If you want a VBAC, ask your doctor or midwife these questions
While there are care providers who may mislead you about your risks, benefits, and options, this article is written assuming that you are meeting with an ethical care provider who supports the option of VBAC. Read more on how to find a providers like this.
If you are a good candidate for VBAC, the single most important decision you can make that will have the greatest impact on your chances of VBAC success is who you hire to attend your birth. This is why it’s important to interview several care providers and ask specific questions.
You will often receive different information when speaking to the doctor or midwife directly than you would from the people who answer their phones. When calling their office, be sure to state that you want to have a consultation. Ideally, you want to meet in an office, not in an exam room.
Questions You Should Ask
The key to all of these questions is that they are open ended. The trick is to ask the question and then sit back and really listen.
What is your philosophy on planned VBACs?
What is your philosophy on planned VBACs going past 40 weeks?
What is your philosophy on suspected “big babies” (macrosomia) among planned VBACs?
How many VBACs have you attended?
Of the last 10 planned VBACs you attended, how many had a VBAC?
What is your philosophy on inducing VBACs?
What is your philosophy on monitoring planned VBACs?
Does your hospital have telemetry (wireless monitoring)? How often is it used?
What is your philosophy on waters being broken for more than 24 hours?
How long do you think it’s safe for VBACs to labor?
What is your philosophy on epidurals in planned VBACs?
What are your standing orders for planned VBACs and do they differ from your standing orders for first time parents?
How does your on-call schedule work?
What is your cesarean rate?
What are your thoughts on movement during labor and delivery positions?
What is your philosophy on IV or saline lock?
Do you offer family-friendly cesareans?
In the event that the baby isn’t head down, do you manually turn babies? (This is called an external cephalic version or ECV.)
Do you attend vaginal breech births? If not, can you refer me to a provider who does?
Do you attend vaginal twin VBACs?
Do you attend VBAC after 2 cesareans?
Do you attend VBACs with a classical (high vertical), T, or J scar?
Do you attend VBACs with a low vertical or unknown scar?
Ok, you have your list of questions… what now?
Knowing what questions to ask is just one part of the process. How to do you know what answers to look for?
Well, that’s the next step.
In order to know how the answers you receive line up with the evidence, you have to actually know what the evidence says.
And most parents and professionals don’t have the time or interest to dive into the research. Or the process feels overwhelming so they don’t take the first step.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
In my online trainings for parents and professionals, I’ve done all the work for you. I translate the evidence on each question so you know how to decode the provider’s response as well as red flags to avoid.
Click here to learn more and get started.
What do you think?
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What do you think? Leave a comment.
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.