A gaggle of birth lunatics

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It keeps getting harder to parody homebirth and natural childbirth advocates because they continue to do and say things that are ever more outrageous.

I offer the following for your entertainment pleasure. And no, sorry to say, this is not satire.

Carla (“Trust Birth”) Hartley bemoaning a birth video she watched:

Why is the midwife wearing scrubs? Using a Doppler? Why is she dangling her hand in the water? (Water has energy and reacts!) No…she doesn’t need a vaginal exam to see where she is……Why are they all talking? Why the hat????????????? oh for the love of all that is holy, this is their THERE YOU ARE….get out of it….NO NO NO get those scissors away from the cord…..get your hands off the cord…please….I cannot believe what I am seeing…..stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO! Don’t tell mamma to take a shower or an herb bath! Baby and mamma need their birthy smells for each other….and don’t clean that blood off the perineum it is healing….Don’t take baby away from mamma….Please…all that measuring and weighing can wait til tomorrow……….get that hat off that baby, take all those clothes off and let baby and mommy be skin to skin PLEASSSSSSSEEEEEEEEE

Oh, the HORROR!!!!!! Ohmygod, Ohmygod, Ohmygod, the HAT!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhh, the midwife’s hand in the water and water has energy and reacts!!!!!!!

Lest you think that Hartley is mere a lone nitwit, consider the 115 “likes.”

They are a veritable who’s who of birth idiots including:

Lori Carr, LM, CPM (Highland Midwife)
Jeanice Barcelo, founder of the forthcoming “Birth of a New Earth Preparatory School for Conscious Procreation.”
Elizabeth Noble, author and self-proclaimed ENNOBLER

Consider the comments.

From Placenta (“Rowan”) Bailey, currently awaiting prosecution in connection with a homebirth death:

I can hardly believe what folks do to themselves sometimes.

Jasmine Krapf:

I do the same thing when I watch birth videos. Lots of yelling and frustration and sometimes punching the couch….yeah, I admit it.

Meredith Ryan:

I only ever search for “unassisted birth” videos but its amazing what passes as that. Suddenly vaginal birth is “unassisted”?! Pissed me right off.

And according to others who can see it, Janet (her dead baby not as traumatic as birth rape) Fraser says in one of her comments that her daughter has been “heckling” birth videos since she was 4 years old.

Her other daughter can’t watch birth videos since she’s dead, as a result of Fraser’s hideous narcissism.

And what precipitated this faux anguish?

According to Sheila Stubbs:

Carla’s rant was triggered by this video I posted. I thought it was very moving to see her squeals of joy and huge outpouring of love while this birth occurred in the midst of everyday family life, though I thought they cut the cord too quickly. I didn’t notice everything Carla ranted about. http://www.cecijane.net/shes-a-girl-just-like-me/

So we have a bunch of birth activists criticizing the video of another birth activist giving birth. Nice!

All I can say is keep those blog entries, Facebook posts, and comments coming.

I could make you look like fools without your help, but it is so much easier to have your assistance!

  • koffeewitch

    Why are you taking Carla’s quote out of context and making it sound as if she responded to the above video in such a way? It’s sleazy and dishonest.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Out of context? What context is there that would make her seem like anything other than a lunatic?

  • amazonmom

    Update on my friend’s baby. Baby is now on a fortified EBM diet. Mom has soundly rejected the woo!

  • Eskimo

    Off topic but a good article about how dangerous it is to have Jenny McCathy on The View.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/17/opinion/perry-jenny-mccarthy-autism/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

  • Amazed

    Hey, Dr Amy, care to explore the politics of MDC in a post? The homebirth forum is reserved only for those who support homebirth and want to have one but the question like “Should I have a homebirth?” is hosted there, too. Along with the “yes, of course!” replies. Big surprise, eh? And with the ridiculous statement that elective c-section triples the risk of death. When a member posted links about the superior safety of elective c-sections over vaginal delivery, she was quickly deleted.

    My favorite PLACAD (permanent lack of analyzing and comprehending abilities disorder) sufferer, aka the glorious mod by the name of Identity Crisis Mama, is at her best!

  • Isilzha

    I wonder how they insure all that “reactive” water doesn’t contain molecules from really bad things? Is there a special filter that erases all the bad history of the water? What if a few of the water molecules were used by Charles Manson for a shower?

    I’m not sure why they’d be worried, any GOOD midwife would only cause positive water reactivity! Though I’m not sure how good a midwife needs to be in order to counter Charles Manson reacted water!

    How do people come to believe such ridiculous crap??

  • And what is truly laughable is how obscene the very idea of a maternal request cesarean would be to these fools!

  • Lori

    Oh and does this mean that waterbirths should be contraindicated since they likely rinse off that labor-y goodness??

  • Lori

    The first shower I took after giving birth was euphoric, like a spiritual awakening. I think it was a combo of finally being alone, realizing, “holy shit, I just had a real live baby,” and ya know, letting warm water wash all that labor grime off while I looked at my feet for the first time in 2 months. Magical I tell you, these ladies don’t know what they are missing!

    • Carol

      Amen to that! After all my births, my attitude was, “Baby’s OK? I’m OK? Great! How soon do I get a shower and clean sheets?”

  • yentavegan

    These women are frighteningly judgmental. I feel sorry for their clients, their offspring and their significant others.

  • Hannah

    Lol, the midwife’s hand makes contact with the water for a fraction of a second!

    Incidentally, I thought the expressions on the eldest sister’s face were wonderful.

  • schnitzelbank

    I have a five year old next to me here, and a two year old on my lap. We are watching Nick Jr, instead of birth videos. I most certainly dressed them in onesies and hats, and rinsed off my ass after I birthed them. It may seem like they have a healthy attachment with me, but I’m concerned that I have ruined everything now. NB, I did not encapsulate my placenta. Please advise.

