VBAC Tips from VBAC Academy with Jenni Froment: Podcast Episode #203
September 15, 2023

VBAC Tips from VBAC Academy with Jenni Froment: Podcast Episode #203

Kristin Revere chats with Jenni Froment of VBAC Academy on the latest episode of Ask the Doulas.  Jenni offers VBAC tips and information.  VBAC is defined as Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Section.  You can listen to this complete podcast episode on iTunes, SoundCloud, or wherever you find your podcasts.

Welcome.  You’re listening to Ask the Doulas, a podcast where we talk to experts from all over the country about topics related to pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and early parenting.  Let’s chat!

Kristin:  Hello, this is Kristin with Ask the Doulas, and I am so excited to chat with my friend Jenni Froment.  Jenni is the founder of VBAC Academy, a labor and delivery doula, and a VBAC pro.  Welcome, Jenni!

Jenni:  Thank you!  Thank you for having me!  I’m so excited to be here.

Kristin:  Yeah, I’m so excited to chat with you today.  Now, you have had two VBACs after two Cesarean births, so known as VBA2C.

Jenni:  It’s funny that there’s kind of slang for it.  They usually say VBAC after 2 is, like, the shorthand for it.  VBAC after 2.

Kristin:  Love it.  So your personal journey led you to advocacy, and I know you trained me through VBAC Academy and many of the doulas at Gold Coast Doulas.  I’m so thankful for you and the information that you provide doulas in order to better support our clients.  But many of our listeners may not even know what a VBAC is, especially if they’re a first-time mom.  So let’s start by defining what a VBAC is and then getting into a bit about your stories, if you don’t mind, Jenni.

Jenni:  Yeah, absolutely.  So VBAC is an acronym, and it stands for vaginal birth after Cesarean.  And as you were mentioning earlier, there’s some other variations of that, like VBAC after 2 indicates someone that had two C-sections and then wanted to have a vaginal birth after that.  There’s also a term called HVAC, which is homebirth after C-section, and then there’s actually a term for having a C-section after a C-section, which they call CBAC, and that’s typically reserved for people that were planning a vaginal birth but for whatever reason ended up with a C-section.  They usually refer to those as CBAC.  So yes, that’s a VBAC, and then a little bit about why I got started – you nailed it.  I had two C-section births up front, and for very real reasons for the first time.  I had preeclampsia and had to be induced at 37 weeks and truly very amateur level birther at that point; very first time birther.  Didn’t really take any birthing classes.  So it’s hard to say if it could have gone differently, but I definitely had preeclampsia, and the induction resulted in her heartrate going down.  So necessary C-section.  My second baby was kind of the catalyst before I knew it would be the catalyst.  So I like to share that when I first got pregnant with him and I went to have my first OB appointment, I remember asking – so how does this work?  Do I push this baby out?  Do I have to schedule a C-section?  I truly didn’t know what the next steps were.  And the provider at the time said something along the lines of, it’s safer for you to have a vaginal birth, and it’s safer for baby to have a C-section, and, “Most moms do what’s best for their baby.”  Which is not true.  That’s actually a really weird twisting of the facts, and I wouldn’t even call it a factual statement, anyway.  So I didn’t know better to push back, but it was a really crappy informed consent at that time.  So I actually scheduled that C-section thinking I was doing the right thing for my baby, and the entire pregnancy, they said that my baby was big.  They ended up moving up my due date by almost three weeks.  And when he was scheduled for a C-section, they gave me the option to have him at 38 and 5 days.  So long story short, when he was born via C-section, he presented similar to, like, a 35 or 36 weeks fetus, and he was having trouble oxygenating and had to be in NICU.  And it was really the first moment I was like, wait a minute.  How did we get here?  I was trying to do what was best, and now the NICU pediatrician is saying he was born too early.  It was just really the first time that I understood that doctors didn’t know everything and that I needed to have a little bit more of a front row or driver’s seat, even in what the decisions were about my care and about my pregnancies going forward.  It just kind of lit that flame in me.

Kristin:  Makes sense.

