April is Cesarean Awareness Month.
The initiative was launched by the nonprofit International Cesarean Awareness Network to improve maternal-child health by reducing preventable cesareans through education, supporting cesarean recovery, and advocating for vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).
At DTI, it’s an opportunity for us to honor all birth experiences. It’s an opportunity to move beyond generalizations and squash harmful stereotypes. (Because much like vaginal births, not all cesarean births are traumatic, nor are they all idyllic.)
It’s an opportunity to remind ourselves that our primary purpose as doulas and birth workers is to ensure the parents we serve have autonomy and choice when determining their birth outcomes—and that their experiences are honored and recognized.
Here are five sources of inspiration we’re leaning on this year for Cesarean Awareness Month:
1.) Empowered Birth Project
Activist, doula and co-founder of Moms In Color Kelly McKnight took over Empowered Birth Project’s Instagram page earlier this month to share a series of stats and statistics around Cesarean Birth Awareness and its relationship to maternal health for Women of Color. The page’s founder, Katie Vigos, also used the platform to hold space for the emotional duality surrounding Cesareans, too—to recognize that while some of us may have found a Cesarean birth empowering, there are parents who were traumatized by their Cesarean experience.
PS: Katie Vigos, the founder of Empowered Birth Project, will be joining us at BORN INTO THIS in Austin, Texas this June. Learn more about our annual gathering here.
2.) Black Mamas Matter Alliance
Black Mamas Matter Alliance is a Black women-led cross-sectoral alliance. The organization centers Black mamas to advocate, drive research, build power, and shift culture for Black maternal health, rights, and justice. Over the course of Black Maternal Health Week (from April 11 to April 17), they used their platform to share stats, facts and stories surrounding Black Maternal Health, anti-racism within the birth movement and honoring the legacy of Black midwives.
3.) Collegiate Mom Coalition
Founded by Jasmine Robinson, Collegiate Mom Coalition serves as a source of excellence for college women through programs that enhance their education, economic and social involvement, role-modeling and financial literacy. The organization is an advocate for children-friendly universities that cultivate tangible success for families one generation at a time. Throughout Cesarean Awareness Month, CMC has been using their platform to share stories of resilience and strength, highlighting the sh
PS: Jasmine Robinson, the founder of CMC, will also be joining us at BORN INTO THIS in Austin, Texas this June. Learn more about our annual gathering here.
4.) Catie Atkinson of Spirit y Sol
As an influential illustrator within the birth world, Atkinson’s imagery is an empowering reminder around parenthood, birth and autonomy. Head to her page for detailed drawings honoring Cesarean scars, Cesarean birth stories and more.
5.) Birth After C-Section Facts
Evidence-based information? Count us in. If you’re looking for data-informed facts surrounding cesarean births and VBACs, Birth After C-Sections Facts is a great source. Over the last few weeks, they’ve shared all sorts of tidbits around the truth of Cesarean birth—from present-day C-section rates to the history of Cesareans.
Looking for more inspiration? Follow DTI on Instagram.