    • Elizabeth A

      It’s too late for you. You might as well drop out and start feeding them ice cream before dinner.

      Enjoy Phineas and Ferb.

      • schnitzelbank

        Do I have to give back my “Trust Birth” sash and crown, too?

        • Elizabeth A

          The enforcement on that is really spotty. They never remember to come get them.

    • Zornorph

      What? You washed off the ‘birthy smells’? How dare you!
      Honestly, that line grossed me out more than anything else. When are these freaks going to start suggesting that the baby should be licked clean since that’s how dogs do it?

      • Anon

        Shhhhh! Don’t suggest it to them!

  • amazonmom

    Nothing the nuts do surprises me any more. In other woo news, a friend of mine has a 2 month old with failure to thrive. The baby had a birth weight of 7 pounds 2 ounces , and has not reached 8 pounds. The pediatrician is very concerned . The woo pitchers are saying there is nothing wrong since she is exclusively breastfeeding. They are telling her to refuse the docs recommendations for further work up. Her hubby and I are telling her to at least let the doc figure out what is wrong before rejecting his advice…

    • schnitzelbank

      If this mother was losing weight in pregnancy and had IUGR, would she have done nothing??

      • Antigonos CNM

        Probably not. Just a variation of normal, doncha know?

        I have had women who thought not gaining weight in pregnancy was a Really Good Thing, so they wouldn’t “lose their figure” afterward, and I’m willing to bet that a woman who buys into the birth woo so much never had any ultrasounds and wouldn’t think of IUGR, if she knew what it was, to be a possibility.

        • Wren

          I only gained a little (15 lbs the first time and less than that the second) and still lost my figure, or at least drastically remodelled it.

          My issue was 9 months of morning, noon and night sickness each time though, not a deliberate attempt to not gain weight.

          • KumquatWriter

            PREACH, my Puke-Warrior sister. My net weight gain was 12lbs I think? Lost 14 in the first trimester and my appetite has actually not fully recovered.

          • Wren

            Oh, my gains are the official ones, so from about 8-9 weeks. I had already lost some by then, so my total weight gains from when I found out I was pregnant are less. With my second, I was hospitalised with a combination of food poisoning and morning sickness at 6 weeks (for 3 days starting Christmas Day) and lost a fair amount then. Lucky me I have the model of body that gains weight while breast feeding so I ended up weighing more when she was a year old than I did when I gave birth.

          • L&DLaura

            This hyperemesis girl lost 40 pounds in both pregnancies. Ended up with a PICC line with my son.

          • KumquatWriter

            Laura – I think HG moms actually deserve medals. I had it twice (first was a loss, we’re ok), and it was enough to bump me from 75% to 100% I never wanted to be pregnant again. Did you read any of the books? I had the Morning Sickness Companion…

          • L&DLaura

            I didn’t read any books (mostly because I could barely function). It was terrible. I’ve wanted kids forever and then had problems getting pregnant. To not want to be pregnant anymore was heartbreaking. Made it through. But I don’t know how.

          • MichelleJo

            Sympathies. There is no way to describe the hell of HG. I spent the first few weeks of my first pregnancy, when I wasn’t delirious, focused on one thought only, if only only only I would miscarry this baby now. We won’t have children, we’ll adopt, I don’t know, but THIS I cannot take. Absolute torture.

          • Dr Kitty

            HG is miserable.
            I weighed 45kg when I got pregnant, and less than 40kg with acute kidney injury at the end of the first trimester.
            Not good.

            Thankfully I only needed a short admission and IV fluids before I could tolerate oral Zofran (which is AMAZING!) and everything had settled by week 16.

            HG can be worse and last longer than chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting. Instead of being taken seriously and offered effective treatments women are often told to “eat ginger” and “think positively” or suspected of somehow somatising an unconscious desire to NOT be pregnant into vomiting (nope, but, as MichelleJo can attest, constant vomiting can make you wish you weren’t pregnant).

          • rh1985

            I’m pretty sure I’ve lost a little weight at this point (almost 8 weeks). I don’t have severe morning sickness, but I get acid reflux when I eat which has really killed my appetite, so I’m pretty much only eating two meals a day now. I did IF treatments so I’ve had two ultrasounds, baby is doing good so not worried. I have a few extra pounds on me from stress eating during the IVF so the baby will probably take from there and I imagine my appetite will get better at some point.

          • L&DLaura

            Congrats on the pregnancy!

        • amazonmom

          My hubby saw an article talking about how some woo pitcher was saying that ultrasounds cause IUGR and don’t improve outcomes. Hubby asked ” don’t IUGR babies get lots of ultrasounds because they are IUGR and need monitoring? Don’t you guys deliver babies early because the baby needs help based upon tests and stuff? How would you know what to do if you never did any exams and tests and stuff?” I told him the nuts are against doing “stuff” because their plan is to do nothing anyway! Trust Birth!

          • amazonmom

            OH LORD! I read the article my hubby found, it was written by Jennifer Margulis. Also claimed ultrasound causes autism. I don’t want my 19 week fetus getting exposed to excessive stress so I didn’t bother finishing it.

          • rh1985

            Oh no, I’ve had 3 ultrasounds already at almost 8 weeks and have another in a few days… my kid is doomed… DOOOOOOMED!!! (nothing wrong at this point, just it’s an IVF pregnancy and my clinic chooses to do frequent monitoring until the patient is released to her OB – I love it – more chances to see my baby is doing well)

    • Tim

      Even if the baby is breastfeeding, it should still be following its own growth curve and not dropping percentiles. If it’s dropping and not keeping up, something is wrong and the woo pitchers need to back the f off – keep encouraging your friend to listen to the pedi. Even my cardiac compromised daughter (35th percentile length, 1st percentile weight) manages to cling to that weight curve. She’s tiny, but she’s staying on trajectory, and thats what matters.

