Education for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean


  • Elizabeth Conner Shearer M.Ed., M.P.H.

    Corresponding author
    1. Elizabeth Shearer is a Certified Childbirth Educator, formerly Director of Parent Education of C/SEC, and is in private practic as a birth assistant. She was a member of the NIH Consensus Task Force on Cesarean Childbirth.
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ABSTRACT: Childbirth education for parents who elect to attempt a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) has many of the same elements of traditional childbirth education, including the imparting of knowledge and confidence, training in breathing and relaxation techniques, and helping parents to arrange for the most supportive environment and caregivers. Special differences in VBAC parents include the need to mourn the previous loss of an ideal birth, to analyze why they want a VBAC, and to understand the reason for the previous cesarean and realistically assess the chance of recurrence. The fear of uterine rupture or scar separation afflicts both parents and physicians, but has been shown to occur no more frequently than in repeat cesarean. By one analysis the elective repeat cesarean is a higher risk procedure than is a trial of labor.