Jan Tritten’s Birth Page: to the frontier of homebirth idiocy and beyond!

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If you are searching for evidence of the ignorance and incompetence of homebirth midwives and homebirth advocates, you really can’t beat Jan Tritten’s Birth Page on Facebook.

Jan’s done some editing on the page lately, what with the scandal surrounding her decision to crowd source a life and death situation on her personal Facebook page in real time while the baby was dying. Jan has removed recent posts, but for some unfathomable reason has left  the older evidence of her mind boggling ignorance.

Here’s a few examples good for laughs or expressions of horror, or both.

1. First we have this:

Trittens birth page 1

Jan writes (on behalf of another homebirth midwife):

A mother is asking any advice on how to turn a transverse lie at 37 weeks? It is her second pregnancy and baby has been transverse from week 20. Her first babies, twins were cesarean, because breech. Any tips greatly appreciated, since she would like to skip the c-cection this time.

Almost all the “tips” are unspeakably stupid, but the winner is Tara:

I’d also explore any fear issues and Let them go. My midwife on my last pregnancy explored with me at around that stage why my daughter kept turning breech despite spinning babies etc. She told me baba often moves closer to mamas heart when s/he knows mama is upset/afraid. Realising this helped me release any stress & fear and I chatted with my unborn that night to reassure her and tell her I was fine and she could move into position – which she duly did during the night and we went on to have an incredibly beautiful homebirth. good luck mama x

The baby senses her mother’s fear and moves closer to her heart. Really, Tara? By turning right side up, she is no closer to her mother’s heart than she was before. What is being closer to her heart do for either baby or mother? And, Tara, do you really believe that a mother’s emotions are in her heart as opposed to her brain? If so, where are they located, the atria or the ventricles?

2. In this one, Jan proves she is ecumenical in her ignorance. She knows nothing about midwifery, and she knows nothing about animal husbandry, either:

Trittens birth page 2

Jan generously shares these nuggets of stupidity:

… [O]ur practices of taking baby from mother, having cold birth room etc cause hemorrhages…

Cord and membranes actually have more hemorrhage stemming hormones and work great if placenta isn’t out…

I have said before cats and dogs don’t die of hemorrhage!

3. This is the worst one of them all, but not because of the stupidity, but because of the egotism, unwillingness to take responsibility for mistakes and the apparent refusal to learn, or even try to learn, from tragedies.

Trittens birth page 3

A midwife asks:

..How does a midwife move on with confidence and trust in her skill when there is a negative outcome either due to an omission or commission on her part? What can a midwife do to heal her own heart? (my emphasis)

Tritten replies:

…Forgive yourself is a good starting point.

No, forgiving yourself is NOT a good starting point. A baby is injured or dead and the place to start is to get down on your knees and beg forgiveness to the people whose lives you have busted into a million pieces, the parents.

The next step is an investigation into what mistakes you made and why.

The third step is intensive education and practice in handling similar situations in the future so no other baby will be injured or die as a result of your ignorance or lack of training.

Forgiving yourself is not on the list, because you don’t deserve to be forgiven.

If a baby was injured or died because you didn’t understand what was happening, or you didn’t know what to do, or you pretended everything was fine and hoped the problem would fix itself, you are RESPONSIBLE for a baby’s injury or death. You should never forgive yourself because what you have done is unforgivable.

You should NEVER forget.

And you should do everything in your power to make sure that such a tragedy never happens again!

  • webhill

    One wonders if she has considered the possibility that cats and dogs have an entirely different type of placentation than humans do – the human hemochorial placenta would be, I imagine, the most hemorrhage-prone type of placenta, compared to the dog/cat endotheliochorial placenta, in which the uterine endothelial layer is retained…

  • melindasue22

    Wow and check her out comparing slavery to birth freedom or whatever nonsense she says. http://midwivesofcolor.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/has-anyone-read-jan-trittens-article-childbirth-abolitionists/

    • Trixie

      W.T.F.

  • medwife

    AMEN! I am tired of the quackery disguised as “traditional” care… the continued stories of bad outcomes are sickening; I feel isolated in my belief that the practice of homebirth midwifery needs a drastic overhaul. The results from the NARM study are appalling…
    Sincerely, a state licensed homebirth midwife

  • Courtney M

    I loved the “someone needs to do a research project on this” in reference to hemorrhage – yeah that has never, ever been done the doctors are just making stuff up as they go at best they have an hypothesis about third stage but nature really knows best and dogs and cats PROVE it. In home-birth land it appears that research that doesn’t support the crazy just ceases to exist completely as if it never happened and intuition rules as long as it is in line with the group think. It is complete insanity, it makes me want to drive around with my hazards on going whichever direction I choose and blaming everyone I run into for lacking the intuition to know where I was going because that kind of crazy would make sense in home-birth land. The sad thing is that I would face serious legal, insurance, and monetary liabilities for my insane driving techniques yet these people are putting mothers and newborns in higher risk situations, intentionally stripped of all protections, and getting away with it.

  • Lawyer Jane

    Holy cow, this old thread on Midwifery Today with a midwife asking IN REAL TIME about how to deal with a newborn with grunting and retractions. Luckily it seems that she got the baby to the hospital and it did ok. But still terrifying: http://community.midwiferytoday.com/forums/p/699/3411.aspx#3411. WHO ARE THESE JOKERS AND WHY ARE THEY DELIVERING BABIES????

    Highlights:
    - Midwife IN REAL TIME posts a questions about what to do with grunting and retractions in a newborn
    - breathing problems could be due to “Lack of maternal bonding.”
    - instead of taking baby to the hospital, try things like “talking to baby about taking big deep slow breaths”
    - a story about a baby with apparently severe respiratory distress who was not transported until THREE HOURS after birth. The clueless midwife can’t figure out what they did in the NICU to resucitate the baby and wants to know what she can do next time so presumably she doesn’t have to transport the baby.
    - recommending “skin to skin” and “a good feed”
    - the MW then chimes in to say that the crowdsourcing “confirmed the need we had for transporting this baby.”

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      On the positive side, at least she was watching the baby and not off making tea.

    • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

      Babies that “check out” at birth and need to be “called back” often “check out” in other ways during adolescence?

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Oh. My. Isn’t that how one of the babies on Hurt by Homebirth died? The poor thing probably has GBS or something and needs a NICU. At least it sounds like they did transport in the end.

  • Dr Kitty

    Completely OT,
    I had the worst nightmare the other night that I was in labour at 38 weeks and midwives were preventing me from getting an epidural and repeat CS and were making me have a VBAC without analgesia.
    It was not fun and brought up some other stuff I haven’t thought about in a while, and would quite frankly prefer never to think about again.
    I might need to take a little break from here.

    • Anj Fabian

      :(

      Take care of yourself!

    • sleuther

      Dr Kitty, you must do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself. I have had instances of online wank seeping over into ‘real life’ (not skeptical OB-related) and there are absolutely times when we all need to ‘step away from the internets’ for a while.

      Probably OT, but I took my 9 year old daughter to the pediatrician this morning – she’s having trouble gaining weight and is being treated for constipation-related urinary tract issues (ugh) – anyway, we had to do a weight check and also do a blood test to rule out thyroid disorders or vitamin deficiencies, yadda yadda yadda.

      Anyway, our pediatrician is wonderful, and at the end of the visit, she asked my daughter if SHE had any questions, and my daughter did have a question: “Why do I have to take 3 different medicines for the same thing?” and our ped answered the question very well indeed by saying how the 3 medicines each do a slightly different thing to help us towards our goal (and she was very specific about what this goal is), and what might happen if we didn’t address it from all angles, and we all understand the treatment better now: myself, my husband, and our daughter. (And Dear Daughter was very scared indeed of the blood draw, but she soldiered through it, the tech got her on the first try, yay! – and DD is now quite pleased at how brave she was.)

      • NoLongerCrunching

        Just wanted to pass this on – my daughter has the same thing, and the book “It’s No Accident,” by Dr Steve Hodges, was very helpful to me.

        • sleuther

          omg – googling it now. THANK YOU!!

  • Amy M

    I spent a shameful several hours yesterday poring over the MT facebook page. I couldn’t look away, it was like a trainwreck. I went back into about mid-2012. (My children were at their auntie’s, so I wasn’t neglecting anyone.) I found a couple more crowdsourced questions like Jan Tritten’s (real time tragedies-waiting-to-happen), but they had no responses, either the crowd was smart enough to ignore, or the responses have been deleted. I saw a lot of general stupidity, much of which has been discussed already, either here or in past posts (garlic in the vagina for gbs, herbs and eating placenta to stop hemorrhage, broken water for days is no problem as long as there are no vaginal exam ’cause THOSE cause infection including gbs, baby will come when its ready 42wk+ not an issue, vaginal breech at home is a-ok).

    I was surprised to see more intelligence than I would have thought. There were a larger number of “my baby died from gbs, get the antibiotics, garlic in the vag is crap” than I would have expected. They weren’t deleted. The mother of Shahzad left a reply to the midwife who killed her baby….something along the lines of “I can’t believe the midwife who killed my son is out and about giving deadly advice again.” She advised the poster not to listen to the nonsense, and her post was left to stand. Many posts suggesting that someone with a high-risk issue should seek medical advice, and/or the advice that was being given was outright wrong. One about ketones where half the responses identified ketones as sugars and took issue with the nutritionist’s diet advice to the pregnant woman who posted the question. Someone finally stepped in and corrected them. Several where women with issues that called for delivery between 37 and 40wk were asking advice about types of induction or something, and half of the responses were “I don’t understand why you don’t just let the baby come naturally. You are risking a preemie/C-section/you can go to 42 wks!” Generally, in those threads, someone pointed out the gigantic glaring medical issue that the responses had somehow missed or mis-understood and reminded them that the original poster wasn’t looking for their opinions on inducing as that decision had been made, and they wanted to know something else.

    There were only follow-ups on a few of these, but they all seemed to be positive. Negative stories were often in the responses, but the actual original posters themselves, when they came back to report, generally had good things to say. The ones that didn’t have follow-ups were the ones submitted by other midwives or “anonymous”, the crowd-sourcing type ones. Not sure if they weren’t followed up, or if those responses were deleted after the Gavin Michael disaster. Or both. I can’t imagine being a professional, frequently giving my opinion/advice and not caring about the outcomes of these cases, so I’ll just decide to believe that the outcomes were deleted or maybe the advisors follow-up in private.

    Anyway, I guess that makes me a little crazy, but after the Gavin Michael debacle, I wanted to see just how common this was, or was this an isolated incident. Clearly, this sort of thing has been going on a while. No professionalism, and no brains over there at all. Sorry so long, I see from this post, I’m not the only one who read their site, but despite seeing it with my own eyes, I still find it amazing that people in the Western world in this day and age behave this way.

  • Sue

    Breech occurs because ”baba often moves closer to mama’s heart when he/she knows mama is upset/anxious”’

    OH. MY. GOODNESS.

    • yugaya

      Not ALL of them are daft like THAT:

      -from Jan Tritten fb page:

      “I read some babies are breech to protect their heads.”

      Their opinion on malpractice insurance is also quite advanced:

      “I think as midwives we need to look at the insurance from the mother/baby point of view as we are serving them…does it serve them well? Not in my experiance….they are there not to serve mums but to line their pockets…….let’s not hang our selves with this issue….”

