Saturday, September 27, 2008

Gloria Lemay's Blog

An excerpt of her September 17th entry:

A cesarean rate of 30% means that the pendulum of risk/benefit has swung way too far toward the risk side in N. American hospitals. Medical management of birth has become more dangerous than ever, despite the belief system of the public and the medical profession. The best research (largest numbers studied) done on the subject of place of birth was by Marjorie Tew, a Glasgow (Scotland) University professor of statistics. Her book “Safer Childbirth” documents her own scepticism about homebirth safety and how she came full circle to urging women to stay out of large hospitals. She found that even very ill women and premature babies did better if they were born at home or in small clinics.

Here’s more information on Marjorie Tew.

Do obstetric intranatal interventions make birth safer?

British Journal Obstet Gynaecol 1986 Jul;93(7):659-74
By Marjorie Tew

Marjorie Tew argues that statistical analysis shows that the shift to hospital birth, and increased obstetric intervention, has not made birth safer, but more dangerous. She suggests that improvements in perinatal mortality are due to healthier mothers, rather than improved maternity care.

Abstract in full:

Impartial analyses of the evidence from official statistics, national surveys and specific studies consistently find that perinatal mortality is much higher when obstetric intranatal interventions are used, as in consultant hospitals, than when they are little used, as in unattached general practitioner maternity units and at home. The conclusion holds even after allowance has been made for the higher pre-delivery risk status of hospital births as a result of the booking and transfer policies. It holds even more strongly for births at high than at low predicted risk. It follows that the increased use of interventions, implied by increased hospitalization, could not have been the cause of the decline in the national perinatal mortality rate over the last 50 years and analysis of results by different methods confirms that the latter would have declined more in the absence of the former. Data are presented which point to the deleterious effect of interventions on the incidence of low birthweight and short gestation and their associated mortality. Also presented are data supporting the alternative explanation of the decline in perinatal mortality, namely the improvement in the health status of mothers built up over several generations. The organization of the maternity service stands indicted by the evidence. Despite the beliefs of those responsible, it has not promoted, and cannot promote, the objective of reducing perinatal mortality.

I keep hearing from doulas who say “I’m not going to be attending any more hospital births.”

The feeling of futility and complicity in the rape of women is too overwhelming to face any longer. This should tell consumers something.

It’s all gone too far. We can’t lie and cover it up any longer.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Time, respect, and dignity- a cross post from one of my favourite blogs.

Here is a post from The True Face of Birth:

It's easy to sit around and bemoan all that is wrong with childbirth in the United States. But one woman is doing something about it: 81-year old midwife Ruth Lubic. She opened a midwifery clinic in Washington, D.C., where the infant mortality rate is twice the national average. She sees primarily low-income women on Medicaid in one of the poorest areas of the city. So far, all 800 babies have survived, and she has halved the prematurity rate. Her secret?

She believes low-income women, many on Medicaid, need the prenatal education that midwives provide. Everything from posture, to nutrition, to how the baby grows....

"Do you think it boils down to just the time you spend with them," Andrews asked Lubic.

"I think so," she replied. "I'm convinced that's what it is. It's time, respect, it's treating people with dignity."

Read the rest here: Midwife On a Mission. And thanks to Fearless Birth for pointing it out!
Posted by Rixa at 1:04 PM 5 comments Links to this post