UC Forum Concerns - Please read and share your thoughts - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 51 Old 07-07-2011, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
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The UC forum is experiencing some posting behavior that is causing some members to not feel comfortable or supported when posting about their UC plans. We've been looking at some of the discussions of concern and would like to make some clarifications to the guidelines and moderation approach so that we can protect the integrity of the forum and improve the posting atmosphere. To do this we'd like input from the UC community members.

 

What do you feel the problems are in the UC forum? 

 

What sort of posting do you think is acceptable when there are safety concerns for a member considering a UC?  

 

What suggestions do you have that would help us create a more beneficial moderation approach and helpful guidelines for the forum?

 

Please feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions about the forum beyond these specific questions too. smile.gif


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#2 of 51 Old 07-08-2011, 07:24 AM
 
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too many medical professionals trolling! ;) 

 

This forum is supposed to be a supportive site, not a place to try and "scare" women out of UC!  It is good to discuss concerns, especially about safety.  But there is a difference in "Look out for this" or "here is what happened to me"  vs. "this is crazy"  "I am sick of hearing this.."  When I came here for UC support, I appreciated as much info as I could gather.  But after not being here a bit, then jumping back on, it seems as though there are way too many posts coming from a harsh tone...posts you can tell are not from someone supportive about UC in general.  Posts that belittle the belief that our bodies ARE capable when not interfered with.  And maybe not enough interaction from UC supporters?  Maybe people are afraid of being blasted for sharing? It seems in the past, reminders were given and posts were moved. Wasn't there guidelines that something to the effect that this is not the place for sharing birth horror stories or criticizing UC?  That worked well.  JM2C!

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#3 of 51 Old 07-08-2011, 07:30 AM
 
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nak

I thought UC'ers wanted to learn about the birth process and be aware of things that can go wrong? Isn't that part of "taking control of one's birth" .....through education?


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#4 of 51 Old 07-08-2011, 09:37 AM
 
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I'd say many to most UCers already ARE very educated about the birth process and even more so about potential hazards.  The deeply held beliefs, and really, FACTS, that over 90% of un-intervened-with births go off without a hitch, and that a woman's body was designed to give birth and hence is more than capable of birthing successfully without intervention are the underpinnings of UC.  Excellent health, eating habits, exercise are always held as important factors.

 

You can tell the difference in posts which offer information about potential issues in birth, in a helpful and nonjudgmental way, and posts which are clearly meant to deride and instill fear. Issues which might neccessitate transport are rare and few.  It'd be like if the OB spent half his/her time talking with you at your prenatal appts about congenital heart defects, and really causing you to fear that it may happen to you.  Well it MAY!  It happened to me!  But it happens in like, 2-3% of births.  It shouldn't be the focus.  Women should be educated about good prenatal nutrition, exercise, all the variations of normal in labor and birth, what is within her power to remedy or prevent, and above all, positivity and encouragement!  Birth should not equal fear!  

 

We are taught to fear birth by the medical establishment.  That's how we stay at their mercy and they stay in business.  There are two problems with that.  One is that, THEY THEMSELVES are not 100% safe either.  You have different issues, risks, problems, interventions to contend with in the hospital that aren't good for you or your baby either, that can cause all kinds of evil.  The other problem with this whole thing is that, we seem to think that just because we have modern medicine at our disposal, we will never encounter death or injury.  Injury at birth has happened regardless of good doctors and modern medical practice.  And death is part of life.  No one wants it at birth certainly, but it can happen, regardless of where and with whom one chooses to give birth.  There is a lack of acceptance of this because of medicine.  I just think UCers, while trusting birth and their bodies and believing in themselves, have an understanding that there is no one perfect choice.  There are risks on both sides.  There are horror stories on both sides.  We look practically at the statistics and I think very reasonably consider that a homebirth is safer than a hospital birth, that we have the best chance for the desired outcome at home.

 

Ya know, there is a small segment of society that does and will eschew modern practices in many things, not just birth, take their chances with the natural world, prayer, alternative forms of healing, in order to live a life that is more intimately connected with the earth, with God, with WHO WE ARE at our most basic core.  It's birth, it's how we get our food, it's vaccinations, it's technology, so many things, that remove us from a reliance on the Creator (if one holds that belief, I'm not proselytizing here) and on the Earth that was given to us.  I'm just saying, there is a whole different way of seeing life, instead of believing that some women are just fools, or reckless, by choosing to UC, why can't it be seen as just different, and not bad?  We don't view Amish as fools or reckless, for not relying on the modern world for many things.  There's a reverence there, for a people trying to keep alive a very old way of living.  We don't view Native Americans as foolish or reckless, we honor their ancient practices and see them as sacred.  So if you're an average white woman (disclaimer that I know it's not just white women who UC), you MUST be stupid or reckless to UC?  There's nothing special about your beliefs that should make anyone pause and be respectful. 

 

As UCers, we do spend more time learning about potential problems, so that we can know what can be done to alleviate them ourselves, what is cause for a call to 911 and/or transport, etc.  But let's not pretend that you can't tell a pro-UC post, or at least a neutral post, from an anti-UC one.  I've only been back on these boards a week or so, and I can tell some anti-folks, and have even chosen to just not participate in some threads because I do feel the need to guard myself somewhat.

 

I know this devolved into NOT answering the OP, I just don't appreciate the implication that we must just not want to hear about things that could go wrong if we take issue with a particular post.  Tone is everything in these groups.  There has been negative tone lately. 

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#5 of 51 Old 07-08-2011, 10:13 AM
 
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And maybe not enough interaction from UC supporters?  Maybe people are afraid of being blasted for sharing?

 

Yeah that is possible.  I come here every few days but mostly just read posts to learn more about UC but I'm nervous to write too much about it because I know it is not very accepted (plus this is a public board.)  Plus I haven't UC'd yet so don't really have any thoughts on my own experience to offer others yet.  The thread from a few days ago didn't scare me out of continuing to think about UC though.  ;)  It was a bit too weird to be completely believable, and even moreso when the birth story thread was posted.  