  • http://Www.awaitingjuno.blogspot.com/ Mrs. W

    This is why malpractice insurance would be a very good thing…I imagine a whole lot of silliness would disappear if it meant that the midwife would be sued and would have to account for what actually happened…

  • ngozi

    There was a recent article on Yahoo! website called “Homebirths Increase to 37-year High.” The most comments at the end are from people who have apparently fallen head first into a big bucket of woo. I commented that a NST test in the hospital help save my son’s life. Do you know that my post received 4 thumbs down!!! That was unbelievable to me! I’m talking about my son’s life being saved and it is met with what amounts to boos and hisses. What are these people thinking?

    • anion

      There are some trolls who downvote everything, just for funsies. I’ve seen people reply to stories about recent deaths (like, “I lost my husband last month in a car accident,” type comments) with “I’m sorry for your loss,” and get downvoted. It’s pretty gross.

      • realitycheque

        There’s also the possibility that people accidentally down-vote things and then either don’t know how to undo it, or can’t by the website’s voting system.

        That said, knowing the insanity of some of these crunchies, I could see them down-voting ngozi’s comment under the delusion of, “Well, your baby wouldn’t have been in distress in the first place had you not been in hospital!!”, or possibly, “The NST was probably fine and the doctors were just playing the dead baby card!”

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Re negative outcomes because you screwed up: I agree with Dr. Tuteur entirely about begging for forgiveness from the parents (but not harassing them for it if they’re not willing to give it: you are obliged to ask, they aren’t obliged to give) first and trying to find the cause to avoid a recurrence second.

    However, it gets worse. If you’re in medicine in any way (doctor, nurse, NP, lab tech, etc) there’s going to be a time when you screw up and someone dies or is harmed because of it. It can happen to anyone, no matter how smart, well trained, or engaged they are. These incidents can be minimized with good training, drills for emergencies, and being engaged with the patient care, but they will occasionally occur. No one can avoid ever making a mistake. And it’s never going to be ok. And you’re going to have to find a way to live with it.

    In some ways, I think this is the central problem of medicine: It’s never acceptable to make a mistake with someone else’s life–and it’s impossible to never make a mistake. This, to me, more than the hours, the training required, or even the ridiculous insurance system, is the reason medicine is hard. And also the central reason that medical practice of any sort should not be undertaken by amateurs with a high school diploma.

    • AlisonCummins

      I disagree that one is obligated to beg for forgiveness from the parents. One offers sincere, heartfelt apologies and condolences and that’s it. One doesn’t ask anything of them!

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        Good point. The parents don’t owe you anything.

    • guest

      That is really, really well put. So true.

    • Jtmo

      ^This is very well said. I both hope that I always live in fear of making a mistake and that I can live with myself when I do. At the same time, I read and drill and ask for help and try very, very hard not make any. You have to have broad shoulders to practice medicine and be willing to accept that responsibility.

    • Meredith Watson

      This is exactly why I could never practice medicine.

    • Medwife

      Physicians have a relatively high rate of suicide. I don’t point this out as a good thing btw. But that’s how bad it is, to have a “never event” happen to you, in that environment. It is an immense thing to overcome.

      • Stacy21629

        A veterinarian in NY committed suicide 2 weeks ago after facing a board complaint, online harassment and picketing of her practice.

        http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-veterinarian-driven-suicide-cat-custody-fight-article-1.1701820
        :(

        • Mishimoo

          I read about that, it’s awful. That poor vet :(
          Those feral cat feeders are like the homebirth midwives of the animal world, but more vicious and organised.

          • Petanque

            That’s scarily very true, Mishimoo!

          • Mishimoo

            Some of the things they believe just boggle my mind, same with some of the nonsense that (bad) pet breeders spout in order to justify medical negligence.

        • Trixie

          Veterinarians have a very high suicide rate. Easy access to Euthasol….

        • Susan

          That’s such a sad story. People treat doctors like they are objects not human. I guess vets too.

        • Petanque

          That’s a tragic story – I knew Shirley through the online veterinarian community, and she was a kind, hardworking person who was basically harassed to death by vicious people who hold no accountability. Messages on their Facebook page and Twitter rejoiced at the news she had died.

          OT I know, but there is a Change.org petition aiming to shed light on this kind of behaviour:

          https://www.change.org/petitions/new-york-state-division-of-criminal-justice-services-hold-those-accountable-for-the-suicide-of-dr-shirley-koshi

          • Anj Fabian

            Let’s see. Someone brings injured cat to vet. Vet treats it. Supposed owner shows up and says “Hey, that’s my cat!”.

            Vet response “Hey, here’s your bill!”.

            As for feeding feral cats? No fence sitting or evasion.
            If the cats are yours, you should be fully responsible for their welfare and legally liable.

            If the cats are not yours, then they can be considered nuisance animals and dealt with in any manner that the law permits.

          • Stacy21629

            “I knew Shirley through the online veterinarian community”
            Are you a vet as well?

          • Petanque

            Yes, and I find a lot of interesting parallels between my world and the human medical sphere.
            Our struggle is not only trying to manage random misinformation disguised as helpful advice but also the idea that veterinarians are really hiding the truth to squeeze pet owners out of money. Raw meat diets, garlic for parasite control, colloidal silver, the woo is strong in the pet community!

  • Jules

    I love how Alison Reid says that it’s good to humbly look at what happened and MAYBE study up on now it could be managed differently next time.
    All the self-centered bs about reflecting and forgiving themselves comes first and taking steps to be more knowledgeable and therefore better prepared in future situations is secondary and optional.

  • OBPI Mama

    I have heard the fear = breech load of crap before. By my former midwife (shocking)! My 2nd son turned breech very late in pregnancy and was confirmed breech via ultrasound. I went home from my obgyn’s office and called her to see if she had suggestions on turning him. She told me maybe I had anxieties and was fearful about his upcoming TOL and that is why he was breech. This is a common belief with homebirthers.

    • LMS1953

      It was once a common belief that ichthyosis was caused by the pregnant woman seeing an alligator, that a port wine stain on the baby’s face was caused by the pregnant mom handling a bottle of port wine and then touching her face. Even today you can hear grandma or the mother-in-law chastise the pregnant mom for putting her hands over her head since that is what causes nuchal cords.

      If you could really “trust birth” then wouldn’t you expect the baby to scramble into the vertex presentation if s/he senses maternal fear and worry to give mom one less thing to worry about?

      • Trixie

        Exactly.

        • Amazed

          I can shake my head all I want but I’d actually take stupid nonsense which is just nonsense, rather than stupid nonsense that has the potential to do real damage. Around here, there are still those who believe that one should salt the baby to prevent sweat from reeking, or prevent sweating from happening at all, I am not sure which. Occasionally, a baby whose mother actually followed this advice makes the news when it’s admitted to a hospital with burns.

          • Trixie

            Salt the baby? What? How do you even do that?

          • Amazed

            Imagine a chicken. That’s right. A fucking chicken. You take the baby, and you take some salt, and you rub. Sometimes, you take much, much salt and the baby ends up in the ER.

            Luckier babies just get bathed in salt water. But hey, some babies, like yours truly 30 odd years ago were meant to be victims of the Big Scenta – that’s, bathe twice a day and use unnatural products like soaps and deodorants.

          • Trixie

            W.
            T.
            F.

          • Amazed

            Exactly!

          • auntbea

            Where I work in Uganda, some parents apply ash or cow dung to the cut end of the cord. (I am not entirely clear what the symbolism of that is.) Newborns show up at the hospital with tetanus.

      • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

        My grandma told the one about raising your arms over your head wraps the cord around baby’s neck – she also believed it was caused by climbing ladders. And told me eating bread crusts would give me curly hair.

        • anion

          I was told my awful heartburn in both of my pregnancies meant my babies would be born with a lot of hair.

          They were in fact both born with full heads of hair. Hey, that counts as evidence, right? I hereby declare that heartburn = babies with lots of hair, theory scientifically proven.

          • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

            Uhoh. But… I heard the same story. My heartburn was bad enough that I could spit acid like a xenomorph but my kid was bald as Ripley in the third movie.

          • auntbea

            My kid was born with a once inch mohawk, but I never had any heartburn.

          • MaineJen

            Yeah, both my kids had full heads of hair but I never got much heartburn at all. Sorry to shoot this one down :)

    • Coraline

      This makes me angry, because I hear it SO often. My daughter (2nd child) was breech, and you wouldn’t believe the things people told me to do, or “why” she was breech. I did some of the “Spinning Babies” stuff (but honestly I think a lot of it is a LOAD OF CRAP, and they’re simply relying on the odds that your baby will likely turn, since only about 4% of babies are breech at term anyway, regardless of whether you stand on your head or see a chiropractor). I mean, seriously, do we live in the middle ages?! “Your anxiety is causing breech.” How can people HONESTLY believe this stuff?

    • rh1985

      I was extremely nervous my entire pregnancy and my baby was head down by 32 weeks. Not that it mattered much even if I had wanted a vaginal birth, was not favorable for induction when I needed to have her because of pre eclampsia.

  • Stacy21629

    Everyone please, keep screen capping these things for eternity. Can’t stand the insanity, but having a permanent record? – priceless!

    • yugaya

      All sorts of win on the subject what to do after the baby is born – let the newborn TELL you if they need anything, go make snacks, be the almighty authority that gives parents the permission to observe their baby, sit on your hands and do nothing. No mention of bad words like ‘assesment’ or ‘Apgar’:

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        One out of 6 gives an answer anywhere close to decent.

        • yugaya

          She is actually the only one out of eleven who responded like that, but I need to learn how to capture entire threads. I do not want them complaining that their replies are being ‘taken out of context’.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            And her answer still wasn’t all that great. Good she’s watching for hemorrhage, but what about the baby? What to watch for there?

            “Go make tea.” That’s embarrassing.

          • yugaya

            They’re just not that into babies.

      • Sue

        “I know, I know!” (puts hand up): Cable stitch.

    • yugaya

      Disclaimer note fixed:

      • anion

        That’s awesome. Admitting right there that their advice is useless and none of what they do is useful as, or constitutes any kind of, medical treatment.

        And yet they wine about not being treated the way “other medical professionals” are treated.

        • yugaya

          In their own words, from Jan Tritten fb page:

          “Midwives
          are health care professionals providing a valuable service for low risk mothers and babies and somehow we need the world to know this fact.”

          I might even agree on the valuable service for low risk mothers part if the majority of them were not comfortable with being more than willing to gamble with high risk mothers’ and babies’ lives under the excuse of doing mothers and babies a favour. That is also a fact that the world needs to know.

          “All midwives acknowledging and respecting the different pathways to midwifery.”

          Medical professionals like CNMs who did not follow the path of an online course and sitting in on their friend’s births before they started handling matters of life and death during pregnancy and childbirth just need to respect lay birth junkies into their profession and everything will be alright.

          “The negative energy that perpetuates disdain for
          traditional/direct-entry/ non-masters prepared midwives slows growth and does a dis-service to women.”

