or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Unassisted Childbirth › giving birth the "most dangerous thing a woman will do in her lifetime" ?!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

giving birth the "most dangerous thing a woman will do in her lifetime" ?! - Page 4

post #61 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post



Y'all have a really low opinion of doctors. I'm not going to claim that any doctor is perfect. I think that obstetrics could stand some improvements. But if I were a medical student, and I heard my own cousin express this opinion of doctors, I would be busy wondering how it was that I never noticed how badly my cousin misunderstands and mistrusts me. I might not produce my most logical arguments. There might, later and privately, be screaming and tearing of hair.
just to chime in real quick...my conversation with my cousin was pretty in depth and I never at any time told her she was stupid, or I didn't trust her, or that I had a low opinion of doctors or anything of the sort. We are as close as sisters and we can disagree without being disrespectful to one another. We would certainly never lower ourselves to hair pulling and screaming at each other over a difference of opinion. It's sort of a family joke that she is so enamored of her professors and residents right now. She changes her position on things as her professors change. This is not uncommon with young medical students. She is passionate about learning. I love her for her passion. I was a little internally annoyed that her tone took on a condescending "You can't possibly know what you are talking about" vibe while we were discussing home birth vs. hospital birth. My annoyance is what I expressed here...which I indicated. I was venting a bit. I have been trying to conceive for some time. It doesn't look like it's ever going to happen which is disappointing and I'm sure that added to my annoyance at yet another medical person lecturing me. It gets tiresome.

In terms of choosing homebirth, I would never just decide on a whim to have a baby at home without doing copious amounts of research beforehand. It is MY belief that women are often told really scary sounding things to get them to do what their doctors want them to do. I have read countless stories on this board in which women describe their "birth rape" at the hand of the medical profession. My sister, another cousin and a friend of mine had very traumatic births in hospitals. I'm not alone in my feeling that women are often bullied and patronized during the process of birth. I realize that there are as many positive stories about women loving their hospital birth experience. There are two sides to every pancake. I respect both sides. We all have to make the best choice for ourselves. It is never my position to mock or judge the choices of others, most especially not my cousin. She's wonderful and brilliant. (She also has no intention of ever becoming an obstetrician either! She wants to do cardio!) I just don't happen to agree with her position on home birth.

Bottom line, it's not wrong for women to trust their own bodies and their own choices as much as they might trust a doctor.
post #62 of 89
God, I think the point is that it's just obnoxious and exhausting to feel defensive of letting your body act naturally during one of the most miraculous, creative moments that exist! Giving birth is a physical act but it's also spiritual. Medicalizing birth has created a mass forgetting of this spiritual aspect. It's like I can't even engage in this discussion because it feels like something is missing. Statistics isn't enough.

Perhaps birth as an act can lead to complications, problems, and even death. But I don't believe that giving birth puts me or my baby inherently in danger, so I don't see it as dangerous.

I think what irks the OP about the comment is that it was meant as "Oh my gosh birth is so dangerous that you'd better birth in a hospital because it's the safest place." And that attitude is really frustrating and hard to deal with, for all the reasons that people have posted.
post #63 of 89
I wonder if where she is going to school, they'll be doing unconsented pelvic exams on women under anesthesia... I wonder if that would change her opinion on how much she looks up to people there.
post #64 of 89
also, i do not have a low opinion of individual doctors, or even doctors in general, but i do question the broad use of non-evidence based obstetric care, or care that is applied in circumstances where it is largely unnecessary, and also just hospital/doctor policy in general, in particularly in light of how it is done in other developed nations that have better maternal and neonatal outcomes. most of those countries use midwifery care (in hospitals, birth centers, and homebirths), and have much better outcomes than the US.

