About

Caesarean Awareness Network Australia (CANA) is the vision of three Australian mothers who saw a need to provide a public voice on behalf of women who have had caesareans, women who are considering having a baby by caesarean and women planning to have a vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC).

Our Mission

  • To be a portal to evidence-based, accurate information regarding the benefits and risks of and alternatives to caesareans.
  • To be a portal to peer support networks for women who are considering, planning to have or who have had a caesarean as well as women who are planning to have a vaginal birth after caesarean.
  • To advocate for the rights of women to make informed decisions regarding their birth choices.
  • To advocate for evidence-based and compassionate practices and policies regarding caesareans and birth after caesarean.
  • To promote access to appropriate birth care choices for women planning vaginal birth after caesarean.
  • To promote access to appropriate support for women undergoing caesarean section births.

Why was CANA established?

The decision to start the network was based on:

  • the increase in public debate on the safety of caesareans versus vaginal birth,
  • the increase in international research interest comparing caesareans to vaginal birth and repeat caesareans to vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC)
  • the prevalence of misinformation regarding caesareans and vaginal birth after caesarean in the media, the health system and society, and
  • inequities within the current health system including:
    •  inappropriate and institution-centred policies regarding caesareans and birth after caesarean.
    •  concerns regarding women’s right to make informed choices about their birth care and
  • inability for women to access a choice of care provider and model of care which potentially could negatively impact on the safety (physical, social, psychological, cultural) of their babies’ births and birth outcomes.

 Code of Ethics

CANA, as a community organisation is committed to:

  • Being woman and family-centred
  • Empowering individuals and the community
  • Equal opportunity • Non-discrimination
  • Promoting an inclusive view of safety (physical, social, psychological and cultural) as it relates to pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting
  • Being truly representative of the needs of women and their families • Promoting the highest standards of personal conduct
  • Open, two-way communication with stakeholders and the wider community
  • The principals of informed choice

We will:

  • Advocate for the emotional, physical, social, psychological and cultural safety of women in pregnancy, birth and early parenting.
  • Promote the principles of evidence-based care of women who are considering, planning to have or who have had a caesarean to care providers, policy makers and support organisations.
  • Promote woman-centred care of women who are considering, planning to have or who have had a caesarean.
  • Promote the right of women to make informed decisions regarding their mode of birth and interventions whether their decisions constitute informed consent or informed refusal.
  • Respect the right of women to choose their carers and birth preferences based on their individual needs and circumstances.
  • Provide access to accurate information on the safety of vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC).
  • Provide access to accurate information on the potential benefits of continuity of care and the safety of primary midwifery-led care for women who have had a previous lower segment caesarean section.
  • Raise awareness of the impact of negative birth experiences on women’s long-term psychological and physical wellbeing as well as the impact on the family unit and the wider community.
  • Support the work of peer support groups catering to the needs of women who have had, who are considering having or who are planning to have a caesarean by providing a voice for these women in the media and politically.
  • Encourage ethical research in the areas of birth-related trauma, maternal distress, caesareans and vaginal birth after caesarean.