Finding a VBAC Supportive OB or Midwife

by | Mar 8, 2008 | 37 comments

When looking for a VBAC supportive provider, the absolute best place to start is locally. Attend a local ICAN chapter meeting or connect with them online. Chat with doulas, childbirth educators, and nurses who work in your community. They have the unique experience of observing providers over long periods of time, so they can give you the inside scoop. I also think it’s worth your time to call your local hospital and talk to the L&D nurse manager. Ask them who attends VBAC.

Here are some additional resources:

Note that some of the groups are not explicitly about childbirth. However, there is a tremendous amount of overlap between say, those who homeschool, plan homebirths and those who plan VBACs.

Also, those who have unmedicated births, or VBAC, or homebirth, are more likely to breastfeed beyond the first year, which is called ‘extended breastfeeding,’ and go to La Leche League meetings. They are also more likely to seek out fellow crunchy moms at Holistic Moms groups or attachment parenting groups.

You might have never considered yourself ‘crunchy’ because you think that only hippies are crunchy, but rest assured, VBACs, homebirth, homeschooling, and extended breastfeeding are things that appeal to the super liberals, the super conservatives, and everyone in between. No matter where you are on the political spectrum, you will find someone just like you in these groups.

Also keep in mind that there are traveling midwives, so if there are no care providers in your area, this is an option. Check out the ICAN email support group for referrals.

Once you have found a provider, you are going to want to ask a ton of questions. Call and make an appointment to discuss VBAC. Don’t go in for an exam and try to have an intelligent conversation while sitting on an exam table wearing a thin paper gown. This is not a position of power. Remember, you are hiring someone to support you with your VBAC.

Please interview at least as many vendors as you would to paint your house or install your air conditioning. This is a huge decision and you will be very happy if you take the extra time to screen your care provider.

Since finding a VBAC supportive care provider can be a lengthy process, I would recommend starting your search before you even become pregnant. That way you won’t feel like you are on a timetable or be fighting morning sickness and exhaustion. And won’t it feel nice to have all your ducks in a row so when that little plus sign appears, you feel excited and supported? But, if you are already pregnant and looking, it’s not too late. Take the time to find a provider, you won’t regret it!

What do you think?
Leave a comment.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

37 Comments

  1. Hi Jen,
    I had a c section 5 years ago and am expecting again. I went through a normal labor and dialated to 8 cm without epidural. My Doc at that time sensed something is not right and did an ultrasound and found out my baby was breech. So I had to go thru a c section. But he did say I have a good chance of vbac next time. Unfortunately I have moved and could not go back to my previous ob due to distance. I live in north Brunswick, can you suggest any Doc and hospitals closer to my place that are vbac friendly

    Reply
  2. Looking for a vbac supportive OB in Long Island,Ny. I’ve had one prior c-section

    Reply
  3. Am in the same situation myself I live in Cumberland county hospital here there is no support doctors .

    Reply
  4. Hello.
    My name is Lamide
    I want to have a vbac ie after 2 cesareans. I had discussed this with my O&G and was looking forward only to be told the risks are too high etc.
    I really want this vbac and dont have much time left. Please help refer me to someone who will support my decision and walk through this to success.

    Thank you
    Lamide

    Reply
    • Hi Lamide,

      I’m sorry you are going through this! Where do you live? Perhaps we can find a doctor or midwife in your area who will be more supportive.

      Best,

      Jen

      Reply
  5. We are a group of 4 CNMs who work out of an office in Gahanna, OH (Carepoint Gahanna) and attend deliveries at The OSU Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, OH. We also have an active facebook page called “Columbus Midwife.” We are very VBAC supportive and also attend VBA2C. Thanks!

    Reply
  6. I’m planning a vbac in New Jersey but its illegal here for midwives to attend vbac’s. I hate the idea of going to the hospital and most around here have horrible vbac rates. I’m wondering what my options are, I’m very willing to travel. Ny is an hr away and PA is about 30 mins. Would it be possible to say vbac at a birthing center out of state? I’m so lost, but have plenty of time as I’m only 9 weeks. I need leads! Many thanks in advance!

