Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,090 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wasn't sure where to post this but would sure like to have a discussion about it:

http://qz.com/400530/american-mothers-die-in-childbirth-at-twice-the-rate-they-did-in-2000/

I'm also reading a book by Mary Daly and apparently in the 1800s obstetrics was so dangerous that women would literally chose giving birth in a street unassisted than go to be tortured/killed at the hands of doctors. Are we going back to that? In situations like these (ie with such appalling systemic issues where more women are DYING) why would anyone with a normal, healthy pregnancy risk themselves and their baby by going to the hospital to give birth??? I made the mistake of thinking they'd help with my first...NEVER again. All they have is policies and protocols, made by insurance companies, and brutal heartless enforcers that think it's ok to do things to labouring women that we would never do to prisonners or anyone else.

It is so disgusting...i just want to barf.

My second was unassisted and was 100% perfect and FREE from violence. Had I only known with my first what i did with my second, going to the hospital is truly the biggest mistake i've made as a mother, i let my son down, and I should have known better. Healthy pregnancies do not belong in the hospital. Period.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
856 Posts
I honestly don't think that this is due to healthy woman with healthy pregnancies dying in childbirth.

there are so many women with serious diseases who can and will get pregnant, and get into trouble down the road.
i know at least three women personally that were told they could die from pregnancy/childbirth who chose to have fertility treatment anyway.
plus the woman get older and than the risk goes up as well.

i do agree tat a lot of bad stuff can happen in hospitals, and you don't HAVE to go to a hospital to deliver.
i chose to do it and am quite happy with it. but than, i am used to hospitals and feel quite at home there ...
 
  • Like
Reactions: sillysapling

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
Please don't make the mistake of scaring people off of hospital birth because you had a horrible experience.

I gave birth in a "birth center" that was just a separate floor of a hospital. I was attended by midwives and a doula and my husband and parents were there as well. The nastiest, most dismissive, controlling person over my 71.5 hours of labor was one of the midwives. Everyone else, including the anesthesiologists and surgeons were polite and respectful. Every person who entered our room before the birth (a c-section due to multiple organ failure) looked over our birth plan and treated us as informed adults.

Were there some hiccups in the process? Sure there were, but had I not been in a hospital I would likely have been dead, as my kidneys started bleeding (250cc of frank blood in my catheter bag) and my liver was shutting down.

There were a few people who encouraged me to choose a hotel birth, including my husband and doula, but I was not comfortable with that idea. My pregnancy was healthy and trouble free. There were zero issues that were keeping me from having a home birth or hotel birth... except the tiny voice telling me that it was a bad idea.

I don't know what they did to you that you consider brutal and heartless, but I'm sorry that you experienced so much trauma. I hope that you can find providers in the future that respect you and your body.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,090 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I hope that you can find providers in the future that respect you and your body.
I did - me!!


For every woman who is "saved" by a hospital there is another who is traumatized, injured, or killed because of hospital policies/mistakes. The infant/maternal mortality rate in the US has been going up and up and up right along side all the *mandatory* interventions. Sometimes correlation does equal causation.

http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/deadlydelivery.pdf

Before you scare people into going unnecessarily to a hospital, please consider the potential consequences.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,090 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I honestly don't think that this is due to healthy woman with healthy pregnancies dying in childbirth.

there are so many women with serious diseases who can and will get pregnant, and get into trouble down the road.
i know at least three women personally that were told they could die from pregnancy/childbirth who chose to have fertility treatment anyway.
plus the woman get older and than the risk goes up as well.

i do agree tat a lot of bad stuff can happen in hospitals, and you don't HAVE to go to a hospital to deliver.
i chose to do it and am quite happy with it. but than, i am used to hospitals and feel quite at home there ...
'

This is a very sad example of blaming the victim that allows the torture to continue unabated. The reality is that the massive increase in interventions and the slice-em and ask questions later is having a toll. In countries where maternal/infant mortality is lower there is generally lower use of interventions, not just skinnier mothers.

Really sad that we continue to blame women for obvious examples of systemic misogyny.

