Monday, August 10, 2015

How ICEA, and ICAN Collaborated For A Free Project for Parents and Birth Professionals

On August 10th at 10 am EST, ICEA (the International Childbirth Education Association), and ICAN (the International Cesarean Awareness Network) jointly announced the launch of the new joint project, the VBAC Project.

Researched and written by noted birth researcher and cesarean/vbac expert, Nicette Jukelevics,
this project is the first of its kind.  The most up-to-date evidence based information regarding cesareans and VBAC are put together in modules for parents as well as birth professionals.  With professional design, it is the hope that this free project will have a major impact on childbirth practices.

"Mothers have the legal right to make their own health care decisions, but that right, more often than not, is not upheld. Denial of medical care for mothers who want to labor for a VBAC has put healthy mothers and babies at risk for several health complications associated with repeat cesarean sections." says author Nicette Jukelevics. "VBAC was deemed a reasonable and safe option to a routine repeat cesarean by the National Institutes of Health decades ago (1981). But, in recent years, misinformation about its safety and lack of clear national practice guidelines have succeeded in virtually eliminating VBACs in many hospitals." 

A collaboration such as this, with the health and well-being of mothers and babies at the center of the collaboration, demonstrates that health care professionals can come together in the spirit of cooperation to promote evidence-based maternity care.  Without collaborations such as these, professionals will lack the tools to empower mothers to make informed decisions in their care. Further, projects such as the VBAC Project will impact care on many levels and may also impact the skyrocketing maternal/infant morbidity and mortality rates.

Nicette has a strong history as a birthing professional. Nicette is a childbirth
educator,  researcher  and author of 
Understanding the Dangers of Cesarean Birth: Making Informed Decisions. For over 30 years Nicette had the privilege of helping thousands of expectant families to prepare for childbirth, VBAC and early parenting. She has presented on cesarean and VBAC issues at national conferences and for advanced doula trainings across the U.S. She has served on the boards of CIMS (the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services), the International Childbirth Education Association, and DONA.  She is a published author in print articles, fact sheets, books, and online.  
In 2013, the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services presented her with the CIMS Advocate Award for her commitment to spreading awareness of Mother-Friendly care through direct communication and outreach.

I salute my long time friend Nicette and her accomplishment with the VBAC Project.  To view the project and download all of the modules and ebooks for free, you can visit, the ICEA website or ICAN's website.

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