Preparing for a VBAC with Hypnobirthing

Although down from a high of 32.9% in 2009, cesarean births in the United States have risen from 5% in 1970 to 31.9% in 2016, which was the last year of national statistics posted by the CDC.

With this rise has also come the increase in mothers with previous cesareans educating themselves about TOLAC (trial of labor after cesarean) and VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean delivery). While every trial of labor after cesarean won’t end in a vaginal delivery, the success rates for VBAC, according to the ACOG Practice Bulletin published in November 2017, are 60-80%.

Renee Bradfield, HPCE, of The Birth Space, is a certified hypnobirthing teacher and postnatal doula in Australia. She is the mother of two, the second of which was delivered during a TOLOC that resulted in a successful VBAC. Renee and I connected via Instagram where I stumbled upon a link to her moving VBAC birth story.

Preparing for VBAC | Renee Bradfield, Certified Hypnobirthing Practitioner

Here, she shares some tips for preparing for a successful VBAC, as well as how she utilized Hynpobirthing during her own pregnancy and delivery.

Choosing a VBAC

I’ve known many moms who would like to try for a VBAC and get overwhelmed with all of the planning, especially conflicting information. Once you made the decision to have a VBAC, what did you do next?

Once I had read all the current evidence and decided a VBAC was the safest option, I joined support groups online and read every birth story, I read books (Juju Sundin, Ina May, Grantly Dick-Read) and started to prepare my mind with self-hypnosis tracks.

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Interview with Natalie Robins :: Hypnobirthing Educator

UK based Natalie Robins is a childbirth educator and mother of one. She teaches Hypnobirthing, a style of birth preparation that uses affirmations, breathing and visualizations. Many mothers, including Natalie, have used hypnotherapy to have a calm and peaceful birthing experience.

“Words used in a positive way have a dramatic affect.”
Hypnobirthing

Hypnobirthing Educator Natalie RobinsMany believe Hynobirthing will give them a pain-free labor, is this true?

I wish it were, but Hypnobirthing’s only promise is enabling women to have the best birthing experience for themselves and their baby.

That said, many mothers do say they experience a pain-free labor and I completely believe them.

I have thought about the idea of pain recently and why some women experience it and others do not. My conclusion is pain associated with fear is a bad thing. The pain associated with childbirth is understandable when you learn the biology and physiology of labor. This is addressed in the very first session of a Hypnobirthing course. When you understand why labor can be painful, you can prepare for how to deal with the sensations you may experience, and there is no longer a need to be fearful.

So like all things in Hypnobirthing, it depends on how you view things, positively or negatively? That is what will have the biggest impact on your birthing experience and the level of “pain” you may or may not experience.

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Interview with Koyuki Smith :: Babywearing Expert and Childbirth Educator

Koyuki Smith is a babywearing expert, childbirth educator and doula.  She lives in Harlem with her husband and two home-schooled sons. I discovered her on Pinterest almost 3 years ago via a story she was doing as part of the Sling Diaries for Sakura Bloom. I read her blog and enjoyed her stories so much, I sent her an email and we’ve kept in touch ever since.

You’re pretty dynamic as a birth professional! You teach childbirth education, you’re a doula, cloth diaper educator and elimination communication teacher. Babywearing obviously fits into the spectrum, but what inspired you to pursue advanced training in babywearing?

About seven years ago, before there WAS a significant professional babywearing world, I started working at Metro Minis, which was the first babywearing store in New York City – one of the first few in the country, actually – and the seed of what would later become the Center for Babywearing Studies (CBWS).

In order to make sure that we were providing proper instruction to our customers, Metro Minis brought Ulrike Hower of Die Trageschule in Dresden, Germany to New York to train the entire staff. The store then later sent two of us, Joanna McNeilly, who went on to found CBWS, and me, to Dresden for further training.

A couple years after that, I also trained with the Babywearing Institute to understand different perspectives and approaches within the community.

Many couples take childbirth preparation classes, if they’re lucky their class will cover babywearing, but if it doesn’t, where should they go to learn?

While a childbirth or newborn care class might briefly introduce babywearing, it’s unlikely to give parents enough information to really navigate the topic with ease. My Intro to Babywearing classes often run about an hour and a half, with extra time to try on carriers.

Expecting and new parents can find babywearing classes at stores that specialize in babywearing, and at many places that offer other baby-and-birth-related classes. They can also choose to hire a babywearing consultant to come to their home for private consultations.

Alternately, rather than looking for a class, some parents might prefer to attend babywearing support groups, just as some parents prefer to seek breastfeeding support from La Leche League meetings and not in classes or consultations. You can find local babywearing support groups at Babywearing International.

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