Trust Babyslaughters 2013

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How big a moron do you have to be to actually pay $450 and attend the Trust Birth Babyslaughterers 2013 Conference?

Evidently, an extraordinarily big moron. Perhaps there is another explanation (and I’d be happy if someone would provide it), but I can’t imagine why anyone would attend a conference staffed by the largest collection of birth criminals in the Southern Hemisphere, besides the obvious reason: terminal stupidity.

What’s a birth criminal (aka babyslaughterer)?

A birth criminal is a midwife who ignores the growing pile of tiny bodies, babies who died preventable deaths as a result of her direct or indirect professional actions.

My view of involuntary babyslaughter is that a newborn death resulting from taking of an unreasonable and high degree of risk should be considered criminally negligent babyslaughter.

I suppose we ought to give homebirth advocates credit for intellectual honesty. It doesn’t matter to them whether babies live or die and they don’t care who knows it. Apparently, babies who die are just collateral damage in the fight for every woman to put her birth experience ahead of her baby’s very life. Apparently the woman who preside over those preventable deaths have information to impart that aspiring babyslaughterers are anxious to hear.

There are quite a few birth criminals/babyslaughterers at the upcoming conference in Sydney.

The list is led by babyslaughterer extraordinaire, Lisa Barrett. Barrett is a one woman crime wave, presiding over no fewer than 5 preventable deaths, as well as practicing midwifery without a license and taking her claim that a baby who born only barely alive as a result of her negligence should be ignored as not a person all the way to the Australian High Court (and losing). Ironically, Lisa Barrett has done more to strengthen regulation of homebirth than homebirth opponents ever could have managed; she has convincingly demonstrated the dangers of homebirth, the irresponsibility of many homebirth midwives, and their preference for myth over scientific evidence.

As the person who alerted me to the conference noted:

She has a number of presentations happening. Two pre-conference workshops – one on breech birth (she is very good at losing breech babies) and the other on “Linguistic and Hypnotic Speech Patterns for the Antenatal and Birth Period” so that others can manipulate their clients as effectively as she does.

As you can see she is (most frighteningly) now “a master practitioner of NLP, Hypnotherapy, Time Line Therapy, and a life coach.”

It seems that the more babies that have died under your care the more conference sessions you get. She is also presenting “”Mapping the Pelvis” – Learn more about the pelvis so that you can “see” how it is that the baby navigates it.”

And finally – “”Hanzoutta: Progress without VEs” – Let’s talk about the ways to predict dilatation without a vaginal exam. Learn how to gauge the rhythm of a woman’s progress through labour without putting your fingers in her vagina”.

Claire Hall, who has no profile on the site, is talking about optimal foetal positioning. Claire wins the prize for most creative attempt at fooling the Coroner’s Court for her claim that a baby who was pronounced dead two days after birth was actually stillborn. The Coroner didn’t believe her.

Janet Fraser occupies a special place in the pantheon of birth criminals, because she let her own baby die. She gets extra points for publicly declaring that her dead baby not as traumatic for her as birth rape. Really? Who would have guessed that her personal experience meant more to her than whether her baby lived or died?

In addition to the babyslaughterers, there is a particularly impressive collection of birth clowns including:

Barbara Harper (Waterbirth: Barbara Harper spreads stupidity)

Joy Jones, “consultant on the subject of the Brewer Diet, and the creator of the “Brewer Pregnancy Diet” website,” perhaps the epitome of birth quacktivism.

and, who can forget Carla Hartley, originator of the psychobabble mantra “Trust Birth.”

So let’s see, a lecturer on breech birth who has presided over an extraordinary number of breech deaths, a lecturer on fetal positioning who apparently can’t tell whether a baby is dead or alive, a woman who let her own baby die, a nitwit who made up the principles of waterbirth, a nitwit who promotes the completely debunked Brewer diet, and Carla Hartley, perhaps the biggest nitwit of them all.

To the morons who are actually paying $450 and attending Trust Birth Babyslaughterers 2013:

Please stop by and let us know why you think you will learn anything useful from a conference of birth criminals who have presided over an extraordinarily large number of babyslaughter deaths. Inquiring minds want to know.