Jenni:  So that was a little bit long, but important.  Then I moved into – I stopped having babies for a little bit, and about five years later, I got pregnant again.  And first I didn’t know the word VBAC.  I was still very much that person that had gotten talked into a C-section.  I just knew I wasn’t ever going to schedule a C-section again.  So I was Googling things like “unscheduled C-section,” “show up at the hospital in labor,” and things that – I thought those were my only choices.  And then that word VBAC started popping up.  So once I learned the word VBAC, I got – it was just one of those things where as soon as I heard it, I knew I wanted it.  And I became very driven and ambitious to get it.  I see that in a lot of VBAC moms, actually.  I don’t know if we’re naturally type A, like go-getters, but a lot of times, very focused, just eyes on the prize.  So I really wanted that VBAC.  And there’s a lot – I feel like this was the first time that I learned what it was; it was the first time I realized how shrouded in challenges it was and how there was a lot of misinformation out there.  When I first started to talk about it with my doctor, the one that I had had before, it was very pooh-poohed, and like, this is not what we talked about, especially as a VBAC after 2.  So I would say just that first – those first moments of knowing what it was and then seeing how hard it was to achieve only made me want it more.  So I guess I’m just that personality type.  So once I really got my teeth in it, I pursued it.  I ended up going through about four or five providers to let me try.  I landed on someone that I would describe as compliant.  Like, just would let me do whatever I wanted, kind of hands off.  So long stories here, so I won’t go into all of it, but I’ll just say I ended up having my VBAC after 2 successfully for my third birth.  In that, I learned a lot about all the rules.  I would use to joke that I could teach classes back then just as a pregnant person learning everything she could about VBAC.  But what was difficult about it was I had put all of my time and energy into fighting for my rights to VBAC and learning everything I needed to know about VBAC because I felt like I couldn’t get it in one space.  And when it came to the emotional bigness of labor, which we all know as doulas or birth professionals or anyone that’s had a baby, it’s a really big transformative person thing that happens to us.  And I felt really unprepared for that for my first VBAC.  So – and this is bringing us home here.  I know I’ve got four babies, so my intro takes a minute.  But with the fourth baby, I had had my VBAC after 2.  I’d had two C-sections, one scheduled, one emergency.  With my VBAC after two, I ended up getting an epidural at one point, so I’d had a medicated vaginal birth.  And with this fourth birth, I really wanted an unmedicated vaginal birth after two C-sections.  I knew all the rules from the last birth.  I felt like I’d had a lot more experience at that time.  I was starting to do birth work with what could happen.  So I really put all of those planning pieces aside and just focused on how to enjoy my birth and how I wanted to feel before, during, and after my birth, knowing what kind of birth baggage I was coming in with.  And I did a lot of inner work and a lot of practice emotionally and mentally and spiritually to kind of get to that.  But when I had that last birth – I call her my opus birth, which is, like, a musical term for the best event ever of your life.  But she – it was about six hours.  I would say there was no suffering, barely anything that I would call pain, just kind of a big feeling.  A really easy pushing; she started coming on her own.  I went to the hospital at, like, 7:20, and she was born by 8:08.  And that really cemented for me that VBACs are important and they’re difficult to plan, and I have a big passion for not just only giving people the information they need to feel safe planning a VBAC but helping them get to the point where they’re not feeling like they just survived their VBAC but that they actually enjoyed their birth.  So that is how my birth story ties into what I’m trying to get done here.

Kristin:  I love it.  And so when did you then take the leap to becoming a doula to support VBAC and other birthing clients?  And then take us to starting VBAC Academy.

