everything old is new again (surgical birth = no pelvic floor probs) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 05-12-2004, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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In light of the recent banter on the boards about how foolish it seems to blame vaginal birthing for any sort of pelvic floor ills, and the belief that an elective c-sec is a super-duper way to prevent perineal trauma & should be every woman's right, may I offer a perspective for discussion:

I cannot help but be reminded of Dr. Joseph DeLee, proud founder of the concept of the prophylactic forceps delivery in the 1920s, who asserts that pelvic organ prolapse can be prevented by performing operative forceps deliveries on all women.

And now, in 2004, it is suggested again that surgery is the key to preventing women's bodies from the inevitable destruction that comes from natural, vaginal birth. I always think of poster child Jennifer Berman.

I am compelled to quote Shelia Kitzinger, quoting DeLee, in her book Rediscovering Birth , copyright 2000, p. 149

Labor has been called, and is believed by many to be, a normal function...and yet is is a decidedly pathologic proces. If a woman falls on a pitchfork, and drives it through her perineum, we call that pathologic-abnormal, but if a large baby is driven through the pelvic floor, we ay that it is natural, and therefore normal. If a baby were to have its head caught in a door very lightly, but not enough to cause cerebral haemorrhage, we would say that it is decidedly pathologic, but when a baby's head is crushed against a tight pelvic floor, and the haemorrhage in the brain kills it, we call this normal....In both cases, the cause of the damage, the fall on the pitchfork and the crushing of the door, is pathogenic, that is disease-producing, and in the same sense labor is pathogenic, disease producing, and anything pathogenic is pathologic or abnormal...

Perhaps laceration, prolapse and all the evils soon to be mentioned are, in fact, natural to labor and therefore normal, in the same way as the death of the mother salmon and the death of the male bee in copulation, are natrual and normal.

What is the deal? How can surgical birth for 'health' be invented, and then be re-invented, inside of 70 years?
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#2 of 7 Old 05-12-2004, 05:19 PM
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Want to know the biggest factor of urinary incontinence and pelvic floor issues?

Our current state of sedentary lifestyles.

That's it. Having a c-section does NOT mean you will be saved from pelvic floor problems. The pelvic floor supports the growing uterus/baby - the lack of tone occurs with each pregnancy, not birth.

Now, if you were to cut open women's vaginas and use instruments to deliver a baby, there will ultimately be trauma to the pelvic floor and tissues, thereby increasing problems.

So, once again, the medical establishment has failed to learn from their own mistakes. Pelvic floor problems isn't about WOMEN's bodies being faulty, it's about the system failing our bodies.
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#3 of 7 Old 05-12-2004, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by pamamidwife
Having a c-section does NOT mean you will be saved from pelvic floor problems.
I totallly agree. I was birthed by c/s 30+ years ago (footling breech & only child) and my mom has significant pelvic floor issues -- prolapsing uterus, incontinence, etc. and may be looking at surgery as a last resort. A c/s does not = pelvic floor salvation.
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#4 of 7 Old 05-12-2004, 08:53 PM
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You've inspired me to request a book from our library about the Nun Study, which supposedly includes research about equivalent rates of pelvic floor problems in nuns who never gave birth as in women who did. I'll let you know what I learn...

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#5 of 7 Old 05-12-2004, 11:28 PM
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Oh, wow, Pam, you said something I was thinking:

Want to know the biggest factor of urinary incontinence and pelvic floor issues?

Our current state of sedentary lifestyles.

I'm certainly no expert on births (especially vaginal births!), but it makes a lot of sense to me that doing everything you can to maintain good muscle tone in that area (and all the other areas of your body!) will do a lot to keep it healthy.

Claudia, that quote is pretty sickening. Quite frankly, it seems like a pretty misogynist depiction of birth. Kind of like someone's warped fantasy of what happens in birth...
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#6 of 7 Old 05-13-2004, 09:43 PM
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Good thread :
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#7 of 7 Old 05-14-2004, 04:38 PM
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Yes I have been reading on a prolapse board (I have some degree of uterine prolapse, I can feel my cervix at the entrance to my vagina when I sit, but the doctor I saw was a dumba$$ in his exam, but at least he refered me to PT for some help), and the suggestions are to have a section with future babies. I *don't* think so!

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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