For Fathers, Providing Support for a VBAC Can Be Challenging

6 Feb

A cesarean can be emotionally difficult or traumatic for fathers/partners. After a long and difficult birth that ended with a cesarean, partners may feel that a repeat cesarean would be safer than planning a VBAC. Some partners may not be sure they can meet the challenge of another possibly long birth.

Father holding newborn baby over black background

Each partner is different and needs to prepare in his or her own way for the coming birth. Partners should take the time to talk about the prior cesarean and define for themselves how they can best support their partners for a VBAC.

  • What advantages do you see for your partner, yourself, and your family if you plan a VBAC?
  • What are the disadvantages?
  • What issues do both of you agree and disagree on?
  • Can you think of ways of working through these issues?
  • Have you thought about accompanying your partner to a prenatal appointment?
  • Would you consider going with her to a VBAC support group?
  • Supporting a woman in childbirth is hard work. Are you worried you won’t be able to give her what she needs?
  • How do you feel about advocating for your partner during labor?
  • Have you thought about having a doula that can guide and support you both during labor and birth?
  • What information or resources do you need to make you feel comfortable about planning a VBAC?
  • You feel strongly that a scheduled repeat cesarean is the safest and easiest way to have this baby. Can you understand why your partner feels strongly about planning a VBAC?

An unexpected cesarean can be emotionally difficult for both mothers and fathers. Providing support for a mother who is planning a VBAC can be challenging. As couples think about their next birth,  fathers/partners should take the time to share their feelings, their concerns, and their differences so that they can provide the best support they can in pregnancy and birth.

For additional resources on planning a VBAC, download, Deciding if VBAC Is Right For You: A Parents Guide from the VBAC Education Project  VBAC Handouts For Parents




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