Worksheets, videos, checklists, tools and techniques - helping you understand what's ahead and have great two-way communication with your Health Care Provider
Want to do everything you can to achieve success?
Many women can safely have a Vaginal Birth after Caesarean (VBAC), but sometimes it can be hard to know if it is the right thing for you to do. Women choose either option for lots of different reasons: personal preference, medical issues, pressure from family, social circumstances and fear.
It isn't always easy to know where to start. Sometimes you need to knock on a few doors before you find the person and the place that is right for you. It can take courage and persistence.
National and international research shows that 63-94% of women who attempt a VBAC are successful... so with the green light from your Health Care Provider, the odds are good!
But how can you make it happen?
Well the truth is, there is no guarantee of achieving a VBAC, but there are plenty of things you can do to prepare, and to increase your chances.
Our program will take you through all the elements that can contribute to a positive birth experience, show you how you can influence how your body works in labour, help you understand your choices and communicate clearly with your Health Care Providers.
So you've had a previous caesarean section.
Perhaps it was planned, or maybe your labour didn't progress as it needed to. For most women, the reason they needed to have a caesarean section during labour was not because their body is intrinsically unable to birth. In fact, that is really rare. Usually, it is a combination of events that lead to either the baby becoming distressed or the labour slowing down, which ultimately results in the decision to go for a caesarean section.
Basically, for most women, just because you've had one caesar doesn't mean your body can't birth and that you shouldn't try again.
With preparation and a good understanding of how all the elements of labour work together, you can positively influence how your baby and your body work together on the day.
Our program focuses on four essential elements of labour and birth.
We will show you how these elements influence labour and how to work with them. You might be surprised by how much control you have and with the right preparation, how much you can impact the outcome.
Our program is unique because it is structured specifically for women planning a VBAC. Understanding how you will be cared for differently is key to preparing for success.
Jodie is a Clinical Midwifery Consultant who has worked with hundreds of women preparing for their next birth after a caesarean section.
Years of working with women with high risk pregnancies who desperately wanted a normal birth was the inspiration for starting the Prepared for Birth business.
Jodie was constantly frustrated by the lack of information in traditional birth classes for women with a complicated pregnancy, and how they didn't prepare women for the reality of what they were going to experience during labour.
Knowing how different the experience of labour is for these women, over the years, she collected and developed specific strategies for these women.
With so much positive feedback from women in her care she wanted to find a way to share this knowledge and experience more widely. To help women, wherever they were, to work with their own Health Care Providers to achieve the same successful outcomes.
Jodie has two children of her own and continues to work as a midwife.
Emmalee has years of corporate, consulting and small business experience.
She has run her own strategy consulting business and built the website and online learning platform for her husband’s coaching business.
In conversations with Jodie, she could see an opportunity to use her skills and experience (and her 'inner geek') to create a learning platform that would bring together Jodie's strategies for helping women with high risk pregnancies.
This business was a great opportunity to use her creativity to build all the online learning material and to stretch herself by learning new skills, including some coding!
Emmalee is thrilled to be working with Jodie bringing women with higher risk pregnancies a set of tools and strategies to help them have the best birth experience possible.
Emmalee's first experience with birth was being present for the arrival of her nephew many years ago - what a privilege! Since then she has had three children of her own.
We have worked together every step of the way to build our programs which are all about helping women with a more complex pregnancy prepare for the reality of their labour and birth.
But not only that, we want them to have a positive birth experience. This happens when a woman is feeling safe, listened to, she understands what’s going on around her, she is clear about the choices available and feels supported in the decisions she makes.
When the birth is over, she can look back with no regrets. It is not so much about the actual choices made on the day, or the type of birth she had.
Most important is that she felt informed, safe and prepared for the birth of her baby.
In the video below, we talk about why we created the program.
We understand this isn't your first birth, and you've probably done some type of antenatal education in the past.
This program focuses helping women planning for a VBAC to achieve success. To understand how is it different, what to expect, and how to prepare with this in mind.
We do not have a bias towards any particular approach to labour and birth. We accommodate all preferences for managing labour from using positions and mindfulness techniques all the way through to epidurals.
We know this program isn't for everyone.
We have summarised below some of the discussions we've had about the program and who it might help.
This course was designed for women who have had a previous caesarean, so we anticipate you will have done some kind of antenatal program previously. We have structured it taking this into account.
While we do cover stages of labour, it is as a refresher in order to support the different strategies we cover in other parts of the course.
This program is focused on how to help women increase their chances of a successful VBAC by teaching them concepts and strategies that influence all aspects of the birth experience. Most birth classes are not tailored specifically for women preparing for a VBAC.
Well that's OK! We aren't here to convince you one way or the other. How you choose to birth is big decision, and one that you need to work through with your Health Care Provider.
Our download at the bottom of this page is a great checklist for you to have a read through and start a conversation with your Health Care Provider about whether a VBAC is right for you.
There could be good reasons for this. We are not able to make any recommendation as we don’t have your medical history.
It is important to talk with your Health Care Provider and understand what the medical basis for this might be. Every circumstance is different.