      • amazonmom

        The baby was at the 25th percentile at birth and is now way below the 3rd. Extremely concerning.

        • Tim

          Good god 🙁

        • schnitzelbank

          Can you bring by some formula, before brain damage sets in?

      • S

        What gets me is that there are apparently _multiple_ people thinking this baby is okay. How the fuck?

    • S

      That is very upsetting. =( Hoping for the best.

    • MichelleJo

      There is nothing that gets my BP up as much as this. Those poor starving babies, and all in the name of being a perfect mother. Can’t they get their heads around ANY facts, like yes, there is a certain percentage of mothers who cannot adequately sustain their babies. Even if their babies end up brain damaged or die, I still doubt they’d get it.

      Just ask any farmer, he’ll tell you the differences in output between all his cows. Aren’t we also mammals? In woo land we are supposed to be physiologically the same.

      But these people have no *brains*. They use nature to prove what suits them but ignore the things that doesn’t.

      • MichelleJo

        sorry, but ignore the things that don’t.
        Isn’t there a way to edit your comment after submission?

        • Karen in SC

          There is an edit option at the bottom of each post. You may need to be signed into Disqus though…

          • MichelleJo

            OK, thanks. I’ve never bothered signing in.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            “Membership has its benefits”

            In addition to editing, you also get to vote comments down! Like I did to yours, bwa ha ha ha ha!

          • MichelleJo

            Lucky you’re 6000 miles away

    • I don’t have a creative name

      Can CPS do something?? Some of you may remember the frenemy I’ve spoken of here… 7 lb baby girl, dropped to 5 lbs with gray skin and sunken eyes from malnourishment, because she REFUSED to supplement and kept waiting, week after week, for her milk to fully come in. Never did. Some LC actually screamed at her that her baby was going to be dead soon and that actually got through to her. I think that baby would’ve been dead in less than 2 weeks at the rate she was going.

      Someone here posted a blog of someone who DID starve their baby to death, waiting for milk to come in. This can happen. Your stupid idiot friend needs to have some fucking compassion for that baby – starvation is a TERRIBLE feeling – and get her head out of her ass. This just makes me blind with rage.

      • amazonmom

        So far Mom hasn’t caved into the woo. It sounds like the doc wants to admit baby and establish weight gain before discharge, it appears baby is getting good volume but not adequate calories. She’s just getting a LOT of pressure from people who want her to not supplement or fortify. Dad doesn’t believe in woo so I’m pretty confident things will improve. Mom is already upset that she can’t afford to be a stay at home parent and needs to return to work soon. She’s feeling pretty bad because she did everything “right” and its not working. Especially since exclusive breastfeeding worked so well with her first.

        • Renee Martin

          Well, maybe the baby has an absorption issue.

          • amazonmom

            All the possibilities are running through my head! I hate knowing as much as I do sometimes.

          • Dr Kitty

            Me too.
            I hope baby is OK, because this sounds like more than a supply issue.
            Some babies with metabolic, gut or cardiac issues need more calories than is available in breastmilk.
            I hope that all is done to ensure that whatever the cause of this little one’s need for high calories is found out.

    • Sue

      And this, for those few dubious extra IQ points and super-immunity that they think breast milk will confer….don’t they see that malnutrition does the opposite?

  • theadequatemother

    Soooo….I watched the video and I thought it was a lovely birth. I wish there had been a CNM there…but the woman giving birth looked like she was coping well and was well supported by her partner and not suffering.

    But…the video is also heavily edited. Multiple camera angles around the birth pool, spliced together. Perhaps the continuous soundtrack has confused the critics into think that what they are watching is real time, continuous. I have no idea how much time passed between birth and cord cutting thanks to the magic of video editing.

    So the problem is this, if you are going to complain about the timing of events while watching something that is not in “real time” what does that say about your ability to evaluate information (esp propaganda and marketing info)???

    Not much right?

    I have no answer for complaining about the hat and dressing the baby. That’s just crazyballs.

    • Zornorph

      But perhaps they thought it should have been a ‘lotus birth’ and the cord not cut at all? What I can’t figure out is the objection to the midwife wearing scrubs?

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Scrubs? That’s nothing. Did they have electrical light bulbs? They need to be using candles. Tallow candles, that is.

        Lit using flint and striker.

        • auntbea

          Why would you need light in the first place? If you trust birth, what is there to see?

          • Zornorph

            I guess the midwife can find the nipples in the dark to stimulate them.

          • fiftyfifty1

            And the “button”.

          • how would you get a video in the dark? And with no video, how do you evangelize the importance of homebirth? Or get the praise? If a birth goddess gives birth in the dark and no one finds out about it, is she really a birth goddess?

          • MomAnd Midwife

            Oh…you know, in my 7+ years of midwifery, I can count on one hand the number of labors/births caught on video. Most don’t even want pictures.

            Just another “inconvenient truth” from a real-life midwife.

        • Kerlyssa

          Flint and striker? Dead metal and steel at a BIRTH?! Living wood burnt with fire started with bare hands and a wooden hand drill, to welcome new life earthside.

          …there really is little difference, sometimes, between the things people actually say and believe and the asspulls I used to do in my days of roleplaying D&D. Elven sun priestesses unite!

          • KarenJJ

            Lightning? It’s natural at least…

      • theadequatemother

        scrubs are a symbol of the patriarchal medical model and only worn by medwives.

        a real midwife doesn’t worry about ruining her fav hemp skirt with blood and body fluids.

        • MomAnd Midwife

          I wear scrub pants and a tank top, so my hot, peri-menopausal self can get arms into birth tubs without getting sleeves wet, and get stains of any sort out of the pants. They are also wildly comfortable to move in.

          Just another “inconvenient truth” from a real-life midwife.

