Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Is it really "medical"?

I've come to discover that our society has a very poor understanding of birth, and that is why we rank 42nd (yes there are 41 other countries better than us) in infant mortality and 35th in maternal mortality. It's so sad. We are such a wonderful country with foundations of great knowledge and experience, research and data, and yet, we still butcher something as simple as birth.

I love the fact that midwifery care is so preventative. As in, we want to spot complications early, to treat them early, so they go away early. Things like gestational diabetes or Hypertention (Pre-eclampsia), breech positioning, low/high amniotic fluid, etc. And they can do most of this preventative care by counseling or simply feeling on mama's belly. For gestational diabetes, it's probably the most invasive, and that requires a finger prick after eating a big breakfast.

Yes, it would be great if OBs were this preventative, but I think THEY think they are. This is why every mom has an IV in the hospital, and every mom is hooked up to the belly strap continuous monitor, and why every mom is encouraged to come to the hospital early....'just in case' they say. Yeah, I know, things DO happen in birth and medical assistance IS needed, and THANK GOD IT IS THERE! But when we say, for example IVs, about oh....3% of moms will NEED an IV in labor/birth, so let's give all moms an IV. Yeah, that doesn't make sense. Especially when there is an alternative of a heparin lock, where you can just hook a tube up to it, and presto, instant vain access. Why are IVs bad, well, they are not 'bad', just not normal. You don't need a hole in your vein to birth a baby. Some moms do if they require IV antibiotics, ect, but when a mom gets to the hospital and just given and IV with no second thought by the medical establishment or HER, that's a problem. It's a medical-izing a process that is not medical. And seriously, how long does and IV take to put in? If it really is "every second counts" then please put me under and get the process going as soon as possible, and IV is the least of my worries. And MAYBE, just MAYBE if you would have actually been paying attention to ME (and not charts, machines, cervical dilation) MAYBE you would have caught this 'problem' much earlier when there was time and prevented the whole thing in the first place.

So, I ask, it is really medical? For some yes. It's been studied (in normal pregnancies, not crazy complication prenatally) that birth requires a CS about 3% of the time, and a total intervention rate of about 10%. This total rate include episiotomies, IVs, forceps, coached pushing, vaginal exams, and anything else our mothers years and years ago didn't have.

I'm not going to go into safety, but will say, when out of hospital birth has been studied, it's been shown to have better or equal to maternal and infant mortality, and substantially less maternal and infant morbidity. You can do your own research there.

I find it funny when women say, 'well, in a hospital, everything is right there, so I feel safer." Yes, I would feel safer if everything was right there (which it usually is in a out of hospital birth except for CS, which you have plenty of time to transfer because issues are, again, caught early and better monitored) IF, IF, IF, IF the medical establishment didn't use these things because they were 'right there'.

A woman's body was meant to birth a baby. That's how our very thoughtful maker made it. Leave her alone, support her WELL when necessary, and let her birth. Don't just say oh, you're doing fine, and walk away. Now days, with the brainwashing that has happened towards women and birth, women need much more reassurance than that.

In the past, women were 'put under' with anesthesia and their babies were literally dragged out of them. They woke up later, told they had boy/girl, and were told to rest and they could see baby shortly. Now, we think, OMG, what were we thinking? How could we do that to women? It was so UNSAFE, and we did it without proving it was safe for her or baby, and look at all these problems they had! I wonder if in 20-30 years from now we will say 'can you believe we used to PARALYZE women so they could have a baby? What were we thinking? It was never proved safe, totally went against LOGIC, and look at all the damage it has caused to women and babies?!?!'

OR, in 20-30 years, the medical establishment will have invented this new 'technology' to help us pee and poop. Either way, what we are doing now is not good enough and the safety rates and mortality rates SHOW that.