You can significantly reduce your chances of having a C-Section by informed choice of a caregiver and birth place. Here's how:
1. Exercise moderately during pregnancy. Sedentary women are 4x as likely to deliver via caesarean section as women who did aerobics during the first or second trimester.
2. Find a caregiver who has a low C-Section rate and is experienced with successful VBACs. This is true even if you don't need a VBAC, because it means your caregiver doesn't default to caesareans.
3. Find a caregiver who will give you all the time you need, rather than rushing your delivery because of staffing issues.
4. Ask your caregiver what she does if your baby is in a breech position in late pregnancy. You want to hear that she is experienced with turning babies and always tries that before scheduling a C-Section.
5. Check Hospital policies. If you're considering a VBAC, be sure to use a hospital that allows VBACs.
6. Arrange continuous trained labor support, which studies show keeps labor moving. If you aren't using a midwife, supplement your OB by hiring an experienced labor doula. A 2001 study in the journal of perinatal education showed a 56% reduction in the risk of caesarean in women receiving continuous one to one nursing/doula or midwifery care.
7. Be sure that your caregiver and birth venue encourage practices that support the normal process of labor and keep it moving:
- Arrange to stay upright and moving rather than lying down.
- Stay well-nourished and hydrated to give you energy
- Avoid continuous electronic fetal monitoring
- Avoid hastening labor with pitocin, which increases the severity of contractions and makes other medical interventions much more likely.