 

I think sometimes people don't realize it's a UC forum at first because they just read the link to the most recent posts on mothering and a title intrigues them, so that is probably where some replies are coming from.  Not sure if it would make sense or even be possible to try to remove the UC board from showing up in there, though.  Plus, some people who aren't supportive or nervous about the thought of UC do end up coming around eventually and even deciding they want to UC (never would have thought I'd consider UC for myself until a year or so ago!)  Just thinking "out loud".   

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#6 of 51 Old 07-08-2011, 12:50 PM
 
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Personally I post less here nowadays because I know that hostile/disapproving eyes are reading and judging. Fine, it's a public forum, but it certainly motivates me to take my real issues to the private forum.

 

I think s-o-t-l summed up an important issue very well in her 4th paragraph.

 

I don't have an issue with people coming here and not understanding and genuinely trying to understand by asking questions, etc. But there are a lot of people who just think UCers are nuts and aren't at all interested in understanding or engaging. Those are the posts that are unhelpful and derail useful discussion on this board.

 

I also don't have any problem with real people coming here with real stories about things that went wrong at UCs, as long as it's not in an accusatory "look, see how stupid UC always is as a choice" sort of way. I think it's good to acknowledge that things can go wrong, look into how that makes you feel, let it help you to prepare on many levels. That is also part of the power that is knowledge :) However, it's no help at all when someone posts about a complicated or problematic situation and then someone who comes from a completely different way of looking at birth and life responds with "go see a doctor now because X once happened to someone I know and if you don't you are very foolish." There is no interest in engaging, no sympathy, just judgment and panic. The thread often then deteriorates into an argument about whether UC is safe or not. Totally different from something like "wow, that doesn't sound like a good situation - I would definitely go to a doctor - but it's your decision as an autonomous adult to make" or "this happened to someone I know and there was a bad outcome in that case. You might want to consider that possibility."

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#7 of 51 Old 07-08-2011, 12:58 PM
 
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I'm going to write my post before reading the response so that my view isnt shaded. Sorry if opinions are repeated.

Personally, I have thought very seriously about Ucing this time, and I came to this forum looking for information, guidance, and support. I've only posted a few times, and this is what I've gotten in response to my questions.
~a crazy person who was so pro UC that she couldnt see any other point of view and anyone who wasnt with her on every.single.thing was a "troll"
~a legitimate question that I was genuinely wanting advice on getting taken to another website to make fun of me.
~a couple of book recommendations (thanks!)
~some amazing birth stories

To me, the negatives with my experience here greatly out weigh the positives as I have also seen:

~a fake horror birth story
~namecalling, arguing, and total non support
~people being accused of killing someone's child
~very little actual information being exchanged

I am interested in the private lounge, but other than that I cannot imagine posting any other personal feelings about UC here. Im really sad about it because I still havent decided what to do, and I have NO support for it IRL and I was really looking for online support or information that wasnt coupled with people telling me that Im stupid and trying to kill my baby. However, this just isnt a good place for that kind of support.

I dont know what to do to make it a better forum, other than making it private. Still, even if it was private, Im sure that posts would get taken to other websites because I know that there are trolls in the private lounge. But at least then people wouldnt post such asinine things because they know they could lose their membership to the UC forum . Personally, I think immediate moderation of everything posted might make it better. (Someone looking in on this forum more often that most?) Maybe requiring a certian post count before being able to post (like TAO)? While I agree that people should be able to post their point of view, there are very few places online where you can get UC support and a million places where you can get told what a dumbass you are for UC'ing. Why should mothering fall into the second category?
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#8 of 51 Old 07-08-2011, 02:23 PM
 
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*wipes brow*   Whew!  I was so afraid to hit 'submit' on that post.  And I know it was long, I rambled, but sometimes I just can't get around that with the kids in the room, or my dh talking at me while I'm trying to compose a thought.

 

I couldn't care less about people thinking I'm foolish.  I don't expect everyone to understand my choices.  And certainly I've thought others were foolish for things they do.  That doesn't bother me. 

 

The problem is in fearing to post, to share, because you're afraid someone's going to think you aren't valuing your own child's safety and well-being above all else.  If you don't understand someone's actions, how can you accurately make a determination on their motivations and values?

 

And I just want to say to Adaline'sMama, you can pm me if ya like.  I'd love to help in any way I can.  I can recommend some groups too.

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#9 of 51 Old 07-08-2011, 04:11 PM
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I think the fear that you are speaking to, sara, is the fact that it does go beyond this forum.

 

people take a post and c/p to somewhere else, where people make fun. that i have no issue with. people are free to entertain themselves.

 

but the issue happens when it leaves the internet and goes into the real lives of the individual woman. UCer's getting letters or phone calls in their homes. UCer's bosses getting letters, emails, and phone calls about them. UCer's getting a visit from CPS based on an anonymous internet tip. 

 

so, yeah, most of us are not willing to share on this forum for this reason. I mean, i'm past my UC time, so I'm not a threat to anyone really, but seriously, to me it crosses a massive line. 

 

In addition, the unsupportive posts that sara is talking about is out of hand. truly, just crazy. not sure what you can do about it, but seriously, it's a bit of a mess.

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#10 of 51 Old 07-08-2011, 06:08 PM
 
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Even like 3 years ago, the UC board had a lot of people that were regulars here that would say - hey that's really a medical concern. Maybe you should ask someone in one of the more medical sub-forums. Or hey, so you know - that symptom you're describing could be nothing or could be a big deal. Have you researched XYZ topic about that? That was seen as being supportive to UC because it was seen as enabling a family to make decisions based on knowledge. It seems like there has been a big shift in the last 1-2 years with UC on this board being about "beating" medical professionals. And instead of UC being a valid choice for low risk mothers, it became about how many different complications could you have and still have a successful UC.

 

Lately it hasn't seemed to have been about the 90% of uncomplicated pregnancies and births that go off without a hitch, it seems to be about measuring large, looooooooong gestations, unusual BP, suspected GD, UBAMC, etc.