    • NeuroNerd

      I actually had to watch this video (which I seldom do). She gives birth by daylight at what appears to be midday/early afternoon. During the weighing/measuring scene, you can see out the window that it’s night. How long are you supposed to wait, according to NCB woo people?

  • Elle

    The truth is stranger than fiction!

  • Bombshellrisa

    Marlene Waechter “I’m with you, Carla! You won’t see most of things at my births. My pet peeve is onsies. I tell the folks not to put onsies on their baby until cord is off. Yet I consistently come back for the pps & when I go to check cord, there’s the onsie! AGGHHHH! It needs air folks, air! Why do so many ignore that advise lately? it never used to be that hard!” Wow, this midwife is admitting that she doesn’t glove, doesn’t use a doppler, doesn’t do cervical checks and thinks that onesies are evil.

    Mandi Wagnild ^^”That’s why 6 births into my doula career I signed up with AAMI. If women choose things that I wouldn’t choose, it doesn’t bother me. Hearing and seeing women be bullied and lied to crosses the line though. Reading this post makes me feel like AAMI is where I’m called to be. I’m going to fit right in”. AAMI is Ancient Arts Midwifery Institute. As in Carla Hartley’s institute. http://12.aamishop.com/ It’s a home study course for midwives. Although if they aren’t going to do something as simple as check for fetal heart beat, what the heck are they learning to do?

    • theadequatemother

      “If they aren’t going to do something as simple as check for fetal heart beat, what the heck are they learning to do?”

      Sadly, they are probably learning how to convince/ indoctrinate/ brainwash clients into believing that you don’t need to check for a HB, or do antenatal care and testing, or any manner of other things that are widely accepted to reduce the risk to moms and babies….

      • MaineJen

        This doesn’t make sense to me on many levels, but purely from an economic standpoint…aren’t they shooting themselves in the foot, business-wise? If no one’s hands can come anywhere near the “motherbaby” unit before, during or after birth…WTH do they even need a midwife for? Oops. You just found yourself out of a job. Right? If no one is supposed to touch anything, what on earth are they even doing there?

        • theadequatemother

          they are paid friends

          • suchende

            Good point. And they also get you NCB street cred. The more famous your midwife, the more secure your place in the community.

          • Bombshellrisa

            This is so true-why else would someone choose a CPM midwife from Puget Sound Birth Center instead of a CNM who practices at Evergreen? People call the midwives at PSBC by name and the birth center “is famous”

          • Dr Kitty

            Look “holding the space” makes sense at a deathbed, when there is no way to affect the outcome, and being present and supportive and spiritual might be the best way to get through it.

            It is NOT a good way to be at a birth, where outcomes can be affected by actions, and doing nothing might make the difference between life and death.

            Can’t we get all the birthy types interested in death instead?
            It’s primal and powerful and stuff too, and there is little chance that they could make things worse.

            I have no issues with them being involved in end of life care for those inclined to woo, as long as they don’t suggest that “natural, unmedicated” death is a goal. Ketamine, Morphine and Midazolam are no good for the living, but they are DEFINITELY good for the dying,

          • Bombshellrisa

            Sitting and knitting and doing “comfort measures” for someone in hospice is what these birth junkies should be doing. That would be useful at least. But you know, all they care about is the drama of pregnancy and birth and playing with BAYBEES. They don’t want to do something that involves actual compassion.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Do you all use ketamine there as a hospice drug? Interesting.

          • Dr Kitty

            Not often and not in big doses, but yes, it is occasionally put in a syringe driver for someone who is very distressed or agitated when Midazolam and Morphine alone won’t cut it. It can work really well…especially if the doses of morphine required for analgesia are moving close to the line where “dual effect” is becoming “euthanasia”.

            It is not always the kindest thing for someone to be alert and “in the moment” when they are dying- sometimes it is much better for them to have a boatload of sedatives and analgesia on board (particularly for things like pancreatic cancer) and slip away while sleeping.

          • amazonmom

            Those pesky CNM medwives at Evergreen ! They do the same prenatal tests as the OB staff! They won’t deliver vaginal breeches, don’t do VBAC, let their patients get EPIDURALS, and make you get antibiotics for GBS! They don’t trust birth!

          • Bombshellrisa

            Those medwives! They also refer their patients to the evil OBs if their condition starts becoming a “variation of normal”. Every time. Guess that is why Evergreen is so highly rated, even though the crunchies would rather worship at the temple of woo birth center up the street. There is a reason women are willing to drive from the South End to see those OBs and midwives-they are well respected for a reason.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Why do you need her? Because she’s the one that prevents anyone from coming to your aid when you are begging for help. She tells your partner not to call 911 when you are bleeding to death or when your baby is born blue, pulseless and “not meant to live.” That’s an important job!!!

          • Amazed

            To ‘hold the space’. That’s why when one of your twins dies, it’must have been because of not having enough space, with her holding it.

            And get paid for that, of course!

          • araikwao

            Yeah, what does that “holding space” woo-tastic terminology even mean? I was taking up plenty of space when I was in labour with Giant Baby (aka DS), wasn’t that enough??

          • stacey

            Dr AMY- You should do a post on this!

            Basically, holding space is doing nothing, and dressing it up in spiritual terms and rationalizations to make it look good. It can be a type of meditation in some spiritual practices, exemplified by sitting still and not trying to influence the situation.

            Here is what they say it means:

            http://womenfreebirth.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/holding-space-for-transformation/

            “Through the art of ‘doing nothing’ at a birth, all that I can do is be still and aware and notice my fears etc as they arise and let them go. It truly is a meditation, an ultimate practice in presence. All the while knowing that everything that I bring to a birth affects and influences the experience. Therefore, it is my responsibility to empty my mind and drop into a state of total trust! The thinking mind clouds the room and distracts my attention away from really being fully present (mind, body, heart, and spirit) with the woman….”

