Home > Midwifery > Safe Cesarean Prevention

My introduction to midwifery began, first, with my own natural deliveries with midwives, and then with my enthusiastic immersion into all things birth. During my second pregnancy I was asked to speak to a group that, at the time, was called Cesarean Prevention Movement (CPM), and which has evolved into the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN). I was working in the field of chiropractic so the local chapter leader asked me to talk about chiropractic care and babies. Although I had not had a cesearean myself, I soon became an active member of the group. Raising awareness about and preventing unnecessary cesarean section was the mission (along with support for mothers who had undergone the surgery). That was in the 1980s and early 90s after the landmark book Silent Knife had been published. I recall having a table at a local baby fair and people were coming up to ask “why are you trying to prevent c-sections?” We explained that the rate of unnecessary cesareans was rising and could be prevented by simple measures like moving and changing positions in labor, avoiding continuous fetal monitoring (which restricts movement and prolongs labor) and by having a doula to support a mother so she is less likely to need pain medications (which can cause fetal distress leading to c-sec).

Now, it’s 2014 and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine (SMFM) have released a joint statement that will finally legitimize what we ordinary mama-birth-activists were teaching years ago. Click here for a good summary of the statement and prepare to be impressed. This is forward movement, this is +1 station, this is progress!