189 episodes

Join us as we share VBAC birth stories to educate and inspire! We are a team of expert doulas trained in supporting VBAC, have had VBAC's of our own, and work extensively with VBAC women and their providers. We are here to provide detailed VBAC and Cesarean prevention stories and facts in a simple, consolidated format. When we were moms preparing to VBAC, it was stories and information like we will be sharing in this podcast that helped fine tune our intuition and build confidence in our birth preparation. We hope this does the same for you!

The purpose of this podcast is to educate and inform- it is not to replace advice from any qualified medical professional.

The VBAC Link Julie Francom & Meagan Heaton

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.9 • 335 Ratings

Join us as we share VBAC birth stories to educate and inspire! We are a team of expert doulas trained in supporting VBAC, have had VBAC's of our own, and work extensively with VBAC women and their providers. We are here to provide detailed VBAC and Cesarean prevention stories and facts in a simple, consolidated format. When we were moms preparing to VBAC, it was stories and information like we will be sharing in this podcast that helped fine tune our intuition and build confidence in our birth preparation. We hope this does the same for you!

The purpose of this podcast is to educate and inform- it is not to replace advice from any qualified medical professional.

    Mabel's VBAM (Vaginal Birth After Myomectomy)

    Mabel's VBAM (Vaginal Birth After Myomectomy)

    “I don’t have anybody that I can use as a resource or as a reference, but I know that I am not an anomaly. I also know that I am not asking for too much. I am not asking for a vaginal birth. I’m asking for support. I’m asking you to hear me. I’m asking you to give me time. I’m asking you to let my body do the work. Let my body do the work instead of you dictating what you think my body should do.”

    Mabel is a trailblazer. She walked the lonely road of fighting for her vaginal birth after a myomectomy with very limited resources, support, and anecdotal evidence. Mabel knew her risks. All she wanted from a provider was true support and the chance to try. 

    This episode is a must-listen. Sit back and soak in all of the incredible advice Mabel offers to both VBAC and VBAM hopeful women. We were honored to have such a powerful woman of strength on our podcast today!

    Additional links
    Mabel’s Website: Within Her Birth Services
    Special Scars Website
    The VBAC Link Community
    How to VBAC: The Ultimate Prep Course for Parents
    Full transcriptNote: All transcripts are edited to correct grammar, false starts, and filler words. 

    Meagan: Hello, how are you guys? This is The VBAC Link podcast and we are with you today with our friend, Mabel. We are so excited to hear her stories today. We encourage you to pause and listen up because this is going to be an amazing one. She is from northern Virginia and did you say DMC? Is that what you called it?

    Julie: Washington DC.

    Mabel: DMV.

    Meagan: DMZ. 

    Julie: Everybody’s confused. 

    Mabel: Yeah. I’m from Northern Virginia. In the city and state, I’m from Bristow, Virginia, but it is technically part of northern Virginia. We call it the DMV– DC, Maryland, Virginia.

    Meagan: DMV like where you go get your license.

    Julie: Oh my gosh.

    Meagan: Okay, the DMV area. So if you are in her area, this is definitely one to listen to. But of course, we have a Review of the Week, so I’m going to turn the time over to cute Julie, and then we will dive into this story.
    Review of the Week
    Julie: Okay. You know I can’t just go right into the review. I have to say something. That’s really funny that you said “cute Julie”. That’s really funny because I have a longtime friend from when we were in the military. We hardly ever see each other but when we do, she is one of those friends that you just pick up right where you left off. It doesn’t matter if it has been a year since we talked to each other. Her name is Kelly and I would always call her “cute Kelly”. It’s “cute Kelly” and then she started calling me “cute Julie” and I am like, “Nobody calls me ‘cute Julie’ except for her.”

    Meagan: Oh that’s funny.

    Julie: So when you said “cute Julie”, I was like, “Aww. I miss my friend. I need to go call her after this.” Oh my gosh. Anyways, yes. Mabel from DMV, we are so excited to hear your story, but yes. I am going to read a review. OK. I really actually like this review. I read it on a previous podcast, but then I had forgotten to record that podcast and we had to get back on and start over, and I had to pick a shorter review. But I really like this one and I want to tell you why afterward. 

