Thursday, March 5, 2009

TIME magazine: The Trouble with Repeat Cesareans

TIME Magazine recently published “The Trouble with Repeat Cesareans” which explores the difficulties women interested in vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) encounter. The article coincides with the release by the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) of its results for the 2009 Survey of Hospital and VBAC Bans. The survey reveals a fast-paced trend toward banning VBAC:
The survey shows a near triple increase (174%) from November 2004, when ICAN conducted the first count of hospitals forbidding women from having a VBAC. In 2004, banning hospitals numbered 300. The latest survey, conducted in January 2009, counted 821 hospitals formally banning VBAC and 612 with "de facto" ban. Full results of the research can be seen in the VBAC Ban Database.

Formal and de facto hospital VBAC bans are enormous barriers to women seeking to avoid repeat cesareans. Women served by hospitals with bans are left to choose between a surgery they do not want and traveling long distances to hospitals supportive of VBAC. Some women opt out of hospital care and have their babies at home.

Sacred Heart Medical Center is among the nation’s hospitals supportive of VBAC. Two of the mothers featured in the Birth Center Tribute video had VBACs there with Birth Center midwives attending.

Click here to see a companion piece to the TIME articled published by The Huffington Post.

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