Thursday, June 29

Homebirth After Cesearean....Safety and Choices

A member of my extended family recently had a scare because of the experiences of someone she knows and has started to worry over our decisions concerning the birth of this baby. I don't want to downplay her fears, so I reviewed some of the resources I consulted while making the decision to have my baby at home after having had one cesarean birth.

Here are a sample of the pages/links that I read and thought about as I came to my decision. I have spent years reading about VBAC and birth and weighing my options should I become pregnant again. DH, fortunately, is completely behind me on my decision, which makes things all the easier:

Risks of VBAC vs. Repeat C-Section

Safety of Planned Homebirth with a Certified Professional Midwife

Thoughts on Homebirth After Cesarean

Some other materials I have read included A Good Birth, A Safe Birth by Diana Korte, The VBAC Companion by Diana Korte, and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin.

My midwife has been attending homebirths for 20 years; she is trained and experienced in knowing what complications are and when a transfer to a hospital would become necessary. I will go to the hospital if I feel that the baby and/or I am at risk from complications that arise.

Some reasons I feel hospital births are more risky:

• To me, a repeat cesearean section is more risky (for me, my baby, and my possible future children) than a vaginal birth (see the first link above for a comparison of the risks of VBAC versus repeat c-section).

• Many hospitals/doctors will not even let you attempt a vaginal delivery if you have had a previous c-section.

• Despite the research that shows inductions increase the risk of uterine rupture, I have repeatedly heard about hospital VBAC attempts being induced.

• Two factors that increase the risk of uterine rupture are having had repeat c-sections and having had a c-section within the previous year or two. I have only had one c-section, and that will have been roughly six years ago when this baby is born.

• I believe that my labor will proceed more naturally and more quickly if I am at home in a comfortable environment without interventions that will hinder it. These include continuous fetal monitoring, possible induction, artificial rupture of membranes, and of course, c-section.

As with anything, there are risks. Who knows what will happen between now and then? In the meanwhile, as I do my best to plan for this birth, and after reading and reviewing data, I feel the risks during a normal birth for me and my baby are greater in the hospital than they would be at home.

Feel free to comment/email if you would like to discuss this issue further.

1 comment:

Drea said...

ow your brave :-)
I dont think I am brave enough to have a home birth.
I know many who have tho and did fine.
One of my good friends Lis had her 1st child at home. Birth went well and after 4 hours she had a healthy baby girl.
She did end up having to go to the hospital to get internal stitches made due to a tear.

So there are risk.
Becareful and do your homework.
Best wishes!