how do c-sections fit into a natural birth framework? - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-21-2010, 04:52 PM
 
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I know for myself, I did educate myself in every possible way to avoid a c/s, I knew of the *cascade of interventions*, from pit, to epi, to laying on ones back while pushing. Every single one. I read and researched.

I went to a Dr who was known for being as natural as possible-that's why I went to her. My hospital in terms of being a hospital is crunchy, so was my Dr. My birthplan was a water birth, I read about that my whole pregnancy-I fully believe that it would have been the best way for me to bring my daughter into this world. I was 41 weeks, facing the possibility of NSTs-induction was never even mentioned to me, even when I was "overdue". As I said before I prepared as much as possible, I took EPO, RRL, walked, envisioned DD's birth and when it all came down, my birth plan took a big turn to the last place I thought it end up, but I did have the knowledge of what all entailed and was educated about my available options.

I personally think that much of the education lies within your own hands. I know for myself my good friend was newly pregnant at the time after DD's birth and I told her to take charge of her own care. Read about birth and educate herself-which she did, she had a hospital birth for her first and a HB for her second. I had another friend who could care less what I said, she is very trusting, she believes that Dr's know best-that's her her choice. She plainly doesn't WANT to educate herself.

What it comes down to for myself is that as mother's to be we need to read and research for ourselves, have someone be our advocate when we are laboring(be it a doula, DH, DP or some other support person). I think that too many times we want to place the blame on being uneducated about options, but in truth much of that research needs to be done, for ones self. At least IMO.

I also don't feel like there is one side or the other, I feel like we are trying to share our experiences in order to blur those lines some.

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Old 04-21-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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What it comes down to for myself is that as mother's to be we need to read and research for ourselves, have someone be our advocate when we are laboring(be it a doula, DH, DP or some other support person). I think that too many times we want to place the blame on being uneducated about options, but in truth much of that research needs to be done, for ones self. At least IMO.

I personally would agree, but the type of person who comes here is usually much more educated than the average person. It is a shame that in order to have a chance at a respectful birth, you often have to read and fight the whole way. If the responsibility for change is on both the women and the health care profession (which I agree with you it is), then does that mean that the women who don't even know there are options to be researched deserve to be treated disrespectfully, or have births that they are not satisfied with or at peace with, or that potentially harmed them or their children?

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Old 04-21-2010, 04:58 PM
 
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If C-sections were genuinely only done when necessary, I think we would all be grateful that they exist. The rare birth that ended surgically would be an averted disaster, and a triumph for modern medicine. As things stand it really is difficult to separate the procedure from the mindset that leads to most sections, and causes us "natural birth fanatics" to be the ones often looked at askance.
It really is *very* important to separate the procedure from the women who get them. Criticism and judgement will only breed defensiveness. If we can talk about the advantages of vaginal birth, and the statistical risks of c-sections and work to avoid demonisation we have a chance of reaching individuals and making positive changes.

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Old 04-21-2010, 05:05 PM
 
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There's a difference between educating women about the very real benefits to a vaginal delivery and that a c-section shouldn't be a first choice because it has serious downsides...and educating women that c-sections are a terrible horrible thing to be avoided at all cost.

So yes, I'm opposed to focusing on c-section avoidance as the critical education a woman needs. I think women need information on ALL their choices.

In other words I advocate for a natural approach to childbirth, not against c-sections. I hope the distinction is at least somewhat clear. The c-section rate is ONE indicator, but it is not the only one.

I am not advocating elective c-sections. In fact I fought PTSD and other demons for months in order to avoid one.

I am saying that when your sole barometer of whether a natural delivery succeeded or not is whether a particular truly can-be-lifesaving procedure was done, you immediately disenfranchise people who truly needed that procedure. I think the NCB is actually missing opportunities to TRULY educate people by focusing solely on a single procedure.



The proper response to any woman's birth story is to listen to how she felt about it and then either empathize or congratulate her or both, as appropriate. As you yourself said, it's thoughtless backside driving to do otherwise.

It's just fine to have threads about the very real downside to c-sections, but you shouldn't be attaching that to people's experiences. There are plenty of women who share that their c-sections were difficult, recovery was hard, breastfeeding was hard, etc. You do not have to challenge other women to rethink their experience in order to serve your cause.
I bolded a few lines b/c I think that your personal experience is coloring this (as all our personal experiences color our views.) I would be the first in line to say that c-sections are not to be avoided at all costs and that they definitely save lives. I think that having had such a profound experience as you did, are you perhaps very sensitive to the idea that people not avoid c-sections at all costs? And you also said that you are not advocating elective c-sections. But what about all those c-sections in the middle? The ones that might have gone either way and we'll never know for sure? Must those stay in the "necessary" camp so that no one's feelings could potentially be hurt by a perceived, though not implied, criticism? And if every woman's c-section or intervention story has to stay in the "necessary" camp so that her feelings are not hurt, then how is anyone to know that in many cases, there are/were other options along the way? Like I said to Norasmomma, we may be readers and researchers here, but we are in the minority. Most people get their information from friends, family, acquaintances via talking. How can we educate if we cannot speak up when it comes up?

To address your concerns about singling out c-sections, my statement can perhaps be revised like this (though I have to point out that the title of the thread is "how do c-sections fit in):

"C-sections fit into the Natural ChildBirth framework as the potentially necessary way to deliver a baby. We should strive to educate women on ways to reduce their risk of c-section and other interventions, while also supporting those who need them."

Would this be satisfactory?

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Old 04-21-2010, 05:20 PM
 
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I know for myself, I did educate myself in every possible way to avoid a c/s, I knew of the *cascade of interventions*, from pit, to epi, to laying on ones back while pushing. Every single one. I read and researched.

I went to a Dr who was known for being as natural as possible-that's why I went to her. My hospital in terms of being a hospital is crunchy, so was my Dr. My birthplan was a water birth, I read about that my whole pregnancy-I fully believe that it would have been the best way for me to bring my daughter into this world. I was 41 weeks, facing the possibility of NSTs-induction was never even mentioned to me, even when I was "overdue". As I said before I prepared as much as possible, I took EPO, RRL, walked, envisioned DD's birth and when it all came down, my birth plan took a big turn to the last place I thought it end up, but I did have the knowledge of what all entailed and was educated about my available options.

I personally think that much of the education lies within your own hands. I know for myself my good friend was newly pregnant at the time after DD's birth and I told her to take charge of her own care. Read about birth and educate herself-which she did, she had a hospital birth for her first and a HB for her second. I had another friend who could care less what I said, she is very trusting, she believes that Dr's know best-that's her her choice. She plainly doesn't WANT to educate herself.

What it comes down to for myself is that as mother's to be we need to read and research for ourselves, have someone be our advocate when we are laboring(be it a doula, DH, DP or some other support person). I think that too many times we want to place the blame on being uneducated about options, but in truth much of that research needs to be done, for ones self. At least IMO.

I also don't feel like there is one side or the other, I feel like we are trying to share our experiences in order to blur those lines some.
Norasmomma, I feel like it's posts like this that leave women who have had c-sections feeling defensive and upset.

