Posts Tagged ‘cesarean’

I was so pleased to read today that the State of Washington is taking away any financial incentive for medical providers who do Cesarean surgeries covered by Medicaid. Almost half the births in Washington are covered by Medicaid and paid for by taxpayers dollars. Now, doctors and hospitals will receive the same payment for an uncomplicated Cesarean surgery as they would for a complicated vaginal birth.

To read a wonderful analysis of the new legislation, check out Carolyn McConnell’s article in CrossCut: Take away the incentives for too many c-sections doctor-money

Maybe the State of Washington can lead the way in reducing the rate of Cesarean sections, saving more than 10,000 women a year from undergoing unnecessary surgical births and supporting the availibility of VBACs in our hospitals, and dare I say, even our birth centers too! While we are at it, let’s make midwifery care available to all low risk women, and send our high risk mamas to the OBs! But hey, that’s a post for another day! A girl can dream, can’t she???


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Birth Matters Virginia announces the winners of their recent video contest, and first place goes to “Prevent Cesarean Surgery,” chosen from more than 40 outstanding video submissions! Ragan Cohen from California submitted this stunning production that is at times hard to watch, but contains a very important message! birthmatters-virginia1With the United States approaching a 32% cesarean rate, highest C/S rate ever, and some hospitals (in Florida) with stats that indicate 70% of their babies are born by cesarean, women need to stand up, educate themselves, and be an educated consumer of their maternity care! Enough is enough! Women take back your births! Thank you Ragan for this great effort at turning the tide! And thanks to all the people who submitted videos for the contest, I have enjoyed watching most of them! What a resource for all of us!

All of the submissions are worth watching, particularly those that took top honors! Watch, learn and share with those who are finding their way in our rocky maternity system! Do what you can to help more women achieve their birth right and birth their babies free from routine interventions and unnecessary surgeries. Support our midwives who are doing what they can to support normal birth! We can make a difference, one birth at a time.

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Another stellar post by The Well-Rounded Mama! A History of VBACs and Cesareans in the USA

ribbon-no-text-full2How this mama finds the time to put all this together and shares her information so freely simply amazes me. I encourage you all to read this well written post, and follow the her links, and you will be amazed at the total lack of evidence based medical practices being applied to women who have birthed by Cesarean and are seeking a different journey this time! Thank you Well-Rounded Mama, for being so well-rounded!

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The Power of a Word!

I read an absolutely fantastic post from one of my favorite bloggers, and I believe she has hit the nail right on the head! The loss of VBAC options for women changed significantly in 1999 when ACOG issued a new guideline stating that a surgeon and anesthesiologist both needed to be IMMEDIATELY available in hospital, if a woman was to “safely” VBAC. Since then, our options are shrinking, hospitals are banning VBACs with increasing frequency, OB practices are refusing to accept VBAC patients and women are being herded down a one-way street, with tall barriers on both sides, right into the OR for their scheduled repeat cesarean.

I encourage you to hustle over right now to The Well-Rounded Mama and read this post. I could not have said it better myself! Thank you Well-Rounded Mama, for being so thorough!

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VBAC Bans across the USA

As a follow up to yesterday’s post on the TIME magazine article The Trouble with Repeat Cesareans, here is a link to the data collected from ICAN on VBAC bans across the country.

ICAN’s 2009 Survey on VBAC Bans

I noticed that one of our local hospitals contained incorrect data (Swedish Medical Center stated allowed, but there are two campuses, and VBACs are not allowed at Ballard) and have emailed ICAN, who will be making the correction shortly.

And, should you be denied a VBAC at your hospital of choice, here is some more information about what you can do!

What to do if you are denied a VBAC chance

Thanks to Birth Activist blogger Robin Weiss, for these two links!

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Time Magazine came out with a great article “The Trouble With Repeat Cesareans” today online, and this is scheduled to be available in the newsstand issue tomorrow! (Does anyone buy magazines anymore???)

The International Cesarean Awareness Network helped greatly with this article, providing data on VBAC bans state by state, and I was shocked at the numbers for WA state: Out of 69 hospitals, 27 banned VBACs totally, and there are 13 “de facto” bans, where there is no outright policy against them, but just try to find a provider willing to work with VBAC’ing women! Ouch!
As a co-leader of ICAN Seattle, I speak with, meet and hear the stories of women every day, who can’t find a provider willing to support her VBAC birth. Really support! Not like, “Well, you can try, but we will schedule your repeat Cesarean for 40 weeks if you haven’t had your baby yet! Courageous women are making choices beyond what any woman should have to do, in order to birth a baby out her vagina after a Cesarean! There are local women choosing to bring in traveling midwives to attend them, Women going to a different state to have their VBAC baby, and a few wonderul WA midwives who believe in choice and safe birth, willing to work with VBAC women to have a home birth, with very little community support from hospital based providers!

And, as the number of Cesareans go up every year, the number of women who want to have a VBAC will only grow. And unfortunately, I fear the choices will become increasingly limited.

Now, I am all for Cesareans when necessary, but honestly, can almost a third of the women in the US not birth a baby vaginally???? The World Health Organization (WHO) states that a Cesarean rate in developed countries of 10-15% rreflects surgery when truly necessary, and anything higher is actually doing more harm than good. More harm to moms and more harm to babies!

Go read the TIME article and let me know what you think. Or tell me about your own VBAC journey here! And if you need help finding resources, selecting a provider, or want to connect with other women with similar experiences, find your local ICAN chapter from the ICAN link above! Click here for Seattle ICAN Chapter info. Finally, as a doula, I love supporting VBACing women and I teach a VBAC class in Seattle for women looking to birth their next baby vaginally! More info on this at my website New Moon Birth

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I just returned from helping a wonderful couple welcome their little girl into the world! This baby had remained stubbornly frank breech since about 35 weeks, despite every attempt to turn her. Mom even tried an external version, along with all the acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, positioning, hot/cold, talking, bright lights, music, slant board, and visualization anyone could dish out!

And the little girl did not want to turn. The originally planned homebirth became a cesarean in the hospital. So different then the parents imagined. Mom had such grace and confidence as she slowly came to terms with the surgical birth. They wrote a birth plan to honor the things that were still important to them. Selected a facility and surgical team who were respectful and sensitive. Played their own music in the OR, walked into the operating suite, delayed newborn weighing, got skin to skin while on the surgery table, took lots of pictures, and remained skin to skin for hours after surgery back in the room. The little girl was healthy and happy and snuggled up at her mama’s breast when I left.

Yet, I can’t help but wonder? Isn’t breech just another variation of normal? Why are providers not being taught the skills to assist at a breech birth? (“Hands off the breech” being the first one!) Every breech birth puts the mom on the path to navigating the VBAC journey in the future, and choices around VBACs are getting slimmer and slimmer, at least in my community.

Why is breech birth considered safe and the standard of care in many communities and in others, it means automatic surgery? How can that be evidence based medicine?

Here is one of my favorite resources for breech birth, The Coalition for Breech Birth! Check them out!

And welcome earthside baby girl, you are loved, no matter how you arrived!

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