Episiotomy FGM in disguise- a thought I had yesterday - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 70 Old 07-03-2006, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Many believe that FGM "never caught on" in the West, for various reasons. I disagree. I had these thoughts yesterday:

Could it be that all the centuries of needless male circumcisions damaged their sub-conscious mind, and when some of these men decided to become doctors they finally had an outlet for the anger and pain they were forced to undergo as infants? No one ever believed that their bodies were healthy and capable at birth, so in turn they started disbelieving in everyone else's bodies- especially womens.

Under normal circumstances, a woman can give birth without the assistance of anyone, and if allowed to move freely she will likely not sustain any perineal trauma. Even if a woman does tear, its not the big deal some make it out to be.

Fast-forward to the 19th/early 20th centuries. Birth is being medicalized, women are being chloroformed during delivery, and all women are forced to give birth on their backs. The attending male doctors suddenly feel this "need" to "help" the woman give birth by cutting an incision into her perineum several inches long. They claim it makes birth easier, and do not take into account the dangers and lasting bad effects such mutilation causes.

All this is done with no solid reasons, and women are never given a "choice". Of course things have changed a lot since those old days, but episiotomy rates are still WAY too high, IMO. During the birth of my first child, right as he was being born the doctor saw a **tiny** bit of blood, and "didn't want to risk anything else happening", so he sliced me open. I probably wouldn't have torn at all, but instead I was left to deal with an incision instead of a scratch. Why did my doctor feel this tremendous need to inflict more pain on me??? It doesnt make much sense.....unless some buried part of him is angry about being circumcised.

I apologize for this being sketchy. So what do you all think about my theory??
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#2 of 70 Old 07-03-2006, 11:44 AM
 
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I need to think about it some more but it's a very interesting point. I do know that my episiotomy has left a very large area very numb and I often wonder it it's the sexual equiavalent of a male circumcision. I also know I never would have needed the episiotomy if they hadn't insisted on dumping so much pitocin in my system even while I was begging them not to. That's another story though.

Violet
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#3 of 70 Old 07-03-2006, 01:11 PM
 
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I have mixed feelings about the subject, and I really see both sides, though I believe routine episiotomies are unfair...women should have a choice...let them deal with the consequences of THEIR CHOICE. I know many OBs doon't give women a choice in the matter.
I have more than one friend who chose to forego the episiotomy, and wished they would've been cut instead...and vice versa. I have a friend that tore both up and down....I know a couple women who have torn from vaginal hole to anal hole. I asked for a pressure episiotomy, but ended up with a c-section.....so I have no personal experience with episiotomies or tears.....however, I think the observation you have made is a very interesting one....something to ponder!!
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#4 of 70 Old 07-03-2006, 03:54 PM
 
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A very interesting notion indeed.

I think there are many reasons for it occuring more often than it needs to, medical orthodoxy and perhaps some deep-seated notion that this is beyond a woman's body?

But that could certainly be a reason, quite possibly a substantial reason.
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#5 of 70 Old 07-03-2006, 03:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Revamp
A very interesting notion indeed.

I think there are many reasons for it occuring more often than it needs to, medical orthodoxy and perhaps some deep-seated notion that this is beyond a woman's body?

But that could certainly be a reason, quite possibly a substantial reason.
:

Heaven forbid anyone in his care have intact genitalia if the doctor doesn't

love and peace.

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: Circumcision can never be undone :
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#6 of 70 Old 07-03-2006, 04:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by trmpetplaya
:

Heaven forbid anyone in his care have intact genitalia if the doctor doesn't
Besides from resentment and envy there is also perhaps some causation of the blithe disregard resultant from having suffered the operation that you would not be concerned to inflict other forms of genital cutting as you yourself have endured them.

I like to think that doctors would rise above such things but in such stressful situations when they feel under obligation...
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#7 of 70 Old 07-03-2006, 04:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Revamp
Besides from resentment and envy there is also perhaps some causation of the blithe disregard resultant from having suffered the operation that you would not be concerned to inflict other forms of genital cutting as you yourself have endured them.

I like to think that doctors would rise above such things but in such stressful situations when they feel under obligation...
doctors are human too....

love and peace.

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#8 of 70 Old 07-03-2006, 04:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by trmpetplaya
doctors are human too....

love and peace.
Too true.