          This is the bit that I love the most – their belief that we who are opposing their bs are guilty of ruining someone’s birth experience as we speak just by talking about how incompetent they are. That to me translates pretty much into a hypothetical situation where I can imagine a lay midwife telling a mother after a lifesaving c-section that she should have never ever read anything on the Skeptical OB blog.

          I am perfectly fine with my radiating negativity ruining someone’s perfect birth experience, as long as I know that it may help save their life. Here is a comment from this blog which was posted recently that made me cry for all the right reasons:

          “Tiff • 2 days ago

          This definitely brings me back to almost over a year and a half ago, when I found this site. I was pregnant with my fourth child and wanted to try a VBAC (after two c-sections). So, I began searching and found the world of homebirths and midwives. I didn’t know a CPM from a CNM; to me they were the same. But to make a long story short, after discovering this site and the difference between the two, I quickly found myself a competent OB who was more than willing to let me try for a vbac (though, in the end, because of my baby’s position, we ended up with another c-section). However, I still find myself pissed at the two midwives I met with. I still feel very deceived because they were not at all upfront about their credentials, leading one to believe they were on the same spectrum as a midwife who worked at a hospital or doctors office. I later found out that one of them was actually a high school dropout who got their GED at age 25. Nothing offensive towards dropouts as I once met a doctor who started out as a dropout but still, he paid a lot of dues and this woman had not but yet, delivers babies. Also, one of the midwives admitted to me she had delivered babies “underground” for years and only got “licensed” when the state we live in legalized midwifery. Any way, I wonder about the women who haven’t found this site – women who trust these midwives without question. I also wonder how many lives Dr. Amy has saved? I know she definitely saved my son’s. 62 • “

    • yugaya

      Essential advice for a newbie lay midwifery student:

      “Make sure you have people that are willing to fundraise for you if you have legal problems”

      • Trixie

        Wow. There’s some refreshing honesty!

        • yugaya

          Some of it is just…out there.

          Q: There are many little things we can do to help change birth practices. What are your favorites? What are you doing?

          A: I put waterbirth stickers on my car, I wear my Midwifery Today shirt, and I have fetus earrings.

          • Trixie

            In response to the request to share your best hemorrhage stories in honor of Thanksgiving.

          • lucy logan

            0_0

          • Mer

            OH MY GOD! I can’t even on that first comment. As for the 2nd, the madwife is taking the doctors comment completely out of context, and applying it to ALL cases of PPH. I’m scared of these insane birth junkies.

          • anion

            Twenty minutes to get the baby breathing and a mother who almost bled out…and I bet she counts that as one of her “positive outcomes.”

          • Anj Fabian

            No transfer!

          • yugaya

            Victory against all odds! And if you want to avoid transfer just make sure a bleeding mother never gets up on her feet while you are there. Such a simple, natural way to avoid the ebil hospital.

          • Medwife

            Oh my god…

          • Sue

            ”bucchal placenta”?

            Pro tip – if you’re going to use sciencey words, make sure you know how to spell them. (It’s buccal – meaning ”in the mouth”)

          • OBPI Mama

            No words…. other than despicable.

          • rh1985

            Fetus earrings? That’s special.

          • An Actual Attorney

            It took me a minute to realize those probably aren’t earrings you put ON the fetus. That would be special.

          • prolifefeminist

            bwahahaha!

          • http://www.antigonos.blogspot.com/ Antigonos CNM

            Well, considering how small the fetus is in the early stages of pregnancy, I guess it might be possible to make a “replica” in gold or silver. Recently the fashion seems to be for gigantic earrings.

            How about trophoblast earrings, for example? That might actually look somewhat artistic.

          • anion

            And I bet everyone who notices her fetus earrings thinks, “She must be a midwife. Why, if she’s so committed to safe birth that she actually bought a pair of earrings, that completely changes my opinion of modern birth practices!” rather than, “What the hell are those creepy earrings? Is she some sort of psycho? Does she get off on dead fetuses or something? Gross.”

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            What the hell are “fetus” earrings anyway? At what stage of fetal development are we talking?

            Because by the point the fetus will be recognizable as a fetus, it looks like a baby. Therefore, people will see them as “baby” earrings, not fetus earrings.

            And if they are at a stage where it is still clearly fetal and can’t be mistaken for a baby, no one will be able to tell what they are.

            It makes no sense.

          • yugaya

            After learning what ‘umbilical’ in these umbilical necklaces means: http://www.ruthavra.com/umbilical.html , I fear to further think about what ‘fetus’ in her fetus earrings means.

          • http://thefresstyler.blogspot.com/ Hannah
          • prolifefeminist

            Oh pleeease…fetus earrings are SO yesterday. I wear afterbirth earrings to help change birth practices – a rubbery, veiny, blood red placenta on one ear lobe, dangling umbilical cord on the other.

            For special occasions, I like to complete the look by wearing my hemorrhage necklace. It’s made of rubies arranged in a giant splat pattern – so pretty. I like to chew Big Red while I wear it.

  • Durango

    Yes, reading jan tritten’s page just lets midwives show how very incompetent and ignorant they are. I would have never believed it, but it’s right there in print.

    • Anj Fabian

      The Elder Midwives page was worse/better.

      There was at least one midwife (unsure if she was a CPM or CNM) who was reading the latest ACOG publication and trying to start a discussion on how best to handle a severe PPH requiring transport and the best way to coordinate care. She was all about understanding how EMTs would approach hypovolemic shock and how a hospital would treat it, and how midwives could handle the situation to provide the best care – by learning and understanding the protocols other professionals use.

      Excellent work. Very proactive, very productive.

      Her elders wanted to talk about how rare such a situation was. They also wanted to talk about having their clients use natural measures such as red raspberry leaf tea, alfalfa and chlorophyll to prevent PPH.

      It came across as someone asking “How do you handle this critical, potentially life or death situation? I’ve seen it firsthand and want to be better prepared for it.” and the elders clucking and saying dismissively “Oh, that almost never happens because I take good care of my clients. When it does, I call for an ambulance and let someone else deal with it.”.

      • Durango

        The Elder Midwives complete inability to even assess whether a page was private or public was shocking. It was clear many times over that the people on the page weren’t the brightest people.

  • JennG

    I’m relatively okay with forgiveness – after admission of guilt, atonement, and restitution.

    • Susan

      Well said. I think that if these midwives were showing all of those, and then saying they can’t forgive themselves… and had promised to stop practicing midwifery at least until they acquired the education to do so as a CNM, we would mostly all agree. At least I would agree. Usually, I think there but for the grace of God go I but this situation doesn’t fit that. All health professionals fear making a human mistake, but repetitive hubris, lack of insight and huge errors in judgment don’t fit my ideas of that.

      • Danielle

        ^This. As a patient–I am not and have never been a doctor or nurse–I find the idea achieving a sense self-forgiveness for inevitable mistakes understandable. At the end of the day, real people have to deal with the personal cost of tragedy and medicine. What rubs me oddly is the tone of the midwife conversation about it–it’s just a thing that happens, you can’t do anything about it, so let’s all get in a circle and share. The on-the-clock professional response is to revisit the situation and learn from it, not gather together a circle of providers to discuss feelings.

        If I had suffered from a medical mistake, it would make me feel odd to find my doctors doing a little group hug in the hall, saying, “Don’t feel bad, you’ll do better next time.” Not because I want the doctor to feel super guilty, but because it seems fatalistic or dismissive.

  • Guest

    HBA3C because spirulina!

    • Trixie

      HBA3C! Spirulina!

    • LMS1953

      Nothing could be fina
      Than a bowl of spirulina
      In the mor-or-or-ning.

      I also have this image of a Japanese monster flick

      Spirulina vs Pulsatilla – The Battle of Woo

      • Susan

        Makes me think I am in the pasta aisle.

    • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kumquatwriter

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets this when they screen shot on their Galaxy

      • Trixie

        So annoying. And I didn’t notice in the thumbnail til it posted. Argh!

  • Trixie

    I wonder if the recent publicity around homeborth disasters has contributed to the microbirth people not being anywhere near their indiegogo goal? http://www.oneworldbirth.net/blog/why-microbirth-is-so-important-to-us/

  • prolifefeminist

    “She told me baba often moves closer to mamas heart when s/he knows mama is upset/afraid.”

    Wait, exactly what PART of the “baba” moves closer to mamas heart? Her head, her foot, her butt? Which part of her body does the baby use to comfort her sad, stressed mama?? With a transverse lie that baby’s heart is already about as close as it’ll get to mom’s heart, so the midwife can’t mean that. I don’t think she means feet or butt, so I’m guessing she means that the baby’s head snuggles up closer to mom’s heart. But that’s so confusing, because CLEARLY all emotions originate in the heart, not in the brain. Ohhhhh…anatomy and science are just soooo confusing for lay midwives! Easier to just say cutesy things and pretend that they make sense.

    /snark

    • Mer

      Oh no, very clearly the baba is moving her crown chakra closer to mama’s heart chakra! This is likely a baba not meant to come earth side as she is so very evolved she won’t even need to live outside her mother to ascend into purity! Only those less evolved baba’s will point their butt (root chakra, right to live) up and attempt to exit safely. /snark

  • Karma Kidney Stone

    And this is the face of Midwifery Today.

    NPR recently covered a study by a political scientist about the anti-vaccination movement and how it is really their ego keeping them from changing their beliefs about vaccination, no matter what the science says. This home birth non-sense is obviously the same thing. Women with low self esteem who can’t put their egos on the line and realize that they have believed something stupid. And unfortunately, babies are paying for it.

    • Coraline

      AMEN!

  • anion

    I’m glad Tara explained that emotions are kept in the heart. That explains why people with heart transplants suddenly love people they’ve never met, and don’t care at all about their families. New heart = new emotions!

  • violinwidow

    The midwives almost seem to think that they are victims too, when a baby dies. We always hear about the midwife needing to heal from the tragedy and all her sisters gathering around her to heal her broken heart. Never a word of remorse and if the parents are unforgiving, they whine about it to each other. Darby Partner and Laura Tanner are the perfect examples of this. Two days after Shazhad died Laura was on BWF moaning about parents owning their own outcomes. Darby messaged me about how hard his mother’s heart was and how she (Darby) needed to recover so she could continue to be a midwife.

    • anion

      I think it was later in that thread that I saw a woman talking about how at a midwife meeting/convention the first thing the speaker did was have them all stand up and admit their mistakes to each other and forgive themselves. Can you imagine any meeting of any other group of actual professionals where the first thing they did was make themselves feel better for damaging the lives of others? Not even medical professionals; imagine a group of lawyers in a room and instead of discussing law, they stand around admitting their errors to the air in order to “cleanse” themselves of them?

      Oh, and they did their confessing en masse, so it wasn’t like others could hear their stories and learn from them. Because *that* would be pointless.

      • violinwidow

        That must be what doctors do when they screw up, they all get together and sing kumbaya, hold hands and forgive themselves.

    • Amazed

      I don’t agree at all. With the “almost” part, I mean. They absolutely think they are the victims. Without “too”. Christy Collins proved it a few days ago.

  • Squillo

    She told me baba often moves closer to mamas heart when s/he knows mama is upset/afraid.

    If the baby actually moves closer to the mama’s heart, she has bigger problems than a baby with a transverse lie.

