Pregnancy

Actual Useful Tips For Finding A VBAC-Friendly Doctor

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1. Look for a local ICAN chapter.

This is a great resource for women pursuing VBAC. They have a wealth of information on VBAC friendly doctors and hospitals and also provide support for women who have had c-sections. Local chapters hold meetings, where you can meet women in your area who are attempting VBAC. This may seem strange, but these meetings are amazing because you can meet real women who are going through the same thing you are. These women can recommend doctors that have helped them in the past or who are helping them now.

2. Remember that just because your doctor claims to be “VBAC friendly” doesn’t necessarily mean she is.

Ask questions like, “How many successful VBACs have you attended this year?” That’s always a good place to start.

3. If your doctor says you are not a candidate for VBAC, ask WHY.

This may seem basic, but I think we are so used to following a doctor’s advice we may not always dig deeper. You have every reason to know the motivations behind her recommendation. If the only answer you get is “because there is an increased risk of a uterine wall tear” you may want to search for another doctor.

4. Make sure the hospital where you plan to deliver allows VBACs.

As I mentioned above, some don’t. Do your research. If your doctor only has privileges at one of these – you’re screwed.

5. Look up the VBAC and caesarean rates at the hospital where you plan to deliver.

You can see which hospitals perform successful VBACs at increasing rates and choose to deliver there or make sure you choose a doctor who delivers there.

6. Visit message boards and find women in your area that have had a successful VBAC.

Pretty much every pregnancy site out there has a VBAC support group. Find women in your area who have had successful VBACs and ask them about their experience and which doctors they used.

I am not giving you this advice to in any way imply that doctors are not competent – they are. I’m just recommending that you find the best fit for your motivations. You have every right to take control of your health, ask questions, and find the right doctor for you.

For the record, I did not get my VBAC. Even after all my research and questions, my baby still decided she would not be exiting my womb at my pace. At 42 weeks I had to give up on my VBAC dreams and admit myself to a hospital for my second c-section. Guess what? A planned c-section isn’t nearly as terrifying as an emergency one. She was born healthy. I didn’t get my VBAC, and I was fine. I was also content knowing that I put myself in a situation where I trusted my doctor’s advice – and when she advised that it was time for the c-section, I could follow her advice without doubt or fear.

(photo: gosphotodesign / Shutterstock)

 

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