Ways to Honor Cesarean Awareness Month

Cesarean section being performed
Photo © Steve Debenport/Getty Images

April is Cesarean Awareness Month (CAM). While the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) is the official host of this month, there are many things that you can do even if you are not a member of ICAN or even if you don't have a chapter near you. Here are some examples of things that you can do to honor Cesarean Awareness Month:

Write a Letter to the Editor

Consider writing a letter to your local newspaper or favorite magazine about the topic of cesareans or about vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).

You can share your story or talk about things on an impersonal level, like discussing local cesarean rates, hospitals who are working at lowering their cesarean rates, hospital VBAC policies locally, or whatever you are passionate about. An example might be how a local hospital is working to make c-sections more mother-baby friendly by providing clear drapes in the OR or doing routine skin to skin care in the OR for mom and baby.

Attend an ICAN Meeting

Look for the closest ICAN chapter. Even if you have to travel a bit more than you might normally do, reaching out to others who feel similarly is always a positive thing. The meetings are often informational and the company is often interesting. It is always great to bond over something common.

Offer Yourself as a Guest Speaker

Consider talking to local parenting groups like mothers’ clubs, toddler groups, breastfeeding support groups, etc. Tell them that you can speak from 15-45 minutes on a topic that will be tailored to their group.

An example might be talking about how breastfeeding might be affected by a cesarean section, recovery after a c-section, planning for a VBAC.

Write a Thank You Note to a Practitioner

Do you have a doctor, nurse, midwife or doula who really helped you? Perhaps it was someone who took care of you during your cesarean or supported you during your VBAC.

This is a great time to write a thank you letter, even if you’ve done it before, or even if you had your baby years ago. It is nice to know that something you did had an impact on those you were trying to help, even late in the game. You might also consider sending the note with a copy to the hospital administrator or their boss. This is always a positive thing.

Share Your Birth Story

If you feel comfortable, consider sending your birth story out. You can email to a good friend or your ICAN leader. You can even post it for others to read. This is a great way to help people connect to the issue of cesarean awareness. It might also empower others to see themselves in similar situations and think about how they would respond.

Write an Article

Writing an article is another way to bring awareness to the issue of cesarean section. Some topics to think about include:

    Consider Starting an ICAN Chapter

    If you feel like you have the physical and emotional time, starting an ICAN chapter might be something that would be great for you. You would need to contact ICAN for additional information on how to get a chapter going in your area, but it would be a great way to help other families who need support either before or after a cesarean. ICAN offers a lot of assistance in beginning a new chapter.

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