Sunday, December 6, 2009

Supporting Mothers Choosing VBAC

Yesterday I attended a workshop concerning the particular needs of moms who are attempting vaginal birth after cesarean. Most doctors won't even attempt a VBAC and some midwives won't either. But besides finding a care provider who will be supportive of her decision, a mother choosing VBAC will need distinctive care.

Jessica Atkins taught the workshop at Centre Vida, a birth center in south Austin. There were 12 doulas in attendance.

As I am at almost every workshop I attend, I was reminded that the role of a doula is not to fix things or to make lots of suggestions or to use the newest techniques I've learned, but to listen and to support the mother as best I can. That support will look different based on the client, so it is important that I am listening to her and learning to recognize her needs.

This is a great piece that Jessica shared with the attendees:

Support Is...



Not judging and telling your own story.

Not offering advice.

Offering a handkerchief, a touch, a hug… caring.

We are here to help women discover what they are feeling…

not to make the feelings go away.

We are here to help a woman identify her options…

not to tell her which options to choose.

We are here to discuss steps with a woman…

not to take the steps for her.

We are here to help a woman discover her own strength…

not to rescue her and leave her still vulnerable.

We are here to help a woman discover that she can help herself…

not to take that responsibility for her.

We are here to help a woman learn to choose…

not to make unnecessary for her to make difficult decisions.

The workshop didn't cover any specific comfort measures for women experiencing VBAC, but it did provide me with lots of interesting statistics about the cesarean rate in the USA today compared with decades past and other countries. Having that information and understanding more about the risks of cesarean birth will be helpful in understanding the concerns of women who are wrestling with whether or not to choose VBAC.


Regina said...
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Regina said...

My grandma had her first baby by cesarean 67 years ago. It was the old vertical incision, now known as more dangerous than horizontal. She had six more children after that, all naturally. When a doctor told Grandma that she could not have a baby naturally, she went to another doctor till she found one who would deliver vaginally.
Grandma is a quiet woman, not demanding, but she'd heard that if women had too many cesareans, they would not be able to have more children. I thank God that Grandma held fast. My mom was the sixth baby.