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
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.
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As a nationally recognized maternal health 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 country, presents Grand Rounds at hospitals, advises advocates seeking legislative change in their state, and serves as a expert witness 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.