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VBAC Education: "Better Birth"?

By mybottlesup |

Deep breath here… My son was a c-section. Full disclosure, he was a scheduled c-section. And regardless of where you stand on c-sections, vaginal births, unmedicated births, or in between all of those, at the end of the day, I came home with a healthy baby boy.

Yay for babies!

With the onset of this second trimester, I’m diving in to some birthing literature, some breast feeding literature, some baby naming literature (in amongst my blog reading) and I’m finding one common theme. Holy cow, things are different! And, my my, how quickly times change.

(I sound like my grandmother.)

Four years ago, when I was pregnant with Jackson, the literature was quite different from what I am seeing now. Interesting, right? New editions have been made to books, amendments and supplemental material can now be found in some. It’s incredible and overwhelming. Sure, the everlasting What to Expect When Expecting reigns supreme of most Pregnancy sections of Barnes and Noble, but even it has an updated version.

When I saw this book (pictured above), I thumbed through it, scoped out the index, and skimmed a couple of chapters. It looks interesting enough and I am curious about VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean). Boom. Purchase made.

I’m anxious to dive in to it, though I must admit the title turns me off a bit.

Is there really a “better birth”?

“Better” than what?

What makes one a “thinking woman”?

Regardless, I’m trying not to judge the book by its cover. The brief skimming I have done already peaks my interest. Bottom line: I’m in need of some education in terms of VBACs and second-time c-sections. Hell, I’m in need of all sorts of education. Always. I kind of love learning.

Who knows whether this birth will be a “better birth,” but I intend for it to be an educated one… being a “thinking woman” and all.

I’m going to be reading this and a few other books, while looking for more literature in the coming months. Any recommendations?

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0 thoughts on “VBAC Education: "Better Birth"?

  1. Elizabeth Williams says:

    Well don’t know if this will help you but I had a c-section with my first pregnancy a set of twins. I had preeclampsia so I had to have a c-section but with my second birth I had a vaginal birth. It was amazing the difference from the c-section and a VBAC. I would say to you. If you can have one if health of you and the baby permitt GO FOR IT! You will be so happy that you did. The recovery time is sooo much shorter. Lik eI say vaginal is not for everyone just like everyone can’t have a c-section. But i hope you make the right choice for you and your baby.

  2. Natalie says:

    BRILLIANT BOOK! I am a 2 VBAC momma and what that book is all about is learning to educate yourself “thinking woman” and stop letting the male dominated medical profession push you around. Complications aside, our bodies are designed to bring healthy happy babies (yay babies!!!) Into the world. This book will give you a totally different perspective on pregnancy, labour and delivery. I also recommend Birthing from Within!

  3. mybottlesup says:

    @ELIZABETH WILLIAMS- thank you. you have quite literally done it all. :) i appreciate your insight.
    @NATALIE- ya know, i just got through the intros last night (before snoring) and have to say that whether or not i find that i’m on board with her, i do so respect her. she mentions just wanting women to be educated and knowledgeable when it comes to knowing their options and what their bodies are capable of… i am very much in favor of that and look forward to learning more. thanks for your rec!

  4. Kristen says:

    I had a c-section with my first and a VBAC with my second. The recovery from the VBAC was easier but I honestly appreciate them both as great deliveries because I wound up with a healthy baby each time, and that’s all I cared about. For VBACs, there are usually several things that have to go right to make it advisable and they’re all out of your control (like going into labor on your own, preferably a little early, size of baby not being too big).

    My best advice is to not get your heart set on anything, because you cannot control how things go all the time. Also, don’t put the process ahead of the result. Bringing home a healthy baby should be the most primary concern.

  5. Sarah Partain says:

    Our first child was born via csection too. With the second one, I was so excited to attempt a vbac. I come from a natural birthing family and thankfully, I had a high chance of vbac success. It was difficult and painful in different ways from the csection BUT so.much.better. I say, go for it, if you have a high chance for success. And then you can have experienced both and can compare. Also, the risks are lower…it’s not major surgery and you’re not on a ton of medicine…good for baby and mama! Good luck!

  6. mamikaze says:

    Birthing a child is an adventure. Being educated about your options and being confident in your choices makes it a better birth. Remind yourself that VBAC is a means to getting that baby into the world, not the goal. I know to many woman who feel they failed their child because the VBAC plans crashed in the late hours of delivery.

  7. Jenni Williams says:

    Yeah….I am going to be in the minority here. First off the term “better birth” makes me punchy. The best birth is one that ends with mommy and baby alive and healthy. I just had my 4th csection a month ago and I had a fabulous birth. If you feel a strong desire to go vbac, go for it, but please not because you think it will be “better”.

  8. mybottlesup says:

    @SARAH PARTAIN- thanks for your comment. it must be neat coming from a natural birthing family. glad you had a positive experience… with both, as both resulted in healthy babies :)
    @JENNI WILLIAMS- i feel you, truly i do. i was a bit turned off by the title of the book, which i mentioned above, but i’m still interested in the literature, so i’m giving it a shot. i’m glad your experiences have been positive. i had a great experience with my c-section with jackson.

