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6 Tips For A Successful VBAC

So, you are going for a VBAC – Vaginal Birth After Cesarean.

As a doula you start to see that many women who got their VBAC did have a few things in common. Of course, there are always outside factors that can affect your outcome, but after hundreds of labors and births…we found these things to all line up for moms that got their VBAC. We list these things because they are the factors that seem to be similar for all mom’s who previously had a cesarean, however as with all things in childbirth, many other things can come into play.

Here’s the thing, I didn’t have a cesarean myself, so it really took me a while to understand how different this experience is from a normal pregnancy. My clients who are going for a VBAC have fears and worries that it is impossible to understand unless you have previously had a cesarean.

The way I see this is…why not set yourself up for success. Things may be unpredictable, but these are the 6 things you can control. You can feel like…well you know what, I did EVERYTHING right, so if this ends in surgery. I will feel complete about my story this time. NO REGRETS!

1. Change Providers

I’m not saying its always because you had a “bad” provider or it was even the OB/Midwife’s fault that you ended up with a cesarean. However, studies show women that have a fresh start with a new provider (no previous trauma or relationship) they tend to have a more positive outcome. I see it all the time, mom’s just want something new and different this time around because their first experience was difficult or traumatizing, and just the energy in a fresh start can be the most important part in your success story. On the other hand, maybe you do feel like it was because of your provider that you had a cesarean.

If that is the case, you shouldn’t be going into this new pregnancy, new labor and new story while still holding on to past regrets/resentments or feeling untrusting of your provider…remember FRESH START.

2. Hire a Doula You LOVE

It matters! It’s not just about finding a doula, it’s about finding the doula that is the perfect fit for you. She should be comforting, informed in VBACs, and should be supportive of the choices you have made and plan to make. (i.e. your provider you have chosen, hospital you are delivering in, decision to have a vbac, etc).

3. Take childbirth classes/Breathing and Coping Classes – like HypnoBirthing or Lamaze/set yourself up for an unmedicated birth

This matters because part of a VBAC plan is often staying home as long as possible to avoid any unnecessary interventions. These classes will give you the tools you need to get through the early and then more intense phases of labor without needing to race to the hospital. Classes will also empower you and your partner to know when the best time to leave will be as well as signs of any problems. We say unmedicated because when you intend to go unmedicated you often will settle in at home more comfortably since you aren’t racing off to get medication early in your labor.

4. Do everything you can to allow labor to start naturally.

You can refer to some of our Natural Ways to Induce Labor. On top of that, the most important things are positioning (make sure you are moving, walking, doing huge hip openers) as well as practicing patience. The last week of labor can feel like it lasts two months but sometimes all you need is an extra day or two to let baby move into position. You should also confirm with your Dr. early on that they intend to let you go until 41 or 42 weeks (we prefer 42, but some OB’s just say 41 is their limit).

5. Understand Positioning

Reference the Miles Circuit and Spinning Babies ask your doula/midwife and OB for suggestions if you are feeling back labor or hip pain so you can start repositioning baby early on in your labor. Have a strong understanding of what some of these signs mean so you can start moving and repositioning baby early in your labor or in the last couple weeks of your pregnancy. Om Mamas Doulas also offers online consultations if you are struggling with finding someone local that is a good fit for you. Email:

6. Hire a Chiropractor Who Understands Prenatal Chiropractic Care

A chiropractor with a good understanding of the pregnant body and labor positions will be able to help you align your hips, assist with tight ligaments and muscles around your back and pelvis as well help with these other ailments in pregnancy:

  • Low Back Pain
  • Headaches
  • Sleeping Issues
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn

Please let us know if you have any other questions regarding VBACS!

Don’t forget to check out all of our product recommendations for Pregnancy, Labor and Babies!

We also keep all of our book recommendations up to date with helpful books we love on all things Natural Birth, HypnoBirthing, VBACS and Babies.