Homebirth means never having to say you’re sorry …

Mea Culpa text scratced

… even when your baby dies at homebirth.

From Midwifery Today:

One week ago I lost heart tones on our little girl at 9 cm. We rushed to the hospital but we weren’t on time and they did a cesarean. Because of a long labor (4 days) and not dilating (transition for 15 hrs) the dr told me I shouldn’t labor again. However, I’m planning on having another baby as soon as I can and would like a home birth.

Could I tap into your experience and get suggestions for building up my body to have a healthy baby and birth experience next time?…

The responses represent the usual Midwifery Today inanity:

Shannon Mitchell: Sweetheart, this was most likely not a function of size or location or any of a thousand things… I will say ..trust yourself. Mourn. Grieve. Believe in yourself as you move forward because that is what allows you to think clearly without fear and know the right choices to make. I’m so sorry that this little one did not stay to meet you in person and grow here on earth but I’m glad you got to know her in the time you did.

Ummm, she trusted herself the first time to know the right choices to make and she made the WRONG choice. Why would you advise her to know the right choice now?


Heather Baker:… this is one of those times where I believe in herbs w a long labor. homebirth is fine to try again. stay away from bread so baby isnt as big and take vitamins prior to and during pregnancy.

Herbs would have kept the baby from dying?


Khadijah Cisse So sorry for you loss (and for any hurtful comments you will get for staying home). You are a strong woman. You should try to birth however you choose. Size was not likely the issue. Head position was the likely culprit…

Head position was the culprit in this baby’s death?

And this gem of stupidity:

Jessica Landers: … I believe you are capable of a homebirth. I suggest you get health. Work out and get yourself fit. Continue working out throughout your pregnancy. A toned and strong mother will have an easier time of delivery.
follow the Brewers pregnancy diet. Seriously, it is awesome!
A combo of herbs as a tea will provide uterine to.e, healthy blood, and many beneficial vitamins(nettles, red raspberry leaf, dandelion root, alfalfa, oat straw,rose hips, spearmint) .

Evening primrose oil capsules can be inserted vaginally at 36 weeks and on. It will help to soften your cervix.

And this hideous “advice”:

The Pink Kit Method For Birthing Better®: I don’t know whether to be outraged by this story or deeply saddened. This story should tell everyone that 1) this woman did not have the skills to prepare her pregnant body to be a birthing body nor the skills to work through this birth 2) that this woman probably birthed at home for an ideological reason and had not boundaries within herself when it was appropriate for her to seek medical care. She obviously was ok with medical care because she eventually went to hospital and had a c/s.

Here’s the thing. Giving birth is both safe and not safe no matter where a woman gives birth, who attends or what is happening to or around her…

Midwifery Today is a tremendous source of comedy gold… or it would be if babies weren’t dying preventable deaths because morons like these “advise” each other.

My suggestions:

Have your baby in a hospital with a doctor, an operating room, and a neonatal intensive care unit, not as home with a clown who calls herself a midwife.

And in the meantime, stop listening to effluvium discharged by the fools at Midwifery Today.

177 Responses to “Homebirth means never having to say you’re sorry …”

  1. Karan
    July 31, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    Not all midwives are good and neither are all ob….what about all the deaths at hospitals? What about all the docs that say go home your fine? Saying that all homebirths and midwives are clowns because a few of them are is ridiculous. Also saying that because your a doctor constitutes you being the ultimate authority is aggravating to say the least!

    • S
      July 31, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

      I guess it’s a good thing no one said that, then.

    • Bombshellrisa
      July 31, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

      A doctor can be held accountable. A midwife without a license and malpractice insurance can’t be.

    • prolifefeminist
      August 1, 2013 at 3:46 am #

      Karan, more than “a few” home birth midwives are clowns. While it’s true that some CPM’s are quite experienced and well trained – one of my homebirth midwives was one such example (a nursing background, many years of training, decades of experience, appropriate screening and strict risking out criteria), the problem is: how does one tell the difference between a competent CPM and an incompetent one? The requirements to become one are so pitifully low that the bad, careless, dangerous midwives are not weeded out by the process of becoming a midwife. Add to that that there is absolutely NO real accountability for a midwife in the form of peer review, loss of privileges, or malpractice insurance, and you have a very volatile situation where well-meaning parents-to-be are left with no recourse when a birth goes horribly wrong at the hands of an incompetent midwife.

      As a mother, and former CPM-wannabe, I find that completely and utterly unacceptable. Don’t you?

      • Karan
        August 1, 2013 at 11:50 am #

        I agree but I find this website completely unproductive. Rather than bashing all midwives and making mothers who choose to have home births feel stupid or as if they are killing their children (or making the mothers feel worse who ended up with a poor midwife), I’d rather see them do something about making midwifery a safer practice. Blaming is a natural part of the grieving process-regardless of whether the mother blames midwives, hospitals, obs, herself ext. So to bash mothers, who chose a irresponsible midwife (I’m sure unknowingly), and ended up losing her child, for blaming the doctors, is just as bad as the “helpful” comments pulled off of pro-home birth websites. I pray for these mothers and pray for better resources to help mothers find responsible midwives rather than bash- because in reality all it is gossip.

        • I don't have a creative name
          August 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

          It is not all gossip. Yeah, not everyone likes her tone all the time, myself included. But to see it as nothing more than a free for all, just criticizing or gossiping, is to miss the entire point.

          Read here long enough and you will eventually start compiling a list of some of the worst of the worst “midwife” offenders…. and they are legion. Perhaps in your state, and then you will know, to be able to warn others.

          This blog educates women, with information and statistics about risks that are not mentioned on sites like MDC – or are immediately deleted if someone DOES have the gall to say anything. I have learned an incredible amount about this issue, and she puts it in terms a layman like me can understand. Also, women who feel like failures for ff’ing or having a cesarean are often comforted by the articles posted here that show, NO, your relationship isn’t ruined by this, NO, you are not a failure, which is the message given out on so many mothering boards.

          This place does not exist to slam women who had homebirths. I would grow tired of it quickly if that was the only purpose. It does slam the state of American homebirth midwifery, and rightfully so. It does say, “WHY???” when women like the above immediately plan to repeat the same behavior that killed her first baby. (Though I suspect she is still in shock and just hasn’t processed everything… if she comes to a point in time where you realizes just how reckless and dangerous her midwife was for not transferring in FOUR FREAKING DAYS, and comes to the point of realizing that following that advice resulted in her child’s death, we will be here for her if she comes to us to ask for help and comfort. It has happened before.)

          Responsible midwives. Yes. Abolish the CPM credential. No other developed country in the world allows such low standards for women who deliver babies. What does that say about us??

          I remember a troll here once who said, in regards to defending homebirth even though it has a demonstrably higher death rate: “Shit happens”. Well, that’s not a good enough answer. Dr. Amy’s loud voice attracts attention, and maybe someday it will help change what needs to be changed. Babies are not shit. They deserve better, and when they start getting better treatment, I suspect a lot of this will quiet down.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD
          August 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

          It is impossible to make homebirth with a CPM safe because CPMs lack the education and training needed for safe practice. Frankly, I think that is a scandal and that has to be brought to the public’s attention.

        • prolifefeminist
          August 2, 2013 at 4:05 am #

          “I agree but I find this website completely unproductive.”

          That’s your opinion. Mine is quite different, as this website caused me to abandon plans to become a non-nurse midwife and led me to reject hiring a CPM for another HBAC attempt – a decision that I credit with saving my life and my child’s (we had a life-threatening pregnancy complication that would have been fatal had I been attempting a HB).

          “I’d rather see them do something about making midwifery a safer practice.”

