Thursday, December 26, 2013

Guest Post: "Baby After Bypass"

So I was fat. I still am fat (not that there's anything wrong with that!), but I was REALLY fat when I was little. I was born and raised in Jersey and I have a stubborn German for a father and a pile of moosh n' love for a mother. I heard a lot of crap from my dad about being heavy. "Put the food down." "You'll die big you know." "Try to lose weight so you can play with your friends..." I don't ever think he meant anything bad by it, but it really took a toll. And as for my mom: "lets go get ice cream so you won't be sad anymore.." (you can see how this snowballs, right?)

When I entered high school I had already had years of bullying. As if being big wasn't enough, I had pimples, I wore glasses, and I had super short hair. I was a target for sure. But as I went to doctors for check ups, we realized one thing: weighing 380 pounds when you were 15 years old was pretty darn unhealthy. It was literally killing me and I was scared.

Around this time gastric bypass was pretty knew, but something drastic needed done. I had all the visits and analyzing one could ever want, and I was in. I was going to get the Roux-En-Y gastric bypass procedure on December 13th, 2002. I went under the knife and came out alive. AND SUPER GASSY! In one week I lost 36 pounds. In one month I lost 90. In 6 months I lost 200 pounds. I could finally walk up the stairs and not be in pain and out of breath. My life had changed for the better.
I did have some complications but they were minor. I still have skin, 10 years later, that I'd like gone, but I'm married now and my husband loves me for what I am and he thinks I'm sexy. (I met my husband on and said hello because I thought his beard was AWESOME. It was love at first beard )

My husband and I said we wanted a family and we started TTC in january of 2012. Frustrated 3 months later we were told to relax and grab some champagne. We did...and voila! Pregnant! I had some concerns having had the surgery and being pregnant.
Also, trying to conceive wasnt difficult and it was fun my husband is big too so our positions are limited but our energy never is! We wanted a baby so bad so we tried all the time. The surgery had no impact on our ability to conceive.

 I asked all the doctors if I was safe and how to get my calories in. NOTHING that went in my mouth could be crap calories. Everything I ate had to be good for me and for baby. So that's what I did.
Everything I had was high in protein and I ate many small meals through the day. I drank protein too, tried to cut back on coffee (so hard!), and tried not to head to fast food too often. I did have my fair share of ice cream and pickles for sure, but I did crave healthy things too which helped a lot. I had a complication free pregnancy: no gestational diabetes, no problems whatsoever. I kept myself in check and made sure to do things right. This baby was too important to my husband and I.

In February I gave birth to a chubby 7 pound 13 ounce boy: Edward Remy. I was in labor for 2 hours before fully dilated, and pushed for 18 minutes until he came into this world. He truly is the most amazing thing. My husband and I can't wait to have another!

The gastric bypass was harder to deal with when it was initially done. I was young and didn't follow "the rules" like I should have, but I managed to keep the weight down (although I gained back a little bit). Once I got pregnant I didn't want anything to damage my tummy or my baby, so I kept in close contact with the gastric doctors and they helped me a lot. I would do BOTH of these things again if given the chance. I've never looked back!

This story was shared by Molly, momma of one from Levittown, PA. Molly is the owner of MollyCakes Bakery, find out more about her awesome cakes here.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Guest Post: “It was the worst of times…. Another infertility story”

There is a deep feeling of pain every month, one you hopefully will not become used to. But for many of us, it’s all to familiar a feeling: you got your period this month, again.

We had hit the 18 month mark before I had to stop counting. For the first few months, aunt flow came with all my familiar cramps and pains, and I would smile through the rest of the week with shrug: it was healthy not to get pregnant right away. Then the second half of that next year, I would get a little more down trodden, but I had nowhere to turn. By the end of the first year, I was a mess every month when the “crimson tide” started, because I knew it meant one thing…Not pregnant yet.

I didn’t have a lot of support. My family thought I was too young to start a family: every time it came up, the infamous “I’m too young to be a grandma” would rear its head, and I would just smile and nod, pretending that I wasn’t doing everything I could to get knocked up. My husband didn’t truly understand my anguish, because as a man you just don’t worry about these kinds of things. My girlfriends all had different agendas, finishing school and finding careers. My first doctor shrugged me off as a fat, young girl that needed to hold her horses. At 23, I was hit with this feeling that I would not ever get the family I had dreamed of as a kid.

