I believe that nearly every woman is capable of having a vaginal birth after c-section (VBAC). There are always exceptions, but we have to believe our bodies are capable of amazing things -- we can create life, after all. Too many doctors are too worried about what ifs and don't allow women to attempt a VBAC. Luckily some new stats are showing some positive numbers.
When attempted, women had successful VBACs 63 percent of the time. Consider the women who had a c-section with their first birth who were never given the chance to attempt a VBAC and that success rate would be higher, I believe. Why a woman had a c-section the first time weighed heavily on the likelihood of success. So if the reason was elective or unnecessary pressure from a doctor, chances are great a VBAC would be successful. I spoke with three women who had VBACs to learn more about their experience.
I belong to a collective OBGYN, so for my birth I could have gotten any of the four doctors. One of the doctors was against me attempting a VBAC. She ordered me to come into the hospital on my due date. I knew I wasn't ready -- I knew my daughter wasn't ready. And I didn't want to get Pitocin to induce labor, only to potentially end up with another c-section. I spoke to my doula who got me a pre-natal acupuncture appointment. I went for a few days, did a whole lot of walking, and hoping baby would get ready for her entrance. And it worked! I had a successful VBAC without any in hospital intervention and it was a life-changing and beautiful experience. - Jennifer
There was no way I wanted to have another c-section and go through that kind of recovery. I luckily had a doctor who was so supportive and had two of her own VBACs, so she firsthand knew how it was possible. Her practice is known for empowering women and allowing them to trust themselves and their ability to birth. Having that kind of support was exactly what I needed. If your doctor doesn't support VBAC, find another one that does. - Karen
It's so strange to me how some women really believe that a c-section is easier and that it somehow saves your vagina. That is so not the case and it's far too risky. I learned that the hard way. I essentially elected to have a c-section with my first child, with a doctor who was one of the kinds who loved following a schedule and was happy to cut me open for no real reason except for convenience and patient ignorance. Recovery was hell. When I got pregnant with my second child, I educated myself. I empowered myself. I knew what to say no to and how to be my best advocate. I had an amazing doula and went to a hospital that had a birthing center with midwives. My VBAC gave me the experience I robbed myself of the first time around. - Keri Ann
Would you or have you attempted a VBAC?
Image via Sarah & Austin Houghton-Bird/Flickr