The Other Side of the Glass
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
“For me, it's all about the baby, the baby-mama dyad. The process is just not all that important. I think most women also feel that way. They don't find anything enjoyable about labor. It's not about the contractions, it's not about coping mechanisms, it's not about positions, it's about the moment when the mother and baby first meet. When I think about the days when my own children were born, I don't really think much about the labors, I think about the thrill of meeting and getting to know a new person. Frankly, if I could have skipped labor altogether (without having surgery, either) I would have been happy to do so.”
Safe Baby Partners:
Wow, this explains a lot of why Dr. Amy can not understand how important the experience of laboring and birthing one's baby is for many, many women. There really is not the ability to debate homebirth if one feels so numb about birth.
Later Dr. Amy says:
Therefore, for example, when a OB nurse offers you an epidural, she is not trying to sabotage you, she is offering you what she would want for herself.
Safe Baby Partner:
And, this OB nurse is one of many brainwashed believers and deliverer of a narcotic drug to a laboring NEWBORN BRAIN and mother -- a drug that has NEVER been shown to be safe for the newborn baby. Truly, the fact that OB's and RN's would use them even for themselves tells our society just how "drug-impaired" obstetrics and our society is.
THIS IS THE POINT – and that both medical caregivers and those who insist that birth is the woman’s choice won’t discuss. -- OBSTETRICS is not an evidenced-based field of medicine. It is full of obstetric, medical folklore, based on Newtonian science, now known to be as relevant as the earth is flat and the earth is the center of the universe.
So, HOW is it she is “all about the baby” as she refuses to look at the multiple fields of scientific study showing that the newborn is fully sentient, present being and physiologically, emotionally, and spiritually is affected by every moment of labor and birth being. Dr. Amy and some posters, such as Angela continue to refute any of the science in attachment theory and brain development that says the experience of labor, birth, and reconnecting with the mother is the single most significant event in their relationship. EVERYTHING else will be seen and felt by the baby through this profound experience of leaving the mother’s body – in the brain.
Despite what you claim, Amy, I believe that this blog is about bashing women who make a choice that you don't like. Considering homebirth is (as you constantly point out) such an uncommon choice in America (and in most of the developed world) and not sought by many women, I wonder why you devote so much of your energy to fighting it. Surely there are causes you could take on that would have a positive impact on a much greater number of women. Even if you doubt the extent and impact of poor obstetric practice, the much greater number of women giving birth in hospital means that it affects vastly more women and babies than homebirth ever will. So why the obsession with homebirth?
Safe Baby Partners:
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Again, I proclaim that the medical establishment and Doctors are to be held accountable for conducting research and PROVING and ENSURING the safety of drugs and medical interventions PRIOR TO USING THEM AND WIDELY PROMOTING THEM AS SAFE.
This after-the-fact is BS.
Anti-depressants Can Affect Newborns, Study Finds
By BENEDICT CAREY
Published: February 3, 2005
n the wake of a yearlong debate over the risks of antidepressants to minors, a new analysis of World Health Organization medical records has found that infants whose mothers take the drugs while pregnant may suffer withdrawal symptoms shortly after they are born. The study challenges the assurances that many doctors have long given pregnant women with depression that taking the drugs would not affect their babies.
But experts said that the study, appearing today in the journal Lancet, was not definitive, and must be weighed against the benefits of drug treatment. Untreated maternal depression can also harm a developing fetus, the experts said, and may lead to lasting childhood problems, whereas all of the infants in the study recovered completely within 24 hours.
"This study is important in that it gives us a red flag that babies exposed to antidepressants during pregnancy should be closely observed, and may go through unusual behaviors at first," said Dr. Timothy Oberlander, a developmental pediatrician at the University of British Columbia who was not involved in the research. He does no research or consulting for pharmaceutical companies.
Some 10 percent to 15 percent of women suffer bouts of despair during the hormonal chaos of pregnancy, and about a quarter of them get antidepressant treatment, doctors estimate, usually with drugs like Prozac, from Eli Lilly; Paxil, from GlaxoSmithKline; and Zoloft, by Pfizer. If not treated, these women may also be at increased risk of post-partum depression, a devastating disorder that not only clouds the relationship between mother and child but can interfere with the child's social development, according to Dr. Janet DiPietro, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
In the new study, researchers in Spain and Sweden searched through a large electronic database of adverse drug reactions stored in Uppsala, Sweden, maintained by the W.H.O. since 1968. They looked for reports of newborns who were exposed in utero to antidepressants, and who had symptoms after birth that included heightened agitation, fever and quickened breathing.
Psychiatrists have long observed these kinds of reactions in adults who abruptly stop taking certain antidepressants, and a few recent smaller studies have also noted similar symptoms in infants born to mothers who have been taking antidepressants. The European researchers found more than 100 such cases, and narrowed those to 93 that could be linked strongly to any antidepressant medication, based on a reading of the treating doctors' original reports. After conducting a statistical analysis based in part on W.H.O. estimates of drug usage, the authors concluded that the withdrawal reports were more common than would be expected by chance - and should be published, to alert doctors and patients.
In 13 of the 93 cases, the study found, infants suffered convulsions, a reaction that has not been widely noted in people who discontinue antidepressant use.
"All we are saying is that the data we have points to the possibility of withdrawal problem, but we would have to investigate each case closely to determine the overall risk," Dr. Emilio Sanz, of La Laguna Medical School in the Canary Islands, Spain, the paper's lead author, said in a telephone interview.
That newborns would show some reaction to a months-long course of mood-changing medication is not surprising to many doctors. The most widely prescribed antidepressants, called selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or S.S.R.I.'s, induce alterations in the sensitivity of nerve cells, among other things; and abruptly stopping these drug forces the brain to readjust again, experts say.
"I can tell you that the newborn nurses here will not be surprised at these results," said Dr. DiPietro. "They have a term for it: S.S.R.I. syndrome," which includes jitteriness and agitation.
