This Saturday (February 11th, 6pm) we'll be hosting a special ICAN meeting for doulas and other birth professionals. One doula will talk about how to support mothers through cesareans, in the OR and during recovery. Another will discuss how to best help VBAC moms and tell us about the Special Scars group. And I'll be speaking about cesarean and VBAC support from the mother's perspective. The three presenters are all doulas and cesarean moms ourselves, and I'm very excited to learn from these other two amazing women. (Hopefully I'll have something useful to contribute, too!) 🙂
Also this week there will be a new support group meeting location. Every other month there's been a cesarean support group in Plano, but as that coordinator takes maternity leave we're grateful to welcome a new coordinator onto the team. They will meet every even month (Feb, April, etc) and the first gathering will be THIS Thursday (February 9th, 7pm) at the Gentle Beginnings Birth Center in Keller. Because of the nature of this group it is open only to cesarean mothers (no birth professionals.)
While some mothers recover from their births without a second thought, for many mothers recovering from a cesarean is a challenging ordeal, both emotionally and physically. Too often they may hear, "All that matters is you have a healthy baby!" which implies that their own healing shouldn't matter. (Sometimes mothers have a cesarean birth and our baby isn't healthy!) C-sections can be incredibly challenging and a support group is a chance to meet with other moms who understand some of what you may be feeling as you recover. Whether your birth was years ago or just weeks ago, all cesarean mothers are welcome to come listen and share.
I'm also very happy to share that this week on the ICAN blog they are featuring articles about the Special Scars group. What is a special scar? The vast majority of cesarean incisions are done as a low transverse (also known as a horizontal or bikini line cut.) Because of various circumstances like the baby's position or the need for a stat delivery a different type of cut may be used - vertical (or classical), inverted T, J, or a plus sign cut. These incision types are more rare and as a result there are fewer studies done for moms having VBACs after a special scar birth. As you can imagine this creates a vicious circle with fewer care providers supporting moms with these types of scars, and thus fewer studies to demonstrate the safety of VBACs. Special Scars moms have even greater challenges finding information, recovery support, and care providers encouraging them to VBAC. We are fortunate to have one of those rare care providers in our town! During our birth professionals meeting this week we'll hear from a mom who had a VBA3C with an inverted T* - she's amazing!
(*In case you wanted the translation - that's a vaginal birth after THREE cesareans, the first an inverted T incision!! To further confuse you, my youngest is a 3VBAC - third vaginal birth after cesarean. The code is fun to learn!)