We spend a lot of time working on birth plans because the message has finally gotten through "my body, my birth, my choice". But antenatal care seems to have been left behind.
Mainstream depictions and definitions of antenatal care are still along the lines of: "It's important for the health and well being of your baby" and many women still rock up to appointments with zero idea of just why they are there, what the benefits and risks are, and simply following the instructions of the care provider. Because we haven't quite got the "my body, my choice" message into our antenatal care yet.
For a truly powerful VBAC journey you really need to start placing yourself as the power in your story - well BEFORE you enter birth suite.
As another caesarean awareness month rolls around I still struggle to see any headway being made into reducing caesarean numbers and improving VBAC numbers. In fact caesarean rates are going up, while VBAC rates are going down. Women planning a VBAC (and most others...) are being subject to more and more restrictions and have more and more hoops to jump through.
Which is complete and utter bullshit. Pregnant women shouldn't be jumping through hoops!!
It's such an ongoing issue - What role should partners play in the decision making surrounding the birth of their child? Despite all the steps forward that we've made in bringing awareness to the fact that care providers CANNOT make decisions for us, we still see so many women being dictated to by their partners.
So just what role SHOULD our partners play? And how do we ensure that the role that they play is positive and actually helps us to step into OUR power?
April is caesarean awareness month and this year I want to explore the idea of the "failed VBAC". And the feelings that come with not achieving a much desired outcome that you worked bloody hard for. The take home message is: Failing to achieve your goal DOES NOT make you or your birth a failure. But we also don't need to be afraid of the word fail.
We've all been there....that moment when you just CAN'T make another decision or you just might scream. Then your partner asks what you want him to pick up for dinner. I remember once telling my partner that it would be easier for me to just make cheese toasties than to make another fucking decision.
This is called decision making fatigue. And I'm fairly certain that it effects mums more than any other group. Not only because of the sheer number of decisions that we make (often referred to as the mental load and our responsibility for this is another topic of its own!) but the types of decisions that we make throughout the day.
Generally your choice of care provider will be the most important decision that you will make for your pregnancy and birth. And it's one that you should get started on as early as possible.
And if you get started BEFORE you are pregnant, you have a chance to maximise this decision making process and set your journey up for a powerful start.
As most of you would know I am a HUGE advocate for VBAC access and VBAC education. I run the very popular facebook group VBAC Australia Support Group and have spent the last 10 years of my life living and breathing all things VBAC.
But what a lot of people wonder is why. Why do I advocate for increased VBAC rates across the country? Coz, what's the big deal about caesareans? They're just a birth!
People often make assumptions about this and see it as me just not liking caesareans or refusing to support women’s choices to have caesareans.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Almost all VBACers have heard the term “bait and switch”. While it certainly happens in non VBAC births (perhaps it’s how you became a VBACer in the first place…) it is alarmingly commonplace in VBAC pregnancies. So much so that many women miss the signs that their care provider may not be totally on board with their plans because the things they say are so “normal” that women believe that this is just how it goes.
Powerful, political and personalised pregnancy & birth services.