Pro-VBAC... now what? In need of some PRACTICAL advice.

Lisa - posted on 02/01/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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So I have decided that I want a VBAC. My OB is supportive simply adding the disclaimer that we'd need to monitor my elevated blood pressure. I had high blood pressure, a breech baby and had not taken any labor classes when my 1st was born 4 weeks early by c-section. So I want to prepare myself better this time. I love that VBAC is an option with my doc and she says that the hospital I will be delivering in is incredibly pro-breastfeeding. I just need to know what I should be doing right now to prepare my body physically for labor. Are there any good, non-diatribe-y books. I am sold on the idea of a VBAC but need information for the preparation. Something my husband could stomach would be good too, so nothing too sappy. We want instructions not lovey dovy stories. Please help.

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Erin - posted on 02/04/2010

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physical preparations for labor. Best advice I could give you have probably heard before: eat a balanced nutritious diet and watch your weight gain, get at least 10-20 min of light aerobic exercise daily - brisk walk is good and light calisthetics or yoga is great. This might sound a little gross but pay attention to how you have a bowel movement -it may give you a good idea of how to push more effectively. Most importantly learn to trust your body b/c it knows how to do this even if you don't. Oh and doing kegels wouldn't hurt.

Most childbirth prep classes and books are about pain managment. For that there are a million ways. My advise as a L&D nurse is to be honest with yourself about what you think you can take, what your pain threshold might be. Then apply that to the idea that labor is different for everyone and it isn't always excruciating. In fact for some it is actually pleasurable. You never know how your labor will be so keep an open mind in regards to pain meds - you might need them and you might not. Either way educate yourself on the side efects and risks of your options and look at more sources than just your doctor b/c they tend to water it down. Drugs and epidurals DO have there risks and you should learn what they are when deciding what you might want. Example: epidurals increase your risk of prologed pushing or needing a vacuum/forceps delivery and all IV drugs as well as epidurals can affect a baby's ability to breastfeed well in the first 5 days.

As for having a sucessful VBAC - learn as much as you can about how to give yourself the best chance for sucess and safety. Many doctors use arbitrary rules thinking they are increasing your safety (and decrease their risk for a lawsuit) but are not backed by research or evidence. Get the facts so you can advocate for yourself. Examples include believing going past your due date or having a big babyincreases your risk when evidence shows it does not. Some docs like to use Ultrasound to measure the thickness of your scar and this has not been shown to have any benefit and is usually inaccurate. there are more "VBAC myths" out there but I'll let you do your own research. Check out ICAN's website (International cesarean awareness network) and Childbirth connection's website. A good book is also Henci Goer's "The thinking woman's guide to a better birth" - it goes over all the common obstetric practices, their safety and the research supporting or debunking them. Nothing 'too sappy' I promise just the facts!!! Enjoy and good luck!

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Natasha - posted on 02/02/2010

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We are TTC at the moment and I am dead set on having a VBAC. My son was breech position so opted for the c-section. I have heard excellent things about hypnobirthing. I just tried hypnotherapy for anxiety & ongoing PND and I can tell you I feel like a different person. I will be definitely looking into it for my next pregnancy. Apparently the statistics are really good with reduced pain medication and repeat c-sections. Here is a website with some statistics. http://www.hypnobirthing.com/.

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