Many women, especially those seeking VBAC, are between a rock and a hard place. Women are faced with hospital VBAC bans and don’t know what to do. They don’t want a repeat cesarean. Or their local hospital technically allows VBAC, but the requirements in place greatly diminish the likelihood of success. Or an OB will tell them that they “Do VBACs all the time” when the reality is, they don’t. Women simply want to birth normally after a cesarean. They want to labor in an safe environment that recognizes the inherent value of vaginal birth to mom and baby.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG, 2010) says VBAC is a “safe and appropriate choice for most women” with one prior cesarean and for “some women” with two prior cesareans. The National Institutes of Health (2010) says “trial of labor is a reasonable option for many pregnant women with one prior low transverse uterine incision.” There was even a presentation at the 2010 NIH VBAC Conference discussing how there are not enough anesthesiologists in the United States to provide 24/7 coverage of all birthing units nationwide, but that VBAC could be offered safely nonetheless. There are hospitals and hospital-based care providers who actively support VBAC. Yet not all women have access to such facilities and professionals. So increasingly, more women are opting to birth at home because they feel like they have no other choice or due to the many benefits of home birth. As the CDC recently reported, “After a decline from 1990 to 2004, the percentage of U.S. births that occurred at home increased by 29%, from 0.56% of births in 2004 to 0.72% in 2009″ (MacDorman, 2012). Women feel like if they go to the hospital, they will be railroaded into another cesarean because their OB is not really supportive. That is the risk of hospital birth.
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