The antidepressant most often linked to reported withdrawal effects in the study was Paxil, a potent agent that is cleared more quickly from the body than similar drugs. Dr. Sanz said the withdrawal signal was stronger for Paxil but acknowledged that factors unrelated to the drug's chemistry - its prescription rate, for example - could also have accounted for the difference.
"Our monitoring so far has not provided clear evidence that Paxil causes neonatal complications," said Mary Anne Rhyne, a spokeswoman for Glaxo. The Food and Drug Administration asked antidepressant manufacturers to list possible neonatal complications on product labels more than a year ago, after infants in small studies exposed to the drugs suffered respiratory distress, irritability and seizures, among other troubles. It was not yet clear whether the new study will add to these cautions, an agency spokesperson said.
Some experts said that severe maternal depression during or after pregnancy is still a larger threat to a child's well being than the often mild and transient effects from discontinuing a drug.
"But for the worried well, for women who want antidepressants to feel better as opposed to treating serious depression," Dr. DiPietro said, "they may want to ask whether the benefit they are getting outweighs the potential risks to the developing child."
Friday, November 24, 2006
A study was conducted of 4,054 Missouri home births occurring from 1978 through 1984. Of the 3,645 births whose planning status was identified, 3,067 (84 per cent) were planned to be at home. Neonatal mortality was elevated for both planned (17 observed deaths vs 8.59 expected deaths) and unplanned home births (45 observed vs 33.19 expected) compared with physician-attended hospital births.
Nearly all of the mortality excess for planned home births occurred in association with lesser trained attendants (12 observed vs 4.42 expected), while for unplanned home births the excess was entirely among infants weighing 1500 grams or more (19 observed vs 3.50 expected). For planned home births attended by physicians, certified nurse-midwives, or Missouri Midwife Association recognized midwives, there was little difference between observed and expected deaths (5 observed vs 3.92 expected)**.
There also was little difference in deaths for unplanned home births weighing less than 1500 grams (26 observed vs 29.69 expected) compared with hospital births. The study provides evidence of the importance of having skilled attendants present at planned home births.
Safe Birth Partners:
This study is showing similarly what ever study debated on Homebirthdebate.blogspot.com is showing -- that homebirth is safer than hospital birth when the attending caregiver is a qualifed and trained. Now, it is time to look at the dismal statistics of the hospital birth and the long-term consequences to the human baby when unnecessary medical protocols and interventions are imposed upon women and babies who do not need them.
Note: Schramm is the former bureau chief for statistics in Missouri.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
The Burden of Proof is on the Medical Establishment and the Physicians to Show What They Do is Safe.
"There's no debate if the other side gives up
Well, no one can say that I am not trying to debate homebirth advocates. I guess it's not surprising that I did not get very far in my attempt to draw Henci Goer into a debate. It can't be a true debate if one side will debate only if it is sure it can win."
"I'd be happy to participate in such a debate on my website, or a neutral website, but I cannot find any professional homebirth advocates who are willing. Indeed, I cannot find any evidence that any professional homebirth advocate has presented his or her work to a scientific audience and taken questions in response. The unwillingness on the part of homebirth advocates to engage in a true scientific debate, a debate with others who have a command of the literature and a knowledge of statistics, speaks volumes about the quality of the claims; a large proportion of their claims are not defensible."
Safe Birth Partners:
Many people have attempted to engage with Dr. Amy about the merits of the scientific research about the safety of homebirth, use of drugs and denial of the physiological process of birth and pain, and the unnecessary and routine use drugs and interventions that make hospital birth unsafe. Many have been banned for posting powerful, sound information which does not fit in the bloggers agenda of "winning" as she alludes to in the opening of the posts.
I have absolute respect for the medical profession and the skills and ability for a physician to save a woman's and a baby's lives -- been there. Fifty years ago this Monday I arrived alive because of a physician who broke my clavicle and used forceps -- with a saddle block (epidural of the 50's). Today, I am grateful, and HOW those interventions (unconscious, brutal) were delivered affected me for life - physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I absolutely, in every cell of me, believe a baby's birth is his or her birth and that a woman's body is made to give birth. This should guide who, what, how, when, and why of every action and decision. Whatever we do to a laboring and birthing mother-baby dyad should be done with awareness, gently, and with the understand one is interrupting a significant process, life-threatening or not.
I deeply respect both medical knowledge and the "natural birth movement" and the people in both. I am in the middle -- hoping we can join hands. I, for one, have no need to see Henci and Amy duking it out under the conditions I have observed and experienced of the doctor's style of debate. Two uncomfortable images come up for me -- Junior High girl "cat fights" and "girl on girl action." NO THANNNNK YOU. We woman need to stop hurting each other. Henci is a wise woman.
Sadly, many women who shared their own experience of natural birth with the doctor were quite negatively rebuffed as their experience of painfree or managable pain, esctatic, empowering, and peaceful birth ws declared to not be verifiable by scientific methods. As well, women who share their stories of anguish or depression, and powerless in hospital birth are denigrated and denied. "There is no scientific evidence to prove this." End of debate with the conclusion that women who experience natural and empowered birth are judgemental of other women and setting them up for disappointment. Sadly, the blogger only wants to come to conclusion of the hospital as the a winner of a contest between homebirth and hospital birth safety, without embracing ALL of the research that shows the only winning would be the creation of the best care possible for the human baby.
