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How to decide if VBAC is for you

If you follow me on Instagram, (and if you don't, you really should @paigeyourdoula), you have seen the story of a precious mom who desperately wanted to have her own VBAC story. But for reasons none of us can predict, her body and baby had other plans. This is so disheartening because I am a VBAC mom and I know exactly what that desperation feels like.

So how do you know if a TOLAC (trial of labor after cesarean) is right for you? Are there certain circumstances that say YES you should try or NO you shouldn't? Let's dive in.....

Giving birth is an amazing and transformative experience for women. And, while many women choose to have a cesarean section (C-section) for various reasons, some opt for vaginal birth after a cesarean (VBAC) for their subsequent deliveries. VBAC is an option for women who have previously had a C-section but wish to try for a vaginal birth with their next pregnancy. While VBAC is a safe and viable option for many women, it also comes with its own set of benefits and challenges.

Benefits of VBAC:

  1. Shorter recovery time: VBAC allows women to recover more quickly than C-section. Women who have a vaginal birth typically spend less time in the hospital and experience less pain and discomfort during recovery.

  2. Lower risk of complications: VBAC is a low-risk option for most women who have previously had a C-section. It is less invasive and less likely to result in complications such as blood loss, infection, and other post-surgical complications.

  3. Bonding with baby: Women who have a vaginal birth are typically able to hold and nurse their baby soon after birth. This early bonding time is important for the development of a strong bond between mother and child.

  4. Future pregnancies: VBAC can reduce the risk of complications in future pregnancies. Women who have had a successful VBAC are less likely to experience complications during future pregnancies and deliveries.


Challenges of VBAC:

Risk of uterine rupture: The most significant risk associated with VBAC is uterine rupture, which occurs when the scar from a previous C-section tears during labor. While the risk of uterine rupture is low, it can be life-threatening for both the mother and baby. Giving your body no less than 18 months between pregnancies can reduce this risk.

  1. Limited availability: Not all hospitals and healthcare providers offer VBAC as an option. Women who want to have a VBAC may need to travel to a hospital or healthcare provider that offers this option. There are several providers in this area that will support a VBAC birth but making sure you truly know your providers success rate is key. Oh, and for best results, make sure you hire a doula. 😉

  2. Longer labor: VBAC can take longer than a planned C-section. Women who have a vaginal birth may experience longer labor and delivery times than women who have a C-section.

  3. Painful labor: Women who have a vaginal birth typically experience more pain during labor and delivery than women who have a C-section. This can be challenging for some women. But thrilling for others as they realize what their bodies are capable of.

So, we can see that VBAC can be a safe and viable option for most women who have previously had a C-section. While VBAC comes with its own set of challenges, it offers many benefits that make it a popular choice for many women. Women who are interested in VBAC should discuss their options with their healthcare provider to determine if it is the right choice for them. Comment below and let me hear your VBAC story. I love to hear them.

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