Too often these days, we, as women, skip the "cesarean birth" section of our childbirth education class or book, thinking that it won't happen to us. We do not discuss c-section rates with our doctors, nor do we discuss the things that might lead our doctor to suggest a cesarean. We do not even fully understand that some common interventions during our labor may increase our chances of having a cesarean. We believe that if we do end up with a cesarean section, it will have been absolutely necessary. But really, we all assume that it won't happen to us, right?.
In 2010 and 2011, nearly 1/3 (32.8%**) of all births in the United States were by cesarean section. Are you shocked?
Cesarean deliveries have become a routine part of our culture, but women often do not fully realize the repercussions. It is major abdominal surgery, involving a longer recovery time and an increased rate of complications in mothers & newborns. Plus, it affects your next birth, from ease of getting pregnant to ease of finding a care provider who will support your decision for a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). There are instances in which a cesarean is obviously the "right choice" to bring your baby into the world, but too often, we are coerced into a surgical delivery for lesser reasons. Even ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) recognizes the severity of our cesarean epidemic, releasing a 2014 consensus on ways to safely prevent the primary cesarean.
As the Inland Empire Chapter of ICAN, we are here to provide you with evidence-based resources about cesarean birth to help you in reaching the best decision for you, and we are also here to share options on how to make a needed cesarean a positive birth experience. We can let you know what to expect after your surgery, and our chapter moms can help you find a care provider who will support your choices for a VBAC or a family-centered cesarean. We are here just to talk. We are here so other women who have experienced cesarean births can come together.
We are here to support YOU, as a mother. Let us know what you need.
**Evidence collected by the WHO (World Health Organization) shows that best outcomes for women and babies appear to occur with cesarean section rates of 5% to 10%. Rates above 15% seem to do more harm than good (Althabe and Belizan 2006).