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April is Caesarean Awareness Month

Australian Doula College

1 Apr 2024

April is Caesarean Awareness Month, over the course of the month you’ve likely seen many posts and stats shared.

April is Caesarean Awareness Month, over the course of the month you’ve likely seen many posts and stats shared. This is the focus of this month – to learn more about caesareans, to reduce unnecessary caesareans, improve the experience of them and to advocate for vaginal birth after caesarean.Over 35% of babies are born by caesarean in Australia, a statistic that is on the rise. Since 1985, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has considered the ideal rate for caesareans to be between 10-15% and in 2015 WHO strengthened this statement to say that “When the rate goes above 10%, there is no evidence that mortality rates improve” (WHO 2015).

Recovering from caesarean is a big ask on the body

Caesarean birth includes incisions through 7 layers, it’s a huge undertaking and so too is the healing from it. When you have the chance to plan ahead, get lots of support in place wherever you can, so you can focus on yourself and baby. REST, REST and REST some more; giving your body the space and time it needs to heal is essential. Lounge around and wear comfortable clothes that are kind to your scar; including compression options. Eat well, easily digestible and warming foods. Ask for help, don’t ignore your pain and when the scar has healed massage is a beautiful way to connect, heal and reduce any scar tissue and tension.

A caesarean birth is not always a negative experience

A woman or person’s experience of their caesarean birth is one that is so unique and personal to their story, values, hopes and intentions. Ranging from empowered and blissful to scary and traumatising. When someone is sharing their story with you, the greatest gift you can give them is to truly listen, not to fix but just to hear them, with where they are at and validate their feelings. How a person feels about their birth matters and there is a lot of support out there.

Just because you have a caesarean doesn’t mean your birth intentions and plan go out the window

Your birth plan, intentions or map still matters even when things change. Many people even create caesarean pathway plans so that they have considered what it would look like if their ideal birth pathway deviates from the path. Gentle caesareans are becoming more well known and talked about; we are seeing more conversations with care providers about what ways a person can incorporate their ideal birth wishes into the theatre environment. Here in this video you can see a very gentle birth of a baby from their mother’s belly.Sending love to all the mothers who birthed their baby through their belly and all the babies that came earthside by belly birth. Holding you in your unique story with love and compassion, whether your story is one of joy or pain, or perhaps a mixture of both.

Art by Catie Atkinson - Spirt Y Sol

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