Tuesday, September 30, 2008
This led Fisk and his colleagues, from Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital and Imperial College London, to modify the obstetric, midwifery, and anesthetic practices of traditional Cesarean childbirth “to emulate as closely as practicable the woman-centered aspects of ‘natural’ vaginal birth,” they explain in the medical journal BJOG.
The “natural” Cesarean allows parents to actively participate in and observe their child’s birth, explained Fisk, who currently directs the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research in Brisbane, Australia.
This is wonderful for babies and parents who have true medical reasons necessitating a cesarean. But I foresee that this new method will also make scheduled c-sections seem more enticing and therefore will add to the already rising numbers of planned surgeries.
It kind of reminds me of formula and the trend to make it more like breastmilk. That's great for babies who aren't breastfed, but it is not an equal substitute for breastmilk. Breast is still best. God made it that way, and all women should strive to breastfeed for the physical and emotional health of themselves and their babies. This applies to childbirth as well.
Check out Patrice London’s new book on her site: http://www.empoweredtobirthnaturally.com/.
Patrice’s book is available as an e-book or paperback and is only $7 or $12.95, respectively. To order it now, click here.
Here is a description:
“In our society, when starting new adventures people tend to pay close attention to detail. When considering buying a house, going to college, getting married, and even buying a television, people conduct extensive research. This same care and attention to detail is all but forgotten when it comes to the life-changing process of giving birth. This area is all too often left to the “experts.” This shouldn’t be the case. If more people would research the current medical model of care and the midwifery model of care, the results could be revolutionary. More women just might begin to trust that their bodies can, in fact, do what they were created to do - and do it well.
Of course, some don’t consider the how of giving birth to be important. They just want the end result - a healthy baby. We assume that the medical profession has our best interests at heart when various interventions are doled out “for the benefit of mother and baby.” There is no consideration of any long-term effects those interventions may have on mother and baby. It’s all just accepted. Then, our society wonders why the cesarean rates are climbing. I believe the how of giving birth is of the utmost importance. I believe one can have the end result and a whole lot more. I’ve experienced firsthand how life-changing the process of birth can be. I’ve experienced it in a negative and positive light and would like to share those experiences with you.”
Monday, September 29, 2008
I came across this story on Radical Doula:Baby born on front lawn July 31, 2008
A sweet story from Ann Arbor Michigan about a woman’s second baby born on their frontlawn by flashlight.
Barbeau helped Jennifer onto the grass and onto her hands and knees - the way she had birthed Rachel two years ago. Five pushes later, Maeve was born. Pink and perfect. “As they all adjusted to what happened, everybody was calm and pleased with their beautiful baby,” she said. “And there seems to be an appreciation of the humor of the situation.” “I took the most hilarious picture of them after the birth,” said Barbeau. “It looks like a camping trip.”
Jennifer was attended by her doula, who also happened to be a home birth midwife. They didn’t plan a homebirth and were on the way to the hospital (about to get into the car) when the baby was born on the front lawn.
Just another story for the sometimes births are just so easy they happen in cars, on couches, on front lawns files.
Cute quote to end the article:
“If I’d really planned a home birth,” she insists, “I think I would have given birth in the backyard.”
I’m in no rush to have kids. I can barely take care of myself and I’m honestly kind of scared at the whole prospect of nurturing an entire other human being to life. Especially because no one ever talks about the downside of pregnancy. Giving birth is really painful and woman have long-term side affects with their bodies! What about postpartum depression? Do you really get bummed after giving birth? Mujeres with niños, I want to hear from you!
I tried to leave the following comment. I am not sure why the comment wasn't posted. It is probably too long.
It is nice to read your open and honest post. (And it is nice to duscuss birth with another Latina.) I am the mother of 7 children. I have given birth twice in the hospital with nurse midwives, once at home with a midwife, and 4 times at home medically unassisted, (with just my husband and family.)
With my first two I had never heard of home birth. But then a friend mentioned it and I studied it and prayed about it. When I was pregnant with my 3rd I took dinner to a lady who had just had her first home birth. I arrived just hours after her wonderful birth. She was in her bed, her boys were in the living room, husband washing dishes, and I just knew that I wanted a home birth too. It was so peaceful and comfortable.
