Time Magazine came out with a great article “The Trouble With Repeat Cesareans” today online, and this is scheduled to be available in the newsstand issue tomorrow! (Does anyone buy magazines anymore???)
The International Cesarean Awareness Network helped greatly with this article, providing data on VBAC bans state by state, and I was shocked at the numbers for WA state: Out of 69 hospitals, 27 banned VBACs totally, and there are 13 “de facto” bans, where there is no outright policy against them, but just try to find a provider willing to work with VBAC’ing women! Ouch!
As a co-leader of ICAN Seattle, I speak with, meet and hear the stories of women every day, who can’t find a provider willing to support her VBAC birth. Really support! Not like, “Well, you can try, but we will schedule your repeat Cesarean for 40 weeks if you haven’t had your baby yet! Courageous women are making choices beyond what any woman should have to do, in order to birth a baby out her vagina after a Cesarean! There are local women choosing to bring in traveling midwives to attend them, Women going to a different state to have their VBAC baby, and a few wonderul WA midwives who believe in choice and safe birth, willing to work with VBAC women to have a home birth, with very little community support from hospital based providers!
And, as the number of Cesareans go up every year, the number of women who want to have a VBAC will only grow. And unfortunately, I fear the choices will become increasingly limited.
Now, I am all for Cesareans when necessary, but honestly, can almost a third of the women in the US not birth a baby vaginally???? The World Health Organization (WHO) states that a Cesarean rate in developed countries of 10-15% rreflects surgery when truly necessary, and anything higher is actually doing more harm than good. More harm to moms and more harm to babies!
Go read the TIME article and let me know what you think. Or tell me about your own VBAC journey here! And if you need help finding resources, selecting a provider, or want to connect with other women with similar experiences, find your local ICAN chapter from the ICAN link above! Click here for Seattle ICAN Chapter info. Finally, as a doula, I love supporting VBACing women and I teach a VBAC class in Seattle for women looking to birth their next baby vaginally! More info on this at my website New Moon Birth