Dr. Amy denies the validity of the work of Michel Odent, MD, a French surgeon who became a physician who attended homebirths and who has written many books and hosts an extensive online reference site (www.wombecology.com). In Primal Health, ODent describes basic physiology of the primal period of the human being. The consequences of altering labor by inducing and use of drug PREVENTS a WOMAN and her BABY from using their own hormones to do a biological process. He describes in simple understanding how our lifelong health and dysfunction is ESTABLISHED in birth and disruptions with drugs and surgery interferes with the primal system (nervous system, immune system, and endocrine (hormones) system. The scientific understanding is substantiated in the prolific research field of fetal programming (check NIH). Peter Nathanielsz, PhD (vet) and MD (OB) has contributed three books to the understanding of the prenatal period as the origin of health and pathology. It is logical then that the period of labor and birth is also a time when outside influences and experience affect the baby's hormonal, brain and body functioning. Cellular biologist, Bruce Lipton explains this further in The Biology of Belief (www.brucelipton.com). Physicians, nurses, psychologists and therapists are putting this science into practice, techniques, and modalities for caring for women and babies diffeently and to heal birth experiences. Those with vested interests in maintaining the obstetric field of medicine are not looking at this research. All of this information was removed from Dr. Amy's site and the poster was banned.
These scientists confirm that one can know that birth is safe and that a woman's body knows how to give birth in a whole-body, sensate, emotional, mental, and spiritual experience. It is not merely studied in books and literature -- it is confirmed. This truth is generally observed and stongly felt by supporters of physiological birth who have EXPERIENCED or OBSERVED a planned, natural birth out side of the hospital; one that medically trained people can no longer enforce upon them the old out-dated medical science paradigm that purports "only the doctors know birth" and "birth is a medical crisis to be managed" and "birth is safe only in the hospital." NONE of these are true to those who have experienced it either giving birth, or attending, supporting, or observing the miracle of a woman's body giving birth without disruption. These people have torn a gaping hole in the shroud of control and secrecy and know what medical people don't. They can't be won over. They look at the "scientific research" touted by medical caregivers in a new way and see it is very flawed. It simply does not match their real life experience once they have stepped outside the controling confinement of medical malscience, I call it. They know well the reality of birth and the inherent dangers AND they know the power of the physiological experience of birth. They know that medical establishment is not recognizing the need for or allowing new research to emerge.
There is a proliferation of research and new information in the New Biology, New Physics fields (www.whatthebleep.com and www.brucelipton.com, www.candacepert.com, www.carolynmyss.com) that supports the "gut feeling" that medicine, and obstetrics in particular, isn't very scientific after all. Medicine is based on Newtonian theory that is no longer seen as relevant or accurate. Add that to the fact it is becoming well-known that research on safety of drugs is ghastly flawed, serves to benefit the wealth of pharm companies and physicians, and more importantly, clearly shows that the consumer is not adequately protected PRIOR to the introduction of drugs. Who wants to debate the merits and science of drug use with the drug pushers?
The BURDEN of proof is on medicine and science to prove that what THEY do that is outside the realm of natural, physiological birth. The birth of the human being into this world is the most important event of his or her life --- doing so "under the influence" of narcotics (and the resulting interventions) may be the most damaging thing we can do to a human being. It is also the most lucrative -- and the science, were the medical and psychological fields to allow the research, would be revealed to be what keeps them in business for the lifetime of the human.
The common practice of episotomy has ended as a result of the insistence by women to practice evidenced-based medicine. Natural birth movement is insisting that all obstetric practices be put under the microscope of "evidence-based science". There is NO RESEARCH to support the practices of artificially rupturing membranes ("to speed it up"), the supine position for delivery, cord cutting before delivery of the placenta, and many others. There is NO RESEARCH to support the common practice of inducing labor and using drugs in birth, while physiology easily explains with scientific research WHY these SHOULD NOT be done unless MEDICALLY NECESSARY.
In May of 2006 I asked Dr. Amy and other bloggers on Dr. Crippen's blog to provide any scientific research that showed that ANY of the drugs EVER used on laboring and birthing babies and woman was shown to be SAFE. Specifically, I want to see the peer-reviewed scientific studies that show us that INDUCTION of the baby's labor and the USE of EPIDURAL ANESTHESIA -- narcotics!! -- are SAFE. THERE IS NONE!
From the eighties on there is a proliferation of their own research looking at and discussing the medical consequences of epidural anesthesia. There is research to look at the different kinds of narcotics and mistures BECAUSE of the RESULTING physiological negative consequences of the epidurals. In the literature doctors have, over the past twenty years, tweaked out which drugs are less damaging so create the best little cocktail possible, ie. so that now women can be partially numb as birth is imminent. For decades the effects of narcotics have been identifed and the resulting "Quality" peer-reviewed research in medicine began the tedious research to find the best narcotic, the best dose, the best timing, and on and on. ALL of this "SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH" TO FIND THE LEAST OBVIOUS DAMAGING PROTOCOLS WAS DONE ON UNIFORMED AND NON-CONSENTING HUMAN BABIES. This is how EVERY single drug ever used in labor and birth has been studied. Drugs are stopped AFTER knowing the damage.
Who is to hold accountable the medical establishment and "scientists" (are doctors really scientists?) who are really just educated by pharmcuetical industry.
It is abhorent that peer-reviewed, doctor/medical business and drug industry controlled research are medically and socially sanctioned to do decade after decade of medical and drug research on the bodies and souls uninformed, non-consenting women -- and their babies. The generational impact of this to the human baby, male and female is an outrage. It is morally, ethically, legally, and spiritually wrong. It is obsene to promote the use of narcotics at birth as safe for the birthing human, WHILE "America's War on Drugs" rages on, and while school children (with poor impulse, motivation, and boundaries) are being drugged with presciptions of narcotics but taught in billion-dollar programs to "Just say no!" It is immorale and negligent to promote cesarean birth as safe when there is no research to prove this WHILE the incidence of every devasting childhood illness goes up.
In pre and perinatal psychology we know that poor impluse control, motivation, follow through, integration, and boundaries are all established in the brain of the laborin and birthing baby. Medical establishment is fighting like hell to prevent this research that PROVES that disrupting by induction, drugs, interventions, surgery, and brutality of the first hour of life. THAT is the problem. A win would mean that women and babies are treated with aware, gentle, safe, and respectful care knowing that every single word, thought, and action is experienced and remembered by the birthing baby's brain.