  • Guest
  • Jen

    Fraser pocketed the AU$5000 baby bonus despite causing the death of her baby. She was happy to say the baby was born alive to get the money. From The Australian newspaper “Ms Fraser — who had argued that Roisin had been stillborn, so there had
    been no death to warrant an inquest — told the inquest that she had
    applied for a birth certificate after Roisin’s death to access the baby
    bonus.” Nice. Betting her surviving children are unvaccinated and she also claimed the maternity immunisation allowance.

  • Sue

    OH MY GOODNESS: This birthfest is being held up the road from where I work. With Lisa Barrett -now self-described as “master practitioner of NLP. Hypnotherapy, Time Line Therapy, and a life coach” presenting a workshop on breech birth! This is outrageous!

    • KarenJJ

      How’s your blood pressure? Thinking of going?

      Bankstown is great for pho, but wouldn’t have picked it as a ‘woo’ hotspot for Sydney.

      • Sue

        Right, Karen – great food, not so great for sightseeing. Certainly there would be some TCM amongst Indo-Chinese and Chinese migrants, but not much HB.

    • Lizzie Dee

      That is mildly hilarious. Wikipaedia describes NLP thus:

      “NLP serves as an example of pseudoscience for facilitating the teaching of scientific literacy at the professional and university level.”

      So this translates as a Master of being dumb and gullible. And dangerous.

  • Something From Nothing

    I sincerely hope that this conference of crackpots is not sponsored by the SOGC. They made a big mistake giving sponsorship money to the breech birth conference held in Detroit, lets hope that was a lesson to look into requests for money very carefully before agreeing to sponsor.

  • Aunti Po Dean

    Mec stained liquor …variant of normal….who knew?

  • Phascogale

    One reason for paying the $450 and going would include: having an education budget (as you need a certain number of hours of education each year to maintain your registration as a nurse/midwife) and needing to use it. But the reason for coming along to this conference is so that you learn what not to do and that you also find out what sort of stuff is being preached out there for when you come across women in their pregnancies and labours who do believe in all of this stuff.

    • amazonmom

      I could spend my continuing Ed fund on this but I’m worried I would run out of the room with my hands on my head yelling THE WOO IT BURNS!!!!

      • I would probably pay to see that video if it existed. The shocked faces of those left behind …

        • KarenJJ

          We could sponsor a Skeptical Ob punching ball and couch for those that cannot cope with the level of crap dished out. We could serve coffee – make it fair trade but served with pasturised cows milk. And have a few coroner’s reports lying around to read.

  • araikwao

    Urgh. Further evidence that university education doesn’t protect against woo-embracing 🙁

  • attitude devant

    You know, if the conference attendees think this meeting is worthwhile, maybe they’d like to look at the nice bridge in Brooklyn that I have for sale….

  • Squillo

    Maybe the American Society of Addiction Medicine can take a cue from this Kalvalkade of Killer Klowns and invite Conrad Murray to keynote their next meeting.

  • KumquatWriter

    I had to look up “time line therapy” which is a technique of neurolinguistic psychology (NLP). Not only is it debunked as pseudoscience, it is EXACTLY the technique that cults use to aid in controlling their victims. Specifically, it can be used to create false memories of trauma. Scientology, alien abduction regression therapy – these are only two examples. Watch it in action in this episode of Penn & Teller’s Bullshit: http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=gdbOZS2FKmI&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DgdbOZS2FKmI

    I say this not just looking at the definition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuro-linguistic_programming) but as a cult survivor. I’ve HAD false memories implanted and experienced the trauma both of the fake memories and the even more painful deprogramming.

    • Ashley Wilson

      Having followed your own blog and knowing your story, having you see the correlations in manipulation is chilling. I wonder if that’s why you see so many stories on here after a failed homebirth where the mother defends the midwife so much. It’s not just that they are deep into the woo but that they are actively being manipulated and are really in deep. Deep enough that the death of their own child hasn’t brought them out of it. That’s a really scary thought.

