Step 1: Know the Facts
What is a VBAC?
A Vaginal Birth After Cesarean. Mothers with one low transverse uterine scar have, on average, a 60-80% success rate with a trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC) and VBAC birth, which means the vast majority of mothers who want to have a vaginal birth after having had a c-section will be able to do so.
What the ACOG opinion about interventions means for mothers and babies
It is important that care for mothers and babies during labor and birth reflects the most up-to-date evidence, especially when it comes to deciding when and how to use medical interventions. In February 2017, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) issued a new committee opinion about how interventions should and should not be used during labor. These recommendations, if consistently put into practice by care providers, will have wide-ranging benefits and lead to positive outcomes and positive birth experiences for many women and their babies.
It's about making mothers -
strong, competent, capable mothers
who trust themselves and believe in their inner strength.
-- Barbara Katz Rothman
If you’ve recently researched or toured a birthing center or hospital, you may have heard the term “baby-friendly.” This means that the facility and its staff have taken steps to ensure that the care for newborn babies during and after birth is evidence-based, promotes breastfeeding and allows for healthy bonding between the mother and her baby.
But what does it look like for maternity care to be both baby-friendly and mother-friendly?
Some expectant parents are eager to know everything about pregnancy, birth and beyond and actively seek information from all sorts of sources. Other parents having a baby may not realize how much there is to learn, or they may simply be uninterested. Sometimes parents are busy with other areas of life, and/or believe they will learn what they need to know as they go. Regardless of where they are starting their journey of learning, all parents benefit from being prepared for the changes pregnancy can bring and becoming informed about the process they will go through during labor and birth.
As an educator, doula or health care provider, you can...
Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening (NIPS)
MaterniT21, Verifi, Harmony and Panorama represent some of the latest developments in prenatal testing with their use of cell free DNA (cfDNA) analysis. These tests analyze the mother’s blood along with the placental material that has entered the mother’s bloodstream for genetic abnormalities, such as Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) and Trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome). While these are the most advanced and accurate non-invasive screenings on the market, there are two very important things to note:
The journey of pregnancy and birth usually begins with a test – the resulting two pink lines, plus sign, or word “pregnant” appear and change your world forever. For many mothers, this is the first of many tests to come throughout pregnancy.
So what should you expect when it comes to prenatal testing and what do those tests mean for you and your baby?
Here, we’ll break down the first round of tests, which most moms receive as part of routine care. Then in part 2, we’ll explain the next round of tests an expectant mother may choose to have if the first round yield a potential concern or if she desires more information because of family medical history, etc.
You have multiple model pelvises (with one that is your "favorite").
On occasion, you've misplaced one and been known to ask around if anyone has seen your pelvis recently (this question is often followed by quizzical looks).
You are always looking for fun, interactive and memorable ways to teach cervical dilation (Fruit visuals? Sure!).
You tell your friends more than they ever wanted to know about birth as soon as they announce their pregnancy.