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 up 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, sewed shut and ta-da it'll be over. It's not.

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 cope with recovering as well as caring for a newborn.

Where to get a VBAC in Korea
Here's a list of hospitals and clinics that foreigners in Korea often give birth at. Not all of them may support VBACs. 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.

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:

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


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




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