Another successful vaginal birth after 2 caesarians was achieved by Keri-Lynn and I can’t help sharing these lovely pictures of her just after the birth of her son: a whopping 4145gms! When pregnant with her first baby, Keri-Lynn was told by her obstetrician that her baby was ‘too big’, her cervix was posterior and high and the amniotic fluid around the baby was diminishing. Too nervous to disagree, Keri-Lynn underwent surgery she didn’t really want. Then with her second baby, the obstetrician agreed to allow a trial of labour and birth. However, at 5cm of cervical dilation Keri-Lynn was told that she hadn’t progressed ‘fast enough’ and a second caesarian was performed.
Disappointed, Keri-Lynn resigned herself to these opinions: her body was not able to give birth naturally and there was something wrong with her. After private obstetricians had informed her it was ‘dangerous’ to try for a natural birth 3rd time around after two caesarians, a friend from church referred her to me. When I met her, I asked her two questions, namely: How did your mother give birth and how did your grandmother give birth? Both of them gave birth naturally of course. We then embarked on an intensive preparation programme for her VBAC2.
The following plan was followed:
- The inclusion of Keri-Lynn’s husband in support of his wife
- Commitment to a healthy diet plan
- Committment to daily exercise
- Intensive encouragement to be in touch with the baby and his responsivity
- Awareness of and trust in body processes
- Breathing awareness and practice
- Establishing trust and relationship with midwife
- Explanation of all the (small incidence of!) statistical risks
- Signing a document of agreement
Keri-Lynn’s labour was long and slow and she needed much encouragement. After a long walk on the beach in latent phase and some much needed rest, when surges became strong, Keri-Lynn chose to be in hospital at Mowbray Maternity Hospital and she gave birth ecstatically 4 hours later. She and her baby are in perfect health and are now at home with the rest of the family and navigating their breastfeeding relationship successfully. She is up and about on Day 3 and helping to care for her older children. Her husband Wilhelm, has take a few days leave to give her a hand and enjoy time with his family.
Why is natural birth so important?
- The mother receives a good dose of love hormones which make her feel maternal and encourage lactation
- Her body is intact and able to lift, bend over and carry a newborn baby with ease after a natural birth
- The baby is infused with mega doses of hormones and neurochemicals during labour and birth that make adapting to life outside the womb easier
- The baby is also infused with love hormones that initiate seeking behaviours and attachment responses to the mother
- The baby is not separated from the mother and vice versa
- The mother can care for her other children more easily
- The mother feels ecstatic after a natural birth
- The risk of infection is lower with natural birth and future births are safer
These are just a few of the reasons, and quite substantial at that, why natural birth is better and safer when mother and baby are healthy and able. Well Done to Keri-Lynn and Wilhelm for their achievement!