Judy Slome Cohain makes a video

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If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I guess I should be flattered that Judy Slome Cohain, CNM has noted the success of my video The truth about homebirth midwives, seen by nearly 10,000, and decided to make an imitation touting the “safety” of homebirth.

You may remember Judy. She’s the clown who declared that intravaginal cloves of garlic are an appropriate treatment for maternal GBS colonization. She has blood on her hands because babies, including Wren, have died as a result.

Apparently she hasn’t been responsible for enough preventable perinatal deaths, so she’s made a video!

The video is an outstanding example of what passes for “logic” and “education” among homebirth advocates.

Let’s start with Judy’s title, Why home birth is 1000 times safer than hospital birth for low risk women. Now you might think that means that Judy is going to show us research that demonstrates that hospital birth has death rate that is 1000 times higher that the death rate of homebirth. Don’t be silly! How would she do that when we already know, from numerous studies and datasets (including Oregon, Colorado and CDC data), that homebirth has mortality rate up to 10 times higher than comparable risk hospital birth? Maybe it’s just rhetorical, kind of like claiming that homebirth is wicked safer than hospital birth (even though it is not).

Do watch the video. It provides loads of laughs especially since it is designed for medical practitioners who will listen to the first 30 seconds, and conclude that Judy is a dolt.

She starts with the idiotic and then moves on from there.

Judy explains that some people think homebirth might be unsafe because of the risk of emergencies, but dismisses this because, in her mind, an “emergency” is a cord around the neck, which isn’t particularly dangerous at all. How about fetal distress? Judy doesn’t say. Breech with a trapped head? Judy doesn’t say. Abruption, Judy doesn’t say. Presumbably, in those situations, your baby will simply die, but how could that compare with the utter devastation of having a C-section.

Judy does talk about shoulder dystocia and what she says (and what she neglects to say) make her conclusion ludicrous.

According to Judy:

Shoulder dystocia … are [sic] easier to manage at home

JSC shoulder dystocia 1

That sounds extremely unlikely, but Judy actually provides a reference to a website, shoulderdystociainfo.com.

I happened to have worked with Dr. Lerner, the creator of shoulderdystociainfo.com, and it’s hard for me to imagine that he would have written that shoulder dystocia is easier to manage at home, since correct management of shoulder dystocia involves a team approach including a nurse, an anesthesiologist and a neonatologist. And what do you know? When I reviewed the website I found that homebirth ISN’T EVEN MENTIONED, let alone described as safe for shoulder dystocia.

But, hey, when you have no regard for the truth, and you just make stuff up as you go along, it only makes sense that you would site as a reference a source that doesn’t even mention your claim, let alone endorse it.

Apparently, Judy “knows” that shoulder dystocia is easier to manage at home and she provides us with the reasons.

JSC shoulder dystocia 2

You have to give Judy credit. How many other people could cram so much stupidity into one slide?

Shoulder dystocia is safer to manage at home because “suprapubic pressure easy on mattress on the floor.”

Is this woman for real? How many homebirths occur on mattresses on the floor? Probably zero. They are much more likely to occur in a kiddie pool of fecally contaminated water and there’s no way to apply suprapubic pressure there, not to mention no one available to apply it.

You lose “2 critical minutes” untangling BP cuff, IV, monitor, epidural and lowering the bed? Why would they be tangled in the first place? In addition, the beds are electric, they can be lowered in seconds. And (here’s the clincher), in the hospital, the staff ARE PREPARED for shoulder dystocia. Many hospitals drill their staff on shoulder dystocia treatment, so the requisite maneuvers proceed quickly and smoothly.

But of course, Judy just made up these claims (and lied about the source), just like she made up her claim that intravaginal cloves of garlic are an appropriate treatment for maternal group B strep colonization.

I left a comment on the video and I didn’t mince words:

Judy, you should be ashamed of yourself for the blood you have on your hands. You are the clown who made up the idea of intravaginal garlic to treat GBS and babies have died as a result of listening to your nonsense. This is just more garbage.

I don’t even understand most of the gibberish that Judy spewed in response, but I do understand this:

And contrary to Amy’s post, not a single baby has ever died because her mother put some garlic in her vagina or mouth during pregnancy.

Really? How about this baby, Wren Jones?

http://hurtbyhomebirth.blogspot.com/2011/03/wrens-story-on-1st-anniversary-of-his.html

Judy ends her video with more of her trademark mendacity.

JSC 3

Oh, look, Judy isn’t claiming that homebirth has a lower death rate, since it doesn’t. She’s claiming that homebirth is safer because it has a lower intervention rate. Yes, your baby has a greater chance of living if you give birth in a hospital, but what does that matter if you ended up with an intervention?

Earth to Judy:

There is no evidence that the lower intervention rate at homebirth makes it safer and copious evidence that the lower intervention rate makes it more dangerous. Of course that assumes that you care whether your baby lives or dies, which most mothers do, even if you do not.

  • Chamutal .Gallin

    I was told by pregnant women themselves in Israel that they had GBS positive and treated themselves with Garlic for 8 days and the GBS went away!! these are first hand experiences. what do you have against Judy any way? on one hand you say she copied your video for home birth and then you make fun of her content in the video!?! so if she copied your video then your is also pathetic and to be made fun of like you made fun of hers?? something doesn’t add up here in your paper. that makes me suspicious that you represent someone who is paying you and your colleagues big bucks and Judy and other midwifes preferring home-birth are threatening your industry.

    • Heidi

      Big garlic shill! OBs and pharmaceuticals are threatening the garlic industry!

      • Chamutal .Gallin

        of course because Garlic can be patented right?! I believe the opposite is true, that the pharmaceuticals are threatened by the garlic because there is not much money made off from garlic like from pharmaceutical drugs. I prefer women’s experience and their stories first hand. that is the most powerful for me!

        • Roadstergal

          Big Pharma doesn’t make taxol, because yew trees can’t be patented!

          Big Pharma doesn’t make aspirin, because willow bark can’t be patented!

          Big Pharma doesn’t make Vitamin C supplements, because oranges can’t be patented!

          If garlic did anything for GBS, the active ingredient would be isolated, standardized, tested, approved, and sold.

          There’s a whole field based on investigating the medicinal properties of plants, and it’s given us a lot of good stuff.

          • Chamutal .Gallin

            taxol is patented. yew trees are not (hhhh). aspirin is patented. willow bark is not (hhhhh). vitamin c can’t be patented and it is so cheep to produce!! there for the pharmaceutical company can’t and doesn’t. (there is no money in it, especially since it actually works to heal. check out Linus Pauling. He wrote all about the pharmaceutical world). oranges can’t be patented (unless you lived in a dictatorship country- which the pharmaceutical companies are very close to resembling, watch “food inc”) Just because something works doesn’t mean the Pharmaceutical world will go or it )they care more about money then they do about people actually getting well). Garlic works on its own pretty good. and there are plenty of countries in Europe to prove it. (America is another story) don’t need to do any isolation to Garlic cause on its own it works amazing. hhhhh it they patented it I would still grow it in my garden not exactly asking the Pharmaceutical company for their permission to grow garlic. many patent medicines are made from herbs doesn’t mean the herb itself is patent.

          • Roadstergal

            That whoosh you heard was the point flying over your head…

            Hey, my friend’s boyfriend’s grandma said that the best cure for headaches was to rub a cat on your head. Works every time, Big Pharma doesn’t want you to know about it. That story should be very powerful for you!

          • Chamutal .Gallin

            interesting comment

          • Chamutal .Gallin

            I am sure you tried it first hand, and talking from experience

          • momofone

            There’s experience, and there’s relevance. I’m not sure you get the difference.

          • Heidi

            That’s not how food (or really, I guess, seed) patents work by the way. You could pour millions of dollars and years of research coming up with an orange that resists citrus greening disease. Why shouldn’t your money and effort have some protection? You can still plant the seeds in your yard so long as you bought the seed. It’s really not a hard concept to grasp.

          • Chamutal .Gallin

            right, forgot about Monsanto seed patent. yes I remember seeing in the documentary “food inc” how the farmers lands were damaged with this patent. America is not such a free country after all- and mostly for the sake of money.

          • Heidi

            Yes, a guy chose not to pay for seed with specially developed traits and to freeload off of a neighbor farmer. He stole.

          • Daleth

            vitamin c can’t be patented and it is so cheep to produce!! there for
            the pharmaceutical company can’t and doesn’t. (there is no money in it

            So why are there a dozen different kinds of vitamin C sitting on the shelf at every grocery store, manufactured by major companies and available for us to buy?

        • Heidi

          Yes, I’m pretty sure garlic actually could be patented.

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            I think you’re right. Especially if you develop your own variatal.

          • Roadstergal

            And an active ingredient isolated from garlic and manufactured sure as snot could. That’s what the nacheral people don’t get. If it works, companies are going to investigate it, find the active ingredient, find a way to synthesize it, and sell it.

            It’s actually a good thing that Big Pharma synthesizes paclitaxel instead of harvesting it all ‘naturally’. The Pacific Yew population was suffering.

        • Heidi

          It doesn’t really matter what’s most powerful for you, whatever that means. Garlic is not regulated for this use. There may very well be a compound in garlic that could help kill off GBS, but how much of that compound is needed? Garlic is grown to eat, not for pharmaceutical reasons. They do not regulate how much of compound x or compound y is in garlic. Your clove from the grocery store may happen to be very low in the compound that hypothetically kills GBS and does not effectively kill off GBS.

          • Chamutal .Gallin

            I don’t recognize the authority you refer to as authorized in my eyes to regulate for me what I can or can’t do with Garlic. yes it does matter what is right for me because thank god I choose to think for myself, and do my own research and try on my own body to see what actually works for me. my personal experience is more powerful than what anyone else around me would say. If garlic was patented in a country- I would run far away from that place! gods creations have lots of healing properties. changing ones diet alone can be very healing. and it has been for a friend of mine who used food to heal her body from being raped, she openly shares her story on facebook- how food helped her heal on so many levels. in every food in nature one will find healing properties. your questions are very interesting

          • Roadstergal

            “my personal experience is more powerful than what anyone else around me would say.”

            Then why are you here? Go grow your plants and put them in whatever orifices you deem appropriate. It’s a free country.

          • Chamutal .Gallin

            love your question. these are the kind of comments that just say “I have nothing more to say so I will attack you on a personal level”

          • Roadstergal

            It’s an honest question. If you’re not going to listen, why converse?

          • MaineJen

            I’m sorry, a friend of yours used food…to heal her body after being raped?
            :/

          • Daleth

            I don’t recognize the authority you refer to as authorized in my eyes to regulate for me what I can or can’t do with Garlic.

            It’s not about whether the FDA is “authorized” to regulate garlic. The point is that because garlic is unregulated, even if there is a compound in garlic that can kill GBS, you have no way of knowing whether the garlic clove, pill, tincture, etc. that you are using contains enough of that compound to work.

          • Charybdis

            Or that it contains garlic at all. A whole lot of supplements don’t contain what the label says they do.

    • Empress of the Iguana People

      One of the very few things I felt like eating when pregnant was garlic. I eat it with every dinner and many lunches. Still GBS positive.

      • Chamutal .Gallin

        its also about putting the garlic in the vagina…. not just about eating it

        • Empress of the Iguana People

          Putting food in your vagina is not my kink

          • Roadstergal

            I like garlic. I like vaginas. I do not think I like the combination.

            I’m thinking of John Oliver’s comment about Red Vines and guacamole. Fantastic individually, but they are not meant to be together.

          • Chamutal .Gallin

            yes I know. it is annoying.

