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The role of (mid)wife: the challenges of positive birth experience during VBAC.

Irlanda, Sára; Tabib, Mo; Clubbs Coldron, Benjamin M.


Sára Irlanda

Benjamin M. Clubbs Coldron


Vaginal birth after c-section (VBAC) can be physically and mentally challenging. This paper intends to highlight the importance of humanistic care and human rights-based approaches when women are preparing for VBAC. According to the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPU), everyone has the legal right for self-determination. In line with the Human Rights Act 1998 Article 8, and the common law right to self-determination, healthcare practitioners have a duty to provide facilities that allow women to give birth in the manner of their choosing. It also provides suggestions on how to solve disparities of the health system in supporting women's needs, even in pregnancies that identified as 'high risk'. It is argued that empowerment and involvement of women can support positive outcomes and is not antithetical to the expertise and experience of midwives nor a reasonable management of risk. With the practical challenges we would like to invite the profession to discuss and reflect on psychosocial factors contributing to successful VBAC. The discussion stems from the personal experience of the primary author and aims to add to the debate especially from the perspective of women with the lived experience of VBAC.


IRLANDA, S., TABIB, M. and CLUBBS COLDRON, B.M. 2023. The role of (mid)wife: the challenges of positive birth experience during VBAC. Human rights in childbearing 7. The practising midwife [online], 26(3), pages 13-19. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 1, 2023
Online Publication Date Mar 1, 2023
Publication Date Mar 31, 2023
Deposit Date Apr 4, 2023
Publicly Available Date Mar 2, 2024
Journal The Practising Midwife
Print ISSN 1461-3123
Electronic ISSN 2634-7407
Publisher All4Maternity
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 3
Pages 13-19
Keywords Adult; Female; Human rights; Personal experience; Pregnancy; Vaginal delivery
Public URL


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