VBAC Series – Part One

I’m 19 weeks pregnant with my second child and preparing for a VBAC. I wanted to share how I’m preparing with you!

1. Finding a VBAC Supportive Provider

When interviewing prospective care providers, be sure to have a conversation with them about your plans for a vbac.  Simply asking ‘are you vbac supportive?’ is not enough.  There are not many providers that aren’t comfortable with vbacs. Their comfort levels, however, will differ greatly from one provider to another.  Having a full conversation is so important, not just to confirm your expectations match theirs but also to start building a trusted relationship.  This conversation will help you to evaluate whether this provider is right for you. Some things to consider are;

– How well do they listen to your needs and answer your questions? 
– Do you feel comfortable enough with them to be vulnerable?

Some questions to ask to get a good sense of their ‘vbac friendliness’ are;
…if my pregnancy remains healthy;
– How many weeks post my estimated due date will you continue to be comfortable with me labouring and having a vbac?
– How long would you be comfortable with me labouring before you feel it would be safer for me to have a cesarean?
– How many vbac clients do you have that go on to have successful vbacs?  Get the statistics! This is so important. Words like ‘many’ or ‘most’ can be defined differently by different people. Many might mean 80% to you and 50% to them. Statistics give a much clearer picture on things.
– What kind of complications have arisen that have prevented your clients from having a successful vbac?  On this question, you’re really looking to hear about exceptional circumstances that require a cesarean rather than answers like ‘failure to progress’

This should give you a great start to an open conversation with them to build from.  Bear in mind whilst having this conversation, it’s not meant to be a challenge to them.  Care providers do have your interest at heart but have different comfort levels based on their experience and you have your set of expectations.  This helps you to see if these  two things meet.  Having this conversation also gives you a foundation to refer back to if things change down the line and you feel like the understanding has changed.  

So now we have a supportive provider in place, let’s talk about how we can start to physically prepare our bodies for this wonderful day. 

2. Chiropractic Care
Whether you’re planning your first or 5th baby, having chiropractic care in my opinion is essential.  My reasons for making this a part of my regular care has been to help my body adjust to my rapidly growing bump and see off those aches and pains that I usually would suffer through and renew my energy.  I often walk into my appointments feeling sluggish and lethargic and wondering how much longer this pregnancy is going to last and I walk out feeling almost new with the energy to keep up with my lifestyle.  Another reason I’ve been having chiropractic care in this pregnancy is because I want to ensure that I’m preparing my body as it grows to make a good space for baby both whilst I’m pregnant and also for birth.  This type of care helps to reduce labor length and unnecessary interventions which is everything I’m looking for. I’ve learned so much about my body through having this care too. Discussing any aches and pains that I’m experiencing with a chiropractor has helped me to identify the root causes of those pains and how I can modify this to feel better for longer.

If you decide that chiropractic care is right for you and you’re currently pregnant, please make sure you look for a provider that is Webster certified.

3. Daily Essentials – Spinning Babies
Another thing I’m making part of my routine is the Daily Essentials from Spinning babies.  This was recommended to me by one of my wonderful midwives when I mentioned that I was going into full rocky mode in order to prepare for my vbac.  This download has been amazing.  It is essentially a video that advises you on how you can get your body ready for birth.

The first section breaks down a series of yoga postures and explains how each posture/movement will benefit your pregnant body with advice on how to make adjustments to suit your comfort level.

The second part breaks down everything you can do for a comfortable pregnancy from how to sit comfortably to how to get in and out of the car safely. These tips are not only useful for day to day activities but made me realise that the position I was sitting in on my sofa will promote a posterior position for baby. This was so ground breaking for me as my first baby was posterior and got stuck in my pelvis so something as simple as sitting in the right chair may have altered my labor.

The third part, takes the series of movements from the first section and puts them into a yoga routine for you.

I must admit I’ve struggled to make this a daily routine. The Covid restrictions mean that I’m with my son Max from the minute he wakes up til he goes to bed at night by which point I’m pretty exhausted and just want to collapse. However I have slowly added one more day to this so I’m currently doing it 3-4 times a week. I do a work out if I’m feeling up to it and do this to wind down afterwards. Combining this with a warm shower with very dim lighting really helps to settle me for a very comfortable sleep and I’ve managed to get an extra 1-2 hours per night by doing this, mostly because I haven’t looked at a screen for a good 90 mins before I go off to bed so I’m more relaxed and ready for sleep.

That’s where I’m up to so far. In part two I’ll be covering;

– Dealing with past birth trauma
– Getting a childbirth education & finding evidence based resources
– Exercise

Please feel free to get in touch with me, I’d love to hear from you about how you’re preparing for your vbac or what you felt lead to the success of your vbac!

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