 

This is not supposed to be a place to seek medical advice - but in reality a lot of the threads here are asking medical advice. Sure, all over MDC people ask for and get medical advice. Some of which is less than accurate. The more medically minded sub-forums do a pretty good job of policing themselves as far as trying to make sure inaccurate advice is refuted soundly. Like on the NICU board they do an EXCELLENT job of it, same goes with the SN board and IF. Everyone understands that inaccurate advice could make a huge difference to people in those boards, sometimes even a life or death difference.

 

I just took a quick glance at the UC board front page and there are at least 3 threads that have been active this week that are definitely looking for medical advice. They might skirt the UA by asking for anecdotes, information, or "what would you do's" instead of straight out asking "what should I do" but that is the the same thing and the mods/admins know it. They are just CYA so that bad info is being shared as non-advising advice that gets left up on the boards for families beginning their UC journey to find and use as valid advice.

 

Honestly, if UCers don't want medically minded MDCers showing up, they shouldn't be asking medical questions. The thread titles appear on the Recent Discussions list, where anyone can see them. Medical questions are going to attract medical answers.

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#11 of 51 Old 07-08-2011, 08:17 PM
 
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Honestly, if UCers don't want medically minded MDCers showing up, they shouldn't be asking medical questions. The thread titles appear on the Recent Discussions list, where anyone can see them. Medical questions are going to attract medical answers.


I don't think the problem is when someone offers advice, but rather when the advice is not supportive to UC or even posted in an attacking/hostile manner!  (and not everyone sees childbirth as a medical issue...)

 

Also , this thread is supposed to address the specifics of the UC board and how to improve it...

 

Bottom line, I thought this board was supposed to be a place to discuss and support UC, not a place to debate it. Wasn't there some kind of announcement or notice to that effect somewhere?  (kind of like you wouldn't recommend spanking on a gentle parenting thread, or telling a vegan family they are going to kill their kids with vitamin deficiencies on a vegan parenting post!)  nono.gif

 

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#12 of 51 Old 07-08-2011, 08:18 PM
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hmm. i think it's an interesting point, rhiandmoi.

 

I don't necessarily see the sorts of threads that you mention as seeking medical advice. I do see it as seeking a UC perspective toward certain information -- what did you, as a UCer do in this situation? what do you, as a UCer, think about this information. I think I assume that the individual already has access to medical information and advice, knows where to find it, and can, and in some or even many cases, they are not UPers -- they have midwives and doctors who have, in most cases, already discussed the issue with them and provided the medical perspective and information.

 

I've never personally had a problem with someone coming in and giving their perspective as a professional (midwives, etc) or a non-professional asserting that they would choose a more medical route. I, too, consider that supportive.

 

But, there is a point where it crosses a line. When the OP asserts that she will not be following medical advice, sometimes those offering it get pushy about it. Not just "I would do this" or "medical evidence is that" but really everything from "you're irresponsible" to "you're killing your baby!" It's not all that common, but it is not supportive of the woman's choice to UC against medical advice.

 

And, it is true that more "high risk" women are coming to UC. This is because they do not see these things as "risks" in the way that their care providers might. Perspectives change, you know?

 

What I mean is this. It used to be that a posterior baby was "variation of normal." When my son was born in 2008, it was still a variation of normal, but many women were encouraged to have a c-section during labor because there's "no need to suffer" and the baby hadn't changed position throughout labor. Today, I received an email from a friend in my former town who was risked out to the OB because her baby is posterior. She's about a month out, but the baby was "persistent." :D I joked that it tells of the personality to come! ha! But anyway, the OB's appointment is coming up, and the midwife told her that they would talk about scheduling a c-section, but that she can choose to go into labor if she wants -- and then see if a c-section is needed for the malposition.

 

So, a person may come into this site next week, and say "my ob says my baby is malpositioned. Was yours? what would you do?" And I would say "Oh, I had a posterior baby, and it was a vaginal birth, and all is fine." Yes, there actually are increased risks in a posterior baby, just as with a breech. And so maybe the doctors are right and a c-section IS better, but I don't know if there's any evidence right now, and honestly, if my friend were at this midwife in 2008, this would not have been risked out (as another friend of mine used this midwife and also had a posterior baby who switched during labor). 

 

That's only 3 years ago. 

 

So, that person writes in here, and then we get lambasted for not providing medical advice of "I would get that checked out" or "i would listen to my doctor" in this instance. 

 

I think that postdates definitely qualifies in this instance, particularly now that the situation has changed for women. You get to 40 days, and they're talking about induction right away -- not waiting a week, or two, or three. Four years ago, a friend of mine had an OB waiting 3 weeks before he got antsy about induction, and she went into labor later that day and birthed normally. Today, the same doctor -- for whatever reason -- is concerned taht she might go late like before, and said that he now *had to* induce before 41 weeks. I don't know if it was insurance, hospital policy, or what, but he "has to" now when he didn't "have to" 4 years ago.

 

With things like UBAMC, these are often women who feel, think, or believe that their c-sections were unnecessary and that VBAC is possible, but no one (doctor) will accept her desire to VBAC. In many cases, their *preference* is for a medical attendant at their birth -- and in most cases a midwife -- but they feel forced to UCing in order to get the birth that they want. And usually, those women are *well aware* of the medical perspectives and risks. So, no one needs to tell them that side of the equation (imo). 

 

For the issue of GD, there is ample information that the tests are not accurate, and yet many doctors and midwives refuse to retest, or use an alternate test. So, women get risked out for that reason, when -- in fact -- they are perfectly healthy as determined by checking their blood sugar throughout the day, watching their diet, and their children are growing normally (by all kinds of measurements, including getting ultrasounds at their doctors, fundal height or what have you). So, here they are getting risked out and thereby into early inductions, and their options thin right out. The doctor's insist on their diagnosis based on a test that has many false positives, will refuse to accept any evidence to the contrary, and demand that a woman induces on their schedule (often early) only to bear a premature child. These women, too, are often "forced" to UC in this way -- which is something I don't like, btw.

