The Cesarean rate in the United States was last report at 32% according to the last report (2017) from the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC). The new report is not out yet and I hope the rate might have dropped a bit as more and more women are getting educated about their choices with childbirth. We see more women are hiring birth doulas; attending yoga classes; attending childbirth prep classes; and in general taking a bit more control over their choices.
I am delighted by ACOG's latest Practice Bulletin 205, published February 2019. This report modifies the treatment of women with prior Cesareans and offers VBAC and TOLACS are possible routes for delivery.
ACOG's overview statement says, "It was once thought that if a woman had one cesarean delivery, all future babies should be born that way. Today, we know that many women can undergo a trial of labor after a cesarean delivery (TOLAC), and many will be able to give birth through the vagina—called a vaginal birth after cesarean delivery (VBAC). It is important to understand the risks and benefits when deciding to attempt a VBAC. Ob-gyns, physicians whose primary responsibility is women’s health, are best suited to help a woman determine if a VBAC is the right choice for her."
I strongly believe that the support of VBACs and TOLACs can further reduce the Cesarean rate in America and also increase a new mom's overall satisfaction with her birth experience.
Angie's TOLAC Birth Story
Hi my fellow Yoga Mammas!
On August 22nd I went into Torrance Memorial at 41 weeks and 6 days overdue for a ‘light’ induction, since I had a prior cesarean. I was trying for a TOLAC (Trial of Labor After Cesarean) hopefully ending in a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). Upon arriving at the hospital, I was 1cm dilated and 60% effaced. I was not opened enough to try the Foley bulb yet. After being on small increases of Pitocin from 7 a.m. Thursday morning until about 1:00 a.m. Friday, the following day, I was still the same dilation as when I began. They then tried a foley balloon which would hopefully help jumpstart dilation. After the 4th attempt they said it wasn’t going in. After 24 hours after my induction began, my choices were to begin Pitocin again or to schedule a Cesarean for later that Friday afternoon.
After talking about it with my husband we decided that a scheduled Cesarean would be the best decision for me. I had a strong feeling that another day on Pitocin with contractions wouldn’t make me dilate any faster. It felt empowering to be a part of the decision making process and my doctor was great about supporting me through my journey. I was able to experience a calm and peaceful labor. It felt powerful to have the choice to go through the TOLAC!
On Friday, August 23, 2019 at 4:35 p.m., I delivered my son Keanu Daniel Crist! He was a healthy baby boy! Keanu weighed 8 pounds, not too big for being nearly 14 days past his due date! The Doctor told me that since Keanu had the cord wrapped around his neck 3x, he most likely would not have descended into the birth canal naturally and most likely would’ve ended in an emergency Cesarean anyway, had I kept trying the Pitocin induction. While I I did eventually have a another Cesarean, the following day, I wouldn’t have changed anything about preparing and trying to wait until my body went into labor on its own for the birth of my 2nd son. I had the chance to labor for over 24 hours, all-natural and I did everything in my power to try to deliver him vaginally. And sometimes you just have to let go and embrace the path that’s unfolding for you in order to get the best end result, which in my case was a happy, healthy baby boy! Good luck everyone on your birthing journeys!!
Ps. The day after delivery one of the nurses asked me if I was exercising during my pregnancy because she said my stomach was very firm while she was pressing to check my uterus. So, all of the dancing and poses in Yoga class didn’t go unrecognized! Thanks, Patricia :)
~ Photos and story posted with permission.