Friday, January 10, 2014

VBAC Series: Finding a Provider & What Questions to Ask

            Welcome back to Getting Green with Baby's VBAC Series! Today we're going to talk about one of (if not THE) most important topics when it comes to planning a vaginal birth after a cesarean (or 2, or 3, or 5 ;) ): finding a supportive care provider and what questions you should ask when interviewing providers.
            I'm going to be totally upfront with you if you are planning or even considering a VBAC: it is not going to be a walk in the park finding a supportive doctor/medical facility (unless of course you get really lucky!). Obviously I can't speak from personal experience (yet), but from what I have read on numerous websites and from other ladies in my ICAN Facebook groups, it can be (and usually is) difficult to find a care provider who is supportive and not afraid of VBACs.

            Am I trying to scare you away from trying for a VBAC? Absolutely not! There have been plenty of women who have had VBACs in a hospital AND had a good experience. You just need to know where to look and what questions to ask.
            As with the previous posts in this series, I am providing some very useful links to get you started in your search.
ICAN's VBAC Hospital Policy Information Page: This is a very extensive list of hospitals in each state and whether they have VBAC bans or not.
ICAN's VBAC Policies in U.S. Hospitals Page: This is also a great informational page on how to use the above database as well as some other important things to keep in mind when looking for a care provider/hospital. It also explains what "defacto bans" are.

            Now that you have an idea of which hospital may allow you to VBAC, you need to find a doctor/nurse midwife/practioner/etc. that assist with deliveries at that hospital. VBAC Facts nicely sums up the top questions you should ask a provider during an interview, how to present yourself, the 3 types of care providers you will come across, and more on their "Want a VBAC? Ask your care provider these questions." page HERE.
            Just remember to stand your ground, come equipped with as much information and facts you can, make it very clear and concise what your wishes are for your birth experience, and don't be a pushover. Women should have the right to birth however they choose. And with a little persistence, you can have the birth experience you've always wanted!

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The information in this post should not be taken as medical advice.


  1. I am SO glad that I found a great midwife practice. I definitely wanted to find a practice that was supportive of VBACs. From my first appointment I was impressed. The midwife said they did VBACs all the time, were very successful, and would help me reach my goal. I delivered at a VBAC friendly hospital - IU Methodist in Indianapolis - and they let me shower, walk around, and not be strapped to a monitor the entire time. Plus, they let me go almost 2 weeks overdue without pressuring me to opt for a repeat. I would definitely say finding a supportive medical team is one of the MOST important things to a successful VBAC.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Katelyn! I am originally from Indiana (about an hour north of Indy, actually), so you are tempting me on wanting to return home for my next one as I most definitely want a VBAC! Not very many people are open to VBACs where I live now. (Arkansas) I was actually just reading a post on our local ICAN group's Facebook page about women who had tried for VBACs at one of the hospitals in Little Rock. Evidently they still want to monitor you constantly. Doesn't sound like a lot of fun to me!