The following links contain a variety of resources, online support groups and forums, consumer organisations and sites helpful to you and your journey for a variety of reasons – they can be excellent places to exchange information, birth stories and to seek ‘woman-to-woman’ advice and support about Caesarean birth, VBAC and more.
As you explore these links, please be aware that not all information found on the internet is evidence-based. However, there is a place for anecdotal information in making informed Caesarean and VBAC decisions – often it is the stories of people who have ‘been there, done that’ which can put a human face on the medical and scientific literature out there.
Birthrites WA: Healing After Caesarean aims to provide a support network for women who have had a previous C-section/s, and to increase the awareness of these women’s needs to their health-carers within the medical profession.
Birthtalk is a unique support and education organisation based in Brisbane, Australia. It is run by a registered midwife, childbirth educator and mums. Birthtalk helps women to plan a positive birth, to overcome birth trauma, birth grief and birth disappointment, to recognise and bust birth myths. This group also supports women and their families to explore the common fears and misconceptions about birth, and to become educated about birth after Caesarean including VBAC and positive Caesarean birth.
CANA (Caesarean Awareness Network Australia) provides information on how to find evidence-based information and resources about Caesareans and birth after Caesareans, links to support groups around the country, information on workshops and antenatal courses relevant to Caesareans or vaginal birth after Caesarean (VBAC), and information on issues related to maternity services for women who are planning a Caesarean, or planning to VBAC.
The official website of Homebirth Network of South Australia contains information about local services (including independent midwives and birth workers) and birth choices.
The Australian College of Midwives (ACM) is a national, not-for-profit organisation that serves as the peak professional body for midwives in Australia. The ACM is committed to being the leading organisation shaping Australian maternity care to ensure the best possible maternity outcomes for all Australian women. It is guided by research evidence that pregnant women and mothers benefit from having access to midwifery care throughout their childbearing experience.
Consumers can find many useful publications and brochures on this site.
Maternity Choices Australia is a national consumer advocacy organisation committed to the advancement of best-practice maternity care for all Australian women and their families.
Choices for Childbirth is a community initiative of Maternity Coalition – it aims to inform birthing women and their families about birth choices.
The Australia Breastfeeding Association offers breastfeeding support and education, including information on breastfeeding after a Caesarean.
Childbirth Connection offer trustworthy, up-to-date, evidence-based information and resources on planning for pregnancy, labour and birth, and the postpartum period.
CARES Inc. recommends their ‘What Every Pregnant Woman Needs to Know About Cesarean Section’ publication, as well as their ‘VBAC or Repeat C-Section’ page, among others.
ICAN – International Cesarean Awareness Network and VBAC information.
Lamaze International is a non-profit organisation which promotes a natural, healthy and safe approach to pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting. Knowing that pregnancy and childbirth can be demanding on a woman’s body and mind, Lamaze serves as a resource for information about what to expect and what choices are available during the childbearing years.
PREGNANCY, BIRTH AND BEYOND
An Australian online parenting social network where everything is explained in black and white, without the jargon, so you can make your own informed decisions on all things conception, pregnancy, birth and baby.
A comprehensive list of birth-related links and resources.
Jill Arnold is a consumer advocate who founded The Unnecesarean in August 2008 as a collection of big baby birth stories, as well as women’s accounts of their Caesareans and VBACs (vaginal births after Caesarean). This site pulls back the curtain on the unnecessary Caesarean epidemic.
VBACfacts contains comprehensive research, analyses and studies compiled by Jennifer Kamel.
VBAC.org.uk informs about all aspects of women’s health, family planning and pregnancy with articles and tips on a daily basis.
Mybirth.com.au will help you to learn how to have the kind of birth you wish for, know your rights in labour, protect your baby, protect your body, get informed about VBAC and more.
Joyous Birth (JB) is nation-wide group of consumers and birth professionals united in a love of birth and supportive of women’s right to access evidence based midwifery care. JB believes that birth, like sex, can be an intensely exhilarating, intimate and empowering experience. The women who report feeling this way in Australia are most commonly women who have chosen to give birth at home.