          What do you think should be done to make midwifery a safer practice? We already have highly trained, safe midwives in the United States – they’re called CNMs. Anything less than that is undertrained – there is NO excuse for having two classes of midwives. It’s insane, and in no other facet of healthcare do we have university-educated practitioners and a second class of undertrained practitioners whose skills run the gamut and who are free to practice without any oversight, rules, or malpractice insurance whatsoever – in short, without any accountability.

          We don’t accept the existence of apprentice-trained lay heart surgeons. Why should childbirth be any different?

  2. terri
    July 31, 2013 at 12:30 am #

    Man, that advice is almost as scary as the original story. Four days in labor and 15 hrs no dilation.What could possibly go wrong?

  3. OBPI Mama
    July 30, 2013 at 6:22 am #

    As a woman who was in transition for 13 hours before having my shoulder dystocia baby who was only 9lbs8oz (with lots of turtling and 4-1/2 hours of pushing), I feel very lucky that my baby is alive while hers is not (we also lost his heartbeat). I, too, looked to the advice of other midwives on what to do with my 2nd baby (I know…). So I can sympathize with the mama. I think she might come around full circle to realize she made some very bad choices. God led me to an amazing OB and I’ve had 3 c-sections with 3 healthy babies as a result. I pray the same for her next time. While we had c/s with the rest, it still took me 3-1/2 years to realize I made a huge mistake by having a homebirth and to be really flabbergasted by the midwife’s dismissal of how wrong it all was going. I pray for this lady’s next baby’s sake, it takes her less time than I.

    • Elizabeth A
      July 30, 2013 at 9:06 am #

      I pushed for five hours with my first, and in retrospect, I wish I’d been less terrified of c-sections. They’d have done one if I’d said the word. These days, I am less comfortable with the risks of instrumental delivery then I am with the risks of c-section.

      One of the under-discussed factors in the rise in c-sections in developed nations is the decrease in forceps and ventouse deliveries.

      • July 30, 2013 at 9:51 am #

        Absolutely! No one is answering the question – if not cesarean, then what? I cannot tell you how annoyed I am at the obsessive focus on cesarean rates – and almost no acknowledgement of rates of birth trauma/injury, rates of severe tearing, rates of post-natal PTSD, rates of instrumental delivery…

        • Elizabeth A
          July 30, 2013 at 11:13 am #

          Also, hardly anyone gets a symphysiotomy anymore. We should absolutely be celebrating that.

          • prolifefeminist
            August 1, 2013 at 3:50 am #

            I remember learning about symphysiotomies for the first time and shuddering in horror. Give me a c-section ANY day over one of those.

        • OBPI Mama
          July 30, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

          Very interesting thought! I know my son’s birth injury (brachial plexus injury) happens in 2-3 out of every 1,000 births, yet very few people have ever heard of it. I had never until it happened to my child.

          It would be an interesting study to read if the rates of cerebral palsy, birth trauma induced torticollus, severe tearing,etc have gone down in the last 20 years than prior.

        • prolifefeminist
          August 1, 2013 at 3:55 am #

          I completely agree! My good friend had severe fourth degree tearing with her one and only baby (a little 6 pounder) that left her incontinent, scarred, and in pain every time she has sex. This is after having two reconstructive surgeries – it was worse before. I’m on my third c-section and I’d never know it except for the faint, silvery scar that you have to look hard to see. I’m not an advocate of one method of birth over the other per se, but I AM quite tired of hearing one way of giving birth vilified while the other is exalted on high. Let’s get real – there are pros and cons to both, people!

          • Lizzie Dee
            August 1, 2013 at 6:28 am #

            The pros are that if you one of (many) fortunate ones who avoid the all the possible complications that no amount of “research” can prevent, you can go on believing that birth is easy and natural. The cons are that if you are not, God help you – because it is getting increasingly hard to get anyone else to – especially here in the UK – because, hey, it isn’t an illness you know, and the risks are things of the past.

            I am not at all one of those who believes homebirth/bad, hospitals/good. My anger is based on the conviction that the spread of NCB woo is a threat to all women.

            And I am very angry indeed today. My niece – robust, healthy young woman with a very positive attitude had her baby yesterday. I was following events by phone, being at a distance so the account I have is jumbled. 41 weeks and a bit, booked into a midwife led, baby friendly hospital with a very poor reputation, her pains started but didn’t become established labour, so hospital advised staying home. And staying home. For over 24 hours, despite her waters being broken. When she finally gave up on this advice and got herself to the hospital, baby in a lot of distress. I suspect had been in distress for some time, but no-one was looking. The version I got doesn’t now make a whole lot of sense: “no heart beat for 6 minutes. Baby has aspirated meconium” Emergency CS coming up. Two, or maybe three hours later this is done. Baby had been stabilised, and somebody else was in worse trouble. Official version late last night was that everything was now “fine”. My sister’s version is that once the midwives were out of the picture and the doctors in it, things got better, but I am a long way from happy. This terrible hospital doesn’t have much in the way of a NICU, as far as I can gather, baby left with shell shocked mother.

            I know babies do come out nice and pink after this kind of nonsense. Except for those that don’t. But women deserve better care than this.

            With my second one, I got better care. It wasn’t until then I realised just how casual things had become, and it is now much, much worse and we are heading in entirely the wrong direction.

          • Karen in SC
            August 1, 2013 at 8:11 am #

            I would like to hear what Louise, our dissenter from the UK, thinks about your niece’s experience. Sounds terrible and I do hope both are really fine now.

      • Lena
        August 2, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

        I’m terrified of the idea of forceps and vacuum deliveries. Also of spending the rest of my life peeing when I sneeze or laugh, and needing surgery to fix my bladder. I look at my mother with 3 C-sections under her belt, and then I look at my grandmother and aunts and great aunts and sister with their vaginal deliveries, and, honestly–if my biological clock ever kicks in I plan to ignore it until i find an OB that will will schedule an elective CS.

  4. Carol
    July 30, 2013 at 12:12 am #

    Gotta ask a dumb question… Could someone explain what exactly is meant by heart “tones”? How does this differ from listening for the heart-“beat”? Thanks.

    • Antigonos CNM
      July 30, 2013 at 1:48 am #

      It doesn’t differ. Just another way of saying it.

  5. ducky7
    July 29, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    The Pink Kit Method For Birthing Better® is outrageous – have you seen their facebook page? I cannot believe that comment – the outrage of taking advantage of a vulnerable woman who has lost a child for shameless promotion… ah yes, if only she’d “prepared” her body more… This is outright charlatanism, preying on women who want to believe the NBC ideology that trust and “preparation” will guarantee a healthy birth. And they got 10 likes! Disgusting! Dr. Amy, please tell me you are going to devote a post to digging them a new one!

    • AmyP
      July 29, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

      That took a while to sink in–that person was spamming a stillbirth post. Wow!

      I agree that the Pink Kit Method deserves its very own post.

      • Elizabeth A
        July 30, 2013 at 11:12 am #

        I would love to see that post.

        I would also love to see the statistics for maternal and neonatal outcomes in NZ, since the Pink Kit people love them so much. I want to know what percentage of women give birth in hospitals vs. at home, and what comparative outcomes are. It is my experience that people who have magical thinking complexes of this size are hardly ever located in the countries they speak highly of. Women actually in those countries tend to have different opinions.

        Were I in New Zealand, for example, I might be quite concerned about my ability to get effective pain relief in labor.

        • PJ
          July 31, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

          Maternal mortality rates in NZ are actually quite high–not as high as the US, but not too far off. Not really surprising to me given that both countries have high levels of inequality. Home birth rates are quite a bit higher than the US, although from memory still under 10%, so definitely a minority. I am not sure about neonatal rates. From memory, they are comparable to the UK, although don’t quote me on that. New Zealand government agencies are very good at posting statistics online, so if you want to look them up it should be easy.

          Note that NZ has a tiny population, so you are talking about very small numbers of maternal deaths per year.