    This is from Informed Mama on Apple Podcasts and she says, 

    “I love listening to the inspirational stories of women of strength trusting their bodies and doing what they were created to do. As a mama who has had a C-section, it’s incredibly encouraging to hear that my feelings about my child’s birth are valid and also exciting to me that this could be our story someday, too.

    “With this in mind, as a labor and delivery nurse, it hurts my heart to hear of women not consenting to interventions and of the overall mistrust of birth in a hospital setting. I do want to encourage all women that L&D nurses and OBGYNs are not evil, and we are not pushing for every woman to give birth in the OR. There are times when interventions are necessary for the saf

    • 49 min
    Lindsay's VBAC + Preparing for VBAC

    Lindsay's VBAC + Preparing for VBAC

    Lindsay’s first birth was a planned home birth which ultimately resulted in a hospital transfer and emergency C-section. She was left feeling unprepared, unheard, and committed to fighting for a VBAC next time. 

    Lindsay worked for months preparing for a VBAC both physically and emotionally. Once labor started, she was coping extremely well with her intense contractions. She arrived at the hospital at 10 centimeters, ready to have her baby!

    Until…her contractions completely stopped. Lindsay shares with us how she overcame ultimate doubt when pushing continued for over four hours. 

    Doubt can creep in at any time on your VBAC journey. Trust yourself and your preparation. Lean into your supportive birth team. We know you can do this!

    Additional links
    The VBAC Link Community
    How to VBAC: The Ultimate Prep Course for Parents
    Full transcriptNote: All transcripts are edited to correct grammar, false starts, and filler words. 

    Julie: Welcome, welcome. This is Women of Strength Wednesday and you are tuned in to The VBAC Link podcast with Julie and Meagan and our special guest, Lindsay, today. We were actually just chitchatting a little bit before we pressed record about different providers and how they influence birth outcomes. Sometimes you will have a provider who is surprisingly more supportive than you would expect them to be and vice versa, right? So we are going to talk about that and all the different parts of Lindsay’s story in a little bit. 

    Before we do that though, Meagan has a Review of the Week for us.
    Review of the Week
    Meagan: Yes I do. This is from RokFray and it says “Getting VBAC Ready. This podcast has been inspiring and motivational to me as I prepare for a VBAC with my fourth baby. Listening to each of these stories and realizing that through listening I have learned how to advocate for myself and my family has been a true blessing. Thank you!”

    And I just want to say thank you to RokFray for sharing your review. Julie and I say it all the time. We love your reviews. We truly mean it. And honestly, we are running out of some reviews because we haven’t been recording for so long. We haven’t had a ton of reviews here coming in and so we would love some new, fresh reviews so we can read them on future podcasts.

    Julie: You never know. Maybe next week, we will read yours.

    Meagan: Yep.

    Julie: I love it. I always remember that time when somebody was Review of the Week and they posted on their Instagram. Well, I guess it has happened a couple of times, but it just makes me happy. Getting reviews, reading them, and everyone letting us know how we have been helping you so thank you, thank you. It means a lot to us.
    Lindsay’s Story
    Julie: All right. Let’s get to it. We have Lindsay with us today. Lindsay is an Advertising Account Director and a mom of two. She loves being a mom and thinks bringing babies earthside is one of the most surreal experiences that we have as mothers. “Childbirth is the best lesson a mother can experience,” she says. “A lot is out of our control, so plan for the worst and hope for the best.” 

    Do you know what that reminds me of? That reminds me of when I was in the military. Plan for the worst and hope for the best because I don’t know if anybody out there listening is in the military, or a military spouse, or has ever been in the military, but you know that whenever things can go wrong if there is a possibility, then it probably will go wrong. So you have got to just kind of expect not very much, but hope for great things. That just reminded me of that when I was just reading your bio. Lindsay. But I like that sentiment because you can prepare for all of the things, right? You can prepare for all of the outcomes, but always hope for and even expect the best outcomes as well. So I love that.

