People who talk the talk but don't walk the walk... - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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Homebirth > People who talk the talk but don't walk the walk...
Pigpen's Avatar Pigpen 04:29 PM 02-18-2003
Basically I think most unnecessary c-s are a result of uninformed women coupled with incompetent doctors.
I have to agree on this point. I'm amazed at my friends who won't pick up a single book (exept "What to Expect..., but that's garbage, in my opinion) during thier pregnancy. It's all about the doctor, decorating the nursery, whining about pregnancy...Why not become as informed as possible about the thing that's going to change your life indefinitely? I was so impressed when I first became pregnant, I went to my HMO, expecting to be hassled when I asked questions about midwives and home birth. This doctor, who was young, encouraged me to use a midwife. He even gave me a referral! I realize now how unusual that is. I think there are competent doctors out there, you just have the difficult task of finding them. Again, I have to say, I'm glad c-sections are available for those who need them. Most are performed for the convenience of the doctor or parents who may have other plans that a natural birth would interfere with. I had a friend who scheduled her c-section, so it would be done by the time a friend came to visit. : So, irritating! Well, we've gone totally off topic now...

tinyshoes's Avatar tinyshoes 04:31 PM 02-18-2003
busybusy mama, who wrote that article you linked to? Dr. DeLee?

The best way to prevent the problems w/ vaginal birth is not a c-sec, as suggested by the author, in my opinion, forgo the cumbersome, messy pregnancy altogether, and adopt or hire a surroget, lest the 'perfect' pre-baby body become 'damaged' in the vagina/vulva area.

Maybe we should all go back in time before puberty, stop that natural phenom from occuring, so we don't have to shave our pits.* (Breasts? That's what IMPLANTS are for, duh! Because whatever you grow during puberty WON'T be good enough!)

*Forgive me...I should know better than to assume most gals ARE actual shavers, lol!
Missy's Avatar Missy 05:14 PM 02-18-2003
I mentioned this discussion to my sister yesterday. Her husband is an ob and she called from a national medical conference they're attending right now. Interestingly, this was also a topic at their table the other night. All the drs. seemed to agree that these (planned but medically unnecessary) c-sections are the "wave of the future". THe drs. asserted that a c-section is less risky than a vaginal delivery, safer for both mother and baby. Huh? My ob made certain that I fully understood the additional risks involved with the surgery ("I'm not telling you this to frighten you, but...") and my third child (second c-section) spent the night in NICU because he swallowed fluid during delivery ("very common with a c-section"). My sister was very disturbed by the discussion. She's had two very easy vaginal deliveries and she failed to see how a c-section was safer. My husband says the explanation is simple: money.

kama'aina mama's Avatar kama'aina mama 05:22 PM 02-18-2003
Originally posted by busybusymomma

Here's food for thought... I think this woman is NUTS!
[snip] Maybe it's cutting into muscle that causes incontinence, not a baby passing through the birth canal!
OH. My. GOD!!!!!

I never knew anyone thought that way, let alone an OB... how horrifying! How can she ever look a woman in the face and claim to support natural childbirth when this is how she really feels? It is just shocking.

BTW, post pregnancy incontinence is usually a product of the prenancy itself, not any aspect of delivery. If you don't do lots of Kegels the weight of the pregnancy can weaken and stretch out the pubo-coxyx (sp) muscles so a C birth is no help there... and a planned on is probably worse because I bet a woman who isn't planning to push out a baby doesn't think she needs to do Kegels!
Peppamint's Avatar Peppamint 06:20 PM 02-18-2003
Originally posted by tinyshoes
busybusy mama, who wrote that article you linked to? Dr. DeLee?
As far as I know the article was written by By Jennifer Berman, MD
Co-Director who has some kind of tv show. A fellow online buddy sent me the link, I don't have cable myself. She said something like Dr. Jennifer Berman and her sister
Laura have a show on Discovery Health about Women and
Pigpen's Avatar Pigpen 09:41 PM 02-18-2003
This is a quote from the article:

So why am I choosing to have a c-section? There are two main reasons. First, I had a very difficult time with the delivery of my son, Max in December, 1999. I was in labor for 18 hours, which was made more difficult by the fact that I had an epidural too early, which in turn caused the birth process to slow down.
So, don't have an epidural or wait a little longer. In the article she acts as if the popularity of c-sections is reason enough for doing it. Ridiculous!!

