No, Gisele, natural childbirth promotes violence

Giselle Bundchen, sanctimommy extraordinaire, has stepped into it again.

You may recall that after her first child’s birth, she graced us with her thoughts on breastfeeding.

“… Some people here think they don’t have to breastfeed, and I think, ‘Are you going to give chemical food to your child, when they are so little?’” she tells Harper’s Bazaar UK, The Daily Mail reports.

“There should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months,” she adds.

Now, Giselle graces us with her thoughts on hospital birth. In a typically humble gesture, Giselle has included a section on her website on the Meaning of Life. Giselle allowed a member of  Birth Around the World (not One World Birth as I originally mentioned) to post about “birth without violence.” (cached here)

Frederick Leboyer, a French physician, described the birth under the baby’s perspective, in his book “Birth without violence” published in 1975 was revolutionary for its time. In his book he describes the feelings and perceptions of the baby during the birth process, showing how birth can be traumatic for the newborn and how we can help make this transition happen in a more loving and gentle way…

The lights with a brigth focus upon over the baby that cannot even open his eyes so with such clarity. Leaves a tight place and now feel unprotected with all the space. The umbilical cord is cut immediately, the baby is suddenly forced to breathe and the baby cries.

Everyone is happy with that shrill cry, but it’s a cry of pain. Where is my mommy? Where are they taking me? The baby is taken to be assessed and often go for hours until he can get to snuggle his mother, but what they need at this moment is each other.

The feeling raised: Fear. Fear of suffering, fear of the unknown, fear of pain, fear of abandonment, fear of childbirth. The society is surrounded by this fear that is evident by the high cesarean rates in Brazil and in most countries.

But at Gisele’s homebirth:

As Gisele described in an interview : “I wanted to be very aware and present during childbirth. I prepared a lot, doing yoga, meditation. I had a very gentle birth at home, he was born and spent the whole time on my lap, never went away from me (…) With each contraction he was closer to me, I transformed that intense feeling into a hope see him closer to me. “

And how is that different from hospital birth? Surprise! It isn’t!

Moreover, my research shows that natural childbirth and attachment parenting promote tyranny, mass murder and a variety of other ills. In fact, natural childbirth causes violence.

Consider:

Of history’s greatest tyrants, men such as Hitler, Torquemada, Henry VIII, Attila the Hun, etc., nearly all were born vaginally. The only potential exception is Julius Caesar, reputedly born by way of the eponymous Caesarean section.

Almost all of history’s greatest tyrants were breastfed … exclusively.

The long term effect of giving birth without pain medication is dreadful. 100% of the children born to women who gave birth before the advent of anesthesia in the mid-nineteenth century are now dead.

Vaginal birth is a risk factor for Communism: Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin were all born vaginally.

Breastfeeding is a risk factor for plague. Nearly 100% of people who died of the Black Death were breastfed.

Attachment parenting played a major role in imperialist expansion in the US. Fully 100% of the invaders who displaced the Native American population of this continent were born vaginally. Moreover, fully 100% of the Native Americans who were unable to resist the advent of the invaders were breastfed.

Breastfeeding is a risk factor for violent behavior. Almost all Viking marauders were breastfed.

Nearly all slave-holding Americans, plantation owners and the entire Confederate army were born vaginally.

Not a single Crusader was born to a woman who had an epidural in labor.

Vaginal birth is a risk factor for anti-social behavior. Roman emperors Caligula and Nero, as well as Jack the Ripper and Lizzie Borden (who committed patricide AND matricide) were born vaginally.

Breastfeeding leads to transmission of disease. Typhoid Mary was breastfed.

Hospital birth promotes technological progress. Desk top computers, iPhones, Skype and Twitter did not exist until the proportion of US births occurring in hospitals rose above 90%.

What is the cause behind these incontrovertible facts?

First, we’ve known for centuries that deep seated prejudice is “imbibed with mother’s milk.” I’ve never heard of anyone imbibing hatred with Similac, so the obvious solution is to promote formula feeding.

Second, as Dr. Michel Odent has insisted, oxytocin is the love hormone and some women clearly don’t have enough love. The solution is oxytocin supplements. Fortunately, pitocin has the exact same chemical composition of oxytocin, so it seems clear that, to be on the safe side, all labors should be induced or augmented with pitocin.

Finally, epidurals ought to be mandatory in labor. The mothers of the greatest tyrants in history gave birth without pain relief and look what happened as a result.

No, Gisele, hospital birth is not violent; it actually prevents violence!

Gisele and I do agree on her final quote:

Wilhelm Reich, said: “The Civilization begin on the day that the welfare of newborns prevail over any other consideration.”

That, of course, would mandate hospital birth, where, in the last 100 years, the neonatal mortality rate has dropped 90% and the maternal mortality rate has dropped 99%.

What’s truly uncivilized is when women like Gisele, who have no knowledge of science, statistics or obstetrics, who actually think they are doing “research” when they read the blatherings of nitwits like Fredrick LeBoyer, put their birth “experience” (and bragging rights) ahead of the lifesaving interventions of modern obstetrics … and pretend they are doing it to prevent violence.

Tell me, Gisele, how peaceful is the birth if the baby is born dead?

  • More Anon Than Usual

    As a first-time mother myself and also the victim of sexual abuse as a child

    I think a lot of survivors are attracted to NCB because they are understandably afraid of being in a situation where they aren’t in control of their bodies. But being at home with only a midwife to attend you is no guarantee you will be in control of your labor. For one thing, labor is an inherently unpredictable process and even with plenty of preparation and education, you can’t control how it will progress. Secondly, midwives are not trained in psychosocial issues or how to deal with a mother’s PTSD/abuse triggers during labor. They may inadvertantly create more problems and because you will be at home, you won’t even have the option of asking for a different labor attendant if things go south. Thirdly, uncontrolled pain can be a powerful trigger and without adequate pain relief you may find yourself in the middle of a psychiatric crisis without anyone available who is trained to help you.

