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Thread: Great read if you are looking at a VBAC

  1. #1

    Default Great read if you are looking at a VBAC

    I just came across this article [VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean) Wars By Caroline McCullough] when browsing the Kindred online magazine and was quite inspired by it. I thought it may be interesting to anyone working towards a VBAC or weighing up their options. Most notably the parts which jumped out at me:

    Queensland’s (Australia) Sunshine Coast obstetrician, Kirsten Small, supports a woman’s right to choose VBAC. ‘As an intelligent educated woman, I want to be able to choose how to give birth, so how could I not offer this to the women who seek me out for care?’ she says. ‘I sometimes hear women say that their doctor “let them”’ or “didn’t let them” do something or other. It is a woman’s right to choose a VBAC, and she doesn't need and shouldn't ask for permission to do so. If she does, she runs the risk of having that permission withdrawn, when it wasn't ever supposed to be in question.’
    Small says, ‘Obstetricians can, of course, behave like petulant toddlers when they don't get their own way and bully, badger, and pester women into agreeing to a certain course of action. This behaviour was taught to me during my training—how to do the “your baby might die” lecture. There is a very fine line between informed consent and mis-informed consent! Women's best defence against this is to be well-educated and be able to question everything that they are told.’
    And perhaps this is where the future of VBAC lies. Gould says, ‘Only when women’s fears are addressed, their understanding of VBAC risks put in perspective, and their knowledge of empowering birth enhanced, will they have the understanding and tools to start demanding care that meets their individual needs.’
    The GP in the room starts to wax eloquently about how these women need access to blood transfusions and tertiary obstetric care. But the evidence in front of me does not concur with what she is saying, which tells me she is basing her decision-making on fear. The administrator makes no apology for denying a woman her right to give birth naturally and instead goes on to tell me how they have a right to use child safety laws to intervene if they feel the woman is making a bad choice. Yet I know most women don’t get anywhere near the information and support they need to make an informed choice to begin with. I lose this round but live in hope that if more women speak up and start to demand the care they need, change will happen. It’s already happening elsewhere, in hospitals where VBAC is supported and so the battle continues.
    The article also highlights the difficulties medical professionals have working through their trauma when something goes wrong in a birth and explores this as a reason they are less inclined to want to pursue a VBAC or are more likely to push for intervention. I found this a refreshing approach rather than to say it was all about fear of litigation. It was something I had never thought of before....

    I am not sure if I am able to link to the article as it is an online magazine, but you can find it easily enough through google I imagine.

  2. #2


    Thanks for that I am looking into it further now

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