    But Lindsay, why don’t you go ahead and tell us a little bit more and share your story with us?

    Lindsay: awesome. Thanks so much, Julie. So I will start with my pr

    • 52 min
    Carly's VBAC + COVID Birth Challenges

    Carly's VBAC + COVID Birth Challenges

    The only predictable thing about birth is its unpredictability! When Carly felt the urge to push at home, she realized that there wasn’t enough time to make it to her hospital of choice. She would have to have to fight for her VBAC at the closest hospital– the same hospital where she had her traumatic C-section.

    Though she wasn’t treated with the respect she deserved yet again, this time, Carly held her ground. This time, Carly was in control. This time, Carly birthed her baby how she knew she could.

    “The first time I became my mom was literally a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me and I felt like that had been stepped on for so many different reasons. The second time around, I was like, ‘I am going to fight for this.’”

    Additional links
    The VBAC Link Blog: How to Find a Truly Supportive Provider
    Mamastefit 
    How to VBAC: The Ultimate Prep Course for Parents
    Full transcriptNote: All transcripts are edited to correct grammar, false starts, and filler words. 

    Meagan: You guys, it is The VBAC Link. We are back. We are so happy. We are four weeks into this and seriously, it is just making me smile every single time we record with another guest. It is Meagan and Julie with The VBAC Link and we have a guest today. Her name is Carly and she will be sharing her VBAC story. You guys, she is pretty stinking amazing. She does all the things. She does cloth diapers, co-sleeps– all the things. I am reading through her bio and I am like, “She is amazing.” You are so amazing. Cloth diapering is a hard thing to do and the fact that you even do it part-time is amazing. So I am excited to get to know you even better and learn more about you.

    Right before we dive into your amazing story, we have Julie, of course, with the Review of the Week.
    Review of the Week
    Julie: Okay. So we already know that I have this weird thing where sometimes I feel like I need to be a singer on the podcast this season. This season, I don’t know what you even call it. In this next review, I am not going to sing, but I really want to just sing because Carly is from Philadelphia. If you know what song is triggering in my mind right now from Philadelphia, I will not sing it. I have been trying to not because I think it is a little bit weird. I don’t want to be weird.

    I’m really weird. Oh my gosh. I’m weird. Oh my gosh. I’m so weird, you guys. Okay. But anyway, I am just going to read the Review of the Week while you guys can sing the song I am thinking about from Will Smith, and Philadelphia, and all that playground stuff where he spent most of his days. 

    All right, so this review is from Kiley MoMy from Apple Podcasts and it is titled, “Listen If You Are Considering a VBAC.” She said, “My first child was born via emergency C-section and I felt very discouraged and afraid that my next birth could end up being a C-section again. I started listening to this podcast for information and what I got was so much more. The stories shared are so raw, emotional, and amazing. They helped me prioritize a supportive VBAC team, gave me the right questions to ask my providers, and filled me with confidence and knowledge to do what was best for me and my baby. My second child was born via VBAC and I am so grateful to The VBAC Link for helping me overcome the fears I had with my previous birth and helping me to prepare emotionally for my second birth however it turned out.”

    I love that review. Thank you so much, Kiley. Oh my gosh. All these warm and fuzzies are kind of making me tear up a little bit. I don’t realize, I think, how much I have missed that.

    Meagan: I know. I know. Yeah.

    Julie: If you are loving the podcast and you love having it back, we would love to hear from you. So please drop us a review on whatever podcast platform you are listening to. Actually, I think not very many of them you can leave reviews on, but you can leave one on Apple Podcasts for sure. You can go to Google. Just Google The VBAC Link and drop us a re

    • 36 min
    Danielle's VBAC + High Cesarean Rates

    Danielle's VBAC + High Cesarean Rates

    Did you know that in South African private hospitals, where patients are better cared for, the C-section rate is 76%?! 

