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  • Writer's pictureMicah

The Power of VBAC: Celebrating Success and Supporting Transformation



mother and baby after successful VBAC in hospital

As a doula, there is something truly magical about witnessing the strength and resilience of birthing parents who embark on a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) journey. VBAC births hold a special place in my heart because they not only represent a triumph of the human spirit but also embody the potential for positive change and empowerment.


In this blog post, we will delve into the importance and the power of VBACs, the reasons why I find them so meaningful, and the evidence-based information that supports their success.


Understanding the Significance of VBACs

VBAC refers to the vaginal birth of a baby after a previous cesarean birth. It allows parents who have had a cesarean section to experience the natural birthing process, fostering a sense of achievement, healing, and connection.


Here's why VBACs hold such profound importance:

1. Maternal Empowerment: VBACs empower birthing parents by offering them the opportunity to actively participate in the birth process. It allows them to reclaim their autonomy, trust their bodies, and make informed choices about their birthing experience.


2. Emotional Healing: For parents who may have experienced disappointment, trauma, or a loss of control during their previous cesarean birth, VBACs can be emotionally healing. They provide a chance to rewrite their birth story, enabling them to embrace the transformative power of vaginal birth.


3. Physiological Benefits: Vaginal birth offers several potential physiological benefits for both the birthing parent and the baby. These include reduced risks of respiratory complications, a lower likelihood of breastfeeding challenges, and an increased likelihood of a shorter recovery time for the parent.


Evidence-Based Support for VBAC Success

VBAC success rates are influenced by several factors, including previous cesarean birth circumstances, individual health, and provider support. Here's a look at the evidence supporting the potential for successful VBACs:

1. ACOG Guidelines: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) acknowledges that most individuals with a previous cesarean birth are candidates for a VBAC. ACOG recommends that hospitals and providers make efforts to enable TOLAC (Trial of Labor After Cesarean) for suitable candidates.

2. Success Rates: According to the latest statistics, the VBAC success rate is approximately 70-75%. These figures indicate that the majority of parents who choose to attempt a VBAC can achieve a vaginal birth.

3. Lower Complication Rates: Research has consistently shown that VBACs are associated with lower rates of infection, blood loss, and surgical complications compared to repeat cesarean births. This evidence highlights the potential benefits of VBACs for both parents and babies.


Current Cesarean Birth Rates in the United States

Understanding the context of cesarean birth rates in the United States helps emphasize the importance of VBAC as an alternative birthing option:

1. National Statistics: As of the latest available data, the cesarean birth rate in the United States stands at around 31%, which is significantly higher than the 10-15% rate recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). This highlights the need to explore and support VBAC as a viable option for eligible parents.

2. Impact on Maternal Health: High cesarean birth rates can have implications for maternal health, including increased risks of infection, blood clots, and longer recovery periods.


Encouraging VBAC when appropriate can help reduce these risks and improve overall maternal well-being. As a doula, supporting VBAC birth stories holds a unique place in my heart. VBACs not only provide parents with an opportunity for physical and emotional healing but also empower them to actively participate in their birthing journey. With evidence-based information and the support and encouragement of healthcare providers, VBACs have proven to be a safe and successful option for many individuals. Let's celebrate the strength and resilience of those who choose the path of VBAC, as they inspire us all with their transformative experiences and the boundless potential of the human spirit.


Micah Bower is a birth doula, birth photographer, and yoga instructor based in Saginaw, TX

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