Ruth responds … by recycling classic homebirth myths and adding her own ignorance

expression -  Ignorance is bliss - written on a school blackboar

Ruth Fowler Iorio is shocked, shocked that anyone could question the safety of her near-death homebirth experience. All she did was nearly exsanguinate. What’s the big deal?

Ruth is like the drunk driver who claims that drunk driving is perfectly safe because she survived her own spectacular crash with just a few blood transfusions and a 2 day hospital stay. She exhibits approximately the same level of insight of that drunk driver.

Ruth parachuted into an awesome homebirth discussion (hosted by Iola Kostrezewski) to offer typical homebirth nonsense and flounced off before she could be question on it. It instructive to look at what she wrote and address the myriad mistruths, half truths and lies she invoked.

Here’s what Ruth had to say:

Myth #1 Midwives in other countries have fantastic outcomes.

…There’s no studies on the safety of home birth in the US, nor can we compare the system here with Europe, disrupted by the medical industry and disabled by legislation and quackery which limits midwives from performing necessary procedures to the best of their ability.

Ruth is apparently unaware that the midwives in other parts of the world have nothing to brag about. Dutch midwives caring for low risk women (home or hospital) have a HIGHER rate of perinatal death than Dutch obstetricians caring for HIGH risk women.

UK midwives were recently chastised for putting the lives of babies and mothers at risk, and then attempting to cover up the resulting deaths.

Myth #2 Obstetricians are motivated by money but homebirth midwives work for free.

The system here is punitive and money based, and midwives are demonized by the medical industry because they do not earn money for insurance companies or hospitals, and they do not rush women into hospital for c sections in order to increase their profits. Women are profit here. Birth is profit. Not all obgyns work on this basis, but their training is geared towards limiting liability and earning money.

There is copious evidence that salaried obstetricians have intervention and C-section rates no different than those who are compensated on the basis of procedures. Moreover, homebirth represents a potential loss of obstetric income for obstetricians of 1/2% (and, of course, no threat to GYN income). On the other hand it represents 100% of the income homebirth midwives, who charge thousands of dollars to attend a birth. You tell me who has a greater financial motivation to lie about the death rates at homebirth.

Myth #3 High infant mortality is an indictment of obstetric practice.

Remove the profit motive from medicine and put midwifery care back into birthing, offering the same kind of care as Europe, and the US will see a marked improvement in its frankly shocking infant and maternal mortality rates, and the ridiculous rates of unnecessary medical interventions.

Typical of most homebirth advocates, Ruth is clueless that infant mortality (death from birth to one YEAR of age) is a measure of pediatric care, not obstetric care. The correct measure of obstetric care is perinatal mortality (late stillbirths + deaths to age one month). According to the World Health Organization, the US has one of the lowest perinatal mortality rates in the world.

Ruth also appears to be clueless about what happened to her.

And no, I didn’t nearly die. Placenta accreta is not detectable before birth and it’s a simple malfunctioning of ones body.

Sigh; so much misinformation, so few words! Ruth, you didn’t have a placenta accreta. You had a retained placenta. There’s a world of difference.

A retained placenta is just a placenta that doesn’t come away from the wall of the uterus. It often leads to postpartum hemorrhage because postpartum bleeding stops when uterine contractions close down the blood vessels, not by clotting. If the uterus can’t contract because the placenta is in the way, the bleeding can approach the flow of a faucet, resulting in the death of the mother. In 3rd world countries, this is a major cause of death.

The placenta is not a part of the mother’s body and has nothing to do with the mother’s body “malfunctioning.”

Placenta accreta, in contrast, is an obstetric disaster of the first order. Placenta accreta occurs when the placenta grows INTO the uterine lining, instead of remaining separate from the mother’s body. Placenta accreta CAN be detected before birth by ultrasound, although that does not always occur. Placenta accreta often results in an immediate C-section because that is the only way to stop the bleeding. Most accreta patients wind up in the ICU, and a few blood transfusions is the least of the interventions they experience. Women with placenta accreta can and do die.

But blood transfusions are nothing to scoff at, Ruth. They don’t give blood out to anyone who walks in the door, ONLY to people in danger of dying without it.

Ruth does nail the flounce, however.

Now i am off to bed. Amy, retrain. Your knowledge is from 1985 and you sound like Nestle sponsor you. Even my dad as a GP is more up to date with OBGYN practices and current medical studies than you.

If Ruth wants to advertise naked pictures across the internet to promote herself and her homebirth, that’s her business. But when she starts spreading misinformation about the safety of homebirth in general, and the “safety” of her own near-death experience in particular that’s my business.

Ruth nearly killed herself; those who try to copy her risk not only their own lives, but the lives of their babies, too. They DESERVE to know the truth, not the made up rationalizations of a narcissist desperate for social media celebrity.

309 Responses to “Ruth responds … by recycling classic homebirth myths and adding her own ignorance”

  1. February 12, 2014 at 2:32 am #

    Please all the peoples do not make a fake post on intensely debate.This is for all of you….

  2. The Bofa on the Sofa
    January 17, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    I saw a great billboard today. It says,

    “‘It won’t happen to us’ is not an emergency plan”

    It made me think about the MW approach.

  3. Guest
    January 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    “Placenta accreta is not detectable before birth and it’s a simple malfunctioning of ones body.” <—- Wait. You don't mean that your body made a mistake do you? That it was not able to deliver the baby and placenta it made without medical intervention? That's so bizarre.

    • AlisonCummins
      January 14, 2014 at 5:58 am #

      I’ve been tring to figure out what she meant by that and I think she means that it wasn’t her fault. It wasn’t because she wasn’t strong-minded or because she had an epidural or even because she was at home, it just was. So stop criticizing her already.

      • Dr Kitty
        January 14, 2014 at 7:11 am #

        Most illness and disease is due to “simple malfunctioning of one’s body”.

        Only in NCB world is a moral failng implied if you suffer some sort of medical complication.

        Judging, blaming and criticising sick people simply for being sick really ISN’T the integral part of medicine NCB seems to believe it to be.

        • AlisonCummins
          January 14, 2014 at 8:06 am #

          The “stop criticizing her already” was meant to be part of Ruth’s thought process, not mine. I’ll edit.

  4. Guest
    January 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    I am so, so tired of the argument that OBs only care about “limiting liability” and thus they do C-sections. I happen to think that most OBs care deeply about women’s and babies’ health. I think when they do a C-section, they are concerned about a safe outcome for the mother or the infant. But even if you assume that they are all totally only out for their own interests, that still leads to the conclusion that C-sections are medically indicated. No one sues for a good outcome. So if they are concerned about avoiding a lawsuit, then that means they are concerned about a bad outcome without the C-section. Either way – whether they want to avoid a bad outcome because they care, or they want to avoid a bad outcome so they don’t get sued – they’re doing the C-section to ensure everyone comes through the birth safely.

    • Daleth
      February 6, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

      Daleth here–can’t figure out how to log in.
      Here’s what’s crazy about people who criticize doctors for being “concerned about liability,” or who criticize our system for making it harder for midwives to handle high-risk births due to “concerns about liability”:

      In the medical context, “LIABILITY” MEANS “SOMEONE GETTING HURT OR KILLED.” Think about it: if mom and baby are both fine, there’s nothing for the doctor or midwife to be liable for, no injury for malpractice insurance to pay money for.

      So I certainly hope OB’s and midwives are concerned about liability! And if they say “For liability reasons I can’t recommend doing X or I have to recommend doing Y,” it means “I think you and/or your baby might get HURT OR KILLED if you do X or don’t do Y.” That’s a message worth listening to!

  5. Kathleen Neely
    January 13, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    I really have nothing g more to say to the trolls about modeesty, child porn, or any other of your nonsense, except this, grow up.

  6. Busbus
    January 13, 2014 at 10:16 am #

    I actually had a lot of friends when I was younger that Ruth Fowler reminds me of. They were part of the left-wing/anarchist scene; a lot of them were from “good families” and struggled mightily with their privilege (while selectively making use of it, as well – in fact, it was the rich kids who threw themselves into the “anarchist lifestyle” with special abandon, probably because they knew they would always have a ticket back). They lived in occupied houses, vans, or moved around; understood themselves as radical; there were lots of drugs etc. Lots of angst. Often very poor self-care skills. Some of them eventually defined this as a “phase” and went back to a more “bourgeois” lifestyle after a few years. Some of them eventually went off the deep end, mainly related to drugs, sometimes exacerbated by really bad family dynamics in their families of origin.
    Despite the obvious self-absorption of all of this, I can’t help but have a soft spot for Ruth Fowler and those that she reminds me of. Also, being from Europe myself (thought not from GB), I am not disturbed by the naked pictures and take the foul language much less seriously – I think, those two things that so many posters here take issue with are partially due to different cultural meanings assigned to nakedness/modesty and proper language.

    Anyway, after reading Ruth Fowler’s blog for a while, it made me sad to think that her decision to save money and hire a midwife was probably one of the most self-caring and responsible things she did to prepare for this baby. I don’t even think that she really fits the stereotype of a home birth loon – somewhere, she writes, “Let them have their mommy message boards and fight it out over the internet and feel inferior because they don’t want to breastfeed and superior because they gave birth without a fucking aspirin.” I think this underlying attitude is also behind her nonchalance regarding the Whiskey Sour and the fentanyl she got in the hospital – ie, I think it’s not so much that she is an NCB hypocrite as that NCB actually doesn’t really reflect who she is or what she believes. My personal assessment is that she got sucked into the left-wing/alternative/NCB-vortex and accepted their assertions that having a home birth and eschewing proper medical care was the feminist choice and the only choice for an “empowered” critical thinker. That’s what the NCB movement has so successfully done – it has branded itself as the critical, independent, empowered, alternative choice, to the extent that many women who define themselves that way conclude without much thought that NCB is the logical choice for them. Heck, in some ways that’s kind of what I thought before I realized how wrong I was.

    Btw, I don’t mean to defend all Ruth Fowler said – there are lots of things she wrote on her blog that I take issue with, and I (obviously :-)) respect Dr. Amy, and Fowler’s comments were … umm… seriously uncalled for and dumb. I also think it’s quite unlikely that Ruth Fowler would change her opinion a mere three weeks after her home birth and after having taken such a public stance in favor of it. I agree with Dr. Amy when she writes that these discussions are really more for the benefit of others who are reading here and not Fowler herself. I just also can’t help but wish for Fowler’s sake and her baby’s sake that she eventually gets to a good place, especially since her life seems to kind of tenuously tether over the brink.

    • Karen in SC
      January 13, 2014 at 10:58 am #

      Re: saving money. Doesn’t she qualify for MediCal? I’ve heard it’s decent enough coverage but don’t know many details.

