Is a Vaginal Birth after Caesarean (VBAC) possible?: An Interview with

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Is a Vaginal Birth after Caesarean (VBAC) possible?: An Interview with Emmy Cox

Emmy Cox after a successful VBAC | Tips and Advice

I met Emmy at a Pregnancy Yoga class and we instantly hit it off. No wonder when we had an obvious shared fascination with pregnancy, birth and the benefits of holistic heath when it comes to these.

I’m so glad Emmy got her VBAC and empowering home birth with her second. A beautiful girl, named Hattie Jane and is truly adorable.

A Doctor of Chinese Medicine & Registered Acupuncturist, you can visit Emmy at Bloom Chinese Medicine in Sunshine Coast, Australia.

To psychologically prepare for a VBAC within our systems, (especially in Australia) is not an easy thing to do. VBAC rates are low in Australia and the US (12%) compared to other countries like Finland, Norway and The Netherlands (38–55%). Tell me about your wish to have a VBAC and the challenges you faced along the way.

To be honest, at the beginning of my pregnancy a VBAC was the last thing on my mind. This pregnancy was a happy little surprise, I had a 6 month old and Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). It wasn’t until the HG started to improve around 16 weeks that I started to think about a VBAC.

I was in the general maternity system in our local public hospital at the time so I didn’t have a consistent care provider to talk things through with. I decided if I really wanted to have a VBAC, my best chance was going to be with a known care provider so I sought the support of a private midwife. Having a “short gap” (15 months between births) between pregnancies seemed to be the most consistent thing that raised any concern along the way.

With a VBAC, I think in general there is just an overshadowing cloud of doubt. I spent a lot of the pregnancy working on my belief in myself, my husband was also a huge support and consistently told me he believed I could do it.

I also really wanted to believe that my care provider believed that I could do it…I didn’t want the cliche “but if we end up in a caesarean again, that’s ok too” speech. I wanted someone that believed deeply in a woman’s ability to birth and MY ability to birth my baby.

Obviously sometimes things happen and you have to pivot in your plans, but I wasn’t interested in entertaining the idea in my preparation. I was having a VBAC and that was that!

For anyone interested in having a home birth what would your advice be?

Do it!!! It was honestly the best decision I have ever made. I cannot begin to describe the difference between my hospital birth and my Homebirth. It was a purely divine experience that I will treasure for my entire life.

The biggest thing for me, was having a care provider that I trusted. I ended up changing midwives at 33 weeks gestation as I knew that was what I needed to guarantee my Homebirth being successful.

I am so grateful I trusted my intuition on this. Feeling 100% trust in my midwife and our aligned values for my birth was what I needed.

How did acupuncture help you in pregnancy, giving birth and postpartum? Do you practice any other forms of TCM?

Being my second pregnancy, I definitely didn’t get as much acupuncture as I had the luxury of getting in my first pregnancy. But it was so helpful in the beginning when I had HG. I was also feeling very tense and having trouble sleeping towards the end of pregnancy and it was so great for relaxing my body. I also took some Chinese Herbs and had a bit of cupping for muscle tension. During labour I remember when I could feel my daughter moving down through my pelvis and mid contraction I pointed to an acupuncture point on my hand (CO4) and yelled PUSH to my husband! It definitely helped her to move down my pelvis.

Was your T4 experience with your second different than your first? How did you prepare?

It was wildly different. With your first you have no idea what you are in for, but you also have the luxury of going through it without thinking about any other children. I was on such a high after Hattie’s birth! I think I was still buzzing 2-3 weeks later.

While my first birth was very traumatic and I spent those first few weeks/months in deep sadness, mourning the loss of the birth I hoped to have. Aside from the emotional aspect of pp, my other biggest concern was food!

We were well prepared and well looked after. I stocked the freezer before she arrived, and a friend arranged a meal train for us for the first couple of weeks.

Can you recommend any books/blogs/people that you follow?

Once I decided I was going for a VBAC I spent my entire pregnancy researching and preparing.

My Favourite Books for Birthing

My favourite podcasts were:

5 must haves for hospital bag/‘home birth' bag?

1. TENS machine

2. Combs

3. Water bottle with a straw

4. Acupressure sheet for your partner/midwife

5. Nurtur tea bags for the most divine cup of tea post birth!


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