8 stupid things crunchy expectant mothers say to each other


Congratulations to the blogger at Hiking the Paper Trail to Parenthood. You win the prize for packing the highest volume of stupid claims into any post of its size!

The blogger, an expectant mother, is so ignorant about childbirth that she is happily transmitting mistruths, half truths and outright lies in her post 8 Things Not To Say to a Crunchy Expectant Mother : A Tirade.

Consider these whoppers:

1. “Women die in hospitals in the US during and after birth.”

Duh. That’s because childbirth is dangerous.

The issue is not whether women die in the hospital during and after childbirth, the issue is the RATE of death compared to the rate of death at homebirth.

2. A completely fabricated, bald faced lie: “The United States of America currently (as of Summer of 2012) has the highest mother and infant mortality rate of every developed country in the world.”

No, not even close. Not to mention that infant mortality is the wrong statistic and that international comparisons of mortality rates are invalid since many countries cheat by counting LIVE premature babies as stillbirths.

3. “Holland, the has some of the best infant and maternal mortality rates in the developed world, with a common 80% of births taking place at home.”

I guess if you are going to make stuff up, you might as well go all the way. The Netherlands has one of the worst perinatal mortality rates in Western Europe and a homebirth rate of 27% and falling. Dutch midwives caring for low risk women (home or hospital) have death rates HIGHER than Dutch obstetricians caring for high risk patients.

4. “My midwives’ rate of patients who end up in Cesarean is less than 4%.”

And what are the death rates of homebirth midwives? Let me guess: the blogger has no clue that LICENSED homebirth midwives attending PLANNED homebirths have death rates up to 800% higher than term hospital birth. Let me guess; the blogger has no clue that the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), the organization that represents homebirth midwives refuses to release the death rates of their members because those rates are so hideous.

5. “I have never heard of someone getting a “super germ” like mrsa (a potentially lethal and antibiotic-resistant infection) in their own home.”

Most cases of MRSA (methicillin resistant staph aureus) are “community acquired” not hospital acquired.

6. “Both midwives have the same neonatal resuscitation experience as L&D and NICU staff in a hospital.”

Possibly the stupidest of the many stupid claims in this piece. Most homebirth midwives have NO training in advanced resuscitation, have NO experience in advanced resuscitation, and have NEVER intubated a baby.

7. “There will be medications, IVs and oxygen available if they are needed.”

Will there be an operating room? If not, and you experience a life threatening emergency, your baby will die. Will there be someone skilled in intubation and advanced neonatal resuscitation? If not, and your baby is born needing more than a little oxygen, your baby may die or suffer permanent brain injury. Will there be blood for transfusions? If not, you can hemorrhage to death long before you get to the nearest hospital.

8. “The people who ask this question are the ones to whom information and education have no impact.”

No, honey, you are the one on whom information and education have had no impact because you are the one who hasn’t been exposed to either information or education. Reading the lies of other homebirth advocates on the internet and gullibly believing them is not “education,” it is merely a sign of lack of basic knowledge of science, statistics and childbirth.

Here’s some real information you can use:

Planned homebirth with an American homebirth midwife is the MOST dangerous form of planned birth in the US.

Take down your post, which is utter crap, stop spewing arrant nonsense, and learn some actual facts about childbirth. I guarantee you will be very, very surprised.

120 Responses to “8 stupid things crunchy expectant mothers say to each other”

  1. SuchAKillJoy
    September 1, 2013 at 4:34 am #

    The funniest thing about this is the blog entry no longer exists.

  2. Christine Smith
    August 22, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    nice post..thanks!

  3. MelodyCason
    May 25, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    First time commenting, been reading for a while, just had to say…

    Often I see the titles of Dr. Amy’s posts and think, wow that’s inflammatory, maybe a little bit too harsh. Then I read the articles, and I think I’ve pretty much always agreed with her statements and conclusions. This post is a good example of that. I usually don’t condone calling someone or something “stupid”, but I totally see where Dr. Amy is coming from. She is passionate about fighting the war against ignorance and bad reasoning, so that possibly someone’s mind can be changed and lives can be saved. There are things I’m passionate about that I believe are so important that I, timid Melody, would be willing to be harsh, blunt, and to the point, so I don’t know why it surprises me when someone like Dr. Amy does the same thing.

    In short, good job, Dr. Amy. I applaud your efforts to stand up for something that is so important. I enjoy your posts and I have learned a lot.

