Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yay! Breaking news...

In a long overdue press release, the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists finally steps forward to revise the old guidelines that had once caused so many hospitals and doctors to “ban” VBAC. In a revision released today, The ACOG now states,

“a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is a safe and appropriate choice for most women who have had a prior cesarean delivery, including for some women who have had two previous cesareans…”

March of Dimes says...

New guidelines on vaginal birth after c-section

Posted: 22 Jul 2010 08:00 AM PDT

It used to be that once you had a c-section, you’d always have a c-section. Now, health experts are rethinking this idea and believe that many women may be able to safely have a vaginal birth after a c-section (called VBAC).

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists today released guidelines to make it easier for more women to have VBACs by encouraging health providers to consider VBACs as an option for healthy pregnant women. In fact, about 6 to 8 out of 10 women who try a VBAC are successful in having a vaginal birth. Even women who are carrying twins and had more than one c-section in the past may be able to have a VBAC safely.

While there may be some risks in doing a VBAC (as with childbirth in general), it can be safe for many healthy women and their babies. The benefits of having a VBAC include a lower chance of infection, blood loss or other health complications associated with c-sections as well as a shorter recovery time after giving birth. You’re more likely to have a successful VBAC if:
• Your c-section cut was made in the lower part of the uterus
• Your health and baby’s health are well during pregnancy.
• Your labor starts on its own and continues naturally at 37 to 40 weeks of pregnancy.

If you had a c-section and are pregnant again, talk to your health provider to see if a VBAC is the right choice for you.

A little history (from the FeministBreeder) who said, "They confirmed what we already knew."

"... they didn’t come to this decision on their own. Back in March, the National Institutes of Health held a conference on Vaginal Birth After Cesarean – a conference that I attended, wrote about, and was even featured in during the "Mother's Stories." I was so proud to see that at that conference, birth activists from all walks of life – doctors, researchers, midwives, and mothers – gathered to help try to convince the panel to see what we’ve all been seeing, which is that women’s rights are being trampled on when they are denied the safe option of vaginal birth. The ACOG President himself sat in a theatre listening to stories of doctors who couldn’t help their patients because their hands were tied. They heard stories from mothers who had to battle hospitals for the right to birth vaginally, or instead birthed unassisted at home because they could not find a provider able to help them. And they listened to highly respected doctors and researchers present the latest available evidence, which is that VBAC is a safe option, and in fact, it is a safer option than a repeat cesarean for most women.

They were also shown a slide listing grassroots organizations and activists who tirelessly battle to preserve patient autonomy and protect the rights of childbearing women. Thanks to those women who stood up and demanded that this was a human right’s issue, the ACOG also included this in their statement:

“restrictive VBAC policies should not be used to force women to undergo a repeat cesarean delivery against their will if, for example, a woman in labor presents for care and declines a repeat cesarean delivery at a center that does not support TOLAC.”

Do they know how long we’ve waited to hear those words?

I know many of us don’t care what the ACOG says, and we’d be VBAC’ing whether they got on board or not. But this statement could actually change maternity care in this country. They have now admitted that women are being “forced” into surgeries they do not want or need. They now admit that cesareans have risks, and that the risks of vaginal birth are much lower than previously implied. They are now admitting that despite their claim as the authority on All Things Obstetric, it took a government panel to investigate this issue for the Truth about VBAC to be exposed.

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  1. Very interesting, I saw this in the Salt Lake Tribune. I have been thinking about doing a VBAC on my next one. Do you have any resources where you can find a good doctor to do a VBAC?

  2. It depends on where you are located. There are many doctors and the larger hospitals who already do VBAC deliveries (like St. Mark's, LDS, IMC, University, UVRMC) so you need to ask the doctor or midwife's preferences and policies. The old ACOG information discouraged this practice even after it was shown to be safe so it depends on how up-to-date the hospital is. Feel free to send us an email with more info at


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