    • Sally RNC-NIC

      I’ve always thought that in the NICU, babies with the dumbest parents are often the toughest. It’s as if they know life’s gonna suck, and they better just start taking care of themselves now. Maybe, just maybe, this intelligence starts much earlier….the second they figure out they are going to be delivered by an idiot, and then have to live with idiots, they do everything in their power to demand a safe birth. Maybe they just keep doing backflips until someone finally comes to their senses….and if nobody does, they’re like, “Fuck it. I’ll take my chances.” Babies are smart!

      • Susan

        I often talk to babies as I am taking care of them. I am very fond of telling the babies of very together and nice parents that they are going to have a great life!

  • Trulyunbelievable2020

    Oh, Jesus Christ… this was one of the first questions:

    Jan: “What is your favorite story of a shoulder dystocia that you helped resolved and how did you do it?”

    First response from Jackie Born: “Prayer and then side lying.”

    Yes, first prayer. Sounds like a good idea!

    • yugaya

      So am I reading that right if I am reading that they did nothing?

      • Trulyunbelievable2020

        Not at all! They “considered the lilies in the field…”

      • Mer

        Well since it’s being counted as a positive I’m assuming baby was delivered alive. So I’m guessing the prayer worked and some sort of divine intervention saved that baby, so it totally counts!

    • LMS1953

      Their patron saint, Ina Mae Gaskin, “invented” the Gaskin Maneuver. I think EVERY midwife of every rank (like a boy imagining himself at bat with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th in Game 7 of the World Series) dreams of the day when she “takes it to the man” and shows the penocracy how smart she is and has a maneuver named after her. In the meantime, they drive their clients nuts having them do the Hokey Pokey. So, I am surprised nobody mentioned the Gaskin Maneuver.

      • yugaya

        I want to trademark what happened to me, baby was breech trensverse all the way throughout the ultrasounds and c-section was agreed upon which made me all sorts of nervous. I think it was around the due date that I was having a bath and reading a book and my back started to hurt like hell, so I stuck a big towel between the bathtub and my back. When it hurt more I went and stuck another towel and enjoyed being pain free and sitting in the tub arched like that for a couple of moments before my belly did a big whooosh and the baby flipped downwards into position from which she was born a week later.

        I will market it as ancient eastern European wisdom technique of “towel turning of breech babies” , invent a grandmother who taught me how to do it by the hearth in our hut and start charging for webinars and Skype consultations.

    • Squillo

      I like my HCPs to be atheists. That way, they’re not praying on my dime.

  • Trulyunbelievable2020

    “Mary WeisbrodAfter delivering almost 1000 babies, my experience has shown me that unoless there are other issues with the labor, meconium in amniotic fluid means the baby’s anal sphincter is patent.”

    Can someone explain this one to me? Does she mean “patient?” What would that mean? Or is a “patent sphincter” a technical term that I just don’t know?

    • Mer

      Patent refers to open and unobstructed in this case. Similar to referring to a patient’s clear and open airway as “patent airway”. It’s something that does need to be checked on newborns, but I’ve never heard it called this before. Then again I’m not trained as a doctor, so perhaps it is a legitimate phrase.

      • anion

        Is a baby’s anal sphincter supposed to be obstructed?

        • Guest

          no. You have to make sure it’s patent after the baby is born, or you know there is a problem that needs to be fixed.

          • anion

            Thanks! That’s what I thought. Interesting that the midwife makes it sound like it’s abnormal.

          • Mer

            As fiftyfifty says, she’s being a smartass, it should be open and connected to bowels, but meconium in the amniotic fluid is a bad way to”prove it”. Usually it’s done by taking a rectal temp, at least at my hospital it is.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Yes, rectal temp is how it’s done here too.
            ****
            This quote by Weisbrod makes me mad because it’s so smug. Contrast her statement with a similar one that the OBs in my program use as a teaching tool:

            “Babies pass meconium for 1 or 3 reasons: because they are stressed, because they are postmature, or simply because they can”

            It has a bit of the same humorous tone that Weisbrod’s statement does. It also makes the point that meconium doesn’t mean something is necessarily wrong. But unlike the Weisbrod quote it doesn’t dismiss the other 2 causes. It reminds you to keep all 3 possibilities in the front of your mind so you will be prepared. And it doesn’t brag about delivering “almost 1,000 babies”. Please.

          • Mer

            I didn’t want to make a definitive statement since I’m really not trained in anything but my own hospitals protocol, thanks for providing the expert response.

            Can I brag about about helping to deliver one baby, in a hospital, to a high risk patient? It was part of my training for rural services and only to prepare me for emergencies, but I’m allowed to use methergine and misoprostol and I know how to run an IV so I’d be a darn sight better than the midwives in some of these situations!

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Can I brag about about helping to deliver one baby, in a hospital, to a high risk patient?”

            Heck yes you can! In medical school I had a cardiology preceptor who loved to tell the story of her one delivery as an MD. She was driving into work when she saw a car pulled over on the side of the road and a guy waving his arms. She grabbed the first aid kit she keeps in the glove compartment, pulled on the pair of gloves, introduced herself as a doctor, and delivered the baby. Which of course she knows any taxi driver can do if the birth is uncomplicated. But she was proud anyway.

            But knowing how to do IVs, methergine and misoprostol is a big step above taxi driver, so you should be double proud. And yes, if I were bleeding out I would much rather have your skills at my birth than any midwitch blowing cinnamon breath.

          • Haelmoon

            I tell patients that meconium is the baby’s poop. There are two reasons why the baby may have pooped. The most common is that the baby just couldn’t hold it in any longer. The second is that something had literally scared the poop out of the baby – like a hypoxic event. I don’t have a test to tell the difference, so I treat every baby with mec at risk for hypoxia until proven otherwise (basic until delivery, then paeds gets to deal with them).

      • mollyb

        My first daughter didn’t poop until four days after she was born. I remember the doctor saying he needed to check if her anus was “patent”. I’d never heard that use before and it always stuck with me. So yes, it is legit.

    • deafgimp

      It means obvious. She’s saying that the baby obviously has a sphincter, which actually isn’t true. In this case it means the baby has a hole in its bum, but it doesn’t mean there’s a sphincter there.

    • LMS1953

      Meconium stained amniotic fluid is typically thought to indicate that the fetus has been distressed. It used to be recommended that we go through all sorts of gyrations to “suction below the vocal cords” before baby’s first breath to prevent Meconium aspiration. That is no longer the recommendation for moderate to light meconium. What Weisbrod is saying is that Meconium just means that the baby has an open anus because Meconium passed through it (and it is in no way associated with fetal distress. UNLESS there are other issues. The most pertinent “other issue” would be the status of the continuous electronic fetal monitoring – loss of variability and certain types of decels are ominous and warrant attention and intervention. Now, she would have no way to know that since EFM recorded on a strip is very seldom done at home birth settings. So, this proves that Weisbrod’s anus is NOT patent and that she is full of sh!t.

    • fiftyfifty1

      Weisbrod is being a dismissive smart ass. A patent (non-obstructed) anal sphincter is the normal way for a newborn anus to be. Rarely a baby is born with a birth defect where it has a underformed anus that doesn’t connect fully to the intestine (such as VATER syndrome). That’s why checking for a patent anus is part of the newborn exam.

      By saying that Meconium in the fluid indicates nothing more than a patent anus, Weisbro is saying that Meconium in the fluid is just a variation of normal. Not only shouldn’t we worry about it, we can even take it as a sign that all is hooked up right with the baby’s digestive system.

      Yet another midwife underplaying the very real risks of meconium. In countries with homebirth as part of the system (UK etc) homebirth midwives are required to transfer at first sign of mec. But to CPM clowns it’s all a variation of normal which is great for them–who wants to transfer and lose revenue?

      • anion

        Duh. I should have gotten that. It’s just so hard to read these people, considering what moronic things they say as a matter of course and how inclined they are to misuse terms.

  • deafgimp

    No mother has ever had a baby in winter in the past, apparently. In the times when just fires were used to heat our homes, we never gave birth in winter because it was too cold and it made the mamas bleed too much.

    • Elizabeth A

      I wouldn’t be surprised if infant and maternal mortality in frontier, prehistoric, or third-world situations were higher in winter, but I absolutely agree with your point.

      Midwives tend to talk as though evolution is a perfect process, resulting in all individuals being perfectly adapted to whatever the prehistoric conditions were believed to have been. Humans cannot be said to have evolved under circumstances that were reliably comfortably warm, so it’s surprising that so many of us find extremes of heat or cold problematic.

      • Haelmoon

        Its an example of taking a tidbit of information and using it the wrong way. Cold is bad for hemorrhage. Clotting factors work better at the normal body temperature. However, the patient has to get cold, really cold before it is an issue. Cold doesn’t cause a hemorrhage, but it is harder to resuscitate a cold patient.

        • Karen in SC

          Then how come operating rooms are like cooled down to Arctic temps? At least it felt like that to me, I started shivering uncontrollably both times.

          • Haelmoon

            Its actually for the OR personnel. In long cases, we use a special warming blanket to keep the patient warm. However, for the surgeon and nurses, we are gowned and gloved, with hats and masks. We work under very hot and bright lights. We often have an open patient with our hands inside. It gets hot very quick for us. It is about surgeon comfort (which is still better for the patient, because it is not good when the surgeon faints). I have had more than one assist or nurse pass out because the OR was not cool. We have an ongoing debate at my centre in terms of room temperature for preemie c-sections. The neonatalogist often turns up the room temperature, but we invariably have to turn it back down because those of us who are scrubbed cant tolerate it. Especially at two in the morning.

          • Karen in SC

            Thanks for explaining!

  • Squillo

    It should be called Buffoonery Today.

  • Cold Steel

    The last point is a legitimate one. Nearly everyone– scratch that, everyone– working in medicine has made a serious error that has harmed, or even killed, a patient. I have. And I will never, ever, ever forget even the most minute of details with what happened. Of course the difference is that I presented my error at Division-wide M&M along with an exhaustive literature search on recommendations that particular error could be avoided in the future, was grilled (chargrilled) on it repeatedly by all of the faculty, and a hospital-wide safety measure came out of the error.

    Despite the fact that my error was a recognized, well-documented complication of the particular procedure I was doing, and despite the fact that it was immediately recognized and immediately disclosed to the patient, and immediately taken to the operating room for the definitive procedure needed to fix it– no one suggested that I ‘forgive myself.’

    • CanDoc

      Yes. Agree. We’ve all been on the receiving end of M and M. Chargrilled is right. But there’s no sense of relief, or atonement, or forgiveness afterwards. Just unwavering resolution to prevent any such thing from ever, ever happening again.

      • NoLongerCrunching

        This surprises me. Don’t people, even doctors, need to forgive themselves to be able to proceed with doing their jobs? Not in the sense of saying it’s ok that you made a mistake that hurt a patient, but in the sense that mistakes are part of the human condition and cant be avoided 100% of the time for your whole clinical career. Otherwise you’re just wracked with guilt curled up on the floor sobbing forever.

