As a Licensed Midwife and Certified Professional Midwife, I have a very large belief in a woman’s right to choose the location of her birth as well as her birth care provider.
Women who have had previous cesareans deserve this right just as every other woman.
What I have seen in over 20 years working in birth is VBAC women becoming more and more marginalized – their options slipping through their fingers – until no other choices were available but to deliver at home alone (and they are) or to schedule a cesarean. To me, that is no choice at all!
It is crucial for midwives to continue offering an alternative to scheduled cesareans or highly technocratic VBAC “attempts” in the hospital. These women accept their minutely elevated risk of uterine rupture (and even that is diminished since we never induce or augment a labor with medications) and crave the autonomy home birth offers.
As a midwife, I am as watchful of a VBAC mom as I am with any other birthing mom. Signs of concern are not ignored, but addressed and, if appropriate, transferred into the hospital for more advanced care and, if warranted, a repeat cesarean performed. It is not a home birth at all costs; it is a live and healthy mom and baby AND a mom’s sense of being a part of the decision-making process – her emotional and spiritual health. These are the common goals in a VBAC at home.
Over two decades, I have attended Classical VBACs, VBAmC, VBACs, and HBACs and across the board, women who have succeeded with their births after cesareans are elated and it reverberates throughout their entire parenting lives.
How can the Medical Board possibly consider taking that away from women?