43 episodes

A podcast featuring Australians sharing their journey of vaginal birth after caesarean. Through sharing and learning from each other's lived experiences the podcast is designed to empower and educate those whose VBAC journey may have just begun, help all expecting mums achieve a more natural birth if that is their intention, and better inform birth professionals about one's journey to a VBAC.

VBAC Birth Stories Melissa Merino & Stephanie Cannavo

    • Kids & Family
    • 5.0 • 8 Ratings

A podcast featuring Australians sharing their journey of vaginal birth after caesarean. Through sharing and learning from each other's lived experiences the podcast is designed to empower and educate those whose VBAC journey may have just begun, help all expecting mums achieve a more natural birth if that is their intention, and better inform birth professionals about one's journey to a VBAC.

    42 | Nadima's drug-free VBAC with a 4kg baby following an emergency caesarean after induction; 51 hour labour, MGP, Public Hospitals, Hypnobirthing

    42 | Nadima's drug-free VBAC with a 4kg baby following an emergency caesarean after induction; 51 hour labour, MGP, Public Hospitals, Hypnobirthing

    Today we meet Nadima who lives in Melbourne with her husband and two children. Nadima, like many of us, never imagined she would have a caesarean so when she was wheeled into theatre for an emergency caesarean this naturally came as a shock to her. She was booked in for an induction at 37 weeks due to earlier concerns with her baby's heart rate, but she actually never got to experience labour. Although Nadima doesn't describe her first birth as traumatic she knew immediately that she did not want to go through another caesarean if she could prevent it in any way. You'll hear how she prepared herself mentally and physically for her second birth which was a 51 hour long labour, and how her VBAC unfolded with her nearly 4.2kg baby.

    ~ Notes ~

    VBAC Australia Support Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/342851302473349

    **VBAC Birth Stories features women's lived experiences. It is not intended to replace medical advice. Should you have any concerns during your pregnancy please always consult your healthcare provider.

    Please connect with us on Facebook or Instagram: @vbacbirthstories

    • 41 min
    41 | Zara's experience of uterine rupture and emergency caesarean following a planned caesarean for breech; ECV, Birth Trauma, PND, Low iron levels, Prodromal Labour, Augmented Labour, Posterior baby, MGP

    41 | Zara's experience of uterine rupture and emergency caesarean following a planned caesarean for breech; ECV, Birth Trauma, PND, Low iron levels, Prodromal Labour, Augmented Labour, Posterior baby, MGP

    Today we meet Zara from central Queensland and talk to her about her two births. Zara's VBAC journey began with Darcy who was a planned caesarean due to his breech positioning. The caesarean itself wasn't traumatic, but it was what happened afterwards that left Zara feeling like she could not go through childbirth again. She experienced post natal depression following this birth.

    Zara's heart eventually opened to the possibility of having another baby and when the time came she felt a deep desire to have a VBAC, doing everything in her power to give herself the best opportunity including securing continuity of care through her local hospital's midwifery group practice (MGP). The end of Zara's pregnancy presented some challenges which Zara admirably rose to, but once labour was underway Zara experienced what we all are aware of going into labour after caesarean, but feel hopeful won't happen to us- a uterine rupture.

    A uterine rupture can occur in any labour but it is more common in women who have a scar on their uterus from a previous caesarean.

    •We are told 1 in 200 or 0.5% of women labouring after one caesarean will have a uterine rupture, which means about 99.5% of women won't.
    •There have been other studies that have found the uterine rupture rate to be even lower, for example 0.2% and 0.1%
    •An Australian study, Dekker et al 2010, went even further and found that the risk of uterine rupture during VBAC was 0.15% in spontaneous labour, increasing to 0.88% in an induced labour with prostaglandin and oxytocin, and 1.91% in an augmented labour.
    •Of the women who do experience a uterine rupture, 6% of those are considered catastrophic, therefore 94% are considered asymptomatic, and this is what Zara experienced.

    While Zara's story doesn't end with a vaginal delivery she speaks about how she is finding peace with this and the fact that she would do it all over again despite her experience. Her advice to believe in yourself, to educate ourselves about uterine rupture and to understand the risks is inspiring. We hope that her story is a valuable and informative resource for you all on your VBAC journey and a useful tool in understanding what can transpire during uterine rupture in labour.

    ~ Notes ~

    You may connect with Zara on Instagram @zaramartin__

    Studies quoted and associated links can be found in the following article by Dr Rachel Reed:

    https://midwifethinking.com/2016/06/15/vbac-making-a-mountain-out-of-a-molehill/

    Post Natal Depression/Anxiety and Birth Trauma support: If you or anyone you know is affected by PND symptoms particularly at this time of COVID-19 please don't hesitate to contact the following support networks.

    The Gidget Foundation
    https://gidgetfoundation.org.au/get-support/

    PANDA
    https://www.panda.org.au/info-support/pandas-national-perinatal-anxiety-depression-helpline

    Beyond Blue
    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support

    Cope
    https://www.cope.org.au

    **VBAC Birth Stories features women's lived experiences. It is not intended to replace medical advice. Should you have any concerns during your pregnancy please always consult your healthcare provider.

