The #1 Ingredient for VBAC Success

Tampa VBAC
When considering a VBAC, (vaginal birth after cesarean) determining your best course of action depends on a variety of factors. This includes your risk factors, health history and your personal preferences.

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 have other high risk factors such as: high blood pressure, diabetes, placenta complications, etc, a hospital may be best.

However, you may be concerned that a hospital 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. 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

There are also CNMs who work in Tampa hospitals (under the supervision of doctors.)

If you prefer a hospital but still want 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. For example, one such group is the USF Midwifery group that practices at Tampa General Hospital which has the highest VBAC success rate of all hospitals in Tampa Bay.

Hiring a licensed homebirth midwife is another option if you and your partner are comfortable with birthing at home. There are several homebirth midwives in Tampa Bay that support VBACs and have good VBAC success rates. Homebirth midwives provide quality care with a personalized and compassionate touch. Prenatal appointments are especially thorough. Plan to give birth in close proximity to a hospital (should you need to transfer,) of course. Homebirth midwives work with low risk women. They are trained and equipped to handle many emergencies and to facilitate a smooth transfer to the hospital if needed.

It’s a good idea to interview several doctors and/or midwives and find out what their views are. 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.

Doula Support

Hiring a doula for physical, emotional and informational support is highly recommended when attempting a VBAC. Studies have shown, with doula care, women were less likely to need a cesarean or request pain medication. Additionally, they are more satisfied with their birth experience. A doula answers questions and provides information during pregnancy to help you make informed decisions. She will be by your side during labor with encouragement and comfort measures to make it 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. You will meet other women who have had cesareans, or are planning to have a VBAC. You can hear VBAC success stories, receive support, new 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 a terrific place to ask for recommendations for local care providers to find a truly supportive team.

Need help planning for your VBAC? Contact us to schedule a consultation.

You might also be interested in reading: To VBAC or Not to VBAC? 

About Christie Collbran

Christie believes in helping women recognize their own inner wisdom, strength and power. Having served as President of the Tampa Bay Birth Network for six years and with ten years serving families as a birth doula, she has a reputation for leadership, dedication and compassion. A childbirth educator, certified lactation counselor as well as a certified doula, she makes a point of ensuring mothers and their partners understand all their birthing options and what to expect on their journey.> keep reading

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