Birth Professionals Are Eager to Increase Awareness About VBAC

21 Sep

Maternity care professionals have many suggestions for increasing awareness about the safety of VBAC and supporting mothers who want to labor after a prior cesarean. They only need an opportunity to make that happen. Intro.key

On Saturday, September 19, I had the honor of speaking about VBAC and the VBAC Education Project to a room full of dedicated maternity care professionals at the Lamaze/ICEA Joint Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. I spoke about the need to educate parents and professionals about bringing back the choice to labor for a VBAC which was widely available till the late nineties when nearly 1 in three U.S. mothers with a prior cesarean had a vaginal birth. I asked the audience if they could think of one strategy they could use to increase awareness of the safety of VBAC in their community or one change they could make in their hospital policies and procedures to help mothers who wanted to labor after a prior cesarean. I was inspired by the suggestions they made.

  • Post VBAC information and links on my website.
  • Stay in touch with mothers who have had a cesarean.
  • Teach a hospital-based VBAC class.
  • Offer a community-based VBAC class, include the names of VBAC-friendly physicians and hospitals.
  • When teaching a childbirth class, make sure they know about the importance of avoiding the first cesarean, since VBACs are hard to come by in my community.
  • Let mothers know that they can labor for a VBAC next time.
  • Begin a discussion with OBs about the current ACOG guidelines for VBAC.
  • Arrange a doula/nurse meeting to talk about the best way to work together to help mothers in labor and birth.
  • Sponsor a monthly or quarterly “Mother’s Tea” and invite the community to learn about VBAC.  Invite nurses, doulas, midwives, and physicians with experience in VBAC.
  • For an out-patient facility, download patient handouts (available from the VBAC Education Project) on risks and benefits of VBAC, provide to parents and allow time for a discussion.
  • Invite physicians in the community to talk to women about VBAC in an open session so that they can learn about the opportunities for VBAC support in the community.
  • Teach parents about physiologic labor strategies and allow time for practice to help mothers avoid an epidural until labor is well established, and hopefully she won’t need it.
  • Teach a 2-week, 2-hour VBAC class and allow time for discussion.
  • Provide physicians with the handouts and research list of this talk on VBAC with a questionnaire to answer.
  • Keep in touch with VBAC-friendly providers.
  • Stress the benefits of laboring for a VBAC.
  • Send out an invitation to physicians, anesthesiologists, nurses, educators, doulas to hospital grand rounds and provide VBAC information, resources, and parent handouts for their clients.
  • Educate myself about evidence-based research. Educate the nursing staff and follow-up with a VBAC education program for parents.
  • Create a slide set on VBAC options, include a resource list and links to websites such as VBAC.com and Childbirth Connection.org
  • Contact TV News stations, ask them to do a story on VBAC, get the information to PBS (Public Broadcasting Service.)

Many thanks to the birth professionals who shared their ideas and strategies for increasing awareness about VBAC. The VBAC Education Project includes many resources that can be used to implement these excellent suggestions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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