Birthing Normally After A Cesarean or Two

Birthing Normally After a Cesarean or Two:
A Guide for Pregnant Women
Exploring Reasons and Practicalities for VBAC

(British edition : Birthing Normally After A Caesarean or Two...)

You can order Birthing Normally After a Cesarean or Two from its publisher Fresh Heart, at www.freshheart.co.uk/publishing/ or from Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, etc.

See also a presentation in English of the Portuguese edition of my book at : Video presentation - in English - of the Portuguese edition of my book

Excerpts from book reviews :

Elizabeth Shearer, Birth, 39:2 June 2012 - "Birthing Normally After A Cesarean or Two is a great resource for women facing the cesarean/VBAC decision, and for many, will be a great comfort. I highly recommend it".

Midwifery OnLine - March 2011 - "As a guide for pregnant women it is a well written and easy to read, evidenced-based book. Truly informatve and emotional; as personal discussions and view points ensue which help (...) understand the complex situations mothers and their families encounter when they fall pregnant after one or more cesarean sections."

The Practising Midwife - November 2012 : "(...) enabling health care professionals to support women in making informed choices around birth options and helping women to make a sense of the often quoted risk factors that surround the topic of VBAC. The way the text is presented should encourage a positive, well balanced outlook on VBAC"

 

And here are a few words from :

Pr Mavis Kirkham, Sheffield Hallam University : "This book presents a wealth of information, whilst being very user friendly. It is clearly written and thoroughly but unobtrusively referenced. Statistics are presented which clearly illuminate the arguments. Research evidence is well presented (...). Yet there is a limit to what statistics and research can show. Stories tell so much that statistics cannot convey : the variety and nuances of women's experiences and responses to their experience. The great variety of women's VBAC stories told here is fundamental to the structure of the book. There is a big difference between choosing a VBAC and achieving one and the chapters on creating a supportive environment and making wise decisions during labour are also immensely helpful, as are the useful contacts listed"

Pr Soo Downe, University of Central Lancashire : "This book is important because it combines a heart, head and hands approach (...). This book promises to be useful for many people - for individual women (and their partners) certainly, but also for maternity care staff and services committed to improve maternity care overall".

Nina Klose, a VBAC mother : "The gift of a good birth is worth dreaming and fighting for with every child. This book can help you heal the inner scars that a caesarean may leave behind. It'll also help you prepare and inform yourself to make a different journey with your next birth".

More on VBAC and on the book :

THE CONTEXT OF VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean)

In the last century, after about 70 years of VBAC being ‘forbidden’ in North America following the declaration of a doctor in… 1916, ‘Once a cesarean, always a cesarean’, there were two consensus-conferences in North America at the beginning of the 80s, that kind of brought back VBAC, and associations of ob-gyns like ACOG (USA) and SOGC (Canada) started to support it. In 2010, happened the 1st Consensus Development Conference on VBAC at NIH in the United States, near Washington C.D., a conference I attended. It stated that VBAC is a reasonable option for many women having previously had a cesarean, and that it should be supported. In spite of all this, some doctors and some hospitals still refuse VBAC and impose repeat cesareans, and cesarean rates continue to increase. So the risks of cesareans, and especially of unnecessary ones, remain and women often lack the necessary information to make choices.

The benefits of having a VBAC, for women

  • It presents less risks in general, compared to having a cesarean, in particular the risk of dying around childbirth – which is higher after a cesarean.
  • It allows the experience of empowerment, and, often, psychological healing of the previous cesarean(s).
  • It allows for immediate contact with the baby, which can benefit : bonding, breastfeeding, baby’s health and their own psychological health.
  • And it brings benefits for future fertility , it can encourage women to have more children if they wish to.
  • And the recovery after a VBAC is also easier.

The benefits of being born vaginally, for babies

  • There are not more risks than if born by repeat cesarean and less risks of prematurity and small-for-gestation weight (because no cesarean will be done before the term).
  • It better prepares them for life after (being in) the womb, like less risks of respiratory problems.
  • And it brings the benefit of a better microbiome (which is the gut colonization with the beneficial bacteria coming from the mother, transferred to the baby, instead of having it colonized by the hospital’s bacteria after a cesarean). That means better health for the baby, in infancy, childhood and for the rest of his life.
  • Finally, it favors bonding and breastfeeding (through immediate skin-to-skin contact in particular).

 

Overview of the content of Birthing Normally After a Cesarean or Two,

Based on scientific research and on women’s input, the book is divided in two parts :

  1. To Birth or to Section, That’s the Question

It first talks about the context surrounding cesarean and birth, then about the necessity of a cesarean, its risks, the risk of VBAC and its benefits. It helps women learn how to evaluate the level of risk of VBAC in link with one’s own situation.

Following that is a chapter on making a decision : how women choose; using an aid tool for making the decision, which is a decision that fundamentally belongs to women.

Finally the first part reveals what favors and what hinders VBAC risk and its completion.

  1. How to prepare for a safe, successful VBAC

The second part starts with a chapter on dealing with emotions related to the previous cesarean(s), that many women experience. And then chapters on how to prepare before the pregnancy, during the pregnancy, and about best practices during labour and birth :

  • finding a supportive environment,
  • knowing what contributes to avoiding another cesarean during labor and knowing what contributes to having a physiological birth
  • and also reflecting on ‘why give birth’, in an era where cesarean is becoming the norm but also where a new vision of birth is emerging, focused on humanization of birth and on women’s rights during this important phase of their life
  • women who previously had a cesarean, sometimes for their partner too !
  • any pregnant woman who wants to prevent, as much as possible, a first cesarean,
  • caregivers (doctors, nurses who got a training in obstetrics or who work in maternal and newborn health, midwives) who want to become knowledgeable about VBAC,
  • and for whoever is in contact with pregnant women or with women in the postnatal period, especially doulas, lactation consultants, prenatal educators, etc.

Birthing Normally After a Cesarean or Two is an excellent reading for :

  • women who previously had a cesarean, sometimes for their partner too !
  • any pregnant woman who wants to prevent, as much as possible, a first cesarean,
  • caregivers (doctors, nurses who got a training in obstetrics or who work in maternal and newborn health, midwives) who want to become knowledgeable about VBAC,
  • and for whoever is in contact with pregnant women or with women in the postnatal period, especially doulas, lactation consultants, prenatal educators, etc.
Copyright © 2017
Hélène Vadeboncoeur
 
Ce site web a pour objectif de compléter l’information fournie dans le livre Une autre césarienne ou un AVAC ? S’informer pour mieux décider. Il vise d’abord à fournir des renseignements provenant d’études scientifiques récentes, afin que les femmes et les couples puissent faire des choix éclairés à propos de la naissance de leur enfant. Les renseignements offerts sur de ce site ne constituent pas un avis médical.