          Pain relief in labour is freely available (although epidurals are no doubt subject to anaesthetist availability, and I don’t know what kind of pressures there might be on that in a large, busy hospital). I will say that my experience was that there is definitely a sense in which natural childbirth is covertly pushed as something preferable by the midwives who are a large part of the maternity care system. For example, the midwife who took our antenatal classes told us that our midwives would not ask us if we needed pain relief as that might ‘suggest’ to us that we aren’t coping with the pain. If we wanted it we had to ask for it of our own volition. There is also a definite sense in which you are encouraged to try less effective methods of pain relief first, before going for bigger guns (non-pharmacological–gas–pethidine–epidural).

          My own midwife was very supportive of whatever choices I wanted to make with regard to pain relief, which is how any professional should be, I think.

    • ratiomom
      July 30, 2013 at 6:50 am #

      This page is SoB gold. So much ignorance, magical thinking and product placement all rolled into one… It`s so over the top that you`d almost suspect that it`s a hoax.


    • melindasue22
      August 3, 2013 at 1:07 am #

      I agree. I follow the FB page of my old hypnobirthing instructor and “The Pink Kit” commented on one of her questions. Totally peddling her product on a random question about failure to progress. The comment was just beyond crazy. (On a side note I’ve pretty much been converted to the safer birthing side of things at this point.) their comment was nice a judgemental while trying to sell their product at the same time.

  6. Impeding Lies
    July 29, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    Is this true? https://www.facebook.com/peaceforallbeings/posts/10201444297819661

    • I don't have a creative name
      July 29, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

      Not showing up for me.

      • Impeding Lies
        July 31, 2013 at 3:51 am #

        Sorry its not working for me anymore either. Basically it was saying you have to put a baby in a car seat not in the seat built into the cart at the grocery store for little kids because they often get injured instead put them in the cart where the groceries are supposed to go. It said putting babies there us dangerous but it was an attachment parenting page my friend follows so I am skeptical.

        • Dr Kitty
          July 31, 2013 at 5:22 am #

          Do you not have trolley (carts) with shelves for infant car seats instead of seats?

          Supermarkets here have infant trolleys with a sort of shelf you can set the car seat on and strap it in. I loved those because I could take the baby out of the are, do my shopping and drive home without waking her.

          There are also infant trolleys with moulded reclining seats with straps for babies under 10kgs.

          Obviously, if your baby cannot sit up independently, you should not put them in the big upright seats designed for toddlers, and you should use the straps to secure them.

          • Gene
            July 31, 2013 at 7:26 am #

            Shopping carts/trolleys are NOT stable and having a car seat on the top part makes it top heavy and even less stable. Some carts even have a “built in” baby seat! Some car seat manufacturers (I’m looking at you, Graco!) make slots that are perfect for loading onto a cart, despite the warnings. Even a child in the seat makes it top heavy, but less so. I take care of babies who fall from these things all the time. Last one had a serious skull fracture and accompanying bleed.

            Do NOT place a baby in a car seat on the shopping trolley! You can place it inside the main (large) basket area and place groceries around (hard to do if you are doing a Costco or WalMart run), wear your kid in a sling, or do what I always did: stroller train! Push cart with one hand and pull stroller with kid in the other.

            But please, do NOT put your car seat on top of a shopping cart!

          • Dr Kitty
            August 1, 2013 at 6:46 am #

            I’m still unclear where you mean the carts with specific attachments for car seats or not?

            Those are big metal shelves with raised sides in place of the usual kiddie seat, which are welded to the trolley itself and have straps to attach the car seat in. They are (in my experience) totally sturdy, and impossible either for the trolley to over turn, or for the seat to fall off it. The ones in the UK are safety tested.



            My own bugbear is people putting infants in Bumbo seats on work surfaces- I’ve seen fractured skulls from that.

          • Gene
            August 1, 2013 at 8:38 am #

            I’ve got a list of things I go crazy over (TVs and furniture must be bolted to the wall, keep ALL meds in childproof/safe/labeled locations, etc). I put my kids in a shopping cart when they are old enough to sit (strapped in), even though I’ve taken care of kids with serious injuries from a fall. But the carseat part is unsafe.

            Here is a typical US version: http://www.ci.temple-city.ca.us/Shopping%20Cart%20Retrieval/IP-shoppingcart.JPG
            or this version with a built in “seat”: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Shopping_Cart_with_Baby_Seat.jpg

            DrK, your version seems a smidge more central, but it still puts a very large amount of weight up high and changes the center of gravity from about 2 feet off the ground (bottom of the cart where food goes) to 4.5 feet or higher. Some of our carts are also plastic and much lighter and, therefore, easier to tip.

            tl;dr Baby +/- seat up top = high center of gravity and increased tip risk

          • KarenJJ
            August 1, 2013 at 8:42 am #

            I think working in paediatric emergency would be scary once you’re a parent. My SIL’s friend is a paed in a London hospital and she’s scared us both silly about grapes. I chop them in half now.

          • Amy M
            August 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

            Our twin class was run by a woman whose child (the girl half of a pair of twins) was killed when she accidentally pulled a dresser over on herself. The little girl was 3, I think, when it happened. The mother has since advocated heavily for child safety and bolting furniture to the wall. Of course, she scared us big time, so we bolted all of our furniture.

            Then there was the story I read in, I think it was “The Art of Raising Twins”, about the woman who said…Hmmm it’s quiet, tooo quiet. Where are my 3yr old twin boys? And she found them climbing up the inside of the chimney. So we put a big ol’ gate around the fireplace (even though it is not ever used, so it is empty of logs, grates, tools and ash) because of that anecdote alone.

          • Sue
            August 3, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

            You can also go crazy at the other end of the age scale – I can’t stand to see my mother climb a ladder and I am constantly trying to get rid of her little floor rugs.

            I think Gene is right about the shopping trolleys/carts with a high centre of gravity, but there are only so many risks you can mitigate before doing more harm from anxiety than good.

          • Gene
            August 1, 2013 at 8:45 am #

            Also, it’s not just that the carseat itself can fall out (and it does, because many aren’t or can’t be strapped down to the cart), but the ENTIRE CART that will fall due to imbalance and high center of gravity.

          • Dr Kitty
            August 1, 2013 at 9:56 am #

            Ah, I see. Precarious balancing act+ plastic trolley- appropriate straps=accident waiting to happen.

            Honestly I’m happy enough with the special trollies, and ASDA has even made some that are easier and safer to use, with a lower centre of gravity, but would totally agree that in the abcence of one, put the car set in the trolley or carry the baby!


          • Karen in SC
            August 1, 2013 at 8:12 am #

            But, Gene, grocery shopping is a safe as life gets!

        • Amy H
          August 1, 2013 at 8:01 am #

          Just going by my observations… Yeah, a lot of them are dangerous, but that’s life.

          Specifically, some strollers are nicely made with the back of the child seat higher than the handbar where you push, so I could snap my Graco car seat onto the seatback quite nicely. But a lot of them would end up with the baby leaned way back, which doesn’t work for very long past the newborn stage. Then I’d have to adjust the angle, so I walked around with my thumbs and index fingers pretty much loosely holding the car seat the whole time. You wouldn’t want to just set it on there and turn around once the babies moving. If you’re buying many groceries you can’t very well set it in the basket.

          And babies can fall out of the seat on there… My brother’s baby crawled out and landed on her head before they realized she was that mobile. (No damage!) I strap my baby in as tightly as I dare and he still manages to wiggle out sometimes. Constant vigilance…

  7. yentavegan
    July 29, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    The death of this infant is still too new for the mother to process completely. In time perhaps she will continue her quest for the truth. She will learn that ob/gyn’s do not stand idly by while a mother suffers through a labor that is failing to progress. Perhaps she will learn that ob/gyn’s limit a mother’s suffering and can ease the pain of labor.
    Right now however she can not see past the fog and confusion.
    when this mother awakens from her grief this blog will be here to validate her anger and rage at how her midwife mistreated her.

