Elder Babyslaughterers

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I don’t need no stinkin’ education!

My autonomy is more important than whether your baby lives or dies!

Don’t you dare hold me accountable!

That seems to sum up the prevailing views on the Facebook page of Elder Midwives Babyslaughterers. The “philosophical musings” of these buffoons could be dismissed as ludicrous, except for the fact that they have left the tiny bodies of dead babies in their wake. Indeed, the Facebook page is a veritable rogues’ gallery of babyslaughterers.

What’s a babyslaughterer? A babyslaughterer is a midwife who ignores the growing pile of tiny bodies, babies who died preventable deaths as a result of her direct or indirect professional actions. My view of involuntary babyslaughter is that a newborn death resulting from taking of an unreasonable and high degree of risk should be considered criminally negligent babyslaughter. It’s the homebirth version of involuntary manslaughter.

A perfect example of what passes for logic among these clowns can be found in this thread discussing the fact that uncredentialed self-proclaimed midwives are not eligible to travel on medical missions. You can read the full thread of nonsense for yourselves (and I’ve already screen-capped it in case of deletion). These clowns have worked themselves in a frenzy of indignation that anyone dares to have standards of any kinds for homebirth midwives.

I’ll just share a few highlights.

Lorri Carr Licensed Midwife: I despise that kind of exclusionary attitude. I was asked once to participate in the volunteer maternity care efforts for wives of deployed soldiers, then when they found out I was not a CNM they retracted the request. Hmph. Then they whined because they had no providers … imagine that.

Imagine that. They didn’t want to third world women to be cared for by lay people masquerading as midwives.

Carol Gautschi don’t need no stinkin’ education, either.

Midwife Carol Gautschi: Lol! No degree makes a midwife! Only GOD makes a midwife! Good thing we KNOW that!

LOL?

Babyslaughterer Gloria Lemay seems to think this thread, like everything else, is about her and how she feels.

Gloria Lemay: so many of my dumb transfers when I started could have been prevented if I had had a “safe”, more experienced midwife to call. Unfortunately, the midwives that I called would gossip about me not knowing something and that made it unsafe for me to call…

Just in case you thought these self-proclaimed “midwives” were something other than buffoons, Shannon Mitchell can disabuse you of that bit of wishful thinking.

Shannon Mitchell: VBAC is not high risk because there is no true definition of high risk. It’s imaginary. Created. She may be at a higher risk than some other mothers or she may not. The point being that a normal birth is EXPECTED, which makes her NOT high risk.

Someone asks about the proposal that all US midwives should meet the international standards promulgated by the International Confederation of Midwives:

Lorri Carr Licensed Midwife: I took a peek at them, and they do seem vague enough to allow for some autonomy.☺

Wink, wink, nudge, nudge!

But the best illustration of these “midwives” ignorance, self absorption and refusal to take accountability comes from this thread, discussing a homebirth death at a birth center.

Gail Hart re>>>Does accountability need to be taken, did wrongful deaths occur, is it a witch hunt, how would this be looked at the same thing happened to a medical professional in the hospital, should that medical professional have to take more responsibility by law as wel [sic]>>>>

Let’s take it in easy bites.

RE<>>

“Accointability [sic] is a slippery word: for most people the word equals “revenge’ . And in that meaning, I aswer [sic] “No”.
If you mean should an explanation be found? I anser [sic] “Yes”.

RE>>>>> did wrongful deaths occur,>>>>>

Wrongful — as in “preventable” – yes these should be discoered [sic].

RE>>>> is it a witch hunt,>>>>>>
YES

RE>>> how would this be looked at the same thing happened to a medical professional in the hospital,>>>>

Doctors are generally protected, and excused even when the death was preventable or caused by actionns [sic]…

Accountability equals revenge? Accountability is a witch hunt? Doctors are protected and excused in the wake of perinatal deaths?

Are these women for real?

Unfortunately they are, and the sooner they are restricted from “practicing,” by the imposition of large fines and jail sentences, the safer the rest of us will be.

  • Guys, I just can’t. This is too stupid.

    As someone who works for a pro-choice organization, the irony for me is that some of the nutters engaging in a war on abortion (“for the chilrenz”) won’t spare a few precious seconds to draft legislation that will protect mothers and babies postnatally.

    http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/aaahhhhhhh.gif

  • Jetset

    Gail Hart really is an incredible moron. With her folksy oregon knowledge. I love her real gem where she helps us understand that HELLP is really different than preeclampsia:
    ———–
    “HELLP is a different condition than preEclampsia because the women will never develop Eclampsia (convulsions).

    They both probalby have the same initial cause — an abnormal immune response to placentation. But it takes a different pathway.

    HELLP can occur without hypertension. THe H stands for Hemolysis — which doesnt’ usually occur with PreE.

    PreE includes hypertension although it can be mild.

    and I THINK the creatanine levels spike in preE but not in HELLP.

    In short – a woman with HELLP can develop severe hemolysis and DIC and liver failure as a result.

    But the woman with PreE will have some liver and renal stress plus convulsions.”
    ———-
    Adding insult to injury, 5 witless morons “liked” her observation and go on to claim their thankfulness that Gail could break down this information better.

    The truth: HELLP is a variant of severe preeclampsia with higher probability of seizures (eclampsia).

    • Dr Kitty

      Argh!
      HELLP can kill you
      Untreated Pre Eclampsia can kill you
      Eclampsia can kill you

      All Pre-eclampsia means is that while you have any combination of Hypetension, proteinuria and oedema (you don’t have to have all three) you haven’t yet seized.
      Eclampsia means that you’re seizing.
      HELLP means that the pre-e is messing up your liver and blood too, and you’ll probably start seizing soon.

      • Antigonos CNM

        But you see, while a little knowledge can be dangerous, no knowledge, or pseudo-knowledge, can be infinitely worse. The women who think they have had Pre-E, HELLP, and DIC explained by this idiot have no better way really, of knowing how they have been duped and misinformed. And too often, those of us who do understand the diseae mechanisms (as much as anyone really does — pre-E and eclampsia still have a lot of questions — usually can’t give a better explanation in a 30 second sound bite, which is the extent of the average attention span. And Gail Hart really thinks she has the subject sussed out with her simplistic theory.

