VBAC Facts class

By Lisa Keyser, ICAN of Northern Virginia Co-leader in waiting
 
On Sunday, February 23, ICAN of Northern Virginia co-leaders Jen Whitaker and I were grateful to be able to attend a VBAC Facts Workshop with Jen Kamel, founder of VBACFacts.com. The class, called "Truth About VBAC: History, Politics & Stats," took place in Reston VA and was sponsored by Monica Maruesceac of NoVA Birth Network. We were joined by local childbirth advocates, doulas, midwives, nurses, and expectant moms (plus one dad!).

Study Shows Home Birth Lowers Cesarean Risk

A landmark study published June 18 in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) shows planned home births with Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) result in significantly lower cesarean rates than planned hospital births.

The 2000 study by a Canadian epidemiologist and a CPM tracked more than 5,000 pregnant women in the United States and Canada planning home birth. The result was a 3.7 percent cesarean rate among all mothers and a 1.7 percent cesarean rate among women who previously gave birth vaginally.

(Read the rest of the
Press Release)

ICAN in USA Today

ICAN's President, Tonya Jamois, is quoted in a front page USA Today article "Battle Lines Drawn Over C-Sections"

Cesareans At An All-Time High

The CDC has reported:

  • The Cesarean Rate for 2004 is 29.1%
  • The Rate is up from 27.6% in 2003
  • US Cesareans have risen 40% since 1996
  • VBAC Rate fell to 9.2%
  • Since 1996, the VBAC rate in the US has plummeted 67%

Read ICAN's Press Release - "Coerced Cesarean Surgeries Feed Growing Nationwide Rate; CDC Reports Highest Ever Cesarean Rate, Loss of VBAC Contributes"

Read CDC Report

Rising Cesarean Rates Bad for Mothers and Babies

As the number of cesarean sections in the U.S. continues to mount, so does the research showing that mothers and babies may be paying a high price for this surgery. Research published just in the last year has highlighted the short-term and long-term risks of undergoing a cesarean, for both mother and baby. Other research has called into question the assumed safety advantage of cesarean section over vaginal birth in various situations including vaginal birth after multiple cesareans and breech deliveries. Everything we know and continue to learn about cesareans supports more judicious use of the surgery, says Tonya Jamois but it is clear that the procedure is being overused. Major pieces of research released in 2006 showed that women who undergo cesareans versus women experiencing a vaginal birth have a higher risk of dying in childbirth, have a higher chance of suffering from potentially fatal placental problems in subsequent pregnancies, and their babies have a higher chance of being injured during surgery. The list of 15 studies that ICAN collected also shows that vaginal birth after cesarean, including multiple cesareans, continues to be a reasonably safe birthing choice for mothers.

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