The VBAC Education Project

A Teaching Tool for Parents & Birth Professionals

The VBAC Education Project (VEP), endorsed by the International Childbirth Education Association and the International Cesarean Awareness Network, was developed to empower women to make their own decisions about how they want to give birth after a cesarean and to provide VBAC-friendly birth professionals and caregivers with the tools and resources to support them.

The VBAC Education Project is licensed by Creative Commons as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International. This gives the user the permission to download, copy, and distribute the information as it is provided, with attribution,  for non-commercial purposes.

The VBAC Education Project consists of four parts:

Download all four parts here.

The National Institutes of Health and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists encourage healthy pregnant mothers with a prior cesarean to labor for a vaginal birth after a cesarean (VBAC), yet most mothers have a routine repeat cesarean. Often, they don’t have access to accurate information about VBAC and cannot make an informed choice. Or, they can’t find a care provider or hospital to support them. Between 70-75% of mothers who labor after a prior cesarean have a safe VBAC, but only 10% of women had a VBAC in 2012 compared to almost 30% in 1996.

Routine repeat cesareans put healthy mothers and babies at risk for several short- and long-term health complications. Women should have access to evidence-based information and to safe care if they choose to labor for a VBAC.

For Parents

If you had a baby by cesarean, you have a choice about how you want to give birth this time. It’s your decision.

The VBAC Education ProjectThe Deciding if A VBAC Is Right for You: A Parent’s Guide slide-set is divided into 14 modules. You can read all the modules or just the ones you are most interested in. This evidence-based guide provides comprehensive information on VBAC, a safe option to a routine repeat cesarean. It includes information on how to increase your odds for a VBAC and how to find a supportive caregiver and place of birth. It also helps you understand why you may have had a cesarean and how you can do things differently this time. Here is the information that you will find in the slide-set.

 

Table of Contents
Introduction Module 1 VBAC: The Benefits for Mothers and Babies
Module 2 What Is the Main Concern When Laboring for a VBAC?
Module 3 A Closer Look at Repeat Cesareans: Benefits & Risks (revised 6/16)
Module 4 What Are the Odds of My Having a VBAC?
Module 5 Four Main Reasons for a First Cesarean: What You Can Do Differently This Time
Module 6 Helpful Strategies 
 for Labor and Birth
Module 7 Coping With the 
Pain of Labor
Module 8 Psychological and Emotional Issues
Module 9 If I Want a VBAC, Where Can I Give Birth? Planning a Hospital VBAC
Module 10 Planning a Birth Center VBAC (revised 8/15)
Module 11 Planning a Home 
VBAC (HBAC): Is It Safe?
Module 12 How Do You Want 
to Give Birth? It’s 
 Your Decision
Module 13 What You Can Do To Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth
Module 14 Trust Yourself to 
 Give Birth Safely

 

VBAC_ResourcesThe Resources for VBAC & Physiologic Birth helps expand your knowledge about VBAC and physiologic (normal) birth. Respecting the process of normal birth and introducing interventions only when necessary increases the chances of having a safe vaginal birth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

VBAC_HandoutsForParentsThe Educational Handouts for Parents helps you to think about what you want for your birth and to discuss the issues that are important to you with your caregiver. It gives you the tools you need to make informed decisions and increases your chances of having a safe and satisfying birth.

If you are a labor and delivery nurse, office nurse, doula, community-based maternal-child health worker or birth activist, the Deciding if VBAC Is Right for You slide-set provides the medical facts you need to understand the VBAC option and the psychological issues related to laboring for a VBAC.  It also includes the many ways you can support and empower mothers to make their own best decisions about how they want to give birth this time. The Resources and Educational Handouts for Parents mentioned above are useful for you and the families you work with.

This version of the Educational Handouts for Parents was created for educators in a simple, printer-friendly format to share with parents who do not have easy access to the web.

For Educators and Birth Community Leaders

The  slide-set, Deciding if VBAC Is Right for You, was also developed to be used as a curriculum for VBAC classes. If you teach childbirth classes or lead a support group for women with a prior cesarean, you can choose any of the 14 modules that meet your needs and combine them to best serve the expectant parents you work with.

VBAC For EducatorsThe supporting e-book, VBAC for Educators: A Teaching Guide helps you to present the material to your students. It includes background materials for each of the 14 modules, teaching tips, and sample informed consent/refusal forms, parent education, and hospital protocols for VBAC that you can copy for your use.

The Resources and Educational Handouts can reinforce the topics you have already covered.

FB-f-Logo__blue_29 Join the VBAC Education Project Community on Facebook

Share with your friends and colleagues how you are using the VBAC Education Project to educate parents and bring about change in your community to increase access to safe care for VBAC.


 

For Physicians and Midwives

If you are a physician or midwife, the slide-set provides expectant parents with evidence-based information about VBAC. It can help your patients to reinforce and expand the prenatal conversations you will have with them. It also helps mothers prepare for childbirth and clarify some of the issues they are most concerned about.

Clinicians rarely have the time to provide parents with all the information they need to make informed decisions. The VBAC Education Project can be an additional resource for the families you work with.