      • PrecipMom

        As a former homebirther, I would say that that happens far more often than one would realize.

    • Renee

      How scary.
      But if you have ever hung out with the hardcore HB crowd, you would know this is probably used quite a bit.

    • Lisa from NY

      Can you provide a link to the story of your fake memories implanted? I would like to read your story.

      • Renee

        Click her screen name, I think it goes to the blog. If not, you can google the screen name and it will come up.

      • kumquatwriter

        Kumquatwriter.com 🙂

    • Lisa from NY

      Here is a direct YouTube link to Penn & Teller interviewing Dr. Cohen who says that regression therapists implant memories in patients:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjt7YwsWgl4

      To forward to this statement, see 10:55 (10 minutes, 55 seconds)

  • Bombshellrisa

    I had no idea (still don’t) what time line therapy is, but I found this link. http://www.timelinetherapy.net/

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      I agree with you. Even after reading that, I still don’t know what it is.

      • Sue

        Doesn’t it have something to do with fixing up your FB page?

  • Anonymous

    Those drawings are creepy.

  • KarenJJ

    Typo in the title? 2012 instead of 2013.

    • Sue

      The site seems to be a mish-mash of the 2012 Nashville and 2013 Bansktown (Sydney) meetings. They have accommodation listed as Rydges Bankstown but sightseeing as country music in Nashville. I can assure people that the working-class suburb of Bankstown is no tourist Mecca, except for the wonderful variety of ethnic foods.

  • Anj Fabian

    Stimulus: anything Joy Jones writes
    Response: headdesk

  • Anj Fabian

    For those who have mastered palm reading, a new challenge – placenta reading:

    ” Learning to read the placenta, to recognize anomalies that may signal
    the need for more in depth study that can be lifesaving for the newly
    born infant, is a critical skill that each midwife should develop.”

    If you are really interested in the condition of the newborn, perhaps a thorough evaluation of said newborn would be the obvious first step? Anatomic Pathology usually handles the analysis of the placenta.

    • Michellejo

      “For those who have mastered palm reading, a new challenge – placenta reading:”
      Please tell me you’re kidding.

      • Something From Nothing

        Nope, she’s not. Go to the conference website and look through the topics. It’s mind boggling…

        • Eddie

          My rhetorical question is … how does a group of people get so thoroughly off track, so far from anything evidence-based? In some ways, it’s quite astonishing. It clearly shows that there is no self-correcting mechanism in place.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I know you concede it is rhetorical, but I have a suggestion. It’s a combination of “glass houses” and “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Not everyone in woo believes all the other woo, but they are not willing to be critical of others because they know that it would bring the spotlight onto their own pet lunacy. Therefore, to avoid having to face critical assessment, they avoid criticizing others.

            Second, even if you don’t believe the other woo being presented, as long as it is not mainstream, then you’ll accept it.

            As a result, everyone’s lunacy gets included, and no one steps up to object.

            Why don’t midwives step up to object to the supposed outliers? Because they aren’t really outliers, not by all that much. Oh, such-and-such a midwife may not do exactly that certain bad thing, but they have their own baggage, and they don’t want to open that can of worms.

          • fiftyfifty1

            And that’s why I no longer trust CNM care. CNMs won’t turn the spotlight on CPMs for the reasons you lay out. And that means they are not shining the light on themselves either. And even ones who don’t believe in total crazy woo still often have a NCB bias. A NCB birth is a better outcome than a non-medicated birth in their eyes (and not just because “hey, if the birth was unmedicated that means it was probably straightforward and uncomplicated, I’m happy for your luck”). It is really a type of infection.

          • Eddie

            You describe well what the lack of a self-correcting mechanism is, precisely. While some people clearly think it is meeeen to shine the light of reality on others’ woo, when groups will not do so it allows them to drift farther and farther from reality.