I watched friend after friend post new baby updates, and with each one, I found the “hide” setting. I wanted to be happy for them, but I couldn’t be happy. My husband’s close friend from work had a new baby boy, and I broke down in our bedroom before going to see them, while he watched not sure what to say. A cousin in the family got pregnant: no job, not married, not readily paying her bills and moved back home with her mom shortly after finding out she was pregnant- and hasn’t left- and it was all on accident. Barely out of high school, she couldn’t take care of herself, much less the dead-beat father she was trying to support and a new baby. But she was given the greatest miracle in the world, to be a mom, and I was a bitter because I wanted it to be me!

It broke my heart. I cried myself to sleep. I laid awake guilt ridden at all hours of the night. I kept a journal about how unfair it all was, and how broken I felt. No matter how much I tried, or how much I wanted to get pregnant, my body just wouldn’t. I watched the months tick by, and knew that all these “delays” were adding up. It would make the difference between my husband’s Grandmother meeting our daughter –he was her favorite grandson- because her health did not allow her to stay with us that long. I blamed myself a lot, and brought myself down. I let myself hit the lowest of lows, truly believed that this was just not going to happen for us. In order to write this post, I went back through those old journals, and it made my heart hurt all over again.

I have mild PCOS: the cysts on my ovaries were not very large, and the extra chemical progesterone was only mildly over what it should have been. We had my thyroid tested, and all came back clear. I could grow facial hair like my husband, and had gained weight over the years that I really didn’t link up with the PCOS until now. I was one of the lucky ones, where in a 12 month span, I would only skip a period 2 or 3 times because I hadn’t ovulated that month. My first doctor did not run additional tests at all, other than the basic ultrasound, and left me with the diagnosis to see her again in a year and lose weight. Notice how I said first… if you don’t like or agree with your doctor now, do you think you will later, when you do get pregnant? Ditch any negative nancies now, and find a new OB/GYN that is willing to help!

After the close to two years of trying of trying, I really stopped counting. I looked up adoption, starting writing up a biography about us, and started looking up what kind of fees I would need to pay, and how I was going to save up for them. I forced my husband to see his doctor –and let me remind every one of you beautiful, hurting ladies: it takes two to tango here! His test results were similar to mine: again, we were sent away with a diagnosis of lose weight, try harder, and then it’ll work. I then turned into some sort of monster: I blamed him for not taking his vitamins, drinking one more soda than he should have, putting his left shoe on before his right… Things that were totally unrelated became a bullet point on my vendetta list. I went from sobbing emotional sad-sack to bitter bitch-zilla in a 10 minute span (influenced mildly by Clomid) and I was not fun to be around, even to myself, I would realize later.

I won’t sit here and tell you what the magic trick is to being okay with not being okay. Take a moment to yourself, don’t just pretend and smile through the day. There are days you are going to need to cry it all out, nights you just need loud music, or a quiet hot bath. It gets much harder before it will ever be easier, but it does make victory so much sweeter. Here’s the thing: you can throw as much as you want into your fertility, but there’s never a guarantee that it’ll be enough. Take each month in stride, make positive changes, and do what you can to help yourself.

I’m no expert, but I do have some experience in the area. If your doctor is unwilling to help you, there are a lot of things you can do to help yourself. Start by knowing as much as you can about fertility: learn how to track your cycles, find those ‘super foods’ the internet talks about, cut out the bad things from your life, like smoking, before you begin to try. My favorite book was “The Impatient Woman's Guide to Getting Pregnant” by Heidi Murkoff. I read it three times through or more. There’s certainly a lot to learn, and a lot to change. Because it takes two, you also want to help your partner make changes too: quitting smoking, reducing alcohol and coffee intake, even switching to different underwear. I highly suggest you both take a prenatal vitamin: part of this suggestion though, I would use an empty bottle of vitamin whatever and fill it with prenatals, if your partner isn’t as on board as you are. Folic acid for him is equally as good as it is for you! Sperm is, however, made in advance, so what you are using today was actually “created” 3 months prior. Changes on your partners side will take effect 2 to 3 months later.

