As it seems half of my clients over the next 6 mos are hopeful VBAC mamas, I am constantly reminded that we have to keep these intervention conversations going not just for them but for our first time moms! Let's please get the word out however we can - PREVENT the PRIMARY CESAREAN! You can do this by informing yourself and other pregnant women of these common maternity practices in the US and how they can change a labor, birth, baby, and woman. The biggie - unnecessary inductions. A woman is not OVERdue just because she has passed her due date. Post term pregnancy begins after the 42nd week, and induction is NOT supported before that date, especially for first time moms, because of the risk of cesarean. Spontaneous labor is your friend! A friend worth the wait!
Below is a table created by Rebecca Dekker from Evidence Based Birth. Citations are available by visiting her post which she also shared on Improving Birth.Org :
Encourage anyone hoping to avoid a cesarean birth to choose their birth location and provider CAREFULLY and hire a doula! It's great to take an out of hospital childbirth prep class, too, but going into the hospital with professional labor support is invaluable in helping women avoid routine interventions that lead to cesarean birth without improving mom and baby safety, according to evidence. So many women don't know! Believe me, I hear the stories from moms during their second pregnancies all the time at consultations. There are way too many women who just don't ever come across this info and don't know what to expect at the hospital during labor and how it can affect their birth, baby, and future! They trust their doctors and that the hospitals wouldn't do anything unnecessary or that could possibly be risky. And while those of us immersed in helping to change things don't believe that many care providers are ill-intentioned, we do know this - standard and routine practices being used in hospital labor and delivery care are not supported by evidence, not even recommended by ACOG! And yet they are still used on women everyday and leading to UNNECESSARY CESAREANS. Take a look at the chart - for you, your sisters, your friends, your daughters. And while you may be uncomfortable offering unsolicited advice, how would you feel wondering if you had gently passed on this information and it having prevented a woman and baby you love from unnecessary harm.
I know we all find ourselves asking...but why? Why do hospitals practice this way? Why would our OB's do these things if not based in evidence? If not backed by their own professional organization? I think the simple answer is that this is just how they are trained. "Managing" every step of the labor process is how they've experienced birth in the hospital setting. Ultimately, it's easier to manage a bunch of women's labors using these routine practices coupled with it being more in their comfort zone. Taking spontaneous labor off the table in the majority of their patients really puts a lot more control in their hands, too, which I believe is a good match for most of their personalities ;) ...and schedules, dare I say. That is, of course, all my opinion. Not based on evidence. ;)
And for local information and support for managing interventions in a "trial of labor after a cesarean" (TOLAC) as a hopeful VBAC mom, please attend the ICAN meeting this Saturday at 10 am at Ohm Chiropractic in Media. It will be a roundtable discussion featuring tips from local doulas, ICAN leaders, and experienced moms! https://www.facebook.com/events/598029813590109/