    In a hospital you can request an appointment with a social worker before your due date to explain your issues and ask them to serve as an intermediary with the clinical staff so that you get to labor in an environment that feels safe. In addition, because you will be cared for by a team of people, you have the option to request a different labor nurse if you aren’t happy with the care you’re getting

    Another issue to keep in mind is that many mothers with a history of sexual abuse find breastfeeding to be a powerful trigger, making it impossible for them to nurse. The last thing a survivor needs is a NCB nut making them feel guilty for choosing formula as a a self-care option that allows them to be emotionally healthy and present for their infant. Hospital clinicans are more likely to understand these issues and you can have it noted in your chart so people don’t pressure you to breastfeed.

    Good luck to you as you embark on motherhood. As a survivor myself I was able to have a good birth in the hospital and feel in control of my labor. I know it can be done but I also know that you will need a lot of support so you can do what’s right for you and your child even if it doesn’t follow the crunchy party line. I think the absolutes preached by the NCB crowd do more harm than good.

    • Susana

      Thank you for not jumping to conclusions like everyone else has. I don’t know at what moment I gave the off the impression that I think women only have two options, home or hospital. No one bothered to ask me which I was doing; simply assumed that because I have issues with certain medications, I was all for going completely old school with no medical assistance.
      I am hoping to have a natural birth at the hospital I am receiving my prenatal care. It is a very baby-friendly hospital in my state, and I love all the staff and especially my doctor and midwife (I was assigned one of each). However, I am also exploring alternatives such as birthing centers attached to the hospital, so that in case something does go wrong, my baby can receive care. I am not anti-hospitals or anti-doctors; I simply would prefer to have the least amount of medical intervention necessary during labor itself; I am not stupid, I know that problems can arise even in the healthiest of pregnancies. Which is why I have familiarized myself with all the staff and hospital policies. There are a few perks that I think only birthing centers offer that my hospital does not, but other than that I am going into this with an open mind; if medical intervention is needed so be it; I just rather do this without painkillers and an episiotomy, eat and drink when I please, and birth the way I want to.
      With regards to the pain, I do not mean to be patronizing in any way, but endometriosis runs in my family and I figure if I could survive passing out from the pain as a little girl, I can handle labor as an adult.
      Again, I am aware that certain needs can only be met at a hospital, that is why I am choosing to be either at the attached birth center, or the hospital if my negotiations can all be met.
      Thanks for your concern about my triggers as well; I do plan to breastfeed, and am still in therapy working out anxiety issues over ptsd, which have gotten astoundingly better recently.
      Lastly, because there are extremists on both sides of the spectrum (NCB and not), I think that opinions of either can do more harm than good. Not all opinions are valid, and people have trouble understanding that. There is a difference between knowing what is best for you and preaching that it should be what’s best for everyone else. These days, people seem to believe they have a democratic right to their ignorance.

      • Stacy48918

        Perhaps we got the impression that you planned to birth at home when you parachuted in here, decrying pretty much everything at hospitals – vaginal exams, continuous monitoring, epidurals, pushing on your back etc etc etc. You hit on pretty much every home birth mantra, including that home birth does not risk the lives of babies and we should respect women’s decisions to birth at home.

        Oh and this comment: “Someone below mentioned that I want to put my child’s life at risk by not wanting to give birth at a hospital.”

        Sorry. When it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck – people are going to think it’s a duck.

        I’m glad to hear that you are looking into a hospital or an attached birth center for your birth. All the scientific literature shows that that is the safest place to have your baby. Free standing birth centers and home birth have a dramatically higher neonatal death rate. It might be on par with a “shark attack” but when it’s your baby, it will matter.

        I’m curious though – what will you do if they can’t meet your “negotiations”?

        • Trixie

          Stacy, did you change the numbers behind your name?

          • Stacy48918

            Yea…whim. :)

          • Young CC Prof

            So now you are a being of the Lansing, Michigan zip code?

        • Susana

          I was attempting to defend mothers who DO have home births, because I believe strongly no one should be bashed for their choice. Gisele may make dumb comments here and there like all celebrities, but I felt like people were judging ALL mothers who have home and birth center births because of comments she made and I din’t think it was right. It’s petty to call someone selfish for not wanting to follow rigid procedures, just like it’s petty to call someone a lazy ass with no pain tolerance for choosing the rigid guidelines. So even though I am not having a home birth exactly, I still felt offended.I

          • Young CC Prof

            Bashed? No. I believe most of them are unaware of the risks or seriously underestimate them.

            The only people I “bash” are the ones who know precisely how dangerous it is and continue to promote it and make money off of it.

          • Amazed

            As a mother who chose homebirth twice, Stacey doesn’t need your defense. You see, you “felt” wrong. We have hospital birth mothers here. We have mothers who have had homebirths. We have mothers who choose natural births. We have a mother who went hospital – homebirth and then hospital again (for first time using epi and over the moon!) after she encountered Dr Amy. No one is judging all mothers. It’s just that you relied so much on your “feelings” that you jumped to defend a celebrity who was talking out of her ass by repeating all the tropes you’ve read on homebirth sites.

            You can feel offended all you like. No one meant to offend you. Instead, you were the one jumping in a post well over a year old and starting offending everyone. Bashing? You were the one doing it, bashing lifesaving procedures and people to defend the self-aggrandizement of a woman who, honestly, needed to be scolded for sticking her nose in other mothers’ business.

            By the way, you didn’t sound like you’d have hospital birth. People were not “jumping to conclusions”, they were going by the tropes that you wrote and that we have seem repeatedly here – those of women who do homebirth.

          • Stacy48918

            “I was attempting to defend mothers who DO have home births, because I believe strongly no one should be bashed for their choice. ”

            If a mother drives around town with her unrestrained 2 year old in the front seat and I say “Hey, that’s really dangerous and you shouldn’t do it” – am I bashing her?

