If you are considering a VBAC, thinking about and discussing these issues with your partner and care provider will help you make the decision that is best for you. Women who take the time to think about these issues are likely to feel more confident about planning and laboring for a VBAC.
- What are the advantages you see for yourself and your family? What are the disadvantages?
- What information do you need to have before you can fell really comfortable about planning a VBAC?
- What does your care provider think about planning a VBAC? Do you feel comfortable asking questions? Are your concerns being addressed? Will your care provider or healthcare plan refer you to another professional who does support VBAC?
- Within your healthcare insurance plan, do you have access to an obstetrician, family practitioner, or midwife that supports VBAC? Do you have access to a hospital or birth center experienced with VBAC? What guidelines or protocols do they have in place?
- Have you considered having a doula (professional labor support) to assist you before and during labor and birth?
- What community resources are available to help you prepare for your VBAC?
- How do your partner, family, and friends feel about your planning a VBAC?
- Have you contacted VBAC support groups in your community or online?
- Have you taken the time to process how you feel about your cesarean birth?
- Do you have the tools and information you need to give you the confidence to labor for a VBAC?
For Partners of Women Planning a VBAC: Things to Think About
Mothers who want to plan a VBAC need the support of their partners as well as their maternity care professionals. Knowing you are there to support and guide her and to provide an emotionally safe environment to give birth will go a long way to help her have the kind of birth she desires. It helps to discuss differences in your points of view about planning a VBAC during the pregnancy so that she can labor confidently and meet the challenges ahead. These are some questions that may help to prepare both of you for the birth.
- What advantages do you see for your partner, yourself, and your family if you plan a VBAC? What are the disadvantages?
- When you and your partner talk about planning a VBAC, what do you agree and disagree about?
- Can you think of ways of working through these issues and coming to a resolution both of you feel good about?
- How do your friends and relatives feel about planning a VBAC?
- Supporting a woman in labor is hard work. Are you worried you won’t be able to give her what she needs? Are you worried that she may end up with another emergency cesarean?
- You feel strongly that a scheduled repeat cesarean is the safest and easiest way to go for your partner and your baby. Can you understand why your partner feels strongly about wanting a VBAC?
- What information or resources do you need to make you feel comfortable about going ahead with a VBAC?
- Have you considered accompanying your partner when she goes for prenatal visits? Making a list of those issues you need more information about?
It’s Your Decision
After asking questions, reading books, searching the internet, or contacting support groups you will decide if a VBAC is your best choice. Unlike in your last pregnancy your current caregivers are supportive and are willing to work together with you to give you the best chance to have a normal birth. You may find that initially you had planned to have a repeat operation and overtime during your pregnancy you found other mothers who had a safe VBAC.
Or you may feel that you do not have enough support from your caregivers or your partner to give you the confidence to labor for a VBAC.
What matters is that you feel you have been involved in making those decisions as much as you would have liked to. You received the information you needed and you feel that you made the best decision for yourself and your family.
This section is based on Chapter 20 of, Understanding the Dangers of Cesarean Birth: Making Informed Decisions.