 

But, I am of the mind that if these women truly believe that they don't have GD or that it's rightly controlled and not at issue, then I support their decision to disregard medical advice and move forward in their own ways. And, if a woman UBAMC feels that her uterus will be able to do it's work in a UC, then I will support that rather than saying "no, you should do what the doctor says" or these are thr increased risks and so on. 

 

The blood pressure issues are more confusing, too, but i've also noted that many of the threads related included the fact that the woman was talking with her doctor or midwife about the issue as they go, and in both blood pressure discussions that I recall of late, both women have chosen to continue with their care providers not just for prenatal care, but for the birth as well. SO, they are not UCing, and therefore I don't get what the concern is (for them). :D

 

That is, i don't see how we would be creating problems or leading anyone astray because we aren't answering with "go see a doctor" or "medical information is as follows." Also, since other people usually provide that, I don't need to. :D

 

 

 

 

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#13 of 51 Old 07-08-2011, 08:35 PM
 
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AH! here it is!  The guidelines are quite sufficient as is.  (I especially like the first part) Maybe they just need to be enforced a tad stricter ;)  LOL!

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/wiki/unassisted-childbirth-forum-guidelines

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#14 of 51 Old 07-08-2011, 11:06 PM
 
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Childbirth is not of itself a medical issue. Questions like "would this specific medical situation concern you?" on the other hand clearly are asking for input on medical issues. Some people feel strongly about wrong information being supplied to people trying to make choices about medical issues.

That's not about undermining UC. that's about empowering families with accurate information to chose UC because they know what they are dealing with and have made whatever necessary steps they deem important. If that is no steps fine. But it has seemed lately, especially with certain extremely vocal posters that UC itself is the goal. It used to be that UC was a possible route to having safe healthy birth.
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#15 of 51 Old 07-09-2011, 12:48 AM
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I would like it if Mothering stopped deleting any mention of a UC going badly. There have been many UC deaths that have been quickly covered up. Keeping those threads alive would alert potential UCs to the real risks of UC.

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#16 of 51 Old 07-09-2011, 01:13 AM
 
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When I first arrived at MDC, and the UC board, the board was both more constructive and less hostile (in terms of drive-by nay-sayers). Asking questions about medical issues would result in much more sound advice, and there would actually be many more of those threads, perhaps because posters did not feel their questions would result in attacks from people opposed to UC? 

 

As a UC-er, I am all for "hey, you better get that checked out by a doctor" advice if that is warranted. In fact, the school of thought of relying solely on God/one's intuition that seems to be more prevalent here these days can easily give the impression that just about anything is compatible with UC, and it is not. That, combined with posters who only come here to point out how dangerous UC is (sometimes achieved by pretending to have had a UC, see recent "UC from Hell" thread), have resulted in a less than helpful board. Perhaps it's because many questions have moved to the private board. 

 

Of course, it is an individual's responsibility to work out if advice is good or bad - if you can't separate the sound advice (and verify its truth independently elsewhere) from bad advice, perhaps UC is not for you. 


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#17 of 51 Old 07-09-2011, 04:04 AM
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perhaps i'm reflecting too personally, but when i answer "would this concern you" or "how would you think about this?" i'm not really giving any medical information or advice about the issue. i typically go generic -- weigh the information available to you, think about what you want to do, and move forward with confidence in your decision.

 

this is, of course, whether or not that decision leads to a UC. 

 

so, my answers to tend to the "do what you think is best" -- more of a trust yourself answer than a 'seek medical advice' answer. it is -- in itself -- not medical advice at all, nor could it be construed as medical advice (or so i think, anyway)

 

but, it is philosophical advice, pointing to (some of) the philosophical underpinnings of UC.

 

I hold the perspective that women (and men) are capable of deciding for themselves and emotionally, and otherwise, capable of accepting the consequences of that decision. And, I also believe that the idea of following intuition/God/self reliance will lead to positive results. That more often than not, an individual who does need medical help will seek it, and those who do not will not seek it.

 

As MK says, not everything and everyone is compatible with UC -- but it is up to the individual to decide this and the consequences of whatever that decision is. It is not up to the community to decide who should and should not UC, and then "grant permission." Sure, provide information -- but as MK says, one has to weigh whether or not that information is accurate, and hopefully goes far beyond this message board to find that information (eg, books, medical articles, and in some/many cases, conversations with their care providers). So ultimately, it can really only come down to "we support your decision" -- even if we, personally, would not UC in that situation, think it's dangerous, or find it problematic at some level.

 

And, bad stuff can and does happen -- in a UC or hospital or birth center or homebirth -- and that is just a sad, horrific fact of birth. I agree that the information should not be "hidden" but it also needs to be vetted (eg, "UC from Hell" situation) and *moderated* because when it does happen and it is posted, it is often deleted not because mothering or UCers want the information hidden, but because the thread goes from "I had a UC; it was a stillbirth" to "you killed your baby you evil, stupid woman!" and the PMs can get seriously ugly. 

 

I also don't know specifically that the board has a particular "flavor" of saying that the goal is to UC absolutely -- but people do come here with the goal of UCing, and that's not always a problem. This is not inherently asserting that everyone with the goal of UC "must" UC or "should" UC, but rather that it is a perfectly valid goal to hold. It's also a perfectly valid goal to amend should a situation present itself.

 

But if someone holds that goal, why not offer what information one can to help another achieve that goal in addition to the other information offered? EG, you offer the medical information (links to articles, etc), and then I say "whatever you decide is great. If you feel that you are safe, then go with that." It's not saying "UC at all costs!" But it is saying "It's ok to hold on to your goal if you feel it's safe."

 

BUt, this is just my perspective, and it is the middle of the night (well, only 10, but i'm tired). So, perhaps it's just a bit too personal for me. :)

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I hold the perspective that women (and men) are capable of deciding for themselves and emotionally, and otherwise, capable of accepting the consequences of that decision. And, I also believe that the idea of following intuition/God/self reliance will lead to positive results. That more often than not, an individual who does need medical help will seek it, and those who do not will not seek it.