i do believe that some doctors are great, and hospital births can be fine, happy births. but it certainly wasn't how i wanted to birth if i felt that it was safe and appropriate for me to do so. ultimately, i chose to UC simply because it felt right (and safest) to me, and that's what i did.
post #65 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post
I wonder if where she is going to school, they'll be doing unconsented pelvic exams on women under anesthesia... I wonder if that would change her opinion on how much she looks up to people there.
That is done? Why? I dont get it.
post #66 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by mataji4 View Post
God, I think the point is that it's just obnoxious and exhausting to feel defensive of letting your body act naturally during one of the most miraculous, creative moments that exist! Giving birth is a physical act but it's also spiritual. Medicalizing birth has created a mass forgetting of this spiritual aspect. It's like I can't even engage in this discussion because it feels like something is missing. Statistics isn't enough.
.
I very much agree with this, mataji4--and agree that the absence of this important piece in such discussion makes it hard to engage in it. Seems to me that forgetting the spiritual aspect of birth, in favor of so highly 'mechanizing' it, is among the biggest reasons that medical maternity care is so full of problems.
post #67 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post
I wonder if where she is going to school, they'll be doing unconsented pelvic exams on women under anesthesia... I wonder if that would change her opinion on how much she looks up to people there.
:Puke
post #68 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mataji4 View Post
God, I think the point is that it's just obnoxious and exhausting to feel defensive of letting your body act naturally during one of the most miraculous, creative moments that exist! Giving birth is a physical act but it's also spiritual. Medicalizing birth has created a mass forgetting of this spiritual aspect. It's like I can't even engage in this discussion because it feels like something is missing. Statistics isn't enough.

Perhaps birth as an act can lead to complications, problems, and even death. But I don't believe that giving birth puts me or my baby inherently in danger, so I don't see it as dangerous.

I think what irks the OP about the comment is that it was meant as "Oh my gosh birth is so dangerous that you'd better birth in a hospital because it's the safest place." And that attitude is really frustrating and hard to deal with, for all the reasons that people have posted.
precisely. It felt like a lot of fear mongering that was being regurgitated and it felt condescending and it did indeed irk me. I still love her to pieces and I think she'll make a great cardiologist.
post #69 of 89
I'll bet you're quite right--she's hearing what her profs say and taking it all as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, feeling that this knowledge is true power...and not really questioning anything taught. Well, hopefully in time she'll mellow...and learn more...and eventually make a great cardiologist Gosh, can you imagine the mission you'd feel to 'round out her education' if OB was in her plans???
post #70 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by mataji4 View Post
God, I think the point is that it's just obnoxious and exhausting to feel defensive of letting your body act naturally during one of the most miraculous, creative moments that exist! Giving birth is a physical act but it's also spiritual. Medicalizing birth has created a mass forgetting of this spiritual aspect. It's like I can't even engage in this discussion because it feels like something is missing. Statistics isn't enough.

Perhaps birth as an act can lead to complications, problems, and even death. But I don't believe that giving birth puts me or my baby inherently in danger, so I don't see it as dangerous.

I think what irks the OP about the comment is that it was meant as "Oh my gosh birth is so dangerous that you'd better birth in a hospital because it's the safest place." And that attitude is really frustrating and hard to deal with, for all the reasons that people have posted.
Medicalization has taken the spiritual and human aspects of birth away, and done worse things than that. The medical attitude toward birth has always been twisted. The idea that women's bodies were their own worst enemies has been a basic premise of gynecological medicine. It is the reason behind a history of obsessively tinkering with any female function: cutting women's genitalia, removing their ovaries, routine hysterectomies, and a variety of truly disturbing procedures to cure "hysteria." The attitude, even if it is unspoken, still drives ob/gyn medicine today.
Yes, over this long history medicine also discovered ways to cure or prevent genuine problems or risks involved in childbirth. Taken by themselves, these things are great. The problem is, the breakthroughs just serve to justify the many examples of inappropriate or damaging care, and the negative, misogynist attitudes behind them.
post #71 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
I have driven on the freeways L.A. I have broken down on them. I have hitchhiked, I have hitchhiked with drunks. I once dated a guy who went on to murder his parents. I have walked, by myself, across many of the sketchier parts of my home city, at night. Without my contacts in. The most dangerous thing I have ever done is *still* giving birth.
It feels difficult for me to figure out where I've been at the most risk in my life. Still, I feel like I've done more dangerous things than giving birth, just like you feel you have not. Heck, just riding my bike to church feels more dangerous. I almost got hit by a car the second time out, and then I'm lucky my heart hasn't given out riding back up the hill. Truly, it's impossible for me to know the points in my life when I was a hair's breadth from death, or if I truly was, but there were a few situations like that in childhood where I feel like my life was in danger. And I've known way more people who have died in auto or small plane crashes than who have died in childbirth. I actually don't know anyone personally who has died in childbirth, although I've known people who have died from strokes, embolisms, blood infections and cancer.