I educated myself like crazy for my first birth, and *still* wound up unprepared to cope with hospital policies that led to epidural. Had the attending OB on the floor not been very comfortable with vacuum delivery, I'd have had a c-section. None of what I read prepared me to deal with the ways that hospital policy affected my son's birth. In the reading I did in my second pregnancy, I *still* did not find solutions to those problems, besides, of course, "choose a different hospital." Not everyone has a choice of hospitals. That sucks, and should be changed, but it isn't something that laboring women have the power to take control of.

And while I did choose a hospital and a set of HCPs that gave me the best possible chance of a natural delivery with my subsequent pregnancies, no power on this earth could have made vaginal delivery safe for my daughter. That c-section preserved both of our lives, and I'm glad that the ambulance brought us to a place with such skilled surgeons and such a good NICU.

I've heard it said, and I wish I remembered where, that the best indicator of whether a woman will have a c-section is her HCP's c-section delivery rate. How many women are able to act on that statistic? How much ability to women have in today's medical climate to choose their HCPs? If there's one OB in town with a great c-section rate and s/he's all booked up, is being more educated really going to enable you to take more control? If your insurance dictates what doctors you can see, or hospital practice means that you have no idea who will deliver your baby, what effect is education going to have?

When people talk about how women need to educate themselves for better outcomes, what I and many other women who have had surgical deliveries hear is "you did it wrong." And I simply do not believe that this is the case.
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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I think you should casually ask her how the birth went and how she felt about it. If she wasn't happy about the c-section maybe you could plant the seed for vbac. But overall I think the best time for advocacy is before the intervention, not after. The postpartum time is such a vulnerable time, and I would hate to see a mother doubt her decision which could lead to regrets and possibly PPD while she is adjusting to surgery, new motherhood, and crazy hormones.
I agree that this is what I would probably do to the hypo mom. But what I actually asked in that first paragraph of questions was, what if this story was coming third-hand, and the mom was not there, but there was a young girl, who has yet to have a baby. Then can I say something? B/c the prevailing attitude here seems to be that as long as the story is attached to a real person, even if the person's decisions are never questioned, even if she is not there, even if no one actually knows her and it is just a friend of a cousin's sister's uncle's roommate, then the NCB STILL cannot say anything to suggest that c-sections are not always necessary for suspected macrosomia?

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Old 04-21-2010, 05:22 PM
 
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So back to my hypothetical woman above - if we hear her story in conversation (maybe she is a friend of a friend and we are hearing it third-hand and she is not present), then what should a NCB advocate say? Does she just nod and smile, knowing that there is a chance that she actually did not need a c-section? What if there is a teenage girl there listening. If I do not say that having a 9 lb baby does not rule out vaginal birth, and that choosing a c-section in this scenario comes with risks, then I am harming this young girl. I am tacitly allowing this girl to absorb the idea that all babies over 8 lbs must be born surgically. As a member of the NCB community, I do not find this acceptable. I am seriously and genuinely asking, what would be acceptable in this situation? How could the NCB advocate deal with this?

Now what if this hypothetical woman is a poster here on MDC and she says, "I had to have a c-section b/c my baby was 9 lbs." Then what is okay to say? Now we have a statement that will live on the internet and be read by thousands of women, rather than just vanish into the air. This statement definitely has the potential to harm. What does the MDC member and NCB advocate say or do in this situation? Again, I am genuinely asking for solutions and advice from people on this thread.

If the answer to both these questions is that we say nothing in either situation, then I have to wonder if some people here would rather nothing be said in order to protect any mother from potential bad feelings. How is the NCB ever supposed to advocate for NCB, or at least, how we can do it without c-section mamas becoming angry, if we cannot address the risks and benefits of any given practice before and during birth?
...

I think that "both sides" in this debate (and I know that at least on this thread, "my side" is small) have a responsibility to give a little something. If we are to work together to help women, we are going to have to come to a middle ground. The one overwhelming point that most people seem to agree on in this thread is that questioning any specific birth, whether to the person's face or third-hand without any identifying details, is off-limits b/c some find it hurtful. If I agree to concede this (despite the fact that it will seriously hamper our ability to lower the c-section and unnecessary intervention rate), then I ask that when people are discussing ways to educate women and/or bring down the c-section/intervention rate, that women who have had a c-section refrain from derailing the discussion with defensive statements like "But my baby really was too big to be born vaginally! Stop hurting my feelings!" If the NCB makes a huge effort to never ever make any categorical statements and instead is careful to qualify them with things like, "Elective induction increases the risks of potentially harmful outcomes like x, y, z..." then it is not necessary to see such statements as a personal attack and/or claim that no such education be done.

Perhaps MDC needs a space for c-sections that is support only, and not classified as traumatic. Then the women who need that type of support can get it without fear of being attacked, and the conversations outside that forum about NCB do not have to become wells of hurt mamas reacting defensively to statements that were never meant to hurt.
In your hypothetical conversation about a third person who isn't present (and an impressionable teenager who is), I think an NCB advocate could say something like, "Maybe there was some other issue that we don't know about, since big babies don't automatically mean c-sections". It's true, it's non-judgmental and it leaves room for the VERY REAL possibility that the whole story hasn't been told.

In your hypothetical MDC posting from a mom who has had such a c-section, my opinion would be that if you can't graciously congratulate her on the birth of her baby, don't post on her thread telling her she really could have had a vaginal birth.

The beauty of MDC is that a mom who is in a DDC here has a place to go for information if her OB tells her at 38 weeks that it's time to induce or schedule a section or whatever. But once the intervention has happened, whether or not an individual poster thinks it was necessary is a moot point. Trying to use an individual as a "teaching moment" is just a really mean thing to do.

And yes, I think it would be great to have a space on MDC that is support only for women who have had c-sections. I have very conflicted, ambiguous, difficult-to-define emotions about mine and it would be nice to be able to discuss those things without someone trying to make a point about natural birth via my experience.
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:26 PM
 
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Norasmomma, I feel like it's posts like this that leave women who have had c-sections feeling defensive and upset.

I educated myself like crazy for my first birth, and *still* wound up unprepared to cope with hospital policies that led to epidural. Had the attending OB on the floor not been very comfortable with vacuum delivery, I'd have had a c-section. None of what I read prepared me to deal with the ways that hospital policy affected my son's birth. In the reading I did in my second pregnancy, I *still* did not find solutions to those problems, besides, of course, "choose a different hospital." Not everyone has a choice of hospitals. That sucks, and should be changed, but it isn't something that laboring women have the power to take control of.

And while I did choose a hospital and a set of HCPs that gave me the best possible chance of a natural delivery with my subsequent pregnancies, no power on this earth could have made vaginal delivery safe for my daughter. That c-section preserved both of our lives, and I'm glad that the ambulance brought us to a place with such skilled surgeons and such a good NICU.

I've heard it said, and I wish I remembered where, that the best indicator of whether a woman will have a c-section is her HCP's c-section delivery rate. How many women are able to act on that statistic? How much ability to women have in today's medical climate to choose their HCPs? If there's one OB in town with a great c-section rate and s/he's all booked up, is being more educated really going to enable you to take more control? If your insurance dictates what doctors you can see, or hospital practice means that you have no idea who will deliver your baby, what effect is education going to have?