    I especially appreciate your posts about the breastfeeding “war” that is going on right now, because I think judgemental lactivism is totally off base and harmful, and certainly did me no favors when I was struggling with the issue and dealing with PPD at the same time.

    • RheaS
      May 26, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

      These are exactly my sentiments about this blog.

  4. Roze of the Valley
    May 22, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    I really enjoy the useful info on your blog but I don’t think all NCB supporters are actually full of themselves and wanting to one up and be the better mommy sure some especially the women capitalizing off it, or dedicating time to be bloggers about it. I think some of them are honestly just duped into it. That is a shame. They never took critical thinking very seriously through my years of public school and even showed this that were not based in science. I am 18 btw so this problem is not gone away.I feel for all the women risking their lives and their babies lives for these lies. I think most of them sincerely believe they are doing the right thing I also really hate how the NCB is exploiting rape victims telling them doctors touching them now there or using medical tools or being in stirrups to get the baby out will be like being raped all over again yes I have heard it as a a survivor it is a very terrible and manipulative thing to hear. I wish they would stop exploiting women who have been through such trauma. This a real issue and it needs to be addressed. Me personally I am terrified of vaginal birth and having a baby going through there would freak me out and I would not like hands or instruments inside me if at all possible so if I ever decided to have kids I would have an elective c section and I fear it may be heard to find a doctor who would do that for me because of all the fear mongering of NCB ppl. NCM hurts women and they even go as far to purposely trigger and scare survivors. As a feminist this is unacceptable.

  5. C T
    May 22, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    The post is down. Good for her!

  6. I don't have a creative name
    May 22, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    Reading the rest of her blog, she seems like a nice person. Just one more person duped by the lies of the ncb movement. I’m sure she read your blog entry and despite the harsh tone, I hope she takes the facts you presented to heart and does not risk her baby’s life with a home birth.

  7. suchende
    May 22, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    I am so inspired by CPMs that have decided, as a lawyer, I will become an expert in normal legal issues. Most people never need to sue someone or get sued. For a small retainer, I will empower my clients to live a normal, litigation-free life. We will consult regularly on how to avoid litigation through diet and behaviors. If a variation of normal arises, I will transfer my client to an expert in legal troubles.

  8. Bomb
    May 22, 2013 at 12:07 am #

    Perhaps this is her problem: http://dailyhealthguide.net/health-literature-is-too-complex-for-most-patients-to-grasp-study-shows/

    Study shows health literature too complex for patients to grasp. Too bad home birth advocates have no problem writing at a 4th grade level. They fail to grasp the college level writing, then dump their version onto their blog for other lay people to lap up like dogs.

    In other news, study finds bed sharing increases SIDS x5, even among non smoking, non drug using, non drinkers: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/260834.php

    “The investigators found that the risk of SIDS was more frequent in breast-fed babies younger than 3 months who shared the bed with their parents, even if the parents did not use alcohol, drugs, or smoke cigarettes.

    The authors suggest that close to 81% of SIDS deaths among babies under three months with no risk factors could have been prevented if they had not shared a bed with their parents.”

    • KarenJJ
      May 22, 2013 at 1:50 am #

      Yes this is being discussed now on my facebook by people that didn’t have babies die of SIDS, people who know of SIDS deaths where the baby slept in a cot and people that say that it is from people falling asleep on a couch and that the research is ‘flawed’ (ie people that haven’t understood what this evidence shows and are willing to discount it even though they don’t understand why).

      • Bomb
        May 22, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

        “Design: Bed sharing was defined as sleeping with a baby in the parents’ bed”

        Do most people consider ouches beds these days?

        • Eddie
          May 22, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

          In America, no. In parts of Europe, yes; couches convert to beds.

        • KarenJJ
          May 22, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

          They just went into their standard NCB “LALALA” fingers-in-the-ear denial mode.

          Of course scientific evidence would support their views. It can’t possibly show otherwise. It’s obvious, innit?

    • May 22, 2013 at 9:40 am #

      And another one today that says a deficiency of iodine during pregnancy/bf lowers IQ by – guess what – 3 points. Goes on to say that ordinary Cows milk is a much better source than organic milk.

      I believe that my IQ drops at least 10 points between getting out of bed and my first cup of coffee, and that I quite likely drop 50 when I am tired. My disabled daughter’s IQ has been variously stated – 60/70 at worst, 110 at best. I ignore both, given that IQ test rely so heavily on language – and her language is impaired. Far as I am concerned, she has half a very good brain, and can outwit the best, while having difficulty with very mundane things.

