Below is the official Press Release. Please tell everyone you know to go check it out!
Contact: Laureen Hudson
For Immediate Release
Advocacy Group Unveils New Web site
Site features easy navigation, community resources
REDONDO BEACH, CA, February 7, 2008 – The International Cesarean
Awareness Network launches a new, user-friendly Web site today in an
effort to further the group's outreach efforts.
"The new Web site will make an impact in the battle against the
growing cesarean statistics by providing information to moms,
challenging them to take responsibility for their births and providing
a safe community for moms to heal" ICAN President Pam Udy said. "This
will give women the tools they need to make educated decisions about
their births – because this isn't about statistics. It's about every
mom and every baby getting the safest birth possible."
Easy navigation is a key feature of this Web site, which has been in
the works since July when ICAN Board Members recognized the need for a
more user-friendly Web site. (The Web site can be found at
www.ican-online.org) Site viewers will find information separated into
five categories: Pregnancy, Recovery, VBAC, Advocacy and Community.
"In our daily advocacy work, we saw a clear mandate for a site that
was simple to navigate, simple to understand and full of
easy-to-access information for the woman avoiding a cesarean,
recovering from a cesarean or on her journey to VBAC (vaginal birth
after cesarean)," Laureen Hudson, ICAN Publications Director said.
"ICAN interacts with women on very different journeys -- the messages
a pregnant woman needs to hear to avoid a cesarean are not the same
messages a woman on the journey to VBAC needs to hear. We like to
think that this site addresses those two complimentary, yet divergent,
The Web site lets women research the VBAC policies of hospitals near
them; learn how to correct problems (such as malposition or
pre-eclampsia) that commonly lead to cesareans; get quick physical
recovery tips to help after a cesarean; and stay up-to-date on medical
research on pregnancy and birth. New community features include user
birth blogs, videos and images; and the capability for users to create
their own homepage on the ICAN site to share with friends and family.
ICAN leadership also can connect more easily via the Web site with the
women ICAN serves. Further, the Web site features a new logo – the
logo, and all of the Web work, were completed entirely by volunteers.
"We wanted our site to be easy for the average woman recovering from
surgery and caring for a newborn to find the info they needed quickly
and easily," Webmaster Melissa Collins said. "One of my favorite
features is the online social community that is safe for moms planning
a VBAC or just wanting to avoid. I'm really excited to watch this new
This new Web site comes after research in 2007 by the National Center
for Health Statistics showed the cesarean rate reaching a record high
of 31.1 percent. Further, a CDC report indicated the maternal death
rate rose for the first time in decades and Consumer Reports includes
a cesarean in its list of "10 overused tests and treatments." Other
research from 2007 cites a VBAC continues to be a reasonably safe
birthing choice for mothers. And while studies indicate a VBAC is a
viable option, women often have difficulty finding a health care
provider who encourages a VBAC – which is where one of the site's new
features comes into play.
"The most useful tool for women is probably the Hospital VBAC Ban
information," Collins said. "Women can look up the hospitals near them
and find out their VBAC policy and if any doctors are actually
available to attend them. It is getting difficult for so many women to
find a VBAC supportive provider and this is one way to make that a
little easier for them."
Mission statement: ICAN is a nonprofit organization whose mission is
to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans
through education, providing support for cesarean recovery and
promoting vaginal birth after cesarean. There are more than 94 ICAN
Chapters across North America, which hold educational and support
meetings for people interested in cesarean prevention and recovery.
Also new today- "ICAN responds to ACOG and AABC"
*Contact: Pam Udy , President*
*For Immediate Release *
*ICAN's Response to ACOG AND AABC Statements on VBAC and Homebirth*
*Redondo Beach, CA, February 7, 2008:* The International Cesarean Awareness
Network (*www.ican-online.org*) would like to publicly condemn both the AABC
and the ACOG for their statements* this week that limit not only women's
choices in birth but imply that birth is a fashion rather than a safety
Since VBAC is the biological normal outcome of a pregnancy after cesarean,
ICAN encourages women to get all of the facts about vaginal birth and
elective cesarean before making a choice. This decision should not include
weighing the choices of your doctor's malpractice payments but only be a
concern of the mother and her support system.
Since some mothers will make the choice to give birth outside of the
hospital, we encourage the AABC to not cave into ACOG's demands that all
women give birth in a hospital facility with a surgical specialist, but
instead allow women to make their own choices about care providers, birth
settings and risk factors. ICAN respects the intelligence of modern women
and accepts that the amount of information available about VBAC and elective
cesarean should serve as informed consent.
ICAN further encourages the governments of individual states to look closely
at their cesarean rates (31.1% national cesarean rate as of 2006) and the
informed consent laws that apply and help women to reach a standard of care
that lowers the risks of major surgery and the risks of elective or coerced
induction without medical indication. Women and children should not bear the
brunt of malpractice risks being conveyed into physical, mental, emotional
and spiritual health risks in order to protect their physicians.
*Mission statement: ICAN is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to
improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through
education, providing support for cesarean recovery and promoting vaginal
birth after cesarean. There are more than 94 ICAN Chapters across North
America, which hold educational and support meetings for people interested
in cesarean prevention and recovery.*