When people talk about how women need to educate themselves for better outcomes, what I and many other women who have had surgical deliveries hear is "you did it wrong." And I simply do not believe that this is the case.
I find your post fascinating, b/c I also dislike when women say, "I did everything right but..." b/c I think it shows that some of the recrimination is actually self-directed (and some comes from others being rude.) I don't think you can do things "right" or "wrong." Some decisions are likely to have better outcomes, all things being equal, but all things are not equal. Choosing the best hospital/HCP is very often out of the woman's hands. There might be one game in town. Did a woman do something "wrong" b/c she didn't move to have a different birth? Not at all. You can try and try to reduce your risks of anything, and the fact is that chance happens and there are no guarantees. That is why I keep talking about reducing the risks of the various birth interventions and/or c-sections.

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Old 04-21-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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In your hypothetical conversation about a third person who isn't present (and an impressionable teenager who is), I think an NCB advocate could say something like, "Maybe there was some other issue that we don't know about, since big babies don't automatically mean c-sections". It's true, it's non-judgmental and it leaves room for the VERY REAL possibility that the whole story hasn't been told.

In your hypothetical MDC posting from a mom who has had such a c-section, my opinion would be that if you can't graciously congratulate her on the birth of her baby, don't post on her thread telling her she really could have had a vaginal birth.
I think that's a good turn of phrase you have there in the first scenario and I'd like to borrow it.

In the second scenario, I'd agree. But while we're on the topic of people butting in rudely, then what about the situation of an educational thread about ways to increase your chances of the birth you want, while at no time guaranteeing a perfect birth, and then another mama posts on the thread, "But I did x, y and z and it didn't work for me and threads like these make me feel bad."? B/c in reading this forum, this happens, too. It is not always NCB advocates who are charging in and derailing the point of a thread.

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Old 04-21-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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I've been reading this thread from the top, and I wanted to post in support of being less judgmental about other moms' birth experiences. I've had two kids epidural-free, in the hospital, one with pit and one without. So I'm not the most "natural" of the NCBers, but I've been spared the c-section process. However, I know quite a few people IRL who have had sections, including a surprisingly high number in my natural parenting mothers' group. And most of those moms believe their sections were necessary, though they all have varying levels of guilt about them.

The thing is, I have never (nor will I ever) disparaged or questioned or second-guessed whether any of these moms may have had an unnecessary section or whether they did/did not do everything right and thus brought the c-section event upon themselves. Not only is that obnoxious and disrespectful, it's not something I CAN adequately judge, because I wasn't there, and I don't know all the details. I suspect not all these sections were strictly "necessary", but it's NOT MY CALL to make. What I prefer to do is LISTEN to the mothers' stories. I don't ask pointed questions designed to ferret out whether this or that intervention was truly necessary. (I see this ALL THE TIME in my moms' group in regards to breastfeeding - people are VERY judgmental about this. I even have one friend who basically hates another mom in the group because she doesn't bf...but she never bothered to find out that this other mom tried hard, and wore an SNS for two months before finally giving up. And frankly, I've seen moms alienated from the group for not breastfeeding, never mind their reasons.)

So I'm all for listening to a mother's story without nitpicking the details. I do think it's possible to discuss changing the birth culture without alienating moms who have sections. I have a friend who recently had a section after laboring for 30 hours (with a doula I recommended who is very experienced and whom I trust deeply). I'm not privy to all the details, and I'm not going to pry. I did, however, notice that when I posted the recent study about the California maternal death rates going up and added a note about needing to reduce c-section rates, she didn't post a comment (unusual for her). I'm willing to bet she feels sad/angry/attacked/disappointed about having a section after working toward a natural birth. And I can't blame her. I hate to see other moms feel that way when it's totally unnecessary.
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:40 PM
 
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I think that's a good turn of phrase you have there in the first scenario and I'd like to borrow it.

In the second scenario, I'd agree. But while we're on the topic of people butting in rudely, then what about the situation of an educational thread about ways to increase your chances of the birth you want, while at no time guaranteeing a perfect birth, and then another mama posts on the thread, "But I did x, y and z and it didn't work for me and threads like these make me feel bad."? B/c in reading this forum, this happens, too. It is not always NCB advocates who are charging in and derailing the point of a thread.
You're welcome to borrow it.

As for your other question, I don't know what to tell you. I think it's valid for a woman to say to another woman that the hypnobirthing cds or the mantras or the positive thinking or the free-standing birth center choice didn't work out for her. As you pointed out, we're social animals. We share stories. They don't all have to be the same story.

If someone butts into your educational thread and projects her anger and sadness about her birth outcome, there's not a whole lot you can do. Maybe have the kindness to acknowledge her pain? Realize that she's coming from a difficult moment in her life? After all, we can only control our own actions, not the actions of others.
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i have more to say but i am naking and bouncing to get dd to sleep

galatea- thank you for returning to this conversation with an open heart. it means so much to me that this thread is moving forward in such a positive way. i LOVE it that you brought up compromising because that's what we do with our kids to solve problems, we should tey it ourselves.

eh. who needs a signature?
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:59 PM
 
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I bolded a few lines b/c I think that your personal experience is coloring this (as all our personal experiences color our views.) I would be the first in line to say that c-sections are not to be avoided at all costs and that they definitely save lives. I think that having had such a profound experience as you did, are you perhaps very sensitive to the idea that people not avoid c-sections at all costs? And you also said that you are not advocating elective c-sections. But what about all those c-sections in the middle? The ones that might have gone either way and we'll never know for sure? Must those stay in the "necessary" camp so that no one's feelings could potentially be hurt by a perceived, though not implied, criticism? And if every woman's c-section or intervention story has to stay in the "necessary" camp so that her feelings are not hurt, then how is anyone to know that in many cases, there are/were other options along the way? Like I said to Norasmomma, we may be readers and researchers here, but we are in the minority. Most people get their information from friends, family, acquaintances via talking. How can we educate if we cannot speak up when it comes up?

To address your concerns about singling out c-sections, my statement can perhaps be revised like this (though I have to point out that the title of the thread is "how do c-sections fit in):

"C-sections fit into the Natural ChildBirth framework as the potentially necessary way to deliver a baby. We should strive to educate women on ways to reduce their risk of c-section and other interventions, while also supporting those who need them."

Would this be satisfactory?
Of course my personal experience colours my views. That's why I shared it in the first place - and I would only really come into a thread like this one to share it; I don't go posting in response to every woman who states her birth plan #1 goal to be "avoid a c-section." - even though it was that thinking that led in part to the death of my daughter, coupled with a long string of errors and circumstances.

But reducing the c-section rate was extremely important to my birthing centre. And I chose that hospital because it was important to me. And the results were catastrophic. That reality didn't make me an elective c-section advocate. But it did make me hyper-aware of the intense pressure on women and on teams not to "fail" - and that's not empowering or accurate.

