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Sweet Peas, Pods & Papas: All About Birth, B@@bs & Babies

Vaginal Birth After Multiple Cesareans

VBAC Preparation: Ask the Midwife

Our posts for Cesarean Awareness Month continue.  With their permission, I am sharing notes today that I took at an ICAN meeting presented by some Phoenix-area midwives in 2012.  

The main presenters and most of what you see below are the paraphrased words of Diane Ortega, CNM and Belinda Hodder, CNM.  They are midwives at Valley Women for Women, whose overall cesarean rate in 2014 was 7% in the midwife practice.*

Also in attendance and adding commentary to some of the answers was another CNM in the area.

VBAC: The BIG picture of the risks

Uterine Rupture.   

If you have had a previous cesarean, this is THE “drop” word for many care providers when they have their “informed consent” talk with patients for consequent pregnancies.

Today I want to take a look at several other complications related to labor and delivery.  If your care provider is expecting you to be influenced by risk factors for uterine rupture, I think it is fair to look at all the other risk factors of pregnancy and labor in order to create a bigger picture and put things into perspective.

Q&A with SPB: Cesarean Support

April is Cesarean Awareness Month.  Today I am bringing you a virtual interview with local Phoenix ICAN Chapter co-leader, Jenni Froment, as well as a VLOG with Stephanie Stanley, founder and instructor at Give-Birth.org.

I interviewed Stephanie abouther childbirth classeslast week.  She came back to sit down with me and talk about the mission of ICAN, and we talked a little about peer-to-peer support.  Here is what she had to say about this amazing group:

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VBAC: What Your OB is Supposed To Know and Acknowledge

Last year I wrote an article on evidence-based practice for The Clarion, the newsletter published by ICAN and sent to it’s subscribers (Spring 2014).  I read A LOT of documents and studies in preparation for that! 

Since it is Cesarean Awareness Month, I thought it fitting to share those with you.  The information shared below is accessible to all care providers who care for women in their childbearing years.  

If you would like a Trial of Labor with a subsequent pregnancy after a cesarean birth, then inform yourself about what the professionals are saying.

Mommy Con: January from Birth Without Fear

Cassandra and I were part of the "media" contingent at MommyCon LA Babywearing World Record Event on Sunday, October 6, 2013.  We had such a wonderful time walking the floor, meeting vendors and being inspired by the wonderful speakers as we looked and listened to bring all the happenings back to you.  See the bottom of this posts for links to more of the activity! 

At 2:00 pm, the third person to take the stage on Sunday was January Harshe, founder of Birth Without Fear, sponsored by Nüroo.

Meet the Doula: Jennifer

This month's featured doula is Jennifer Valencia.  She is a doula that serves Central and Northern Arizona.  She believes that birth is a sacred time and every mother should be nurtured and respected as she brings her baby earth side.

When was the first time you heard the word, “doula”?
The first time I heard the word doula was probably in 2006, some time before my first baby’s birth. I didn’t really understand the full scope of benefits of a doula until the birth of my second child when I experienced a DONA certified doula.

Rights For Homebirth - May 2013 Update


The final Midwifery Scope of Practice Meeting was held on Wednesday, May 15, 2013.  It is now time for the families of Arizona, and anyone else who believes that compassionate care is a human right’s issue for the mother and the baby to take a stand.

You can click on the links below to read a copy of the current draft rules and to see Wednesday’s proceedings:
Most Recent Draft:http://1.usa.gov/YZw4Xt
Most Recent Meeting:http://bit.ly/104ZtKT

Here is my statement on the Arizona Department of Health Services Website:

Planning a VBAC – Dad’s Count, Too

When it comes to pregnancy, labor and birth, the vast majority of the writing and expectation for preparation is geared at the mother.  One of the reason’s we chose The Bradley Method® is because it recognizes that the father may also want to play a role in the birth of the child and Bradley™ prepares the couple for labor to welcome their child, not just the mother.

The same holds true when planning a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC).  If the partner was present for the first birth, they also experienced varying degrees of stress: watching their loved one undergo major surgery, the physical recovery period, and the emotional recovery period, which might have been longer than the physical recovery.

Meet the Doula: Kimberly

I am so pleased to introduce our students and readers to Kimberly Flake in this month’sMeet The Doulafeature.  Kimberly has been a doula for a few of our students, all of whom have had great experiences with her.  I wanted to feature her in April, Cesarean Awareness Month, since she, herself, is a VBAC mama, and she specializes in VBAC support.

When was the first time you heard the word, “doula”?
The first time I heard the word doula was when I read about it just weeks before I sat in a class to become one.

Planning Your VBAC – Where to Begin

I open today's post with the reminder that April is Cesarean Awareness Month. The World Health Organization and evidence-based practice only supports a cesarean rate of 15% or less.

While a cesarean birth can be life saving and necessary, and we are so grateful for the technology when our students need this intervention, we encourage you to know the difference between a variation and complication. Is Mom okay? Is Baby okay? If yes to both questions, asking for time can spare both Mom and Baby from an "unnecesarean".
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