          • Charybdis

            Then why do it? There is a much more effective treatment available: IV antibiotics during labor. Plus, it is much less labor-intensive (no pun intended). No eating, cutting, rinsing, washing, inserting, remembering to remove and/or drinking involved.
            Unless you are getting some sort of pleasure out of your intensive regimen. Or some sort of feeling of superiority over the rest of the hoi polloi: “It’s so hard, so many things to remember to do each day. But it is SO worth it! I mean, really, who wouldn’t want the NATCHERAL way to vanquish GBS? Nothing but the BESTEST, SAFEST and MOST CONVOLUTED way to “protect” my perfect baby that I’m gestating and who will “come earthside” in his/her own good time, in my home!”
            Ignorant humblebragging.

      • Chamutal .Gallin

        I was diagnosed GBS positive last week!! I did the test this week again (after doing lots of alternative stuff- including eating garlic and putting garlic inside) and I am negative!!!! within less then a week!!! I am totally extatic.

        Here is what I used:
        garlic- eating+inside vagina (half the week)
        colloidal silver- drinking+ inside vagina+ bath wash (every day)
        probiotics- 4-6 billion a day (every day
        vitamin c- 2000 mg a day (or more)
        apple cider vinegar- bath wash
        cranberry juice- drank every day
        evening primrose oil- inside vagina
        yoghurt- organic from goats
        sourkraught- organic
        avoid sugar

        • OkayFine

          Listen, I can appreciate the desire to cheat the test into being negative so they don’t need antibiotics during labor. You do know that even though you have gotten a negative that the standard of care is to still give the antibiotics because you have previously tested positive, right? Do you know what GBS infection looks like in a newborn? It’s horrible and it’s a horrible way for a baby to live (or die) for the first few weeks. The risks are sepsis, meningitis, and pneumonia. Without abx, the risks go from one in 4000 babies getting sick to one in 200 without abx. You are foolishly taking risks with your baby’s life and wellness in order to avoid two easily administered doses of abx. Do comprehend how stupid that is and what you are potentially doing to your child? I get it, I’ve had 4 children and getting poked during labor isn’t fun but I would do it 100 times over if it meant the very best start in life for my child. The fact that you keep coming back here to blather on about your “victory” gives me some hope that some where, some how something that someone has said here is making you second guess yourself. I don’t care about being right or proving you wrong but I do (a stranger on the internet) care what happens to your baby.

        • Azuran

          Seriously, even IF your stuff worked (which isn’t even in any way certain) That’s a lot of stuff to buy and a stupid amount of effort. I’d much rather take the safe and effective antibiotic

          And before you claim that ATB is going to ruin my vaginal flora, you think that shoving garlic up your vagina would ONLY affect the GBS? Anything you take that will have an effect on GBS will have an effect on other kind of bacteria

        • Empress of the Iguana People

          You sound like the scammers who occasionally write in to tell us to about how some supplement SAVED THEIR MARRIAGE!!! Because now they can HAVE BABIES!@!!! and the SEX is AWESOME!!!! Or whatever.

          I know you believe, but belief is not the same as scientific evidence. Colloidal silver has very few real medical applications, and they’re all topical. Garlic, cranberry juice, and yoghurt are delicious. (You cannot avoid sugar if you are drinking cranberry juice or eating yoghurt, by the way, they’re just less surgary than soda or cookies. Ask a diabetic.)

          • Heidi

            If she is even being honest, I’m pretty concerned she’s superficially killing the bacteria but it’s still proliferating up in her reproductive tract. I really hope she takes this into consideration and doesn’t risk her baby’s safety!

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            Seems like she already has

        • Heidi

          That’s an exhausting list of stuff to do. I kinda wanna be a smartass and exclaim I must have healthier practices than you because I never tested positive! I don’t actually think that by the way. But do you really think you killed the GBS or just killed the bacteria a couple of inches in the vagina where they test? I would worry I got a false negative and still had GBS – seriously.

          • Roadstergal

            Or did all of that shit in her vagina interfere with the test?

            Did she do the rectal swab as well as the vaginal?

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Here’s what happened when this woman did the same thing:

          http://www.skepticalob.com/2011/03/wrens-story-on-1st-anniversary-of-his.html

          Are you really willing to risk your baby’s life on this deadly nonsense? If so, you must not care about your baby as much as I cared about mine.

  • Misty Williams

    If you read the entirety of the very tragic information about the death of little Wren, you would see that it was the OBs office that did the GBS screening, it was the OBs office that had the positive results, it was the OBs office that failed to contact the parents with the results, it was the OBs office that failed to get the positive result to the midwives who were planning to do the homebirth, and who had been working collaboratively with the parents. If the OB’s office had been on the ball, correct labor protocol could have been followed. It’s just plain dishonest to blame Judy Cochain and homebirth midwives for the death of the dear child, when the test results were known and not reported by another practitioner, one of your own, and OB. Or did you not expect people to actually read Wren’s tragic story?

    Using garlic for it’s antibiotic properties is, as you doubtlessly know, common in other countries around the world. Western medicine is not the only nor even always the best option for care. A wise care provider should be willing to examine and even implement alternatives to ACOG and CDC protocols if they prove useful.

    Lastly, infants with mother’s who are treat with antibiotic prophylaxis during labor do still develop EOD/S GBS, which you also doubtlessly know, and some of those infants

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Wrong!

      It was the MIDWIFES’ job to ascertain the patient’s GBS status and treat it according to medical standards.

      It’s just another example of the ignorance and unethical behavior of dangerous counterfeit midwives such as yourself.

      • Misty Williams

        From experience in the training I am receiving (not licensed, still in school) when the Mdw’s client says she is seeing an OB for lateral care, we do not have access to patient records unless the client signs a release, or brings us the records from the OB’s office. If as so many people do, these parents chose to believe that “if the results were positive, my doctor’s office would have called me,” which is the standard protocol for every medical practice I’ve ever been in contact with, and if these parents told the midwives that they never received a call back about the results from the OB’s office, and IF the OB’s office FAILED to contact their patient with a POSITIVE result, then the OB’s office was NEGLIGENT. Take it to court, and I can just about guarantee you that a jury of 12 would agree with me. They had a professional responsibility and they FAILED to carry it out. Even IF the patients had signed a release of information required by HIPPA, as you well know Dr., more often than not, OBs offices are frequently openly hostile toward the midwives their patients see, and don’t rush toshare information. I imagine if any of your patients told you they were also clients of a midwife, you would rip them up one side and down the other before dismissing them from your practice. You, Dr. Tuteur, and your like are exactly one half of the problem, one half the reason that midwives fight against regulation and control of our profession. OBs have a nasty tendency to push for regulations that require midwives to follow protocols set forth by local OBs who become their overseers. Often the regulations OBs push to eliminate the autonomy of midwives and restrict them from helping mothers birth at home or in birthcenters. OBs are rather notorious for pushing regulations that make it impossible for midwives to practice midwifery, reducing them to assistants, or crippling the practice of midwifery all together.
        Rather than accepting the free individual choice of your patients, and all those women who cannot or will not seek medical model care for one reason or another, and doing what you personally can to support this ancient profession as it grows into a modern, evidence based practice, you do all you can to shut it down, and deny midwives appropriate education, and appropriate professional latitude to carry out the type of care the CLIENT chooses. You will do all you can to deny professional care to your patients who seek homebirth. To you they are patients and you don’t have any respect for their autonomy or desire to NOT be locked into YOUR or your HOSPITAL’s protocols. You have no respect for their cultural needs, you have no respect for them as individuals.

        What do you do if your PATIENT refuses the GBS screen? I mean other than verbally abusing her? I can tell you most hospital protocols require that the PATIENT be on IV antibiotics throughout labor, hopefully for at least 4 hours before the birth with continuous electronic monitoring–locking her into a bed where she can’t move, walk, squat, kneel, side-lie for her comfort, the bed where just lying around is likely to slow or stall her labor. What do you do if the patient refuses antibiotic treatment? Well, some hospitals oust the woman, so long as she is not in labor. Some OB’s just refuse to care for them at that point, and degrade the woman for her choice. Some OB’s call CPS or threaten to, or try to force court orders that remove the woman’s autonomy and forces her to submit to the IV antibiotics or lose this baby to the foster system, and often her other children if she has them.
        Midwives, with CLIENTs who refuse GBS screening work within proven, natural-care guidelines to prevent GBS infection that may or may not be present, and continue to take care of the CLIENT and her baby according to the CLIENT’s decisions informed by education, verbally and by written materials that covers positives and negatives of the options available, including prophylactic antibiotic treatment. Which no thanks to OBs, is increasingly available to midwives for their CLIENTs as more states are passing laws that regulate midwifery according to protocols set forth by midwives’ professional and educational boards that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, as a separate professional practice, rather than an offshoot of obstetrics or medicine.

        Your medical model has no solution or suggestion for the countless Amish, Mennonite, Hutterite, Mormon, or other religious groups–many of the women who won’t go to an OB or a hospital to give birth. What about the Islamic women who aren’t allowed to go to a hospital to give birth, because it might be a man OB on call? Your medical model has no answer for women who have been mistreated by the only OB anywhere near their rural community, and so seek care from midwives so they never have to see that OB again. Your medical model has no solution for women who found giving birth in the hospital so traumatic that they have panic attacks over the loss of autonomy and control, the way they were excluded from their own birth as an individual and treated like livestock forced to bow down to hospital or OB protocols. I wonder Dr. Tuteur, do you call them idiots, morons, fools when you speak with your colleagues, or do you just blow them off as unimportant? Do you suppose that losing a baby or two will have them crawling in begging for OB help? Rather than being so determined to crush choice for women and their families at the time of pregnancy and birth, why don’t you work to find ways to promote more widespread education for midwives, so that perhaps there would be fewer women calling themselves midwives with little or no experience or training? Work to promote lateral cooperative communication between OBs and Midwives rather than promoting the notion that OBs should be hostile toward midwives. Work to promote the practice of the midwifery model as the legal standard in your state, so that those who operate outside NARM or MANA’s regulations and protocols can be prosecuted, and stopped from practicing? Why not make efforts to help make the NARM and MANA standards nationwide standards, so there are no questions or doubts about who is professionally trained as a midwife, who meets the criteria for education, who keeps up the CEUs and passes recertification testing every three years, and more importantly who doesn’t? These are all ways to encourage SAFE, RESPONSIBLE midwifery care, for women who choose it. Not every pregnant woman needs a surgeon. Not every pregnant woman needs medical care. Every pregnant women deserves to be allowed to choose the type of PREGNANCY care that suits her best.

        • MaineJen

          TL/DR: Indoctrination in action. Resistance to regulation or any kind of standard of care, lots of caps.

          CNMs are already highly trained and nationally regulated. We don’t need or want a 2nd class of undertrained midwife.

          • Roadstergal

            But your OB model has no solution for women who want to completely avoid medical care and still have good outcomes!!

            Also, HIPPA, whatever that is.

        • Empress of the Iguana People

          My friend the genuine CNM who has never said boo about me seeing an OB (I am high risk in a couple categories) works with Amish and “English” at a birthing center.

        • If women want to avoid care, they can. But that’s not negligence on the part of the medical establishment, that’s religious zealotry and/or stupidity on the part of the women. Remember- just because you have the right to do something doesn’t mean it’s a good choice. Avoiding medical care in pregnancy is a really stupid choice.