      In retrospect, that $4500 could have flown her back to the UK for free care. Presuming she had friends or relatives to put her up for a month or so, she’d have a lot left over.

      • Busbus
        January 13, 2014 at 11:10 am #

        I think somewhere on the blog she mentions that they were trying to get insurance coverage for the home birth but weren’t sure yet if it would work out. She also mentioned that her hospital bills were $23,000, but doesn’t say if she has insurance coverage for those.
        I don’t know about GB, but where I am from, I couldn’t go back just to get medical care. In order to qualify, I would have to be insured with the state, which is tied to either employment or studying (only under certain circumstances) or unemployment benefits (which I’d would have to apply for), or self-insurance for which I’d need to establish a residence. Either way, it would be a lengthy process, and if you lie about something (residence, for example) your liable to pay it back. Obviously, they don’t look fondly upon coming into the country just to get medical care. I could get insured if I really wanted to move back, but I don’t see it working for just a couple months’ stay.

        • Dr Kitty
          January 13, 2014 at 11:43 am #

          She’d qualify for free NHS maternity care.

          UK: Free maternity care for ALL (no qualifiers).
          Free contraception, TB and HIV/Aids care for all (no qualifiers).
          Free medical care for people who are ordinarily resident and have a right to live in the UK.
          Not particularly good debt collection systems for those who AREN’T entitled to free care, so quite a lot of people walk away from their debts.

    • Dr Kitty
      January 13, 2014 at 11:13 am #

      Obligatory Common People reference.
      “Watching roaches climb the wall, if you called your dad he could stop it all…”

      I really like your take on it Busbus.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 13, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

        I;ve never heard of “Common People,” but the words to the song remind me of an Obligatory Statler Brothers reference

        “Counting flowers on the wall
        That don’t bother me at all
        Playing solitaire ’til dawn
        With a deck of 51

        Smoking cigarettes and
        Watching Captain Kangaroo
        Now don’t tell me
        There’s nothing to do”

        It doesn’t have anything to do with the topic, but hey, it’s the Statler Brothers.

        Next time I do some lyrics to “When the Yankees Came Home” or “Don’t Wait on Me”

        • Dr Kitty
          January 14, 2014 at 6:14 am #

          Bofa, you need to expand your knowledge of mid 1990s Brit pop and Pulp in particular.

          Jarvis Cocker writes excellent songs.
          f.e.e.l.i.n.g.c.a.l.l.e.d.l.o.v.e is a particular favourite of mine.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 14, 2014 at 8:27 am #

            1990s brit pop? Huh? that doesn’t even compute….

            Are you speaking in some sort of code?

    • Kathleen Neely
      January 14, 2014 at 11:56 pm #

      Well put dear…

  7. Carolina
    January 13, 2014 at 10:05 am #

    I use the drunk driving analogy quite frequently. I once drove absolutely hammered – about fifteen miles on the freeway. I didn’t realize how drunk I was until I got out of the car in my garage and realized I could barely walk. I hold that up as an example of just because something bad didn’t happen during a dangerous activity, doesn’t mean it’s a safe, good idea.
    *Note: I’m not proud of this incident AT ALL. It scared the hell out of me and led me to dramatically scale my booze consumption and institute a new rule of no driving if I have more than one drink.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      January 13, 2014 at 10:13 am #

      Good for you for learning something from your experience and changing your behavior to increase your safety and the safety of those around you!

  8. stacey
    January 13, 2014 at 3:07 am #

    I do wonder if they also took all that blood she got transfused for granted? I remember being so amazed that blood was available like that, and promised to donate to “replace” any I took. I am sure that concept is foreign to these people, who probably think others give blood just for their use.

    And transfusions are no joke. You have to be really bad off to get one, they don’t just pass them out willy nilly. I cannot fathom thinking that getting BAGS of someone else’s blood, and all the other issues, was just fine because she had a HB and didn’t die. UGH.

    • Anj Fabian
      January 13, 2014 at 6:00 am #

      She should be doubly grateful because the odds are good she’s not eligible to donate under current Red Cross rules.

      • Karen in SC
        January 13, 2014 at 8:23 am #

        As I posted elsewhere, she should be using social media to appeal for blood donations in appreciation for having it available to save her life.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        January 13, 2014 at 9:05 am #

        She’s not, being from Britain, unless she moved to the US before the 1990s. Mad cow disease.

        • Trixie
          January 13, 2014 at 10:03 am #

          There’s several more reasons than that, from what she writes in her blog.

  9. Zornorph
    January 12, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

    i dislike this woman a little more after seeing she took the time from tweeting about her near-death homebirth to bash Ariel Sharon.

    • ClamShoes
      January 12, 2014 at 11:58 pm #

      Does criticising Ariel Sharon make you a bad person?

      • Zornorph
        January 12, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

        Since he just died, yeah, kind of.

        • Alicia
          January 13, 2014 at 12:50 am #

          Death doesn’t make someone immune from criticism. It’s sad that he died, but everyone dies.

          • Antigonos CNM
            January 13, 2014 at 1:27 am #

            I’m glad I don’t Tweet. But, vis-a-vis Arik, z”l, if she is as well-informed about him as she is about homebirth, I wouldn’t put any credence in any opinion she might have about him, as it is sure to be based completely on ignorance.
            Sharon was no saint; but he wasn’t the Devil, either. He was an extremely complex person who inspired very strong feelings. Even though he had been in a vegetative state for 8 years, he will now be badly missed in Israel.

          • ClamShoes
            January 13, 2014 at 5:48 am #

            “I wouldn’t put any credence in any opinion she might have about him, as it is sure to be based completely on ignorance.”

            So you don’t actually know her opinion on him?
            I don’t care one way or the other about Sharon BTW, but this is very sloppy thinking.

          • Mom2Many
            January 13, 2014 at 7:53 am #

            You forgot a key piece there, Clam….the piece that made what was said perfectly acceptable. What was said is that IF her knowledge on Sharon is as ‘researched’ as her knowledge on homebirth….THEN there is no need to put any credence in her opinion. Kinda helps to read the entire phrase in this case.
            Also, speaking ill of the dead, particularly before they are even buried, is disrespectful not just to the deceased person, but also to those who are left behind and are grieving imo.

          • ClamShoes
            January 13, 2014 at 9:12 am #

            “.the piece that made what was said perfectly acceptable”
            “Kinda helps to read the entire phrase in this case”

            What she wrote was logically correct, but acceptable? Not really, as it was obviously a loaded statement.
            Kinda helps to understand that not everything should be taken at face value.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 13, 2014 at 9:29 am #

            No, it’s perfectly legit. She has already demonstrated that she cannot be trusted to know facts about anything or interpret them properly. Why should I pay any attention to her? She has established that she has no credibility.

            As James Randi would say, if she wrote a book, I wouldn’t trust the page numbers to be correct.

            Why would anyone care what an untrustworthy person thinks? It is only reliable if you can verify from an alternate source, and if you are doing that, why not just go to the alternate source in the first place?

          • ClamShoes
            January 13, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

            I mostly agree with what you’ve written. A couple of things:

            Antigonos should have looked it up for herself rather than making an idle ad hominem attack. (You’ve said something similar in your last sentence)
            Or just not written anything at all. Often the best option.

            Expertise (or the lack thereof) in one field doesn’t automatically translate to others, especially when there are different cognitive skillsets involved. Fowler certainly has the educational pedigree in her chosen fields, even if she has been less than coherent in the current debate.

          • stacey
            January 13, 2014 at 3:12 am #

            Death may not make you immune from criticism, but to bring up all their flaws the day the death was announced, or the few days pre burial, you are a total rude jerk. Wait until the body is in the ground, FFS. There will be plenty of time to criticize someone after they are buried, ok?

          • Siri
            January 13, 2014 at 5:01 am #

            I don’t agree. The moment I’m gone, people are free to say anything they want about me. Those who love me will be too busy mourning (at least I bloody hope so!!), and those who don’t, don’t matter. You can’t hurt or disrespect the dead, so why should being buried make any difference? It seems entirely arbitrary.

          • Elizabeth Neely
            January 14, 2014 at 12:25 am #

            but people will critisize you dead or alive, with or without your permission, just ignore them, and to thine own self be true..

    • Trixie
      January 13, 2014 at 8:06 am #

      Her M.O. is to find someone more famous than she, then say obnoxious and controversial things about that person in an attempt to make herself more famous through the power of the other person’s fame.

  10. Lisa from NY
    January 12, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

    OT: Evil big pharma eradicates polio in India:

  11. Dr Kitty
    January 12, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

    I think live tweeting your homebirth might be an independent risk factor for PPH and perineal tearing.

    I’m thinking of Emily Dickey as well as Ruth Fowler Iorio.

  12. attitude devant
    January 12, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

    Here’s what I don’t get: she paid $4500 out of pocket to her midwife and OBs in my area charge $2700 (what they get from insurance is actually less but that is the posted fee). And she and Jared say that the OBs are money grubbing?

    • stacey
      January 13, 2014 at 3:16 am #

      And the HB MW keeps ALL OF IT. The OB pays out much of that to insurance, office staff, cost of billing and compliance, etc.

      HB MWs are so greedy they refuse to pay for malpractice, even though its about the cost of a birth, and the average MW would pay about $350 per birth (which could be passed on, easily). Better to let their disasters have no recourse, which can leave them with huge bills no one else can pay.

      • Poogles
        January 17, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

        “HB MWs are so greedy they refuse to pay for malpractice”

        Not to mention they’d likely have a hell of a hard time finding a medmal company that would even agree to cover them in the first place.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      January 13, 2014 at 9:47 am #

      Seriously? $2700? Is that for the delivery alone or for the complete pregnancy care? Because that seems extremely low to me.

      • attitude devant
        January 13, 2014 at 10:22 am #

        That’s the global fee

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          January 13, 2014 at 10:57 am #

          You’re underpaid.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            January 13, 2014 at 11:03 am #

            Seriously. An uncomplicated pregnancy requires something like 10-15 office visits, plus at least 2 hospital visits, one of which must be high complexity/high time requirement. Not to mention procedures, interpreting lab tests, time on the phone…I don’t see how the charges can possibly be that low.

          • lprkaun
            January 13, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

            For my daughter, the OB charged me $1800 for all office visits and the delivery (that’s whether I had a vaginal or c-section).

          • Rachele Willoughby
            January 14, 2014 at 3:35 am #

            Out here in Montana it was (early last year) $3200 from conception to six weeks postpartum. The global fee didn’t cover my c-section but it did cover my staple removal.

