Midwife/Doula recommendations for VBAC

Looking for recommendations for an experienced midwife/doula to help support VBAC. My first pregnancy was healthy and full term but had second stage arrest during labor, the baby did not descend despite 4 hours of pushing which ended up in a C section. The baby  was 7lbs and I am not a petite person, we both did very well. I wondered if her failure to descend could be attributed to pelvic misalignment, she was initially breech but then was manually turned at 36 weeks . Now that I am expecting  my second child, I wanted to be proactive about keeping my pelvis well aligned to encourage optimal baby positioning and try for a VBAC. Would love recommendations on midwives/doulas who can help support that, any positive experiences and other resources which would help me achieve my goal. Thanks

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

I had a wonderful experience with Ellie and Gwen at Golden Oak Midwives! I definitely recommend them. They are located in Oakland and I know they help mothers with VBACs. https://www.gomidwives.com/

I highly recommend you look into Spinning Babies (website) - which works on baby positioning and has a list of practitioners with Spinning Babies training. I used Ilka Fanni as my doula for my VBAC- she was great and I'd highly recommend her as she is highly experienced with baby positioning and VBACs. https://www.ilkafanni.com/ She also teaches a Spinning Babies class which is also helpful. I did also decide to use a chiropractor to help with alignment- not sure if it mattered or not. 

My midwife Michelle Borok was amazing. I had my second baby in May and she was also a VBAC. My first was breech and was a csection. Working with Michelle was a healing and incredible experience. 


Hi! I had a successful VBAC in 2017 after an unplanned C-Section in 2013. I decided to go with a home birth, because I felt the home setting and home approach would be more supportive and conducive of a successful VBAC. My first birth was at Kaiser Walnut Creek and the level of medical interventions was pretty crazy. Even though I had switched to Blue Shield and therefore Sutter, the perspective in the hospital is framed by risk intolerance and outcome avoidance, rather than affirming and embracing a path towards the desired outcome. I went with Lael Stimmings as my midwife. She had a practice called Trinity Midwifery, although now I think she just practices under her own name. I cannot recommend her highly enough. She was instrumental in my success, and supported me, believed in me, every step of the way. Good luck! You can do it!

I am not sure if my mid-wives support VBAC, but if they do, I highly reccomend them.I assume they would, as they are very supportive of what the parents want and don't have a cookie cutter agenda for each patient. Check out Gwen and Ellie at Gold Oak Midwives at gomidwives.com


I recommend my doula Renata Provost. I had a wonderful experience with her and she was communicative throughout my pregnancy of how things such as pelvic alignment and exercises to get my daughter to turn when I thought she was breech. She herself had a successful VBAC and I think her experience would help support yours. https://www.theinnatedoula.com/ Good luck and sending you strength!

I had a successful VBAC after an unplanned cesarean for surprise breech. I had a fantastic doula, Blythe Lee, of 3 Daughters Doula. She was wonderful, helped me throughout the labor and delivery (at Alta Bates), and I cannot recommend her enough. 

Thank you all for sharing your experiences and resources. This is very helpful.

I had a very positive experience with my VBAC. My first birth was a 'cascade of interventions' due to failure to progress in the labor (I had terrible back labor for about 72 hours), finally ending in unplanned C section. His head was stuck and tilted (probably due to the pitocin forcing him to descend faster than he wanted). My second birth was the exact opposite. I actually had a precipitous labor (under 3 hours), strong labor surges, and no time for pain medication. It was the most natural (still dramatic of course) experience. Here are the things I did differently:

  • Got a doula experienced in VBAC - Heidi Kate from Brilliant Births (https://brilliantbirths.com/)
  • Sat on an exercise ball at my office job starting in my second trimester
  • Listened to hypnobirthing CDs (Mongan Method) - I did not take a class because I didn't have time, but the CD/book were great resources to get into the mindset
  • Stopped doing Kegels and did more squats instead - I decided that instead of needing taut/in-shape muscles, I wanted to have flexibility and openness.
  • Began eating dates in my 36th week (I believe you can start in the 32nd or 34th week), here's the research: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21280989

Good luck! I had thought I was 'proactive enough' in my first pregnancy, but for my second pregnancy, everything I listed for you became my daily routine in the 3rd trimester.