      • Poogles

        Misty Williams: “From experience in the training I am receiving (not licensed, still in school) when the Mdw’s client says she is seeing an OB for lateral care, we do not have access to patient records unless the client signs a release, or brings us the records from the OB’s office. If as so many people do, these parents chose to believe that “if the results were positive, my doctor’s office would have called me,” which is the standard protocol for every medical practice I’ve ever been in contact with, and if these parents told the midwives that they never received a call back about the results from the OB’s office, and IF the OB’s office FAILED to contact their patient with a POSITIVE result, then the OB’s office was NEGLIGENT. Take it to court, and I can just about guarantee you that a jury of 12 would agree with me. They had a professional responsibility and they FAILED to carry it out. Even IF the patients had signed a release of information required by HIPPA, as you well know Dr., more often than not, OBs offices are frequently openly hostile toward the midwives their patients see, and don’t rush toshare information. I imagine if any of your patients told you they were also clients of a midwife, you would rip them up one side and down the other before dismissing them from your practice. You, Dr. Tuteur, and your like are exactly one half of the problem, one half the reason that midwives fight against regulation and control of our profession. OBs have a nasty tendency to push for regulations that require midwives to follow protocols set forth by local OBs who become their overseers. Often the regulations OBs push to eliminate the autonomy of midwives and restrict them from helping mothers birth at home or in birthcenters. OBs are rather notorious for pushing regulations that make it impossible for midwives to practice midwifery, reducing them to assistants, or crippling the practice of midwifery all together.
        Rather than accepting the free individual choice of your patients, and all those women who cannot or will not seek medical model care for one reason or another, and doing what you personally can to support this ancient profession as it grows into a modern, evidence based practice, you do all you can to shut it down, and deny midwives appropriate education, and appropriate professional latitude to carry out the type of care the CLIENT chooses. You will do all you can to deny professional care to your patients who seek homebirth. To you they are patients and you don’t have any respect for their autonomy or desire to NOT be locked into YOUR or your HOSPITAL’s protocols. You have no respect for their cultural needs, you have no respect for them as individuals.

        What do you do if your PATIENT refuses the GBS screen? I mean other than verbally abusing her? I can tell you most hospital protocols require that the PATIENT be on IV antibiotics throughout labor, hopefully for at least 4 hours before the birth with continuous electronic monitoring–locking her into a bed where she can’t move, walk, squat, kneel, side-lie for her comfort, the bed where just lying around is likely to slow or stall her labor. What do you do if the patient refuses antibiotic treatment? Well, some hospitals oust the woman, so long as she is not in labor. Some OB’s just refuse to care for them at that point, and degrade the woman for her choice. Some OB’s call CPS or threaten to, or try to force court orders that remove the woman’s autonomy and forces her to submit to the IV antibiotics or lose this baby to the foster system, and often her other children if she has them.
        Midwives, with CLIENTs who refuse GBS screening work within proven, natural-care guidelines to prevent GBS infection that may or may not be present, and continue to take care of the CLIENT and her baby according to the CLIENT’s decisions informed by education, verbally and by written materials that covers positives and negatives of the options available, including prophylactic antibiotic treatment. Which no thanks to OBs, is increasingly available to midwives for their CLIENTs as more states are passing laws that regulate midwifery according to protocols set forth by midwives’ professional and educational boards that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, as a separate professional practice, rather than an offshoot of obstetrics or medicine.

        Your medical model has no solution or suggestion for the countless Amish, Mennonite, Hutterite, Mormon, or other religious groups–many of the women who won’t go to an OB or a hospital to give birth. What about the Islamic women who aren’t allowed to go to a hospital to give birth, because it might be a man OB on call? Your medical model has no answer for women who have been mistreated by the only OB anywhere near their rural community, and so seek care from midwives so they never have to see that OB again. Your medical model has no solution for women who found giving birth in the hospital so traumatic that they have panic attacks over the loss of autonomy and control, the way they were excluded from their own birth as an individual and treated like livestock forced to bow down to hospital or OB protocols. I wonder Dr. Tuteur, do you call them idiots, morons, fools when you speak with your colleagues, or do you just blow them off as unimportant? Do you suppose that losing a baby or two will have them crawling in begging for OB help? Rather than being so determined to crush choice for women and their families at the time of pregnancy and birth, why don’t you work to find ways to promote more widespread education for midwives, so that perhaps there would be fewer women calling themselves midwives with little or no experience or training? Work to promote lateral cooperative communication between OBs and Midwives rather than promoting the notion that OBs should be hostile toward midwives. Work to promote the practice of the midwifery model as the legal standard in your state, so that those who operate outside NARM or MANA’s regulations and protocols can be prosecuted, and stopped from practicing? Why not make efforts to help make the NARM and MANA standards nationwide standards, so there are no questions or doubts about who is professionally trained as a midwife, who meets the criteria for education, who keeps up the CEUs and passes recertification testing every three years, and more importantly who doesn’t? These are all ways to encourage SAFE, RESPONSIBLE midwifery care, for women who choose it. Not every pregnant woman needs a surgeon. Not every pregnant woman needs medical care. Every pregnant women deserves to be allowed to choose the type of PREGNANCY care that suits her best.”

        • Poogles

          “Why not make efforts to help make the NARM and MANA standards nationwide standards, so there are no questions or doubts about who is professionally trained as a midwife, who meets the criteria for education, who keeps up the CEUs and passes recertification testing every three years, and more importantly who doesn’t?”

          Because their standards, training, education, certification, and regulations are terribly inadequate and laughable?

    • Irène Delse

      About garlic and “herbal medicine”: don’t you realise that the link you provide has nothing to do with using plants instead of proven drugs? It’s basic research about the properties of certain plants, the kind drug companies do when looking for sources of new drugs. There’s even a technical term: pharmacognosy, or, in Latin, materia medica.

      It’s smart to start by looking into the kind of plants used already as spices or folk remedies, because the plant kingdom is immense, and various peoples around the world have arrived through trial and error at a list of plants that are a) non toxic or toxic only in high doses and/or with improper preparation, and b) that seem to be have beneficial properties, for instance help keep the food from spoiling, or get a sick person over their symptoms, or keep away insects.

      Scientists are very interested by traditional plant knowledge, ethnobotany is an active field of research, especially to look for new pharmaceutical compounds. Because scientists who study the properties of plants don’t stop there: the goal is to extract and purify the active substances to study their effect on animals, then if it’s promising, on humans. Oftentimes the scientists will tweak the active molecule isolated from a plant to make them more effective, or reduce side effects, etc.

      A classic case is aspirin: the salicylic acid isolated from willow bark and mead wort did reduce fever, but it also causes stomach ulcers. So the researchers at Bayer tried changing the molecule: by adding an acetyl group, they obtained acetylsalicylic acid, which was less hard on the stomach lining, named it “aspirin”, and the rest is history.

    • Gene

      The family AND THE MIDWIVES knew the mother was gbs positive. At the beginning of her pregnancy. And once you are gbs positive, you should ALWAYS get IV antibiotics during labor, even if subsequent tests show no evidence of gbs infection. Even in subsequent pregnancies. And it was the MIDWIVES who were responsible for telling them (the family) that IV antibiotics are the standard of care. THEY are the supposed medical professionals, not the family. And instead, they told her to use garlic. So this poor baby was sacrificed on the alter of homebirth because the MIDWIVES knew that the standard of care meant IV drugs that they are not able to provide and so chose to recommend voodoo instead.

      Dolts is too kind a word.

      • Misty Williams

        I must have missed the bit where they said that they knew she was GBS positive at any time during her pregnancy. However, CDC protocol is that regardless of mother’s GBS status at any time during her pregnancy, that she be tested between 35-37 weeks, and that her test results at that time be the basis for the use or non use of prophylactic antibiotic use or non-use during her labor. GBS may be absent, chronic or transient based on the environment in the vagina at any time. A woman may have a positive GBS culture at 16 weeks, be GBS negative at 36 weeks and GBS positive by the time she is 40 weeks. There is simply no way to tell.
        The use of garlic has been historically proven effective–studies into garlic extracts are very limited because western medicine is pharmaceuticals dependent. Keep in mind that even with intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis, babies still contract EOGBS and LOGBS, and they still die from it. Keep in mind, that in cases where a baby is born to a woman who received antibiotic prophylaxis, and the baby still develops EOGBS, that the baby frequently has a strain of GBS that is resistant to antibiotics, and dies in spite of medical’s best efforts. Perhaps Wren would have died either way. There is no way to know. It’s very convenient to blame midwives for his tragic death. But the OB’s office had a professional responsibility, and they did not fulfill it.
        The parents were taking reasonable precautions in seeing an OB as well, and being tested for GBS in the office was absolutely sensible. The OB’s office failed to impart the results of the test, which they would have had within 48 or at most 72 hours depending on the type of culture done. The OB’s standard practice was to NOT call if lab results were negative. The parents and midwives made the wrong assumption that the OB’s office would call if the results were positive. If the midwives are guilty, it is of not following up with the OB’s office. Begs the question, if the midwives and the OB’s office were working as lateral partners, would the midwives have received the information in advance, and been able to present the information to the parents so that they could make an informed decision? The answer to that is very obvious.
        One thing that you are forgetting is that these parents made choices. They were aware of both the medical model and the midwifery model. These parents had every right to make every choice they did. Thousands of women across this country give birth at home with no medical interventions every day and their babies grow and thrive beautifully. Some give birth with midwives of different training levels, and others give birth at home with only their partner to aid them. It is a choice they make. Many women reject hospital birth because they reject medical model as unsafe for them and their babies. This is their choice, and they have every right to make it. As a society do we simply declare that the women who make these choices deserve what they get, even if it’s a dead baby, and that’ll teach them not to go to the hospital? Or do we train professionals and allow them the tools they need to take care of women and babies at home, where more and more women are choosing to have their babies? Do we strip women of their choice? Have you considered rural populations, or other cultural population who do not have access to a hospital for birth? There are communities here where I live where the nearest hospital with a neonatal ventilator is over 115 miles away, and the weather is such that a helicopter can only get out for a life flight about 50% of the time. There are communities that reject hospitals because they are symbols of authority and they live in fear of authority. There are communities where women refuse to be treated by strangers in a strange place because it violates their purity, what about these women? OB’s don’t operate by house calls. Who serves these women? The answer is midwives. Dr. Tuteur is very intelligent, but she would insist that all women come to her on her “turf,” the hospital, and be treated there according to her protocols and the hospital’s protocols. That one size fits all approach simply does not “fit all” and in general strips women of their rights and their choices and ignores their cultural and religious beliefs. That is where midwives come in. Wouldn’t it better to standardize training for midwives to help us do our jobs better, rather than hollering about how untrained and inexperienced midwives are? It was done across the South in the 1920s through the 1950s. Its been done in Britain, German, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and countless other countries with great success. Why on earth are we so backwards in the U.S. about allowing women their right to birth choice? What is there to gain from it? We’re 41st in infant mortality, and we don’t even keep a record of women who die due to complications from birth interventions. The World Health Organization recommends the c-section rate of 10-15% as the peak for medically necessary c-sections. Our rate is closer to 40%. Why?
        Well, I’ve rambled. I apologize. The midwives has a responsibility to advise the clients based on the information they had. I would say they had a responsibility to call the doctor’s office, if the doctor was even aware that the couple was also seeing midwives. But the doctor’s office had the test results and failed to share it with their patient, and that was plain negligence.

        • MaineJen

          Just a few points:
          -WHO has withdrawn their 15% c section rate recommendation and admitted there was no factual basis for it: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/303326.php

          -Pharmaceuticals ARE “natural” compounds, isolated and concentrated for maximum efficacy. That’s what medicine IS.

          -Standardization of midwifery training is sorely needed. However, midwives themselves have moved to block regulation, standardization and oversight of their training and practice (and even a definition of best practices!) at every turn. Why?

        • swbarnes2

          ACOG says that if the status is unknown, antibiotics should be used. If the midwives didn’t hear “GBS negative” from the OB, they should have erred on the side of caution. They didn’t want to be cautious. Cautious people don’t do homebirths. Incautious people let babies die.