      • ersmom
        January 13, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

        We get about 2K per delivery here in middle America…

  13. Dr Kitty
    January 12, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

    Yet another aspect of HB live-tweeting that does not appeal to me.

    Tearing myself away from my newborn to read and respond to stuff about myself on the internet while I recover from a major PPH and a perineal tear, whilst trying to maintain a good milk supply.

    If it were me I’d be curled up in bed with my baby, enjoying those baby toes, eating chicken soup like it was going to be banned and probably not even listening to the news or reading the papers.

    But then, I don’t seek validation from complete strangers about my life choices and work product, so I’m clearly not the right type.

    • yentavegan
      January 12, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

      …A mothers ability to produce an adequate milk supply can be negatively impacted by severe blood loss during delivery…even with frequent nursing sometimes blood loss over-rides lactation.

      • Trixie
        January 12, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

        Combine that with the fact that she’s an alcoholic who drank during labor, and therefore is clearly not living sober currently, and I think maybe she should forego breastfeeding. Not that my opinion matters.

        • Trixie
          January 13, 2014 at 10:12 am #

          I realize this could be hyperbole, but still, concerning: ” I imagine I will rely heavily on the brandy when faced with my own newborn squawling at some unspecified future point.” Warning: this story is awful and disturbing.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 13, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

            Oh boy, Trixie, you’re not wrong.
            Nothing says “feminist” like “co-ercing” your employer’s Thai girlfriend (who you’ve already made racist jokes about) to leave the guy she wants to be with and and to go back and have “unwilling” sex with your boss.

          • Trixie
            January 13, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

            You hit the nail on the head, there. Yet she portrays the situation as if somehow SHE (the white, privileged one with the fancy degree) is the victim in all of it.

          • LibrarianSarah
            January 13, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

            That might have been the most racist thing I have ever read. This woman is a real piece of shit.

          • Trixie
            January 13, 2014 at 8:13 pm #


          • Susan
            January 13, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

            Was this being party to child sex trafficing? How old was this girl she was babysitting? That’s appalling in so many ways

          • Trixie
            January 13, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

            It’s not like that was hard to find. Obviously none of these media outlets that are celebrating her did any homework at all on who she is and what she stands for.

          • Mishimoo
            January 13, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

            What did I just read? O.o

      • amazonmom
        January 12, 2014 at 9:34 pm #

        I see that quite a bit with NICU mommies. Some of them get partial supplies of milk , a few might get a full supply.

      • TwinMom
        January 13, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

        yes…that sure is the way it went for me. of course, i was shamed into thinking i just wasnt trying hard enough.

  14. Trixie
    January 12, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

    She also takes to Amazon comments to personally insult readers who didn’t like her book.

    • attitude devant
      January 12, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

      Oh dear. Always a mistake.

  15. Amy Tuteur, MD
    January 12, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    How lovely, Ruth!

    • attitude devant
      January 12, 2014 at 2:33 pm #


    • attitude devant
      January 12, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

      Oh well, in that case, I resurrect my former churlish statement. See below.

    • yentavegan
      January 12, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

      I am sorry Dr. Amy that Ruth thinks it is alright to throw such ugly hurtful words at you. You don’t deserve to be treated in so hostile a manner. I love you, I know your goal is to spread goodness through out the world. Keep fighting the good fight.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD
        January 12, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

        Thanks you for your support. Her comments don’t bother me. It says more about her than about me.

    • Trixie
      January 12, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

      Such charming eloquence. Such skilled turning of a phrase! Her advanced training as a writer really shines through here.

    • LibrarianSarah
      January 12, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

      I love how she accuses you of “relying heavily on the fact you once went to Harvard” when she pretty much mentions that she went to Oxford at any chance she can get.

      • Susan
        January 12, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

        And I would put money that Ruth and Gina both have diagnosed personality disorders

        • theNormalDistribution
          January 12, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

          Speaking of Gina,

          I got to follow this birth real-time because I happened to catch someone retweet her first update on twitter. I just love getting to follow along as a “virtual doula” of sorts. Some people get super-duper mad about those of us who share our homebirths with the internet, warts and all, but I say EFF those people. I love that Ruth’s birth is the textbook perfect example of a safe, planned homebirth wherein the midwives transferred to hospital care at the right time and helped this mother and baby finish out the job safely and happily. THIS is homebirth done right and this is the care that should be available to anyone who wants it.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 12, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

            TFB…there’s wrong, and then there’s so wrong you don’t know what right looks like.

            “THIS is homebirth done right”

            Suggesting that Gina doesn’t know what that actually even means any more.

          • BeatlesFan
            January 13, 2014 at 8:34 am #

            At this point, it seems “homebirth done right” means “any homebirth where the mother doesn’t end up needing a c-section, and oh yeah, it’s totes cool if the mom and baby don’t die, too.”

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            January 13, 2014 at 9:44 am #

            To be fair, it’s more right than it could have been: The midwife actually did transfer when there was hemorrhage, didn’t just ask the patient to stop bleeding or blow cinnamon candy at her. It could have been worse. A slightly less competent midwife and we might have been reading Iorio’s obituary.

            Though if this is home birth “done right”, doesn’t that just point out how dangerous home birth is: This low risk woman with a reasonably competent midwife and a hospital close by still nearly died. I’d like a little more room for error, myself.

        • attitude devant
          January 12, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

          In the ‘about’ section of her blog, Ruth describes herself as a narcissist and a sociopath.

          • Trixie
            January 12, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

            They’re the first two words of her “about me.”

        • Antigonos CNM
          January 13, 2014 at 1:30 am #

          It has occurred to me that they might be clones, or at least know each other.

      • Antigonos CNM
        January 13, 2014 at 1:31 am #

        Oh, that “other” university…as we who were at Cambridge refer to it [extreme snob alert!]

        • Trixie
          January 13, 2014 at 9:20 am #

          Actually, she did go to Cambridge.

          • Antigonos CNM
            January 13, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

            Not Oxford? I believe Librarian Sarah mentioned that she did. Oh well, perhaps she was a “Failed Cantab.” [Asian students who didn’t manage to take a degree would often put that after their names to show at least they’d been to the prestigious university, however unsuccessfully]

          • Trixie
            January 13, 2014 at 2:02 pm #


    • Box of Salt
      January 12, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

      Ruth Fowler Iorio “dumb as a fuck cunt”
      Are you going to use this kind of language aloud as our son learns how to speak?

      If not, why are you using it now?

      P.S. The occasional use of profanity can emphasize a point. It loses its effect when overused.

      • Zornorph
        January 12, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

        She does use the word way too much, but the fact that she’s a limey does mitigate it just a little bit.

        • Box of Salt
          January 12, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

          She’s a limey living in the LA area. I’m not cutting her any slack.

          • attitude devant
            January 12, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

            She’s lived in the States for over a decade. And worked as a writer for all of that time. She HAS to know how over-the-top that word is.

          • Zornorph
            January 12, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

            Yeah, probably. She sure does sound ignorant and rude, regardless.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 13, 2014 at 9:32 am #

            Personally, I don’t care about her language. HOWEVER, when her husband comes here and whines that he “expected some decorum” then her demeanor matters.

            HE was the one who put it on the table.

        • Dr Kitty
          January 12, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

          No, it doesn’t.
          It might excuse verbal profanity, which many people do unconsciously, and is affected by culture, but not written profanity. You have to consciously choose to type the swears.

          The journalists who write for national newspapers can manage witty, acerbic and barbed takedowns of various targets without resorting to foul language and playground name calling. Mrs Iorio might want to see how they do it, and come back with a better class of material next time.

        • Siri
          January 13, 2014 at 3:05 am #

          No it doesn’t! It’s incredibly rude here as well.

    • thankfulmom
      January 12, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

      What a foul mouthed girl. Guess it shows what is on the inside. I’m glad you aren’t like her. I appreciate your ability to explain medical matters so the average person can understand.

    • Burgundy
      January 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

      Man, she is a brat. I guess maturity is not in her dictionary.

    • TwinMom
      January 13, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

      charming, really.

  16. Guest
    January 12, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    I have an *entirely* OT question that some of you may be able to address since several commenters have clinical OBGYN experience. Do any of you know a decent comprehensive online resource for information on clotting disorders or immunology and miscarriage? Sorry that it is so far off topic, but not sure else where to ask.

    • Anj Fabian
      January 12, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

      ….if I can remember the name of the one disorder I’ll post it. Antiphospholipid syndrome is one. It’s instant high risk pregnancy.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym
        January 12, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

        Factor V leiden can increase the risk of pregnancy as well. Actually, pretty much any clotting or bleeding disorder is going to make your pregnancy high risk. And hemoglobinopathies, especially sickle cell. Of course, cancer does, but I don’t think many people deny that (though you never know). What might not be clear to many people is that cancer is a clotting disorder: the risk of VTE goes up significantly with cancer. Hypertension, lupus (even without LAC), history of thrombosis, any history of cardiac disease…lots of things, in fact.

        • Guest
          January 13, 2014 at 11:19 am #

          Right, those are some of the ones that I am currently being screened for because of recurrent pregnancy loss. Is there a resource that would give an overview of these types of disorders? I am seeing a physician, but since these disorders are many, taking a couple of hours out of her day to cover the basics seems silly.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            January 13, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

            Can you get access to a program called Up to Date? It’s mostly for practitioners, but has some good information for patients and if you want to go into more detail, the details are there. It might be available at the nearest library or medical school library.

    • TwinMom
      January 13, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

  17. Amy Tuteur, MD
    January 12, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    Jared responding on Facebook.

    • Mel
      January 12, 2014 at 11:48 am #

      Was it the same (mostly mythical) OB who told you your retained placenta was a placenta accreta? If so, you REALLY need to find a new -or non-mythical – OB.

    • Trixie
      January 12, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

      I’m not sure they think drunk driving is all that dangerous.

    • attitude devant
      January 12, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

      What awful people these are! Seriously! I have read enough of Jared’s comments and enough of Ruth’s blog to be thanking my lucky stars that I don’t know them.

      Jared argues from all positions simultaneously. Somehow now it’s the fault of obstetricians that his wife almost died? Come on now!

      • attitude devant
        January 12, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

        OK, that wasn’t very nice of me. But the man surely couldn’t hold his own here, so now he’s popping up in a Facebook conversation (on a midwife’s page, no less) that was mostly over to dig at Dr. Amy? Sorry to lose my cool, but the man is seriously provoking.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD
          January 12, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

          I suspect that he is suffering from serious cognitive dissonance. It is extremely painful to find out that much, if not all, of what you believed is false. Some people can stand it, but many others run away.

