VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) has been determined by the National Institutes of Health to be a safe alternative to automatically-scheduled cesareans in subsequent births. Yet, according to new guidelines published by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' (ACOG) (see Practice Bulletin #115), the ACOG recommends that VBACs only take place in hospitals where emergency cesareans may be "immediately available."
In their March 2010 Consensus Statement on VBAC, the NIH argued that the ACOG's "immediately available" recommendation was not according to evidence from high-quality sources and "had influenced about one-third of hospitals and one-half of physicians to stop providing care for women who wanted to plan a VBAC."
If you agree that women should not be denied medical care because they choose to have a VBAC by home birth or in a birthing center, then now is the time to lend your voice. CIMS (Coalition for Improving Maternity Services) plans to send a letter to the ACOG president, Dr. Richard Waldman urging him to remove the restrictive recommendation from their Practice Bulletin.
From the CIMS e-newsletter:
CIMS will collect the names of additional organizations and individuals in support of this request through October 31, 2010, and will send the updated list of co-signers to Dr. Waldman. Add your name or your organization's name now!
[1, 2] e-CIMS News Alert, "CIMS Urges ACOG to Remove Additional Barriers to VBAC," http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=hh7zumcab&v=001KOjYle_zlG-G0PssMPc2Iy9tqDDQcQw2DJeGIGVqVWNxGHzJ4BBKnjL0_7I8xWz3UiMAhgnfWcrilIA_qEM-MmVOM5WOysmJzgL3S9_LFLRKQupbV6Fe6hT5BDBr2aaoYQkDVL1wD2OsJTzFdb9IjX2YSfYVdlSQGeUpHFVDU0mubl0dSqBgDA%3D%3D