So many of the fears that your friends and you have are products of unnatural, medicalized birth, as well as society's messed up ideas about women's bodies.
I love pregnancy. Yes, it has its difficulties, but it is also a very amazing time. As for pain in childbirth, I will share with you my beliefs. I consider it hard work and powerful. My hospital births were overwhelmingly painful. I cried, screamed and was so afraid. But my home births were NOT! I actually enjoyed them ALL!
With my first home birth, when labor started getting harder, I thought, "Well, I guess I should lie down in bed." ('cause that is what we all have been taught by the TV.) Well, I lied down and that REALLY hurt. So I got out of bed and that was the last time during that birth and all of my next 4 births that I ever lied down!!! These are the main things that made my births better:
* Standing, swaying, kneeling.
* Vocalizing (not crying or screaming or saying negative things. But moaning, saying positive things.)
* Water.... hot bath, shower, hot towels on my lower back and perineum
* My husband applying counter pressure on my lower back/butt
* Faith in God and my body, to believe that God created me to give birth and that fear hinders women birthing. What we think we create!
* Privacy... not having strangers watching me, no wires connected to me and someone's hand up inside me checking me every so often. I was free to make noise, move as I wanted and focus inward without distraction.
As for the side affects to our bodies. I have carried and birthed 7 babies. I look great. (Not being stuck up.) I am trim, most people say, "YOU have SEVEN children." I eat good wholesome food and only drink water and milk, occasionally juice. NO soda, coffee or liquor.
My chi chi's are bigger during pregnancy and breastfeeding, then they shrink. My tummy is slightly flaccid, and I have stretch marks. But my husband loves me anyway. He says that he respects all these changes in my body because I am the mother of his children.
As far as postpartum depression, if you study childbirth you will learn that traumatic hospital birth and c-sections increase the chance of this. Yes, medical care, and c-sections are sometimes necessary and definitely can be life saving, but MOST of the time birth is uncomplicated if it is left to run its course. Unnecessary interference can lead to a domino effect of interventions.
Things like episiotomy are rarely necessary if a woman is able to move about during labor and not lying in a bed. Laying in bed with feet in stirrups works against birth/gravity and makes it harder for a baby to come out. This is why doctors do episiotomies (which is cutting the perineum to make the birth canal wider.)
In one of the comments left about your post one mujer said something about having your doctor put in a couple of stitches after birth to make you tighter. That's horrible!!!! Episiotomies are avoidable, stitches hurt, and they can increase chances of PPD.
With all of my births I have not had any pain med., no episiotomy, and no PPD. I have also nursed all of my children from between 15 months and 3 years (most weaned at 2 yrs.) Breastfeeding helps prevent PPD.
Little sister, start reading about birth. The time to study birth is not when you are pregnant, because you might be nauseas, tired and busy, therefore you may not have a lot of time. The time to begin studying is before you are even close to conceiving. Which means you are on the right track for asking these questions!
Also, find a good guy to marry. Not some fancy guy who wants to live the high life. A man who is loyal, who wants to work hard and raise a family. And finally, I would encourage you to not try to have your cake and eat it too. A career and motherhood robs your child of its mother and robs you of the best (albeit trying) time of your life.
Some days I get very little done around the house, (like projects, or cleaning, or quiet time) but for example... when I see my 3 year old dancing and tumbling around the living room, singing to herself, and just being HERSELF, my heart is flooded with thanks to be able to witness her joy and peace, knowing that if she were in daycare she would be waiting for mommy, longing to go home and she would not have that peace and inner tranquility.
I am leaving you some links to posts that I have on my blog, as well as some other articles that address some of your concerns.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Her baby boy, Robert Carlos was born Aug. 2008.
You may be wondering why do Latinas flock to the hospital? Here's some thoughts:
Latina women sometimes make the association that formula is more scientific, and thus more “American” and better than breast milk.. It is the same with hospital birth I am sure. Here's an interesting stat I found about breastfeeding on Vivirlatino that lends supports the statement cited above.
