Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is a crucial option in maternity care today. I see VBAC as one of the key ways for us to attack the growing maternal mortality.
Many people do not think about the cesarean rate as a two-part issue. There is the primary cesarean rate, the number of women having their first cesarean. There is also the secondary or repeat cesarean rate. Currently, both numbers are growing.
The primary cesarean rate is growing for many reasons. Some of these reasons women can help control, like choosing practitioners who have faith in the process and only intervene when truly necessary. A good example of an intervention that can increase the cesarean rate and isn’t truly needed would be non-medical inductions.
But the secondary cesarean rate is where VBAC comes in. This rate is growing as well, largely because women are not being offered the ability to give birth vaginally after a previous cesarean. The growing body of research is showing that VBAC is safe and successful for more women who try it. Many women want to try it but are turned away by their doctors or midwives – leaving them the option of a repeat cesarean or fighting for a VBAC.
More and more women are choosing to fight for the VBAC. The question becomes – why should women have to fight for something that is likely to be safer for her and her baby?
This is part of the ICAN Blog Carnival.