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Is a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-section) the right choice for me?

Your journey through previous and future birth is as unique as your own fingerprints. Deciding on VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) can stand out as a powerful choice. VBAC empowers individuals to take control of their birthing experience, offering a range of physical and mental benefits that make it a compelling option for many.

  1. Physical Benefits:

a. Shorter Recovery Time: One of the primary physical advantages of VBAC is the typically shorter recovery time compared to a repeat caesarean section. Vaginal births generally involve less trauma to the body, allowing individuals to regain their strength and mobility more quickly.

b. Reduced Risk of Infection: VBAC lowers the risk of surgical site infections associated with caesarean sections. The natural birthing process helps the body heal without the potential complications that can arise from abdominal surgery. C-sections carry an increased risk of infection of around 3-15%(1) vs vaginal delivery around 1-3% (2).

c. Lower Risk of Respiratory Issues for the Baby: Babies born through vaginal delivery often experience better respiratory outcomes compared to those delivered by caesarean section. The compression during passage through the birth canal helps clear fluid from the baby’s lungs, reducing the likelihood of respiratory issues. Not only this but baby is more likely to be born once lungs have fully developed. Increase asthma risk through C-section is up to 8.5% (3).

d. Planned vaginal birth: VBAC’s are associated with reductions in length of hospital stay, the risk of hysterectomy, reduced risk for postpartum haemorrhage, and the risk of cardiac arrest compared with planned.(4)

  1. Mental and Emotional Benefits:

a. Empowerment and Control: Opting for VBAC allows individuals to reclaim a sense of control over their birthing experience. This empowerment can have a positive impact on mental well-being, fostering a sense of achievement and healing.

b. Bonding and Connection: Working with your body through the birthing process, with its hormonal surges and intimate moments, can enhance the bonding experience between the birthing person, their baby and birth partner. The sense of accomplishment and the shared journey can contribute to a deeper emotional connection.

c. Reduced Risk of Birth Trauma: For some individuals, the trauma associated with a previous caesarean birth may lead to anxiety or fear about subsequent pregnancies. Choosing VBAC may mitigate these concerns, offering a pathway to a more positive birth experience.

d. Facilitation of Breastfeeding: VBAC can positively impact breastfeeding initiation and success. The hormonal fluctuations during natural childbirth may enhance the mother’s ability to produce milk and establish breastfeeding.

Navigating and support your choice to VBAC.

  1. Hypnobirthing – hypnobirthing supports all types of birth; it can help navigate your care and give you the tools get the birth you want.

  2. Birth plans/preferences – this can make a huge difference in decision-making and planning what experience you want. It also helps the team around you know what you are happy with and what you are not.

  3. Birth Support team: The decision to pursue VBAC is not just a physical one; it’s a deeply personal and emotional choice. Getting the right support around will help massively. Remember you can decline or accept any care provided by your healthcare professionals. Other support to consider are doulas, birth partners and private midwives etc.

Choosing VBAC is a deeply personal decision that involves weighing physical and emotional factors. The empowerment, control, and improved recovery associated with VBAC can make it an appealing option for those seeking a more personalized and positive birthing experience. You have the capacity to make all decisions whether they are informed or not. It is your body, your birth and your baby.

You have the right to make any decision you like without having to justify or explain!

Feel free to message me to find out how I can support you on VBAC journey. Click here.

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