I kind of feel (6 years on now) that if we could encorporate my story into women's understanding of birth then there might be more understanding about how women who have c-sections are not necessarily deluded and the result would be a strengthened understanding of the reality of in-labour decision making. To be clear, I think lots of people have that - but then their decision making is questioned after the fact.

On to the less personal issues -

This "middle ground" is touchy. I agree that c-section rates have gotten too high (in some areas) and that reducing them is a good thing. But I really, really don't think that challenging women on their individual experiences after the fact is the way to do it.

I don't think it's effective or respectful.

I think the best time to educate women is when they are asking or looking for information. I do not think the time to educate women is when they are discussing their actual delivery, unless it's a really reflective discussion where the woman herself is asking.

For one thing, it's not going to be effective if the woman herself is saying "it was necessary!" and you're saying "no it might not have been." If your concern is observers, well people will probably fairly correctly believe that the woman herself has a better idea than you do, and as a result will tune you out - perhaps permanently.

If you were speaking with birth professionals in a professional forum about a case, that would be one thing. But not in front of the woman whose case it is.

For your statement, mine would be: C-sections fit into a natural birth framework when the risk of injury or death to the child and/or mother warrants the risks, complications, and recovery of the major abdominal surgery that it is.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:33 PM
 
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I was away from a proper keyboard yesterday, but here's my mishmashed collection of thoughts on this topic.

1. All birth professionals should strive to be as compassionate and respectful as possible when discussing ALL aspects of birth, whether venue, pain management, position, or interventions. This goes for talking about past experiences and future. Some mothers are going to have the best birth experiences completely unmedicated and intervention free, and some are going to have the best experience with extensive management. There is no universal "best birth", but all moms are deserving of compassion and respect about their choices. Inflammatory language should definitely be kept as far away from the discussion as possible. Don't use terms like "the dead baby card" or "it's just fear". IME there is no such thing as "just" fear. Fear is our most base emotion. More primal than love. It is what keeps us individually alive against Mother Nature's supreme indifference. The solution to fear based decision making is not to deride someone for making fear based decisions. It is to work to remove those fears and prevent those fears from occurring in the future. And to acknowledge that sometimes the decision made in fear is the best decision a person can make.

2. Goals and expectations should be clearly laid out as soon as possible. If the care team has as the ultimate goal of "Prevent a C-Section at all costs" their course of action is going to be different than if their goal is "Delivery within 24 Hours of ROM at all costs". Most moms are going to want their care team to be working some middle ground there. But everyone should know where they stand.

3. Moms should get to really know the playbook. It is all well and good for us to engage in gossip and speculation over what will lead to a c-section and to talk about the "cascade of interventions". But that doesn't give you any real understanding of the playbook. What are the care teams key indicators of fetal distress? What is the management protocol for unreasurring fht? Mec? ProlongedROM? When will operative vd be attempted? What kind? etc.


As for how NCB advocacy can be more inclusive of c-section moms. Respect. Respect. and more Respect. First of all, I don't think the focus should be How Do We Prevent More C-Sections or What You Can Do To Prevent C-Section.

I think the focus should be - How to ensure that all mothers can look back on their births and say they made the best decisions they could in the situation no matter the outcome. How can mothers have more trust in their care teams to reduce second guessing after the fact. This is going to come down to bedside manner and communication skills.

Earlier a PP said that your care provider might care about you, but they might not care about getting you what you want (IE an unmedicated vaginal birth). I think that is both accurate and inaccurate. IME most hospital care teams don't have a preference for how you deliver. They will do what they can to get you what you want, but they have a goal that might not be Vaginal Delivery At Any Cost. They have people that they report to, and jobs that they need to protect. I think the key is for all parties to treat each other with respect and keep the dialog going vs getting instantly antagonistic with each other.
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:49 PM
 
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Norasmomma, I feel like it's posts like this that leave women who have had c-sections feeling defensive and upset.

I educated myself like crazy for my first birth, and *still* wound up unprepared to cope with hospital policies that led to epidural. Had the attending OB on the floor not been very comfortable with vacuum delivery, I'd have had a c-section. None of what I read prepared me to deal with the ways that hospital policy affected my son's birth. In the reading I did in my second pregnancy, I *still* did not find solutions to those problems, besides, of course, "choose a different hospital." Not everyone has a choice of hospitals. That sucks, and should be changed, but it isn't something that laboring women have the power to take control of.

And while I did choose a hospital and a set of HCPs that gave me the best possible chance of a natural delivery with my subsequent pregnancies, no power on this earth could have made vaginal delivery safe for my daughter. That c-section preserved both of our lives, and I'm glad that the ambulance brought us to a place with such skilled surgeons and such a good NICU.

I've heard it said, and I wish I remembered where, that the best indicator of whether a woman will have a c-section is her HCP's c-section delivery rate. How many women are able to act on that statistic? How much ability to women have in today's medical climate to choose their HCPs? If there's one OB in town with a great c-section rate and s/he's all booked up, is being more educated really going to enable you to take more control? If your insurance dictates what doctors you can see, or hospital practice means that you have no idea who will deliver your baby, what effect is education going to have?

When people talk about how women need to educate themselves for better outcomes, what I and many other women who have had surgical deliveries hear is "you did it wrong." And I simply do not believe that this is the case.
That was never my intention. I myself was completely educated about birth and also wound up with a c/s and a vaginal delivery wasn't going to happen when my uterus stopped contracting and my DD was wedged so far into the left side of my pelvis that when they first tried to get her out they couldn't. I never could have a VBAC after her because of my T incision, trust me all the education in the world couldn't have changed that. My point is some people don't care to educate themselves on ANY options and in turn put all their trust into this obviously flawed system.

My Dr had a low rate of c/s, our hospital has a 25% rate which compared to many is low. She had actually had a baby die while I was pregnant due to the mother's refusal of a c/s and she consented and let the mother dictate her son's birth, and unfortunately he did not live. I live in a small town I not only know the statistics, but the family it happened to.

I don't know why saying someone being educated says they did things wrong. I guess I just don't agree with that.

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Old 04-21-2010, 09:58 PM
 
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According to my doctors, I'm healthy. According to me, I'm not. Whose opinion counts more?
Yours. Of course.

That's the thing about "healthy mama healthy baby" that may be not fully understood all of the time... there are many ways to interpret "healthy."

A woman who has been brutalized by an OB or midwife (I've read stories of both kinds of care providers reaching up and ripping out placentas for no rational reason and with complete disregard, for example) during a vaginal delivery, but heals up nicely and has no physical problems, but deals with nightmares and post-traumatic stress problems and now is terrified of having more children... that's not "healthy."

Same goes for damage, physical and mental, during c-section OR vaginal birth. Some women should have gotten c-sections and didn't. Some women shouldn't have gotten c-sections and did. And when those situations result in harm to the woman (of any kind), that birth did not reach the goal of "healthy mama, healthy baby."

It's true that the "healthy baby" part comes first for most people-- I don't think that if someone with magic powers to see the future walked up to anyone and said "You need to deliver this way, or your baby will die," that woman would say "nah, I'd rather have the birth experience I want." The problem is that no one has the magic powers to see the future. And when a care provider says that, well, too often there are stories of care providers "pulling the dead baby card" when it's a lie or exaggeration, so now we all have a Cry-Wolf complex. It's a mess.

