“An organisation dedicated to redressing the balance in caesarean research, communication and maternity care.”
Welcome to the voluntary organisation CAESAREAN BIRTH (formerly electivecesarean.com), founded by journalist PAULINE MCDONAGH HULL, co-author of Choosing Cesarean, A Natural Birth Plan (Prometheus Books, 2012).
“I hope you find this website helpful, though please take a moment to read its DISCLAIMER before you browse.”
CAESAREAN BIRTH DOES NOT AIM TO:
– Give individual or general birth advice
– Advocate or promote a caesarean birth plan for ALL women or ALL pregnancies
CAESAREAN BIRTH DOES AIM TO:
– Challenge research and information provided to women about different birth plan risks
– Work with other charities, organizations and individuals to improve maternity care
– Submit Stakeholder evidence for national guideline and policy development
– Establish physical and psychological birth outcomes as formal indicators of quality care, instead of birth processes
– Expose failings, misinformation, mistakes and misunderstandings that endanger lives (and quality of lives) of mothers and babies
– Emphasise the differences in risks between different types of cesarean births
– Highlight the risks associated with a trial of labor, to redress information balance
– Campaign against maternity policies that prescribe ‘normal’ vaginal birth for all ‘low risk’ women
– Communicate scientific developments that help identify risks and inform both caesarean and vaginal birth plans
– Dispel myths that are often associated with women who choose a cesarean
– Hold organisations to account (e.g. WHO’s 1985 recommended 15% cesarean rate threshold and 2015 CDMR position, and the RCOG’s 2012 recommended 20% caesarean rate)
Pauline M Hull:
“I began my caesarean work in 2001, with the aim of establishing the prophylactic caesarean as a legitimate birth plan, but also redressing the balance in maternity and media communication about planned caesareans, and highlighting the dangers and costs of recommending arbitrary caesarean rate targets.
“Planned caesareans can play an important role in saving babies’ lives and preventing injuries to mothers and babies, and this information needs to be more widely communicated and acknowledged so that women can make a fully informed decision about their birth plan based on their own risk/benefit preferences.
“I do not advocate planned caesarean for every birth, but equally, I challenge the assumption that where there are no considered clinical indications, vaginal birth is the best and safest first choice for all women. I am contacted by and read about so many women whose babies died at full-term or suffered intrapartum injuries – or who themselves have suffered life altering injuries and/or psychological birth trauma, – and they say, ‘No one told me this could happen‘.
This is a situation that has to change.
“Caesarean birth won’t be every woman’s choice – but it must be a choice for every woman.”
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Birth Trauma Association
“Women receive a great deal of information about childbirth. How women interpret this information is a complex process. What is clear is that we need to focus on the needs of the individual and respect personal decision making. Just as there are women who are happy with homebirth and waterbirth so there are also many women who are happy with their decision to have an elective cesarean. No choice should be presented as the ‘right’ choice and no choice should be stigmatised. Caesarean Birth provides a unique source of information for women who want to consider cesarean or who want to explore all the options before arriving at their own personal decision.”
Former ACOG vice-president Dr Ralph W Hale, MD, FACOG
“Elective cesarean delivery has become a reality in the practice of obstetrics today as more and more of the women who approach delivery have strong feelings that the option of the mode of delivery should be their decision to make unless there are compelling medical indications for a specific delivery method. Their reasons will vary from woman to woman, but whatever decision she may make, the patient needs to know all of the available risks and benefits. This website will help explain some of the confusion surrounding the choice of elective cesarean delivery so the patient is better able to discuss this option, if she desires an elective cesarean, with her obstetrician or midwife.”
CAESAREAN BIRTH LIMITED is registered with Companies House. No. 0769228