I would like to imagine that there was not malice in this, that it was just ignorance made orthodoxy. But that stems from me wishing to see the best in humanity, something I find most problematic at times.
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#9 of 70 Old 07-03-2006, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Mama Poot
Many believe that FGM "never caught on" in the West, for various reasons.
FGM was widely practiced in America.....especially around the 1900s, and was even covered by Blue Shield (insurance) until 1976. (Read Secret Wounds by Hanny Lightfoot-Klein.)

This same book calls episiotomy another type of FGM.....and states that 15% of women who went through episiotomy have significant pain for up to 3 years postpartum.

My genital wounds/scar tissue (from my epi) serve to fuel my energy against RIC.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#10 of 70 Old 07-03-2006, 10:39 PM
 
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Midwife Anne Frye calls episiotomy a "clitorectomy" because the nerves of the clitoris radiate down the sides of the vaginal opening (introitus) and around the perineum (which, by the way in Greek translates to "around the temple").

Medical school training involves humiliation and demotion for those who "question authority". Young drs learn very early on to do as they are told and not re-invent the wheel. A questioning attitude is soon knocked out of them. My ex husband was a physician. He said there was an ob/gyn that all the med students called "The Butcher" behind his back. He was fond of cutting two episiotomies, one on either side of the perineum towards the woman's thigh. The result, he said, was that the woman's whole ass would fall on the bed and the baby just fell out. None of those med students would ever have sent their relatives or friends to "The Butcher" but they also never criticized or complained about him because they knew they'd never pass med school if they did.

Don't get me started on the cutting of women's bellies as sexual assault, too.
Drs do everything they freekin can to stomp the hell out of the midwifery movement when, it's clear, they have no freeking idea themselves how to get a baby out of a vagina in a dignified manner. A 30% nationwide c-section rate is a travesty right up there with the 50% circ rate.
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#11 of 70 Old 07-04-2006, 01:17 PM
 
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I suppose that since no one else is prepared to do it and I am a beneficiary I should, at least half-heartedly, stand up for this procedure.

I was born prematurely and the analysis of my water showed that I was showing signs of great distress. It was feared that birthing me naturally would result in cerebal palsly or some other form of brain damage and accordingly my mother, who had had two children before me in hospital who did not require this procedure, was given an episiotomy.

I am not going to pretend that she found it pleasant because that would be a lie, she still says she has a scar and that it was never the same but the fact remains that if she had not of had it I might have been incapable of typing this message to you.
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#12 of 70 Old 07-04-2006, 03:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revamp
I suppose that since no one else is prepared to do it and I am a beneficiary I should, at least half-heartedly, stand up for this procedure.

I was born prematurely and the analysis of my water showed that I was showing signs of great distress. It was feared that birthing me naturally would result in cerebal palsly or some other form of brain damage and accordingly my mother, who had had two children before me in hospital who did not require this procedure, was given an episiotomy.

I am not going to pretend that she found it pleasant because that would be a lie, she still says she has a scar and that it was never the same but the fact remains that if she had not of had it I might have been incapable of typing this message to you.
Fairly unlikely that is truely the case (I am a RN and I work in the NICU and sometimes L&D) but I am certain your mother believed it.
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#13 of 70 Old 07-04-2006, 03:41 PM
 
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The ChildbirthConnection.com website (Formerly, Maternity Center Association) has some of the best info on episiotomy I've come across:

JAMA Study on Routine Episiotomy

Advice for Women About Avoiding Routine Episiotomy

Preventing Pelvic Floor Disfunction

Tips & Tools: Pelvic Floor

GentleBirth.Org also has fabulous info:
Perineal Protection / Avoiding Tears and Episiotomy

I love this analogy:

Quote:
There are many reasons why a natural tear heals faster, with less pain, and better than an episiotomy. First, a tear is generally smaller, often occurring only in the skin, rather than going through skin and muscle, as an episiotomy does. Secondly, because the tear isn't a perfectly straight line, the repair will have to be more precise. It's difficult to suture swollen tissue in any case, and it's not always obvious how to line up the two sides.

Especially with an episiotomy where the two sides are relatively straight, it's not always clear what lines up with what. (Kind of like doing a jigsaw puzzle where all the pieces are perfect squares. Who knows what you'll end up with?) So an episiotomy repair doesn't always connect the right muscles on both sides. However, a tear tends to have more landmarks to help match up the two sides. Also, since there's more "surface area" to a tear, it's easier for the two sides to reconnect themselves more quickly.

