Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

“The Problem Is Only Beginning To Mushroom”

“The problem is only beginning to mushroom,” stated Carolyn Zelop, ACOG member,in regards to the increasing risk of cesarean deliveries. She was interviewed for the recent Time article, “The Trouble with Repeat Cesareans.”

I have linked to the study Zelop was referring to on our Resource Index page, but am quoting from the abstract here:

RESULTS: The prevalence of delivery hospitalizations (per 1,000) complicated by at least one severe obstetric complication increased from 0.64% (n_48,645) in 1998-1999 to 0.81% (n_68,433) in 2004–2005. Rates of complications that increased significantly during the study period included renal failure by 21% (from 0.23 to 0.28), pulmonary embolism by 52% (0.12 to 0.18), adult respiratory distress syndrome by 26% (0.36 to 0.45), shock by 24% (0.15 to 0.19), blood transfusion by 92% (2.38 to 4.58), and ventilation by 21 % (0.47 to 0.57). In logistic regression models, adjustment for maternal age had no effect on the increased risk for these complications in 2004–2005 relative to 1998–1999. However, after adjustment for mode of delivery, the increased risks for these complications in 2004–2005 relative to 1998–1999 were no longer significant, with the exception of pulmonary embolism (odds ratio 1.30) and blood transfusion (odds ratio 1.72). Further adjustment for payer, multiple births, and select comorbidities had little effect.
CONCLUSION: Rates of severe obstetric complications increased from 1998–1999 to 2004–2005. For many of these complications, these increases were associated with the increasing rate of cesarean delivery.

As the cesarean rate in the USA races higher by the day, indeed we must be headed toward some sort of explosion! Implosion? I don’t know what to call it, but Zelog’s reference to a “mushroom” brings to mind the image of a nuclear explosion. And that scares me! A lot!


“Immediately Available”

Please check out this wonderful post by The Well-Rounded Mama, speaking to the VBAC ban by both hospitals and OB practices all around the country! I think she hit the nail right on the head! What do you think?

Check out the comments behind the VBAC Ban data

If you followed the link in a previous post, to the ICAN VBAC Ban database, you could see the VBAC status of all the hospitals in the US, listed by state. Most interesting, is the comments that you can read when you click on a particular hospital. WOW! When a hospital was listed as “allowing” VBACs, the next question was “Do you allow VBAMC?” The responses are listed there.

Another great thing about this database, is that readers can provide updated information and comments on each and every hospital. If you have something to add, please go do it! This will only make this database more accurate and powerful to all women in search of their next VBAC!

The Rest of the Story…follow up to “The Trouble With Repeat Cesareans”

There is yet one more piece to the story that recently ran in TIME Magazine. The author Pamela Paul shared her own VBAC experience and the back of the story in The Huffington Post: Childbirth without Choice . As a result of her personal challenges to have a VBAC in a supposedly VBAC-supportive hospital, Pamela recognized that this was an issue that needed to be addressed. The recent TIME piece has gotten lots of coverage, and lots of people talking. That is a good thing!

More on VBAC Bans nationwide

As a follow up to yesterday’s post on the TIME magazine article The Trouble with Repeat Cesareans,  here is a link to the data collected from ICAN on VBAC bans across the country.

ICAN’s 2009 Survey on VBAC Bans

I noticed that one of our local hospitals contained incorrect data (Swedish Medical Center stated allowed, but there are two campuses, and VBACs are not allowed at Ballard) and have emailed ICAN, who will be making the correction shortly.

And, should you be denied a VBAC at your hospital of choice, here is some more information about what you can do!

What you can do if you are denied a VBAC chance

TIME article: The Trouble with Repeat Cesareans

Check out the article in the current issue of TIME magazine and online!

The Trouble with Repeat Cesareans

There has been a lot of positive feedback as a result of the article, and ICAN has played a major role in collecting the data referenced in the piece.

Volunteers from ICAN called every hospital with a labor and delivery unit in the US and inquired about their VBAC position.  Some, of course, stated that their facility no longer allowed VBACs.  Others stated that VBACs were permitted, but could not provide the names of any providers who were willing to do them.  (They call this a de facto ban)  Of the 69 hospitals in our state, 27 banned VBACs outright, and 13 more had de facto banss.

Not very promising!

We are hopeful that this major media blitz will help more women find ICAN and the power and information that resides from all of the local chapters and the wise women who participate at meetings and online.

And, maybe, just maybe, one birth at a time, things can change.

Special Guest at February 2009 Meeting

We want to let you know that we will be having a guest speaker/attendee at the February 10th Evening Meeting next week.  Ann Darlington CNM at NeighborCare will be joining us for at least part of the meeting.  NeighborCare is a community health clinic in Seattle with a midwifery group that attends births, including VBAC, at Group Health Central on Capital Hill in Seattle.

This is a great opportunity for us to talk with her in a group setting and ask her questions about the VBAC climate in Seattle and GHC,  as well as hear the latest on GHC policies as they relate to VBAC.  And whatever else might come to mind.  It is also an opportunity for us to introduce ourselves to her and give her a chance to meet us as an organization and hear our concerns.

Please let us  know if you have any questions or if there are particular things that you would like to hear about at this meeting.