VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) is a safe alternative to a routine repeat cesarean. Our aim is to provide evidence-based resources and support about VBAC from a variety of sources; scientific studies, professional guidelines, government reports, birth advocacy groups, as well as successful and established VBAC programs. Our goal is to help women make informed decisions about how they want to give birth and to encourage an honest and respectful dialogue with their caregivers. Providing accurate information and resources about VBAC can help childbearing women and their families avoid the risks associated with cesarean section.
This site can also be a valuable educational resource for childbirth educators, nurses, midwives, doulas (professional labor assistants), and physicians.
In the United States, due to the current guidelines for VBAC and physicians’ fear of malpractice many hospitals are denying women’s right to labor for a VBAC. Today, less than 10 percent of women with a prior cesarean have a VBAC.
Birth is a major life event that significantly impacts a mother’s physical and emotional well-being. A cesarean can be a life-saving procedure for a mother and/or her baby, but overall, birth by cesarean puts healthy pregnant women at risk for medical complications. Recent evidence suggests that cesarean birth, particularly if it was unexpected, may also put women at increased psychological risk.
In the U.S. one out of three women gives birth by cesarean and more than 90% of women with a prior cesarean have a routine repeat operation. The cesarean rate runs contrary to the US Healthy People 2010 and 2020 goals. US National objectives to improve maternal, infant, and child health outcomes is to lower the cesarean rate for first time mothers to 15%, and increase the VBAC rate to 63% by the year 2020.
Updated, September 19, 2012.