The Other Side of the Glass

Part One was officially released June 2013 in digital distribution format. To purchase to to www.theothersideoftheglass.com If you were a donor and want to download your copy send an email to theothersideoftheglassfilm@gmail.com.

The trailer

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Historical mistakes of the medical model of childbirth

We have been discussing treatments used by obstetricians without having been adequately researched first, a crime they often accuse midwives of committing. Various practices, from dangerous drugs to harmful diets, have been prescribed before there was enough scientific evidence to back them.

Ambrose Pare, 1509-1589, a surgeon with the obstetric skills of his time wrote, of podalic version, "...he must lift him (the baby) up gently, and so turn him that his feet come first--then little by little turn the whole body from the womb." We now know that breech positions, while not a medical emergency, do increase the risk of complication. Moreover pulling the baby from the womb is considered dangerous because of the risk of injury to the infant. Pare also believed in using nipple shields of lead to prevent cracked nipples--which we now know could have caused lead poisoning to nurselings.

In the 1940s American doctors nearly starved their pregnant patients, believing low protein diets would keep the baby small, which would reduce complications in pregnancy and birth. Today many doctors encourage high protein intake as a way to prevent pre-eclampsia, though it seems diets supplemented with protein are associated with higher instances of pre-eclampsia. Peter Nathanielsz, PhD, MD, a researcher details the lifelong healthcare implications of this (cardiac, stroke, and diabetes) in his book, "Life in the Womb: the Origins of Health and Disease."

In the 60s and 70s, vitamin and mineral supplements were prescribed during pregnancy, such as vitamin A. High concentrations of this vitamin can cause birth defects, so prescribing supplements wasn't a great idea. Women should avoid eating liver and its products because that is where animals store vitamin A. Yet, at that time, liver was promoted as an ideal food for a pregnant lady.

Iron is prescribed to build up haemoglobin, but the capsules can cause gastro-intestinal irritation, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation which puts the mother at a risk of dehydration and may hurt her nutritionally.

From Rediscovering Birth, "In 1913, 15,000 or more American women died in or around childbirth and nearly half of the deaths were from 'childbed' or puerperal fever. Women who gave birth in hospitals were especially likely to develope puerperal fever because doctors examined their patients without washing their hands. The cause of puerperal fever had already been discovered many years before, in the mid-1800s, by Dr. Oliver Wendell Homes in America, and also by Dr Agnaz Semmelweis in Austria." Obstetricians knew that the cause of childbed fever was insufficient sanitation, yet they still continued to go from patient to patient, often doing internal exams, without washing their hands. Was it too inconvenient?

By 1939 more than 75% of births were in hospital and by 1960 close to 100%, but birth was no more safe. The major cause of death was still sepsis. Breathing the same air, being in close proximity, laying side by side with other women spreads germs. These women could be sick with any number of ailments and contagious for a while before being diagnosed. Not to mention, the typical postpartum woman bleeds for six weeks. If we are all in the same room, bleeding and breathing together, bacteria is abundant, and germs are flying around everywhere. Exchange of bodily fluids is one of the surest ways to pass viruses from one person to another, and coming into contact with another woman's blood is not healthy nor is breathing the same air as a person with chickenpox.

In the 1930s, doctors in England were still using forceps in 50% of deliveries, which made birth dangerous. We now know that forceps cause fetal injury and maternal tearing.

Perhaps the most shocking story is that of the C-section, which is nothing new. Crude attempts were made as far back as 715-673 BC. In the Dark Ages, a woman's chance of survival after C-section was 50/50. Today outcomes are more favorable because of sterile equipment and newly available knowledge and technology, though vaginal birth is still vastly superior to C-section. Clearly C-section was not researched scientifically prior to its being used to treat emergencies, for I doubt any scientist would back a practice with a coin-toss outcome.

We are lead to believe that medicine is always scientific, that physicians always follow evidence-based medicine, and that they have our best interest in mind (and heart.) Granted, and we women are forever grateful, that many of the advancing practices in the care of the birthing woman and baby that save lifes have evolved this way. However, not every technique and treatment used throughout history to aid birth has been a good idea, nor has every practice been researched before put into use. Some very useful practices are overused and abused. We need to remember these mistakes and the prices paid for them by families across the globe. We must call for an honest look at what really is scientifically based in the medical model of childbirth today.

