Archive for 9 July 2008

Big Medicine’s blowback on home births

Hey all, your friendly mfom blogger, here,

If you haven’t seen it already, check out Jennifer Block’s Op-Ed piece that was recently published in the L.A. Times.

First let me just say, though, how thrilled I am that a piece like this got published in the L.A. Times!!! I love how much press homebirthing is being given right now! And I have to say that that AMA must be feeling sheepish about including Ricki Lake’s name in their original resolution — it’s giving us homebirth supporters quite a lot of free — positive! — press at the moment. I’m quite pleased thinking about the number of people who were exposed to this article over the weekend!

From Big Medicine’s blowback on home births

Why do U.S. doctors strong-arm women into our standard maternity care system?
Planning a home birth with a midwife may sound old-fashioned — maybe you think it sounds crazy — but a solid body of research shows that for healthy women who seek a normal, nonsurgical birth, there are several benefits. At home, a woman can get one-on-one care and monitoring from a midwife trained to support the normal labor process. The mother-to-be is free to move about, eat and drink, sit in a birth tub — Britain’s national health guidelines call water the safest, most effective form of pain relief. A woman will be helped to give birth in positions that are effective and protective: sitting, squatting, on hands and knees, even standing.

But hospital maternity care in the U.S. is typically not supportive of this process. More than half of women are induced into labor, or it is sped up with artificial hormones; the vast majority of women labor and push in the desultory flat-on-the-back or leaning-back position; and (perhaps not surprisingly) nearly one-third of women end up giving birth through major surgery, the caesarean section.But the article infuriates me too. It is so frustrating hearing about other countries who have such better policies regarding womancare than the U.S. That other countries actually support, nay encourage midewifery and homebirths makes me just GREEN with envy and ANGRY at the quality of care that most women here receive.

It just underscores how much we need to push back, to be on our representatives to make sure our voices are heard on these issues, to support each other and our midwives to make sure this resolution that the AMA has passed never comes to legal fruition.

xoxo, friends,
blc

9 July 2008 at 8:45 pm 1 comment


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