April is Caesarean Awareness Month



April is International Caesarean Awareness Month. An event organised by ICAN – The International Caesarean Awareness Network.

ICAN is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by reducing preventable caesareans through education, supporting caesarean recovery, and advocating for vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC).

What is a Caesarean?

A caesarean birth is a life-saving procedure for women in need,  however, it is also a problem when performed unnecessarily.  Women are not being educated about the pros and cons of a C – section based on their situation.

C-section rates are currently rising dramatically – in fact in 2021 1 in 3 women had a C-section birth – this had increased from previous statistics of 1 in 4 women.


NSW and Victoria – both have extremely high c-section rates, and the rate of c-sections in private hospitals is increasing – currently sitting at 49% compared to 29% in public hospitals.

Image of a mum with a ceaseran scar holding ababy - showing a scar and abre belly.

C section scar

What does a C-section involve? 

A caesarean section is a surgical procedure in which a baby is born through a cut made in the mother’s abdominal wall and uterus. While it might sound like a simple procedure – many layers are cut through – including skin, abdominal muscles, and the wall of the uterus and then, the amniotic sac and baby are removed from the uterus.

A baby will need to be born by caesarean section if there are serious problems that prevent the baby from being born by a normal vaginal birth.

The campaign aims to reduce preventable caesareans in mothers who do not need or will not benefit from a c-section, support post-caesarean recovery, and advocate for vaginal delivery after caesarean (VBAC).

To all Mumma’s who have had caesarean births, we see you, and we honour you!

If you feel a caesarean is being offered to you when you may not need it, make sure you ask questions and advocate for yourself and your baby. Just remember, a caesarean birth is a major abdominal surgery with a longer recovery period.

For 6 weeks after a c-section – you are not able to lift anything heavy – this includes, toddlers, and prams – and you can’t drive for 6 weeks!

A caesarean section – can be chosen i.e it is an elective c-section, or it may be advised due to issues with a normal vaginal delivery this can include

  • such as the mum failing to dilate
  • baby is stuck,
  • baby is beginning to go into distress
  • or there are other complications.


My  Story

I had to have 2 emergency c-sections – the first with my eldest daughter – my Labor failed to progress as my daughter was Asynclitic.  Her head was off to the side and not directly on the cervix – which was affecting my ability to dilate past 4 cm. She was also in the posterior position – pressing on my spine – causing painful contractions that would go all the way to the top of my shoulders.




To the side is an image of an asynclitic baby in the pelvis – as you can see the head is twisted and not exactly centred. In my case – my daughter’s head was so jammed into the pelvis that nothing that we did to try and move her out worked – I went into shock. This is a situation where the emergency caesarean section – enabled myself and my daughter to deliver safely.




Women must be advised on their rights to birth – whether selecting a c-section or whether trying to have a VBAC ( Vaginal Birth after a caesarean section).


The good news is that VBAC rates are rising!

My second emergency c-section was scarier – literally, I haemorrhaged and within 20 mins my daughter was born. It was a race down to the maternity ward, they prepped me – we were in the operating theatre within 10 minutes, and 5 minutes later my daughter was born.

This was after I had been in Labor on and off for 3 days – I was exhausted and also very relieved – although it all happened so fast – my brain and body took a bit of time to catch up to what had happened.


As I had previously had a C-section – I worked with The doctors and midwives to have a VBAC – I desperately desired a VBAC. They were all extremely supportive – however – we did also have a plan for what would happen if I had a C-section and I was informed of all the different scenarios.


Women must be given options, support and all the information that they need before choosing to have a c-section ( if elective), but also in an emergency.


Before giving birth – please make sure that you ask your healthcare provider – whether it be your OB, or midwife and make sure that you know exactly what a c-section entails, all about recovery and also more information on a VBAC.


The great news is that we can assist you in so many ways – with c-section recovery.


Julia applying acupuncture to a point on the clients hands

Ways that we can assist you with Acupuncture, Moxa and Chinese Medicine

  1. Mother warming and warming the scar – approx. 5 days after giving birth – we send you home with a moxa stick and I would have explained to you and your partner how to do this.
  2. From 6 weeks – we can begin to repair the c-section scar and help the muscles, skin and surrounding area to repair itself. To begin with – we use the moxa to help bring warmth to the area, which increases the circulation of blood and delivery of nutrients to the area ( via the blood).
  3. When ready – we can then surround the c-section scar with needles – this helps to reconnect the muscles, skin and tissue together and works deeply underneath the c-section cut.
  4. When needling a c-section scar – we are also realigning and reconnecting the meridians of the body that have been cut during the c section – as we reconnect these meridians back together – we reconnect the body and assist in restoring the flow of blood circulation and energy through the body.
  5. If you have had a previous C-section – we can assist support to help enable you to have a successful VBAC. This begins with Birth preparation from 35 weeks of pregnancy.
  6. We can provide further support and nourish your body with dietary advice and recommendations, as well as with Chinese herbal medicine – please note that Chinese herbal medicine can only be prescribed once you have had a consultation with us.


While I wasn’t able to have a natural birth with both of my daughters – I was still able to birth both daughters safely.

This is the main importance of a caesarean section – in that it does provide a lifesaving procedure for the mother, and baby.

All women deserve the right to be able to birth their baby – wether vaginally or via a c-section. Please ask your primary care provider for all the details on what a cs section entails before deciding for your birth. Remember – you can always ask for a second opinion!



Written By Dr. Julia Bartrop







#Ceasareanawarenessmonth #Csection #VBAC #womena health support.