Jenni:  All right.  It does get very busy during that time of VBAC after 2-ing that I was doing.  So I got pregnant.  I had my first VBAC after 2.  I was really on fire for the cause after the first one, even though I had some conflicted feelings about my own birth and it felt scary and big and like I wasn’t prepared.  I was still absolutely proud of myself and feeling on fire for helping other people.  So I actually joined and led an organization called ICAN, International Cesarean Awareness Network.  It’s an organization that’s international, and they open up chapters locally in many places.  I encourage everyone to look it up.  And they offer women support on how to avoid unnecessary C-sections and how to get resources for planning VBACs.  So that’s kind of their core.  Once I started leading that, I was hosting meetings monthly for anywhere from 5 women to 50 women.  And there was, like, a 1000-person Facebook group.  And it was just all the questions suddenly about VBAC and then really getting to know the different kinds of experiences that people can have.  I was lucky that I didn’t have a traumatizing C-section experience.  It was more scary after his birth.  But there are some really sad, scary, traumatizing C-sections out there, and learning how to sit with those women and hear how they feel and try to figure out how I can help other people not feel that way after was a really big piece.  And so I led the nonprofit for a while.  And then naturally the kind of – that led to birth work.  I wanted to get out of the group space and start helping people on an individual level.  So I was a labor doula that really specialized in VBAC in Phoenix here for a few years.  Maybe from 2014 to 2018, but it all blurs together.  Lots of VBAC births during that time.  And again, it just kind of broadened my scope and broadened my horizon because I knew what it was like to plan for a VBAC myself.  I knew what it was like to have a C-section for myself.  Then I got to learn from all these great women in the nonprofit all the different ways they could feel and experience.  And also people that were going for VBACs, sometimes they were going for VBACs and it was going great.  Sometimes they were going for VBACs and they had a C-section.  Sometimes when they had a C-section, they still felt okay about it.  Sometimes when they had a C-section, they would still feel bad about it.  So just really observing what helps people feel good, no matter what way the baby ends up coming out, because that’s sometimes out of our control.  I really tried to pay attention to, how can I help people process whatever happens and go into birth with an attitude of, whatever happens, I’m going to be okay and I’m going to try to enjoy this process as the once in a lifetime event that it is.  Then I was doula-ing, enjoying that.  There’s just about nothing that I can think of that’s more humbling and more of an honor than being with people in that space, so I really liked that.  But I will say that it was really emotionally uniquely difficult to be a VBAC doula because every client has so much at stake in it, so much expectations for it to go well.  So did that for a few years, learned a lot.  And then just like when I went from the nonprofit to the doula space, I wanted to go bigger.  So I had been in this space where I was helping one on one.  Now I wanted to help professionals.  I wanted to be able to train other birth providers and parents that weren’t just my clients how to have – I call it joyful VBACs.  How to enjoy it, but educated, too.  So there’s a lot of words I used.  Educated, empowered, joyful, ready.  All of that.  So that’s when VBAC Academy started.  That was around 2020, so it was my pandemic project.  At that time, I had already been teaching parents outside of my client scope and teaching professionals, holding classes at chiropractic offices and OB-GYN offices.  And in 2020, I pulled it all together to make it an online format so that I could not just only reach my local network of professionals but start to reach out to great agencies and movers and shakers like Gold Coast out there and get more people in my tribe and out there hopefully moving and shaking and pushing the VBAC movement forward.  There’s definitely a strong layer of what I do that’s still trying to make VBAC more accessible and less shrouded in all that conflict and should you, should you not, like all the rumors.  Trying to clear up what VBAC is and that it’s safe and hopefully create an army of people out there that also know how to support this unique group of women and parents having babies in this condition.  So that was a lot.

Kristin:  That was a lot!  You are amazing.

Jenni:  Thank you!  It really fuels me.  I call it my labor of love, but it means a lot to me to help women and even when I have someone call me or reach out to me through Instagram or Facebook or my website and just have a question, I never talk to them – it’s satisfying to me to know that I can be there for them in that moment to give them that piece of information that will hopefully help them go on to even bigger, better things.  But yeah, it’s definitely a soft space for me.  I love it.

Kristin:  Yeah, and I find as an agency owner and practicing doula myself that I had considered myself a VBAC doula having had experience over so many years with VBAC clients and finding that clients were requesting doulas with experience and having a large agency and some brand new doulas, it is just as helpful for the seasoned doulas like myself to go through your certification program as it is for a brand new doula.  And certainly the newer doulas on our team, taking that fresh out of training and never have attended a VBAC birth – it gives them more selling ability for clients to know that they have the education.  They’ve gone through the program versus just having gone through a general doula training certification program.

