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There has been a lot of confusion regarding what AB1308 means in terms of home VBAC in California. In an effor to clear things up, Constance Rock-Stillman, LM, CPM, President, California Association of Midwives said this on January 23, 2014:

AB 1308 went into effect on 1/1/14, but there is nothing in the new legislation that says we [CPM/LMs] cannot do VBACs. We can do VBACs. We just need to define in our regulations what preexisting conditions will require physician consultation. [Which is what the October 15 and December 15th Interested Party meetings were about.] Until the new regulations are written we should continue to follow our current regulations and they only require us to provide certain disclosures and informed consent to clients.

Please let the community know that if they want to have a say in whether or not VBACs with Ca LMs require a physician consultation, they should come to the Interested Parties meeting that the medical board will be holding and tell the board how they feel about it. The medical board is a consumer protection agency, so they need to hear what consumers want to be protected from.

We will let you know as soon as the meeting is scheduled.

[Ms. Rock-Stillman responds when questioned by those who have not been involved it the creation of this legislation yet insist this legislation removes the option of home VBAC entirely:]

I’m in my third year as president of the California Association of Midwives, and I’m a practicing licensed midwife. I have been at every Midwifery Advisory Counsel meeting, at the Capitol 30 times last year, I’ve spoken in legislative committee hearings, I’ve sat in weekly meetings with CAM’s legal counsel who worked side-by-side with us on the legislation, I’ve been in Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla’s boardroom with ACOG and at every one of the public events where Susan Bonilla promised that the LMs would still be able to do VBACs. So I think I qualify as a knowledgeable stakeholder in this issue. Yes, we intentionally left VBAC out of the list of prohibited conditions, so at this point there is no question as to whether or not we can do VBACs. The only part that’s in question is whether or not all VBACs will require physician consultation. Regulations that clarify under what circumstances physician consultation will be required will be written by the California Medical Board. This is a process that takes time. Maybe even a year or more. The regulations that will be adopted will be based on evidence and input from all the stakeholders. This is why I think it’s so important that midwives and consumers be at the meetings to insure their voices get heard. At the last Interested Parties meeting that the medical board held, I asked what we were suppose to do until the new regulations are written and we were told that we should follow our current regulations and our community standards until new regulations are adopted.

In the following article, Jennifer Kamel, Founder of VBAC Facts, an organization which seeks to close the gap between what best practice guidelines and the evidence says about VBAC vs. repeat cesarean and what people generally believe, speaks on behalf of consumers regarding the importance of out of hospital VBAC. She focuses on the impact of requiring women seeking out of hospital VBAC to obtain physician approval, which proves problematic because very few physicians, if any, would be willing to sign off on a home VBAC due to liability concerns. This would effectively cut off the option of a vaginal delivery for many women throughout our state.

Jennifer runs the website vbacfacts.com and she travels throughout the US presenting her workshop and speaking at conferences.  She also offers the workshop on-line so the class is available to anyone who is interested.

There has been a lot of confusion among midwives and consumers, so it is a good idea to set the record straight. To learn more about the implications of AB1308, the most recent midwifery legislation, and how that impacts home VBAC in the state of California, read Jennifer's article on VBACFacts.com