Cesarean or labor? Surgery or nature? Women today are far too often told that a cesarean is the only option for them. While cesarean surgery is relatively safe there are unintended health risks to any surgery. Many Obstetricians are interested in supporting vaginal births with their birth teams of midwives, nurses and other professionals.


Have you been offered or advised to have a cesarean for this pregnancy?

There are many reasons for having a cesarean. Medical necessity is, of course, the obvious reason. Certain conditions will have universal definition as necessity. Sometimes you begin labor and then find labor is slow or very painful. These are two reasons that we can help with at SpinningBabies.com

If labor doesn’t begin on its own, induction is the most common course. Going straight to cesarean may be necessary if there is a serious health reason or your doctor doesn’t do vaginal breech births, if your baby is breech.

Adding body balancing and matching birth positions has a chance that your body will respond with less resistance to the artificial oxytocin that is sometimes used for induction of labor. Once in a while, doing The Three Sisters of BalanceSM and then using a belly band, if necessary, with birth positions that open your pelvis where baby is passing by will be enough to avoid a cesarean that was suggested for “failure to progress”. The techniques in The Three Sisters of BalanceSM may help you stay focused and confident when labor is intense.

What many people don’t realize is that a spontaneous labor offers several benefits to the baby. If you are healthy, then the ethical response is to let labor begin spontaneously.

Whatever you decide, I hope you look back a year from now and feel listened to, empowered, and satisfied with your choices. Don’t forget that you are the mama—you get to choose!

One thing I really appreciate about your site is that you speak with an attitude that allows for all birth outcomes. I have to say, part of my emotional healing has been to deal with some of the more radical birth empowerment literature that promises women that any and all of us can have vaginal births if we simply try hard enough. I believe that sometimes, in our quest to lower the shockingly high c-section rate, we seem to want to behave as though no c-sections are necessary. And that is simply not true. In many cases, they are the only option left when everything else has failed. I feel like your site leaves room for this possibility, and I really appreciate that. ~ AJ, mother (after a necessary cesarean)

Have you already had a cesarean before this pregnancy?

We hope every person planning a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) begins preparations with body balance. Start with daily activities and continue with The Three Sisters of BalanceSM.

Your pelvis has a good chance of coming into better symmetry with professional body work combined with exercises. Second babies come more readily as well, and the exercises seem to work better, especially if you start now.

I’ve helped several women who had previous cesareans for a slow descent or a tight fit and even had the same problem in their second labors. We did the Side-lying Release, lunges, and vertical pushing to help the baby fit. Spinning Babies® hopes to be part of every VBAC birth preparation practice.

Are you planning a cesarean?

There are ways to make your cesarean more family-focused.

Talk to the anesthesiologist at your hospital to discuss personal adaptations to your needs for your cesarean. Besides possible medical questions, you might ask about holding your baby before drying or taking the baby to the nursery may be possible. Do you want your doula to be present with your significant other during the surgery? Singing a welcome song that baby has heard during gestation can be a powerful help to your baby’s reassurance.

Do you want to give your baby the benefits of skin-to-skin contact? If you know ahead of time that you will—or may likely—need a cesarean you can “shop around” for more physiological accommodations, such as delayed cord clamping, skin-to-skin contact in the operating room, breast feeding in the recovery room, etc.

After the cesarean, you can create an intimate skin-to-skin welcome for your new baby or babies. This is a wonderful way to reestablish a calm environment and go for an extra hormonal “bonding” surge after a busy beginning in the operating room. Ask your doula, partner, another family member, or a nurse to help you.

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