The Contradictions of American Birth

Many women I meet, when asked about labor, immediately talk about how great the epidural is, or how much labor hurts and that when confronted with their own labor, they’re choosing an epidural or a c-section. This gets me scratching my head every time. I just don’t understand.

The pain of labor is a unacceptable, and something to be avoided, even if avoiding it might cause problems for the baby or the birth. However, pain caused by the doctor (i.e. vaginal exams, episiotomy, cesarean, spinal headache,side-effects of drugs) is perfecty accepted, especially if it is touted as being best for the baby, despite all evidence to the contrary. This is absolutely baffling. So many women choosing to replace nature with pitocin, narcotics, epidurals, sedatives, being restricted to bed, unable to eat, and doing it to avoid labor pain, makes no sense when all of those things are more likely to cause complications that are inherently UNSAFE for the baby, and PAINFUL!

This according to a study located by a quick google:
Women receiving epidural anesthesia were nearly 3.5 times more likely to be delivered by cesarean
Labors involving epidural anesthesia were, on average, lengthened by more than 5 hours
Anesthetized labors were more likely to result in “surgical vaginal births” (forceps or ventouse), severe perineal laceration, fever and infection of mother and/or baby, malpresentation (face-first birth, and extension of the head, “back-labor” or a postirior baby)

Does this make sense to you?

Last time I checked, cesareans and perineal tears are both very painful, and entail long recoveries. And if you’re trying to avoid labor pain, why would you make labor last any longer than it has to be? At least when labor is over, it’s over.

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Court-ordered cesarean and a Womans’ rights.

Just a small thought. I’ve heard a lot of people say that they believe that a woman should be forced to undergo a cesarean if she or her baby would otherwise die without it. Why? This is like saying that an unborn person has more rights than anyone else and a pregnant woman has no rights at all. After all, no one else EVER can be forced to undergo surgery to save someone else, and no one else EVER can force someone else to have surgery to save themselves.

Consider this. If my brother were dying and needed a kidney transplant, no one could force me to donate mine. Transplant surgery has it’s risks for both involved, same as cesarean. Even donating blood, which has few risks, no one can force you to do that, no matter how many people you could save. Even when someone is already dead or dying you can’t force them to donate organs to save someone else. Why don’t women get that same basic right, the right to bodily integrity and the right to have the final say about their medical care, regardless of the outcome?

This also brings me back to the argument about the birth experience. It seems to be a common philosophy that what happens during birth doesn’t matter, as long as the baby is healthy. You’ve heard people say it “Well, at least the baby is ok!” There seems to be the attitude that a mothers’ experience of birth doesn’t matter. YES babies matter, they’re important, but MOMS matter TOO. I’m not saying that the mother is the only thing that matters, but her comfort, confidence, and her body matter every bit as much as the baby. Her wishes should be respected at all times, and not entirely trampled upon “for the sake of the baby”.

I hate quoting from others’ blogs but I can’t help it here. This is from Journey to a Birth.

Why does society place such emphasis on ‘at least your baby is healthy’ and completely disregard the mother, her feelings and pain and the birth experience as a whole?

It does fucking matter.

It matters for years and years.

The experience women achieve from birth is meant to be Joyous, not a memory of pain, hurt, sadness and complete loss of confidence.

I’ve been told that it doesn’t matter how the baby is born as long as they arrive healthy.
What does that say about their own self worth? Their belief in their own bodies? Their belief in birth itself?

It does fucking matter.

I cannot converse with people that feel this is ok. To say to a woman who is recovering from major surgery, feeling like she’s been hit by a train, completely lacking in self confidence about her abilities as a mother, and in shock, that it doesn’t matter what happened to her, she doesn’t count, her feelings are irrelevant now.
She has a baby, as long as they arrived healthy then the rest doesn’t matter?

It does matter.

If Denmark can do it, SO CAN WE!

Hey look at this.

That’s great! And I hope it happens. Once it happens one place in the world, it will spread. SOMEONE has got to stand up and see the light. Take a stand and say “No more will I subject my sons to ritual mutilation!”

