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Advice on challenging hospital VBAC policy

(14 Posts)
JemL Fri 03-Jul-09 21:17:49

WOuld like some advice as am now starting to lose all sense of perspective!

I had an em-cs with DS after a long induced labour. In our area, we are fortunate in having a dedicated maternity hospital. Within it, there is midwife led-unit - like a birth centre within the hospital, which is where I started off my induction. After hours of making slow but continuing progress, I was moved to another floor, to the cosultant led unit becuase the midwife on duty said she wasn't happy with my progress. I was put on the drip to strengthen contractions, on continuous monitoring, and ended up asking for an epidural - I found the pain too hard to cope with stuck in bed. DS - who was 9lb10 - moved into an awkward position, my progress stalled, and I ended up with a section.

With this pregnancy, I am going for a VBAC - however I have been told that the hospital protocol is that I must be on the consultant led unit, cannuala inserted, continuous monitoring, nil by mouth. I was very upset about this,as I feel my best chance of a VBAC is on the midwife led unit. My midwife referred me to a consultant, and made out that it was simply a case of getting them to sign off on this. She also said I could have "mobile" monitoring. The consultant refused to ok my being on the midwife unit, and said they couldn't promise mobile monitoring. She has in turn referred me to a consultant midwife,to talk about a birth plan - but the idea is how to make being on the consultant led ward better for me, rather than agreeing to what I am asking for.

I hated the consultant unit, it had a completely different atmosphere, and my progress stalled as soon as I was moved there. I feel that I have a much lower chance of a successful VBAC there. However, the hospital are being really rigid. DO I keep pushing this, or am I ignoring reasonable medical advice and being unecessarily demanding?!?!

JeMenFous Fri 03-Jul-09 21:23:46

In my experience you have to fight the system to get anywheresad

What about telling them you want a homebirth? When they prise themselves off the ceiling they might decide that being in the mlu would be the better option grin

When I was pg with number 3 I was desperate for a vba2c. I had to change doctor and hospital but in the end it was sooooo worth it. I got a vba2c on MY terms, and it was the most wonderful experience of my life grin

go onto the yahoo vbachbac chat site, they will give you all the answers, marvellous group of women who literally saved my life grin

Good luck

FruitynNutty Fri 03-Jul-09 21:26:22

Bloody hell, are you me? The only difference is that my DS1 was 9lb12.

I desperately wanted a VBAC for DS2 but I wanted to be in the MLU so I could use the pool. I tried and tried and tried, contacted the HOM and spoke to my consultant. They bth said no sad
Turned out DS2 was breech so I ended up with an elective c-section which was great but I'm a bit sad because I doubt I'll ever get a natural birth.

Sorry, not much help sad

FruitynNutty Fri 03-Jul-09 21:27:34

I threatened my lot with a homebirth. They just said, that's my decision hmm.
You could try it, it's worth a shot!

thisisyesterday Fri 03-Jul-09 21:27:53

i would point out to them that where and how you labour is YOUR choice and not theirs/
and that while you are willing to listen to any concerns they may have and take it on board, that at the end of the day you will be having your baby where you want to have it.

don't be pushed into doing it their way. if you aren't comfortable and relaxed then you are far more likely to end up having a lot more intervention again.

FruitynNutty Fri 03-Jul-09 21:31:27

But if it's on the hospital grounds. Surely they have more of a say than the mother?

FruitynNutty Fri 03-Jul-09 21:32:49

I'm probably completely wrong btw!
I just found it so incredibly hard to reason with them

thisisyesterday Fri 03-Jul-09 21:32:56

no, they don't have any say at all.

they can advise. that is all.

JemL Fri 03-Jul-09 21:38:48

I have thought about asking for a homebirth and then letting the MLU seem like a compromise, but knowing my luck, they will ok it!!

I definitely felt pushed into things last time and was very determined not to just go along with what I was told this time around - it wasn't having the section itself which upset me so much as the feeling that I should have stood my ground more.

Thanks very much for responses - I think I need to prepare for my appointment with the consultant midwife more - and be armed with specific facts and questions - which I wasn't when I saw the consultant.

JemL Fri 03-Jul-09 21:40:57

In fact when I saw the consultant I just blurted out "I want to be on the MLU" and then cried when she told me the reasons I couldn't. I really beleived my midwife when she said it was just a case of getting them to write it was ok on my notes...but this was the same midwife who thought DS was going to be 7lb hmm !!

MrsPickles Fri 03-Jul-09 21:43:42

Interested in this thread, I want a homebirth when I get pregnant next (TTC at the moment) - I ended up with c section after similar labour to yours - long & lack & progress & then bad position after the drip - have already been told by a MW friend they won't allow me - what are they going to do, arrest me & handcuff me to a hospital bed? Just say no politely and repeatedly - I bet they'd rather have you in the MLU than a homebirth 0 that will really freak them out! And if you insist on a HB whilst they may not be happy they definitely won't want to risk you giving birth unassisted on their watch if they suggest they will refuse to send you a MW.
I am a member of a fairly militant VBAC email group - ukvbachbac@yahoogroups.com - you'll get good support there & practical tips about how to achieve what you want using polite pushiness & stuck record techniques

I had the same concern about you about ignoring reasonable medical advice but have researched thoroughly and honestly believe the safest place to plan to give birth is where you feel most comfortable - with easy access to hospital if it all goes wrong - nothing to say it will go wrong as quickly with a VBAC than a first time labour

LeninGrad Sat 04-Jul-09 04:52:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sarah293 Sat 04-Jul-09 08:12:54

Message withdrawn

JemL Mon 06-Jul-09 21:02:38

Thanks for the advice - I think I will call AIMS in advance of midwife appointment, as I really feel I need to be really well prepared.

From the outset, I definitely think the emphasis on VBAC has been on what "must" be done - the more I look at the VBAC info sheet, which sets out the whole CFM, nil by mouth thing, the more annoyed I get - and frustrated with myself; I "know" that they can't "make" me do anything - but it is hard when it is presented as both strict policy and what is "best" for me and the baby.

I'll update after my appointment!

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