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April is Cesarean Awareness Month

April 5, 2013

c section, image of c section, dad in c section, gentle c section, cesarean birth, cesarean picture, cesarean awarenessCesarean Awareness Month is sponsored by The International Cesarean Awareness Network. ICAN is a non profit 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 (VBAC).” Check back next week for a post on VBAC.

Cesarean section is a surgery that saves babies and mothers lives in special circumstances, however, the United States, along with many other countries, have rates that far exceed what has been determined as the ideal maximum rate. Currently, the U.S. cesarean rate is over 30%.

About one third of American babies are born surgically. No scientific basis justifies this rise. No change in women’s bodies or birthing abilities has driven the increase in cesareans.

In it’s 1985 recommendations, The World Health Organization recommended that the highest optimal rate of cesareans is 10-15% of births; in 2009, some discussion arose surrounding possible changes in WHO recommendations. Henci Goer, an award-winning author, speaker and leading expert in evidence-based maternity care, laid out the details in this 2009 Science and Sensibility article that reiterates the science behind the recommended optimal upper limit of a 15% cesarean rate for any country. Beyond that, it causes harm and increases disease and death in mothers and babies.