It’s completely ridiculous to compare the circumcision of girls – which is a barbaric mutilation – with that of boys, where it’s just the removal of a skin flap,’ said the party’s Jesper Langballe.”

mu·ti·late

(myōōt’l-āt’)  Pronunciation Key
tr.v.   mu·ti·lat·ed, mu·ti·lat·ing, mu·ti·lates

  1. To deprive of a limb or an essential part; cripple.
  2. To disfigure by damaging irreparably.
  3. To make imperfect by excising or altering parts.

Well, in places where girls are circumcised, they just take a couple of flaps of skin, the labia minora. In more extreme versions, they also take the clitoris. On boys the frenulum is commony removed. In the most extreme cases of female circumsicion, they infibulate, or sew the remaing parts closed, except for a small hole. Have you ever heard of metal stenosis? That’s where the urethra narrows, sometimes to a complete closing. It also happens exclusively in circumcised men. Given that it’s just a side-effect here, and not done on purpose, but it’s still the same thing.

  1. I don’t want my boy to be teased for being different.
    The circ rate worldwide is less than 15%. Your son will be in the minority if he is missing his foreskin. In addition, regardless of if he has his foreskin or not, the kids who tease will find something to tease him over. His haircut, eye color, the brand of his shoes, because he wears his favorite shirt too often, because someone heard him fart in class, anything.
  2. Intact boys get urinary infections.
    So do circd boys, and little girls, and grown men and women. The female anatomy is more inclined to get UTIs, but we treat them with antibiotics, not surgery.
  3. The intact penis is gross, it looks ugly.
    Then a woman is gross too, since the lubrication supplied by the intact penis is the same as a womans natural fluids. Women fix this by washing daily. How often have you had to tell your son to play with his penis in the shower? Even if you did have to remind him, you remind him to wash his face, and behind his ears, don’t you? As far as the ugly concern, you think it’s ugly because you’re used to seeing a denuded penis, so of course you think it’s weird. Would you get him a nose job if you didn’t like his face?
  4. I don’t want him to get AIDS or other STDs
    So teach him to abstain or use condoms. If circumcision protected from STDs then America wouldn’t be swimming in them, since we had an 80% circ rate at one point.
  5. Circ is painless.
    Yeah, tell that to the men who have been circd as adults. And they recieved anesthesia, infants do not.

Moved>: One rant and one rant only: listen up

Quoted and removed from Dirt Worshipping Tree Hugger:

Okay, this is a family blog, so I hate writing things on here that might upset anyone, since the goal is to keep the negativity away from my family. However I’ve reached the end of my rope on one issue and I’m going to break my rule just this one time to make an important point. Those of you doing it know who you are.

Stop sending me your political propaganda via email. If you want to talk politics, do a little research and let’s talk face to face. I’ll blow your ass out of the water, I guarantee it. I don’t want to see this garbage in my email box every damn day, so knock it off. I’ve asked politely several times, and I’ve had it. All the trash talk you’re sending me, why don’t you look it up yourself instead of relying on political chain-mail for your information? Or did it ever occur to you that the so called “negative” points you’re sending about the candidate someone might actually agree with?

Furthermore, I don’t care how much money the candidates make, I don’t care if they say the pledge or sing the national anthem or do the hokey-pokey, I don’t care how “down-to-earth” they think they are with their “I’m-just-like-you-got-my-finger-on-the-pulse-of-the-everyday-man” horseshit they talk. I don’t care. I’ve got my own political opinion. The same way that I don’t appreciate you stuffing your religion down my throat, I don’t like you stuffing your politics there either. For all I care you can stuff them right up your ass.

Ouit sending me your political propaganda or I’ll start sending you mine.

Measles “Outbreak”! OMG Mass Hysteria!

Ok, take a look at this and this.

The first is an article about this so called “outbreak” of measles and the second is the CDC report on it. “During January 1–July 31, 2008, 131 measles cases were reported to CDC.” Out of 131 cases, 15 were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.