Edited because I sounded way to mean!
applejuice's Avatar applejuice 11:15 PM 02-18-2003
The fact that people died in child birth in your family tree does not mean that they needed a surgical delivery.

They may have needed a more competent attendant for their birth. If the birth occurred on the frontier, there may not have been anyone but the local granny midwife and there was no one else to ask for help in complicated cases.

Better antiseptic methods, better nutrition and transfusions are what helped bring down the mortality rate for babies and mothers. Not universal hospitalization. They occurred at the same time in this country, but that does not mean that surgerical deliveries helped save mothers and babies.

Just read the story of Ignaz Semmelweis in Vienna in the Women's Hospital there over 100 years ago. Women died all of the time from "childbed fever", a condition that doctors blamed on those "crazy women"; it was actually caused by the doctors themselves who did not wash their hands after working in the morgue on cadavers. They carried the germs right to the laboring women.

G-d does not wash his hands, does S/He?
tinyshoes's Avatar tinyshoes 10:29 PM 02-19-2003
Time for me to get out "Rediscovering Birth" by Shelia Kitzinger.

As I was searching for the bit I wanted to quote, I came across a "fun fact" to corroborate applejuice's point:

In 1913, 15,000 or more American women died in or around childbirth and nearly half of the deaths were from 'childbed' or puerperal fever. Women who gave birth in hospitals were especially likely to develop puerperal fever becuse the doctors examined their patients without washing their hands. The cause of puerperal fever had already been discovered many years before, in the mid-1800s, by Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes in America, and also by Dr. Agnaz Semmelweis in Austria, who found that the death rate of mothers from puerperal fever was three tiemes higher in the part of the Vienna hospital run by the doctors than the part in which the midwives worked.
I don't have a citation for this tidbit, but in conjunction with this filthy hand business, it was thought that doctors, because they were GENTLEMEN, had clean hands.

Thnx, busybusymama, for the actual author....but I was making an obscure, Dennis ******-like allusion to the famous OB pionerr, Dr. Joseph DeLee--were he alive today, I'd like to meet the man we can thank for the popularity of episiotomies! (Who would, were he alive today, be a big fan of scheduled c-secs, I presume.)

The following quote, again from Ms. Kitzinger's wonderful new book, is a quote SHE has from Dr. DeLee's "The Prophylactic Forceps Operation', printed in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1920.

Labor has been called, and is believed by many to be, a normal function...and yet it is a decidedly pathologic process. If a woman falls on a pitchfork, and drives it through her perineum, we call that pathologic-abnomral, but if a large baby is driven through the pelvic floor, we say that it is natural, and therefore normal.....[blah blah, he's a little verbose at this point and OT for my point].....I have often wondered weither Nature did not deliberately intend women should be used up in the process of reproduction, ina manner analogous to that of a salmon, which dies after spawning? Perhaps laceration, prolapse and all the evils soon to be mentioned are, in fact, natural to labor and therefore normal, in the same way that death of the mother salmon and the death of the male bee in copulation are natural and normal.
(Maybe you gals are smarter than me, but it took me a few readings of this to realize DeLee is trying to 'shock' us with his salmon reference. Of course women aren't disposable like a spawning salmon, but the death of a salmon is 'natural', like uterine maybe 'natural' isn't good, and OB's should follow DeLee's lead and do everything they can to prevent nature from ruining women.)

