Advocates of women’s rights and maternity care activists are celebrating today as The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) announces its revised position on Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC). After a longstanding position designed to bar women from attempting a vaginal birth after a cesarean delivery (a position that has contributed to rising rates of cesarean delivery in our country), a recent press release from ACOG says:
“Attempting a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is a safe and appropriate choice for most women who have had a prior cesarean delivery, including for some women who have had two previous cesareans.”
ACOG’s recommendations are now better aligned with the evidence supporting the safety of a “trial of labor” after a prior cesarean section, and also encourage autonomy for women in their maternity care decisions. One of the authors of the new guidelines, Dr. Grobman, says:
“Rather than provide a directive of ‘you can’ or ‘you can’t’ do this, doctors need to provide information about the potential risks and successes and let women have autonomy to make their own decision.”
At Choices in Childbirth, we are pleased that ACOG has taken this step toward expanding access to the entire range of maternity care choices for women and their families.