There is always risk in life, and I suppose since there are statistics related to women in childbirth and there is a short period of time where these risks are most acute, we could say the most acute risk we may face in our lifetime could be childbirth, but I believe there are more risks that we can't quantify in that way that can be greater.
post #72 of 89

I have had nice normal deliveries without mishap too, but texting and the consequences of driving drunk are quick.  The consequences of dying in childbirth are like the aftermath of those two. Slow and painful and impossible for those around them to do much about.  Perhaps you should stand with a woman who is bleeding to death from a placenta previa, or from uterine inertia after being in labour too long; perhaps you should be with a woman with shoulder dystocia who can't deliver and is exhausted.  Dangerous, yes. Look at the stats. The equivelance of several airliners of women die daily.  If this happened in your town, wouldn't you say  flying was dangerous.

 

 

Facts: maternal mortality

  • Every year, over half a million women die from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. (1370+ daily)
  • 70 000 of these women are between the ages of 15 and 19.
  • For each woman who dies, another 20 become ill or sustain serious injuries from childbirth.
  • Women in Niger, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Chad, Angola, Liberia, Somalia, DR Congo, Guinea-Bissau and Mali are at greatest risk of dying in connection with pregnancy and childbirth.
    Source: UNICEF

This is our world, and it happens in developed countries too. Believe me!

post #73 of 89

MeepyCat, have you "crunched the numbers"?  What are your sources for this?  It is my understanding that improving public health -- nutrition, hygiene, clean water, access to medical care -- is the best way to improve maternal-fetal well-being; lack of good public health is what makes pregnancy and birth dangerous.  Advanced obstetrics is sometimes life-saving, but too broadly applied, imo.  It's the tail wagging the dog:  almost 100% of pregnant women in the developed world are squeezed into the medical model, even if it inappropriate for them, so that the 5% who really need OB care will be okay.  I want that 5% to have the care they need, but to pretend that 100% of women need it in order to birth safely is just a lie.

post #74 of 89

Just a reminder:  maternal mortality is measured in the 100,000's.  In the US currently the rate is 13 per 100,000.  It has been on the increase, and not due to better reporting.

post #75 of 89
I read through, and everyone's replies have been much more thoughtful than I'm about to be, but
1) I was hit by a car while crossing the freeway when I was 14, and land sakes, that was much more dangerous than even my craptastic c-section.
2) When some large hospitals have c-section rates of over 70%, with all the attendant risks of anesthesia and surgery and infection, I can't believe we're having a discussion on the UC board where
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post

Homebirth and unassisted birth are more dangerous than hospital birth (statistically)
3) I have never had a discussion about nutrition, in my entire life, with a health care professional. Weight, yes. A nurse practitioner recently told me to "be more careful" about weight gain this pregnancy (with DD I gained 25 pounds) because I "had trouble" with a 7lb,4oz baby (see above craptastic c-section)
4) Med students do perform vaginal exams on anesthetized women without consent -- sometimes there'll even be a line waiting to practice greensad.gif The advice I got to prevent this is to write where it would be visible in Sharpie "I do not consent to a vaginal exam" anytime you have to go to the hosptial and be under general anesthesia because if you verbally tell someone, they're unlikely to go against your wishes, but they might not be with you the whole time.
5) My FIL and BIL are family-practice physicians. I respect them and the good (hard!) work they do, but that doesn't mean I think all doctors practice evidence-based medicine, and it doesn't mean I think any doctors are free from the baggage of their schooling and the prevailing culture. They both make a (really) good living, and they make less than 1/2 what they would if they were poor, persecuted, underpaid OB's.
post #76 of 89

I seriously don't think that giving birth is more dangerous than driving to the store 100s of times a year, flying in a plane, the contaminated air we breathe...etc.

And I think that people in third world countries and the people many, many, many years ago had higher infant/mother death rates because of lack of knowledge, lack of sanitation and honestly a lot of them may not have been healthy from the beginning and birthing just pushed them over the edge. But it doesn't mean that the birthing was the dangerous thing....it perhaps was the "straw that broke the camels back". People died earlier in general back then....whether they were birthing or not.



I think our bodies were designed to give birth and I think that UC mommas birth at the appropriate time..........now I will say that I despise the current trend in the medical field that drs play god and say well we will just induce even if it is two weeks early. I think THAT is pathetic. I think the medical world hurts things more than it helps. Sure there are the few instances where they saved the baby's life with medical expertise.....but so many times a lot of problems are created from the "medical expertise".

