I am so depressed. An ICANer posted this bit of news today:
An Oklahoma Birth Center’s site states:
The major carrier for physician’s malpractice insurance in Oklahoma no
longer supports physicians who care for women attempting a VBAC (PLICO,
2004). Likewise, ACOG’s recent statement regarding the proximity of surgical
assistance for laboring VBAC women has led many hospitals to create policies
against this practice. (ACOG, 2002)
I went to Birth Wise’s website and read the stated VBAC policy for myself. I’m glad they’re upfront about their policy (I guess . . . trying to be nice here), but their statement is missing at least one important thing. ADVOCACY! No where do they state that they will work with the state, insurance companies, other providers, or hospitals to advocate on behalf of women who have endured cesarean section(s)!
Here’s the e-mail I just sent to them:
Dear BirthWise Birth Center,
I was made aware of your website and policy regarding VBACs through a powerful network of people known as ICAN (http://www.ican-online.org). I find your position to be contrary to my understanding of what a birth center experience claims to be but sympathize with the unfortunate position that insurance companies put providers and women who expect humane care.
I believe that your policy and the increased number of birthing centers who turn away women who wish to have a VBAC with some medical support will lead to an increase in HBAC numbers. You have deemed those of us who have experienced “birth” by cesarean to not qualify as low-risk. How can that be? Is not each and every birthing experience unique? Since every women who labors is at risk of some sort of rupture during L&D, are not all women then high risk? And if we are indeed high-risk, what are our alternatives? Women who choose a birth center generally do so because they seek less intervention and/or do not wish to birth their children in traditional hospitals. Women who bear cesarean scars will have to (1) labor in a hospital and risk higher intervention and higher likelihood of repeat cesareans or (2) labor and deliver after previous cesarean(s) at home. How does that sound to you?
I doubt I am the first person to e-mail you to tell you how disappointed and incredulous they are at your policy and over-arching statements regarding an entire population of people. I do hope that your facility does help lower the over-all cesarean rate in your area. Please do understand that you are cutting out 30%+ of the birthing population and that by doing so, you are part of the problem. I hope you will advocate to your state officials, your insurance companies, and area hospitals on behalf of those of us who bear unnecessary scars.
Thank you for your consideration,
Cesarean Awareness Advocate
Please write to birth centers in your area if you have concerns regarding their policies, especially if they are denying women the opportunity to labor and deliver in their facilities for trumped-up claims that you are high-risk.