Isn’t it really dangerous to have a vaginal birth after a Cesarean?

Why does it cost more to not have surgery?

What’s the big deal with these policies, anyway? Can’t women just go somewhere else to give birth?

What does the law have to say about this practice? Can’t women just say “no” to surgery?

I am in Northern California and there is not a single hospital that allows vbacs for almost 100 miles in any direction! With our hospital cesarean rate at 37% and climbing it is so sad and frustrating to see these women stuck in the “once a c-section, always a c-section” spot! — Betsy, California, 2014


I had to drive from Louisiana back to Texas in order to achieve a vaginal birth after Cesarean.  I was told by a dozen care providers I was not allowed to attempt vaginal birth, but they would gladly give me a repeat C-section. – Erin, Louisiana, 2013


eBook: Vaginal Birth Bans in America: The Insanity of Mandatory Surgery

(c) 2014 by Cristen Pascucci

“My name is Cristen Pascucci, and I have been listening to women’s stories about their encounters with vaginal birth bans. As a consumer advocate in frequent contact with women from around the country about issues related to their maternity care, I have witnessed with dismay the widespread effects of these policies on women and families.

“Let’s take a look at why VBAC bans are so harmful and so wrong…”

Written by Cristen Pascucci.  Reviewed by such experts as Rebecca Dekker (founder, Evidence Based Birth), Jen Kamel (founder, VBAC Facts), Hermine Hayes-Klein (founder, Human Rights in Childbirth), and Indra Lusero (Director, Birth Rights Bar Association)

If you or someone close to you is wondering why options after a Cesarean are so limited…

If you’re a healthcare provider looking for on-the-ground insight into a widespread phenomenon…

If you’re a birth worker who wants to know more about the medical evidence and legal issues around VBAC bans for her clients…

Or, if you want to take action as an advocate for mothers, babies, and safer maternity care…

Vaginal Birth Bans in America: The Insanity of Mandatory Surgery is for you.


“The idea of a ban on a normal, physiological process and forcing women to undergo a major surgical procedure leads to some dilemmas: Who has ‘ownership’ over the body of a pregnant woman? Who gets to perform the risk-benefit analysis around the treatments she is given, and who has the final decision? Who has the legal authority and the moral right to do that?” – from the eBook

Hermine Hayes-Klein, Human Rights in Childbirth:

“Cristen Pascucci is just what childbirth needs in the USA: a smart, professional woman who got pregnant, entered maternity care, and started asking, ‘Hey, why is everybody suddenly treating me like a child?’ And then she started noticing that other women were being treated the same way. And she decided to do something about it. Thank you, Cristen, for sharing your knowledge about birth policies and practices in America today. Knowledge is power, and this information will empower every reader to help make the changes that maternity care so urgently needs.”


Stuart J. Fischbein, MD FACOG:

“A great summary of the issues surrounding the VBAC dilemma are presented in Ms. Pascucci’s ebook. What is presented to the American woman as an argument about her safety is, in truth, really of story of fear, skewed consent, questionable ethics and pure economics.

There is no honest ethical argument in support of a VBAC ban and Ms. Pascucci is right when she says that the forces of change will not come from the medical community but must come from individuals exercising their autonomy and grass roots organizations challenging their local hospitals and holding those decision makers accountable.”


My Ob told me I could VBAC.  He backed out on me at 38 weeks . . . I had a 2nd and 3rd c section and was never told about placenta accreta or [any other risks of repeat surgeries] . . . . I’m now pregnant and have placenta accreta.  — Dawn, Florida, 2014

Vaginal Birth Bans: Interactive Map of the U.S.

Click the image for an interactive map showing hospitals that do not allow vaginal birth after Cesarean, as well as short statements from women affected by these bans.  Map information based on 2009 survey conducted by and updated by the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN).  “VBAC Policy Database” detail here.  Stories from women collected here (share yours!).

The whole situation has me so angry. . . I should be the only person who decides if I need immediate major surgery after I have been presented clear and honest facts. — Tara, California, 2014


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