 

As MK says, not everything and everyone is compatible with UC -- but it is up to the individual to decide this and the consequences of whatever that decision is. It is not up to the community to decide who should and should not UC, and then "grant permission." 



These are important points. I also hold that most adults are perfectly capable of decision making and risk assessment, but we do not all use the same standards and we do not all have the same situations and risks. Personally, I do not at all believe that solely following intuition, God, or the "self" (which is arguably the same thing as intuition) leads to positive results - I believe that we need knowledge, too. But I simultaneously believe it is not my duty, or anyone else's, to push that knowledge down someone throat where it is unwanted. I do agree that most who need medical help will seek it, but to know you need medical help, you sometimes need knowledge (sometimes not - where there is pain, for instance, it may be obvious to anyone that help is needed). 

 

I have read, on some other online forums, about the idea that a "checklist" or standards are needed for individuals to determine whether or not they are in a position to UC, and that the UC community, like some professional organizations, must "self regulate". Such ideas could only ever be proposed by people who do not UC. The very notion of UC is not compatible with trying to force others into any particular decision. Most UC-ers, I should hope, reject the idea that they need a higher body to make decisions on their behalf. 

 

What was great about the Mothering UC board? Open and honest discussions and sharing of knowledge (even where there was misinformation sometimes!). Discussing risks, which obviously exist, honestly. What is not so great about the current state of the board? A lack of honest discussion, a more vocal crowd who believes intuition alone is enough, and naysayers. It is a combination of two extremes  (Intuition-only UC-ers + medically minded scare mongers = not enough valuable info for those who are preparing to UC). 


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#19 of 51 Old 07-09-2011, 10:06 AM
 
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perhaps i'm reflecting too personally, but when i answer "would this concern you" or "how would you think about this?" i'm not really giving any medical information or advice about the issue. i typically go generic -- weigh the information available to you, think about what you want to do, and move forward with confidence in your decision.

 

this is, of course, whether or not that decision leads to a UC. 

 

so, my answers to tend to the "do what you think is best" -- more of a trust yourself answer than a 'seek medical advice' answer. it is -- in itself -- not medical advice at all, nor could it be construed as medical advice (or so i think, anyway)

 

but, it is philosophical advice, pointing to (some of) the philosophical underpinnings of UC.

 

I hold the perspective that women (and men) are capable of deciding for themselves and emotionally, and otherwise, capable of accepting the consequences of that decision. And, I also believe that the idea of following intuition/God/self reliance will lead to positive results. . :)



I think this is what a lot of people who are super against UC have a problem with. The idea that you get to decide if you are okay with living with the consequenses of what could potentially be a child's death or birth defect. It is super strange to me that some people hold the idea that they will trust their bodies or trust god about a problem during birth and whatever happens to the baby is just a consequense that you have to deal with. So its okay not seek medical advice and potentially harm your child, but dont circ because as parents we dont have the right to make that choice for our kid?

*I am anti circ. And, Im not pointing fingers at you zoebird, I just can see where statements like the bolded would set off the opposing side.
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#20 of 51 Old 07-09-2011, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nursingmommaof2 View Post

I would like it if Mothering stopped deleting any mention of a UC going badly. There have been many UC deaths that have been quickly covered up. Keeping those threads alive would alert potential UCs to the real risks of UC.


This was mentioned awhile back by someone in a different discussion so it's good that you've brought it up again.

 

We do not have a policy of deleting "any mention" of a UC going badly. We leave threads in place unless we have a compelling reason to remove them. 

 

We have removed some threads at the OP's request. In the case of a traumatic situation or a death some members will ask to have their thread pulled because it is too painful for them to leave it up. This occurs not only in the UC forum but also in the other Pregnancy forums. We will continue to respect this and honor the request. It is more important to us that the mother's grief and pain be eased, so if that can happen by removing her thread then we will do that for her.

 

In other cases of removal the thread was being discussed in a very disrespectful and accusing manner at other sites and the OP asks for removal. That too we will continue to honor. 

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#21 of 51 Old 07-09-2011, 10:58 AM
 
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Here's my take on things...

 

I felt in my heart that after a homebirth-transfer and then a homebirth, that I need to do a UC.  No anger, no angst, just felt like I needed to.  Poured over information, education, websites and forums for 10 months or more (and having some birth support experience as well) and we placed a few safety nets, and had our baby 5 min after the doula arrived.  Next birth, same choice but we had the baby before our doula arrived, but it was all of 40 minutes from first contraction.  In my opinion, I would have had a UC whether intentional or not, and the fact that I had information, belief in ourselves and the safety nets in place, I think that made the difference between a traumatic experience for us to one of joy.  It's not for everyone, it's not for every birth... but just like there is demise in hospital or homebirth, U/C does not automatically warrant the brush aside of stupid-people-do-that and it only happens there.

 

When I was here a few years ago last, there were trolls or angry people posting (when they obviously don't WANT to be here or remotely believe UC is even sort of, possibly a birth option that "real" people use), people still shared, and it was moderated.  I stopped in recently and I was SHOCKED at the first few posts here.  You don't believe in UC?  Don't be here, don't post here.  It's not like the "it can be dangerous" isn't something EVERY SINGLE UC'er doesn't already know.  Obviously every UCer has thought of it.  Seriously.  I mean seriously.  So the public-service-announcements don't serve to do anything other than incite, and it's not like it serves to further educate.  People who do UC are not uneducated, it's likely they know more about birth than most homebirthers and some birth supporters (doulas).  It does mean they made a different decision.  But it IS their decision to make.

 

How is it handled when someone goes to the Homebirth forums and starts talking about how irresponsible it is?  I would say whatever happens there should happen here.  IMO.


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#22 of 51 Old 07-09-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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I have to say, that since I first entertained the idea of UC, most if not ALL of my fellow UCers that I've come into contact with here, on Yahoo groups, and other forums, are SUPER-educated about birth, and all manner of alternative forms of healing/remedy, like herbs, homeopaths, placenta, birth position, etc.  I always wonder where the "stupid reckless UCer" idea even comes from, because I have yet to meet one, to be honest. 