    • PollyPocket
      July 30, 2013 at 1:20 am #

      I saw another homebirth loss mom come full circle over the course of about a year. At first she blamed the OB on call who accepted the transfer, the OB was taking home call and within 30 minutes of the hospital in the middle if the night when she went in. That was the problem in her mind. Those 30 minutes and not the warning signs leading up to that moment.

      In the first several months after the homebirth and loss, the nurses were the incompetent ones, and the OB was callous and uncaring. A couple of years later she gave birth again, this time in the hospital. She took full responsibility for the loss of her first child, and did everything she could to avoid another loss. The same OB came in to deliver her second child, even though she wasn’t on call. The nurses made sure she was as far away from the room where she experienced her loss as possible. She realized that they cared deeply for her and both of her children. As a healthcare provider, when someone recognizes that you do care about them as a human being, that is what makes the job worth it.

      But it took a whole year to get there and stop blaming the OB who carried the weight of that loss for over a year, just like she did.

      • Antigonos CNM
        July 30, 2013 at 1:57 am #

        This is the point of what I wrote below, and which not everyone agrees with, regarding “stupid people”. Intelligent people make mistakes, of course, but they learn from them and try not to repeat them. Stupid people just keep on making the same mistakes.

        • PollyPocket
          July 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

          But it took a year to come around and see the folly in her ways. Right off the bat she blamed the OB and the hospital staff, not her midwife or choice for a homebirth.

    • Karan
      July 31, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

      Neither do upstanding midwives! Unfortunately these extremist midwives give the well-rounded ones a bad rep….plus you don’t hear stories about the majority who do well-only the horror stories make the news/blogs.

      • prolifefeminist
        August 1, 2013 at 4:11 am #

        These extremist midwives are extremely common, unfortunately…and it’s very difficult for prospective clients to pick them out from the better trained midwives. Having an actual accountability system in place that weeds out the bad midwives is absolutely crucial…but that’s not exactly high on the priority list of the home birth advocacy groups.

      • yentavegan
        August 1, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

        homebirth midwives who transfer clients to hospitals at the first sign of trouble are singled-out as medwives and given a bad rap in the NCB/homebirth blogosphere.

  8. anne
    July 29, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    The comments on Midwifery Today kind of remind me of when people post on the internet that they want to kill themselves and others egg them on because the computer can divorce your actions from the consequences of them.

    This is a real woman, with a real baby. Her choices have huge consequences for her life, her health, her child’s health, her family. The women giving her advice aren’t thinking of her at all, or her dead baby. They just want her to validate their own choices. She’s not a person to them and if this next baby dies they will walk away from her, never think of her, and not have to live with the real results of the bad advice they gave.

    It sickens me.

    • Karen in SC
      July 30, 2013 at 7:43 am #

      That happens on Birthing Center and Mothering. com too. Agreed, sickening.

  9. Deborah
    July 29, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    Someone pass me a yoni cupcake – I want to throw one at the wall.

  10. July 29, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    I really have a hard time with the victim blaming the mw “advisors” are engaging in – it speaks volumes about how they treat women who do not “perform” and achieve the desired outcome in the desired way. Further, it is rather disturbing how this loss mother is unable to see the harshness of the advice she is receiving.

  11. I don't have a creative name
    July 29, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    OT: The bragging about “my kid really is better than everyone else because of me!” has already started on FB. http://www.nbcnews.com/health/kids-who-were-breastfed-longer-have-higher-iqs-new-study-6C10787012


    • suchende
      July 29, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

      Wanna *really* give your kid an IQ bump, be a person and breed with people with high IQ.

      • KarenJJ
        July 29, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

        Or read to your kids, prioritise education and give them examples of good work ethics and resilience in your own life. Because that will mean a lot more than having a high IQ in the long run.

        • Guest
          July 30, 2013 at 2:33 am #

          Yes. Also, avoid IQ testing for your child at all costs. I just made the mistake of having my son tested. I am now wading through all the emotions that stirred up. A person is so much more than their IQ.

          • KarenJJ
            July 30, 2013 at 2:37 am #

            I was reading this article the other day. You might find it interesting if you haven’t already seen it.


          • AmyP
            July 30, 2013 at 10:11 am #

            IQ is the floor, it’s not the ceiling for a child’s intellect. They are at least that bright.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            July 30, 2013 at 10:13 am #

            IQ testing can be useful if you suspect your child has a specific developmental delay, i.e. dyslexia. The number will be meaningless, but it may be helpful to know about specific areas of delay.

          • Squillo
            July 30, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

            Indeed. It was a standard part of the developmental assessments we had done for my son, and it was helpful to know that his developmental problems likely didn’t include an intellectual disability–in other words, by the blunt measure of IQ, there was no reason he couldn’t manage the work in a mainstream classroom.

      • guest
        July 30, 2013 at 2:23 am #

        Or have an only child.

      • yentavegan
        July 30, 2013 at 9:11 am #

        Really high IQ’s are over-rated. Normal is good enough.

        • kumquatwriter
          July 30, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

          Really hi IQ is a pain in the ass!

          • thepragmatist
            July 31, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

            I’ve come to feel like a really high IQ is a learning disability in itself. As someone who tested in the 1st percentile through out school, I can say that I think I would’ve preferred to be average.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      July 29, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

      I just did an interview with the Wall Street Journal on that paper:


      What the paper shows is that the purported increase in IQ from breastfeeding is so trivial that there is NO need for women to feel guilty if they don’t breastfeed.

      • EllenL
        July 30, 2013 at 1:19 am #

        I find it ironic that the Wall Street Journal is publishing this article and trumpeting it as a big deal.
        The hostility of the business community towards breastfeeding is the main reason that most American women don’t breastfeed for the recommended six months IMO.
        The fact that mothers here don’t have guaranteed PAID maternity leave is another reason.
        I’d like to know just what the WSJ proposes to do about this.

        • Elizabeth A
          July 30, 2013 at 8:56 am #

          It’s the WSJ. I’m pretty sure their recommendations are that you shouldn’t have kids until you can afford a nanny, and then you should get yourself back to the office as soon as possible. What’s to fix?

          I don’t agree with the WSJ stance.

    • StudentMidwife
      July 29, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

      You know, my anectdata shows that of my kids, the one who breastfed the longest does appear to be the smartest. However, it’s not an impressive difference and I would argue to my last breath that it has significantly more to do with luck and his specific genetic makeup than with the 2 extra months he was breastfed. Breast milk is awesome and I enjoyed breastfeeding my kids, but it’s not the magical miracle that people make it out to be. It’s just one factor out of thousands that help shape children into who they are.

    • Denise Denning
      July 29, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

      I’m a strong advocate of breast-feeding: it’s cheaper, it’s easier once you get established, and it’s less stressful to travel with baby when you don’t have to pack formula and bottles. That said, I can see problems with that study, even beyond the usual “Correlation is not causation.” Longer breast-feeding is probably a marker for affluence and better maternal health, factors that also correlate with intelligent children.

      • Mac Sherbert
        July 29, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

        I have to argue it’s not always easier to travel when BF. My 9 month old is mostly breastfed. However, she can hold her own baba and will happily sip away as we drive thus no need to stop for a 20-30 breastfeeding session. It all depends on the baby.

        I’ve bottle and breastfed. In my experience bottle feeding is way easier all the way around. That doesn’t mean I advocate bottle feeding, but reality for one is not always reality for another.

        • July 29, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

          I’d be careful driving w/a baby using a bottle. I’ve had a close call with a car seat and choking before, I am thankful we weren’t driving so I could get the baby out really quickly.