            Home birth has a higher neonatal death rate than hospital birth. Anyone that chooses home birth is choosing to increase the risk to their child that their child will be severely brain damaged or die. They can choose that, but it’s a poor choose and people that think babies deserve a chance at brain function and a healthy life are rightfully going to “bash” that.

        • Susana

          p.s. If they cannot meet my full list, I know the birth center attached to it can,

          • Trixie

            Either your list will be met or it won’t. You could go to the birth center and still need an episiotomy.

          • Bombshellrisa

            But at what price? Some standard requests on a birth plan include no saline lock, low lighting, no episiotomy, no offering pain medication, no pitocin. Ok, but it’s really hard to get an IV started in someone who is dehydrated or when they are bleeding out. Sometimes those bright lights are really needed. An episiotomy can save you from getting a third or fourth degree tear. Pitocin in small amounts can do wonders and make a vaginal birth possible instead of a C-section. I understand wanting to have a clear plan in mind especially of you are dealing with anxiety and issues around being a survivor. FWIW, I was a doula and a student home birth midwife and attended home and birth center births. I also ended up becoming a nurse and having two births in a hospital without the benefit of pain medication. I was able to give birth in a baby friendly hospital this time around and the experience was as close to a home birth as it could be. I understand what kind of stress this is posing to you, you are navigating uncharted waters with pregnancy and labor and birth and you probably want to do everything exactly right.

      • Trixie

        The episiotomy rate in hospitals is pretty low these days. They really only do them if there’s a clear indication. The reason for this is that the science showed they often were unnecessary, so obstetricians stopped doing them routinely.
        I’m sure you can have a birth without pain meds if you want to. Just know that you don’t have to, if you don’t want to.

        • Susana

          Yeah, I’ve read that episiotomies are not common anymore, but I have friends who still had one recently so figured I’d add it to my list of demands!

          • Trixie

            I’ve had a few friends have them, and they’ve /been for things like a nuchal hand (baby’s hand up by the head, making the circumference larger). Please, don’t write out a list of demands — choose a provider who only uses them when truly needed, and leave it at that.

          • Stacy48918

            I would wager that coming in with a list of “demands” won’t gain you any friends on the nursing staff. If you’re really worried about getting a “bad nurse” leave the “demands” at home.

      • Bombshellrisa

        Have you read Penny Simkin’s “When Survivors give birth”? It’s very helpful when facing giving birth as a survivor.

        • Susana

          I have not, but I will look into it and add it to my reading list, thanks!

          • Bombshellrisa

            There are also workshops based on this book-I was faced with this situation and I encourage you to talk as much as you can with your doctor, midwife and whoever else can assist on your care team. Being a survivor can do all kinds of things to your labor.

      • Young CC Prof

        Sounds great. Most women who want a natural birth can get one, and if anything goes wrong, help is right there in the building with you. And as for epidurals and other pain treatments, if you feel more in control going unmedicated, that is no one’s business but yours. If you want pain relief, that’s available also.

        • Susana

          My main concern is that at the last minute I’ll get a stubborn nurse or doctor on call who will not listen to me. My mother had me at the same hospital 25 years ago and she had terrible nurses, and ended up being inducted for no reason and thus having an emergency c-section with no anesthesia of course. Obviously the staff and the hospital has changed lol but I still worry that someone there will try to make my life difficult, so I’m taking my just as stubborn fiance to back me up in case I can’t defend myself. I know most of the doctors, but not all the nurses so I worry regardless! I will hopefully be able to have at least my midwife present, which should make me feel better.

          • Amazed

            Defend you from what, for Pete’s sake? You don’t mention him having any medical training, so he clearly won’t know whether the procedures the medical staff demands are necessary. And after nine months of listening to you insist that he has to “back you up”, he’ll probably meet ANY deviation of your precious demands with hostility.

            Just as stubborn. Great. What is he supposed to do when he doesn’t get the education to know what’s going on with you? Defend you! Is he supposed to beat the doctors to a bloody pulp? Choke the nurses with the IV?

            Just change the bloody hospital and let your mind have some rest. And don’t listen to your mother who’s clearly overdid herself with scaring you with her birth story.

          • Susana

            I am so happy that I am posting as a guest, because most of the PPs seem to be incredibly dramatic and take everything in the literal sense. For fuck’s sake I’ve met Jehova’s witnesses that are less condescending. I didn’t come in here with the mindset that all people against NCB are arrogant pricks, but you have done an excellent job of changing my mind.

          • Amazed

            Thanks. Now, would you answer the questions? What is your Plan B, except for making your big and strong fiance repeating “No, no, no” even if your baby might be losing brain cells?

          • Susana

            I incidentally did answer your question, I think, when I said I would have my current midwife present, in the most probable scenario that the doctor is not there. My list of demands was limited to being able to drink during labor (I realize the whole point is to limit food and drink intake in the case of having to do an iv for emergency c-section), not on my back, and being able to postpone any intervention and have as only a last resort in the case of a true emergency. Those are not unreasonable, and I would guess I am not the first to request this in a birth plan. There was no need for this childish name-calling of “oh so strong fiance” and ridiculous fictitious scenarios of strangling hospital staff with an iv cord (who’s being dramatic, really?) Not to mention, to go as far as saying that a list of demands should be left at home is rather over-the-top. I am not requesting a five star room with vip service.

            One of you also claimed that I came into your business first, or actually “another woman’s business”. Hmm, is this not open to the public? In fact, this is one the easiest forums/blogs I have ever seen to reply to, as it does not even require that you fully register. So how is this someone else’s (implied private) business when it has bee made public deliberately?

            Thirdly, I was not the one who began the pettiness. I found several of the articles on this site extremely biased, and could have replied to any one of them. Furthermore, I did not use any vulgar language or say anything insulting in my original post nor did I aim it at any one of you, who more and more are beginning to seem like cult followers whom have been converted. I am only being petty now after feeling forced into it.

            Fourthly, you’ve mentioned a few of you have experienced home births. Why, then, are you here? I find it astounding that you’d be subscribed to such biased a website, written with such close-mindedness, and by the way also seems extremely left-wing after reading some of the articles.I suppose your conversion has much to do with scientific research? I think not; seems more to me like persuasion.