This is why I joke about Jennifer Berman, the new millinium's answer to women's lib and feminizm, w/ her show "Berman and Berman: For Women Only". I've caught her little show a few times, when it was brand-new and we got the cable channel. She sounds just like archaic, intrusive, mis-guided Dr. DeLee:

My second reason for choosing c-section stems from the work I’ve done as a urologist. During a reconstructive surgery fellowship last year, I saw women who suffered the effects of incontinence and prolapse. These effects are directly related to vaginal delivery.
(Remember, episiotomy is directly related to vaginal delivery!)

I am not convinced that surgery is ALWAYS REQUIRED when delivering a baby (I always say 'birth', but a scheduled c-sec seems more like delivery!) to prevent a woman from having pee-trickle problems later in life! DeLee said snip the crotch, Berman says slice the belly. WHATEVER.

Let's not forget to Kegel tonight, girls!
Peppamint's Avatar Peppamint 01:28 AM 02-20-2003
Originally posted by tinyshoes
Thnx, busybusymama, for the actual author....but I was making an obscure, Dennis ******-like allusion to the famous OB pionerr, Dr. Joseph DeLee--were he alive today, I'd like to meet the man we can thank for the popularity of episiotomies! (Who would, were he alive today, be a big fan of scheduled c-secs, I presume.)
Ah, that makes sense! :

Dr. DeLee sounds like every woman's worst nightmare!

BTW, my MIL had six kids and my mom three and both of them got episiotomies each and every time... no ifs ands or buts. They didn't know! Of course, they were shaved, given an enema and forced to lie in the lithomy position as well. I guess that's why I'm so driven to knowledge in this area. I mean, for heaven's sakes this is MY body!
applejuice's Avatar applejuice 02:12 AM 02-20-2003
I don't think the people who make adult diapers are worried about losing business b/c the Drs. Bermans are pushing for universal c/s.

Depends is still doing a good business.
Tanibani's Avatar Tanibani 01:57 PM 02-20-2003
I've thought a lot about prolapse/incontinence because I suffer from both. I've suffered from incontinence all my life and after the birth - slight prolapse.

You could not pay me enough money to opt for a C-sec though.

Anyway, I blame a few things... primarily HOW the pushing was managed, NOT the vaginal birth itself.

1. After 18 hours in labor, and being denied food by my well-meaning but ignorant DH (I was starving), I had NO energy to sit in a squat to push, like I wanted.

2. For 2 hours of pushing (my uterus stopped contracting, so I consented to /asked for the Pitocin. I read the PDF and new the risks. It was either Pitocin, or get a C-sec.) I forgot all about Natural Nipple Stim!) I was on Pitocin. I read somewhere ??? that Pitocin has been linked to greatly damaging the pelvic floor. Makes sense! Since it's hyperstimulating the uterus unnaturally. We made sure the drip was kept low.

3. I was SO tired, I could not even vocalize "please help hold me up in a supported squat." So I was in the worst position - lithotomy. My Mr. Natural OB was saying I was going to tear. He knew this for 2 hours. I said NO to the episiotomy, so he let me tear instead. The bastard could have spoken up and asked the others in the room to hold me in a supported squat. But no, he let me tear 2nd degree Vagina, 3rd degree perenium (to my anus.)

Had I been supported in a squat, not allowed to have Pitocin (encouraged to do natural nip stim) given food to eat (as much as I wanted/needed)... I don't think my pelvic floor would have been harmed unnecessarily.... will the hospitals/OBs help prevent these problems ????

No - they are directly contributing to them. That is the problem and that is what infuriates me. Yes, OBs are seeing high rates of prolapse/incontinence for decades now (I was shocked when I read the synopsis of a ACOG conference and the featured speaker wanted to promoted elective C-sections. I had no idea this was such an issue because N-O-B-O-D-Y talks or writes about it in mainstream press. Yet it affects A LOT of women in their 40s, etc...)

Birth is so mismanaged and misunderstood by the OBs themselves, it is quite disturbing. Dr. Berman being your typical example. Geez.