 

The funny thing is, it's the "smart ones" anyway who are actively seeking more knowledge, support, etc. here and in other forums, yet they're also the ones afraid to share, because of fear of being "found out, " etc.  I mean, many of us who don't UC do other things that might be considered fringe, in our eating/clothing habits, not vaxing, not circing, co-sleeping, babywearing, extended nursing, gay parenting, homeschooling, homebirthing with midwives, etc.  It's not hard to understand why so many moms get nervous about hostile criticism and then clam up.  But it seems to me that the "stupid ones," would also probably be the ones for whom there would be most cause for criticism, etc.  And they're not here

 

I just think there's a lack of respect toward UCers, and that's really sad.  Mothering.com moms as a whole make several different lifestyle choices that are in the minority or on the fringe of society.  We should be taking care of each other, respecting each other, championing each other's right to choice and freedom, and offering truly helpful discussion and support.

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Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post

Personally, I do not at all believe that solely following intuition, God, or the "self" (which is arguably the same thing as intuition) leads to positive results - I believe that we need knowledge, too. But I simultaneously believe it is not my duty, or anyone else's, to push that knowledge down someone throat where it is unwanted. I do agree that most who need medical help will seek it, but to know you need medical help, you sometimes need knowledge (sometimes not - where there is pain, for instance, it may be obvious to anyone that help is needed). 

 

 

In my experience, intuition often leads people to information. What I mean is this. At some point toward the end of my pregnancy, I felt "uneasy" about breastfeeding. I couldn't explain the feeling, and I hadn't done a lot of reading on breastfeeding per se because everyone was expressing how it's rather easy, babies just do it, etc. Yes, women have problems, but very few women have problems. No need to worry about things. I was told this on many boards, and most people wanted to focus on the emotional side of my feelings.

 

So, I spent some time reading about breastfeeding problems -- common issues and their solutions -- and then I amassed a list of LCs, the local LLL group, etc.

 

My intuition lead me to reach out and ask for information, and when told to just go with it, not worry, my intuition said "no, keep digging" and so I did. Glad I did, because when my son was born, his tongue was strong and he was pushing the nipple out rather than drawing it in. Within a week, we'd trained him and got him on the breast -- but I needed an LC to do it. And it's good that I had a whole list of numbers, because everyone was on holiday, and finally, on Wednesday (he was born on Saturday), I got a return call from one who'd come home from holiday early and could see us right away. By Saturday he was on the breast!

 

So, the process isn't just "intuition only" in the sense of "you don't need any knowledge" but rather that intuition is going to guide a woman to certain information before she's pregnant, as she's pregnant, etc. For example, I did not spend a lot of time studying PPH. I did get the basics -- what to look for blood-wise, what symptoms to look out for (faint, dizzy, blood pressure issues, etc), and some ways of handling minor problems (herbs, eating the placenta, etc) and when to get help. But, I spent far more time -- oddly enough -- studying malpositioned births, and in particular posterior, which is ultimately how my son was born. 

 

I also agree with Sara that most UCers whom I know are very educated about birth. I was looking over the information to become a doula (DONA and CBI) and their reading list says "choose 5 of these books." Other than the two required doula books (which I haven't read), I'd read every-other book on the list. I did most of this before getting pregnant. I went and visited a friend who is a midwife (just graduated! congrats to her!) and I'd read most of the books on her shelves as well (there were a few physio books I haven't read, but I did borrow one of them to help me out with a pregnancy/yoga thing). I would say that most UCers are probably in the same boat, and I'm well acquainted with online medical and midwifery journals on the topic, too. 

 

So, I assume that following your intuition means that you're already gathering information, that your intuition is leading you to that information, and that if you're asking on the board -- you're already in the process of gathering that information to do the risk assessment.

 

But the idea that there would be a checklist, that is just nuts. What? We have to read 5 books on this list in order to be ok UCers? who chooses the canon of texts from which to choose from? What if my PPH research wasn't enough (it was about 2-3 articles), but my posterior birth research was not considered relevant? Makes no sense, really.

 

Which is why I go back to "follow your intuition." I believe it leads people to the information and knowledge that *they* need, for their birth and for their decision making process around it. And at the end, you take that knowledge and you take how you feel, and you come up with a decision. And that may or may not be getting medical help. :) 

 

 

 

Quote:

Quote from Adaline'sMama 

 

The idea that you get to decide if you are okay with living with the consequenses of what could potentially be a child's death or birth defect. It is super strange to me that some people hold the idea that they will trust their bodies or trust god about a problem during birth and whatever happens to the baby is just a consequense that you have to deal with. So its okay not seek medical advice and potentially harm your child, but dont circ because as parents we dont have the right to make that choice for our kid?

 

 

I think this is really about a shift in perspective about birth.

 

People seem to believe that if they go to a doctor or midwife, they are "safer" or that babies won't have birth defects, injuries, or die. This is simply not true. 

 

 

Foremost, birth defects are not a consequence of birth. They are a consequence of genetics, of developmental issues, etc. Having a doctor or midwife is not going to change the fact that a child has a birth defect. Having an ultrasound can inform a parent of which birth defects their infants may be born with, and some parents may want that information. A large number of UCers do get ultrasounds (and do have shadow care), so it's not as if a UCer is eschewing this information. 

 

Likewise, having an attendant present does not mean that a birth defect would be identified right away. A friend of mine had a hospital birth, and it was four months before the valve situation was discovered. The mother seemed to notice an issue, but everything "looked and sounded fine" to the doctors. Mama finally got baby into her father's cardiologist, who diagnosed the condition, and then sent her to a pediatric cardiologist for consult and ultimately surgery. 

