The Damaging Message we Receive about VBAC

by | Apr 7, 2019

Planning a VBAC is often fraught with worry and concern.  When I work with people who hope to VBAC, we always explore their fears.  Many of them share fears about birthing again, especially if they’ve had a previous traumatic birth.  Many are worrried about finding a supportive provider.  Others worry about ending up with another cesarean.  These are all valid fears.  But I always dig deeper in an attempt to uncover it all.  And there’s one particular concern that I often unearth.  After doing this work for years, I’m confident that this worry is lurking beneath the surface for so many of you who are planning a VBAC.  I want to shed light on it, assure you that you’re not alone if you worry about this, and help you put it to rest today.

The Damaging Cultural Message we receive about VBAC

This worry, and internalized belief, is at best upsetting, and at worst, debilitating for you if you plan to have a VBAC.  People planning VBACs have been made to feel like they’re selfish for wanting a VBAC.

Maybe someone, even your partner, told you in no uncertain terms that your desire to VBAC is selfish.

Maybe your provider implied that you weren’t considering the health of.your baby when you shared your VBAC wishes.

Maybe your friend asked why you wouldn’t just have another cesarean to make things easier for everyone.

Or maybe you’ve just heard so much negativity about VBAC that you’ve internalized the idea that you’re selfish for wanting one.

This message thrives on the expectation that we, as mothers and parents, sacrifice everything to be martyrs for our children.  It is laden with invalidation, mistrust, and society’s discomfort with us stepping into our power and owning our bodies and our birth experiences.  We see it everywhere.  It shows up as the belief that we, as birthing people, don’t know what’s best for us.  The belief that our pregnancies and births need to be managed by an authority who will be sure to keep the best interest of our babies in mind.

Here’s what I want you to know – the message that you are selfish for wanting a VBAC comes from misinformation and fear. Your partner, doctor, friend and inner critic don’t know or don’t want to see what you know to be true.

You know that a VBAC is a safe and reasonable option for you. You also know that your mental, spiritual and emotional health are too important to push aside. You know that what’s best for your baby is for you to take care of yourself and for you to be whole, healthy, and well. And you know that planning an empowered birth is part of how you will be well during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.  Now is the time to do whatever it takes to shut out these critics and listen to your own deep knowing of what’s right for you. You don’t stop being important the moment you start carrying a baby. You matter just as much as ever.

Now is the time to do whatever it takes to shut out these critics and listen to your own deep knowing of what’s right for you. You don’t stop being important the moment you start carrying a baby. You matter just as much as ever.

If you’re carrying this concern, or even if you’ve internalized this belief that you’re selfish for wanting a VBAC, I hope that you can acknowledge it and begin to do the work to shed it.  It’s not true, and holding onto it will hold you back.

You’ve done your research.  You’ve made an informed decision.  You are the expert on yourself and your baby.  Go forth and VBAC with confidence and power.  

Schedule a VBAC Clarity Session

If you need support and guidance as you plan your VBAC, you can schedule a 1:1 virtual VBAC Clarity Sesssion with me here.  I’ve worked with hundreds of VBAC families and would love to help you dig into your fears, create your birth plan, build your support team, find a supportive provider, or determine your next best step to VBAC with confidence.

I'm Taylor, your VBAC Doula

I'm Taylor, your VBAC Doula

I’m a doula, doula trainer, childbirth educator, ICAN leader, cesarean mama, VBAC mama, and HBAC mama.  My mission is to support VBAC hopefuls to have empowered births.

"Taylor is warm, encouraging, and assertive. She allowed me to take charge and supported my decisions. I know that is the role of a doula, but I guess I expected to be following her lead or waiting for her suggestions. In the moment of labor, I needed those around me to support me in whatever felt right in that moment. It’s like she knew my body would lead and she followed that. I felt loved and heard every step along the way."


Mother of Heidi