Sunday, November 1, 2009

When VBAC, meets CBAC...

VBAC = Vaginal Birth after Cesarean
HBAC = Home Birth after Cesarean
WBAC = Water Birth after Cesarean
CBAC = Cesarean Birth after Cesarean

For every woman there is an end to pregnancy. Yes, even for those women who's OB's told them they really would stay pregnant forever if they didn't do X, Y or Z. It's an exciting time, anxiously awaiting the impending birth of their new baby.

But, for a VBAC mom, the end of a pregnancy can be bittersweet. There is endless preparation, reading, praying, hoping and dreaming of the long awaited birth. Will they be able to accomplish this? Are they really broken?

If it ends in another cesarean, what is left of that mom? Peace? Emptiness? Gratitude? Pain? Just another scar?

The nationwide VBAC success rate is around 20 percent. But, if you look more closely, you will find better odds. A VBAC mom who is under the care of a practitioner who regards VBAC as no riskier than any other delivery and chooses to deliver in a setting that does not consider VBAC women "high risk,", her success rate is more like 75-90 percent.

So, what does a VBAC turned CBAC mom do?
- Recognize, honor and accept the feelings of loss or sadness if they are present.
- Share your story and feelings with other CBAC mom's.
- Above all, love yourself and your baby.
- Get help if you need it.


fadoula said...

Great post... Very interessant! Thanks for these acronyms and the reflexion that goes with...

Well-Rounded Mama said...

The nationwide VBAC rate is between 8-20% (depending on the year you look at) but you need to specify more exactly what that means so readers don't get confused.

It means that of ALL the women who have had a cesarean in the past, 8-20% will have a VBAC.

It does NOT mean that of all the women who have had cesareans and who TRY for a VBAC, 8-20% will have a VBAC.

No, it means that most women with a prior cesarean have a repeat cesarean and don't even try for a VBAC. But of those who DO try for a VBAC, the success rate varies usually between 60-80%.

However, you are very correct in stating that with a really supportive provider, your chances can be quite a bit higher.

Thank you for your thoughtful advice for CBAC mothers. Please know that there is a support group on yahoogroups (CBACSupport) for women in this situation.

-kmom, CBAC mom who went on to have 2 VBA2Cs