Do you want a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)?
Are you tired of reading sources that seem to conflict with each other?
Do you want to learn more about VBAC without wasting thousands of hours on the internet wondering what is true and what isn't?
Wading through the evidence might sound overwhelming and time consuming, but don't worry.
Whether you are deciding between VBAC and repeat cesarean or you have made a decision and want to learn more, I've done all the work for you.
Hi, I'm Jen Kamel. I help parents around the world achieve clarity on VBAC and I can help you.
But at 35 weeks, my baby wasn’t in the right position and all of a sudden, I was on the road to a surgical birth.
When my doctor tried to manually turn the baby, it didn't work. My cesarean was scheduled for the following week.
While my family tried to cheer me up, what I really needed was for someone to validate my conflicting feelings. Yes, I was so excited to meet my baby. But I was also disappointed and scared. This was the first surgery of my life.
My cesarean was routine and my obstetrician was sympathetic. Nevertheless, I felt like I was hit by a truck and handed a baby.
Before my cesarean, I felt like a powerful, competent, self-sufficient professional. Afterwards, I was completely dependent on others to help me with basic functions like walking to the bathroom and feeding my baby. I was humbled by how difficult it all was.
Some women have really easy recoveries, but I was not one of them. I struggled with post-partum depression and it took me 9 months to feel like me again.
My OB told me that I would be an excellent candidate for VBAC, so I knew that there was another option. I was committed to doing everything in my power to ensure next time would be different.
That said, there was a lot I didn’t know and what makes me scared is the unknown. So what helped me reduce my fears was to learn the facts. Through that process, I was able to make an informed decision about what was right for me.
So over the next few years, I absorbed information. I questioned. I kept copious notes. I learned how to find and evaluate medical research. I read everything I could.
When someone said something that didn’t ring true, I asked for their source (often they didn’t have one.) Or I just did the research myself to confirm or refute their statement. It became like a game to me. And I loved it.
Yes, it was a very steep learning curve, but there was nothing out there for parents who wanted a higher level of information. I had to go to the source: national guidelines and the medical literature. So I did.
This journey also enabled me to release any judgment I felt towards other women. The truth is there are real risks and benefits to VBAC and repeat cesarean. And both are valid and reasonable options.
Through my research, planning, and the whiff of luck that is always at play in birth, I was able to have a victorious VBAC and meet my sweet son.
My labor was 9 hours from start to finish. While the last 90 minutes were very intense – I like to joke that the F-bomb was my doula - I managed and achieved my goal of an unmedicated vaginal delivery.
To immediately hold my son, breastfeed him, and be fully mentally present from the moment he was introduced into the world was absolutely priceless.
Being able to eat, use the restroom, and shower shortly after delivery made me feel human.
To sleep without waking up to stabbing pain for weeks meant that while I was tired, I wasn’t so painfully exhausted.
I felt like me, with a baby, and it was an entirely new experience of motherhood. My son and I spend the first three days of his life sleeping, nursing, and relaxing. It was different in the very best way.
My VBAC was very healing for me. It saddened me to think that there were women around America, and throughout the world, who were denied this option.
I saw their stories online every day. I felt their pain, fear, and desperation.
I couldn’t imagine being effectively forced into a cesarean because the option of VBAC was denied to me. Feeling hopeless and powerless is an awful way to begin your relationship with your baby.
And yet, that is the experience of millions of women around the world. I wanted to help those women in any way I could.
So at two weeks post-partum, sitting on my hemorrhoid ring which I called “The Throne," I started vbacfacts.com.
My mission? To increase VBAC access through educational programs, legislative action, and amplifying the consumer voice. I envision a time when every pregnant person seeking VBAC has access to unbiased information, respectful providers, and community support so they can plan the birth of their choosing in the setting they desire.
Within three years, I had created this program and was traveling the country speaking.
The response? People describe "The Truth About VBAC for Professionals and Providers" as “outstanding, easy to understand, non-judgmental, priceless, and the best resource to date.”
I've made understanding the medical facts, and the political climate in which they operate, easy and simple so you can release your confusion and conquer your fears. Sound good? Great!