Bottom line, yes, it's important to have a healthy baby. But that doesn't mean that you should be expected to needlessly sacrifice your health and just "suck it up." Women matter, too. And "healthy" is not what anyone tells you you are, it's how you feel.

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Old 04-21-2010, 10:00 PM
 
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This "middle ground" is touchy. I agree that c-section rates have gotten too high (in some areas) and that reducing them is a good thing. But I really, really don't think that challenging women on their individual experiences after the fact is the way to do it.

I don't think it's effective or respectful.

I think the best time to educate women is when they are asking or looking for information. I do not think the time to educate women is when they are discussing their actual delivery, unless it's a really reflective discussion where the woman herself is asking.
I agree completely. If the CS really was unnecessary, badgering her about it would not only blaming the victim, but revictimizing the victim. Maybe believing the surgery was necessary helps her recover from it emotionally. It worked for me.


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"All that matters is a healthy mom and a healthy baby" would rock, if it always contained the mother's perspective. As it frequently does not, it sucks. A "healthy mom" has to be a mom who is healthy, not a mom who survived surgery without major complications and has been declared "healthy" by a third party. According to my doctors, I'm healthy. According to me, I'm not. Whose opinion counts more?

In any case, that's not what they say a lot of the time - it's what they said to me, but it's not what they always say. A lot of the time it's "all that matters is a healthy baby", which doesn't belittle mothers...it ignores them.
Yes, this is one problem with that phrase. There are some pretty horrific postpartum situations which HCP's classify as "healthy mother and healthy baby."

Also, "what matters is a healthy mother and healthy baby" is not always used in a literal, benign way. It can be medical code for "accept whatever your OB recommends." I have often heard the phrase used to argue against home birth or water birth, for example: that women are too concerned with their happy birth experience, when "all that matters..."
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:08 PM
 
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Maybe believing the surgery was necessary helps her recover from it emotionally. It worked for me.
Huh, that's another angle that I had never thought of-- and perhaps is part of the "healthy mama" idea in a way-- I don't think that the "healthy mama" part of the equation should end when the pregnancy ends. Post-partum support is just as much a part of it and just as important, because after all "the birth" as an experience includes the recovery, however short or long it may take.

And probably for many women, this is true, people wanting to ask questions and figure out how "necessary" or not the surgery was, may be more painful than helpful in same cases.

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Old 04-21-2010, 10:12 PM
 
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Basically what I'm getting at is does anyone disagree with this statement (my answer to the OP):

"C-sections fit into the Natural ChildBirth framework as the potentially necessary way to deliver a baby. We should strive to educate women on ways to reduce their risk of c-section, while also supporting those who needed one."

If you disagree, then what is your answer to the OP's question/title of the thread?

If you agree, then how do we educate women on how to reduce their risk while also supporting those who needed a c-section? My frustration is that I feel that there is no way to educate all women on the political level without someone feeling attacked. No one should be personally attacked for their birth and that is not what I am advocating. I really want to know how we educate all women and society in general without someone's feelings being hurt. One PP actually said that we should not try to educate women on how to reduce their risk of c-section, and I flat-out reject that viewpoint. Surely there is a middle ground?
I agree and disagree with your statement & approach because its a multi-faceted problem here in the US, with multiple offenders and also the approach of educating women on how to reduce their risk of c-sections has often consisted of only scare-tactics of the medical community instead of enlisting them as allies in the battle.

Since I disagree with some of your answer - I will address the OPs original set of questions set forth to us:

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i've had this thought several times on reading recent threads and it's an issue i'd like to explore. i can EASILY see it getting heated so please remember to be respectful of other's views.

as we are on mdc, i think most of us feel "natural is better" and that birthing with less unnecessary interventions is better. obviously, a c-section is the ultimate intervention in birth and they are sometimes performed unnecessarily. how can the issues be untangled so that unnecessary c-sections can be discussed without casting such a wide net that anyone that has had a c-section is met with the underlying suspicion that their c-section was not necessary?

there is also an idea that women should "trust their bodies" and that their birth will go as nature intended. the consequences of this can be that when birth does not go well, these women's bodies are failures. i have seen it expressed on here several times that this can cause great amounts of anguish and guilt.

so, my questions:
1. is there a way that natural birth advocates can include c-section mothers? if not, then what does this mean for those women that have had c-sections?
2. is the bigger goal to support mothers or to support natural birth?
3. what do you do when supporting natural birth gets in the way of supporting mothers?
4. how can the idea of trusting your body be reconciled when your body doesn't do what everyone has been telling you it is natural for your body to do? _is_ that woman's body a failure
?
Numbering/bolding is mine to address each question:
1. Yes there are opportunities for natural (here I am defining natural as a intervention free, vaginal birth) birth advocates (NBA) to include c-section moms. These opportunities include having them speak at birth prep/education classes regarding their experiences, providing post-partum care/listening to them, encouraging mother-baby bonding methods such as skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding, sketching ideas out in a birth plan to ensure the birth process can still be OWNED by the mother (if something goes awry). Keeping c-section moms out of the process of NB advocacy (if they want to be included), puts a huge division in the birth community for any type of effective change we would want to make.
2. The bigger goal should be to support mothers in owning their birth process how they define it and exploring all options of birth with them.
3. N/A because in my mind when you support mothers in owning their birth process you will end up supporting some variation of the natural birth process
4. This is a question which is difficult for any mother who has had a c-section to reconcile with and make peace or become empowered. This is the area which I think NBAs have a wonderful opportunity to move this forward, but it needs to be done without guilt about previous choices or a demeaning implication that they were not educated enough about the birth process. I think many of us can go "DUH!?!" to that since apparently you can have a birth prep class which lasts for 8 hours. Again this goes back to expectations in the US, exposure of birthing options in the US, empowerment of birthing moms, education of the HCPs, understanding the healthcare system. Changing the c-section rate is not just with educating the women in the US about options, but everyone involved in birth.

ok now i have kidlets begging for attention which is overdue from me! I'll try to catch up more on this later.
Kate

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Old 04-21-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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I don't think there is any room for armchair comments on another woman's birth, period. Not when hearing a PP mother talk about her birth, not when gossiping third party with others. It's just demeaning to women to assume YOU, who were not even there, know more about her birth process than she does, her HCP does, etc.

I frankly think the harm you do to those mothers is infinitely more of an issue than the potential harm of a teenager knowing nothing about birth hearing about someone's birth experience. There are other times that she could be exposed to NCB information. It's just tacky, rude, and insensitive to *use* someone else's very personal and heartfelt experience as a mere point in your argument. And in fact you may very well turn her off to the NCB community if she thinks that everyone in it is so preachy that they would use a joyous announcement of a birth as a time to "educate."

There are many, many opportunities to talk to women that don't involve commenting on other's births. I work at an especially fertile school and I manage to find ways to talk about birth to other teachers without using any woman's examples.