For a home demonstration of the difference, cut a piece of paper with a straight-edge scissors and a zigzag scissors (or pinking shears). Notice how much easier it is to line up the two pieces properly and how much more "surface" you would have to hold the tissue together on the zigzag tear.

While you've got your sewing materials out, try the following experiment. Get a piece of scrap material that has an intact selvage, or even a cut edge. Try tearing the cloth from the edge. Now make a little cut and apply the same force to the cut and see how much more it rips? This is also what happens with episiotomies.
All are great links to pass on to mommas-to-be on the more mainstream boards.

Jen
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#14 of 70 Old 07-04-2006, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Revamp
I suppose that since no one else is prepared to do it and I am a beneficiary I should, at least half-heartedly, stand up for this procedure.
I can't begin to tell you how extremely chauvinistic and sexist it is of you, a guy, to be "standing up" for female genital mutilation of any sort. Have you ever had a baby? Have you ever had an episiotomy? Then you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Now, if your mother had only gotten off her back, onto more of a crouching position, she would have opened up her pelvic area by an additional 43%, and there wouldn't have been any need for the epi.

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#15 of 70 Old 07-05-2006, 01:35 AM
 
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Chill out, people. Revamp explained that he was told if his mother didn't have the episiotomy at the time of his birth he might have been born severely handicapped. Yes, those of us who have studied birth know there were other options available to her, including squatting like a PP mentioned. You must remember, however, that RV is a teenaged guy. I'm not saying it's impossible for a teenaged guy to have an interest in studying birth, but it's pretty unlikely. So how about responding to his comment in a kind and decent manner instead of calling him names and potentially running a valuable member off the board?

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#16 of 70 Old 07-05-2006, 03:23 AM
 
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It's an interesting thought . . .

but I doubt it's anger. It's probably more like ignorance. If you are raised believeing a certain thing you learn to accept it because you don't know any different. I know many women who have left the circ decision up to their husbands, and their husbands most often decide to have their sons circed. They have their reasons-- the main one being that it's cleaner. Second is so the son will look like the father. I doubt that the father is feeling angry about his own circ or else he would not subject his son to it. He probably just doesn't know any better.

I would imagine that doctors are trained in a certain way and they don't have much exposure to the alternatives, just like circed men don't have exposure to an alternative way of thinking unless they are educated somehow.

My own personal experience with my births did not indicate that the doctors thought it necessary and routine to cut me. The OB who delivered my first baby applied hot cloths and oil and pressure as I had requested. He said I didn't look like I was going to tear. Then my dd's heart fell way down and stayed down for several minutes. He apologized and cut me and got her out fast. BTW she was fine. She was a little sleepy when born but she cried as soon as they rubbed her and bothered her. Sigh.

My second birth, I again requested no cutting and it was respected. The scissors never came out. The OB had told me ahead of time that he did not routinely do the cuts, in fact he tried to avoid them unless it looked like someone was tearing in a bad direction or the baby was in distress. This was a different OB than the first birth. He did ask if he could break my water halfway through labor because uase he was nearing the end of his shift and I had made it clear I wanted him, and not some strange doctor, attending me. I said no, I did not want the water broken early. At least he asked. And he stayed until the baby was born a couple of hours after he was supposed to go home. My OB was not a saint but he was not evil, either.

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#17 of 70 Old 07-05-2006, 08:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by A&A
I can't begin to tell you how extremely chauvinistic and sexist it is of you, a guy, to be "standing up" for female genital mutilation of any sort.
WTF.

That is probably the most offensive thing that anyone has ever said to me on the MDC. I hope that you feel proud of yourself.

You totally misunderstood me, I was saying that in some instances it might be beneficial, I am not saying that it doesen't matter that women are getting sliced open or that it is a good thing, that would make me a monster but the point is that if it was a choice between me being brain damaged and getting sliced open my mother prefered the latter.

And apparently America has a pretty mangled approach to the whole thing, it seems they do it far more often than neccessary but here in Britain that is not the case. They do it strictly when neccessary in most cases and personally I am pre-disposed to believing them. Accordingly that means that I benefited directly from the operation performed and that if it was not for it I could have suffered severe brain damage.

Now I have no idea about you but personally if there is one area of my body I consider to be of greater significance than my genitals it is my brain as that is what generates the mind. It is something which I cherish greatly and I have to say that I am very grateful it did not sustain any damage.

