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Monday, June 22, 2009

Again

So again I find myself needing to rant about the absurdity of our great nations standard of care when it comes to giving birth... But more importantly I am concerned for all the pregnant, or soon to be, who 1. will spend less time choosing a birth attendant (ob, midwife, etc) than they did choosing what to where this morning and 2. Are having their options for creating the birth experience they want dwindle with every day that passes, every woman who is guilted into evasive medical procedures for "the sake of the baby", and every woman who adopts the idea that they are "too posh to push"! I mean come on! What is it going to take for women to educate themselves! Stop sitting around the table listening to everyone tell you how great their epidural was because they didn't feel a thing, or how grateful they were for their Cesarean because the doctor saved the day (forgetting to mention that the need for the C-section was a direct result of all of those interventions that are supposed to make labor and delivery safer)! Wait though, most the women who have had these emergency c-sections don't even know that it was the hospital or medical staff or OB's fault that this happened to them! And sadly, too many don't care! They are being robbed of the most empowering experience of their lives! If you can give birth naturally, you can do anything!!
Just the other day I was given a tour of the new hospital here in the Salt Lake Valley's maternity ward. They did a really nice job of pointing out how sterile things are, and yet the warm decor is supposed to make you feel at home. Oh, and speaking of home, if you have children under the age of 12, that's where they have to stay while you're in labor because they may "contaminate" something in the L/D room. How much more at home can we get, none of your own things, you aren't allowed to see your other children, you have to have a needle at least capped off in your arm "just in case", (I don't know about you, but I don't sit around at my house going, "Gee, if only I had a needle in my arm, then I'd really be comfortable") All of the just in case scenarios do not justify the all encompassing procedures inflicted upon you as soon as you walk through the hospital doors. If 90% of women can have a normal vaginal birth, why are we forcing pitocin into women, and then saving the day with the epidural, and then scaring the mother because she can't feel anything, but the Fetal Monitor says that the baby's heart rate is dropping with every induced contraction. Could it be because Pitocin causes the uterus to contract for longer periods in a full seizure instead of a steady wave like natural contractions that are usually less severe and do not cut of oxygen supply for long periods? Could it be because the baby is receiving adult doses of narcotics that are causing the mom to feel drowsy and nauseated?
I don't know, I just don't understand a woman's lack of interest in the method to which her baby is coming into the world. I'm not an extremist, I'm not a 'hippy' and I'm not granola, but a home birth is sounding better and better to me, especially after my tour of the hospital. I know that if I go in there I will not have any control, but at least the nurses and the Doctors will be smiling and I'll be surrounded by sterile home-like decor!

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