Group offers support for families affected by cesarean

By Stacey Davis
For Iron County Today

Pregnancies ending in cesarean are at an all-time high in the United States. Families who face a cesarean are often left with emotional feelings regarding their birth. Being able to have support from others who have experienced a cesarean can be a huge blessing. It helps you know that you are not alone and that what you are feeling may be a normal part of your birth process. For those families affected by cesarean who would like more information and support, there is a new resource in Cedar City. ICAN or International Cesarean Awareness Network.

ICAN is a support group for families affected by cesarean. There will be two types of meetings held, an Open Meeting and a Closed Meeting. Open meeting are for family, friends, caregivers, providers and anyone who loves or cares for someone affected by a cesarean. Closed Meetings are limited to those who personally have experienced a cesarean. These meetings are a place to gather information, and support to aid you in your journey. Meetings are held every second Tuesday of the month at 4 p.m. at the Cedar City Library in the Park.

In addition to monthly support meetings, ICAN also offers one on one support as well as free classes regarding topics on cesarean. One on one support can help moms process their birth, learn what to expect in recovery as well as help out with crisis situations before, during or after a cesarean. Free classes are for those who want to know the best way to support a family affected by cesarean as well as how to help families advocate for their birth choices.

The International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc. (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 (VBAC).

ICAN promotes education, support and advocacy. Three important factors in lowering the risk of cesarean.

Education: “If you don’t know what your options are, than you don’t have any.” It is very important to research your options, as well as risks in regarding to birth options. Educate yourself through research so you may make the best birth decisions for you and your family.

Support: Having the right support before during and after childbirth can boost your confidence and satisfaction with your birth experience. This can also decrease your risk of an unnecessary cesarean. Having a good support system includes having a good medical provider who is up to date with current research and allows families to make decisions that are best for them. Having a medical provider who follows ACOG guidelines is important.

Advocacy: ICAN advocates for best birth practices that are based on current research. We support families as they advocate for themselves. With cesarean rates at all-time highs–women and families must now assume more responsibility for their own birth choices.

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