Use the time you have before being pregnant to do things you wanted to learn to do: I am thankful I had a chance to learn to crochet before we had baby-on-board. I got a second dog, and trained him before we got pregnant (another blessing in so many ways!). I could financially prepare for what we were going to need, and the delay was a good thing,  that allowed my husband to change jobs to something more reliable, with a higher wage which was nice too. Maybe it’s a trip to Hawaii you’ve always been dreaming of, or learning professional photography. Keep your partners feelings in mind too: maybe there’s something he would like to do before baby too, and squeeze these simple pleasures and new hobbies in beforehand. For secondary infertility, enjoy your first child just a little longer. Make a few fun outings that you don’t normally, like a road trip to the beach, and just enjoy their excitement. Soon, you’ll have to try to find time for two, and you’ll miss these days.

In the end, do what makes sense to you. Your mind knows what it wants. If you just need to rant, or cry, or hit something, find a constructive way to do it! You are doing all you can, and good things really do take time. Surround yourself with people you can talk to, doctors whom you trust and respect their advice, and who are there to help you through your struggle, not just shrug you off with a “lose weight” or “get older” verdict. There is no magic trick to getting pregnant, no wonderful pill you can take and make it easier. Anyone who has never had trouble getting pregnant has no idea what it feels like, and they give bad advice –take it with a grain of salt. Talk about it, even if it’s just to a word document on your computer, or a notebook at home, and let go of all your frustrations and unwind! You are not ever, ever alone in this journey!

So, my last piece of advice. Go into the bathroom, look at yourself in the mirror. Tell yourself that “We are going to do this!”. Repeat every day. You really are going to be able to do this, in your body’s own time. And, that feeling every month? It makes it totally worth it in the end!

Amanda P. is a soon-to-be mom from Arizona. She works at an airline call center and also has a website that you can check out here. Sending Amanda lots of well wishes, as she is due to give birth February 2014!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Supplements for Toddlers?

I recently read an article about how a very popular children's vitamin (actually, the one I always took as a kid) is actually full of GMOs, aspartame, and a slew of other really nasty stuff that I wouldn't ever knowingly give my child. 

My son is a very picky eater (he only willingly eats fruits, veggies and cheese) so I worry about his protein and fat intake. Every morning, I make Bu "tremenda mezcla" ("a huge mixture" in Spanish, that's what my dad calls it) of stuff, but it works out for us and he loves it. I mix 1 fruit, 1 vegetable and 1 protein baby food/puree (all organic) with 2 teaspoons of Michaels Pediavites (a lemon flavored liquid multivitamin), 1 tablespoon of Blue Ice infused coconut oil (organic coconut oil that has fermented cod liver oil in it) and 1 teaspoon of Baby Bifidactyl Probiotics, with just enough water to make it all drinkable.

It always looks and smells NASTY, but Bu loves it and I know once he drinks that, he can eat any sort of baby snack or stuff off Daddy's (not usually health-focused) plate the rest of the day and I won't worry whatsoever because he got so much nutrition first thing in the morning.

Lately, I've started making him smoothies with frozen organic produce and experimenting with fat/proteins/grains. I find that not only have I saved money (DIY is much cheaper than 3 jars of baby food a day) but it justs feels nice that I know exactly what Bu is getting. The only real drawback is that he's a stickler for texture and even temperature (he likes his drinks room temperature! LOL), and flavor combos are sometimes not as successful as I foresee.

Do you give your babies/toddlers/kids any supplements? Why or why not?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Food for thought on vaccinating...

Disclaimer: the following is simply meant to get parents to consider all their choices and alternatives before choosing whether or not to vaccinate. To each their own and like I always say, as long as a choice is informed and it sits well with a parent as what's best for their family after considering all the alternatives, then that parent is doing their best and nothing more can be asked of them. -MF

To provide a counterpoint: all the "epidemics" they're talking about here happened to both vaccinated and unvaccinated children. They're blaming it on the unvaccinated children spreading it but if the vaccine worked to begin with, half of the cases (the vaccinated children) shouldn't have caught it. So all that proves is that wherever the start of the epidemic came from, the vaccine didn't provide the protection it was supposed to for the kids that WERE vaccinated. 

And as far as the abroad studies, you can't compare the general medical care and environment here to the Middle East slums. Vaccinated or not, children over there are bound to be less healthy and THATS going to make them susceptible to disease, not whether or not they have their shots.