        • Susan

          I wrote a post about that above. I agree. It’s that there is utterly no sign that they have learned a thing from their errors yet think they should forgive themselves that is the issue/

        • Elizabeth A

          My mom’s a doctor (ID and pediatrics) and a professor of medicine. One of the guilty pleasures of my childhood was listening to her rip into residents and interns on the phone. This was an education in itself – my mother is an eloquent woman, with a good speaking voice and a fearsome command of rhetoric. It was nice to be able to enjoy the show from just outside the blast zone. These lectures (and I’m sure they were only more blistering in person) taught me all kinds of things about four-letter words, and also the art of delivering a grammatically flawless, polysyllabic reaming to a recipient who would understand that s/he hadn’t earned the right to curl up on the floor. Guilt-wracked sobbing is a luxury for your off hours. You’re blocking janitorial access and you have patients to take care of. Screwing up does not relieve you of responsibility to the rest of your cases. Those people can’t wait for you to feel right in your soul, so you’d better learn to carry on regardless.

          Priests and gods dispense forgiveness. Clinical instructors are not in that business.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            You’re blocking janitorial access and you have patients to take care of.

            Sorry, I just had to pull this out and quote it. Apparently, you learned a little from listening to your mom.

            That’s awesome.

        • Amazed

          But that’s exactly it. I really can’t see how anyone can start with forgiving themselves after killing or maiming someone. What right do they have to be forgiven by anyone, including themselves, before making something, ANYTHING, to assure a better outcome with the next victim, aka patient?

          Forgiveness is something that should be earned, not something one is entitled to, especially when it killed or damaged a fellow human being. So, hell not, forgiving yourself is NOT a good starting point.

          In fact, scratch that. It is, for “healing your heart”. It is also a good starting point to make believe that you did nothing wrong, it was the mom’s fault, the baby’s fault, or whatever, so you don’t need to change a thing in your practice and when it happens again – well, we already know it wasn’t you, it was the mom, the baby, or that meddling great-grandma who messed up with chakras by scaremongering mom into going to the butchers, aka surgeons, aka evil hospitalists.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Rats, I’m slipping.

            Don’t remember if it was a movie or tv show, someone went to (catholic) confession and told the priest about a sin, and asked for forgiveness. The priest told him he had to fix what he had done, and he didn’t want to. The priest said something like, “I can’t absolve your sin unless you try to right the wrong.”

            The Board of Directors is going to suspend my PCM until I can come up what that was from.

            [ETA: It was MASH! A soldier had the opportunity to go home but it was through some sort of mistake and he knew it was wrong, but refused to come clean. Whew, PCM safe.]

            Unfortunately, the only thing I can think of is Jerry Seinfeld in the confessional telling the priest about Watley becoming Jewish just to be able to tell Jewish jokes, and the priest says, “And this offends you as a Jew?” and he says, “No, it offends me as a comedian.” in the “Yada Yada Yada” episode (which also had guest appearances by Debra Messing (before she was on Will&Grace) and Wizard of Oz munchkin (the middle lollipop kid in fact) and former Gong Show guest Jerry Marin and his delightful wife, the late Elizabeth Marin (Elizabeth was an absolute doll – she was also on the Gong Show, and loved talking about; she said they actually kept in touch with Gene Gene the Dancing Machine)

          • anion

            Another OT/fun confession fact: the film “The Rosary Murders” centers around the murder of several nuns/priests. The murderer “confesses” to the priest MC, and the priest MC can’t report it because that would be breaking the seal of the confessional.

            But the murderer specifically says he is NOT sorry and intends to go on killing, because he thinks he’s right to do what he’s doing. Therefore it is not actually a confession (no seeking of absolution, no sorrow expressed = no valid confession) and the seal does not apply.

            It’s still a good movie (well, it was when I was twelve), but the priest in that case would be free to call the authorities right away.

          • Arwen

            This is the crux of it. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget what happened. It doesn’t mean the hurt caused somehow goes away. You still have a responsibility to do what you can to make things right, as much as that can be done. These lay midwives can’t bring a baby back, but they can sure as hell do something about the chain of events that led to his death.

            A true confession involves a contrite heart. I don’t see contrition on the part of the women who participated in this baby’s death. Victim-blaming is not contrition. They are just like this murderer in the Rosary Murders–they don’t intend to stop doing what they’re doing. They think it’s okay to kill babies through their negligence, and through supporting negligence. The actions of and lack of action by Christy Collins, CPM, led to Gavin’s death. But Jan Tritten and her sycophants should also bear guilt with their sins of omission. They did not tell someone in distress to get prompt medical attention, and yet claim to be health care providers. They should have known better. But not one of them seems contrite–they seem to be doubling down on their “birth is safe” mantra instead.

            You can forgive someone who hasn’t shown contrition, of course. They don’t deserve your forgiveness, but in that case the forgiveness is done for your well-being. It means you’re letting go of some part of this in order to keep it from poisoning your heart. (And I mean that metaphorically–of course we’re really talking about mental health, because the heart just pumps blood. Which I knew probably before starting preschool–so what’s up with these morons?) But your forgiveness doesn’t mean you’re saying what happened was okay, or that they’re not still responsible for doing what they can to make things as right as they can be.

      • Dr Kitty

        Eff them and that nonsense.
        Everyone will screw up.
        In those long nights where you wake up at 3am and see their faces and think “if only I had…” you know that it makes you better at your job now, but no, you don’t get to shrug it off and pretend it didn’t happen.

    • Squillo

      I can just see it:

      Resident: I nicked the common bile duct. The patient is going back to the OR for repair and I’m going to present at M & M.

      Attending: Wait, first you have to forgive yourself.

      • Trixie

        Don’t forget the long walks on the beach and pampering yourself with a massage.

    • Susan

      That’s why I wanted to barf when I read that all they want to be treated the same as a doctor who commits the same error…
      .

    • Danielle

      I’m not sure that he concept of forgiving one’s self is in fact unimportant, when we are talking about how an individual person behind the “professional” feels about the inevitable cases they go wrong. When you make a mistake and acknowledge it, and have taken appropriate action, it is helpful to move on.

      What seems out of place is that midwives are talking about such “healing” without first discussing exactly how one goes about acknowledging when cases have gone poorly or been at risk for poor outcome. That is how one sees mistakes. Healing is premature without that step.

      It’s also kind of weird that midwives are talking about personal healing from difficult moments in their professional life, while they are at conferences and wearing their professional “hat”. When you are speaking as a professional, your focus is on professional priorities–like how to do your job better. How you deal with sadness or disappointment when you go home, hang up your hat, and just become plain old Sally is a separate issue from the professional’s “career” and responsibilities.

    • Arwen

      I’m sure there are plenty of doctors who are absolutely horrified at the thought of making a mistake or hurting someone. But you can’t tell me there aren’t doctors who do the same thing as these “midwives.” It’s not that rare. I’ve got a few family members whose doctors harmed them. In some cases, they went completely against standards of care. There was no contrition. No apology. Nothing like you said above. They (and the rest of the family) would have been happy with what you said–doctors admitting that they made mistakes and working to fix what they could about the situation. Systems that caught doctors completely blowing off the standard of care so these things don’t happen again. Instead, the doctors did things like refusing to see them to even help figure out what was wrong, and then destroying and tampering with parts of medical records. Or in the case of my grandfather who was in hospice, purposely withholding pain medications because we asked questions about his care. In situations like that, patients and their families have very little recourse.

      But, but, but, you might say–they can sue! Sure they can. If they can front the often times enormous legal fees, pay for expert witnesses, and afford the toll on their mental health of reliving their horror every damn day. If they can overcome the dishonesty of their doctor and the lawyers on their side. If they can afford the toll of having PIs stalking them, trying to break into their homes and cars, trying to solicit information about them from their friends, family, and neighbors. Needless to say, a lot of people who have been hurt by doctors don’t get to see their docs being chargrilled for their malpractice, and that lack of justice makes an indelible mark on a person and their family.

      I completely understand what you’re doing here in revealing the utter lack of comprehension of what happened and their culpability in it on the part of these “midwives.” The solution to poor, low quality care from doctors isn’t even poorer, even lower quality care from people with much less education and an appallingly bad ethical track record. But please don’t assume that some doctors don’t also have a dangerous streak of hubris, drop patients the second there’s a problem, falsify records, or that the system always prevents immoral, unethical doctors from hurting people.

      And please don’t assume that people who opt out of the medical system entirely in favor of people who intentionally prey on those who cannot trust doctors are just a bunch of selfish, woo-infected whackjobs. Some may be, but not all. I think for a lot of these women, pull back the woo and you will find they are deeply traumatized. You see what happens to some of these women when their midwives let them down. You see what happens when people who take on an undeserved mantle of power abuse it. So perhaps you can imagine the kind of damage it does to a person when a highly trained, highly educated person with a real mantle of power lets someone down and then lies about it, and the system lets them get away with it.

  • Bomb

    Oh for fucks sake. No wonder they used to supposedly burn these people as witches.

    • Trixie

      I must say I’m starting to see the appeal.

      • yugaya

        I grew up in places where there are still women who make a career out of being a designated village witch ( word *curseress* would be a mora accurate translation). Their scope of duties in the past in did sometimes include delivering babies when there was no one else around more qualified, but even then there was a clear distinction in terms of language between a witch and a midwife.

        Nowadays, even if you live out there in places where old magick still rules and civilisation is two hours down the mountain road, you will go to a hospital to have a baby. The witch only gets hired to do stuff that only she knows how to do best, like perform the ritual to make sure that the deceased does not turn into a vampire, make a love spell bag, cleanse your cattle of evil spirits and demons. There is some overlap between what people pay her to do and what they pay the village priest to do sometimes, but there is definitely no middle ground on which even in places like that a village witch and a midwife are equal.

    • Stacy21629

      I.LOVE.THIS.
      We need a meme pic to go with it.

    • Danielle

      I think it you do that, it will trigger their persecution complex.

    • Dr Kitty

      Really, at this point, what are they offering that is in any way different to eye of newt, an amethyst bracelet and a positive affirmation?

      Homeopathic cell salts, Spirulina, Stevia, holding placenta under your tongue…all useless.

      May as well start looking for wolf’s teeth, owelet’s wing and adder’s fork*.

      *Macbeth reference.

  • mollyb

    Two things: One, I get that we, as adult women, are calling other adult women “mama” now but are we also supposed to be calling babies “baba”? Any other toddler words I should be working into my vocab? Two, what is pulsatilla? It sounds unpleasant.

    • Mishimoo

      It is – Pulsatilla is a member of the Ranunculaceae family and is highly toxic.

      • prolifefeminist

        But it’s a NATURAL toxin!

        • Mishimoo

          So is bufotoxin, but I’m not going to lick the toads that our dog keeps bringing me.

  • Mac Sherbert

    The thing that strikes me the most about every post is that these women are just unprofessional.

    • Mac Sherbert

      Also, her disdain for using researched based methods is just childish. If people would just listen to these little stories we tell and believe them!! These women have no understanding of what it means to be a professional or what best practice is.

      As a teacher I’m required to use researched based methods in my classroom. That’s right I have to prove that my methods are sound and I’m just teaching little Johnny to read…It’s not even a life or death matter.

      • yugaya

        Is homeschooling to a teacher the same thing as lay midwifery is to a doctor or a CNM? I am asking because both homeschooling and lay midwifery are illegal where I live – your kids must go to school until certain age or you go to jail, and if you are delivering babies without formal education or state regulated license you also go to jail.

