SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Mother's gathered together on Saturday in front of Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara to protest current VBAC practices.
VBAC stands for vaginal birth after a cesarean and each hospital has its own policy on whether doctors permit or encourage patients to have natural births after having a previous cesarean section.
Cottage Hospital states its birthing policy is not opposed to VBAC's but the hospital does not offer them as a routine birthing plan.
Some of the Mothers shared stories about feeling pushed to schedule a c-section early in pregnancy while at Cottage Hospital. They feel as though the choice for natural birth is out of the question. Cottage Hospital is one of the few hospitals in the Santa Barbara area with a birthing wing, which protestors say leaves them no choice other than to travel to as far as Los Angeles to participate in a natural birth.
"We're looking to add to our family and it stresses me out to think that I would have to drive to UCLA or Ventura for something you know. Numbers do not lie and VBAC's are just as safe as cesareans," said Katie Allen, a mother and protestor.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has stated it is not necessarily dangerous but recommended that emergency surgical staff must be readily available in order to ensure safe natural births after having a cesarean.
Cottage Hospital released a statement Saturday stating the hospital does not have the current physician coverage needed for VBAC standby emergency care.
Protestors are encouraging people to visit VBACfacts.com for more information.