Am I happy that my mother was sliced open in that cause? Of course not! She is my own flesh and blood, half of my genetic make-up is hers. In fact if anything I feel slightly guilty that she was forced to suffer thus to have me safely. But all the same that operation spared me immense damage to the very organ which is controlling me typing this to you and for that I am thankful.

And there is certainly no need to be calling me sexist or chauvanistic, that is so incorrect it verges on surrealism. You should certainly think twice before saying such horrendous things about people.

Quote:
Have you ever had a baby? Have you ever had an episiotomy? Then you don't know what the hell you're talking about.
Uh...Pardon? Have you ever had your penis circumcised?

Yet you are posting on this board.

I actually have a fairly good understanding of the procedure, obviously I have not had it performed upon me but you can hardly blame me for not having a womb.

Quote:
Now, if your mother had only gotten off her back, onto more of a crouching position, she would have opened up her pelvic area by an additional 43%, and there wouldn't have been any need for the epi.
Well she was not informed of that now was she? Oh well, I suppose she was ignorant so she deserved what she got, right?
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#18 of 70 Old 07-05-2006, 09:51 AM
 
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Revamp. I was trying to PM you and it said it was full. :


The only thing I would add is that there ARE cases where episiotomy is necessary. As I mentioned in a previous post the MW I work with, in nearly 30 years of practice had only done a few episiotomies. She said she only did them when they were clearly indicated. In the first 20 years she had only done one actually (accoding to the midwifery student she worked with who told me that they had a conversation about it). She attended a LOT of births as well, as she opened a birth center after it was legal.

Of course, she only attended moms who labored naturally (she's an LM...and worked as a lay midwife before it became legal 20 years ago in our state), and we all know here that when labor evolves naturally without medical interruption/alteration that true fetal distress is extremely rare.

We also know, that when a boy is left to grow up naturally, with his penis being left alone to grow and develop as nature intended it without medical interference that a circumcision is rarely necessary. I think I remember reading somewhere .006%. Circumcision is necessary only with cancer, frostbite and gangrene. All insanely low occurances.

In my book those are some analogies between the two, however I don't think RIC is anywhere really on the same level. Women have choices in their birth attendant is, little baby boys have no choice .

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#19 of 70 Old 07-05-2006, 11:10 AM
 
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Revamp,
I see where you were coming from in your post... and I agree that sometimes (rarely) episiotomies are necessary. I'm sorry that instead of gently clarifying that point people jumped and made assumptions about your mother's situation.

I don't see revamp's participation as sexist or chauvanistic-- that's pretty unfair. You don't have to be a teenaged boy to be ignorant about episiotomies-- I sure didn't know as much as I needed to know to prevent one from happening to me.

My best friend is a doctor and she knew she didn't want one or need one, yet her doctor bullied her into getting one. And many doctors, as we know, are ignorant about episiotomies and natural birth practices as well.

Even many women don't realize they have a choice about birth, birth attendants, or hospital policies. So I'm not really sure I even agree with the statement that women have choice who their birth attendant is.

I tried, for example, to choose a midwife practice that met me needs. I apparently got the one midwife out of all of them that didn't do things the way I had expected and been told. I was very surprised to hear, "and now I'm going to do an episiotomy". Shocked and upset, but I was not able to stand up to her and even though she had not gotten my trust I ddin't know how to counteract her assessment that it was necessary.

This same sense of 'medical professional' knows best and these people withholding information is a culprit in cicumcisions. Med. professionals may ask, "are you circumcising" which has many assumptions that go with the simple statement-- 1. its' okay to circ 2. yes is the right answer
Often they do not bother to bring up alternatives or information when a person says yes or asks about circumciosion-- never educating the person about the purpose of the foreskin, complications/risks, and alternative of leaving a boy intact.



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#20 of 70 Old 07-05-2006, 11:30 AM
 
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#21 of 70 Old 07-05-2006, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revamp


Uh...Pardon? Have you ever had your penis circumcised?

Yet you are posting on this board.
That argument would work if I were pro-circ. However, I am not.

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#22 of 70 Old 07-05-2006, 11:41 AM
 
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And your statement might be appropriate if Revamp was pro-episiotomy, which he never said he was... he just pointed out that in his case, the episiotomy may have been necesary. We can't go back in time and find out if the doctor was cut happy or not.

