A Note From the President | ICEA Is Making A Difference

by Debra Tolson, ICEA President

Many studies and articles are revealing new insights in regards to Cesarean births.  With these new insights, they are also confirming what many of us in birth-related professions already knew. Labor companionship (birth doulas) and midwifery care have safer outcomes, lower health-care cost, and positive maternal experiences. When those resources are not available there is an increased risk of having a Cesarean births. In a recent article in the Lancet entitled “Global epidemiology of use of and disparities in caesarean section” a study of 164 countries revealed that Cesarean births have doubled since 2000. As a result, moms are seeking safe options and hospitals are starting to explore how they can better provide support. A key component to this is education. Education for expectant parents and education for health care providers. Education for expectant parent empowers them to know their options and encourages them to make an informed decision about their care and their provider. Education for the health care providers promotes the use of cesarean birth only when medically indicated and encourages alternative methods of supporting vaginal birth. ICEA supports that education through various programs.  Information on management of labor, labor support, and Cesarean births is included in the curriculum for Childbirth Educator certification and Birth Doula certification. There is also a VBAC Education Project that is available to ALL members at NO COST!  This program, written by Nicette Jukelevics, has four parts that include:

  1. Deciding if a VBAS is Right for you: A Parent’s Guide (14 modules)
  2. Resource’s for VBAC and Physiologic Birth: A Parent’s Guide
  3. Educational Handout for Parents: A Parent’s Guide
  4. VBAC for Educator” A Teaching Guide

The materials in the VBAC Education Project enable you to understand the VBAC options and the psychological issues related to laboring for a VBAC. It also includes ways that you as the professional can support and empower mothers to make their own best decisions about how they want to give birth. I would strongly encourage ALL our members to check out the VBAC Education Project so you have the needed information to educate and support mothers. Together we can make a difference, one mother at a time! Flourishing for ICEA, Debra Tolson ICEA President 

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