This section contains information in the news and info for journalists seeking comment on issues related to caesareans and vaginal birth after caesarean.

The most common question we are asked: “Why do you think the caesarean rate is so high? Is it a case of women being too posh to push?”

CANA’s response: The research evidence does not support the theory that women are too posh to push. What the evidence does tell us is that many women choose elective caesarean due to a clinical fear of childbirth. So, in effect, they are too scared to push.
Another reason our caesarean rate is so high is because 86 percent of women who’ve had a primary caesarean, end up having a repeat caesarean. Many women are simply not given the option to have a vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) and if they are given the option, they are pressured into submitting to various interventions and conditions (many which are not based on evidence) which make it virtually impossible to have an uncomplicated birth. We believe this sets women up to fail but more concerning, it sets women up for emergency caesareans and multiple surgeries, increasing the risks to both mother and baby.
A third reason is a lack of access to continuity of midwifery care and primary midwifery care. Most women give birth in hospitals with multiple care providers, strangers walking in and out of what should be a very private space. Evidence shows that this has a detrimental effect on women’s ability to give birth without intervention.
A fourth is the fear of litigation. The Calandre Simpson case in 2002 toppled the medical indemnity insurance industry and medicos have been allowing the fear of litigation to play a role in care decisions ever since. There’s a terrific article giving the background on the medical insurance industry collapse in the September 2008 edition of Birth Matters Journal.

CANA is often asked if we know of women who have had caesareans, or wanted to avoid a caesarean/had or having a vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) who would be willing to be interviewed, photographed or filmed for media stories.

We maintain a contact list of women who’ve expressed their willingness to participate in media interviews and also maintain a list of recommended experts.

Most media outlets operate out of Melbourne or Sydney, so if you are a woman who’s had an unwanted caesarean, wanted a VBAC or had a VBAC and you’d be interested in being media contact, please email us at
If you are a journalist looking for a woman to interview in relation to a story about caesareans or vaginal birth after caesareans or you are seeking a comment from CANA, please contact Cas McCullough on 0438 898 706 or 07 3282 8729.

About Cas

Cas McCullough is a co-founder of Caesarean Awareness Network Australia, a former consumer advocate and a certified Birth Doula CD(DONA). She is also an entrepreneur, owner of a Brisbane-based social enterprise to support women in her community and author.