      I am not up to date on current thinking, but it used to be said that IQ tests show how good you are at IQ tests, and not much else. They were heavily relied on for the old 11+ test we had in the UK – and I was terrific at them, I loved them. They came in for some criticism for being culturally biased in favour of white middle class children, but I would gleefully puzzle out the sheep in a field questions even though I had never seen sheep in a field. Barely a blade of grass visible where I grew up. I was precociously gifted at ten, then sadly the rest of ’em caught up with me.

  9. An Actual Attorney
    May 21, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

    Re: #5: http://goo.gl/0Oj2G

    Don’t click while eating.

    • blueeyedtexan
      May 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

      I know of two cases that were on local news, just in the state of Texas of homebirths where the mom ended up with a flesh eating bacterial infection. One of them in Houston and she lost all 4 limbs. This lady has clearly not googled well.

        • An Actual Attorney
          May 23, 2013 at 7:56 am #

          That’s horrible! Can any of the doctors here comment on the assertion that it could have happened in a hospital? I know people get infections everywhere, but would it have been better monitored? It seems strange that there’s a comment about the midwife swabbing her throat for strep. Suggests something must have been wrong.

          • Southern Fried OB
            May 27, 2013 at 10:23 am #

            Yes, it could have happened in a hospital. It does happen after hospital births as well, although its rare no matter where it happens. I know physicians who were at the first hospital she went to before her transfer to dallas- the thought is that if she had medical care they could have caught it earlier. She had fevers at home for several days and when they brought her in she was already very sick.
            I have also heard of hospital patients who have gotten this massive strep infection and they didn’t do any better. Its one of those rare act-of-god kind of infections. Really hard to say if she had been in the hospital if it would have gone differently.

  10. auntbea
    May 21, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    I got MRSA, most likely from a hotel room (I try not to think about the implications of that.) The hospital is where I went to get the MRSA taken back out again.

    • CanDoc
      May 21, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

      Wow. Entertaining.

    • KarenJJ
      May 22, 2013 at 1:53 am #

      Those ‘pregnancy myth busting’ articles are annoying. Half the time I haven’t heard of the ‘myths’ until it’s on one of those ‘myth busting’ articles. What the heck was ever going to be wrong with nail polish?

  11. May 21, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    No 6: Even assuming this was true (which seems more than a bit unlikely) so these wondrous midwives get your baby breathing. Eventually. Then what? How good are they at deciding what should be done next, figuring out why your baby wasn’t breathing, and so on?

    One of the other things that drives me mad is when you read about these absolutely hair-raising home deliveries (Or watch them, as with the blogger whose name temporarlly escapes me who gained much admiration for her failure to panic at her blue, inert infant) and the comments are a chorus of “I am glad everything is fine now.” How fine, I ask myself? And why are you blathering on about the experience? Don’t you grasp what you just risked?

    • auntbea
      May 21, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

      Rixa Freeze.

      • Eddie
        May 21, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

        I really don’t get people who are willing to homebirth a breech baby.

        • Bombshellrisa
          May 21, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

          From Facebook: “Kristyn HewittI delivered a breech baby at home with a midwife after being told I could not deliver vaginally AT ALL, and the only option my (former) care providers offered was a scheduled cesarean. Juniper came out (slid out, actually) in 3 easy pushes. She was a footling-turned-frank breech, and in the caul. Now, her twin brother helped clear the way (all 8 lbs of him), which might have made it easier for her.

          OB’s are not trained in vaginal breech delivery. They fear what they do not know and cannot control. They know how to cut, so they cut. Midwives ARE trained in vaginal breech delivery, but their overlords won’t allow it. I recommend your mama travel to Oregon for her birth. There is much more freedom for midwives there.” https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10150680718565266&id=8350685265&p=0&_ft_=fbid.10150680718565266&_rdr

          • Karen in SC
            May 21, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

            and many more homebirth deaths.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 21, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

            Don’t you love how she used the word “overlords”? So Melissa Cheyney of her.

          • Eddie
            May 21, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

            Wow, a twin breech birth. And what arrogance and what a narrow view of OBs. But of course, thsoe folks (that you are quoting and their ilk) are the enlightened ones. The rest of us are in the dark.

