What to do if your hospital denies your right to VBAC

My Hospital Is Not Allowing VBAC

My hospital is currently not allowing VBAC and forcing me to have a cesarean. What are my options?


  1. Contact ICAN with the name and city/state of the denying hospital, along with the name and contact information of the Nurse-Manager of the Labor & Delivery/Birthing unit that is forcing you to have surgery against your will. (For support in Los Angeles, email us.)
  2. You may choose to present a signed VBAC Consent Form as proof of your understanding of the benefits and risks involved in childbirth.
  3. According to the Patient Care Partnership of the American Hospital Association, you have the right to refuse recommended treatment, including a cesarean section. If you refuse a recommendation, alternative treatment should be provided. In this case, a VBAC.
  4. State that you require more time to consider your decision. Ask to postpone the surgery until you have been given adequate time to research your decision thoroughly.
  5. When labor begins spontaneously, some mothers feel more comfortable laboring in the comfort of their own homes for as long as possible. It may be possible to find a doula or monitrice for labor support.
  6. It is never too late to change caregivers or birth location. Consider seeking another caregiver or birth location immediately.
  7. Write a letter to your local television station and/or the editor of your local newspaper, telling them you are being forced to have a cesarean against your will.


Published by ICAN: January 2014



See a listing of Los Angeles area hospitals and their Cesarean rates here.
Look up hospitals across the nation and view Cesearean and VBAC rates and policies here.
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