How to Cope when you Don't Get Your VBAC - Unplanned Repeat C-section

Updated: Jun 7, 2019

Not everyone would describe their Cesarean as traumatic, but it often can be described that way. We encourage you to work through any past experiences that bring on fear, trauma, or doubt for any upcoming births. Talking about your past experience with someone who is supportive of your decisions is important. Think of 2-3 people who you can include in your safe space. Keep those people near and turn to them when you need to vent, ask questions, get suggestions, etc.

You are a Woman of Strength

I remember when I was in labor with my second daughter wanting to VBAC. I was so ready and felt like I had done so many things to prepare and was ready to take on the world and rock my VBAC. Unfortunately, I found myself walking down to the OR in tears. As I walked down, the nurse was behind me squeezing my IV bag to get it into me as fast as she could. I got the spinal and remember laying down and looking up at the ceiling tiles. I felt defeated and like a failure. I was heartbroken. I told myself I needed to be okay with what was happening and to “suck it up.”

After my daughter was born, I was happy to have her there but was still so broken inside. I felt like I needed to process what had just happened. It took me months and months of really going through the day over and over again before I recognized that I was a woman of strength. I was a strong woman who went through a very serious surgery to get my daughter here. I didn’t realize how much trauma I had still until I started prepping for my VBA2C.

Break Down Previous Birth Experiences and Process Them

Recognizing where the trauma comes from is a great first step. What was it about your birth that brought fear? How can you now eliminate that fear? Were you spoken to or were things happening around you without you being able to make your own decisions? Did you feel in control? Birth trauma may not always be something that sticks with mothers in a negative way, but if it does, it is important to be able to work through it prior to the arrival of your next baby. Break down all of the things that bring trauma and process them one by one.

Once you break down your feelings about your previous births, give yourself some serious credit. It is so important to recognize that you are amazing and to be proud of where you have come. Something I did after processing my births was recognize that I wasn’t a failure--I was a strong woman and mom. Please, please, please don’t ever feel like a failure. Women, you are AMAZING and we are so proud of you. We hope that through your journey, you are able to heal through your birth experiences.

Four Quick Tips for Processing an Unplanned CBAC

1. Understanding that no matter what happens, you are strong. Following your intuition and being at peace with your decision will help with recovery. It is 100% okay to mourn the loss of your experience while also being happy and celebrating the birth of your baby.

2. Take charge of your own birth. With my second Cesarean, I knew the choices I could have in the OR. I talked to the hospital staff prior to going to the OR and felt very supported with the things I desired. Skin-to-skin, I was able to watch my Cesarean, my provider spoke to me during the birth, I had music playing, my husband was able to take pictures of my birth, and overall felt very apart of my birth.

3. Find support. Finding 2-3 people or a safe group where you can talk through your thoughts and feelings can truly be validating. I loved talking to the friends I had about my experience because they always made me feel so much better. If you need a safe group to talk to, we have one. Join our Facebook group, The VBAC Link Community.

4. Understand that VBAMC may still be an option. We have so many mamas, and one of our own podcasts hosts, who have experienced multiple cesareans. Knowing your options after you experience a RCS can help bring a peace of mind along the way.

Check out episode 40 of our podcast to hear the story of Julie's client, Jeanine and how her perfect preparation for VBAC ended in a repeat Cesarean.

Need some VBAC inspiration? Download our VBAC affirmations created just for YOU right here.

Did you know? We offer online VBAC preparation classes and VBAC Doula Certification. Click here to learn more and book now!!

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • iTunes Social Icon
  • Spotify Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Pinterest Social Icon


VBAC Podcast



Salt Lake City, Utah

United States

© 2019 by The VBAC Link