            It is one thing to be against no medical interventions, but it is completely another to be against women having a few requests when giving birth at a hospital, and wanting to birth at an attached facility (or one close to a hospital). To compare either to leaving a child unbuckled in the front seat of a car is ludicrous. This “my way or the high way” attitude is exactly what gives women everywhere a bad rep, and I would go as far as saying as modern-day oppression of our gender in this country is in part due to women like yourselves, who instead of unbiasedly discussing other points of view, choose to attack them in the misguided belief that they are indeed the princesses they’ve been told since childhood that they were.

            One last effort to live up to my honorable title of dramatic: I was able to be online most of yesterday because of surprisingly excellent wifi on a train out of the country. Now that I have arrived at my destination, I plan to enjoy my vacation and forget all about the unnecessary unpleasantness (though a couple of you have been admittedly helpful despite the general attitude here). So what’s your excuse for having the time to argue incessantly online all day? Have you not got children to take care of or lives to lead? Or is it that your duties as a woman and mother do not exceed your stay in a maternity ward? Happy fucking Sunday.

          • Young CC Prof

            Look, I am not attacking you. I am trying to increase your chances of a healthy baby born with a minimum of physical and emotional trauma to you. I’m sure you don’t believe me, however, I will say this: Asking to postpone intervention until it is “a last resort in a true emergency” might not be a great plan. Here’s why.

            There are three kinds of c-sections. One is “elective,” which means you aren’t in labor yet. Usually done when serious complications have been diagnosed before the birth even starts. The second is “urgent,” meaning you’re in labor and a problem has happened, but it’s not a dire emergency yet. The third is “crash,” meaning it is a true scary emergency.

            You do not want the third kind. With an urgent c-section, there’s time for the doctor to explain what’s going to happen. Time for the anesthesiologist to give you a spinal, instead of knocking you out with general anesthesia. People will walk to the OR, not run. “Crash” is scary and it’s significantly more dangerous to both mother and child.

            And then of course, sometimes one small intervention in early labor can actually prevent a c-section.

            So, find a provider you trust. Discuss beforehand what kind of interventions might become necessary. And if she says interventions are necessary, it’s really better NOT to beg for more time.

          • Amazed

            Happy flouncing!

          • Trixie

            No one’s going to have a problem with you drinking liquids in labor. And seriously, no ones going to force you to be on your back. This isn’t 1970. But, you might *like* being reclined. There’s nothing inherently bad about being semi-reclined on your back. And yeah, declining every intervention until it’s an absolute emergency is kind of silly, when the intervention could prevent an emergency in the first place.

          • Stacy48918

            Honestly, THIS comment is the most “dramatic” thing yet in this thread.

            All we can respond to is what you write. And you write with a lot of hostility toward people that care about women and babies and want to see healthy mothers take home healthy babies. You write with a lot of hostility to interventions that lower the neonatal death rate.

            I asked this before – from where are you getting your information? You’ve clearly come to these opinions through some kind of reading or “research”. What is it?

          • Trixie

            I would encourage you to make the hospital staff aware of your history as an abuse survivor, so they can tailor their care appropriately.

  • Susana

    Because I am not a fan of repetition, and that seems to be happening with every reply I get, I will say this one final time: my intent was to get rid of this judging back and forth between people who are for Epi and hospital procedures, and those who are not. Someone below mentioned that I want to put my child’s life at risk by not wanting to give birth at a hospital. Going to extremes, now are we? This is exactly what i was advocating, to each his fucking own. I am no more a radical any more than you are fascists. Let’s not turn this into a perpetual cat fight.

    • pj

      Giving birth at home in the US does increase your baby’s risk of dying, and even in optimal conditions, as a first time mother giving birth your baby’s risk of dying is higher at home. That’s simple fact. Your choice to make, not one I’d make, and pointing it out isn’t a personal attack.

    • Bombshellrisa

      We are not fans of repetition either, you aren’t the first person to post comments like those. Please stick around and read the blog, review the data and then see what you think.

    • Stacy48918

      did you watch the Business of Being Born to get this educated? First child and all you’ve really got it all figured out.

      You read where Gisele wants to mandate breastfeeding by law right? You did READ the post? Just who exactly is trying to dictate women’s choices here?

      Flounce away.

      • Susana

        I don’t have this figured out, I have a preference that works for me, just like everyone else on here. As you may recall, my main problem with this article was that the attack was too harsh. I’m tired of everyone jumping to conclusions and assuming people who disagree with rigid procedures has a superiority complex. I do not think less of mothers who choose to have their babies in a hospital.

        Yes, I read that quote and think she was just talking out of her ass like most people here. These mommy wars are ridiculous, and people need to stop being so damn defensive. “You think you’re better than us, meh!” Um, no, I don’t. Stop putting fucking words in my mouth; this article came off as pretentious, that was all I was getting at.

        • pj

          Actually, you just seem to believe a lot of stuff that is factually incorrect.

        • Stacy48918

          But you think women want epidurals because they’re conditioned. We’re just empty headed bimbos that blindly listen to doctors.

          Guess what – 2 med free births here. Labor freaking hurts. It hurt in my living room. It hurt with my midwife there. It hurt though I’d read about “orgasmic” birth. I plan to get an epidural this time.

          Again. What information are you basing your decisions and statements on?

        • Trixie

          There’s no mommy war here. There’s facts and there’s…the stuff you seem to believe.

          • Stacy48918

            Gotta love someone that decries the “mommy wars” while telling women all their birth decisions are wrong.

        • Stacy48918

          “the attack was too harsh”
          Ah yes. The “Dr. Amy is meen” argument. Nothing substantive, she just really needs to be a nice prim and proper little lady when she discusses preventable baby deaths. Nothing worth getting so upset over.

