Cesarean Awareness Alerts

I just received my weekly “cesarean awareness” google alert.  I find it interesting what is included and what isn’t.  I blogged about Cesarean Awareness Month posts I found and found additional ones here.  Some of these are not mentioned in the alert copied here below.  Also, I find it interesting that my posts didn’t show up in the blog alert but did in the web alert.  HuH!

April is Cesarean Awareness Month
By timothydeanmills.com(timothydeanmills.com)
In the United States in 2006, 31.1% of babies were born by cesarean section–a 50% increase since 1996. In Georgia, that number was 31.3%. The World Health Organization recommends a maximum c-section rate of 10-15%.  Tim’s weblog – http://timothydeanmills.blogspot.com/

International Cesarean Awareness Month
By Kathy
April is International Cesarean Awareness Month. Please check out my C-section posts by clicking on that category. In addition, here are some other C-section related links. The International Cesarean Awareness Network Pushed Birth …
Woman to Woman Childbirth Education – http://womantowomancbe.wordpress.com

Cesarean Awareness Month!
By doula_char(doula_char)
April is Cesarean Awareness Month What is Cesarean Awareness Month? An internationally recognized month of awareness about the impact of cesarean sections on mothers, babies, and families worldwide. It’s about educating yourself to the …
whatzadoulado – http://whatzadoulado.blogspot.com/

April is Cesarean Awareness Month
… and let them guide you and help you, is it up to you to ask the right questions, is it up to you to make sure you get the right answers… Here is the website to learn more about ICAN, and Cesarean-Awareness-Month …
Boriquita’s WebSite – http://boriquita.multiply.com/

April is Cesarean Awareness Month
By Boriquita(Boriquita)
I wish I knew half of what I know now for my first birth. I guess I can use this information now for this birth and any other experience in the future… I have learned that I must take responsibility for my learning, not one person in …
Boriquita Comments – http://boriquita99.blogspot.com/

Google Web Alert for: “cesarean awareness”

National Cesarean Awareness Month – Topix
April is National Cesarean Awareness Month! Over 50% of the C-Sections taking place in this country TODAY are deemed unnecessary by the World Health …

International Cesarean Awareness Month — Blogs, Pictures, and more …
James KG wrote 2 days ago : Cesarean Awareness Month (CAM) is an internationally recognized awareness month which sheds light on the impact of cesarean …

April is Cesarean Awareness Month – Associated Content
Check out April is Cesarean Awareness Month – Submitted by WD at Associated Content.

KentuckianaMoms :: View topic – April is Cesarean awareness month
April is Cesarean Awareness Month! 1 in 3 Louisville women gives birth surgically, and the number is rising every year. Join us Monday, April 7 to learn …

Cesarean Awareness Month — Blogs, Pictures, and more on WordPress
James KG wrote 2 days ago : Cesarean Awareness Month (CAM) is an internationally recognized awareness month which sheds light on the impact of cesarean …

I wish I understood how all of this web aggregator stuff worked . . .

Cesarean Birth Plan

Scheduled cesarean birth has been one topic that has surfaced in many different ways on the ICAN list.  It is important to acknowledge and support our Sisters who will – for one reason or another – decide to schedule a repeat cesarean, so I decided to dig around on the internet.  I conducted a simple google search [cesarean “birth plan”] and immediately was directed to some interesting resources.

Cesareanbirth.com:

Most expectant mothers assume that having a Caesarean Section means that a birth plan isn´t necessary. However, creating a birth plan can ensure that the mother experiences the birth that she wants! Here are some things to consider for a planned Caesarean birth plan:

Would you like for your partner to cut the cord?

Would you like to have a free hand to touch the baby?

Would you like to watch the birth?

Who do you want present in the OR?

Would you like any sedatives or medications before the operation begins?

Would you prefer an Epidural or a Spinal?

How soon would you want to begin breastfeeding?

Do you want the hospital to bathe your baby immediately or would you rather do it later?

Furthermore, this site suggests that women who plan to schedule a cesarean should meet with the careproviders who will likely be involved – including an anesthesiologist.  I second that recommendation especially if you have strong feelings about how you would be medicated during the surgery.

ICAN White Papers:

The ICAN White Papers are continually being reviewed and revised so that they can present the most accurate and current information.  So know that the content and links are subject to change.  Here’s the link to the Family Centered Cesarean information.

