02 October 2008

is your care provider REALLY supportive of VBAC?

I submit that there is a world of difference between a doctor or midwife who say's they will "let you try" and one who really supports VBAC. Be on the look out for whether it seems that your provider is truly supportive or whether s/he is just tolerating the idea. It is not uncommon for those in the second camp to have a change of heart at the end of a pregnancy and end up suggesting that you not go for a VBAC after all. Listen with your gut. If you are not feeling true advocacy, shop around and move on.

A great post from Empowering Birth Blog:

Here is a list of questions to help you find out. Thanks to the NOVA Chapter of ICAN for passing them along.

  • Of the last 10 women that have come to you originally wanting VBAC, how many were able to have their VBAC? (kind of asking their VBAC success rate, but this number should represent better, as it will be lower if they tend to talk women out of it during their pregnancy)
  • What do you think would prevent me from having a VBAC?
  • What do you believe are my chances for having a VBAC?
  • I have now read more information regarding my previous c-section, and I’m curious to know what your practice would do in the same situation to help me avoid a c-section, either prenatally or during labor?
  • Would your practice allow me go to 42 weeks? If not, how long will I be able to be pregnant?
  • If I hit 42 weeks (or whatever gestation you require me to deliver by), would you consider induction, or just schedule a c-section? If induction, what are my options (ROM*, pitocin – how much, etc.)?
  • What circumstances, later in my pregnancy would contraindicate a VBAC and make you recommend a repeated cesarean section?
  • If I do go past my due date, what testing requirements do you have (BPP, US, NST**), when will they begin, and how often will I need them?
  • Will you recommend an ultrasound to estimate weight late in pregnancy (providers who are nervous about a "big baby" may recommend ultrasound)?
  • How do you feel about VBACers birthing "big" babies? What do you think is "big"?
  • When in labor, what stipulations do you have for VBACing moms? For example, do you require continuous monitoring? Do you have a time limit for progression in labor (ie, I need to dilate 1cm each hour)?
  • Do you require your VBACing moms to have an epidural?
  • Where is my placenta located? Anterior, Posterior, lower uterine-segment, Fundus?

*ROM, Rupture of membranes

**BPP, Biophysical profile, US Ultrasound, NST Non-stress test (see biophysical profile)

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