Interesting article on scientific birth

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boilermaker's picture
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Interesting article on scientific birth

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/03/the-most-scientific-birth-is-often-the-least-technological-birth/254420/1/

I loved this article. Maybe bc people assume that I must be some kind of hippie to homebirth-- and I'm so not. I'm really just a total nerd.

A good read for everyone. Enjoy!

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Fantastic article!

I ventured into the arena of contacting midwives and having a home birth, but with VBAC's there are legalities (at least in AR) and every midwife I contacted said a simple no unless I was interested in an "unassisted birth" which then my insurance would not cover. It amazes that my insurance will cover a homebirth but the government can decide that I can't have one only because of a prior c-section that doesn't increase my risk by much at all compared to any other females birth. Frustrating!

I think that often times OB's are quick to jump to interventions that lead to birth experiences that are not positive. I hated DD's birth, every single part of it. I blame myself for being under-researched and for an OB that was anxious to get the birth over with. This time, hiring a Doula is part of our plan to help me focus only on the birth!

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"RebeccaA'07" wrote:

I think that often times OB's are quick to jump to interventions that lead to birth experiences that are not positive. I hated DD's birth, every single part of it. I blame myself for being under-researched and for an OB that was anxious to get the birth over with. This time, hiring a Doula is part of our plan to help me focus only on the birth!

I haven't read the article yet, but just had to say I think this happens to SO MANY WOMEN for their first birth. We just aren't told how much we need to be responsible for our own birth experience. I think a lot of first time moms go into it thinking like most of us think about any illness: "I will go to the hospital and the doctors will know what to do and they will deliver my baby." But birth is not like an illness, it is a process, and the mother and her experience is a huge part of that process, which I think a lot of OB's overlook and end up steamrolling the mothers. Ladies, no matter what kind of birth you choose (natural, epidural, etc.) you need to go into this educated! OK, end of lecture...

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The part of it that really struck me is that OF COURSE we all assume that technology is awesome, so the more technology used in ANY manner the better the outcomes will be! Your average person thinks this (I mean, we want technology in all parts of our lives- our tvs, cars, phones, stoves, ovens, washers, etc, etc!), which means that most of your average med students who turn into OBs think this! But the clear proof rests in that routine over-use of technology does NOT lead to better outcomes. For me, this whole thing (along with the comments on the GD thread) is NOT about being anti-establishment...but, in some sense it is about the fact that the establishment has gone off-course. It's like with growing vegetables- years ago we thought the more we added fertilizers and chemicals and whatnot we're get better and better fruits and veggies- turns out, you'll get the healthiest, most nutritious, yummiest food if you just grow it in good soil, with clean water, and a healthy dose of sunlight (not with all those chemicals, etc!). So, apparently, same goes for birth... there already exists a super complicated, intricate system for growing babies which our body does all on its own... the more we mess with it, the more problems we end up having.

Which is NOT to say that all technology is bad- I myself was a c-section- and I'm thankful the technology existed so that I didn't have to be born with broken bones (I was breech, and would have broken my collar bone if I had been born vaginally because I had an arm up- which my mom, and her doctor, did attempt knowing I was breech) or killing my mom in the process! But to assume that ALL pregnant women are in need of high-tech interventions always is just going against good science.

ETA: I just wanted to add- this is how NOT against technology I am...I'm choosing to fly back to the States, be away from my husband for nine weeks, keep my child away from her dad for 9 weeks (that's the worst part!) just to be able to deliver with all options of technology at my disposal. But, MY stance on it, is that I hope I don't NEED to use any of it. But I DEFINITELY want it there in case of true need. If I was just an anti-everything whatever kind of hippie, I'd just stay here in Laos and have an unassisted birth at home.

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Great article!

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"Marite13" wrote:

The part of it that really struck me is that OF COURSE we all assume that technology is awesome, so the more technology used in ANY manner the better the outcomes will be! Your average person thinks this (I mean, we want technology in all parts of our lives- our tvs, cars, phones, stoves, ovens, washers, etc, etc!), which means that most of your average med students who turn into OBs think this! But the clear proof rests in that routine over-use of technology does NOT lead to better outcomes. For me, this whole thing (along with the comments on the GD thread) is NOT about being anti-establishment...but, in some sense it is about the fact that the establishment has gone off-course. It's like with growing vegetables- years ago we thought the more we added fertilizers and chemicals and whatnot we're get better and better fruits and veggies- turns out, you'll get the healthiest, most nutritious, yummiest food if you just grow it in good soil, with clean water, and a healthy dose of sunlight (not with all those chemicals, etc!). So, apparently, same goes for birth... there already exists a super complicated, intricate system for growing babies which our body does all on its own... the more we mess with it, the more problems we end up having.

