When it comes to comparing Caesareans and ABVs, those who have been through both can give us some insight. Here is a mom's experience with each.
I am the incredibly lucky mom of two beautiful children who are as different in their personalities as they are in the way they came into the world. I tend to be a little too real with my four year old daughter. Once she made a comment to a friend about how she "got out of my belly" to which the friend replied, "just like your little brother!" Her answer, without skipping a moment: "No, it came out of mom's vagina."
Experience number one: my caesarean
My daughter was born by emergency cesarean at 2:12 a.m., a few hours after arriving at the hospital. Her heart rate increased, her blood pressure dropped, and the doctor on call informed me that she might not survive a vaginal birth.
They started to prepare me for the surgery, and somewhere between the labor and delivery room and the operating room, the mood went from a mild emergency to a total emergency. The doctor started the surgery even before my husband had finished rubbing. (I was almost certain he had passed out.)
As I lay on the operating table, waiting for surgery to start, I realized that this was just the first of so many experiences as a parent that I would have little or no experience with. control.
Was this the way I imagined giving birth to my first child? No. But that moment when the nurse held my beautiful baby girl against my cheek for the first time is one of my two all-time favorites.
I was fortunate to have a relatively easy recovery, which was made even easier by the fact that this was my first child, and my husband was able to take two weeks off work. I basically parked it on the couch with my newborn baby and focused on breastfeeding and healing.
VBAC and TOLAC and risks - oh dear!
Fast forward about two and a half years, and I'm pregnant with baby number two. My OB had assured me that I was an excellent candidate for a vaginal birth after a Caesarean, or VBAC, (which is called a TOLAC, for a labor trial after a cesarean - if it is successful, it is called a VBAC.)
During my first prenatal visit, she explained to me the risks of both options. Spoiler alert: This isn't a fun discussion, there are some pretty real risks associated with both options. With the support of my doctor, I decided that I really wanted to experience a vaginal birth, and as long as she felt it was a safe option for my baby, I would go.
As my due date approaches, my confidence grows. I read and exercised, and felt optimistic about having the birth experience I was hoping for this time around.
Then, on a routine 34 week growth ultrasound, we were thrown a little curved ball. The technician happily announced that my baby was eleven pounds. She laughed and corrected herself, but the actual figure, seven pounds eleven ounces, left me with the nasty image of pushing a ten pound.
This baby was tall, and although my OB still felt a vaginal birth was possible, she didn't feel comfortable letting me go past my due date. So we put a Caesarean on the schedule and planned to try and work if I was there before.
Experience number two: my VBAC
The night before my due date, I had made my peace with the fact that I probably wouldn't have my VBAC. There is, after all, an advantage to a scheduled Caesarean, especially when you need to plan childcare for an older sibling.
And then I went into labor.
I put my daughter to bed for the last time as an only child (sob) and we headed to the hospital. After an excruciating night of contractions, my water broke at seven in the morning. At nine in the morning, I received a wonderful epidural and just before noon my doctor came to prepare me to push.
I was expecting a classic first birth experience, with hours of pushing, so we were shocked when my OB told us she could smell the baby's head and it wouldn't be long before the birth of our baby.
After not quite ten minutes of pushing, she announced "it's a boy!" and placed our newborn son on my chest. It was the biggest advantage of having a vaginal birth. As I spent the first hour of my daughter's life being sewn up in the operating room while she and my husband bonded in the delivery room, I was immediately able to enjoy the time to skin-to-skin bond with my son.
C-section vs VBAC - a tough comparison
It is difficult for me to compare the recovery process from my Caesarean to my VBAC. With almost three years between them and the fact that the hormone Oxytocin tends to help us forget the most traumatic parts of childbirth, I don't fully trust my memory.
I remember it took a little longer after my cesarean to feel one hundred percent of myself since the birth of my son. I was grateful that I could pick up my firstborn without the lifting restrictions, and I didn't need anything stronger than Motrin to combat the pain.
What I can tell you with one hundred percent clarity is that neither option is “the easy way”. When I think back to the two experiences, I am in awe of the amazing things the female body can do and the force I summoned from nowhere to bring these little humans into the world.
I'll leave you some tips for anyone considering a VBAC (or really for those preparing for childbirth.)
First of all, like your doctor or find a new one. My OB guided me through every decision and relieved my anxiety every step of the way. I never felt judged, belittled, or swept away. Every pregnant woman deserves this respect from her doctor.
Second, trust your own instincts. If you haven't noticed it yet, something about parenting means you'll get unsolicited advice on EVERYTHING. This decision is best made by you, your partner, and your doctor.
Finally, be flexible in your birth plan. I was so lucky to have a successful VBAC, but no matter how your child is born, I promise it will be magical (and also slightly traumatic).
Do you have some thoughts on Caesarean versus ABV and their differences?
Let us know how they stack up for you in the comments below.
Our next recos: Should I try a VBAC or have another C section?
Having a baby is an exciting time that often inspires women to make healthier lifestyle choices and, if needed, work toward a saine body weight. Here you’ll find tips on how to improve your eating and physical activity habits while you’re pregnant and after your baby is born.
These tips can also be useful if you’re not pregnant but are thinking about having a baby ! By making changes now, you can get used to new lifestyle vêtements. You’ll give your baby the best possible start on life and be a healthy example to your family for a lifetime.