 

If you would like to find out more about how other providers and hospitals are supporting VBAC, you can download sample hospital VBAC and gentle-cesarean protocols, informed consent/refusal forms, and patient education materials from, Hospital Policies that Support VBAC, Family-Centered Cesarean, and Informed ChoiceThese examples of Hospital Policies are also included in Appendix A of VBAC for Educators: A Teaching Guide.

 

About the Flyer

The flyer is designed to advertise the availability of the VBAC Education Project. It can be distributed to expectant parents,  advertise a class, or a community support group meeting. VEP_FlyerThere is space available to print the name of your birth practice, hospital, birth center or educator, doula and breastfeeding support professional services.

 

About the web links embedded in the VBAC Education Project

Live links are embedded to give readers direct access to additional resources. Because we have no control over the management of these websites, specific links may have been moved, relocated or removed as information is updated. If the link doesn’t direct you to what you’re looking for, try using the search function on that specific website.

 

Posters

A selection of slides from Deciding If VBAC Is Right For You have been reformatted to be used as posters or banners. Download and print them as large as 36in. They can be posted in classrooms, on the Labor & Delivery unit, in a community clinic, in the office, birth center, Yoga studio, or anywhere that expectant mothers are likely to gather.

 

Contact us if your organization would like to endorse the VEP.

 

Endorsers of the VBAC Education Project

International Childbirth Education Association

International Cesarean Awareness Network

Healthy Mother Wellness & Care, Hyderabad, India

33 Responses to “The VBAC Education Project”

  1. Tiffany October 17, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

    Thank you for sharing such great resources! Have you seen any instillation as to what point in labor a uterine rupture is most likely to occur?

    • Nicette October 17, 2016 at 1:59 pm #

      Hello, Tiffany

      A rupture is most likely to occur in active labor. However, other issues such as being induced, how many prior cesareans, how the scar was closed- single or double sutures, or any other prior surgery on the uterus can have an impact on how likely the scar is to separate. I’m glad you find the VEP useful.

  2. Melanie Roberts April 16, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

    I will be 44 when I deliver my 3rd baby. The first two were born by c-section in 2005 and 2006. I desperately want to avoid surgery, but so far, I’ve been unable to find a doctor and/or hospital willing to accommodate a VBAC for me. Where can I find data about the risks of VBAC to a woman my age after 2 c-sections that occurred a decade ago? Am I just engaging in wishful thinking?

  3. amaya January 30, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

    thankyou so much for this magnificent project 🙂
    I have two questions:
    1. is this material translated to spanish? i am a childbirth educator in Mexico.
    2. what can i do to joinn ican ? there is so much work to be done in my country regarding cesraean awarness!
    thank you again!

    • Nicette February 1, 2016 at 11:50 am #

      Hello, Amaya

      I’m glad you find the VEP useful for your work in Mexico. At this time the VEP is not available in any other language, but if you know someone who wishes to translate it in Spanish or in any other language, please, let me know. ICAN already has Chapters in Mexico, http://www.ican-online.org/international-chapters/. You can contact them directly or contact ICAN in the USA. You will find the contact information at the bottom of the ICAN home page.

      Nicette

    • lalem October 20, 2016 at 12:13 pm #

      amaya, I am looking for a team who support VBAC in Mexico (preferebly neaby mexico city) can you pelase help me?
      thank you in advance

  4. Anisa October 9, 2015 at 10:40 am #

    This is such an amazing project! It is really needed and appreciated by me for sure! I’m so grateful to your work because it is now user friendly and has become easier to transfer and share this with mothers and other birth professionals and even care facilities. Thank you and I hope you can support us further in Bahrain and in the Arabian region with awareness of VBAC and positive birth.

    • Nicette October 15, 2015 at 11:05 am #

      Anisa,

      Thank you for your work on behalf of mothers and babies. Keep us posted and let us know what we can do to help.

      Nicette

  5. Barbara Hotelling September 1, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

    Thanks for these fabulous guidelines and handouts. You have been providing me with materials to share the evidence with parents making difficult choices for years and you’ve never disappointed me. These materials will shape how we present VBAC information to more parents than you or I can count. For all the families you help, thank you.

    • Nicette September 1, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

      Barbara, I’m glad you think the VEP will be helpful to the families you work with. I know how passionate you are about guiding childbearing families. When you’ve had a chance to use the materials, please share your experiences on our VBAC Education Project Facebook page.

      Warm Regards,
      Nicette

      • Barbara Hotelling September 19, 2015 at 9:46 pm #

        Will do and congratulations on your ICEA award.

  6. Melinda Kane August 18, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

    These resources are beautiful and well-researched. Thank you for all your hard work.

    Are there any plans to make a more printer-friendly set of handouts available? In the VBAC classes I’ve taught in the past, parents appreciate being able to walk through some of the handouts with me in class, and it gives them a chance to scribble notes in the margins, etc. We would also like to have handouts to provide to an urban clinic serving low-income women who are unlikely to have computer/internet access on a consistent basis. Handouts they can take with them are more useful than e-books as they are unlikely to have the time to read and process the information in a public access computing area like a library. Please consider making this a project for the future. Thank you!

    • Nicette August 19, 2015 at 9:14 am #

      Dear Melinda,
      Thank you for your kind words about the VEP. You make a good point. I will see about posting the word document for the Parent’s Handouts. Please, include your name in the Update box so you can receive the update.

      Warm Regards,

      Nicette

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