THE BURDEN OF PROOF IS ON THE MEDICAL ESTABLISHMENT AND THE PHYSICIANS TO PROVE THAT THIS IS INCORRECT, AND THAT WHAT THEY DO HAS NO DETRIMENTAL EFFECTS --- BEFORE THEY DO IT YOU. Otherwise, we are all just human guinnea pigs.
SHOW ME THE RESEARCH THAT SHOWS THAT INDUCTION AND EPIDURAL RESEARCHED AND SHOW TO BE SAFE -- and worthy of being now considered routine and normal.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
What does it mean to "trust birth"?
Looking at homebirth websites and natural childbirth websites, I have come across this phrase many times. What, exactly, does it mean? Does it mean trust birth to go right every time? Why would anyone do that since we know that childbirth is and has always been one of the leading killers of young women and babies? Does it mean ignore pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, obstructed labor, etc? Does it mean trust the human body to always work perfectly? How could that be, since we are all well aware that it doesn't work perfectly in many different circumstances and for many reasons. Why do natural childbirth advocates say "trust birth" and not "trust pregnancy"? Is that because of the high natural miscarriage rate (approximately 20%)? If you can't "trust" pregnancy, why can you "trust" birth? What is it about birth that it deserves to be "trusted" more than any other bodily function?
"Why do natural childbirth advocates say "trust birth" and not "trust pregnancy?"
Safe Baby Partners:
It's semantics, my friend, and this is just word wrangling going on here.
Birth is the physiological period of development from preconception through the earliest hours, days, and weeks of the human being's life. It includes conception, gestation/pregnancy, labor, birth, reattachment, postpartum and infancy -- the continuum continues forward from the development of the sperm and the egg with the parents by five months gestation. It is a never-ending continuum of physiological development. At some point another soul enters the union of these two -- where is the scientific study to PROVE this? I don't know. We just all know it.
We know our breath, our heart beat, our respiration, and our digestion all exist and continue -- science tells us of this. We "trust life" to do these processes. We know that the zygote begins to divide from one cell into an extraordinary differentiation of systems, body parts, tissues and functions to create another human being -a physiological human being who is physical home to a spiritual being. If all of that can happen within a woman's body why should she not; no, why would she not trust the process of the being she built to know when and how to leave her body to become an independent being? How could she not trust her body to do know how to do this with and for her baby?
"Trust conception." "Trust Gestation." "Trust Labor." "Trust Birth." Could be said, "Trust Life" or "Trust Breath" or "Trust Your Body" or "Trust Physiology."
But, Medicine says trust them,trust fear, trust machines, trust strangers, trust technology, and trust drugs --- to do what has happened on this planet for millions of years?
Physicians, of all people, can't trust physiology and biology? Isn't that a major issue in every specialty of medicine?
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
The article continues, "Plus medicine is full of controversy and conflicting theories."
Nowhere is this so damaging as it is in the care of the pregnant mother, the laboring and birthing baby, and during infancy. The scientific literature is very clear about the effects of narcotics on the adult brain and body -- and yet this is promoted as safe for a woman during labor and birthing her baby?!? A woman is not "just numb from the waist down" as promoted; it is systemic. As one woman said, "It made me stupid." Someday epidural anesthesia and sonograms will be on the list with ether and x-rays.
Think about it -- all of the drugs and procedures we've been told are safe in every specialty of medicine, only to learn later that they are dangerous and that adequate trials were not performed, or the drug was promoted even when the company knew of the explicit danger to the consumer. How many drugs and hormones replacements have been recalled or found to cause serious or life-threatening consequences? Think about what's being done to women and babies in history and right now. Is it evidence-based and safe? Historically, the drugs used on laboring and birthing women and babies have NEVER been shown to be safe. Drugs and interventions are stopped ONLY AFTER years of harm and death to women and babies. HOW IS THIS SCIENCE-BASED PRACTICE? Laboring and birthing women and babies are one long non-consenting, uninformed research project.
Here's the latest example:
HEALTH NEWS OF THE WEEK:DANGERS OF FLUORIDATED WATER CONFIRMED On November 9, the American Dental Association (ADA) finally admitted that fluoride levels in common tap water could be dangerous for infants. The ADA recommended that fluoridated water should not be mixed into concentrated formula or foods intended for babies. The ADA's announcement comes on the heels of a National Research Council report that revealed fluoridation' s adverse effects to the thyroid gland, diabetics, kidney patients, high water drinkers and others. The Centers for Disease Control has added to the debate with a new report showing that fluoride absorbs into enamel topically. However, adverse effects occur upon ingestion.
Learn more: http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_3351.cfm
Monday, November 20, 2006
"It is interesting to me that the natural childbirth community would put so much stock in a study that depended on birth certificate data when the primary objection to the Pang study was that it depended on birth certificate data which might not be reliable."
Safe Baby Partners:
Question: How can we as a society hold medical profession accountable for conducting and providing research that PROVES the safety of a drug or intervention BEFORE using it on it laboring and birthing women and babies? The burden of proof should be theirs, not women, and not natural birth supporters whose real life experiences are the proof for them.
In response to the quote above, gathering birth information from public records, not the mother and baby, is standard protocol in all areas of research of human health and pathology. It surprises me too. In the state in which I live the state director of the bureau of statistics told me there are serious discrepancies in birth certificate data -- so that the epidemiological study I wanted to do was pretty impossible. How convenient. I even found glaring omissions in hospital records of my daughter’s. ( ie., it did not say she was induced with cytotec and I/we had epidural anesthesia.)