          I think one of the best parts of breastfeeding (for me) has just been how easily I can comfort my baby when he is really upset or tired. That and the cost.

          • Mac Sherbert
            July 29, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

            Yes. We are careful whenever I give bottle or sippy even when not driving. In the car I only use the slowest flow nipple and she has never had an issue with it. The funniest thing is how she throws when it’s empty (that’s a danger to anyone sitting close by.)

            My baby is also easily comforted with the breast, but I have to say the older she gets the more I wish it wasn’t so. My first took a paci and that was much easier than a baby that wants the breasts to make everything better. It’s hard to comfort her in other ways because the nurses are always there.

        • AmyP
          July 29, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

          I was recently discovering that a bottle is better for the plane.

          With my first two children, I gave them bottles of expressed milk, so I was able to have them sucking during take-off and landing while safely strapped in. My third baby was able to directly breastfeed and eventually cold-shouldered bottles and pacifiers. On the plane, I belatedly discovered that this was a problem, as I wasn’t able to breastfeed her during take-offs and landings and she cried quite a lot.

          That said, I have finally been able to appreciate the convenience of breastfeeding. It’s been really nice to always have something on tap for the baby (aside from car travel and take-offs and landings).

          • Klain
            July 30, 2013 at 4:30 am #

            Why couldn’t you breastfeed at that time? That’s how I was able to settle my 8 month old on a recent trip. One of the cabin staff even got me a pillow unasked to make it easier.

          • AmyP
            July 30, 2013 at 10:09 am #

            Safety. What’s the point of paying for an extra seat if we don’t use it during the most dangerous part of the flight?

            I’ve flown with lap babies before, but I’m more safety minded now.

          • Klain
            July 30, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

            Do you bring your own seat to do that? I’ve seen someone bring their carseat for a toddler, but not for an under 1.

          • AmyP
            July 30, 2013 at 7:41 pm #


          • Dr Kitty
            July 31, 2013 at 5:27 am #

            Ahh- I didn’t pay for the extra seat.
            Unfortunately this lead to the cabin crew having to redo their head count several times, because they forgot to count my daughter, who was nursing happily for most of the 1 hour flights we went on when she was 3 months old.

            So there you go- breastfeeding so discreetly that the cabin crew didn’t notice the baby!

        • Karan
          July 31, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

          I think it depends on momma and baby, I’ve done both and feel bf is easier.

      • Older Mom
        July 29, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

        We combo fed, and formula-feeding is easier, hands down. Biggest reason: you and your partner can take turns with the night feeding!

        If we had given up entirely on the breastfeeding, we could’ve skipped pumping, which would’ve made life So. Much. Easier.

        • Denise Denning
          July 30, 2013 at 8:51 am #

          Whoops, I didn’t mean to down-vote my own post 🙂

          For my second child I invested in a good breast pump. And I was fortunate to have a boss who was a mother of three, who also breast-fed, and accommodated my leaving the counter (I’m a pharmacist) to go pump.

      • PollyPocket
        July 30, 2013 at 1:23 am #

        I don’t understand why the #1 benefit of breastfeeding is so underplayed: FEWER BOTTLES TO WASH!

        • Mom2Many
          July 30, 2013 at 7:16 am #

          Umm, dishwasher? 😀

          • Antigonos CNM
            July 30, 2013 at 8:19 am #

            No one needs more than two bottles these days, anyway. One for water, and one for formula, which you make up immediately before feeding, using previously boiled water. If you are pumping, use breast milk bags and freeze until needed. Gone are the days when one made up 24 hours’ supply of formula with cow’s milk, sugar, and water, and then sterilized all the full bottles.

          • Elizabeth A
            July 30, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

            No one needs more than two bottles these days.


            My children’s daycare asked for 20 oz. of breastmilk or formula, premixed, in at least four individual bottles, to be brought in each day for each child in the infant room. Plenty of breast feeding mothers opted to send in smaller containers, to reduce the amount of milk lost to spoilage when it was taken out of the fridge for a baby who then wasn’t all that hungry.

          • prolifefeminist
            August 1, 2013 at 4:20 am #

            No offense, Antigonos, but I gotta say, I’m ROFL too. Who wants to get up several times in the middle of the night to make, from scratch, a bottle every time baby is hungry? I made several bottles up and kept them in a cooler upstairs, and warmed them on the spot during the night as needed. No way in hell was I going downstairs to make a bottle while holding a screaming newborn lol. And what about traveling? What about leaving bottles for a sitter while you go out?

          • Kumquatwriter
            July 30, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

            Um, unless you don’t have and can’t afford one and half your damn life is hand washing dishes.

        • Elizabeth A
          July 30, 2013 at 8:49 am #

          I pumped. Breastfeeding doesn’t get you less washing up if you are trying to provide milk for a 9-12 hour stint of being out without the baby every day.

          • prolifefeminist
            August 1, 2013 at 4:22 am #

            And with pumping, in addition to all the bottles, you have all those pump parts….ohhh boy, do I ever not miss washing all those…!

        • Karan
          July 31, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

          Here, here!

      • Elizabeth A
        July 30, 2013 at 11:15 am #

        It’s also only cheaper if you don’t count the value of the woman’s time.

        • prolifefeminist
          August 1, 2013 at 4:16 am #

          I understand this statement, and this is not directed at you (as I’ve read this many times on this blog), but somehow that statement rubs me the wrong way every time I read it. I value my time very much, and that includes the time I spend with my children. Monetary value is not the only value of a woman’s time.

          • Box of Salt
            August 1, 2013 at 5:26 am #

            prolifemisits “Monetary value is not the only value of a woman’s time.”


            You’ve got it.

            Don’t let it rub you the wrong way – when you do value your time, it’s not “free.”

            Value it.

            If we don’t, who will?

  12. Dr Kitty
    July 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

    So…at what point does a labour become obstructed to NCB people?
    What are the ladies in Ethiopia and DRC with obstetric fistula doing wrong?

    NCB accepts that obstetric fistula due to obstructed labour exists in Africa.

    Why are they so sure that no-one in the developed world can labour “too long”?
    Why can CPD never happen in the USA if it happens all the time in Africa?
    Why is every presentation or position a “variation of normal” when we know that some positions are simply undeliverable-because women and babies in the developing world die during attempted deliveries?

    I am so sorry for the loss of the little girl, and hope that with time her mother may choose a different, safer path for future pregnancies.

    • I don't have a creative name
      July 29, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

      And Niger. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/14/opinion/sunday/kristof-where-young-women-find-healing-and-hope.html?_r=1&

      I posted this the other day, but it has just stayed with me. Her rat bastard of an uncle/husband who ripped her open again immediately after surgery….. grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

      But surely the fistula just happened because she failed to prepare her body.

    • Jessica
      July 29, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

      My guess is they blame it on inadequate maternal nutrition during childhood, which is probably very, very rare in developed countries.

      • Certified Hamster Midwife
        July 29, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

        Which is interesting, because I would think that 12 years old and malnourished is just a variation of normal.

      • thepragmatist
        July 31, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

        This is true: they blame it on malnourishment. And that’s about it. Some vague waving of their hand to dismiss it. “Those people over there are different.”

        • Happy Sheep
          August 1, 2013 at 11:30 am #

          Yup, different, except for when they want to use “Africans” as a reason why NCB, co sleeping or baby wearing is the bestest ever, Africans do it, just ignore the terrible mortality rates and the fact that they do these things out of necessity or that there is no country called Africa it is all so racist and blind.

  13. MonaLisa
    July 29, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    As someone going through a miscarriage right now, who would have done anything to have a healthy baby, I want to punch these women in the face.

    • Dr Kitty
      July 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

      I’m so sorry MonaLisa.
      Look after yourself, and maybe stay away from the sites where NCB idiocy is likely to make you ragey.

    • July 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

      that is so awful. I hope you have the support needed to get through this tough time.