I choose to UC and believe it is healthy for me and my baby. I have had less problems Ucing than ANY of my friends that birth conventionally.
I support anyone that wants to UC.



And in reference to the OP......sadly I can already tell that this young lady is going to be one of the drs that cause people like us to run away from modern medicine.

I have a lot of medically trained people in my family from several nurses to several paramedics  and so on..........but thankfully none of them (at least around me anymore) freak out about me UCing. Now with the first, of course they voiced their opinion, but once I held to my guns and showed them that I wasn't some uneducated woman...they laid off and now they are even supportive of my decision.

But it is sad to see such closed minded medical persons.



Midwife mum- those statistics are more likely based primarily on HOSPITAL births. It didn't say a thing about birthing at home.
And honestly those statistics don't surprise me for hospital births. Pretty much everyone I know that birthed in the hospital had some form of "complication" during pregnancy or delivery. And no, I am not blowing it out of proportion.
Heck I know 4 people in the last year alone that still birthed......interestingly enough....they all had by the book hospital pregnancy protocols.
But on the flip side, I only know one lady that lost her baby due to trying to homebirth with a midwife and that was over ten years ago! And I know A LOT of women that have homebirthed and most of them home birthed several babies!

So I am not convinced that modern medicine has really helped stats much. Now yes, I will say that the knowledge that has been gained due to scientific research has helped people leaps and bounds as they have learned what causes the problems, but so many times I believe that there are alternatives to fix the issue without "modern medicine" And a lot of said problems can be prevented by avoiding modern medicine. Heck watch any of the medicine commercials on tv and you will see the risks are many times worse than the benefits.
Unfortunately the medical field treats people like lab rats when it comes to medicine.


Edited by BlessedOne - 3/7/12 at 10:14pm
post #77 of 89

If you just have BA in psychology, then yes, you are mere psychology major.

 

If you have an MS or PhD, I presume you had to take Statistics and probably BIostastics.

 

You can do your own research but your cousin is correct. Childbirth is the most dangerous time for the women. Modern obstetrics reduce maternal mortality by over 90%.  Survival of the species is not the same as survival of the individual. Nature is famous for the reproductive wastage. Walk around in some old European grave. Read some classical literature...it is full of dead mothers. Pr better yet, look at countries that do not have modern Obstetrics such as Afghanistan, some area of India , Africa etc. There not evil interventions there and women and babies just die at the comfort of the own home completely unassisted.

 

Some doctor can learn more about bedside manners, but one thing L&D staff is hellbent on is getting mom and baby alive and well.

 

 

 

post #78 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

If you just have BA in psychology, then yes, you are mere psychology major.

 

If you have an MS or PhD, I presume you had to take Statistics and probably BIostastics.

 

You can do your own research but your cousin is correct. Childbirth is the most dangerous time for the women. Modern obstetrics reduce maternal mortality by over 90%.  Survival of the species is not the same as survival of the individual. Nature is famous for the reproductive wastage. Walk around in some old European grave. Read some classical literature...it is full of dead mothers. Pr better yet, look at countries that do not have modern Obstetrics such as Afghanistan, some area of India , Africa etc. There not evil interventions there and women and babies just die at the comfort of the own home completely unassisted.

 

Some doctor can learn more about bedside manners, but one thing L&D staff is hellbent on is getting mom and baby alive and well.

 

 

 


 

Hijacking just to note that I have a BA in psych and DEFINITELY had to take and (do well in) statistics in order to graduate.\ hijack 

post #79 of 89

Alenushka, you only seem to visit the UC forum to fear-monger and to talk down to others.  I simply don't understand the point of it all.  I've been watching it for some time now, and truly, I do not know what you hope to accomplish.

post #80 of 89

Now I may be incorrect but I here is what I have noticed-


Most of the people on this thread that believe birth is the most dangerous thing we do are the ones that had hospital births and some with complications.
And most of the people that think birth is not the most dangerous thing we do have home birthed without issue....................

Hmmmm...wonder if there is any connection there. =S


P.S. I have noticed that this thread is actually really old....guess someone just revived it

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Unassisted Childbirth
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Unassisted Childbirth › giving birth the "most dangerous thing a woman will do in her lifetime" ?!