Gaining an appropriate amount of weight during pregnancy helps your baby grow to a saine size. But gaining too much or too little weight may lead to serious health problems for you and your baby.
Talk to your health care professional about how much weight gain is appropriate for you. Work with him or her to set goals for your weight gain. Take into account your age, weight, and health. Track your weight at home or when you visit your health care professional. Don’t try to lose weight if you’re pregnant. Your baby needs to be exposed to healthy foods and low-calorie beverages ( particularly water ) to grow properly. Some women may lose a small amount of weight at the start of pregnancy. Speak to your health care professional if this happens to you.
Consuming healthy foods and low-calorie beverages, particularly water, and the appropriate number of kcal may help you and your baby gain the proper amount of weight. How much food and how many kcal you need depends on things such as your weight before pregnancy, your age, and how quickly you gain weight. If you’re at a healthy weight, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) External link says you need no extra kcal in your first trimester, about 340 extra calories a day in your deuxième trimester, and about 450 extra kcal a day in your third trimester. 1 You also may not need extra kcal during the final weeks of pregnancy.
Check with your health care professional about your weight gain. If you’re not gaining the weight you need, he or she may advise you to take in more calories. If you’re gaining too much weight, you may need to cut down on calories. Each woman’s needs are different. Your needs also depend on whether you were underweight, overweight, or had obesity before you became pregnant, or if you’re having more than one baby.
Does your eating plan measure up ? How can you improve your vêtements ? Try consuming fruit like berries or a banana with hot or cold cereal for breakfast; a salad with beans or tofu or other non-meat protein for lunch; and a lean serving of meat, chicken, turkey, or fish and steamed vegetables for dinner. Think about new, healthful foods and beverages you can try. Write down your ideas and share them with your health care professional.
A vegetarian eating plan during pregnancy can be saine. Consider the quality of your eating plan and talk to your health care professional to make sure you’re getting enough calcium, iron, protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and other needed nutrients. Your health care professional may also tell you to take vitamins and minerals that will help you meet your needs.
Yes. During pregnancy, you need more vitamins and minerals such as folate, iron, and calcium. Getting the appropriate amount of folate is very important. Folate, a B vitamin also known as folic acid, may help prevent birth defects. Before pregnancy, you need 400 mcg per day from supplements or fortified foods, in addition to the folate you get naturally from foods and beverages. During pregnancy, you need 600 mcg. While breastfeeding, you need 500 mcg of folate per day. 2 Foods high in folate include orange juice, strawberries, spinach, broccoli, beans, fortified breads, and fortified low-sugar breakfast cereals. These foods may even provide cent pour cent of the daily value of folic acid per serving.
Most health care professionals tell women who are pregnant to take a prenatal vitamin every day and consume healthy foods, snacks, and beverages. Ask your doctor about what you should take. What other new habits may help my weight gain ? Pregnancy can create some new food, beverage, and eating concerns. Meet the needs of your body and be more comfortable with these tips. Check with your health care professional with any concerns.
Eat breakfast every day. If you feel sick to your stomach in the morning, try dry whole-wheat toast or whole-grain crackers when you first wake up. Eat them even before you get out of bed. Eat the rest of your breakfast ( fruit, oatmeal, hot or cold cereal, or other foods ) later in the morning.
Eat high-fiber foods. Eating high-fiber foods, drinking water, and getting daily physical activity may help prevent constipation. Try to eat whole-grain cereals, brown rice, vegetables, fruits, and beans.
If you have heartburn, eat small meals spread throughout the day. Try to eat slowly and avoid spicy and fatty foods ( such as hot peppers or fried chicken ). Have drinks between meals instead of with meals. Don’t lie down soon after eating.
Certain foods and drinks can harm your baby if you have them while you’re pregnant. Here’s a list of items you should avoid.
If you were physically active before you became pregnant, you may not need to change your exercise habits. Talk with your health care professional about how to change your workouts during pregnancy.
Being physically active can be hard if you don’t have childcare for your other children, haven’t exercised before, or don’t know what to do. Keep reading for tips about how you can work around these hurdles and be physically réactive.
How can you tell if you’re doing moderate-intensity aerobic activity ? Take the “talk test” to find out. If you’re breathing but can still have a conversation easily—but you can’t sing—that’s moderate intensity.
If you can only say a few words before pausing for a breath, that’s called vigorous-intensity activity. If you were in the habit of doing vigorous-intensity aerobic activity or were physically réactive before your pregnancy, then it’s likely okay for you to continue these activities during your pregnancy.
You can talk to your health care professional about whether to or how to adjust your physical activity while you’re pregnant. If you have health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, or anemia ( too few healthy red blood cells ), ask your health care professional about a level of activity that’s safe for you and your unborn baby.
Go for a walk where you live, in a local park, or in a de course mall with a family member or friend. If you already have children, take them with you and make it a family outing.
Get up and move around at least once an hour if you sit most of the day. When watching TV or sitting at your computer, get up and move around. Even a simple activity like walking in place can help.
Make a plan to be réactive while pregnant. List the activities you’d like to do, such as walking or taking a prenatal yoga chic. Think of the days and times you could do each activity on your list, such as first thing in the morning, during your lunch break from work, after dinner, or on Saturday afternoon. Look at your calendar or phone or other device to find the days and times that work best and commit to those partouze.
For your health and safety, and for your baby’s, you should not do certain physical activities while pregnant. Some of these are listed below. Talk to your health care professional about other physical activities you should not do.