I usually ignore stuff like this because it's something that's a touchy subject, but that headline is so aggressive (and the article has so many holes in it) that I wanted to speak up, if only to urge whoever is reading this to do their OWN research and not just rely on tradition to make their choice on vaccinating. You can always do it later or at least do it more slowly and spaced out rather than bombarding teeny kids with all those chemicals at once, which most doctors don't let you know that you have that choice and it is your choice to make! :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013


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Guest Post : "Cold Weather Babywearing Tips"

Babywearing is awesome. It's so wonderful to have your little one so close and snug. It's like a constant hug without having to tire your arms. That is, provided your little one isn't struggling the whole time to get down and run around... Not that that ever happens to me. 

This year babywearing my 18 month old daughter, Athena,  is a very different experience than wearing her last year. Now, all she wants to do is run around and hates any sort of confinement. That's just how she rolls, I guess. Probably her way of letting us know that she is no longer a "baby" so, come on mom and dad, you can stop trying to "baby"wear me now... 

But last year, it was AWESOME. I baby wore her all fall and winter long. We kept each other warm and I got to see her little face look in awe at the great, wide world around her. Then she would doze to sleep while still on me and we would continue to walk together, me listening to her calm breathing, and her listening to the pounding of my heart.

Babywearing in winter is definitely a different animal then baby wearing in the warm summer months. Brian and I learned very quickly that we needed to do things a little differently. Babywearing in winter doesn't have to be complicated, and for the most part any tips I can give you would come to you simply from listening to your "parental instinct". But, just in case someone might find it helpful to learn from my own experience, here are 

Ten Tips for Babywearing in Winter

  • Head. Always have a hat for baby. Make sure it is snug around their face so it cannot easily slide down and cover their eyes and thick enough to keep their head warm. Even though it is a myth that we loose heat faster through our head, it is still very important to keep your baby's head nice and warm. No one enjoys being outside if their ears and face are freezing.  
  • Hands. Little babies fingers get cold very easily. Try and find a pair of gloves that fit snugly, but not too tight, on your baby's little hands. Tuck the gloves into their shirt so their wrists do not get exposed to the cold air accidentally. If your baby refuses to wear gloves, like mine often did, just make sure they can tuck their arms inside the carrier if they get cold.
  • Legs. It's easy to keep baby's core warm since it is right up against you, and you can always draw their arms into the carrier to stay warmer, but their legs have no choice but to stay outside the carrier. Therefore, it is super important that you put on lots of layers for their legs. Depending on how cold it is outside this might look like two pairs of pants and leg warmers and then socks. It simply depends on how cold it is outside. 
  • Toes. Very warm shoes and socks are a must. Baby's toes can get cold very quickly. If you don't have good shoes or socks that fit baby (they grow fast and surprise you sometimes...)  you can always improvise. Several times when Athena's warm socks were in the wash, or simply AWOL, I put a pair of my own warm socks around her feet by doubling them up. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. And no one ever creates more necessity than a baby. :)
  • Layers are a must. Babywearing is great because it helps keep everyone involved warm. Your baby will be like a little heater to you and vice versa. This is why it's extremely important that you both wear layers. Last winter when I took Athena on a hike up a butte it was freezing out, but by the time we got to the top we were both sweating. I was very thankful that we could both shed a few layers. 

  • Wear an appropriately sized coat. I know that companies sell specially designed coats for baby wearing, but personally, I never found that necessary. Now, for someone who lives in an area where it snows all the time, this might be something worth investing in. However, for my purposes I found that really all I needed was an oversized coat. When Athena was very little and I carried her in front in the Ergo, I wore the same coat I used when I was very pregnant with her to put around both of us. I couldn't quite zip it all the way up, but enough so that it kept both of us warm. Maybe not the most fashionable choice... but who cares about such things when you are out enjoying the sunshine and the fresh cold air on a wintery day? Not me.
  • Allow for air. I am guessing that this goes without saying, but make sure your baby is breathing comfortably. Make sure no sweaters, coats, or scarves slip and obstruct air flow to baby. If they are positioned in front, this is easier to monitor.  If your baby is on your back, have a partner or friend check them for you.
  • Check baby regularly. Most parents do this without needing to be told, but check your baby regularly to make sure they are staying warm and comfortable. No one enjoys being freezing. A cozy, warm baby (for the most part..) will be a happy baby. 
  • Bring a blanket. This is not specifically related to babywearing, but something that is very important to remember since we have been talking about keeping baby very warm with lots of layers. Make sure, however, when your baby is in the carseat that you do not have lots of layers on them, as this can make the carseat safety measure ineffective in case of an accident. Always put coats on when you have arrived at your destination. During the ride simply put a cozy blanket over baby to keep them warm. 
  • Do it! The last and final tip I want to leave you with is simply this: "Do it!". Babywearing is wonderful and you will only be able to do it for a short period of time. Just last year I was holding Athena close and snug, and now she's off and running. When else will you have a more perfect excuse to snuggle your baby than when it's cold outside? Enjoy those little moments. Treasure them as best you can. 

