Saturday, 28 September 2013

VBACs (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) in Korea

VBACs are relatively new since at one time there was the belief that "once a C-section, always a C-section". Thankfully this has changed in recent years. However, not everyone is a good candidate for a VBAC. Here are some things you can do to increase your chances of trying for a VBAC. If you already know you need to have a C-section, make sure that your doctor allows you to do these things so that you can try for a VBAC for your next birth.
  • Double stitching, not single stitching
  • A low, transverse incision (bikini line cut) 
  • Being allowed to labor prior to getting your previous C-section can greatly help
  • Time between births should be at least 18-24 months
  • Many doctors will not allow you to try for a VBAC if you've already had two C-sections.
  • A healthy pregnancy, not being over or underweight, eating properly, and exercising. No diabetes,  pre-eclampsia, or high blood pressure
  • Being under 35
  • No issues with the placenta or danger of uterine rupture
  • Do your research and find out about natural childbirth vs. the cascade of interventions
C-sections in Korea
I recently blogged about signs that your doctor might perform an unnecessary C section. Unfortunately, C-sections are very common here in Korea. The rate is around 30%. Korean culture has something to do with it. Husbands rarely get days off (even though legally they're allowed 5 days paternity leave), auspicious days are chosen for the baby's birth, and the lack of education makes women believe that C-sections are easier: they're not. Most Korean hospitals will keep you for 3 days after a vaginal birth and 5 days after a C-section. Some women believe that you'll be wheeled in, cut open, sewn shut and ta-da it'll be over. It's not. Recovery takes weeks, sometimes months, sometimes women are left with permanent nerve damage and are numb.

A C-section is major abdominal surgery. Many C-sections can be avoided, especially the "emergency" C-sections. The number one, top, best ever way to avoid an unnecessary C-section (or unnecesarean) is to choose a hospital or clinic that supports VBACs (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). It's hard enough to recover from major surgery let alone have to care for a newborn on top of it.

Where to get a VBAC in Korea
Here's a list of hospitals and clinics in Korea. Not all of them may support VBACs. Birthing centers and hospitals focused on natural birth should. Always ask a place what their view on VBACs are and what their success rate is. I can't stress it enough for you to get information. Even at the same hospital you may find some doctors who support them and some who don't. Get your doctor to sign your birth plan so that if your doctor isn't on call your wishes will still be respected. These are some VBAC friendly places in Gyeonggi-do and Seoul.
Getting the Birth You Want
There are many things you can do to get the birth you want. The number one thing you can do is to choose a caregiver wisely. You should also ask questions and see how likely it is that you will be able to try for a VBAC. Here are some things to consider asking:

If you're interested about learning more about VBAcs and C-sections, check out the links below. 

Tender Embrace Birthing offers childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care classes and support.

Friday, 27 September 2013

The Bradley Method: Husband-Coached Childbirth

I found a great post about the Bradley Method. This method teaches that birth is normal, but you need to be trained for birthing because we have lost touch with our instincts. It also states that the baby's father is the best person to train the woman. Furthermore it says that he must take an active role in the birth. Dr. Bradley also strongly believes that most women should be able to give birth without any pain medication or interference.

The method can come off as my-way-or-the-highway and that the Bradley Method is superior to all other methods. However, many methods have similar beliefs. Go to Mama Seoul's blog and read more about her opinion of the Bradley Method.

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