- Talk about statistics at area hospitals to support what you want.
- Talk about my experience as a doula in those hospitals in a general sense-- do they have strong LCs PP? Do they allow babies and mothers to be together as much as possible? etc.
- *If asked* talk about my experience working with the HB midwives in my city and how wonderfully amazing my own is. But honestly I do not talk about HB a ton if it's not something the woman is interested in. She is entitled to research voluntarily without me butting in and telling her my way is the best way. Talk about inbetween options we have here-- a free-standing BC, a hospital BC, etc, if asked.

Maybe it's just me, but I've had a lot of luck with helping women find their own path this way.
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:07 PM
 
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Huh, that's another angle that I had never thought of-- and perhaps is part of the "healthy mama" idea in a way-- I don't think that the "healthy mama" part of the equation should end when the pregnancy ends. Post-partum support is just as much a part of it and just as important, because after all "the birth" as an experience includes the recovery, however short or long it may take.

And probably for many women, this is true, people wanting to ask questions and figure out how "necessary" or not the surgery was, may be more painful than helpful in same cases.
Ahhhh yes. And if the point is so often brought up "well, c-sections can be bad for mother-infant bonding and attachment parenting practices" well let me just tell you that being victimized and belittled can be even more detrimental for mother-infant bonding and AP behaviors. Being told you must renounce your birth experience and claim it was traumatic or less desirable by the very people who were just cheering you on days before... does nothing to increase your confidence as a mother.

New mothers are vulnerable people. Helping them become confident, strong mothers should be the ultimate goal here. Sometimes having a NCB helps you get there. Sometimes realizing you sacrificed your own ideals for the one you love most gets you there. My scar reminds me that *nothing* to me is more sacred in my life than my son.

The last thing I needed PP was to hear (true story, IRL at a NCB fundraising event) "ohhhhhh I teach hynobirthing and have had 3 painless births! Let me know if you get pregnant again so your birth can go differently." Screw you lady. How about instead of saying that you say "Ohhhhh wow, your son is just beautiful! Isn't being a mother amazing?" Maybe then I'd listen to your hypnobirthing lecture. Maybe.
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:12 PM
 
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I don't think there is any room for armchair comments on another woman's birth, period. Not when hearing a PP mother talk about her birth, not when gossiping third party with others. It's just demeaning to women to assume YOU, who were not even there, know more about her birth process than she does, her HCP does, etc.

I frankly think the harm you do to those mothers is infinitely more of an issue than the potential harm of a teenager knowing nothing about birth hearing about someone's birth experience. There are other times that she could be exposed to NCB information. It's just tacky, rude, and insensitive to *use* someone else's very personal and heartfelt experience as a mere point in your argument. And in fact you may very well turn her off to the NCB community if she thinks that everyone in it is so preachy that they would use a joyous announcement of a birth as a time to "educate."
Yes! I've been trying to figure out how to say this all day. I think the chances of hurting a mother's feelings are much higher than the chance of making a difference in a bystander who is hearing the conversation, or some women possibly lurking on a message board. And really, lets be honest, they aren't going to decide, hey, you can deliver a 9 lb baby vaginally! based on something someone else jumps in to say. Especially if it's their word against the new mother, and the OB or HCP who tells them this. In an ideal world, all women will have providers who know what they are talking about and don't push unnecessary c-sections - but again, you can be informed beyond informed, and still not get the vaginal birth you planned for.

So, I really don't think the time and place to correct what you determine misinformation is while another woman is sharing about the day her baby was born. IF she is confused, and asking for others opinions or trying to figure it out to plan for a future birth - then fine, give her what you got - but as it's been said before: there's a time and a place. If you can't discern when it's appropriate to mass educated - well, then, better be safe than sorry and not say anything at all.

There is a place for c/s moms in the NBC - and their role is what they want it to be. Maybe they become doulas or midwives, or share their story with others so they can connect and heal... what they need is support, and not education. Education is part of the answer to the question "what can we do to reduce the c/s rate?" Not "where to c/s moms fit in".

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Old 04-21-2010, 11:46 PM
 
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Ahhhh yes. And if the point is so often brought up "well, c-sections can be bad for mother-infant bonding and attachment parenting practices" well let me just tell you that being victimized and belittled can be even more detrimental for mother-infant bonding and AP behaviors. Being told you must renounce your birth experience and claim it was traumatic or less desirable by the very people who were just cheering you on days before... does nothing to increase your confidence as a mother.

New mothers are vulnerable people. Helping them become confident, strong mothers should be the ultimate goal here. Sometimes having a NCB helps you get there. Sometimes realizing you sacrificed your own ideals for the one you love most gets you there. My scar reminds me that *nothing* to me is more sacred in my life than my son.

The last thing I needed PP was to hear (true story, IRL at a NCB fundraising event) "ohhhhhh I teach hynobirthing and have had 3 painless births! Let me know if you get pregnant again so your birth can go differently." Screw you lady. How about instead of saying that you say "Ohhhhh wow, your son is just beautiful! Isn't being a mother amazing?" Maybe then I'd listen to your hypnobirthing lecture. Maybe.
You have said my exact thoughts on this. and I agree with your last paragraph. Its odd when that encounter happens (as it does oh so often sometimes) because I walk away with when did I ask for help or invite that unsolicited advice when discussing my new baby?

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Yes! I've been trying to figure out how to say this all day. I think the chances of hurting a mother's feelings are much higher than the chance of making a difference in a bystander who is hearing the conversation, or some women possibly lurking on a message board. And really, lets be honest, they aren't going to decide, hey, you can deliver a 9 lb baby vaginally! based on something someone else jumps in to say. Especially if it's their word against the new mother, and the OB or HCP who tells them this. In an ideal world, all women will have providers who know what they are talking about and don't push unnecessary c-sections - but again, you can be informed beyond informed, and still not get the vaginal birth you planned for.

So, I really don't think the time and place to correct what you determine misinformation is while another woman is sharing about the day her baby was born. IF she is confused, and asking for others opinions or trying to figure it out to plan for a future birth - then fine, give her what you got - but as it's been said before: there's a time and a place. If you can't discern when it's appropriate to mass educated - well, then, better be safe than sorry and not say anything at all.

There is a place for c/s moms in the NBC - and their role is what they want it to be. Maybe they become doulas or midwives, or share their story with others so they can connect and heal... what they need is support, and not education. Education is part of the answer to the question "what can we do to reduce the c/s rate?" Not "where to c/s moms fit in".
I like this too - c/s moms fit in when we decide to support all mothers in becoming confident mothers in their birth choices/outcomes.

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Old 04-21-2010, 11:50 PM
 
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Well, that would probably be what it took to make me stop wasting so much of my time on MDC, so in that sense, it would be great.

"All that matters is a healthy mom and a healthy baby" would rock, if it always contained the mother's perspective. As it frequently does not, it sucks. A "healthy mom" has to be a mom who is healthy, not a mom who survived surgery without major complications and has been declared "healthy" by a third party. According to my doctors, I'm healthy. According to me, I'm not. Whose opinion counts more?

In any case, that's not what they say a lot of the time - it's what they said to me, but it's not what they always say. A lot of the time it's "all that matters is a healthy baby", which doesn't belittle mothers...it ignores them. Any philosophy that basically says, "if you're baby is healthy, and you're not happy about it, no matter what you went through or what impact it had on you, then you're an ungrateful, uncaring selfish mother" is not good for women. That sentiment is out there. Heck, that sentiment is widespread.

