Hospital VBAC: The Don’t Forget List

[NB: Most of what I've written below applies specifically to the hospital venue.]

We all know the books to read when preparing for a VBAC or the videos that will help us gain confidence in our ability to give birth vaginally.  We all know to pack our hospital bags, including our mental focus recordings, and bring a copy of our birth plans.  We all know that we need a doula with us, one who is experienced supporting VBACing women. 

Many of us even know that we need to talk powerfully about our upcoming VBACs.  “I’m trying for a VBAC” is not nearly strong enough.  Replace that with “I’m planning a VBAC.”  Did you birth the first time with “I’m gonna try to give birth vaginally” going through your brains?  Probably not.  I myself never doubted my ability to give birth naturally.

Anyway, I digress.  In addition to constructing a clear but concise birth plan, you need to also do the following:

  1. obtain a copy of the hospital’s VBAC consent form; review it and make changes as you see fit; give a copy to your care provider and bring a copy with you to the hospital
  2. obtain a copy of the hospital’s cesarean consent form; review it and make changes as you see fit; give a copy to your care provider and bring a copy with you to the hospital.  My hospital doesn’t have a cesarean consent form.  They have you sign their generic “invasive procedure” form which I find unacceptable.
  3. discuss the modifications you’ve made to the above forms with your care provider(s)
  4. especially if you’re NOT married, make sure your will is in order
  5. make sure you bring a medical power of attorney in case medical decisions need to be made and you are incapacitated

Bruce Flamm’s VBAC consent form appears everywhere on the internet.  I personally didn’t find it sufficient, but it is a place to start.  Here’s a great post - an actual cesarean consent form with some added commentary from the blogger.  I’ve taken this form and modified it so that (1) consent is not given for elective cesarean; (2) consent is withheld until the situation would arise for an emergent cesarean; (3) my husband is named as having power of attorney in the case of an emergency where I was unable to make my wishes known.  I also added some things that were missed on the form.

Please ask questions or offer your own suggestions!

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6 responses to “Hospital VBAC: The Don’t Forget List

  1. Hi, Kimberly! Just wanted to let you know that I finally got around to answering your sweet comment on my blog – I wrote it in the form of another comment on my blog, so I didn’t know if you’d see it or not (just thought I’d try it since other bloggers seem to respond that way). Keep up the awesome work on your blog!

  2. Your blog is amazing. Just the other day, a woman in my running group was berating a 3rd time mom w/ a 4 month old for not accepting a c-section when her baby was breech because she was sure it would be fine & the baby would flip & deliver vaginally. Well baby did flip, her delivery went fine…without surgery. This 50-something lady was tsk-tsking so self-righteously and kept saying “C-sections are no big deal, recovery is a piece of cake, name of the game is getting a baby out safely.” And she wouldn’t let it go. The young mom & I rolled our eyes at each other, but I felt bad for this woman, and for everyone else (much like myself prior to getting to know you) who just accepts that the medical community has our best interests in mind. Cytotec? Elective C-sections? My OB tried to schedule a C with Delaney, just because I had a fibroid on my cervix. Which moved out of the way during delivery.

    C-sections are serious surgery. To take it lightly is irresponsible. I feel it should truly be reserved for the rare (and real) emergencies. The whole elective aspect of it makes me very nervous and I am more aware now that most women either don’t know any better or don’t care about it.

  3. You may have already seen this post that I wrote a month ago, about the twin VBAC, but the woman just left a comment on the post, saying in part, “Some other OBs in the practice had issue with it and kept bringing it up but they couldn’t back it up with data. As my OB kept saying to me and his colleagues (That thought we were insane by the way) – I had greater odds of being hit by a car crossing the hospital parking lot than rupturing AND most ruptures happen during pregnancy NOT labor.” She also said that if anyone had any questions, they could contact her. I thought you might like to get in touch with her — if you can’t get her info through my blog, email me and I can get you the info.

  4. Pingback: June Favorites « Welcome to Birth a Miracle Services!

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