    • moto_librarian
      July 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

      I am so very sorry, MonaLisa.

    • I don't have a creative name
      July 29, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

      Miscarriage sucks so much. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      July 29, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

      I’m sorry for your loss.

    • Amazed
      July 29, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

      MonaLisa, I am so sorry for your loss. Take care of yourself.

    • July 29, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

      sorry for your loss.

    • gtrm
      July 29, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

      So so sorry. I had one a year ago and know your pain. I will pray for you. Though the pain never completely goes away I hope it will diminish with time.

    • Jessica
      July 29, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

      I’m so sorry.

    • Meerkat
      July 29, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

      I am so sorry.

    • Bambi Chapman
      July 29, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

      I am so very sorry!

    • Denise Denning
      July 29, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

      So sorry!

    • Jocelyn
      July 29, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

      I’m so sorry.

    • Kumquatwriter
      July 29, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

      I’m so sorry 🙁 I hope you can find some relief. Miscarriages suck.

    • Zornorph
      July 29, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

      So sorry. Been there myself 🙁

    • prolifefeminist
      August 1, 2013 at 4:25 am #

      I’m so sorry…:(

  14. batmom
    July 29, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    So heartbreaking. During labor with my son, we lost his heart tones after the nurse repositioned me. It was the single most terrifying experience of my life — but the nurse, who I did not like personally but was good at her job, held my son off the cord while the room filled with people preparing for an emergency section — and then his heart tones came back, and hours later I wound up with a vaginal forceps delivery after 4 hours of pushing . So terrifying — but ultimately okay birth of an 8lb baby with great APGARs.

    If this poor woman had been at the hospital, she might have needed a section — but she might have wound up like me with an assisted birth but no cutting. In any case, I’ve never been so glad for continuous monitoring, and I’m so sad at her loss. Her poor baby.

    • thepragmatist
      July 31, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

      This is something about NCB that really frustrates me. IF they went to the hospital, IF they listened to medical advice, IF they were there in time… they may avoid the much fear c-section after all. But they don’t.

  15. guest
    July 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    Another very sad thing about this is that if this mom does go on to a second homebirth, and this one is successful, all of the midwives/doulas/birth junkies on sites like MIdwifery Today will use her story as proof that their natural remedies work, and then they will tell the amazing story of the mom whose first child passed away, but her second child was born in a successful HBAC due to evening primrose/meditation/gluten-free/whatever. There are numerous stories out there of mothers who lost one child to a preventable homebirth tragedy but went on to have a successful homebirth. Instead of seeing it as pure luck or better positioning or any number of other factors, the birth sites crow about how their favored natural remedy made all the difference, thus encouraging other moms to take risks and rely on unproven methods at home.

    • I don't have a creative name
      July 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

      Also, a second birth is just statistically more likely to go better/easier. Which is why it’s so maddening when these people complain about the horrible labor in the hospital, but how easy it was the 2nd time at home…. not realizing home had little to nothing to do with it being “easier”.

      Of course, based on what the doctor said, this woman might really NOT be built for labor, despite the tired NCB tropes that every single woman ever in the history of everything, is. And she will once again be burying a tiny little baby, when it didn’t have to happen. And that’s the saddest thing of all.

    • Something From Nothing
      July 29, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

      And if her baby dies, she will simply go away…

  16. moto_librarian
    July 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    I am truly sorry for this woman’s loss. All of that “advice” at Midwifery Today, yet no one asking why the midwife allowed her to labor for 4 days. This is so awful.

    • I don't have a creative name
      July 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

      Exactly. 4 days?? And that asshole at the end, saying this baby died because mom didn’t prepare herself?? No, crazy twatbasket, this baby died because she went into catastrophic distress after 4 DAYS of labor. Labor is hard on a baby!! Had mom gone into the hospital 2 days sooner, you could be bitching at her for “giving up too soon” and having a c-section, but she’d have a live baby.

      If mom reads this, I want you to know how sorry I am that you lost your baby. And I am heartbroken and terrified that you are planning to risk your next child’s life in the same way. WHY???

      • Kalacirya
        July 29, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

        Is a twat basket a twat shaped like a basket, or a basket full of twats? LOL

        • Amy M
          July 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

          Maybe a basket shaped like a twat? I think people would put yoni cupcakes in twat baskets.

          • Kalacirya
            July 29, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

            If such a basket exists, it’s on etsy.

        • I don't have a creative name
          July 29, 2013 at 3:31 pm #


        • Kumquatwriter
          July 29, 2013 at 10:11 pm #

          I assumed it was equivalent to a bag of dicks.

          • Kalacirya
            July 29, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

            I was actually thinking about the Louis CK skit about bags of dicks when I wrote that comment.

    • July 29, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

      yeesh and I thought 8 hours without anyone checking on me was negligent…

      • moto_librarian
        July 30, 2013 at 10:09 am #

        That was negligent, Shameon Betterbirth. I am sorry that you suffered from poor care in both the hospital and at home.

  17. Antigonos CNM
    July 29, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    First of all, if a woman is posting to a site like Midwifery Today, or Mothering.com, she is probably not willing to believe or accept any standard medical advice. The weirder the advice, the better. I’m surprised she wasn’t advised to find a rowan tree and walk about it widdershins on a night when the moon is full in order to have an easier labor. One of the newer idiocies is to brag about having an unusually prolonged labor — another variation of “normal”; just average for a Warrior Woman. 4 days? 15 HOURS of transition? One can only presume that she wasn’t really in either stage for the length of time she thinks she was.

    Anyone notice the paradox of being [1] built for birth, but [2] not capable of actually giving birth without tons of supplements, exercises, etc.?

    Some people are just too stupid to be allowed to become pregnant, IMO.

    • HolyWowBatman
      July 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

      I agree with everything you said until your last sentence. Fooled, tricked, self deceived, or any number of other major issues… But not too stupid to get pregnant. That’s just rude and not constructive.

    • guest
      July 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

      Anyone notice the paradox of being [1] built for birth, but [2] not capable of actually giving birth without tons of supplements, exercises, etc.?

      This, a thousand times this! Why is it that the same people who go on about doctors not trusting womens’ bodies also assert that women need to follow a specific regimen of “natural” interventions to have a healthy birth? I suspect they are the same morons who talk about avoiding food with chemicals in itwithout understanding that their natural food is also made of chemicals. Darn those devious chemicals, like water.

      • Mariana Baca
        July 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

        Seriously, why are herbal teas ok but not oxytocin? Or hibiclens or garlic but not antibiotics?

        • Amy Tuteur, MD
          July 29, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

          Why? Very simple: homebirth midwives can obtain the former, but not the latter.

        • PollyPocket
          July 29, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

          In the hospital where I used to work, applying hibiclens to vaginal mucosa would be treated as an incident in which the nurse was negligent. I’ve heard of some OBs endorsing hibiclens for female genitals, but the urologists I’ve worked with strictly prohibited it, even in the case if a Betadine allergy.

          I just don’t understand how an antibiotic is so much worse than douching with a chemical that is toxic to eyes, ears, and mucosa…

          • Captain Obvious
            July 29, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

            Really, what if hibiclens got into the baby’s eyes!

            I know third world countries and midwives use Hibiclens in the vagina. but when penicillin is available it should be used. It has the wrong vagina pH and is against manufacturers recommendations.
            HIBICLENS® is an antiseptic antimicrobial skin cleanser possessing bactericidal properties. HIBICLENS contains 4% w/v chlorhexidine gluconate, a chemically unique cationic bisbiguanide with inactive ingredients: Fragrance, isopropyl alcohol 4%, purified water, Red 40, and other ingredients, in a mild, sudsing base adjusted to pH 5.0-6.5 for optimal activity and stability as well as compatibility with the normal pH of the skin. (pH of the vagina is 3-4, hibiclens could induce bacterial vaginosis to develop which in turn could cause preterm labor).
            Manufacturers recommendations: Avoid getting this medication in your eyes, ears, nose, mouth, rectum, or vagina. Chlorhexidine topical is for use only on the skin.
            FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether chlorhexidine topical will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
            It is not known whether chlorhexidine topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed if you are using this medicine to treat a skin condition in the breast area.
            Be very careful when using chlorhexidine topical on a child younger than 2 months old. This medication may cause severe irritation or chemical burns on a very young child.