I am increasingly more amazed -- or is it dismayed -- at the omission of the experience of labor and birth in literally every area of human study. Not even addictions studies looks at the 90% rate of drug use in labor and birth. The Institute of Educational Services of the US Department of Education has a national study "Early Childhood Longitudinal Study" that follows a birth cohort of over 10,000 children born in 2001. The study relies upon birth certificate data. The mothers of the birth cohort are not even interviewed until their baby is nine months of age and the painfully long questionnaire that delves too deeply into privacy of every topic has NO questions about labor and birth. It relies upon birth certificate data even when the mother is right there!?! The omission of this is mind-boggling.
From the website, “The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS) Program provides national data on children's status at birth and at various points thereafter.” But doesn't even gather information about the birth. How is the whole community of "scientific researchers" so oblivious to the primary experience of life? Even when looking at the health of the person from birth?!?!THE moment and process of leaving the symbiotic safety of the mother's womb and re-connecting with her at the moment that every body system "comes online" on it's own. And no one asks the mother? And, if she tells it, her "anecdotal story", her experience is diminished as not scientifically shown to be correct??
There is no research to disprove a mother's sensate and emotional experience of birth, nor is there research to disprove the growing study of the lifelong effects of the experience of birth. No one, ESPECIALLY the medical profession who is involved in birth with their means of extrication to save a life, looks at the consequences. The burden of PROOF should be on obstetrics to PROVE something is safe before doing it routinely on women and babies and then purporting it to be safe so it is finally "accepted" as normal and scientific.
The field of obstetrics is hand-in-hand with fields of psychology, so that such studies as this Early Childhood Study are funded by government money WHILE they fund "the war on drugs" whose message reaches the youngest of children. "Just say no!" Why would they if they were born "under the influence?" Medical and the example study here both focus on prenatal and postnatal but exclude birth. They both look at the role of the woman and the family in creating the problems and needs of the child --- psychology and medicine are notorious for "blaming mothers" for every issue of humankind. And, neither look at labor and birth and lack of rights and power a woman has during the most important day of her child's life. Like in obstetrics, the questionnaire asks such in depth questions as "Who paid for your prenatal care?" and how many times per trimester the mother had prenatal care, how much she smoked, and then begins a long series of questions about NICU.
LABOR and BIRTH, including the history of drugs, inducing, and other interventions as well as the mother's physical and emotional experiences are not included in the questionnaire (http://nces.ed.gov/ecls/pdf/Birth/parent_nine.pdf, page 69) because there is so little regard for the safety and well-being of the human newborn.
Beware, Be aware. Be alarmed. Critical decisions from this amazing national project (as with all of the research in every field of study of human behavior and health) will be made about children's needs within the family and in parenting, and in the school settings. From the site http://nces.ed.gov/ecls/: "From a national perspective, there is little information about young children's development, health, early care and education from birth through kindergarten entry. This research is in response to an increased public awareness of the importance of children's early experiences to their later school success."
How much government money is spent on this study and in EVERY field of medicine, psychology, education, and addictions to research the human condition and needs and BIRTH is excluded!?
"The ECLS program has been designed to include two overlapping cohorts: a Birth Cohort and a Kindergarten Cohort. The birth cohort follows a sample of children from birth through kindergarten entry. The kindergarten cohort follows a sample of children from kindergarten through the eighth grade. children's transitions to nonparental care, early education programs, and school; and children's experiences and growth through the eighth grade. ECLS also provides data to test hypotheses about the contributions of a wide range of family, school, community and individual variables on children's development, early learning, and performance in school."
And the experience of labor and birth is omitted, and data from birth certificates is used to represent the most important, defining event in the human's life.
Time to demand accountibility from researchers of all fields.
"And yet still you haven't even touched the subject of the fetal and maternal deaths that happen as a direct result of hospital error or misdiagnosis. And what about the neonatal deaths that are a result of trauma due to forced deliveries or drug reactions."
"If you want to know why, do some research to find out what the actual numbers are for maternal and neonatal deaths caused by interventions. I suspect that you will be surprised to find that the real numbers are extremely small, certainly smaller than the excess risk of neonatal death at homebirth."
Safe Baby Partner:
First of all, there is NO SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH to indicate that the human baby is NOT adversely affected by drugs, medical technology, interventions, and surgical birth. The burden of proof is on the medical establishment to prove that what they are doing is safe in the moment and for the lifelong physiological system of the human being.
Secondly, the refusal or inability of obstetrics and lack of research from the obstetric and medical field does NOT mean that there is no danger or long term effects of interventions. It is not in their interest to study the effects of an intervention before using it, and certainly not afterward. For example, forceps were never studied before using, and never IN the field of obstetrics do they study the long term effects. Nor, has main stream psychology looked at the use of drugs and interventions at birth as a contributor to life long mental, emotionl, or personality issues.
Was the vacuum extraction device created with the long term effects in mind (no pun intended)? It is known to severely distort the baby's scull and therefore brain. NO research has clearly looked at the long term impact to the human. Off-label drugs like scopalamine, demerol, and cytotec were used without any research to show they were safe as are the current drugs for mental illness and depression used prenatally. NOW, researchers are comparing groups of babies who had different narcotics during labor. NOW they are comparing groups of babies whose mother's took prozac prenatally with those who did not. and concluding no significant differences and"no major malfunctions." However, no studies show safety before using, nor is there a long time follow-up to show us there are no SYSTEMIC and LONG TERM effects of the drugs on the brain and liver of the baby. In every field of medicine and drug research there IS every reason to suspect very serious consequences for drug use during labor and birth.