On the flip side let us examine VAERS. In the United States during the same period (from January to July 2008) there were 1,530 adverse events reported from all five vaccines containing measles. There were 49 hospitalizations resulting from measles vaccines during that period, three resulted in permanent disability, and one resulted in death.

Seems to me like, in comparison, there is an outbreak of measles vaccine related injury. Besides, that doesn’t explain this.

Next Week: Vaccines

I am currently putting together a post about vaccinations, which I’m expecting to have done by next week. For now, admire my new links, and think about this:

All the diseases we currently vaccinate for have known treatments. The vaccine reactions do not.

The CDC admits that there is a higher chance of vaccine reaction than catching any of the vaccine available diseases.

A polio outbreak began in Oman from 1988 and 1989. It occurred despite the children being vaccinated prior to the outbreak. The region with the highest attack rate had the highest vaccine coverage, while the region with the lowest attack rate had the lowest vaccine coverage. [The Lancet Sept. 21, 1991]

Sweden abandoned the whooping cough vaccine in 1979. Why? Out of 5,140 cases of whooping cough in 1978, it was found that 84 percent had been vaccinated at least three times. [BMJ 283:696-697, 1981]

More than $1.1 billion in claims have been paid by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to parents of children affected by vaccines.  If vaccines are safe, why is there a whole program designed and devoted to help vaccine-injured children? The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1987 is just a pacifier. Nothing in the act attempts to stop adverse events from happening again, and the fund is paid for by taxes and fees applied to the cost of every vaccine. In effect, parents of children receiving or damaged by vaccines are paying for “insurance” to cover their own and each others’ injuries. The vaccine manufacturers, who make a living by selling their product to the public PAY NOTHING when a member of the public is injured by their product. Instead of being sued by every family experiencing an adverse reaction, which could cost billions, they’ve got it made, and the public pays for it’s own injuries.

The CDC Vaccine Advisory Committee and its members get money from vaccine manufacturers. They own stock in vaccine companies and get paid to conduct research. As of 2003, the CDC has had 28 licensing agreements with companies and at least one university for vaccines. Vaccines once endorsed by the CDC were pulled off the market after infants (and even some adults) had serious reactions. People had to die for the CDC to admit wrongdoing.

Your doctor gets paid by the companies that supply the vaccines for each and every vaccine. A 1993 federal “Immunization Initiative” gave States more than $400 million in vaccine incentives and a $100 bounty for each child vaccinated with the shots the federal government recommended.

90 percent of obstetricians and 66 percent of pediatricians refused to take the rubella vaccine, [JAMA February 1981] In 1990 a British survey showed that over 50 percent of doctors in the UK rejected the Hepatitis B vaccine. [British Med Jnl, Jan. 27, 1990] (Rubella is widly known as a very mild disease. The reason we vaccinate for it, it to protect pregnant women from infection, because prenatal rubella infection can cause severe birth defects and stillbirth.)

Vaccines are toxic: they contain substances poisonous to humans, like mercury, formaldehyde, and aluminum. The minimum amount of information required by law is included on vaccine package inserts, however, doctors rarely make them available to patients, even upon request

Vaccines are grown on and contain foreign tissue and altered genetic material of both human and animal origin. The human tissue is supplied by aborted fetal material.

Private insurance companies which do the best liability studies have abandoned coverage for damage to life and property due to: Acts of god, nuclear war and nuclear power plant accidents, and vaccination.

“Pushed Birth” new link

A great blog with tons of good information: (emphasis mine)

“A pushed birth is one that is induced, sped up, and/or heavily medicated for no good reason, and all too often concludes with surgery, invasive instruments, an episiotomy, or a bad vaginal tear — outcomes you don’t want. Decades of research show that the healthiest birth for you and your baby — and that means your partner, your family, and your community — is a normal, vaginal birth with minimal intervention and maximum support.