  9. mybottlesup says:

    @KRISTEN- yes! i am with you 100% on not getting my heart set on any one way to deliver. i think with this being my second child, i have a bit of perspective when it comes to that, and the important part (to me) is a safe and healthy delivery for the both of us, no matter how it happens. that said, i’m a geek and want the knowledge since this may be an option for me. :)
    @MAMIKAZE- beautiful comment. much appreciated. i too know many women who have expressed similar feelings of failure for one reason or another.

  10. angi says:

    I SO wanted a VBAC with my daughter after having a C-Section with my son. I hired a mid-wife with an open mind. She promised to keep an open mind as long as I did. It was hard wanting that so badly only to have it turn out that I had another C-Section. However, everyone here is right…a healthy mom and baby are really the most important things. The open mind is the most important part.

  11. Nadia says:

    I don’t think that there is a “better birth.” What is “better” is what is best for the mother. Everyone is different! Personally, what is better for me is a natural birth. That is what I want. If someone wants to have a c-section, that is not my business! Know what I mean? What is right for me, isn’t necessarily right for someone else. I don’t like judgementalness.

  12. erniebufflo says:

    I just started reading this book today! Her vehement “doctors only do things for the money and their own self-interest” tone is sort of pissing me off, possibly because I’m married to a passionate pediatrician who is in it because he loves kids and medicine and helping people. While I’m sure that some docs are absolutely in it for themselves and the money, I’m not ready to paint all with that broad brush. I know too many awesome ones. I’m interested in what the book has to say though– avoiding an IV, external fetal monitoring, inductions, and unnecessary c-sections sound great to me. I may actually get into a fight with my husband about eating and drinking during labor, despite hospital policy of “NPO.” But I also plan on having my husband, who I trust, and who knows a lot about medical research since it’s like, his job, help me decide if the layperson who wrote the book came to the right conclusions about the data. I’m all for evidence-based medicine, but I need to know I can trust the person weighing the evidence.

  13. mybottlesup says:

    @ANGI- “the open mind is the most important part.” yes, that right there said it all. thank you so much.
    @NADIA- yes, i do know what you mean and is why i didn’t go into detail about my scheduled c-section with my son. no need to justify myself. i’m glad to know that you are knowledgeable and aware of what is right for you.
    @ERNIEBUFFLO- i enjoy your comments so much. i can understand your struggle with her tone. for me, it helped a lot to read the intro in detail (usually i skim intros if i read them at all). that way i knew she went in to the text knowing where exactly her bias stands. for me, i’m struggling today with her c-section discussion and blanket statements because i had a wonderful experience when giving birth to my son via c-section. i’m marking things down and going through it with a fine tooth comb. i’m glad to know you’re reading it too though and i’ll be interested to hear what else you think about it. thanks.

  14. AngEngland says:

    This book by Henci Goer is one of my all time favorites. She really breaks down and examines the available research without just relying on sensational headlines. She tells you the actual numbers, and in some cases points out flaws in how those numbers were reached. I have the philosophy that knowing when things are appropriate means you are better informed to make a decision when faced with it – THAT is a better birth. Having the facts and being able to understand the pros and cons of the various decisions to be faced during pregnancy, childbirth and heck – even parenting – THAT is what is better.

    VS relying on someone else’s opinion to make our deicions FOR us. That is the better than, in my opinion.

    Kudods to you for tackling what is one of the meatiest – deepest pregnancy reads out there!

    An easier read that is helpful should you decide to try for a VBAC is an out-of-print book called The Laboring Mind by Carl Jones. Lots of visualization exercises, understandings of the unique process of labor, and tips to help you survive! :-)

  15. ariela says:

    I just finished reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (which has an excellent section on VBAC) and the bottom line I got out of it is that the risks of Cesearean section (and repeat sections) to the health and well-being of the mother are consistently downplayed by the medical profession while the risks of VBAC are exaggerated. I’m sure Henci Goer’s book reviews the studies which have shown this, so it’s probably worth reading what she has found.

  16. mybottlesup says:

    @ANGENGLAND- thank you for the encouragement. much appreciated. and thanks for the additional book rec. i’ll take a peak at it.
    @ARIELA- ya know what? i saw that book the other day when i bought the one above and i came so close to picking it up too, but i didn’t. i thought i’d give this one a shot, get some recs, and then continue my pursuit for birthing literature. i really appreciate you mentioning another book though. i’m definitely going to scope it out. thank you!

  17. Maureen Michels says:

    I had a c section with my first child. It was not scheduled. I was being induced due to pre-eclampsia and I was not progressing. It was not an emergency, but I was unprepared for it. When I had my next two children I had VBACs with both. I have to say I was petrified of delivering vaginally with my second child and it was a tough process (it is called labor after all) but after it was over I could not believe how good I felt in comparison to the c section. I was even allowed to eat a meal almost right after I delivered. They brought my food tray right to the labor and delivery room! I say that if you feel up to it and the doctor is in agreement that it is safe for you, go for it!

  18. mybottlesup says:

    @MAUREEN MICHELS- thanks for sharing. eating a meal almost right after delivering may be reason enough… and also just made me really hungry. :)

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