What To Know About A VBAC – Vaginal Birth After Cesarean

There are so many questions one can have when it comes to a VBAC. Is it common? How can you prepare? Where can you find the right information? No worries – here at One Love Doula in Tampa, we have put together the following list of resources and tips for you to learn about vaginal births after a cesarean birth. 

Can you have a vaginal birth after a cesarean birth?

A Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) is when you successfully deliver your baby vaginally after undergoing a cesarean for a previous delivery. This is also known as a TOLAC! A Trial Of Labor After Cesarean (TOLAC) is what Medical Professionals refer to when attempting towards the goal of a VBAC.  This is when your provider supports you in your decision towards achieving a VBAC and together you develop a plan towards the trial of labor. 

Thanks to research studies, many local providers are supportive of families who have a goal of TOLAC. If this is you and you want to work towards your successful VBAC, here are some things we recommend you do in order to contribute to achieving your goal: 

1. Join the local International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN). 

ICAN’s mission is to improve maternal-child health by reducing preventable cesareans through education, supporting cesarean recovery, and advocating for vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). We really appreciate this organization and often recommend that any of our clients who are attempting for a VBAC join their group because there you can learn more about providers & delivery locations who are VBAC friendly, you can talk with families who have achieved a successful VBAC, and you can access additional educational resources (such as webinars where VBAC backed by evidence is discussed in detail). 

2. Do your research in regard to a VBAC friendly provider and if needed switch to one who will fully support your goal (within their scope of practice). 

The process of a medical provider supporting your VBAC goal starts with reviewing your previous surgical report and supporting medical records of that pregnancy which ended in cesarean delivery. The medical professional will review that information along with the details of the pregnancy at hand and then they can make an educated decision in regard to the safety of (allowing you to TOLAC). Please note that it is not always safe to allow a person to TOLAC, and that is something that you should speak to your provider about, in detail. 

3. Do your research in regard to a VBAC friendly delivery location – we use statistics! 

How common is a cesarean after a vaginal birth? 

The Healthy People 2020 target cesarean rates for Florida is 23.9%. Tampa General’s 2019 cesarean rates were 32.79% with VBAC rates were 26.8%. Compared to St Joseph Women’s Hospital VBAC rate of 4.4%, per Floridahealthfinder.gov.

We provide you this comparative data so that you can see that where you deliver matters and can have a huge impact on your birth experience and VBAC goal. 

Tampa General Hospital is also linked with the USF Midwifery group. Based on client feedback as well as experience with the group as Tampa doulas; USF Midwifery provides an extra level of support and help in alleviating stress and anxiety when a VBAC goal is at hand, additionally, they will partner with USF Obstetricians in order to provide collaborative care during your pregnancy and birth. Another great option in Tampa Bay are community Midwives, if you are a good candidate and experiencing a low-risk pregnancy, you may opt for a home birth experience when attempting for a VBAC. You can learn about many community Midwives offering birth center or home births via the Tampa Bay Birth Network directory.

4. Consider the continuous support of a birth doula for an VBAC. 

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine state, “one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula.” A doula can walk with you every step of the way towards your goal of a VBAC.

You’ll feel like a weight was lifted off your shoulders by choosing a birth doula. Doula support in Tampa can help with identifying a provider and a delivery location and then be a source of continuous support during your TOLAC. Studies show that people who choose to add a doula to their birth team experience shorter labor, request less pain medication including epidurals, and overall report to have a better experience even if that means a repeat abdominal birth.

5. Get educated! Education is power and walking into your birth space armed with education is possibly the best tool you can have.

If you choose to work with a doula, they can help you identify the best childbirth preparation course for you. With a childbirth preparation course you have the opportunity to learn ways to cope with the changes and potential discomforts that come with labor. Learning more coping mechanisms will also contribute with a successful TOLAC and VBAC. 

Above all, we want you to know that here at One Love we support whatever birth choice you decide on and want to hold hands with you as you navigate throughout the most precious times of your life.

Have any questions about VBAC doctors in Tampa or are planning a VBAC in Tampa? Check out our different doula service packages or contact us online for quick responses on any of your questions! Visit us on Instagram for updates on our amazing practices and wonderful staff of trained doulas in Tampa!

You may be thinking, “Where can I find a doula near me?” We provide Tampa doula support, birth, placenta encapsulation, and postpartum care for:

  • Tampa, St Petersburg
  • Land O’ Lakes
  • Lakeland
  • Plant City
  • Downtown Tampa
  • … and more!

Virtual services also available. Let’s plan for your amazing birth and postpartum journey.

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