Is it really possible to experience a vaginal birth after having had a previous cesarean? The answer is YES! However, the yes comes with some required homework on your part. I have been fortunate to help numerous women experience successful and fulfilling VBACs. These women had several things in common.
1. They were confident and committed.
2. They had done enough research to know that attempting a VBAC is safe for most women.
3. They found a provider who was truly VBAC friendly. Even if they had to drive a long distance it was worth the drive to see a doctor/midwife who fully supported and encouraged VBACs. Some moms were not afraid to even change doctors even toward the end of their pregnancy.
4. They gave extra effort to have a healthy pregnancy.
5. They chose to have a doula by their side knowing they would greatly benefit from having extra support from a birth professional experienced in VBACs.
Unfortunately, due to growing liability pressures many doctors tell their expectant patients that VBACs are not safe. And there are other providers who claim they will allow a mom to have a "trial of labor", but as delivery draws near, these moms face undue pressure to proceed with a c-section.
Moms need to know that there ARE doctors and midwives who will fully support their desire for a vaginal birth. There are a couple of fantastic organizations/websites filled with evidence based information for moms desiring a VBAC. One such website is vbac.com. There is also a wonderful organization called ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network). Their mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC). The web address for the Atlanta chapter is icanofatlanta.com. These websites are a great source of education and a wonderful resource to help moms find a provider who will support their desire for a VBAC.
So, a successful VBAC starts with your desire to achieve one. Do your research and find a supportive provider. Make sure you have a birth team committed to helping you achieve a VBAC which may include hiring a doula. And be confident that your body is fully capable of birthing your baby! You were designed for this and the birth you desire is within your reach! :)