    Please connect with us on Facebook or Instagram: @vbacbirthstories

    • 1 hr 33 min
    40 | Birth in the Time of Covid and Maternity Care in Australia: Hannah Dahlen

    40 | Birth in the Time of Covid and Maternity Care in Australia: Hannah Dahlen

    Discussion of birth in the time of Covid-19 in Australia, lockdown effects on birthing and pregnant women, effects of restrictions on hospitals, care providers and birthing women.

    • 39 min
    39 | Mel's surprise breech 2VBAC homebirth following a prior caesarean for breech; Congenital Heart Defect (VSD), PROM, Neonatal Resuscitation

    39 | Mel's surprise breech 2VBAC homebirth following a prior caesarean for breech; Congenital Heart Defect (VSD), PROM, Neonatal Resuscitation

    Today Mel shares her second VBAC birth story with her third baby Emilia.
    Her birth was a surprise breech homebirth, which was somewhat poetic given her primary caesarean was due to her first baby being breech. Her second birth in a public hospital under caseload midwifery care was a successful unmedicated VBAC (You can listen to this story in episode 2).

    We talk about Mel's decision to homebirth, the implications of covid on her pregnancy, the complications she faced in Emilia's pregnancy when she was found to have a Ventricular Septal Defect at 20 weeks and how her third birth unfolded at home.

    ~ Notes ~

    Books:

    Welcome Home by Alisha Bourke
    Birth With Confidence by Rhea Dhempsey
    Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Sarah Buckley

    Acupuncturist: Keely from Lawson Acupuncture Clinic
    https://www.lawsonacupunctureclinic.com

    Midwife Thinking:
    midwifethinking.com

    Spinning Babies:
    spinningbabies.com

    Homebirth NSW:
    https://www.homebirthnsw.org.au

    Breech Birth Australia & New Zealand Support Group:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/233980109958642

    Birth Photographer: Mel Fisher
    https://www.mjfphotographymacarthur.com/

    **VBAC Birth Stories features women's lived experiences. It is not intended to replace medical advice. Should you have any concerns during your pregnancy please always consult your healthcare provider.

    Please connect with us on Facebook or Instagram: @vbacbirthstories

    • 1 hr 15 min
    38 | Jess' 2 vaginal births, one of which a drug-free VBAC following a caesarean with twins; Private Hospitals, MGP Public Hospital, Child with special needs, Hip Dysplasia, Miscarriage, Calmbirth

    38 | Jess' 2 vaginal births, one of which a drug-free VBAC following a caesarean with twins; Private Hospitals, MGP Public Hospital, Child with special needs, Hip Dysplasia, Miscarriage, Calmbirth

    In this episode we meet Jess who is a mother of four living in regional Victoria.
    Jess has a unique VBAC story to tell us.
    Her first birth was a vaginal birth in a private hospital setting- the fairly positive birth experience was somewhat overshadowed when doctors discovered her newborn daughter had a rare connective tissue disorder. Despite the challenges presented by her eldest's diagnosis, Jess embraced motherhood and was thrilled to discover she was pregnant with twins. When one twin was found to be breech Jess agreed to a planned caesarean for her second birth.
    In between each of her three births Jess experienced three miscarriages and she shares the very personal grief of these with us. Her fourth child and third birth was a VBAC journey she undertook through her local public hospital in the MGP with a dedicated midwife to support her through pregnancy and birth during Covid in 2020. She shares what she wanted to experience in this vaginal birth that was different to her first, and what tools she used to prepare herself physically and mentally to achieve this.
    Jess shows us a refreshing blend of positivity as well as resilience as she describes what it's like to raise a child with additional needs and navigate the usual and not so usual trials of parenting.

    ~ Notes ~

    VBAC Course: VBAC Master Class

    https://www.empoweredtobirth.com.au/vbac-masterclass
    Instagram: @empoweredtobirth

    Book: Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Sarah J Buckley, MD
    https://sarahbuckley.com/gentle-birth-gentle-mothering/

    Pregnancy Loss:
    https://www.bearsofhope.org.au
    https://rednosegriefandloss.org.au
    https://miscarriagesupport.org.au

    **VBAC Birth Stories features women's lived experiences. It is not intended to replace medical advice. Should you have any concerns during your pregnancy please always consult your healthcare provider.

    Please connect with us on Facebook or Instagram: @vbacbirthstories

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Positive COVID-19 Birth Reflections

    Positive COVID-19 Birth Reflections

    Three women reflect on their Covid-19 birth experiences in Australian hospitals.

    • 3 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

ccollins313 ,

Very inspiring!

I just started listening to this podcast, as it was a recommendation in a vbac support group I am in. I absolutely love these stories, we are currently ttc and these stories inspire me to push forward and continue to research push forward for a vbac with this next pregnancy.

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