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.
Top 18 Questions
Here is a list of questions that are relevant to all birthing people, VBAC or not.
I think the most important ones relate to going overdue and suspecting a big baby, so I recommend asking those first.
If you want to learn more about these questions, check out my workshop “The Truth About VBAC.” There, I walk you through all the evidence and translate the medical research for you so you understand why these questions are so important. I also provide an extensive list of questions for out-of-hospital providers.
What is their philosophy on going past 40 weeks?
What is their philosophy on “big babies?
How many VBACs have they attended?
Of the last 10 women seeking VBAC from them, how many had a VBAC?
Do they attend VBACs with an unknown or low vertical scar?
Do they have different protocols for VBAC and non-VBAC patients?
Under what circumstances would they induce a VBAC?
What methods do they use?
Do they attend vaginal breech births?
Do they attend vaginal twin VBACs?
How many uterine ruptures have they witnessed?
What kind of monitoring do they require?
What is their cesarean rate?
Do they perform an automatic cesarean if your water has been broken for more than 24 hours, even if there is no evidence of infection?
Do they have a time-limit on how long you can labor before they recommend a cesarean?
Do they require epidurals for VBAC?
What is their perspective on you moving during labor (walking the halls, getting in the shower, laboring on the toilet, etc?)
Do they recommend an IV or heplock/saline lock?
What is their perspective on different delivery positions?
You might have to interview several providers until you find one who is truly supportive of VBAC.
If you do find such a provider, refer all your friends, VBAC or not, to this provider so that they can reap the benefit of someone who supports non-interventive birth!
I really think that true change won’t occur in the medical community in terms of supporting natural non-interventive birth and VBAC until the OBs and hospitals see their revenue decrease.
For this reason, we all need to support OBs, midwives, and hospitals that support VBAC.