I'd be interested to know if the Unassisted Birthers of the world suffer from prolapse/incontinence after their births. Somehow doubt it.

One last thing...

40 Days of Rest after birth
Another huge problem that may be contributing to Prolapse is the fact that American women DO NOT stay in bed for 40 days, like other women do in other cultures.

New mothers are given strict orders (by wise women in their family) to stay in bed, resting with their newborns. Meanwhile they are fed nourishing soups/foods while their mother, aunts, sisters, grandma takes care of the house. Now I know most of us live far away from family (part of the problem) but women really need to focus more on staying in bed. I definitely will next time. I ignored the pleas of my Salvadorean cleaning woman to stay in bed. "I feel fine."

We should be resting/recuperating after birth, not tending to our children or getting up to do stuff.

I happen to think that American women (myself included) are so gung-ho independent, we take pride in how fast we are up on our feet after birth. "No, I can do it." I had a neighbor who after her C-sec was at the park with her 2 kids and infant. Could this be why our insides feel like they are falling out?

I read an article online about a study in rural India. When women went back to work in the fields soon after birth (and skipped the bed rest), prolapse problems appeared.

I was thinking of perhaps writing a book (yeah right) or writing an essay (yeah right) for Mothering readers on the 40 days rest issue. American women need to know about it.

Needs to be done.
Pigpen's Avatar Pigpen 02:16 PM 02-20-2003
You really should write that essay! I couldn't agree more with you. I think that's why every woman should have a good doula. When it gets to the point where we can't think or talk, it would be nice if someone knowledgable could make helpful suggestions, like changing positions. American woman have gotten wrapped up in the "Supermom" myth, starting with birth. It's become very competitive. Get to the park, supermarket or wherever the soonest after birth and you win! Wouldn't it be nice if we could rest for 40 days?!
tinyshoes's Avatar tinyshoes 08:45 PM 02-20-2003
Tanibani, thank you for sharing....I too, am suspicious of the strange, strange way American women give birth, and the damage it can cause the pelvic floor.

In Dr. Bradly's book, (the Bradly style of childbirth, y'know, the book HE wrote) he wrote about how he met some doc from India, and was startled to discover that hemmoroids (in this case, guys w/ hemmeroids) are not at all prevelent in India (how did Bradly and this Indian guy get on the topic? I don't know! LOL)

The Indian pointed out that EVERYBODY is squatting to poop, and that the Throne Position we use w/ the can causes wierd body dynamics, inefficient poop pushing, and strains the ol' bum.

IMO, POOPING is nothing compared to birthing. So it would make sense that how you push has a lot to do w/ what may or may not happen with that part of you body, esp. after reading Tanibani's words.

....which also got me thinking about THIS concept: my homebirth midwife has an attitude that pregnancy and birth are normal 99% of the time, and her main job (aside from duh, making sure me and baby don't die) is to PROTECT my perineum. BOTH during pushing.......and then, she and her midwife pals will of course, clean up the birth mess and do laundry, etc.

I asked her why they do the laundry and the chuckled response was one of: "well, if we don't, we know you will, and it's our job to keep you healthy!"

Because WHAT does a load of laundry have to do with health?!?!? And then I think of the 40 days of lying in......and resting.......and allowing muscles that were stretched to the hilt to recover....hmmmmmmmmm......very thought provoking.

