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Filtering by Tag: Health

Tips for a Successful VBAC

Chelsea Gonzales


There once was a time when mothers were told they would never have a successful vaginal birth after having a cesarean. Fortunately, times have changed, and more and more mothers are making the choice to give it a try. After all, if it can be carried out safely, a vaginal birth is almost always the best option in terms of a mother’s comfort, recovery times, mother/child bonding, and so much more.

If you are considering having a VBAC, you may be wondering what you can do to increase the chances of a successful birth experience. Here are my top tips.

Build a Strong Birth Team

First and foremost, you will need to have a good, strong birth team. This is one of the most important steps you can take, as an unsupportive birth team will be discouraging at best.

Be sure to pick a primary care provider who is willing to attend a VBAC birth. If you are birthing away from home, the hospital or birth center your care provider is associated with must also be okay with your choice. Ensure you trust your midwife or OB completely. If you feel at all uncomfortable or concerned with your care provider, make a switch. Even if your feelings are apparently unwarranted, feeling comfortable during labor and delivery is imperative to a successful VBAC.

In addition to a good doctor or midwife, you will also want to hire a doula. A doula will help ensure you are as comfortable as possible throughout labor, and may even make the process move more quickly. Additionally, a doula can help you work through any fears that may arise.

Go Natural

Inductions, epidurals, and other interventions increase the likelihood of a c-section. Considering this is the very thing you are wanting to avoid, you will also want to avoid intervention as much as possible, letting nature take its course throughout the birthing process.

While this make take more time and patience, and while it might require seeking out natural pain management options, it's so worth the end result.

Educate Yourself

Confidence plays an enormous role in the success of any birth. The more confident you are, the more likely you are to be successful.

This is probably due in part to the fact that the more confident women tend to be the more educated women. Therefore, these individuals have a good understanding of their bodies, leading to less fear. They are also better able to make educated decisions throughout labor, meaning they're less likely to be pushed into doing things they don't want to do.

For this reason, it is highly recommended that all pregnant women—and especially those wishing to experience a VBAC—do everything they can to boost their confidence and educate themselves. The best ways to go about this include attending quality childbirth classes and reading as much as possible. Finding books about VBAC specifically can be especially helpful.

Banish Fears

Another step toward confidence that every potential VBAC mother must take is banishing fears. Traumatizing birth experiences stick with us and tend to fester, growing into paralyzing fears. These fears are strong—so strong in fact that they can stall labor, something that can lead to interventions.

Fortunately, you have the power to banish these fears. Find a therapist to help you work through your unwanted thoughts, hire a doula to help in case these fears surface during labor, and repeat uplifting and inspirational mantras to yourself throughout your pregnancy and your labor.

Many women also find it helpful to hang posters or flags with inspirational messages throughout their home and birth space.

Expect a VBAC, Prepare for a Cesarean

In some cases, it just isn't possible for a mother to have a VBAC safely. Because of this, it is always best to go in expecting the best but prepared for the worst.

What does this mean for you? Here is what I suggest:

  •  Know where to go — If you're delivering at home or in a birth center, know in advance where you'll be transferred should the need arise.Prepare for postpartum — Obviously, you'll want meals planned and help in place no matter how your birth goes. However, having extra assistance lined up in case of a c-section is a smart move.
  • Speak with your care provider — Ask your doctor any questions you have about what will happen should you need a cesarean. Have a midwife? Find out what her typical procedure is in these cases.
  • Create a birth plan — You've probably already thought about your birth plan should you have a vaginal delivery, but have you considered what you'd like in the case of surgery? Think about it, write it down, and make sure your birth team knows your plan.

Following these tips is not a guarantee of anything. They will, however, help you achieve your dream. Why not get started today?


Staying Healthy Naturally During Flu Season

Chelsea Gonzales

Photo by PeopleImages/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by PeopleImages/iStock / Getty Images

Flu season is definitely here, and many families are feeling its effects. Even if you’re lucky enough to skip the flu itself this season, you and your kids will likely experience at least one or two little bugs. This is never fun.

Fortunately, you can dampen the blow and even avoid some illnesses entirely by taking a few precautionary steps. Here are my favorite tips and tricks for keeping healthy naturally, even when it seems every virus on the planet is making the rounds.

Elderberry Syrup

Let’s begin with a much deserved shoutout to elderberry syrup. This concoction is absolutely magical, and best of all, it’s completely natural. Elderberry syrup can be taken daily throughout the winter, or you can hold onto it for taking only when sick.

To make your own batch of this illness-fighting syrup, follow the instructions on Wellness Mama.

Detox Baths

As the name suggestions, detox baths are perfect for ridding the body of toxins. Besides, who doesn’t love a relaxing bath when they’re sick? I know I do, especially if I can’t seem to get warm.

To create your own detox bath, add the following to your bathwater:

  • 2 cups epsom salt
  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 2 cups hydrogen peroxide

Adults can also mix in a few drops of certain essential oils to add an element of aromatherapy. This option should not be used for kids though, as the oils may cause skin irritation and other poor reactions.

Bone Broth

Homemade bone broth is an incredibly nutrient-dense food that can help boost the immune system and aid in healing those who are already ill. It’s cheap to make, tasty to eat, and can be used in a variety of dishes. On top of all that, bone broth is also incredibly soothing to sick individuals who don’t feel like eating, are suffering from a sore throat, or can’t get rid of congestion.

If you’re looking for a great bone broth recipe, try this one from Wellness Mama.

Vitamin D

One of the reasons many people tend to be sick during the winter is a lack of vitamin D. We get the majority of our vitamin D from the sun, and when the sun isn’t shining or the weather is too cold to head outside, we end up deficient in this important nutrient. Luckily, you can improve this issue by taking a vitamin D capsule. If you have young children, liquid drops are another option.

Vitamin K2  

Vitamin K2 is another supplement you may want to consider adding to your family’s regimen. This vitamin isn’t spoken of often, and is unfortunately rarely found in the typical western diet. However, it plays a very important role in our overall health and is especially helpful when taken in conjunction with vitamin D, because the two have synergistic effects.

Rest Up

Everyone knows that the body needs rest. Without it, the body can’t function properly, and the immune system is compromised. Clearly, this is a very bad thing when so many germs are going around, so make sure your family stays well rested throughout the season.

Wash Up

Sure, you’ve heard it over and over again, but it’s worth mentioning the fact that hand washing can have an enormous effect on the health of your family. Encourage hand washing after every trip to the bathroom, after outings, and before meals. Additionally, you may want to carry hand sanitizer for those times when a sink isn’t available.

Using these simple tips, you can keep yourself and your family healthy throughout the flu season and emerge with a strengthened immune system to boot.

Of course, if you’re a new parent, adding all of these new supplements and habits to your life can be a bit overwhelming. That’s where a postpartum doula can step in. A doula offers assistance in various areas of your life in order to ensure you have time to do everything you need to do for the most important people in your life.

For more information on my postpartum doula services, please contact me today!