So, your birth journey ended in a caesarean. Maybe you didn't want a caesarean. Maybe it was the best choice for you. Maybe it was unnecessary. Maybe it was traumatic. Or not.
Whatever it was and however it felt to you, you have now decided that planning for a VBAC for your next birth is the right option for you.
And it can be really exciting when you make that decision! You feel like jumping into ALL the groups. And doing ALL the research. And telling everybody about your plans.
I'm going to suggest that you hold your horses before you dive in. Take a breath.
And read on for my process that will help cut through all the overwhelm and ensure that you get the most out of your preparation.
STEP 1: RECOVERY
A caesarean is major surgery. And for many of us it's the first time we've had major surgery. You have lots of physical recovery to happen. Yep - while caring for a newborn baby.
As with everything, recovery time is really variable. Some women are up and about and feeling great one week after the surgery; some women are still struggling with pain months or years later. Most women would consider themselves physically "healed" by about 3 months.
During this recovery time your hormones are still all over the place, you are adjusting to life with a baby, you are dealing with pain.
Now is NOT the time to start planning your next birth!
STEP 2: REFLECT
Your thoughts and feelings about your birth will change over the months following the birth. As you move out of the newborn phase and start thinking about the future now is a good time to do some thorough reflection on your caesarean and the decisions that led to it.
My top tips for reflection are:
Reflect from a place of love. You did the absolute best you could with the information that you had!
STEP 3: RESEARCH
But not just any research....
The first thing that I googled after my first caesarean was "how do you have a VBAC". This was slightly helpful in that I discovered a few forums and a started to discover a few facebook groups (this was when groups were a very new thing on facebook!). This was very unhelpful in that I learnt nothing about the things that influence VBAC or how hard it was going to be.
There are a few parts to the research puzzle.
1) The self
You know more than any google search, so start journaling!
2) The system:
Urgh - most women who end up having a repeat caesarean find themselves sabotaged by the system.
3) The care provider:
Your care provider is generally the bridge between you and the system. They are the system's representative to care for you. How you are treated within the system is largely determined by your care provider.
4) The support
Having people around you who add to your power rather than take from it is so important.
Now you are ready to get this show on the road!
These steps will help ensure that you stand within your power and get the most out of your VBAC preparation.
If you need help working through these steps or you would like support to move forward with your VBAC planning I invite you to get in touch with me for an introductory VBAC mentoring session. These are $88 and you can book in by emailing me at email@example.com or via the contact me tab.
I cannot wait to help you get your VBAC journey off to a powerful start.
Much love, Lizzie. x
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