In the February 2019 ACOG Community Opinion, ACOG revised a number of their guidelines. Highlighted below are several points that can benefit women seeking an empowered birth.

Doula Support:

"Evidence suggests that, in addition to regular nursing care, continuous one-to-one emotional support provided by support personnel, such as a doula, is associated with improved outcomes for women in labor."

Movement in Labor:

A recent study that found upright positions to include walking, standing, sitting & kneeling can "shorten the duration of the first stage of labor by approximately 1 hour and 22 minutes." 

Family-Centered Cesarean Birth: 

"These family-centric interventions should be provided in recognition of the value of inclusion in the birthing process for many women and their families, irrespective of delivery mode." Such interventions include "low lighting, minimal extraneous noise, positioning woman to best allow access to the neonate after delivery (eg, not securing the upper extremities to arm boards, placing pulse oximetry probes on nondominant hands or on toes rather than fingers), allowing women and their partners to view the birth (by lowering the drapes or using drapes with specifically designed viewing windows), slowed delivery of the neonate through the hysterotomy to allow ...delayed umbilical cord clamping and skin to skin contact."  One U.S. academic medical facility found that women who had family friendly cesareans had an increase of skin to skin and noted the increase in exclusive breastfeeeding rates (from 35% to 64%).

About ICAN

The International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc. (ICAN) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by reducing preventable cesareans through education, supporting cesarean recovery, and advocating for vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). Learn More About ICAN