Unfortunately, the documentation of deaths because of drug use and interventions is very hush-hush, as is the trauma to a baby who survives -- as in the photo above. Physically and emotionally, the effects of birth trauma is said to just magically "go away" when the outward evidence (ie., bruises) does - even when there are dire warnings to physicians. Some how our perceptions of just how "resilient" baby's and children are doesn't apply to us as adults. We would not believe that a trauma to cause such bruising was nothing to talk or fuss about. When a child falls and hits his head so hard it can be heard in another room, well meaning adults shhhhush the child and say, "you are ok, you're ok, shhusssh." As a adult we would be crying, swearing, and/or making sounds and jumping around. Imagine if your head was so abused that it created a malformation of your head that looked like a chignon bun -- a common occurrence with vacuum extraction. Why do educated, nice, compassionate people believe that the baby's brain is UNAFFECTED by this AS a baby is birth drug-impaired?? The birthing brain is "resilient" to the point of being unaffected by what would bring an adult to their knees? How is it that psychological research does not look at this? And, it's known to doctors.
Below is an example of a warning to physicians
FDA Public Health Advisory: Need for CAUTION When Using Vacuum Assisted Delivery Devices (You are encouraged to copy and distribute this advisory.)
May 21, 1998 --- EIGHT YEARS AGO!!!
Obstetricians, Birthing Centers, Nurse Mid-Wives,Pediatricians, Ultrasonographers, ObGyn Nurses, Family Practitioners, Radiologists, Hospital Risk Managers, Hospital ObGyn Departments. (DIRECT ENTRY and LAY MIDWIVES and DOULAS and PRE and PERINATAL THERAPISTS HAVE KNOWN THIS A LONG TIME!!)
This is to advise you that vacuum assisted delivery devices may cause serious or fatal complications, and to provide guidance to minimize the risk. While no instrumented delivery is risk free, we are concerned that some health care professionals who use vacuum assisted delivery devices, or those who care for these infants following delivery, may not be aware that the device may produce life-threatening complications (see attached list for sample of references). We are also concerned that if health care professionals responsible for the care of neonates are not alerted when a vacuum assisted delivery device has been used on a particular infant, they may not adequately monitor for the signs and symptoms of device-related injuries.
Article continues at: http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/fetal598.html
The following sites are of researchers and practitioners who have been studying the lifelong traumatic effects of interventions at birth. A live baby does not mean uninjured baby.
Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health is the United States version of an international organization of multi-disciplinary fields of study looking at the period of preconception through early infancy. www.BirthPsychology.com. APPPAH was cofounded by David Chamberlain, PhD. www.bepe.info and Thomas Verney, MD at www.trvernymd.com
Other leaders in the field are:
William Emerson, PhD at www.emersonbirthrx.com
Wendy McCarty, RN, PhD at www.wondrousbeginnings.com
Raymond Castellino, DC at www.castellinotraining.com
and www.beba.org org
featured on the documentary narrated by Noah Wiley
Gerald Vind, PhD (neurobiology) www.pnri.net
Frederick Wirth, PhD. (neonatologist) at www.prenatalparenting.com
Basic science researchers whose work supports the primal period as critical are:
Peter Nathanielsz, PhD. MD
Michel Odent, MD at www.wombecology.com
Candace Pert, PhD at www.candacepert.com
Bruce Lipton, PhD at www.brucelipton.com
All of these sites were posted on the homebirthdebate blog and removed.
The burden must be on obstetric medicine and psychology to show us that what they do IS SAFE.
A Scientific Question: Does induction and epidural anesthesia lead to increasing rates of surgical birth?
Baby Jasmyn was induced by nurse midwives in a military hospial, and as you can see by her photo, she was very mispositioned and terribly stuck. Increased pitocin "to get that baby out" resulted in extremely violent and terrifying labor for her and her mother before Jasmyn was born by emergency cesarean. Her mother knew something was wrong and wanted a cesarean. The resident and attending argured about this for over an hour while the mother (and Jasmyn) was on oxygen. Jasmyn and mother met for first time thirteen hours later. Many babies are not these bruised but medical staff did not even acknowledge the bruising. "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil." Families are too vulnerable, too shocked, too disempowered to confront the system.
A subset of questions:
1) Did medical people proceed with induction not knowing or inspite of the baby not being in proper position for birth, knowing that induced contractions never relent so baby can't ever align? Or, is it as the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology reports? And, in every one of these cases, why are medical caregivers still allowed to do non-medically necessary inductions when science tells us it is the baby who hormonally sends message to mother that starts labor?
2) Is pitocin chemically identical to oxytocin? And, is it safe for inducing a baby's birth? Is the use of synthetic or non-chemically identical oxytocin safe for the baby? Michel Odent, MD (www.wombecology.com) and Peter Nathanielsz, PhD, MD (Life in the Womb: Origin of Health and Disease) have extraordinary work on the importance of hormones and pituitary set points established in utero and during birth.
3) Was this a medically induced surgery? Why isn't this subject to malpractice, given their own research? Jasmyn's mother demanded the cesarean surgery. Was this a maternal-choice surgery based on "informed consent" and "best practice"?
4) Obviously Jasmyn's birth is a "good outcome" as she was born alive and survived the first year of life. But, does this birth really have no affect on her -- because she doesn't, so society says, REMEMBER it? A newborn baby's brain has a billion neurons ready to wire up. Was her brain not fully functioning so that she does in fact remember, in the cells of her preverbal part of the brain - her Limbic system? Does she have any emotional or psychological dynamics from her birth? From a thirteen hour separation from her mother? Please visit the Asoociation for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health website at www.BirthPsychology.com and my site, www.ItstheBabiesBirth.com. How could medical people and society believe that these forces of drugs and interventions during birth aren't important to treat? Or recognize that this is also a symptom of likely brain trauma? And, so school aged children with aggression, fears, and inability to follow through on school tasks are never viewed as being so because of early brain injury at birth.
I ask you to join me in honoring Jasmyn and her birth and her family's generous sharing of her photo and story for my own work. In my work in supporting the healing of trauma from birth, it is crucial to honor the baby who endured what she did -- for in the pain and shadow, are her gifts. Jasmyn is an amazing girl, now six. She is strong-willed, tenacious, and beautiful little girl. I love this little girl and I admire her courage and strength, her story and journey, and what she has taught me and what she brings to this work.
