If your first child was born via c-section, you may find yourself hoping you can avoid this result with your second pregnancy. This is even more true if you've always hoped to have a home birth; unless your home can double as a sterile surgical suite, you'll need to have any subsequent c-sections at a hospital or outpatient birthing center. What can you do to improve your odds of a successful vaginal birth at home after a c-section (VBAC)? Read on to learn more about planning a safe and comfortable home birth after a prior cesarean.
Is it safe to have a VBAC at home?
Some doctors caution against attempting to have a vaginal birth after having one or more c-sections performed. However, while a VBAC can carry a somewhat higher risk of uterine rupture than a vaginal birth after a previous vaginal birth, the overall risk is still extremely low. If you don't have other risk factors that could make a home birth--or a VBAC--dangerous, in consultation with your doctor and doula, you should be able to attempt a VBAC home birth. Consult with a professional service, like Advanced OB-GYN Services, for more information.
What can you do to improve your odds of a successful VBAC at home?
For many women, a VBAC can feel like giving birth to their first child--and without any experience to compare it to, going into this process unprepared can lead to last-minute panic. You'll want to work with a doula, a birthing coach, and professional medical staff, like nurses and doctors, to ensure things are going according to plan and that more invasive steps don't need to be taken. The last thing you want is to find yourself second-guessing the decision of whether you need medical intervention.
It's also been suggested that constant fetal heart monitoring during labor and delivery can improve the odds of good outcomes. By ensuring that your baby's heart rate is well within a good range throughout the labor and delivery process, you'll minimize the risk of a lack of oxygen or other complications that can cause you to have to rush to the hospital. While walking around with a fetal heart monitor attached to you may not be your picture of the perfect, serene home birth experience, it can help you stay in touch with your baby throughout your labor to reduce the risk of complications for you both.