Resources for VBAC

Jul 06, 2022
I have never had a surgery, let alone a caesarean surgery. So, on this topic, I do not speak from personal experience. But I speak from research, and the personal experiences of many, many women who have birthed babies freely, in their power, after c-sections - sometimes after multiple c-sections.
This is designed to be a resource list for you as you prepare to birth your baby freely, at home, after having experienced surgical birth. HBACs (Homebirths after C-Section) require a great deal of trust in your body, and ask many women to do some serious soul-healing from their prior birth experiences. If you are in need of support as you prepare for your next birth, please reach out to me.
Here are the resources that women planning for HBACs seem to find the most supportive, useful, and true for them...
Podcast Episodes:
  • Approximately 1 in 200 (.05%) of VBACs will have a uterine rupture (where the uterus bursts at the site of the surgical scar). However, this statistic is gathered from hospitals, where many practices performed actually increase the likelihood of uterine rupture. Some of these interventions that are known to cause stress on the uterine walls and increase likelihood of rupture for *any* woman are:
  • Cytotec for induction
  • Pitocin for augmentation/induction
  • Prostaglandin gel for “getting things going”
  • Ultimately any form of induction (including “natural inductions” such as castor oil) that would force your uterus to strain itself to create contractions before it was truly ready
  • Severe physical exertion such as being told when to push or climbing up onto a hospital bed while pushing, directed pushing, pushing before the fetal ejection reflex happens, etc.
  • Stress that causes the muscles around your uterus to tighten up due to inability to relax because of people talking to you, turning on the lights, checking your cervix, etc.
  • People forcibly pulling your baby out of you, not giving your baby the time they need to be born on their own, etc.
  • Birthing against gravity, laying on your back where you have to strain much more.
  • People pressing down on your belly to get the baby/placenta out (fundal "massage")
In my opinion, the safest place for a VBAC would be at home, with no one interfering or telling me what to do! Because all of these risk factors are things that *other people* would do to me, the environment with the least amount of risk factors for me, would be to birth at home with as few people as comfortably possible, all of them being folks who deeply love & trust me.
How to Recognize a Uterine Rupture on Your Own:
  • It is not ambiguous; you will know something is wrong.
  • Sharp pains in the uterus between contractions, sometimes tender to the touch, stabbing pain. It will be very different from the contraction pain.
  • May include bleeding from the vagina. Little bleeds here and there are very normal in the birth process. But continuous bleeding would be an indicator.
  • If baby’s head begins to poke through the site of the rupture, you may notice your belly take a really unusual shape - unlike the shape it takes during contractions
  • Because these symptoms are all personal experiences, no one outside of you will really be able to know better than you if a rupture is happening or not.
  • If these things happen, you will likely want to transfer to a hospital ER due to the internal blood loss.
Trust your body, mama! You got this!
Personal/Internal Support:
  • Consider keeping a journal to process your fears, anxieties, excitements, and other emotions that come up during your pregnancy. Sometimes just writing out how you feel and following the train of thought can support the beginning of healing.
  • Talk to other HBAC mothers. I would specifically reach out to women who birthed at home, in power after C-sections. VBACs in hospital or with highly medicalized midwifery are not the same as HBACs in power. You can find many groups on social media supporting women just like you! The more positive HBAC stories you here, the more confident you will become.
  • Eat a nourishing, ancestral diet. (This is recommended for all women in pregnancy!) The way your are nourished will absolutely inform the likelihood of a uterine rupture, whether you have had prior abdominal surgeries or not. Being well nourished with high-quality animal foods and a great deal of sea salt or unprocessed salt, will support your mind, body, and spirit in preparation for an HBAC.


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