          • attitude devant
            January 12, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

            Sigh. You are right. I suppose I would find him more sympathetic if his expression of his distress didn’t always start with his saying that nothing bad happened and what are we talking about. Many apologies to all.

          • January 12, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

            It’s just sad reading their responses. I mean, the vulgar insults are gross. But all the “hospitals give your baby antibiotics, they give you epidurals, they give you infections, they give you unnecessary c-sections” ugh…. it’s just sad. It’s sad that an anti-establishment fringe has gone so far that it is not even a fringe anymore. That even smart people are falling for it. That people seriously think hospitals are just going to run every mom and baby through every drug and piece of equipment and procedure, just for the heck of it, even when drugs aren’t needed or requested…. that’s just how it goes at a hospital! Ugh…. 🙁

          • attitude devant
            January 12, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

            Oh no, Dani. Read her blog. These people are seriously fringe-y

          • January 12, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

            What’s her blog address?

          • attitude devant
            January 12, 2014 at 5:48 pm #


          • January 12, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

            Oh. Geeeeeeeez.

          • attitude devant
            January 12, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

            I know, right?

          • January 12, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

            They seem really hard up for money…… And had some marital issues during the pregnancy….. I can’t imagine the cost of the home birth, ambulance, blood transfusions/medical needs, hospital stay is going to be cheap…..

          • Anj Fabian
            January 12, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

            Have a home birth, write it up, sell it.

            Sounds like a decent way to try to pay for it.

          • KarenJJ
            January 13, 2014 at 7:32 am #

            Probably better then using her other skills.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 12, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

            One of the very foreseeable outcomes of HB is hospital transfer-15-20% in the UK for primips.

            So there was a good chance that there would be hospital bills to pay.

            They decided that the money they could raise from the HB could cover the costs in that eventuality (I assume, I mean nobody could plan a HB and not run the finances of a worst case scenario…right?) and so they went ahead.

            I hope the increase in blog traffic is generating some income, because I’m not sure this is going to work out otherwise…

          • Trixie
            January 12, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

            Not to mention SERIOUS drug and alcohol issues.

          • Trixie
            January 12, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

            To wit:

          • theNormalDistribution
            January 12, 2014 at 8:53 pm #

            Surely this is not considered good writing

          • Trixie
            January 12, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

            Maybe for a college freshman.

          • ihateslugs
            January 13, 2014 at 11:02 am #

            Wow! These are some people who really should not be having children. I’m not saying you need to be perfect to be a parent, as I’m certainly no example of the ideal mother. But, good grief, reading her blogs and “writing” makes me horrified to think that she and her winning spouse will be rearing a child. This poor, poor baby! As a pediatrician, I have had many patients with a parent(or in the worst cases, both parents) suffering from mental illness and addiction, and their lives are just full of more hardship and pain than you can imagine. My heart breaks for this little innocent soul.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 13, 2014 at 11:25 am #

            Sorry, I don’t get it. What do you have against slugs?

          • ihateslugs
            January 14, 2014 at 1:36 am #

            If you live in the NW, you definitely hate slugs. The banana slugs here are huge, leave trails of slime, and do a number on your garden. Worse, though, is if you accidentally step on them. Even with shoes on, it may be one of the worst sensations ever experienced. So, yeah, I hate them.

          • realityycheque
            January 13, 2014 at 1:26 am #

            First entry I clicked onto and even the first line is utter crap:

            “I hate people who claim to have fallen pregnant “by accident”. Sure, there’s the .01 percentage of folks who actually did have a birth control fail issue”

            .01%?? Does she have any idea about the rate of contraception failure?

          • Young CC Prof
            January 13, 2014 at 3:25 am #

            According to a large CDC study from 2009, 16% of US births are the result of contraceptive failure. (60% are planned, and, disturbingly, 24% are to women who didn’t intend to get pregnant but weren’t using contraception.)

          • Dr Kitty
            January 13, 2014 at 4:13 am #

            Not quite as disturbing as the study that suggested 0.5% of respondents in the USA who believed that they had a virgin birth…


          • Siri
            January 13, 2014 at 5:22 am #

            Do you think contraceptive failure is over-reported? It must be very tempting to blame it on the pill not working if telling the truth would lead to disapproval from family, partner etc. ‘Contraception doesn’t work well for me’ sounds better than ‘I only pretended to be on the pill’ or ‘I never got round to getting anything’.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 13, 2014 at 6:03 am #

            I’m pretty sure that even with perfect use the pill doesn’t work as well as many think, and I have patients who have got pregnant while using coils, implants, injections and after tubal ligations.

            I have patients who have a perfect track record of only having pregnancies they have planned while using the rhythm method as their sole method of contraception, and who can’t understand why everyone doesn’t use it too…

            I tend to believe people who tell me their chosen method failed rather than assuming that they were just trusting to chance, exceptions being when I can see that they last ordered a 3 month supply of the pill more than 6 months ago, or are late for their Depo Provera.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 13, 2014 at 9:48 am #

            Pill worked for us. 15 years. The reason I say “it worked” is because after stopping the pill, it didn’t take much to get pregnant – one month to readjust, and then we got pregnant. So it’s not like we weren’t fertile.

            We always express surprise at the fact that we didn’t get pregnant on the pill. Shoot, she was even doing some antibiotics a lot of time.

            I think by the stats that we shouldn’t have expected to get pregnant in that time, but it would not have been surprising.

          • Trixie
            January 13, 2014 at 7:54 am #

            Isn’t the pill dosed for people under about 150 lbs, with higher failure rates over that?
            Also, until the ACA, birth control wasn’t necessarily part of all insurance plans, and it was expensive. Now that they’re free, I think we will be seeing a lot more IUDs.

          • Siri
            January 13, 2014 at 5:09 am #

            She has a rather low threshold when it comes to hating people…

          • Dr Kitty
            January 13, 2014 at 5:17 am #

            Tubal ligation has a 0.5% failure rate, PERFECT use of the pill has a 1-2% failure rate…her numbers are WAY OFF.

            I think many people extrapolate “I’m not that great about remembering to take my pill, and I haven’t gotten pregnant yet” to “all these women who say they took the pill properly and got pregnant anyway are liars”.

          • Trixie
            January 13, 2014 at 7:59 am #

            But then she goes on to explain that even though she was homeless and in an unstable relationship, she didn’t think it was important to use birth control.

          • BeatlesFan
            January 13, 2014 at 8:48 am #

            I can think of 3 “birth control fail” babies just in my family- and those are just the ones which I KNOW were the result of a birth control fail. Both sides of my family breed like rabbits, so I’m sure there’s more than 3. Don’t condoms alone have something like a 25% failure rate?

          • Medwife
            January 13, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

            25% is “typical use” failure rate, which includes putting them on incorrectly and even not putting them on at all. “Perfect use” failure rate of condoms is about 2%.

          • Trixie
            January 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

            They are pretty much the definition of anti-establishment fringe.

          • Gangle
            January 12, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

            I think both he and his wife are suffering from serious ‘I did way too many drugs in my twenties whilst pretending to be a serious writer/artist and now my brain is fried’.

          • Meerkat
            January 12, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

            I have been following this story as it unfolds, feeling more and more sorry for this family. If the stories in Ruth’s blog are true, then both parents seem waaaay over their heads. They seem to need guidance and parenting thrmselves, someone who will lovingly but firmly take away their internet access for a while, feed them chicken soup, and give them some advice on child rearing. Posting a picture of their naked baby (the angle of that photo was especially questionable) for the whole world to see was a seriously bad judgement call.
            I don’t think they realize that the fun is just beginning. The hardest staff is not behing them. How will they cope with the stress of sleepless nights, colic, worries over illnesses, development, money, etc.?!
            And that poor baby! One person I feel the sorriest for is the baby. He is helpless in all this mess…

          • Mishimoo
            January 12, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

            I quit looking at her Twitter when I came across a photo of his genitals, which was a different one to what was shared here.
            I have two questions:
            1 – Why are they seemingly obsessed with displaying his genitals to the world?
            2 – If they’d had a girl, would they be doing the same?

          • Meerkat
            January 12, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

            Omg, there are more genital pics???
            What is wrong with them?

          • Mishimoo
            January 12, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

            I really don’t understand what genitals have to do with ‘Baby clothes are odd’ or words to that effect, but yeah. I clicked expecting to see a cute little baby, and copped an eyeful. Poor little guy 🙁

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            January 13, 2014 at 9:50 am #

            Posting a picture of their naked baby (the angle of that photo was
            especially questionable) for the whole world to see was a seriously bad
            judgement call.

            Isn’t that illegal? I mean, I know it’s innocent in intent (at least innocent of sexual content), but isn’t that technically child porn?

          • AlisonCummins
            January 13, 2014 at 10:43 am #

            No, it’s not illegal.

            But if Kathleen Neely worked at Wal-Mart in the photo processing department she might be able to cause people some grief.

  18. Trixie
    January 12, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    In which she defends that ex-cop who went on a shooting rampage against the LAPD.

    • Anj Fabian
      January 12, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

      Since she pushes her cred as a LA screenwriter, I checked IMDB for her.
      Here’s her cred, such as it is:

      • Siri
        January 13, 2014 at 5:14 am #

        She wrote the screenplay for Advice from a Caterpillar?! This changes everything. Advice from a Caterpillar is my favourite film! Does she have a fan club?

        • Karen in SC
          January 13, 2014 at 10:54 am #

          Maybe her next venture will be “Advice from a Placenta”. 🙂

          • Siri
            January 13, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

            Ah yes – the ancient wisdom of human placentae. Where would we be without it? (rhetorical). Did you know it’s possible to tell people’s fortunes by reading their placenta? Me neither. Plus by eating your placenta you can improve your IQ by up to 20%. ( There’s a special mechanism, known to very few people, which enables your body to scavenge extra bits of wisdom via your digestive tract.

  19. Expat
    January 12, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    What is up with her claim that it wasn’t really an emergency or have anything to do with lost time because they didn’t pull out the placenta or do transfusions until 90 minutes after arriving at the hospital. Is this consistent with standard practice?

    • attitude devant
      January 12, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

      Expat, they always say, “We are just five minutes from the hospital,” but transports are always slow. Sometimes it’s HOURS from the time we get the call that the midwives are bringing someone in until they turn up. And then once you get there, you have to be assessed (what happened, what’s your history, did your midwife bring your records, how much of that whiskey sour did you drink), an IV has to be started, blood has to be drawn, blood products have to be ordered from the bank, the anesthesia team has to talk about anesthetic choices and risks. It’s slow, and slow of necessity. All of this has already been done if you were in the hospital for labor. So, lot’s of catch-up happening. Then throw in that these homebirth types are completely distrusting of hospitals and often are refusing routine things like IVs, labs, etc. And that slows it down even more.

