Birth certificates are unreliable, MANA? Since when?

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Are we supposed to believe that birth certificate data went from reliable to unreliable in just 5 months? Or does it make more sense to conclude that the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) will do and say anything to avoid acknowledging the hideous number of babies who die at the hands of their members?

  • Zornorph

    Birth certificates have been unreliable since Obama was born,

  • fishcake

    I’m a birth certifier in Oregon and I take the job seriously. I don’t certify until I verify all statistical data, checked against the mother and baby’s medical charts. If the picture is not clear, I dig.

    • LMS1953

      Fishcake, MANA complains that the data is corrupted because “intended place of birth” was not tracked, just “actual place of birth”. Is that true? Do you track number of prenatal visits and type of provider? It is my understanding that if a mom gets transfered in labor from a homebirth setting and there is a subsequent neonatal death that the death gets debted to the hospital. Do you track that? If those deaths were debted to the intended place of birth (home) the stats would be even worse. Finally, do you have a link to the items that are required for an Oregon Birth Certificate/Death Certificate such as a Department of Health site? Thanks so much for your input. You are the perfect resource for this discussion.

      • fishcake

        Intended place of birth is definitely tracked in addition to final place of birth. Transfers are noted as well. If a birth was planned for home or at a birth center, type of attendant is tracked. The first and last prenatal visit as well as the total number of visits are captured. The type of provider that did the prenatal care is not tracked, but of course, the birth attendant is entered.

        As far as neonatal deaths go… Babies that are born alive and then die get birth certificates and death certificates. If a child dies after birth, that is captured on the birth certificate and the place of birth (the hospital for transfers) is linked to that stat.

        I also do fetal death certificates, usually for babies who die in labor, before birth. Most recent one was for an apparently healthy baby who died in home birth. I’ve never done one for a planned hospital birth.

        http://public.health.oregon.gov/BirthDeathCertificates/RegisterVitalRecords/Documents/Birth/OREBRSInstrbcnew.pdf

        • LMS1953

          That is simply awesome, thanks. Your points seem to refute all of MANA’s complaints about the accuracy of the data – in Oregon at least. As I understand it, Oregon requires CPMs to report their stats, as well as being home to MANA and Missy Cheney.

        • LMS1953

          On page 18 it says that the intended place of birth field became law on January 1, 2012. The MANA data was from 2004 to 2009 and it took five years to report the data.

        • Trixie

          Thank you so much for joining this discussion.

    • manabanana

      All states need to be documenting births like Oregon does.

  • LibrarianSarah

    OT but I have heard a lot of murmmering in “the community” about another arrogant mommy blogger with a recently diagnosed kid promoting “cure culture” on the Facebook and guess who it was. Show no mercy Amy. Take every damn cent of hers you can. The more money she hands over to you the less she can spend on bullshit “cures” to attempt to fix what isn’t broken.

    • theNormalDistribution

      That reminds me that we haven’t seen a lawsuit update in a while. I wonder how it’s going?

    • Certified Hamster Midwife
    • Trixie

      She’s just so awful.

    • Sarahm

      I’m actually with TFB on this one. I can’t believe it, but I am. Why not want a cure for Autism? My dear friends have a little boy who can barely communicate with them. He spends his days pacing back and forth, screaming out in frustration. Their house is locked down because he will run off if given the opportunity. It’s torture to watch him because I knew him “before”. He gave hugs and kisses, he spoke in little toddler sentences, he interacted with other kids. Why not try to find something to lift the veil and bring back the boy I know is just trapped inside? Am I missing something?

      • Sarahm

        Ok, now I think I understand a bit better. She is claiming that birth practices cause autism. Of course! And she is acting like she knows everything about ASD because her son was just diagnosed with a very high functioning form of Aspergers. Got it. She’s a tool.

      • AlisonCummins

        Anything promoted as a “cure” for autism isn’t one. Like injecting children with bleach, or putting them on restrictive diets. It’s like thinking you’re going to “cure” Down syndrome or CP by doing dangerous and painful things to children. It never ends because the underlying condition is not curable.

        There are educational interventions that may help, most based on behaviour modification principles. Unfortunately many of these are not well-tested and may have downsides.

