VBAC: The Road Less Travelled

Working in the birth community, I am always amazed when I hear a woman has had a repeat cesarean with no other reason besides that she has had a cesarean previously.  And then I hear the woman’s story.

The majority of these women are beaten down.  They are disappointed.  They are not given the option of trying for a vaginal birth, and they are terrified to either try it at home or try it alone.

Not only is there fear surrounding birth in general, there is even more fear surrounding VBAC, or vaginal birth after cesarean.

It is seen everywhere.  From watching TV to the consent forms given by the hospital, the main thing hammered into women’s skulls is the fear of your uterus giving way and exploding from the inside out.

The worst part is that none of these actually describe what a uterine rupture looks like or what happens.  Everyone automatically assumes everything truly gives way and the woman bleeds to death and the baby cannot be saved.

Now, I am not saying that doesn’t happen. But the fear surrounding this is very irrational and completely against the medical studies and advice.

The risk of uterine rupture is less than 1% in spontaneous labor where the women is left on her own.  And this rupture isn’t a full rupture.  The majority of the time, the rupture is caught before it gets out of hand.  There is pain involved when contractions aren’t happening and many other awful symptoms that point out that something is not right.

The option of having a vaginal birth after you have a cesarean, whether necessary or unnecessary, should be a basic choice for a woman to make.  Especially considering it is her body and her baby.

In almost 50% of the hospitals in the United States, women are banned from even trying to have a vaginal birth after they have a cesarean.  This ban has taken their choice away from them and given them more risk and anger and pain than reward.

How many women are being forced to be unecessarily cut open to deliver their children every day?  How many don’t truly know they have a choice?

When did it become taboo to have a baby the way your body was designed, even after it has been opened the way it wasn’t?


5 Responses

  1. I am terrified of a VBAC. But at the same time.. I’m more determined than ever.

    2 of the 3 hospitals here ban VBACs and there is only ONE clinic that will accept VBAC patients. And this is a fairly large city…. a very VBAC-unfriendly city.

    (btw.. I left some blog awards for you: http://babydickey.com/2010/02/26/blog-awards/) 🙂

    • That sucks!! I know you will be able to have the VBAC (or HBAC) you want with your next!! It is so scary for me too, but I know another cesarean would hurt me more than overcoming my fear of VBAC.

  2. Hello. This is kind of an “unconventional” question , but have other visitors asked you how get the menu bar to look like you’ve got it? I also have a blog and am really looking to alter around the theme, however am scared to death to mess with it for fear of the search engines punishing me. I am very new to all of this …so i am just not positive exactly how to try to to it all yet. I’ll just keep working on it one day at a time Thanks for any help you can offer here

    • I use wordpress to host my site, so it has a way to set up different pages and get different backgrounds and things so you can do it yourself. I am not very tech savvy other than that haha

  3. […] at Hearts and Hands Services argue, many women do not even know they have the choice to VBAC or are misinformed about the risks of VBAC vs. repeat cesarean. Finally, Gina at the Feminist Breeder sums it all up: access to VBAC […]

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