He said he half-heartedly, not whole- heartedly stood up for the procedure......


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#23 of 70 Old 07-05-2006, 12:18 PM
 
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I think you make some very good points- I have always thought of episiotomy as genital mutilation and this is the #1 reason I chose a homebirth. I felt as if I was opening myself up to be violated if I went to a hospital since episiotomies are still so common. I mean it only makes sense that CUTTING THROUGH THE KEGEL MUSCLE (a muscle which is directly involved in orgasm) would lead to some degree of sexual dysfunction. Most tears (when women birth naturally and not on their backs with feet held in the air) do not extend into the muscle- they are skin tears.

I think it's interesting the theory that the male Dr.s might be harboring some sort of resentment about being circ'd themselves. I know the country doctors who attended my great-grandmother's births did not cut- and they were intact (most males of that generation were where I live). They were more in the mindset of "let nature take its course" unless something went wrong and they were needed. I have always thought that the mindset of medicalized birth was a product of the education modern doctors receive and they don't know better- but that mindset had to start somewhere. Definately something I will ponder...

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#24 of 70 Old 07-05-2006, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jessjgh1

He said he half-heartedly, not whole- heartedly stood up for the procedure......


Jessica
He also said that no one else was "prepared" to stand up for it, as if, perhaps, someone should be standing up for it, which isn't the case. His arguments were eerily similar to those of circ: it was "necessary," and really not THAT bad for the recipient. Bull$hit.

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#25 of 70 Old 07-05-2006, 01:15 PM
 
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without getting overly involved in this particular fray, i would like to point out that the connection between birthing circumstance and cerebral palsy has been debunked-

ny times, 1-31-2004 'studies indicate that in most cases, the disorder is caused by fetal brain injury long before labor begins'.

johns hopkins neuro prof to wash post: 'we now know... [that most] cerebral palsy is due to developmental abnormailities occuring during pregnancy or due to subtle infection near the time of delivery'.

so, regardless of what your mother was told, revamp, it wasn't true. just so you know, your rather formidable brain was not saved from injury by what was inflicted upon your mother.

it is pretty bad. i couldn't sit for months. i couldn't have sex comfortably for years. 19 years later, it's still numb.

please try to understand why appearing to minimize the unnecessary butchery done to us might be upsetting. many (most) people who circumcise also have good intentions, founded in ignorance. there are parallels.

pax, all.
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#26 of 70 Old 07-05-2006, 01:17 PM
 
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If I am missing something about this issue I'm hoping that it can be brought out in a way that isn't detrimental to the thread or an individual member--- so we can all go through the learning process together.

I just think we are reading too much into the intent of one post. I don't see where revamp minimized the pain of an episiotomy in any way. His first posts showed he was thinking about the issue and how a doctor might look at the situation.

I'm a little baffled by the negativity that this has brought up- especially since I actually interpreted revamp as saying something along the lines of: gee you may have a point about this but I really think doctors are doing episiotomies because that is their medical methodology/how they are taught and not some deep-seated desire for revenge- and hey, I'm an example of how they are sometimes necessary.

I will always doubt that my episiotomy was necessary, and I didn't even have a doctor telling me that my son's life was threatened as an excuse to have given my consent for it.

There are nicer ways to point out to a member of this board that what happened was probably unnecessary. Heck, educating everyone regardless of their age/sex about natural birth and modern myths about birth is one of the purposes MDC exists.

I think policies on this issue are going to change quickly- and that's good-- but untill doctors use more natural birth methods we will always see a higher rate of episiotomies than 'normal' anyway.

I don't think that doctors are performing episiotomies because they were circumcised-- I know a few female and intact male doctors/midwives that are US trained and perform episiotomies. I think it has to do with training, risk management, and the fact that most women are not having natural childbirth.

