VBAC support at Saddleback Memorial

I have had 2 VBAC’s at Saddleback Hospital and encourage mom’s who contact me wanting a hospital VBAC to look into Saddleback.  They hold a VBAC class for parents interested in learning more.  Here is what one of their Doctors has said. 


“For many years, the rule of thumb was ‘once a Cesarean, always a Cesarean.’  As a result, most women who had a baby by this method underwent a repeat Cesarean when they had more children.  Subsequently, multiple studies showed that this rule was not necessarily the safest and most satisfying option for many women with a prior Cesarean.  Research and recommendations have shown that VBAC should be offered to women in a setting where appropriate support measures and personnel are available.  Saddleback Memorial is one of the few hospitals in Orange County to routinely offer this delivery option by providing such support and has achieved greater than an 80 percent success rate in patients undergoing attempted VBAC.  Not only does VBAC eliminate the risks of surgery, but it results in a faster recovery for new mothers and can provide a healthier beginning for babies.” 


David Lagrew, MD Perinatologist The Women’s Hospital at Saddleback Memorial, Laguna Hills, CA

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10 thoughts on “VBAC support at Saddleback Memorial”

  1. It was in their most recent mailing from the hospital, where they list all the childbirth classes. It so depends on your care provider and if they are the one on call, etc. Hospitals are unpredictable in that way. You might get a great supportive nurse and then her shift ends and you get a not so great nurse. This is why homebirth is better for some. 🙂

  2. I know this was posted a very long time ago, but I’m not sure what Alison meant about their current policies not being supportive of VBAC. I had a successful VBAC at Saddleback in February 2006 and even then they were the place to go if you wanted to VBAC. What troubles me now is their “once a VBAC, always a VBAC” policy, where they make you adhere to their VBAC rules like continuous fetal monitoring even if you’ve had a successful VBAC in the past…at least that’s what the nurse told me was the policy when I called a few months ago.

  3. They do “want” continuous fetal monitoring. It is nice because they have the telemtric monitoring. I have my VBAC moms in the shower and bath with their monitors on. So while it is a pain, at least it is more flexible then other hospitals in the area.

  4. That is true (though in 2006 they told me I couldn’t use the tub or the shower, even with the telemetric monitor) and I was grateful to find a VBAC-friendly hospital. But even a seemingly benign intervention can cause trouble – in my situation I became severely restricted in what movements I was allowed because my son kept moving and coming off of the monitor. Because of that I ended up stuck in bed and because of that I ended up having an epidural (thankfully I was still successful). So I’m wary about hospitals and the things you “have” to do to be “allowed” to labor there.

  5. It depends on the nurse, I have had some say no. But I say, “Yes we can, we have done it before!!”

    I agree, if I was to have another baby, I would go for a homebirth so I can move and go as I please. But as a doula I have moms who are not comfortable with homebirth, so in my area Saddleback seems to be the best choice for hospitals. Do you have another hospital recommendation that is less restrictive?

  6. I wish I did. I have been thinking about going to South Coast Midwifery next time because I’m not super comfortable with the idea of giving birth at home myself (honestly I just don’t like my house enough, hah). The birth center seems like a good compromise and there at least they told me they would treat me like a normal birth since I’ve already had a successful VBAC (which made me all teary with joy). However if there’s some issue with the birth center it’ll be back to Saddleback for me. I’m glad there are more choices now than there were five years ago, but I still wish there were more locations and options…hopefully it will just keep getting better.

    If I do end up at Saddleback again I’ll have to remember to be more pushy. 🙂

  7. Do you have any recommendations for someone that wants a natural birth without being forced to wear an IV? I also don’t want my baby to be forced to get shots, not even the vitamin k shot. Even with insurance I am finding that the out of pocket cost to have a baby at a birthing center is still too expensive for us. Are you aware of any doctor or hospital that will respect my wishes? I found out that Mission Hospital does not give you the option. 🙁

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