  20. WordSpinner
    January 12, 2014 at 1:03 am #

    “And no, I didn’t nearly die. Placenta accreta is not detectable before birth and it’s a simple malfunctioning of ones body.”

    Those two sentences together make about as much sense as “My cat is is a siamese. Dogs should eat squirrels.”

    They both could be true (though none, in either example, are). The first does not logically follow from the second, though–a “simple” malfunctioning of the body can very easily kill you.

    • Zornorph
      January 12, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

      Why shouldn’t dogs eat squirrels?

      • Siri
        January 13, 2014 at 5:29 am #

        They should. But only the grey ones; red squirrels are being marginalised by those horrid rats with bushy tails, and it’s SO WRONG!! I am passionately devoted to red squirrels and their survival, and would encourage all dog owners to ensure that their dogs’ diet is high in grey squirrel.

        Many thanks indeed for bringing this up. I’m going to have a little lie-down.

  21. Kathleen Neely
    January 12, 2014 at 12:14 am #

    Modesty is beautiful, pornography is gross, really, nobody wants to see that up close.when that kid grows up, he is going to hate his mother for showing his genitals like that.

    • Zornorph
      January 12, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

      Hey, I think pornography is pretty nifty sometimes!

      • Kathleen Neely
        January 12, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

        Why does that not surprize me.????
        Do you like child porn too? Because that was a young childs genetalia displayed.

        • Zornorph
          January 12, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

          I like kitty porn.

          • Karen in SC
            January 12, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

            I think he means those LOLcats pictures that people share. K-i-t-t-y, as in kitten. Grumpy Cat is almost famous.

            I’m not a cat person, so I don’t like them at all, but some do….

          • Zornorph
            January 12, 2014 at 6:12 pm #


        • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
          January 12, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

          I think that’s a cheap shot.

        • AlisonCummins
          January 12, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

          Kathleen, you might want to distribute these to your neighbours to eliminate neighbourhood bestiality porn. It will make you feel better.

        • BeatlesFan
          January 13, 2014 at 10:27 am #

          So someone who admits to liking porn automatically likes child porn? Let me guess: you are one of those people who considers all homosexuals to be pedophiles?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 13, 2014 at 10:37 am #

            He said he likes porn

            and in response to Kathleen’s assertion that “pornography is gross.”

          • Kathleen Neely
            January 14, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

            Why do people have no boundaries anymore??? Anything is ok to share with the world, me thinks sexuality and bedroom talk should stay in the bedroom, where it is private, respectful and beautiful.

          • Kathleen Neely
            January 15, 2014 at 12:09 am #

            The child has a right to be treated with dignity, my kids did not like “butt” pics in thier baby photo album, we covered those parts with sharpie markers just to save embarrassment. The internet is often trolled by pedophiles , best to protect your children than to possibly cause a problem for them. Love protects and, defends, narsissitic people will do just about anyting to attract attention to themselves or thier children, probably not realuzing the dangers that it could possible pose.

          • BeatlesFan
            January 15, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

            I’m not debating any of that. My point was merely that you shouldn’t imply that Zornorph likes child pornography because he made a joke about thinking “porn is nifty”. I don’t think Ruth or any parent should be spreading photos of their children’s genitals around the internet.

          • Kathleen Neely
            January 15, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

            Dont get me started on porn, there is nothing redeeming about it.

          • toni
            January 15, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

            You blacked them out permanently?

          • Kathleen Neely
            January 15, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

            Yes, at their request/insistence…lol

          • Kathleen Neely
            January 15, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

            Just the penises we drew underpants over them, isnt that hillarious???

          • toni
            January 15, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

            Haha, I guess! A picture of a little baby bum isn’t obscene though IMO. If mine ever feels embarrassed by his baby photographs I’d just promise not to show anybody. I can’t imagine being ashamed of them though. We had two paintings of the Madonna and Child in our house growing up and Jesus was in the nip in both of them so it never occurred to me that it might be indecent.

          • Kathleen Neely
            January 15, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

            I absolutly love naked babies, but my son is very very modest about his body, he wont leave the house without being fully dressed, that means a shirt to cover the top too. Personal choice, I think he has a lot of class,.he is a gentleman.

          • Mishimoo
            January 15, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

            I stole and burnt mine, along with the negatives. Sounds like overkill, but my mother had taken some rather graphic photos of my genitals and I didn’t think it was appropriate to commemorate my first thrush infection, especially in an album that she liked to show off.

          • toni
            January 15, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

            Okay I wouldn’t appreciate having a picture of that nature floating around either!

          • Kathleen Neely
            January 15, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

            I was not implying anything at all about Zomorph, or his taste .
            I only 0ointed out the fact that showing pi tures of anyones genetalia on the internet is in very poor taste. We do not live in sub sahara region of Africa, we live in N9rtg America, where people cover those parts of their bodies and refer to them as privates.

    • Susan
      January 12, 2014 at 12:34 am #

      That ShannonOh sure falls into the absolutely wrong and absolutely sure of herself category. Best one was her utter assurance Dr. Amy had never talked to a natural birth advocate. Uh huh.

  22. fiftyfifty1
    January 11, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

    Did you mean to say Placenta accreta often results in an immediate hysterectomy? Or did you mean to say c-section? As in “if an accreta is detected prenatally then a c-section may be advised because then it can be surgically dealt with as soon as the baby is delivered”.

  23. Indict Clapper
    January 11, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    Someone reported this gem on

    “I sat there, stunned. It seemed as though time stood still. I just stared at the beautiful girl in my hands and cried tears of joy. Another daughter. She looked so peaceful. Every so often she would startle or shudder. She was purple and not quite breathing yet. In fact she seemed unaware that she was even born. I had not yet delivered the placenta so I knew she could take her time transitioning from her uterine home to this new world, though I did have that little feeling of worry in the back of my mind. I yelled out for Jon but he didn’t answer. I gently rubbed her little body and one eye fluttered open then quickly shut. I couldn’t help but laugh. She looked so very peaceful.”

    Yep, nothing more adorable than a low apgar score! Luckily, she still had her magic SCUBA tank/placenta still attached, so there was no rush…

    • Burgundy
      January 11, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

      911 911 911

      • An Actual Attorney
        January 12, 2014 at 9:16 am #

        “I began to feel that the baby was taking too long to pink up. I put my mouth over her mouth and nose and sucked. I could feel the rattle of mucus moving and she let out a little cry, fluttered her eyes a bit, and again relaxed. Her color was starting to turn a little more rosy and I knew she was fine, but I suctioned her a few more times anyway. Each time she would struggle to open her eyes, let out an annoyed cry, then settle down again to her slumber.”

        Sweet FSM!!! This is peaceful????? This is a fucking nightmare and they are too busy congratulating each other on the beautiful, peaceful birth to know that.

        • Antigonos CNM
          January 12, 2014 at 10:02 am #

          Well, the basis of the whole Leboyer Method was that, by dipping the newborn immediately in a warm bath, he wouldn’t cry and therefore would grow up to be a happier child. It didn’t seem to occur to Dr. Leboyer that infant cries change the pressures within the lungs and begin the process of closing the ductus arteriosis –in other words, changing the fetal circulation to normal infant circulation [not getting O2 via the umbilical cord but via the lungs]. Adrienne Rich wrote a famous put-down of Leboyer when she noticed that he made himself the focus of the birth, interacting with the baby, rather than the mother, btw.

        • stacey
          January 13, 2014 at 2:54 am #

          It sure puts the whole HB babies are peaceful” in an ugly light. I wonder how many are nice and calm because they are barely alive?

        • CognitiveDissonaceHurts
          January 14, 2014 at 12:12 am #

          I witnessed this scenario on some homebirth videos and, even as a NCB promoter, could see that this was not a good situation! Blue floppy babies? Yikes!

    • Young CC Prof
      January 11, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

      Purple, “not quite” breathing and only partially responsive. What kind of apgar is that? Maybe a 3 or 4? Yup, that’s totally normal and awesome.

    • BeatlesFan
      January 11, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

      “She was purple and not quite breathing yet” followed by “I couldn’t help but laugh”… those two sentences do not belong anywhere near each other. My daughter was born grey and needed some suctioning, and I’m still surprised I didn’t die from worry.

    • Lisa from NY
      January 12, 2014 at 5:44 am #

      Found the direct link:

      • yentavegan
        January 12, 2014 at 10:32 am #

        My initial response to her story? Holy F**k Sh*t! Why would anyone think this is a normal birth story? The apgars must have been quite low!

    • Mel
      January 12, 2014 at 11:40 am #

      In cattle OB world, this is a bad, bad, bad sign. Unaware, purple, twitching and gasping breath means the calf is on a downward slide.

      We’d use an immediate cascade of interventions. LOTS. Have I mentioned how grateful I am that our cows don’t care about peaceful births?

    • stacey
      January 13, 2014 at 2:53 am #

      An NCBers parachuted into the closed Fed Up group[ to tell us about how the baby in question (different story) was FINE and couldn’t have been deprived of oxygen because his cord wasn’t cut too soon. Baby was still breathing through the cord. Don’t we know that the damage is done by clamp n cut happy OBs, and all such problems can be avoided with DCC?
      When I hear such nonsense, I think of Scuba gear too. This is a deadly myth, and shows how uneducated one actually is about birth and basic anatomy.

  24. Burgundy
    January 11, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    When I read “even my dad as a GP…” ; my first reaction was she must had issues with her parents or her parents don’t really care about her. My dad is a MD, (liver cancel specialist) and he made sure I was on track with both of my pragancy and he is strongly against the woos. He didn’t really tell me about what can go wrong because he didn’t want to scared me. But I know he worried.

    • Dr Kitty
      January 13, 2014 at 9:43 am #

      As a GP I know that most GPs read GP magazine, the BMJ and the RCGP journal as the spirit moves them (i.e. not every edition and not cover to cover), do a few online e-learning modules about topics they are interested in or feel they need to know more about, and may go to an educational meeting every 8 weeks or so.

      The chances that a male, middle aged GP in the NHS who doesn’t attend births has read more than Dr Tuteur about recent developments in obstetrics…not high.
      It’s the only topic of research she does, and she’s not seeing 30 patients a day on top of it.

      I imagine he, like the rest of us, is too busy trying to keep up to date with asthma, COPD, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, dementia, complex co-morbidity management, depression, substance misuse and the myriad clinical things he will actually confront on a day to day basis.

      The ins and outs of homebirth are not high on the agenda for most GPs in the UK. HB is an option, attended by NHS midwives and the systems in the maternity services are set up to risk out appropriately, GPs basically don’t have to worry about it too much.

