”The wisdom and compassion a woman can intuitively experience in childbirth can make her a source of healing and understanding for other women.” ~Stephen Gaskin
New research now confirms what many women have instinctively have known:
Vaginal birth after 1 cesarean is safe
Vaginal birth after 2 cesareans is safe
Vaginal Birth after 3 cesareans is safe
What about vaginal birth after 4 or more cesareans? I wish there was data on that, but certainly anecdotal evidence supports its safety, as many women seeking homebirth acheive VBA4+C.
The study reports:
Of those who attempted VBAC, there were no cases of composite maternal morbidity. They were also as likely to have a successful VBAC as women with one prior cesarean. Women with three or more prior cesareans who attempt VBAC have similar rates of success and risk for maternal morbidity as those with one prior cesarean, and as those delivered by elective repeat cesarean.
Get Up, Stand Up
So there you have it, ladies.
YOU ARE SAFE.
YOU ARE CAPABLE.
YOU HAVE CHOICES.
The question now remains….what are you going to do about it? Just because the research and our guts support it, doesn’t mean that your doctor will. Doctors are notoriously slow learners and slow to change, so as it stands right now, it is very hard to find an OB that is willing to support a woman in her VBAC after one cesarean, much less 3. So, what are you to do?
Turns Out You’re Not So Trapped Afterall
Well, I’ll tell you what you AREN’T to do – and that’s settle. If your doctor says no, then find another. If that one starts to waiver in his support, find another. If that one insists you have an IV and an epidural, find another. If you have to go looking for a midwife because you have exhausted all the OB’s, do that. Or maybe skip all that hassle and just go to a midwife from the get go.
Like I stated in my other report on VBAC, achieving a VBAC in our current culture will almost assuredly require you to make some out of the box decisions. You must wake up, realize that you aren’t getting optimal care, and then resolve to invest some time and energy to get that care!
Learn From History
Look, if history tells us anything, it’s that women’s bodies are strong and have always worked. No amount of rules and studies and policies really have made women safer when it comes to institutionalized birth. Yes, technology and the cesarean surgery can be a blessing when truly needed and indicated, but they can also destroy your body and your relationships when used inappropriately.
Get yourself educated ladies, you CAN do this!