At ICAN – we support families as they work to advocate for themselves. With cesarean rates at all time highs – we must now assume more responsibility for our own births. As an organization, ICAN brings the expressed needs of community members to international and regional mother/baby organizations, researchers, policy makers, administrators, and birth professionals – making sure that the voices of consumers are heard, and that key decision makers can better understand the often complicated emotions and concerns surrounding cesarean and VBAC.
- ICAN’s 2009 VBAC Ban Database was referenced in the NIH Conference, and the attendance of our leadership at this event led to important changes in the ACOG VBAC guidelines. The VBAC Ban project has been mentioned in other publications, listed below.
- Advocacy and education have helped consumers to reverse VBAC policies at local hospitals.
- Advocacy and education have increased access to options involved in family centered cesareans.
- Communicating with other birth organizations – By working together, we are a bigger voice to create change in the birth community.
- Cesarean Awareness Month – every April
- Accreta Awareness Month – every October
- CBAC Awareness Month – every February
- Partnership with the following films: Trial of Labor and Freedom for Birth
- Chapters throughout the world attend expos and conferences to bring awareness to topics surrounding cesareans and VBAC.
By working together, we can change the culture of birth!
Ways To Be An Advocate For Families and Yourself
- Write your elected officials. We provide template letters for your use and links for you to easily contact your specific legislators, as well as recommendations for who to write about Health issues.
- Become an ICAN Volunteer
- Unhappy with how you were treated while in the hospital? Getting your medical records and reviewing the details can be very helpful in the healing process. Hospitals welcome reviews of experiences, both positive and negative. They can’t fix the problem if they don’t know it is happening!
- If your hospital has a policy against VBAC in place, you have the option to file a formal grievance with the hospital’s administration department. You would need to type a complaint, print, sign, and deliver to the administrative office. If they respond to your request with an unfavorable answer, you can then take the information to the Joint Commission, or the state hospital association.
- Example Template for Filing a Formal Grievance Against VBAC Bans
Questions to Ask Your Practitioner and hospital About Family Centered Cesareans:
Questions to Ask Your Practitioner AND Facility About VBAC:
Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Doula:
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