Why VBACs require more support?
I am about empowering women and mamas to find the strength that is within them to achieve whatever they are working for. In this way all of the clients I support find their own way to surrender to birth and experiencing the transforming power of becoming with their baby.
If a pregnancy and birth remain ‘complication’ free (according to hospital standards of ‘complications’) than my job as a doula can be focused completely on a mama and her preparation for a conscious and connected birth. If however the hospital perceives an increase in risk, for example a uterine rupture, the ability to allow for a physiological natural birth is hindered. This in turn increases the chances of intervention and greater pain during labour, and ultimately lowers a women’s chances of having a VBAC.
Hospitals do not see the hand they play in decreasing chances of a VBAC, often it’s not even considered because all the decisions made by the hospital staff are to ensure a healthy baby and mother. Therefore anything and everything will be sacrificed in efforts to follow strict procedures put in place to ‘save mothers and babies’ and we are expected to comply because they are the experts and they know best.
I would never suggest a client ignore medical advice. All information should be considered when making decisions for you and your baby. Surprisingly, despite everything we have ever known and been told and continue to be told we are in fact in an optimal position to advocate and achieve a natural physiological SAFE birth, more so than hospitals, OBs, nurses, and policy makers.
Let me tell you why;
- We see ourselves as individuals. Policies are made and generalised to the greater public. This means that any measures put in place to increase outcomes apply 100% to only a small number of women. While your exact individual circumstance may not directly require a particular intervention it will be done regardless to reduce any chance something may happen if you are possibly one of the unfortunate few and that is not identified in time.
- We are able to incorporate the latest research from around the world into our care plan. All research being considered should be checked to ensure the results are significant and valid. Hospitals are tied to managed care plans based on what has always been done, previous experience in the field, and older research. Many procedures are outdated and don’t reflect current evidence. Delayed cord clamping for example was recommended for decades before the practice was implemented in hospitals. Its worth investigating the latest research and evaluating whether it’s relevant to your situation. At the very least request that the hospital staff produce current evidence to support their path of action.
- We have the luxury to control patient litigation against hospitals and its staff. Sadly potential litigation is a major consideration for hospitals. It is expected that they will produce good results and if something goes wrong often patients blame the staff. Right or wrong these cases are costly financially and emotionally. Hospitals are therefore risk averse and more concerned in the quantity of alive patients than quality of alive patients, no matter the odds. Knowing all of this puts us in a position of power of understanding and working in and with the system. Showing hospitals that you understand and accept the risks can make a difference. Owning our births and taking them back starts here
- Our gut feelings, our feelings of security, safety, and happiness directly effects our birth experience and outcomes. Dr Sarah Buckley’s work on the Hormonal Physiology of Childbirth is game changing and proof that intervention, fear, withholding natural pain management, and the way women are treated in childbirth influence birth and post birth outcomes. Its time we start listening to our instincts and demanding they are considered in our care.
As a doula knowing these things and having been there myself women need more people in their corner. Someone to protect the space from others that may try to intervene in a perfectly healthy labour simply out of fear. Women need more support, more love, more trust. MORE OXYTOCIN. Luckily doulas have this surplus.