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Maryland VBAC resources updated

2 Mar

Congratulations to Lisa! She started a new chapter of ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) in Montgomery County, Maryland:
If you live in Maryland and are in need of VBAC or Cesarean support, please contact Lisa:

Our full listing of VBAC supportive doctors & midwifes in Maryloand is here: You’ll see it’s pretty sparse, so,  if you know of any medical professionals that support vaginal births after cesarean, please contact us and we’ll post their info! Thanks.

Successful VBAC in Michigan

8 Feb

Congratulations to Tawnya M. of Michigan!! Tanya recently had a successful vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) at the  Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, Michigan.  She used the Northwoods Obstetrics and gynaecology practice located at 3960 West Royal Drive, Traverse City, MI 49684. phone: 231.947.0404,

Tawnya said the doctors and staff were fabulous and highly recommends them. She  saw Dr. Bump throughout pregnancy and Dr. Morreale was he delivering doctor.
We love to find new doctors and midwives that support VBACs, and we love to hear about successful VBAC’s. Northwoods OBGyn has been added to our growing list of VBAC doctors! Thank you for sharing your information and experience!

Transient Tachypnea: Common (but secret) risk of a C-section.

26 Jan

I’m working on an article about Transient Tachypnea - a terrible condition that can occur after birth where fluid remains in an infant’s lungs causing breathing difficulties. It is treatable, but it can fatal. This condition occurs more often when a c-section is performed because the infant’s torso isn’t squeezed during birth as it is during a vaginal birth and the infant’s lung function isn’t jump started by the hormone cocktail of a vaginal labor.

I came across this blog about a mourning mom who lost her baby to transient tachypnea. You can read her heart breaking personal story here. What is really upsetting is that the doctors and nurses describe this as a common condition. So common, in fact, no one bothered to tell her it was a risk. And that isn’t a fluke - I casually surveyed 10 VBAC moms, and NONE of them had heard of this condition or had been advised, during their first birth (a c-section), that transient trachypnea could occur.

It’s easy to find any multitude of reports and papers citing uterine rupture as a huge risk to VBAC candidates (which carries a 0.5% and 0.9% risk according to the ACOG). Type uterine rupture into any search engine and you’ll have pages and pages of sources stating a 1% risk of uterine rupture for VBAC candidates. But  finding the risk rate for transient tachypnea after cesarean delivery is another story…. Not surprising, given the current environment of vbac support in the medical industry…

Lots of resources describe a general increased risk of breathing problems for the infant of a c-section birth… And many organizations name transient tachypnea in particular ( mayoclinic,, But the hard numbers for transient tachypnea are not as prominent as those of a uterine rupture. Why? Here is my current hypothesis:

Numbers and specifics are black and white. They create a tangible and comparable fact. Generalizations are gray. Let’s experiment, imagine you are discussing the risks of a vbac and cesarean with your doctor….

 “1% of all trial of labors will result in a uterine rupture.” and  “Transient tachypnea is a  risk of cesarean deliver, but the risk is very small.”

Take a moment to examine which statement has a stronger effect on you. Now let’s switch it.

“1% of all cesarean delivered babies will have  transient tachypnea.” and “Uterine rupture is a risk of a trial of labor, but the risk is very small.”

Powerful, isn’t it?

VBAC topic featured on CBS news: The Early Show

28 Jun

Recently aired on CBS’s The Early Show was a short discussion about VBAC and VBAC safety. It’s great to see Vaginal Birth After Cesareans (VBAC) being discussed in mainstream media, however, it is disappointing to see so few ‘benefits’ of a VBAC mentioned. One major benefit overlooked: the natural flow of hormones

The physiological benefits of a natural birth are obvious to any woman who has experienced a successful vaginal birth or vaginal birth after cesarean. The feelings of  joy, love, euphoria, compassion, and accomplishment are beyond words.

The natural hormonal cocktail that occurs throughout a natural labor and birth includes oxytocin, beta-endorphin, adrenaline and noradrenalin, prolactin. The level of each within the mother and child varies throughout the various stages of labor and in response to the progress and pain of labor. These hormones are known to be responsible for pain suppression, intensity and frequency of contractions, feelings of elation, feelings of love, milk production, placental ejection, uterine contractions after birth and a feeling of dependency and love between mother and child. It is also suspected that this endocrine process effects post partum depression and breastfeeding success. Dr. Sarah J. Buckley, MD discusses the hormone disruption and some immediate consequences:

Obviously there is a shorter or absent labor with cesarean birth, and the peaks of oxytocin, endorphins, catecholamines, and prolactin are reduced or absent…

The consequences of such radical departures from… (natural childbirth) …are suggested in the work of Australian researchers who interviewed 242 women in late pregnancy and again after birth. The 50 percent of women who had given spontaneous vaginal birth were the most likely to experience a marked improvement in mood and an elevation of self-esteem after delivery. In comparison, the 17 percent who had caesarean surgery were more likely to experience a decline in mood and self-esteem. The remaining women had forceps or vacuum assistance, and their mood and self-esteem were, on average, unaltered.

Another study looked at the breastfeeding hormones prolactin and oxytocin on day two, comparing women who had given birth vaginally with women who had undergone emergency cesarean surgery. In the cesarean group, prolactin levels did not rise as expected with breastfeeding, and the oxytocin pulses were reduced or absent…

(  Dr. Buckely also describes the effects of pitocin in detail  – check it out it’s an interesting read.

So tell me:

Why is a cesarean delivery and a vaginal delivery discussed as though they are equal choices for birthing options?

Why isn’t the hormonal process discussed more prominently during birthing discussions?


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