    • Eddie

      I’d raise my hand, “Um,…. should you really wait until the placenta is available before diagnosing anything falling into the category of ‘lifesaving’?” I wouldn’t be able to stop myself. I’m fortunate to work in an industry and for a company where speaking my mind (as long as I’m not disrespectful) is encouraged. I’d just get bodily thrown out of a conference like this. I’d keep asking “dumb” questions.

      “No, I’m sorry, I still don’t get it. How is this a good idea?”

  • Mel

    I avoid conferences where most of the presenters have criminal records. Personal preference, I know, but I’d rather be sewing.

    • KarenJJ

      Me too. And I really detest sewing.

      • Sue

        I love sewing, but I don’t get to do much because I’m always commenting.

      • Petanque

        Maybe we should go and just knit in the corner!

  • Anj Fabian

    At least they consider shoulder dystocia an emergency:
    ” the mechanical, physical and emotional causes that cause this emergency.”

    • KarenJJ

      emotional causes? Bring on the ‘conflicted mother’ and victim blaming… Still, hopefully it’s not Lisa Barrett running that one, she was the one who spent 20 minutes with hand cramps trying to deliver a baby that was stuck due to shoulder dystocia.

    • PrecipMom

      They should rename it. Shoulder Dystocia: Bony impaction or moral failing?

    • OBPI Mama

      The emotional part is why my son experienced this… Even though I had a homebirth, I didn’t trust birth enough!

      Gag. Complete BS (wish I could have come to that conclusion 5 years ago instead of feeling inadequate as a woman for the 3 years it took me to get through that crap).

      Maybe the midwives can reassure other s/d mamas about how they saved from having a c-section… forget injury to the baby! Whew!

    • Eddie

      I just saw Dr Oz on CNN where he talked about hypno-birthing (as a positive thing). He mentioned that we’re learning just how many problems of adulthood and childhood are caused during the birth process by mother being stressed. *facepalm*.

      • Michellejo

        Hey, don’t bash hypno-birthing; a certain Kate in Britain is planning it whilst splashing in a pool.

        • Expat in Germany

          say it ain’t so!

          • Michellejo

            That’s what everyone’s saying. Further proof that being university educated doesn’t protect you from the woo; neither does being a royal.

          • KarenJJ

            From what I read (a few years ago now) Prince Charles is a big supporter of ‘natural’ and homeopathy.

          • Sue

            Yes – being a royal doesn’t protect your from woo – it’s almost a prerequisite (at least in the UK).

          • Bombshellrisa

            Nothing says “princess” like sitting in a tub full of lukewarm water, having someone using one of those fishnet things to remove your feces from the water while you howl “it hurts”.

        • Dr Kitty

          I suspect not somehow.

          I also think that her due date has been fudged to give them some privacy.

          She’ll be attended by the Queen’s gynaecologist at a private hospital, and somehow I doubt there will be much of a push for “hands off” care when the life of a possible future monarch is at stake.

          I’m going to bet on CEFM and a CS at the first sign of trouble.

  • Anj Fabian

    …now scanning for the wonders of garlic since the essential oils bingo square is covered:

    “Oil Truths and Testimonials – Carrie Shepard, Heather Brock, Emily Reeves, Grace Welliver

    Find out WHY essential oils work. Learn insider aspects of
    using essential oils from these experienced oilers “

    • KarenJJ

      They missed a word:

      experienced snake oilers

      There. Fixed it.

  • Anj Fabian

    Dafuq?
    “What does the placenta do which creates higher blood sugars in pregnancy?”

    The placenta? I did some searching and a couple of quick reads, and my conclusion is that endocrinology is still way over my head. I’m sure the presentation will be interesting and grossly over simplify the mechanisms. I expect it will also present an appealing alternative to evidence based medicine.

    Pity no endocrinologist is likely to attend and record the number of jaw drops and face palms the presentation provokes.

    • KarenJJ

      I’d love for an obgyn to attend. Previous AMA president Dr Andrew Pesce maybe? Or perhaps a female one?

      • Sue

        In the Bankstown area, they are much too busy delivering babies!