        • Trixie

          Homeschooling laws vary significantly by state, but it is legal everywhere with various levels of oversight. It can be done correctly, but this happens rarely.

          • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com

            It can also be said that nobody usually dies as a result of homeschooling.

          • An Actual Attorney
          • Guest

            She’s not a homeschooler, she is a psychopath. This comes down to a discussion of legal priorities, do children belong to the state or to their parents? In situations where the parents are mentally incapable, I would expect the state to step in. I do not however agree that the state should decide what is best for children. That hasn’t worked.

            And what next? The Amish need their kids taken away and put in schools because they only go till 8th grade? Or how about the Amish person who is abusive? Are then all Amish abusive? If they are always in those special Amish schools, how do we know which ones are being educated properly, and which ones are abused?

            The public school system, has it’s own problems, they are many. This is a dumb derail on Dr. Amy’s blog.

          • AlisonCummins

            Babies die in hospitals too.

          • NoUseForANym

            Is this sarcasm?

          • Guest

            Are you even a parent? Lots of abusive people send their kids to school. And lots of good parents send their kids to school where they are abused. My former high school had one of those cases where the girl was beaten almost to death on school property while kids filmed it and put it on youtube!

            I don’t get your comment at all. Please comment on whether it’s the state’s prior right to determine the place and choice to educate your children or yours?

            It’s easy to say trite provocative/emotive statements and not really deal with facts.

          • OBPI Mama

            I don’t get the homeschool/abuse connection either. If you couldn’t stand your children, why keep them with ALL day?! Why deal with the extras (such as testing, teacher review, school board approval)?
            -My parents were foster parents to over 60 children and not one of them (that I can recall) were homeschooled.

          • Trixie

            Abuse isn’t about not being able to stand your children, it’s about being able to control them at all times. Your state sounds reasonable, but most states don’t have anywhere near that kind of oversight.

          • AlisonCummins

            The point is that not all states have those extras. Yours does. Missouri doesn’t.

            Maybe teachers have been noticing bruises on your kids, so you take them out of school. Maybe you’ve decided that all an adult needs to know how to do is clean house and chop wood so that’s all your children will be allowed to learn. Maybe your religious community requires both homeschooling and vigorous physical discipline but you are only able to provide the latter. Maybe you think your children are your property. Maybe you are mentally ill.

            There are all kinds of scenarios. Parents who are simply irritated by the presence of children are happy to have them out of their hair and in school, where if the “irritation” gets out of hand someone will notice. When the problems are deeper than that, homeschooling can enable serious damage.

          • Mac Sherbert

            Taking them out after the teacher sees bruises is a red flag and I would have DHR on the phone before the parents made it home. If a child just suddenly stops coming to school DHR gets called…Same thing, if a child that attended year before doesn’t re enroll people go looking.

            Yes. There are wackalloons that homeschool and that Is why there should be oversight. However, as a teacher I can you tell that the school is not always the best place for all children. Parents should have the right to determine where their children go to school and what they are taught.

          • AlisonCummins

            You might be on the phone to the DHR when a parent withdraws a bruised child from school, but there is nothing they can do. The DHR can try to follow up on the bruising but the children will remain out of school and out of sight of mandatory reporters.

            If parents have the right to determine where children go to school and what they are taught, then they have the right to decide that they be taught nothing. Since school is strictly optional the public school system can be abolished. Truancy laws are unnecessary and no, the DHR would not be called if children stop attending school or do not re-enroll.

            Is that what you mean? Or do you mean that parents should have this right within reason, considering the interests of the child?

          • Mac Sherbert

            Even if a child is in school DHR can only follow up on the bruising. It still doesn’t stop children from being abused or killed. And parents that abuse children are smarter than anyone wants to believe…only hitting them where it can’t be seen, feeding them but only just barely, verbal abuse no one ever hears.

            Child abuse can happen in any setting. Some children that are abused are never sent to school and the parents don’t even say they are homeschooling. They just don’t send them despite truancy laws. The Amish technically do have the right to not educate their children after the eighth grade. If you feel parents don’t have the right to teach their children nothing then find away to have it categorized as child abuse (which clearly you do and many others would agree with you).

            If you feel oversight, in your state for homeschooling isn’t strict enough then fight for it. The concern I have with this whole debate is their seems to be this rage against parents that want to homeschool as if they are all child abusers and uneducated, which has simply not been my experience.

            No Truancy laws, abolish the public education system It’s like you’ve gone to the far extreme just because I’m not against homeschooling.

            Within reason? My local senator thinks CPM’s are just fine as long as they practice within reason. So, who’s defining reason.

            Clearly, you are passionate about this. Thus I wonder if you or someone you know has been hurt by homeschooling or been abused and no one helped you or them?

          • AlisonCummins

            I am not against homeschooling.

            Someone said upthread that in the US, children must be educated but the law doesn’t care where. I corrected that misapprehension. In some places the child must be educated, in others there is no requirement to educate the child at all.

            That’s it. Yes, I believe in oversight because children are vulnerable. You apparently do not because you think that a requirement to educate children impinges too far on parents’s rights, but on the other hand you believe in truancy laws. I think my position is more consistent than yours.

          • Mac Sherbert

            Actually, if you read all of my posts you would have seen where I mentioned the need for oversight. For some reason you seem think that because I believe in the parents right to where and how their children are educated that I’m against any regulation of homeschooling.

            I

          • AlisonCummins

            Mac Sherbert: “Parents should have the right to determine where their children go to school and what they are taught.”

            This statement is incompatible with oversight.

            My formulation might be more like, “Parents or guardians should have wide discretion in how they meet a child’s needs.”

          • Comrade X

            The homeschool/abuse connection is simple. People who beat, terrorize or rape their kids are aware that society takes a dim view of that behaviour. They are therefore motivated to take steps to HIDE that behaviour. Keeping abused kids isolated from general society makes it easier to get away with abusing them, as other adults who could do something to protect the children are LESS LIKELY TO NOTICE SIGNS OF THE ABUSE.

            That doesn’t mean that homeschoolers are likely to be abusers, but it sure as hell means that abusers could be likely to consider “homeschooling” as a cover.

          • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com

            There are so many other issues in a situation like that. Where is the extended family? Medical Care? Extracurricular activities? You are speaking of complete isolation. I understand that this can happen, but you have to look at homeschooling on an individual basis. It would be wise to have additional oversight in some states that have little or none, but homeschooling is not a cause of abuse, it is being misused as a cover.

          • Poogles

            “Where is the extended family? Medical Care? Extracurricular activities?”

            In a situation where an abusive parent begins considering homeschooling for the purposes of isolation and control, the child is already unlikely to be going for regular check-ups, taking part in extracurriculars or seeing much of their extended family.

            I grew up in an abusive household. Although I did attend public schools (thank goodness!), the only time I or my brothers received medical care was if we were sick or injured enough to go to the E.R. (we didn’t have a family doc, let alone a pediatrician), or when we received our vaccines at the walk-in clinic. Extracurricular activities? Ha! I wasn’t even allowed to go over a friend’s house for the afternoon until I was 12, and even that happened very rarely until I left home – extracurriculars were absolutely off the table. As for extended family, we didn’t see most of them, and the few we did see from time to time didn’t see anything wrong with the parts of the abuse they saw happening (physical and mental, they didn’t know about the sexual abuse).

          • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com

            I am happy that you had a refuge in school. I know it provides that (and much more) for many and I don’t have any qualms with the ideal of public education. I wish it were a greater priority. There is a breakdown in a lot of the systems that are supposed to protect and support children. They were never strong enough. I don’t see a high regard for children, economically and at an institutional level, in American political culture. There isn’t even a strong expectation or requirement that they receive medical care or in some cases adequate food or housing. There are a cluster of issues in addition to the lack of oversight in homeschooling that are conducive to hiding abuse, even promoting it.

          • AlisonCummins

            The point of oversight is to make homeschooling harder to use as a cover for abuse. Good oversight also ensures that children aren’t falling behind in any particular area and that the family has access to any additional supports they might need to make homeschooling work.

            When your child is in school, you have lots of sets of eyes: yours, the teachers’, the administrators’, peers’, even janitorial staff. If your kid is being bullied by peers and her teacher, you will know and be able to intervene (or withdraw her). In most cases school is a safe place for children but when it’s not they have a parent or guardian to advocate for them. In most cases home is a safe place for children but when it’s not, there are adults in schools whose job it is to see the signs.

            My ex was abused at home. Loved school: safe for hours, almost every day! Treated nicely by teachers! Loved the Brady Bunch: those kids are safe all the time! Treated nicely by everyone, including their own parents!

            The people I know with bad parents who turned out all right anyway were allowed or even encouraged to seek out and maintain relationships with adults outside the home — with grandparents, uncles, friends’ parents.

            The people I know with bad parents who didn’t turn out all right anyway were discouraged from even having friends of any kind. [Hi Poogles ;-(, though it seems you did turn out all right.] [My ex was less lucky.]

          • Alexandra

            I agree that abuse can happen to kids that are homeschooled and to kids that are not.

            However, there has been a very sad correlation with some homeschooled kids who ARE abused…the parents basically keep the kids at home to hide the abuse, whether it be sexual or physical. Unfortunately, these kids lack one more “check-in” from society…the attention that a teacher or even a peer might pay to signs of physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Therefore, in the parent’s eyes, the abuse can continue on without any “pesky” interference from others.

            There is a website out there called The Experience Project, where homeschooled children (now adults) tell their stories, and some of the stories of abuse and neglect is really heart breaking.

          • Trixie

            There certainly are Amish kids who are horribly abused, and nothing ever happens, because they’re isolated. Certainly not all or even the majority, but it does happen quite a bit.

          • yugaya

            Apologies for doing that, I asked because to me there seem to be similarities between these two things in terms of the need of clear and uniform regulated risking out protocols to follow, but like I said, I am too far away to have insight into any of the two, lay midwifery or homeschooling for that matter.

          • Trixie

            Don’t apologize, there is definitely a big overlap between the two phenomena here in the US, both on the extreme hippy side and on the fundamentalist Christian side.

          • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com

            There are a certain percentage of parents who choose homeschooling for academic reasons or the individualized needs of their children (which sometimes cannot be met within their local public schools). We may be in the minority but I wouldn’t lump my family in with fundamentalist Christians or hippies, although I really, really like their clothes.

          • Trixie

            I’d say you’re in the extreme minority.
            I know someone with a learning disability whose mother pulled her out of school in first grade because she thought the school wasn’t addressing it properly. Problem is, Dunning-Kruger.
            The mother likely has the same (undiagnosed) learning disability and rather than helping her daughter, reinforced the problem.

          • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com

            It’s a fair question. Both are complex issues that bring out very passionate and sometimes derisive opinions. There are parallels in both debates.

          • OBPI Mama

            Like x 1,000

          • Comrade X

            Children “belong” neither to the State nor to their parents. No human being is ever the property of anyone.

            Children belong to themselves, like everyone else. As they are temporarily unable to look after themselves properly, parents, relatives, society and the State have to share the DUTY, the RESPONSIBILITY, of looking after them and educating them until they are.

            To repeat: NO HUMAN BEING IS EVER THE PROPERTY OF ANYONE.

          • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com

            I am aware that a family could could cite “homeschooling” in order to isolate an abused child. The vast majority of homeschooling families are loving and well intentioned. Some homeschooled children excel beyond their “traditionally” schooled peers (though this phenomenon is probably overstated), many are on par educationally, some lag behind but will nevertheless become successful, well rounded adults … and some will tell you that dinosaur fossils are the fragments of Satan’s deception. It takes all kinds, I guess. In general, I think an educated parent thoughtfully educating his or her child is a different issue from a CPM delivering a baby or promoting herself as a medical professional.

          • Trixie
          • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com

            I’m aware of many homeschooling horror stories and I am especially aware of the religious motivations of many. Homeschooling is a facet of the conservative Christian culture and they do represent a large portion of homeschoolers. There are also a number of private schools that espouse the same values. I would just say that there are a variety of experiences with any form of education and it is a complex issue.

          • OBPI Mama

            It is so complex. We, personally, would love to send our kids to a private, Christian school… but distance and finances won’t allow it. In my mind, our next best option is homeschooling and so that is what we do. Fortunately, homeschooling is so popular now that there is a MASSIVE amount of resources for parents and children to make teaching easier and homeschooling more well- rounded (complete boxed sets to make sure your child is keeping up with (and many times above) with all subjects, an array of curriculum choices to better suit your child’s learning styles, science kits, dvd learning systems, tutoring, etc). In my state, a law was recently passed that allows homeschooled children to play public school sports (like high school football, baseball, etc). Which I’m sure will look even better on college applications. I’m thankful it’s become so mainstream and more accepted because for families like mine (who didn’t get to have their first want), it makes my job and responsibilities a little lighter.

          • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com

            I read a great deal on this website after my kids went to sleep last night and I have to say that I was surprised and little surprises me. We started formally homeschooling our daughter this year. We live in a rural district that allows corporal punishment of children. It has been financially mismanaged. By the fourth grade, only 46% of children are reading at grade level. We found our assigned Kindergarten to be an unacceptable environment for our daughter. There is one private Christian school in our area. The girls there must wear ankle length skirts and study an “alternative science” curriculum.
            We keep attendance records through a private, secular umbrella school and use various curriculum materials and literature. I will say there is essentially no oversight in our state and I have mixed feelings about that. She goes to dance and gymnastics classes. Our children go to the doctor and dentist regularly. We are spiritual but we do not go to church. I work part time; there is little quality, affordable daycare to allow full time work if it were desirable. I am integrating common core standards into her lessons and she will receive assessment testing beginning next year.
            I was vaguely familiar with HSLDA, ATI etc. but had no interest in participating in any such groups. I was shocked, though, by some of the statements and literature referenced on the link by leaders within the homeschooling “community” as well as the position of the HSLDA in several recent legal matters. That is food for thought. I can only speak for my own family and our values and actions regarding our children. I would prefer a society that invested more resources in families and social welfare. A lot of the problematic symptoms within the homeschooling community are likely caused by the same illness that afflicts many public schools.

          • Trixie

            Yeah, it sounds like a reasonable choice for you under your circumstances, for sure. My critique of the homeschooling movement doesn’t mean there aren’t circumstances where I wouldn’t consider it for my own kids as a last resort.

          • AlisonCummins

            The similarity is where there is little or no oversight. If anyone can call themselves a midwife, how do parents know the one they’ve hired is competent? If anyone can decide not to send their kids to school and call that homeschooling, how does society know that its citizens are getting an education?

          • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com

            Correlation, not causation. There are many confounding factors.

          • AlisonCummins

            Homeschooling laws meant that nobody followed up on the kids once they were taken out of school. Nobody even knew they’d been murdered for four months.

          • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com

            That is true,but the same logic could be applied to infants and preschool aged children. Should parents of younger children be monitored with home visits and required to care for their infants through a “standardized” curriculum?

          • OBPI Mama

            I was thinking the same thing, which sounds horrid. It’d be like “unless your kids go to daycare from birth to preschool, you will receive home visits because you might be hurting them.” eek.

          • theNormalDistribution

            What? They didn’t die because of homeschooling. They died because their mother was crazynuts. It doesn’t even sound like they were homeschooled.

          • AlisonCummins

            Legally, where they lived, they were homeschooled. That’s the problem, when there is no recognition of the difference between teaching and not-teaching and both situations are legally called “homeschooling.”

          • theNormalDistribution

            What I meant is, it sounds like she took them out of school so she could lock them in their bedrooms and/or kill them, not so she could actually homeschool them. Either way, it’s irrelevant. Homeschooling didn’t kill them; their fucking insane mother did.

          • AlisonCummins

            Homeschooling laws allowed her to kill them. She was homeschooling them, because in her state a homeschooling family is defined as one in which the parents declare they are homeschooling, which she did.

          • theNormalDistribution

            Irrelevent. Plenty of mothers have murdered their non-homeschooled children.

          • Trixie

            That is absolutely true, it it also prevents many people from reaching their true potential. And it can be a cover for horrific child abuse (isolate the child from mandatory reporters).

          • Danielle

            “It it also prevents many people from reaching their true potential.”

            I’m sure that’s true in some cases, but it’s also true of a lot of public and private schools. For some people, having a way out of the school they currently attend is a great blessing.

          • Trixie

            And for a lot of other people, it’s a way to never have your learning disabilities addressed. And for the parents to pass on the hideous gaps in their own knowledge, particularly in science and math. Everyone I know personally who was homeschooled has serious gaps in their ability to do math.

          • R T

            How many homeschooled people do you know? My brother has a Masters in Public Health, my bestfriend who I grew up homeschooled with is an MD. My brother and her are excellent at math. I’m not great at math, but its because I don’t like it! My strong areas were English and Social Studies. I’m not lacking in math skills that enable me to function on a daily basis. I’m an extreme couponer and can do crazy amounts of basic addition, subtract and percentages in my head, but I won’t be a doctor or financial analyst anytime soon, lol! I can’t imagine you personally know more than a handful of people who were homeschooled so your statement is just ridiculous!

          • Trixie

            Homeschooling is pretty big in my area. I know a lot. Including members of my family.
            I do understand and agree that some homeschoolers succeed. I think there may be a bit of self-selection bias in this thread, because if you’re an SOB reader, you probably already care about science and math more than most people, so you’re probably going to emphasize that more in your homeschooling, which is great.
            Most parents are not qualified to provide science and math education to their children, especially beyond elementary school.

          • Guest

            Let’s see your stats for those very broad statements. We have very high levels of oversight. I think the school boards do too. Why is it that in standardized testing the schools here are doing so poorly?

            This is so like the “what’s your excuse? post” where the lady with the priviledges asks the poor folk why they don’t have the results she does? Well some of us work for a living. Some of us can’t afford what is a real luxury to you. Some of us have different priorities. Same with school choice.

            Your ignorance is showing, everyone knows about failing schools. I don’t know are there failing hospitals? Regions where the conduct of staff is so highly failing and ineffectual? I doubt it, but failing schools keep happening. Two very different subjects.

          • Trixie

            What does homeschooling being an almost uniformly bad idea have to do with privilege, or school choice, or worklkimg for a living? And what is controversial about saying that homeschooling laws vary significantly by state. They do! In some states there is virtually no oversight at all. You literally can declare that you’re “unschooling,” never teach your child a thing, and the state is fine with it.

          • R T

            May I ask where you live? I was homeschooled by my father who is a very intelligent and well educated man. The education I recieved from him was far superior to the education I would have recieved in the public school system in rural Kentucky. When I finally decided to go to public school in 10th grade I so was shocked by how basic and terrible the curriculum was. I was tested and skipped a grade where I took all AP classes and got all A’s and one B with very little effort. After my experience with public education, my parents obtained loans and my younger brother was sent 5 hours away to attend an elite private highschool as a boarding student. My parents also had me at home so the two can be very philosophically related. I’m very happy they homeschooled me, but think they got lucky not losing any of us during our unassisted homebirths. One of my brothers is now married to a teacher with a Master’s Degree in Education who is working on her Doctorate in hopes of becoming a Principal. She currently works in a urban school with children from low income families. She thinks homeschooling is a wonderful choice when done correctly with a structured curriculum. All my siblings attended college with scholarships. One brother has a Master’s degree in Public Health and runs the cardiopulmonary rehab center at a major metropolitan hospital. My other brother owns his own successful heating and air-conditioning business. It’s important to note we were very involved in activities outside of the home, 4-H, Boy and Girl Scouts, Medical Explorers, community theatre, Tae Kwon Do, dance, gymnastics, baseball, equestrian competitions, etc.

          • Trixie

            I live in an area in the northeast with excellent schools. I have very intelligent, educated relatives, one of whom is an actual genius computer programmer, who homeschooled their children. The kids can’t do basic algebra.

        • Stacy21629

          Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. Students are required to receive schooling until a certain age – it just doesn’t have to be IN school.

          • Bomb

            I am guessing they are in another country where it is illegal. I don’t know how most teachers feel about homeschooling, but my teacher friends have nothing but disdain for it, citing kids that come into their classes many grades behind in basic skills. I am homeschooling my kids, the feedback from my teacher friends has definitely impacted how and what I do. I specifically took courses and read books designed to teach you how to teach. No doubt a teacher with a master’s degree could teach 3 kids better than I could, but we don’t have that option. I like to hope me and 3 kids will result in a better education than being in a class of 40 in a failing school. Only time will tell I suppose.

          • Stacy21629

            I am homeschooling as well. I also read CONSTANTLY. Ways to present information, how to organize the curriculum. Haven’t taken any formal classes though. But we’re just getting started…still my 4 year old is reading at a 1st grade level and we are going to officially start him in “1st grade” curriculum this fall.

            I also like to hope that I can better prepare him, overall, for “real world” stuff too. Sitting in undergrad with a classroom full of kids that can’t fill out a check, write complete sentences or say 10 words without 3 verbal pauses is NOT what I want for my kid.
            And I’m learning too! Teaching him phonics has already given me more insight into English than before. :)

          • Mac Sherbert

            Yes, but here where the teacher in me says. Whoa backup. He’s reading at a first grade level, but is he decoding at first grade level or comprehending at a first grade level, is he writing at a first grade level, is he thinking at a first grade level. What about his skills in other subjects? What are you skipping by going directly to 1st grade? Nothing? Then skip away. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, but when you say “reading” that covers a lot.

          • Arwen

            I wasn’t home schooled, but I learned to read before I was two. My mom taught me at home with no formal curriculum, just books from teacher stores with drills for reading, writing, and math. I was reading Nancy Drew books in kindergarten, and loving them. I could tell you what had happened in the book, chapter by chapter. I know because the librarian was floored that I could read those books at age 6, and grilled me on the ones I had read before I was allowed to check any more out.

          • Trixie

            What does that have to do with anything? You were a precocious reader, great, fine. Doesn’t mean homeschooling is a good idea.

          • Arwen

            Much of my grade school education was so poorly done, my mom had to bring me home and teach me herself. And I didn’t go to a bad school. This was before the internet, before homeschooling became more of a thing, which is why no one really thought of it. We just suffered with my mom trying to reteach me everything that I hadn’t learned, or learned badly, in actual school.

