Homebirth midwives and postpartum hemorrhage


On Mother’s Day, from Baby Center:

My husbands cousin passed away today while giving birth. She was 24, beautiful, had just graduated with her masters in engineering, and was getting married. She was due may 15th. She went into labor today. She had a home birth and midwife. She bled to death on the way to the hospital that was 8 minutes away. Her daughter is alive…

This young woman did not have to die, leaving her infant daughter motherless. She died because she chose homebirth, because hemorrhage is and has always been one of the leading causes of maternal mortality, and because a hospital only “8 minutes away” isn’t close enough.

But almost certainly contributing to her death is the fact that homebirth midwives know virtually nothing about postpartum hemorrhage.

Actually, it’s worse than that. Homebirth midwives believe that they can control hemorrhage by doing what they know how to do best: nothing.

In the world of homebirth midwifery clowns, few are as inane as Jan Tritten, the editor of Midwifery Today. Consider her recent editorial on postpartum hemorrhage.

Tritten is appallingly ignorant about the causes of postpartum hemorrhage. She actually appears to believe that postpartum hemorrhage occurs when mother and midwife don’t have the proper thoughts.

The most important thing I can say about hemorrhage is, “Don’t cause one.” If the body is well fed and mom is low on stress and feels loved, motherbaby and their process of labor and birth work well. Our first and most important job is to facilitate what is already a beautiful process. God designed this process to work, but birth workers can come along and do interventions that may cause hemorrhage…

The real causes of postpartum hemorrhage include uterine atony (failure of the uterus to contract after birth), retained placenta (failure of the placenta to completely detach after birth) and injuries to the uterus itself (such as tears of the cervix, which can happen if a woman tries to push the baby through before the cervix is completely dilated). Obviously, none of these has anything to do with what the mother or the midwife “thinks.”

Where did Tritten get such an appallingly stupid idea about what causes postpartum hemorrhage?

Perhaps she got it from these midwifery clowns, Jenny A. Parratt, and Kathleen M. Fahy, the authors of Including the nonrational is sensible midwifery:

For example, when a woman and midwife have agreed to use expectant management of third stage, but bleeding begins unexpectedly, the expert midwife will respond with either or both rational and nonrational ways of thinking. Depending upon all the particularities of the situation the midwife may focus on supporting love between the woman and her baby; she may call the woman back to her body; and/or she may change to active management of third stage…

So not only do we have the editor of Midwifery Today indulging in massive stupidity, there are actually midwifery professors and journalists who encourage this idiocy.

And they’re not the only ones. According to Tritten:

I asked a question about hemorrhage and Margie Dacko had the most interesting response:

“I never used Pitocin in over 2400 homebirths. My hands are my favorite and best tool to stop bleeding (or getting placentas out). BTW, I don’t use eating placenta, herbs or homeopathic bleeding remedies either. They are unnecessary. The uterus wants to stop bleeding, just needs a “helping hand” on occasion…”

The uterus wants to stop bleeding??!!

And just how does a uterus with a tear in the cervix stop itself from bleeding? It can’t.

There is an old saying that to a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To a homebirth midwife, who knows nothing and can do nothing, everything looks like it needs no treatment.

For a homebirth midwife to acknowledge that childbirth, just like pregnancy, just like any natural process, is not perfectly designed, is to acknowledge her own worthlessness. It gives new meaning to the bizarre claim that homebirth midwives are “experts in normal birth.” They’re experts in doing nothing and pretending that nothing is what needs to be done.

God help you if you or your baby needs emergency treatment. These clowns certainly won’t.