Want a VBAC? Ask your care provider these questions.

While there are care providers who may mislead you about your risks, benefits, and options, this article is written assuming that you are meeting with an ethical care provider who supports the option of VBAC.  Read more on how to find a providers like this.

If you are a good candidate for VBAC, the single most important decision you can make that will have the greatest impact on your chances of VBAC success is who you hire to attend your birth.   This is why it’s important to interview several care providers and ask specific questions.

You will often receive different information when speaking to the doctor or midwife directly than you would from the people who answer their phones.  When calling their office, be sure to state that you want to have a consultation.  Ideally, you want to meet in an office, not in an exam room.

Questions You Should Ask

The key to all of these questions is that they are open ended.

The trick is to ask the question and then sit back and really listen.

What is your philosophy on planned VBACs?

What is your philosophy on planned VBACs going past 40 weeks?

What is your philosophy on suspected “big babies” (macrosomia) among planned VBACs?

How many VBACs have you attended?

Of the last 10 planned VBACs you attended, how many had a VBAC?

What is your philosophy on inducing VBACs?

What is your philosophy on monitoring planned VBACs?

Does your hospital have telemetry (wireless monitoring)? How often is it used?

What is your philosophy on waters being broken for more than 24 hours?

How long do you think it’s safe for VBACs to  labor?

What is your philosophy on epidurals in planned VBACs?

What are your standing orders for planned VBACs and do they differ from your standing orders for first time parents?

How does your on-call schedule work?

What is your cesarean rate?

What are your thoughts on movement during labor and delivery positions?

What is your philosophy on IV or saline lock?

Do you offer family-friendly cesareans?

Special Circumstances

In the event that the baby isn’t head down, do you manually turn babies? (This is called an external cephalic version or ECV.)

Do you attend vaginal breech births? If not, can you refer me to a provider who does?

Do you attend vaginal twin VBACs?

Do you attend VBAC after 2 cesareans?

Do you attend VBACs with a classical (high vertical), T, or J scar?

Do you attend VBACs with a low vertical or unknown scar?

Ok, you have your list of questions… what now?

Knowing what questions to ask is just one part of the process. How to do you know what answers to look for?

Well, that’s the next step.

In order to know how the answers you receive line up with the evidence, you have to actually know what the evidence says.

And most parents and professionals don’t have the time or interest to dive into the research. Or the process feels overwhelming so they don’t take the first step.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

In my online trainings for parents and professionals, I’ve done all the work for you. I translate the evidence on each question so you know how to decode the provider’s response as well as red flags to avoid.

Click here to learn more and get started.

19 thoughts on “Want a VBAC? Ask your care provider these questions.

  1. Pingback: evidence based information 12 resources mindingmums.com

  2. Pingback: Minding Mums – Stacking the Odds for Your Successful VBAC

  3. Af

    I just read the interesting information you have posted in regards to VBACS.
    Since I have had 2 Previous csections. My 1st was due to babies heart rate dropping and 2nd I attempted a VBAC I was only in the hospital for 2 hours and I only dilated 2cms, and i was rushed for a c section as the doctor had rushed in to check me and said I was ” too tight and too narrow” I presume he meant my pelvis bone! Despite the fact babies heart rate was perfectly fine, My waters had not broken they didnt allow me to move and I was bed ridden. I do feel I was not given enough time and rushed by the surgeon.
    The hospital does allows VBAC after 2 sections, however it depends on the reason why you required the previous csections. Do you suggest I ask for a pelvis check to see if I am too narrow?
    I have read a lot of successful stories about Narrow Pelvis bone and women delivering naturally.

    1. Jen Kamel Post author

      Hi Af!

      I think it’s always a good idea to meet with VBAC supportive providers in your area and get their opinion.

      In terms of getting your pelvis checked, consider what you would do with the information. Would it give you peace of mind or stress you out? I recommend asking your provider what they think. If you have a “less optimal” pelvic shape, what do they recommend? You may even want to get this information and then talk to a few providers in your area to see what they say.

      As you may know, there is a wide range in how doctors and midwives practice… and not all of them are consistent with national guidelines or the medical evidence.

      So, collect your information, interview providers, and then weigh your options!

      Best of luck!


  4. Krystal

    I had my first son via c-section on 06/06/2015. I found out I am pregnant with my second baby in July of this year (2016). When I had my first c-section, I was induced at 40 weeks and 2 days. I was unable to get passed 3 cm dilated when my sons heart rate started dropping so I had to get a c-section. Everything else in my pregnancy was completely normal. I did not get an epidural until I was told I would be getting a c-section. Wondering if I would be eligible for a VBAC?

    1. Jen Kamel Post author

      Hey Krystal!

      Most women with one prior cesarean are candidates for VBAC and it’s very likely you are too.

      Your best bet is to meet with a VBAC supportive doctor or midwife, have them review your operative report from your cesarean, and talk about the risks and benefits for you.

      If you haven’t already, download my VBAC planning checklist.

      Best of luck to you!



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