    • Chamutal .Gallin

      well said!!! I think this women is feeling threatened

  • Anonymous

    I wish I could tell you what I endured, I risk being punished and harmed. I am afraid I will never see justice.

    • Guest

      the past 6 years of my life since my first child had been born were made a living hell by my tormentors forcing me into silence. i am gripped by that terror every single day. the PTSD is so bad that my health is crumbling. i have been stalked, never allowed to seek healing and inner peace. meanwhile my son suffers neurological damage. one side of the family who had protected the midwife have not only abused and abandoned us in our hours of need, but have assisted this woman in her misdeeds. i am thankful i can vent this and you wont know who i am…if you knew who i was “they” might find out and retaliate. but let me tell you…it was NOT my fault for choosing a homebirth… i was in a unique and vulnerable situation. many women find themselves in unique situations… i have been abused by OBs and GYNs the same ways in which I have been abused by this woman.

      • Young CC Prof

        I am sorry you and your son were harmed by a midwife. I hope you find some way to cope. If there is any way people here can help you, please ask.

        • Sojourners Tent Press

          http://healingmyheart.wix.com/healingmyheart all I ask for is to shed light on her lies…. the justice i never had, could be for another woman . she is still hurting women, i was not the only one, i discovered today :o( I don’t think, at this point, it was EVER about bringing children safely into the world. The more I look into matters, after having lived in the “west bank” and exposed to all sorts of terror, the mindset of “terrorism” is also used on birthing women. it is a deep psychological illness and schism. it has NO PLACE in childbirth. Her research is full of holes. She DID NOT USE her 3,4,5 minute PPH protocol on me in fact. Her restriction of my labor and birth, negligence, and the terrorizing of me and my son is more of a hate crime.

        • http://healingmyheart.wix.com/… all I ask for is to shed light on her lies…. the justice i never had, could be for another woman . she is still hurting women, i was not the only one, i discovered today :o( I don’t think, at this point, it was EVER about bringing children safely into the world. The more I look into matters, after having lived in the “west bank” and exposed to all sorts of terror, the mindset of “terrorism” is also used on birthing women. it is a deep psychological illness and schism. it has NO PLACE in childbirth. Her research is full of holes. She DID NOT USE her 3,4,5 minute PPH protocol on me in fact. Her restriction of my labor and birth, negligence, and the terrorizing of me and my son is more of a hate crime.

  • Miranda Hedin

    At 5:02 shesays that amnioticfluid embolism isn’t a concern because it’s ONLY a problem if you rupture the membranes, OR have polyhydramnios, OR cervical laceration, OR placenta previa, OR placental abruption, OR fetal distress, etc.. and then states that those things don’t happen in homebirths?!?!? WTH? How in God’s name does she think that she can say that these things “don’t happen” in home births, they can happen in ANY birth?

    This woman is disgusting!

  • I thank God every day that I had my babies in a hospital. My husband is a physician and I am a nurse so we never considered home birth for a second. We also didn’t think twice when my Dr. said it was time for a c-section after only an hour of pushing with our second baby (baby just wasn’t moving down although he was tolerating labor well). He had been estimated at 10lbs 2oz on ultrasound and he was born via c-section (39 weeks, 2 days) weighing in at a whopping 12 lbs 8 oz. Nothing could have prepared us for that! (My first baby was born vaginally, 7 lbs. 10 oz. and I did not have gestational diabetes.) I’m sure my Dr. is well trained in dealing with shoulder dystocia and I’m also glad we didn’t have to find out. With my third baby, we just scheduled the c-section in advance, he was 10 lbs 9 oz. My Great Grandmother had all her babies at home, they lived in a very rural area in the 40’s when her 8th baby was born (also a 12 pounder!) and they had to call a Dr. to come to the house to deliver him when he got stuck. Fortunately her baby suffered no complications but she had fecal incontinence for a few years after that and my GGrandfather didn’t touch her again until menopause because he was afraid another baby would kill her. Since a healthy baby isn’t enough for the homebirth crowd, maybe I should have tried having mine at home…then after they died or became forever disabled, I could spend the rest of my life crapping my pants.

    • Karen in SC

      Those are some strapping babies! Welcome to Skeptical OB!

  • Rebecca

    5:50 “The unscarred uterus will not contract hard enough to explode itself.”
    Explode? Is that really the technical term used in an Obstetrics text?

    • Rebecca

      And cord prolapse can be “completely eliminated by restricting amniotomy and vaginal exams”? Whaaa???

    • Young CC Prof

      Why DO uteruses explode? Because during a first c-section, doctors install little tiny blasting caps all along the suture line.

      Seriously, yeah, the proper term is rupture. And it CAN happen even to an unscarred uterus, although that’s extremely rare.

      • fiftyfifty1

        “Seriously, yeah, the proper term is rupture. And it CAN happen even to an unscarred uterus, although that’s extremely rare.”

        Well the rupture of an unscarred uterus is extremely rare nowadays. It didn’t used to be back in the days before modern obstetrics when there was no way out of an obstructed labor.

  • NursingRN

    Um…untangling the BP cuff takes 2 minutes? Maybe if you have a student PCA/Nursing assistant….who has shaky hands….and doesn’t know what a BP cuff is.

  • anonymous

    It’s interesting that she jumps through that percentages slide so quickly at the beginning. Why do that? Oh, wait, maybe it’s because it’s BS?

  • katchka

    Somewhat off-topic: are any other Jews who read this blog embarrassed that so many of the undereducated home birth advocates are Jewish? It’s like they’re trying to discredit the old stereotype of Jews making good (conventional) doctors. It really rubs me the wrong way, for some reason.

    • Does it help any knowing that Dr. Amy is Jewish?

      Mazel tov!

      • MichelleJo

        I think that with percentage of Jews being so tiny in the world’s population, this blog has a way out of proportion number of commentators who are Jewish. And are against any of the homebirthing, NCB nonsense. So if you’re feeling bad, chin up!

        • Young CC Prof

          Perhaps we’re just louder on the Internet overall. I mean, what’s Passover without a proper debate? 🙂

          • Cellist

            Next year in the internet!!

    • Esther

      Jewish and Israeli (she’s about half an hour’s drive from me). She works as an unlicensed midwife here. Yes, it bothers me a lot. And she can keep the hell away from my patients, TYVM.

      (Antigonos, can she be reported as practicing w/o a license?)

    • Susan

      It’s interesting but in cult research they have noted a disproportionate number of Jews in a lot of the ’70s American cults. I would theorize that being openminded and liberal thinking, while generally a good trait, might make one vulnerable to cults/NCB nuttery. I am not sure if there is any meaning in it at all I never thought about it in terms of the NCB phenomenon.

    • Cellist

      Yes. Though I find highly educated Jews like Mayim Bialik worse because they lend credibility to home-birthing and non-vaxing – and they should know better. Oy vey.

    • http://healingmyheart.wix.com/… the justice i never had, could be for another woman . she is still hurting women, i was not the only one, i discovered today :o( I don’t think, at this point, it was EVER about bringing children safely into the world. The more I look into matters, after having lived in the “west bank” (when i made aliyah) and exposed to all sorts of terror, the mindset of “terrorism” is also used on birthing women. it is a deep psychological illness and schism. it has NO PLACE in childbirth. Her research is full of holes. She DID NOT USE her 3,4,5 minute PPH protocol on me in fact. Her restriction of my labor and birth, negligence, and the terrorizing of me and my son is more of a hate crime.

    • http://healingmyheart.wix.com/healingmyheart

      it is important to get this out there. I was abused by her, nearly died. I was a new immigrant who planned a different birth than what actually happened. Because of being bullied and scared with lies, because of being a vulnerable new immigrant having to live with people who didnt like me, I was fresh meat.

    • Chamutal .Gallin

      what bulshit! homebirths and natural remedies is famous in Austria and Germany- my Christian side of the family definitly went that path in Austria. Are you claiming they are uneducated in Austria and Germany?!!? Europe is knows for having a much more possitive view on all the natural paths. much more than in America, my Aunt had no pain!! imagine that. I know of another women giving birth at a natural facility (not hospital) and had no pain!! So before you make any anti-semetic comment think twice. I don’t recall Janet Balaskas, one of the most famous women advocating in England for natural births including at home to being Jewish! seriously you women are out of date on info. don’t be blinded by people’s degrees. sometimes the degrees and the money they are paid by hospitals (and they receive huge sums for each women giving birth in the hospital!!!!) makes them blind to the truth of home birth. How you try to manipulate womens freedome for choice with their own bodies and put down their choices!!! it is women who suppress other women and not men (like we would like to think)

      • Roadstergal

        It’s actually quite true that there’s a lot of natural bullshit in Germany. Homeopathy is a German invention, after all, and the ‘German New Medicine’ (quite famous for letting people die of untreated cancer in excruciating pain) is, well, German. I have several German scientists I work with, and they’re all quite annoyed at the ‘völkisch’ trend in pseudoscience that’s currently in vogue.

        “I know of another women giving birth at a natural facility (not hospital) and had no pain!!”

        I know of several women who gave birth at hospitals with no pain. They had epidurals – worked great.

        I also have two friends who gave birth at a hospital with very mild and controllable pain without an epidural. They had no interventions because they needed none. Turns out they only give you pain relief if you want it! (Sometimes not even then, if you have someone who’s bought the woo.)

        My Dutch co-workers who gave birth at home with midwives in the traditional Dutch fashion describe it as excruciating. One spaced out her kids more than she had planned because she basically had to ‘forget’ about the first experience before she could come to terms with doing it again.

        “it is women who suppress other women”

        Women who try to fearmonger women into avoiding safe pain relief in labor, women who insist that motherhood is nothing but biological essentialism based on a woman’s vagina and breasts, women who try to convince other women that babies who can’t be born at home without intervention don’t deserve to live – yup. I’ll agree with that to a point.

        • Chamutal .Gallin

          And there is a lot of conventional American Bullshit.

          would you like to talk about how many people die from Chemo treatment and the pain they are in from this treatment? also die of Chemo treated cancer in excruciating pain

          Here is the difference: my cousin in America got sick with Lime disease. Her family are doctors- her mother a doctor: Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology in Pediatrics

          Director Emeritus,
          Pediatric Ophthalmology and Adult Strabismus
          NY Presbyterian-Columbia University Medical Center
          Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
          and my cousin herself just finished Harvard medical school. They went your way- the conventional medical way. they payed hundreds of thousands of dollars for medication for the lime disease for almost 10 years now!!. guess what. she still has lime disease today, and you can be sure she saw the best doctors. her lime disease is not in control but not healed.

          for my Uncle in Austria, he had also lime disease and went, what you call, the “bulshit” way. he didn’t take even once medication but instead used colloidal silver and a combination of other alternatives. HE IS LIME- DISEASE FREE!!! while my cousin is CONTROLLING her disease.

          by the way I was diagnosed last week with GBS positive. I did a whole combination of the alternative including garlic- and guess what I am GBS negative within less then a week!!

          • Daleth

            Let me guess: your uncle in Austria diagnosed his own Lyme disease (or had it diagnosed by a naturopath) and then diagnosed himself (or was diagnosed by a naturopath) as not having it anymore?

          • Roadstergal

            “for my Uncle in Austria, he had also lime disease and went, what you call, the “bulshit” way.”

            He put the lime in the coconut and drank ’em both up?

          • Heidi

            With a dash of collodial silver! I call it Smurf at the Beach but I’m open to renaming it.

          • Roadstergal

            Oh, you have _got_ to sell that at a health spa!

            I had to giggle, because the original song was about a ‘natural’ remedy for a stomach ache…

          • Charybdis

            Silver Surfer.
            It heralds the end of life as we know it.