    • Trixie

      No one here would ban home birth. But women who would choose it deserve true informed consent, and practitioners with actual medical training (in other words, not CPMs or lay midwives). You seem to not be aware of how dangerous homebirth actually is. Whoever is counseling you about it is therefore not giving you informed consent.

    • Stacy48918

      Homebirth increases the risk of your baby dying by at least 300% http://www.m.webmd.com/baby/news/20100702/home-births-linked-higher-newborn-death-rate

      Your baby’s risk may be higher still because you are a first time mom. This is just one study. Others since in the US, Canada, Netherlands and Australia show the same thing. Besides that your baby has an increased risk of an Apgar of 0 at 5 minutes (NO heartbeat) and seizures due to oxygen deprivation.

      What *scientific literature* have you read in making this decision? Movies, blogs, Bradley classes, messages boards and websites arenot education and cannot contradict the evidence. Home birth increases the risk of neonatal death compared to hospital birth. Period.

      • pj

        What’s more, researching scientific literature means reading ALL of it, not just the papers that show outcomes you like. You need to have the scientific literacy to evaluate the quality of research too.

      • Susana

        Web MD qualifies as scientific literature? I suppose you think NBC is serious news. And that statistic is like saying that you have a greater chance of not being attacked by a shark if you stay in shallow water. If these are the types of studies you guys keep referring to, I think it’s best not to waste any more of my time.

        • pj

          I think the idea is that you look at the actual study referenced there.

        • Young CC Prof

          I have read quite a few studies, every word of the original research articles. Home birth is as dangerous as letting your child ride around with no car seat or seatbelt for his entire childhood. Let me know how much detail you want.

        • Stacy48918

          Oh good grief – read the study the article talked about.

          Are your scientific research abilities that poor that you can’t read the citation?

          Again I ask – what ARE you basing your decisions on?

        • Stacy48918
  • Susana

    While I appreciate clever satire as much as anyone, I find this attack on Gisele rather harsh. Every mother should decide on her own how she wants to give birth to her child. The decision should be private and thus respected by everyone else, especially other mothers and those in the medical field. Just because you do not agree with her choice of words (calling hospital births “violent”) does not mean you should stoop down to such petty a level by calling her ignorant. Pregnancy and childbirth are very intuitive, natural processes and it is not without grounds to state that stripping away a little of both can be perceived as violent. As a first-time mother myself and also the victim of sexual abuse as a child, I personally agree with her views. Giving birth on one’s back, for instance, is utterly unnatural and yet it has been encouraged by doctors since King Louis XIV. Vaginal exams during the first stage of labor are also unnecessary and yet they happen, because women are uninformed about labor and taught to fear it, rushing to the hospital at the first sign of pain and requesting pain medication (which, let’s be frank, we do not have adequate evidence that these medications do not affect the baby). Much like the Monsanto (another huge money making corporation) telling people that GMOs are safe without ample evidence to back the claim, doctors today assure women that all procedures performed are safe and for the benefit of the baby. But, is it really necessary, for instance, to stick your arm up a woman’s vagina and attach a device to the baby’s head that will monitor its heart rate? No. I understand that doctors save lives, but i believe that Gisele was simply trying to shed light on the fact that many doctors these days are outrageously corrupt, and perform unnecessary procedures for their own convenience. Corruption too is a form of violence. Women in our generation fear pain of childbirth, when in fact it should be embraced. Why should we trust medical corporations that for years have manipulated society’s views of one of life’s most natural processes, more than our own innate intuition and bodies? We have also been stripped of our trust in ourselves and been taught that if medical intervention is needed, it is because we as women are at fault and our bodies have failed. Teaching women to think this way can also be perceived as violent. And so, when we think about all the politics associated with hospital births, and all the inevitable corruption, it becomes evident that Gisele’s use of the word violence is not too far-fetched. You have repeatedly advised previous posters to read your words more carefully because they have missed the entire point of its satire. But perhaps you too could benefit from reading Gisele’s words more carefully, so as not to miss the point that violence can be defined ambiguously.

    • Young CC Prof

      1) Hospitals don’t force women to give birth lying on their backs and haven’t for a long time.

      2) Pain medications have been studied in great depth. Pills or IV medicines, anything that makes the mother drowsy, definitely can adversely affect the baby, especially if given close to the end of labor. Epidural medication does not affect the baby.

      3) Yes, doctors actually do need to monitor labor, unless you don’t really care whether the child survives.

      4) “We have also been stripped of our trust in ourselves and been taught that if medical intervention is needed, it is because we as women are at fault and our bodies have failed.”

      This is true, but it isn’t the medical profession teaching that. It’s the natural childbirth movement. Doctors see the need for medical intervention as a simple physical matter. You’re too short to reach the cabinet? Get a step stool. Broken leg? Reset and cast. Type 1 diabetes? Insulin injections. Your labor not progressing? Augmentation or cesarean delivery as appropriate. Only people like her teach that intervention in childbirth has moral dimensions.

      I see violence in teaching women to fear medications well proven to be safe, so that they must endure without help what may just be the most extreme pain of their lives. I see violence in encouraging them to shun necessary medical care, endangering and occasionally harming themselves or their babies. I see violence in setting up the ideal of successful birth without interventions, something many women literally cannot do.

      This is why I have no use for the radical proponents of natural childbirth.