    Reply
  7. I can’t believe how exactly like my story this is..my dr was supportive about me wanting a vbac and did exactly what this says..the ultrasound for size, scheduling the csection at 39 weeks against my wishes, the scare tactics! wow! Now I’m 40 weeks and scrambling to find a vbac friendly hospital in LA, CA.!

    Reply
    • Keila,

      I posted your question here and over on the VBAC Facts page… follow those threads and maybe we can connect you with a referral!

      Best,

      Jen

      Reply
      • Thanks Jen!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Reply
  8. Dr Payne is THE vbac doctor in Albany, GA! He does vbacs up to 2c sections and is the only one in this area if you could add him to the list. He is my current vbac dr:)

    Reply
  9. I am currently looking for a doctor that delivers at winnie palmer in orlando fl supporting vbac and that accepts medicaid. Please help? I am also 30 weeks which makes it even harder

    Reply
    • Alexandra,

      I’ve heard that Mark Bielawny MD and the Winnie Palmer OB Group are both VBAC supportive. But what VBAC supportive means varies greatly from mom to mom. I recommend you get a copy of your medical records, make appointments with each of those options, and then ask the right questions. Hopefully you can find a supportive and qualified care provider!

      You are welcome to join us on the VBAC Facts Community. 🙂

      Warmly,

      Jen

      Reply
  10. Yes, I am currently in the care of a very good provider, almost halfway through my second pregnancy at this point. She gave me the go-ahead at this point for a VBAC, and the university hospital I am delivering at has a 90%+ VBAC success rate, which is just amazing! I am torn about the requirement for continuous fetal monitoring, because I’m extremely physically active and don’t anticipate doing labor well strapped to a bed, but after reading many birth stories realize it’s not something to butt heads about ahead of time, but when the time comes I can ask to take a short walk, quick shower, or go to the bathroom as needed. And if the VBAC success rate is 90% with this requirement in place, clearly it’s not something that is prohibitive.

    Reply
    • Jenn,

      Sounds like you have a great plan in place! Best of luck and keep me posted!

      Warmly,

      Jen

      Reply
  11. Unfortunately, even though I live in a fairly large city (1 million +) there is no local ICAN chapter here, and contacting the nearest one did not yield much help at all. Also, the hospital I previously delivered is listed on ICAN’s website as allowing VBAC’s, when in fact they have an extremely VBAC unfriendly environment. My OB who did my c-section previously performed VBAC’s at a different local hospital told me during my first post-partum appointment that I would be having another c-section, to which I said no thanks. 🙂 I did post on ICAN’s website about this hospital

    So I actually found the best local resource for me in finding a VBAC friendly OB was calling around to talk to doula’s to get their perspective and experience on the best local hospital and doctors. I did this before I got pregnant with my second child.
    Fortunately for me, when I contacted a local doula group, a lovely woman emailed me and set up a phone conversation where we spoke for about an hour about my previous pregnancy and my hopes for a VBAC and weighing different doctor’s and hospital choices. That lovely woman I later found out has a very popular blog, none other than Angela Horn! She is as nice in person as she is on e-space. I highly recommend people looking for a VBAC friendly doctor in their area start by contacting doula’s, as with my experience ICAN is not quite accurate enough for making a fully informed decision, and speaking with someone with a wide breadth of experiences with a relatively objective view on different doctors and hospitals is a resource not easily found elsewhere.

    Reply
    • Jenn,

      That is an excellent point! Doulas are a great resource for finding VBAC supportive care providers. And Angela Horn is lovely. We know each other from Facebook and I have really enjoyed reading her posts. Was she able to point you in the direction of a good, local care provider?

      Warmly,

      Jen

      Reply
  12. I am looking for a homebirth midwife in or near Johnstown,Pennsylvania. I am willing to travel. I am seeking a VBAC2C. My number is 904-536-7167 ( moved from FL) email is jenredmon@comcast.net

    Reply
  13. Does anyone know any vbac friendly obs in Utah?

    Reply
    • I personally don’t, but check with your local ICAN chapter. That is a good place to start. Are you willing to travel?

      Reply
  14. There are not any vbac friendly Ob’s listed on your site for my area greater Philadephia area. Is there a way I can find one or does anyone know one off hand. I found midwives willing to do hbac’s but unfortunately our insurance refuses to cover? ANy hlep is greatly appreciated.