In 30 bite-sized video lessons, I share every step of the process for achieving clarity on VBAC and repeat cesarean so you understand your options and can confidently discuss the evidence with anyone at anytime.
You’ll also learn about the pros and cons on where you can have a VBAC -- whether you want an a home birth or a hospital birth.
I'll also share with you red flags to look for and specific questions to ask as well as the "right" answers you want to hear to ensure that your provider is truly supportive of VBAC.
You’ll also become familiar with hospital policies, VBAC bans, and national guidelines so you can know the facts, speak knowledgeably, and hold your own with medical professionals rather than being mislead by scare tactics.
Birth options after multiple cesareans, big babies, postdates, birth intervals, single versus dual layer suturing, uterine thickness, the VBAC calculator... I cover it all.
After working directly with thousands of families as a consumer advocate and national speaker for almost a decade, I know the questions you have and the information you need.
This 6-hour online program is designed to answer all the questions I’ve been asked by expecting parents and growing families like yours.
And more importantly all the questions you should be asking but may not know you need to ask.
I’ve spent thousands of hours going through medical studies, attending conferences, interviewing doctors, midwives, and parents to gather these facts for you so you don’t have to wade through the information yourself and try to guess whether it fact, myth, or outright lie.
The entire course is immediately available to you upon registration. You can either binge watch it in one sitting or watch a lecture every couple days. I'll send you reminder emails throughout the program with links to the next lecture so you will always know what to do next.
“Bravo! I absolutely loved 'The Truth About VBAC' online program – I learned SO much! Jen does an amazing job of summarizing the latest evidence on VBACs and repeat Cesareans in a way that is easy to understand.
If you're worried that Jen is going to try and talk you into a VBAC– well, that's not how she does things. In this class, Jen simply presents accurate facts and lets the evidence speak for itself. Every woman and family needs to make the decision that is best for them.
In this class, Jen has created a non-judgmental environment for people who are exploring their options. I strongly recommend this class to anyone who is interested in learning about VBAC!" Read Rebecca's entire review.
- Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN, Founder, Evidence Based Birth
"I knew I wanted a VBAC with my next pregnancy, but I wasn't sure what the risks truly were or how to find the information I needed.
I was already weary of the medical communities' motives regarding birth and I'd begun to hear rumors that VBACs were dangerous and the usual 'once a cesarean, always a cesarean.'
My husband and I attended 'The Truth About VBAC' in 2013. I was shocked at how low the risk of uterine rupture really is and found the information about accreta invaluable.
Not one doctor or midwife ever mentioned accreta or other complications that can occur after even one cesarean so I found that part of Jen's presentation eye-opening.
I took the information presented, used Jen's list of suggested questions to ask your provider to see how VBAC supportive they are, and found an OB who was super supportive of my wishes to have a unmedicated VBAC.
In March of 2015 I had my unmedicated hospital VBAC and am planning the same for my twin babies due in January 2017."
- Jill Panunto, VBAC Mom & Birth Doula
“For women exploring their options after cesarean, 'The Truth About VBAC' is a must.
VBAC is unique in that you have to understand more than just the science in order to wade through the myths and misinformation, and here is thorough, unbiased, and hard-to-find information on the subject as a whole: science, history, and politics.
I wish that every woman out there who has had a cesarean had the opportunity to get the truth about what her options are and why they may be so artificially limited.
This class has the power to change how we think about VBAC."
- Cristen Pascucci, Improving Birth Vice President, Birth Monopoly Founder
"I just wanted to say how thankful I am for all the work you do Jen! This workshop came just at the right time in my life and gave me the resources and facts I needed to feel confident in my decision to want a VBAC. I have now had 2 VBACs and know that I probably wouldn't have without the facts and research that you shared with the workshop I attended and your website!"
- Renee Colson, Stay at home mom to four kiddos
"I'm a busy OB/GYN physician with a particular interest in ensuring that women in my region have a safe and well-publicized option for post-Cesarean hospital birthing.
