Nearly one in every three babies born in the United States today is born via Cesarean. There are several reasons for this increase. A major reason for increased cesareans is due to the amount of elective repeat cesareans. Most of these surgeries are performed with no real medical reason accept to repeat the procedure that took place with a previous baby. Mothers are beginning to realize that there are other options other than a repeat c-section. VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean) is becoming more and more popular as the general public realizes the benefits of avoiding an unnecessary abdominal surgery. Since a VBAC is fairly controversial, it can be difficult to find a physician that is eager and willing to perform one. There are several steps you can take to ensure you choose the correct physician to perform your VBAC.
Call a Doula
A doula is a professional birthing assistant. They are there to assist the mother and father during the labor process. When a woman uses the services of a doula, the chances of having a primary c-section are significantly lower than the traditional one out of three. Doulas have experience with many physicians and can help a woman decide what physician is right for her if she decides to attempt a VBAC. That doula would also be very beneficial during the VBAC because the chances of a repeat Cesarean are very low when a doula is present.
It may seem painfully obvious to you, but one of the most overlooked methods of finding a great VBAC physician is to do local research. Ask mothers in the waiting room what their experiences have been like with a particular physician, or if they can recommend someone to you. Call your local hospitals. These institutions see many, many physicians and sometimes you can get the nursing and support staff to talk about VBACs they have seen. Usually hospitals have education programs. If your hospital doesn’t have a VBAC class, call the Lamaze instructor and ask for recommendations or comments on a specific physician you have in mind.
One of the best ways to choose a doctor is to “feel them out”. The easiest way to “feel out” a doctor is to make an appointment to talk in person about your options. Most doctors will sit down with you and freely discuss VBACs versus cesareans. By using your basic instincts, you may get a feel for what their true thoughts are on the issue. If you feel their beliefs match yours, then that physician will probably make a great fit. If you get a strange feeling that the doctor is just giving lip service to the VBAC and tries to talk you out of it, he/she is not for you.
Deciding whether or not to attempt a VBAC or to have an elect repeat Cesarean is a personal choice every woman needs to make for herself. Once that choice is made, it is essential that she choose the best physician to support her decision no matter what it is. Finding a great VBAC physician is not a piece of cake, but by taking the proper steps, it is possible.