Hey everyone. I wasn't sure where to post my questions, but I know as midwives or studying midwives, you all probably know the info :) So, I am in an argument with a person about the history of birthing in hospitals. He says hospitals were wonderful and infant mortality plummeted. I argued that infant mortality rose in hospitals because of poor sanitation and practices. He challenged me to cite my source, blaming me for being a pseudointellectual since I didn't have one off hand.
So, I looked in my various books and couldn't find any info, but I remember talking at length about this with my midwife. Anyone have any sources? I am going to explain to him about mortality rates including information that scews them, like premies, children that die of illnesses, poor sanitation, etc... but I would like more info on the beginning of the push to hospital births.
I also am going to challenge him to find reliable sources saying midwife births were more dangerous than hospital births in the early 1900's, ha ha... good luck!
Thank you ahead of time, I appreciate any help. The debate started over a friend complaining about how c-sections suck. I told her to make sure to take it easy, and hopefully a vbac is possible next time. She is petite, and the baby was 9 lbs. So, they threw her feet up in the stirrups, he didn't come down, and off to the OR. She commented that she didn't know how women did it with big babies back in the day. I told her that it wasn't generally a problem because the "big baby" scare is largely unfounded.
I was totally jumped on by this guy, saying she can't have a vbac and that I am full of crap. He asked for sources cited to prove that I have any of the knowledge I claim to have. Idiot.
This is not a scientific source by any means - but gives an historic overview of childbirth in America - and the shift from using midwives to physicians and to the hospital.
Early obstetric texts admonish physicians to not meddle with childbirth - presumably because they understood that using their newfangled hooks and instruments were sometimes causing more harm than good.
Not sure you can get anything but anecdote though - I think there is agreement that multiple factors contributed to the reduction of the maternal and infant mortality rate - improved sanitation, family planning, etc - but you'll be hard pressed to find a journal article to support any claim about what caused childbirth to become safer. Your 'friend' will have the same problem.
If you want current articles about VBAC success rates (theoretical)- you will be able to find those. ACOG - the Green Journal - has plenty of those that are current.
Wow! What a great book! I want to buy it! It has completely stalled my housecleaning! Thank you so much, it is a great source. I think the graphs showing the slight national increase of neonatal mortality coinciding with the graph of maternal mortality hugely jumping, along with the other info in the chapter are evidence to anyone that isn't an idiot to see that conditions did not immediately improve for women when they started hospital birthing. Well, after seeing one of my old students in a picture with her legs in stirrups at eye level, of course followed by a c-section because no way could she push out that 9 pounder at her dainty 5 ft 1 stature.... ugh! I think conditions still haven't improved for some!
Thank you sooo much for the info. I posted it for my argumentative person... and haven't heard back. I LOVE having good info!