I dedicate this blog to Jasmyn, my babies, Andy, Erin, Joe, and Mariah, and to all of the babies who didn't have, but deserved an aware, safe, and gentle journey to this world.
While my heart's desire is to inspire and support respectful DIALOG between those who support and provide either homebirth or hospital birth (or birth center), the purpose of this blog is to allow opportunity for viewers and posters of the blog, HomebirthDebate.blogspot.com to discuss hospital birth. Those of us who have tried to contribute information and discuss the lack of safety in hospital births (due to misuse of drugs and interventions) have been banned. Those who shared experiences of peaceful, powerful, and even feeling orgasmic during birth are called liars because there is no scientifc proof. This is the place to be heard and to post your links to support natural, physiological birth as well as your links to the science thats show us WHEN and HOW that birth is safe in the hospital, or not.
The scientific research demands that WE, as a society, look at the consequences of drugs, interventions, and other disruptions to the human baby during his or her birth and hold medicine accountable. I hope doing so will logically, scientifically, and naturally lead to a DIALOG about how to make birth safest WHERE EVER it takes place and with whomever is the primary caregiver, midwife or doctor. I wish for this sharing and discussing of the literature about the experience of hospital birth to begin the dialog about HOW we create respectful partnerships between a birthing woman and caregiver whether home or hospital, or both. I wish for us to dialog about HOW doctors and midwives (and society) can engage with a woman and her gestating baby (body and brain) as if it really MATTERS for the developing baby's brain. That discussion is on www.SafeBabyResolution.blogspot.com.
In a safe world, a woman is responsble for her body and her health and so, she is held accountable for her choices and outcomes – as she is protected and nurtured in every possible way to gestate and birth gently and safely. In a safe world she has access to the greatest technology available SHOULD she need it and she has access to cooperative, respectful, partners of midwives and doctors who honor the consciousness of the laboring and birthing baby. AND, the BIG bottom-line is that in a safe world everyone in society knows WHATEVER we do with, to, and for that gestating or laboring or birthing woman and baby WILL also be experienced by that baby.
We know now logically and scientifically that everything that happens to a baby will be recorded in his or her brain. For life.
We know that narcotics during labor and birth is not without consequence. HOW we engage with a woman and her gestating baby (body and brain) would be MY choice of a dialog, NOT a debate. How any interaction with her and any intervention affects her baby would be my choice topic. I have studied this field with pioneers in the field for almost seven years and I am practitioner of healing birth trauma. As a poster on the homebirthdebate blog, my links to the scientific researchers and practitioners were banned and so was I. Many were also banned who who support homebirth and attempted to discuss research that supports the growing importance for options outside of hospitals (ie., increasing surgical rates) and demands by women to give birth at home -- often to feel safe and respected, knowing they are very unsafe in the current hospital environment.
I feel the need to offer an opportunity to discuss what was not allowed and was banned. This is not my blog, per se; it is just to allow the silenced voices and to provide women who are looking at the debate in their researching to have both views. On the Home Birth blog women's stories are denigrated and denied as not scientifically valid and those who speak up are blanned. One of my own babies, now 23, is on the ground in Iraq proudly making the greatest of sacrifices in defending our freedoms, including speech -- never in my life have I taken my freedoms and rights so seriously. Nor, have I considered so powerfully those who defended and died for that. Our sons and daughters.
We women are silenced and violated in modern medical birth, and in the discussion of how hospital birth harms us and our babies. During his birth I was asked repeatedly to take drugs, his membranes were ruptured without my consent for other's time frames, resulting in the need for fetal scalp monitor, and of course, brutal interventions in the first moments of his life. It's about time we stopped creating warriors and spreading this way of birth around the world as "scientific".
We can contribute to a harmonious world, rather than terrorism, by intervening only when necessary and doing so with awareness, safe, and gentle touch. I won't be silenced now by a physician who refuses to listen to women and honor their stories, and so I provide the opportunity to discuss safety (or lack of) in Hospital Birth. God speed, my boy, now a man -- my hero, Lt Joe Uray, and all of your brave colleagues. Thank for you each for doing the unthinkable that our society has demanded of you, and set you up at birth to do.
First, let me state my beliefs that:
- birth is neither safER or safEST in either enviornment -- at home with a qualified midwife or in the hospital with a qualified physician.
- birth is a physiological, biological process of the human being's sacred passage into this world.
- birth is truly safe only when there is mutally respectful partnership between midwifery model of physiological birth and the medical science model of obstetrical medicine.
women must be given social, political, and systemic rights to her body and to choose where and with whom she gives birth.
- it is the responsbility of medical caregivers to embrace the evidence-based science and to participate in building the bridge between home and hospital birth.
Yes, birth at home without medical care is dangerous for a high risk woman.
Yes, sometimes, no matter where a woman chooses to give birth to her baby, unforeseen complications will arise and medical technology can save her and her baby. And, some babies are doomed to not survive where ever they are born. It is so rare that it does not justify forcing every woman to adhere to medical birth interventions on "in case" basis, which is unnecessarily traumatizing to the newborn.
Yes, a woman who has the right to keep or terminate a pregnancy, ought to have the right to choose where and with whom she labors and gives birth WHILE having the best, evidenced-based medical care available.
What some supporters of midwifery, homebirth, and physiological birth know intuitively, but not necessarily consciously yet is that:
The field of pre and perinatal psychology embraces physiological and medical models of care; and, importantly, teaches HOW to be with these mothers and babies who need medically necessary intervention in ways that can faciliate a NON-traumatic experience. The science from a mulitude of scientic studies merge to show us how it is that AFTER birth we can assist the mother and baby to heal – even from cesarean surgery. It leads us to:
- knowing and demanding that we must first, “DO NO HARM” in medical birth.
- seriously evaluating the physiological, hormonal consequences of disrupting birth and we can work differently to avoid undue trauma.
