Silent Knife: Cesarean Prevention and Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC)

Silent Knife: Cesarean Prevention and Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC)

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The bible of cesarean prevention. Wall Street Journal A landmark event, which will change the course of obstetric care by giving parents the informtion they need to make the decisions that are best for their own families. Comprehensive, highly readable, sensitive . . . should be read by everyone who cares about someone. Marian Tompson Director, Alternative Birth Crisis Coalition American Academy of Medicine Required reading for all childbirth professionals and prospective parents. Journal of Gynecological Nursing

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780897890274
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/30/1983
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 456
Sales rank: 713,052
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.94(d)

About the Author

NANCY WAINER COHEN co-founded C/SEC, Inc., the first and now the largest cesarean organization in the country, in 1973 and is a consultant and advisor to the Cesarean Prevention Movement. She is a leading authority on VBAC and has counseled thousands of women on the subject since 1972. Her many articles have dealt with VBAC, cesarean prevention, and positive birthing. Her personal birthing history includes a cesarean delivery for her first child, a vaginal birth in the hospital for her second child, and a vaginal birth at home for her third.

LOIS J. ESTNER, formerly an English teacher, is a VBAC mother, La Leche League leader, and counselor on the topics of breastfeeding, childbirth, and cesarean prevention.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1Introduction1
Chapter 2The Knife Unsheathed: Cesarean Section in the United States7
The State of the (Obstetric) Union7
A Brief History of Cesarean Section10
Factors in the Rising Cesarean Rate11
Indications for Cesarean Section15
Absolute Indications15
"Gray Area" Indications16
Relative Indications16
The Cesarean Population24
Risks of Cesarean Section to the Mother26
Major Abdominal Childbirth26
Maternal Death29
Maternal Illness and Disability30
Psychological Complications33
Risks of Cesarean Section to the Infant34
Risks of Cesarean Section to the Mother/Infant Relationship37
Costs of Cesarean Section39
Chapter 3Voices of the Victims (Letters from Cesarean Mothers)41
Chapter 4Grieving ... and Healing59
Grieving? For What?62
Factors Affecting Grieving64
Cesarean Sections: Decisions of Love65
Grieving Responses66
Fathers' Grief67
Identifying the Symptoms ...68
... And Working Our Way Through ...69
... To Healing70
Chapter 5Of Sound Mind and Belly: Uterine Dependability75
The Uterus and the Cervix78
Uterine Incisions79
Popularization of Repeat Cesarean Section80
The Transverse-Incision Revolution81
The Specter of Uterine "Rupture"83
Iatrogenic Causes of Uterine Instability85
Signs of "Rupture"?85
When Instability Does Occur--Sterilization or Repair?86
Scare Tactics89
Growing Support for VBAC: The Studies92
The 1940s92
The 1950s92
The 1960s93
The 1970s94
The 1980s95
"The Experts" Speak Up ... Sort of96
VBAC: Getting Down to Specifics97
"What If My Pelvis Is Too Small?"97
Failure To Progress99
More than One Cesarean99
VBAC after a Previous Uterine Infection100
Breech VBAC101
VBAC Twins101
A Time Limit for VBAC Labor?101
How Many VBACs?102
How Long between Pregnancies?102
Is It Ever Too Late To Decide on a VBAC?103
If at First You Don't "Succeed" ...103
"Your Uterus Is Paper-Thin!"104
What about Hysterography?104
"Management" of VBAC Labors105
Manual Exploration of the Uterus106
VBAC with a Vertical Incision107
Inverted-T Incision109
Our Statistics110
Out of 105 Women ...111
... And out of 105 Labors ...112
... Came More than 105 Babies!112
Healed and Healthy113
Chapter 6The Fallacy of Natural Childbirth117
How Natural Is Natural Childbirth?117
Chapter 7Increasing Your Potential for Normal Birth: Nutrition and Exercise123
Father's Nutritive Role126
A Few Nutritious Tips127
Exercise during Pregnancy131
Reaping the Rewards134
Chapter 8Diagnostic Time Bombs?135
Pregnancy as Pathology135
Informed Consent?135
Women as Lab Rats138
Tests during Pregnancy: Help or Hindrance?139
Estriol Testing140
Oxytocin Challenge Test146
Non-Stress Test147
"Don't Worry Your Pretty Little Head!"150
Ignorance Is Bliss?150
Chapter 9Birth Interventions and Their Consequences153
When To Go to the Hospital154
Upon Your Arrival ...155
"Just a Little Ride"155
Admissions Procedures155
In the Labor Room156
Maternal Position during Labor158
The "Prep"160
I.V.s vs Food during Labor162
Amniotomy and Infection168
Vaginal Exams173
A Breath of Fresh Alternatives175
... Back to the Labor Room176
Induction of Labor176
Electronic Monitoring Devices180
Second Stage187
In the Delivery Room189
Birthing the Placenta196
Cord Clamping196
"Welcome to the World, Dear Child": Baby's Own Interventions198
Silver Nitrate200
Vitamin K, Circumcision, and Jaundice202
Going Home ("Hate To Eat and Run ...")205
A Note about Breastfeeding205
Judicious Use of Medical Interventions206
Why Reinvent the Wheel?207
Chapter 10Paternal Perspectives211
Paul's Story211
Martin's Story218
Chapter 11Labor Support223
"The Climb"223
The Climb--with Help225
"No Drugs--Just Hugs!"226
Why Not the Hospital Staff?228
Mates as Labor Assistants?229
Supporting the Laboring Woman233
Choosing a Labor Assistant235
Labor Support: "Where Can I Find It?!"235
Additional Support236
Labor Assistants Are Not Magicians!236
Consumer Power238
Siblings at the Birth239
Preparing Children for the Birth of a New Sibling240
Friend (or Foe?)242
Beyond Labor Assistants243
Chapter 12Mindscapes249
The Body and the Mind250
The Power of Beliefs251
Our Beliefs Influence Our Births256
Identifying Beliefs259
Feeling Safe260
The Pressure To Perform266
Birth, Death, and Pain267
Birth as a Sexual Experience268
Territorial Primacy272
From Daughters to Mothers274
Opening the Heart276
Love: Birth's Most Precious Assistant276
Creating a Cesarean282
"Why Me?"284
"But I'm Due on Tuesday!"285
Chapter 13Planning Your Birth287
Childbirth Preparation288
Traditional Course Content290
Finding the Right Instructor295
Choosing Your Birthplace299
For Those Who Choose a Hospital Birth299
What about Homebirth?307
Breech Presentation309
When Purebirth "Fails"316
Choosing a Physician317
Interviewing an Obstetrician324
Changing Physicians333
Doctors Who Care333
Medical Records334
Reclaiming Responsibility336
Chapter 14In Case a Cesarean Is Necessary339
Prenatal Planning340
Postpartum Planning343
Your Newborn344
Chapter 15Voices of VBAC (Letters from VBAC Mothers)347
Chapter 16Cesarean Deliverance381
ALabor Chart384
BPreventing Unnecessary Cesareans386
CVBAC Classes: Questions for Private Discussion392
DVBAC Classes: Questions for Open Discussion393
EResource Groups394
FSample Affirmations396
About the Contributors427