  • Trixie
    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Yes, I did. I’ll probably write about it tomorrow. Tentative title:

      Henci Goer: Sure, homebirth is dangerous in reality, but what about in theory?

      • Trixie

        lol

      • Dr Kitty

        Actually, you know the last lines made me think about the Occupy movement.

        NCB is ALL about the 1% who choose HB.

        We realise it is problematic when small, vocal and powerful minorities direct policy when it comes to economics.

        NCB is this tiny, vocal, weird fringe is gradually pushing policy for their own ends-they are the 1% and they’re trying to impose their ideology on the 99%.

  • Guesteleh

    I know I’m spamming but seriously, that Facebook group is unbelievable.

    Any experience in working with a mom who has thalassemia? She has already delivered one baby with me and had a very difficult time keeping her hemoglobin up. Thankfully we did so with Whole Foods and an iron supplement that would not overload her. I finally got her to go for blood work after baby was born. She is diagnosed with thalassemia. they intend to have more children and will want more home births. I need to know what I need to be watching for. The only difficulty during her birth was that her cord was very short and as she lifted her baby up to herself she partially separated her placenta. We followed it up with appropriate measures however she did end up getting two units of blood a couple of days later. She is also the one that developed strep A and was hospitalized after baby. Mom is an abuse survivor and home birth is very important to her. Her experience at the hospital after baby was very violating and not something she wants to repeat. I think she would go unattended before she would submit to a hospital birth.

    It never occurs to this midwife that this woman needs to be referred to mental health services, not encouraged to avoid doctors and hospitals. It isn’t just a childbirth issue, she could literally die without proper medical care.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      No, no, NO! This poor woman needs an evaluation by hematology and maybe a referral to high risk OB, depending on the type of thalassemia she has. She definitely needs genetic counseling about the fetus’ and future children’s risk. If she’s had bad experiences in hospitals and trauma from medical care (whether it was good or bad–totally appropriate care can still be unpleasant and traumatizing, as most ICU survivors will tell you), she needs psychiatric help to make her more comfortable.

      And NO IRON! Women with thalassemia are often iron overloaded, even if they have mild versions (sometimes called “trait” though that’s inappropriate since it produces a phenotype of mild anemia). This can occur even if she’s never needed a transfusion because the body reacts to chronic anemia by upregulating iron absorption by the gut and so people with thalassemia have, essentially, low grade hemochromatosis as well.

      Granted, this woman sounds like a rather challenging patient, but she should not, under any circumstances, be cared for by an unqualified midwife. For her and the baby’s sakes.

      • Dr Kitty

        There’s also a lot of rare things together that in combination potentially make the patient identifiable if you know the location of the MW. Not cool.

        • Pedi Nurse

          Not cool, but if you aren’t a real healthcare professional, I don’t suppose HIPAA applies.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Maybe not in terms of ability to get sued for violating it, but it’s still not cool.

      • Susan

        But she has a human right to an unqualified care provider!

        • mocking abuse victims is super cool susan, way to go.

          • Susan

            I am sure that’s exactly what they think. Mocking the abused mockwives.

          • Trixie

            She’s mocking the midwives, not the patient.

          • Susan

            I thought you were joking, and maybe you were, but just in case I was pointing out again what Amy has many times, that the human rights in childbirth campaign is all about the rights of midwives to proceed over stuntbirth. I would hate for you to think I am unconcerned with the rights of all women to be treated with respect when giving birth because I take my obligation to my patients to treat them respectfully, no matter what, very seriously.

  • fiftyfifty1

    CNMs have been loath to take a stand because of romantic notions of “Granny Midwives”. And here is the result–these are the true faces of today’s granny midwives. This is what they have welcomed into their ranks. Idiotic, narcissistic, irresponsible baby killers.

  • Guesteleh

    From the Elder Midwives Facebook page: One woman (to her credit) posted that midwives need better training, and here is one of the replies (original is much longer, I’m just sharing the end bit).

    Gayl I fully appreciate your thoughts about education, experience and licensure. In my own case –having been through a trial and near imprisonment- I recognized I would never be taken seriously without the license and, 20 some years after that first MANA spreadsheet, sat for NARM certification. It was not an easy decision but the real issue was not in sitting for the boards; it has been watching the changes in midwifery from within the club of the sanctified. It is watching these young women stride forward believing that their license had made them bigger, better, stronger and – safe from attack. While there certainly are exceptions, I see a body of youngsters who sincerely believe we are a danger to that safety; with our mind/body approach, our belief in the human capacity for change of every sort and, more, our insistence on a fully robust interpretation of “informed.”

    When I took the name Caillagh (Kali) it was in recognition of the change agent that midwives can and should be. “I am become time (death), the destroyer of worlds.” It is the promise that every midwife has taken from the beginning; that we would stand beside woman as she came to us, assisting her in her passage as a journey only she could make. I have no answers to the current battle. I believe that we are standing at another tipping point and we must be very careful lest the midwifery of today become the Oppenheimer of childbearing and quite literally “the destroyer of worlds.”

    • T.

      Tl;dr: I see those youngster who wants to be better educated, and it bothers me that those babies thinks they know better than me because they have studied and got licensed and all that.
      Also: blablabla spirituality blablabla death is a part of life blablabla

      Uuuugh. It hurts

    • Karen in SC

      Baffling with bullshit – what a bunch of important-sounding words to basically say what T has translated below.

      And add in a gross exaggeration – the Oppenheimer of childbearing? On second thought, these women already ARE.

    • Guesteleh

      Oh fuck, another gem.

      Birth is a physiological function. Midwifery is very different from any medical profession’. Heck, probably the best comparison is Martial Arts trainers or Yoga trainers. They teach a person to work with their own bodies — they teach a wide range of skills to promote better health and function — and they are trained by their own professional groups — consumers can easily tell by the School or Belt — and they have first aid skills needed to keep their teaching safe and to recongize accidents and health emergencies.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        A martial arts trainer or yoga instructor. In short, not someone you’d want as your only backup when undergoing a dangerous medical process. What does a martial arts trainer do when someone in his or her dojo is hurt? S/he calls for medical assistance. No reputable martial arts instructor would sit there and say, “It’s ok. Broken bones are physiological and the pain is natural” after someone was hurt while undergoing instruction from him/her.

