Wednesday, February 26, 2014
"Cesarean delivery rates in 19 states reporting to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention averaged 21.9 percent in 2012, the CDC said in a report released Thursday. This represented a return to the rate last recorded for those states in 2006."
Prior to this, cesarean rates had continued to increase every year.
But the reality of this small decrease hits full force in a quote from CDC statistician Michelle Osterman. "Because primary cesareans are starting to decline, the overall cesarean rate will be impacted because there is only a 10 percent chance that a woman who has had a cesarean is going to have a vaginal birth afterward," she said.
Ten percent. That means a full 90% of women who have had a cesarean section go on to have a repeat cesarean for their second birth. What a number. While it is encouraging that first-time cesareans are either stabilizing or declining, we still have a long way to go before cesareans are not an inevitability for a large percentage of women in America.
What do you think of these statistics? Is a 2% decline something to celebrate? How do we decrease repeat cesareans (and convince hospitals that this is the profitable thing to do)? Let us know in the comments.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Taking off our rose-colored glasses
Several years ago Sarah Shannon, former ICAN board member and fellow VBAC mom wrote a blog post about EBAC-Empowered Birth AfterCesarean. It struck me like a lightning bolt. I have always used the term since and feel it is vital in how we speak about TOLAC, or Trial of Labor After Cesarean. VBAC doesn’t always happen, no matter how “right” we do everything. And that should be OK. No, not because it is only important that baby is OK, and us too; that goes without saying. But, because just like in life, it is the all about the journey.
|Nearing the end of a 36 hour labor,|
many hours in this position, rocking.
|My life had changed in many more|
ways than I knew.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Monday, September 9, 2013
Friday, September 6, 2013
Jill (and husband Christian) have two children, both born by cesarean. For the birth of our oldest, our son, we took the more traditional path of having a large obgyn group, taking hospital birth classes, and as many others do, doing more research on what stroller we were going to buy than how we were going to bring our first baby into the world! My water broke at 38+6 and I went to the hospital, where I was administered Pitocin immediately. The Pitocin caused fetal distress, and we were scared into agreeing to a cesarean shortly thereafter. I never really labored at all. What had been a very healthy, easy pregnancy had ended in a dramatic, and scary birth. Our son was allowed to get too cold in the OR, which affected his blood sugar, so he was given sugar water, and sent to the special care nursery.
After we were home, I struggled with what had happened. It never occurred to me that my birth experience would/should matter, and I was upset with myself for being upset, if that makes any sense! I found ICAN several months later when I just wasn’t “getting over it” – I was amazed to find a community of women who felt similarly and had similar experiences and struggles!
Two years later, we had our second child, our daughter. I planned a hospital vbac with her, and had prepared by hiring a doula, taking HypnoBirthing classes, and in general doing a lot of reading and research. We ended up being induced at 41+1 due to a sudden spike in high blood pressure. This time around though, I fully understood my options, was cognizant of the pros and cons of the available interventions, and made educated decisions in regards to them. Ultimately, I had just about all the interventions you could ever want to avoid (foley bulb, AROM, Pitocin, pressure catheter, epidural, and finally a cesarean). But my husband, doula, and caring, supportive providers and hospital staff made our daughter’s birth a positive, healing, and healthy experience. Making the call to return to the OR after a long, 27 hour induced labor (only 3 hours of which I had pain relief for), was tough, and admittedly a little heartbreaking, but it was the right decision for us.
The birth of a child is a monumental, life-altering event in a mother’s life, and too often women’s feelings in regards to their births are belittled and ignored. ICAN provides a valuable service to women in the Twin Cities community. In want ICAN to be a safe place for mothers and mothers-to-be to come and find support, healing, acceptance, encouragement, and education.