Dr. Mayer Eisenstein, MD, JD, MPH, medical director of Homefirst in Chicago, IL, now the largest physician- and midwife-attended homebirth practice in the nation says that, "Obstetrics, which is really a combined philosophy, business, and religion, does not have science as its base," and he continues, "Obstetricians practice much more philosophy than science. Pregnant women are tested, medicated, and operated on to excess every day by this profession in an unethical and dangerous way. This unscientific medicine is dangerous to us as a nation. Our maternal and infant mortality rate is unacceptable for a society as sophisticated as ours. We produce more premature infants than any other country with our interventionist technology and then praise ourselves for saving some of their lives."

written by Heather B. in collaberation with Janel Martin-Miranda

http://www.umanitoba.ca/outreach/manitoba_womens_health/hist1.htm
http://www.thehistoryof.net/history-of-childbirth.html
Sheila Kitzinger, "Rediscovering Birth"

10 comments:

frumiousb said...

Sorry to paint up your page with comments, but I was wondering if you had any web citations for a link between high protein diets and preeclampsia. (I just lost a child to HELLP Syndrome/Preeclampsia and I'm trying to get as much understanding as possible-- v. difficult, many theories, much folklore).

This was actually how I found your blog in the first place. You turned up in a Google alert on pre-e. Nice blog, by the way...

Baby Keeper said...

Hello, frumiousb,
I am so very sorry about the loss of your baby -- words can not convey my sympathies. I hope others will post resources here for grief support and HELLP Syndrome.

I know Ina May talks about the importance of protein, and reports a near zero incidence of preeclampsia. On the Farm the primary source of protein is tofu made there. There may be something about that in her recent book, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.

Anyone know of good information on these topics?

You are in the UK? UK midwifery group is a great resource.

Thanks for posting. I wish the best for you and your family.

Thanks for the feedback. Heather and I really appreciate it.

JLM

Heather B said...

I don't have any links; however, one of the signs of pre-eclampsia is excess protein in the urine. This could be caused by higher levels of protein in the body or simply because we excrete more protin when we have pre-eclampsia. I will definitely look around for you, but in the meantime, it couldn't hurt to limit your protein intake if you are worried. Sheila Kitzinger only briefly grazes this topic in "Rediscovering Birth," which was one of my sources, but I will indeed see what I can find for you. I am so very sorry for your loss, and I hope you find what you are looking for. I'll keep an eye open for you. Maybe I'll write an entire article about pre-eclampsia just for you with whatever I find. :)

Heather B. said...

Janel, has Ina May's experience with pre-eclampsia been that a LOT of protein prevents preeclampsia, that a small intake prevents it, or that you should eat protein in moderation? Or does she speculate that it's that they are getting most of their protein from tofu?

Baby Keeper said...

Good questions, Heather.
Not sure of the answer, really because it is not my area. The discussion was around the health and lack of complications of women birthing at the farm, most of whome lived there and consumed the organic tofu. Since I am not trained in the caring for women at that level -- nutritionally or medically, all I can do is refer people to resources. I am in position of supporting women's emotional state and overall perspective of life, baby, and birth, and preparing their body structurally (releasing old traumas to body). I always refer women to other resources. I have given away all of my Ina May's Guides and I don't have one handy to see what she actually says.

The protein debate related to pre-eclampsia is a biggie. Bradley teachers, I believe, are taught to load up on eggs for protein when pre-eclampsia is a threat, but the Ayurvedics say something very different. Here are links to a discussion between an ayurvedic caregiver specializing in post-partum care (www.sacredwindow.com) and a midwife.

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Perinatalayurveda/message/621

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Perinatalayurveda/message/623

This is certainly one of those issues that I believe requires a woman to educate her self from all perspectives, while working in close partnership with her trusted and attentive caregiver, AND, this is a big one, incorporating a practice of body-mind modalities of mindfulness, yoga, meditation, fetal love breaks (www.prenatalparenting.com) to be in very in touch with her own body -- so she makes decisions that are right for her and her baby. I really believe it is the only way to really know what is right for the self, given all of information out there.

A huge difference between physician care and midwifery care is the time and attention one gets from the midwife. I suggest that women not be afraid or feel that they are imposing or "taking too much time" or whatever to ask their medical caregiver to take the time to sit with them and answer their questions. Yes, doctors are very busy and sometimes seem very rushed, but most are very willing to set a time to listen -- when asked or expected.