            Then from a non-birth source:
            http://www.spiritualawakeningprocess.com/2011/09/understanding-how-to-hold-space.html

            “You’re not trying to influence the situation. You’re not trying to fix it, win at it, or affect any kind of outcome. You are simply being with it fully so that it can work itself out.”

            Also, from a doula-
            http://thisholywork.com/2011/09/25/holding-the-space/

            “Doing nothing is harder than it sounds. When a woman is moaning or pacing the halls, it is our instinct to “help”.

          • Sue

            There you have it, folks, birth is therapy for the woo MW. She should be paying for it, not vice versa.

          • Amazed

            Oh my, now I get it why they are so offended by being offered an epidural while they scream their heads off… err, I mean vocalize in labour. Those lowly nurses, they take the easy way out, follow their instinct and offer an epidural.

            All is clear now. Aren’t I a smart one?

            Two cookies for me please. I just found out how to apply liquid eyeliner to the corners of my eyes only. It’s harder than it sounds!

          • auntbea

            Do they explain why the birth needs them to be fully there with an empty mind while it works itself out? Does birth need moral support?

          • NeuroNerd

            I feel like “empty mind” says it all …

          • Jennifer2

            So trust your instincts when your instincts say to comfort your crying baby, but don’t trust your instincts when they say to help/comfort a woman moaning and pacing the halls in labor? I can make shit up too, guys.

          • Amazed

            But that’s exactly it. You were taking plenty of space and she was holding it. Defending it from you, with your dirty instincts, like wanting to wash your yoni and your baby.

            Wait… there wasn’t anyone to hold the space? WHAT DID YOU DO WITH YOUR MALNOURISHED UNATTACHED FOREVER DAMAGED KID, LADY? Confess before I send Gina on your heels!

          • araikwao

            No, not GCC, I’ll come clean!! It was those eeevil medwives and OB – they robbed me of my lotus birth by doing immediate cord clamping so they could resuscitate my baby! And if that wasn’t bad enough, then they made me have a shower so I wasn’t sitting in a bed full of my own blood, I mean *birthy smell*. Clearly it has destroyed my baby’s ability to bond, as he BF’s like a champ and is the size of a baby twice his age. Next time, I’m doing my second VBAC in the Amazon with only crocodiles assisting and mosquitoes providing the soundtrack.

          • Amazed

            The Amazon? Duh. Try Ganges. It’s holier and so clean that your birthy smells won’t make a whiff of change. You won’t even know that you smell!

          • stacey

            Ya beat me to it! I posted this same thought before I read your comment.

            Great minds think alike.

            And dumb ones do too, hence the 100+ likes that comment got….

        • BeatlesFan

          And these are the same people who bitch about doctors “only showing up to catch”. So if a midwife doesn’t help, she’s doing it right. If an OB isn’t sitting beside the woman doing nothing for the entire labor, it’s negligence. Go figure.

      • Antigonos CNM

        Checking for fetal heart beat is hardly a new thing. Prior to the invention of the Pinard fetoscope in 1895, midwives would put their ear to the abdomen, or a glass tumbler or wine glass, or count the number of fetal movements over a certain length of time. Maybe the ancient Egyptians didn’t do it [I don’t know; perhaps they did] but throughout the ages it has usually been possible to discern a heart beat at or near term.

      • MomAnd Midwife

        I think Carla Hartley’s crazy, buffoonish rants have become erroneously connected to all midwives, when that could not be further from the truth. She is loud and attention-seeking/grabbing, but is NOT representative of many of us in her points of view.

        Dopplers: I prefer to use a doppler in labor, and a fetoscope prenatally, if the client agrees. If she does not, I may risk her out of my practice. The anti-doppler midwives typically use fetoscopes or pinards for monitoring FHR.

        Not wearing gloves??? Eww, dangerous (for everyone) and NOT the standard practice with all midwives I’ve known, save two.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          She is loud and attention-seeking/grabbing, but is NOT representative of many of us in her points of view.

          So have you ever told her to shut up?

          If you think that she is just a bad egg who makes everyone look bad, I would think YOU would want to do something.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          She’s not representative? Don’t tell me you’ve never heard another homebirth midwife counsel a woman to “trust birth.” That’s Carla Hartley and her crap is being repeated constantly by virtually ALL homebirth midwives.

        • Squillo

          Not wearing gloves??? Eww, dangerous (for everyone) and NOT the standard practice with all midwives I’ve known, save two.

          Save two? Somehow, I don’t find that especially reassuring.

          Here’s the problem, as I see it: even if what you say is true, that the Carla Hartleys of the world aren’t representative, what is your profession doing about them?

          What do you suppose would happen, for example, if two OBs or hospital-based midwives were found to eschew gloving?

    • BeatlesFan

      Gee, and here I put onsies on my daughter because I live in New Hampshire, she was born in February, and heating fuel is frickin’ expensive. Damn me for being practical!

    • stacey

      They learn the art of “holding space”.
      Really

  • Bombshellrisa

    Of course Lori Carr liked this crazy rant-she probably likes the idea of doing even less work for her patients while still collecting their cash or gold and silver in trade

  • Guestll

    “I can hardly believe what folks do to themselves sometimes.” — Placenta “Rowan” Bailey

    Like, hire you as a midwife?

    “My daughter heckles birth videos and has since she was about 4. It’s pretty obvious how few births there are where motherbaby is really supported but not poked and prodded.” — Janet Fraser

    Did Roisin feel supported, Janet?

    • Sue

      Her four-year-old watched birth videos? Mine was too busy doing calculus, practising quadratic equations and composing opera. And anyway, would have said “Eeeeeeewwwwww!!”

    • GiddyUpGo123

      I really, really hate “motherbaby.” It’s got nothing to do with “baby” and never has, so I’m not sure why they include that suffix on their little invented word.

      • Jennifer2

        Does anyone else keep reading “motherbaby” as “motherboy” and then wanting to watch some Arrested Development?

