If you are planning to have another baby after having a cesarean delivery, the conversation about “trying a VBAC” will likely come between you and your doctor, and maybe even when you are chatting with family and friends. If you've never heard the term before, or even if you've done it but are a bit hazy about the details, here's some information to help you make an informed decision about attempting VBAC when the time comes.
What does "VBAC" mean?
If you're like me, the first time you heard someone mention the term "VBAC" you pretended to know what it meant, then frantically Google later search for it. The acronym "VBAC" stands for "vaginal birth after cesarean section". After someone has had a baby by Cesarean, having a vaginal birth becomes a bit more of a “thing”, due to the complications that can arise. Depending on your personal situation, it is probably very possible to have a VBAC. In fact, 70% of women who try VBAC have done so successfully.
What does TOLAC mean?
Think of this as your crash course in pregnancy related acronyms. The term "TOLAC" means "trial of labor after cesarean section". A TOLAC graduates from VBAC if your baby ends up being born vaginally. If your TOLAC results in a Cesarean, it becomes a CBAC (Cesarean after Cesarean). Phew.
How does a VBAC work?
Basically, a VBAC works like your regular vaginal birth. Once you start labor, you go through the same steps you might have taken in your previous birth experience (well, up to the point where you had to have a Caesarean, anyway). A home birth is unlikely to be on the agenda this time around, as it's likely that your baby's heart rate will need to be continuously monitored and you will need to be prepared for a Caesarean section if there are complications.
Is it safer than having to repeat the cesarean?
Honestly, it depends on you and your medical history, which will help your doctor decide on a recommendation for the safest route for you and your baby.
What are the benefits?
As with any type of major surgery, repeat cesarean sections come with their own risks, with infection, excessive bleeding, and blood clotting. Injury to the abdominal organs is also a complication that can occur any time scalpels dig into your abdomen. The risks associated with cesarean sections also increase after your third surgery and become very risky after a fourth. If you are planning to have more than three pregnancies, trying a VBAC can help avoid serious complications such as placenta previa or accretion of the placenta.
What are the risks?
There are also risks associated with VBAC, although they are quite rare. Because your uterus will have a scar where it was previously cut, it is possible for the scar to split open due to the pressure of your contractions. This happens in only 1% of VBACs, but when it does, not only will you end up having an emergency cesarean, but you may also be at risk for your uterus to bleed and be removed, which means you won't be able to do it. get pregnant again.
How can I increase my chances of having a VBAC?
You can try dragging the doctor down to a 20, but it won't make any difference if you have certain health factors that make VBAC a little too risky for you and your baby. The following factors are considered important when it comes to trying a VBAC:
- You have ever had a ruptured caesarean scar
- You have had uterine surgery
- You have a vertical caesarean scar (they are more likely to rupture)
- You have had more than two Caesarean sections
- You have a BMI of 40 or more
- You are pregnant with more than two babies
- You have an "advanced maternal age"
- You had a baby in the past 18 months
- You have preeclampsia
- You are more than 40 weeks pregnant
- You encounter a broken down job
On the other hand, the best indicator that you will have a successful VBAC is if you have ever had a vaginal birth before having a cesarean. If your previous cesarean was due to factors such as your baby's height or breech position, you may also get the green light for a VBAC.
Is a VBAC worth it?
For some moms, a vaginal birth experience is important and at least worth trying if it's safe to do so. The shorter recovery time from a vaginal birth can also make VBAC seem like a better option than another cesarean section. With that said, there really isn't an easy way to get someone out of you, so you're probably better off having a childbirth experience that keeps you both safe and healthy.
Have you tried a VBAC? Or are you part of the CBAC team? We want to hear your stories, so be sure to drop them in the comments
You may also like: VBAC Success: Birth Story Part 2
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 habits. You’ll give your baby the best possible start on life and be a saine 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 saine 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 saine weight, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) External link says you need no extra calories in your first trimester, about 340 extra kcal 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 habits ? 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 100% 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 vêtements 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 vêtements. Talk with your health care professional about how to change your workouts during pregnancy.
Being physically réactive can be 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 real, 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 active 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 plans.
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.