        Most autistics feel as though their autism is part of them, not something that can be separated from them. This can be a point of stress between them and their parents who may see autism as something that came and took their perfect child away.

        • Nashira

          I can’t get over the horror that is “MSM”. Forcibly administering enough bleach to your child to remove their intestinal lining is one of the most disgusting and WRONG things I have heard of in a long, long time. I hope to never meet anyone who espouses that s***, because I sincerely do not know whether or not I’d be able to restrain the urge to punch them. I’m not even an aggressive or violent person, but it’s so… it’s so wrong and abusive and wrong.

          “This can be a point of stress between them and their parents who may see autism as something that came and took their perfect child away.”

          I think this is something that holds true for any kind of noteworthy disability, but it seems to take a more toxic form amongst parents of kids on the Spectrum. My mom still struggles with accepting who I am now, with my depression, anxiety, and severe-when-untreated chronic pain, as it’s so different from who she hoped I was. She’s finally starting to get it, though, ten years after the pain showed up, but only because treatment reduced the behaviors she hated. x.x

          • thepragmatist

            I’m glad I found this conversation. As I am starting to come to grips with my obviously very different son (who just spent an entire swim class off spinning in a circle singing while the other kids followed along and who is extremely bright but will scream if separated from me) and over the years have had to come to terms with my own differences and watch my parents (well, one) come to terms with it, I see more and more promise in neurodiversity and its message of inclusion and also, of self-mastery through accepting one’s limits and one’s true self. Granted there is tragedy in the loss of a “normal” life. But there are also aspects that are profoundly wonderful. My son was born nearly blind and he has always been a little different. I’ve worked hard with early intervention to keep him up on his milestones. I think the only “cure” there is to these genetic “disorders” (and in many cases its not so much the person who is disordered but the people who want the person to fit into a specific role) is to teach ways to express oneself to others in a way that others can understand and that the ND can live with. I can write, but I can’t talk much on the phone (not to strangers) because I don’t know when to stop talking. I can’t help it. I try. And when I write, I rarely stop. I was in the top percentile of high IQ students in my city and failed out of high school for “bad behaviour”. If only I had the kind of acceptance we have now, my behaviours would’ve been seen as more typical spectrum behaviours. I’m also Bipolar, another disease that people are trying to cure, but I am not entirely sure I would want to be cured. I need help, and I take medications, but cured? I would not want to be anyone but who I am. I think we (the ND) find the idea of “cures” threatening, because we’re not talking about cancers but about the very things that make up the fabric of our personalities. I am more than just a collection of symptoms, it’s true, but being Bipolar and probably on the spectrum somewhere, has made me who I am. I have some very strong skills and talents I doubt would be there were I not born “defective” as those in the “cure-at-all-costs” camp would suggest. And as I watch my son grow, I hope I can give him a much better experience. As he cried after swimming lessons because he couldn’t stay still to focus on the instructor and he wanted to stay, I told him we would get it next time. I wish my parents had been there like that. Yes, it is hard to be the only parent in the pool with the kid who is singing and spinning in circles and trust me, will not stop, but that exuberant creativity will also be a boon to him when channeled appropriately.

            I hope I put this right… we do have early intervention. And I am not trying to minimize the difficulties of these things. But the joys are huge too. My heart laughed a little at my boy, with his ragged hair (will not let me cut it), spinning and singing in the pool. The downside are things like hour long screaming tantrums over the seams in his socks not matching and so on.

      • AlisonCummins

        Michelle Dawson is an example of an autistic who is both very disabled and very bright, who has contributions to make because of her autism.

        She can write and speak, but it’s draining. She’d prefer to communicate through dance. She lives in an apartment but has almost no furniture and sleeps on the floor. She can’t cook and it would be dangerous for her to try.

