Resources For Expectant Mothers

Birth by cesarean can be a life saving procedure for mother or baby. But a cesarean can also put both at risk for serious health complications. Healthy pregnant women can end up having a cesarean because birth interventions such as elective inductions, continuous electronic monitoring, or epidurals were used routinely rather than for a medical indication.

Hospital routines such as not allowing women to change positions in bed or walk in labor, expecting them to give birth on their back, or directing them to push when their body is not ready increase the odds for a cesarean. However, low risk women who choose to give birth at home or in a birth center, choose midwifery care, or have a doula at their hospital birth lower their odds for a cesarean birth. Many women are not aware of their right to receive accurate and comprehensive information regarding their medical care, their right to informed consent and their right to informed refusal. The right to make an informed medical decision based on their knowledge and their own values and preferences.   

As this book reveals, finding accurate and comprehensive information on the risks of cesarean birth and how to reduce the odds of having one is a challenge. The  resources on this page will help to increase your awareness about the many birth options available to you and provide you with information regarding your rights as a patient. As the evidence in this book shows, they are also likely to reduce your odds for a cesarean delivery.

Nicette Jukelevics and Henci Goer: The Risks of Cesarean Section - A Coalition for Improving Maternity Services Fact Sheet &
A Checklist For Expectant Mothers.
Fact Sheet (PDF)        

A Guide to Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth

www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ClickedLink=329&ck=10218&area=27

Alameda County Public Health Commission, CA: Informed Consent
www.acphd.org/user/services/AtoZ_PrgDtls.asp?PrgId=98 (PDF)

American Association of Birth Centers 
www.birthcenters.org    

American College of Nurse Midwives
www.mymidwife.org 

American College of Nurse Midwives: Share With Women, from Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health
www.acnm.org/share_with_women.cfm

American Academy of Family Physicians: Breech Babies: What Can I do if My Baby is Breech? www.familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/women/pregnancy/labor/310.html

Arkansas - Bringbackvbac.org
www.bringbackvbac.org

Association for Improvements in Maternity Services, UK: Midwifery for the 20th Century, Article
www.aims.org.uk

Australian College of Midwives: Research Supports Midwifery Care
www.midwives.org.au/Default.aspx?tabid=325 

BBC News, Emma Wilkinson Health reporter: "Needless" birth induction fears
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7833058.stm  

Birth Network National
www.birthnetwork.org

The Birth Survey
www.thebirthsurvey.com

BOLD the Play, by Karen Brody
www.boldaction.org

Boston University School of Public Health, Health Law Department: Patient Rights at Your Fingertips www.patient-rights.org/finger/fingertips.html

Breech Birth: Stories of normal breech births
www.breechbirth.ca/Birth%20Stories/Birth%20Stories.html 

Business of Being Born: A documentary film
www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com

Childbirth Connection: VBAC or Repeat C-section?
www.childbirthconnection.com/article.asp?ClickedLink=293&ck=10212&area=27

Childbirth Connection: What Every Mother Needs to Know About Cesarean Section
www.childbirthconnection.com/article.asp?ck=10164

Childbirth Connection: The Rights of Childbearing Women
www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10084&ClickedLink=0&area=27

Choices in Childbirth
www.choicesinchildbirth.org

Citizens for Midwifery: What Does Good Maternity Care Look Like?
www.cfmidwifery.org/pdf/ThreeModelsofCareCorrected.pdf (PDF)

Citizens for Midwifery: What "Are" Our Rights in Childbirth?
cfmidwifery.org/pdf/What%20ARE%20our%20rights.pdf (PDF)

Coalition for Improving Maternity Services: Having a Baby? Ten Questions to Ask
www.motherfriendly.org/downloads.php

Cochrane Library Plain Language Reviews: Pregnancy and Childbirth
www.cochrane.org/reviews/en/topics/87_reviews.html

Consumer Reports, Health: Take the Maternity Care Quiz
www.consumerreports.org/health/medical-conditions-treatments/pregnancy-childbirth/maternity-care/maternity-care-quiz/maternity-care-quiz.htm

DONA International: What is a Doula?
www.dona.org/mothers/index.php

Henci Goer, Author: Articles on Pregnancy and Childbirth
www.HenciGoer.com/articles 

Homebirth.org.uk: What is Optimal Fetal Positioning?
www.homebirth.org.uk/ofp.htm

Informed Choices: Evidence-based pamphlets from the UK
www.infochoice.org

International Cesarean Awareness Network: What To Do if Your Hospital Has Banned VBAC
www.ican-online.org/vbac/your-right-refuse-what-do-if-your-hospital-has-banned-vbac-q