  25. stenvenywrites
    January 11, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

    Placenta acreta’s not a “simple malfunction”, for mercy’s sake. It can result in hemorrhage severe enough to require hysterectomy. I am really beginning to believe that the only thing that will wake these women up is a live-tweeted abruption, , a live-blogged uterine rupture, a dead or neurologically devastated baby, brought to them in living color by one of their own, with a well- “respected” CPM presiding over it in all her clueless glory. They won’t listen to anyone else, and since near-catastrophes don’t seem to penetrate their thick skulls, it’s obviously going to take an actual catastrophe to get through to them.

    • Houston Mom
      January 11, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

      Clueless gore more like it

      • Mishimoo
        January 11, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

        That is actually how my brain read it originally.

    • Burgundy
      January 11, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

      Unfortunately the way they tried to up due each other, what you say will be a sad reality one day.

    • NursingRN
      January 11, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

      And no, I didn’t nearly die. Placenta accreta is not detectable before birth and it’s a simple malfunctioning of ones body.

      OH is that all it is, eh? Well I’ll just let the three women we had in the span of 2 weeks who ended up with a total hyst, and a lovely stay in the ICU with lots and lots and LOTS of blood products transfused, that it’s a SIMPLE malfunctioning. Just a simple little thing. No need to worry. Those silly docs!

      • amazonmom
        January 11, 2014 at 11:20 pm #

        Pffft the 33 units of PRBC and the many units of FFP, cryo, and platelets were no big deal…they didn’t save my cousin from dying or anything. The hysterectomy after the second round of hemorraging was just birth control or something? Just a simple little malfunctioning?!?!?! Well before the birth it was thought she only had a simple accreta but hey, the increta that had almost gone all the way through to her bladder was just an innocent surprise! That OB telling us he would try his hardest to save her but he wasn’t sure he could was just so silly!

        • Antigonos CNM
          January 12, 2014 at 12:54 am #

          Thanks for sharing — a trite phrase, I know, but I can imagine how difficult it must be for you. These kind of situations “aren’t supposed to happen” any more; but they do, alas.

          • amazonmom
            January 12, 2014 at 1:32 am #

            Grandma, Aunt, my cousin. All nearly died in childbirth. I ended up choosing the baby end of things in NICU but I’m a nurse today because of the idea that I too could help save a life. I’m glad it’s ok to rant here a bit!

      • Antigonos CNM
        January 12, 2014 at 12:55 am #

        IMO, Ruth is lucky she didn’t develop DIC. Oh wait, if you just trust birth, that won’t happen.

    • An Actual Attorney
      January 12, 2014 at 9:10 am #

      Even that won’t get through to them. On the other hand, the women on the fence, they will get it.

    • Mel
      January 12, 2014 at 11:43 am #

      But THOSE women didn’t trust birth enough.

      It’s amazing how deep denial is.

  26. Mel
    January 11, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

    Now i am off to bed. Amy, retrain. Your knowledge is from 1985 and you sound like Nestle sponsor you. Even my dad as a GP is more up to date with OBGYN practices and current medical studies than you.

    As a teacher, this one begs for corrections – and I’m only correcting for high school level.
    *”I” is always capitalized.

    “…you sound like Nestle sponsor you” should be “… you sound like Nestle sponsors you” . The entire sentence should be broken into two sentences since the portion about knowledge and sponsorship have no clear link.

    “Even my dad as a GP…” would be better as “Even my dad who is a GP…” I would strongly suggest dropping the word ‘Even’. It implies that GP doctors don’t normally keep up with current medical studies. Did you mean current obstetrical studies? If so, it would be important to state that.

    • NursingRN
      January 11, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

      *Whispering* I think it was the blood loss getting to her…

      • Box of Salt
        January 12, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

        Or the lack of oversight by an editor.

    • Trixie
      January 12, 2014 at 9:55 am #

      When you have a Master’s in Literature from Cambridge, marketing yourself as a writer, your grammar and usage errors are 100% fair game.

  27. yentavegan
    January 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

    I have learned so much about my own “all natural-intervention free” hospital birth. It has just dawned on me, that when I delivered my ds#3 and the nurse said something about me losing too much blood , w/o skipping a beat I was given an injection to facilitate delivery of my placenta, all while I held my newborn snuggled close. I initially groused about being given an injection b/c I wanted an all natural birth experience. It is entirely possible that this small nonemergency event in a hospital would have escalated to a near miss at home.

  28. Lynnie
    January 11, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    I’m amazed at how home birthers “know” what will happen in a hospital setting. I was introduced to this mentality when a home birthing friend of mine just “knew” that if she was in a hospital she would have ended up in a C-Section. I don’t know if they are clairvoyant or what. May be it’s what I think it is. They are already leery of the hospital setting and the NCB movement plays into and actually feeds those fears to get customers.
    If a person wants a natural birth, that is their business. I had wanted an all natural birth, but ended up being induced (no interventions besides induction-no cascade of interventions in my case). But like in every other aspect of life, safety needs to come first over “good experience” or bragging rights.

    • realityycheque
      January 11, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

      After I had (foolishly) given birth at home and expressed to my doula that I would never do it again, her immediate response was, “If you had been in hospital, you would have ended up with a c-section!”.

      12hr labour with OP presentation, quick transition/2nd stage and no sign of foetal distress (that I was informed of)… I’m no professional, but I’m really not sure which part of that would have necessitated a c-section? I’m guessing the only logic was that OBs are ebil and will cut you open for no good reason… or perhaps that in a hospital I would’ve “caved” and requested an epidural, which would have undoubtedly triggered a “cascade of interventions”.

      She was a lovely, well-meaning lady, but that comment still irritates me.

  29. amazonmom
    January 11, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

    A family member of mine almost died from her increta. The ready availability of massive amounts of blood products at her extensively planned hospital delivery is the only thing that saved her. Fools that deliver at home and just expect the hospital to save them use up valuable resources. Let’s reserve the short supply of blood products for the emergencies that couldn’t be prevented or treated by other means. Of course this concept is beyond the homebirther fanatic mental capability….

    • amazonmom
      January 11, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

      She wants me to spread her story around to encourage blood donation. Over 40 separate donors saved her life that day. The state patrol had to be called in to go get her more units.

      • Spamamander
        January 12, 2014 at 7:31 am #

        … making my blood donation appointment tomorrow. It’s been way too long since I’ve given.

  30. Monica
    January 11, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    I don’t understand why they are resting all of this on well my OB said it wasn’t that big of a deal. Yeah I’m sure that’s exactly what the OB said. I don’t think doctors go around saying to gang bangers you know you’re an idiot for being in a gang, they patch them up and send them on their way until the next time. That’s what happened here. They patched her up and sent her on her way until the next time. Because that is their job.

  31. guest
    January 11, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

    Couldnt read the thread.too many comments from an idiot named kristina and some other lady.

  32. Comrade X
    January 11, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    Apparently (according to my dad), I really WAS “drugged up”. Mum wanted a natural labour with no “drugs” (she kind of has this thing about people, especially women, going through ordeal and suffering to prove they’re like, worthy to live or something), and she was totally squicked out by the idea of needles going into backs anyway. So she dilated and contracted and suffered and pushed and cursed my father and his bothersome sperm, until finally the obstetrician persuaded her to get some pethadine. This was pretty late on in the game, and while it made her feel a lot better for the remainder of her labour and did me no lasting harm at all, dad said that when I came out I was, in his words, “stoned”.

    • Karen in SC
      January 11, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

      But that was pethadine, not an epidural.

      • Comrade X
        January 11, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

        Yeah, I know. And I’m not slagging off EITHER pethadine OR epidurals!! Out of the two, the epidural would probably have been the better option, as it wouldn’t even have got me a little bit stoned, and would have made that 9 hours a hell of a lot more fun for mum.

  33. Starling
    January 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    I cannot imagine bragging about the success and general awesomeness of any home project that resulted in ambulances, blood transfusions, and multiple-day hospital stays. Can you? “Oh, yes, we did our own roof. Such a great family project, so much more intimate than hiring professionals. Doesn’t it look great? Everyone should at least consider the DIY route. Adam was only in the hospital a few days–after all, we don’t have balance or mobility issues so we were low-risk for falling. And we called the EMTs right away after he slipped and fell off the garage. We’re only seven minutes away from the hospital, fortunately, and while we waited, we kept him motionless and checked his vital signs, which is exactly what a real doctor would have done.”

    Seriously, if birth is as safe as life gets, you’d think these idiots would recognize that a life-threatening hemorrhage is a sign that something went woefully wrong with this birth. Instead, we have the clueless father talking about his wife losing half her blood volume and getting a transfusion as if that were par for the course. (Or a “variation of normal”.) if it were, it would be grossly negligent to hire a birth attendant without the equipment and banked blood to address the problem. But if it’s not, perhaps the Iorio family will have to confront the idea that their gamble on a safe and peaceful home birth did not pay off–that, in fact, the delay in appropriate treatment cost them thousands of dollars and days in the hospital. That low-risk status is not the same as risk-free. That they were lucky as hell to walk away from this.

    • BeatlesFan
      January 11, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

      I know two people who fell off roofs within the last 6 weeks. The first is my mom’s best friend’s brother, who broke both legs and one arm, some ribs, and his back. The second is my neighbor, who not only fell off a two-story house and busted some ribs, but also landed on his nail gun, which discharged and shot him in the leg.

      Trust gravity!

  34. OBPI Mama
    January 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    3 of my 4 babies were c-sections and none of them had trouble from the c-section meds. Why is the “drugged up” lie still going on? (I totally believed it with my first though).

    Off topic, but was wondering some of your thoughts. I’ve gotten spinal headaches 2 out of my 3 c/s. Is that normal? They always have trouble placing everything in my back…could that contribute? I get the blood patch for the spinal headache and they disappeared 25 minutes after the blood patch. It’s just painful and always this ordeal… Is there a way to try to prevent a spinal headache if we decide to have a 5th baby (would be another c/s)???

    • Rachele Willoughby
      January 11, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

      In anatomy we learned that spinal headaches are caused by needle insertion into the spinal fluid instead of just the epidural (outer) space. I’m not an anesthesiologist but if it’s known that you’re a difficult stick maybe they could have the blood patch ready when you get out of the OR? I got the impression that you know when you’ve punched through the epidural space and the patient might get a headache though they don’t always get one.

