by Mary (El Paso, TX)
I had a c-section with my first baby, can I have the next one naturally?
Yes, you can most likely have a natural birth with your next baby, especially if your c-section was for something like a breech baby… and often if it was for something vague like “failure to progress.”
It's important to find a caregiver who is supportive of “VBAC” (which means vaginal birth after cesarean) There are many midwives and some doctors comfortable with VBAC deliveries, so shop around and find someone in your area.
It's also important to take great care of yourself and prepare for childbirth. Doing so will greatly increase your chances of having the natural birth you'd like to have. Check out the resources here:
Preparing for birth gives you tools to take into labor with you. You know breathing techniques, positions, etc. – all things to use while you give birth. These can help you get into a good rhythm with labor, or they can help you cope with labor if it feels overwhelming.
Sometimes progress is slow, and knowing a variety of techniques and positions can help you get a slow labor moving faster.
Also take some time to process your first birth experience, along with any fears or doubts you have about your upcoming birth. Memory and emotion are really powerful, and they really do have an impact on labor. When you acknowledge your previous experience and current anxieties, you're free to examine them and then let them go.
Doing this “work” of both practical learning and emotional/mental preparation gives you a huge advantage when labor begins. Because all of this work has been done during pregnancy, you're free to focus simply on giving birth when it's time to meet your baby.