This research has demonstrated that women often reflect on their previous traumatic birthing experience and seek out alternative birthing options. Restrictive hospital practices and often negative reactions from health practitioners lead women to seek a pathway towards achieving a VBAC and this often leads them to consider a HBAC. Women found that through becoming knowledgeable about VBAC, then finding support and a PPM who would facilitate the HBAC that this inevitably helped them to achieve their HBAC. The HBAC was reportedly both empowering and healing for the women. Exploring this data with a feminist lens revealed that the contemporary paternalistic and medically dominated model of care was often dehumanising and disrespectful compared to the care provided by a PPM where the women described them as behaving in an authentic and autonomous way. A shift in expectation towards encouraging and supporting women who wish to VBAC needs to occur in the health professional community. The voices of women in this study tell us about the importance of relationship and trust in birth and how these can lead to the attainment of a successful VBAC.
We gratefully acknowledge the women that participated in this study. Funding for this study was through the University of Western Sydney Candidature Project Funds.
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2015;15(206) © 2015 BioMed Central, Ltd.