Before you even get pregnant, start searching out a supportive VBAC provider.
Simply asking your provider if they support VBAC may not be enough. The answer may be flatly no, but it could also be “Yes, but…” Ask any potential provider about his or her VBAC rate, what types of restrictive policies they place on VBAC moms, and what his or her overall philosophy is on normal, natural birth. If you are not comfortable with the answers you get, keep searching. A little work on the front end could save you a lot of stress, and possibly a surgical birth, on the back end.
Get Informed about Normal, Healthy Births.
Birth itself is a normal, biological event, where mother and baby usually fare better without (often unnecessary) drugs and procedures. While learning about natural birth, you will see that women possess a powerful, innate wisdom about how to birth their own babies. Through your studies, you will learn to believe in yourself, no matter what may have sabotaged your previous birth. You may find your previous cesarean could have been avoided by avoiding certain practices and procedures.
My recommendations for the two essential natural birth books:
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
- Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation
Learn About Interventions, and about VBAC itself.
Being an informed consumer is one of the single most important steps in preparing for any birth, especially a VBAC. No matter if you are laboring in a hospital, birth center, or right at home, you need to have a basic understanding of the machines that go “Ping!” The more informed you are, the better equipped you are to make the choices that you are comfortable with — even in a pinch.
My recommendations for learning about commonly used birth interventions and VBAC:
- The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth
- Born in the USA: How a Broken Maternity System Must Be Fixed to Put Women and Children First
- The VBAC Companion: The Expectant Mother’s Guide to Vaginal Birth After Cesarean
What did you do to prepare yourself, and/or your family, for another baby in the family? Do you have a birth plan?