More and more women are choosing to have vaginal births (VBAC) after previously having cesarean sections with other pregnancies. While there are risks regarding both VBAC and repeated cesarean births, there is a higher rate of perinatal death when a woman elects to have a VBAC delivery.
Some doctors are hesitant to perform a natural delivery following a cesarean section, but many have come around to the idea of respecting the mother’s wishes after discussing all of the potential risks. If you’re considering VBAC delivery, chiropractic care may be able to help support the process.
Vaginal Birth after Cesarean Section: Pros and Cons
Just as with any delivery method, there are risks associated with VBAC births, but there are also positive aspects. It’s important that you’re educated on the process before you make a decision on which delivery method to choose.
Pros of VBAC Births
- No surgery involved
- A shorter hospital stay compared to cesarean birth
- A shorter recovery time compared to cesarean birth
- May help avoid the risks of repeated cesarean births, such as problems with the placenta
Risks of VBAC Births
- Increased risk of uterine rupture (this happens in less than 1% of women who have a VBAC delivery)
- Possible need for an emergency cesarean section
- Higher risk of perinatal death
- Increased risk of an emergency hysterectomy
Due to the variety of pros and cons regarding a VBAC birth, it’s crucial that you discuss your options, risk factors, and plans with your OB/GYN extensively prior to making a decision.
Finding an OB/GYN to Perform a VBAC Birth
When looking for an OB/GYN who is willing to perform a VBAC delivery there will be many questions involved, both on your part and the part of the doctor.
Questions you should ask include:
- Have you ever performed a VBAC delivery before?
- How experienced are you with VBAC deliveries?
- Are you comfortable performing a VBAC delivery?
- If not, is there a doctor you can refer me to?
Questions a doctor will ask include:
- Have you had previous vaginal deliveries, either before or after a previous C-section?
- What type of incision was used for your C-section?
- Do you have access to your previous medical records and can you provide them?
- Do you have any pre-existing health conditions or concerns?
- Have you experienced complications with prior deliveries?
How Does Chiropractic Care Support VBAC Delivery?
Chiropractic care can help prepare you for the easiest VBAC delivery possible. In order to have a successful vaginal delivery, whether VBAC or not, it’s crucial that your spine and pelvis are properly aligned and supported. Prenatal chiropractors can help achieve this without causing harm to you or your baby.
In order for a VBAC delivery to be successful, the baby must be in the proper position, head down. If your baby is breeched, or positioned feet first in the birth canal, it’s unlikely that you will be able to have a successful VBAC.
As women’s bodies change throughout the course of pregnancy, it’s common for the pelvis to loosen or shift. This makes it more difficult for baby to settle into the proper position. Prenatal chiropractic care can help stabilize the pelvis to avoid breeching.
The Overall Benefits of Prenatal Chiropractic Care
Prenatal chiropractic care can benefit all pregnant women, not just those who are considering a VBAC delivery. Throughout the course of pregnancy many women struggle with back and neck pain, insomnia, digestive issues, headaches, and nausea.
Chiropractic care can help address all of these pregnancy symptoms, and more. As a woman’s body changes while her baby grows, stomach muscles stretch, the spine is pulled forward, and your natural center of gravity shifts. This changes your posture, which can lead to back pain, digestive issues, varicose veins, muscle spasms, and an increased risk of experiencing cardiovascular problems such as pre-eclampsia.
Finding the Best Prenatal Chiropractor
Pregnant women require special chiropractic care to avoid harm to themselves and baby. If you are pregnant and looking for a prenatal chiropractor, be sure to find one that specializes in the field. Ask your OB/GYN for recommendations, read online reviews, and ask the doctor questions before starting treatment.
Prenatal chiropractic consists of gentle movements and manipulations, opposed to the abrupt twists and cracks many associate with traditional chiropractic care. If you are looking into VBAC as a delivery option, speak to a chiropractic expert and your OB/GYN to determine the best course of treatment for both you and baby.