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ICANers in the News About VBAC

As news about the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s (ACOG) revised VBAC guidelines garner attention from press outlets like the New York Times, ICAN leaders are being sought for comment.

ICAN President Desirre Andrews was quoted in WebMD Health News:

The new guidelines got a favorable response from the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN). In a statement, ICAN’s president, Desirre Andrews, says: “ACOG’s updated recommendation for VBAC are much more in line with the published medical research and echo what ICAN has stated for years. Less restrictive access to VBAC will lead to lower risks to mothers and babies from accumulating cesareans.”

But the health care environment may need to catch up with the guidelines, according to ICAN. In a 2009 survey of more than 2,800 hospitals, ICAN found that 30% had formal policies forbidding VBAC and 20% had no doctors on staff willing to accept a woman planning VBAC.

Barbara Strattion, Chapter Leader for ICAN of Baltimore, was cited by the Associated Press, as reported on

“I feel like ACOG has really listened to how their previous policies have impacted women,” said Barbara Stratton of the International Cesarean Awareness Network’s Baltimore chapter, adding that she’ll advise women seeking a VBAC to hand a copy of the guidelines to caregivers who balk.

But she called for reducing overuse of first-time C-sections, too, so that repeats become less of an issue.


  1. Marisa Brischetto-Kussack says:

    I am a VBAC mom of two. My son was an unneccesary cesarean. The doctor that did it should have warned me of the risks of a cesarean before hand, and allowed me to labor at home longer so my baby could come naturally. This second baby I decided that I would not have in a hospital as Florida requires VBAC moms to labor hooked up to machines in a bed ( which is not conducive to progressing labor at all). In Florida, VBAC moms cannot give birth in a birthing center either. My only choice was to birth at home with a midwife. After many months of calling my HR representative at Cigna, I was approved to have an out of network midwife. The crazy thing about insurance companies is that a home birth costs $4,000 for them. A cesarean birth costs upwards of $15,000. Not to mention the doctors that do support VBACs also charge patients an additional fee to the patient (not the insurance company) that can range from $3,500-$4,500. Why the heck would I pay a doctor to tell me I have to sit in a bed while I labor and in a addition to that pay him $4,000 on top of the risk of them doing another cesarean anyway??? I had an amazing home birth experience and I wouldn’t do it any other way. The midwife and nurse have all the equipment a hospital room has- in the comfort of my own home. Another great thing about a home birth is that the baby is exposed to the family’s germs and not a sterile environent so her immune system is stronger than hospital born babies. VBACs should not be restricted about the kind of birth experience they want. As humans were were designed to labor without drugs because our body creates natural releases of pain management into our blood stream. We were designed to birth our babies and then immediately nurse and bond with them to establish the love connection between moms and babies. Seriously, our healthcare system is like a third world country when it comes to birthing babies.