Posted by melodieshouse on February 7, 2008
Quoted below is the response issued today by ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) to the recent policy statements released by the American Association of Birth Centers and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists regarding VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) and alternative birthing options such as homebirth. The ACOG made their annual diatribe against homebirth and midwife-only attended births, and the AABC issued a statement re: VBAC that seems noncommittal at best and capitulating to the ACOG at worst. ICAN’s response has links to the recent AABC and ACOG statements at the end. Since this posting is long, I’ll opine on all this in the next post.
ICAN’s Response to ACOG AND AABC Statements on VBAC and Homebirth
Redondo Beach, CA, February 7, 2007: The International Cesarean Awareness Network (www.ican-online.org) would like to publicly condemn both the AABC (American Association of Birth Centers) and the ACOG (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) for their statements* this week that limit not only women’s choices in birth but imply that birth is a fashion trend rather than a safety concern.
Since VBAC is the biological normal outcome of a pregnancy after cesarean, ICAN encourages women to get all of the facts about vaginal birth and elective repeat cesarean before making a choice. This decision should not include weighing the choices of your doctor’s malpractice payments but only be a concern of the mother, her baby and their health and safety.
Since some mothers will make the choice to give birth outside of the hospital, we encourage the AABC to not cave into ACOG’s demands that all women give birth in a hospital facility with a surgical specialist, but instead allow women to make their own choices about care providers, birth settings and risk factors. ICAN respects the intelligence of modern women and accepts that the amount of information available about VBAC and elective cesarean should serve as informed consent.
ICAN further encourages the governments of individual states to look closely at their cesarean rates (31.1% national cesarean rate as of 2006) and the informed consent laws that apply and help women to reach a standard of care that lowers the risks of major surgery and the risks of elective or coerced cesarean without medical indication. Women and children should not bear the brunt of malpractice risks being conveyed into physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health risks in order to protect their physicians.
Mission statement: ICAN is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery and promoting vaginal birth after cesarean. There are more than 94 ICAN Chapters across North America, which hold educational and support meetings for people interested in cesarean prevention and recovery.