Jenni:  Yes, I totally agree.  And not just as – obviously, it’s mine, and so I like to think so, but also as a woman that has had a VBAC and a woman that has tried to support VBACs after gathering all of her own information – like, I felt like I’ve really had to trailblaze what I’ve built here because there was similar stuff but nothing quite like it.  And by the way, shout out to some of the early foundational stuff like VBAC Link and VBAC Facts because those spaces really helped to get me access to information to start that process for me.  What I do a little bit differently is I have a big push on not only the safety and the facts of it and a pursuit to make sure that I am having the most up to date information year over year that people can come and access without having to go and do their own research to catch up on what’s been the latest studies.  That is so important to me that when I train people, there’s a lifetime open door policy and a lifetime uptraining process where anytime I have new information that comes out, doulas or birth professionals that were trained before are able to come and join these new trainings so that they can stay up to date because it does change, and there are so many different places to get the information.  It’s hard to stay an “expert” unless you’re focused on gathering all that information all the time.  And by the way, you all are one of two agencies that are trained in the US, which I think is really cool.

Kristin:  That is cool!

Jenni:  Yeah, having an agency that can say that we prioritize this – I know as a parent would have been a standout thing for me as a vaginal birth after C-section.  It shows a level of commitment to a society problem that we have right now where we really need to be educating people on how to VBAC, but it also shows that you have the emotional awareness of how this VBAC birth hits different.  We plan it different.  During childbirth, it’s different.  Postpartum, it’s different.  It really is a different track for support, and I think it shows good emotional awareness to have all of your people ready for that space.  So kudos to you for prioritizing that.

Kristin:  Well, thank you.  And as you mentioned with the lifetime access, I have found even taking it early pandemic, with your updated handouts and resources, I’m able to add more value to my clients and my students who are again wanting to work through their self-education along with having an experienced VBAC doula by their side.  So those worksheets are so helpful in getting discussions going with clients during prenatals.  So thank you for again always doing the research so we don’t have to on our end.

Hey, Alyssa here.  I’m just popping in to tell you about our course called Becoming.  Becoming A Mother is your guide to a confident pregnancy and birth all in a convenient six-week online program, from birth plans to sleep training and everything in between.  You’ll gain the confidence and skills you need for a smooth transition to motherhood.  You’ll get live coaching calls with Kristin and myself, a bunch of expert videos, including chiropractic care, pelvic floor physical therapy, mental health experts, breastfeeding, and much more.  You’ll also get a private Facebook community with other mothers going through this at the same time as you to offer support and encouragement when you need it most.  And then of course you’ll also have direct email access to me and Kristin, in addition to the live coaching calls.  If you’d like to learn more about the course, you can email us at info@goldcoastdoulas.com, or check it out at www.thebecomingcourse.com.  We’d love to see you there.

Jenni:  Absolutely.  And I know we love – pregnant mamas love those handouts.  It’s good to just sometimes get it in your hands and be able to look at it.  There is so much information that it can be hard to kind of sift through and know where to start.  Understanding the safety of VBAC is always number one in all of my classes for both parents and professionals because if you don’t have that bottom foundation of truly understanding that it is the “safe and appropriate reasonable choice,” per ACOG and many worldwide health organizations, knowing that it is safe and reasonable helps you to put that piece aside and just focus on enjoying the birth and planning for a joyful birth that you can experience with joy instead of feeling like you’re trying to fight through something.  So it’s a balance for me, and preparing people and making them feel like, yeah, of course VBAC is safe, because it is, and then focusing on – so with all of the kind of birth baggage that you have and these expectations and things that have happened to you that have shaped these beliefs about birth and your body and how things work, how can we work on those things so that you not only know that VBAC is safe, but you can really come at this in a fresh space with all of the good tips and tricks of someone that’s been through birth personally and with hundreds of people giving them everything that they wished they would have had the first time, which is what all doulas do.

Kristin:  Exactly.  So Jenni, I know we’re talking about safety and the benefits of VBAC.  When would a VBAC not be safe?

