Category Archives: VBAC Ban Reversals


Write for VBAC Facts: Hospital VBAC Ban Reversals

how we reversed our vbac ban image

I’m so excited to announce a new series on VBAC ban reversals. My objective with this series is to show that hospitals do reverse their bans and to give other hospitals with existing bans a blueprint for how they can do the same.

So, if you work for a hospital that has reversed their VBAC ban and you would like to share your experience with other hospitals via, please contact me. Submissions can be anonymous and do not need to provide the hospital’s name.

Don’t know where to start? Use these questions as a starting point:

– Why was the ban initially put in place?
– Was it a formal or de facto ban?
– How long was the ban enforced?
– How did the following groups respond to the institution of the VBAC ban?
a) care providers at your hospital
b) other care providers in the community
c) other hospital administrators in the area
d) the community (women, families, etc.)
– Why did your hospital reverse the ban?
– What influence did the following have on this process:
a) anesthesia protocols/policies
b) 2010 ACOG VBAC Practice Bulletin
c) 2010 NIH VBAC Conference and resulting Final Statement
d) hospital’s malpractice insurance provider
e) community groups
– What did your hospital do, if anything, to prepare staff and care providers, from the top down, for the ban reversal?
– How quickly was the VBAC ban reversal implemented?
– How did the following groups respond to the reversal?
a) care providers at your hospital
b) other care providers in the community
c) other hospital administrators in the area
d) the community (women, families, etc.)
– What tips would you give to other hospitals who are considering reversing their bans?
– What do you wish you knew at the start of the process that you know now?

Any additional information that you can think of that would help another hospital through this transition would be welcome.

Readers, Do you have any ideas on additional questions to ask? What would you want to know about this process?

Here’s one hospital’s story:

Our hospital blamed it [the VBAC ban] on the liability insurance company. They would not cover the hospital for bad outcomes due to VBAC without in house anesthesia. We were able to get around it by only requiring anesthesia and OB in house during active labor which is now 6 cms. That made all the difference in the world. The average amount of time in house for anesthesia for the last year had been about 4 hours. We cannot use pitocin in our protocol and as a result try to avoid epidural and women who deliver usually do so quickly. Our success rate has been over 80% among those wanting to try. We encourage almost everyone with one previous cs to try. Not perfect but better than the 10 year ban we had!!!

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

Natural birth after c-section possible at NMC again

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.