Mothers born in the United States had an 85% reduction in the odds of breastfeeding as compared to foreign-born mothers and a 66% reduction in the odds of breastfeeding at 6 months. Each additional year of US residency decreased the odds of breastfeeding by 4%. These differences by immigration status were seen for Mexicans, other Hispanics, and non-Hispanics.
Another reason that few Latinas give birth at home is financial: Midwife attended homebirth is expensive, between $2000-5000 out of pocket since insurance rarely covers it.
So yeah for Enith. I am so happy that she was able to birth her son at home, with a midwife, just like she wanted to!
I have been preparing and planning for an unassisted birth since I realized how traumatized I was by my first child's birth. It was that trauma that also brought me to the awareness that medical attendants at a birth are not neccessary all of the time. When it came to unassisted birth, I think of it as something I'm going to do, but when not pregnant it's like saying someday I'll hike Mt. Everest.
The following is the comment that I left for her. This is what I would like to say to all expectant mothers:
This quilt is amazing and the story behind its creation is equally so. It is so touching that you must Read it! The woman who created it was motivated to do so after her first child was born by c-section. She went on to have a VBAC then a homebirth. An excerpt from the blog "Like it or Lump it."
My first birth experience led me to begin this quilt. I wanted to reflect on the power it takes for a woman to give birth and the incredible link we must have between own minds and our bodies at the time of birth. They must be working together through the whole process. The way I explored this concept in the quilt was through the use of vines which represent being rooted in ones self. I felt like the the vines growing up around the birthing mother signified her connection to the earth and the birth as an ancient ritual.
I also used the embroidered Joan of Arc quote "i am not afraid, I was born to do this" as a background element and it becomes the mantra of the quilt. It doesn't matter how many times one gives birth, there is always that element of shock and fear which must be overcome while your in the thick of it. It's that mind/ body connection.
About the quilt:
It's a a whole piece quilt made from fabric which I hand-dyed and painted in greens, purples and pinks. Hand embroidered. Hand beaded. Hand and machine quilted. Handmade detachable purple cotton flowers and pink wool felt blossoms.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Some scientists say the study — released today to coincide with a Food and Drug Administration meeting— shows that bisphenol A, or BPA, is too dangerous to allow in consumer products, especially those used by babies and pregnant women.the National Toxicology Program... expressed "some concern" that BPA alters behavior, the brain and prostate gland in children, both before and after birth.
BPA, used in everything from polycarbonate plastic bottles to the linings of metal cans, is one of the highest production-volume chemicals in the world, with 2 million tons made every year and demand growing at up to 10% annually, according to the new paper. Scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have detected it in the urine of 93% of Americans tested.
Friday, September 26, 2008
I am the mother of 7 children. I have given birth to 5 of them at home, 4 were born unassisted, (that is without medical assistance.) My first two children were born in the hospital with CNM's. One of my home births was with a lay or direct entry midwife.
My hospital births were vaginal, drug-free births, yet they were painful, scary and imprivate. At home I was in control of my surroundings, my body and the labor process, whereas in the hospital I was a victim of birth, crying out in pain, with many observers and rules that I had to follow
My favorite part of my home births, in addition to being able to birth without overwhelming pain, was being able to hold my new, downy baby without interruption or interference. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about the very first moments of my baby's life in my arms, nuzzling my breast.
I have no regrets about my unassisted births. I only regret that during my midwife assisted birth she insisted on breaking my bag when my son presented in the caul. But had that baby been born in the hospital many more interventions would have taken place, like vaginal exams and monitoring.
I am soo glad that I found out about home birth, which has been the traditional way of giving birth all through time except recently. I believe that every woman has the right to choose where and with whom she should give birth and as consumers, women should be the dictators of how and where we birth, not the medical system. Instead, the medical system should facilitate women giving birth where and with whom women feel safest and most comfortable whether that is in or out of the hospital.