        • Jennifer2

          Also, does anyone think Lucille Bluth probably asked for an epidural as soon as she knew she was pregnant?

          • auntbea

            I always assumed she just bought them all.

  • Charlotte

    OT, but you guys are the best ones to ask since much of my social circle is antivax and wouldn’t know. I have a 10-month-old who was recently exposed to chicken pox via a friend’s baby who got a mild case after receiving the vaccine. He had bumps and sores, but his parents through they were bug bites at first so no one thought it would be a problem for the babies to crawl all over each other, share toys and food, etc. How contagious do you think he was? I’ve read very conflicting answers about how easy it is to transmit chicken pox when it occurs after vaccination.

    • Isramommy

      I think you should ask your pediatrician. While I have certainly asked my share of general medical questions on this blog, I think possible exposure to chickenpox in a 10 month old warrants a call to a real life health care provider.

      • Charlotte

        She called hers and he said it’s very possible, mine says it’s effectively not possible. I was hoping someone here had any information since all I’ve heard so far is conflicting.

        • Dr Kitty

          At this point, what can be done anyway?
          If, three weeks after contact your baby doesn’t have a rash, happy days.
          If they develop a fever or rash any time in the next three weeks, assume it could be chicken pox and act accordingly.

          • MichelleJo

            A bit OT but on the subject of antivaxxers, they really are no joke. It was reported today that four cases of POLIO have been diagnosed over here (Israel). This is weeks after the polio virus was detected in the sewage in small amounts, and the government took out full page ads in dozens of national and local papers, urging parents to get their children’s vaccinations up to date to forestall a real crisis. But obviously other people know better, and who knows how this is all going to end.

          • Charlotte

            That’s why I’m so glad there are people who are still fighting polio and pushing vaccination for it rather than going ahead and treating it like it’s irradicated. If the antivaxers continue their assault on public health, we could easily return to the days of polio epidemics. The fact that three years ago my state had only a handful of cases of measles and pertussis each year but now has several thousand shows how quickly diseases spread when the population refuses to protect itself.

            And I think my question got answered. My baby now has a fever and is covered in a hundred red bumps. And of course, it showed up just minutes after my pediatrician’s office closed for the day.

          • Klain

            Slightly OT but my 16 month old spent 2 days with MIL who developed shingles on the second day. Our GP recommended getting the chicken pox vaccine early, just in case.

          • Dr Kitty

            Oh dear! Chicken pox looks like water filled blisters which come in crops, and it comes on QUICKLY.
            Acetaminophen, calamine ointment, oatmeal or corn starch in a tepid bath and ice pops will all help.
            If the itch is a major problem, an age appropriate dose of an antihistamine is usually pretty good.

            Cut nails short now before it gets itchy.
            There is some evidence that ibuprofen is best avoided in chicken pox, stick to paracetamol/acetominophen for pain or grouchiness.

          • auntbea

            Aw! Poor baby!

          • Kerlyssa

            Bit late, but yes, live virus vaccines like varicella are contagious when breakthrough occurs, though usually to a lesser extent IN THE VACCINATED PERSON. What your baby currently has is almost certainly chicken pox, and should be treated as real chicken pox- it’s not a ‘mutation’ or weaker version, as your baby is presumably non vaccinated. It is very contagious.

          • Hannah

            For a baby, mittens or sleeves ( http://www.scratchsleeves.co.uk/index.php?route=common/home ) might also be a good idea, to prevent scratching.

          • Therese

            I see the articles that talk about polio being in the sewage, but I don’t see anything about actual diagnosed cases of polio. Do you have a link?

          • MichelleJo

            You’re right, I can’t find a link. I read it in the print edition of the Hamodia Daily which is usually reliable. It said that 4 children in a Bedouin village in the south had been affected. But I see nothing now in the online addition. Go figure…

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      You should talk to your doctor about this, but I can tell you that the vaccine strain is contagious when it mutates. Although an infection is much milder, much less contagious, and lasts a very short time.

      • Charlotte

        I did call my pediatrician. I’m just wondering what the people here think since what mine said conflicts with what my friend’s said, which in turn conflicts with what I’ve read online.

  • Antigonos CNM

    The world is flat, doncha know, and the sky is falling.

    • Amy M

      And the world is also the center of the universe, don’t forget.

  • Amazed

    Coming from MDC. A scheduled c-section puts the baby in x3 risk of dying, dontcha know? Just ask the very properly nicknamed Sheepdoc.

  • Are you nuts

    I am a firm believer that “birth plans” are ridiculously stupid, however I may write one that says only, “Please let me take a shower, clean the birth juices off my baby, and for the love of (*&# if there is blood on my perineum, take care of it.” I want my wishes to be clear, lest anyone think I want to stew in my birthy smells.

    • Amy M

      I think the birth they were describing was a homebirth. In the hospital, birth juices are considered bodily fluids, and therefore potentially hazardous (possibly carrying blood-borne pathogens), so washing them off in a timely manner is usually a good thing, as far as I know. They’ll wear gloves anyway, because in general all bodily fluids are considered contaminated even if they aren’t, just because of safety policies. At least, this has been the case in all of the hospitals I have worked in.

  • Carol

    “Birthy smells”??? Holy cow. The whole thing is incredible, and so sad. Does she really think that not washing off blood promotes healing? I wonder what she does when her kids get a cut or scrape…

    • anne

      Reconstitutes encapsulated placenta with frozen breast milk, smears it on there, and lets them rest on the couch while watching birth videos.

    • stacey

      She thinks we are goats…

      • Carol

        Shh… I’ll tell you a secret… I used to raise alpacas, and once I had a pregnant goat. If they were messy after birth, I cleaned them up. And if mom or baby had nursing troubles (not really as uncommon as some seem to think) I actually supplemented. Silly me, to want to see the babies gaining weight. I just didn’t trust birth enough.

