Any woman planning a VBAC knows the support for her decision is of utmost importance. Ideally this support would be found in her family and care provider. However, this might not be the case for each woman planning a VBAC or she would simply like to connect with someone making the same decision.
There is little to no research about the supportive environment affecting the rate of VBAC, but for those who have been through the experience, support is one of the key factors of successful VBAC.
In the day and age of social media, many women are turning to online communities to find the support they desire while planning a VBAC. In a recent article from the Journal of Perinatal Education, a childbirth educator describes the online support she saw for a woman who attempted a VBAC and ultimately ended up with a tertiary cesarean section. Strangers followed this woman’s story, and hundreds commented on her posts during labor.
Another journal article analyzed a VBAC forum and pregnancy forum on babycenter.com. The VBAC forum appeared more personal and supportive than the pregnancy forum based on their scoring criteria.
You may want to consider the following when joining an online group:
1. Size. Are you looking for a more intimate group where members know each other well or a larger group that might have more activity.
2. Moderation level. Some groups may have a monitor that deletes inappropriate comments or off topic threads.
3. Privacy. Is it a closed group or open to the public? How are members approved?
4. Types of questions asked. This will probably be mixed in all groups, but overall are members looking for support, medical advice, or general information.
5. Usefulness in your own life. Does the group bring you the support you are looking for, positiveness to your situation, or just a fun distraction?
There are no right or wrong answers to the considerations above. It is all based on personal preference and determination of value in your own life. If you are looking for extra support when pursuing a VBAC or want to hear from someone else going through the same situation, an online group may be a viable option.