 

In addition, I know of three UCers off the top of my head who had children with birth defects. One's child had a heart defect, another's has spina bifida, and yet another had a different heart defect. In all cases, the parents noticed issues within an hour of birth and ultimately got medical help for their children. All three children are fine -- most now over the age of 4. The mode and place of their birth did not cause these defects. The heart defect was undetected in u/s both cases, so likely that the doctor or midwife would have been just as surprised by the defect as well. And I'm not aware of the situation of care for the SB baby prior to her birth, but after, she had most excellent medical care. 

 

So, birth defects are a straw man in this sort of issue.

 

The relevant issues, therefore, are injury and death. It is important to note, foremost, that injury and death happens in all settings. This is something that UCers say over and over, and it is true. But those who disagree with UC see it as an extreme and unnecessary risk because you don't know which seemingly low-risk woman is going to have a major issue. Somewhere around the various statistics is that 3-5% of low risk women will have an issue in birth -- that may cause injury or death to them or their children. Of these, a certain percentage will be injured or die no matter what a person does -- even doctors and midwives admit this. But, the greater percentage of these can be saved.

 

So, the question then arises -- if one doesn't know which woman will have an issue, would you really risk your life on it? your child's life on it? why not have someone there "just in case" so that if it is you, then you could be the one person who is saved by the attendant and technology.

 

I love the way Laura Shanley put this in her book. Paraphrasing: 5% of women who give birth will have an issue during that birth, therefore ALL women should birth in hospitals/with midwives (choose your chosen community) is like saying 5% of men will be rapists, and since we don't know which ones, ALL men should be imprisoned for life.

 

A UCer looks at the numbers and goes something like this: 5% of women will need help during birth; 95% of women will not. Those are good odds. Of those 5% of women who need help, 5% of those will die or their child will die or both regardless of medical help, and the remaining will make it with medical help. Those are good odds. Most of those conditions of the 5% of women who will be need medical intervention have a buffer of 30-45 minutes or more before a problem happens (this is a massive generalization, not actual, just the way I thought about it), and i can get emergency medical attention in less than 15 minutes. Therefore, it is a very small risk of death or injury to me or my child.

 

I literally saw it as 5% of 5% risk of death/injury. It's a very small risk relatively speaking, and particularly in comparison to, say, driving a car.

 

I felt that it was a risk that I could tolerate.

 

I also think that an element of this is the real ownership of death/injury. In our culture, we are really, truly freaked out about death. Anything we can do to avoid it, really, and it's very scary (to me). Death is a part of life. For pregnant people, it's a 5% of 5% from natural causes for which no medical care can make a difference. It's that BEFORE you choose to get pregnant.

 

For me, it's like choosing to go skydiving. You can mitigate the risks, but there is still inherent risk in jumping from a plane. The next question, then, is how you mitigate those risks. 

 

It's ok to choose medical care to mitigate those risks, but medical care (today) also brings it's own risks -- which we see over and over. And, truly, those can also be mitigated. If i needed to birth in a hospital, I would be fine because I would know what I needed to know in order to have a positive experience there -- even down to having a scheduled c-section. I could do it. I could mitigate the risks because I know what the risks are.

 

I think that UCers do the same. At least, this is my experience of us.

 

 

The game -- whether a woman is choosing medical care or UC -- is about mititgating those risks. UCers mitigate the risks of harm from intervention -- which is more likely and quite common if you go through medical care -- by avoiding it. Just as women avoid alcohol during pregnancy. We know the risks, to mitigate, we don't drink alcohol. UCers will also mitigate the natural risks (those 5%) through self education and self reflection. "Am I really at risk? and if I am at risk, what can I do to mitigate *those* risks?" Everything from having shadow care, to making sure she's X minutes from the hospital, to actually getting help as soon as she feels there is need all mitigates these risks.

 

Another common accusation -- to which you have vaguely alluded -- is that the mother is choosing her birth experience over the child.

 

For me, as a UCer, I was choosing this mode of birth *for* my child. I truly believe that it was the safest mode of birth for me, unless there was evidence to the contrary (eg, I felt/thought/believed that there was an issue that required medical care). 

 

During my pregnancy and my birth, I never experienced any need for medical care. I truly believe that had I been in midwife or hospital care, there would have been interventions that would have injured me, and interventions that could have inhibited birth and endangered my child. Therefore, my UC was safer, and in fact the safest, birth for my child -- and for me.

 

And this is part of the underpinning of not understanding why it is ok to 'not care about the child' before birth and therefore UC and then turning around and talking about child autonomy and physical integrity. 

 

Philosophically, I believe that a child's body belongs to the child -- and this is true in utero as well as out. And, it is my responsibility to care for my child as best I can throughout his childhood until he becomes independent and makes his own decisions about his body and his life. Of course, as parents, we realize that there is a process of increasing decision making over time, and that parents do make decisions for their child that impact their health and well being -- nutrition, spiritual life, education. 

 

at each turn, most parents are striving to choose that which they believe will create the best outcomes and experiences for their child. Pregnant women forgo alcohol and sushi so that their infants are healthy in utero. Women choose to birth in specific environments for their own health and that of their children (acknowledging that mothers are also important for children's health and well being). Women and families choose how to raise their children -- including circ, though I personally consider circ to be an unnecessary (and in some cases harmful) practice. I am currently questioning religious freedom vs circ -- even though our culture readily rejects female circ even when done for religious reasons, so I fail to understand why male circ is truly different in such an instance.

 

The reality is -- i think -- that UCers are choosing UC because they believe it to be the safest mode of birth for their children and themselves. And as soon as they feel that it isn't -- most get care right away. 

 

But with this, we have to come to terms with the fact that sometimes, no matter what we do, babies and mamas die.

 

 

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#24 of 51 Old 07-09-2011, 05:01 PM
 
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I would like it if Mothering stopped deleting any mention of a UC going badly. There have been many UC deaths that have been quickly covered up. Keeping those threads alive would alert potential UCs to the real risks of UC.



 



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Quote:


This was mentioned awhile back by someone in a different discussion so it's good that you've brought it up again.

 

We do not have a policy of deleting "any mention" of a UC going badly. We leave threads in place unless we have a compelling reason to remove them. 

