Having a sincerely supportive care provider is the top priority for your best chance at VBAC success.
So how do you find one? Let’s discuss your options and other helpful tips below.
In Florida the two birthing locations to consider for VBAC are:
1) Hospital birth with an OBGYN or CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife)
2) Homebirth with a licensed midwife, LM.
Freestanding birth centers in Florida are currently prohibited from providing VBAC care by law.
HOSPITAL OR HOMEBIRTH?
A hospital setting provides you with continuous electronic fetal monitoring, labor augmentation, pain medication and immediate access to emergency care. If you or your unborn baby have other high risk factors (in addition to the prior cesarean) it may be best to give birth in a hospital.
Some may be concerned that a hospital setting also poses the risk of unnecessary interventions that can lead to anther cesarean. Choosing the right hospital and care provider in this case is very important.
Ask them for their cesarean rate and VBAC success rate and choose a provider that is truly supportive based on the statistics.
If they can’t provide that information to you, take that into consideration. For a list of recent hospital cesarean rates check out cesareanrates.com.
There are also CNMs who work in Tampa hospitals (under the supervision of doctors.) For women who would like to give birth in a hospital but still receive the care of a midwife this is an excellent option. Midwives value communication, develop relationships with the families they serve and engage in shared-decision making with their patients.
Hiring a licensed homebirth midwife is another option if you and your partner are comfortable with birthing at home. There are several homebirth midwives that support VBAC in Tampa Bay. Homebirth midwives provide quality care with a personalized and compassionate touch. Prenatal appointments are thorough. Plan to give birth in close proximity to a hospital (should you need to transfer). Homebirth midwives accept low risk women and are trained and equipped to handle many emergencies themselves, and or to facilitate a rapid and smooth transfer to the hospital if needed.
It’s a good idea to interview several doctors and/or midwives, find out what their views are, and choose one that you feel comfortable with and who believes in you and your ability to give birth.
Women need individualized care based on their circumstance and preferences. Interview and find the best match for you and your family.
Hiring a doula for physical, emotional and informational support is highly recommended when attempting a VBAC. Studies have shown, with the support of a doula, women were less likely to need a cesarean, request pain medication and were more satisfied with their birth experience. A doula answers questions and provides information throughout your pregnancy to help you make informed decisions. She will be by your side throughout your labor providing encouragement, helping you with comfort measures and physical support to make your labor as smooth as possible. Buddha Belly Birth Doulas are experienced in supporting VBAC moms and our goal is to make it a peaceful and calm experience.
We stand by women in whatever location they choose to give birth with unbiased and judgement free support.
ICAN of TAMPA
If you have not already discovered and connected with ICAN of Tampa (International Cesarean Awareness Network), we highly recommend it as a resource for you. ICAN has monthly meetings in Clearwater, Tampa and Lakeland. These meetings are free and open to the public. There you can meet other women who have had cesareans, VBACs, or are planning to VBAC and receive support, information and encouragement. In addition to the in-person meetings there is an ICAN of Tampa facebook group where you can ask questions and hear input from others who have been on a similar path as you. This is an terrific place to ask for recommendations, referrals and experiences with local care providers to help you find a truly supportive team.
Need help planning for your VBAC? Contact us to schedule a consultation.