      • Roadstergal

        It’s actually quite true that there’s a lot of natural bullshit in Germany. Homeopathy is a German invention, after all, and the ‘German New Medicine’ (quite famous for letting people die of untreated cancer in excruciating pain) is, well, German. I have several German scientists I work with, and they’re all quite annoyed at the ‘völkisch’ trend in pseudoscience that’s currently in vogue.

        “I know of another women giving birth at a natural facility (not hospital) and had no pain!!”

        I know of several women who gave birth at hospitals with no pain. They had epidurals – worked great.

        I also have two friends who gave birth at a hospital with very mild and controllable pain without an epidural. They had no interventions because they needed none. Turns out they only give you pain relief if you want it! (Sometimes not even then, if you have someone who’s bought the woo.)

        My Dutch co-workers who gave birth at home with midwives in the traditional Dutch fashion describe it as excruciating. One spaced out her kids more than she had planned because she basically had to ‘forget’ about the first experience before she could come to terms with doing it again.

        “it is women who suppress other women”

        Women who try to fearmonger women into avoiding safe pain relief in labor, women who insist that motherhood is nothing but biological essentialism based on a woman’s vagina and breasts, women who try to convince other women that babies who can’t be born at home without intervention don’t deserve to live – yup. I’ll agree with that to a point.

  • batmom

    When my son’s cord prolapsed in the hospital late in labor, the room filled with people, a nurse had her hand in there up to my lungs, I’m sure, trying to get him off the cord, while another nurse gave me oxygen and another unhooked the non-tangled lines and the OB came in and introduced himself. It was so fast that from my husband’s perspective he was asleep on the couch in L&D and awake and in scrubs with no idea what had happened.

    If I’d been at home I’d have had a baby who died quietly during labor. Tangled lines my ass.

  • Bethany Barry

    The time between the discovery of my son’s shoulder dystocia (“turtle sign”) and his delivery? About 1 minute (delivery of the posterior shoulder after McRoberts didn’t work). I’d had an epidural but it had pretty much worn off and I had full range of motion. The bed was re positioned with the press of a button. The neonatology team was in the room within 2 minutes. My son was not macrosomic, and there was no reason to expect he would be, so there was no reason to expect a shoulder dystocia. And yet everything fell into place quickly and easily. No detangling, no standing around wondering what to do, and only appropriate alarm (the terrified resident, assisting in her very first delivery, turned a peculiar shade of purple). Peds team was there in seconds, gave him a clean bill of health, and he was back on my chest within a couple of minutes. I delivered at about 10:20am, and by 10:45 the room was completely calm and quiet.

    I agree with Judy on one thing–experience matters. My OB had thousands of deliveries under his belt. I’ve yet to encounter an “experienced” homebirth midwife who can claim more than a few hundred.

  • R T

    My close friend lost her first daughter to a shoulder dystocia at a homebirth in Los Angeles. She rode in an ambulance with her daughters head between her legs. After 12 days they removed their beautiful daughter from life support. She went on to have a son via csection two years later. To this day she thinks the outcome would have been exactly the same in the hospital. She also says maybe in the hospital they would have saved her daughter, but she would have been special needs and God knew she couldn’t raise a child with special needs. Her midwife helped her come to this conclusion of course. Shes convinced if her midwife couldn’t save her daughter no one could. I hope this is just her way of dealing with her loss because I know I could and would love my child even if she did have cerebal palsy. Of course, I have a wonderful and beloved cousin with severe CP from a birth injury so I know what a great life he has! Also, you’d think if she really believed what she says, she’d have had another homebirth and not a csection for her second child.

    • Squillo

      I’d be curious as to how they got her daughter out in the hospital and how long it took.

    • Maya Markova

      I think you are right that it is her way to deal with the loss but that deep down she has other thougths and that’s why she didn’t try a second homebirth. I even suppose that doctors may have also said that hospital outcome could have been the same, to comfort her after the fact.

  • MichelleJo

    Totally OT and I apologize, but I have to report the “thanksgiving statistic” my good friend was yesterday, induced due to high blood pressure at 34 weeks. And what a result! TWIN boys after a row of eight girls. Some people just never give up! She was grumbling around a year ago that she’s got eight kids but she still hasn’t got anyone to say Kaddish for her when she goes, a ‘kaddishel’. That’s not to say she doesn’t love all her lovely daughters. She’s going to need them now!

    • Young CC Prof

      Wow! Twins, kids nine and ten! Glad they are doing well.

  • Lilin

    If she’s claiming that an actual person’s research supports her claim – and it doesn’t – isn’t that misrepresenting someone’s work? You should contact the guy you worked with. He should ask her to remove the reference, or put up a notice at the site that she’s lying.

    • Siri Dennis

      Lerner’s highly informative and readable piece does, in fact, discuss the all-4s manoeuvre (as suggested by our friend Ima Pussytwiddler), acknowledging that it has been seen to resolve shoulder dystocia in 80+% of cases (higher than suprapubic pressure and McRoberts). However, he adds that it cannot easily be included in any protocol, as achieving the position is harder if a woman is tired after a long labour, has an epidural etc. Slome Cohain has put words in his mouth to the effect that women should labour at home, where epidurals are unobtainable and sleep arguably more accessible. Lerner does NOT say this. He is a realist, not a fantasist, and he is more pro-woman than S-C. You go, Dr Amy!

      • Siri Dennis
        • Young CC Prof

          Reading that makes it more obvious how she’s misinterpreting or misstating everything. The reference to 2 minutes is this: the author claims that the Gaskin Maneuver is probably similar to the MacRoberts in its effects, but is less suitable, because it takes about 2 minutes to get the mother into position. The implication is that the usual hospital techniques for dystocia take far less than two minutes to pull off.

          • Siri Dennis

            Exactly. And trying to turn the argument on its head by saying that if no labouring woman has an epidural, and if no woman is ever tired after a long labour, all 4s will be achieved more quickly, is disingenuous. Having all women labour at home is too big a price to pay for a more realistic prospect of achieving the Boobygrasper Manoeuvre.

      • Josephine

        “Ima Pussytwiddler”

        …I have no words. Only laughter and then a sad sigh.

        • Does “choking on a frappuccino” count as words?

      • Maya Markova

        That the all-4s manoeuvre helps in over 80% of cases is reported in a single study with Gaskin as leading author. I think that until these results are confirmed by independent research, they should be considered a joke.

        • Siri Dennis

          Which is why he mentions it but points out its weaknesses. Dr Lerner seems more interested in examining all the available material and arriving at a sensible approach to SD than in bolstering his own ego or winning the debate.

          • Amazed

            And now his work is being used exactly for winning the debate.

            A close friend of mine had her baby on Monday. Third baby, third CS, second planned Cs. The baby was put on oxygen because he was 2 weeks preterm. He weighed 3750 kg. Imagine what would have happened to her twice cut uterus, had he been left to cook 2 more weeks. Not that there was a chance because by all accounts he had already been started to head out at his current weight, through this same uterus. Her biggest baby to the moment.

            She’s happy and healthy, he’s healthy and gorgeous, and judging by the first picture of him, quite angry that he’d been taken out of his warm home so suddenly. But he’s alive and healthy to be angry. I wonder how slightly preterm babies like him fared only 100 years ago when there wasn’t a simple thing as oxygen.

  • Jen

    W.T.F. Seriously. W.T.F. I can’t even articulate how terrible this is; terrible because some nut job is going to cite this as “evidence.”

    • Rebecca

      Well, Dr. Amy’s made it easy now since you can provide this link in response to said “evidence.”

  • amazonmom

    Oh geez. Avoiding tangled lines is nursing school day 1 stuff. OB drills at work specifically involve how lines and monitors are placed for maximum speed when doing maneuvers or needing to roll that bed out of the room to the OR in a minute or less. The teams compete for the shortest time, the team that has perfect performance in the shortest time gets a prize usually.

    • Bombshellrisa

      No kidding-two minutes into any code in a hospital is a very long time

      • Dr Kitty

        Sure- it’s one full cycle of CPR!

  • annabel

    She. Is. Insane.

  • Jackie

    Putting a hat on your baby will keep you from knowing their scent- the horror!!
    http://modernalternativepregnancy.com/2013/09/06/take-it-off-why-you-should-drop-your-newborns-hat/

    • amazonmom

      I plan on bathing and hatting before skin to skin time. I won’t know my son from a rag doll then!

      • rh1985

        I prefer not to do skin to skin in the hospital at all. I suppose I am doomed to never bond.

        • Bombshellrisa

          My friend sent me a Pinterest pin for a tank top that you put the baby in the bodice of, so you can really wear the baby without a carrier and do skin to skin. This is the same friend who posts pins for “natural flu shots” consisting of lemon juice and garlic.

          • rh1985

            I am now trying to envision how that works..

          • Bombshellrisa

            Like a swimsuit top-with a baby inside. At any rate, I am not getting one. They are $50. I keep thinking something is wrong with me because while I can’t wait to see this baby and hold him and bite his toes, I don’t feel like I want to lay there skin to skin with him. I also don’t feel comfortable calling him my “Valentines Day Date” (that is when he is due and some well meaning but daft people keep referring to him as that. My husband is my perpetual Valentines day date!)

          • My son is the *result* of the Valentine’s Day Date. Heh.
            I wanted to try a lot of skin to skin – even baby massage. I was so into the idea. The reality is that my squirmy, determined little guy just had no patience for laying still and getting petted. Not even when he was tiny – if he was awake, he wanted to be up and looking at things, and if he was asleep, he got annoyed and grumpy if I bugged him.

          • Eddie Sparks

            Yeah, I used to find it frustrating that my children insisted on having individual personalities, rather than conforming to my idea of the best way to parent them. Come to think of it, that still happens….

          • rh1985

            Mine seems to be a night owl already in utero. I guess she takes after me uh oh…

          • Young CC Prof

            Mine does that, too. I’ve heard most fetuses are more active when Mom is lying down. Theory goes that they are soothed by the rocking motions when she walks, so they sleep in the daytime and throw wild dance parties in the nighttime, especially right when you are trying to fall asleep.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Mine likes to wake up when I do and try to keep up with me. Yesterday seemed especially bad, I had my glucose screening test. I was so jittery and he was moving around a ton. Meanwhile I am sure he is going to be a little live wire-which should be interesting : )

          • Dr Kitty

            Eh, my kiddo was hyperactive in utero- non stop night and day- and is a totally chilled out little person.

            The worst thing was that I’m a thin person with not much padding, so from about 32 weeks her movements were easily visible…which I think was quite distracting for my patients and colleagues.

          • prolifefeminist

            My son (now 5 yrs old) was so different from my other kids while in utero. He slept when I slept – as I would “get comfy” in bed at night, I could feel him wiggling around to “get comfy” too, and then he’d sleep. After I’d get up for that middle of the night bathroom run and settle back in bed, he’d wiggle around again for a minute and then settle right back in. It was very sweet. Now, whenever he comes into my room at night (he’s a middle of the night snuggler), he snuggles right up to me, wiggles around a little til he’s comfy, and falls fast asleep. It feels like the same thing as before, only now he’s on the outside.

          • wookie130

            My daughter was CRAZY in utero at night, all night, every night. And from 7 weeks on, this kid has been sleeping through the night!

          • rh1985

            I hope that will happen with mine!

          • Josephine

            How terribly inconsiderate…

          • My son was born with Autism. He would have NONE of my cuddles. Oh, I cried and cried as my SIL and her best friend, the midwife, accused me of being cold and detached and screwing everything up. It wasn’t my fault. I WANTED to be able to hold and caress him and even nurse him. BUT I decided his survival was 100 percent of the utmost importance to me, so I bottle fed him, NOT STARVE him as was told to me by the midwife (the reasoning was that he would be so hungry that he would naturally resolve his latch). Even though I was surrounded by hostile and cruel bullies I did what I had to do. And now he is healthy and happy, and he WILL cuddle with me now during story time or movie time (he’s seven years old now). He just needs to be touched the “right” way . What seems like a soft cuddle, may be a painful squeeze to someone with sensory problems.

