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How to prepare for vaginal birth after cesarean

If you’ve had a previous cesarean section, the saying “Once a cesarean, always a cesarean,” may be running through your head. Under many circumstances, VBAC certainly is possible. Nonetheless, you may be a bit apprehensive about going through labor if you had a C-section the last time around. To improve your chances of experiencing a vaginal delivery, follow these tips:

Prepare your mind

Get as much information about VBAC as you can. Talk to your doctor and your friends who have had VBACs or take a childbirth-education class that covers the topic. Practice the relaxation and pain-management techniques you learn—they can help you reach your goal of a vaginal delivery.

Prepare your body

Labor and delivery require physical strength and stamina. Follow your practitioner’s advice about diet and exercise, and practice the special exercises taught in most childbirth-preparation classes.

Prepare your family

You may find that some friends and family members discourage you from trying labor because they’re worried about what they think is a risky undertaking. Explain how the benefits of VBAC stack up against the risks and how VBAC compares favorably to C-section. Finally, remind them that you will attempt VBAC in a hospital or birthing center equipped to perform a cesarean if the need arises.