The VBAC Decision – Were you in a fog??

I recently read an article** that looked at a number of studies examining the way women felt about making the decision to either schedule a repeat cesarean section or plan for a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).

As health care providers and birth workers, we should all know, and be comfortable teaching that VBAC is a safe and viable option for many women.  If given the opportunity for a trial of labor, 60-80% of women with previous cesarean sections will VBAC successfully.  In spite of the overwhelming evidence of the safety of VBAC, and even in the face of the 2010 NIH Consensus Statement suggesting that VBAC is safe, many women still are not given full and clear information about the option for VBAC.  The article that I read pointed out that women often feel like they are in a fog as it relates to the decision they have to make regarding whether to have a VBAC or a repeat c/section.

“The main results from our study shows that experiences of VBAC is like groping through the fog, where decision-making and information from the health care system and professionals, both during pregnancy and the birth, is unclear and contrasting. These findings are in line with Endozien’s statement that there is an unmet need for clinicians to provide sufficient information to women, so that the woman’s choice can be an informed one”

This is such a travesty.  The evidence exists.  Why isn’t the evidence being shared with women? Why do women feel like they are walking around in a fog?? We have to do better!! This is unfair, unnecessary, and an unfortunate reality of our complicated obstetrical system.

Did you have or want the opportunity to VBAC? What was that decision like for you? Did you feel like you were “groping through the fog?” I would love to hear your story….

** Groping Through the Fog –  A Metasynthesis of Women’s Experiences on VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean Section).  Ingela Lundgren, Cecily Begley, Mechthild M Gross, Terese Bondas – BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2012;12(85)

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