Do I need a doula with VBAC experience?

doula with vbac experience


VBAC, or vaginal birth after cesarean, is increasing in popularity and is a viable option for many women who have experienced a prior cesarean. Many VBAC hopefuls seek out the support of a doula and in turn might ask the question, "Do I need a doula with VBAC experience?"

The short answer is no, but more important than the desire for a doula with VBAC experience is the reasoning behind the request. While for some this may be strictly personal preference, which is valid in its own right, others ask for this because they feel that a doula with VBAC experience is more likely to possess certain qualities that are important to them. Attempting a TOLAC, or trial of labor after cesarean, often comes with a wide range of emotions and special considerations for the birthing woman, and it is important that her doula is well-equipped to support her. If you're looking for the best doula for VBAC in Memphis, be on the lookout for these qualities:

1. Is your doula educated about VBAC and equipped to support both vaginal and cesarean birth?

Even if your doula has not attended a VBAC, she should be aware of what the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' current recommendations are surrounding TOLAC and VBAC. Staying current on this information is part of ProDoula's certification process, and all Doulas of Memphis doulas are educated on this topic. Our doulas have also been trained by ProDoula to support both vaginal and cesarean birth without judgment or bias. We'll never speak to you negatively about your previous births, or even about cesareans in general.

2. Does your doula support your goals for a VBAC? What if those goals change?

During your pregnancy and labor, your doula is your biggest cheerleader on your road to a VBAC. She is there to listen, validate concerns, and to help you navigate the many choices you must make. Most women who are undergoing a TOLAC will go on to have a succesful VBAC, but this is not always the case. Our doulas will encourage you and support you unconditionally, even if your goals and plans change. Your goals are important to us because they are important to you, and we'll never define you by your mode of delivery!

3. Will your doula be able to tune in to your physical and emotional needs during labor?

VBAC often comes with more challenges than a normal vaginal delivery, both physically and emotionally. It is far more important to have a doula who can stay attuned to your needs than it is to have a doula with VBAC experience. You want a team of doulas who is fully focused on you and what you need in the moment, not on achieving a certain outcome. We want you to feel supported at all times, whether you need extra encouragement or physical support. It's always about you and your needs!

The best doula for VBAC in Memphis is knowledgeable, supportive of your goals, and attuned to you. At Doulas of Memphis, we are committed to providing The Gold Standard for labor support in Memphis. Contact us today and tell us your story!



The Cesarean Doula

Traditionally, doulas have been associated with midwives and home birth or unmedicated "natural" birth, which is great if that's the type of birth you're planning, but what about everyone else? A Doulas of Memphis birth doula happily supports ALL kinds of hospital births. Need an epidural doula? Induction doula? Planning a c-section and looking for a cesarean doula? We've got you covered. cesarean doula memphis

What is a cesarean doula, anyway?

A cesarean doula is a trained birth doula who is supporting you through a cesarean. There's no official title or special certification for a cesarean doula: all of our Doulas of Memphis doulas are trained through ProDoula, and that training encompasses how to support someone through this type of birth that roughly 1 in 3 birthing women experience. That's not a small minority, and we feel strongly that cesarean moms deserve the same level of support as any other birthing woman!

Women have cesareans for many reasons, but whatever the reason, cesarean birth falls into two categories: planned or unplanned.

The cesarean doula and the planned cesarean

Can you hire a doula if you're having a planned cesarean? Absolutely! After all, there's an entire pregnancy that leads up to those few hours surrounding your baby's birth, and then the need for support continues. If you are having a planned cesarean in Memphis and want the support of a doula, we are on call and available to you 24/7 the same as any other kind of birth. We're there for you throughout your pregnancy to provide emotional support, answer questions, connect you with resources, and to be excited for you as you anticipate your little one's arrival! Your doulas will talk through your plans for your birth,  and even help you plan for when baby comes home. Hopefully everything goes on schedule and according to plan, but if for any reason your cesarean date changes, your doulas are on call and ready to come at a moment's notice.

On the day of your baby's birth, your on-call doula will meet you at the hospital and stay with you through the pre-op process, helping you and your partner get comfortable while you wait to go back to the OR. In most Memphis hospitals, only one support person may go back with you. Unless you have discussed otherwise with your OBGYN and anesthesiology team, your doula will wish you luck and greet you after your baby is born. In the recovery room, she will be there to assist you with breastfeeding, support you physically through any discomfort you may be feeling, and will be available to take care of any other little needs you have. After you are home, your doulas will come for a follow-up visit to see how you're doing and to answer any newborn questions you may have.

The cesarean doula and the unplanned cesarean

If you've hired a team of Doulas of Memphis doulas to support you through your birth, know that we are here for you and will provide continuous, unwavering support regardless of how you give birth. If plans change and you wind up giving birth by cesarean when you anticipated a vaginal delivery, our support stays the same. We will stay with you as long as we are allowed to physically support you, help you process any feelings and provide encouragement that you're making the best choice for you and your baby right now. We'll never make you feel like less of a mom because of the way you give birth because we believe birth is an achievement no matter what! We will never abandon you because of the choices you make or the outcome of your birth. We're there to support YOU. Your doula will meet you in recovery and assist you the same as she would for a planned cesarean delivery, and you will receive the same postpartum visit.

Postpartum doulas and cesarean recovery

Whether you anticipated your cesarean birth or not, a Doulas of Memphis postpartum doula can be a tremendous asset to you as you recover from surgery while tending to your new baby. Our postpartum doulas help lighten the load so you can focus on bonding with your baby and your healing. We'll take care of the little things and the household tasks and are available to help with baby care, basic breastfeeding or bottle feeding support, and to be a listening ear for you if you need to talk about your birth or ask questions about your recovery. Doulas of Memphis is proud to offer continuity of care in the form of birth and postpartum doulas.

If hiring a doula for your cesarean sounds right for you, contact us or give us a call at (901) 308-4888 and tell us how we can meet your needs!