        She is also a prominent university researcher. http://web.archive.org/web/20080525091625/http://www.autismconnect.org/news.asp?section=00010001&itemtype=news&id=5682

      • fiftyfifty1

        Autism with regression is especially difficult, isn’t it? It’s harder to accept than autism that showed itself from the start. Parents with kids with Autism with regression respond in the same way as people do when they watch a loved one develop the signs of schizophrenia or alzheimers or Huntingtons or Gauchers. The “after” is a very different situation from the “before”. I think that as science learns more about Autism we will find proof that regressive autism is different from non-regressive. Regressive autism will be seen as a neurodegenerative disease like the other above examples. I don’t think that the pre-autism person is “trapped inside” any more than the pre-alzheimers person is. I think the brain is altered and that the previous form of that person is gone.

        All that said, TFB is an idiot if she thinks she has any autism “cure”.

      • Guesteleh

        Not all people with autism are as debilitated as your friend’s son. Many people with autism manage to work, get married, have children, i.e. live relatively normal lives with quirks and weirdness (my husband works in software development and he knows a lot of spectrum people in the industry). They are (rightly) offended by some of the language used by the advocacy groups (which are mostly made up of parents of children with autism who aren’t autistic themselves) that make it seem like living with an autistic child is a life-ruining experience or that imply it’s better to have a dead kid than an autistic kid (the whole vaccine debacle). They are saying, hey, my life is worthwhile and I deserve to be treated with respect like any other human being.

        Having said that, the neurodiversity movement isn’t taking into account what it’s like for parents whose kids are more severely affected. If you have a child who can’t speak, can’t use a computer, isn’t toilet trained in adulthood and erupts in violent behavior multiple times a day, of course you want a cure. The most severely affected people aren’t the majority but they’re out there and the ND people don’t have much to offer those families other than some platitudes on acceptance and a huge dose of hostility and judgement aimed at the parents.

        • deafgimp

          You know, your first paragraph describes very closely to what happens in the Deaf community with hearing people. It’s spooky how similar it is. It’s really a typical ablebodied reaction to disability, sadly.

      • http://shameonbetterbirth.wordpress.com/ Shameon Betterbirth

        Autism is a spectrum, and quite a lot of people with milder forms of autism are quite happy with who they are. I’ve known a lot of people with aspergers, they were all lovely. Just different than me. Part of aspergers is having a very narrow set of interests, it can mean that someone is extremely knowledgeable about specific subjects and can endlessly discuss it with you. I appreciate it a lot. I would be bored out of my mind if every person on earth was neurotypical.

        • Sarahm

          I know aspergers and autism are all on the same spectrum, but there is a huge difference between the people you reference and my friend’s son. He doesn’t have focused interests or a quirky personality. He screams for hours on end. When he isn’t crying, he never stops moving. He paces the house repeating the same word, over and over again. I want help for him and his parents. I don’t understand why that is wrong.

          • Young CC Prof

            Wanting to help people with severe autism: Good.

            Encouraging parents to spend all their time and money pursuing dubious “cures” that will not work and may cause serious harm to the child: Bad.

            Bleach enemas, chemical castration, IV chelation therapy for children who definitely do NOT have excessive levels of heavy metals in the bloodstream… The quackery is unbelievable.

    • Guesteleh

      Gina has no idea what a hornet’s nest she’s kicking over with her comments. I know she’s a narcissist and loves any kind of attention, good or bad, but she’s not ready for the tidal wave of angry autism parents and adults that’s about to descend on her. It will be interesting to see how she reacts.

    • AlisonCummins

      Autism has a strong genetic component. It’s interesting that her thinking appears to be so inflexible.

      • Captain Obvious

        I am somewhat ignorant of autism, but I thought there was a genetic component. I have seen families with multiple kids with autism. If this is true and one of her other children develop ASD, what will be her excuse then?
        Seen this on a blog condemning Gina, “What I will say is that your kid is your kid, and please be careful that they don’t grow up internalizing the message, “We love everything about you except your autism.” If parents of autistic kids could say (and believe) “We love our autistic kid, and we’re working to help them love all of themselves,” that would be so great. And you know what? Loving your kid doesn’t mean not looking for ways to make some things easier. Fight for access. Help your kids develop good coping strategies. Love their quirks, and reassure them that we’re all a little different in our own ways. Help them learn to self-advocate to minimize the impact of their impairments on their school and work and independent lives.
        Reassure them (and yourselves) that autism isn’t the problem.”

  • guest

    the latter, I’m thinkin