This week’s podcast is about having a vaginal birth after a Caesarean. Have I lost you already? For many mothers (and possibly some fathers although most I know tend to hand over responsibility to the women in the family when it comes to this choice,) a natural birth is of massive importance. We know that birth plans can easily fly out the window when circumstances intervene but what happens next baby around is still surprisingly to some a matter of choice. While most obstetricians will insist on the safety of the mother and baby coming first, many professionals are happy to work with a mother to give her the birth she has always wanted even after a C-section.
If you’ve just had a difficult birth there is no need to listen to this podcast right away! Not that it’s particularly gruelling but it’s all about a topic that’s tricky for some women: it’s all about choosing how you give birth. To have a really honest discussion about this topic we are going to have to mention vaginas and Caesareans will also be talked about… so I can completely understand if you’re not quite up to it yet!
If you are anything like me your understanding of birth was along the lines of if you’d had a Caesarean once, you were pretty much destined to repeat this way of having a baby for any subsequent pregnancies. However as in a lot of ideas I have had about parenting I was wrong! It’s not the easiest thing to do and it requires a bit of extra planning but it is possible, a vaginal birth after Caesarean and if you want to sound in the know it’s called a VBAC (pron. Vee Back!)
VBAC isn’t going to work for every pregnancy or every woman but it’s worth shopping around to find an obstetrician who is willing to work on a birth plan that will suit you.
Dr Fiona Cowell is an obstetrician at St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Melbourne. She works with many mothers who are keen to try VBAC and is very positive about the ability of women to achieve a ‘natural birth’ after a Caesarian.