- demand for medical caregivers (mothers) to stop what they are doing that we know is traumatizing.
- seeing the laboring and birthing human baby as a full present human being who is violated and who voice is ignored at birth.
On the Home Birth Debate blog, the blogger refuses to allow any of the scientific evidence showing that interventions are dangerous, that they lead to further interventions and create lifelong issues to be discussed. So, bring it on here!
This is where we talk about the inherent safety issues of hospital birth. It is NOT a place to bash doctors or nurses – they are trained to believe that the human baby is not affected by rough treatment and drugs. They are trained to believe the human being doesn’t remember labor and birth experiences, just pre and postnatal ones. Be kind to one another here, and keep the focus on the research in the context of what a woman and a baby need physiologically, emotionally, and spiritually during labor and birth.
So, with that said, I must provide an overview of the Homebirthdebate blog where the debate grinds on about the loss of life and a live baby as the measurement of where birth is safest.
The debate ignores and disallows anyone to post research or theories or questions about the immediate and lifelong effects of using unneccesary drugs and interventions that are known (inside and outside of medicine) to be for medical staff convenience and litigation avoidance, not about the baby's needs and timing.
The debate further disallows a DISCUSSION about HOW to use these inventions with consciousness and compassion in the cases where interventions are necessary to ensure a live baby and mother.
The debate ignores the socially and politcally evolved "standard of care" that now allow medical caregivers to routinely use unnecessary medical interventions on otherwise healthy women and babies.
The debate ignores and disallows a discussion of how this "standard of care" purports safety of drugs at birth by instead focusing on a woman's right to chose drugs for pain relief, despite the lack of scientific research that drugs were EVER researched for safety for the baby or the mother.
The debate ignores the poor scientific methods of NOW comparing control groups of women and babies exposed to different narcotics (never shown safe) or situations or interventions.
The debate further ignores the science of basic physiology that clearly shows the complications of drugs, artifical hormones, interventions (especially surgical) to the health and wellness of the human baby, despite the scientific understanding and facts that we do know about the effects of introducing artificial hormones and narcotics on the adult brain and body.
These are the issues about which I invite you to participate in discussing and sharing your information.
"Soft is the heart of a child. Do not harden it."
Finally, A Birth Film for Fathers
Through presentation of the current research and stories of fathers, the routine use of interventions are questioned. How we protect and support the physiological need of the human newborn attachment sequence is the foundation for creating safe birth wherever birth happens.
Based on knowing that babies are sentient beings and the experience of birth is remembered in the body, mind, and soul, fathers are asked to research for themselves what is best for their partner and baby and to prepare to protect their baby.
The film is designed for midwives, doulas, and couples, particularly fathers to work with their caregivers. Doctors and nurses in the medical environment are asked to "be kind" to the laboring, birthing baby, and newborn. They are called to be accountable for doing what science has been so clear about for decades. The mother-baby relationship is core for life. Doctors and nurses and hospital caregivers and administrators are asked to create protocols that protect the mother-baby relationship.
Men are asked to join together to address the vagaries of the medical system that harm their partner, baby and self in the process of the most defining moments of their lives. Men are asked to begin to challenge the system BEFORE they even conceive babies as there is no way to be assured of being able to protect his loved ones once they are in the medical machine, the war zone, on the conveyor belt -- some of the ways that men describe their journey into fatherhood in the medicine culture.
Donors can email firstname.lastname@example.org to get a digital copy.
The film focuses on the male baby, his journey from the womb to the world and reveals healing and integrating the mother, father, and baby's wounded birth experience. The film is about the restoring of our families, society, and world through birthing loved, protected, and nurtured males (and females, of course). It's about empowering males to support the females to birth humanity safely, lovingly, and consciously.
Finally, a birth film for fathers.
What People Are Saying About the FIlm
They are rightly calling what happens in every American maternity unit, every day, by its rightful name - abuse. Abuse of the newborn, abuse of the parents and their rights, abuse of the supposedly sacrosanct ethical principal of patient autonomy and the medico-legal doctrine of informed consent, which has been long ago discarded in all but name. I love it!
In the immortal words of the "shrub", "bring it on!" This film needs to be shown and if I can help facilitate or promote it, let me know.
Father in Asheville, NC
Thanks for sharing this. It was very touching to me. I thought of my brother-in-law standing on the other side of the glass when my sister had to have a C-section with her first child because the doctor was missing his golf date. I'll never forget his pacing back and forth and my realizing that he was already a father, even though he hadn't been allowed to be with his son yet.
Margaret, Columbia, MO
In case you don't find me here
I wish I'd kept a blog of my journey with this film this past 10 months. It's been amazing.
I have a new blog address for the film, and will keep a journal of simple reporting of the journey for the rest of the film.
I'll be heading east this week to meet with a group of men. I plan to post pictures and clips on the film blog.
I'll keep up here when I can -- when I learn something juicy, outrageous, or inspiring related to making birth safer for the birthing baby.
Review of the film
The full film will have the interviews of a wider spectrum of professionals and fathers, and will include a third birth, at home, where the caregivers do a necessary intervention, suctioning, while being conscious of the baby.
The final version will feature OBs, RNs, CNMs, LM, CPM, Doulas, childbirth educators, pre and perinatal psychologists and trauma healing therapists, physiologists, neurologists, speech therapists and lots and lots of fathers -- will hopefully be done in early 2009.
The final version will include the science needed to advocated for delayed cord clamping, and the science that shows when a baby needs to be suctioned and addresses other interventions. Experts in conscious parenting will teach how to be present with a sentient newborn in a conscious, gentle way -- especially when administering life-saving techniques.
The goal is to keep the baby in the mother's arms so that the baby gets all of his or her placental blood and to avoid unnecessary, violating, and abusive touch and interactions. When we do that, whether at home or hospital, with doctor or midwife, the birth is safe for the father. The "trick" for birthing men and women is how to make it happen in the hospital.