Which is NOT to say that all technology is bad- I myself was a c-section- and I'm thankful the technology existed so that I didn't have to be born with broken bones (I was breech, and would have broken my collar bone if I had been born vaginally because I had an arm up- which my mom, and her doctor, did attempt knowing I was breech) or killing my mom in the process! But to assume that ALL pregnant women are in need of high-tech interventions always is just going against good science.

ETA: I just wanted to add- this is how NOT against technology I am...I'm choosing to fly back to the States, be away from my husband for nine weeks, keep my child away from her dad for 9 weeks (that's the worst part!) just to be able to deliver with all options of technology at my disposal. But, MY stance on it, is that I hope I don't NEED to use any of it. But I DEFINITELY want it there in case of true need. If I was just an anti-everything whatever kind of hippie, I'd just stay here in Laos and have an unassisted birth at home.

I agree with you Mara.. I'm one that's going to have a repeat c-section blah blah, and I'm okay with that.. but I totally agree with everything you said. Sometimes these doctors are TOO fast to medically intervene.. mom has to stand up for herself, I wish as a FTM I had known that. I also haven't read the article yet so I'll come back and comment when I do.

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while pregnancy and birth itself is not a medical condition there are a lot of conditions that require medical intervention in order for a healthy outcome. Having now had 2 very rare ones myself....one that costed the life of my baby (incompetent cervix) and the other that could have resulted in the death of 2 of my children (cholistasis) ...I believe there is definitely a time and a place for medical intervention. I have had the good fortune to be in hospitals that did not want to step in and do ANYTHING...unless they had to in regard to delivery. I had to be induced 3 times...once because I was 10 days over due and twice when I came down with cholistasis and the baby was in danger. I was induced in the safest and least intrusive way as possible...and was lucky enough to progress and never needed a c-section. That being said, I did watch a tv program a while back about a practice with 3 female ob's and I was kind of shocked at the way some of their c sections happened. I have not read this article yet, but I do agree SOME ob's want to step in too soon...but again, speaking from experience...there are others out there who dont work that way! Maybe the key is to ask lots and lots of questions to be sure you have one of those when you start your care! Looking forward to reading the article!

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I liked this article. I think after I read it and thought it through...it all boils down to your experiences. With my first pregnancy I lost my son due to incompetent cervix at 24 weeks. Knowing from then on it would take a simple stitch and close watch from doctors to carry my baby to term...the thought of leaving medicine was completely gone. My first live delivery was unmedicated and uncomplicated...until my 4th degree tear. Ummm...I would have preferred the episiotomy to that. It was awful. My second live delivery was unmedicated...but very complicated. Simply stated...if not for the intervention of the doctors my son would have died. If I had been at home with a midwife....it all happened so fast...there is no way I would have gotten to a hospital in time to save his life. Not having an epidural during that nightmare was added insult to the very traumatic event. And oddly the mental after effects were worse than burying my first son...because it was a year of not knowing....not knowing how much if any damage my son had after what he went through. I think anyone who has had their baby's life saved by medical intervention just must have a different perspective. But...I do understand where it all comes from...the thoughts and the research. I also understand the vast majority of people do NOT have these traumatic circumstances. Smile Thanks for sharing the article. It certainly all makes sense!! Smile

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mamato6 (sorry I don't know your name!) I'm so sorry for your late loss with your first, that must have been heartbreaking, and I'm sorry about your difficult birth experience. Thank goodness we have OB's and hospitals and the the technologies we do have when they are necessary. While birth is a natural process, it is one in which things can and do go wrong on occasion, and I know a lot of babies and mothers survived difficult and complicated births because of technology. While I did consider a homebirth, part of the reason I didn't end up doing it was because we are 40 minutes from the hospital and if something DID happen to go wrong, like true emergency wrong, I'd never forgive myself if we couldn't get to the hospital in time. I don't expect anything to go wrong, so I'm sticking with midwives, no drugs and a birth center, but I feel much better knowing there's back-up closeby if we need it.