Anonymous said...

Several epidemiological studies in developing nations indicate an association between reduced calcium intake and preeclampsia (45, 46). These observations led to the hypothesis that the incidence of preeclampsia can be reduced in populations of low calcium intake by calcium supplementation (47).

. Iron and markers of iron status have been reported as abnormal in preeclampsia. Entman et al. (70) reported increased free iron in preeclampsia. Several studies suggested an association with anemia (71), and ferritin is increased (72) and transferrin is decreased (73) in women with preeclampsia. In addition to the problems with measuring a marker in overt preeclampsia, there are several other cautions regarding interpreting data on iron biomarkers in preeclampsia. Increased free iron may represent hemolysis, known to be a feature of preeclampsia. Anemia is a marker for many forms of nutritional deficiency (71). Increased ferritin is not only a marker of reduced iron stores but also an inflammatory marker as is also the case with reduced transferrin (73, 74). Because inflammatory responses are increased in preeclampsia, these results as they relate to iron homeostasis must be interpreted with caution.


Reduced folate intake or genetic abnormalities of folate metabolism are associated with increased serum homocysteine concentration (77). Homocysteine is increased in preeclampsia (76, 78– 80) and is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease (81). There are little data on the relationship of folate to preeclampsia. However, whether periconceptional folate reduces the risk of preeclampsia will soon be answered as preeclampsia rates are observed after the supplementation of foods with folic acid, as is now being done in the United States and other countries.

Ascorbate is the linchpin antioxidant in humans whereas vitamin E is the major lipid-soluble antioxidant. As such they have attracted most attention as antioxidants important in human diseases including preeclampsia. Ascorbate is located in the aqueous phase but replenishes reduced lipid soluble vitamin E at the lipid aqueous interface (93). In studies of antioxidant depletion, no antioxidants are reduced until ascorbate is depleted (94). Thus, because ascorbate is not synthesized in humans, adequate dietary intake appears to be mandatory to prevent oxidative stress (95). Vitamin E seems likely to be ideally situated to prevent the formation of oxidized lipid products. Vitamin E defines a family of tocopherols. The tocopherols are found in lipoprotein particles and increase with increased lipids. Ascorbate is decreased in women with preeclampsia (96– 100). Vitamin E has been reported to be reduced in some (96, 100, 101) but not all studies (102– 105). It is most consistently reduced in severe cases (99, 106). Failure to find reduced vitamin E in some studies may reflect the failure to take into account the increased lipids present in preeclampsia. In addition, in these ill women it is not possible to discriminate cause and effect.



http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/133/5/1684S

No relation was found between protein intake and pre-eclampsia in this study.

http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/p/preeclampsia/underly.htm

Underlying conditions related to preeclampsia

http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/p/preeclampsia/riskfactors.htm

Risk factors

~ Heather B

Anonymous said...

Several epidemiological studies in developing nations indicate an association between reduced calcium intake and preeclampsia (45, 46). These observations led to the hypothesis that the incidence of preeclampsia can be reduced in populations of low calcium intake by calcium supplementation (47).

. Iron and markers of iron status have been reported as abnormal in preeclampsia. Entman et al. (70) reported increased free iron in preeclampsia. Several studies suggested an association with anemia (71), and ferritin is increased (72) and transferrin is decreased (73) in women with preeclampsia. In addition to the problems with measuring a marker in overt preeclampsia, there are several other cautions regarding interpreting data on iron biomarkers in preeclampsia. Increased free iron may represent hemolysis, known to be a feature of preeclampsia. Anemia is a marker for many forms of nutritional deficiency (71). Increased ferritin is not only a marker of reduced iron stores but also an inflammatory marker as is also the case with reduced transferrin (73, 74). Because inflammatory responses are increased in preeclampsia, these results as they relate to iron homeostasis must be interpreted with caution.


Reduced folate intake or genetic abnormalities of folate metabolism are associated with increased serum homocysteine concentration (77). Homocysteine is increased in preeclampsia (76, 78– 80) and is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease (81). There are little data on the relationship of folate to preeclampsia. However, whether periconceptional folate reduces the risk of preeclampsia will soon be answered as preeclampsia rates are observed after the supplementation of foods with folic acid, as is now being done in the United States and other countries.

