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Your Health

Cesarean Awareness Panel Looks at Options

The International Cesarean Awareness Network Santa Barbara believes women and future moms-to-be be in the community deserve clear facts when making birth decisions.

To that end, the network will present a panel discussion — Let’s Talk About Maternal Health and Cesareans — 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, May 9, at Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, Farrand Hall, 2559 Puesta Del Sol.

The panel of obstetricians, midwives, a national-consumer advocate, and moms will present evidenced-based information to make birth decisions easier.

Some questions are: What are the main reasons pregnant women in Santa Barbara have cesareans? What can we do to lower the primary cesarean rate? How can a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) happen here?

In Santa Barbara, 1 out of 3 first-time moms will have a cesarean — 32.8 percent.

World Health Organization says the rate should be less than 15 percent. Midwives believe it should be even lower.

While we all agree cesareans are lifesaving when necessary, women have the right to complete, accurate and nonbiased information about the risks and benefits of all procedures involved in birth.

Once a cesarean, always a cesarean? That myth has been exploded by many studies, yet Santa Barbara's only local hospital, Cottage Health, refuses to let women deliver vaginally after a cesarean (VBAC), the Cesarean Awareness Network reports.

This policy forces women who desire VBAC to travel out of the county while in labor.

Women have the legal and moral rights to decide what happens to their bodies, as well as what is best for them and their babies. Four hospitals to the north and south of Santa Barbara have reversed VBAC bans within the past year.

True informed consent about all birthing options, both during pregnancy and throughout the birthing process, happens only when a woman has all the information.

Panel speakers are:

Dr. Pedram Rashti, Santa Barbara, http://rashtiwomenscare.com/; Jen Kamel, founder, VBACFacts, http://vbacfacts.com/; Santa Barbara Midwives, http://santabarbaramidwifery.com/; and Dr. Stuart Fischbein, Birthing Instincts, http://www.birthinginstincts.com/

Also, Dr. Emiliano Chavira, maternal/fetal specialist, https://www.facebook.com/EmilianoChaviraMD, Dr. Terry Cole, Ventura OB/GYN, http://venturaobgyn.com/ and Innate Midwifery, Santa Barbara, http://innatemidwifery.com/.

— Anastasia Stone for International Cesarean Awareness Network.


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