          • Hannah
            July 30, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

            I think that these people are confused and think that Hibiclens is “natural”, because the name is kind of cute and maybe sounds vaguely herbal.

          • Happy Sheep
            August 1, 2013 at 11:24 am #

            Yet these same people will squawk and scream that cytotec is contraindicated for pregnant women, it’s right in the insert!!1!
            But since hibclense can allow for a homebirth, it’s okay, who cares if the consensus of any study of its use is that it is not effective. Cytotec needs to be administered by a dr and then the woman monitored in the hospital, therefore it’s baaaad.

        • Antigonos CNM
          July 30, 2013 at 2:08 am #

          This is all part of what I call Medical Luddism. You’ve got to remember that for lay people, nearly everything in medicine is magical because they don’t understand the science behind it [heck, ask a medical professional to explain how an MRI works, or even aspirin]. So, if medicine is magic, then Magic is, well, even more magical. QED, more effective! To compare the antibiotic qualities of garlic and penicillin is a joke, but not to the person who has no idea why all antibacterials are not the same.

    • Jessica
      July 29, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

      I don’t know which is more obnoxious – the Warrior attitude that praises women for abnormally long, protracted labors and second stage, regardless of the injury to the woman or baby, or the women who think that red raspberry leaf tea and a positive attitude is why they had a four hour labor with ten minutes of pushing and no perineal tearing.

    • BeatlesFan
      July 30, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

      I don’t remember transition with my first, because I had the epidural before that happened. With my second, I was in transition when the anesthesiologist showed up with his magical elixir, and I was shaking like a Yorkie in a snowstorm. I actually thought the shaking was due to low blood sugar, as it was about about 9AM, I’d awoken in labor at 4:30AM and I hadn’t eaten anything yet. When the CNM said I was shaking because of transition, I basically said, “Holy shit, really? This is normal during labor?” I honestly thought I was about to pass out. I have a hard time believing anyone could endure 15 hours of that without their heart exploding.

  18. stacey
    July 29, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    Talk about blaming the mom! That last one was straight up saying it was HER FAULT for not knowing how to prepare properly!

    I am so sorry for that baby, and for this mom. I think this poor lady was simply reaching out in order to be told it wasn’t her fault, or the fault of HB. It is too new, the grief and loss to fresh, for her to be blaming anyone but herself, which is normal no matter what happened. Hopefully, in time, she will realize that she was failed by a so called MW, not by herself.

    I mean, 4 days of labor and a 15 HOUR transition? No ways that is normal, but I am sure the “MW” told her it was FINE. Just like Shahzads mom.

    • attitude devant
      July 29, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

      The story is shockingly similar to Shahzad’s. Poor sweet prince lost two ago last week. Love to his loving parents!

  19. Amy M
    July 29, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    I read through the comments…there were a decent number suggesting that 1)she wait a good interval before becoming pregnant again and 2)that she have future babies in the hospital, vbac or csection. Even a midwife on there said that. Of course there were also the moron brigade suggesting herbs and a no-sugar diet, ’cause that’ll solve everything.

    Not only are they stupid, but they come across as really insensitive as well, and they are always getting upset when they see that Dr. Amy has posted links to those stories here—we’re always so hateful when we discuss them, but it is A-OK to say things like “Next time, lay off the sugar, mama. My last homebirth went fine, and my baby was over 10lbs! It was all because I didn’t eat sugar and I drank lots of red-raspberry leaf tea. That must be what you did wrong. Hang in there mama, you’ll get it right next time.”

    • stacey
      July 29, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

      WE say, “I’m sorry” or “Your MW was at fault”, or even “you were lied too”, but never “You just didn’t do x,y,z”

    • Expat in Germany
      July 29, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

      “Hang in there mama, you’ll get it right next time” says the lady who pushes out 10 lb babies in minutes to a woman with an android pelvis who just lost a baby due to cpd. They have no way of knowing if it was cpd or if the baby’s head just got stuck transversely. I be the ob she saw in the hospital knows and that is why he told her not to try again. It is so easy to give dangerous advice when the consequences don’t affect you at all. It is morally criminal.

  20. Gene
    July 29, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    Did Heather Baker actually recommend trying to make her next baby IUGR? What happened to “your body can’t grow a baby too big to birth”?

    And why are untested and unregulated herbs considered safe, but FDA regulated drugs are not? If natural is your goal, well, Opium is natural. Digitlis is natural, Salicylic acid is natural, Ephedra is natural, Ipecac is natural! And each one can kill you. So much for natural!

    • Therese
      July 29, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

      I don’t think dropping bread from your diet usually results in IUGR.

      If the mom was suffering from gestational diabetes, no bread might not be bad advice. When I had gd bread was the one thing I couldn’t handle eating. Of course, the better advice would be to be tested for gd.

      • Gene
        July 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

        Per the post, baby was 10lbs. So much larger than average. And, again per her post, no GD (though not sure if that was because she didn’t or because she just didn’t test for it). My 2nd was 11lbs and I didn’t have GD (and tested twice). Telling mom to have a goal of eating less in order to have a smaller baby makes me a bit concerned, though.

        • Therese
          July 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

          She didn’t say eat less, though. She said don’t eat bread. She could still eat just as many calories in other foods.

          I still think it is insufficient advice, but I’m just not seeing how it’s going to lead to IUGR.

          • Amy M
            July 29, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

            I wonder why she didn’t just suggest that woman take up smoking.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            July 29, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

            All natural tobacco only, of course.

          • Therese
            July 29, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

            Yes, I actually almost said something about that. That’s what my grandmother did after her first was 11 lbs. She smoked for her next pregnancies and ate very little food and ended up with 7 lb babies.

  21. Therese
    July 29, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    Herbs are probably referring to things like black/blue cohosh that are known to stimulate the uterus. I think they can really work, people are known to successfully have DIY abortions with these substances, so I can imagine they would actually decrease labor time. The thing I don’t understand why someone would think it was safer than pitocin.

    • Lilly de Lure
      July 29, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

      Just goes to show that the only thing worse than a herbal remedy that does nothing, is one that does something!

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      July 29, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

      Cohosh has been associated with stroke, heart attacks, and other complications during labor. And may be a teratogen. Not safe by any stretch of the imagination.

  22. The Computer Ate My Nym
    July 29, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    Ugh. If it was malpositioning of the fetus, then there is nothing she can do to stop it from happening again. I was totally healthy during pregnancy, except for some nausea throughout. I worked up to the 9th month, swam and walked every day up to the day I went into labor…and nearly died from a malpositioned fetus and chorioamnionitis from rupture of membranes. it just happens, as far as I know. No way to prevent it, certainly not with herbs, brewer’s yeast, positive thinking, or whatever else is in fashion this week.

    • Amy M
      July 29, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

      She didn’t actually say what the position way, but she did mention it was 10lbs. She also said she got to 9cm and no further. Now here is more speculation, but the same thing happened to my sister—she got to 9cm, labor stalled, but instead of waiting 4 days, they waited a few hours, and when nothing changed, they did a Csection. She has a healthy boy, who was 9.5lbs at birth. Her OB believes he was just too big to move any further down and that she (my sister) wasn’t going to dilate any more…my nephew is a chunker and he wasn’t going to fit, thank god for Csections.

