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Canadian midwives issue statement on elective Caesarean section.

The Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) has produced a position statement, in alliance with the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, which states a belief that 'vaginal birth is clearly the safest birth for most women and babies, and that caesarean surgery on demand will have disastrous social and financial consequences for health internationally'. In addition, the association advocates safe, sensitive care within a health system that maximises women's ability to have a normal physiologic labour and birth, and notes that resources are needed to support continuity of care, one-to-one care in labour and increased access to midwifery services

CAM's statement continues by expressing concern about the current 'mechanical and fragmented vision of the body and birth and ... our society's "culture of fear" around childbirth'. The rising intervention levels demonstrate the extent to which the 'epidemic of risk' has spread in maternity care. Research on 'Caesarean section by request' clearly shows that anxiety and fear play a major role and that these factors can he addressed by more effective means than by surgery. The firm conclusion is that 'offering all women the choice of Caesarean section is not safe and not ethical'.

The whole statement ends with a challenge to midwives (and perhaps to women too): To build maternity care that is truly women centered will require beginning with the fundamentals: trusting women and supporting their ability to trust themselves, their bodies and the birth process'.

Canadian Association of Midwives, Position statement on elective cesarean section, June 2004. Visit

Report by Lillian Bondo, president, Danish Association of Midwives; Kit Dynnes Hansen, vice president, Danish Association of Midwives; Anne Marie Kjeldset, editor, Danish Midwifery Journal
COPYRIGHT 2004 International Confederation of Midwives
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:International Midwifery
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2004
Previous Article:Nordic conference brings together 500 midwives in Reykjavik, Iceland, May 2004.
Next Article:Evidence-based guidelines for decisions on Caesarean section set in UK.

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