This has turned out to be one heck of a thread!
Pigpen's Avatar Pigpen 09:36 PM 02-20-2003
This really has taken an interesting turn! I still have weird perinium pain during menstruation. Didn't happen until after second son's birth. He literally blew out of me, I tore badly. Having no family and my husband having to go back to work right away, of course I was up right after birth, chasing son #1, etc. I wonder if I could have healed better if I could have rested. Actually, I don't wonder, I think I know now!
gurumama's Avatar gurumama 10:03 PM 02-20-2003
two thoughts:

how did dr berman get an elective c/s paid for by health insurance? doesn't there have to be a medical reason before they'll pay?

and i stayed in bed, upstairs, for 7 days after my second, and my recovery time (and my a88 healing time) was half or less what it was w/ds1. i had a ppdoula and dh had paternity leave this time. big difference!
crayon's Avatar crayon 10:59 PM 02-20-2003
You can elective c/s for almost anything these days. Say you had a big baby last time- want a c/s?? Small pelvis (yah right!) want a c/s?? We went to our doc today, because we are having a back up because I have a bone condtion and want to make sure we have a doc if needed not a resident, but anyway we went there and they gave me a list of prices for procedures I may see during pregnancy and birth, DH found the vaginal birth was 3x less profitable than a c/s. Money v's time.

It is a scary thing when doc's would rather do c/s because it fits in better with their life style

March 2003!!!
applejuice's Avatar applejuice 12:24 PM 02-21-2003
As for the six week rest...

I had NO help at all at home w/ my self and my newborn child each of the four times.

The first three times, I was up and around and even found time to go to the gym at two days postpartum w/ #2 and #3.

I had horrible postpartum depression w/ the first three, some of which I contribute to lack of rest during the first three weeks. It lasted two yrs the last time.

W/ #4, I stayed in bed for the most part and rested for four weeks. No postpartum depression. I also ate chocolate!

BTW, I have no problem w/ urinary incontinence (yet) after four home births and no episiotomy at all. I am 49.

As far as I know, my mom at 69 after eight home births, unassisted, does not either.

But who is going to fund a study like that?
Tanibani's Avatar Tanibani 01:34 PM 02-21-2003
Originally posted by applejuice
[/B]BTW, I have no problem w/ urinary incontinence (yet) after four home births and no episiotomy at all. I am 49.

But who is going to fund a study like that? [/B]
My MIL in her mid 60s (3 kids 40 yrs ago, all episiotomies) has to take pills to control the incontinence. Pills!!! I would not be surprised to find a lot of women her age do. But you don't know that unless you are talking to someone in her 60s.

And that damn Depend aisle.... Have you noticed it takes up a whole aisle. It's shocking.

I have a friend who at 43-45 had 2 babies (18 yrs earlier) with episiotomy, 1 last one 3 yrs ago (homebirth, no epi) had to have an hysterctomy a year and a half ago because of prolapse problems.

That absolutely enrages me. How many other women (and their husbands) are faced with the same problems?

But who is going to fund a study like that?
Yeah, tell me about it. But somebody needs to. Those yo-yos are funding studies saying that homebirthing is dangerous.

I just think the problem is that the public, at large, is not aware of the issues - at all. Older women know about it, but nobody is talking about it.

Hmmm, I wonder what needs to be done... find some PhDs... some MDs.... some midwives.... get them together in a room....

Originally posted by tinyshoes
The Indian pointed out that EVERYBODY is squatting to poop, and that the Throne Position we use w/ the can causes wierd body dynamics, inefficient poop pushing, and strains the ol' bum.
Last night I picked up a "Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui" book and the author mentioned that same thing. She said that holding your arms high over your head while you sit on the toilet would help bring the body into a better alignment for going to the bathroom.
Peppamint's Avatar Peppamint 01:35 PM 02-21-2003
Originally posted by applejuice
BTW, I have no problem w/ urinary incontinence (yet) after four home births and no episiotomy at all. I am 49.

As far as I know, my mom at 69 after eight home births, unassisted, does not either.

But who is going to fund a study like that?
LOL, good point!
JesseMomme's Avatar JesseMomme 07:28 PM 02-21-2003
busy busy momma -thnx for posting that, I have passed it onwards, and am still looking for my jaw that drpped somewhere on the flloor a few minutes ago. :LOL
Peppamint's Avatar Peppamint 12:26 AM 02-22-2003
Yeah, I told my mom about that article and she was amazed that anyone would opt for surgery over childbirth! :
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