Finding VBAC Support

Finding the VBAC support that’s right for you

There are no one-size-fits-all ways to give birth.  This is why it is important to choose the care provider and birth setting that is right for you and your baby.  No one can make that decision but you.  This information can be helpful to all childbearing women, not just VBAC moms.

ICAN is not a care provider referral service.  What we do offer in terms of helping you find the right care provider, however, is a safe place for women to share their personal experiences with area care providers.  While every woman’s experience is different, hearing these stories can be helpful in formulating your questions for interviewing care providers when making your own decisions.  You can hear or share stories at our monthly mother-to-mother support meetings.

Knowing a care provider’s and facility’s intervention statistics are important.  You can read more about this on our Statewide and CNY Data page.  An individual care provider’s intervention statistics may vary from a facility’s overall intervention statistics.  It is also important to know this data for any other care providers who may attend your birth if your primary care provider is part of a group practice.  Intervention statistics do not tell the whole story about the kind of care a provider may give, but this data is an important tool in formulating questions when interviewing care providers.  According to the World Health Organization’s evidence-based recommendations, induction rates should not be above 10% and cesarean rates should not be above 10-15% (no higher than 10% for low-risk; no higher than 15% for high-risk).  The WHO states that rates above this place mothers and babies under avoidable risks and negatively affect their outcomes.  Based on these evidence-based standards, at least 2/3 of inductions and 1/2 to 2/3 of cesareans in New York are performed avoidably and causing more harm than good.

These ICAN White Papers offer helpful tips on finding the birth setting and care provider that are right for you:

Choosing a Birthplace

Choosing a Primary Caregiver

How to Choose a Doctor or Midwife


Support for VBAC is dwindling.  This trend is largely driven by financial reasons, litigation fears and perceived convenience.  Women and babies deserve evidence-based care, not fear-based practices.  VBAC is a safe option for most women, and health care practices need to reflect that.

One reason that is frequently given for why a facility will not support a VBAC is because ACOG recommends that anesthesia be immediately available in VBACs in case a uterine rupture occurs.  The fact is that a mother with a previous cesarean and her baby are not the only ones who may need emergency assistance.  To put the risk of uterine rupture into perspective, the frequency of a placental abruption, cord prolapse, or fetal distress in any mother each occur about as often as a uterine rupture in a VBAC mom.  When making her birth choices, every woman should be aware of the capabilities and limitations of the facility she chooses, scarred or unscarred.  She should take this information into consideration when making the choices she feels are best for her and her baby, and ultimately the decisions on how to birth, where to birth, and who to birth with are the rights of the mother.

VBAC bans are unethical because they ignore the mother’s right to informed consent and refusal.  Health care decisions should be based on individual women’s & babies’ needs, not on one-size-fits-all standards.  You may find these ICAN White Papers helpful in knowing your rights and options if you are being faced with a VBAC ban:

Enforcing and Promoting the Rights of Women Seeking VBAC: A Primer

My Hospital is Currently Not Allowing VBAC

Your Right to Refuse: What to Do if Your Hospital Has “Banned” VBAC Q & A

You can also contact ICAN’s VBAC Ban Coordinator, Barbara Stratton at