I don’t know if you live in an area of the country that has hospitals that permit VBACs or not, but consider for a moment that your only option was an unwanted repeat surgical birth or a homebirth. Now consider that homebirth and/or midwifery is illegal in your state. This is the "choice" that many women in American must make.
Based on the most recent evidence, in March 2005 the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) revised its VBAC guidelines and now encourages women to consider labor after a prior cesarean and maternity care providers to support women’s choice. The AAFP found no scientific evidence that having a surgical team and anesthesia "immediately available" when a VBAC mom labors to significantly improved outcomes. The complete guidelines are available as a pdf file from the AAFP web site.
I personally would not feel safe at a hospital that does not permit VBACs, whether my uterus was scarred or not. If they cannot accommodate a medical emergency such as uterine rupture, how could they possibly respond and treat other real, but rare, labor emergencies such as cord prolapse or placental abruption, both of which require the baby being born ASAP usually by immediate cesarean sections? We know that babies have a 10 times greater risk of dying for reasons other than uterine rupture. (Lyndon-Rochelle 2001) How could any mother labor in confidence knowing that if something went drastically wrong, that hospital could not quickly respond? At which point, why even go to a hospital? I always thought that was the point of hospitals in terms of birth – to treat the very rare complications that require immediate surgical intervention. If hospitals eliminate their ability to rapidly respond to a medical emergency requiring a surgical birth, how is laboring at a hospital like that any different than laboring at home? People labor in the hospital for that minute "what if" chance thinking that they will be safe. Thinking that laboring at a hospital is safer than home. But if a hospital labels itself as non-VBAC friendly, they have labeled themselves unsafe for any laboring woman. Hospitals which do not permit VBACs are unsafe to all women and laboring women should avoid them. We need to send a message with our money and our babies by only laboring at VBAC-friendly hospitals or electing to birth at home.
Please sign the petition urging St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena, MT to repeal their VBAC Ban: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/NoVBACban/signatures.html