SolveYourProblem Article Series: Pregnancy
Pregnancy: Everything You Need To Know



Can I Have a Natural Birth after C-Section?

If you have previously had a cesarean section in the past and are now pregnant, it is possible to have a safe and healthy vaginal delivery this time around. You just need to be prepared and do all you can do to keep your body toned and healthy during pregnancy. Make sure you are eating right, getting plenty of rest and exercise, and doing your all important kegel exercises. Make sure you sign up for special childbirth classes for vaginal birth after C-section so they can tell you all you need to know. Make sure you have a doctor with a higher VBAC rate than C-section rate; over 75% is a good one. Make sure if you are worried about being pressured into another cesarean, get a doula that has experience with VBAC births. This will enable you to stay home as long as possible while labor progresses and is well established. This person will also be your spokesperson at the hospital and make sure that your wishes are considered during the process. Make sure you have written a well thought out birth plan and everyone has a copy. Pack on in your suitcase just in case.

To help progress labor do some walking, the more you walk the more you will progress and your risk of having another cesarean section is dropped. Many different positions promote birth, lying down is not one of them. Stand, bounce on a birthing ball, or squat in the tub or bed. Make sure you take in plenty of fluids and lightweight calories to keep your energy up. Eat some Popsicles and drink some ginger ale, or try something like crackers if they will let you. Utilize your partner, get a massage or acupressure to open you up and relax you. Get in a warm tub and lie with your partner and squeeze his hand during contractions. Relaxation is the key to your bodyís response, the more you relax the more you open up. Make sure you spend most of your time out of bed in some form of activity, even if it means sitting on the toilet. Avoid lying down as much as possible, that stimulates labor to stop, not continue.

You also want to avoid any medications that will be offered no matter how bad it is. Once you have gotten medication you usually have to stay in bed and be monitored. This slows down labor along with the drugs them selves and makes you at higher risk for not completing your task at hand. Make sure if labor is going slow you ask for non-medical methods of induction, walking, nipple stimulation, and changing positions frequently. A time limit is not necessary as long as you have not broken your bag of waters. Once the bag is broken you will need to deliver in 24 hours to prevent infection to you and the baby. If you never made it to 5 centimeters or more before then you can consider this your first birth. Labor takes time, the cervix has to thin out and completely dilate to 10 centimeters prior to pushing. The thinning out and first 5-6 centimeters of dilation are the longest. It isnít uncommon for first labors to last up to and exceed 72 hours for some women. So donít be discouraged after 15 hours and you still arenít ready to push. And donít let yourself be bullied into a cesarean too early, it might just take your body some time to open and as long as the baby is fine then take all the time you want.

Make sure you work through all you emotions and feeling about your previously surgical births. Feel confident and trust that your body knows what to do and allow it to do that. Go to VBAC support meeting to talk and be around other women and couples facing or who have succeeded in the same thing you are going through. This will give you hope and confidence that things are going to be great and you can win. Make sure if you do have to have another cesarean section that you do not feel bad about it. Some womenís bodies just do not cooperate with them at all and you have to do whatever it takes to make sure you and the baby are healthy.

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