    Joining us today all the way from South Africa is our friend, Danielle. She shares how she became part of that C-section statistic with her first birth, but also how she refused to let those numbers define her second birth. Though she fought an uphill battle, Danielle’s successful VBAC was an achievement that changed the course of her life. Her strength has paved the way for others in her area to no longer become a statistic and to no longer fear natural birth. 

    Additional links
    Natural Birth With Great Expectations Midwives
    How to VBAC: The Ultimate Prep Course for Parents
    Full transcriptNote: All transcripts are edited to correct grammar, false starts, and filler words. 

    Julie: Welcome, welcome. You are listening to The VBAC Link podcast with Julie and Meagan and we have a really special guest for you today. This is episode number 186. We have Danielle with us and Danielle is from South Africa. She had her C-section and her VBAC in South Africa. We were just chitchatting before we started recording the podcast. There are private and public hospitals and in the private hospitals, which is where you get the best care, the C-section rate is 76%. 76%!

    Meagan: It’s so crazy to me. The crazy thing is that it’s where you get better care, but then–

    Julie: –where you are treated better, I know.

    Meagan: Yeah.

    Julie: In public hospitals, the C-section rate is 24%. When you combine those two together– I mean, I guess it just depends on the population density that is giving birth in each of the hospitals and so I guess I can’t really come up with an overall rate there for the country. Maybe Danielle knows when she will share her story with us. But that is very, very large. 

    Danielle had quite the battle to fight during her pregnancies, births, and deliveries, but we are going to go ahead and let her share that with you after Meagan reads a Review of the Week for us.
    Review of the Week
    Meagan: Okay. This is from Brittany and it was actually on Instagram. She sent us a message on Instagram. It says, “Meagan and Julie, I just wanted to thank you for your amazing podcast. I just had the VBAC of my dreams a few days ago and honestly could not have done it without the encouragement of you guys and the women who share their stories. I was hesitant in wanting a VBAC going into my second pregnancy, but you guys gave me the confidence to do it.”

    Crazy enough, we just got a message today from someone saying, “I am super hesitant. I had a C-section with my first. I didn’t progress past a 3, so my provider is telling me I am not a good match for a VBAC. I don’t know what to do. Is that possible? What do I do?” And that is exactly what this podcast does. It does. It empowers you. It encourages you. It educates you to make the best decision whether it be a repeat C-section or a vaginal birth. 

    So congratulations, Brittany, on your VBAC. We are so happy that this amazing podcast and we could help you. If you guys have had an experience or anything like that with the podcast, we would love to hear it. Feel free to do Apple Podcasts or like I said, Instagram, or Facebook. Send us a message. We would love to read your review on the podcast someday.

    Julie: I love that so much. I just want to say that whenever people say, “Oh yeah. Your podcast empowered me” or whatever, I will be like, “Well, you had the empowerment in you all along. We may have helped you discover it and open it up a little bit, but you need to own that. You were empowered. You did it You took charge. We might have helped you discover that along the way, but give yourself some credit too because you are pretty awesome.” 

    That’s what I think every time I hear that. It’s pretty cool. I love all of our listeners and I love everybody that takes the time to leave a review, especially. So like Meagan said, if you have f

    • 36 min
    Kallista with New Mom Boss Talks Postpartum

    Kallista with New Mom Boss Talks Postpartum

    You’ve researched, prepared, and achieved your VBAC, but now what? 
    We are diving deep into all things postpartum today with New Boss Mom, Kallista Anderson. Kallista shares her expertise with us on how to thrive during the postpartum period.

    Topics include:
    Strengthening your relationships
    Kallista’s number one postpartum tip
    Investing in yourself
    Warning signs and resources for postpartum depression 

    Continue advocating for your needs even after your baby is born. 
    You deserve to enjoy this season and your baby deserves to have the best version of yourself! 
     
    Additional links
    New Mom Boss Kallista Anderson
    Prepping For Postpartum Workshop
    Meal Train Website
    Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale
    Postpartum Support International
    How to VBAC: The Ultimate Prep Course for Parents
    Full transcriptNote: All transcripts are edited to correct grammar, false starts, and filler words. 
    Meagan: Happy Wednesday, everybody. I am so excited today to talk about postpartum. Julie and I have partnered up with Kallista Anderson who, if you don’t already know, you should know. She has her podcast, The New Mom Boss Podcast, and she is amazing. She is helping mamas get through all the things by preparing, self-care, creating a good space, learning about postpartum, and coaching all the things. 

