by: Sinead

The midwife advised me to get in touch with Holles Street to sign up for a VBAC class.

VBAC = Vaginal Birth After Caesarean section! The name just cracks me up!

So I went to one of the classes recently (they are only put on every once in a while so ring your hospital to enquire). My husband couldn’t go with me so I went by myself; it was just for a morning. I got chatting to another girl who was also by herself and sat beside me. We ended up being the only two women in the room that had not experienced a contraction etc. as we both had elective c-sections for breach babies and everyone else seemed to have gone into labour which ended up in an emergency c-section.

I was so glad to be sitting beside her!! We cringed all the way through the explanation of contractions, labour etc….we are going into this like it’s our first time and I am scared to death!

But I have to say I was glad I attended, as although I had attended an antenatal class when pregnant the first time, I had forgotten a lot of it, so it was a good refresher course and also good to get me thinking about what is ahead rather than just being in a constant state of denial!

We had a session with the midwife that went through the things they will and will not do as a result of having had a previous c-section.

Some notes I jotted down from the midwife were:

  • Go to the hospital when contractions are 10minutes apart and lasting 40seconds (i.e. strong and regular)
  • When in labour they will attach a tummy monitor if there is good contact, otherwise they will attach a monitor to the baby’s head via a wire (if you know what I mean!)
  • If your waters break – try and bring in a sample
  • You may have a show – which is blood stained mucus
  • If you go over your due date you will be assessed at 41 weeks (vaginal examination). All they’ll do is break your waters, they will not induce you if you’ve had a previous c-section. If nothing is happening between 12-24 hours after this, they will probably suggest another c-section
  • Don’t have gel nails on – they need to assess circulation and cant with these on
  • If you go into labour but there is no progress after 5-6 hours (timing starts from when you are 1cm dilated) they will consider another c-section
  • Bouncing on a yoga ball is good!?

We then had a session with a physiotherapist – I asked her about the fact that my stomach muscles never re-joined after my first pregnancy i.e. diastasis recti (where my stomach muscles separated during my first pregnancy and after 2 years you could still fit 2 fingers into the gap!). I wanted to know if she thought the likes of a ‘belly bandit’ would be helpful even this time around (as I never used one the first time) and she said yes definitely! But she also told me to look up the American ‘Julie Tupler technique’ – check it out www.tuplertechnique.com and www.facebook.com/TuplerTechnique

I need to do some research on this – but at least there is light at the end of the tunnel – a bit better than what my (‘male’) GP had said to me if you can remember from one of my earlier blogs ‘well that’s what the underwear is for!’….!!

Anyway, if you’ve had a previous c-section enquire about a VBAC class in the hospital you are attending; although I was cringing it was well worth it!