April was cesarian awareness month, we have had the privilege of holding many hands while preparing for a planned cesarian section (c-section) due to medical reasons as well as the hands we held while our client is being whisked into an unplanned c-section. What we want to point out is that your birth story is still as special and deserves all the respect and support.
First, we wanted to take this time to highlight an organization that makes it their everyday mission (not only during the month of April) to support moms that have had to undergo abdominal surgery in order to bring their little one’s Earth side. ICAN which stands for International Cesarian Awareness Network is a non-profit organization that “aims to improve maternal-child health by reducing preventable cesareans through providing education, supporting cesarian recovery, and advocating for vaginal birth after cesarean”. You can find a local ICAN chapter and access their resources and support groups via their website. I always remind my clients that are planning a vaginal birth after cesarian (VBAC) to join the ICAN group on Facebook, ICAN has created a great space of information and peer support to aid in preparation for your upcoming VBAC or to just support other Moms when you yourself have been through a c-section in the past.
Pregnancy and childbirth is possibly one of the most life altering events one can experience, when we include the added stressor of surgery you requires all the support, and kindness from your community. We urge you to recognize that there is no right way to deliver your baby and that having to undergo a cesarian doesn’t mean you did not deliver your baby, you sure did. Additionally we encourage that you to educate yourself about the facility in which you plan to deliver, for example; what the hospital’s cesarian section rate is? and what their standard cesarian protocol is? (i.e.can it be a gentle cesarian? how many people can enter in the operating room with you? how long are you in recovery?). As your doula we discuss the possibility of a cesarian during our prenatal meetings, because it is never a bad idea to have additional information or knowledge on all possibilities/outcomes of a birth. We often research the local hospital facilities cesarian stats and we are happy to share those with you upon request, should we have them available.
To all the families that have included us in your cesarean delivery and postpartum recovery, we thank you all with-