Sometimes I think the best argument against American homebirth midwifery is merely to expose their utter lack of ethics, their willingness to lie for their own ends, and the sheer stupidity involved in posting inappropriate behavior to the internet and then trying to deny what people can see right in front of their eyes.
At of this moment, 229 people have signed the petition to Jan Tritten, Editor of Midwifery Today, expressing revulsion as her grossly unethical, unprofessional behavior that resulted in the preventable death of a baby. The petition is being promoted even in some surprising places such as on the Facebook page of a homebirth midwife.
But Tritten still thinks she can absolve herself of moral responsibility in this baby’s death and she’s going about it in the most moronic possible way. Did she write that she was caring for this patient? Oh, she had nothing to do with the care of this patient. She was just writing in the voice of another midwife. I’ll let you decide.
Here’s what Jan originally wrote:
What would you do? Primip with accurate dates to within a few days who has reassuring NST at 42.1weeks, as well as reassuring placenta and baby on BPP, but absolutely zero fluid seen. 42.2 re-do of BPP and again, mom has hydrated well, but no fluid seen. Baby’s kidneys visualized and normal, and baby’s bladder contained normal amount of urine. We’re in a state with full autonomy for midwives and no transfer of care regulations past 42 weeks. Absolutely no fluid seen…what do we truly feel are the risks compared to a woman whose water has been broken and so baby/cord has no cushion there either. Cord compression only? True possibility of placenta being done although it looks good? Can anyone share stories/opinions? …
Here’s what she says now:
The questions on this page are messaged privately to me and put up anonymously. They are not my cases. This is to help mothers, midwives, doulas and physicians in their work. It is to opinions from many different practitioners and parents.
Really? Could have fooled me.
I see no indication anywhere that this was anything other than a case in which Jan was deeply involved, in real time, and was grossly unprofessional in crowd sourcing a life and death decision on Facebook. Jan can deny it as much as she wants, but her own writing says something very different, and very damning than what she is saying now in an attempt to save herself from public opprobrium, and worse.
For the time being, until Jan prevents actual evidence, not weasel words, I am taking her initial writing as the truth. She was involved in this case and she was morally, if not also legally, culpable in this baby’s death.
But Jan is hardly the only one back pedaling as fast as she can.
“Wanda Smith Midwife” was mentioned in passing on the my original post for her “advice” offered to Tritten:
Wanda Smith Midwife absolutely no experience with “0″ fluid, but have had two go quite over with very low fluid (under 5), one was 18 days over, quite uneventful home birth, and one was 19 days over with heavy mec and true knot, that did give a us a little trouble, but she stilled birthed vaginally (my emphasis)
But Wanda Smith Midwife suddenly remembered that her actions in both those cases violated midwifery regulations in Virginia where she practices.
Thinking quickly, this genius came up with the following:
Ladies may this be seen by everyone. I was the first to respond to the original post. Like many on this thread, I made an assumption. I assumed that this mom was in hospital or was being referred in. I assumed the midwife was seeking stories for outcomes, NOT seeking advice as to stay at home with an obvious dangerous situation. My answer was not thorough, and I am horrified by how I look by reading the docs blog. I gave two cases, one 18 days over and one 19 days over, both with a low AFI = not ZERO AFI. Each case was transferred into the hospital, because each had reached the end scope of my practice guidelines. Though each passed BPP guidelines, with an 8 out of 8. AFI was low but still WNL. We (Parents, OB, & Midwife) made decisions according to combined data, post dates pregnancy & LOW AFI, to induce labor with continuous EFM. My births had excellent outcomes. I have never been and will never be a do or die home birth midwife, and those that interview me know and I state, “if you are a do or die home birther, I am not the midwife for you.” Please, please do not assume that all midwives are uneducated, can’t read US reports, don’t know when to refer, don’t attend peer review, and don’t have practice guidelines. I also am not making the assumption that any midwife is sitting around waiting for internet responses instead of being proactive. None of us know exactly what happened to cause this death. It is tragic for everyone. I certainly will never respond on public forum again, for multiple reasons. (my emphasis)
Lying about it now just makes it worse, Wanda.
You wrote the following on the Facebook page associated with your own website, Gentle Birth Roanoke:
With JOY and tremendous ADMIRATION for one strong momma Gentle Birth Roanoke welcomes “SNOWbaby” Henry. He was born this morning at 9:14 am and weighed 8 lbs. 6 ozs. at 18 days over his due date. His wonderful parents are so pleased to be resting after two days of labor and hosting their midwife team overnight. Thankful for prayers, snowplows, and kind citizens who made it possible for us to safely get to and from this birth. w/Dawn & Cindy = pictures of our travels to follow. (my emphasis)
And the doula wrote about the birth, too.
Coincidence? I think not, but even if it were, it shows that Wanda Smith has violated the terms of her midwifery license.
Jan (and Wanda), I cannot thank you enough. You are working hard to demonstrate the fact that American homebirth midwives are not medical professionals. They have no safety standards. They violate the terms of their licenses and they lie about, too. Personally, I think that the worst thing about the lies is not that they are offered, but that homebirth midwives are as dumb as posts, imagining they can lie about what anyone can read for themselves and no one will notice.
Bad news, ladies: The days of getting your birth junkie highs while not giving a damn about the health and safety of your patients are coming to an end. Keep talking; keep violating your own practice standards; keep letting babies die and not offering a shred of remorse about your own involvement. You are doing my job for me.
People are disgusted and they are signing the petition to let you know.
Jan Tritten, stop the pathetic, self serving attempts to deny responsibility for the preventable loss of an innocent baby’s life; it’s sickening. Instead, start apologizing and begging forgiveness from the family you have harmed.