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Vaginal Birth after Cesarean

“I want it to be different this time…”

Every birther deserves knowledgeable, steady support by her side, but that is especially true of those who are planning a VBAC. Your questions and concerns are different from those of someone who has never birthed before, or one who has had a normal vaginal delivery.

Most women who have a baby by cesarean can safely deliver their next baby vaginally. I can help you ask just the right questions to find out whether this is likely true for you.

I love supporting clients through their dreamed-of VBAC or VBA2C… it is such a joyful & memorable experience for everyone present! The overall rate of vaginal birth in my practice is over 92% – much better than the national average.

Some common reasons for cesarean that do not usually repeat in subsequent births, or may be solved in other ways:
  • 'Too big' baby
  • Concerns about baby's heart rate
  • Going postdates, failed induction
  • Maternal exhaustion
  • Breech baby
  • Other malpositions, including posterior position (OP)
  • Twins & other multiple births
  • Fetal anomalies
  • Placenta previa
  • 'Failure to progress' - not dilating according to expectations
  • Concerning biophysical profile results
  • Various infections
  • ❊ Homebirth VBAC

    alt'If your cesarean birth was due to one of the above reasons, which do not routinely repeat in a subsequent pregnancy, you may wish to explore the option of midwifery care for pregnancy and home-birth. The ideal home VBAC is at best if 18-24+ months after the prior cesarean birth; incisions were low horizontal and double-sutured; and the placenta in the current pregnancy has implanted at a safe distance from the scar. Dreaming of a water-birth? That’s an option!

    ❊ Doula Care for Hospital or Birth Center VBAC

    VBAC birth water-birthFor those who choose to be in a hospital or birth center for their intended VBAC, I can provide expert birth doula care. We meet several times prenatally and have plenty of time to explore what led to your prior cesarean/s, as well as to make a plan to increase your likelihood of a joyful vaginal birth this time.

    “With my first child, I had felt pressured into a cesarean because I had a ‘slower than normal dilation rate’. Michelle provided the guidance, understanding, experience and warmth to help me heal during my pregnancy after a cesarean section. Having a doula with us for the VBAC helped me feel empowered to have a baby in a manner that was safe, respectful, and validated my strength as a woman. It was an incredibly healing experience.”

    ❊ Why VBAC?

    vbac birth support doula midwifePeople approach VBAC for a variety of reasons. Many families look forward to a quicker recovery time after a vaginal delivery; especially important with another child at home! Others feel strongly about minimizing potential negative impact on future fertility. Many speak about feeling that they in some way missed out on an important personal experience, and hope to feel that complete process with a normal vaginal birth this time.

    To learn more about the risks of cesarean birth versus the health benefits of VBAC, click here.

    “I am so excited to see your website and know that you are still out there offering love and support for women during childbirth. You were such a blessing at the [VBAC] birth of my son Jake, let me see that was almost 5 years ago, December 14, 2003 to be exact! I am not sure if you remember, but after that amazing experience I wanted to begin my doula training. You were my inspiration and I hope that one day I can offer women the same feelings of security and love that you were able to offer me during Jake’s birth.”
    -Stacey Brown

    ❊ What if….?

    wwbs twinsYou probably can’t help but wonder…. what if this baby is born by cesarean, too? I do encourage my clients to spend a limited amount of time contemplating that possibility. Together we can identify what can be done to help a possible repeat cesarean be a more positive experience. I have also provided birth doula services for those who anticipate a repeat cesarean, and have been told that my care made an immense difference – night and day in terms of the parents’ feelings about their child’s birth.

    "Recipe" for VBAC:
  • Being in good physical condition - not Olympic, just good! No major medical conditions or confirmed physical anomalies (these are rare).
  • Truly supportive Midwife or OB
  • Active, effective support prenatally; may include recognizing patterns of tension in soft tissue that may be relieved with yoga or bodywork
  • Baby in a good position- not only head down, but head well positioned. I have a great deal of experience in helping create room for babies to shift into good starting spots.
  • Labor starts naturally when your baby & your body are ready
  • Forgo or delay pain medication (other than perhaps nitrous oxide) so that you can be mobile & feel your body's signals
  • Experienced labor support, encouraging you and offering suggestions for movement and positioning to facilitate dilation and descent
  • Staff and family are trusting and encouraging; you have the time and privacy you need to find your way through to birth your baby as your body knows how.
  • “Michelle is an extraordinary woman who helped me to achieve my dream of vaginally delivering my son after two cesareans. Without her knowledge and support we never would have had our magical moment of natural birth. I’m so happy that Michelle was able to be there during the roller coaster of emotions that ran free in those 12 hours. Thank you so much Michelle for just being you, you’ll always have a special place in my heart.”
    -Jenn C., Westfield

    Schedule Your Free Initial Consult
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    “Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”

    -Ella Fitzgerald

    “Every family deserves a Warm Welcome! ~ Todas las familias merecen una cálida bienvenida!”

    Michelle L’Esperance, Certified Professional Midwife, Doula & Doula Trainer. (413) 858-5048. Supporting families in Western Massachusetts.

    Serving Northampton, Amherst, Easthampton, Southhampton, Westhampton, Williamsburg, Hadley, Holyoke, Deerfield, South Deerfield, Greenfield, Conway, Turner’s Falls, Palmer, Leverett, Sunderland, Belchertown, South Hadley, Ashfield, Worthington, Chesterfield, Ware and the surrounding region.

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