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Exploring VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) in Charlotte, NC - Lake Norman, NC

mom and dad with fists in the air that says "we got our vbac!"

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) as an option for women who have previously undergone a cesarean section. Charlotte, NC, like many other cities, has seen an increase in the number of women considering VBAC as a safe and viable birthing option; even more seeking a doula knowledgeable in VBAC. In this blog post, we will delve into the concept of VBAC, its pros and cons, the availability of VBAC-friendly providers in Charlotte, and resources for women seeking VBAC in the Queen City, Charlotte, NC.


What is VBAC?

VBAC stands for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean. It refers to the process of giving birth vaginally after having had a previous cesarean section. Many women who have had a cesarean section may be candidates for VBAC depending on various factors, such as the reason for the previous cesarean, the type of incision made during the cesarean, and the overall health of the mother and baby. Together, with your provider and your doula, you can decide if VBAC is right for you. According to Evidence Based Birth, the most current data that we have from the United States show that the VBAC rate in the U.S. was 13.3% in 2018, which was up from 12.8% in 2017.


Pros and Cons of VBAC

There are many pros and a few cons of attempting a VBAC. Some pros of VBAC include a lower risk of complications associated with major surgery, shorter recovery time, healing from a traumatic prior birth experience, and the opportunity for a more natural birthing experience. The most significant risk associated with VBAC is uterine rupture, which can be life-threatening for both the mother and baby. When looking at evidence, the risk of uterine rupture is about 1 in 200 on average. It is important for women considering VBAC to discuss the risks and benefits with their healthcare providers.


Are you a stats person? According to Evidence Based Birth...

  • The risk of uterine rupture for people who are having a trial of labor after cesarean is about 0.47%.

  • The risk of uterine rupture for people who are having an elective repeat cesarean is about 0.026%.

  • For inductions,

    • the risk is about 1.1% if you have Pitocin. Low and slow pitocin is best, especially when used with a cooks catheter to make your cervix more favorable for induction.

    • the risk is 2% if you have prostaglandins. This method is contraindicated when attempting a TOLAC. If your provider recommends this for your TOLAC, please seek out a new provider or refuse this method.

    • the risk is 6% if you’re given misoprostol (Cytotec) to induce labor. This method is contraindicated when attempting a TOLAC. If your provider recommends this for your TOLAC, please seek out a new provider or refuse this method.

    • There’s also a link between having your labor augmented with Pitocin and uterine rupture.


VBAC Facts shares a ton of very wonderful information on VBAC and its successes. One such topic they share is that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) asserted in their 2019 VBAC Practice Bulletin No. 205, “given the overall data, it is reasonable to consider women with two previous low transverse cesarean deliveries to be candidates for TOLAC [trial of labor after cesarean] and to counsel them based on the combination of other factors that affect their probability of achieving a successful VBAC.” Read more, HERE.


Resources for Women Seeking VBAC in Charlotte:

For women in Charlotte, NC, who are considering VBAC, there are various resources available to support you in your journey. Local childbirth education classes, VBAC doula services, and online forums can provide valuable information and support for women planning a VBAC. Additionally, connecting with other women who have had successful VBAC experiences can offer encouragement and guidance throughout the process. Please reach out to me, anytime, if you need local resources for the Charlotte and surrounding areas of NC like Cornelius, Huntersville, Davidson, Mooresville, Statesville, Hickory, etc., I am so happy to help, no strings attached. If I can help you get your VBAC, I want to in any way I can.


Mom and dad with fists in the air, happy they got their VBAC

VBAC-Friendly Providers in the Charlotte, NC and Lake Norman areas


Charlotte, NC. is home to several healthcare providers and hospitals that are supportive of VBAC. It is essential for women seeking VBAC to find a provider who is experienced in supporting VBAC and who is willing to work with them to create a personalized birth plan. Some hospitals in Charlotte have specific guidelines and protocols in place for women planning a VBAC, so it is crucial to research and choose a provider and facility that align with your birth preferences. Not all are created equal and not all are truly VBAC supportive or even tolerant.


Providence OBGYN This practice is not only supportive, they recommend and encourage TOLACS and VBACS. They are your highest chance for having a successful vaginal birth after cesarean. They are also one of the only practices in our area that support VBA2C which means vaginal birth after two cesareans. They have a group of amazing OBGYNs and a group of equally incredible midwives. Please reach out for specific names to establish care with. About 85% of my VBAC and VBA2C clients are established with this group. They have three locations in the Charlotte area and attend births at Presbyterian Medical Center, Charlotte, NC.


For those seeking prenatal care in the Lake Norman areas, Atrium One Health OBGYN is my second choice for VBAC births. They are supportive of TOLACing and about 13% of my VBAC clients are established with this group. They aren't as open to VBA2C but will allow you to TOLAC if you are determined to. You will need a level of advocacy, so go to your meetings with a partner or support person to help you speak up (if you need that support). This group has a few locations and they attend births at Novant Huntersville and Atrium Lincoln.


Another location in Charlotte with multiple locations is Charlotte OBGYN. They are similar to Providence in that they have a group of OBGYNs and a group of midwives. They are mostly tolerant of VBAC, especially the midwives. If insurance requires you to be with an Atrium facility, this is your best bet. I highly recommend that you establish prenatal care with the midwives at this practice for your best chance at a VBAC. Please reach out for names of specific midwives I recommend and adore. This group attends births at Atrium Main (formerly CMC Main).


VBAC is a topic of growing interest among women in Charlotte, NC, and across the country. With the right information, support, and healthcare provider, VBAC can be a safe and empowering option for women who have had a previous cesarean section. By educating themselves, seeking out VBAC-friendly providers, and accessing resources in the community, women in Charlotte can make informed decisions about their birthing experience and work towards achieving a successful VBAC.


Remember, every pregnancy and birth is unique, so it is important to consult with your healthcare provider to determine if VBAC is a suitable option for you. I would be SO HONORED to walk alongside you in your VBAC journey :) Congratulations and best of luck!


Peace, love, and babies,

Staci

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