For anyone who's interested in a little critical thinking on the subject, i would recommend Mary Daly's Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism as a potential starting point. There is, thankfully, a growing body of literature on this subject but Daly's book is a good place to start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
745 Posts
I loved my hospital birth. It was very gentle and I felt supported and encouraged the entire time.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,169 Posts
I was fortunate to be in a good hospital when I gave birth to my son. I had an idyllic pregnancy, but still experienced an alarming post-partum hemorrhage. I have real concerns about the idea that a woman is the ideal health care provider for her own pregnancy, because if things go critically wrong, there is often close to nothing that the patient herself can do to improve the situation. (In particular, cases of blood loss tend to involve loss of cognitive function.) Scaring people OUT of going to the hospital also has some pretty awful potential consequences.

There's a lot of variation in the relationship between rates of obstetrical procedures and rates of maternal/infant mortality. Some countries with low intervention rates have horrible maternal mortality rates (sometimes a low c/s rate is an indication of a critical lack of resources, which is sometimes due to systemic misogyny), some with high interventions have low maternal mortality (Singapore).

I'm alive today because of a high-level L&D unit with dedicated surgical facilities and 24/7 staffing. One way that societies can demonstrate a belief in the importance of women's lives is to invest in obstetrics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
745 Posts
Fact is: hospitals can be life saving in times of emergency. I support a woman's decision to birth wherever SHE feels most comfortable. But I think rather than scaring a woman out of a hospital birth, it'd be much more productive to teach women to be their own advocates and to choose a care provider with a history of minimal interventions who she feels safe and secure with.

Things can go wrong in any setting; hospital or home. What makes a difference is whether the people involved know how to handle the situation should it arise.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nemi27

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,393 Posts
I had a completely healthy, uneventful pregnancy with my daughter. Not a single complication. But had I not given birth in the hospital there is a very good chance that my daughter may not have survived birth. My doctor saved her life. Was I traumatized by her birth? Absolutely. Was it my doctor's fault? Not in the least. None could have predicted that the cord would be tightly wrapped around her neck. So tight that she couldn't descend through the birth canal, and with each and every contraction the cord was pulling tighter.
I believe that women who so choose to birth in locations other than a traditional hospital should absolutely have that choice, but to paint all hospital births as death traps is inaccurate and dangerous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,288 Posts
A lot of minor and a few major complications arise from the standard intervention at a hospital, but most of those they can correct with further intervention. Some hospitals and care providers are getting better at leaning a bit toward a mother friendly, baby friendly, midwifery style of attending births, my SiL just had a baby in one of the good ones. Others still are belittling and traumatizing women unfortunately. If home, whether unassisted or with someone, is where you are most comfortable by all means get informed, get prepared, and have your baby there. We are so blessed that is still an option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
I believe that women who so choose to birth in locations other than a traditional hospital should absolutely have that choice, but to paint all hospital births as death traps is inaccurate and dangerous.
EXACTLY.

I birthed in a birth center that was part of a hospital. We found care givers who would support our choices and respect us. We had a well researched and thought out birth plan that covered every contingency that we could think of. We hired a doula to protect our interests.

As I said earlier, we did have some problems. Some that we had planned for, some that we didn't. We sure didn't have any hint that I would be bleeding from my kidneys.

I'm not scaring anyone away from a home birth, or to a hospital. You must be comfortable with your choices. But it is VERY possible to have a hospital or birth center birth that is NOT ruled by interventions that you don't want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,090 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A very sad truth is that hospitals scare women into going there to give birth by saying "what if..." over and over. There isn't a lot of support for women who birth at home or unassisted. Instead there is a lot of fear mongering aimed at scaring women into going to hospitals unnecessarily.

I had one hospital birth and it was awful. It was all coercion, abuse, drugs, drugs, drugs. It was DANGEROUS. My baby would have been born healthier if i had just stayed at home. In my heart of hearts i know this.

My other birth was unassisted and it was perfect.

You can be killed in a hospital (which is a real risk) or you can risk dying naturally at home. Same outcomes are possible for babies. The second time around i made the decision that i would much prefer to die naturally at home, or have my baby die naturally at home, then to have either of us be tortured to death in a hospital. That is a choice i made and i am 100% happy that i made it.

I agree that every woman should have the right to make her own choice. I strongly disagree that pointing out the dangers in going to a hospital is immoral or wrong, especially when this is just a tiny counterpoint in a culture that brow beats women into believing that they probably will die if they don't give birth in a hospital. Mine is one tiny voice in sea that say otherwise.

