Caesarean Birth and VBAC Groups
This information was written as help and suggestions
for NCT branches wanting to provide Caesarean related support. It is not intended
to be prescriptive and we would welcome more ideas and information about what
has actually worked for you. We are always happy to talk to those involved in
running such groups and provide what support we can.
We are aware that the practicality of ideas given are
going to depend on you branch size, location and membership. With more than one
in five women now being delivered by caesarean even the smallest branch is
unlikely to have no caesarean mothers. Most caesarean mothers are likely to
find the suggested caesarean information pack helpful.
Setting up a Caesarean Birth Group
- Avoid using the word 'Support' wherever possible. It has a negative
association with caesarean and will work against you. "Caesarean Birth Group" or
"Caesarean Baby Group" have worked for others. It would also be possible to have
a joint group that included VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) or have this as
a separate group.
- Try to hold at least one Caesarean Birth Open House per quarter and
advertise it (in your events list) as being "for anyone who has had or is
interested in caesarean birth". Try and make it a regular event for a while even
if interest is limited.
- Aim to hold the Caesarean Birth Meeting where the hostess is a
- The meeting can be as informal as you like, but make sure that everyone
is introduced to one another and that someone makes some sort of record of who
attended. Often those attending will be prepared to host a future meeting,
making them feel more involved.
- Sometimes a more formal discussion could be undertaken and it may be
possible to enlist the help of an interested antenatal teacher or discussion
leader to lead a group discussion.
- Put together a caesarean information pack and additional information
(see below) and have these available for mothers, it often works well to be able
to spread material out on a table for everyone to browse. It would be good if
the hostess or group leader has read your caesarean information pack. (see
previous page for suggested pack.) If you have difficulty obtaining any of the
material, please call the co-ordinators and we will send you copies.
- Even if no-one attends the Caesarean Birth meeting it does provide an
opportunity that can be taken up if needed, letting mothers know there is some
interest in caesareans and giving a point of contact.
- Have a caesarean contact in your newsletter, someone who can listen and
give information and refer a mother to someone else if it is required.
- Make sure that mothers that need further support or information have
doors open to them. There is a lot on the internet about caesareans and VBAC,
including e-groups. If you feel they need more than you can offer give them the
numbers of the national coordinator at the bottom of this sheet, but please do
not generally publicise our numbers in newsletters etc.
Suggested Caesarean Information Pack
- Reading List and Information about any
relevant books held by your group.
- Actually by Gina Lowdon. Article from New
Generation Digest, December 1995. p11.
- Of No Consequence? by Gina Lowdon. Article from
New Generation September 1995. p14.
- Caesarean Birth by Teresa Hamlin & Sarah Clements. Article from New
Generation. June 1993 p6.
- NCT Information sheet on Vaginal Birth after caesarean.
- Caesarean Birth - Your Questions Answered. NCT Book (second addition available
from NCT Maternity Sales, it may be worth having a few to sell on.)
- Caesarean Choice. Teresa Wilson. Article from New Generation. March
- VBAC. Teresa Hamlin & Sarah Clements. Article from New
Generation. September 1993 p22.
- Caesarean Blues. Sarah Clements. Article from New Generation. June 1989 p6.
- NCT Information sheet on Records of your maternity care
- VBAC facts and issues. An article from New Generation. Dec 96. p22-25.
- Caesarean myths exploded. Digest Mar 97. p 2-4.
- NCT Information sheet on Home birth
First published in the NCT Postnatal support publication "Postnatal Forever" in 1996