 

We have removed some threads at the OP's request. In the case of a traumatic situation or a death some members will ask to have their thread pulled because it is too painful for them to leave it up. This occurs not only in the UC forum but also in the other Pregnancy forums. We will continue to respect this and honor the request. It is more important to us that the mother's grief and pain be eased, so if that can happen by removing her thread then we will do that for her.

 

In other cases of removal the thread was being discussed in a very disrespectful and accusing manner at other sites and the OP asks for removal. That too we will continue to honor. 


I'm with nursingmommaof2 on this. Even if you just pulled to OP's post, but left the title or something it would be better than making the threads disappear. It makes UC look a lot safer than it is if you only leave up threads with positive outcomes.

 

Covering up deaths that occur in UC's is irresponsible, especially when the deaths can be very nearly conclusively linked to bad advice given on this board.

 


 

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#25 of 51 Old 07-09-2011, 05:02 PM
 
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My last baby was a UC birth and so will this one be. I used to post here but I stopped because people who did not believe in Uc would post. Not in a respectful manner but in an accusatory or an "you-are-an-idiot" manner. A lot of the posters are not like this but enough to make me stop. I would like a place where the posters are not anti-uc.

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#26 of 51 Old 07-09-2011, 05:48 PM
 
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I'm with nursingmommaof2 on this. Even if you just pulled to OP's post, but left the title or something it would be better than making the threads disappear. It makes UC look a lot safer than it is if you only leave up threads with positive outcomes.

 

Covering up deaths that occur in UC's is irresponsible, especially when the deaths can be very nearly conclusively linked to bad advice given on this board.

 


 

 

I'm not on this board enough to know what threads you are referring to, BUT I do not think that pulling a thread at someone's request is the same thing as "covering up deaths that occur in UC's" at all, nor that a single UC forum which may have mostly positive UC birth stories gives the impression that "UC is safer than it is," nor that it is fair to say that the death always most likely occurred as a result of advice given on the forum.  It's not like this is the only resource UC'ers use anyway and I know that I have definitely come across less than positive UC stories, but that doesn't lead me to believe it's so unsafe as many believe.  Yet if something went wrong in a hospital, people would often believe that all that could have been done was done - or that a C-section saved someone and/or their baby's life - among other things, when that isn't necessarily true at all.  There are risks to ANY method of birth, not just UC.  It's also really easy to believe that an attended birth is safer than it really is.   I used to think that an attended birth was safer.  I don't any more.  It is because my mindset has changed, not because I've "only" read positive UC birth stories.  A UC may be safer for one woman.  An attended birth may be safer for another.  It's not fair to say it is simply "not as safe as UC'ers believe".

 

 

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#27 of 51 Old 07-09-2011, 06:15 PM
 
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Rixa Freeze recently posted her PhD thesis about UC.

 

One of her observations is that over the time she studied the UC movement, there was a definite change of attitude.   Earlier, there was a lot of discussion of "If you are going to UC, you should educate yourself about birth, about what might arise, about what is 'normal' and what is 'variation of normal' and what is 'this is one of the things obstetrics were invented to deal with."   And this has changed, more recently, to a message of "experience is most important and educating yourself about possibilities is really not important compared to relying on instincts."  

 

The problem is that humans are not really instinct-driven the way that bugs or rats or birds are, and this rejection of knowledge and even elevation of total naivete is disturbing to many people, both in the UC movement and outside it.  

 

Recently, there was a poster here who argued that maternal instinct should be entirely sufficient to deal with a number of serious birth complications, who gave absolutely incorrect medical advice that was easily verifiable as incorrect, and responded, when questioned, with indignance and the call on instinct as more important than knowledge.    For people with any knowledge of birth or physiology at all, this was pretty damn scary, because someone presenting with that much assumed authority is likely to be convincing to those without either knowledge or experience.  I don't know what the answer is to situations like that, but that kind of posting tends to trigger protective urges -- whether the urge to protect mothering.com, or the urge to protect other posters.   


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#28 of 51 Old 07-09-2011, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by leahsmama View Post

 

Covering up deaths that occur in UC's is irresponsible, especially when the deaths can be very nearly conclusively linked to bad advice given on this board.

 


 

 

 

While I can't say that I know of every UC death or injury that has occurred over the last 8 years that i've been part of the online UC community, nearly everyone one has been completely unpredictable and therefore not related "conclusively" or otherwise to the boards or occurred when the women were under medical care. By that I mean that the woman either joined with a care provider toward the end of her pregnancy OR went in for emergency care and the outcome was still negative.

 

I have not seen any stories where a woman's or infant's injury or death could be "very nearly conclusively" linked to advice given on this board. If you could give the posting name, the birth date of the child, the cause of injury or death, the location of the birth, and the advice given and by whom, then I would be convinced. Otherwise, I think it's a ridiculous claim. 

 

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#29 of 51 Old 07-09-2011, 07:43 PM
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ah, leahsmama has only 12 posts and has only been here since March. even if an avid lurker with a massive c/p collection, I doubt that she has enough information or authority to link UC deaths/injuries as they are reported via the UC networks online to specific advice given everywhere.

 

----

 

also, in regards to rixa's information/thesis and subsequent blogs, she actually agreed at one point with the idea that UCers should be somehow vetted. Whether she has now mellowed in that position, i don't know.

 

I think that the change in tone is because many of us are less alarmist about the whole thing. I assume people are educating themselves, rather than ahving to tell them to educate themselves. And in my experience, homebirthers and UCers *are* way more interested in knowledge, information, and risks -- both so that they can "achieve" or "protect" their homebirths and/or so that they know when there is a risk that they would prefer be handled by a doctor in a hospital setting. Most of my friends -- online or otherwise -- who go the ob/hospital route or the midwive/birthcenter route are far less likely to read a lot of material about the various risks, etc, and many don't even think about birth plans, etc.

 

though mothers on mothering tend to be more educated on these things as well. so, in general, i assume that if you are on mothering, you're already in the process of educating yourself.

 

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#30 of 51 Old 07-10-2011, 01:49 AM
 
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Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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