Intramountain Healthcare: Elective Labor Induction, When Is It Okay?
kr.ihc.com/ext/Dcmnt?ncid=51061832 (PDF)

Everyday Miracles: A Celebration of Birth, video
www.lamaze.org/ExpectantParents/PregnancyBirthResources/WatchWomenGiveBirthWithConfidence/tabid/183/Default.aspx

Laboring Under An Illusion: Mass Media Childbirth vs. The Real Thing: A documentary by Vicki Elson
www.birth-media.com

Lamaze Institute for Normal Birth: Six Care Practices That Support Normal Birth
www.lamaze.org/Default.aspx?tabid=90

Lamaze Institute for Normal Birth: Why Transparency Matters: A Fact Sheet for Birth Advocates
www.lamaze.org/Advocacy/BirthNetworksOrganizingYourCommunity/ToolsTipsandResources/WhyTransparencyMatters/tabid/530/Default.aspx

Lamaze International: Making Tough Decisions Without All the Facts-How Inadequate Informed Consent Puts Childbearing Families at Risk
www.lamaze.org/MediaProfessionals/NewsReleases/MakingToughDecisionsWithoutAlltheFacts/tabid/743/Default.aspx

Larsen, Jess: Midwifery & Feminism: A Case for Common Ground
Article (PDF)

Mamacampaign to Promote Midwifery Care
www.mamacampaign.org

March of Dimes: Induction by Request

www.marchofdimes.com/prematurity/21239_20203.asp

March of Dimes: Cesarean by Request
www.marchofdimes.com/prematurity/21239_19673.asp

Medscape OB/GYN and Women's Health: The Real Risks for Cesareans, Interview with Lamaze President
www.medscape.com/viewarticle/706095 

Midwives Alliance of North America: Find a Midwife
www.mana.org/memberlist.html

MotherBaby International Film Festival: Films about normal birth
www.motherbabiff.org

Mothering Magazine: Once A Cesarean, Always A Cesarean-The Sorry State of Birth Choices in America www.mothering.com/articles/pregnancy_birth/cesarean_vbac/sorry-state.html

Mothering Magazine: Cesarean Birth in A Culture of Fear
www.childbirthconnection.org/pdfs/cesarean-birth-mothering-ponte.pdf (PDF)

Mother's Advocate: How To Have a Better Birth
www.injoyvideos.com/mothersadvocate/index.htm

Mothers Naturally-Discover the safe, personal care of a midwife
www.Mothersnaturally.org  

National Institute for Clinical Excellence: Care of Women and Their Babies During Labor www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/pdf/word/UNGCG55v2.doc (DOC)

National Institute for Clinical Excellence: Monitoring Your Baby's Heartbeat in Labor
www.nice.org.uk/guidance/index.jsp?action=download&o=28972

National Women's Health Alliance: Your Right To Your Medical Records
www.nwhalliance.org/yourrighttoyourrecords.htm

Ohio State University, University Medical Center: Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) 
medicalcenter.osu.edu/PatientEd/Materials/PDFDocs/women-in/pregnancy/v-back.pdf (PDF)

Oklahoma Birth Network: VBAC Myths and Facts
www.oklahomabirthnetwork.com/guides/vbac_mythfact%20_final.pdf (PDF)

Our Bodies Ourselves
www.obos.org

Orgasmic Birth: A Documentary Film
www.orgasmicbirth.com

Ottawa Health Research Institute: Personal Decision Guide, A patient decision aid
www.ohri.ca/decisionaid

Patchworks Films: Born in the USA, Childbirth and Women's Choices, a documentary film
www.patchworksfilms.net/films/born_usa.html

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder After Childbirth
www.angelfire.com/moon2/jkluchar1995

Rally to Save the North Shore Birth Center in Beverly, MA: Youtube video
www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY9emj4OLII

Reuters News: Peru embraces vertical birth to save lives
www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSN7B38571520080711

Simkin, Penny: Comfort In Labor , Helpful Positions for Birth
www.childbirthconnection.org/pdf.asp?PDFDownload=comfort-in-labor-simkin (PDF)

Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada: Elective C-Sections Add Risks During Pregnancy
www.sogc.org/media/pdf/advisories/Backgrounder_June2008_Elective-C-Sections_e.pdf (PDF)

Solace After a Challenging Childbirth
www.solaceformothers.org
 
VBAC.com: a woman-centered, evidence based, resource
www.vbac.com

 
Vermont/New Hampshire VBAC Project: Birth Choices After Cesarean
www.nnepqin.org/ViewPage?id=6


Where's My Midwife?
www.wheresmymidwife.org

World Respected Childbirth Week, May 11-May 17
www.smar.info