Monday, August 26, 2013
My name is Heather Deatrick and I have 3 boys. I found ICAN through my Bradley instructor when I was attempting a VBAC with my 2nd child. I remember thinking at the time I didn’t feel “traumatized” by my c-section, and I was quite sure modern medicine had saved his life, so wasn’t sure why I needed to go. But she kept urging me so I finally went to a meeting. I had no idea how much my life was going to change!My first birth ended in a cesarean after a failed induction for being post-dates. It never occurred to me to question the induction as I still had not entertained the thought that it would not be medically necessary. Now I know that the only reason for the induction was for being 41w3d, not for any fetal distress or condition on my part. I was given Cyctotec without my knowledge, necessitating an epidural, followed by Pitocen, then regular heart decels sending us off to the OR. The Cytotec was given at 7PM, the c-section at noon the next day. I was devastated but grateful he was OK and I lived through he surgery. Thankfully, breastfeeding went OK and I had no complications. I never thought I would have any more children, so when I found myself pregnant 3 years later, I was very excited to try for a VBAC. While I didn’t know a lot about the politics of birth, I DID know I didn’t want another c-section. I also knew my OB had a different agenda when he patted my knee at my 6 week checkup and told me that next time I can just schedule the birth, as though that were a plus. So with this child, I went back to trusting my instincts, and found a midwife and took a comprehensive childbirth education class. It was on my VBAC journey that I not only had to learn so much, but more importantly, I had to UN-learn so much. The biggest thing I found I had to unlearn was that childbirth is a disaster waiting to happen and we need someone to save us. That was a massive indoctrination to unlearn. My VBAC was a success and after a long labor that involved a lot of movement and rocking and moaning and a little yelling, I was able to push my 2nd son out. It was incredibly empowering to do what women have been doing for thousands and thousands of years. I felt honored to be totally present at his birth. I felt strong, making my own decisions, rather than turning my body over to a doctor. My midwife was there for me, and I felt that power. My baby latched immediately and we went home from the hospital the next day. Fast forward 4 more years and I was lucky enough to give birth one more time, in my dining room, into water, with my partner, my kids, my mother, my midwives and my doula. Not everyone should give birth at home, but for me, it was truly the best experience. Going from the tub to bed where I stayed for two weeks nursing my newest son, was perfect, for the whole family. The care we received from our midwives was like none other too. They spent so much time with us, before, during and after the birth that I felt I was truly in the best hands possible. (Both of my VBAC birth stories can be found on the ICAN Twin Cities website)
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Monday, August 5, 2013
Hello and Goodbye!
By Sarah Shannon
When my oldest son was just over two years old, I realized I wasn’t “getting over” his cesarean birth the way that I was “supposed to.” During my pregnancy, I largely ignored everything about c-sections, assuming that that kind of “rare,” “emergency” birth wouldn’t happen to me. But I did remember that someone at some point had given me a sheet with tips on how to avoid a cesarean from some group called ICAN. I decided to Google around and see if this ICAN had anything that could help me.
Lo and behold, a new ICAN chapter was just forming in the Twin Cities. I contacted the new leaders Chandra Fischer and Julie Maas. They invited me to their first meeting in the spring on 2005. At that time, I swore I would never have another child because who needed to go through all of that terrible business again?
Since then, I’ve not only had another child (a healthy, wonderful VBAC at home – read my story here), I also helped give birth to the Twin Cities Birth and Baby Expo. Aside from the personal transformation I experienced by becoming reeducated and empowered as a mother, I’m most proud of and grateful for the experience of helping start and run the Expo through its first four years. I believe that our ICAN chapter has given this great gift to the Twin Cities – that out of our grief and pain from our own difficult birth experiences we’ve brought into our community a new and beautiful way to show other moms and families that medicalized birth is not the only, or even always the best way to give birth. It started off as a far-fetched (ok, I called it crazy) idea, but somehow, we’ve pulled it off every year on a shoestring budget with all volunteers and more businesses and organizations jumping at the chance to participate.
This year will be the Expo’s 5th anniversary. Amazing!
Farewell, Sarah! We will miss you!
So, it’s with a full but heavy heart that I am saying goodbye. My husband and I recently finished our PhDs at the University of Minnesota and have moved our family all the way to Athens, Georgia to be professors at the University of Georgia. I will miss the sacred space of our monthly support meetings, the incredible partnership and camaraderie I’ve had as a member of the Board for the past five years, and the amazing adrenaline rush of planning and pulling off the Expo every year. Thanks to all of you for a great eight years of healing and giving back, but especially thanks to present and former board members Kara Wurden, Heather Deatrick, Jill Vanderziel, Chandra Fischer, and Julie Maas for being such supportive friends and unsurpassable co-conspirators in bringing better birth to Minnesota.
I look forward to seeing what ICAN Twin Cities does next through the new board members that have joined. I feel a little bit better leaving now knowing that fantastic new ideas and energy are already at work!
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Katie Champ has been active in ICAN for awhile now, and brings great energy to the board with her new ideas! We are all anxiously awaiting her VBAC birth of her son any day now!
Alexis Scott is a mama of two, including a VBAC baby! She will be helping with social media, as well as connecting with the Latino community in the Twin Cities.
Kelly Lillibridge is a licensed therapist and active in the social service community. She will be heading up the blog and managing the lending library.
Katie, Alexis and Kelly are joining Heather Deatrick (president), Jill VanderZiel, and Kara Wurden on the Board. The Board is excited to have new members to bring fresh ideas to our organization!
Check back in the next few weeks for more detailed bios of each board member, including birth stories and how we all got involved with ICAN!
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Almost 6 years ago I found ICAN via my childbirth educator, in my attempt to have a VBAC. I had no idea I needed ICAN. After all, my cesarean was quite necessary and all I needed THIS time was a midwife who didn’t want me to schedule a second one. It was truly astounding, to think of the pre-ICAN Heather and the post-ICAN Heather.