If you enjoyed reading my tips for babywearing in the winter, be sure and check out my blog for more awesome posts, including how to make your own Homemade Baby Care ProductsHow to Wash Cloth Diapers, and How to Turn a Receiving Blanket into a Diaper (no-sew method!)

Here's to staying warm this winter season! <3

Thanks so much for reading! My name is Jacquelyn (aka 'crunchy momma') and this is my baby girl, Athena (who we call 'little owl'). I am a wife, a mother a dancer, a lover of good books, a self-educated student of nutrition, a thinker, and a cook. I share bits of my life at along with healthy recipes, kitchen tips and much more.

I would love for you to join in our adventures. You can find me on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

<3 The Crunchy Momma

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Guest Post: "Road to Surrogacy"

I was 19 when my husband and I got pregnant with my son. I had an amazing pregnancy. You hear all these bad things about pregnancy and all these complications that go along with it and I lucked out. I only had morning sickness for a few weeks and nothing else was bad. I got induced 2 weeks early and he came out at 8 lbs 4 oz and as healthy as a horse. This was 16 months ago. I am now 21 and loving life with a very energetic toddler. I want more kids, but not now. I'm going back to school and want to have a career before I take the plunge and have another child.

 I've always thought about doing surrogacy ever since I had my son. I was just scared to ask my husband. I figured he wouldn't be okay with me doing it so I just put it on the back burner and left it there. On Easter Sunday of this year, I went to my relatives house and I was talking to one of my cousins who was due with her child in about 2 weeks and I just kept saying to my husband how much I missed being pregnant. He knew I didn't want another kid at the moment. So when we left, he was the one who told me I should look into being a surrogate. The more I looked into it, the more scared I was. There are a lot of stories out there of people who carried children and then something horrific went wrong and they were never able to carry another one of their children again. But, the more and more I read and learned about everything, the more I realized that I have to do this.There is NO way that I CANNOT do this.  I honestly believe this is my calling. Truly. So, I researched and researched some more and I had a few agencies that I liked but its so expensive for the parents to do that. 

I found this message board online where you can post an ad of where your located and whether your a GS (Gestational Surrogate) or TS (Traditional Surrogate) looking for intended parents or parents looking for a surrogate. I wanted the GS way, I always thought I could do this as long as the child wasn't related to me. It would just be that much harder. So, I posted an ad saying where I was from and I'm looking to be a GS and I've got quite a bit of emails, but only 1 stuck out to me.

This woman emailed me and said she was from the same state about 3 towns over. about 30 miles from me. I could not believe it!!! That's what I wanted. I wanted parents that could be with me throughout the entire pregnancy. Not just talk on the phone or email once a week. I want to see them and hang out with them. I emailed her back and we hit it off instantly. We met one day and we were amazing how much we are like the same person. 

I was a little nervous not going through an agency but I realized everything would be okay. We got through our psychological evaluation, all of the labs for the fertility doctor (We thankfully worked with one of the best fertility offices in our state), the transfer and then the pregnancy test. A few weeks ago we found out we were pregnant. They could not be any happier!!!! We are moving right along in this pregnancy too. I am 8 weeks and at the ultrasound I am already measuring 3 days ahead.

 I love doing this. I wouldn't trade doing this for anything in the world. Now that I look back at where I was in the beginning, with all my doubts about what will I do if something happens to me or my baby making and carrying abilities, I will know that I did this for an excellent reason and that reason is good enough for me. If I can't have another child its because I choose to help someone else have the thing that makes my life worth living. My son is the reason I wake up in the morning and the reason my hair is falling out    :)      but I'm just glad that I had this chance of a lifetime to have and to hold him. Its not necessarily about giving birth to him. It's about seeing that first smile in the morning when you walk in the room, the boo boos you kiss and make them feel better, that cackle of laughter when you find that one ticklish spot and its the "I love you, mommy" before bedtime that makes this whole life seem to fall perfectly in place. And I'm giving this special gift to someone who can't. This makes doing surrogacy worth the risk.

