Quick link: Atlanta Journal-Constitution on intervention-free births

7 January 2010 at 10:24 am 1 comment

This opinion piece in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution struck me as really well-put: it makes the point that interventions in labor, including Pitocin, are essentially discrimination against women, with doctors trying to “control” women’s natural bodily processes in part because they don’t understand them. Great, insightful piece, clearly in favor of the midwifery model of birth, yet not from within the midwifery community. Two excerpts follow:

“I’m from the Second Wave generation, the women with the well-thumbed copies of “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” the ones who educated ourselves about the workings of our bodies, talked back to our gynecologists and revived the profession of midwifery.

“I assumed that my daughters’ generation would give birth differently, just as I assumed mine would be on guard against the arguments that sold HRT drugs to my mother. What happened?

“Well, some of us may have had the motivation to read up on the dangers of chemical intervention in our reproductive systems, but in a consumer economy, marketing still rules. Big pharma does a great job of pushing the view of natural female functions as pathology.”


“Ever since doctors have figured out how to manipulate hormones, with their power to switch whole bodily systems on and off, it seems they have felt obliged to use that power. Pick your metaphor: Pandora’s box, stolen knowledge from the tree in the Garden. Certainly there have been benefits, the biggest of them perhaps in the form of birth control.

“But the twin temptations of profit and control over women also have led to irresponsible — often deadly — misuse of hormonal therapies. Women have gone along, creating generations of guinea pigs whose lives have been damaged by experimental hormonal therapies. “

I really like thinking about Pitocin and labor inductions as part of the same world as DES, estrogen-replacement “therapy,” and other “advancements” now clearly shown, by research and time, to be not in the best interests of women.


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What I learned from labor and birth (part 2 in a series) Baby showers, musings, and how to talk about breastfeeding

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Kiki  |  8 January 2010 at 9:48 am

    What a great piece! Although I have a while to go (i think), I’ve often wondered about HRT and “treating” menopause. Doesn’t make sense to me….

    This statement seems to apply to our country in general, even smart women….”Big pharma does a great job of pushing the view of natural female functions as pathology.”


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