        • Amy M

          Plus, they have insurance. And waivers.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            And often even training in appropriate first aid when something happens. And, these days, external defibrillators on hand. And no one pretends that learning judo is perfectly safe and nothing can go wrong. (Don’t mind me, I’m ranty today.)

        • Young CC Prof

          My friend who’s pregnant almost the same time as me is married to a guy who runs a dojo, and she teaches there sometimes. They’re both seriously hardcore people. She continued teaching until like 23 weeks, when she couldn’t get into those positions any more. Last time I saw him, he had the remnants of a black eye from a training accident, which he found totally unremarkable.

          If I asked either of them about natural birth: “Natural birth are you flipping nuts? People could get killed!”

      • Mariana Baca

        How do you train to give birth?! If a yoga pose is

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Wait, what? Did Caillagh just acknowledge that she knows that some babies will die under her care and not only imply that that’s ok but a good thing? My knowledge of Hinduism is not great, but I don’t get the impression that Kali is the goddess you would call on while giving birth.

      • Allie

        Nope, that would be Lakshmi. “Caillagh is completely cracked. She can add Culture-Vulture to her list of sins.

        • Dr Kitty

          Oh on so many levels…
          Cailleach Bheur is the Crone aspect of the Celtic feminine deity, who was known as
          Caillagh ny Gueshag on the Isle of Man.

          Caillagh is pronounced Coll-lach and is nothing to do with the Vedic goddess Kali.

          Anyway, Oppenheimer was misquoting Krishna’s battlefield speech to Arjuna from the Bhagavad Gita.
          “I am all powerful Time which destroys all things, and I have come here to slay these men. Even if thou doest not fight, all the warriors facing thee shall die”.

          So…would you trust a woman who can’t even research her own chosen NAME, and can’t keep her own theology straight to deliver your baby?

          • Captain Obvious

            I’m impressed

      • Trixie

        Not to mention that all of the actual practicing Hindus I’ve ever met in the US believe in science and use modern medicine…..

    • Lisa the Raptor

      Kali MAH Kali MAH!!Indiana Jones anyone? Didn’t they used to make horrible blood sacrifices to Kali?

      • Om Namha Shivaye, Om Namha Shivaye, Om Namha Shivaye!

  • Guesteleh

    OT: PTSD in Childbirth. I know that childbirth can absolutely cause PTSD in some women, but I find the author’s relentless focus on “interventions” to be troubling. Without them she could not only have PTSD but a dead baby as well.

    • Antigonos CNM

      A generation ago, the most compassionate of doctors fervently believed it was a mercy for women to get “twilight sleep” to prevent being psychologically scarred by the trauma of birth. I knew a doctor whose entire caseload consisted of women who had pathologic fear of childbirth and who blessed him for knocking them out at almost the first contraction. Now, that’s almost malpractice.

      • Renee

        I think they should still offer twilight birth. I would have signed up for that.

        • Jenny Star

          I wanted it, but you can’t get it now. Of course I realize it had some major drawbacks, which is why it went away. I gave birth in an unfortunate window of time, when “natural” was being pushed heavily and insurance companies picked up on this so they mandated “drive through deliveries” because hey, birth was natural and not an illness. I wasn’t allowed to get my epidural until 5 cm because they still believed epidurals slowed labor down, which means they didn’t call the anesthesiologist until then and I had to wait another hour. Luckily, she arrived before transition so I got a few hours rest.

        • Mariana Baca

          They don’t offer it because it is bad for the baby. (morphine and scopolamine) Which is a logical way of regulating meds in birth.

      • Young CC Prof

        I gotta say, my grandmother HATED her twilight birth. Hated it so much that the next time around she put off going to the hospital until it was too late for the doctor to do anything but put her down on a bed and catch the baby.

        Still, many many women were extremely grateful for it. In the early days of twilight sleep, there were wealthy women (usually ones who’d had children already) who traveled internationally to get their painless births.

        • Trixie

          My grandma hated hers too. She wishes she could have seen them born. They made her labor right up through transition with nothing and then knocked her out at the last minute. So it’s not like she really benefited from the pain relief.

      • Susan

        That could have been my Grandmother who definitely had the wake up with a baby experience. She was happy with it but from what I understand the reality was that the mother suffered….did you see Twilight Sleep? I

        • Antigonos CNM

          I had quite a lot of experience with it in the early years of my career. It consisted of a “cocktail” of three IV medications one of which was supposed to be an amnesiac (later determined not to be so) but which had the effect of making the patient often go berserk and have to be restrained for her own safety although she usually reported no memory of it, or only maybe a little. IV meds crossed the placental barrier within less than a minute so the babies were often very depressed and it could take the administration of a narcotic antagonist (usually Narcan) to get them to begin breathing. It is important to remember thathe whole NCB movement began as a means of avoiding the resuscitation of babies like this–no fancy ideology about “birth experiences” back then, and indeed the advent of the epidural was regarded as the best of both worlds for both baby and mom. No one WANTED to feel the contractions if there was a way to do it without depressing the baby!

          • me

            My grandmother had all 8 of her kids “naturally” (no pain meds), mostly because she worked as a nurse during the age of twilight sleep. She was afraid something would happened to one of her babies if she took the drugs. I’m sure she would have given her hind teeth for an epidural – she always described childbirth as horrible agony, but was willing to endure it because of what she had witnessed wrt babies born blue, floppy, needing resuscitation, ect.

            She would likely be flabbergasted at the notion of enduring hours of painful labor when a safe method of pain relief exists that is extremely unlikely to have any negative effect on the baby.

          • Bombshellrisa

            My grandmother tried her best to avoid this by showing up at the hospital as far into labor as she could. She was a nurse too.

        • Mishimoo

          My husband’s grandmother had twilight sleep births as well and didn’t mind, though she now feels vaguely guilty that she doesn’t remember the births because it seems to be important to so many women. Nan speaks highly of the ward matron for apologising – apparently Nan needed to be restrained during her second delivery and didn’t remember, and the matron felt awful about it.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        My mother had twilight sleep or something like it when I was born. After she woke up they brought this blond, light blue eyed, translucent skinned baby to my Hispanic mother and her dark haired (Anglo) husband. They both checked the tag to make sure I was the right one.