          • Lisa from NY
            May 22, 2013 at 1:11 am #

            More lies: “That a mother’s body and her baby’s body are designed to work in perfect harmony, and yes even with multiples! Her body wants to birth and her babies want to be born. Un-medicated and unforced, as long as a mother is willing, intuitive and calm, her babies will be born well.”

          • rh1985
            May 22, 2013 at 3:15 am #

            tell that to everyone who lived in the 19th century the 18th century heck every single century going back until we got modern medicine.

          • May 22, 2013 at 6:38 am #

            as long as a mother is willing, intuitive and calm, her babies will be born well.”

            That kind of attitude truly disgusts me. The ignorant, self-congratulatory complacency of it! The mothers who find out the hard way that it is not that simple then come here and whinge that we are mean about their terrible loss, while those who are lucky enough to be able to go on believing that it was their personal good management are heaping blame and a sense of failure on others so that they can preen about empowerment.

            I don’t care how many Ph.Ds they have, this is stupidity of the worst kind. If this is the best the 3 IQ points sucked from your mother’s breast can do, Heaven help us. Clearly doesn’t cover understanding, common sense or contact with reality.

          • KarenJJ
            May 22, 2013 at 8:21 am #

            Probably one of my favourite comments on Skeptical ob ever.

          • Amazed
            May 22, 2013 at 8:29 am #

            This… insert the expletive I can’t write here… really should go to the NICU and explain to the devastated mothers there that it was their fault for not being willing, intuitive and calm.

          • May 22, 2013 at 10:08 am #

            The thing is, these idiots believe it IS to do with “fault”. They HAVE to believe that, because the arbitrary is just too scary. It will be a cold day in hell before I find their wonderful birth experience admirable, worth pursuing, or under their personal control. (Worth having, of course – if it doesn’t make you insufferable.) My admiration is reserved for those who can deal with reality, not take flight to Cloud Cuckoo Land.

          • Eddie
            May 22, 2013 at 10:46 am #

            How many birth stories have we heard about where the midwife berated the mother after a hospital transfer, “We had a plan. You should have trusted your body.” Astonishing, criminal ignorance.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

            This is a birth bingo card for sure. One of the commenters on that thread is a local CPM. She mentions that CPMs carry malpractice insurance so they can’t deliver HBACs or known breeches, but are “trained” to handle “surprise breeches”.
            As for “unforced”, the momma shouldn’t be pushing then. That is forcing a baby through the birth canal.

          • Aunti Po Dean
            May 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

            Hmm footling turned frank breech in a caul! Impossible! Footling or frank make up your mind

          • Dr Kitty
            May 22, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

            First twin cephalic, second twin breech is one of the presentations of twins where you can attempt VB, , unlike first twin breech, second twin cephalic, which shouldn’t EVER be attempted.
            I just know some CPM won’t get the difference.

        • May 21, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

          How difficult is it to find an OB who will attend a hospital breech vaginally birth in the US?

          • Eddie
            May 22, 2013 at 1:00 am #

            I expect it’s pretty difficult, but I honestly don’t know. Given the likelihood of being sued if anything went wrong with a vaginal breech birth, I find it hard to believe there are many OBs who are willing to take on the risk.

            Let me rephrase my statement. I don’t get people who insist upon vaginally birthing a baby with breech presentation.

          • Lisa from NY
            May 22, 2013 at 1:02 am #

            But doctors can turn the baby a few weeks before if the mother is given an epidural.

          • Eddie
            May 22, 2013 at 1:06 am #

            If doctors turn the baby, then that’s different. The baby is now no longer breech. 🙂 How effective is this? Once labor starts, is it pretty much too late? Also, why is an epidural required? What does it entail to turn the baby?

          • Lisa from NY
            May 22, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

            1. It’s very effective, change from breech to normal, but sometimes baby turns back
            2. Yes, once labor starts it’s too late
            3. It is very painful. My cousin did it without epidural and it hurt a lot (and baby was born naturally)
            4. I think doctor grabs onto exterior of abdomen and pushes, but ask Dr. Amy to be sure

      • Bomb
        May 21, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

        I think the feminist breeder had the same thing? I never watched the birth video so I don’t remember.

    • Lisa from NY
      May 21, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

      “I only want to be around positive people. You’re not being positive.”

      • Bombshellrisa
        May 21, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

        “I need support, you are NOT supporting my educated choices!” We have to realize that these are the same people who believe that every “negative” thing said will manifest because it was uttered, and that all the negative energy produced by these thoughts and words contributes to the violence in this world AND to natural disasters. And I WISH I was making that up.