    Reply
    • Nikki,

      I’m sorry, I don’t personally know of any, but use the resources above and I’m sure you will find a provider. Philadelphia is a huge metropolitan area.

      Warmly,

      Jen

      Reply
  15. At the Midwifery Group at Swedish we fully support all women who are seeking VBAC. Our coordinating Physician is very supportive as well. We are in the Denver Colorado area (Englewood to be specific) feel free to visit our website and see if we can help support you in your healthcare decisions.

    Reply
    • Thank you Tammy for your comment and your link! Hopefully this will help connect your group with women in the Denver area.

      Reply
  16. Dr. Leach in Walnut Creek, CA is VBAC friendly even with twins as long as you have a low transverse incision. He also suggested if you have never delivered vaginally before the first twin should be head down. If the second is breach it is still ok as you know the first was able to come down the vagina successfully.

    Reply
    • I called Dr Leach’s office today, and was told that he will do a VBA1C, but he will not do a twin VBAC.

      Reply
  17. Also, in Stamford, CT with an OB in Riverside, CT who claims VBAC supportiveness, but I’m not sure this OB really is supportive. Would like to deliver my twins vaginally. Currently 32 weeks and Baby A is vertex, Baby B transverse. I welcome any birth practitioner recommendations. Would love to do a HBAC, but would be perfectly happy with a successful hospital VBAC, if possible, of course.

    Reply
  18. HĂ©lène Vadboncoeur is a researcher in perinatality in Montreal, a VBAC-er, and an author of an amazing book, entitled, Une autre cĂ©sarĂ©enne? Non merci! (Another c-s, no thanks!). An English edition will be out in th efall, she promised me. The French version of the book is a must-read for any francophones. She will also get back to vbac moms personally, by e-mail or by telephone..even if it is long-distance, as I learned. She is a great vbac advocate, has compiled otns of stats in her book on c-s in general, but esp. for example, the rates of c-s in Quebec hospital’s etc.

    If you read French, get the book! And watch for it in English coming this fall. It will be a FABULOUS resource for all VBAC advocates.

    Reply
  19. I NEED A VBAC FREINDLY PROVIDER IN NE INDIANA ASAP! I AM WRITING THIS FOR MY SISTER IN LAW. SHE IS 37 WKS ALONG AND HER DOC SAID SHE HAD TO HAVE ANOTHER C SECTION AND SHE DOES NOT WANT ONE!!! I NEED SOMEONE WHO WILL TAKE HER SINCE SHE IS SO FAR ALONG! PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  20. I live in AZ I live in an area that prohibits vbacs. So for my first birth I was induced & crap hit the fan & had an emergency c/s so my second delivery 17 months later was a scheduled c/s. I have been in & out of therapies for PTSD over this ordeal. I am obsessed with having a vaginal birth. My youngest is now 2 yrs old & I would like to get pregnant again. Anychance anyone knows if I’d have a fighting chance to find someone to allow me to vbamc in AZ? Please help!

    Reply
  21. im looking for a v-back supportive ob or midwife around the athens ohio area any suggestions?

    Reply
  22. I live in CT, stamford. I would like to find a VBAC Supportive OB

    appreciate your help

    Reply
  23. I am available to assist HBAC moms in SE PA. I have years of experience with HBAC, with over 75% of planned HBACs working beautifully and a few HBA2C.
    please know there ARE midwives that support you and believe in this process.
    best wishes to all VBAC moms
    kate

    Reply
  24. I live in Metro Detroit. I have had 2 c-sections, both for breech babies. If baby #3 is NOT breech, I’d like to attempt a VBAC. Will anyone support me in a hospital setting (which my husband prefers)?

    Reply
  25. This is all good information, and so true, you could also try Birthrites.com.au, some very good info available.

    Reply

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Jen Kamel

Jen Kamel is the founder of VBAC Facts, an educational, training and consulting firm. As a nationally recognized VBAC strategist and consumer advocate, she has been invited to present Grand Rounds at hospitals, served as an expert witness in a legal proceeding, and has traveled the country educating hundreds of professionals and highly motivated parents. She speaks at national conferences and has worked as a legislative consultant in various states focusing on midwifery legislation and regulations. She has testified multiple times in front of the California Medical Board and legislative committees on the importance of VBAC access and is a board member for the California Association of Midwives.

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