Women planning a vaginal birth after a cesarean (VBAC), have a higher vaginal birth rate than women in first-time, low risk pregnancies. To put it another way, nearly 4 out of 5 women planning a VBAC will be successful and 1 in 3 first-time births will end in c-section. It's a subtle but distinct difference.
Why are we more likely to successfully birth vaginally the second time around vs. the first?
From my research, the answer is clear: VBAC Education AND Supportive VBAC Providers.
If you layer in the unique needs of women of color, and families without access to paid-insurance providers or quality healthcare, AND consider how their health and safety are disproportionately negatively affected by lack of evidence-based care; the problem becomes not only a matter of respecting birth rights but respecting human rights.
The American Birth System can often be both highly reactive to "bad news" and slow to change with "good news". The national c-section rate hovers around 32%, and has for years, despite ACOG officially recommending VBAC as the "safe and reasonable choice" in 2010 based on the latest research. Again, to put it another way, only 20% of qualified VBAC candidates are choosing to VBAC after one c-section, and only 7% of women are choosing to attempt VBAC after two c-sections.
It is clear that women either don't know they can, or can't find providers to support them and I want to change that.
Planning and Supporting VBAC Births can feel overwhelming for both patients and providers. VBAC Academy offers classes that include the latest research, a review of the VBAC guidelines by the American College of OB-Gyn (ACOG), a practical checklist on best-practices for planning a successful vaginal birth as a VBAC, and specific guidance on supporting the unique mental and emotional needs of VBAC births.
Because all women face the option of c-section, whether planned or unplanned; we also offer a gentle c-section class. Because our goal is not 100% VBAC births; it's 100% empowered births. And women have the right to choose, and access childbirth education for whatever birth is best for their body, their baby and their family's preferences. Period.
We feel strongly that all births deserve time and attention to prepare, and that VBAC and C-Sections are no exception.
Our goal is to increase access and demand for VBAC births in America through education and training of birth professionals, so that all women can have empowered and respectful birth experiences;
regardless of the method of delivery being vaginal or c-section birth.
VBAC Academy offers several options to expand on your knowledge on supporting VBAC patients or clients. Certification and training is not limited to medical or non-medical birth professionals. Classes are centered on the scientific studies that support VBAC safety, and evidence based best practices for planning a successful VBAC birth.
Jenni Froment personally teaches all classes, and is known around the country for her support and extensive knowledge of VBAC birth.
To learn more about up-coming training events, visit the Classroom section.
In 2005, I had my first birth - an emergency cesarean due to a "failed induction". In 2006, I had a scheduled cesarean because I was told it was "safer for my baby than a vaginal birth" (#fakenews). In 2012, I planned my first VBA2C - I succeeded, but felt there was more to learn. In 2015, I had my 2nd VBA2C birth and felt like I was able to finally have the empowering birth I'd been pursuing for years.
Between 2013 - 2015, I spent time leading a local non-profit support groups for VBAC Support & Education. I consider that part of my VBAC journey so pivotal to understanding the emotional and mental demands of planning a VBAC and recovering for traumatic births. While I wanted more from my births, I didn't experience birth trauma. Understanding birth trauma and it's heart-wrenching effects on women and their partners has transformed my work with VBAC parents.
I started Wisdom of Birth with the heart and perspective of a woman that has been through all types of birth experiences, and wanted to help others avoid the mistakes or missteps that I'd navigated through the process. From 2015 - 2018, I put my experience and training into action and attended births as a certified doula. I attended all types of births: first-time births, planned c-sections, emergency c-sections, VBAC births, twin births, etc. I supported parents at hospitals, birth centers and at home. It was an incredible time in my life, and watching babies be born brought me profound joy and certainly changed my soul for the better. Each one of those families, and those sweet little babies laid bricks into the foundation of this little business I've built. And brick by hypothetical brick, I built the perspective, experience and tools I needed to take my message to a bigger stage.
Welcome to VBAC Academy, the latest milestone in my journey to make a tangible difference for birthing women in America.
Emmy is a two-time VBAC birther, and a passionate VBAC . She is a local doula in Phoenix, AZ and specializes in evidence-based VBAC births which made her a natural fit for the VBAC Academy team. Emmy is the first VBAC Pro that will be trained AND certified by VBAC Academy, and she has been integral in the launch of VBAC Academy.
Her first pregnancy "was a dream" and she assumed that childbirth would be the same. She described herself as the "perfect patient", meaning she never questioned anything the doctor's or hospital told her, and like 1 in 3 women in America, this resulted in a c-section. This operative report from c-section references her weight as the reason she couldn't birth which was hurtful and felt wrong. Her body wasn't the problem - she'd always been athletic and strong physically, despite any pregnancy weight. It lit a fire in her heart to figure out how it all happened, with the intent of making her next birth a VBAC.
She spent almost a year researching, joining groups, attending therapy, and reading everything she could get her hands on about vaginal birth and c-sections. All that work paid off and she's gone on to have TWO successfull VBAC births, and most importantly - healed her birth trauma.
These days Emmy works as a Doula and Childbirth Educator in the Phoenix area, and has a serious passion for getting evidence-based birth information into the hands of birthing families. As a former stand up comedian, she brings a lightness and confidence to her birth work that makes everyone feel comfortable and at ease.
Gabby Whitaker first became interested in VBAC birth after learning that the reasons she was given for her first C-section weren’t as cut and dry as she once thought. Her first birth was fast and clinical, and she never even felt a contraction. With her second birth, Gabby wanted a different experience. As a high-risk mother with type 1 diabetes, Gabby understood the importance of self-advocacy and informed choice when navigating healthcare systems. Learning about VBAC birth, hiring a doula, and finding a VBAC-friendly provider were the next logical steps towards achieving her desired birth experience.
Gabby is a mama to two beautiful girls and spends her time helping women achieve their breastfeeding goals as a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor.
She graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Psychology and a BS in Family and Human Development, and she is currently working towards International Board Certification as a Lactation Consultant.