Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Business of being born

Today I watched the documentary "The business of being born" and it's something that I feel strongly about... I don't necessarily think that every woman should have a home birth - but I certainly think that less intervention during labor and birth should be done.

Birth is a natural process IMO - and though I believe in a woman's choice to pain control - I also believe that birth takes time and as shown in this documentary, many hospitals don't give women the time it takes to have a baby. I agree with the documentary that hospitals have time lines, and if laboring women don't stick to them, interventions occur.

I know that in this day and age, we want immediate results and as such this has affected how labor and delivery occurs. What is too often seen is a pt getting pitocin or being brought back for a c-section, which isn't always necessary. That's not to say that c-sections aren't required for some circumstances, but I often think that these are being done too often because establishments (hospital policies, doctors, etc) are saying that it's unsafe for a woman to be in labor without change on a regular basis (cervix dilation, baby dropping into pelvis, etc).

I postulate this - approx. 20-30 yrs ago - my mother's generation, how likely was it to hear that women had labor that existed for DAYS???!!! And this was alright with physicians!!! I think that a page from yesteryear should be brought back. That's not to say that babies should be let to go a month without delivery - as my mother did with me!

It's ALRIGHT to let women labor, and to deliver without interventions like vaccums and pitocin augmentation. There is a time and place for these things but it shouldn't be a majority like it is currently.

I also think that doctors need to move over and give space to midwives. Physicians have a place in labor and delivery but they don't provide the same kind of care that midwives do, plain and simple. How many OB's do you know that stay the entire length of a woman's labor AND deliver them??? Probably less than 5% if there were stats done on this! Physicians mainly come in to provide interventions, whether that be epidurals, breaking of the water, etc and at the VERY end, just prior to crowning and simply deliver the baby (on most occasions).

I have had two children - with my son I used an OB. At that time, there were NO midwives in my city (that I knew of anyways), and I'm thankful that I had an OB because my water was meconium stained, we had difficulty with pushing (managed it without vaccum OR forceps) which caused oxygen issues with my son and I required an episiotomy in order to help get him out fast enough. His APGAR scores at birth was 3!!! At one minute it was 5, and at five minutes it was 7! Pathetic really! He required resuscitation. Little did I know (at that time, I learned this later) that a code pink was called for my son!

For my daughter, I used a midwife. I LOOOOOOVEDDDDDD the entire experience.... UNTIL I developed PIH (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension) and was on the verge of developing HELLP which is a DANGEROUS form of preeclampsia. I was hospitalized for 5 days for close monitorring and almost delivered my daughter at 30 weeks. YEEKS! (For those interested in reading all about my crazy whirlwind pregnancy I have another blog for that - just ask and I'll give you the site). Now because this happened, I lost the ability to use JUST a midwife - instead, my midwife and OB developed a relationship - for MY benefit where I could go for appointments with my midwife unless there were issues, and my OB was simply her back up. That worked for a couple of weeks until things changed on the home front and we decided that we were going to move south - figuring that we were going to move there eventually and that's where all the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) level III & IV were found - because I was told the likelihood of me making it to full term were NIL (HA, little did they know!!!).

I think OB's rrreeeeeaaaaalllllllyyyyyy should ONLY be used for higher risk or complicated pregnancies. There is a shortage of OB's and I think that they should be utilized in the best possible way - NOT for low risk pregnancies. Keep them for the people who actually DO need them. Thus in turn, utilize the available resources out there - MIDWIVES!!! They go to school for a reason, and it's not for a short period either.

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