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OB front office staff doesn’t know what a VBAC is

Trying to find a VBAC supportive health care provider can be (very, very) difficult process.  Understandably, some women choose to call various providers rather than meet with them face to face. This woman’s experience illustrates the pitfalls of this method.

While VBAC is not a household term, it should be a familiar one among an OB’s front office staff.  Perhaps this will prompt more providers to have a quick discussion with their staff about VBAC and maybe even pass out a copy of the Quick Facts page (high res PDF) so that everyone who interacts with patients has a basic working knowledge of the topic.

Of course, this is the experience of one mom at one OB’s office and certainly doesn’t reflect on all the dedicated and intelligent individuals who work at OB’s offices throughout the world… simply this one.

For tips on interviewing care providers, including how to present yourself and specific questions to ask, go here.

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Well, GREAT little anecdote for you all… In my search for an OB who will at least consider a VBA2C I ended up talking to a lady office assistant via phone yesterday. It went as follows:

Me: “Hi! *general convo* Is the doctor VBAC friendly?”

Lady: “Is she friendly?”

M: “No, will she consider a VBAC?”

L: “Um, what’s a VBAC?”

*I hear another nurse in the background, say ‘Yes, we do VBAC’*

M: “Wait, did she say you guys will do a VBAC?”

*Nurse in the background says to lady on the phone, ‘Wait, has she had a c-section?’*

L: “Um, have you had a c-section?”

M: “Yes, of course.”

L: “Oh, the other nurse said if you’ve had a c-section we can’t give you a VBAC.”

M: “Ok, I think you need to know, VBAC stands for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean. It would be impossible to have a VBAC without previously having had a c-section.”

L: “Oh! I didn’t know that!”

*general pleasantries and I hung up*

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When you called your local health providers, what information did the front office staff share with you?  One mom said, “We’ve done surveys in Orlando by calling all the OB offices in town (I know, huuuge undertaking, right?!). We have been told vbac is illegal, that there is a 50% chance a baby will die, and all kinds of other outrageous statements, all from the person *answering the phone*.”

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3 comments to OB front office staff doesn’t know what a VBAC is

  • So… “yes, we do VBAC’s… but not if the mother’s had a previous cesarean”
    Hmmm. Excellent marking skills in THAT OB’s office!

  • Angela Ziegler

    ICAN of Orlando has done surveys in Orlando by calling all the OB offices in town (I know, a huuuge undertaking, right?!). We have been told vbac is illegal, that there is a 50% chance a baby will die, and all kinds of other outrageous statements, all from the person *answering the phone*. It was like every time we got an insane answer we were motivated to call more and more offices. It was incredibly exhausting and disheartening. Granted, this was five-ish years ago, but still…the misinformation out there is terrible. What’s more is that we recently had a mom with a low transverse scar show up to vbac in a hospital and somehow her previous medical records didn’t make it over there. She was quoted a rupture rate of “up to 15%” if she had a special scar. Again—WRONG! Even sometimes in the hospital the information is misquoted. Luckily this mom knew her stuff and agreed to accept the risk that she found to be most acceptable for her family. She then pushed out her 9lb baby without issue.

  • Diana

    Wow! I would like to say I’m surprised but having searched for a vbac friendly ob in the Dallas-FtWorth metroplex, I am not. It was pretty amazing the education I had to give them to just find out an answer to a yes or no question. After finally finding one, I realized after having to have a repeat section, I should really have asked if ALL the obs in the office were vbac friendly. Unfortunately, my ob who”does ALL his vbacs” was in Vegas for a conference & I got stuck with his back up who had no interest in me what-so-ever. Had too many interventions and ended up running a fever so off to the OR I went. I hope this info helps others in search of a vbac friendly OB.