        • Eddie
          May 21, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

          I’ve argued with people espousing exactly those beliefs, before. Magical thinking and an absolute rejection of scientific thought.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 22, 2013 at 12:22 am #

            I think that a lot of people have read “The Secret” and Louise Hay’s books. There is too much magical thinking around!

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      May 22, 2013 at 7:35 am #

      I’m reminded of my high school classmates who boasted about how wasted they were when they drove home last Friday night, and how glad they were that they made it.

      Of course, that was high school.

  12. May 21, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    The link goes nowhere. Did she delete it?

    • May 21, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

      Yes she took it down almost immediately, as I was typing my comment to her, as requested by Dr Amy…

  13. Bombshellrisa
    May 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    #3 is Von Neumann’s Axiom: There is no sense in being precise when you don’t know what you’re talking about

  14. Lisa from NY
    May 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    7. “There will be medications, IVs and oxygen available if they are needed.”

    I found out: hospitals give a woman 30 minutes to deliver a placenta, and midwives allow 2 hours, then transfer woman to hospital. So women are more likely to have a PPH and bleed excessively with a midwife.

    (No more updates. I went to sleep after being up all night with my friend’s son who was crying for his Daddy all night.)

    • Lisa from NY
      May 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

      Update: She is doing much better.

  15. The Bofa on the Sofa
    May 21, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    I am wondering why she called it things you shouldn’t say to a “crunchy” expectant mother. Is it ok then to say it to a non-crunchy mom? If she actually believes it, why should that be acceptable?

    • Eddie
      May 21, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

      Because the crunchy moms are enlightened, and you’ll screw up their enlightenment by contradicting these simple truths. Their enlightenment is apparently false and fragile.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        May 22, 2013 at 7:38 am #

        Sorry, I was going to say (and actually wrote, but deleted it) “I’d like to hear an explanation that is not condescending or insulting.”

        Should have put that in the initial comment.

  16. May 21, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    I feel bad for her. She reminds me of me when I was pregnant with #1. I hope she knows that she has up to a 45% chance of needing to transfer anyway like I did http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d7400 I felt like the unthinkable had happened, like I was in that tiny 4% when actually I was in the 45%. Then I went from feeling like a monumental failure to realizing I’d been sold a bill of goods. So from failure to gullible. And pretty damn angry. I sincerely hope she takes another look at her options (finding the best hospital she can is a good one, because for all their lies, some of what they say is true about some hospitals) or that she is in the 55% of FTMs that do OK at a homebirth.

    I wish there was a way to get them to understand their crazy double standard when it comes to risk.

    • Hannah
      May 22, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      Actually, it’s 45% for first time mothers giving birth at home in the UK. If she’s giving birth with a US CPM it could well be closer to 4%, that’s shy the outcomes are so much worse. The trick is to transfer before disaster strikes (also, admittedly, a high proportion of that 45% will be for pain relief).

  17. anonymous
    May 21, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    Wow, she pulled it down already?

    • Eddie
      May 21, 2013 at 11:32 am #

      That didn’t last long at all! I’m surprised. I hope she pulled the page because she did more research and learned about her mistakes, rather than just fear of being attacked or being unable to handle criticism.

      • Box of Salt
        May 21, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

        When I looked at it an hour and a half ago, there were several (Anonymous) comments correcting her interpretation of “facts,” specifically in regards to mortality and the Netherlands. Maybe she did go check.

        • Antigonos CNM
          May 21, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

          Maybe someone [Dr. Amy?] sent her a copy of what Dr. Amy has written above.

          • May 21, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

            On most blogs you can see where your traffic is coming from so she most likely traced it back here.

          • Amazed
            May 21, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

            Hold your breath, fellow Dr Amy’s puppets. Start counting. Then, consult with Professor Googleman and he’ll point you to MDC or that other place where you’ll find the next Dr Amy is meeen to me whine.

          • suchende
            May 21, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

            I sort of doubt it. Dr A is pretty confrontational to convince people who are deep in the woo.

    • Susan
      May 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

      She must have pulled it down because Dr. Amy asked her to… 🙂

      • Frequent Guest
        May 21, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

        Dangit! I missed it. Did anyone happen to save it?

    • KarenJJ
      May 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

      I suppose the 9th thing not to say to a crunchy expectant mother is that she’s posted 8 things that are utter crap.

      • KarenJJ
        May 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

        argh. ruddy disqus. I should go back to logging in so I can delete the double post.

