ICAN of Monterey County

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Monterey County Board of Supervisors Adopts a Resolution 
Naming April as Cesarean Awareness Month in Monterey County
April 23, 2013
Monterey CountyCalifornia  - The Monterey County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution naming April as Cesarean Awareness Month in Monterey County.  Sponsored by District 4 Supervisor Jane Parker at the request of ICAN of Monterey County, the Resolution urges residents of our County to join together in raising awareness of the risks and benefits of Cesarean births, the availability of vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) at Natividad Medical Center, and to support educational programs for health professionals, patients, and the public.
Supervisor Parker said in her comments, “This is especially important for the thousands of women who are birthing in our County every year. All women have the right to full and complete information about the risks and benefits of Natural and Cesarean births and the corresponding right to make informed choices about their health care.”

ICAN Chapter President Anna Matsumoto testified thanking “Dr. Peter Chandler and the Board of Natividad Medical Center for providing a place in Monterey County for women to seek out evidence-based care regarding vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).” She continued, “It is my hope that the other two major hospitals in the area will follow suit and lift their VBAC bans.”

Over 1.3 million babies in the U.S. were born by cesarean section, accounting for 32.3 percent of all births <http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http: //liveyourideall ife.blogspot.com/2010/ 04/caveat-emptor-real-risks-of-cesarean.html>.  The World Health Organization (WHO) and American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) urge medical care providers to work on lowering the cesarean birth rates and increase access to vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).

According to the National Center for Health Statistics <http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db35.htm>, the c-section rate in the United States has risen 53 percent since 1996.  The National Institutes of Health <http://consensus.nih.gov/2010/vbacstatement.htm> has found that vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is reasonably safe for women who had a previous cesarean birth and are low risk for uterine rupture.  Despite this recommendation, only 8 percent of women go on to have a VBAC because many hospitals, such as our own Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital and Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula, do not allow VBACs.  Because of bans on VBACs, women have been denied access in over 40 percent of hospitals in the United States.  Currently, NatividadMedical Center in Salinas is the only hospital in Monterey County that allows and supports a woman’s right to choose a VBAC.

About ICAN
The International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc. (ICAN) is a nonprofit organization that was founded by Esther Booth Zorn and many other motivated women in 1982.  ICAN now has 181 chapters with 145 in the USA and another 36 internationally.  This support network has a mission to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).  
One of the newest chapters of ICAN is our very own ICAN of Monterey County.  This local chapter, which was started by HBAC (home birth after cesarean) mother, Anna Matsumoto, offers mother-to-mother support and free monthly meetings.

To learn more about ICAN of Monterey County, please contact:
Anna Matsumoto, Chapter Leader
On Facebook:  ICAN of Monterey County


Resolution text:

Before the Board of Supervisors in and for the County of Monterey, State of California

Resolution No.

Adopt Resolution proclaiming April 2013

Cesarean Awareness month in Monterey County


WHEREAS; Monterey County residents need to join together in raising awareness of the risks and benefits of Cesarean births and to support educational programs for health professionals, patients, and the public.


WHEREAS: This year, more than one-third of all babies in Monterey County will be born via Cesarean section, a serious abdominal surgery, but one that can be lifesaving for both mother and baby in medically appropriate circumstances; and


WHEREAS; The national and state Cesarean-section rates remain higher than the 15-percent average recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), which estimates that half of all Cesarean sections performed in the United States may be preventable; and


WHEREAS; The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ program, Healthy People 2020, has set a goal to reduce the Cesarean rate among low-risk, first-time mothers and for women with prior C-sections; and


WHEREAS, Women who undergo Cesarean births have a longer recovery time and are subject to increased complications, including difficulties in their future reproductive lives, with increased rates of unexplained stillbirths, placental abnormalities, and uterine ruptures; and


WHEREAS; Maternal-child health is improved by preventing unnecessary C-sections through education; through providing support for Cesarean recoveries, including physical and emotional support; and by promoting vaginal birth after Cesarean births; and


WHEREAS; Natividad Medical Center is recognized as currently being the only hospital in Monterey County where women may choose a vaginal birth after cesarean; and


WHEREAS: Monterey County women have the right to full and complete information about the risks and benefits of natural and Cesarean births and the corresponding right to make informed choices about their health care;


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Supervisors of the County of Monterey, on behalf of all the citizens thereof, do hereby proclaim April 2013, as CESAREAN AWARENESS MONTH, and urge residents of our County to join together in raising awareness of the risks and benefits of Cesarean births, the availability of vaginal birth after cesarean at Natividad Medical Center, and to support educational programs for health professionals, patients, and the public.

Pictured:  Supervisor Jane Parker, ICAN of Monterey County Chapter Leader, Anna Matsumoto, and ICAN of Monterey County member, Wendy Askew