      • Susana

        1.) I am well aware of this, but the idea is “pushed” on patients none the less.
        2.) Epidurals and all pain medications given for labor are consistently changing. We use safer ones now, but a few years ago just ones that were more mediocre. A few years in the future I am sure we will find something wrong with the ones now. In essence, we are lab rats. Furthermore, it is best to hear it from the horse’s mouth, and my opinion on epidurals is based on talking to women directly that have had one, not doctors who of course are going to vouch for their own procedures.
        3.) Again, I am well aware that it is beneficial to monitor heartrate. I simply was implying there should be a better way, an external way (like dopplers) to do this so as to minimize chance of infection. Also, on that note, because heart rates are monitored, many c-sections are performed that could have been avoided using the excuse of the baby’s heart rate changing as a scapegoat (this I’ve heard from doctors and nurses themselves)
        4.) Who said anything about radical? I am not suggesting to go up on a hill and squat the baby out in the wilderness without anyone else present. I was suggesting that there should be a happy medium and it is hard to find that with hospital’s rigid guidelines. Thus, it is best (for me) to have a professional come to you, rather than go to them and have a baby among all the chaos. Sure, you can have “just as private and safe an environment” in a hospital, but that is rare and depends on luck of the draw more than anything

        • Trixie

          Know what’s weird? No one pushed me to be in a particular position in the hospital. Guess what was most comfortable and effective for me for pushing, that I chose all on my own? On my back.
          Most of the time, monitoring the heart rate is done by external belts. The scalp monitor isn’t the only option for continuous monitoring.

        • Bombshellrisa

          Have you talked to any men who have had an epidural for a procedure? It might help round out your opinion, although it would still be anecdote based.
          There is an excellent piece on this blog about why ECFM is superior to intermittent monitoring with a Doppler.

        • Stacy48918

          Did the “doctors and nurses themselves” discuss to tocometry and it’s relationship to heartrate as a measure of fetal well being in labor?

          A Doppler is NOT sufficient monitoring.

        • MLE

          3) So you would rather not know that baby’s heart rate is changing to avoid a potentially necessary c-section? Gee I am glad the gauge was broken so I didn’t know I was almost out of gas during my drive across the Sahara, or I would have….stopped for gas? Ignorance is power? That’s frankly idiotic.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          many c-sections are performed that could have been avoided using the excuse of the baby’s heart rate changing as a scapegoat

          Ok. So which heart rate abnormalities can be ignored? Should we not do c-sections for fetal distress based on loss of variability? Late decels? Variable decels? Bradycardia? All of the above, with the possible exception of variables, are associated with fetal distress and increased risk of intrauterine mortality.

    • Trixie

      1) most human vaginas aren’t so long that it takes an entire arm to find the fetus.
      2) maybe the Prof can do a better calculation, but GMOs are as safe as regular food and there’s a mountain of evidence to support that. Whereas childbirth is the single most dangerous day of a person’s life. No other time is the chance of dying higher, at least until you reach your 90s. So sitting down to a plate of hot buttered GMO corn — which, I suppose you could choke or burn your fingers on — compared to giving birth? It’s laughable to make that comparison.
      3) has it occurred to you that maybe not every woman wants to embrace the pain of childbirth?

      • Susana

        1.) No shit. Hyperbole. Third grade lit.

        2.) Childbirth has been around since the beginning of time. GMOs since 1996. Which do you think we know more about?

        3.)Yes, that has occurred to me, which is why toward the end of my rant I brought up our fear of childbirth, which in great part, has been taught. We have been conditioned to want pain-killers. I’m sure some women would choose them anyway just because they exist, but the fact remains that the more you advertise something the more the masses will they think they need it.

        • Kerlyssa

          Fear of childbirth has been recorded since the beginning of human history… because childbirth has been an agonizing and dangerous enterprise since the beginning of human history. Pain aversion is one of the most natural, integral parts of a living human being. To deny its existence in the name of ‘nature’ and intution(which needs to carefully be taught to the ‘masses’ by you) is hilarious.

          • Susana

            As I said to Young CC Prof, the point I am trying to make is that there should be some middle ground. Safe meds, not no meds. You seem to be under the impression I am the quintessential hippie promoting pain is better than chemicals. All I am saying is I have problems with the ones available. And that judgment should not be passed on someone who thinks they can do without them.n

          • Trixie

            We *have* safe meds!

          • Stacy48918

            “safe meds not no meds”

            Ummm yea. It’s called an epidural. Whatever propaganda you’ve been reading has told you it’s not safe but it is. I’ve had two “natural” laboratory including 1 home birth and 1 transferred home birth. This baby will be born in a hospital and I’d like an epi please.

          • kerlyssa

            “Women in our generation fear pain of childbirth, when in fact it should be embraced.””Why should we trust medical corporations that for years have manipulated society’s views of one of life’s most natural processes, more than our own innate intuition and bodies?”

        • Trixie

          Time began about 13.7 billion years before mammalian childbirth, but hey, who’s counting?
          We know an awful lot about childbirth, including how often it results in death or serious injury when left up to nature. Childbirth also hurts like a MFer. Always has, in every time and place throughout all of recorded human history. Sure, there’s an outlier here and there who will have no pain, but that’s luck, not conditioning. And a pain-free childbirth can still result in complete disaster and death. Childbirth should be feared.
          By the way, since you’re new here, many of us have had natural childbirths, including Dr. Amy! I had a VBAC without any pain medication (in a hospital) and I enjoyed the experience, despite the pain. Doesn’t mean I’m any better than a woman who signs up for an elective c-section.

        • Paloma

          Meds are not advertised for childbirth. When you go into the hospital they ask IF you want an epidural, because they have no mind reading abilities. However, natural childbirth is WIDELY advertised and pushed for by many many people. Also, I’ve seen people go through hell during childbirth, it depends a lot on the person. Not everyone’s tolerance for pain is the same. Why should they embrace it when they don’t have to? Meds are tested extensively before using them on actual patients, especially when used on pregnant women. Just because something better will appear in a couple of years, it doesn’t mean what is used today is not safe.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          Childbirth has been around since the beginning of time.

          H sapiens have been around only about 100,000 years. The big bang (probably the closest you’ll get to a beginning of time) happened more like 14 billion years ago. Not hardly the same time frame (yes, I know you were being poetic, but I’m a literalist).

          GMOs since 1996.

          Humans have been modifying their food for far longer than that. Or do you really think that corn is a natural food?

          • Trixie

            Time to sit down to a heapin’ helpin’ of hot buttered teosinte! C’mon kids, grab some plates!

        • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

          )Yes, that has occurred to me, which is why toward the end of my rant I
          brought up our fear of childbirth, which in great part, has been taught.