Jessica

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#27 of 70 Old 07-05-2006, 01:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TigerTail
without getting overly involved in this particular fray, i would like to point out that the connection between birthing circumstance and cerebral palsy has been debunked-

ny times, 1-31-2004 'studies indicate that in most cases, the disorder is caused by fetal brain injury long before labor begins'.

johns hopkins neuro prof to wash post: 'we now know... [that most] cerebral palsy is due to developmental abnormailities occuring during pregnancy or due to subtle infection near the time of delivery'.

so, regardless of what your mother was told, revamp, it wasn't true. just so you know, your rather formidable brain was not saved from injury by what was inflicted upon your mother.

it is pretty bad. i couldn't sit for months. i couldn't have sex comfortably for years. 19 years later, it's still numb.

please try to understand why appearing to minimize the unnecessary butchery done to us might be upsetting. many (most) people who circumcise also have good intentions, founded in ignorance. there are parallels.

pax, all.
I'm glad you posted that. I've read the same information a few weeks back.
~Nay

Reneé, 34 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 and Arianna 9/06  (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 .  
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#28 of 70 Old 07-05-2006, 01:51 PM
 
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Holy cow, lay off the kid!

First off, he didn't say he would have had CP. Perhaps he would have been deprived of oxygen long enough to cause brain damage. You can hardly argue that not breathing won't affect a previously perfectly healthy fetus/child. I am perfectly fine now. Hold me under water for 7 minutes and then revive me, and I doubt that I will be the same as I was beforehand.

Episiotomies are, of course, overdone. The vast majority of them would be unnecessary in MOST circumstances. Same with most c-sections.

However... a woman who could birth naturally without any harm to herself or the child cannot necessarily do that in a hospital setting.

Yes, the female body is capable of safely giving birth 98% of the time (I pulled the number out of my head folks, I cannot back it up). That is in a perfect birthing situation.

But a woman who has had abundant fresh food and water at her disposal, can move about freely, has no medication on board and can feel her entire body, has the support of people she loves around her, is in a calm and peaceful setting, and is being told that she CAN do it is not a reality for most people. THAT woman will likely never need an episiotomy or c-section.

Now compare that to a woman who is lying flat on her back and is not allowed to move. She has not eaten or had anything to drink in 19 hours. She has been pumped full of drugs to 'move things along' and drugs to make her numb. She is watching fetal monitors and being gripped by fear whenever there is a naturally occuring perfectly normal dip in the baby's heartrate. She is in a brightly lit room surrounded by noise and hustle and people coming and going but no one really paying attention to her. She is limited to only one person in the room with her. She's scared and no one is telling her that her body is capable of this.

Who do YOU think is going to have the most successful birth?

Fact is, some episiotomies and sections ARE necessary and life saving, because the CIRCUMSTANCES made them that way. Most women who are cut for either reason would have given birth just fine on their own in a normal birth. But a hospital birth is far from a normal birth. So these women have been put into a situation where the intervention IS necessary.

My partner had prenatal care from a midwife and was fully determine to give birth at home or the birthing center (whichever struck her fancy at the time). She never saw an OB. She had one u/s to make sure everything was in order and that the baby would not need life sustaining care immediately after birth. We rented the tub so he would be born underwater, and went about things as naturally as possible.

Fast forward to what became reality. She hit 42 weeks gestation and the midwife was required by FL law to discharge her. However they kept her a few days over that. But when 43 weeks gestation hit, the birthing center had no option but to send her to a hospital.
Once we got to the hospital, they refused to induce her. At 43 week with an EFW of 12 pounds 8 oz +/- 2 lbs and a failed NST, they did not believe the child would survive a vaginal birth. THREE midwives backed this up whole heartedly. Her m/w, with a transfer rate of less than 5 percent (the majority being for pain relief when the woman decides she can't/doesn't want to do an unmedicated birth) talked to her on the phone for 40 minutes in the middle of the night to convince her that she NEEDED to have a c/s to get this child out safely.

Finally she agreed and Charlie was born via c/s weighing 11 pounds 7 oz. He had LOST weight in utero due to his placenta crapping out on him, and after analyzing the placenta, the OB (who actually had a very low c/s rate) told us that he likely would have lived another day, maybe 2, before dying from placental failure. She also let us know that his placenta would NOT have sustained him during birth and had she in fact attempted a vaginal birth, especially an induced birth, we would not have a live child.

WHY was she so hesitant? Because of the prevailing belief/truth that c-sections are 'never' necessary. Because people talk all the time about how a woman could have done it on her own if only x,y,z happened. Because when a woman has a c/s it's because the doctor was in a hurry/afraid of getting sued/lied to her/was cut happy, or the woman was lazy/a wimp/uneducated. But SOMETIMES (and I agree, not that often) a c/s really is necessary. Sometimes because a woman just cannot give birth on her own (now is where I note that NO woman in her mother's family has EVER had a vaginal birth, including her grandmother who was having babies over 50 years ago, although I assume that HER mother must have, but I cannot be sure, since I only know about Jean's mom, aunts, and grandmother), or because she won't go into labor naturally, or because the medicalization of birth itself CREATED the mess where a section/episiotomy became necessary.