Some women can hear "all that matters is a healthy baby" and nod their heads. That's fine. But, for some women, it's just one more slap in the face, because is says clearly that she doesn't count. And, telling her that "all that matters is a healthy mom and a healthy baby" when she isn't healthy - and is often in the process of trying to explain that - is pretty bad, too.

I don't know if I've missed anything, as I really haven't caught up with the thread, but that one just jumped out at me. It's not up to you (KaylaBeanie), MDC, an OB, a midwife, or anybody else, to tell me (or anyone else) what "really matters" with respect to my (or their) own birth experiences.
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Yours. Of course.

That's the thing about "healthy mama healthy baby" that may be not fully understood all of the time... there are many ways to interpret "healthy."

A woman who has been brutalized by an OB or midwife (I've read stories of both kinds of care providers reaching up and ripping out placentas for no rational reason and with complete disregard, for example) during a vaginal delivery, but heals up nicely and has no physical problems, but deals with nightmares and post-traumatic stress problems and now is terrified of having more children... that's not "healthy."

Same goes for damage, physical and mental, during c-section OR vaginal birth. Some women should have gotten c-sections and didn't. Some women shouldn't have gotten c-sections and did. And when those situations result in harm to the woman (of any kind), that birth did not reach the goal of "healthy mama, healthy baby."

It's true that the "healthy baby" part comes first for most people-- I don't think that if someone with magic powers to see the future walked up to anyone and said "You need to deliver this way, or your baby will die," that woman would say "nah, I'd rather have the birth experience I want." The problem is that no one has the magic powers to see the future. And when a care provider says that, well, too often there are stories of care providers "pulling the dead baby card" when it's a lie or exaggeration, so now we all have a Cry-Wolf complex. It's a mess.

Bottom line, yes, it's important to have a healthy baby. But that doesn't mean that you should be expected to needlessly sacrifice your health and just "suck it up." Women matter, too. And "healthy" is not what anyone tells you you are, it's how you feel.
"Healthy" is all-inclusive, both mentally and physically. Being bullied or coerced into an unnecessary c-section doesn't lead to healthy moms. Being treated badly doesn't lead to healthy moms. I've read several of your posts (StormBride) over the last year, since joining (your story has always stood out to me because of how well and eloquently you express yourself) and IMO (not that my opinion matters, since yours and yours alone is what matters) you wouldn't qualify as the shiny, happy mom who is healthy and has no excuse to complain. Your care providers ignored your wishes, didn't listen to you, and you've had some physical complications. That's why I stand by my statement, "all that matters is a healthy mom and healthy baby." The medical community might twist that by pulling the dead baby card, but that doesn't make the statement less true.

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Old 04-22-2010, 12:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Galatea View Post
Do we make a flyer about choices and risks in childbirth and post it on bathroom walls? Do we teach it in health class? Would these be acceptable ways to educate?

The fact remains that most knowledge is transmitted socially, from one person to another, in the form of stories. Humans are social animals and telling stories about ourselves and others is how we communicate our norms and values. The transmission of labor stories has a direct effect on how women are treated in childbirth and what choices we have. 50 years ago, you heard a lot more stories of 9-11 lb babies being born normally, b/c c-sections simply were not done just b/c the baby might be large. Today, you hear many more stories about c-sections being done b/c of a baby being large. It normalizes it and contributes to the rising rate, despite the fact that our hypothetical woman's c-section came with very real risks and may not have been necessary.

I think that "both sides" in this debate (and I know that at least on this thread, "my side" is small) have a responsibility to give a little something. If we are to work together to help women, we are going to have to come to a middle ground. The one overwhelming point that most people seem to agree on in this thread is that questioning any specific birth, whether to the person's face or third-hand without any identifying details, is off-limits b/c some find it hurtful. If I agree to concede this (despite the fact that it will seriously hamper our ability to lower the c-section and unnecessary intervention rate), then I ask that when people are discussing ways to educate women and/or bring down the c-section/intervention rate, that women who have had a c-section refrain from derailing the discussion with defensive statements like "But my baby really was too big to be born vaginally! Stop hurting my feelings!" If the NCB makes a huge effort to never ever make any categorical statements and instead is careful to qualify them with things like, "Elective induction increases the risks of potentially harmful outcomes like x, y, z..." then it is not necessary to see such statements as a personal attack and/or claim that no such education be done.
I'm choosing not to address the hypo woman story, but I want to continue the discussion of the fact knowledge is transmitted socially which feeds into the larger fact of normalizing c-sections. We have to admit, its not just the birth story from a woman or a group of women, the ideas and uses of narcotic pain medication, induction methods and ultimately c-sectioning has gained normalization in US society is due to some of the "reality" TV shows (the baby story, bringing home baby) or books, celebrities & their birth stories which often do not highlight natural (again defined as intervention-free, vaginal delivery) births.

Also we need as consumers to demand and advocate for the research which is needed in birth. I'll be honest - its a b!%&$! to do human subject research involving pregnant women & neonates and to get it published (you need IRB approval) but maternal outcomes, neonatal outcomes, vbac bans and all of those concerns which need to be changed are important pieces in shaping the education and changing the landscape for our future HCPs.

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Old 04-22-2010, 12:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Galatea View Post

So back to my hypothetical woman above - if we hear her story in conversation (maybe she is a friend of a friend and we are hearing it third-hand and she is not present), then what should a NCB advocate say? D

Now what if this hypothetical woman is a poster here on MDC and she says, "I had to have a c-section b/c my baby was 9 lbs." Then what is okay to say? Now we have a statement that will live on the internet and be read by thousands of women, rather than just vanish into the air. This statement definitely has the potential to harm. What does the MDC member and NCB advocate say or do in this situation? Again, I am genuinely asking for solutions and advice from people on this thread.

If the answer to both these questions is that we say nothing in either situation, then I have to wonder if some people here would rather nothing be said in order to protect any mother from potential bad feelings. How is the NCB ever supposed to advocate for NCB, or at least, how we can do it without c-section mamas becoming angry, if we cannot address the risks and benefits of any given practice before and during birth?
There are two things people learn from - social stories, and authoritative reports.

re: Authoritative REports - The first thing to do is to work hard to get the flipside to the myths that *some* OBs and hospitals perpetuate out there. Get the authoritative reports going. And to do that means being willing to take science and medical research *seriously*, rather than treating it as the enemy. Want to build a culture where that cascade of interventions isn't a standard practice? Get real evidence-based stuff out there. No "Your body won't grow a baby it can't birth." Pull actual evidence on positioning, or pelvic openings, etc.

your hypotheticals, meanwhile, are social stories. The anecdotal evidence that so many people cling to. And the answer to that? Tell your own story. Tell other stories that you know. Tell them without twisting the "I did it BETTER." Knife.

You're at someone's house and you hear that "Oh, you can't deliver a 9-pounder vaginally!" You say, "Hey, I had a 10-pounder and it wasn''t so bad! I didn't even need stitches! I think it's because I stayed upright in labor - I read someplace that squatting opens your pelvis up 40% more!"