          The pain of childbirth was recognized as being so severe 3000 years ago that it was considered a punishment from God.

          You think they would have been happy to have pain relief? Unless, of course, they were the type that think they deserved to be punished. Regardless, it still hurts.

          the more you advertise something the more the masses will they think they need it.

          OR

          if you tell someone that they want it is available, they will use it.

    • Paloma

      “The decision should be private and thus respected by everyone else, especially other mothers and those in the medical field.” Yes, but if you choose to publish your opinion (morally superior to everyone who disagrees with you, obviously) publicly, then it does NOT become private, because you are willingly making it public. If you want to risk you life and the life of your child, fine, it is your decision, but when you start telling everyone else what to do, then you are opening yourself to satire.
      Just because you are somebody famous (in this case, a model) you are not an authority in childbirth. What does make you knowledgeable is training and studying childbirth for years, and that is worth A LOT more than intuition. Learning the actual process of childbirth, knowing what is happening and when, how it can go wrong and how to solve it, is not an easy task. It can take a lifetime, which is why those of us who actually study are so cautious around it. I am a OB/GYN resident, I have studied for years, and still have many more years to go before I can even assist a childbirth on my own. I know nothing of modeling, when I want advice of that I will ask someone like Giselle, but for medical advice, I would actually ask the person who has studied medicine. It just seems like the logical thing to do, especially when your child’s wellbeing is on the line.
      PS: I would actually recommend that you take a few protocols used currently in OB/GYN because almost everything you said is just NOT TRUE. By protocols I mean the actual recommendations for practice from hospitals or ACOG (or equivalents in different countries), not what someone said they do on the internet.

    • pj

      Personally, I liked having vaginal exams in the first stage of labour because I liked knowing how far dilated I was. But evidently I am just uninformed and foolishly fearful. Thanks for schooling me, Susana! And why in hell should pain in childbirth be EMBRACED? There’s no other occasion when we embrace pain. It’s only women’s pain that is trivialised. If you want to embrace the pain, go for it, but it is utterly anti-woman to expect others to do so if they happen to decide they dislike pain.

      • Stacy48918

        ” I liked having vaginal exams in the first stage of labour ”
        Me too! When my midwife showed up that was the first thing I wanted – PLEASE tell me how far I am and how far I have left!

      • realitycheque

        Prior to experiencing birth, I thought vaginal exams sounded like the worst thing ever, during the experience I couldn’t imagine having anyone come near me; retrospectively, I think I would have dealt far better with the experience had I known how far along I was, and how far I had to go – as opposed to being in transition, having no idea that’s what it was and anticipating x-number of hours more of that extreme pain (could have been 2, could have been 20 – I had no idea).

        If someone had been able to say, “You’re in transition! Not long to go now!” I think it would have kept my spirits up.

    • Bombshellrisa

      I would like to point out that the midwife that emphasizes fear as the cause of pain in childbirth, Ina May Gaskin, is all for the further exploitation and abuse of survivors of sexual abuse. She admits to using the vulnerable and sometimes terrifying moments in labor to molest women by fondling them all in the name of calming them. That is far more crippling to trust than a medical professional doing a necessary exam.

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      I’m just going to repeat a comment that I made the other day on another site…

      It’s so cute when someone who hasn’t given birth yet gets all judgmental about how other women do it.

      It reminds me of how I used to be the perfect parent- before I had kids.

      • Stacy48918

        No kidding.

      • Bombshellrisa

        Don’t you know that the best parents are the ones who don’t have kids yet? A friend without kids was trying to tell me that my son isn’t going to be smiley and sleeping through the night when he starts teething and that letting him see tv sometimes is “terrible”. Sorry, he doesn’t have any hope anyway, he is formula fed.

    • Trixie

      Holy crap I missed that you’re a first-time mom.

      Susana, please. Snark aside, we’re scared for you. Home birth is dangerous. If you don’t believe Dr. Amy, maybe you’d be willing to do some reading by a doula who used to be extremely pro-homebirth? http://whatifsandfears.blogspot.com

      Or a former homebirther herself?

  • Ignorance Should Be Squashed

    This is worse that you’re touting a freakin’ MD behind your name. You should know better. Shame on you.

  • Ignorance Should Be Squashed

    WOW. Why don’t you try using some REAL research, look at the statistics and get in touch with reality before you open your mouth and start spouting this ridiculous nonsense. Your ‘research’ consists of you putting together totally unrelated things and claiming it is cause & effect. You are NOT a scientist, you know NOTHING about breastfeeding, home births OR hospital births for that matter, so STFU, stupid.

    • Trixie

      Welcome! You might want to read the “12 things you shouldn’t say to Dr Amy” post on the right. You almost filled my bingo card!

  • Amber V

    Well, that was a little dramatic…

  • mari

    come on, this is ridiculous! you don’t even have real arguments:
    “Vaginal birth is a risk factor for Communism: Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin were all born vaginally.” what? capitalists was never born in the same way? What about Ford or Taylor, for example? They were born by caesarean section? Or maybe Abraham Lincoln was?

    another stupid sentence: “Breastfeeding is a risk factor for plague. Nearly 100% of people who died of the Black Death were breastfed.” really? do you have a control goup that was not breastfeeded and exposed to the plague, at that time?

    give as a break! medicine must be based on REAL evidence, ok?!

    kisses

    • Wren

      You pretty much missed the point, huh?

  • Edith

    This is what passes for a medical professional deemed fit to operate on living, regnant humans. America is lost….

  • TheMechanicalAdv

    There is a valid point in this article. However, Dr. Tuteur, in her typical duplicity, buries it amid satire. Although real orgasmic birth is probably impossible by people, it may well occur by aquatic mammals (I’ve seen a seal doing it on a nature show on TV), whose brains are protected by a thick layer of cutaneous fat. People, uniquely among land mammals, have cutaneous fat, although not around the skull. Perhaps our ancestors had skull fat which was lost as their brain size increased. And it seems people have a reflex left over from an ancestral orgasmic birth.