Jenni:  Great question.  So there’s only a few things that contraindicate going for a VBAC, and I’m going to start with the very easy – I would like to start with what makes VBAC different than a regular birth, and then we can kind of segue to your answer.  The only thing that makes VBAC, a vaginal birth after C-section, unique in planning or risks is that there is a higher risk of what we call uterine rupture with a VBAC.  So that aside, everything else is the same.  A regular first time birth and a VBAC birth – all the other planning and risks are the same except for this one thing, which is a uterine rupture.  Now, uterine rupture is when the previous scar or incision site on your uterus where your previous C-section was opens either partially or completely due to the power of the contractions during labor, usually.  So uterine ruptures can happen outside of labor, but it’s, like, astronomically rare.  Like, .000000 stuff.  But it is true that women that have had a previous C-section are at a higher risk for having this uterine rupture than what we call non-scarred or non-previous C-section birthers.  So with this risk, though, even though it’s definitely more statistically likely to happen if you’ve had that previous incision, it doesn’t mean that it’s statistically likely to happen.  So the risk is really relatively low compared to other risks that we make all the time.  So the risk of uterine rupture ranges from 0.4 to around 1%.  It wobbles a little.  There’s a range there because of how we study rates has a bunch of different variables.  Did they use Pitocin?  Did they not use Pitocin?  Did labor start on its own?  Did it not start on its own?  Did they have an epidural?  So we’re pretty confident that spontaneous labor without any use of anything to make contractions stronger, like Pitocin and things like that, that’s closer to the 0.4% range.  So really relatively low.  When it starts to raise or go up higher getting closer to the 1% range, that’s when you do things to artificially increase the intensity of contractions.  Again, if the uterine rupture is the one risk and what makes it happen is the intensity of contractions, it’s clear to say that if you do things to increase contractions, you’re going to do things to increase your risk of uterine rupture.  But even with induction and Pitocin and things like that, it’s still a relatively low risk, which is why the American College of Gynecology and like I said, the World Health Organization, the French College, the UK College of OB and GYN – everyone says that VBAC is the safe and reasonable choice for women that have had up to two previous C-sections.  So the reason they say it like that is because there hasn’t been a lot of studies on more than three C-sections yet.  But the studies that they have had do suggest that it’s similar risk.  So it goes up slightly, but nothing significant after the second.  So in all of these different organizations that recommend VBAC as the safe and appropriate choice, there are a couple areas – back to your first question – that they say, these things increase the risk to a place where you might want to consider what’s the option that’s best for you, scheduling a C-section or proceeding with a vaginal birth after C-section with this increased risk.  I do want to say that ACOG is very clear that no one should ever be forced into C-section and that all of these “rules” should be discussion points to say, like, do you understand that this increased risk could do this.  But some of those things that can risk someone out is a previous T incision or a classical scar.  So anything other than that low bikini cut on our uterus.  So sometimes they have to open us up in a T on the outside, but it’s still a bikini on the inside.  What matters is that low transverse bikini incision on the uterus.  Anything besides that can increase risks.  If you have multiples, sometimes that can increase the risk of uterine rupture just because that uterus is stretched more.  Again, not contraindicating, but just something to be discussed.  There is a slight increase in uterine rupture in pregnancies that happen less than six months.  So if the rate between the delivery and getting pregnant again is less than six months – there’s been a correlated increase in uterine rupture that gets into, like, the 1 to 2% range.  After the six months range, nothing – no changes.  So as long as you wait six months, you should be safe there.  And then – this is all from the top of my head, so I want to make sure I don’t forget anything big – I think those are the big ones that are popping out.  Those are the ones where you might get serious pushback from a provider if you don’t – if you want a VBAC.  Now, there’s always – one of the things that I do in the consultation that I do – I do offer a free consultation for people who just want to talk about their options – is I talk about what their past birth history was like.  I’ll say the ones that make my eyebrow go up just a little bit, and I wonder what else is going on, is when people get to pushing and they say things like, I pushed for four hours and I couldn’t make any progress.  Even then, there’s some things that I would have asked, like, did you do this?  Did you do that?  But most of the time, the former reason for birth, it’s very related to the mom and the baby during that pregnancy and doesn’t impact the future deliveries.  So those are a few that I just, like, threw out at you.  Are there any others that you’ve heard of, Kristin, that I can clear up?

