VBAC: Exploring the Scientific Literature

The maternity experience in New Zealand results in a 26.2% caesarean section rate for women and their babies, with over half performed as labour emergencies (MoH, 2015). This is the same as England’s rate (NCT, 2015) but, internationally, caesarean rates range from 32% in Australia (AIHW, 2014) and 50% in China (Hellerstein et al, 2014), to itemise a couple of countries.

The World Health Organisation continues to assert that a rate of >15% is overuse of caesarean. It estimates 6.20 million unnecessary sections were performed globally in 2008 (WHO, 2010).

Though birthing vaginally is a “reasonable and safe choice for the majority of women with prior caesarean” (Guise et al, 2010), VBAC rates remain low.

This soon to be freely narrated lecture provides an evidence-informed position on issues relating to vaginal birth after caesarean.


Dr Maggie Banks (PhD, RM, RGON) has worked in a variety of practice settings, first as a nurse (from 1972) primarily in women’s health and neonatal intensive care, then as midwife (from 1987). A self-employed midwife in home birth practice since 1989, Maggie combined the role of midwifery educator with practice from 1998-2014. She has regularly taught throughout Australasia, as well as having been a guest speaker at conferences held in the Australia, US and Canada. Maggie is the author of Breech Birth Woman-Wise and Home Birth Bound: Mending the Broken Weave and is committed to open source education.

Participants views about this workshop

  • Found this an enjoyable way to focus thought on [the course]. Could dip in and out of resources and information.
  • The readings were great, the discussion forum was great. It was awesome being able to engage with this material in a more focused way, and to reread the evidence:)
  • This was my first online workshop eva & once I got the jist of it, I really enjoyed it! I found it very well presented in a logical format that was easy to access…Being able to study from home, when it suited me [was valuable]. Being able to log in & out of the workshop & review course material several times over if I needed with reference to readings & the video clips. I found Tony’s technical support vry helpful!
  • “Face to face” I learn best from listening and love the fact that technology allows us to have live classroom from our own home. Great to hear from midwives from around the globe.
  • Great presentation, I did a similar course through [another organisation], Birthspirit Moodle has a really good variety of delivery methods of course content compared to the [polytech/university]. The live classroom is fantastic

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