I got a little teary eyed writing this myself. If anyone is interested in doing this please send them my way and I can help them through this.

The strong woman that contributed this post wishes to remain anonymous, but if anyone would like to speak to her or ask any questions in order to help your own decision or journey through surrogacy, please contact Momma Friendly (comment or email) and I will connect both parties. Thank you.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Factors for VBAC success, Part 1/2

In this post, I will discuss why each of the following factors are important in VBAC success:

*reasons for previous c-sections
*arriving at the hospital as late into labor as possible
*not having continuous fetal monitoring
*epidural as late as possible into the labor, if at all
*no induction or acceleration
*previous vaginal birth

*Reasons for previous cesareans
If previous cesareans happened because of something unlikely to reoccur, like the baby being breech (which is a whole other topic, and I will be featuring both facts on breech babies and a couple of guest post on the topic next month), you have a pretty good chance of a successful VBAC. Something like CPD (a medical condition where one's pelvis is actually too small to allow a baby to pass) can make a VBAC more difficult, but it is still not impossible. According to The VBAC Handbook, as many as 2/3 of women with CPD that attempt VBACs are successful!

*Arriving at the hospital as late into labor as possible
The reason for this is simple. The longer you labor at home, the less opportunity the hospital/doctors/nurses have to "help" you with a cascade of interventions that could just lead to a RCS.

*Not having continuous fetal monitoring
Continuous monitoring restricts your mobility, which is a huge problem because being able to move around in labor is a necessity to help labor progress. You might also experience more pain/discomfort constantly laying on your back because you're stuck in bed, hooked up to a monitor. 15 minutes an hour is more than sufficient to give care providers an idea of how baby is doing, and then momma can focus the other 45 minutes of the hour on LABORING how she's most comfortable. Another reason to avoid monitoring if you can help it is that results are often misread, which leads to more cesareans unnecessarily.

*Epidural as late as possible into the labor, if at all
Epidurals usually require continuous fetal monitoring so that the laboring moms lowered blood pressure (a side effect of the epidural) can be checked regularly, along with it's effect on the baby. Because you don't want CFM (see above), you should wait as late as you can to get the epidural, if you get one at all. Epidurals have also been shown to stall labor.

*No induction or acceleration
Any sort of induction or acceleration of labor, including artificial rupture of membranes (AROM, or having your water broken) can raise the risk of the previous cesarean scar "unzipping". Some doctors might want to administer pitocin once a labor really gets going to speed things up, but be aware of the risks before you consent to ANY sort of augmentation!!!

*Previous vaginal birth
If you have had a vaginal birth before your cesarean, you are likelier to have a successful VBAC. You are also likelier to have a successful VBAC if you've already had a VBAC! Crazy, huh? ;) Not much help for mommas like me, that had an unnecesarean right out of the gate, but perhaps good news for other mommas out there!

The next post will finish up the list of factors and the reasons behind them. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the list so far!

Monday, December 2, 2013

"Once a C-section, ALWAYS a C-section"

Is there any truth to this common misconception about labor and delivery?

In short, no. And here's why:

Routine "Repeat Cesarean Section" (RCS) came into practice in the early 1900s because back then. cesareans were done in a vertical cut. This cut is much more prone to rupture, so cesareans became the norm for every mother who had already previously delivered by cesarean in order to prevent rupture during labor.

Today, most c-sections are done with a "bikini-cut", which is a low, horizontal cut on or along the bikini line. It is much less vulnerable to rupture or "unsealing" during labor. The World Health Organization actually declared over 20 years ago that "there is no evidence that cesareans are required after a previous transverse low segment c-section cut".

So what is your option after a cesarean, if not another? Certainly, there is a time and place for RCS, but usually, a safer alternative is VBAC, or Vaginal Birth after Cesarean.

Success of VBAC depends upon:
*reasons for previous c-sections
*arriving at the hospital as late into labor as possible
*not having continuous fetal monitoring
*epidural as late as possible into the labor, if at all
*no induction or acceleration
*previous vaginal birth
*being able to eat, drink and move in labor
*no time restraints
*good relationship with your care providers
*the use of midwives

In the next two posts, I will go deeper into the success factors listed above so there is a better understanding of each and why they are important for the success of a VBAC.