As you start exploring providers for your VBAC, there are some things that providers might do that could tip you off that they aren’t supportive of your VBAC journey. Including but not limited to:
- They put off the conversation about whether you are a VBAC candidate. When you bring up your desire for a vaginal birth, they dismiss it and say that they will discuss it closer to your due date. This might include the phrase, “We will see how things go…”
- “We don’t do VBACs” Obviously, this is a big red flag. If they aren’t even willing to entertain the idea of a VBAC, you should definitely find a new provider!
- “If you go into labor on your own by 40 weeks, then you can VBAC.” Babies come in their own time, not on a schedule. Let your baby and your body decide your due date, not your obstetrician. This can also be tied in with the phrase, “Let’s go ahead and schedule a repeat cesarean at 41 weeks, just in case.”
- “Let me do my job” Obstetricians have probably delivered hundreds of babies, and therefore they do have quite a bit of expertise. However, that is no reason for them to dismiss your desire to birth the way that you want to. It is extremely condescending to imply that you will have no say over what happens to your body during birth, and that they are to control you during that time. If they belittle the research that you have done regarding your birth plan, and are condescending regarding your birth plan approach with caution.
- Unsupportive staff. If your primary provider appears supportive, but alternate providers and/or staff are unsupportive. Birth is unpredictable, and if you happen to go into labor when the one OB in the practice that is adamantly against VBAC is on rotation, where will that put you? It’s important that all providers are on the same page and supportive of you.
- High cesarean rate. If the hospital where they have permissions has a very high cesarean rate, or the practice itself has a high cesarean rate you should approach with caution. There are several factors that go into CS rates including the percentage of patients that are high risk. However, this shouldn’t be ignored.
- You have big babies. “Your first baby was too big, and your second will be as well. You might as well schedule a RCS.” The size of one child does not automatically dictate the size of your subsequent children. In fact, if your provider insists on an ultrasound during your third trimester to check for size, this is a major red flag.
In the end, remember that this is YOUR birth. If you feel uncomfortable with your provide and you do not feel supported by them, please have the courage to find another provider – even if it is “late in the game!” Your local ICAN chapter can help you find a VBAC supportive provider in your area. Every woman deserves to have the birth that they desire!