Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2015 Sep 3;15:206.
doi: 10.1186/s12884-015-0639-4.

Women's Reasons For, and Experiences Of, Choosing a Homebirth Following a Caesarean Section

Free PMC article

Women's Reasons For, and Experiences Of, Choosing a Homebirth Following a Caesarean Section

Hazel Keedle et al. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. .
Free PMC article


Background: Caesarean section is rising in the developed world and vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) is declining. There are increased reports of women seeking a homebirth following a caesarean section (HBAC) in Australia but little is known about the reasons for this study aimed to explore women's reasons for and experiences of choosing a HBAC.

Methods: Twelve women participated in a semi-structured one-to-one interview. The interviews were digitally recorded, then transcribed verbatim. These data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Results: The overarching theme that emerged was 'It's never happening again'. Women clearly articulated why it [caesarean section] was never happening again under the following sub themes: 'treated like a piece of meat', 'I was traumatised by it for years', 'you can smell the fear in the room', 're-traumatised by the system'. They also described how it [caesarean section] was never happening again under the sub themes: 'getting informed and gaining confidence', 'avoiding judgment through selective telling', 'preparing for birth', 'gathering support' and 'all about safety but I came first'. The women then identified the impact of their HBAC under the subthemes 'I felt like superwoman' and 'there is just no comparison'.

Conclusions: Birth intervention may cause physical and emotional trauma that can have a significant impact on some women. Inflexible hospital systems and inflexible attitudes around policy and care led some women to seek other options. Women report that achieving a HBAC has benefits for the relationship with their baby. VBAC policies and practices in hospitals need to be flexible to enable women to negotiate the care that they wish to have.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Interview questions for women

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 11 articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. Li Z, Zeki R, Hilder L, Sullivan EA. Perinatal statistics. Canberra: AIHW National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit; 2013. Australia's mothers and babies 2011.
    1. Cunnigham F, Bangdiwala S, Brown SS, Dean TM, Frederiksen M, Rowland Hogue CJ, King T, Spencer Lukacz E, McCullough LB, Nicholson W, Petit N, Probstfield JL, Viguera AC, Wong CA, Zimmet SC. National Institute of Health Consensus Development Conference. vol. 115: Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2010. National Institute of Health Consensus Development Conference Statement: vaginal birth after cesarean: new insights; pp. 1279–1295.
    1. NSW Health . New South Wales Mothers and Babies 2010. Sydney: NSW Ministry of Health; 2012.
    1. Latendresse G, Murphy PA, Fullerton JT. A description of the management and outcomes of vaginal birth after cesarean birth in the homebirth setting. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2005;50(5):386–391. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2005.02.012. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Stamilio DM, Defranco E, Pare E, Odibo A, Peipert J, Allsworth J, Stevens E, Macones G. Short Interpregnancy Interval. Obstet Gynecol. 2007;110(5):1075–1082. doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000286759.49895.46. - DOI - PubMed

Publication types