          • prolifefeminist

            My parents pulled my oldest brother out of school after kindergarten to homeschool him, and they received some criticism for doing that because my mother wasn’t a “certified teacher.” Big brother is now a PhD rocket scientist, so that worked out pretty well. The rest of us did pretty well too, I think – not quite rocket scientists, but we turned out okay.

            On the other hand, I have a friend who home schools and really shouldn’t be. She’s a lovely person but is overwhelmed by it and for various reasons is just not cut out for teaching. Her kids are several grade levels behind in math and science. Situations like that really, really suck.

          • RebeccainCanada

            You know I think that’s where when it sucks finally Mom puts them in school. That’s when the teachers get annoyed, but the kid catches up and moves on. You know not dead and all.

            My Dad when we started HSing was annoyed, he was taking classes at a Jesuit College and had several retired teachers as classmates. And he thought surely they would agree with him that this was dumb, but they didn’t they felt homeschooling was great. My Dad is now impressed with our kids and has agreed that we made a great choice.

            We originally lived in a bad part of a city with the worst literacy rates, and lots of trouble with drugs and violence. It hasn’t been an easy choice but it has worked out for us.

          • Susan

            My neighbor who home schooled her five kids sent them all to public school as high school freshman and they uniformly took AP, honors and got 4.0 plus GPA, they are super nice kids as well. It can be done well.

          • Stacy21629

            My husband was homeschooled through middle and early highschool…”dropped out” at 16, later got his GED, then 2 associates and is nearly finished his masters. One of his younger brothers (100% homeschooled) has an associates, 2 masters and is working on his PhD.

          • R T

            Exactly what happened to myself and my brothers when we went to highschool after being homeschooled. We were all very advanced!

          • AlisonCummins

            And if the parents never put the kids back in school?

          • Stacy21629

            Don’t get me wrong, I want my kids to know all their subjects, but I’m less worried about things like science, history, etc than the basics – reading, writing, math.

            Those subjects (science, history, etc) tend to repeat themselves, building layer upon layer, year after year in school. So my kid will/does have multiple opportunities to be exposed to the American Revolution, the water cycle, the cell, Ancient Egypt, etc. –> all the way up to first year undergrad at a liberal arts school and Bio 101.

            If we don’t get reading, writing and math down early though, you will definitely be way behind for life. If we miss out on the nuances of the Trojan War or naming all the parts of a flower…he’ll have other opportunity to learn them, either in later years in home school or in college.

            We are planning to do a Classical 4 year rotation of subjects…at least that’s the thought at the moment. :)

          • Mac Sherbert

            Actually, under the new Common Core standards there is less focus on science and social studies in the lower grades. The focus is now on the core subjects like reading and math. Teachers especially K teachers just fit them in when they can.

          • Trixie

            In half-day kindy under common core, it is virtually all reading and math. That’s all there is time for.

          • AlisonCummins

            Yes they do. And they can be avoided with adequate oversight, which some states provide and others do not.

          • AlisonCummins

            Sort of. It’s legal in all 50 states but not all students are required to receive schooling. In Missouri for instance, “homeschooled” children don’t need to be taught anything.

            If a child who does not yet have 16 credits toward a high school education is registered for school but is kept home by a parent or guardian, that is educational neglect.

            If a child does not attend school, that is homeschooling and is not educational neglect. Parents in Missouri have no legal obligation to actually teach their children anything.

            http://www.dss.mo.gov/cd/info/cwmanual/section7/ch1_33/sec7ch32.htm

            There is similar lack of protection of homeschooled children in other states as well.

          • RebeccainCanada

            But if you were such a negligent parent, why would you keep them home? Why wouldn’t you send them off on the big yellow bus each day?

            Just because they don’t have any legislation about what to teach, doesn’t mean that parents aren’t teaching!

            Lack of protection? Like because parents are not autonomous and can’t make decisions for their children? Kind of like how the state really needs to make all choices for us. Because ultimately the state does our thinking.

            This blog is all about getting people to think and reconsider homebirth because babies die at home. Because people have a prior right to make decisions for themselves about their health care. It’s called informed consent. It also hopefully is a challenge to midwives to get some education before they kill somebody.

          • AlisonCummins

            I didn’t say nobody taught their kids, I said that not all states require homeschool kids to be taught. There’s a difference.

            Parents may be autonomous but children are not. Parents usually do at least a good-enough job at looking after their kids but sometimes they don’t. That’s why there are mandatory reporting laws, for example.

            Children do not have the ability to consent to homeschooling, informed or not. When they are being badly served by homeschooling they may have no recourse. The fact that children who are well-served by homeschooling do not require that recourse is irrelevant to them.

          • indigo_sky

            Have you ever heard of radical unschooling? Basically it takes the idea of allowing kids to follow their own interests in learning and goes about a zillion steps too far with it.

            Teaching kids is oppressive to them! If left unhindered, they will naturally absorb what they need to know, the same way they learned to talk without having to take lessons!

            Go read radical unschooling blogs or discussion lists and you will see parents start to worry when their eight year old hasn’t intuited how to write his own name yet or their 12 year old is not yet reading. There, there mamma, he/she just isn’t ready yet or doesn’t feel he/sue really needs reading yet. It will come easily it is time. For now, it is okay to play minecraft 16 hours a day and he/she is probably learning building skills from it. Maybe your child is meant to be an architect? That doesn’t require much reading.

            There is the rare child with a strong thirst for knowledge who can do very well with unschooling. For most though, it is a disaster.

            Homeschooling can be done very well or very badly. There does need to be oversight to watch for those who can’t or won’t teach basic literacy and math and such because children deserve better.

          • Lion

            I have read some of those blogs. Unschoolers seem to do what the rest of us do in addition to school – find interesting activities.

          • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com

            I know another homeschooling mother whose daughter “takes a virtual math class” through Minecraft. I am not entirely sure what that would entail. There is also a group of parents who are creating a Minecraft based homeschooling enrichment program. I won’t make any statement of opinion on that, but it is “a thing”.

          • OBPI Mama

            We homeschool our children and live in a state that has a high oversight (sending in your plans and testing and teacher review of work). You have to have the school’s blessing, more or less. In high school years, your child can take any class at the local high school (or 2year college), which is what we plan to have our children do for science. I can handle upto 8th grade science, but know my limitations when it comes to high school science.

          • Trixie

            That sounds reasonable to me.

        • Mac Sherbert

          For me the analogy is more like a teachers aide with a high education that attends a woo filled conference on autism and then thinks she can run my classroom. She knows just enough to cause major havoc and denies that I the teacher have real certification and education at the Master’s level.

          I have friends that homeschool and I first thought they were nuts. However, all their children read above grade level, are plenty social, play sports, etc. They also do not claim to be experts in education and think they can run the local school or that everyone should homeschool.

          • yugaya

            I agree, that is a far better analogy than mine, thanks for the input.

      • anion

        Oh, now, she doesn’t entirely disdain research-based methods. She totally wants to do a double-blind study in which some women suffering postpartum hemorrhage are just fed pieces of their own bodies and then allowed to bleed out, in order to see if cannibalism is a genuine cure.

        Sure, those women could die, but it’s all in the name of science.

  • Captain Obvious

    Pot calling the kettle black. The Homebirth midwife worried about the doula trying to commandeer the delivery for herself, which would be unsafe.
    http://community.babycenter.com/post/a48308530/not_feeling_so_positive_about_my_homebirth_anymore

    • anion

      Ugh, what a situation. I notice that the doula apparently told the mother how awesome the midwife is, and then when she was fired told the mother that the midwife is gossipy and awful and that she’s never worked with her before. So, I guess it’s SOP to just blanket-compliment anybody in the NCB community regardless of truth? (I know, silly question.)

      I guess this is the sort of thing that happens when you have non-professionals attending births: they snipe at each other and can’t put their differences aside, and make it all about them. And how does the doula “call the midwife too late?” Doesn’t the mom/dad call both doula and midwife? How does the doula have the mother labor in “unsafe positions?” Isn’t the midwife there to stop it, and what is an “unsafe position?” I thought the midwife line was that women should be able to get in any position they like. (That’s a genuine question; does anybody know what might be an unsafe position, that’s actually physically possible?) I hate to say my immediate suspicion is the midwife is edging out the doula to get more money for herself/her assistant and friends.

      I agree with the others in the thread that I don’t get shelling out the extra cash for a doula, when the midwife is supposed to be doing all that support stuff, isn’t she?

      (I also happen to agree with the OPs grandma that their toddler shouldn’t be there while the baby is born. Especially since–omg–she’s planning to HBAC. But hey, I’m just a snippy meanie who hates ladyparts or something.)

      Here’s hoping the stress gets better for her, at least, and that she and baby come through it safely.

      • Mer

        Well an unsafe position would be one compressing baby’s cord, but since they don’t do CEFM they have no idea what position that would be.

        Also, that grandma sounds like a fairly sensible person, and offering to take the toddler seems really nice to me. I have no idea why the mother complains about her grandma pointing out the car thing, but we’re all sensitive to various things, the oven comment would bother me.

  • Trulyunbelievable2020

    Is it just me, or is there a fairly strong correlation between the use the word “babe” and being a complete fucking moron? Any of you wise, strong women have any insight on this?

    • Comrade X

      Not necessarily. I refer you to:

      “You remind me of the babe!”

      “What babe?”

      “The babe with power”

      “What power?”

      “The power of voodoo…”

      “Who do?”

      “YOU DO! You remind me of the BABE!!”

      • Amy M

        But that is a reference to the teenage girl, more than the baby brother, even though he’s in the song too. “Hey what a hot babe” is different than “I must feed my babe every 2hrs.”

    • yugaya

      I think that the description of being a complete fin’ moron fits with any person who uses compound ‘motherbaby’ to describe a pregnant woman and her unborn child:

      - Jan Tritten on her fb page:

      “How dare we tell a motherbaby when she should birth. Let’s step back a minute and see how wildly absurd that is. I fear so many motherbabies are railroaded into bad births because we have protocols as midwives that do not serve motherbaby first but the license and rules of states and countries which are all based in medicine which when it comes to childbirth is all wrong. This is what happens to us when we lose our autonomy and the art of midwifery.”

      • Dr Kitty

        Gross.
        Just…yuck.

        • yugaya

          That quote is a couple of years old and it is her rant over compulsory protocols that say pregnant women that hit 42 weeks mark must be turned over into care of medical professionals who will not crowdsource what to do on facebook. Lack of such law or protocol allowed Jan Tritten via this same fb page to help Christy M Collins kill baby Gavin Michael, and god knows how many other babies in between.

      • Jocelyn

        “We have protocols…that…are all based in medicine which when it comes to childbirth is all wrong.”

        I just don’t. get. these people.

      • Josephine

        I have never heard that term before, but upon first reading it I got an ill feeling in the pit of my stomach. I’m just going to start calling myself Offred.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        Am I the only one who finds the word “motherbaby” disturbing? Like a woman loses not just her autonomy and right to her body when she’s pregnant but also her very identity. She’s no longer Dr. X or Ms. Y or Prof. Z or even mama, but just a part of the assimilated motherbaby.

        BTW: When I got to around 39 weeks, my instincts all started saying, “Get it out! Get it out! It’s dangerous in there!” I wonder what Jan Tritten would have thought of me if I’d told her that my motherbaby voice said “c-section, now, please”?