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Mother Protests VBAC Ban

Pregnant Searcy woman chooses to go to Little Rock to have her child so she can use the procedure she chooses.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- A pregnant Central Arkansas woman says the hospital where she planned to deliver her baby will not let her give birth the way she wants.

The mother gave birth to her first child by C-section, and her second child was a vaginal birth, which is the same way she planned to have her third one.

But she says White County Medical Center told her that it was no longer an option 28 weeks into the pregnancy.

In less than a month, Lisa Jones is expecting to give birth to a little girl.

Her choice for delivery is vaginal birth after Cesarean, known as VBAC.

It's the same way she delivered her second child at White County Medical Center, and it helped her avoid surgery.

"Yeah, it went great," she said. "I didn't even have an epidural."

But recently, the center changed its policy on VBACs, and doctors there no longer perform them.

In a statement from LaDonna Johnston, vice president of Patient Services at White County Medical Center, stated:

“The White County Medical Center Medical Staff, Perinatal and Pediatric Committee met in January 2012 to hold an open discussion regarding the quality of care for obstetric patients. Patient safety regarding VBACs was discussed during the meeting; medical research was discussed in-depth and policies on VBACs of hospitals throughout Arkansas and the U.S. were seriously considered. The committee determined that the well-being of each expectant mother is priority, which set the course for the current policy. At White County Medical Center, we want the best birthing experience for each mother who delivers in our New Life Center. While we understand that there are women who appreciate the option to have a VBAC, the health and safety of our patients and their newborns is our greatest concern. Based on formal research through the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and informal surveys of hospitals in the North-Central Arkansas area, we found that the risks outweigh the benefits of VBACs when the necessary medical team members are not immediately available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Tanya Smith with the International Cesarean Awareness Network disagrees with VBAC bans, and led Lisa to a doctor who could help.

"There's no problem having a repeat C-section, but if that's not what you want to do, you should have options," Dr. Clint Hutchinson said.

So, Lisa says she'll take the one-hour drive from Searcy to Little Rock to deliver her baby the way she wants to.

The White County Medical Center board is meeting in October, and Lisa said she hopes they talk about the benefits of VBACs and possibly bringing them back to the center.

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