        Later, my mother told me that she knew quickly that I was her daughter, regardless of whether or not I bore her genes, and, as it happens, I look just like my paternal grandmother, which pretty much erased anyone’s lingering doubts. But I can’t help but think that if she’d been awake with an epidural my mother would have had an easier time in the first few days after my birth and never had to doubt. OTOH, given that she had serious complications with her first birth (as in, they asked my father who they should try to save first: my mother or the baby), labor without anesthesia would have been extremely traumatizing. So I guess what I want is a world where medical progress happened quicker and epidurals had been invented before my birth.

    • Guesteleh

      It sounds like this woman for whatever reason was prone to PTSD (maybe previous trauma that was never treated), had some HCPs with poor patient skills and then hooked up with NCB folks who are encouraging her to blame the interventions.

      It’s problematic because trauma causes PTSD but not everyone who experiences trauma gets it. A lot of women have childbirth experiences similar to hers but most don’t develop PTSD. She’s getting fixated on the trigger when really, a bad car accident or some other triggering event could’ve done it. And it encourages this idea that if we just got rid of the interventions, no woman would suffer from childbirth-related PTSD, which as we know from all of the terrible homebirth disasters simply isn’t true.

    • I have PTSD from childbirth, NONE of the things that caused it were necessary interventions. Forced exams and a forced intrauterine catheter caused my PTSD, but a lot of it had to do with verbal cruelty- when someone charged with taking care of you is very cruel you wonder if they are going to hurt you or not, or if your safety hinges on compliance. You can’t exactly run away when you are in labor (either because you are in a lot of pain or because you have an epidural).

      I’m not alone in my experience. I am very sick of people presenting a false dichotomy between being traumatized by forced interventions and having a healthy baby. Sometimes people are cruel, or apathetic, or paternalistic and do things to patients because laboring women are vulnerable and unable to stop them. There is no real consequence to treating patients that way unless you did it to someone who was both rich and determined to get even.

      • You’re right. You are absolutely not alone in this experience, and you’ve expressed it so well!

  • Starling

    My eyes started bleeding when I read that Shannon Mitchell quote. What the HELL? Is that woman high?

    • Renee

      Most likely.

  • Jennifer2

    Wow, one of them (in the thread on what would you do differently or what do you wish you knew then that you know now) actually said:

    “What I would do differently? I would pace myself slower. Not take clients around thanksgiving and christmas.”

    Yet inducing or scheduling c-sections before a holiday is a bad thing because mean, evil doctors just want to selfishly spend the holidays with their families. Too bad doctors don’t actually get to choose not to take patients around holidays. If a baby decides to be born on Christmas and you’re on call, you get to deliver that baby.

    • Karen in SC

      That’s especially ironic considering the meme written about yesterday!

    • Lisa the Raptor

      BAM!

  • KarenJJ

    The mindset of these people is fascinating (in a car crash kind of way). Gloria Lemay was upset by midwives gossiping about her lack of knowledge so her solution is to stop talking to them… Better to revel in her self-delusions then correct them with some hard learning.

  • Jenny Star

    See Dr. Amy, you just don’t understand because Mercury is in retrograde. They EXPLAINED that, you dumb doctor. Doctors dont no nuffink.

    • Lisa the Raptor

      When the moon is in the 7h house…….

      • ersmom

        And Jupiter aligns with Mars

        • Then PEEEEEEEACE will guide the planets!

          • Jennifer2

            And lo-ove will steer the stars!

            (As an Aquarius, I do love that song!)

          • Lisa the Raptor

            *They are all over there singing to that “Woman Power” song, so why can’t we sing, Mama’s?!*
            Ahem

            This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius, age of Aquarius! Aquarius…..Ahhhhquariiiiiiiiiiiussssss!

          • KarenJJ

            When mum finished nursing school in the 70s they did a revue and her group of graduating nurses sang “This is the age of the hairy arse” to that tune.

          • Antigonos CNM

            Our senior year nursing school play was an adaptation of “Fiddler on the Roof” and we sang about “tradition” in the way we’d been taught, and “if I was a wealthy nurse”. Of course, I graduated some years before your mother when we had uniform inspection [including clean shoe laces!] every morning.

          • Jenny Star

            Oh, I remember helping my mom polish her nurse shoes with white polish… thanks for the memories, you know I had totally forgotten about that.

          • Susan

            I love hearing stories about the history of nursing. You have seen SO much in your career Antigonos I am always thrilled to see you answer one of my questions.

          • Antigonos CNM

            Sorry to take so long to reply– Disqus has been ornery. Yes, nursing was a VERY different profession when I crossed the threshold of Beth Israel Hospital in 1964. (jeez, in only a little more than six months it will be 50 years ago!). And not all the changes, I fear, have been for the better. The education level is higher (no more watered-down textbooks “for nurses”), but too many of today’s graduates with lots of initials after their names find bedside nusing too menial. When I “trained” (that phrase is a no-no now), it was ALL about the patient.

          • Dr Kitty

            I remember reading “Jean Becomes a Nurse” as a child (my grandmother believed in leaving improving books about the house). It was about becoming a nurse in England in the late 1940s/early 1950s.
            There was a LOT about starching caps and bed baths and not very much about actual medicine.
            Nursing and midwifery have changed A LOT.

          • Susan

            Thanks Antigonos… !

          • Hah! I watched Fiddler on the Roof during labor!

          • Teleute

            I’ve told all of my friends’ wives that the best delivery-room investment they could possibly make is a portable DVD player. They’re cheap, efficient, and less fragile / likely to be stolen than a laptop. Besides, when you’re in heavy labor, who has the patience to use a touchpad? Certainly not I!

          • And now all I can hear is

            LLLLLLET THE SUUUUN SHIIIIINEEE
            LLLLLLET THE SUNSHINE IN!
            THE SUUUUUUUUUN SHINE INNNNN

          • ersmom

            And love will steer the stars!

  • Trixie

    It’s interesting to me that many of them actually think placenta encapsulation is a joke/potentially dangerous. It’s like they all are thinking semi-rationally when it comes to that.

  • Lisa the Raptor

    I love the midwife asking if two days is too late to fix a tear. Um, it’s never too late to fix a tear….if you’re a surgeon and know WTF you are doing, which might involve cutting and reconstructing the area. So this midwife is planing on doing this at home?!? She just going to smear some orajel on there and go to work?

    • Lisa the Raptor

      Just plop an ax under the bed to cut the pain in half.