The birth story on MDC where someone says they "needed" a c-section?
I still think the only answer to that is "What a beautiful baby! Heal fast and enjoy your babymoon!"

Further hypothetical: Someone on Birth and Beyond posts a question about delivering big babies. The *same* person mentioned above, who posted their birth story about the "necessary" section that you doubt was so necessary, posts to it, saying "Oh, my baby was 9 pounds and I just didn't progress for 6 hours...."

There, in a general discussion, you *do* share your experience and knowlege again. Don't quote the person to imply they're wrong. Don't use them as an example. But respond to the OP with your own experience. Build a library of *other* viewpoints for those future googlers to read. Don't judge, don't comment, just share your own testimony. Or if you want, refer to those alternate, NCB-supporting Authoritative Voices. "The one centimeter per hour rule is really quite arbitrary - women dilate at different rates, for example..."

But no, a sensitive, hormonal new mother who is still trying to find her way and get her bearings and establish breastfeeding does NOT need her birth story greeted with all the ways she screwed up. No way, no how.

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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Old 04-22-2010, 11:40 AM
 
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But the one thing still not addressed here, to take savithny's post as the most recent example, is if we do this:

Quote:
Further hypothetical: Someone on Birth and Beyond posts a question about delivering big babies. The *same* person mentioned above, who posted their birth story about the "necessary" section that you doubt was so necessary, posts to it, saying "Oh, my baby was 9 pounds and I just didn't progress for 6 hours...."

There, in a general discussion, you *do* share your experience and knowlege again. Don't quote the person to imply they're wrong. Don't use them as an example. But respond to the OP with your own experience. Build a library of *other* viewpoints for those future googlers to read. Don't judge, don't comment, just share your own testimony. Or if you want, refer to those alternate, NCB-supporting Authoritative Voices. "The one centimeter per hour rule is really quite arbitrary - women dilate at different rates, for example..."
What almost inevitably happens is that the mom in question gets upset and either replies on the thread that I am attacking her by presenting other possible outcomes of a 9 lb baby, or maybe goes and talks about how NCBAs are so hurtful and thoughtless in how they advocate for NCB. What I am desperately asking for here is some acknowledgment that even if a NCBA advocate sticks to general knowledge, personal and anecdotal experience, and never treads onto that mom's story, the mom often takes it personally b/c of unresolved issues within herself about the birth. I see it happen all the time here and in real life. And nowhere will people take responsibility for this. Apparently, according to people here, there are TONS of nasty NCBAs out there who will take a mom to task personally, but there are absolutely NO c-section mamas who ever take a general discussion personally [sarcasm absolutely intended.]

I feel like this discussion has been entirely one-sided - that NCBAs must ignore all real-life examples of births that did not leave the mother satisfied or at peace - but that c-section mamas have absolutely NO responsibility to own their feelings and perhaps not tread onto discussions which have a high chance of upsetting them.

Quote:
Maybe believing the surgery was necessary helps her recover from it emotionally. It worked for me.
Everyone is entitled to their feelings and to process them however works. What you cannot expect is that others join you in that process, especially not if it hurts others. Believe and feel whatever you want - it is your right as a human being - but when you assert that any woman's chosen beliefs about her birth are more important than anything else and that others must join her in them, even if they are contributing to the normalization of c-sections, rising insurance rates, and other consequences that directly hurt others - that, you do NOT have a right to do. I absolutely reject the idea that in order for me to have my feelings, others have to share them and agree with them.

(I am speaking from personal experience here - a long time ago, something happened in my family that had a lot of negative consequences. For awhile, I chose to blame one person, and to believe and say to others and this person that if it weren't for this person's actions, my life would be better. Though this made me feel good at first, it eventually started to feel dirty. I had to acknowledge that though he had done bad things, I made a choice to blame him and absolve myself, but that in reality, I always played a part. And my choosing to blame him had direct, real-life consequences - it damaged every relationship he had within the family, and it took a long time to rebuild. My comfortable feelings were not worth what my chosen beliefs had done to our family.)

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 born at 31 weeks Oct. 2014
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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Honestly, I am done with this. I am tired of the lack of personal responsibility for feelings and choices. I am responsible for my feelings here, and I have chosen to keep coming back to try to convince people who choose to be offended by general statements, and who keep arguing with the ghost of the NCBA who was nasty to them, and then paint all NCB advocacy with that brush. But I am done. No one here is at fault for the poor communication except for the NCBAs, and c-section mamas with tough emotions to process play absolutely NO part in the poor communication. It would really be better if we never ever ever talked about c-sections and birth interventions, b/c someone might psychically hear the conversation and be hurt, and there is a fundamental human right to never ever ever have any bad feelings, no matter how we have to twist reality to avoid them.

So I am choosing to mosey on out and not come back b/c this is NOT how I want today to go.

DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 born at 31 weeks Oct. 2014
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Galatea View Post
Everyone is entitled to their feelings and to process them however works. What you cannot expect is that others join you in that process, especially not if it hurts others. Believe and feel whatever you want - it is your right as a human being - but when you assert that any woman's chosen beliefs about her birth are more important than anything else and that others must join her in them, even if they are contributing to the normalization of c-sections, rising insurance rates, and other consequences that directly hurt others - that, you do NOT have a right to do. I absolutely reject the idea that in order for me to have my feelings, others have to share them and agree with them.
I realize you've said you're not coming back, but in case you are - frankly, you're putting that baggage into the discussion.

Telling the truth about one's delivery, however one has understood that, is not the enemy of the NBC. If it is, then frankly, it is the NCB is that in the wrong.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:41 PM
 
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Honestly, I am done with this. I am tired of the lack of personal responsibility for feelings and choices. I am responsible for my feelings here, and I have chosen to keep coming back to try to convince people who choose to be offended by general statements, and who keep arguing with the ghost of the NCBA who was nasty to them, and then paint all NCB advocacy with that brush. But I am done. No one here is at fault for the poor communication except for the NCBAs, and c-section mamas with tough emotions to process play absolutely NO part in the poor communication. It would really be better if we never ever ever talked about c-sections and birth interventions, b/c someone might psychically hear the conversation and be hurt, and there is a fundamental human right to never ever ever have any bad feelings, no matter how we have to twist reality to avoid them.

So I am choosing to mosey on out and not come back b/c this is NOT how I want today to go.

I'm sorry you are leaving, I thought you brought up some great points. On the hand, there is a fine line in promoting an idea or your feelings of where change needs to happen and railing to getting people to "drink the kool-aid" per se.

I think all of us here agree c-sections need to be discussed, brought into the open, hashed out just like any other birth intervention. Many of us bristle at the timing of when that discussion happens, which is could be said for any traumatic vaginal birth. This post/thread was to discuss where c-sections may fit into the NCB community, and how to do c-section moms fit into that community. Unfortunately this thread has taken several turns and I hope we can come back to the original topic - can it fit into the model and what can c-section moms bring to the table to benefit the community?

treehugger.gifAnd you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.treehugger.gif

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