Saturday, March 6, 2010

Survey for Cesarean Mothers

If you have had a cesarean section, could you please take a moment and fill this survey out, it would be a great help in a project Momotics & The Healthy Baby Network are working on.

The more women replying, the more accurate numbers they will get from all walks of life.

Post Cesarean Feelings

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mainstream Birth Reporting

In the past two weeks, there have been a number of crappy mainstream morning shows reporting on childbirth. From water birth with Good Morning America and an ignorant Ob/GYN as their "expert" to an elective cesarean section for a "big baby" on the Today Show.

While watching both segments, I continued to get the though of how much bad, inaccurate, and biased reporting was taking place... 'I'm up to my eyeballs in bad information"
Then it struck me... a commercial I had seen in the past that I could compare it to...

But what is the point? People are going to believe exactly what these television "experts" have to say, despite the information to the contrary.

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After watching this video, there are some things that need to be cleared up.
First off, there should never be anything routine, or scheduled when it comes to a cesarean, especially one being aired on TV. They should ONLY be happening for real medical reasons.
Then the doctor, mid surgery starts discussing cesarean section rates, which she is grossly inaccurate on. She quotes that depending where you are 25-30% of babies are being delivered by cesarean section when the fact is, this hospital which this planned cesarean took place at has a surgical birth percent of well over 40% and the national average as of 2007 was 31.8%.
Then they tackle the reasons for cesarean section, starting with "baby too big"
Well who gets to decide if that baby is too big? Third trimester ultrasounds that are infamous for being inaccurate up to 2 full pounds? The Doctor who wants to be out on the golf course by noon? Come on! Women birth "big babies" daily!
Then another listed reason was a mother with a previous cesarean section, and this stigma is the reason out maternal mortality rates are climbing with the cesarean section rate, while the VBAC number is dropping. Having a previous cesarean section is NOT a reason to sign up for an elective cesarean in the vast majority of cases.

After weighing this little boy, 10 pounds even, everyone starts to exclaim how they chose the right way to deliver this baby! Oh and don't forget, Mom Kerry was PAST HER DUE DATE! OMG EMERGENCY!
But wait! It gets worse.
Their "medical expert" Dr. Nancy chimes in that because of the history of big babies in both families (these were not petite parents by any means) and because she was past her due date, a cesarean section was the SAFEST option. Where did she get her medical degree from? A cracker Jacks box? Apparently they just had those out to anyone today. What a grossly INACCURATE and DANGEROUS piece of information to be giving out!!

The Today Show should be completely ASHAMED of themselves for giving this kind of dangerous information out, not only that but completely leaving out ALL the MAJOR medical risks of a cesarean section.

Morning Show Fail!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Patient Choice Cesareans & Physician Ethics

One of the oaths Doctors take when they become Doctors is do no harm. Now this can be interpenetrated in a number of different ways and I understand that many may not agree with my interpretation of this oath and subject in general.

We see a small portion of women today choosing elective cesarean sections, whether they be elective primary, better known as first time cesarean sections, or repeat cesarean sections with no medical indication in subsequent pregnancies after already having one cesarean section. Though the estimated number of elective primary cesarean sections is estimated to take up only 2% of the current 31.8% cesarean section number, that is still a large portion of women that are choosing a potentially harmful major surgery for no medical reason. In turn the Physicians that are caving in to these patient request cesareans are clearly not living up to do no harm.

Not only is there the possibility major and dangerous complications when major surgery is being performed for no medical reason, but delivering a baby via cesarean section poses possible complications to subsequent pregnancies.

We see the increased risk of hysterectomy, placenta acretta which is where the placenta grows into the wall of the uterus which could be potentially life threatening, increased infertility, and the list goes on.
But are these women making the choice for surgery with no medical need being fully counseled and educated on all the risks that their choice could present to themselves, and also their baby?

If these women were being given full disclosure of this procedure it would be highly unlikely they would just sign up. No mother wants to willingly put their child at risk for anything that could possibly hurt them in any way.

So are these Doctors really following their code of ethics?

Or are they just following the money trail?

Makes you think doesn't it?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Forgotten History of Hospital Birth

Taking a look back at the history of birth in hospitals, is not a pleasant picture for many, but it is something little people in our society know about today, because when looking for information, pictures, and research during this disgustingly abusive time in history, it seems as though most of it has been erased, hid, or destroyed. There are very few pictures of what was actually done to women from twilight sleep, to restraining women, all the way to the twilight sleep cribs that laboring mothers would be put in. I look back at his as a modern, empowered, mother and feminist, and I wonder how any women, especially the feminists of this time would allow these type of mistreatment of women. Many connected the pain of labor to the sins of Eve during this period of time, so many of the feminists basically said, anything that could take away the pain of birth is what I need, not knowing that the drugs that would be used would also take away their self control, and memory of the event.
While the births of my two children were not the most wonderful experiences, considering they were both major abdominal surgery I had no desire to have, I still as a mother want the memory of their joining out family.