There is a war going on against women and pregnancy and childbirth are the battleground. It is hopelessly naive to think that you can be empowered in an institution whose policies and procedures are made by those who want to oppress you. That's the reality of it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/08/opinion/pregnant-and-no-civil-rights.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,851 Posts
I agree that every woman should have the right to make her own choice. I strongly disagree that pointing out the dangers in going to a hospital is immoral or wrong, especially when this is just a tiny counterpoint in a culture that brow beats women into believing that they probably will die if they don't give birth in a hospital. Mine is one tiny voice in sea that say otherwise.

There is a war going on against women and pregnancy and childbirth are the battleground. It is hopelessly naive to think that you can be empowered in an institution whose policies and procedures are made by those who want to oppress you. That's the reality of it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/08/opinion/pregnant-and-no-civil-rights.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0
I have had 3 births - 2 in hospital, 1 at home.

1st birth - hard on me and hard on the baby. Hospital.
2nd - a little hard on me, easy on the baby. Hospital.
3rd birth - easy on me, easy on the baby.

I have to say that I am a big fan of homebirths if you are low risk and have well qualified attendants. Hospitals do have polices and procedures, they are set up for the masses and smooth running - not for you. When you are in labour you are very busy having a baby and very vulnerable- it is no time to be arguing over policies you do not like. Never mind the scariness of MSRA and the like.

I firmly support a womans right to give birth where she chooses, but I do wish homebirth were seen as less fringe-y and scary. It is a great option for many, many women.

ETA: My oldest is a bit ADHD - y, for lack of a better word. I am fairly certain some of it is iatrogenic and stems from an unnecessarily difficult birth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,851 Posts
EXACTLY.

I birthed in a birth center that was part of a hospital. We found care givers who would support our choices and respect us. We had a well researched and thought out birth plan that covered every contingency that we could think of. We hired a doula to protect our interests.


I'm not scaring anyone away from a home birth, or to a hospital. You must be comfortable with your choices. But it is VERY possible to have a hospital or birth center birth that is NOT ruled by interventions that you don't want.
I think you are the exception rather than the rule.

When you are in labour you are vulnerable, busy and in pain. I truly believe that most women cannot advocate for themselves in this position - and asking a partner to do it is borderline unfair. They are also worried, trying to be supportive, perhaps feeling guilty or tired.....

In some hosptials you can somewhat choose your caregiver, but you never know who will be on-call when you go into labour or what nurse you will get. It is a bit Russian Roulette like (and I have had nurses that were great and some that were awful - this is not something you can plan for in even the most detailed hospital birth plans.) If you desire a birth that is not ruled by intervention (your words) it is possible in a hospital but your best bet is at home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,090 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I firmly support a womans right to give birth where she chooses, but I do wish homebirth were seen as less fringe-y and scary. It is a great option for many, many women. [/I]
Yes, exactly. In my dream of dreams homebirth would be the norm for low risk pregnancies, and hospitals would be for if there's cause for concern. That's how it is in the Netherlands and they have much better outcomes. We can say that what works in the Netherlands wouldn't work in N America because women here are fatter or whatever, but that's just rationalizing the unnecessary use of a dangerous resource. I agree that homebirth should be the default, and until it is women's rights will be trammeled regularly by hospitals who are given too much power.

My oldest is a bit ADHD - y, for lack of a better word. I am fairly certain some of it is iatrogenic and stems from an unnecessarily difficult birth.
This is what makes coping with my first birth so difficult. My son is now three and he's very needy. He constantly needs reassurance and attention. He is very insecure and unsure of himself. I wonder, deep down, if he was injured psychologically/spiritually by the violence of his entry into the world. It was utterly terrifying for both of us. They kept telling me that i didn't matter, that "all that matters is a healthy baby", and they made me feel like i was trying to kill him anytime i said anything other than "yes", no matter how meek my enquiries. For several weeks after his birth i felt so insecure about being his mother. I was too scared to clean him and he had nasty stuff behind his toes and ears because i thought anything i did might kill him. I understand that the adjustment to motherhood can be difficult for women, but because of the trauma i am robbed of knowing which part of my behaviours were normal/adjustment related, and which were from the trauma of being abused.

