Cesarean Awareness Month

Do you know what all these women have in common? You may have already guessed that they are all women who work in birth. This group includes a Unit Director, Clinical Specialist, Midwife, many Labor & Delivery Nurses, Unit Secretary, Test Nurse, Unit Assistant’s to our inpatient and outpatient facilities and a NICU Nurse.

But would have guessed that they have all had cesareans? Believe it or not, there are even more women that I work with (including myself) who have had at least one cesarean birth. A number of women in this group have also gone on to have successful VBACs.

Indications in this group for c-sections:

  • Multiples
  • Fetal Intolerance to Labor
  • Failure to Descend
  • Failure to Progress
  • Breech
  • Persistent Category II Tracing
  • Attempted Home Birth

When I care for women labor, there are often times that they ask if I have children of my own & how I birthed them. When I share that I have had two births by cesearan, they primary reaction is surprise. “Really? You’ve had a c-section?” Yep. Just because we work in birth does not mean we all have vaginal deliveries. Have you guys ever heard of the “nurse curse”. Just kidding… kind of.

While there are a number of reasons for why we have cesareans, we as birth workers work so hard to avoid taking you there. According to the International Cesarean Awareness Network, “Researchers estimate that almost half of the cesareans performed could be safely prevented”. Advocating for our patients and educating them of their choices during labor and birth can help reduce the amount avoidable c-sections. It’s not enough to just inform our patients. It’s also important that we work on removing our own biases when it comes to cesareans. ICAN is a great resource for birth workers to use as a resource for ourselves and guide our patients.

We also know from our experience in birth that there are cesareans that are necessary and can save the lives of birther and baby. The emergency cesareans, the cesareans for anatomical differences, cesareans for babies who cannot rotate out of a malposition despite all the hard work by the birther, cesareans for previous birth trauma, and the list goes on.

It is so important for birthing people to be able to process their cesarean birth. Birth workers can help them be heard by asking and listening. That is all. It is their choice whether or not they would like to share or not, but we can always offer an ear.

Women who have cesarean births have a very different road to recovery comparatively to vaginal births. We can help support them through and educate them on what to expect in the early days, months and coming years.

Having open discussions with patients and birth workers regarding vaginal birth after cesarean is also instrumental in preventing future avoidable c-sections.

Have you had a c-section? Would you like to share your story?

For more information and resources check out below…

Hi, my name is Kim & I love birth.
I have been a Registered Nurse for ten years, with the last five specializing in Labor & Delivery.
I love human connection & the art of story telling. I believe it can be a major catalyst for change.
I would love to help you share your story or advice so that we may better support each other and the people we care for. 

Do you love birth? Heck yeah you do!

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