    • Bombshellrisa

      Well, we do want all the ends to “grab” each other, as kelly with eager hands pointed out. No cutting or reconstructing those ends!

      • Lisa the Raptor

        The amount of people, Carla Hartly included, who are like “Oh it’s FINE. She can’t of torn that bad!” is astounding. They have never examined this person….No doctor would do that on a FB page, even to other doctors. The standard advice is to as your doctor.

    • Mishimoo

      The suggestion of a comfrey poultice by one of the respondents made me wince. One of the herbals* I’ve read mentions the dangers of comfrey including: two instances where infant girls have required surgery after their parents used comfrey salve on diaper rash, potential liver damage due to pyrrolizidine alkaloids, and another case that needed surgical intervention where the torn tissue scarred as-is (without the edges of the tear ‘grabbing’ and healing normally).

      (*’The Earthwise Herbal: A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants’ – Matthew Wood, pages 474-477)

      • Lisa the Raptor

        Excellent source citation. 🙂

        I feel the same way every time I read some nut online tell a woman to use pennyroyal to induce abortion. I mean, I guess killing yourself is one way to end a pregnancy. The danger of herbs is not always that they don’t work, but that they work in ways that are dangerous and unregulated by dose.

        • Trixie

          My great-grandmother who had 15 live births apparently drank pennyroyal tea all day long.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            And was is her liver?

          • Trixie

            I have no idea. She lived into her late 60s, though.

        • Young CC Prof

          Or that they aren’t what the seller claims at all, or are contaminated with horrible who-knows-what. Or, if it really is the proper herb, maybe the person who harvested them did so at the wrong time of year, or from the wrong region, and they contain no active ingredient, or way too much, or some toxin that isn’t normally found in that plant. Or that it degraded. There are all KINDS of reasons people started purifying their plant-based medicines.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            Or you are eating the wrong part at the wrong time like the wild potato of “Into the Wild” :/

            When we were in Alaska we were taking a tour at a local museum and we were shown a copy of the book he got that from. They have since edited that portion out.

  • Joy_F

    Two good friends have had VBAC ruptures – both in hospitals fortunately. This isn’t a one in a thousand thing – one found out later that because her babies were not very far a part she was at high risk for the very thing that happened happening. It’s dangerous – scary to think of what could have happened had she not been in a hospital! There are so many variables – to consider and these women flaunt that they haven’t been to school. How would they even know the risks. Could they even be reasonably trusted to correctly calculate stats or do they just make them up?

    • Karen in SC

      I believe that adhesions from scarring can be a problem if the spacing is very long apart as well. There may be factors that increase, or decrease, an individual’s risk, but it is NEVER zero.

      • Joy_F

        Yeah – for my other friend it had been more than four years. Rough.

      • Antigonos CNM

        Generally, the scar holds up just fine. It’s like gristle. The uterine muscle, which is flexible, pulls away from the inflexible scar. The term “uterine rupture” gives the impression of the entire womb just exploding but it is really that the scar is thicker and tougher than what it’s next to. A friend of mine, who had repeated C/Ss, told me that when her doctor operated for the 5th time, he found himself looking at the membranes as he got ready to incise the uterus: no bleeding, nothing, just the uterus had pulled quietly away from the scar [it was her 5th C/S and obviously she had not been in labor]. Doctors, in repeat C/Ss, usually remove the scar from the previous operation and suture the uterine tissue together so the woman has only one scar, instead of a number of parallel ones.

        I had three C/Ss within 3 1/2 years [1980, 1982, 1983] without any problems, so it is a variable thing.

        • Jocelyn

          Thanks for that explanation; it was enlightening. As a non-medical person I always thought “uterine rupture” meant that the scar itself opened up again; I didn’t realize it was actually the uterine muscle pulling away from the scar.

    • Trixie

      I think the guidelines for VBAC eligibility on my consent form mentioned more than 18 months between births.

      • Joy_F

        Then I am not sure why she was allowed to try. It was less than 18 months. Bad doctor I guess.

        • Renee

          Depends on the other factors. If baby was not big, and her last CS was for something not likely to repeat, they might say OK anyway. Shorter birth interval isn’t a total no no, but its better to have 2 yrs between.

  • Meerkat

    Wow. The scariest part of all this is the complete lack of simple human compassion. I think any normal human being would be traumatized if they took any part in death of a helpless infant. It would certainly cause me to question myself and my beliefs…these women are true psychopaths.

  • Lisa the Raptor

    I do not like the ansers thees women gave at all. I am going on a which hunt, now!

    • WTF is up with the horrendous spelling and grammar anyway? (them, not you LtR)? I would be DEEPLY distrustful of any care provider who allowed herself to look so poorly educated and stupid. Seriously, I get having trouble spelling and all – but that’s why we have spell check. This isn’t even the their/they’re/there level, this is “is that even meant to BE a word” dumb.

      • Lisa the Raptor

        It just shows a general laziness and inability to be thorough…seems like a midwitch to me. Can’t expect them to put more effort into their spelling than they did their career.

        • Antigonos CNM

          Perhaps we need to begin calling all non-CNM “midwives” “midwitches instead…

          Oh dear, that wouldn’t be PC. Isn’t “Wicca” a religion nowadays?

          • Lisa the Raptor

            I’m fond of Granny woman.

      • araikwao

        I know, educate yourselves, right?? :p

      • Anj Fabian

        Often it’s mobile disease – people using a mobile phone to post and not correcting errors.

  • These women need a lesson in accountability – tragically, it’s unlikely to happen unless the laws change, or those they have harmed are empowered to actually seek recourse. Absent a legal fund to persecute, it is unlikely that will happen – the costs of litigation being too great and the chance of recovering damages too small. The system is structured as a breeding ground for poor care – why does society not care enough about mothers and babies?

    • Renee

      Um, patriarchy.
      I blame the Patriarchy. Really. Its not just a great blog.

  • AL

    This gem was in there too: “I
    guess I”m ALWAYS on alert for things…it’s no different for a VBAC
    than any other woman, IMO. The 1 in a thousand chance that her scar
    might become an issue is not something worthy of me considering her
    ‘high risk’….so maybe my definition of “high” is different from
    yours…”

    • araikwao

      It’s a 1 in 200 risk, so they’re not even getting that right..

