Currently, the American cesarean section rate in America lingers at around 33%, 22% of those women are primary cesareans (meaning they are first time mothers). This means that one out of three women will end up with a cesarean and that every child she subsequently has will be "higher risk" and it might be incredibly difficult for her to find a care provider and/or hospital who will support or even admit to a woman that she can try to give birth vaginally after cesarean (VBAC). The risk of an unwanted and unnecessary cesarean is especially higher for the families who go into the birthing process without being informed or supported properly. Hospitals and OB's are there to medically manage your care - not to ensure that you have a natural or even satisfying birth experience. If you truly wish to avoid a cesarean - or to even have an empowered one when neccessary, get informed and hire a professional to help you along in your journey!
The first thing we would encourage every parent to learn is HOW to inquire about treatments for you or your baby. This is not exclusive to birth! You should always question and know what any procedure is being performed on you or your children.
Here is a basic guideline of questions:
Cesarean birth is something Crowning Lotus believes should be reserved as the last resort and only used in truly medically necessary situations because they are risky to both mother and baby and make the postpartum period much more difficult to get through. So, how can a cesarean be avoided?
Throughout your pregnancy, be sure to focus on the following:
That being said, sometimes a woman does need to get a cesarean (just not 1 out of 3 of them). For these cases, we are thankful that we have this modern technology to save our mothers and babies and we want these women to know that they are still giving birth to their babies - and that is sacred and special. It's not always how they get here....it's that they get here safely!
We work hard to help the families that we work with to have the most sacred and beautiful cesarean birth experience possible - because we believe that bringing a baby into the world, no matter "how", matters. We create a family-centered plan 'just in case' or for planned cesareans. Doulas are essential to this process as well!! We can not only maintain that grounded level of peace and calm, but we can help mom process and heal as well as help her establish breastfeeding and aid recovery.
Below is a compilation of videos and links the we have put together to help you get a better understanding for this issue. It is ever growing, so check back every so often or leave suggestions for links and videos in comments!
Already had a cesarean, but would like to try for a VBAC?
Vaginal Birth after Cesarean is something that seems to be on the rise as more women are asking more questions and becoming more involved in their care. Before it is a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean), it is called TOLAC (Trial Of Labor After Cesarean). This basically means that your OB or Midwife believes you are a good candidate for giving birth vaginally with little risk and are willing to "let you try".
Many women find that the second or third time around, when they are more informed, proactive AND supported - that a VBAC is quite obtainable. Other times, a repeat cesarean is necessary for whatever reason. Our goal, as always, is to support and eliminate all the options to allow the mother to give birth vaginally before resorting to this option so she can look back on her experience with a certainty that her cesarean was justified and necessary.
Below you will find more educational articles and videos to empower you with information regarding VBAC. If there is anything that should be added - please email us or leave info in the comments!
Have you had a cesarean or a VBAC experience? Share it with us below! What helped or hurt your experience? What advice would YOU share with moms?