          • Kq

            For sure! My bff has a boy with serious sensory issues. It’s all all-out parenting the child you actually have and meeting their actual needs, or should be. And nuts to those bullies! I’ve been down that road (I was once told my son not wanting to be worn was because I’d had a c section and ruined it) and to hell with that kind of noise!

          • About what those women told you: that is CRUEL! Sadly, I have had a gamut of nasty things did/said to me, ESPECIALLY since I myself also have “special needs” as you can imagine. That also makes receiving respect as a pregnant and postpartum mother all the more difficult :o(

          • amazonmom

            Nibbling on the toes was the first thing I did with my daughter, plan on it with my son too!

          • Bombshellrisa

            We may be onto something here-baby toes are the most perfect thing to nibble on. Skin to skin, birthy smells-whatever! Toe biting is where it’s REALLY at when it comes to bonding!!

          • Young CC Prof

            Okay, having a hormonal day. Going to cry now, thinking about nibbling tiny little baby toes!!!

          • Josephine

            Whoa…I had a baby boy due on Valentine’s Day and I never heard that. I’m really glad I didn’t, because I would have hated projectile vomiting on a mostly-innocent person. Does that just make you all kinds of uncomfortable?

          • Bombshellrisa

            It made me extremely uncomfortable. I already love this baby so very much, but he is NOT a substitute for my husband!

          • Amy M

            Yeah, I never liked when people said they were “so in love” with their babies either. I love my children dearly, but I fell in love with my husband, which is a totally different kind of love. “in love” in my mind, refers to romantic love, but maybe that’s just me.

          • Bombshellrisa

            No, I totally understand and I do feel it’s totally different how you fall in love versus the love you feel for a child. I love this baby so much already, but I wouldn’t say I have fallen in love with him. Maybe the problem is there aren’t a lot of adjectives in English for this feeling. “In love” is the closest expression. Although since he’s doomed to be “drugged” by my epidural bathed, hatted and bottle fed by a group of family and close friends, I am sure any love I have him will not be obvious. If I really “loved him”, I would suffer through the pain of an unmedicated birth and endure births smells and bleeding, painful nipples. Judy Sloam Cohain would back me up : )

          • Trixie

            Idk, I think “in love” is a pretty good way to describe the infatuation that parents feel for a new baby, and I’ve used it myself. I didn’t feel I was confusing it with adult romantic love.

          • when assessing the words a mother describes her maternal love for her child, and passing crude judgement when it isn’t a known fact how the mother means her language, it begins to look a lot like embittered nit picking

          • Josephine

            I do find the recent trend of pseudo-sexualizing baby boys to be pretty sickening so it’s a serious pet peeve of mine. The “little stud” shirts, “Heartbreaker” and “Mommy’s new man” etc really turn my stomach. As if this world doesn’t have enough issues already with performing masculinity to someone’s arbitrary standards. Grumble. Why can’t a little boy just be a little boy? Why does he have to be a sexual (and sexually predatorial according to some of those things) man? The Valentine’s Day date thing just goes right into that…but anyway I’ll end my tangent now! *gets off soapbox* Sorry.

          • rh1985

            Yeah I just want my baby cleaned and wrapped up and then I can snuggle her while she is wrapped in her little blanket…

          • Bombshellrisa

            Ok this is the lowest price I have seen it-it’s called a kangaroo care tank (because if kangaroo care is good for preemies, it must REALLY be good for full term babies)
            http://www.hipmommy.com/product-p/vdaa-0491b.htm

          • rh1985

            that looks…. uncomfortable.

          • Josephine

            Couldn’t you just use a stretchy tank top to the same effect? You know, the kind you can get at Target for $12…

          • Trixie

            That’s actually sort of adorable, if impractical compared to just a regular wrap.

          • Susan

            This must be a “thing” because I have had an awful lot of moms wrapping the babies in their sports bra looking tops lately. It’s really quite adorable. I have no issues with skin to skin it’s how I like to do things if welcomed. My issue is with the dogma. Also, the baby friendly curriculum warned us not to wash the baby’s hands… also wearing T shirts is not en vogue anymore… though hats still in where I am working.

          • Lisa Cybergirl

            What would the rationale be for not washing the baby’s hands? Can you wash the rest of him, or only specified parts?

          • Susan

            Yes, we are allowed to wash the rest of the baby but the baby friendly curriculum says not to wash their hands. Yes, I am serious. Here is the probable rationale from “breast crawl . org “. I really don’t think I ever uncurled their little fists to wash their hands anyway. But as a nurse it’s sort of funny to be talking about NOT washing hands!

            ” It appears that amniotic fluid contains some substance that is similar to a certain secretion of the breast, albeit not the milk. The baby uses the taste and smell of amniotic fluid on its hands to make a connection with a certain lipid substance on the nipple related to the amniotic fluid. (Klaus and Kennel, 2001)”

          • Amy M

            That’s for yeast infections, not flu….duh

          • Bombshellrisa

            Vinegar is for yeast infections and you have to cut out all sugars and eat yogurt (or something like that)!!! There are a million variations of juice/kale/whatever concoctions on Pinterest. I am sick of seeing them posted.

          • Young CC Prof

            For a yeast infection, you cut all sugars and starches, especially bread, because bread has yeast in it. (Which is about as closely related to candida as you are to a squid, but whatever.) Then you put a whole, peeled garlic clove inside your vagina. That’ll take care of it for sure. *sarcasm*

          • Vyx

            Saw a homeopathic yeast infection remedy in the store the other day. Ingredients included candida albicans and four other strains of pathogenic yeast diluted 27 times. I was flabbergasted that anyone would put that on an already active yeast infection.

          • Young CC Prof

            27 times? That’s not QUITE beyond Avogadro’s number, but a yeast is a whole lot bigger than a molecule, so you weren’t starting with a mol of yeast to begin with. Presumably there’s nothing in it, unless they let it ferment between dilutions.

            God, homeopaths are weird.

          • Trixie

            omg! And if you try to explain that the yeast in bread is DEAD anyway, they freak out! And they’re all convinced they have chronic systemic yeast infections for months and years. And that all breastfeeding pain is caused by “ductal thrush” which almost certainly doesn’t exist.

          • MichelleJo

            Oh, now I get it. We need to hold the baby like a kangaroo, eat the placenta like a cow, and give birth like a.. what’s it called..? That’s it! An aardvark!

            Why don’t the nut jobs who peddle these things do it like human beings, with humans being the nearest species to them?

        • Awesomemom

          I never did skin to skin with any of my kids, they are all sociopaths… oh wait they are actually perfectly normal..

          • MichelleJo

            I do skin to skin contact. I find myself stroking my baby’s face and head while she is feeding. Pretty much like mothers have been doing since time began I imagine. But then they wouldn’t be inventing anything new. The baby has to be inside the mother’s clothes for it to work. It must be the skin of her chest, no other skin works. And if there are no clothes covering them, all the better.

        • Lisa the Raptor

          My daughter got a tiny bit cold and the nurse placed her skin to skin with me, but my second son got VERY cold and they skipped the skin to skin and placed him in the baby warmer

        • moto_librarian

          I did not do skin-to-skin with either of my sons. I was busy being wheeled to the OR after my eldest was born (and he was subsequently admitted to the NICU), and my second required a bit of help from the NICU team before being placed in my arms as a warm, swaddled, hatted bundle.

      • R T

        I did skin to skin while still in the OR with my son right after my csection. It was amazing to watch him crawl to my breasts to nurse. I didn’t care that they put a hat on him, but I instinctual pulled it off and started kissing his head!

        • Trixie

          I did a modified breast crawl with mine too and it really is amazing. I’m convinced that reclining is the easiest way to get a newborn to latch. I demonstrated the hands free latch for a few nurses and they couldn’t believe it!

    • Trixie

      Remember, if you let the hospital staff rape your baby’s head with a hat after birth, and then you suffer a postpartum hemorrhage, it will be your own fault. This all could have been avoided by staying at home.

  • EllenD

    Avoidable fatal medication errors? What about this error? Order: penicillin IV Med Error: garlic clove PV.

    • She would never admit to using Pit, you know. It took two doses to my thigh to get the bleeding under control, after I had already lost tons of blood; and, her getting in my face and screaming at me (at the top of her lungs) to “stop bleeding!” didn’t scare me enough to “constrict my blood vessels” to stop the PPH. She doesnt even use that 3,4,5 minute PPH protocol she lectures about.

  • Lisa the Raptor

    75 Publications. She does realize that letters written to the editor of your

    local news paper don’t count as publications, right?

    On a side note, when I was a young mom having my first baby , my doula, who worked for us for free, was studying to me a CPM. She told me that she didn’t worry about babies staying in too long because there would be plenty of time to go to the hospital. A baby coming too fast was not a problem because she knew CPR. At the time I nodded my head because it made sense to me. I had never hear of an abruption at this point or any of the hundreds of things not covered by that example. *sigh*

    • KarenJJ

      So does that mean Dr Amy is “back in the game” and a real doctor after all? There are a lot more then 75 blog posts on this website.

    • Lisa Cybergirl

      BLOG POSTS ARE PUBLICATIONS?!!!

      What about Facebook posts? Or reposts, or Likes?

      What about POST IT NOTES?

      • Lisa the Raptor

        75 Facebook posts shared 10 times! That’s like, viral, man!

  • IDHACN

    This woman is the same piece of crap who compares hospital anesthesiologists to beady eyed drug pushers, trying to foist their poison on vulnerable people to make a quick buck. She has no integrity, and she has no shame.

    • amazonmom

      The anesthesiology resident that did my spinal last time was amazingly good looking. He was nervous about doing procedures on an experienced nurse in front of his attending so I got the most humble approach possible. I hope I get that guy back he reminded me of Carlisle Cullen in Twilight. YES I know….I know…

      • theadequatemother

        All anesthesiologists are crazy good looking and sexy. At least we seem to be after the drugs go in….

        • Lisa the Raptor

          Is it that they are good looking, or that your mind turns them into that when you are in pain? I know my first two looked like angels descended from heaven, but the epidural I got before the horrid pain started was not placed by what I would call a good looking person. Not ugly, but he didn’t have a glowing yellow aura either

          • Lisa

            In my next birth plan, the anesthesiologist will be depicted as a unicorn centaur angel surrounded in hearts.

          • Susan

            LOL – my first thought– thinking the anesthesiologist is hot right before he gives you the Versed probably results in the anesthesiologist being quite aware of just how hot you think he is!

          • amazonmom

            I wasn’t in any pain before Dr Cullen did my consent and my spinal. I was getting ready for my C/S for breech. I remember being a bit embarrassed that I thought the guy was kinda hot with my hubby right there! Haha

        • Prolifefeminist

          My anesthesiologist for my last c/s was craaaaaazy hot. Total hotness – rugged and absolutely drop dead gorgeous. I woulda hopped off the table and given him a big old smooch, but he’d just numbed up my legs, so…

        • Siri Dennis

          Recovery nurses are the best, though – I’ve fallen in love with every one of mine. Their face as they push the plunger on the morphine syringe is the epitome of human beauty, kindness and sexiness.

          • Dr Kitty

            I had a very attractive redheaded nurse looking after me in recovery after my recent surgery.
            We talked about the centrepieces for his wedding (civil partnership), once he had given me some morphine. I do hope he wasn’t planning to follow ANY of my suggestion.

