Nursing baby after successful VBAC.
Black and white maternity photo with toddler and family dog.

Successful VBAC in a New Zealand Hospital

Last week I had the honor of photographing the successful VBAC of my grandson in New Zealand. My daughter, Adalia, was kind enough to let me interview her about her VBAC as well as share some photos here. I hope you enjoy this and that it inspires you to take action and prepare for you birth.

Mother and toddler maternity photo in New Zealand.

Interviewing a VBAC Mom

Renee: Adalia, tell me a little bit about your first birth.

Adalia: It dragged on forever. Percy was in a bad position and I didn’t feel very well prepared. It wasn’t anything like I imagined it. Because of his position (posterior with his head flexed) labor progressed very slowly. As a trained doula I thought I knew everything I need to know and I thought I would have a straightforward experience. Therefore I didn’t prepare myself for things to go differently, for prolonged labor, or for a possible c-section.

Adalia’s toddler, Percy, helps during a prenatal visit.

Renee: What did you do to prepare for your second birth?

Adalia: I did hypnobirthing. I read the books and listened to the audio. I ate healthy foods and stayed very active. I wrote down a list of my fears going into labor and birth and spent my pregnancy researching those and educating myself so that by the time I did go into labor I was no longer afraid.

Successful VBAC in New Zelaand.

Renee: Did you have any fear going into your second birth?

Adalia: Initially, I was scared of another c-section because it was a bad experience for me. The recovery was awful. I was also scared of serious tears and birth injuries. I researched types of tears, degrees, causes, and positions. I did a ton of relaxing exercises. I knew if you could relax and not tense up it really helps.

Successful VBAC in New Zealand hospital.

Renee: How did your second birth go?

Adalia: It was a much easier birth and recovery has been so much easier (even with some tearing). I am happy with the outcome even though it wasn’t exactly how I pictured it. 

Belly with continuous monitoring in New Zealand hospital.

Renee: Why did you want a VBAC?

Adalia: I was terrified of having another c-section. I have a toddler and didn’t want to have to recover from a c-section with a toddler and a newborn. Also, a VBAC in a low-risk woman is statistically safer for both mother and baby.

Laboring in a large New Zealand birthing room.
Successful VBAC in New Zealand hospital.
Belly with continuous monitoring in New Zealand hospital.
Ben was a great support to Adalia during her labor.
New Zealand birthing room.
Beautiful VBAC in New Zelaand hospital.
Husband supporting wife during labor in New Zealand.
Birthing tub in New Zealand hospital. Successful VBAC story.
Beautiful VBAC using hypnobirthing techniques.
Mirror photo of mom giving birth. VBAC.
I always love to get a mirror shot during births.
Mom having a successful VBAC in a New Zealand hospital.
Using pole to squat and push during VBAC.
The face of a mom realizing she has had a successful VBAC.

Renee: How did you feel in the moment you realized you had a VBAC?

Adalia: I was so glad and so relieved. Insanely relieved because I really didn’t want another c-section. I felt so good knowing that I had done it!

The face of a mom realizing she has had a successful VBAC.
Mom holding her baby moments after a successful VBAC.
Mom snuggling baby minutes after VBAC in New Zealand.
Mom and dad after birth of baby.
Bellingham birth photographer Renee Bergeron traveled to New Zealand to photograph the birth of her grandson.
Nursing baby after VBAC.
Mom breastfeeding newborn after successful VBAC.
Baby with hair nursing just after birth.
Newborn being weighed just after birth.
Midwife measuring baby's head after birth.
Dad examing newborn after VBAC.

I asked Adalia what reasources she reccomends for anyone looking hoping for a successful VBAC. Here is what she said.

Spinning Babies: Having the baby in the optimal position can often be the difference between a vaginal birth and c-section. Adalia’s second baby was one ounce larger than her first, and she had no problem delivering him vaginally.

Hypnobirthing: HypnoBirthing® is a tried and proven method that guides and prepares a woman in giving birth in a peaceful and extraordinarily beautiful manner. It is a program a that considers the psychological, as well as the physical, well-being of the mother, her birth partner, and the newborn, independent of context, whether that be in the quiet of a home, a hospital, or a birth center.

Join VBAC Groups: Adalia found that she got a ton of support and information by joining various VBAC groups online.

Know the difference between VBAC tolerant and VBAC Friendly.

I hope this post has both encouraged you and helped you see why VBACs can be a great choice for certain low-risk mothers.