        • FormerPhysicist
          May 22, 2013 at 7:28 am #

          No, that was WORTH reading twice.

    • KarenJJ
      May 21, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

      I suppose the 9th thing not to say to a crunchy expectant mother is that the previous 8 things are utter crap.

  18. CanDoc
    May 21, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    It would be funny if it wasn’t so very, very disturbing.

  19. suchende
    May 21, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    The author doesn’t seem like a moron. That’s the scariest part of the NCB movement. So many of their claims seem so plausible.

    • May 21, 2013 at 11:40 am #

      I don’t think I was a moron when I attempted to homebirth. Gullible naive, yes, but smart people can be lied to, too.

    • Antigonos CNM
      May 21, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

      No, they aren’t morons, mainly. They are often highly educated women — but just educated in the wrong subjects [like having a PolySci degree, or Advanced Recycling, or some such] and think that they can’t be ignorant about anything else, when in fact they can be extraordinarily ignorant. When I taught a Lamaze course, I frequently had to also give a lesson in female reproductive anatomy to my college-educated clients who were barely past the “baby is born through the umbilicus” level. It never failed to flabbergast me.

      I cannot exaggerate what a help being a nurse is in raising children. From teething, through repeated encounters with lice, and an ovarian cyst, as well as dyslexia, the terrible twos [child development is part of Peds] and how to survive adolescents, my nursing education supplied me with the ability to cope with it all…

      • suchende
        May 21, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

        I run into a lot of fellow lawyers on the NCB boards, and one actually cited her training in legal evidence to support her ability to interpret data. Face palm.

        • Eddie
          May 21, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

          My best friend in grad school was taking a class in group theory http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_theory and one of her PhD candidate psych major roommates saw the title of the textbook and said, “Oh, I took that class!” D’oh! Algebraic groups != groups of people!

          Here’s how I look at it. My specific training in physics gives me an above-average lay-person ability to interpret statistics and analyses from other fields. However. Papers are written assuming a standard set of background information, and I just don’t have that background information outside of my areas of expertise. There will be things I don’t know and things I miss. If I am going to interpret a result from an area outside my expertise, I need to be humble enough to know I might be wrong and I need to listen to those with actual credentials in that area.

          Too many people with advanced degrees (and some lacking any) don’t have this humility. They believe their expertise is all-encompassing.

          In the 90s and 2000s (who knows about today), a psych professor I won’t name was convinced that the various particle colliders in the world were going to cause the universe to tunnel to a different vacuum state which would cause the Earth to turn into a supernova. He attempted to convince physicists of this “reality” and couldn’t understand why no-one took his histrionic writings seriously. When people with actual credentials tried to explain to him why it was all but impossible (and that far higher energy collisions occur throughout the universe without causing that effect), and that they loved their kids and didn’t want to destroy them, he was not open to evidence or persuasion.

          I don’t want to be that guy!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            May 22, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

            Too many people with advanced degrees (and some lacking any) don’t have this humility. They believe their expertise is all-encompassing.

            Another one of those “does not compute” moments for me.

            I really don’t understand it, but then again, I don’t know their circumstances. Perhaps where they are, they get that perspective (that having a PhD means they know everything) reinforced. I, OTOH, am constantly reminded of how little I know. I have no qualms saying that I am among the world’s experts in what I am working on, but “what I am working on” is only a very small part of the world. Shoot, I even can safely say that I know a hell of a lot more about stuff not directly in my field than most people do. For example, I know a lot more about physics than most everyone here (I love group theory, btw – I’ve run a lot of projection operators in my life…), but not everyone. Eddie knows more actual physics than I do, but then, my degree is in chemistry so why should I presume to know more about physics than he does? Moreover, I can’t catch up to him just by looking up stuff on the internet.

            I really don’t understand the concept that a PhD makes you an expert in anything you want to be. I would like to blame the fuzzy fields, like Art History and Literature, but I can’t. Mayim Bailick has a PhD in neuroscience (particularly, the role of the hypothalamus and obesity, IIRC), and somehow she thinks that makes her an expert in child rearing. I have said it before, I am just as qualified to write a book about child rearing as Mayim Bailick – I am a parent, and I have a PhD on an unrelated topic. Unfortunately, what I would say wouldn’t sell…

      • Laura
        May 21, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

        What’s funny, Antigonos, is that I am doing a reverse of you: having had 6 children with various medical issues has well prepared me for a nursing career! I start in the fall and suspect I might have a heads up in certain respects because of “life experience.” I come from a medical family, but was grossed out by “all that medical stuff” until I had six kids.