          • Siri Dennis

            All my recovery nurses have been female. Hasn’t stopped me declaring my undying love for them!

        • Lisa Cybergirl

          Heee – my SIL is an anesthesiologist. And she is quite good-looking! XD

    • theadequatemother

      Dammit – I knew someone would discover te truth about us eventually…

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    One thing that scares me is that I can see this seeming very plausible to someone not in medicine. Monitors can get tangled? Sure, seems likely. Being already in the right position helps? How could it not? Lower risk of MRSA at home? Trading a big risk of c-section for a small risk of cord prolapse might even sound good if you didn’t understand why c-sections were done and what cord prolapse meant.

    Most people here have some background in medicine or at least truly have educated themselves on the issues. It’s easy for us to pick up on the errors, omissions, and flat out lies. But if you didn’t have some background in medicine the home birth movement might seem all too plausible, as it does to some women. And some of their babies die.

  • Anne

    OMG, the stupidity, it burns. I kind of want to print this out to show our residents and clinical nurse educator for a laugh. We can get a woman out of her room, down the hallway to our OR in less than 2 minutes, let alone lower the head of the fucking bed. Plus with one emergency page, we can get in more OBs, RNs, anesthesia and a NICU team. Pretty sure you can’t get that at home.

  • Guest

    Dr Amy, thank you so much for your website.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    My literal minded side wants to know how the woman in the homebirth picture is going to give birth while wearing tight pants.

    • Mel

      Tight pants are a time-honored way of slowing delivery of the head and reducing tearing.

      *Damn, I’m almost getting as good at bullsh1t as the NCB crowd.*

      • Lisa the Raptor

        Babies born in the caul are blessed with happy lives (Or evil depending on the fantasy movie). Tight pants while birthing is just away of creating this event synthetically.

        • araikwao

          But are tight pants nacheral??

          • Lisa the Raptor

            If they are 100% organic polyester! But you know these NCBers intervene all the time as long as it’s not something a doctor or real midwife would do.

          • Trixie

            Made from 100% recycled, BPA free organic coconut water bottles.

      • Bombshellrisa

        I think you have stumbled onto a new NCB birthing philosophy.

    • PrecipMom

      She’s wearing pants as a way to prolong the erotic experience of birth giving and because she’s trying to be a 10 month mama… 10 month mamas don’t just quit and give birth before 44 weeks!

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        Ok, Mel and PercipMom, you’re starting to scare me.

  • Happy Sheep

    When my first had SD, they slammed the bed down, yanked my legs up to my head so fast I pulled a muscle and a nurse basically jumped on my stomach the SECOND the OB said “dystocia”. My bp cuff, efm, and epidural lines weren’t even considered. She is full of garbage.
    My second had SD as well, she directed the nurses to shift my position and out he came.
    I am grateful every day that I was in the hospital with competent care.

    • Lisa the Raptor

      I know this was very serious but your description made me think of something that should be in a Ben Stiller movie. Mom’s legs flying up while a nurse pounces on the belly and baby shoots out. It made me giggle a bit.

  • OBPI Mama

    Ugh. this pisses me off to put it nicely. My shoulder dystocia was definitely not easier to deal with when it happened at home. I’ve talked to other moms who’ve experienced shoulder dystocia at the hospital and they have all spoke of immediate action by nurses applying pressure and so on. Want to know what my midwife had me do while we lost minutes of oxygen? She had me roll off the bed and lean against a dresser… sounds easy enough at first, but then you have to think that they had already lost my son’s heartbeat and his head was already trapped. And I had to heave myself off a bed (my mattress was actually on the floor) to stand up and try to squat. No applying pressure, just the midwife reaching and pulling and tailbone breaking and me tearing to my a$$, when finally by the grace of God (and my tailbone breaking) my son became free. And while I bled, she worked on him to get him going again. After he stabilized, we noticed his arm was limp and thus began our journey into the world of surgeries, therapies, and limited function. Yes, that all sounds much easier than my friend’s shoulder dystocia in the hospital last month which was resolved quickly and safely… her one minor complaint? Her pelvis is sore.

    That midwife should be ashamed of herself!

    • mollyb

      I’m sorry that happened to you and your son. I remember when I found out that my younger daughter was at high risk for SD. I discussed the options with my doctor and she said she had an SD just the previous week. She said she got the words “We’ve got should–” and before she could even finish, the room was filled with nurses and doctors, all trained and at the ready to move as a team and assist. Just like with a homebirth! I ended up opting for a c-section anyways.

    • Guesteleh

      I’m so sorry. That’s horrible. And it’s got me thinking again of the woman who wrote for Salon about her PTSD and how convinced she is that it’s all because of the interventions.

    • Lisa the Raptor

      That is horrible. I’m so sorry.

  • Rochester mama

    I decided no epidural and the only thing I had attached to me was a band around my belly that didn’t have a cord to it and a hep lock in case an IV was needed. The NCBers have such a narrow view of what is offered in the way of non medicated birth in a hospital.

    • Elizabeth A

      I had the full monty with my son – epidural, BP cuff, IV line, wired heart rate and contraction monitors. I didn’t have issues with shoulder dysto – once that kid was out he was out – but it was a complicated birth. There was no trouble with tangling lines that I recall.

  • Wtf a blood pressure cuff and IV’s are in your upper extremities. Why would they have to lose minutes messing around with that to get to someone’s vagina?

  • PrecipMom

    And this stuff can sound very plausible to someone without training, who doesn’t understand *why* this is wrong. The narrative has internal coherence. And it’s a complete bald faced lie, but it’s incomprehensible to the average home birth mom that any midwife would ever tell her something that was outright false in this way.

    • Amy M

      But most people, even those wo/any medical knowledge or training, (hence the 1-2% rate of homebirths in the US), will still say: “Hmmm, well there’s no OR in my house should an emergency arise, and neither are there any pain-relief drugs should I want them. That’s a problem.” Mostly its the already brainwashed NCB crowd who are going to even see that and nod along with it. I doubt she’ll really reach a new audience and convince too many people that home birth is a good idea. The video is on YouTube right? So the only way to stumble across it is if you are searching for “homebirth” and it might come up, or “homebirth safety.” Anyone who knows that woman’s name is already in that community, and fence sitters will look at multiple sources. Could it convince a fence sitter? I suppose it could, but that would be in combination with all the other bs websites she’s already found. My impression is that the fence-sitters have to find this site, (or some equivalent) or have to have or see a disaster/near miss to fall away from NCB.

      • Elizabeth A

        I don’t think fence sitters necessarily look at multiple sources, and I think some people are deeply on Cohain’s side, and will “helpfully” link this video to reassure friends and family about the safety of homebirth. So yes, this really can influence people, despite being composed almost entirely of bullshit.

        • Amy M

          Ok, I’ll accept that I am wrong. I suppose my post was just what I am HOPING is the case.

          • araikwao

            I know, i *want* you to be right..

      • PrecipMom

        It gets spread around in non-home birth circles because home birthers are (generally) kind of evangelical. They want to “spread the good news” about how birth is safe and awesome.

        The OR argument works only if you think that the baseline rate of complication is the same for home vs hospital. If you think that all the “fiddling” for lack of a better term potentially causes harm and a greater rate of problems, it’s going to still ring true. A home birth mom is more inclined probably to think “gee thanks for pulling out all the stops to fix the problem that you caused by messing around with things in the first place” particularly when you’re talking about stuff like induction for reasons like post dates, low fluid, etc.

        The argument about shoulder dystocia in the video is near identical to what my friend heard when she spoke to a CNM and a CPM about home birth after shoulder dystocia. Basically, they sold it as that 1. the medical professionals almost certainly made this problem worse and 2. this horrible thing that traumatized both her and her husband? It might never have happened in the first place if she had been at home first. Now make all of that stuff come from someone who is selling herself and whom the people you know who used her are billing her as your new, smarter, BFF who will help you when you feel overwhelmed and maybe someday her confidence and awesomeness will rub off on you too. The midwife starts to become almost like your “super ego” in a sense, where you start substituting her judgment for yours because she’s just that awesome and you get to participate in her awesomeness by parroting her advice.

        And yes, there are only certain subgroups of people who are going to be vulnerable to this sort of thing, but those people may have absolutely no idea what they’re getting into. For some people, the fact that this stuff is coming from a friend you trust means that fact checking feels like saying you don’t trust your friend.

        • araikwao

          That is a really insightful analysis, thanks

          • PrecipMom

            You’re welcome. I really think this does come down in many cases to “my friend would never lie to me, and the story sounds plausible on face value, and my friend would never encourage me to to something that was unsafe. They would never encourage me to do something where my baby might die, therefore this has to be safe.”

            You’ve still got to get at the reasons why people are at risk of falling prey to this ideology. A home birth mom is always getting something in addition to “medical care.” She might be getting friendship and a sense of belonging when she is lonely. She might be getting someone on her side saying that she has power when she feels powerless. She might be getting people telling her that this is *her* baby and birth when she feels like her right to be a mother is undermined or belittled. But for the majority of people that I have encountered, the enmeshed relationship with the midwife and with generally a “gateway friend” makes is extremely difficult to question anything that has a logical consistency to it. The midwife says this is so, so if I follow the “rules” I am and always will be safe. At least until someone is harmed, but even then the mind games that get played on the mother in these scenarios are incredibly complex.

          • IMO the standard of NCB indoctrination tends to mirror cult indoctrination too nicely to dismiss. I say this as a cult survivor.

          • PrecipMom

            As a former home birth mom, I agree wholeheartedly.

          • Its something I want to blog about myself, but I find I’m so emotional about it that I have to step back (so the post just keeps festering). Especially given the exceptionally high number (per my unscientific observations) of cults that *involve* homebirth.

            In fact, my former cult leader/partner (because a cult doesn’t actually have to be a group, it can be 1 on 1 although it’s usually categorized as “cultic domestic abuse”) had me training to be a Lay Midwife as part of my “mission.”

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            It makes sense really. If you control all the births of a person or persons that gives you a lot of power.

          • Certified Hamster Midwife

            Just entering the hospital system to give birth means that you’re going to encounter people who are trained to spot abuse. Can’t risk that.

          • PrecipMom

            Kumquat, do you have any thoughts about essentially facilitating exit from NCB? It’s something I’ve been giving thought to (I still have friends who are NCB) and I’ve been drawing a blank.

          • I wish I did. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to change a lightbulb that isn’t ready to change, so to speak. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to help several people out of cults – mainly later victims of the same guy that brainwashed me – but only by relentlessly sharing my story, and stories like mine.

            I think people like TheAdequateMother and Attidude Devant here are very strong allies in helping “deprogram” people, and these boards have been remarkable in their support for people exiting NCB philosophy.

            As for actually helping a lightbulb see the light (to continue a weak but workable metaphor), it’s all about when the first crack in their own beliefs form. Not that anyone should pounce on some mom who’s just a liiiitle uncertain – that is more likely to drive them back into the fold. I guess the accepting, open stories (like all our brave HurtByHomebirth families) are the strongest bet.

            Again, this is just from my personal experience and the observations/connections I’ve made in the six years I’ve been out. I truly wish there was more that could be done – but it’s high stakes. Leaving ANY cult means cutting ties with and being shunned by people you thought were your closest friends. And there is MORE than ample evidence that this will happen when you exit NCB ideology. Hell, I wasn’t even drinking that Kool-aid and ended up blacklisted by what I thought were my close friends.

            It’s painful to watch brainwashing. Cults and NCB strike during vulnerable times – and when is a woman more vulnerable than pregnancy?

