DIY Research

CARES Inc. aims to support women to make informed birthing choices. Because every woman’s birth journey is unique, we encourage all women to make evidence-based choices and to critically consider research in terms of its validity, credibility and relevance to one’s own personal context.

Researching your birth choices, past and present, can help you make better sense of your journey. As you explore the resources available to you, it is important to keep in mind that not everything you encounter online will be evidence-based, and that not all evidence is created equal.

While it is important to consider medical and scientific evidence when you make your decisions, it is sometimes helpful to balance this information with the more anecdotal evidence which can be obtained from other birthing women and consumer-generated, woman-centred sites.

Hearing the birth stories of others can be just as valid ‘research’ as reading studies, stats and facts. All are welcome to attend a CARES coffee morning or event to hear the experiences of other women.

If in the course of your research you come across any information about which you are unsure (whether in terms of content or voracity), we recommend you discuss this with your care provider or a trained health professional. While CARES cannot provide medical or legal advice, we can offer you ‘woman-to-woman’ advice, so please remember you are welcome to email us if you would like our support as you undertake your research.

Lastly, it is important to know when to stop researching, when to stop thinking and planning, and when to stop reading. Know that birth has its own flow and at some point you will need to surrender and trust the process.


  • Benefits and risks of elective Caesarean
  • Benefits and risks of elective repeat Caesarean and VBAC
  • Uterine rupture and relative risks
  • The use of CTG and intermittent auscultation
  • The accuracy of ultrasound predictions of baby weight, foetal abnormalities and amniotic fluid index
  • Breech birth
  • Vaginal twin delivery
  • Induction risks for planned VBAC
  • Premature rupture of membranes/premature labour
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD)
  • Placenta praevia and placental abruption
  • Active birth and ‘stalled labour’
  • The Sphincter Law and childbirth
  • Woman-centred or ‘natural’ Caesareans
  • The ‘cascade of intervention’
  • The ‘estimated due date’ concept
  • Delayed cord clamping
  • Lotus Birth
  • Skin-to-skin
  • Unassisted birth/’freebirth’
  • Guidelines, practice standards and policies relating to the birth setting and state in which you plan birth for all delivery modes
  • The history of the medicalisation of childbirth
  • The qualities of obstetric and continuity of midwifery care
  • National benchmarks for Caesarean and VBAC
  • Stats and facts about pregnancy and birth outcomes for the birth setting and state in which you plan to birth