Thursday, December 17, 2009

Good for Her!

Joy Szabo got her VBAC! Hurray!

This is the woman who was threatened with a court-ordered cesarean if she didn't submit to an ERCS (elective repeat cesarean section, i.e. a cesarean for no good reason) at her hospital in Page, AZ, a hospital which has an active VBAC ban. She decided to spend the last bit of her pregnancy here in Phoenix in order to birth at a hospital that allowed VBACs (vaginal birth after cesarean).

Mom fights, gets the delivery she wants

Of course, this doesn't do anything about the underlying problem - a hospital that is threatening court-ordered cesareans for moms who want VBACs is a MAJOR problem and an enormous human rights abuse. Frankly, I don't know why this isn't bigger news nationally. There's a lot of work to be done.... But congratulations to this mama and her baby and her family! Great job!

The article also has some good tips on avoiding unnecessary cesarean birth, and a it's presented with a good perspective! Hurray! I'm going to reprint those tips here:


1. "Doctor, is this an emergency, or do we have time to talk?"

Sometimes you need a C-section to save your life, your baby's life, or both. In those cases, there's no room for discussion.

Delivery room emergencies include excessive bleeding, a breech position where the baby is headed out foot-first, or when the baby has certain heart rate problems, according to Flamm.

"In these situations, this is not a good time to talk about your desires for a natural birth," Flamm says.

2. "Doctor, what would happen if we waited an hour or two?"

The vast majority of the time, when your doctor or midwife tells you it's time for a C-section, it's not an emergency, Flamm says.

In many cases, women just need more time to labor, he adds. In fact, he says the No. 1 reason for a C-section is "failure to progress" during labor. "If that's what we're talking about, then it's not an emergency," he says.

3. "Doctor, are you sure the baby is too big for me to deliver?"

Sometimes parents are told a baby is too big to deliver vaginally. Dr. Ware Branch, medical director of women and newborns clinical program at Intermountain Healthcare in Utah, says parents should ask whether a C-section is absolutely necessary, especially if labor hasn't advanced very far.

"If it was my wife in labor and she's three or four centimeters dilated and the obstetrician says the baby's head is too big and she can't deliver him, I'd say, 'Nonsense, she hasn't really had a trial of labor, doctor.' "

4. "Doctor, is there something else I can try before having a C-section?"

Antunes, a spokeswoman for DONA International, which certifies doulas, says there may be options such as maneuvers like the one she used on Ste. Marie to get a slow labor moving.

You shouldn't be afraid to speak up and say you'd like to try to labor longer.

5. "Doctor, can we talk more about the baby's heart rate?"

If you're told you need a C-section because of the baby's heart rate, try to get your doctor or midwife to be as specific as possible.

Some heart-rate problems mean a C-section is necessary immediately, but other types of heart-rate issues are not nearly as serious, and you may be able to labor longer.

"This is a very gray area," says Debbie Levy, a certified nurse midwife in Marietta, Georgia. "It takes years to learn how to read fetal heart tones, and it's not an exact science."

Levy says it can be difficult to ask these questions when the person delivering your baby says it's time for a C-section, especially since mom and dad are often exhausted.

"This is a very tough discussion to have in the delivery room," she says. "You're vulnerable, because you're talking about your baby's well-being."

But she says as long as it's not an emergency, you should have these delivery room conversations with your doctor or midwife.

"You shouldn't be afraid to speak up and say you'd like to try to labor longer," she says.


Does anyone know what the maneuver mentioned in the article for getting a baby repositioned was? I hadn't heard of it before. It sounded like McRoberts, but that is for a totally different problem (shoulder dystocia).

Good stuff!

h/t to my hubby, who saw the article, knew I'd been following the story, and sent it to me! Aren't those guys just great!


  1. Yay!! I was wondering about her!

    I don't know what the "position" is, or if it even has a name; but one of my friends did something like that with her first (born at home) -- all the walking and upright positions didn't do anything for her, but that helped her baby under her pubic bone.


  2. Well the article have really good tips, its really a nice post


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