Birth Center and Home Birth – VBAC in Fort Worth

The Tarrant County Birth Network and International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) of North Texas co-hosted a meeting last night in Fort Worth about birthing outside a hospital after a cesarean. Since around 1 in 3 women in Texas have a c-section, birth after cesarean is a hot topic. The old saying of “once a cesarean always a cesarean” is more myth than truth, and even the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends vaginal birth as a “reasonable and safe” option after a previous c-section. (Read ACOG’s VBAC practice bulletin here.)

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Taking notes at the #TCBN meeting.

What options does a woman have when planning her next birth after a previous cesarean? For some women, planning a repeat cesarean may be the best option because of health indications for baby, or for their own physical and emotion health and well being. This is ok! DFWdoula supports all types of birth, and can help you plan a family centered cesarean if desired.

According to ACOG– “most women with one previous cesarean delivery with a low-transverse incision are candidates for and should be counseled about VBAC and offered TOLAC.” (TOLAC stands for trial of labor after a cesarean, which is the language some providers will use.)

When planning a VBAC, the most important component is a VBAC supportive provider. In Dallas Fort Worth we are lucky enough to have amazing provider options, from nurse midwives or OBs in a hospital to home birth midwives.

The VBAC panel discussion included area midwives and was led by a local ICAN leader. They discussed the reasons for planning a birth center or home birth after cesarean (HBAC), factors to consider, and experiences catching VBAC babies. Some highlights from their discussion-

“Our first job is to rephrase the way we speak about these women and the way they speak about themselves. You are not a VBAC. You are not a c-section. You’re not your birth. You are a mom. When we label these women as their births they can feel like failures if things don’t go according to plan. They are mothers planning a birth like any other mom.” – Kristine Tawater, CPM, LM

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“We are more hands off, we aren’t interfering with bonding.” –Terry Gyde, CPM, LM

“The best collaborative care in the nation is happening right here in Tarrant County. I have great relationships I can utilize if things come up. We work together.” – Jenee Ohrvall, CPM, LM

-Birth is a physiological process, we trust that it’s going to work instead of planning that it won’t.

-Moms should be an active partner in their own health and prenatal care; nutrition, exercise, chiropractic care.

-Look at operative report and overall overall health, consider additional risk factors- blood pressure, blood sugar, health history, etc.

-Discussed transport, monitoring and signs of uterine rupture.


CPMs, LMs: (left to right) Audrey Stucker, Kristine Tawater, Jenee Ohrvall, Terry Gyde



The meeting overall was really informative and empowering! I loved hearing about the collaboration happening between providers when risk factors or complications indicate it, and these midwives’ passion for helping women reach their goals was so evident.

If you need more help to plan your birth after cesarean, contact me! Whether hospital or home, it’s a special passion of mine since I walked the same journey too.

Did you have a cesarean? A VBAC? Where were you babies born?



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Just for fun – #selfie with my good friend and fellow doula Megan Martin at the meeting!





– DFWdoula- Fort Worth – Dallas – VBAC – Cesarean -Natural Birth – Epidural – Twins –


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Postpartum Resources Dallas Fort Worth

fort worth doula postpartum placenta counselor

Part of what you get when you hire a doula are her resources. My job is to make connections in the community and know the resources available for my clients, and that extends to after birth! Your doula’s support doesn’t end when your baby is born, it’s so important to me to help new families transition smoothly postpartum. Here are some local Fort Worth and Dallas area postpartum resources I share with my clients that may be helpful after baby arrives!


Services that DFW doula offers-

Postpartum Doula

Wouldn’t it be great to have someone trained in breastfeeding and newborn care in your home to help you postpartum? A postpartum doula can assist with breastfeeding, latch, and positioning, and help assess when a baby and mom need referrals to more specialized support from an IBCLC. I help moms and dads navigate the fourth trimester, educate on parenting philosophies and gentle sleep, and love to teach babywearing to moms and dads so they can keep their babies close!  A postpartum doula listens, offers guidance and how to, helps new mothers process their birth story, and facilitates a smooth transition for the whole family.


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photo courtesy Birth Boot Camp



Belly Binding

The traditional art of Bengkung belly binding wraps the mother’s abdomen to support the muscles stretched through pregnancy and aid in physical healing.

fort worth belly binding postpartum

photo courtesy Mother Naturale


Other Resources-

Placenta Encapsulation

Moms report that encapsulating their placenta helped with milk supply and mood regulation. Professionals pick up your placenta, process it into pills for you to take, and deliver it within the first few days of baby’s life!  DFW Encapsulation is one of my favorites, along with DFWPlacenta Let them know Sydney sent you!

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Photo courtesy DFW Encapsulation

Lactation Support

International Board Certified Lactation Consultants are the most knowledgeable and qualified people to help with any issues outside of the normal scope of nursing. I totally adore the whole team at For Babies’ Sake, and they offer home visits, office hours, and latch clinics.

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photo courtesy For Babies’ Sake



There are many reasons a mom may want to see a counselor after having a baby- whether to discuss and process birth or trauma, get tools for mom and dad to adjust to their new roles as not just partners but parents, or when postpartum depression is suspected. There’s a wide range of postpartum experiences including baby blues, ppd, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Sometimes reaching out is the hardest part, giving any of these options a call can be a great first step to feeling better.

 Jessica Sheppard, Hurst,

 Kimberly Kertsberg, Dallas,

 Courtney Causey, Grapevine,

 Reva Sheppard, Fort Worth,

 Ann Dunnewold, Dallas,

fort worth doula postpartum placenta counselor