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Expectant Mothers Protest Hudson Hospital For Stopping VBACs

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Having a baby is a life-changing experience.

There is a lot of decision making that goes into planning for the child, and one of those is how the woman wants to deliver. There are a lot of options.

And one group of women were protesting outside the hospital where they had planned to give birth to their babies Monday because one of their options was revoked.

A couple of weeks ago Hudson Hospital in Hudson, Wis. notified expectant mothers that they would no longer offer VBACs after Aug. 31.

That is a vaginal birth after cesarean.

The policy change took many by surprise and led to Monday’s protest.

There is a big difference in the recovery time after a vaginal delivery and the recovery time after a C-section.

Once you’ve had a cesarean, it’s sometimes recommended that your next baby is delivered that way as well.

VBACs have become much more common in recent years, but can only be done with a doctor’s permission and at a hospital that accommodates them.

Laura Nelson of Stillwater. Minn. is  eight months pregnant and took part in Monday’s rally outside the hospital.

After choosing a doctor and a hospital she was excited about, she’s now not sure where she will give

A C-section was required with her first child, but this time around she was hoping for something different.

“You don’t want to be cut open. It’s major abdominal surgery. I just feel like I should have been able to do it the natural way,” Nelson said.

These mothers say they chose Hudson Hospital for their delivery because of its success rate with VBACs, but then they found out it was no longer an option.

“I’m stressed out, and I’m frustrated and I’m sad and I don’t know what to do because I’m giving birth in a month,” Nelson said.

In a written statement Hudson Hospital told WCCO “We support VBACs as an option for women, but at this time we cannot provide this service due to human resource constraints.”

Katie Champ is with ICAN, which stands for International Cesarean Awareness Network.

“What they have been telling us is that they do not have 24-hour anesthesia care within the hospital. Their providers are on-call, at home. So when they have a VBAC mom in labor, in active labor which is usually about 4 – 6 centimeters, they call in the anesthesiologists and they wait in hospital just in case,” Champ said.

Organizers of the rally say it comes down to an added expense the hospital doesn’t want to carry.

Mothers here described the difference between recovering from a C-section and a vaginal delivery.

Katie Cordes is the mother of three. Her first two kids were delivered by C-section. Her youngest was just born a month ago and vaginally delivered.

“With having a C-section I had to not walk for two weeks, I was in bed, couldn’t carry my daughter. With her [her third child], I was up and nursing the next day, and everything worked out really well,” she said.

In that statement from Hudson Hospital, they said they are working with their patients and doctors to help them find an alternative hospital to give birth.

So, these pregnant women can still have a VBAC, but they will have to find a new hospital and that will likely mean a new doctor in some cases, and late in their pregnancy.

According to the Mayo Clinic, about 75 percent of women who try VBAC have a successful vaginal delivery.

But it’s not for everyone. Some women will still have complications that prevent VBACs  from being an option.

WCCO also learned that repeat C-sections get more complicated each time, while repeat VBACs tend to  become progressively easier.

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