      • amazonmom

        I have an online mommy friend that is having an HBAC on a bicornuate uterus because her midwife says ruptures don’t happen. She lives a long helicopter ride away from a hospital with OB and Level 3 NICU. Not that close proximity would help if she did have a rupture at home 🙁

        • I assume the risk of rupture increases with any uterine malformations, but does anyone here have actual stats on that? Morbid curiosity. Gah, how horrifying to watch, amazonmom

          • amazonmom

            Yeah, I’m hoping the baby goes breech or starts labor preterm. Then the midwife would insist on a hospital delivery.

          • Why would *that* do it when she’s already attending an HBAC with a bicornuate uterus?

          • amazonmom

            I HAVE NO IDEA. Apparently this midwife gets the risks of breech and preterm deliveries but not HBAC. The midwife says she’s never seen a rupture so they don’t happen. This friend has had all of her kids breech, preterm, or both because of the uterine issues (according to the OB she had before). She can only sustain a pregnancy at all if the placenta happens to pick just the right spot to implant.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            Most midwives have never seen a tracheoesophageal fistula, but they happen 1-2000 births (Which means if a midwife has 500 births in her career then 1 in 8 will experience one). I’m willing to bet that most CPMs or below don’t even know what a tracheoesophageal fistula is. They don’t know what they should about OB, why would they know anything about pediatrics?

          • Anj Fabian

            You should see the thread about a state regulation decreasing the age that midwives are permitted to provide pediatric care. The midwives were OUTRAGED – and yet they have no training in providing extended pediatric care.

            (I think their training in neonatal care is rudimentary at best, so I’d prefer they not even do that much.)

          • Young CC Prof

            Why should they provide ANY pediatric care? Obstetricians have all newborns examined by a pediatrician within one day, or immediately if there are signs of a problem. For high-risk deliveries, often a pediatrician (or relevant specialist) stands by during the birth.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            My CNM also had her FNP and provided neworn care up to 6 weeks under the supervision of an MD, of course.

          • Lisa the Raptor

            Only for babies who had zero medical issues that is. The reason she was unable to deliver my third child was because I was taking a narcotic like medicine and I needed to have a higher level NICU and a ped on call just in case. She didn’t feel comfortable with me delivering at the much smaller hospital she worked at even though I had used her twice before and my first born was the third baby she delivered after she opened her practice. We are still very close. But a good provider knows when they are over their head and does not risk safety over sentiment

          • Trixie

            My CNM group also did this up to 6 weeks.

          • Josephine

            Oh okay. She’s never seen a rupture in the, what, 75 births or less that she’s witnessed. That makes her an expert for sure.

          • realityycheque

            I’ve never witnessed anyone suffer a heart attack and I’ve been around thousands upon thousands of people in my life, including the elderly. Therefore, heart attacks don’t happen and are just another fabrication by big pharma.

          • Trixie

            Doesn’t having some degree of bicornuate uterus increase the risk that the baby will flip into some dangerous position during labor?

          • Antigonos CNM

            It is possible, but the biggest worry is prematurity, as the uterine chamber just becomes too small to allow the fetus to develop properly and contractions begin too early.

            My sister in law, who married at 21 and got pregnant almost immediately, called me at 30 weeks to ask me whether not feeling movements for 3 days was normal. I sent her immediately to the hospital, where she was discovered to be 8 cm dilated, and the baby breech. At C/S, she was discovered to have a bicornuate uterus, with the septum going all the way to the cervix. With her next pregnancy, a cerclage was done, to keep the chamber which had held the previous pregnancy closed. She was told that the other side was much too small to hold a fetus, and so no cerclage was required there. In the end, she had two more children, each a C/S at term — and they were in the part of the uterus that was “too small” to allow for growth, and the cerclage was completely unnecessary.

        • Trixie

          OMG that’s terrifying. I met a woman who had had a legit rupture (in a hospital, everyone is okay) while I was pregnant and considering VBAC. I still went ahead and had the VBAC but it made me really, really happy to have it in a hospital.

          • Antigonos CNM

            My daughter, who had a C/S for primip breech, is now asking me whether she can request an elective repeat C/S for her current pregnancy. Seems she has been getting the “don’t worry, this time you’ll have a normal labor and delivery” line from her doctor, and she’s not really convinced she wants to have a trial of labor.

          • Trixie

            Definitely a personal decision. For me, I disliked my c/s so much that I was willing to try. I’m glad I did it.

        • araikwao

          Oh good grief, I hope they both make it….Does bicornuate uterus confer additional risk?
          Wait, what, ruptures DON’T HAPPEN??? It’s just a dark OB fairytale or something?? Oh, of course, that would be in HER (limited, biased) experience. Awful..

          • Antigonos CNM

            Depends on the degree the uterus is bicornuate. Some women actually have two complete uteri, cervices, and vaginas. In others, there really is only a “dimple” in the fundus of the uterus — and just about everything inbetween.

          • amazonmom

            The two horns of her uterus barely meet at all right above her one cervix and vagina. Only one can sustain a pregnancy, and all her labors started preterm.

          • KarenJJ

            I know someone with a bicornate uterus and 2 cervixes. She gets to have two pap smears every couple of years…

          • amazonmom

            That stinks!

          • drsquid

            technically that is didelphys (complete duplication) and just a dimple is arcuate. and septate is somewhat different in that the septum could be removed (which cant be done with bicornuate or didelphys

    • Lisa the Raptor

      But there IS a very set definition of “high risk”. There is a criteria which is what makes this woman’s statement so ludicrous…

      • But the criteria was “made up” by Teh Ebil OB Mafia

    • Bombshellrisa

      “So alert”-yeah right. No real prenatal care to speak of, then holding the space, sitting in the corner knitting and occasionally checking fetal heart tones and the mother’s vitals. Yep, that is what I call being right on top of things

    • Renee

      1 in 200.
      1 in 200.
      1 in 200

      Three times for the idiots that cannot even get their freaking numbers close.

  • Trixie

    Wait, are Lorri Carr and Karen Carr two different people? You seem to use them interchangeably, but looks like they are from different states?

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      You’re right. Lori Carr is “Highland Midwife.” I’m having trouble keeping them all straight. I’ll fix it immediately.

  • AL

    Talk about self incrimination. Someone should screen shot this page before they smarten up and make it private. (Who knows how long that will take though).

