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Volume 38 ~*~ 15 June 2007

Read this issue in the Archives
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In The News
  • No Hail Caesarean

    "Women who do want VBAC are told they're being irresponsible and
    gambling with the lives of their babies," said Berna Diehl,
    spokeswoman for the International Caesarean Awareness Network (ICAN),
    a nonprofit that works to cut back unnecessary C-sections. "So they're
    shamed into a repeat Caesarean, which is too bad when you consider the
    overall safety [for a VBAC] is there. They're not always getting the
    full picture when they walk into a doctor's office to make a good,
    evidence-based decision."

  • Cesarean for a quick buck?

    In many parts of urban India, women having cesarean section deliveries seems to be the norm and those having normal deliveries almost seem to be an exception. But are the women aware of the risks?

  • The Business Of Being Born

    Producer Ricki Lake says, "I wanted to make this movie after my two very different birth experiences with my children. I felt like I had an opportunity to explore and question birthing practices in this country and perhaps be an advocate for mothers' rights and better maternity care."

  • Caesarean link to placenta risk

    Women who have their first child by caesarean are more likely to have placenta-related problems in their second pregnancy, research suggests.

In The Research

From the Women of ICAN

Healing the Trauma: Entering Motherhood with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Featured in Midwifery Today, this article is by ICAN's own Jennifer Jamison Griebenow.

Teresa's Road to VBA3C

Many of us have been profoundly moved by Teresa's video, but Gloria Lemay's comments say it best:

"Holy cow, Teresa, I think that's the most inspiring, uplifting, affirming, completely over the top joyous, birth story I have ever seen! THANK YOU, thank you, thank you for sharing in pictures your incredible human heart and courage. I'm keeping that montage in a special folder and will share it with every VBAC woman I meet."

Post of the Month from the ICAN
comes to us from Dawn R. Dawn tells a tale of elective cesarean, from a lawyer's perspective.


I am a lawyer who went to a top ten law school and then to a top tier firm. I used to be very mainstream in my views. I thought women who chose to give birth at home were reckless. When I got pregnant and was given the option of having a c-section, I readily
agreed. I never went into labor and my c-section went flawlessly. I researched it, so I
expected that my arms would be tied down, that I would likely shake from the anesthesia,
and that I would not be able to hold my baby. That was ok, because I was ready for it. I
handled the drugs well and, as a result, actually remember the first 24 hours. My recovery
was uncomplicated.

My daughter, however, got the worst of it -- which isn't even really that bad considering
other stories I've heard. She was so sleepy and zoned out from the drugs that we had to
put ice on her bare skin to wake her up enough to feed. She developed jaundice as a
result of not eating enough. Because she couldn't feed properly (because she was so
drugged), my milk never came in properly -- which was a problem since it turned out she
was allergic to all of the formulas they had. Given her allergies, breast milk would have
really helped. She kept losing weight. She was diagnosed with failure to thrive. It was a
very scary time, because we thought she might die.

On a long term basis, because she never came through the birth canal, her gut didn't get
colonized with the right bacteria. That translates into the gut and immune system
dysfunction she has today and the medicine that we give our 3.5 year old 5 to 6 times a
day. She is also on a severely restricted diet -- no wheat/gluten, dairy/casein, soy, citrus,
etc. Bacteriologists say that the first germs that the baby is exposed to will set the tone
for the baby's life. Those germs really need to come from the vagina.

The c-section went well for me, personally. I was very, very lucky as you will see from
other stories you read. It did NOT go well for my daughter. I am now pregnant with a
second child and plan to do all I can to deliver vaginally. A c-section still seems like an
easy choice sometimes. Indeed, if I were giving birth to a tumor, not a baby, I might be
inclined to do it, in spite of the crazy risks. But I will not put this baby at risk.

I'm a litigator and I love evidence. Crazily enough, the evidence is strongly in favor of
vaginal birth. I believe that the cavalier attitude of OBs toward this major surgery is a
result of a combination of factors (preference for control, fear of malpractice, higher
payment, surgery is more "fun," lack of education on natural birth as opposed to how to
manage an impending crisis, etc.). But carefully look at the evidence first, before you
make up your mind. The evidence really does speak for itself and I'll let someone else who
is better versed in the evidence point you in the right direction.

Get Active

ICAN Mommychats

Chat with a board member of ICAN. Come and learn of trends in cesarean and VBAC and find out how you can get the birth you want. In the "Pregnancy_Birth" chat room.

Birth World Congress

September 27 to 30, 2007
Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.
Barbara Harper, Waterbirth International, is putting together an
international conference that is sure to inspire and educate (go to the
link above for full information and list of speakers). Mark your
calendars now! Early bird discount registration until May. I hope to
see you there. Gloria Lemay, Vancouver

Online Good for ICAN

  • GoodSearch
    Send the link to all your friends & relatives!

  • Remember to do all your Amazon shopping through the banner at the bottom
    of ICAN's site

    (You may have to turn off ad-blocking and reload the page to see it; it's worth those few extra steps to get a donation to ICAN from your Amazon purchases.)
  • Do your other online shopping through iGive to generate more donations for ICAN

When you're getting gifts for dads, grads, and anyone else, please remember
ICAN, too!

From The Board

Who's Your Board?

intl@ican-online.org">Connie Banack, Int'l Director, ICAN

I'm the International Director as well as ICAN Canada's President. I will speak for my Int'l position. I've been in various positions in ICAN's executive since 1999 and loved the unique aspect of each position. My current position provides me with the vision to reach outside of the US with ICAN's mission and support. We are working on education and chapter support in several countries, expanding all the time. My goal is to reach out to women globally, those facing cesarean surgery, those wanting to avoid surgery and those recovering from a surgical birth. Our focus is high cesarean countries, equiping women with the information they need to make informed decisions.

Donate Now!

something to say? Tell us! eNews@ican-online.org">eNews@ican-online.org

ICAN's mission is to improve
maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through
education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC). This newsletter is for
informational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a
qualified birth professional.

ICAN respects the Internet and the privacy of those who use it. We do
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Notice: The content of ICAN eNews is copyrighted by The International
Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc. and, occasionally, other rights
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Inc. and any other applicable rights holders. ©
2006 The International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc. All Rights

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