Kristin:  Those were the ones that were on my mind, as well.  And my other question is circling back to home birth after Cesarean and risk there.  Now, whether you choose to birth at home or in the hospital, and a lot of that varies on other risk factors.  So do you want to get into what would make someone a good candidate for a home birth versus a hospital birth as a VBAC?

Jenni:  Yeah.  I’ll start by saying if you’re a candidate for vaginal birth, you really are a candidate typically for home birth or hospital birth or birth center birth, depending on where you’re most comfortable.  So it really has to do with where you feel safe and where you feel like your body will be most comfortable getting into that really primal labor land.  So obviously, the first one is where do they feel safe.  And if you can vaginally birth, then typically you can do it either in a home birth, birth center, or hospital.  The risks that you have to consider when planning a home birth – we know from studies that home births have less interventions and have higher vaginal birth rates by far.  So we know that just by choosing home birth, vaginal birth after C-section parents are not going to be faced with as many things – as many interventions that could cause a C-section as they would if they were in a hospital space.  What we have to evaluate and know is that if there were signs or signals that there was a uterine rupture happening – which, again, only risk of VBAC that’s different from a normal home birth – you would want to understand how close is the local hospital, and what would that process look like to get there.  That said, most of the time these things are not, like, a sudden emergency.  Most of the time for transverse for midwives, it’s things like, oh, this doesn’t look or feel quite right, or we’re starting to have this little thing that doesn’t feel safe anymore for this situation.  So most of the time, it’s not, like, an emergency transfer.  But there is the opportunity for that, so just making sure that people understand, there is this added layer of uterine rupture risk, and what is your plan if that happens, and how quickly can you get to the hospital, or is it a better situation to call 911.  Like, you just have to be able to think through that plan and have it put aside so you don’t have to worry about it.  But in general, I highly recommend home births, HVACs.  They’re delightful to have.  It’s really just beautiful to see people go from a situation where they didn’t get the birth they wanted in a hospital and then watch them push a baby out at home is just really beautiful.  I chose to have a hospital birth, so there’s also not a right or wrong way to do it.  It really matters on what the situation is.  But they should feel free to explore those options because home births, birth centers are options and available for VBACs in most states.

Kristin:  Yes, like you said, it’s dependent on the state and what their policies are, if midwives are licensed in a particular state and what the licensing rules are.  So I know in Michigan, we have licensure, and so part of it would be dependent, at least what I’m seeing in Michigan, on other medical areas that might put them in a high risk category, not necessarily that they are attempting a VBAC.  But it might be some other medical conditions that would make them a better candidate for a hospital birth than to birth at home, which most midwives tend to be in the low risk as far as medically.

Jenni:  Good call, exactly.  So if a VBAC is a low risk, they should have basically all the same options as a regular non-scarred, we call them, birther.  But anyone that goes into that high risk category usually does have some decisions to make and some extra care that they have to be under.

Kristin:  Exactly, yeah.  But certainly calling midwives in your state would be a way to find that information out or doing some research yourself.

Jenni:  One of the things that’s hard in the VBAC space is finding supportive providers.  So that is one of the reasons I like to have VBAC pros in as many places as I can.  So a VBAC pro is the term I coined for birth professionals that have gone through my VBAC training.  Right now, I think I have – I’ve got them in most states at this point, but not all.  So there’s a good list.  I have one person in Canada.  They’re having to hold down all of Canada right now.  But the goal is that there would be VBAC pros in each state, as well.  For the listeners, if they’re like, dang, how do I find my closest VBAC pro, or how do I find people who are supportive in my area, and I’m hoping that they can go and find someone – like in Arizona.  Phoenix is our big metro area, but if they were to reach out to someone, a VBAC pro in Phoenix, and say, hey, I live in Tucson or Sierra Vista or Yuma, some of these smaller areas outside of Phoenix – my hope is that even a VBAC pro in Phoenix would be able to say, I know some people that I can get you in connection with.  So I really encourage people to check out the VBAC pros on the site, and if you don’t have anyone in your area, you can always reach out to me, and I am a great sleuth for finding VBAC pros in areas.  And unfortunately, there’s also a conversation of what to do if you don’t have a VBAC expert in your area; there’s not a provider that provides VBAC or there’s not a midwife.  Things like that can happen and do happen, unfortunately, more than they should.  So I can help people do that, as well, and get them connected to resources or just give them options.