I just cannot see how anyone in the medical community can look back at these pictures, and the way Obstetrics has practiced over the past century and say much positive about it. These pictures are a huge piece of evidence that there were mass amounts of not only abuse but misogynist activity taking place. But it is still happening today, just in a slightly more humane way. So we don't blindfold women, tie them to beds, or let them lay in their own poop and pee for long amounts of time, we just "treat" them with unnecessary medical intervention after medical intervention until all the interventions add up and they land in the operating room for the biggest medical intervention at all.
Choices in Childbirth released the cesarean section rates for some of the New York City hospitals recently, and MORE than a few have c-section rates that reach, and exceed 50%. When we know HALF of the 31.8% of cesarean section births taking place in our country are completely unnecessary.
I am sure there is a huge link between lack of access to VBAC in this area also, and the common misconceptions and flat out lies women are being told about VBAC which discourages them from even considering it as an option, when in reality it is the safest option.

I seem to have got a little off topic, but back to my point. How can we say that hospitals are these shining safe places which all women should be birthing in, when they have such a dark and abusive past?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Proof Is In the Numbers

Well after Dr. Amy's sad attempt at turning the rising cesarean section, and labor induction rates into a debate about home birth in Colorado..... (Kinda like the price of tea in China) I figured I would further aid to my debate with some simple numbers.

This is exactly what tells us that there is a problem in the United States Maternity Care...

2008 Cesarean Birth Rate = 31.8%
1970 Cesarean Birth Rate = 5.5%

Maternal Mortality Rate per 100,000 live births in the United States
1970 - 21.5 (5.5% Cesarean Section Rate) *2.2% VBAC Rate
1975 - 12.8 (10.4% Cesarean Section Rate) *2% VBAC Rate
1980 - 9.2 (16.5% Cesarean Section Rate) *3.4% VBAC Rate
1985 - 7.8 (22.7% Cesarean Section Rate) *6.6% VBAC Rate
1989 - 7.9 (22.8% Cesarean Section Rate) *18.9% VBAC Rate
1990 - 8.2 (22.7% Cesarean Section Rate) *19.9% VBAC Rate
1991 - 7.9 (22.6% Cesarean Section Rate) *21.3% VBAC Rate
1992 - 7.8 (22.3% Cesarean Section Rate) *22.6% VBAC Rate
1993 - 7.5 (21.8% Cesarean Section Rate) *24.3% VBAC Rate
1994 - 8.3 (21.2% Cesarean Section Rate) *26.3% VBAC Rate
1995 - 7.1 (20.8% Cesarean Section Rate) *27.5% VBAC Rate
1996 - 7.6 (20.7% Cesarean Section Rate) *28.3% VBAC Rate
1997 - 8.4 (20.8% Cesarean Section Rate) *27.4% VBAC Rate
1998 - 7.1 (21.2% Cesarean Section Rate) *26.3% VBAC Rate
1999 - 9.9 (22.0% Cesarean Section Rate) *23.4% VBAC Rate
2000 - 9.8 (22.9% Cesarean Section Rate) *20.7% VBAC Rate
2001 - 9.9 (24.4% Cesarean Section Rate) *16.4% VBAC Rate
2002 - 8.9 (26.1% Cesarean Section Rate) *12.6% VBAC Rate
2003 - 12.1 (27.6% Cesarean Section Rate) *10.6% VBAC Rate

Now, I am no expert in analyzing statistics or numbers, but you can see a clear trend starting around 1980, though the cesarean section rate increases, so does the number of VBAC's. While VBAC's continue to increase the maternal death rate goes down.
Lets move to the year of the peak VBAC numbers which is 1996. We see a low maternal mortality rate, which starts to increase as the number of VBAC's and an increase in cesarean sections continues.
We get to 2003, which has a 27.6% cesarean section rate, a LOW 10.6% VBAC rate and a high maternal mortality rate.
It is not rocket science to know that the increase in cesarean sections and decrease in VBAC's are aiding this issue.

The risking cesarean section rates are killing mothers.
More so than Midwives in Colorado.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Open Letter to "Dr" Amy Tuteur

I must admit, I do follow your blog, because I find it comical and slightly amusing, but one question has really been plaguing me for a while now, and as I am sure you chronically google your own name on a daily basis I am sure you will eventually stumble upon this.

Your primary subject to post about is home birth and midwives, when there are so many more important issues taking place in the obstetric community, and the maternity care system in The United States today. As someone who previously practiced medicine in this system, I would assume you would have seen the serious flaws that we are facing in the hospital birth system which makes up for over 90% of the births that take place in our country.
First, the cesarean section numbers. The amount of women and babies that are being subjected to unnecessary cesarean sections, early cesarean sections, complications from cesarean sections in post partum periods, as well as in future pregnancies. Why not discuss all of this?
Or what about the premature birth rates which are being increased by not only cesarean sections before 40 weeks gestation, but the amount of labor inductions taking place also. Whether for medical or non medical reasons. Shouldn't there be stricter guidelines in these practices to help ensure lower premature babies, or lower neo natal death rates since our country is ranking horribly in that?

What about the amount of women who are dying through this current maternity care system. Not just the women who die from home birth, or unassisted births but the women who are dying in our hospitals, sometimes victim to the number of interventions women are being put through in the current drive-thru type birthing system we are currently seeing?

Why not address the real issues that are killing mothers and babies at higher rates than the hand full of home birth horrors? Is it a personal vendetta or is your only concern to try and slander home birth as much as possible since you can't practice medicine anymore anyways?

I am sure you will either call me out to a debate or simply ignore everything I have said, but I only hope I can plant a seed as to what the real problem in our country is.

2 Time Cesarean Section Mother & Advocate