  • Renee Martin

    Leave the blood on the perineum?
    No bath for mom?
    Disgusting. We aren’t goats, we don’t need stink to recognize each other! Birth is so full of fluids of all types, only Carla wants to stew and nest in it.

    If you believe in totally untestable, untrue, and wholly abstracted ideas about how magical energy creates, colors, or destroys everything in the world, and is sooooooo delicate that a baby wearing a hat can screw it up for life, you can easily see everything on earth as damaged beyond repair. Or about to be damaged, and only you know how to fix it.

    Once you have such worldview, all you see is horror. This is how she can watch a birth video where everyones happy and smiling, and see only destruction. This is why these people truly think that they can bring world peace through NCB. Its the direct outcome of believing that invisible forces dictate everything, that patterns are set at birth, and humans are basically weak and unable to live proper lives if the slightest thing goes wrong “energetically”.

    • fiftyfifty1

      “Once you have such worldview, all you see is horror”

      Nah, for them it’s not horror, they enjoy it. It’s false outrage so they can have the pleasure of feeling superior.

  • ArmyChick

    Words fail me.

  • Zornorph

    That woman is insane.

  • Squillo

    I didn’t notice everything Carla ranted about.

    So, the mother was happy with the way the birth went and (presumably) both baby and mother are fine. But that’s not good enough for Ms Hartley et al.

    And here I thought the whole birth activism thing was supposed to be about allowing women to give birth in a way that met their own needs.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Nope, we have to ensure that they are made to be aware how victimized they are, even if they don’t realize it.

    • Sue

      So even a home-birther can’t get it right?

  • Tim

    At least they are consistent, hey? I mean, if you’re going to believe that putting 3 drops of poison into a swimming pool full of water turns that water into a an antidote for said poison, then thinking the water will transmit negative energy from someones hand to the baby is the next logical step.

    • BeatlesFan

      Where was the “3 drops of poison into a swimming pool” bit? I must’ve missed that one…

      • Tim

        That’s how homeopathy “works” (for lack of a better term) – taking a substance which causes a problem when introduced in large amounts, and diluting it to levels that for all intents and purposes make it non-existent , turns it into medicine against that problem. So putting something that causes runny noses into water at concentrations of 1 part per trillion (so, effectively water) turns it into a cure for runny noses.

        • BeatlesFan

          Oh, ok…I thought you were referring to something nutty that someone actually said. I agree, it’s not surprising that someone pushing homeopathy would also believe that a midwife putting her hand into a pool could screw up a birth.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Tim, Tim, Tim, Tim. You know that’s not fair. You have to start with concentrated substance and then dilute it. If you don’t do that, apparently, it’s not right.

          There is a great Ben Goldacre quote about this:

          “How does a water molecule know how to forget every other molecule it’s seen before? How does it know to treat my bruise with its memory of
          arnica, rather than a memory of Isaac Asimov’s faeces? I wrote this in a newspaper once, and a homeopath complained to the Press Complaints
          Commission. It’s not about the dilution, he said: it’s the succession. You have to bang the flask of water briskly ten times on a leather and horsehair surface, and that’s what makes the water remember a molecule. Because I did not mention this, he explained, I had deliberately made homeopaths sound stupid. This is another universe of foolishness.”

          • Tim

            And here I have been making fun of homeopathy for years, not realizing this crucial step. It seems so obvious to me now that the aura of the horsehair could “switch on” the magic healing properties of water. I feel supremely foolish now, and need to go repent.

          • Amy M

            By wearing a leather and horsehair shirt.

          • auntbea

            I guess it is a good thing the colonists brought horses back to America then, or our water would turn us all into dinosaurs.

          • KarenJJ

            I have noticed that homeopathy is excellent at protecting people from dinosaurs.

          • Tim

            Also, one should not discount the power of water remembering the shit of men long gone. It’s probably preventing all of us from transforming into a whole host of various evil people from throughout the ages.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            You have to worry. What if men in the middle ages were wiping their arse in the stream with leather and horsehair? Wouldn’t that be effectively successing their shit? How are we to ever recover from that?

          • Tim

            No , it’s a good thing. It’s preventing you from becoming a serf from the middle ages. Remember, the molecules do the OPPOSITE thing when combined with water and magic horsehair. So middle ages serf shit makes you immune to middle ages serfs. Or something.

        • Squillo

          And, as Tim Minchin points out, not only does the magic water remember the molecule or two of Arnica or whatever it once had, it somehow manages to forget all the poo that’s been in it.

        • Elle

          Kinda sort of like vaccines? ‘cept all the homeopaths I know are anti-vax. I guess needles are less “natural” than water.

          • Tim

            It would be exactly like vaccines if

            a) there was enough of the “toxin” in the preparation to actually be realistically present anymore, instead of being so diluted that it’s literally just water

            b) It was somethign your body could actually manufacture antibodies against (a virus, some kind of hemo or neurotoxin) rather than say like, arsenic.

            c) there was some kind of scientific principle that could show it’s efficacy in a repeatable and measurable way.

          • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC

            Exactly! This is why miniscule amounts of aluminum or a mercury compound in vaccines are so helpful…oh wait.

          • Tim

            ahahahah

    • auntbea

      I am pretty sure that if water transmitted energy that easily, it would be rather hard to boil it.

    • I want to know where they get the uncontaminated water anyway… I mean don’t the pipes contaminate the water’s energy? They all get mountian stream water, right?

  • Mamatotwo

    4 year old heckling birth videos…just goes to show that no matter what parenting philosophy you ascribe too, children will always learn best from your example. Always ensuring there’s another generation of assholes to be had.

    • KarenJJ

      Poor kid. Bet she’ll never be shown her sister’s birth video, even though Janet Fraser stated herself that it was less traumatic then her hospital birth…

      • BeatlesFan

        Instead, she probably shows her all the homebirth videos and says, “See, honey? If you’d been born that way, I would have loved you more.”