    Without the protection of skull fat, this reflex inevitably damages a baby’s brain. To compensate for this, innate human intelligence increased far beyond what was necessary for survival, so there would be enough left over after the damage. The invention of drugs that significantly inhibit this reflex, starting with chloroform, may well have allowed this untapped intelligence to be put to use.

    This dashed the hopes of mystics, because it revealed that the new brain power they foresaw would free us from material thinking actually reinforced it and in many cases vindicated it. They saw how the scientists, quite rightfully, had laid claim to the analgesics and were using them along with interventions that greatly improved the survival rate of women in labor and their babies.

    They countered this by launching a campaign of tranquility through fantasy, which led the scientists to make the interventions increasingly unnecessary and violent, in order to establish themselves as realists.

    Bombshellrisa has revealed that Dr. Tuteur has tried home birth, twice. It seems she bought into the mystics’ agenda, and is now using her money and authority to attack the science-based medicine industry from within their own ranks.

    Dr. Tuteur has monopolized the voice of reason against the deceitful fables of the home-birthers, but twists it to make it seem ridiculous. Thus she is advancing the cause of home-birthers in their campaign — not to kill babies, but to stupefy them, so as to protect the mystical traditions against the growing tide of intelligent inquiry. Someone who really cares about science and the humanities needs to step up and reclaim medical logic from this two-faced hack and her band of fake adversaries.

    • theNormalDistribution

      Huh?

    • Box of Salt

      “but twists it to make it seem ridiculous”

      Have you read your own comment? No twisting necessary.

    • Bombshellrisa

      “I’ve seen a seal doing it on a nature show on TV” How did you know the seal was having an orgasm?

      • TheMechanicalAdv

        I don’t. Just like I don’t know any people are either. But it was doing something recognizable as something people wish for, and which depended on the baby’s skull fat.

        The point is that a wish, however grand, is objectively wrong for a person to pursue if it necessarily harms another person. And Dr. Tuteur, although admitting that home-birth is harmful, neglects to mention the basic instinct that home-birth midwives are hijacking.

        She claims that obstetric procedures are based entirely on science, and home-birthers counter that obstetrics is driven by its profit. Surely she knows these are both part of a song-and-dance. There is an economic motive in obstetrics, but it leads to loss, not profit, because it’s a sabotage planted several decades ago by home-birthers before the two industries separated.

  • http://twitter.com/kelsishelton Kelsi Shelton

    JAAndy– I second that. My heart is going to explode reading all of this.

  • http://twitter.com/kelsishelton Kelsi Shelton

    Being drugged, strapped to a gurney, sliced open, stitched back up and left with a medical bill twice the amount of a vaginal birth isn’t so peaceful either.

  • http://twitter.com/kelsishelton Kelsi Shelton

    Please, before you buy in to this biased, inflammatory, blanketed, over-generalizing argument, educate your self. Tuteur asks how a mindful, home birth without medical intervention is any different than laboring in a hospital!? And then she continues,

    “Vaginal birth is a risk factor for Communism: Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin were all born vaginally.”

    Is this a joke or a feeding frenzy for people unable to think critically whatsoever? I’m hesitant to even spend my time rebuking this post, in the hopes that no one would take Tuteur’s argument seriously. To say that vaginal birth causes tyranny and violence is embarrassingly laughable.

    Laboring without unnecessary (a key component which Tuteur fails to incorporate in to her argument) medical intervention has been done since the beginning of time. Women’s bodies are MADE to labor without men or MD’s intervening for the sake of their own convenience and making it home for dinner in time. (The highest C-Section rates in the US are at dinner time, when doctors want to get home, and around 10pm, again, when doctors want to get home.) There should not be a time limit on vaginal birth for the sake of doctor’s convenience.

    Look at the statistics and listen to your own intuition before buying in to medical (a billion dollar industry–follow the money trail) propaganda. I labored with a midwives (3 midwives by my side, monitoring the baby and guiding me through it the entire time) and they cared for both me and the baby better than I could have asked.

    The WHO and several other organizations warn that the death rate and Cesarian rate in the US is inexcusably high. This is largely due in part to the lack of education on women’s part to know how to advocate for themselves and have the confidence that they can labor without the utter dependence on a medical doctor stripping them of confidence and power. (I’m referring to LOW RISK, HEALTHY pregnancies, another aspect Tuteur totally disregards in her argument. Midwives will only do a home birth if it is a low risk, healthy pregnancy with no history of birth complications, because they, too, see the benefit and importance of medical intervention and birthing in hospitals when necessary.)

    Home birthing and laboring without pain medications and unnecessary interventions can work WITH the medical community (freeing doctors up for those who really need them). There is NO need for divisive, polarization on this issue.

    • Guestl

      Kelsi, have you ever heard of a thing called satire?
      What does the WHO say about the US section rate, Kelsi? Can you please provide that information?
      Do midwives work pro bono, Kelsi? Did your three midwives work for free? How about doulas? How about the multimillion dollar industry surrounding natural birth — is no one there making any money at all?
      Can you tell me how women’s bodies are made to give birth, Kelsi? Mine isn’t. Mine isn’t even made to get pregnant and carry a baby all that well. I was able to conceive and bear a child only with medical intervention. Am I defective as a woman, Kelsi?
      What about women in developing countries, who lose their babies and sometimes their own lives every single day — were these women improperly made, Kelsi? Or do these women and their babies tend to die because they lack interventions, not because of them?
      Do you know anything about how humans evolved? There’s a whole lot of wastage. How many eggs were you born with? How many sperm will a man produce during his lifetime? How many children will you have? How many miscarriages?
      Midwives only handle low risk birth? Really now? Do you really believe this? Read on, Kelsi. Read the stories of homebirth twins, postdates, AMA, VBAC, GBS+/no abx, on and on and on it goes.
      You’re ignorant, but so was I when I first came here. Stick around, read, pay attention. And welcome.

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