People always feel the need to make comments to pregnant women on just about whatever they want. I’m not sure what it is about pregnancy that makes people believe their unsolicited advice is wanted.
These were some of the things that were said to me while pregnant with my 2nd child and was also planning a VBAC (My first baby was breech). I did my best to keep my cool during these times and not get worked up about it. I also tried to use these times to educate others on some VBAC facts and why it was the best choice for my baby and I. Most of the time I was mentally slapping the person across the face but outwardly just smiled, nodded, and moved right along because I wanted to keep myself surrounded by positivity and encouragement.
Here are some things that should never be said to a pregnant woman planning a VBAC.
- “Is that SAFE?!”
This was absolutely the most obnoxious thing that I was asked. On more than one occasion, too! It was less the question itself and more the judgemental or shocked tone of voice that was used which basically told me that even laying down some VBAC education for this person was not going to make them understand that statistically VBAC is safer and that I was in a low-risk pregnancy with a high probability of success. Not to mention that I wouldn’t do something that wasn’t safe anyway…
- “Anyone I know who has tried for a VBAC ended up having another c-section”
I guess this is just speaking without thinking? It sure isn’t supportive and not something you want to hear as you get closer to giving birth. There are so many things that you can do to ensure you have a higher chance of success in terms of educating yourself on VBAC and birth, and finding a supportive and experienced VBAC birth provider.
- “Wouldn’t you rather just schedule it and get it over with?”
No, no I would not. I didn’t want to schedule my first c-section but my daughter was breech (despite trying basically everything) and my birth options were limited.
- “You could have had your baby by now.”
It’s hard enough to go past your “due date” for both physical and emotional reasons. I don’t see how the person saying this would even think it would be acceptable. Women who are past their “due date” (note I’m not saying “late” because I don’t consider that until after 42 weeks) are already anxious for the show to get on the road and meet their baby. My VBAC baby did not arrive until 41 weeks and 2 days and those last 2 weeks seemed so ridiculously long because of the anticipation of both my approaching baby’s birth and VBAC.
So, what should you say to a woman hoping for a VBAC?
Tell her she is amazing and strong.
Tell her she can do anything she puts her mind to.
Tell her you are excited for her.
Tell her you are proud of her for how well she prepared for birth and educated herself on having a VBAC.
Tell her that you believe in her.
At least for me, there was always a little doubt in my mind even on my best days. But when I was having a conversation with someone who was excited right along with me and kept out any negative reactions/comments/thoughts I felt more confident in my decision and excited all over again.
Rock on VBAC mamas!