Wisconsin hospital wants to limit your childbirth options

Jul 29, 2014 at 3:15 p.m. ET
Image: Steve Debenport/Vetta/Getty Images

On the heels of a high-profile case where a hospital threatened to perform a C-section on a mom who wanted to try for a VBAC, we have another U.S. hospital closing its doors to all VBAC hopefuls. What is going on here?

I follow Jamie Grayson, better known as TheBabyGuyNYC, because not only because he's amazingly clever with baby gear (and let's face it, he's hilarious), but because he sincerely cares for babies and their families. His post about his sister caught my eye. She had a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) at Hudson Hospital & Clinic in Wisconsin, and he reports that the staff, her physician and the hospital were all crucial components in her success.


Now, however, the hospital has decided to completely ban VBACs starting Aug. 31, 2014. "Why would a hospital and birth center full of people who support VBACs turn their back on parents wanting options for how they birth?" he asks. He knows, as I do, that a trial of labor for a mom who is hoping for a VBAC is often quite safe, and the evidences confirms this.

ICAN Twin Cities started a petition at Change.org, urging the hospital to reverse this decision.

Everyone woman deserves choices when it comes to childbirth

I was pregnant with my second child in 1998, which was near the end of many years where physicians push for moms to try for a VBAC. I went to my first prenatal appointment expecting to hear about a repeat C-section, only to be told that as I was low risk, I would be attempting a VBAC. I'll be honest — I was pretty pissed when I heard that. I had no interest in a vaginal birth and while my surgical birth wasn't fun, I knew what to expect. I was, frankly, afraid of the unknown.

I was able to have a successful VBAC, which was eventually followed by two more. I am eternally glad I had that first chance. The idea of having four C-sections is not only unappealing, but I had really priceless VBAC experiences. However, by the time I was pregnant with my third baby in 2002, the pendulum had swung the other way and I was given a choice on what to do. While I wasn't discouraged from seeking a VBAC, I could tell attitudes had changed in just a few short years. Take a look at this chart to see what I mean — a huge plummet in VBAC after the '90s which was accompanied by a startling rise in C-sections.

And now, more and more physicians and facilities are discouraging VBACs, or banning them altogether, like Hudson plans to do. This trend is extremely distressing. "Hudson, your hospital provided refuge and support for families who wanted VBACs and delivery options," says Grayson. "Don't turn your back on families."

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