I feel so badly that i was unable to protect him, that i was the one who went there for nothing, that i only did it because i couldn't handle the pain. It's very hard to forgive myself. It would have been different had the transfer been necessary, but it really wasn't. And, my daughter, who was born at home in a truly ecstatic birth, is so laid back and independent. I wonder if that's becuase she's never experienced all that violence.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
The article itself states that a lot of the reason is because people are less healthy now than they were before. There's also a serious problem with our social safety net: No paid maternity leave and no paternity leave can cause significant stress. Being underinsured can make it hard to get proper pre-natal care. A lot of employers will discriminate against pregnancy and demand workers do unsafe tasks while pregnant. (which is illegal- but does happen) A lot of new parents don't have a proper support network, either.

There are doctors who mistreat patients, and there are hospitals that have bad policies- but people are working to change them and many people are only alive because a doctor was able to act quickly when things went wrong. Sometimes a perfectly healthy pregnancy can go bad fast. People die. There are a lot of babies who died during home births that would've lived if they'd been born in hospital.

In a healthy pregnancy, those sorts of complications are very rare: but if they happen at home, you are in a far worse state than if it happens in a hospital. I support home birth, but you cannot ignore that fact. When we choose home birth, we take that risk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,090 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
The article itself states that a lot of the reason is because people are less healthy now than they were before. There's also a serious problem with our social safety net: No paid maternity leave and no paternity leave can cause significant stress. Being underinsured can make it hard to get proper pre-natal care. A lot of employers will discriminate against pregnancy and demand workers do unsafe tasks while pregnant. (which is illegal- but does happen) A lot of new parents don't have a proper support network, either.

There are doctors who mistreat patients, and there are hospitals that have bad policies- but people are working to change them and many people are only alive because a doctor was able to act quickly when things went wrong. Sometimes a perfectly healthy pregnancy can go bad fast. People die. There are a lot of babies who died during home births that would've lived if they'd been born in hospital.

In a healthy pregnancy, those sorts of complications are very rare: but if they happen at home, you are in a far worse state than if it happens in a hospital. I support home birth, but you cannot ignore that fact. When we choose home birth, we take that risk.
I agree with everything you said i think. I even agree that there are risks at home that would be minimal and non fatal if they happened in a hospital. It's just that i also believe that there are risks in a hospital that don't exist at home and that some people die only because they are in a hospital. The stats on the safety of hb/hospital birth have consistently shown that the overall risk of mortality is the same in healthy pregnancies. I personally would far rather die (or have my baby die) of natural causes than be tortured to death in a hospital. That's what it comes down to. That's a fact.

There is no great advantage to being in a hospital in a normal pregnancy. Except that if there was a death in a hospital no one would blame the mother - if it was caused by the hospital i guess the benefit is possibly monetary compensation and the abdication of responsibility that comes with that. I personally was very comfortable taking 100% responsibility for whatever happened at home with my second. I guess i understand why some women would rather take the less difficult path because social acceptance isn't a small thing really.

There are babies and mothers that die only because they were in a hospital.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
There's at least one country where homebirths are the default, attended by respected and well-trained midwives who easily recognize warning signs and know when to transfer to a hospital. I think that's the best way to do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,090 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
There's at least one country where homebirths are the default, attended by respected and well-trained midwives who easily recognize warning signs and know when to transfer to a hospital. I think that's the best way to do it.
I agree. I think ideally homebirth with a qualified attendant would be the default, and people would transfer if there's reason to. I don't believe that hospitals are always bad. Sometimes they are definitely necessary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,487 Posts
The OP posted a really important article that isn't getting discussed. This thread largely is getting framed around individual experiences when this article is about a widespread, systemic problem.

Most women are in agreement that women should have a right to choose their birth setting and providers, that hospital birth can save lives when the circumstances call for it, and that there is no One Right Answer for what women should choose.

We can all celebrate our individual, positive birth experiences, but it won't bring back to life the 1200 women who died last year, in hospitals, of childbirth complications. Yes, complications do happen. But that they happen as often as they do in U.S. hospitals represents a conversation in which we desperately need to be engaging.

Or should we not discuss this very real, very terrifying data for fear of--how was it worded?--"scaring people off of hospital birth?"
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top