To conduct a show with the intent to showcase "home birth horror stories" without allotting positive home birth stories equal air time is irresponsible, reprehensible, and bad journalism.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I thought you might enjoy hearing it.
My ultimate goal is to have the song recorded professionally recorded on a cd and used in anti-drunk driving presentations in schools.
Please help me promote this video by taking a moment to DIGG this video if you are on Digg. You can also visit my new blog as well as the new store that I just set up. At the DUI Victims Voice store I am selling t-shirts at cost so that people can share the anti-drunk driving message.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Some of the featured stories:
Formula Unavailable After Natural Disaster Hurricane Ike: Donations Needed
Woman Gives Birth During Hurricane Ike
The first article I read discusses how OB/GYN's must be trained in performing abortions in order to serve the needs of half of their patients!! It is mind boggeling that 43% of women will receive an abortion!!
Monday, April 20, 1998
OPINIONMAKERS PHYSICIAN EDUCATION: Defending OB/GYN Abortion Training Requirement
In a letter in today's Washington Times, Vicki Saporta, executive director of the National Abortion Federation, responds to an April 11 op-ed ("Require abortion in the curriculum?") that contended abortion training should not be required for obstetrics and gynecology residents.
Saporta writes that neither author "accurately addresses the medical necessity of requiring OB/GYN residents to receive abortion training." She contends that the commentators overlook the "crucial" fact that abortion "is the most common surgical procedure women undergo in the United States" -- "43% of American women will have at least one abortion by the age of 45" even though "84% of counties in the U.S. have no abortion provider."
Saporta continues, "If OB/GYN doctors are not adequately trained to provide abortions, they cannot meet the medical needs of nearly half their patients. ... Regardless of one's personal beliefs about abortion, it is a medical procedure -- and medical professionals need to understand abortion in order to adequately care for their patients."
The next article I came across is from the National Right to Life News entitled Ob-Gyn Group Challenged on New Abortion Mandate Policy. This article presents the fact that ACOG pressures pro-life doctors to perform abortions.
I was stunned to read the following:
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a radically pro-abortion group which has for years insisted that physicians either perform or refer patients for abortions, recently stepped up its campaign to take choice away from pro-life physicians like Dr. Christiansen.
Maybe Jenny Hatch and other homebirth advocates have pointed out before that ACOG is big-time pro-abortion, but if so it slipped by me. I immediately recalled a statement Marily Moran once made to me and thought, well no wonder they are ticked off about homebirth! She had said something about homebirth pulling the rug out from under abortionist doctors because women will enjoy birth.
The following National Right to Life statement seems to ring true to me:
“ACOG’s aggressive political advocacy for abortion has significantly impaired its ability to speak for all physicians and to judge matters of medical ethics without bias."
I think that ACOG benefiting from abortion significantly impairs its ability to judge the matter of homebirth without bias. Certainly ACOG realizes that women who homebirth are less likely to use the medical system as much as women who birth in their hospitals and feel reverential towards their doctors whom have saved them from harm (regardless of whether that harm was iatrogenic or not.)
And when women give birth at home and enjoy birth, they will be less likely to want an abortion or use birth control but rather they will embrace the sanctity of life and the blessings of conception and birth.
So much for an organization that supports what some call "reproductive choice" - isn't home birth a reproductive choice?
This line of thinking has been occupying my mind lately. I feel the same way of course, that home birth is a reproductive choice. Yet, it is soooo different from the right to an abortion. Although choosing an abortion and choosing a homebirth are like comparing apples and oranges, (or two things even more remote than that,) many people, including doctors who are against homebirth, try to lump the two together. They argue that we, (those who are against abortion) should not support home birth because it is like having an abortion.
I shared this thought with a friend who has had 6 unassisted births (including a set of twins) and she said, "No it's not! When you have an abortion your goal is a dead baby. When you have a homebirth your goal is a live baby!"
Because babies sometimes die during childbirth (whether at home or in the hospital) people want us to believe that homebirth parents should carry a greater burden of responsibility than parents who choose to birth in the hospital, or even the doctors who are in control.
