C-sections in your community

Published on
October 18, 2010

Women in Redding, Calif. face a major dilemma should they decide to try to have a natural birth after a previous Cesarean section.

Redding may be a regional medical hub serving basically every rural county adjacent to the northern Sacramento Valley, but the doctors here refuse to perform vaginal births after a previous c-section (VBAC).

This leaves women with three choices. They can be cut open against their wishes, drive the more than three hours to a Sacramento or San Francisco Bay Area hospital to have a VBAC there or risk having a baby at home with two very busy local midwives.

In a story Sunday, I explored why and took a look at the strong-willed women who choose to birth at home, bucking the advice of the mainstream medical community. Our photographers spent a few months following one such local woman through her birth.

Read the mainbar here.

The two siders here and here.

I think stories like this could be done by reporters in any semi-urban community, particularly in ones a few hours from major metropolitan areas.