Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (pronounced Vee-back) draws a lot of controversy in the field of birthing professionals. Many mothers are being told that because they had a prior cesarean delivery, they can not or should not attempt a vaginal delivery. However, it stands to reason that the mother should have the right to be educated and to choose if she would like to have her subsequent children vaginally.
The main concern with VBAC is that a uterine rupture will occur during the process of labor and birth. This is a valid concern as a uterine rupture can constitute an emergency situation. However, recent research proves that in many instances it is in fact, safer for the mother and the baby alike to experience a vaginal birth instead of a cesarean. There are less medical and surgical risks, a shorter recovery, it is more cost effective, and there are numerous positive psychological factors that result from a VBAC as well.
There are some contraindications for VBACs to be aware of such as a classical uterine incision or a history of more than two previous cesarean births with no vaginal births. Also, many free-standing birth centers and midwives are no longer allowed to deliver VBACs in many states. Still, the current medical trend of repeat cesareans is taking a turn as more women request their own VBAC. If a woman who has had a c-section with a low transverse uterine incision would like to have a vaginal delivery with her subsequent children, it should not be discouraged.
If you are thinking about having a VBAC, it is important that the medical and birth team that you choose become a strong support network for you. Also good research and information is essential, along with finding a provider who has a high VBAC rate and who you feel comfortable with. The International Cesarean Awareness Network (I-CAN) website is a fabulous resource for those interested in VBAC and provides facts, tips, reading suggestions, and encouragement for the VBAC mom-to-be.
Recently the I-Can president released a statement that she is working to challenge the VBAC bans at hospitals in several states, one of which is Alaska. She is looking for women who have been denied a VBAC or are being told right now that they can not VBAC. If you are interested in helping with this cause, please e-mail I-Can president Pam Udy at email@example.com and tell her your story.
Share your thoughts and stories concerning VBACs.