Many women’s biggest fear during pregnancy is a cesarean birth. Other women who have previously had a cesarean birth will attempt a VBAC birth or a vaginal birth after a cesarean. Either way, the goal is the same; do everything in their power to prevent a cesarean birth or prevent another cesarean.
Even before the pregnancy (if possible) or as soon as you get the positive results from your pregnancy test, look at your diet. Is it sound, with all the food groups represented in the quantities recommended by pregnancy nutrition specialists? (See an article here about weight gain and healthy eating in pregnancy). If it isn’t, is it possible for you to work toward that and/or begin to take a quality prenatal vitamin? Discuss your diet and prenatal with your care provider. The nutrients/vitamins/minerals to focus on are protein (the building blocks of life), complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, folic acid, iron, B vitamins, and plenty of water.
Poor nutrition can cause or aggravate conditions in pregnancy and can result in high-risk situations, including pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and birth defects. So, be proactive with your diet!
Another aspect of keeping your pregnancy low risk is staying active to help prevent a cesarean birth. Listen to your body and do what you can to stay fit through your pregnancy. Don’t push exercise on yourself. Women who exercise during pregnancy often find labor and delivery to be easier in part because they are strong and able to be active throughout their labors. See here an article about exercising in pregnancy. Prenatal yoga (another article here) is also extremely helpful during pregnancy.
When choosing a provider, it is important to do your homework. Ask other women how their births with this provider went. Are they similar to how you would like yours to be? If you are attempting a VBAC birth do you know anyone who has had a successful one with your provider? How did the VBAC birth go for them? What about the hospital they use for their patients (if applicable)? Are they mother friendly? Without the complete support of your care provider, you might find yourself in an uncomfortable situation when you are at your most vulnerable – during labor. It is imperative to have trust in who is attending your birth.
Next, you will want to find and attend a childbirth education class. Locate an instructor who offers a complete series and is trained through one of the various certifying organizations including Lamaze International, ICEA, CAPPA, The Bradley Method, and Birthing from Within, but not limited to these. Childbirth classes such as these offer complete, current, and accurate information on many aspects of birthing. Many hospitals or providers offer free classes. These are often not as extensive as private classes (though there are exceptions) and are taught within that particular provider’s/facility’s mode of practice. Take these classes as well as a private class so you are familiar with the way your provider and the facility they practice in views typical birth and any recommendations that are specific to them and their practice. Click here to learn more about childbirth classes!
Taking a childbirth education class will help you research childbirth, cesarean birth and/or a VBAC birth. Your instructor should be able to offer you a reading list of recommended books/magazines that provide current and reliable information. See our list of recommended reading here.
Plan your birth and share that birth plan with your provider. Yes, it is true that we can’t ultimately know for sure how things will pan out, but we can take steps to guide them toward the safest, healthiest outcome. The following are 6 Healthy Birth Practices developed by Lamaze International along with Mother’s Advocate.
- Let labor begin on its own.
- Walk, move around, and change positions throughout labor.
- Bring a loved one, friend, or doula for continuous support.
- Avoid interventions that are not medically necessary.
- Avoid giving birth on your back and follow your body’s urges to push.
- Keep your baby with you after birth. It’s better for you, your baby, and breastfeeding.
Kelli B. Haywood, MAT is a native of Letcher County, Kentucky, the mother of two little girls, and a trained childbirth educator through Passion for Birth, accredited through Lamaze International. She has a Master’s Degree in Teaching from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. She has helped with several births as a doula. Learn more about Kelli here!
The information in this article is not medical advice. This information is not meant to treat, diagnose, prescribe or cure anything during your pregnancy, birth, or postpartum time. Always check with your care provider before following any advice from TheOnlyBabyStop.com.