      • Antigonos CNM
        January 12, 2014 at 1:04 am #

        Not everyone’s spinal cord is exactly alike, although the anatomy is pretty much uniform. The needle placement in an epidural is NOT into the spinal cord, but into the space surrounding the membranes covering the spinal cord, at a level below the end of the spinal nerves. The anesthetic perfuses into the spinal area. But small differences in anatomy can mean that it doesn’t happen exactly this way, as well as the skill of the anesthesiologist. That’s why the biggest drawback to epidurals is that sometimes they don’t work, or only partially work, or cause a drop in the pressure in the spinal cord [because fluid leaks out] which results in the dreaded “spinal headache”. Not fatal, but undoubtedly very unpleasant. Generally, anesthesiologists try to avoid blood patches if they can

        • OBPI Mama
          January 12, 2014 at 7:54 am #

          The 2 anesthesiologists I had didn’t want to do the blood patches (why is that?), but I was in such pain (the first for 2 days and the second time for 1 day)…. sunglasses in the hospital room, asking everyone to please whisper, only being able to lay down… I and my amazing nurses really pushed for it and they said okay. THEY ARE WONDERFUL!!! I laid down for 30 minutes afterward then sat up in complete bliss. Headache gone, sunglasses off, baby crying not a big deal. 🙂

    • Karen in SC
      January 11, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

      You might ask that question to Mrs. W on The Adequate Mother blog. Or look up her post detailing epidurals.

  35. almostfearless
    January 11, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    What’s sad is that people still BELIEVE (because they are being told this) that epidurals “drug up your baby”. That was a big reason why I didn’t want to get one. If I knew the truth, that it is really safe, it doesn’t cross the placenta enough to drug your baby, and it has zero effect on the length of your labor, doesn’t increase c-sections or ability to breastfeed — there is no WAY I would have ever wanted a NCB. Give me the epidural! It’s safe, it doesn’t harm the baby, prevent bonding or breastfeeding? What are we waiting for! For me, that wipes out any reason to go through that pain (although I would probably like to feel a few contractions just to see, and maybe turn it down a little during pushing to experience that) but it’s really sad and pathetic that NCB advocates literally lie to women about this point. Talk about using studies from 1985.

    • Trixie
      January 11, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

      Given her history of substance abuse and the fact that she blogged about drinking during pregnancy, I’m starting to wonder if staying out of the hospital had more to do with avoiding substance abuse screening.

      • attitude devant
        January 11, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

        I did find the insistence on avoiding a drugged up baby very odd when she admitted to the whiskey sour (a very large one!) in labor. Nothing crosses the placenta like alcohol…

        • Trixie
          January 11, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

          If you start searching, you’ll find all kinds of posts about her love of whiskey sours and problems with alcoholism, and other instances of drinking during her pregnancy.

          Now, I know that some women will choose to have, say, a very small half glass of wine over dinner a few times during pregnancy. I’m not judging that choice. But given her history of alcoholism, it does not seem like a safe choice for her. Also, don’t whiskey sours have raw egg whites?

          • me
            January 11, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

            Some do have raw egg white, but that has fallen out of fashion in more recent years.

            A shot (1.5 oz) of whiskey is equal to a small (4-5 oz) glass of wine is equal to a bottle (12 oz) of beer, so I won’t quibble on her choice of alcohol, it’s really all the same. And i don’t see much harm in having one drink in early labor. That being said, to get all uppity about ‘drugged’ babies while drinking any kind of alcohol is kinda dim-witted.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 11, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

            Some do have raw egg white, but that has fallen out of fashion in more recent years.


            (actually, I just saw a tweet a couple of weeks ago about if you don’t have egg whites, it’s not a “real” whiskey sour

          • amazonmom
            January 11, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

            Eggs pasteurized in the shell, my secret to many a raw egg dish/drink.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 11, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

            Take raw eggs, immerse in water at 140F for one hour. It partially cooks the yolk, but never the white. Then, dip in boiling water for exactly one minute. It’s like soft-boiled, only so much better. (Downside, not everyone’s kitchen has the right kind of tool to maintain a pot of water at a sufficiently precise temperature.)

          • me
            January 11, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

            I’ve always been more of a Manhattan gal myself 😉

          • January 12, 2014 at 12:07 am #

            You can buy pasturized egg whites at most grocery stores. I believe it’s about on part with milk bacteria-wise. Also, I don’t care about her drinking (only the hypocrisy about “drug free”). I think it’s entirely fair to speculate in her alcohol abuse. She blogged it, it’s public. You don’t get “supportive comments only” in real life.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 12, 2014 at 10:12 am #

            I think the fact that she is an alcoholic puts her alcohol use completely on the table. “Just one drink to calm my nerves” is not a concept that alcoholics adhere to easily, although that’s what they will say.

          • Trixie
            January 11, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

            To be clear, I’m not quibbling about the choice of alcohol. A unit of alcohol is a unit of alcohol. It wasn’t just one drink in labor though. She blogged elsewhere about whiskey sours and pregnancy.

          • theNormalDistribution
            January 11, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

            I’m sure the ones she was drinking did. in an interview she was asked “if you could be any drink, what would it be?” and she said “A proper old Whisky Sour – not too sweet, not too tart – with frothy egg-white peaks on top.”

          • Trixie
            January 11, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

            Yes, I read that too.
            I’m not smart enough to do the math, but I’m going to guess that raw egg whites during pregnancy are still safer than home birth with a CPM.

          • Trixie
            January 11, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

            Also the instagram pic of the whiskey sour shows a frothy drink.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      January 11, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

      Yeah, see the thread yesterday where her husband kept talking about how they didn’t want an epidural or c-section because they didn’t want a “drugged up baby.” What is he talking about? Epidurals don’t do that. My wife had two c-sections, and neither of our babies were drugged up.

      Apparently, they are clueless. But they are educated! Just ask him.

      • almostfearless
        January 11, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

        I had two c-sections, same thing. I really love this round up of posts about it: — wish I had read that in 2009 before my first!

      • Young CC Prof
        January 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

        My c/s epidural baby was screaming about ten seconds after they pulled him out, and kept screaming until he was cleaned up. No “drugged” baby there!

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 11, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

          My oldest screamed from the second he was out for 45 minutes. The second started crying immediately, but quit after 10 minutes.

          With both of them, I have pictures of them seconds after they were born, and they are both screaming.

        • Mishimoo
          January 12, 2014 at 12:29 am #

          My eldest let out a single angry cry and promptly sneezed, the second screamed for about 10 minutes, and the youngest copied the eldest, but out-did her with the sneezing.

        • CognitiveDissonaceHurts
          January 13, 2014 at 11:56 pm #

          My grandchild screamed too – I was able to hear from the next room. 🙂 as I then waited impatiently for them to bring the little one for me to cuddle. Baby wanted to nurse right away too, so no drowsiness there, for sure!

      • me
        January 11, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

        I’ll “admit” my epidural baby was sleepier than her sisters. Then again, it was a lengthy induction and a fairly long pushing phase (FTM). Was it the epidural that caused her to be sleepy, or the long, exhausting labor (that caused me to request the epidural in the first place) that led to her being sleepy? I’m guessing the latter….

      • Josephine
        January 12, 2014 at 12:53 am #

        I had a spinal and a decent amount of fentanyl during my c-section and my kid came out crying like a champ with an Apgar of 9, no prob. He did stop crying when he heard his father pipe up about two minutes later, but I think that’s just because he’s fond of the guy and he was a particularly mellow baby. Definitely not “drugged up” in any way.

        I have to refute that “drugged up” BS all the time.

      • R T
        January 12, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

        My son came out alert, wide-eyed and very hungry after my csection! They put him on my chest in the OR and he crawled to my breasts and started nursing. He was never groggy!

      • Luba Petrusha
        January 13, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

        “Clueless but educated.” Now there’s a pithy but extremely accurate description of the home birth movement.

    • me
      January 11, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

      For me it wasn’t avoiding a ‘drugged’ baby so much as fear/concern about other potential side effects (BP bottoming out, spinal headache, etc). But, yeah, knowing that side effects or risks to the baby are extraordinarily rare helped me make the decision to get one for my induction. I did do NCB for my second and third child, but those labors were much less painful than the induciton….

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 11, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

        Then again, he seemed to be under the impression that being in the hospital meant she had to have an epidural. The most common response to him was…”So don’t get an epidural then. Just say no”

        • drsquid
          January 13, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

          eh my bp bottomed out (60 over 40 whee) they gave me fluids etc. i was fine. still better than feeling contractions

    • OB Nurse
      January 11, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

      Epidurals may not drug up baby, but they can bottom out mom’s BP, causing distress and leading to a cesarean. They also lead to more intrumental vaginal births. Just noting they are not completely free of risk.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 11, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

        True, but a non sequitor. Jared didn’t express concern about the potential for low blood pressure or instrumental births. His (their) objection to an epidural (and c-section) is that they didn’t want a drugged up baby.

        • Box of Salt
          January 11, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

          He also made a big deal about lack of mobility and having a needle in her back – which suggests neither one of them understood the actual mechanics of the epidural. He seemed completely surprised when other commenters pointed out that the needle is removed and it’s a plastic tube that remains in place.

          I suspect he was imagining it was an IV in your back.

          • BeatlesFan
            January 11, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

            You’d think he would know better, considering they “did their research”!

            *eye roll*

          • drsquid
            January 13, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

            an iv in your back (or arm) would simply be a little plastic tube too. they dont leave a needle in for ivs either

        • stacey
          January 13, 2014 at 3:01 am #

          But drinking was A-ok?
          These people really are ignorant fools.

      • almostfearless
        January 11, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

        True! The fantastic Adequate Mother wrote about it here: She suggested that epidurals don’t increase c-sections and if you’re concerned about instrumental birth you could ask for a lower dose, since it seems to be linked to higher doses.

      • guesty guest
        January 11, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

        Does the epidural cause the instrumental birth, or are epidurals associated with instrumental births for some other reason? (Like with the c-section association: Difficult births are also painful due to poor positioning, incompatibility of some aspect of the baby’s anatomy with the mother’s, etc?)

        I’m actually curious; the question is not rhetorical.

        • he
          January 11, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

          Instrumental births are extremely painful. There is less incentive not to do one if the patient has an epidural.

          January 11, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

          I think that the pain from poor positioning or incompatibility bring the need for epidural anesthesia- often before it’s determined an instrumental birth is needed. That’s just an opinion. I feel so incredibly sorry for women who refuse epidurals only to find their baby needs some kind of instrumental assistance without anesthetic.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 11, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

            I especially love the NCB claim that epidurals cause sunny-side-up babies. The other stuff, like whether epidurals increase the length of labor, is complicated statistically, but on this one, I think the direction of cause and effect is pretty clear!

