I just had a client who was trying for a VBAC.  Her provider would not induce her and she never dilated or went into labor.  This is the first experience I have had with this.  She ended up going to 41.5 weeks and had to have a scheduled c-section.  I was not allowed in the OR and they decided that they didn't need me there on the day of the procedure, which was fine with me.  They had an 11lb. baby boy and everyone is fine.

This is my question - 

I have provisions in my contract if they neglect to call me on the day of the birth or if I am unable to make it to the birth because of something in my life happening.  I do not however have a provision for something like this situation.  What do I do about giving them a refund?  If I don't make it to the birth because they don't call me I refund them 40%.  Should I just apply that situation here and do the same thing?  Not sure what to do, any input is greatly appreciated!


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Have they asked you for a refund? Or are you just wondering if you should refund them?


In my contract, I state that if they choose an elective cesarean section they need to let me know 2 weeks before the suregery and they will Recieve the final payment back (or not owe it). Otherwise, no refund. I'm on call for them and have possibly turned away other clients.

 Since you mentioned other details...

This 'never went into labor' reason for a section.... she just didn't go into labor by that time. She still has a few days to be within the 42 week time period. Plus, an EDD is an estimation based on the assumption that all women ovulate on day 14. If her cycle has her ovulating later than day 14, she got pregnant later than that. And that sets dates differently. And did she really have to have a cesarean, or was it the result of a choice she made by going with a care provider that didn't fully support VBACs?


I know its not your question, but do you think this was more about them being concerned she could not birth an 11 lb. baby?

They had no idea that the baby was really that big, they haven't had an ultrasound since week 32, so that wasn't the deciding factor.  The reason for the section was because her provider suggested it and they wouldn't induce so they just decided to go ahead with it.  I don't have bad feelings about any of it, I am bummed out for her that she didn't get to have her VBAC but I am just trying to figure it out logistically.  I guess i can talk to them in a couple weeks about it.  I don't feel right keeping the entire payment since I didn't actually attend the birth.  Yes, I was on call for a long time, 3.5 weeks, and I did turn away  a few clients but it all worked out so I am just trying to figure out what to do.

Thank you for your input!

I have a scheduled caesarean clause in my contract that states that if within two weeks of the due date a section is decided on they may cancel my services with no final payment, only non refundable deposit payed. I do however offer to attend, accompany in surgery, or wait in recover to assist with breastfeeding and adjustment the first hours after birth. I also offer an additional postpartum visit at no further charge. The full fee is then payable. Maybe you could offer postpartum care? Considering her recovery period this would most likely be welcomed.

i think that the answers before mine are great.  i wanted to add that there is a fantastic post on the Navelgazing Midwife's blog about doula-ing for cesareans, in case you want to read.




I am assuming that she was your client for a few months before the birth? You put your time, energy, efforts and knowledge into helping this woman. As far as how much to charge her,  I have never personally had this happen (yet) but in my contract I state the following: 


"Please note, that canceling my services prior to delivery or scheduling a c-section does not nullify this contract.  If you choose not to have me attend your scheduled c-section, or your physician does not allow me to attend, you will not be refunded the deposit , however you will not be charged the remaining $300.00. If you have a c-section after receiving labor support, the remaining balance will be due."


Hope this helps a little.






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