            Sorry, rambling, and I don’t know how cohesive this post is. But anyone who’s interested in my own cult experience can visit my blog – I’ve moved the cult-specific stuff to kqcrazytrain.wordpress.com

          • Karen in SC

            Maybe when an NCBer posts here, we all should just say “thank you for sharing your beliefs. you are welcome to stick around and read more.” And leave it at that so none feel ganged up on or dismissed out of hand.

          • It’s a nice idea, but given that so many of them come in guns blazing, I think it’s a lot more dangerous to leave the misinformation uncorrected. I have noticed that people often become *extremely* zealous shortly before they abandon a belief system. I’m stepping away from cults on that and referring to any deeply held belief system – religion, veganism, a political ideology, etc. Doubt is scary, and those small doubts can make people cling all the tighter. But if the seeds of doubt take root, that zealotry burns out.

          • Karen in SC

            Good point.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            There is definitely some kind of weird mind games going on with the midwives.

          • Sullivan ThePoop

            See, I still would have a problem with that even if I wanted to believe it was true. I have this way of thinking that cannot abide missing puzzle pieces or ones that don’t fit at all. Nothing could convince me that the horrible mortality rates when all births were homebirths has nothing to do with a lack of medical care. Now you can even look at some eastern European countries that have decent health care and are not starving but have a lack of good maternity services and in turn concerning mortality rates associated with birth. Then there are the studies from the Netherlands and England that show homebirths increase the risk of the newborn dying.

            Maybe hospital birth isn’t perfect and there could be some small truth to greater maternal morbidity, but the risk to the infant at homebirth is real and pronounced. So, that alone makes hospital birth preferable and hopefully with time and effort everyone can be happy. The hospitals try very hard to accommodate everyone.

          • PrecipMom

            And I tend to be more of that attitude too, which is probably why I eventually had the lightbulb moment and did get out of NCB. For me, Liz P’s story was the crack in the armor, because nothing that mom did could in any way have been seen as “wrong” by any rational person and no one in Liz’s home birth community was out for this woman’s license. Instead, they were dumping on Liz. It was precisely the opposite of what I expected to happen in a clear case of midwifery negligence. And with the studies from England and the Netherlands, you’re assuming that these moms are seeing anything other than the party line retread of the study.

            But a lot of people are more content to bury their heads and not investigate things that don’t make sense. A lot of people probably have too much to lose by seeing the lie. It’s easier to use the credibility of another person as a proxy for “doing your research” than it is to actually slog through the 2005 CPM study, especially when that other person seems so nice and is telling you what you psychologically need to hear.

          • Young CC Prof

            You have to be pretty determined to actually find that data, and quite knowledgeable to sort out infant mortality vs perinatal mortality. The naturalists are too busy crowing about how terrible US neonatal mortality rates are and how wonderful outcomes in the Netherlands are.

            Now, the general idea that even upper-class women used to die in childbirth all the darned time? THAT should be flipping obvious to anyone who’s even read the classics.

          • annabel

            This is VERY true – any single story my NCB friend hears about a positive outcome in hospital in an emergency just gets put down to “well if they had been at HOME or not intefered with, it wouldn’t be an emergency in the FIRST place!” She honestly, truly believes that doctors cause problems so that they can then swoop in and save the day and get “paid more” despite the fact that MEDICARE covers birth in Aus and Obs reg’s etc dont get paid more for interventions.

          • araikwao

            Ugh, I wonder why she believes that?! Too much time reading the rubbish spouted by American NCB Google Uni graduates? It’s not how our system works!!

          • Young CC Prof

            Kind of like the Americans who say, “Thalidomide happened, therefore prescription drugs are all evil and dangerous.” They seem unaware that Thalidomide was never approved for sale in the US, because the FDA said they wanted more safety data. (They and the manufacturers discussed the matter at length, until several months after approval elsewhere, when the FDA got all the data they needed.)

            The dogmatic naturalists got their talking points, they don’t need to know why their talking points make no actual sense. Even if the why involves basic economic or historical fact, rather than hard things like science.

          • Dr Kitty

            Thalidomide is an excellent medication for non-pregnant people with Leprosy and Multiple Myeloma, and may be an effective treatment for cutaneous lupus, some other cancers and some HIV related problems.

            http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/thalidomide/HQ01507

            Likewise Roaccutane, Warfarin, Lithium, ACE inhibitors and Methotrexate can have horrible effects on a foetus, but can have very positive effects on the intended patient.

            Just because a medication is not safe in pregnancy doesn’t make it a “bad drug”- it just means it should not have been given to pregnant women without extensive testing.

          • Young CC Prof

            That’s right, Thalidomide did eventually get re-purposed as a useful chemo agent.

      • AlisonCummins

        Wren’s dad was a fence-sitter and was taken in pretty much the way PrecipMom says.
        http://hurtbyhomebirth.blogspot.ca/2011/03/wrens-story-on-1st-anniversary-of-his.html

        “My wife had gotten interested in home birth partly through seeing “The Business of Being Born” and because she didn’t like going to hospitals. She really just liked the comfort of being at home. I was skeptical about the risks at first, but after we went to a couple different providers around Los Angeles, I came up with a mental model that made me comfortable with the idea: home births were like whole foods!

        “My feeling about whole foods has always been that the food there is actually no better than your average grocery store, but it’s no worse, and if rich people want to waste a little dough on a fun grocery experience, well, it’s their money.

        “The cost of home births surprised me… I had assumed they were cheaper than going to a hospital, but they were far more expensive ($5,200 and they don’t take insurance). After reading some study I was finally convinced that as long as: A. we were low risk, B. we got really good midwives. and C. we were really close to a hospital (we live 1 mile from a great one), having a home birth was as safe as a hospital birth. Not more safe, but as safe. And more expensive. But if you could afford it and wanted to, no reason not to.

        “As I mentioned before, we even hedged our bets and went to all our regular checkups with the doctors as well. We even told them about our plan to do a home birth, and though they didn’t recommend it, they never really told us why. Now I can tell them.”

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      I think the real problem is that this chick is so incompetent and ignorant that she has no idea how ridiculous her ideas and opinions are.

  • Young CC Prof

    PPH 5% hospital vs 2% home? Is that made up or based on an actual count? If it is, might I suggest that homebirth attendants are working off a slightly different definition of PPH, like near-death, as opposed to any abnormal bleeding?

    Also, where did she find a database of home births large enough to establish a 0.02% risk of anything? You’d need about 10,000 births to even begin to see that, and 100,000 to do it with any degree of precision.

    I also particularly love the way she adds everything from column A and compares it to the smallest item in column B. And doesn’t mention how many degree 3-4 tears occur at home, because obviously that’s never happened. (If the midwife can’t diagnose it, it didn’t happen, right?)

    • Mel

      I couldn’t seem mentally figure out how she teased out “Avoidable” vs. “Non-avoidable” from data tables and studies. It all worked out when I realized I was using logic again. (Bad, Melinda!)

      In the NCB world, all problems that happen to women went to the hospital must be avoidable while anything that happened at home must by definition be unavoidable.

      Oddly enough, I think the opposite is true.

    • araikwao

      The PPH thing has featured on a previous post, I think

    • moto_librarian

      Since a lot of homebirth midwives can’t seem to assess cervical dilation accurately, what are the odds of them actually being able to diagnose a pph properly? Do you think that they actually weigh the linens, pads, etc. to help determine how much blood volume was lost? I sincerely doubt it.

  • Trixie

    Is it a coincidence that you used the word “mince” right after the sentence about “garlic”? Nicely done.

    • AL

      LOL. Thanks for that laugh.

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    So, she knows how to COMPLETELY eliminate the risk of cord prolapse? When is she going to get her Nobel Prize?

  • Dr Kitty

    Forget about lowering the bed, in a hospital you climb on the bed, straddle the woman and apply suprapubic pressure that way if you have to!

  • Amy M

    Man, she was SOOOO right about all those wires in the hospital being tangled up. The nurses and doctors tripped so many times as they walked in and out of the room, we finally decided to set up a double dutch tournament. The intern won. I’m totally making that up, of course the wires weren’t all tangled, that doesn’t make any sense….if the wires are so short that women are “forced to be strapped to the bed flat on their backs”, then they aren’t long enough to get all tangled.

    Also, the part where she said the EFM confuses the mother’s and the fetal heartbeat? What? I thought that, at least if you know how to read that thing, it would be almost impossible to confuse those on a machine. Using a fetoscope however, seems to lead to a lot more of the ol’ “well the heartbeat was really strong until the baby was born without one. I have no idea what happened!” Idiot.

    • amazonmom

      Geez, do these homebirthers think hospital staff are dumber than sticks? We just accept whatever beat shows up on the strip as the baby’s without question? Pfffft. Whatever.

    • Rabbit

      The EFM can certainly start picking up mom’s heart rate instead of baby’s, but when that happened with my daughter’s birth, the nurses came flying into the room. My heart rate was substantially slower than baby’s, and the change obviously concerned my care providers. I don’t know how a competent provider would miss the switch if they were paying attention to the EFM at all.

  • Burgundy

    Sometimes I wondered if one day Dr Amy would run out material to write about NCB… then I saw this video today. This along provided enough stupidity for the next 100 years

  • Ra

    This is the most ridiculous thing I have seen in a long time. I’d like to see a video of how she intends to deal with shoulder dystocia in a pool of water.
    Most hospital nurses are pretty OCD about keeping lines and tubes un-tangled. So, I see no reason why they would be tangled in the first place. But if they were, no one cares at that point. It would not impede intervention for shoulder dystocia. You would just leave the jumbled mess and get to work on more important things (like saving brain cells!).
    The beds in the hospital system I am familiar with have a “panic” lever on the bottom that you can hit with your foot. In a matter of seconds, the bed goes completely flat. It’s pretty useful in a shoulder dystocia situation.
    On the Elder Midwives page yestreday, one of the midwives was somewhat bragging about how she has never studied any subjects besides midwifery. I wonder if Judy is in the same boat.

  • Guest

    Excuse me, I don’t mean to interrupt … but how do I get this stupid cord around my baby’s neck? I’ve been trying for weeks. Do I turn around lots? Jumprope maybe? Swim with dolphins, what? I can’t live with the guilt of not trying to give my baby the best possible outcome. Thanks in advance. xoxox

    • Trixie

      Spinning Babies! Obviously….

    • Wren

      My daughter claims she was doing gymnastics and had a dance party in my tummy. Whatever it was, it sure worked. The cord was wrapped around her neck almost 3 full times.

  • Elizabeth A

    Complete placental abruption has NEVER been documented with planned, low-risk homebirth? Is that real, or is it that her review of the documentation sucked?

    So far as I can tell, this woman just made up a bunch of her “statistics”. Like cord around the neck being associated with better newborn outcomes.

    • Amy M

      Well just because no one wrote it down doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, you know? Kinda like the discussion from yesterday, where uterine rupture never occurs because that one midwife has never seen it.

      • Burgundy

        That is if the midwife can even recognize the so-called rupture. Otherwise, it is variation of norm.

    • Dr Kitty

      Liz P’s daughter Aquila died from a placental abruption which happened at home.

      So, apparently THAT never happened.

      • Elizabeth A

        I thought about posting that, but I was in a post-Sleepy Hollow viewing state and couldn’t make it not snarky.

  • It’s a sad situation – and I think a good portion of the blame rests with the wholesale outsourcing of childbirth education to those who whole-heartedly believe that good births are intervention free and for the life of themselves can’t understand that it’s not the lack of intervention that caused the good birth. Correlation and causation are hard concepts for these people. Why can’t they walk a mile in the shoes of a parent that suffered as a result of a lack of intervention? Or a mile in the shoes of a parent who has been left struggling to accept and understand what happened – and feel a tremendous amount of failure because things unfolded differently?
    We could do so much to make the situation better – there are so many myths and misconceptions.