Ms. Kamel has put together a presentation that is biased in only one very appropriate direction — that of fully informed patients and birth attendants.
Our patients and communities can only benefit from a more-informed discussion about C-sections and post-Cesarean birthing and we're all lucky to have someone out front with such informed passion."
- Nathan Meltzer, OB/GYN
"After attending 'The Truth About VBAC,' I knew the facts, the studies that supported the facts, and I knew how to interpret the numbers to best understand what they were saying about my risk.
When OBs heard me actually talking about "1 in xxx" instead of just percentages, they realized that I really did understand what I was asking for and were more willing to have the discussion I wanted to have.
Professionally, I am better able to point my doula clients to real evidence and help them translate the studies into information they can use to make the best birth decisions for themselves, their babies, and their whole family."
- Heather Schweich, VBAC Mom & Birth Doula
"If you haven't taken this workshop, it's absolutely worth it. I attended the San Diego, CA program in 2012 and it was such an amazing experience. Anyone seeking to prevent a primary cesarean or planning a VBAC birth, should learn about their options."
- Kristen Stratton, DONA Certified Birth Doula and Postpartum Doula
"Best thing I did in preparing for my VBAC is attend this class. More facts, research, and information than I'd ever have the time to discover on my own. So lucky to have had you in Buffalo."
- Danielle Nixon Fleckenstein, Small business owner
“This course is interesting, organized, and most importantly, evidence-based! Some of my favorite parts included the many charts, which illustrate statistics regarding cesarean section and VBAC in the United States. I'm a visual learner, and putting those numbers in perspective really made it click for me. This class would be a great fit for parents, educators, doulas, and any health professional working with mothers and babies. A fabulous educational opportunity!"
- Lindsey Rupp, CD(DONA), CLS, PCD (DONA)
Jen Kamel is the founder of VBAC Facts, an educational, training and consulting firm. As a nationally recognized VBAC strategist and consumer advocate, she has been invited to present Grand Rounds at hospitals, served as an expert witness in a legal proceeding, and has traveled the country educating hundreds of professionals and highly motivated parents. She speaks at national conferences and has worked as a legislative consultant in various states focusing on midwifery legislation and regulations. She has testified multiple times in front of the California Medical Board and legislative committees on the importance of VBAC access and is a board member for the California Association of Midwives.
You might be wondering if this course is for you.
If you want to learn the facts, absolutely.
It will save you countless hours of trying to compile all the information yourself. Wondering what is true, what is someone's wishful thinking, and what are scare tactics.
It walks you through the medical evidence and national guidelines so you can tell for yourself when someone - your provider, parent, or friend - is saying something that is just not true.
It gives you access to medical research that is not available to the public. I'll explain to you how research is conducted and how to evaluate it so you really understand what you are looking at.
This skill set is something you can use time and time again... including when your provider gives you research to back up their recommendation.
I give you a set of questions to ask your provider. And yes, you can find lists of questions all over the place. But how helpful are questions if you don't know what the "right" answer is? Not very.
By learning the evidence behind those questions, you can decide what is the right answer for you so you can actually engage in a well-informed conversation with your provider.
I help you decode the evidence on home birth and hospital birth.
What are the benefits and pitfalls of each? What is right for you? You can only know when you know the real facts, not opinions based on isolated incidents.
I'll show you the evidence on uterine rupture and big baby, going overdue, thin uterus, single vs. dual layer suturing, birth intervals, and more.
In short, you will walk away with clarity on VBAC, repeat cesarean, home birth, hospital birth, VBAC bans, and your legal rights.
You will also be able to speak intelligently with anyone about VBAC and repeat cesarean.
This will not only increase your confidence, but you will help others by sharing accurate information, gently debunking misinformation and directing them to where they can learn more.
The various parents who have taken my course have described it as priceless.
The clarity they received was immensely valuable to them.
They were no longer confused about evidence.
They no longer wondered if _______ was supported by the medical literature or national guidelines. They knew.
If you want to achieve what I just described, then "The Truth About VBAC for Families" is for you.
I'll see you inside!