    • Leica
      May 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

      Many are well educated – but for some reason childbirth is a blind spot. I’m an E.D. nurse, and one of our trauma surgeons decided to have a home birth. She’s smart, she’s well-educated in medicine, but for some reason it didn’t click for her that birth at home was a terrible idea. Fortunately for her and the baby, everything did go very smoothly.

      • Anon
        May 21, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

        All of my husband’s friends that had home-births the mom had a Phd. Most of my friends are of the stupid hippy and/or ignorantly defiant variety. All have great health insurance and had to pay out of pocket for home birth.

  20. mamaellie
    May 21, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    My baby got a staph infection on her bum. She was born in a birth center. I wondered how much the cloth diapers had to do with it. When my mother used cloth she used terry squares that had to be folded into a diaper shape. She bleached them weekly so that when they were done they were so thin they had to be thrown away. Today’s cloth diapers are pretty great. They don’t leak and they are really cute, but it’s not recommended that you bleach them. They hold up so you can use them with the next kid. I couldn’t go back to cloth this time. It would have been way cheaper and they are so much cuter, but that infection was a little scary.

    • freckles
      May 21, 2013 at 11:10 am #

      you CAN bleach modern cloth diapers. the fancy schmancy wash routine is BS.

    • Leica
      May 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

      You can still bleach them – Bumgenius recommends monthly bleaching. I bleach mine every month (along with using normal amounts of detergent, not that 2 tsp nonsense), and they hold up just fine. All of my diapers are at least on baby #2, and many are on #3. The tiny ones have even been passed on to #4.

      • Antigonos CNM
        May 21, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

        If the infection was transmitted at the birth center, then their diapers were inadequately sterilized — remember that in a hospital setting, diapers are used between different infants and must be much more rigorously disinfected than at home where you have only your own bugs. [what hospital doesn’t use disposables today?]

        I used cloth with 3 kids because Israel didn’t have disposables back then, and just hanging them in the sun to dry disinfected them wonderfully.

        • mamaellie
          May 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

          I put some prefolds on the sanitize cycle on my washer once and they fell apart. I found that the sun took the stains out but not the smells? This time I use the whole foods disposables and try to feel good about that. And I do mostly. I have some old cloth for when I run out.
          No the infection didn’t come from the birth center, but I wondered if the duration was because she was being reinfected with the diapers.

      • mamaellie
        May 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

        Bum Genius were what I was using and they were pretty amazing overall. I have hard water so like the kissaluvs that I used before, I got to the point that I just couldn’t get the buildup out. You have my respect for putting yourself through all that laundry with 4. I have 4 and my girl wore her party dress to the pediatrician yesterday because it was the only thing clean. We are talking layers of tulle. She was adorable, and loud. And spinning on the doctor’s stool.

        • Leica
          May 21, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

          Oh, I don’t have 4 kids, just 2! You have my respect just for being able to handle 4 kids, period. I don’t know if I’d do cloth with that many (or maybe I’d have to because of the cost). My sister had 1 kid, passed diapers onto me, I’m using them on my 2, and have passed some on to a friend for hers.

    • rh1985
      May 21, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

      This discussion reminds me of a posting I once saw about how charities should only be providing cloth diapers and poor people shouldn’t be allowed to use disposables. Of course, someone later pointed out that it would be a bit hard to use cloth diapers without a washing machine…. I should try to find it again.

      • rh1985
        May 22, 2013 at 3:18 am #

        http://www.change.org/petitions/wic-to-add-cloth-diapers found it, can’t believe so many people signed it, I think I saw the link on a message board originally

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
        May 22, 2013 at 11:25 am #

        Wow! I wish idiots like that had to deal with: a newborn, living an apartment that had long, steep stairs to get to the ground floor and no washing machine or dryer. Oh and a couple of really bad tears from the delivery too! Add in the fact that my husband was on active duty and it just makes me want to smack who ever thought they were being helpful with that petition. Because apparently if you are poor, you aren’t smart enough to decide what works best for your situation /snark. They are the same ones who think WIC should not allow formula unless “medically necessary”. And yes I knew mothers who were military or military spouses who qualified for WIC. OK, rant over.

  21. Eskimo
    May 21, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    But, but, she “deeply researched” it! And she decided its a good idea, I mean, she even posted a clip of a comedian talking about it so its totally ok!