      If this poor woman’s situation was like that, nothing but a Csection would have helped and if she’d agreed to one 4 days earlier, she’d have a healthy, enormous baby in her arms today. It is just sad. Granted, that is TOTAL speculation on my part, with no info to back it up, but if the mother was at home with no monitoring, even she would have no idea what was actually going on.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        July 29, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

        Yeah, one way or another a hospital would not have let it go for 4 days and the chances of a good outcome with c-section for failure to progress would be extremely high. And, of course, this woman would be talking about her “unnecessarian” and how the doctors “just looked at the numbers” to decide when to do a c-section. Those limitations on the length of labor are there for a reason!

      • realityycheque
        July 29, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

        The sad thing is that if she had been in the hospital and ended up with a c-section (and a healthy baby), these same people would be telling her that it was “unnecessary” because “I birthed a 11lber at home just fine!”

        There really is no way to win through their eyes in situations like this.

      • Allie P
        July 30, 2013 at 11:30 am #

        I didn’t have a c-section, primarily because instead of trusting my body to know what to do (it didn’t, I was post-dates with a thick, undilated cervix), I used the modern technology of cervical ripening drugs (under monitoring) to fix the problem and all I got was a healthy baby. Sometimes a c section is what is in the cards and sometimes a c section doesn’t have to be in the cards if you are willing to accept other interventions along the way. But you don’t know if you’re at home without proper medical care.

  23. Oiuy
    July 29, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    I just started infertility treatments this month and due to my chronic illness becoming pregnant is going to be hard. The thought of growing and carrying a baby for 9 months, and then not giving him/her the best possible chance to enter this world healthy is just madness. Maybe when becoming pregnant is easy you don’t have to prioritize healthy baby over birth experience since you can simply get pregnant again? I would trade reproductive abilities with these women in a heartbeat. Babies aren’t disposable…

    • Lilly de Lure
      July 29, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

      Same problem here – I’d be over the moon just to get pregnant at all after the time I’ve been trying. I can’t imagine how people can be so caught up in the experience of birth the forget the fundamental point of that experience – to have a living baby at the end of it!

      • Antigonos CNM
        July 29, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

        I suspect that an aspect of it is that women who have had great difficulty becoming pregnant feel that this may be their only chance to experience birth, so it has got to be perfect. They will have to live with a single memory for the rest of their lives.

        Women have a number of rather definite “signposts” in life: first period, first sexual experience, first [at least] marriage, first pregnancy, first birth, menopause. We have been indoctrinated into believing that each of these moments must be extra special–and try telling someone before one of these “milestones” that it may not be the big deal it’s purported to be. They won’t believe you. Our culture transmits a lot of myths. Giving birth pales in comparison with the experience of raising a child just as most women discover that sex is actually better with continued experience of it.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          July 29, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

          try telling someone before one of these “milestones” that it may not be the big deal it’s purported to be

          Heh. My first period was distinctly anticlimatic. And I’m afraid my response to my first sexual experience was “you mean that’s IT?!” (I got better.) Perimenopause has so far been pretty dull too and I’ll be thrilled if it stays that way through menopause.

          Birth, though. Birth was a big deal. Not because the pregnancy or birth were special, but because the baby was and the child is.

        • AmyP
          July 29, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

          I think it’s generally true that people have been making bigger and bigger whooptydoes of all of the signposts: the dramatic choreographed proposals, the financially ruinous weddings, the one-of-a-kind first birthdays, the carefully curated Facebook posts, etc. People are under unprecedented peer pressure to not do things the normal way.

    • Dog Cancer Doctor
      July 29, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

      We live in a disposable society: http://www.boundangels.org/the-disposable-dog/

    • stacey
      July 29, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

      No, it is not what is happening. IVF moms have HBs too.

      These moms truly believe that HB IS SAFE. They believe it 110%. I have never once met a HB mom that said anything but it is as safe, OR SAFER. They were lied to, and fooled.

    • Guestll
      July 30, 2013 at 12:35 am #

      I will preface this by saying that I hope ART is successful for you and that you have a healthy baby.
      There is a school of thought amongst infertile women that says, when we graduate (get pregnant) we have to be better. We tried harder. We suffered. We spent. We aren’t FWACs (Fertiles Without A Clue) who conceive and carry easily, and take pregnancy for granted. We are special, in our own jaded, still-bitter way.
      And I call bullshit.
      My daughter is the result of about $35k, hundreds of ultrasounds and needle sticks, dozens of tests, four REs, three miscarriages, three IVFs, four IUIs, more drugs that I can recall, and a partridge in a pear tree. I bought into NCB just as easily as anyone who has never struggled reproductively. My rationale was that I was tired of doctors. And really, I was. I just wanted my body not to feel broken, to do what every other woman’s body (or so it seemed) was capable of doing with a minimum of fuss. It wasn’t a great decision on my part, but I own it.
      I sincerely hope your treatment is successful in getting you pregnant. I also hope that when you do get pregnant, you are able to see yourself as just that — a pregnant woman. Not one who is different or special or more deserving. You don’t know if that woman in the Midwifery Today piece who lost her baby struggled to conceive, and even if she didn’t, it doesn’t matter. You don’t get to hold the moral high ground for struggling and this isn’t a Pain Olympics.
      Don’t do that to yourself. There’s a reason why former infertility patients are more apt to suffer from PPD — and perhaps the weight of expectation we put on ourselves has something to do with it.

    • BeatlesFan
      July 30, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

      I’m one of those lucky women who gets pregnant very easily, and I hope you don’t think all of us who are that fortunate are also all unconcerned with the health and safety of our babies. The health of my children was my top priority from the minute my husband and I decided to TTC. I have also never uttered the words “birth experience” in regards to the births of my children.

      There are also loss moms who frequent here, and I don’t know how much they’d appreciate the implications that A) they were willfully reckless with their babies’ lives or B) that they replaced their lost baby with subsequent children.

      All of that being said, I wish you the best of luck with your treatments, and I hope you are able to make a happy announcement here soon.

      • Guestll
        July 30, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

        The thinking isn’t that you are unconcerned, it’s that you’re LESS concerned. It came easily to you, therefore, you don’t value it as much. If you “graduate” from infertility and are successful in bearing a child, you will value that child more than someone who didn’t have to struggle.
        As a veteran of the infertility battle, I’ve seen this school of thought time and again on message boards. It does nothing but set women up for failure. Just like NCB, just like competitive mothering, just like I’m a better parent because I (co-sleep/cloth diaper/practice AP/fill in the blank.)
        A wanted child is a wanted child. Some, like mine, took a great deal more effort than it sounds like yours did. But that doesn’t mean I deserve her any more, that I love her any more, that I am a better mother or that I view parenting from loftier heights.

        • prolifefeminist
          August 1, 2013 at 4:35 am #

          Yes yes yes. My third pregnancy was a very unwanted/unexpected one, but the baby himself was extremely loved and cherished and wanted. I think that when you cherish a baby for his/her own sake, instead of as a trophy/prize/right/something you deserve, it’s a lot easier to accept the gift of a child and secure the best care you can to bring that baby into the world healthy.

          • Dr Kitty
            August 1, 2013 at 6:36 am #

            If you have decided that bringing the child into the world is what you want to do, then you have a some responsibility to ensure that child is as happy and healthy as you can.

            If the decision to have a baby comes before months of gruelling fertility treatment, or only after considering all your options after a surprise pregnancy test, or even only after the baby is finally in your arms, there should be no difference in how much you can love and care for them.

            In reality, there are many women who are deeply ambivalent about having a baby, even once they decide to proceed with the pregnancy, for whatever reason. Some will love their babies once they meet them, some will take a while, and sadly some will never get there. I understand this is frustrating to women struggling with infertility, but that frustration can become bitterness and judgement pretty quickly.

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