Next week, the International Cesarean Awareness Network will hold their bi-annual conference. It will be held in St. Louis, April 8-10.
Leaders in the childbirth field such Dr. Geoge Macones, Henci Goer, Pam England, Dr. Poppy Daniels, Gail Tully, Geraldine Simkins, Dr. Emmanuel "Mike" Vlastos, and others will be speaking at the conference. An agenda for the conference can be found here.
Here is a quote from an article about the conference:
"I think we've seen the bottom of the pendulum with the VBAC rate, and it will swing the other way," said Dr. George Macones, an expert in the safety of a vaginal birth after Caesarean.Color me a little dubious since nothing has changed much in my area......but from his mouth to God's ears! Since about a third of hospitals and about half of physicans currently do not offer VBACs, it's about time for the pendulum to swing back.
If you have not heard of ICAN before, here is some more information about the organization:
The International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc. (ICAN) is a nonprofit organization that was founded by Esther Booth Zorn in 1982.
ICAN’s Mission Statement
To improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC).
ICAN’s Vision Statement
A healthy reduction of the cesarean rate driven by women making evidence-based, risk appropriate childbirth decisions.
ICAN’s Statement of Beliefs
We, the International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc., believe that:
- The inappropriate over use of cesarean surgery is jeopardizing the lives of mothers and babies.
- When a cesarean is necessary, it can be a lifesaving technique for both mother and baby, and worth the risks involved.
- Birth is a normal physiological process. Research shows that with emotional support, education, and an honest opportunity, the vast majority of women can have a healthy vaginal birth.
- A healthy birth incorporates emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.
- Research shows that VBAC is reasonable and safe for both mother and baby. A repeat cesarean should never be considered routine– it is major abdominal surgery with many risks.
- It is unethical and unenforceable for hospitals to institute VBAC bans. Women have the right to refuse any procedure, including a cesarean.
- Women have the right to true informed consent and refusal, which entails full knowledge of the risks and benefits of all tests, drugs, and procedures.
- It is incumbent upon every care provider and institution to facilitate the informed consent process.
- Women must be allowed to express all their birth related feelings in a safe and supportive environment. The emotions of a pregnant and birthing woman have profound effects on the birth outcome and recovery.
- It is unethical for a physician to recommend and/or perform non-medically indicated cesareans (elective). Women are not being fully informed of the risks of this option in childbirth, and therefore make decisions based on cultural myth and fear surrounding childbirth.
- The trend of “elective cesareans” is being significantly overstated through distortion of research and data.
- We as women must now assume more responsibility for our own births.
- It is critical that women’s choice of care provider and location of birth is respected.