Monterey County hospital reverses VBAC ban
This is great! A hospital reversing their VBAC ban! I really wish articles like this would talk less about “the experience” and more about the life-long benefits of vaginal birth for mom and baby.
May 28, 2009
By Leslie Griffy
Monterey County women who’ve had a c-section don’t have to leave the county to give birth naturally anymore.
Natividad Medical Center announced Wednesday that so-called VBACs vaginal birth after cesarean are back.
Like hospitals throughout the country, those in the county dropped the practice of allowing women who have had cesarean sections to give birth vaginally because of a slight increase in complications for such births. Still demand for the service was there.
“This is something that I’ve heard women wanting for as long as I’ve lived here,” said Judy Rasmussen, the hospital’s director of prenatal services.
Increasingly, expectant mothers are pushing for natural birth over c-sections. But many women who have had caesareans in the past were told they’d not be able to find a hospital to give birth naturally.
When Cindy Laurance gave birth to her second child in 1990, she hunted for a place to have her daughter through VBAC and ended up at Natividad, then one of the few to provide the service.
“I wanted the experience of natural birth,” she said. “You are much more present when you don’t have a lot of drugs in you.”
Her first born, Alex McCloskey, didn’t nurse right away because of the drugs required for the c-section, Laurance said. It was different with daughter Anna, born using VBAC. Her own healing time, Laurance said, was much quicker, and she was empowered by experiencing the birthing process.
“VBAC is a really good opportunity for women to have the experience has nature intended,” Laurance said.
Natividad’s insurer, BETA Healthcare, approved the facility for the procedure. It required the hospital to have an obstetrician and anesthesiologist at the hospital 24 hours a day, as well as an operating room on standby should something go wrong, said Dr. Peter Chandler.
“You can’t wait for doctors to come in from home,” Chandler said. Natividad had met those requirements for the past year.
The announcement won plaudits from the Birth Network of Monterey County, a group that aims to education families about birthing options.
“The old adage ‘Once a c-section, always a c-section’ no longer holds true,” said the group’s Joy Weston.
For more information, call 831-755-4156.
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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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