    • AmyP

      I had gestational diabetes last year, and as I recall, the placenta is a major culprit for gestational diabetes. I remember adding that to my growing list of reasons why the placenta is my least favorite organ (placental abruption, placental failure, problems detaching the placenta post-partum, etc.).

      That said, their ideas about how to cope with gestational diabetes will probably be 80% garbage, although this may be the one time where kale lives up to its hype. When I was a gestational diabetic, I had a lot of success with a baby spinach-centric diet, which is kind of the same idea.

      • Antigonos CNM

        Placenta a “major culprit for gestational diabetes”? Beg pardon–GDM can cause placental calcification, with resulting intrauterine growth retardation, not the other way round. And eating a lot of spinach, if you avoided carbohydrates, is a way of adjusting one’s diet for GDM, but a rather drastic one, if that was all you ate.

        This is a good illustration of getting everything backwards. GDM has a lot of different effects, but the effects don’t cause GDM.The causes of GDM are still obscure, although we know a lot more than we used to do. A carbohydrate-restricted diet is advised in GDM, but whether you eat a certain vegetable with every meal, or eat lots of vegetables in place of carbs, you get the same effect. There’s nothing intrinsic in kale, or spinach, or Swiss chard, or any other green leafy vegetable which “prevents” or “treats” GDM, but they are all good to eat in any case.

        • Dr. Karen

          Look up Human Placental Lactogen

        • Dr. Karen

          The elevated blood glucose level in gestational diabetes is caused by hormones released by the placenta during pregnancy. The placenta produces a hormone called the human placental lactogen (HPL), also known as human chorionic somatomammotropic (HCS). It’s similar to growth hormone (so it helps the baby grow), but it actually modifies the mother’s metabolism and how she processes carbohydrates and lipids. HPL actually raises the mother’s blood glucose level and makes her body less sensitive to insulin—less able to use it properly. If the body doesn’t use insulin as it should, the blood glucose level goes up. The HPL hormone elevates the blood glucose level so that the baby gets enough nutrients from the extra glucose in the blood.

          At 15 weeks, another hormone that affects the mother’s blood glucose level increases production: human placental growth hormone. This hormone helps regulate the mother’s blood glucose level, again to make sure that the baby gets enough nutrients. It can, however, cause the blood glucose level in the mother to go too high.

          • AmyP

            So, putting together what you and Antigonos said, the placenta can contribute to gestational diabetes, and then the GD can cause the placenta to stop functioning.

            (I didn’t eat only spinach, but I have been keeping a box of it at home ever since, and I’ve gotten a whole new appreciation for veggies.)

          • Eddie

            Without that much detail, that’s exactly what my wife was told when she had GD. Fortunately, a borderline case, easily controlled by diet.

          • Lizzie Dee

            Can somebody sensible set me straight on some very muddled ideas?

            The placenta and the baby are to some extent foreign bodies, and a woman’s body has to switch off certain systems, become more passive, for things to go well. The position of the baby, and the state of the placenta are not something that can be controlled or changed. If implantation does not go well, no amount of Kale is going to make much difference. I half-read somewhere that male genes have much to do with the efficiency of placentas (so is eating it cannibalism?) I am a bit fascinated, but very ill-informed, about maternal-fetal conflict, but it doesn’t seem to quite fit with the dreamy Birth Goddess view. I do struggle a bit with the idea we are “designed” as well. Most of my systems have worked with impressive efficiency for longer than usual – but not that one. My physical recovery and psychological resilience seemed to function fairly well – so am I a threat to the gene pool or what? Without modern medicine, I wold have joined the many corpses of healthy young women that demonstrate the supremacy of the birth goddesses. I mean,if anyone can do it where is the achivement?

        • Therese

          When I was diagnosed with GD my OB also made it clear that it was the hormones from the placenta that caused the condition. That’s why women pregnant with twins are at a higher risk of GD. More placenta=more hormones=more risk of GD. I am really surprised a CNM wouldn’t know this, but I suppose it’s because you’d risk out a patient with GD anyway??

    • Antigonos CNM

      Do you know that “dafuq” in Hebrew means “screwed up”?