Finding a VBAC Supportive OB or Midwife
When looking for a VBAC supportive provider, the absolute best place to start is locally. Attend a local ICAN chapter meeting or connect with them online. Chat with doulas, childbirth educators, and nurses who work in your community. They have the unique experience of observing providers over long periods of time, so they can give you the inside scoop. I also think it’s worth your time to call your local hospital and talk to the L&D nurse manager. Ask them who attends VBAC.
Here are some additional resources:
- The ICAN Facebook page
- The Birth Survey
- Birth After Cesarean email support group
- The ICAN Professional Subscribers list
- VBAC Meetup Groups
- Mothering.com VBAC Forum
- AP Doctor Referral yahoogroup
- Your local La Leche League chapter
- Attachment parenting groups
- Extended breastfeeding groups
- Local homeschooling groups
Note that some of the groups are not explicitly about childbirth. However, there is a tremendous amount of overlap between say, those who homeschool, plan homebirths and those who plan VBACs.
Also, those who have unmedicated births, or VBAC, or homebirth, are more likely to breastfeed beyond the first year, which is called ‘extended breastfeeding,’ and go to La Leche League meetings. They are also more likely to seek out fellow crunchy moms at Holistic Moms groups or attachment parenting groups.
You might have never considered yourself ‘crunchy’ because you think that only hippies are crunchy, but rest assured, VBACs, homebirth, homeschooling, and extended breastfeeding are things that appeal to the super liberals, the super conservatives, and everyone in between. No matter where you are on the political spectrum, you will find someone just like you in these groups.
Also keep in mind that there are traveling midwives, so if there are no care providers in your area, this is an option. Check out the ICAN email support group for referrals.
Once you have found a provider, you are going to want to ask a ton of questions. Call and make an appointment to discuss VBAC. Don’t go in for an exam and try to have an intelligent conversation while sitting on an exam table wearing a thin paper gown. This is not a position of power. Remember, you are hiring someone to support you with your VBAC.
Please interview at least as many vendors as you would to paint your house or install your air conditioning. This is a huge decision and you will be very happy if you take the extra time to screen your care provider.
Since finding a VBAC supportive care provider can be a lengthy process, I would recommend starting your search before you even become pregnant. That way you won’t feel like you are on a timetable or be fighting morning sickness and exhaustion. And won’t it feel nice to have all your ducks in a row so when that little plus sign appears, you feel excited and supported? But, if you are already pregnant and looking, it’s not too late. Take the time to find a provider, you won’t regret it!
As an internationally recognized consumer advocate and Founder of VBAC Facts®, Jen helps perinatal professionals, and cesarean parents, achieve clarity on vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) through her educational courses for parents, online membership for professionals, continuing education trainings, and consulting services. She speaks at conferences across the US, presents Grand Rounds at hospitals, advises on midwifery laws and rules that limit VBAC access, educates legislators and policy makers, and serves as an expert witness and consultant in legal proceedings. She envisions a time when every pregnant person seeking VBAC has access to unbiased information, respectful providers, and community support, so they can plan the birth of their choosing in the setting they desire.