Kristin:   It’s all about having options.

Jenni:  Yeah, just being able to choose for yourself.  Absolutely.

Kristin:  Exactly.  And I do love your directory, so if I am getting a friend who’s reaching out, asking me for support – it happens so often where it’s like, I need to find a doula or can you do some research on a VBAC friendly provider in my area.  Like, I can look at your directory and also some other resources, but certainly in those Facebook mom groups in my area, the question of VBAC friendly providers comes up quite frequently.

Jenni:  All the time.  And it’s ever changing.  I notice that especially having been out of the live birth space and not being on call with births – I still take usually two to three clients a year just to stay fresh locally.  Yeah, and it’s honestly because I miss it.  I love it.  But even my – I notice in our landscape here – and there was a time when I knew everybody here and could tell you exactly who was and wasn’t, but it changes so much.  So it’s good to have access to the people who are still out there taking births, especially doulas.  They’re experts on knowing who are the VBAC friendly ones.

Kristin:  We’re all about knowing the resources.  That’s one of our primary roles, and giving evidence-based information.  So you certainly help us with both of those.

Jenni:  Great.  I love to hear that.

Kristin:  So any final tips for our listeners who are curious about exploring a VBAC for themselves?

Jenni:  Yeah, I would say if you feel like VBAC is still unsafe or you’re unsure if it’s safe, please come to my page.  I’m a self-described research scientist.  It really mattered to me to get to a place where I really understood VBAC to be safe, or I wouldn’t be able to tell everyone else to do it.  So if my page on its own – you know, either the website, vbacacademy.com, or I have a whole library of content just on my Instagram available for free and you can just peruse through it.  But if you’re still feeling like VBAC is scary or you’re not sure if it’s safe, please talk to me.  I’m happy to talk to people over DMs or phone calls for the free consult.  It really is a safe choice and we really do have a problem, at least in America and many other countries, with too many unnecessary C-sections happening, and there is a cost to that.  It’s scarier for moms.  We have a higher morbidity rate with C-sections.  We’re at more risk for morbidity afterward with these major surgeries.  It’s not just another way to birth.  So if people are having questions, they should definitely check out my website and my Insta just for some really good core foundational info.  Also, I offer classes.  I have a VBAC 101 class for parents who are looking to plan a VBAC.  Then I have a VBAC 201 class, which is my VBAC Pro Certification.  That’s for any birth professionals that are looking to specialize in VBAC.  I also have a VBAC 301, which is coming soon.  It’s a VBAC advocate class.  Sometimes people aren’t pregnant and they’re not doulas, but they want to be out there making a difference for VBAC.  So I have a space for them and getting them connected to how they can help in their community.  And then there’s the VBAC 401 for people who are interested in doing what I do with me and potentially becoming a trainer and working in their own communities to train VBAC Academy stuff.  So lots of options to get connected and mobilized in your local area, and I’m really grateful for you, Kristin, and agencies like yours that help to carry this message forward.  It’s such an important cause to me.  Thank you for what you do.

Kristin:  Well, thank you.  I wouldn’t be in this space to support so many VBAC clients without your continued research and support and mentoring, so I appreciate you very much, Jenni.

Jenni:  You’re welcome.

Kristin:   And thank you for taking the time.  We’ll have to chat again soon.

Jenni:  Yes, definitely.  Thank you for the time.  It was fun to talk VBAC with you.

Kristin:  For sure.  Take care!

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