Doula support for VBAC families: science, compassion, & care

In Western MA we are lucky to have doctors and midwives in our hospitals that make vaginal birth after cesarean – VBAC – accessible to families. Research shows that nearly all women who wish to labor should be able to, and that most of them will deliver vaginally. For many women, though, considering and planning a VBAC is filled with unknowns and emotion and having doula support can really make a huge different in how you feel throughout the process.

The science of VBAC

Most of my doula clients planning a VBAC are nervous about the risks of both having a vaginal birth after cesarean and of having a repeat c-section. Their pregnancies are followed more closely by their doctors and midwives, and they often are faced with extra testing as their due dates approach. We spend a lot of time in prenatally talking about the research on VBAC, about best practices for prenatal testing, about local VBAC rates, and about the if when and how of induction. The science of VBAC, though, is only part of our work together.

The emotions of VBAC

Fear is a natural part of the process in any pregnancy, and sometimes even more so when planning a VBAC. Whether you labored with your first child or not, birth can be equally empowering and exciting as well as scary. My doula clients always have a compassionate person to just a phone call away. It’s so simple but so important: I answer my phone 24 hours a day. I can make suggestions and just listen in a way that the best doctor or midwife simply cannot, because that is the whole of my job — to support your family in whatever ways you need throughout the process. The consistency of knowing me in pregnancy, having dedicated hands on doula support in labor and birth, and in meeting again once you are home with your baby is reassuring, grounding, and makes families feel well cared for.

My approach to gentle, family centered cesarean birth

I also make an extra effort with my VBAC clients to not only make a birth plan for their vaginal birth, but to simultaneously discuss and plan a family centered cesarean section as a plan B. I have participated in lovely, warm, gentle cesarean births and I believe that no matter how your baby is born, your family deserves respect, joy, and closeness in the birth room.

Any woman who wants to labor should be supported in doing so. Let’s talk about creating a happy birth day for your family. We can make it happen.