Someone recently contacted me because they were asked to speak about VBAC vs. repeat cesarean. Below is what I wrote. If you have the opportunity to speak to a group, maybe you would find this information helpful. It is by no means comprehensive. The class I developed is 4 hours long. But this is a good place to start especially if you only have 30-60 minutes to speak.
I’ll give you a list of links, some of which are formatted as a PDF to print as handouts. If you don’t want to give so many handouts, you can make one handout that has the links to the various PDFs so people can read or print as needed. For articles that I haven’t formatted as PDFs, you can print them using the button that looks like a printer at the bottom of each article under the words “Share & enjoy.”
How much time do you have to speak? My classes were a solid four hours. There is so much information! The hard part is distilling it down.
Before I get into the meat of data, I want to talk about tone and goals. My tone is that everyone is entitled to good, honest data. My tone acknowledges that there are real risks and benefits to VBAC vs. repeat cesarean and home birth vs. hospital birth. My objective is not to convince anyone that VBAC is better or safer or that everyone should have a VBAC.
My goal is to provide women with interesting and hard to find information on post-cesarean birth options without trying to influence them to select a specific mode of delivery in a specific location. I trust that women, together with their VBAC supportive care providers, can evaluate the information available to them and select what risks and benefits are important to them.
While I had a home VBAC, that decision came with risks. As does a repeat cesarean. And what is the best decision for me might be very different than the best decision for you or your best friend. So, it is in that spirit that I run this website, talk to women, and teach classes.
My objective is solely to share stuff that I think is interesting and make information that is deep within medical studies and technical documents accessible to your typical everyday woman. Because that is where the best info is kept and I really believe that information gives you options and power.
Women might be interested to hear why other women think VBAC is important, here is the link and the PDF. I created that piece and distributed it at the March 2010 National Institutes of Health VBAC Conference. I left a huge stack on a table of handouts and they were all gone in a couple hours.
The documents and videos from the 2010 NIH (National Institutes of Health) VBAC Conference is a wealth of incredible information including uterine rupture rates, maternal/fetal mortality/morbidity, and non-medical factors that stand between women and VBAC, etc.
Understand that we still don’t have a good idea of the risk of fetal demise from uterine rupture.
It’s also important to point out that the latest ACOG recommendations are more supportive of VBAC than previous recommendations.
Covering the risks of cesareans is a must. Here’s a link and a PDF. Check out this one study. It’s also important to point out the increasing risks of placental abnormalities that come with subsequent cesareans. And women being “too posh to push” is not substantially driving the overall cesarean rate.
Many women are nervous about planning a VBAC so that is an important topic.
Women often choose the mode of delivery favored by their care provider even if they don’t understand the risks and benefits of their options.
Read about a woman who was threatened with a “forced” cesarean.
Why VBAC bans are irrational.
Strategies for women encountering VBAC bans.
Women who choose home birth and looking to avoid hospital complications like “pit to distress” and routine Pitocin induction/augmentation and the real risks that come with those policies. Read more about home birth vs hospital birth here and here.
Two-thirds of ACOG’s clinical guidelines have no basis in science.
You can also buy some Quick Facts cards to distribute.
Best of luck! Let me know how it goes!!!