If you’re like most American women, though, labor support is not what you’re going to get. Look at the numbers: 4 in 10 women today are induced. 1 in 3 give birth by major surgery, the cesarean section. 1 in 3 vaginal birthers get an episiotomy — surgical scissors cutting your vagina. And most women will put their pelvic floors at risk by lying in a bed throughout labor and pushing the baby out while while flat on their back.

Why? Because most L&D wards aren’t following best practices. They’re strapping 95% of women in for labor with continuous electronic fetal monitoring. It sounds great, but it’s actually a practice that goes against the research evidence. Time and time again, studies have shown that the machine is no better at monitoring your baby than a human being with a stethoscope, meanwhile it increases the likelihood of surgery and other unwanted outcomes because it limits your ability to move, find comfort, and help labor progress.

Labor and Delivery wards also put you on the clock, and more than half of you will be given the synthetic hormone Pitocin to speed things up. You’ll probably also have your water bag artificially broken. Once that happens, you’re on deadline: most OBs won’t allow you to labor more than 12 hours after your water has been broken. If you’re not pushing out that baby, you’re going to be pushed into the OR for a cesarean.

Or maybe you’re being told to induce labor because…your baby “looks big” on the ultrasound, or the fluid “looks low,” or it’s past your due date, or your doctor is going on vacation and you want her to deliver your baby, or you’re tired of being pregnant and, well, why not? There are compelling reasons to wait. An induced labor is not a normal, “physiological” labor. It’s more painful, it requires that you stay in bed hooked up to various tubes and machines, and it ups your chance of a C-section by two to three times. Furthermore, none of these reasons is medically valid.

Even if you’re able to go into labor on your own and progress fast enough, you’re probably going to push lying in a bed, and you’ll be told when to push, how long to push, and how hard to push. It’s a hold-your-breath-bear-down-and-count-to-ten kind of thing, and research has shown this practice to be damaging to your pelvic region and more likely to result in tearing as the baby emerges. Hello painful recovery, painful sex, and incontinence.

It sounds pretty grim, but it doesn’t have to be this way.”

Why are obstetrics in America not practicing evidence-based care, like the rest of the developed world?
Read more from “Pushed birth”. You can navigate there from my links.

Everywhere else in the world, thats what they do. You can go to Great Britain, France, Germany, Scandanavia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan… You can go to all the highly developed countries where they are losing fewer women and fewer babies around the time of birth. And what do you see? You see midwives attending 70 or 80 percent of all the births. And the doctors are there to take care of the small percentage that develop a complication. That is the proven system everywhere in the world. And the United States stands alone.

– Marsden Wagner, M.D.
Former Director, Women and Children’s Health
World Health Organization

Protected: Hospital birth vs homebirth

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Homebirth: How the UK sees it

Counted among the membership of the MCWP, are the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the UK equivalent of the ACOG, as well as the Royal College of Midwives. These two organisations issued a joint statement in April 2007 on home births which states:

There is no reason why home birth should not be offered to women at low risk of complications and it may confer considerable benefits for them and their families. There is ample evidence showing that labouring at home increases a woman’s likelihood of a birth that is both satisfying and safe, with implications for her health and that of her baby.” (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists/Royal College of Midwives Joint statement No.2, April 2007)

NCT and IMA also believe that all women should have access to a home birth and up-to-date evidence-based information that addresses their questions, so they can make the right choice for them.

Home birth should be considered a mainstream option and offered as a regular choice for pregnant women using the health service, whichever country they reside in. For a healthy woman with a straightforward, low-risk pregnancy, home birth is a safe option. It is important that midwives provide care for women at home and that they have experience in home birth, receive active support and supervision, and that their training needs are met. Women’s individual needs must be assessed and the back up of a modern hospital system, with good communication and transport links, are important, should transfer be needed.

The views of the NCT and IMA are supported by UK Government policy which seeks to reduce unnecessary interventions in childbirth and increase the numbers of women who experience a normal birth.

Ok!

This blog, which I have not worked on yet, is going to contain all of my information about homebirth, vaccines, and all that other stuff that makes me “weird”. Like my profile says… “I’d rather be a fruity freak than an ignorant asshole!”