The 'VBAC Project' Puts the Spotlight on Moms on Labor Day

Are there any moms who wouldn't love a complimentary photo session with their baby? Well, you may be in luck if you've had a successful Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC). Launched by Amy Wehner, PhD, a doula with Opet Childbirth Services, the VBAC Project set the goal of collecting one million photos of VBAC moms and babies. The movement is gaining momentum by offering free photo sessions this Labor Day weekend.

More than one million cesareans are performed in the US each year. For some moms, a traumatic C-section experience grabs them like a choke-hold; they mourn the loss of control over their birth experience, suffer from feelings of inadequacy, and feel an overwhelming desire to reclaim what they lost in the operating room. The VBAC Project was designed to give power back to those moms.

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"Many of the women I work with had an unplanned C-section," said Wehner. "The reasons they were given weren't really an emergency. They put their faith in a system that let them down."

The World Health Organization states that Cesarean births are necessary about 15 percent of the time; in the US we hover around 33 to 35 percent. Further complicating our high C-section rate are hospital bureaucracies. In 1,200 US hospitals, a woman who has had a Cesarean in the past faces mandatory surgery for her second delivery -- whether it's medically necessary or not. 

"There are a huge lack of providers who are willing to perform VBACs because they feel more in control when they do a repeat C-section," said Wehner. "They're concerned about liability. But VBAC is a safe, empowering choice for many moms."

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The VBAC Project has a network of professional photographers who have offered their services this Labor Day weekend. Photographers are available in three countries. Visit The VBAC Project's website for a list of available sessions. Moms get to keep a professional photograph from their shoot ... and will be encouraged to share their stories to inspire women who are considering VBACs. Wehner believes it's all a crucial part of healing for moms who dealt with real feelings of sadness and loss after a C-section.

"When a mom is researching doing a VBAC, she visualizes the birth, she puts together a supportive team," she says. "She is actively engaged and involved in her birth experience, and that can repair some of the damage that was done during her C-section. For some women, the research alone makes them feel empowered. Even if they wind up with another C-section, women feel they regained control. That's what VBAC is all about."

Have you had a successful VBAC? 

Image via Amy Katherine Photography

labor & delivery


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Hocke... HockeyMomNJ

I can't understand taking on those risks for a successful vbac. my sister is a labor and delivery nurse, and has seen 3 women die trying for it. You may think 3 isn't a lot out of the number of successes - but when you're talking about the safety of yourself and your child, why would you want to play those odds? Because you want to take charge of your birthing experience? Too high of price to potentially pay .

lawye... lawyerwahm

I'm so thankful I've had 2 successful vbacs.  I went through an ordeal to have the opportunity to do so.  Drove over an hour for both hospitals, because the local hospital (across the street from my house) doesn't allow vbacs.


nonmember avatar Mommyofaz

I had a wonderful VBAC, but I had to fight for it. It was so empowering and helped me combat the disappointment and trauma that I experienced with my unplanned c/s. I think it is a very personal choice but for me it was the right one. I felt like my body was mine again and I had confidence in myself and my body to take care of business! It was very healing.

nonmember avatar Terri

I completely understand everything they are talking about. My husband nearly cried when I told him that if I have another c-section I will be having my tubes tied. My c-section was 100% avoidable and made necessary through the negligence of my doctor and nursing staff. I will be trying for a vbac with my next child and if it doesn't happen that will be my last attempt and our dreams of having 3 children will be squashed. These doctors need to stop with the unnecessary inductions and c-sections

nonmember avatar krystian

Yes Terri, because you have a doctor degree.

I'm sorry, but if your doctor says a c section is needed, that means they think it's the safest for you and the child!

You can't control everything in your life, and giving birth is one,of those things.

Move on.

nonmember avatar callira

I had an emergency c sec with my first and a voluntary one with my second. I never once felt inadequate or felt a loss of power. My children were born alive and well and that's all I cared about.

prett... prettymama72106

I understand what she is saying. I had an emergency csection with my pregnancy. My twins were born at 28 weeks because they and I were in danger. It was a horribly traumatic experience. If I have another it doesn't matter to me if I have another csection but I would hope I get to make the decision if not I'm okay with that too because you can't control everything especially where pregnancy is concerned and even though it took me a long time I am okay with that

nonmember avatar Christina

I am very happy I went for a vbac and will be having another baby very soon, hopefully a vbac as well, as long as all goes well again. My big deciding facture in going for a vbac was that I know I want more children and having c-sections can cause complications in future pregancies. With each added c-section your increasing your odds in having placenta abruption, something that terrifizes me. I know a few people who lost babies due to problems with their placenta. I don't ever want to experience that.

nonmember avatar Sploj

I don't know why I ever read the comments... I had a VBAC with my second. ACOG recommends VBAC as the safer option in a healthy pregnancy. The risk for uterine rupture is less than one percent if your doctor isn't reckless and trying to induce labor. I'll take that less than one percent risk any day over the possible complications of repeat unnecessary abdominal surgery. For the ladies who think everyone should blindly follow everything their doctor says, I hate to say it but just as in all walks of life, not everyone has your best interests in mind. Some docs are awesome, and sadly some have an agenda (like being done at the hospital by 5 pm).

nonmember avatar buttercup

Thanks Krystian- your comment is spot on.
The most important thing is having a healthy baby.

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