    • Dr. Amy stated that she’d screencapped it already

  • moto_librarian

    The only appropriate midwifery credential in the United States IS the CNM. Deep down, these posers know that, but instead of actually working towards the level of education and clinical experience required of CNMs, they simply whine about how “sad” it is that they aren’t allowed to participate in programs and initiatives that value the health of mother and child over ideology. One of my greatest disappointments with the ACNM is that they are so wishy-washy when it comes to their stance on the CPM and DEM. They do NOT have common cause with these clowns who do more to mar the reputation of midwifery than any obstetrician ever could, yet they don’t want to be too harsh because it might harm the sisterhood. As someone who liked having the option of midwifery care, I am very upset that CNMs aren’t doing more to eliminate these charlatans from maternity care.

    • Lisa the Raptor

      Both my midwives were aware of the dangers of CPMs,, but my most recent midwife actively works against them. She did however make it to where it was hospital policy to not get angry at CPMs when they bring in transfers ONLY because when they were getting upset at them they started dumping the women off and leaving. She said at least this way they could get some information about the women if the CPMs was able enough to know what stats to write down. She said that women themselves were usually panicked when they came in and by at least having the midwife there they could get an idea of what was going on. But she works with the state trying to have them charged. They are illegal here.

      • realityycheque

        “because when they were getting upset at them they started dumping the women off and leaving.” how disgraceful, irresponsible and unprofessional can you get?

        • Lisa the Raptor

          But, but, they’ll get in trouble for working illegally because lay midwives are a prosecuted but innocent profession!!

      • Antigonos CNM

        If they are working illegally, then I really think they should be arrested on sight. Too many states do not make their activities illegal, IMO.

        • Lisa the Raptor

          I agree, but you can’t really “prove ” that they were working if everyone just agrees they were just a friend. So in some ways it might do better to get some info from them.

  • Bombshellrisa

    If “only God makes a midwife”, why does Bastyr and it’s loony graduates crow endlessly about how they have a “Masters in Midwifery” degree?
    Lauri Carr and Carol Gautchi are well known “breech experts” in Washington state. That doesn’t mean they know anything special or even accurate about breech birth, it means that they are willing to risk delivering a breech at home.

    • amazonmom

      I hate it when God is their excuse for being stupid. You don’t have God given rights to provide medical care without proper training.

    • KarenJJ

      Only God makes engineers. “Trust Bridges”.

  • Trixie

    “Is this a closed page? I sure hope this is a closed page!” Lol lol.

  • Dr Kitty

    “Unfortunately, the midwives that I called would gossip about me not knowing something and that made it unsafe for me to call…”

    Gloria- FYI “unsafe” is not a synonym for “awkward” or “embarrassing” or “humiliating”.
    You admit you were ignorant, but rather than seek advice from people who knew more and could teach you, you transferred or ploughed on regardless, which IS unsafe.

    I’ve been taught by Drs who used humiliation and shame as their preferred teaching methods- no, it wan’t nice, but I NEVER considered that it was better to hide my mistakes to avoid the resulting earful. beuing a professional, hell, beign a grown up means putting your hands up and admitting when you are out of your depth or have made mistakes.

    • toni

      Well what’s a patients’ wellbeing compared to her wounded vanity?

      They’re developmentally stunted I think, stuck in adolescence. Want all the privileges and respect of being grown ups (CNMs) with none of the work/responsibilities

    • Wait, isn’t Gloria the one who wrote From Calling to Courtroom? That would explain her use of “unsafe,” especially since (if its the same person) she advocates a scorched earth policy on records and informed consent. So “they gossiped” might actually mean “they testified”

      Doesn’t make her right – it makes her even more wrong.

      • Karen in SC

        well Gloria Lemay might not have written it, but I bet she has most of it memorized.

    • Lilin

      You’ll notice the same rhetoric a lot in home birth.
      “The doctors said the way I want to give birth was dangerous, so I had to avoid doctors – which means when they’re right and the baby dies, it’s the doctors fault for telling me things I don’t want to hear.”

      “The state says that having no academic qualifications and getting my midwife degree from a diploma mill means I don’t know enough to practice medicine safely. That means I have to practice hush-hush and when I screw up and a baby dies, it’s the state’s fault!”

      “The law says I don’t have the qualifications to carry drugs. That means that when I carry drugs, and inject them, I have to lie to patients. If those patients die because they can’t give an accurate list of medications – it’s the law’s fault.”

      It’s not their fault for doing unsafe things! It’s everyone else’s fault for not pretending that reality is whatever the midwives want it be, and making them feel “pressured.”

      • Trixie

        I know! The law says I can’t operate nuclear reactors because I don’t have any training in it. It’s so unfair. If I cause another Three Mile Island, it’s definitely the state’s fault.

        • Lilin

          I especially love that they keep promoting the fact that in Europe so many more people deliver at home with midwives, but utterly reject the idea that they should have the same qualifications as European midwives.

          • Karen in SC

            Irony thy name is Midwife

          • Bombshellrisa

            There is a CPM here who always goes on and on about how in Germany (where she is from) midwives are the usual care provider for pregnant women. That may be true, but I don’t believe for a second these midwives trained by shadowing “wise women” around at births like she did. Same with how people always bring up Sweden and the Netherlands.

          • Antigonos CNM

            A lot of the problem has to do with the very word “midwife”. I can’t tell you how many times American tourists in Israel have asked me if I’m “also a real nurse”. [!!] It’s annoying that I have to constantly identify myself as “certified nurse midwife” [as well as being a mouthful] In some states, the definition of “midwife” is anyone who is present at a birth, period. There is no uniformity.

            It is just too bad that, among other things that ought to be Federally regulated, the only person entitled to legally call oneself a “midwife” is a CNM. Anyone who was not, and used the word “midwife” could, and should, be prosecuted for practicing medicine without a license.

            As far as terminology goes, in the UK I was SRN, SCM [the “S” is for “State”; “RN” means Royal Navy]. Here in Israel I am technically a “certified midwife” [miyaledet musmechet] but since all midwives MUST legally be nurses as well, the locals understand this without being told.