It took a couple of meetings at most when suddenly my world shifted, titled, spun a little faster, became wobbly and almost rolled away into oblivion. To find out my cesarean was not only probably not necessary (well, the induction anyway), but more likely instead of saving my baby and me really almost killed us was quite a shock, even to a suspicious liberal feminist type like me. I had NO IDEA. No idea. Medical model vs. Midwifery model. Cytotec. Inductions. Unnecessary c-sections. Homebirths. Doulas. I could go on and on.
So much changed. I learned so much. I wanted to shout it from the roof top. I wanted to call the dean of the Women’s Studies department at my women’s college and let her know what was going on! I wanted to tell every woman I knew--OUR BODIES KNOW HOW TO HAVE A BABY, and birth is not a medical emergency waiting to happen, and I am the one doing this, not a doctor, or a midwife, or a nurse or a doula, but me. And I CAN!!! So ICAN, thank you. You made my life better, for me, my children, my husband and countless others around me.
So what can I do for ICAN? Become a subscriber! For the month of April, the rate is only $25 for individuals and $50 for professionals. Please, let us know what ICAN has done for you, and become a subscriber! Help us keep on doing this life changing and lifesaving work!
Sunday, January 1, 2012
In Louisville, KY:
“I didn’t plan it that way,” Ashbaugh said from her bed at the downtown hospital. “I was paying attention to pushing and getting her out.”
Norton officials could not recall the last time a birth other than a cesarean section delivery took place so close to the start of a new year, spokesman Steve Menaugh said.
In 27 years at the hospital downtown, labor and delivery nurse Lynne Young said Sophia’s arrival was the first she could recall taking place just after midnight.
And even more amazing, a couple refuses a cesarean for their twins in Middletown, CT:
Bredwood delivered twins at 7:39 Sunday morning — a boy and a girl. Technincally, the couple’s newborn son M’ale was first, followed six minutes later by his sister, M’layah.
Aadil did most of the talking during the interview, as Faith was exhausted—the couple agreed to go natural for the births—no epidural or any other painkillers, and no Cesarean section, as doctors recommended.
Congratulations to all new mamas, papas, and babes this New Year! To any women recovering from cesarean, whether planned or not: thoughts of healing and peace to you. We are here if you need us!
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Fairview Southdale: 33%
Fairview University: 32.1%
Fairview Ridges: 31.5%
Maple Grove: 27.6%
St. Francis: 24.0%
North Memorial: 21.6%
St. John's: 20.9%
St. Joseph's: 13%
As these numbers show, only one hospital in the metro area has a cesarean rate that is within the World Health Organization's recommended safe range of 10-15% - St. Joseph's in St. Paul. All other metro hospitals are well above that range.There are no real surprises in the hospitals that rank highest in cesarean births. Abbott, United, and Fairview Southdale have long vied with each other for the top three spots.
Evidence shows that choice of birthplace is a key factor in determining the kind of maternity care you get. These numbers should give you one piece of information to weigh when considering where you would choose to give birth in the metro, which should also shape who you choose as a care provider. For more information on choosing a birthplace, see ICAN's excellent white paper on the topic.
Also important to consider is whether or not the hospital(s) in your area support VBAC. Go to our local chapter's website for information on hospital VBAC policies in Minnesota.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
It always makes my day when I run across a Birth Warrior in an unexpected environment. This one came via my son’s preschool teacher. I love amazing birth stories, and then VBAC birth stories are really fun to hear, but TWIN VBA2C? And she didn’t go through ICAN? I was beside myself.
I will share the link to her blog at the end of this post, but want to say that what I find amazing about us women is we all come in different shapes and sizes and wear different armor. Meaning this is one of those women who just did it, she just did it! She wanted it and it happened. There are women like that, and there are women like me who share and talk and preach and then put up photos and would even post a video. There are those who are so quiet, and those that are loud. Those that do it all alone, and those that are surrounded by people. What matters is that we do it the way we feel the safest and most supported, no matter where that is, and who is there. And that everyone around us believes in us.
This is how it should be here in the US. It isn’t though, without alot of fighting, demanding and preparing. In the meantime, we will keep working, and of course women will keep having babies.
So enjoy this birth story-and if you are a mama out there wanting a VBAC, or vaginal birth of twins or a breech baby, or don't want to end in cesarean unless truly necessary, it can happen!
Jessica's amazing birth story:
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Birth story of Gregory Patrick
Thank you ICAN and my ICAN sisters Sarah, Kara and Chandra, midwives Emme and Clare, apprentice Janine, doula Veronica, Mom, DH Greg, kids Earl and William, and of course Gregory Patrick.
I am truly blessed.