Can A Doula Help Me Have a VBAC?
Finding yourself pregnant after a cesarean can come with a range of emotions- you may feel nervous about how this birth will go at the same time as you feel excited for the new baby you’re going to welcome. When you try to research having a VBAC, or vaginal birth after a cesarean, you may be even more worried when you see things like “once a cesarean, always a cesarean” and read about providers who aren’t supportive. It’s true that you may face some opposition in your desire for a vaginal birth, but it’s important to remember that this is your birth and your decision to make. As you prepare for this experience, an Arizona doula will offer guidance and support.
Finding Your Team
Doulas are very tapped into the local birth community, and they’re a great place to start if you are looking to identify a VBAC-friendly provider. Some doctors and midwives are more comfortable with VBACs, and some birth centers or hospitals may have specific policies regarding the care of a VBAC birther. Rather than working within these rules, finding an environment that matches your values can set you up for success down the line. Working with a doula early on in your pregnancy can be a great way to find providers that support your wishes and will help you achieve the birth you desire. *AZ Doula tip: it is never too late to change your team. Whether that is adding a Doula or deciding on a different provider. This is YOUR experience, and you can choose who participates.*
The Big Day
When the time comes for you to labor, the benefits of having a doula are nearly endless. By offering hands-on pain relief, supporting your partner, and reminding you of your goals, a doula will be encouraging during any type of birth you may have. But when you’re aiming for a VBAC, having a doula by your side can be even more critical.
Cesareans can often result from interventions that prevent labor from progressing naturally, cause abnormal amounts of pain, or put you on a ‘time clock’ in a medical provider’s eyes. With a doula there to suggest alternatives or tools, you’re less likely to end up in a position where you are pushed toward an unnecessary surgical birth. In the event a repeat cesarean does become the best option for you and your baby, having a knowledgeable birth after cesarean doula available to filter the twists and turns of labor can help you feel more confident in your decision for a cesarean.
Many women have trauma around their c-sections, which can make this next birth a raw and vulnerable experience from the beginning. A doula will focus on working through these emotions with you and your partner and provide a feeling of additional security.
The Impact of Doulas
Research has shown that having a birth doula with you leads to a decreased risk of cesarean section and other interventions, including Pitocin, epidurals, forceps, and vacuums.
A doula’s job is to provide you and your partner with the information and confidence necessary to advocate for the birth experience you want. For example, suppose your provider is pressing for a cesarean or other potentially unnecessary interventions that do not align with your goals. In that case, a doula will be there to remind you of everything you learned from her and your classes so that you can make the best decision for you in the moment. Whether you need gentle encouragement or tough love in the moment, doulas meet you where you are.
At Expecting a Blessing, our goal is for you to feel empowered and confident in your birth. If you are hoping to have a VBAC, we will navigate the journey alongside you.