Tuesday, May 26, 2009

There are no failures... as moms, however, the system seems to be failing us...


Here is a blog post about a very common thread in today's maternity care system. This nurse at http://nursingbirth.wordpress.com/about/ tells the whole story... and sadly she sees this nearly every day... "Failure to Progress"
(NursingBirth is a blog in support of change for the current state of maternity care in the United States. My goal in starting this blog is to get the word out there that if things stay the way they are, the safety and welfare of our mothers and babies continues to be at risk. I also want the birth advocacy community to know that there are nurses out there that are on your side! The time is NOW! I hope my blog will include ramblings of my day to day life as a labor and delivery nurse, resources for birth advocacy and tips for becoming involved in the cause, book reviews, commentary on current events, new perspectives on past experiences, and thoughts towards change!)

I have seen too many of these scenarios myself. I have such a hard time watching 'managed births'. I have been a doula now for about 8 years, I became a doula because of a desire to help women educate themselves, to help them navigate the 'system', and to see them have empowered births. To be able to be present and witness THE MIRACLE of BIRTH!

Sometimes the 'system' is so strong, and difficult to 'fight' off. I often feel defeated, and that I haven't helped the women (and their partners) to educate themselves well enough, to be able to combat some of the suggestions (most often pushed by their care provider, this is just what we are GOING TO DO NOW, often/usually without so much as a suggestion that there are any other alternatives to what they (care providers) want to do). I hate feeling like I need to educate women that they will be going into a battle zone, and they need to be ready to FIGHT for their births! (I personally do not like confrontation - I try to avoid it. I wonder if I am doing a disservice to my mom's by attempting to be somewhat 'politically correct' in the birth environment that we live in today.)

Women should NOT have to FIGHT, just to be allowed to Labor and Birth their baby's!

I used to read all the birth books, and be horrified that some women have had care providers that did the things described in the stories! I knew they were true stories, but, In my heart of hearts, I do not want to believe that there are Dr's/care providers out there that are that controlling and callous, with such an 'agenda'. However, I have personally seen first hand on several occasions lately, where an OB had such an agenda...

They won't outright admit to it up front, but the coincidence that the 'need' to do such and such, and end up with the situations that have happened to several of my mom's recently, and after all was said and done, the Dr comments, that 'usually I would do such and such on day two, after the baby's birth', but "I will be out of town" for the game or for the Holiday weekend ahead... so either "I will go ahead and do the procedure" sooner than usual or "my partner will take over your care from here on out since I will be gone". I'm tired of having mom's PUSHED into things, often with slightly disastrous outcomes, because of someones personal vacation or 'on call' schedule.

Now that I've rambled on and on, go back and click on the link to read the birth nurse's blog post. She is not afraid to tell it like it is!!!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Teaching our children

A wonderful perspective on children and birth.


If all we teach is fear, how do we expect our children to have faith and trust in themselves and in the great design God had/has?!?!?

I saw this quote on a Church billboard recently:

Fear is Contagious...


I LOVED this saying, and thought it applied very well to birth as well as Gospel principles.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

An Excellent Video discussing Cord Clamping

“Another thing very injurious to the child, is the tying and cutting of the navel string too soon; which should always be left till the child has not only repeatedly breathed but till all pulsation in the cord ceases. As otherwise the child is much weaker than it ought to be, a portion of the blood being left in the placenta, which ought to have been in the child.”
Erasmus Darwin, Zoonomia, 1801


Info on research about delayed cord clamping to let the baby get the full blood volume intended.

*A thought I have had about cord blood banking.
I think it is a good idea, especially if you already have a family history of certain disease and illness. However, I personally believe that God had/s a design, and if the baby was supposed to be cut off from that blood volume, (up to a cup?) and oxygen it provides for those first few minutes after birth, then the cord would automatically cut free on it's own, and the cord would not continue to pulse and give aditional blood through the placenta to the baby at birth... Wendy Robertson *

The baby is still receiving oxygented blood through the placenta while the cord is still pulsing right after birth. If we leave this alone, the baby doesn't have the NEED to imediately take a breath. When the cord is imediately cut, in modern medical practice, the baby frequently requires additional oxygen as that natural source of oxygenated blood has litterally been cut off, too soon.

The umbilical cord if left alone ceases to pulse with the blood from the placenta. It will physiologically clamp itself off, by filling with Wharton's Jelly. Soon after the placenta will naturally release, and be delivered. What an incredible design God has in place to ensure the survival of the newly born infant.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dr. Stuart J. Fischbein's letter in response to ACOG and their HB Ban


