Saturday, November 24, 2007

Midwifery under fire or Women's Choices Assaulted by legislators?,1,398264.story

Friday, November 23, 2007


To View ICAN's new CPD video from mother's who have had VBAC's:

There is no point in reposting something so well done, so feel free to read Kmom's article and the Caesarean myths article as well as watching the CPD video out from ICAN .

The problem with a CPD diagnosis for any woman is that it's based on a guess.
At term:
CPD means you look too small to have a baby.
During labor:
CPD means we couldn't figure out why your baby wasn't descending.
After the Cesarean:
Well, baby didn't descend, therefore it couldn't have ever descended, right?

While the rare medical condition occurs regarding pelvis structure or size, even those conditions are not anathema to a normal birth, they are simply watchwords to keep an eye open if mother or baby are looking like they need intervention. Instead, we intervene without the obvious caution necessary simply because we can.

To all the New Mothers out there...

There is a moment during every holiday where I stop and think of all the mothers untimely induced or given cesareans in order to accommodate travel, vacations, family obligations, parental visits and obstetricians vacation schedules. There is a moment afterwards where I wonder how many mothers escaped the knife by going into labor on Thanksgiving itself when no one wants to climb out of bed late at night to come in for a surgery call or wants to spend just another hour out with family.

And I know Christmas is coming and with it all the insane inductions for reasons like tax deductions or family plans. I know how many women will wind up with major surgery between Turkey and New Years. To those women, may you find ICAN ( or other healing to go forward in your journey and may your healing be quick. May your holidays be spent being pregnant and enjoying it, aches pains and ickies all around, while waiting for your little one to come rather than forcing that day upon yourself too soon. May you not spend a night in the NICU because of an induction or cesarean that should never have happened. May all your VBAC's be successful. May...the peace of the season and the reason for it, a simple home birth of a small boy child, envelop you with the feeling of sacredness and respect for this process so old and so worth the journey, and may you see that one special moment that millions of women make without ever witnessing the miracle.

And for the perfect Black Friday moment: May you spend more time planning your birth and your care provider than you do buying a new toy or crib item for your layette. After all, you will remember your birth for the next 80 years. A dancing Elmo won't be remembered at all...

So, now I'm going to take time out to say "Happy Birthday" to someone I know who's mother helped make Thanksgiving dinner 28 years ago and then went and had a baby :) Nope, it's not my mom but the mother to a great woman who went on to have a cesarean and become a fellow activist in the field, helping women to overcome their hurts and go on to pursue healthy births. And it's now something to be celebrated when a labor is spent without bells, beeps and whistles and being told what time and when to have the baby, so I think her mom deserves some credit for the work of bringing her into the world. No schedules, no pressure. Amazing that women used to give birth on days where we were giving thanks and now, we strive to make sure there is nothing to be grateful for on that day. Kind of missing the point, aren't we?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

You Should Be Grateful...

...and I am. I'm thankful this week for my lovely children. My cesarean that has given me the ability to help other women has changed my life and in some ways, I'm almost grateful for that, but in so many others...I wonder....
Should we be grateful that insurance companies can deny us coverage due to prior surgery?
Should we be grateful that our state government can override our rights and force us to have a cesarean for the "good" of our infant?
Should we be grateful that the way we garner strength is in having to fight during one of the most precious times of our lives?
How many times must we be "grateful" before the 1.7 million women being cut yearly are seen as an epidemic and not a safe solution to the "problem" of childbirth?

Thoughts to ponder:

May this week bring you many thing you give thanks for, in strength and happiness, in trial and pain. May your families be a comfort to you...

Monday, November 12, 2007

This week's Bias in the Media moment...

Ok. The article is so underfed with facts that it looks like a starving animal voraciously feeding on biases alone.

-"Doctors are growing wary...."

No. Obstetricians are refusing to do VBACs.

-"women..more and more difficulty in finding..."

NO. Obstetricians are choosing to refuse to have clients that want a vaginal birth. Think it's limited to vbac moms? Guess again. Over 35? "Obese"? First time mom? Your birth will be induced or sectioned. The odds of you getting an untampered with birth are under 3% and that's if you are birthing outside of a hospital and without an obstetrician.

-"a risk of uterine rupture, or a bursting of the C-section scar"

A BURSTING? You must be kidding me. Scar ruptures are rare and cover widely varying degrees between an unnoticed separation of muscle to a full split in the tissue or shredding in muscle tissue. The imagery here is hideous from a "reporter"...

-"advocates of vaginal...say fear of lawsuits.."

No. The Obstetricians say that. Or that they can't do them because of their malpractice insurance. Amazing that the same insurance doesn't say "wow, more mothers and babies being damaged is too risky for us" but their job is to protect obstetricians...not women.

-"I really think it's not too far in the future that no hospitals will allow it, just because the liabilities are too big."

Wow. So it's up to hospitals to tell us that we have no rights to use our own vaginas? We aren't "allowed" simply because the hospital might lose money? Are they going to give us back the money they make on our cesareans? Are they going to post the list of damages they are doing to mothers and babies in order to protect themselves from liability?

For every cesarean done, the stillbirth risk for the next pregnancy can as much as double.

-"Some doctors would disagree. A vaginal birth after Caesarean carries about a 1 percent risk of uterine rupture, which can result in brain damage or death to the baby, as well as severe injury or death for the mother."

And yet, EVERY cesarean is a "controlled uterine rupture," slicing open the abdomen and raising the risks for the exact same things for both mother and baby and for far longer into the future.

-For that reason, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended in 2004 that a doctor and an anesthesiologist be available during all VBACs.

Wow. You mean that the trade union for OB's has decided that all OB's actually must be at the births they are getting paid to attend! Or, even better yet, if they can't be at the births they are getting paid to attend, it's ok to refuse to do them!

-"When it happens, physicians have only minutes to perform an emergency C-section to save the baby and also tend to the mother, who could hemorrhage."

And yet, every cesarean is twice the blood loss to mom...not to mention quick cord cutting for baby, putting them at risk as well.

It just goes on and on...but the famous last words belong to this "intellectual"...
"Dr. Susan Hardwick-Smith, for example, who practices privately and delivers at Memorial Hermann-The Texas Medical Center, now refers patients who insist on having one to another physician. She would never take those risks with her own children, she said, so she doesn't take them with her patients' unborn babies."
Um..."Dr." might want to note that every time you refuse to do a vaginal birth and yet, continue to do elective repeat are not only forcing risks on unborn are raising them for us all... and that mother and baby are being harmed by you. are causing stillbirths, hysterectomies, infertility, possible slicing injuries to babies, greater risks of allergies and asthma, greater risks of dying due to respiratory issues for baby and mom could throw a PE. All in the name of "prevention"...

This kind of one-sided thinking endangers us all...

Cesareans are not safe simply because they are sometimes necessary. Turning all mothers into cesareans regardless of individual risk may not legally be malpractice (for those who can understand the difference between what is right and wrong vs what is a legal term) but it is damn sure unethical to do so in the name of protecting your practice. It makes one wonder when the humanity left the practice and only the fear was left. As one OB stated it several years ago: "After 38 weeks, the baby is my enemy"...

All in all, though, I can't help wondering how much revenue the newspaper gets from local hospital advertising. I'd like to think it was simply greed that kept them from publishing the truth, but I have the sneaking suspicion that they just simply don't understand how to give both sides of the story.

(Psst...saying repeatedly "advocates for..." doesn't make you unbiased or fair and balanced. It just means that it saved you from fact checking)