Archive for the ‘press’ Category

ICAN Seattle Wants YOUR Birth Story!

Help ICAN Seattle celebrate Cesarean Awareness Month this April by sharing your birth story!

April is Cesarean Awareness Month, and this year ICAN Seattle would like to honor this month by posting your birth story on our ICAN Seattle blog! Our goal is to have one story for every day of the month in April.

What are we looking for? Your cesarean story, your VBAC story, your CBAC, your HBAC, the stories that we all read and learn from, rejoice in or share in the challenge and struggle. Your identifying information can be included or removed, as you feel comfortable. Include a picture if you like.

During the month of April, a new story will appear everyday. Tell us how ICAN helped you before, during or after, what you learned from this experience, some of your proud moments, some of your challenges. Each birth story in unique and needs to be heard and honored.

These stories will unite us as a community of women supportive of birth, informed choice and learning how to birth on our own terms!

Please, take a moment to send along a story that is already written, or take time to write your birth story down, if you have not yet done so. Email your story to ICANSeattle and watch in April as we celebrate and honor the strong and courageous women in our ICAN community!


What Is ICAN?

International Cesarean Awareness Network just released a lovely video on “What Is ICAN?” and we wanted to share it here!

This completely volunteer organization is making an impact every day on women’s lives all around the country!  We see it here in Seattle at our monthly meetings and on our active listserve.  Together, women helping women with information and support, we can change the face of birth.

Watch  this short little video and leave a comment about what ICAN means to you!

Oh Canada! Breech Birth Preferred over Cesarean for our Neighbors to the North!

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (Canadian version of ACOG) has released a statement in response to new evidence that breech births can occur safely and may be the preferred method of birth over an automatic surgical birth for babies who are breech!  Some key points:

“The new decision to offer vaginal breech birth aligns with the SOGC promotion of normal childbirth – spontaneous labour, followed by a delivery that is not assisted by forceps, vacuum or cesarean section. In December of 2008, the society release a policy statement that included its recommendation for a development of national practice guidelines on normal childbirth.
“The safest way to deliver has always been the natural way,” said Dr. Lalonde.

“Vaginal birth is the preferred method of having a baby because a C-section in itself has complications.”

Here is the article in it’s entirety:  C-section not best option for breech birth

One of the challenges will be to find providers who have experience with breech births, as this art has been lost over the years, and the experience and training has been not handed down to the current providers catching babies!  Maybe time to call in some old midwives!

Maybe ACOG and the US will not be far behind, but until then, a current passport might not be a bad thing to throw in the birth bag!

The Latest Thoughtful “Work” from the AMA . . . .

AMA Resolution Would Seek to Label “Ungrateful” Patients

Redondo Beach, CA, June 11, 2009 – At the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Annual Meeting next week, delegates will vote on a resolution which proposes to develop CPT (billing) codes to identify and label “non-compliant” patients (1)

The resolution complains:

“The stress of dealing with ungrateful patients is adding to the stress of physicians leading to decreased physician satisfaction.”

“This resolution is alarming in its arrogance and its failure to recognize, or even pay lip service to, patient autonomy,” said Desirre Andrews, the newly elected president of the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN).

If approved, the resolution could hold implications for women receiving maternity care. For pregnant women seeking quality care and good outcomes, “non-compliance” is often their only alternative to accepting sub-standard care. Physicians routinely order interventions like induction, episiotomy, or cesarean section unnecessarily.

Liz Dutzy, a mother from Olathe, Kansas, delivered her first two babies by cesarean and was told by her obstetrician that she needed another surgical delivery. “My doctor told me that I needed to have a cesarean delivery at 39 weeks, or my uterus would rupture and my baby would die.” She sought out another care provider and had a healthy and safe intervention-free {home} birth at 41 weeks and 3 days gestation.

A recent report by Childbirth Connection and The Milbank Memorial Fund, called “Evidence-Based Maternity Care: What It Is and What It Can Achieve ,” (2) shows that the state of maternity care in the U.S. is worrisome, driven largely by a failure of care providers to heed evidence-based care practices. For most women in the U.S., care practices that have been proven to make childbirth easier and safer are underused, and interventions that may increase risks to mothers and babies are routinely overused. The authors of the report point to the “perinatal paradox” of doing more, but accomplishing less.


The resolution proposed by the Michigan delegation of the AMA could threaten patient care and patient autonomy for several reasons:

• Billing codes that would categorize any disagreement and exercise of autonomy on the part of the patient as “non-compliance” “abuse” or “hostility” could create a pathway for insurance companies to deny coverage to patients
• Use of these labels fails to recognize patients as competent partners with physicians in their own care
• Tagging patients as “non-compliant” fails to recognize that there is not a “one size fits all” approach to care, that different opinions among physicians abound, and that patients are entitled to these very same differences of opinion
• Labeling patients as “non-compliant” may, in fact, be punitive, jeopardizing a patient’s ability to seek out other care providers

The resolution also fails to address how it would implicate patients navigating controversial issues in medical care, like vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). While a substantive body of medical research demonstrates that VBAC is reasonably safe, if not safer, than repeat cesareans, most physicians and hospitals refuse to support VBAC. (3) The language in the resolution suggests that patients who assert their right to opt for VBAC could be tagged as non-compliant, even though their choice would be consistent with the medical research.

“The reality is that the balance of power in the physician-patient relationship is decidedly tipped towards physicians. The least patients should have is the right to disagree with their doctors and not be labeled a ‘naughty’ patient,” said Andrews.

About Cesareans: When a cesarean is medically necessary, it can be a lifesaving technique for both mother and baby, and worth the risks involved. Potential risks to babies from cesareans include: low birth weight, prematurity, respiratory problems, and lacerations. Potential risks to women include: hemorrhage, infection, hysterectomy, surgical mistakes, re-hospitalization, dangerous placental abnormalities in future pregnancies, unexplained stillbirth in future pregnancies and increased percentage of maternal death.

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. ICAN has 110 chapters in North America and Europe, which hold educational and support meetings for people interested in cesarean prevention and recovery.

(1) Resolution 710 “Identifying Abusive, Hostile or Non-Compliant Patients”

(2) Evidence-Based Maternity Care: What It Is and What It Can Achieve