Note: This article was originally published in the Autumn/Winter 2023 edition of our On Call newsletter and has not been updated.
At the December meeting, Council decided to retire the Vaginal Birth After Caesarean Section (VBAC) Position Statement from our website. This change is effective January 5, 2024.
Vaginal Birth After Caesarean Section and Choice of Birthplace was first approved by Council in 2013 as a standard of practice. In 2018, when the Professional Standards came into force, the Quality Assurance Committee considered rescinding the standard, recognizing that the new Professional Standards for Midwives adequately addressed the minimum standard.
At that time, increasing pressure from hospitals was contributing to limiting the choice of birthplace for this population of clients and was placing undue pressure on midwives to recommend hospital birth for clients requesting out-of-hospital birth. Council decided to rescind the standard and approve the Vaginal Birth After Caesarean Section and Choice of Birthplace Position Statement to reinforce the Professional Standards for Midwives as it related to this particular clinical scenario.
Following a recommendation from the Quality Assurance Committee, Council decided to retire the statement, as it is now considered redundant as midwives are expected to centre the client as the primary decision maker in all of their health decisions.
The Professional Standards for Midwives continue to set the minimum expectations for providing safe, person-centred care to midwifery clients. Midwives must continue to offer choice of birthplace and informed client-led decision-making to meet the standard of ethical and safe midwifery care.
If you have any questions about how to uphold the standards in a variety of clinical scenarios, please email email@example.com. You can also review our practice advisory on the next page.