        Actually, considering Fraser doesn’t seem to give a hoot in hell about her dead child, I really wouldn’t put it past her to show the living child(ren) that birth video. “See, some babies just aren’t meant to live! It’s where they are born that’s really important!”

        Her daughter is being indoctrinated. Period.

        • Sue

          Actually, I suspect she does indeed care that she lost that child, and the steely resolve she shows actually reflects her misery. Unfortunately, she won’t let go of the dogma – maybe it’s the only thing still holding her up. To me, she looks absolutely grief-stricken, after all this time.

          • Karen in SC

            Yes, because if she lets go of the dogma, all that is left for her is the unfortunate truth.

          • auntbea

            I would suggest it is beyond “unfortunate” and into “intolerable”

          • BeatlesFan

            I always want to give loss moms the benefit of the doubt. However, when Fraser says that her c-section was more traumatic than her homebirth which resulted in a stillborn, I just can’t. A surgery resulting in a live child, no matter how frightening or “unnecessary”, should not be considered tantamount to rape while a natural birth resulting in a fresh grave is held up as more desireable. Even if she doesn’t really believe that herself, she still publicly says it, which just encourages more women to forgo medical care in favor of homebirth. I feel for Fraser as a loss mother, but I feel a lot worse for her children.

            Has anyone ever asked her if, in hindsight and given the opportunity to do it over, she would give birth to her second child in a hospital, or would she do it at home again, knowing what the result would be?

          • Amazed

            You are a better person than me. I don’t feel for Fraser at all. In fact, I think she’s an evil, messed up in head, narcissist pig. No, even sows would make up better moms than this bitch. I remember how my cat was trying to revive her kitten and mewling. It was heartbreaking for a child. I can tell you that she was pretty traumatised. With Fraser, I see just pure evil. It’s evident. Even the contours of her face are npw pure malice and defiance because this woman knows that the majority of people people don’t consider her a worthy human being and don’t consider her reaction a human one.

          • Hannah

            Similarly, I remember the blog of the Australian mother of twins, the second of which died after a homebirth with Lisa Barrett resulted in a placental abruption. She became notably more hardline after the death, having even been expressing doubts before the birth. I think for some people, once they’ve sacrificed so much to a belief, there’s no going back, because it’s too painful to look in that mirror.

    • Elle

      There really is a lot of insecurity there. It’s not enough to be a birth junkie yourself – you must pass on the details of birth “knowledge” to your children in far more detail than they need to know for their age, to make sure that the teachings will accompany them for the rest of their lives.
      I mean, a lot of parents do that for other things – morals, values, things they deem important. There is so much that we can’t teach our kids, that the things you DO teach to young children, and the level of detail involved, are quite telling about the place these “teachings” have in your own life. It’s sad that of all the important things to teach a four-year-old, “how to have a superior birth” is so high, and it really says a lot about what the parents deem important, and just HOW all-encompassing it is to them.

  • MichelleJo

    G-D in heaven, heal them!

  • Leesah

    WOW, they are taking judgmentalism to a whole new unprecedented level! It is amazing that any birth can meet this lunatic’s standards.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Because that’s really what this is about. It’s not about babies and it’s not about birth. It’s about feeling better and smarter than other women.

      • Amy M

        But they’ve shot themselves in the foot kinda, because the only ones who care are the ones commenting in that thread. There are a lot of lactivists and sanctimommies, and tons of recently post-partum women with insecurities for them to prey on, so they get their kicks easily. The internet is fertile ground (ha!)for them, and they know they can make other women cry on a daily basis. It is easy because they focus on issues that address new mothers’ greatest fears, and they (the sanctimommies) are often backed by the government and/or the media. You know…EVERYONE knows breast is best, EVERYONE knows good mothers do xyz, etc. It is everywhere, if you are a new mother.

        These crazies are so far out there, they haven’t seemed to have noticed that no one else is listening or gives a crap about their efforts to shame and put down others over ridiculous and trivial things. These women can’t make other women cry, the other women are laughing too hard. Who can take these people seriously? I think they lost any potential punching bags with that hatting nonsense. Women might get upset because they worry about infant feeding or whether they should work or not, but no one in her right mind is concerned if her baby got a hat put on it at birth.

        • Guestll

          This is a very good point. The Carla Hartleys of the world are an outlandish joke to anyone with a modicum of common sense. The real damage is done by the mainstream woo and the accompanying bad science/misinformation/sanctimony. The Sears family are a great example. Compare and contrast with Carla Hartley…

    • KarenJJ

      Just what the world needs. Sanctimidwives…

    • auntbea

      I bet the rainforest birth would qualify. Except maybe not. There were people there. And a yoga mat between the woman and the river.

      • Amy M

        Well, the river water probably had homeopathic levels of crocodile poop in it which could lead to some horrible disease, or maybe a cure, or something.

      • Bombshellrisa

        Not to mention the woman ended up laying back to deliver, which means she on some level was submitting to the patriarchy

      • RockSci

        One of the commenters said ” think my daughter and I have found all of 2 that we like on YouTube. I’m sure we’ve all seen them, the one with the Aussie goddess in a stream and the powerful Dutch? Woman standing in a doorway.”

        I guess the goddess in the stream is the rainforest one maybe?

  • Guilt-Free

    In society, we’ve come a long way with addressing post-partum depression. Nobody has really said much about this variable of what may be depression, or, outright insanity. Thank you, Dr. Amy, for being pretty much one of the only professionals to address the very real cult of birth-crazed lunatics. This literally IS a life/death issue.

    • Antigonos CNM

      Reading this astounding bit of woo that Dr. Amy has quoted may just put me into postpartum depression — 29 years after the last time I gave birth. And you’re right, Dr. A — this actually exceeds parody, let alone inviting it.