Great article from http://vbac.angelahoy.com/. Blog link posted on the ICAN main list so I thought I would share it here.
by Angela Hoy
This article contains the personal opinions of Angela Hoy, who encountered resistance from the medical community when attempting a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC). Angela is not a healthcare provider. Before you make any healthcare decisions, or change your medical plans in any way, you must consult your physician or other licensed healthcare practitioner.
If you’ve had a cesarean section (c-section) and you’re now wanting to attempt a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), chances are pretty good you’re encountering resistance from your Obstetrician, the hospital where you plan to give birth, and even family and friends.
If you are willing to fight the system, you can attempt a VBAC. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are NOT allowed a say in your own medical care!
Here are 10 things you can do now to get on the road to attempting a VBAC.
1. Don’t assume your doctor is being honest with you. He/she may very well believe in VBACs, but their liability insurance company or even the hospital’s insurance company may not permit them to offer VBACs. The doctor isn’t likely to share this information with you. You’d be surprised to know how much of our medical care is regulated by insurance companies, not by doctors. We were never told our hospital didn’t allow VBACs. We only learned of their policy after doing extensive research.
2. Don’t completely believe them if they say, “Sure, you can have attempt VBAC!” Research research research! Has your doctor had any VBAC patients who were successful? Does the hospital even allow VBACs? Your doctor may tell you, sure, you can VBAC, but may then find “problems” later and schedule you for a c-section. They know, by that time, it will be too late for you to find a new doctor. My obstetrician told me I could attempt a VBAC. Months later, after I’d fired him, the hospital called me to schedule a consultation with their anesthesiologist for my “scheduled c-section.” A ha!!
Also, when a local reporter asked our nearby hospital, who refused to say they wouldn’t allow VBACs, when their last VBAC was, they didn’t answer the question.
3. Know your doctor’s or hospital’s possible financial motives. It costs a LOT more to have a c-section in a hospital than it does to have a natural birth. Hospitals and doctors would much rather bill your insurance company $10K or more, rather than half that much.
4. Know your doctor’s or hospital’s possible convenience motives. It’s a lot easier, and often faster, for a hospital to schedule an appointment, cut you open, and stick you in a recovery room. Labor often takes a long time, involves a variety of medical specialists who need to be available around the clock, and is completely unpredictable. Rather than allowing your body to do what it knows how to do, some in the healthcare field would rather take complete control of a perfectly natural process, for their own convenience.
5. Listen closely. Your doctor may give you a long, scary diatribe about how dangerous a VBAC can be. He/she may even say something like, “No mother in their right mind would risk their baby’s life by having a VBAC!” The release forms are often downright horrific.
But, has he/she even mentioned the dangers of a c-section? Studies show more can go wrong with a c-section than a vaginal birth - even a VBAC. Sure, you can die during a VBAC, but you can also die during a c-section.
6. Find a provider that absolutely supports VBACs. You can find midwives in your area by searching online. Some midwives will know doctors who support VBACs. Also, ask your primary care physician (not your Ob/Gyn) or his/her nurse or secretary to help you find an obstetrician that allows VBACs. My primary care physician first found a hospital (an hour away - not bad) that allowed VBACs and then found an Obstetrician in that town who also supported VBACs.
7. Consider giving birth at home. Studies show giving birth at home can be just as safe as giving birth in a hospital. Hospitals use interventions that can affect a successful, safe vaginal delivery. In fact, the more interventions they use, the worse things can go wrong. A domino-effect can occur. If you give birth at home, on your own terms, you can avoid these often unnecessary interventions.
IMPORTANT! Studies show that chemically inducing labor can increase the risk of a ruptured uterus in a VBACing mom!
8. READ! READ! READ! The most inspirational book I read about natural childbirth was Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. Another great one that gives a lot of detail about how the medical industry can affect midwives and birthing moms is Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife. I couldn’t put that one down.
9. Believe in yourself and your body’s ability to do what it was created to do! Just because a doctor tells you can’t or shouldn’t do something doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t do it! Almost every woman who has successfully had a VBAC (studies say 60%-80% of women who attempt a VBAC are successful) encountered resistance, not only from doctors and hospitals, but also from their own family and friends!
10. Know you’re not alone. Women have been giving birth since the beginning of time. There are countless women across the globe who are pregnant at the same time you are. There are women in labor when you are in labor. There are women attempting VBACs while you’re attempting your VBAC. You are NOT alone and you can do it! For support, you can come to my blog and share your story. See: http://vbac.angelahoy.com
That said, you should know the possible risk-factors for a ruptured uterus, including the type of incision used during your previous c-section, certain drugs physicians (and some midwives) give to induce/enhance labor, and more. You absolutely MUST research VBACs (and c-sections) thoroughly so you will not only make the best decision for you and your baby, but also so you’ll know if a healthcare practitioner is about to do something to you that may affect your and your baby’s health…and even life.
Angela Hoy was stunned when she was told she could not birth her fifth child vaginally after having a previous c-section. Baby Mason was born naturally, the old fashioned way, on June 22, 2006. Angela Hoy is the author of eight non-fiction titles, including DON’T CUT ME AGAIN! True Stories About Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC).
THIS ARTICLE MAY BE REPRINTED/REDISTRIBUTED FREELY, AS LONG AS THE ENTIRE ARTICLE, DISCLAIMER, AND BIO ARE INCLUDED.