      • MaineJen
        January 11, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

        But they are extremely effective at eliminating pain. There comes a point in labor where the pain is just *too much,* and the fact that no one can tell you how much longer you’ll have to endure it makes it 10x worse. It could be half an hour, it could be 6 hours, you don’t know.
        When my husband had his abdominal surgery, he had an epidural catheter in place, and during surgery his BP dropped to dangerous levels. Even so, the problem was corrected and the catheter remained in place for several days after the surgery. No one questioned whether his epidural was ‘necessary,’ given the risks involved. No one suggested he just tough it out with IV meds. He had high levels of pain, and it was treated, end of story.
        Only women’s pain is dismissed like this. Only women are encouraged to ‘tough it out.’ Only women are made to feel they are worthy of respect if they go without ‘drugs,’ only women refer to accepting much-needed pain relief as ‘caving’ or ‘giving in.’ Let’s stop punishing each other for not having the ideal experience (according to who?), and just be glad that our babies can arrive healthy and alert, and we can be healthy and alert and (miracle!) in a minimal amount of pain. Cool, huh?

      • theadequatemother
        January 11, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

        BP can be quickly fixed with fluids and phenylephrine and ephedrine. I have NEVER seen a low BP caused by an epidural or spinal result in a cs….it is quickly and easily fixed.

        • Antigonos CNM
          January 12, 2014 at 1:08 am #

          Actually, I have, and it was deliberate. When I was in the UK in the mid 70s, pre-eclampsia in labor was treated with IV Heminevrine, an anti-convulsant, and BP was controlled by the epidural, which was begun before labor was established [with pitocin induction/augmentation]. It required the strictest patient monitoring, but it was a very elegant form of management, unlike the “shotgun” approach of magnesium sulfate, which could depress babies’ respirations.

          • theadequatemother
            January 12, 2014 at 11:17 am #

            I think you missed the part of my sentence where I said, “and result in a cs” because while we still use epidurals as part of BP management in pre-e we don’t deliberately set out to cause and emergency cs! And I doubt they did in the 1970s either.

      • he
        January 11, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

        They lead to more instrumental births because only a sadist would do that to a woman without an epidural except under extreme circumstances.

        • Guest
          January 12, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

          I had a vacuum birth with no epidural because the epidurals (3) didn’t work. The only part that hurt was the small tear I got when my daughter popped out. From what I’ve read though, forceps would hurt a lot more.

      • Captain Obvious
        January 11, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

        Proper hydration, maternal position, and a dose of ephedrine can fix 99% of maternal hypotension syndrome. I believe epidurals help more patients labor down and allow the head to descend, then the patient doesn’t have to push as long, than the “more instrumental deliveries” you speak of. Exactly how are you administrating your epidurals if you comment the devils advocate negativity of these rare epidural issues.

      • drsquid
        January 13, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

        as i just commented above.. bottomed mine out.. still went on to have a vaginal delivery though i admit, twin b got vacuumed out but that was more to do with 2.5 hrs of pushing with him and him being OP

    • RandomChickGuest
      January 13, 2014 at 11:04 pm #

      I wanted to do the whole NCB thing for all kinds of self-righteous, misinformed reasons, but ONE of the reasonable reasons was that my family has a history of so many anesthetics and ‘caines and pain meds (idk what all they are that do or do not effect us this way) simply not working for us. I was afraid that I would count on epidurals and other pain relief drug, and then they wouldn’t work for me. I can handle pain quite well when I’m prepared for it, but when it catches me off guard, not so much. So I wanted to prepare for pain, basically. And thing were fine, but then I was in a hospital, so…

  36. January 11, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

    I guess its easy to avoid dealing with her choices when there are so many people willing to make shit up to give her an out.

  37. Monica
    January 11, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

    Newsflash Ruth, Dr. Amy is still capable of reading even if she doesn’t actually practice medicine. She is still up to date on new findings in birth. So much so that the ACOG even invited her to talk as an expert of the perils of homebirth (since she does look at this information every day along with all of the studies surrounding it). Has your GP dad been invited to speak on a panel by the ACOG?

  38. The Bofa on the Sofa
    January 11, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    I don’t understand the downplaying of the dangers of a situation that requires a blood transfusion.

    It’s great that we have the ability to replace blood loss to that extent, but it is anything but routine, and not something you want to be doing at all!!!

    I remember once I asked my dad why he didn’t donate blood. He said, “The last time I gave blood, the guy they gave it to died.” No, it was not because of dad’s blood, but because when you are in a situation where you need to add more blood, it’s dangerous.

    Her husband’s idiotic comment that a blood transfusion is preferable to a c-section is the height of idiocy. You lose 3 L of blood, it’s not good. Never.

    • Young CC Prof
      January 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

      Indeed. Blood transfusions even from compatible donors can have pretty nasty side effects. There are reasons cell-saving surgery became so popular so fast, preventing bleeding is much better for the patient than replacing lost blood.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 11, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

        Yes – preventing emergencies is always a better approach than trying to resolve them.

        of course, you have to understand that you are in an emergency in the first place.

        But it was just a routine stay in the ICU…

        • Fuzzy
          January 12, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

          Transfused rbcs die faster and carry less oxygen. They are necessary, but not given anywhere as frequently as they used to be. And yes, it’s a big deal….

    • Captain Obvious
      January 11, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

      Of course we try to avoid blood transfusions. Risk of minor reactions like fever, itch, and swelling. Major reactions like anaphylaxis. Contamination risks with hepatitis, HIV, etc. risks of sensitizing you to antibodies that may risk your next pregnancy. Getting a blood transfusion is not like drinking some Gatorade after a marathon.

      • fiftyfifty1
        January 11, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

        The scariest thing I ever saw during my training was an anaphylaxis from a (very needed) blood transfusion. She got very sick very fast. She actually said “I think I’m dying” and then shat her pants and then I screamed “code code” and the room filled up with people and saved her. Very scary.

        • BeatlesFan
          January 11, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

          What causes anaphylaxis during a transfusion? My husband is anaphalactic when it comes to insect stings, would he be at more of a risk during a transfusion, or is it something totally different? Forgive my ignorance, but I’ve never heard of that risk before, and now I’m fascinated.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 12, 2014 at 9:34 am #

            It’s a reaction mediated by IgE, just like a bee sting allergy. But instead of the patient having IgE antibodies against the proteins in the insect venom, they have IgE antibodies against some protein carried in the plasma of the donor (one type is an IgE against IgA protein). Your husband is not at increased risk. Blood transfusion anaphylaxis is very very rare (like 1/20,000), while insect venom allergy is fairly common. One reason the blood transfusion reaction can be so bad is that the protein is introduced in large amounts directly into the blood stream.

          • BeatlesFan
            January 13, 2014 at 8:28 am #

            That makes sense, thank you for explaining.

    • Amy M
      January 12, 2014 at 10:44 am #

      I didn’t get a blood transfusion after my PPH because my hematocrit was 26, and the cutoff was 21. It was close…but not close enough, because transfusions are a big deal. I felt awful for a long time afterwards and kind of wished I’d been transfused, so maybe I’d have recovered faster, but I understand they save the blood for those who will truly die without it. I have B+ blood type too, which if I recall, is not the most common. Some other poor B+ schmoe who was bleeding out needed it more than me. I made it back eventually.

      • fiftyfifty1
        January 12, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

        The main reason by far that they didn’t transfuse you is that the risks of transfusion are not worth it except in cases more severe than yours. Yep, having a Hct of 26 will make you feel like total crap for a long time, but it won’t make you dead. In contrast, fatal transfusion reactions are super super rare, but they happen. And every time you get a transfusion it makes it more likely you will have a reaction with the next transfusion. Taking the risk of a transfusion for improved energy or quality of life issues may make sense for somebody with a shorter life span (e.g. they did if for my grandma when she was in the final stretch of her cancer), but doesn’t make sense for the young and otherwise healthy.

      • CognitiveDissonaceHurts
        January 13, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

        I also chose not get a blood transfusion. I can’t remember my numbers, but when I had to sign the risk form, I got scared and just.couldn’ I kept remembering discussions I’ve had with Jehovah’s Witnesses. And yes. I felt like crap for a long time. And yes, my medical family yelled at me for a long time. It is a big deal. And I don’t understand Ruth’s cavalier attitude other than it is probably cognitive dissonance, something that I’ve also been suffering with.

  39. Elizabeth Neely
    January 11, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    this homebirth woman putting naked pictures of herself and her infant child on the internet is really an exercise in lack of modesty and too much poor taste. we really dont want to see her glorious goodies…

    • January 11, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

      Then don’t look! “modest” is completely different from person to person, from culture to culture, etc.

      • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
        January 11, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

        I don’t have a problem with her posting pics of herself; like you said, we don’t have to look. But it’s incredibly unfair to her child to post naked pictures of him.

        • Antigonos CNM
          January 11, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

          By the time he’s old enough to look, Facebook and Twitter will probably be completely passe and maybe even no longer exist.

          • Trixie
            January 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

            The pictures will still be on the internet, searchable for all eternity.

          • almostfearless
            January 11, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

            Things do have a way of dropping away. Google ages content out. Websites (remember geocities?) disappear. There’s the Internet Archive/Wayback machine but often images are not visible. I mean I posted stuff to AOL in the 1990s as a teen and that’s all gone.

          • Trixie
            January 11, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

            Yeah, but I’d venture that your AOL posts didn’t create viral news stories picked up by multiple media outlets and blogs, or feature naked pictures. The internet never forgets a naked picture, particularly of attractive young women.

          • almostfearless
            January 11, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

            That’s a good point, Trixie.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 11, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

            I sincerely HOPE that all this disappears into the mists before the child is old enough to care.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 11, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

            The real problem is that the baby is already being treated like a prop in the mother’s effort to aggrandize herself. That may very well manifest in countless deleterious ways.

          • Monica
            January 11, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

            There is so much resting on that poor child’s shoulders. How his mother is viewed in his birth, his parents relationship even according to her blog, and his parents even have expectations of how he’s going to behave as a teenager, meaning he won’t listen to anyone but those who truly care about him. Because you know teenagers aren’t known for giving a crap about every stupid thing their peers say about them or anything like that. I sure hope their wonderful black midwife can recommend a really good lay (hopefully black because apparently that’s what’s important when choosing professionals is the color of his skin) therapist for him in the future as well. Poor kid, starting out with the weight of the world resting squarely on his shoulders. The expectations of what this kid will do for her and for their relationship and apparently for all future teenagers is high.

          • attitude devant
            January 11, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

            I don’t know, Antigonos. We’ve all watched that hilarious birthing video of the naked couple on the Costa Brava. And that poor kid is in high school in Marin County.

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