Sunday, August 17, 2008

Survey Says!

Woo hoo! The Birth Survey has gone national!

How did you feel about your birth? Loved it? Hated it? Well here's your chance to tell everyone(anonymously)! I am so super duper excited about this. This survey is for any woman who has given birth in the last three years. This fall, we will be able to see the statistics for each hospital and care provider. It's high time we have a consumer reports for birth! In addition to the survey results, there will be statistics for each hospital made available to the public. These are not easy things to get so it will be a wonderful resource. People may think twice before stepping foot into a hospital with a 45% c-section rate(we have one here). It's definitely the time for women to make their voices heard. Once the hospitals and providers listen to their patients, maybe some change will occur. It's time to have some transparency in maternity care and for the public to see what some hospitals and providers have been doing. We have a right to make informed decisions in our births. How can we do that when hospitals won't release c-section rates? How will we know a provider has a 50% induction rate(Lord knows they won't tell you themselves)? THIS is how. It doesn't matter what kind of birth you had(good, indifferent, traumatic), ALL of us need to take this survey!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Put the clamps down and step away from the cervix

Look Look! It's technology! Now you can pay even less attention to the laboring woman and watch your baby be born on the monitor. You know, like that neat Santa Tracker!!

Looks like the Birth Tracker will be entering L&D wards soon. Sigh. There have been plenty of great posts written about this already. I especially enjoyed Hathors comic and Rixa's scathing reviews. Honestly, when is enough enough? This just illustrates the technocratic mindset of current hospital care. They know things aren't working, they are seeing more bad outcomes, as the c-section rate continues to rise, maternal mortality and morbidity rise, and babies fare worse, but the only answer they can come up with is MORE technology. They can't fathom that less intervention would improve outcomes. It's pointless to rant, point out to them what the scientific evidence shows, pull our hair out in frustration, etc. The genie is out of the bottle and I don't think it will ever go back in, at least in a hospital. For awhile I honestly thought that we could reform hospital maternity care but now I just don't know. At least the public is becoming more aware of midwives, homebirth and birth centers. Here's hoping women will get fed up with all these doo dads up their vajayjays, stand up, and take their births back.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The making of a Birth Junkie


I never thought that birth would become such a passion for me. Such a passion in fact, that I had to create a blog just to get my feelings about it written down. Ironically, as I sit here, I am at a loss for words. Didn't I have an entire tirade mapped out in my head? Midwives vs. OB's, episitomies, the skyrocketing c-section rate, birth trauma, homebirths, inductions, amniotomies, evidence based medicine, doulas...the list goes on. But I find myself paralyzed. Where do I start?

I suppose I should start at the beginning.

My interest in birth began, not surprisingly, when I became pregnant with my first child in 2004. I prepared myself reasonably well, I thought. I found an OB whom my friend liked, eagerly attended my childbirth education class at the hospital, read all of the popular books (What to Expect, Your Pregnancy Week by Week, Girlfriends Guide), got my weekly babycenter emails and caught all of the episodes I could of A Baby Story and Babies:Special Delivery. I felt knowlegable and comfortable with everything. My OB and I joked about the huge "turkey" I was growing and I didn't bat an eye when, at my 40 wk appt, they scheduled an induction for 41 weeks because "The Dr doesn't like anyone to go past 41 weeks." That's just the way it was right? Dr knows best! Luckily I went into labor on my own the day before the induction. I had wanted to go "natural" and avoid an epidural, mostly because I don't like the thought of needles going into my back. I tried my darndest but ended up with an interthecal at 8 cm which I was pleased with. I came out of the hospital very happy about the birth. Sure, I "needed" an episiotomy but as far as first births go, I had thought it went well.

Two and a half years later I am pregnant with baby numero dos, and decide I want a totally natural childbirth this time. I started going to my prenatal appoinments with my new OB who was really nice. Early ultrasound, no quad screen thanks, blah blah blah...then IT happened. I read the "book". The book that shattered my rosy view of childbirth and maternity care completely. Holy crap, how was this happening in our country? How was it that no one seemed to care? Why the frick did I have an episiotomy? How am I going to have a natural birth with my OB? I need a midwife!

What book you ask?

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer

And so it began...