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Silent Knife: Cesarean Prevention and Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The hospital in the rural community in which I live has recently decided to no longer allow VBAC deliveries. When I delivered my last two children they had yet to allow VBAC deliveries, so I chose to travel an hour to the nearest hospital thoughtful enough to provide this service. In 1986 and 1988 I delivered two wonderfully healthy children vaginally, after having had a previous C-Section. 'Silent Knife' inspired me to do so, as the basic message was simply that our bodies heal -- that's what they were made to do. When an indication for surgery exists, then certainly the medical professionals must present the option and inform the prospective parents of the risks and benefits. To completely deprive pregnant women of the opportunity to deliver vaginally after a C-Section, simply on the basis that she has previously delivered a child via C-Section, without any other indication for surgery, is wrong. The authors of 'Silent Knife' wish simply to inform women of their right to choose the manner in which they give birth.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Of all the book descriptions I read everyone of them made wonderfull acclaimations toward this book. So when I bought it and started reading it I was very surprised. It is very opinionated, one-sided, disapproving of all medical physicians, exaggerated, and very often the case completely untrue. In just the first two chapters I have found quite a few wrongfull accusations, in appropriately emphasized quotes, and exaggerated statistics. Not only that, but the statistics that were used were from the 1970's! There is no up to date information in this book and I am very disappointed. Please... if you want to buy a book to get to understand VBAC and Cesarean Section better, use any book but this one. This is more of a windy editorial than an actual representation of what to expect for a VBAC and to prevent a Cesarean. After reading this book I was mortified to the point of tears at how the authors made me feel I was such a failure as a woman because I had a C-Section and how my doctor was waiting by my bed the whole labor for the moment when he could pounce and rip my belly open. This is a HORRID HORRID book!
kjoni More than 1 year ago
.My first pregnancy was a Cesarean birth in 1982. In 1985, I was pregnant with twins and wanted a chance to have a vaginal birth.  There were plenty of books about C-Sections.  Back in those days it was taboo to have a VBAC especially since my second pregnancy was twins.  I actually called the author and she adequately answered my tough questions. I waited till I was 36 weeks pregnant and left for Indianapolis, IN where they had done many VBAC deliveries successfully.  The delivery of my twins was no exception.  It was joyous to have had the opportunity to have a vaginal birth.  This book was my bible in a day and age when it was accepted and expected to have a second C-section.  Thank goodness this book was around in 1985 for me!  The book has many inspirational chapters.  My favorite addressed laboring and pain which I have used to assist in control of pain to this very day.  Today I am a nurse who is able to see through the “scare tactics” that the “Horrid” reviewer stated she experienced with her read.  I sat in on my daughter’s second pregnancy with the Obstetrician using her repertoire of scare tactics of why she should have a second C-Section.   What is scary to me is to not have a knowledge base of both sides to make the right decision for yourself.  
Guest More than 1 year ago
Don't let Miranda's sadness over her own c/section put you off this marvelous book! I feel sorry for Miranda and hope she comes to terms with her pain. This book is incredible and a real help. It is timeless and accurate and a must read for any pregnant woman who wants to avoid teh knife to give birth. our bodies were degisned by God to give birth, so get this book for your own empowerment.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I believe any woman who has had a cesarean knows that she has been robbed. Unless needed in case of an emergency, many cesarean sections are unnecessary. One in four women in America give birth by c-section. I have a hard time believing that so many women are incapable of giving birth naturally. This is a beautiful book that gives hope to those women out there that have been told they 'can't'. Vaginal birth after cesarean is possible and very empowering for mothers. Excellent read!!!