April is Cesarean Awareness Month! Resources for You and Your Classes

April is Cesarean Awareness Month (CAM) and that presents a wonderful opportunity to share resources for cesarean prevention and recovery as well as Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC) support.

I am a co-leader of the Seattle chapter of the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) and teach classes in Seattle on both VBAC and Cesarean birth. (I call them VBAC YOUR Way and Cesarean YOUR Way)  I thought I might share my favorite resources on this topic and ask you to share with readers what you prefer to share with your students, patients and clients on this topic.

ACOG Committee Opinion on Cesarean Delivery on Maternal Request

ACOG Practice Bulletin on Vaginal Birth after Cesarean Delivery

Birthing Beautiful Ideas; VBAC Scare Tactics – Kristen Oganowski has a great series on scare tactics that women hoping to VBAC might face.  Good balance of heart and science.

Birthing Normally after A Cesarean or Two – Science & Sensibility three part interview with author and childbirth researcher Hélène Vadeboncoeur, done by Kimmelin Hull, former Science & Sensibility Community Manager

Cesareanrates.com - organized by Jill Arnold (of The Unnecessarean), provides a comprehensive breakdown of cesarean rates by state and hospital for the USA.

Childbirth Connection – Vaginal Birth or Repeat C Section: What You Need to Know

Evidence Based Birth – Rebecca Dekker is a Science & Sensibility contributor and writes a great fact based blog.  She frequently writes on the topic of cesareans.

Giving Birth With Confidence’s A Woman’s Guide to VBAC: Navigating the NIH VBAC Recommendations - Lamaze International’s parent blog hosts this wonderful resource written by Amy Romano and Kristen Oganowski

International Cesarean Awareness Network – international organization that works to prevent unneeded cesareans, promote cesarean recover and help women striving for a VBAC. Offers both online support as well as local chapter meetings.

A Natural Cesarean – A Woman Centered Technique. This video demonstrates and discusses ways that health care providers can make the cesarean more mother-baby centric, offering techniques that provide a great degree of satisfaction to the birthing woman.

NIH VBAC Consensus Statement – In 2010,  the National Institute of Health, a US government agency convened experts on VBAC and Cesareans and took testimony and heard discussions about best practice.  They summarized the results of this groundbreaking forum in this document.

The Truth about Cesareans – by Eugene Declercq.  Short 6 minute video on why the cesarean rate might be so high.


VBACFacts.com – A blog run by Jen Kamel, this website is a wealth of information and analysis on current studies and data as it relates to cesareans and VBAC birth.  Jen also runs a fabulous VBAC webinar that is available online.

The Well-Rounded Mama – blog run by occasional Science & Sensibility contributor Pamela Vireday, provides frequent information on VBACs, cesareans and large sized women, but the insight is valuable for all.

I am also aware of a free webinar, for birth professionals and providers as well as parents, “Family Centered Cesarean Birth” that you may want to consider signing up for.  Click here for more information. The webinar is presented live on Thursday, April 11th and then available after the presentation to watch as a recording.

What are your favorite go to resources to share with expectant parents?  Do you have a particular film clip that you like to show?  A book recommendation?  Do you have an effective method of presenting information on Cesareans and VBACs in your classes and with your clients and patients.  Let’s have a discussion in the comments section.  I welcome your thoughts.



ACOG, Cesarean Birth, Childbirth Education, Evidence Based Medicine, Maternal Quality Improvement, Maternity Care, Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) , , , , , , ,

  1. April 4th, 2013 at 17:03 | #1

    You have listed some great resources, but I would like to suggest better options for a couple of them. ACOG’s Committee Opinion is primarily based on a systematic review that underpinned an NIH conference held in 2006 that was thoroughly debunked by Childbirth Connection (http://www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10375). Readers of ACOG’s Opinion will be led to believe, as the Opinion states in its introduction, “[T]he available information comparing the risks and benefits of cesarean delivery on maternal request and planned vaginal does not provide the basis for a recommendation for either mode of delivery.” A better discussion of the issues can be found on the Childbirth Connection website at http://www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ClickedLink=274&ck=10168&area=27. It is backed by a much superior and more recent review of the literature (http://transform.childbirthconnection.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Cesarean-Report.pdf). In marked contrast, the Childbirth Connection review found that the vast majority of outcomes favor or are likely to favor vaginal or planned vaginal birth.

    As for the “natural caesarean” video and its underpinning article, there is a catch: the authors reserve the technique solely for elective cesarean surgery, in other words, cases where there is no indication for surgery at all. In their minds, their technique makes cesarean surgery experientially just like natural vaginal birth thereby removing the only obstacle they perceive to performing them. A better article on planning a positive cesarean experience used to be found on the ICAN website, but while I don’t see it there now, it can still be found at http://ican-online.net/resources/white_papers/wp_familycenteredcesarean.pdf.

    Smith, J., Plaat, F., & Fisk, N. M. (2008). The natural caesarean: a woman-centred technique. BJOG, 115(8), 1037-1042; discussion 1042. doi: BJO1777 [pii]

  1. April 9th, 2013 at 02:35 | #1
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