There is a lot of misinformation in the VBAC world, and parents planning a VBAC really have to dig deep into preparation to make the best decisions for themselves and their baby. It may be a cliche, but knowledge really is power, and this collection of VBAC books is here to help.
In 2010, 74% of women who attempted a VBAC had a vaginal birth, and 26% had a repeat Cesarean; this might be surprising considering the Cesarean rate in the United States is 32%.
So, how can it be that those having a TOLAC have a higher chance of a vaginal birth than those without a prior Cesarean? We can only speculate, but my guess is that women planning VBAC become more educated about their options by taking birth classes, learning from evidence-based resources, and reading VBAC books.
Learning how to find a VBAC friendly provider, what the risks are for VBAC and repeat Cesarean, how a doula can benefit your birth outcomes, and how to find support all increase your chances of having a vaginal birth.
In addition, reading and listening to VBAC birth stories and finding support from women who have had a VBAC, CBAC (Cesarean Birth After Cesarean), and even uterine ruptures will all help you be more prepared. Not only that, it will help you not to feel so alone if things don’t go as planned.
Lucky for you, I have compiled a list of some of my favorite and most popular VBAC books for you to become even more empowered and confident as you prepare for your upcoming birth.
Even better? You can click the link for the book and order right from Amazon without having to search around for them. Each of these VBAC books is available in both physical copy and audiobook.
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This book was written by Melissa Bruijn, midwife and childbirth educator, and Debby Gould, VBAC mom and educator, the founders of birthtalk.org™. “How to Heal a Bad Birth; making sense, making peace, and moving on” is not VBAC specific but critical to processing your prior Cesarean, especially if it was traumatic.
It is an invaluable guide for both women and their partners who have experienced a disappointing, challenging, or traumatic birth. You will begin to understand what happened to you and have the tools that will help you process and heal.
Often women are told to ‘just get over it,’ or ‘healthy mother, healthy baby… that’s all that matters.’How to Heal a Bad Birth
We know it’s not that simple and that your emotional health matters too.
This book will help you:
- Discover & process the emotional impact of your birth
- Strengthen and understand the relationship with your partner (and helps them process, too)
- Rediscover your relationship with your child
- Deal with emotions like failure, guilt, sadness, fear, and anger
- Start to plan for a better experience for your next birth
Baby Got VBAC is written by multiple moms who have had a C-section; some of the contributing authors are our VBAC doulas and some have shared their stories on our podcast! They all share their birth stories after Cesarean, mostly VBAC.
The women writing their stories are VBAC moms or birth professionals who support VBAC moms. All have diverse backgrounds and different perspectives to share about VBAC and Cesarean.
Their real-life experiences and wisdom bring you into their journey and will leave you full of strength, wisdom, hope, and inspiration. There is something for everyone to relate to in the chapters of this book, whether first-time mom, or fifth-time mom, you will laugh, cry, learn, and feel the love from these women.
Authored by Helene Vadeboncoer, Ph.D. and VBAC mom, this is my go-to recommendation for VBAC education from a book. Helen’s VBAC and Cesarean experiences inspired her to get her Ph.D. and jump into how hospital birth experiences shape such an important event in women’s lives.
This is the most recent and up-to-date VBAC book, compared to outdated books like The VBAC Handbook; I prefer the most up-to-date information available as it is usually the most accurate.
Birthing Normally After a Cesarean or Two dives deep into research about VBAC and Cesarean and couples it with parents’ experiences and first-hand accounts. You get the benefits from accurate and up-to-date information and real-life experiences presented in an upbeat and easy-to-read book. It will help heal emotional scars that each Cesarean birth leaves behind while preparing you with the information you need to prepare for a different birth experience next time.
If you enjoy the documentary The Business of Being Born, you will love this down in the trenches journalistic narrative about obstetric care. It dives deep into the significant questions about women’s maternal rights in the United States.
“Pushed” offers a detailed overview of the hospital birth system and what other options are available to parents. It was published in 2007, so some things the book describes have changed, but many have not.
Author Jennifer Block traveled around the country and witnessed many types of births, from planned Cesarean to underground homebirth, and investigates whether routine Cesareans, inductions, and epidurals equate to improved birth outcomes.
Her experiences reveal that while emergency obstetric care is crucial, there is a lot of evidence to support that medical technology and interventions are overused, sacrificing mother and infant health. For parents and birth professionals alike, it takes experience and knowledge. It packages it together to make it relatable to all people— first-time moms, VBAC moms, and the caretakers who oversee their care. It is the information every parent never knew they needed to know.
Disclaimer: This book details traumatic stories and events that may not be appropriate for those processing their own traumatic birth experiences.
Written by Helen Churchill, “VBAC After Cesarean: The VBAC Handbook” provides suggestions for practical ways to prepare for VBAC and shares VBAC stories.
The book is based on stories and information from health care practices and parents in England, but much of it applies to parents everywhere. It discusses the pros and cons of VBAC and repeat Cesarean in detail, and as a shorter book (104 pages), it’s concise and to the point.
I especially appreciate the glossary of terms in The VBAC Handbook, as the medical terminology surrounding childbirth can be confusing.
With many Cesarean births performed due to failure to progress, Gail Tulley’s wisdom and expertise in optimal fetal positioning are a must-read for anyone who wants to know the best ways to ensure their baby is in the best position for birth.
Gail is the founder of Spinning Babies, and her belief and education in physiologic birth will increase your confidence in your own body’s ability to birth vaginally.
This VBAC book provides a much deeper understanding for nurses and providers into the WHY of Spinning Babies exercises and labor positions, so it doesn’t seem like such a foreign concept.
“Changing Birth on Earth” is written to teach both parents and their care team how to work together to prevent Cesareans due to poor fetal positioning, gain a fresh perspective on birth anatomy and techniques to encourage labor progress, and choose more optimal positions to shorten the pushing stage of labor, among many other things.
Offering insights into the space between all medicine vs. all-natural birth approaches, this book offers a brilliant guide to a New Birth Paradigm that balances and weaves the wisdom of what Gail calls a ‘supportive web for the body of birth.’ She blends storytelling, science, and wisdom into a practical and humane complication of principles, practices, and protocols to support the birthing process, to teach both parents and providers how to work with the body’s natural physiology before using force, and to reduce as many unnecessary cesareans and traumatic birth stories as possible.Changing Birth on Earth
Need more than a book? Created by myself and Meagan Heaton, VBAC moms and birth doulas, we dive deep into everything you never knew you needed to know about Cesarean and VBAC.
This is an online, self-paced video course that comes with 6+ hours of video content (accessible on any device at any time), a 120 page digital or physical copy of a workbook designed to help you be fully prepared for birth after Cesarean, and a practical way to apply all the techniques and information to increase your confidence and knowledge during pregnancy and labor.
We have taken all the essential information we learned along our VBAC journeys and as birth workers and perfectly packaged it into the most optimal resources for you to prepare for VBAC.