          • Expat

            It isn’t true. I live in germany and prenatal care is done by docs. Midwives deliver babies in hospitals with ob backup and strict rules. They also visit new moms at home during the first weeks post partum to give advice on self and baby care. Mine tried to get me to drink a bunch of gross tea. Some act as social workers. There are some non-hospital birth center midwives who do prenatal care but they are a tiny minority, they are required to gather the same data on each patient as an ob would, and their outcomes are a factor of 3 worse than hospital outcomes in terms of perinatal death. Home birth also happens, but it is rare and there are rules; it isn’t nearly as much of a cottage industry like it is in the states. I only know of one person who did that and she wasn’t german.

        • Bombshellrisa

          Yeah, it’s the state’s fault for not letting me drive in the on coming lane. Those stupid laws. There is NOBODY coming and if I wanna drive there, I don’t want to be held responsible even if nothing goes wrong.

          • araikwao

            Well I’ve never seen a head-on collision before, and I’ve been driving for almost twenty years. So that must mean….

          • Dr Kitty

            You’ve never driven in India, have you?
            Lanes are optional.

          • Antigonos CNM

            I think that in India, WHEELS are optional in some places

            That’s all right; after one drives in Israel you’re never the same again. There are only two kinds of drivers here: those who don’t know the rules of the road, and those who do, but are sure they only apply to other drivers. Fact: during each intifada, twice as many Israelis were killed in road accidents than by Palestinian terrorists. [Reminder to self: must attach the scythes to my hubcaps before going to IKEA next week]

      • Amy Tuteur, MD

        Lilin, this is brilliant!

    • Squillo

      Unfortunately, the midwives that I called would gossip about me not knowing something

      Gee, I wonder why that was, Gloria? It couldn’t possibly have been because your level of ignorance was noteworthy, could it? So instead of risking your own embarrassment, you dumped your patients on an OB. Presumably because you knew the OB knew what to do. Must be nice to have other folks available 24/7 to clean up your messes for you.

      Too bad you didn’t do the same thing while Jewel Voth’s baby was busy dying. Or did you wait 20 minutes to call for help because you were too embarrassed?

    • Susan

      Yeah, in the real world when a provider uses the term “unsafe” its with regard to the patient’s safety not their own. Also any provider who talked about nurse’s or doctor’s rights to provide whatever sort of unsafe care the patient demanded would be subject to censure. These elder crackpots are way far down the rabbit hole.

  • It’s beyond reprehensible. And yet anyone who dares speak out against these atrocious practitioners is a suppressive person – oops, I mean a negative influence and a scaremonger. “Suppressive person” is lingo from an entirely different cult.

  • sleuther

    I love how science goes straight out the window (1 in 200 rupture is NOT HIGH RISK!!!!1!!11) and yet the ‘risks’ of formula-feeding are pounded into new moms’ heads as though they actually amount to something scientifically….

  • CanDoc

    I rail between so angry I want to scream, and so heartbroken I want to cry. How can you care so little about someone’s most tiny, precious loved one? Callous, ignorant, narcissistic, dangerous sociopaths.

    • So how can that be changed? How can you (or anyone really) make it so that the status quo does not continue? There’s a reason why these women can practice, there’s a reason why they can continue to find clients, there’s a reason why recourse is unavailable. These sociopaths exist because in someway their existence has been widely sanctioned.

      • Dr Kitty

        Well…the USA could do what EVERY OTHER DEVELOPED NATION did about 100 years ago and stop “wise women” attending births unless they became properly educated and credentialed midwives.

        It is illegal for anyone other than a doctor or licensed midwife to attend a planned birth in the UK.

        Do that in the USA on a federal level.
        I fear nothing else will do it.

        • You’re asking “the home of the free and the land of the brave” to do something that might be perceived as an infringement on civil liberties? I say let them be free- but let there be consequences…let there be very clear standards of practice, and let there be consumer protection by having effective recourse. You want to be a birth junkie – GREAT! – You willing to lose all of your worldly possessions to do so? – Well that settles it.

          • BeatlesFan

            Infringement on civil liberties isn’t exactly an unknown concept to “the land of the free and the home of the brave”, and most of those infringements are religously based. I would like to think that “infringing” to keep birth junkies from practicing medicine without a license wouldn’t be considered the same as saying homosexuals can’t marry because Leviticus says so.

        • Trixie

          Yeah…that’s not going to happen anytime soon. No politician wants to be associated with “federal overreach.” It’s going to be left up to the states for the foreseeable future.

        • moto_librarian

          Dr Kitty is correct. This is the ONLY WAY to stop these monsters. Regrettably, it is unlikely to happen for the following reasons:
          – Homebirth may be somewhat “trendy,” but the actual numbers are still extremely small.
          – The “health freedom” warriors would come out in force to lobby against it.”
          – Some religions actively encourage homebirth, and no one is going to tell them that they can’t do it with anyone calling herself a midwife, regardless of actual credentials.
          – It’s a “woman’s issue.” Sadly, that makes it relatively unimportant.

        • Antigonos CNM

          Hear, hear!

  • Kate B

    I’m absolutely gobsmacked that these women want to go abroad to practice their ignorant and uneducated brand of ‘midwifery’.
    What an absolute insult to women in developing world.
    What exactly do they bring to the table that a woman in a developing country does not already have access to?
    These women needed educated, experienced, qualified medical professionals not narcissistic, unqualified, pig ignorant fools playing midwife.

    • Trixie

      It’s simple. They get to “practice” on women who have less power or possibility of recourse when one of these assholes kills a baby. All under the guise of “helping.” And then they can come home and tell Noble Savage stories about how native women have such easy, instinctive births.

      • AlisonCummins

        Are you talking about “volunteer maternity care efforts for wives of deployed soldiers”? I thought that was wives of deployed american soldiers in other countries, but you and Amy Tuteur, MD are saying it means resident citizens of developing nations?

        • Trixie

          I think there were parallel discussions in that thread. Some were talking about wives of soldiers and others were talking about Doctors Without Borders type stuff.

        • Bombshellrisa

          A lot of CPMs get their number of births in by going to the birth centers in places where midwifery isn’t regulated the same way. Not sure if we are talking about the same thing in this thread, but I thought it was horrifying that well known baby killers go to Africa and other places because they can’t get their number of “catches” in here.

          • Susan

            What else bothers me is that they can get their high risk birth kicks there because the risks to mothers and availability of C/S is so different. Also wonder if their anger is directed at Doctors without Borders who I think requires same midwife education as AAP was recommending.

  • Kate B

    Ew. Just ew. The narcissism of these women knows no bounds.