The survey says…. “Yes, go for it!”

We asked the Cambridge VBAC Friends’ community for feedback on what we should focus our energy on over the next twelve months. We were delighted to get 18 responses, here’s the results:

Survey_results_Aug2015_croppedIdea 1: submit Freedom of Information requests for VBAC rates, VBAC guidelines, etc. to each of our local hospitals with a view to publishing the data in the Facebook group and on the blog.

78% of respondents said Yes, go for it!

We have submitted Freedom of Information requests to The Rosie Hospital in Cambridge, Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon, Peterborough Hospital, The Lister Hospital in Stevenage and The West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds The results will be made available to our community in our online support group and here on the blog. (We’ll also send the results for Peterborough Hospital to our friends at Peterborough & Stamford VBAC Support)

Idea 2: to proactively campaign for the Rosie to be more open to women about the Rosie Birth Centre being an option for VBAC.

83.5% said Yes, go for it!

Wow – our highest scoring idea. We know that eight VBAC women have given birth in the Rosie Birth Centre in Cambridge since it opened in September 2012, and many more VBAC women have been given permission to birth there. (Read Kirsty’s story of a VBAC in the Rosie Birth Centre.) Yet women are still being told their only option for place of birth is the obstetric-led delivery unit or home. Watch this space!

Idea 3: a workshop for couples, covering topics like “am I allowed?”, risks & benefits, VBAC, HBAC & CBAC, midwife-led vs consultant-led, navigating the system, support, gentle caesarean, birth plans and more. There would need to be a workshop fee to cover basic costs (room hire, refreshments, facilitator’s time).

78% said Yes, go for it!

The idea for a couples workshop was inspired by Sara Wickham blog post “Do we need to help VBAC dads explore their perceptions of risk.” and reading the late Sheila Kitzinger’s fabulous book “A Passion For Birth.” We’ve got lots on at the moment but this is something we’ll work on in 2016.

Idea 4: to champion a second Cambridge Birth Choices drop-in session which would be open for partners and to attend (and kids) on a weekday evening or weekend daytime at The Rosie Hospital.

61% said Yes, go for it!

The Cambridge Birth Choices drop-in takes place on a Friday afternoon and is held at the Cambridge Women’s Resources Centre which is a women-only space (more info on our meet up page). The Rosie and Cambridge Birth Choices are leading this work to develop a second session and we have volunteered to help where we can. It will take place at The Rosie, which means male partners can attend and it’ll be on evening or weekend, so working parents can attend.

Do you have any ideas or suggestions for improvements?

Yes, for midwives to let pregnant women know about VBAC friends (I didn’t hear about it until after my VBAC)

We recently delivered 150 flyers to The Rosie for the hospital and community midwives, to be given out at antenatal appointments and The Rosie VBAC clinic. We recently attended The Rosie Open Day. You can help too! Please print some flyers and display them in your area; on the noticeboard at your local GP surgery, children’s centre, toddler group, playground, etc. Here’s the PDF to download CambridgeVBACFriends_PosterForTheRosie_Aug15_final. Thank you!

If you are pregnant or planning birth after caesarean and would like to connect with other local women, join our private online support group (you can read more about it on the support page).

And for monthly face-to-face support, there’s the Cambridge Birth Choices free drop-in group, held on the second Friday of every month at Cambridge Women’s Resource Centre.

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