Would you advise a home birth or water birth when attempting a VBAC?
In an ideal world, we should not contrast home birth and hospital birth.
When an effective communication has been established between the home birth midwife and the obstetrical team, it should be possible to combine what the privacy of the home can offer and what the hospital facilities can offer.
If a laboring woman feels secure in her own "nest", if an experienced, motherly and silent midwife is available, and if the first stage is easy and straightforward, it may be risky to change the environment in hard labor: a transfer to hospital can induce inhibitions.
On the other hand, if the first stage is slow, difficult and very painful, it is probably better to change the environment and to go to the hospital. The point is not to be the prisoner of a project. Such strategies are valid for almost all births, but still more when attempting a VBAC.
When I introduced the concept of hospital birthing pools in the 1970s, our first objective was to reduce the need for drugs when the labor was long and difficult. Originally, we used it in particular in the case of a woman attempting a VBAC, if the contractions were becoming less effective around 5 centimeters. At that phase of labor, immersion in water at the temperature of the body is usually a way to reach complete dilation within an hour or two.
Once more, it is important not to be the prisoner of a project, such as the project of giving birth under water. Many women feel the need to get out of the pool for the very last contractions.
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