Monday, April 6, 2015

Why Cesarean Awareness Month? Giving Birth With Confidence says,
My Birth Matters. And while a cesarean may be the best choice for a particular birth, the cut mother may have mixed feelings and need understanding of both her gratitude for a life saving procedure and  the grief of not finishing the birth on her own powers.

For these women, the short cut cuts short the hormonal completion some women need to feel finished. The closure of the incision is not the closure on the surgical birth.

Out of the desire for birth need recognition comes a new movie, Trial of Labor. Spinning Babies was a supporter of this effort. Here is an April 18th  film screening of Trial of Labor  at ArtRage, an activist art and social awareness gallery in Syracuse, NY.
Good going ICAN of Syracuse.

I, myself, am speaking Monday April 13th for our local chapter of ICAN Twin Cities in South Minneapolis (Minnesota). Come to the free evening and learn something useful to avoid a cesarean in your upcoming birth.

Cesarean Awareness Month gives a voice to woman who felt shushed when they expressed the grief next to everyone's relief that the birth resulted in a living child. Even when the cesarean is what helped make sure the baby lived.
Not all women grieve their cesarean. I would hope we all realize that some women have a peace with having had a cesarean to avoid health threats, for scheduling convenience, or even avoid facing the fear of birth when their is no support for birth around them.

And even if its a surprise cesarean for someone wanting a natural birth they may not grieve because they began labor, everyone helping them tried their best and the woman got to make decisions through out.

In my circle of supporting women wanting natural birth either at home, birth center, or in the hospital, women feel that they've tried "everything" and know why they consented to a caesarean. But this doesn't take care of all of the loss of the birth they did not have.

Part of grief is trying to restore the expectations that were lost. The birth went differently and the expectations of the vaginal birth are lost. Who she was becoming as a mother changed scenes and she seeks her self in the difference. Feelings emerge and sometimes erupt spontaneously from this change.

We grieve until we find ourself on the other side of the stage, so to speak, and then we maintain.

Cesarean Awareness month supports that journey.

Cesarean Awareness is also public awareness of the risks associated with major surgery for birthing a baby. Higher rates of injury and infection and higher future rates of pregnancy and birth complications can be examined at

Resource on what is a VBAC and if they are safe on

Nurses, Key to Reducing the Cesarean Rate

In April we Celebrate Cesarean Awareness Month
I want to give a shout out to Shakopee, Minnesota nurses for helping bring down the cesarean rate in their hospital! 

Melissa Rezny is a Labor and Delivery Nurse at  St. Francis Medical Center in Shakopee, Minnesota, just 20 minutes away from my home.

 When St. Francis' statistics came out showing a marked reduction in their cesareans, I asked what she though attributed to the improvement. 

Melissa: I think our success in decreasing our cesarean rate has been several things.
- We're inducing far less women.- "Laboring down" has become a widely accepted practice*- We use peanut balls on most all of our epiduralized mama's**- But mostly there are several of us who have taken the Spinning Babies class and worked hard to educate each other in how important fetal positioning is during labor. And how to help encourage baby into a more favorable position if needed.
We have many providers (CNM's and several OB's) who also have a large focus on fetal positioning for an easier birth.
I think one more thing that stands out is we all work together as a team very well focusing on what is best for mom and baby.

Melissa is talking about a Spinning Babies Workshop I did with the Labor and Delivery Nurses and one of the doctors at St. Francis years ago. I had a 102 degree fever that night, it wasn't my best effort! Nevertheless, Melissa and her nurse friend, Sarah Steenson, have been amazing Spinning Babies advocates and users of the myofascial releases described on Spinning Babies as either the Fantastic Four or The Three Sisters. These can be done in pregnancy and/or labor. 


*Laboring down means that the woman numbed by an epidural is not expected to begin active pushing efforts until the uterus has moved the baby quite low in the pelvis. This may even be a couple hours the cervix is fully dilated. A Canadian hospital began the trend about thirty years ago and reduced their cesarean rate dramatically. Now its more accepted knowledge that full dilation does not mean the baby must be born in a set, or limited, amount of time. Pushing right at ten centimeters can lead to a diagnosis of failure to progress when, indeed, who's failing to progress is the practice habits of the labor floor. So this is good news for the moms at Shakopee!

**The peanut ball can be seen in use here:

Changing the Earth by supporting Birth

Mothers bring forth life; medical corporations do not. Birth can be simple, powerful and loving. Fetal positioning, natural birthing and practical help for normal birth.