Increasing your opportunity for a vaginal birth in a cesarean stricken culture.
Today the cesarean rate is an alarming 31.8% (CDC 2007 preliminary data). Only a maximum of 15% of birthing women should be having cesarean deliveries in order to keep mortality (death) and morbidity (poor outcomes) to the healthiest levels according to the World Health Organization. With the staggering discrepancy in what should be and what is, you NEED to care about this topic. You could have a questionable cesarean like so many others.
It is important that you the childbearing woman understand how to have the healthiest birth for you and your baby which is most often a no-to-low intervention vaginal birth.
When a cesarean occurs for a truly medical and/or life saving reason it is necessary and the benefits far outweigh the consequences for mom and baby. The cesareans that occur for other than truly medical and/or life saving reasons are often not necessary or became necessary due to external influence that skewed the labor and delivery outcome (routine induction, epidural, impatience by provider, mal-position of baby, staying in bed during labor, routine continuous monitoring, pushing in one position, lack of food and water during labor, routine augmentation of labor, lack of support, etc.)
Below is a list of ways to promote having a vaginal birth even if you have already had a baby this information needs to be known.
- Take the ICAN webinar on cesarean prevention.
- Interview before choosing your care provider – you are doing the hiring! Know his or her statistics. If you do not get a clear answer, that is a RED flag. You need individualized care. ou and your baby deserve no less.
- Interview both midwives and OB’s.
- Research your chosen birth location well. There are other options outside of the hospital – home and birth center.
- Hire a doula who shares your philosophy and is comfortable with the type of birth you desire. Some searchable places for a doula are: www.cappa.net, www.dona.org, and www.alldoulas.com.
- Without medical reason standing in the way, labor at home into active labor if traveling to a hospital or birth center. Well established labor upon arrival to the hospital or birth center decreases the opportunity for interventions, medications, and cesareans.
- Get educated! Take a childbirth class that promotes confidence, consumer awareness (knowing rights and responsibilities), and evidence-based practices. A “good patient” class is not what you want to take. READ books that share positive stories and good information. A few of the searchable sites are: www.cappa.net, www.independentchildbirth.com, www.lamaze.org, and www.ican-online.org.
- Turn off your TV – stop watching the dramatic birth shows. They are not real.
- Use mobility in labor.
- Drink and snack in labor.
- Say NO to routine interventions – meaning interventions or medications without a true medical reason. These can include, IV with fluid running, artificial rupture of membranes, continuous monitoring, wearing of hospital gown, and vaginal exams.
- Say no the the epidural completely or at the earliest at 6 cm’s dilated.
- Push and deliver in positions other than the reclined or “C” position unless that feels good and baby is coming well that way.
- Only have those around you who will support what you need and desire in labor and birth. When you close your eyes who is there with you in your labor “cave”? Who doesn’t fit well there?
- Study yourself for what comforts, assures, and adds to your feeling of safety.
- Eat healthy and exercise during pregnancy.
- Read What Every Woman Needs to Know About Cesarean Section – http://www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10164
- For more information on Cesarean recovery and support, VBAC education and support, and Cesarean prevention go to www.ican-online.org.
- Bottom line – take your money and walk if you are not being listened to and treated as a partner in your care.