Birth Choices at Cottage: We want to bring back VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean)
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“Attempting a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is a safe and appropriate choice for most women who have had a prior cesarean delivery…” –American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) press release, July 21, 2010. http://www.acog.org/About-ACOG/News-Room/News-Releases/2010/Ob-Gyns-Issue-Less-Restrictive-VBAC-Guidelines
Unfortunately, women do not currently have the option to choose a VBAC at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara, contrary to ACOG’s current practice bulletin for obstetricians and contrary to current scientific evidence supporting the safety of VBAC for most women.
Therefore, we, the undersigned, request that the hospital administrators and obstetrical decision-makers at Cottage Hospital lift their ban on VBACs and begin following ACOG’s recommendation of trial of labor for most women who have previously had a cesarean birth.
In making this request we affirm the following:
- Women have the legal and moral rights to decide what happens to their body, as well as what is best for them and their babies. Women have the right to complete, accurate, and non-biased information about the risks and benefits of CBAC (cesarean birth after cesarean) and VBAC, so that they have true informed consent about all their birthing options, both during pregnancy and throughout the birthing process.
- ACOG states that that VBAC is a safe and reasonable option for most women, including some women with multiple previous cesareans, twins, and unknown uterine scars. Current evidence shows that the rate of complications from VBAC is comparable to that of CBAC. http://www.acog.org/-/media/ACOG-Today/acogToday0810.pdf?la=en
- Many hospitals to the north and south of Santa Barbara are not only allowing VBACs, they are actively encouraging them as a way to reduce health care costs and increase patient satisfaction. Women in Santa Barbara county who want a VBAC now must choose to travel an hour or more, or choose an out-of-hospital birth. Cottage Hospital, as our area’s ONLY hospital offering obstetric care, should bring itself into alignment with current evidence and with the practices of our nation’s best hospitals.
We stand in solidarity with the mothers, fathers, doctors, nurses, and other community members who have, for years, been calling for Cottage Hospital to offer VBACs again. http://www.independent.com/news/2008/jun/24/families-protest-outside-cottage-hospital/
We also want to give special recognition to the women who have been denied VBACs against their wishes or were required to travel an hour or more to receive evidence-based care in a hospital.
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