Women’s Health Statewide is a South Australian government funded advice service.
Cas McCullough’s ‘Mumatopia’ provides support services for birthing women and new parents which offers practical assistance and links mums in to a range of quality resources that promote natural and sustainable family living. Her website contains pregnancy and birth articles of interest.
BigBaby.org.uk aims to educate parents about the research behind and real experiences of birthing big babies – be that at home or in hospital.
Pathways to Family Wellness envisions a world of thriving, empowered families who easily connect to the inner and outer resources, practitioners and supportive community needed to create wholeness on all levels of existence. This page features their highly detailed ‘Empowering Websites for Pregnancy, Birth & Baby’ list of resources.
What is a straightforward birth? The UK’s National Childbirth Trust answers this question here.
Why is the EDD a lie? Misha Safranski explains.
The purpose of this website is to discuss ‘obesity’ and pregnancy, address questions and concerns about pregnancy and birth in women of size, and to help women of size have more empowered pregnancies and births. This website also contains much general pregnancy information useful to women of all sizes, including resources about VBAC and VBAMC.
The Birthing Site contains lots of general information about pregnancy, labour and birth, including resources about Caesarean, VBAC, home and unassisted birth.
A blog by a mother who has had two Caesarean sections, followed by a hospital VBA2C (vaginal birth after 2 Caesareans), then two unassisted homebirths (UBA2Cs). This page is rich with birth stories of all shapes and sizes.
Through networking and education, Midwifery Today’s mission is to return midwifery care to its rightful position in the family; to make midwifery care the norm throughout the world; and to redefine midwifery as a vital partnership with women.
A website on which women of all ages, shapes, sizes and nationalities can share images of their bodies so it will no longer be secret and women can be more comfortable in their own skin, stretch marks and all.
The UK-based Homebirth Reference Site is dedicated to the exploration for evidence and promotion of the safety of homebirth.
This site has been created by writer and former BBC journalist Pauline Hull. Pauline believes that we can only make an informed choice about our birth if we are provided with the information to make that choice, saying “I am not advocating elective cesareans in every delivery, but equally, I am challenging the assumption that vaginal birth is the best and safest first choice for all women.”
BIRTH TRAUMA AND LOSS
The Birth Trauma Association (BTA) was established in 2004 to support women suffering from Post Natal Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or birth trauma. BTA is not run by trained counsellors or therapists, or medical professionals, but by mothers who wish to support other women who have suffered difficult births. BTA aims to offer advice and support to all women who are finding it hard to cope with their childbirth experience.
The Australian Psychological Society website contains a range of useful resources relating to mental health as well as a search engine to help you find a psychologist near you.
Trauma And Birth Stress (TABS) is a Charitable Trust which is a support group of mothers who have all had stressful and traumatic pregnancies or births which affected their lives negatively for months or years afterwards. TABS was formed because of the need to make PTSD known as a form of mental illness that can happen following childbirth - it quite distinct from the Baby Blues, Post Natal Depression (Post Partum Depression) and Post Natal Psychosis.
Post and Antenatal Depression Association Inc. is a telephone support and information service for women with postnatal depression and their families.
Beyond Blue is an Australian organisation provides information about depression to consumers, carers and health professionals. Beyond Babyblues addresses perinatal mental health specifically and was established in response to the debilitating impact of perinatal mental health conditions on the mother, infant and family.
Lifeline connects people with care by providing services in Suicide Prevention, Crisis Support and Mental Health Support. They offer a 24hr crisis telephone line (13 11 14) and online one-on-one crisis support chat.
Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support South Australia (SANDS) offers support to all bereaved parents and relatives who have suffered the death of a baby anytime from conception through to 28 days after birth – this includes miscarriage, neonatal death, stillbirth, ectopic pregnancy and genetic/medically advised termination.
The Teddy Love Club is a support program for bereaved families who suffer the loss of their baby or babies at any time during pregnancy or after birth.
SIDS and Kids bereavement support services assist families who have experienced the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or child, during birth, pregnancy or infancy, regardless of the cause.