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Planning a VBAC?


Photo of one of our incredible clients who birthed her VBAC baby after two prior caesareans!


More and more women are having a cesarean section with their first baby, leading to an increasing number of women exploring their options for birthing their next baby. The old adage of "once a caesarean, always a caesarean" no longer holds true, so women have the choice of whether they plan for a VBAC or a repeat cesarean birth.


I strongly believe in supporting women to choose the birth path that feels right for them. For some, this means opting for another cesarean birth, while for others, it involves working towards a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean.


Side note: If you're planning a cesarean birth, I recommend checking out my previous podcast episode How to Have a Positive Cesarean Birth for valuable advice.


Preparing for a VBAC comes with unique challenges, and I hope this blog post can provide direction and positive encouragement on your journey. I love working with VBAC mums because they are determined, eager to learn, and ready to advocate for what they want. They are strong, and I'm always thrilled when I see in the client booking notes that they're planning a VBAC.


So, let's dive into what you need to consider and prepare for when planning a VBAC:

  1. Ensure You Have a Supportive Care Provider: This is crucial for your VBAC success. You want someone who believes in your ability to give birth vaginally and will support you every step of the way). Whether it's a midwife or Obstetrician, having a provider with whom you can build a relationship, discuss your goals and fears, and who knows your birth plan inside out is ideal. Ask potential providers about their VBAC success rates and their approach to interventions like inductions. Midwifery contonuity of care, either with a private midwife or midwifery group practice program can be particularly beneficial.

  2. Learn About Birth Physiology: Many of my hypnobirthing VBAC families express that they had known this information before their first birth. Understanding your body's mechanics during labor, the role of hormones, and how interventions can impact your chances of a physiological birth is crucial. Knowing what makes you feel safe and creating a calming, private birthing environment can significantly impact labor hormones, especially oxytocin. My online hypnobirthing course delves into birth physiology and provides techniques to support your body during labor. It's a great option to work through with your birth partner.

  3. Prepare for Active Labor and Birth: Movement and position changes during labor can shorten its duration, reduce the risk of cesarean birth, and lower the need for epidurals. Research shows that upright positions in labor can create more space in the pelvis, aiding in a smoother birth process.

  4. Create a Comprehensive Birth Plan: A well-prepared birth plan consolidates your research, decisions, and preferences into one document. This allows you to focus on labor without worrying about remembering specifics like asking for a room with a bath, or monitoring preferences during labor. Consider including preferences for both VBAC and cesarean birth scenarios to empower you in any outcome.

  5. Prepare for Another Cesarean Birth: While it may be the farthest thing from your mind, preparing a birth plan for a cesarean birth can still ensure an empowering experience if you birth takes this path. While we can absolutely prepare for birth, we can never guarantee 100% which way it will go. Advocating for preferences such as immediate skin-to-skin, a maternal assisted or gentle caesarean, a calm atmosphere with your birth playlist, or other personal preferences can enhance your cesarean birth experience.

  6. Read "Birth after Cesarean" by Hazel Keedle: This book which is based on midwifery research, offers practical tips and insights into planning a successful VBAC. It addresses common questions and concerns, such as VBAC with induction, gestational diabetes, breech presentation, and multiple previous cesareans. Personal stories shared in the book can help prepare your mindset for your VBAC journey. Highly recommend!



I hope these insights are helpful as you prepare for your VBAC journey. While this advice is general, remember that as registered health practitioners, we cannot provide individualised advice outside of a one-on-one consultation.


If you'd like to delve deeper into this information or discuss your specific circumstances, feel free to book a VBAC Planning Session Hannah here.

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