  22. Karen in SC
    May 21, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    If I get the time this summer, I would love to make a game about NCB lies. It would use the “dead baby card deck”. Half the cards would have one of these NCB or other pertinent falsehoods printed on the front, half would have actual facts. On the opposite side would be the rebuttal (or support) including citations.

    Deal out the cards and players would separate into True False piles. Points awarded for cards in the correct pile.

    I’m open to suggestions on improving the game. Maybe even a name more appropriate to use at baby showers (and blessing ways). However the Dead Baby Game sounds pretty cool. LOL

    • Karen in SC
      May 21, 2013 at 9:58 am #

      I thought of another name myself : Are you smarter than an OB?

      • Eddie
        May 21, 2013 at 11:34 am #

        I love it! I’m sure you could easily come up with enough facts to create a whole deck of cards, but will the game be country-specific?

        • KarenJJ
          May 21, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

          Sure. It would be:
          The noble savages

          (and yes, that was meant to be horrifically racist and I do apologise on behalf of the halfwits that think like this).

          • Squillo
            May 21, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

            I think I love you.

            (You should totally add “Holland” as a separate entity,)

          • Leica
            May 21, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

            I was recently reading Jared Diamond’s “The world before today,” in which he recounts a truly natural birth tale. A Piraha indian woman, a primip, goes off on her own to have a baby. No one goes to help her because the Piraha believe in personal autonomy above all (including the right of children to play with anything they want, such as knives or fire). The baby is breech, and they both die.

          • Alexis C.
            May 21, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

            Oooh, I didn’t know he had a new book out! I loved “Collapse” and “Guns Germs and Steel.”

          • Sullivan ThePoop
            May 21, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

            Really? I think his books are excellently researched and would read another, but I am not fond of his writing style.

          • Antigonos CNM
            May 21, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

            I would be quite proud of being included in the Noble Savage category. I’m in Jerusalem.

      • Karen in SC
        May 21, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

        A dozen or so votes – maybe I need to get serious!

    • Antigonos CNM
      May 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

      Birth Bingo!

    • ducky
      May 21, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

      Uhh… I like the idea of the game but that’s a horrible title. Just my $0.02.

    • Lisa from NY
      May 22, 2013 at 5:43 am #

      I think a youtube video would be more effective, some kind of sad song with headlines of homebirth deaths and pics of babies who died.

  23. May 21, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    Thank you. I no longer need that second cup of coffee.

  24. Who me?
    May 21, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Wow, #6 is probably the most idiotic thing I have ever seen. I’d LOVE to see a midwife that has training equal to a neonatologist. She just has no idea that on top of a bachelor’s degree, medical degree, internship and residency in pediatrics, they also spend 3 YEARS working only in neonatology in order to get the skills to pass the boards and practice. It’s idiocy to think that a midwife who maybe has a GED has any of those skills. Do these people really think that Google = a medical degree?

    • Allie P
      May 21, 2013 at 10:36 am #


    • May 21, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      B-b-but they SPECIALIZE in normal BIRTH!

      Who needs to know anything about pharmacology, or anatomy, or the dozens of ways that birth can be abnormal?

      All you need is a singleton, vertex baby at term and a healthy mother. If you don’t have those things, just declare them “variations of normal” and since you ARE the expert in normal birth, you obviously can handle normal variations.

      • Lisa from NY
        May 21, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

        And a placenta that delivers with no remnants left behind; no tears that bleed profusely; strong contractions that don’t require pitocin; and all your friends have to be positive.

        • Eddie
          May 21, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

          For some reason, I want to sing, “And these are a few of my fav-o-rite things” …. 🙂

    • Susan
      May 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

      Yes, of the many flat out false statements that one is the worst.

    • Antigonos CNM
      May 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

      From a very practical point of view, just imagine trying to resuscitate a baby while delivering a placenta or managing a hemorrhage. Even with a second pair of hands. I don’t care how experienced a midwife is, unlike a Hindu god, she has only 2 hands and can be in only one place at a time. And having an apprentice or other dogsbody there isn’t really any help in such a situation. [Try also to put in an IV during a major hemorrhage, with veins collapsing, and even if the midwife isn’t panic-ing, everyone else is. Lots of blood all over the place has that effect on people.

    • Bombshellrisa
      May 21, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

      And a neonatologist has to keep up with current practice. It’s not a one time deal where they do a skills exam and get a card that says they can do rescue breaths.

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