. take other supplements that may apply to specific health concerns you have (high blood pressure, etc)

RELAX - get enough sleep every night, even if that means going to bed right after dinner. soak in a bath every night (this not only helps with relaxation but with swelling!)

and mentally

IMAGINE - visualize different ways the birth may go. imagine your 'perfect' vbac, and then expand it to include some less than perfect things that might come up and how you would deal with them

FOCUS - get a mantra, something to repeat in your head, something your hubby/doula can say to you in labor to bring you back to center. find things that relax you and figure out a way to make them into a focal point to bring with you to labor

Christine, mom to C(7.5) - E(5) - J(3) - B(10 mos)

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#13 of 27 Old 11-22-2007, 04:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by danotoyou2 View Post
What allowed me to have a VBAC: staying away from the hospital.

Look into homebirth. Even if you decide it's not for you, talk to others who have done it and give it a fair chance.
YES! Stay home!

Kate: fumbling through the best years with W, L, F & V...newest arrival coming Jan '11
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#14 of 27 Old 11-22-2007, 05:39 PM
 
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Where are you moving to?

Hire a doula. Even though some are not listed on the website you looked at, they're out there. I'm not a certified doula (so not on many websites) , but I have attended 35 births, had a VBAC & LOVE working with VBAC moms.

What was the reason for your c-section? Maybe chiropractic might help if your pelvis is out of whack. Related to that, look at info on optimal fetal positioning. I think many babies are in less than favorable birth positions due to the nature of current lifestyles. While less than optimal position of the baby doesn't mean a c-section, it can make for a longer labor, which leads to less patience of the care provider & a tired mama who can't birth as effectively. Sit up & Take notice is a great book.

L

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#15 of 27 Old 11-23-2007, 05:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Where are you moving to?

Hire a doula. Even though some are not listed on the website you looked at, they're out there. I'm not a certified doula (so not on many websites) , but I have attended 35 births, had a VBAC & LOVE working with VBAC moms.

What was the reason for your c-section? Maybe chiropractic might help if your pelvis is out of whack. Related to that, look at info on optimal fetal positioning. I think many babies are in less than favorable birth positions due to the nature of current lifestyles. While less than optimal position of the baby doesn't mean a c-section, it can make for a longer labor, which leads to less patience of the care provider & a tired mama who can't birth as effectively. Sit up & Take notice is a great book.

L
I am moving to Ohio, and plan on delivering in a tiny little town called Orville. I know someone who lives in that area who had hospital births but refuses intervention (no IV, no monitoring and no drugs). I know she had a doula there so hopefully she can help me out. I think word or mouth is the only way I'll find someone in that area.

The reason for my c-section was placenta calcification. The babies heartbeat would drop every time I had a small contraction. They were so small I couldn't even feel them. I had drugs to stop labor for 24 hours and then we tried to induce with drugs for 12 hours. I had a couple of contractions but nothing really happened. The doctor said it couldn't happen naturally and we had to get the baby out. After he showed DH the placenta and told him that it was half the size it should have been and that there shouldn't have been any of the hard white patches on it. All of this took place in German and we had only been here about 3 months, so we could have misunderstood some of it. I just wish I knew for sure if the c-section was really necessary!

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#16 of 27 Old 11-23-2007, 09:03 AM
 
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I had a VBAC 18 months ago and have another planned in a few months. My VBAC was at a hospital because that is where I felt the most comfortable. My first baby was a frank breech and was born out of state as we were travelling four weeks before his estimated due date. I still wonder if it was necessary but we are both alive and well.

What helped me the most was to learn to trust my body and the midwife and doctors I was working with. I read books, visualized a safe birth, and took care of myself during pregnancy. Birthing Within is a wonderful book for any pregnancy. I encourage you not to read or hear about any risks that might be involved with a VBAC. It will only clutter your mind.

Best of luck with your VBAC. You can do it.

working mama to 3 beautiful children and married to my wonderful husband
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#17 of 27 Old 11-23-2007, 01:42 PM
 
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I encourage you not to read or hear about any risks that might be involved with a VBAC. It will only clutter your mind.
Really? I definitely wanted to be as informed as possible, so I would be able to make decisions about my care as they came up. I wouldn't want to be in labor and have something suggested and then not know what the possible ramifications of agreeing/disagreeing were...

Christine, mom to C(7.5) - E(5) - J(3) - B(10 mos)

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#18 of 27 Old 11-23-2007, 06:50 PM
 
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I haven't VBACed yet, but my next babe (if we are every lucky enough to get pregnant again) will be a UBAC.

Maybe start with reading Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth and also The Birth Book both are fantastic, though not directly about VBAC. I wish every pregnant woman would read at least those two books.

Good luck.
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#19 of 27 Old 11-23-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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As Diana Korte says in the "VBAC Companion", if you don't like interventions, stay away from where they're done There are too many variables in introducing more than one caregiver to a birth and going to a hospital introduces LOTS. The vast majority of VBACs occur at home so logically that's the best thing to do. Why wouldn't you?
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#20 of 27 Old 11-23-2007, 09:07 PM
 
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Yes, I agree with thorn...but understand what the other poster was saying, too, I think. I believe that fully and truely informing oneself about the possible ramifications of a VBAC, understanding what those complications entail, and what options you would have (and all of those options' pros and cons) if they occured are a very important part of ANY birth, and VBACs especially. Know what's what, what you'd be willing to "give up" and what you wouldn't, and WHY, and be able to make an educated decision should something come up. However, once you've done that leg work, focus with every fiber of your being on birthing this baby vaginally, on believing that your body is made to do so, and on having a wonderful VBAC. DWELLING on the scary "what if's" will get you nowhere, however, knowing ahead of time how you would prefer to handle the situation is NEVER a bad idea.

