Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Birth in America

I have gone back and forth with my decision to write this post. I have a hard time with saying things that may be offensive, I don’t want to hurt any ones feelings I don’t want to offend my friends. But I have some extremely strong feelings about giving birth in this country. So I am going to write a series of posts on this very subject. I am going to start out with simple statistics. I bet you did not ever know. 

*In every other country in the world 70-80% of births are attended by midwives. 
*America has the 2nd Worst Newborn death rate in the world.
*In a list of 7 most developed countries with 400,000 births or more WE ARE LAST! In Maternal And infant death rate. 
*In 1900 95% of births took place at home 
*In 1938 half of babies were born at home 
*In 1995 less than 1% it is the same today. 
*In ten years the Cesarean rate in America jumped from 4 to 23% 
*Today one in three babies is born by Cesarean section. This number is rapidly rising! 
*In the Netherlands the Cesarean rate in less than 4% They also have the best Maternal and Infant Mortality Rates in the world. 
*Home birth for low risk pregnancy is as safe if not safer than at a hospital. When attended by a qualified trained midwife. 
*America’s Maternal Death Rate is higher than most 3rd world countries (with the exception being African Countries) 
*Cesarean Section is major Surgery, You are 3 times more likely to die during a Cesarean than a vaginal birth. 
*If other mammals gave birth via Cesarean they would reject there babies. 
*Birth is painful.  
*Cesarean Sections are the Number 1 surgery given to women in this Country #1!!! 
*There is a definite connection between Induction and Cesarean section. 
*In 1930 we were X-raying every woman's pelvis, before we knew it caused cancer to baby. 
*In 1950-60 We were using Philmitatine which caused some babies to be born without arms and legs. 
*In 1990 we used Sitotek which caused uterine ruptures Babies Died! We did not stop until 1999! 
*Today we have No real medical studies to show what happens to baby because of what we are using today! 

I am afraid for women in America, not only do they not know what your body is meant to do but, we have been scared into believing that birth is a scary thing to do. “You could die, baby could die.” The best thing I have heard in all of my research is from a Dr. in the New york time said “obstetrics is 98% easy 2% sheer terror” The risks are there. Thank heavens for Obstetricians they Save lives. They are very good at what they do. However, so are women.


S'mee said...

ugh. You're right, seems this is such a passionate subject for everyone! Your stats speak volumes and there's not too much anyone can argue.

I remember being SO ill during the pregnancies that I was losing weight and was hospitalized a few times for dehydration. After a while the dr. put me on bendectin (sp), which after #1 and 3/4 through #2 pregnancy they took off the market for baby disorders/birth defects. Hmm. #1 has had blood disorders all his life and immunity deficiencies, and #2 was born deaf and H/H! Wonder if there was a problem with that drug?


keep writing.

1stdaughter said...

First of all, Pea, I need to say, I mean you no ill will. Everyone is entitled to their opion and has the right to express how they feel. That being said here is how I feel on the subject:

I had a midwife. I also had a c-section, which was not the choice of my midwife, but my own and the head doctor in my clinic. My son was overdue by over 2 weeks and I developed severe toxemia days prior to Jace's delivery. I would be dead if it were not for the doctor's decision to make a "natural" event become a "medical" one.

My body doesn't "work" in a natural way and I guess you could say that I am grateful to be born in an age of medicine. Ever since the birth of my son I have felt less than female because not only was I not able to birth my son in the "natural" way, but I was not able to breast feed either (my milk never came in, no matter what or how long i tried). This is something that pains me more than I think you can even imagine.

I think it is great to encourage people to choose a path that leads them to their best possible outcome. And this to me is what a midwife should be doing for their patients, not ramming them into a choice that may in the end be harmful to not only their health but their baby's as well. I choose to have a midwife because I wanted someone who was interested in my best outcome, but in the end all she was satisfied with was me choosing what she wanted (a drug free all natural birth). This would have been great were I someone else, but I wasn't.

Medicine is not evil Pea. I am sorry to take this out on you, but it's been a long time coming and I just couldn't take it anymore. Sometimes some of us are just born "less" perfect than others of us in certain areas and that is why the Lord provided us with things like medicine and the Spirit.

Bri said...

I would have to agree with both pea and 1st daughter. I think there are certain people who can choose to go with a midwife, and do it all the way with the midwife, but of course sometimes there are going to arise complications and problems, so yes thank goodness for modern medicine. One of my best friends lost her first child, because the doctor didn't detect a heart problem, which could have been fixed by surgery after the birth. I have feelings for both, and think that it is great we all have our own minds to decide what is best for us.

The Pea said...

Here we go.
Smee thank you, you are probably right about the medicines given to your kiddos. It seems we have a lot more in common, I have been given a medicine for my first three pregnansies that is just turning out to maybe not be so safe.

1st Daughter-
This is exactly what i mean a qualified, trained mid wife. No mid wife worth her salt would have ever even thought of putting you in the position that you were in. A good one would have guided you to a doctor and helped you through the process. She would have come and seen you at the hospital and you would have been comfortable in her care.
There is nothing wrong with your baby and nothing wrong with what literally saved our life.

I am against "elective procedures" that have no medical justification to support them. NOT life saving emergent medical professionals. I am so grateful that we live in a modern world where mothers and babies are SAVED every day.

I am sorry if I hurt you, and I am even more sorry that you feel like you were cheated. There are many people out there who seriously believe if you don't go "the right way" in there little brains that you have done something wrong. These people are not helping anyone. I hope I don't come across that way. I only want every mom to be informed with what they choose do have done to them and to there babies.

chronicler said...

This is a subject that has been hashed over and over I am not sure there are any good answers, becuase every woman is different.

I really liked this post though and it kind of sums it all up for me:

CJane says

Lisa M. said...

I love this- Keep writing.

My last birth experience leaves me graveling at the injustices and inadequacies and brilliance of modern medication all rolled in a ball.

Never in a million years, would it ever have occurred to me to have a midwife. I don't know why, but it didn't. Even with the best parinatologist in Utah, I struggled.

I liked what you had to say, passion is always such a good thing. Even if we don't all agree.

Keep writing.

(Oh and by the way.. I think some of your stats need to have per capa included- )

Alison Wonderland said...

I think you make a good point but your stats can also be misleading. 100 yrs ago a baby born at 30 weeks gestation was a miscarriage now, it's a nobrainer, that kid has a very very good chance at survival. 10 yrs ago a baby born at 22 weeks was a miscarriage now we can keep some of those kids alive (for better or worse) but you have to take into account that in third world and developing nations these babies ate still miscarriages and therefore they are not included in infant mortality rates. our premies are.
Also I wonder if c-section numbers have gone up so dramatically because no one will do VBACs anymore. it used to be that even after having your first baby by c-section you could vaginally deliver subsequent babies but ours being the litigious society that it is malpractice insurance won't allow docs to even try that anymore. and no midwife (no decent midwife) will either.
I agree that there are problems with healthcare particularly with childbirth but it's not all scare tactics and disease mongering.

Anonymous said...