Caesarean.org.uk:

This contains a good list of ideas for having a positive cesarean birth experience.  Included are many things I wouldn’t have otherwise thought of such as “[y]ou can ask for the lights to be dimmed for a couple of minutes at the moment of birth. Babies are born with their eyes open so if the lights are dimmed and there is silence, yours can be the first face that comes into view and yours the first voice your baby hears.”

A blogger’s cesarean birth plan:

You might look at this or other similar blog posts for ideas on how to frame your birth plan.

Other Resources

Updated: 10/23/08

2006 Cesarean Statistics Released – it ain’t good

Today I was informed that the CDC released preliminary vital statistics for 2006 which includes state-by-state cesarean birth information.  Here in Montana the 2006 cesarean rate was 28%, earning us a rank of number 37 (of 51).  The national cesarean rate was 31.1%, an all-time high.  Although Montana was 3 percentage points below the national average, the rate still exceeded World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations by 13-18%!  The WHO determined that when cesarean rates exceed 10-15%, the risks of the surgery outweigh the benefits.  It is my understanding from a recent discussion with a hospital administrator that Community Hospital’s (Missoula) cesarean rate exceeded 30% in 2006.  Missoula’s cesarean rate is headed in the wrong direction. 

As a woman with one cesarean scar, these statistics are frightening.  Is cesarean birth becoming “normal” birth?  If one out of three babies is born through major abdominal surgery, then yes, I’d say the norm is swinging that direction.  You need to know that the percentage of birth by cesarean has risen 50% in the past decade.  This is straight from the horse’s mouth!  You also need to know that Montana’s VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) rate in 2005 was only 1%. 

For the second year in a row, ICAN has compiled a list of research from the past year that shows cesarean surgery should be used more judiciously and that VBACs should be routine/normal.  Currently, more than 300 hospitals across the U.S. ban women from having a VBAC, essentially coercing them into unnecessary surgery and feeding the growing rate of cesarean.  Very few Montana women have access to vaginal births after cesarean sections.  Only a handful of hospitals across the state allow VBACs – one of those hospitals is Community Hospital in Missoula

In August, the Centers for Disease Control released a report showing that, for the first time in decades, the number of women dying in childbirth has increased.  Experts note that the increase may be due to better reporting of deaths but that it coincides with dramatically increased use of cesarean.  The latest national data on infant mortality rates in the United States also show an increase in 2005 and no improvement since 2000.  “At a time when maternal and infant mortality rates are decreasing throughout the industrialized world, the United States is in the unique position of having both a rapidly increasing cesarean rate and no improvement in these basic measures of maternal and infant health.” says Eugene Declercq, Ph.D., Professor of Maternal and Child Health at Boston University School of Public Health.

Another report released in October by the World Health Organization, the United Nations Population Fund, the U.N. Children’s Fund, the U.N. Population Division and The World Bank, and published in the Lancet shows that the U.S. has a higher maternal death rate than 40 other countries.  “Women in the U.S. think they’re getting top notch care, but our death rate for mothers shows otherwise,” says ICAN’s President, Pamela Udy.  The U.S.’s maternal death rate tied with that of Belarus, and narrowly beat out Bosnia and Herzogovena.

Research from 2007 also shows that VBAC continues to be a reasonably safe birthing choice for mothers. “The research continues to reinforce that cesareans should only be used when there is a true threat to the mother or baby,” said Udy. “Casual use of surgery on otherwise healthy women and babies can mean short-term and long-term problems.” For women who encounter VBAC bans, ICAN has developed a guide to help them understand their rights as patients. The resource discusses the principles of informed consent and the right of every patient to refuse an unwanted medical procedure. Click here for a pdf copy of this important resource.

Women who are seeking information about how to avoid a cesarean, have a VBAC, or are recovering from a cesarean can visit www.ican-online.org for more information, to find a local chapter, and to receive support.

About Cesareans: ICAN recognizes that when a cesarean is medically necessary, it can be a lifesaving technique for both mother and baby, and worth the risks involved. Potential risks to babies include: low birth weight, prematurity, respiratory problems, and lacerations. Potential risks to women include: hemorrhage, infection, hysterectomy, surgical mistakes, re-hospitalization, dangerous placental abnormalities in future pregnancies, unexplained stillbirth in future pregnancies and increased percentage of maternal death. http://www.ican-online.org/resources/white_papers/index.html Mission statement: ICAN is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery and promoting vaginal birth after cesarean. There are 94 ICAN Chapters across North America, which hold educational and support meetings for people interested in cesarean prevention and recovery.