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#21 of 27 Old 11-23-2007, 11:13 PM
 
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I was *very* educated on the risks of VBAC, warning signs, etc. I spent countless hours pouring over medical studies, birth stories where uterine rupture occurred, and other informative websites.

I spent even *more* time researching positive stories and outcomes.

I did most of the 'negative' research early on, and switched to only reading positive stories in the last couple months.

Throughout the 3 day labor with my HBAC, I don't think I ever really thought about uterine rupture or other problems. I didn't have any warning signs, and was never worried.

So, my advice would be to do your research. Positive and negative.

Danell - Craft Savvy mama to Evan (3/31/06) and Andre (8/29/07)
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#22 of 27 Old 11-24-2007, 04:57 PM
 
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Hmmmm... I did VBAC in a hospital with two OBs and had a wonderful experience despite a few complications (story in sig). However I had done a lot to ensure the sort of birth I wanted...

I researched every possible study, article, birth guide, etc regarding VBAC. I found it crucial to my confidence and peace of mind to know EXACTLY what the different risks were and what my (medical) options might be. I also had a c/s birth plan ready in case...not because I thought I'd need it but because I'd never imagined I would have a c/s the last time and this time I knew that sometimes things go wrong. I felt better having a "back up" plan and knowing what options existed so I could discuss with my birth team which interventions or techniques I would be ok with at different times.

My dh is a big natural birth advocate, my doula had a lot of vbac experience with mamas who birthed in this hospital and with those two OBs, and my OBs were amazing natural birth/vbac advocates (they're a couple, had their own child on the Farm, and one of them apprenticed with Gaskin as well). The hospital I used is a mama/babe friendly hospital with a great vbac support record. This was important to me since I wanted to be sure that they were all supporting me 100% and if they suggested an intervention that there was a reason for it, and that they would discuss it with me/my partner.

I read the Labor Progress Handbook by Simkin...an amazing book and one that is especially good for vbac mamas or mamas who have had a difficult birth in the past since it addresses physical and emotional reasons for problems as well as physical and emotional techniques to address each situation. I had dh and my doula read this as well (my OB gave me a well worn copy so they had the info too).

I exercised as much as possible by walking outside and I followed to spinning babies/optimal fetal positioning guidelines religiously. I drank RRL tea, took EPO, ate a balanced diet focused on complex carbs and lean protiens, and stayed active as much as possible. I I used the hypnobabies 6cd home study course to prepare...it was helpful during the birth but the best part was the way it helped me relax and focus during the pregnancy.

My OBs actually write a 'script for their vbac mamas asking them to spend time outside connecting with nature and asking that they do things that make them feel earthy/sexual/feminine/powerful/physical/etc...they feel that a lot of vbac mamas get so caught up in the mental side (statistics, numbers, what ifs) that they forget to be beautiful powerful feminine birthing women. So they encourage all their mamas but especially their vbac mamas to belly dance, meditate, have intimate relations with their partners or on their own, explore their changing bodies, sing big loud songs, and just reconnect with their natural birth energies. It sounds a bit hokey but it really helped.

What else? Just be prepared in whatever way makes you most comfortable. Some mamas want to visualize only the successful birth, others want to have a hundred back up plans. Either will work...it's just a question of what makes YOU the most confident. Find support people you really truly trust. Be confident in your body and your abilities. Be loved by the people with whom you share this birth. Feel safe and supported.

I hope you have a beautiful birth!

Be pretty! Be practical! Be Pagan! Visit Pagan Hearth & Home!
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#23 of 27 Old 11-24-2007, 05:49 PM
 
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My OBs actually write a 'script for their vbac mamas asking them to spend time outside connecting with nature and asking that they do things that make them feel earthy/sexual/feminine/powerful/physical/etc...they feel that a lot of vbac mamas get so caught up in the mental side (statistics, numbers, what ifs) that they forget to be beautiful powerful feminine birthing women. So they encourage all their mamas but especially their vbac mamas to belly dance, meditate, have intimate relations with their partners or on their own, explore their changing bodies, sing big loud songs, and just reconnect with their natural birth energies. It sounds a bit hokey but it really helped.
it sounds wonderful to me!

Christine, mom to C(7.5) - E(5) - J(3) - B(10 mos)

Doula, childbirth educator, Co-leader of ICAN of Atlanta

 

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#24 of 27 Old 11-24-2007, 06:17 PM
 
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http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=598980

That's the thread talking about my OB's rx for vbac mamas... but it's a little colorful in places, but I think their suggestions are right on for many vbac-ing mamas. Though everyone's experience/needs are their own of course.

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#25 of 27 Old 11-24-2007, 07:33 PM
 
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that is wonderful! would you mind if I shared that with my local ICAN group?

Christine, mom to C(7.5) - E(5) - J(3) - B(10 mos)

Doula, childbirth educator, Co-leader of ICAN of Atlanta

 

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#26 of 27 Old 11-24-2007, 09:05 PM
 
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Feel free. I think it's an important message for the vbac community and an important part of a successful vbac. We need to remember that a vbac is a joy and a blessing...not just a battle to be fought (though that has it's place too).

Be pretty! Be practical! Be Pagan! Visit Pagan Hearth & Home!
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#27 of 27 Old 11-24-2007, 09:11 PM
 
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stay home as long as possible (#1!)
change positions while in labor every 10-15 min. (or as much as possible)
stay hydrated

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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