    So today, we are going to be talking with her about postpartum and a few different types of things about postpartum: navigating through relationships in postpartum and then also prepping for after and being prepared. 

    Before we do that, I am going to turn over the time to Julie, and then we are going to dive right in because I think this is such an important topic that honestly isn’t talked about enough.
    Review of the Week
    Julie: Yeah. I’m excited too. Postpartum, my goodness. We don’t talk about that enough here and society doesn’t talk about it as much just generally. So we are glad to have Kallista here with us today. 

    Our review today comes from Apple Podcasts and it is from jenh415. She says, “I don’t feel alone in this journey anymore.” Her review says, “I started planning my VBAC two years ago right after I had my son. My Cesarean left me with lots of negative feelings and thoughts about myself and birth in general. I just knew that I needed to have a chance to have my dream birth. I found your podcast at almost 14 weeks pregnant–” and she is now 18 weeks. Oh, this was left in July. Let’s see. 

    “--and immediately dove in headfirst. When I first started listening, I couldn’t make it through five minutes of an episode without bawling my eyes out. With the help of my midwife and your empowering podcast, I now feel like I am headed in the right direction. Being able to hear so many different stories lets me know that I am not alone in this journey. No matter how my second birth story ends, I know that I will be in control and the experience is going to be completely different. I am forever grateful to the two of you for creating such a positive space for us mamas.”

    Oh, I love that so much. That makes me happy. It really is good reviews like this that help keeps us going. So thank you so much for leaving this review, jenh415. If you haven’t already, please, we would love to hear what you think about the podcast or anything else about The VBAC Link that has helped you on your journey. You can leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, Facebook, Google, or anywhere that you can leave a review.
    New Mom Boss Kallista Anderson
    Meagan: All right. Okay. We are so excited, you guys. So again, Kallista Anderson with New Mom Boss. You can find her on Instagram and thenewmomboss.com. We are so excited to hear what she has to say today. But I have to give a little plug-in before we even begin and I am probably going to remind you after because I would highly suggest taking her workshop. She has got a four-day– you said four-day, right? I think?

    Kallista: Yes.

    Meagan: Okay, yes. A four-day workshop is kicking off

    • 52 min
    Daniela's VBAC + Doulas and Advocacy

    Daniela's VBAC + Doulas and Advocacy

    “When she saw that I couldn’t speak, she spoke up for me.”
    Though her first birth felt wildly out of control, Daniela learned her first lessons in how to speak up in the birth space by pushing for pain relief during her Cesarean even when she wasn’t initially believed. 
    During her VBAC preparation, Daniela’s confidence just kept growing. Yet though she was confident, she knew she couldn’t only rely on herself. So with her husband and a trusted doula by her side, Daniela was able to keep her focus on laboring and achieve the VBAC she envisioned.
    Advocating for yourself in the birth space can feel scary, but Meagan and Julie discuss how to help you feel strong enough in your desires and courageous enough to make sure they are honored during your VBAC.

    Additional links
    Benefits of a Doula for Pregnancy, Birth, & Beyond
    VBAC Friendly Doctors: How to Find a Truly Supportive Provider
    How to VBAC: The Ultimate Prep Course for Parents
    Find a VBAC Doula
    Full transcriptNote: All transcripts are edited to correct grammar, false starts, and filler words. 
    Julie: Welcome to The VBAC Link podcast. This is Julie and Meagan with you today. We are so excited. Oh my gosh, we are just getting back into the groove of podcast recording and I’m just over here with a big ol’ smile on my face. I’m sure Meagan is the same. We just shut off our videos. We record on Zoom. So we just shut off our videos and it is always fun to get to see each other because Meagan and I hardly ever see each other anymore. It’s really funny. But it’s fun to see our guest, and just chit-chat a little bit first, and get back into it. 

