An 80's VBAC Keepsake

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By Jill Arnold


Joyanna posted this picture along with the following comment on our Facebook page today:

I am so proud of my mother for having an HBA2C in 1985 when VBAC was a radical, new, and completely unaccepted concept. This article she saved from a November 1987 newspaper was fascinating to read. We were already well on our way increasing unnecessarians, but there was hope that this would change as women became more aware of the problem. And now, 24 years later, we are still hoping…

We’ve written about the 1987 media campaign regarding lowering the cesarean rate by Public Citizen before, so it was interesting to see the actual print version of this article.

According to Joyanna, her mother, Sue Carpenter Dixson, tucked the article away in a folder with items she had saved pertaining to her homebirth, including letters suggesting possible midwives, her birth plan, some of the midwife’s charts and even the piece of paper that she jotted down her contraction times on. She told Joyanna that VBACs were unheard of, and when her friend told her about it, they both planned HBACs (home birth after cesarean).

She told Joyanna that they had to keep quiet about it. Her first birth was a long, difficult labor ending in a c-section, her second a planned c-section— because “once a cesarean, always a cesarean”— and when she discovered the possibility of having a VBAC, she gave birth to Joyanna’s little sister at home. Sue says that her home birth was an amazing, empowering, life-changing experience and Joyanna followed in her footsteps and gave birth at home as well.


These graphs provide persepctive on cesarean and VBAC rates in the U.S. in the 1980’s



 Image credit: Childbirth Connection