One doctor even has gone so far as to write on his NHSBlogDoc blog that homebirth parents who experience the tragic loss of a baby should be criminalized and imprisoned.
Dr Crippen believes that a baby sustaining injury during a deliberate “freebirth” should indeed have a legal remedy against his mother. And I would go further. If a baby were to die of an avoidable cause due to and during a “freebirth”, the mother should be prosecuted for manslaughter.The baby does not have a choice and must be protected.
An anonymous commenter was astute enough to leave the following comment:
I think if a baby is maimed or hurt during a doctor assisted birth, the doctor should be arrested for assault and battery. I think that if a baby dies during a doctor assisted birth, the doctor should be arrested for manslaughter. I think that if a doctor does an abortion the doctor should be executed for premeditated homicide of someone totally unable to defend him/herself. I think if a birthing mother hemorrhages because the doctor used "cord traction" the doctor should be arrested for assault - for premeditated homicide if the mother dies. I could go on and on and on.
Doctors kill and maim more people than midwives or "freebirthers" ever did. Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, M.D. pointed out that when doctors in California went on strike during the 1970's the death rate in that state went down. When they stopped their strike, the death rate went back up. Instead of slapping hands or ignoring it when a doctor kills or harms someone, let's hold them accountable. Don't sue them. Arrest them!!! Throw them in prison. They should only be paid if they cure someone. End of tirade against this idiot who thinks he is so much more capable and powerful than people who do not choose his prideful point of view. Priests of Death is what Dr. Mendelsohn called people like him.
Parents shouldn't be held legally liable because life here on earth includes death. Nor do I believe that for the most part, doctors should be held liable either when a baby dies. Life carries risk and we have to weigh our risks and make the choice that we feel that we have been guided to.
I have been wanting to write about the notion of 'risk' for some time. I learned a while ago that the idea of risk and insurance against it was first introduced to protect slave trading ships. I thought that to be ironic.
We hear so much about the concern of homebirth risks from abortionist doctors and how they need to enact laws against it in order to protect our babies. The whole notion of risk is based on monetary loss, and first came into play when people's lives/bodies were being treated like a commodity. Once again people are being treated like a commodity by an institution whose livelyhood is dependant upon their restricting our freedom and wielding control over our bodies.
The medical system's concern about the risk of homebirth isn't as much about our babies health as it is about perpetuating the medical system's fear-based, money-driven monopoly over birth.
I agree with the proud new father, Rueben:
Children are such a blessing, and the birth of a child is such a blessing to a family- one has to wonder why anybody would want to limit the number of blessings they would receive. I guess children don't stack up to fancy cars, large houses, credit card debt, and other things that make people not be able to "afford" the gift of more children.
This pregnancy has made me realize that the pro-life movement offers something that the abortion rights movement can't - the feeling that every birth, planned or not, is a beautiful event, and that every child conceived is a miracle.
Despite ACOG and other on-line Dr.s who would like to revoke my rights, (even though they'd happily assist me in having an abortion or prescribe me birth control) like Rueben, I choose the blessing of babies, the miracle of life and of homebirth.
I'll conclude with Jenny Hatch's thoughts on the subject:
One of the main reasons that I evolved to unassisted childbirth is because I was friends with a nurse at our local Boulder Hospital and she told me that she was being forced to assist with abortions at the Boulder Abortion Clinic where the partial Birth Abortion was pioneered.
She eventually quit her job as it absolutely violated every principle of life she held dear to be involved in the murders of little babes.
When I became informed about this issue, I decided that I did not want any medical professional who had assisted with an abortion touching me or my children when they were born. I did not want the first hands that touched my child to be the hands of an abortionist. It felt right to give birth to my last two babes at home alone, with just my sweet husbands hands the first to touch.
See a photo of Rueben's baby boy, born at home Sept. 2008 and read his blog post.
The author of the above article states:
When U.S. researchers looked at functional MRI brain scans taken up to a month after mothers gave birth and heard their own babies' cries, they found more activity in areas linked to motivation and emotion among the six who had vaginal deliveries compared with six who had caesarean sections.