An important part of knowing what to do this time is to understand what happened last time. We recommend you have a conversation with your Health Care Provider to debrief your previous birth.
After this, if you are still unhappy with the recommendation, you can always get a second opinion from another Health Care Provider.
No, we can’t promise it will result in a VBAC. What we can promise is that you will be well prepared and we focus as much on the experience as the outcome.
We are about optimising your chances of achieving a VBAC. Having done our program, there shouldn’t be any surprises, and you will have worked through the likely choices you will make and various scenarios you might experience.
With knowledge, you’ll be calmer which means you are much more likely to be successful, and even if you aren’t successful, it will be a more positive experience.
Amongst other things, we will prepare you for reality. Your care in labour will be different when you have had a previous caesarean section.
You will have more interruptions and monitoring, all to keep you safe, but you might feel intruded upon as the people around you are doing the various check ups and things they need to do. We will teach you how to mange all that.
This course is designed to empower you to have the best possible chance of achieving a vaginal birth. You will work through a range of activities showing you how to positively influence the process of labour and birth in the context of all this extra monitoring.
That is great to hear!
If you feel prepared, have good communication with your Health Care Provider and feel well supported, then all power to you!
We wish you all the best in the safe arrival of your precious newborn.
⇒ What do we mean by Health Care Provider
⇒ How the 4 P's influence labour and how to work with them
⇒ Understanding what Feeling Safe means and why it is important
⇒ Understanding how fear affects labour and what you can do about it
⇒ Preparing for ongoing conversations with your Health Care Provider(s) about your specific choices in labour and birth
⇒ Why is labour different after you have had a caesarean section
⇒ How to prepare if you've had a previous difficult birth
⇒ Tools for communication and decision making
⇒ Tips for partners and support people
⇒ What to do if your baby is overdue
⇒ What are the stages of labour and what to expect in each
⇒ What is a posterior labour
⇒ How to help get your baby into the best position for labour
⇒ Understanding your own perspectives on pain and how this influences your choices
⇒ Strategies for managing pain in early labour
⇒ What are the pharmaceutical pain relief options and when's the best time to use them
⇒ Using different positions in labour to help with both pain management and labour progress
⇒ The benefits of using mindfulness and breathing techniques for birth
⇒ How you might use massage, heat and water in labour
⇒ How all these techniques can work together and when you might use them
⇒ Creating a birth plan that you and your Health Care Provider will actually use
⇒ Breastfeeding - setting up you for success
⇒ Tips for feeding your newborn with a toddler in the house
⇒ Tips from mums for coping with a new baby in the house
The best time to start would be somewhere towards the end of the second trimester because ideally you should be finished by about week 36.
The content is designed around your working relationship with your Health Care Provider(s) during pregnancy. There are also techniques that work better with practice, so with this in mind, you should allow at least 3-4 weeks to complete it.
However, it is also fine to start at 20 weeks and take your time.
If you are past 36 weeks and have just found the course, it is possible to work through all the material, but you'll need to find the time to do the work.
The course would only take a few days if you were to just race through everything but that wouldn’t get you the right outcome.
We have built in steps that require conversations with Health Care Providers, reflection and thinking time and practicing of various techniques. With this in mind, we recommend allowing at least 3-4 weeks to complete the course.
As a VBAC woman, you are likely to have a toddler in the house and you may also work outside the home. So there's no harm in allowing yourself as much time as possible.
Once you have purchased the program you will have our email to get in touch with any questions.
If you have a question before you start, you can send us a message on our Instagram or Facebook pages, or use our contact page.
Remember, we aren't your Health Care Provider, and don't know your individual circumstances, so we will be unable to answer any medical questions relating to your situation.
Good question! Jodie, our midwife, has worked with hundreds of women having their next birth after a caesarean.
Not all of them have wanted a VBAC, but in many cases, the women in her care have sought extra information about how to increase their chances of success when planning a VBAC.
This course is based on those years of experience in helping women feel empowered and capable, and getting their bodies and their mindset to a point where they can let those good labour hormones flow.
We don't think you will, but if for some reason the course isn't for you, then we will refund your money.
We are always striving to improve and of course would love to understand what your reasons are so we can keep making our products better.
Not at all!
We have experience with both systems and have framed all our material to suit both.
Your relationship with your Health Care Provider(s) is really important. Regardless of whether you are working with an Obstetrician, Midwifery Group Practice or hospital midwives, our course will show you how get the most out of this relationship and communicate in a meaningful way.
Your Health Care Providers, public or private, will be with you on the day to help you feel safe and supported in your choices.
Currently this program is based on the Australian Health Care system and as such, is for women in Australia.
If you live outside of Australia, please get in touch with us to discuss how this program may apply to your circumstances.
Many women are not sure if they are safely able to have a VBAC. Maybe this is something you have given a lot of thought to, or perhaps you are just wondering if it is possible...
Download our checklist to take to your next appointment with your Health Care Provider. This list of questions will help you to understand:
→ how your specific circumstances will impact your chances of success, and
→ how they can best support you in the process
For more information, we also have a blog post that outlines 5 strategies to help you increase your chances of a successful VBAC.