Fri, 06/27/2008 - 07:03 — admin
From: Stuart J. Fischbein, MD FACOG
To: Douglas H. Kirkpatrick, MD, President, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Date sent: Monday, June 23, 2008
Douglas H. Kirkpatrick, MDThe American College of Obstetricians and GynecologistsPO Box 96920Washington, DC 20090-2188Dear Sir:I am a practicing OB/GYN in southern California and Fellow of ACOG and recently was informed by midwife colleagues of your recommendation and encouragement for the AMA to lobby Congress for a law banning out of hospital birth. It is disturbing to me that I had to hear of this decision from outside sources and was never approached by my college to see how I or my local colleagues felt about it. I have grave concerns regarding my organization taking such a stand. I think we are all agreed that ACOG has a statement regarding patients’ rights to informed consent and informed refusal. Yet, it seems with every decision our organization moves further away from that basic tenet. ACOG’s little "guideline" paper on VBAC in 2004 where the word readily was changed to immediately has had the chilling effect of doing away with VBAC options at hundreds of hospitals. Not due to patient safety, or the ideal of giving true informed consent but really, let’s be honest, due to fear of litigation. I have seen how patients have become counseled by obstetricians at facilities where VBAC has been banned. They are clearly given a skewed view of the risks of VBAC but rarely told of the risks of multiple surgeries. If you think this is untrue you are, sadly, out of touch with real clinical medicine.As to out of hospital birthing, please give me the courtesy of an explanation as to the evidenced-based data you used and the process by which an organization which is supposed to represent me came to this conclusion. Any statement saying that it is as simple as patient safety and that one-size fits all hospital births under the "obstetric model" of practice should be applied to all patients is, putting it nicely, not really in line with what best serves all our patients. In many instances, hospitals are not safe, certainly not nurturing and have a far worse track record for disasters than home birth. Even when emergency help is nearby this is true. The focus of all of us in medicine should be on reigning in trial lawyers and tort reform and lobbying Congress for that. The best interest of the college members and the patients we serve would be for my organization to spend its time and energy on something that has true benefit. Removing choices from well-informed patients and caring doctors and midwives is wholly un-American. So please send me detailed information on how ACOG decided outlawing home birth would be a wise thing to do. You must have conclusive scientific data to take such a drastic stand. Please make it available to me so that I may share it with likeminded colleagues. I would also like to know the process by which this came to pass. Who first raised this issue and why? What committee reviewed all the data and did its due diligence in interviewing those of us with longstanding experience in backing midwives who perform out of hospital births. There must be a clear and concise, non-confidential paper trail you can share with your members. Specific names of committee members who voted for this would be enlightening and I am requesting this information. I would like to know the background and expertise regarding out of hospital birth for each member who had a hand in the decision to go to the AMA.We live in an odd era where once something is said or recommended by a legitimate organization such as ACOG it has deep ramifications never intended such as becoming fodder for trial lawyers trying to squeeze the lifeblood and dignity out of your members. In this case these ramifications have had the undesirable effect of forcing women to travel hundreds of miles in labor to find a supportive facility. Or even worse, to have them arrive in a VBAC banned hospital and refuse surgery or be coerced into it. Can this be the best we can do for our patients? Remember, your VBAC statement was meant to be only a recommendation but quickly became the rule by which hospital administrators, risk managers and anesthesia departments of smaller hospital banned this option for thousands of women. An option, which in proper hands, was the safe and accepted standard of care for 30 years. In fact, you still have an ACOG VBAC brochure that recommends this option! For those of us working at smaller hospitals where VBAC was banned due to lack of emergency help (anesthesia, OR crews, etc.) there is a big question that has perplexed us that no administrator seems to be willing or able to answer. That question is: "If a hospital cannot handle an emergency c/section for VBACs, and most obstetrical emergencies are for fetal bradycardia, hemorrhage (i.e. abruption) or shoulder dystocia not for ruptured uteri, then how can they do obstetrics at all?" For they seem to still be able to have a maternity ward without in house anesthesia. Will someday ACOG, in their great wisdom but seeming disconnect from reality, make a "recommendation" that little hospitals unable to afford 24-hour coverage stop providing obstetric services all together? Will this better serve women and their communities throughout America? I am frightened and angered by what you have done in my name. Now I ask you to defend your position in encouraging the AMA to lobby Congress for another restriction on the freedom of choice that belongs to women and their families. Those choices include midwifery and the right to have the most beautiful and life changing event occur wherever best fits their desire. I am baffled that my college thinks this should be a criminal act. Midwives are well trained and required to have obstetrical backup. They have very special relationships with their patients and want the very best outcomes for them. They do not need me or you to police them. We have a habit in out country over the past 40 years of thinking we can legislate out stupidity. All that has done is erode the individual freedoms that belong, by birthright, to each of us. I would hope you trust your Fellows to know their specialty, their colleagues, and what is best for the patient as an individual. These decisions do not belong to politicians or faceless committees. You should have more faith in your members to give balanced informed consent. Again, my recommendation to you is to put all your considerable energy into changing our legal malpractice system. Those of us actually practicing medicine and caring for patients know this to be the greatest threat to the mission and responsibility we have chosen to undertake.I look forward to your response and possibly the beginning of a meaningful dialogue.
Sincerely,Stuart J. Fischbein,
MD FACOGMedical Advisor,
Birth Action Coalition

To read the responses and follow on messages, click on the link above.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Non-pharmaceutical intervention for staying Healthy

by: Shonda Parker

A great Article on a timely subject - in this fear of flu and disease time we are living in right now, Shonda Parker reminds us of some natural things we can do to give ourselves the best chance to stay healthy.

Friday, May 1, 2009

In times of pandemic disease...

In light of the recent Swine Flu outbreak, some people are thinking where should I go, if I were having a baby today? Would I want to go to my local hospital, where sick and ill people are being treated for various infectious diseases??? Below is a link to an article on this topic... It is certainly something to think about.