Ascorbate is the linchpin antioxidant in humans whereas vitamin E is the major lipid-soluble antioxidant. As such they have attracted most attention as antioxidants important in human diseases including preeclampsia. Ascorbate is located in the aqueous phase but replenishes reduced lipid soluble vitamin E at the lipid aqueous interface (93). In studies of antioxidant depletion, no antioxidants are reduced until ascorbate is depleted (94). Thus, because ascorbate is not synthesized in humans, adequate dietary intake appears to be mandatory to prevent oxidative stress (95). Vitamin E seems likely to be ideally situated to prevent the formation of oxidized lipid products. Vitamin E defines a family of tocopherols. The tocopherols are found in lipoprotein particles and increase with increased lipids. Ascorbate is decreased in women with preeclampsia (96– 100). Vitamin E has been reported to be reduced in some (96, 100, 101) but not all studies (102– 105). It is most consistently reduced in severe cases (99, 106). Failure to find reduced vitamin E in some studies may reflect the failure to take into account the increased lipids present in preeclampsia. In addition, in these ill women it is not possible to discriminate cause and effect.



http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/133/5/1684S

No relation was found between protein intake and pre-eclampsia in this study.

http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/p/preeclampsia/underly.htm

Underlying conditions related to preeclampsia

http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/p/preeclampsia/riskfactors.htm

Risk factors

~ Heather B

frumiousb said...

Thank you for the information and links.

Baby Keeper said...

You are very welcome. Maybe you will let us all know what you learn.
Be well.
JLM

Anonymous said...

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"Soft is the heart of a child. Do not harden it."

A public awareness reminder that things that happen behind the scenes, out of our sight, aren't always as rosy as we might think them to be. Perhaps its a restaurant cook who accidentally drops your burger on the floor before placing it on the bun and serving it to you. Here it's an overworked apathetic (pathetic) nurse giving my newborn daughter her first bath. Please comment and rate this video, so as to insure that it is viewed as widely as possible, perhaps to prevent other such abuse. -- The mother who posted this YouTube. How NOT to wash a baby on YouTube Are you going to try to tell me that "babies don't remember?" There is no difference to this baby's experience and the imprinting of her nervous system/brain and one that is held and cleaned by the mother or father either at the hospital or at home? By the way, this is probably NOT the baby's first bath. The nurse is ungloved. Medical staff protocol is that they can't handle a baby ungloved until is has been bathed (scrubbed if you've seen it) because the baby is a BIO-HAZARD -- for them. Never mind that the bio-hazard IS the baby's first line of defense against hospital germs.

Missouri Senator Louden Speaks

Finally, A Birth Film for Fathers

Part One of the "The Other Side of the Glass: Finally, A Birth Film for and about Men" was released June, 2013.

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 theothersideoftheglassfilm@gmail.com to get a digital copy.
Buy the film at www.theothersideoftheglass.com.

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

Well, I finally had a chance to check out the trailer and .. wow! It's nice that they're acknowledging the father has more than just cursory rights (of course mom's rights are rarely acknowledged either) and it's great that they're bringing out the impact of the experience on the newborn, but I'm really impressed that they're not shying away from the political side.

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


OMG'ess, I just saw the trailer and am in tears. This is so needed. I watch over and over and over as fathers get swallowed in the fear of hospitals birth practice. I need a tool like this to help fathers see how very vital it is for them to protect their partner and baby. I am torn apart every time I see a father stand back and chew his knuckle while his wife is essentially assaulted or his baby is left to lie there screaming.
Please send me more info!!!!
Carrie Hankins
CD(DONA), CCCE, Aspiring Midwife
720-936-3609


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

Soon, I'll be back to heavy-duty editing and it will be quiet here again. I keep thinking this blog is winding down, and then it revives. It is so important to me.

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.


www.theothersideoftheglassthefilm.blogspot.com


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

Most of us were born surrounded by people who had no clue about how aware and feeling we were. This trailer triggers a lot of emotions for people if they have not considered the baby's needs and were not considered as a baby. Most of us born in the US were not. The final film will include detailed and profound information about the science-based, cutting-edge therapies for healing birth trauma.

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.

Birth Trauma Healing

Ani DeFranco Speaks About Her Homebirth

"Self-Evident" by Ani DeFranco

Patrick Houser at www.Fatherstobe.org

Colin speaks out about interventions at birth

Dolphins