This study and a study I mentioned last week support the belief that vaginal birth, as God created it, is best for babies.... and mothers.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Fashionable 'freebirths'? Birth is about baby's survival, not being trendy
I have given birth unassisted 4 times. I do not birth this way for bragging rights or some competition. I did it because my two midwife attended hospital births were terrifying, painful and humiliating.
During my hospital births I didn't get an episiotomy, even though the instruments were all laid out. I didn't need forceps even though I was stuck in bed with my feet in stirrups with no less than 4 people staring at my crotch. I didn't need a cesarean even though I had a monitor strapped to me. I didn't get an epidural even though I cried like a baby.
Yes, vaginal birth in the hospital is possible, but let me tell you it was hard to do! Though I was able to birth vaginally, I would not call them natural births. And frankly I felt like a victim, powerless to help myself.
During our 4 freebirths I didn't get any vaginal checks and didn't even birth in bed (I actually gave birth in a different position every time, standing, sitting, kneeling.)
And guess what... I didn't cry like a baby nor feel helpless. I enjoyed it, felt in control of my own body, and felt spiritually connected. (How dare I!)
Following my hospital births, yet before my UC births, I gave birth at home once with a midwife. I didn't cry during that birth either but the midwife pressured me during labor and needlessly insisted on breaking my water.
I don't embrace uc because it's "trendy." It seems to me what's trendy and bragged about are the epidural and scheduled c-sections.
I can't tell you how many women I have offered to help achieve a natural birth and they have almost all responded,"I don't want a natural birth. I just want my epidural!"
Guess what.... If you don't want a UC, don't have one! But I believe that having a natural, private, powerful yet painless birth is almost impossible in the hospital so I have chosen UC.
How about spending your time writing articles that encourage the medical establishment to bridge the divide and provide better communication and a safety net for homebirths.
We shouldn't have to be completely on our own if we want a uc or midwife assisted homebirth. I wouldn't have minded having a doctor, midwife or hospital to communicate with in case of emergency. But as it is now a days, (in my state esp.) there is this great chasm.
I know many believe that homebirthers don't deserve help in case of emergency. Problems are their own fault because of their audacity!
To me that just shows how competitive and proud hospital birthers are. Such thoughts also reveal the "controlling perfectionist instincts," that doctors and midwives are exhibiting on behalf of their "work place."
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Read this cute article about the choice to co-sleep or let your baby cry it out. It is written by a woman who decided to sleep with her babies vs. her sister's choice who chose the Ferber method of sleep training. An excerpt from the article:
I love sleeping with my kids. I love the mad scramble for bedtime stories, the cuddling among the pillows, the prayers everyone listens to, and the half-laughs they sometimes make in their sleep. I love going forehead to forehead with them, smelling their breath, touching their cheeks, laughing at the Rorschach drool marks on the pillow. I love waking up and having them smile at me like I'm the best thing about the morning.
Of course, we get our share of squirming, head-butting and thrashing but we know it will be all too soon when the kids will think us less cool than their friends or their hobbies.
...(R)esearchers found that 1,215 (93.8 percent) of East Coast hospitals distributed formula sample packs to at least some new mothers. Sample packs are often packaged as diaper bags that contain formula, coupons, advertisements and baby products.
Among the organizations opposing the practice of distributing the sample packs are the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the World Health Organization.
‘‘Exclusive breast-feeding rates among young infants are discouraging low,’’ the study’s authors wrote, with only 11 percent of U.S. infants being exclusively breast-fed at six months.According to the researchers, formula sample packs have been shown to undermine breast-feeding, making it important to eliminate them from hospitals.
Read a related article I wrote that was originally published in the Broomfield Enterprise,1998, guest columnist section, entitled "Some Gift."
Although the results of this observational study are difficult to interpret, acording to Fox news medical contributor, Dr. Marc Siegal:
"This is a reminder not to perform unnecessary c-sections to begin with. That should be a procedure that's only done when necessary. Shouldn't be something that's in vogue, should only be done when you can't have a vaginal delivery."
Watch the news video from 9/11/2008.