Planning a Positive VBAC

Katie and her new son

Katie and her new son – an empowering VBAC

“I’m so grateful to Birthtalk for your amazing compassion, support, expertise and wisdom and for all the healing you helped me to achieve about my previous birth so that I could go into this birth feeling as empowered and prepared as I did. As a result we all had a wonderful experience. It was a truly amazing, empowered birth and incredibly healing for us all. I just feel so proud and delighted and grateful!” Katie

 Common questions about planning a positive VBAC :

Q. Won’t the fact that it is a VBAC make it a positive event?
Q. Surely a vaginal birth will just be better anyway?

A. Many of the things that can make a caesarean such a traumatic way to meet your baby are not restricted to caesarean birth.

Things like:
> feeling out of control of your birth
> feeling ignored or abandoned
> feeling fear or confusion
> feeling unable to ask questions

While having a caesarean can increase the possibility of these feelings occurring (simply due to it being surgery, where you are immediately more vulnerable), having a vaginal birth in no way protects you or eliminates the possibility of feeling this way.

To make your birth a positive event, you need to focus on having an empowering experience.

The above list is, in essence, the definition of a disempowered birth. We imagine that you want your vbac to be an empowering & safe experience! So, it makes sense to focus on turning the above feelings on their head.

That is, learning tools and information so you:
> feel in control of what happens to you
> feel central to the experience
> feel safe and nurtured
> feel able to obtain information through questioning of your care-givers
And that will increase the possibility of walking away from your birth feeling strong, confident, and positive about the parenting journey ahead.

You can learn these tools and other ideas at Birthtalk’s VBAC course.

What if I don’t know if I want a VBAC or not?
Women planning a subsequent birth after caesarean do have some specific issues to consider. Birthtalk approaches these issues in the context of working towards an empowering birth, where you are making all your decisions based on knowledge not fear.
We encourage all women preparing for a birth after caesarean to attend (whether planning for VBAC or not), to make sure they are receiving evidence-based information, and so they can ask questions and get their fears addressed. At Birthtalk we focus on planning an empowering birth. The information needed to prepare for an empowering experience is exactly the same for all birthing women, regardless of the mode of birth. We have had many women working towards vbac attending Birthtalk, as well as those working towards an empowering caesarean. (see our Birth Stories and Journeys to Birth for some of their stories)

I want a VBAC but I can’t stop thinking about my last birth…how can I move on?
You may also need to “make some space” for this birth by debriefing and gaining clarity about your previous experience. See our “Had a Bad Birth?”  section for some insights and ideas on healing from birth. You may find it helpful in your preparation for your birth to attend our Healing from birthmeeting as well. Many women working towards VBAC attend these as well as the VBAC Course. This is a different group, where you are welcome to tell your story of your previous birth, and debrief the experience. We do this in the context of gaining clarity about “what happened”, to explore ways of making the next birth a better experience, but also to really “let go”, so the previous birth does not overshadow the upcoming birth. Many women find coming along to the Healing from birth group allows them to make peace with the experience. Plus, it doesn’t matter how long ago your previous birth was…we have had women who birthed 30 years ago attend, and still find it really helpful.

What is a Better birth and why would I want one?

Go to our Articles and suggested reading pages

Read women’s stories and journeys to an empowering birth