First time parents usually have tons of questions, fears and concerns; with second and third children prenatal visits tend to go a lot quicker! One of the biggest hurdles families have the second time around is for parents who have had previous C-sections.
I get so many families questioning the safety of a vaginal birth after a C-section (VBAC). So many times parents have heard of the risks without learning the benefits.
This is one of those places where informed consent falls short. For any intervention or procedure care providers should be providing families the risks, benefits and alternatives. With VBAC, I find that many parents are being presented with outdated information.
Even worse, sometimes families are just told that they should have a C-section without being given more information.
I find this incredibly frustrating.
VBAC is a completely safe option for most families. Almost every parent should at least be given the opportunity to try for one.
The fear with VBAC usually has to do with uterine rupture. This used to be a serious concern, because of the type of incisions used and how the incisions were stitched. These aren’t used any longer. Now, the risk of uterine rupture is only between 0.4% and 0.9%.
That is less than one percent!
That is a very small risk.
Not to mention that there are risks associated with having multiple C-sections. These include higher risks of infection, longer recovery and potential complications for baby.
Parents tend to have better experiences and feel more satisfied with their birth when able to have a VBAC. They are also more likely to successfully breastfeed.
If you want more info on all the up to date research on VBAC, you can check out this article.
As a doula, making sure my clients have an empowering birth experience is my top priority.
Empowered means having all the available information. Empowered means parents making informed choices for themselves and for their families.