    But we have a really, really exciting guest for you today. It is Daniela and she’s going to share her story about her VBAC. We’re going to talk about advocating for your rights during childbirth because that’s a really hard thing to do and sometimes you don’t exactly know how to do it. So Daniela’s story is going to go into that a little bit, and then we’re going to talk a little bit more at the end. But before we get started, Meagan has a Review of the Week for us. 
    Review of the Week
    Meagan: Yes, I do. This is from Jen7363728. 

    Julie: “867-5309”. Okay sorry, go on. 

    Meagan: The title is, “So inspiring.” She says, “Thank you for providing this important resource to women. I am preparing for my VBAC coming any day now (40 weeks, 5 days today). Your podcast has been so informative and inspirational! Your work is truly making a difference. Thank you for empowering me and so many others to follow this journey.”

    And I love that. I am excited to know if she had her VBAC or how her birth went. That was back in June, you guys. June of 2021? 2021. No, 2020. I bet this was in 2020. So that was a long time ago. 

    We love our reviews. If we ever read your review on the podcast, we’d love to know the follow-up. Let us know how things went and of course, we’re always looking for new and fun reviews. So if you have a second, drop us a review. You can do it on Apple Podcasts. You can do it on Google, pretty much wherever.

    Julie: Facebook. 

    Meagan: Facebook. Wherever we are, you can leave us a review. We love them. They mean the world to us and we love reading them on the podcast. So thank you so much to Jen– all the numbers– 7363728.
    Daniela’s Story
    Julie: I love it. Oh my gosh, this is so exciting. Okay. We are here today with Daniela. She is a wife, a mama of two boys, and she is currently expecting baby number three in the fall of 2022. So we’re so excited for her and her upcoming birth as well. But before we get talking too much or singing, because apparently singing is something I do now on the podcast, I don’t even know. The first episode, I don’t know, this is weird. Before I start being weird again, Daniela, welcome. We are so excited to have you and we would love for you to share your stories with us. 

    Daniela: Thank you. It is an honor to be here. Every time I listened

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
335 Ratings

335 Ratings

hailey222222 ,

CANT RECOMMEND ENOUGH

I found this podcast shortly after my c section in 2019 with my first and it has helped me sooo much! My doctor had told me I was only going to be able to have 4 children because I was going to have c sections from here on out. This podcast opened my eyes to the possibilities I didn’t have a clue about! And that I have OPTIONS!
I was able to find providers that I trusted and believed in me. I prepared for my VBAC and unfortunately my 1st VBAC was my stillborn 26 week 2nd baby boy in Oct 2021. Although it was heartbreaking, it was a truly amazing experience and I can’t wait to have another vaginal birth, hopefully with a better outcome and a baby we can bring home. But I am pregnant with my 3rd now and am re-listening to all the episodes and I’m so excited to do this! I am in the process of hiring a doula and will be taking a birth course this time around.
Thank you so much for creating this podcast! I am sooooo grateful for all that I have learned!

Britleesmith ,

Highly recommend for both VBAC mamas and mamas in general!

In 2019, after 30 hours of labor, I ended up birthing my son via an unplanned cesarean. I was devastated and knew my future birth had to be different. I immediately started digging into VBAC resources and I came upon your podcast. I listened to every single episode before I even became pregnant with my second baby. The knowledge I gained from the both of you as well as your many guests is truly invaluable. This resource is great for any expectant parent (not just VBAC moms) and I wish I would’ve discovered y’all before my first child. I am thrilled to announce that I got my VBAC this past February and I owe a lot of thanks to y’all! Keep it up, ladies!

Danielle Dillman ,

Educational and Inspirational!

After my c-section in 2019, I knew I wanted something different for my next birth. This podcast and the Facebook community gave me the confidence to pursue a VBAC wholeheartedly. I found out the podcast was coming back right as my labor began on April 20 and I got my VBAC early the next morning! I truly don’t know if I would have achieved my dream birth without you guys. Thank you so much!

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