Episitomies and c-sections would rarely be necessary in a perfect birthing world. But we don't have a perfect birthing world. The majority of women are still strapped (literally and figuratively) to a bed, denied food and water, medicated, and scared.

But by us going on about how it's NEVER necessary, we do more harm than good I think. Because a)it makes us look like quacks who refuse to believe doctors and b)it plants an idea in a woman's mind that she will never ever under any circumstances need that kind of intervention and it makes her refuse it. My partner NEEDED a c/s to sucsessfully and safely birth our child. You can tell yourself all you want that I am in denial and pretending it is true so we don't have to think about being 'robbed' of the birth we planned. However when there are midwives, one of whom is VERY anti medical intervention/anti c-section/anti epsiotomy, as well as an OB who homebirthed her OWN children, telling us that she NEEDS a c/s, I'll take their advice.

Sometimes, sections and episiotomies are necessary for the life of the mother and/or child. Sometimes it's because mother nature did not intend for that woman to have a natural birth (like my partner) and sometimes it's because medicine interfered so much that a normal vaginal birth is actually impossible. We can educate people on how to avoid these measures, but we cannot say to ANYONE that it is never necessary or that it wasn't necessary in their case.

Maybe Revamp's mom could have done it on her own. Maybe she WOULD have if allowed to move around, have some water, etc. But the fact is that that didn't happen, and perhaps it really WAS necessary to get him out immediately and the best/only option was an episiotomy.

A&A's comment was out of line and rude to someone who has only ever tried to be helpful and informative. But since I DO have a vagina, I will also stand up to say that sometimes episiotomies are the best recourse.
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#29 of 70 Old 07-05-2006, 02:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by A&A
That argument would work if I were pro-circ. However, I am not.
Where precisely did I mention being pro-epi? I am very much anti-epi, I believe it to be a horrible piece of surgery and I have no doubt that it is highly traumatic and damaging to the woman involved.

But there are times, rarity of them being disregarded for the moment, where that is the best possible option available to the doctors. Not a good option, not a pleasant option and not one which I have any desire to occur but the best in a bad situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A
He also said that no one else was "prepared" to stand up for it, as if, perhaps, someone should be standing up for it, which isn't the case.
There is a good chance the operation saved me from severe brain damage. Accordingly I felt that since no other was doing it I should give the argument for as no other was going to and there are two sides to this coin.

Quote:
His arguments were eerily similar to those of circ: it was "necessary," and really not THAT bad for the recipient.
Pardon?

Did you actually read my post? WHERE did I say that it was "Not that bad" for my mother? She said that things were never quite the same for her and that she still has scars, that is hardly apologist talk now is it? And in fact I mentioned that I felt quite guilty for it happening, despite not really being responsible.

And I also mentioned that doctors here do not do it unless it is neccessary, which they do not. Their approach is different to that of America's, just as their approach to circumcision is different. I am more inclined to believe them than someone who accuses me of being a chauvanist, sexist monster who has a blithe disregard for the fact his mother's genitals were sliced to pieces.

Quote:
Bull$hit.


Such ignorance fuels your fury.

Here in Britain we have a system named the National Health Service. What this provides is healthcare which is free upon point of usage, it is funded wholly by charitable donations towards it and extensive tax-payer funding.

It provides full maternity wards and it is here where my mother gave birth to all four of her children (three of which, I should add, did not require the operation which I did to exit the womb).

As this organisation is not paid by the patient they would have no fiscal incentive whatsoever in the performance of unneccessary surgery.

Furthermore I should add that our currency is not the dollar ($) but the pound (£).

Please consider your words before you post them.
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#30 of 70 Old 07-05-2006, 02:49 PM
 
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I haven't fully caught up on this thread, but I will say that meconium isn't always a sign of imminent distress, and in and of itself isn't an indication for episiotomy. Obviously, there could have been extenuating circumstances, other signs that the baby was in distress...Even so, episiotomy really doesn't speed up birth much at all, because it only really decreases the crowning time, usually seconds to a couple of minutes at most.

Jen
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