Natural childbirth advocates and their preschool sense of grievance

Dirty Kid Series - The Brat

There is nothing like the righteous indignation of a preschooler.

I recall that when one of my sons was 4 years old, I issued the following draconian pronouncement:

“You may not watch television until you clean all your toys from the floor.”

He immediately shot back:

“You treat me worse than Pharoah treated the slaves!”

Peering into the backyard I noted that there were no pyramids that he was forced to build. Grudgingly, he turned to the task of gathering up the toys.

I don’t doubt that my son felt grievously wronged. He wanted to watch TV and he wanted to watch it NOW. He did not want to clean up the toys and was indignant that I thought it was his responsibility merely because he had been the one to drop them on the floor. He truly felt that he was being persecuted, when I could have done the job myself or simply left the toys on the floor.

My son has heard me tell that story and laughs whenever he hears it. He’s an adult now and hhe has an adult perspective. He understands that just because you want something doesn’t mean that you can have it; it is not persecution when someone expects you to live up to your responsbilities; and especially, that real persecution is very, very different than not getting your way.

That incident came to mind when I read the latest example of “deep thinking” from the pens of natural childbirth advocates. It’s a poem in the style of the simple, powerful work of Martin Niemoller, writing in the aftermath of the Nazi Holocaust.

Take a look:

image

Just as my preschooler thought that being required to clean up his toys was “slave labor,” natural childbirth advocates apparently think that doctors refusing to supervise unsafe procedures is the equivalent to carting people off to concentration camps, killing them with poison gas and then incinerating their bones in vast crematoria.

You have to be remarkably ignorant of history, immature, and narcissistic to believe that. In short you have to have the preschooler sense of grievance.

Preschoolers think the world revolves around them. They think that the satisfaction of their wishes is and should be the primary goal of everyone with whom they interact. They have an exceedingly low tolerance for frustration, difficulty understanding danger and the reckless belief that they will never be hurt no matter what they do.

Based on this juvenile poem, it seems that natural childbirth advocates think that satisfying their wishes is and should be the primary goal of everyone with whom they interact. They have an exceedingly low tolerance for frustration, difficulty understanding danger and the reckless belief that they will never be hurt no matter what they do.

I suppose we could be offended and appalled by the poem, but I find it amusing and regrettable. Amusing because preschoolers are naturally amusing and regrettable because grown women shouldn’t be behaving like preschoolers.

I thank the authors of the poem for demonstrating the immaturity, narcissism, and ignorance of history that is the hallmark of contemporary natural childbirth advocacy. I can only aspire to be as successful in discrediting them as they are in discrediting themselves.

  • Scott Dave

    Hi Medwife,Thank you for good comment.My toddler throws himself on the floor and kicks in a totally
    stereotypical way. It’s like, Did you read a book on being 2 or
    something?

    Physician
    Practices

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Just to point this out…the Nazis would have loved quite a lot of the NCB movement. They were heavily into (the “right”) women having lots of babies and fulfilling their biological destiny. And I doubt that they’d want to waste much medical care on women or babies who couldn’t make it on their own either. They’d have nodded sagely at “some babies just weren’t meant to live”. They’d approve breast feeding pressure as something that kept women tied to babies and away from the work environment where they might compete with men. Heck, they’d probably even be ok with some of the quasi-feminist “birth warrior” “empowerment” talk because it would set women’s “empowerment” firmly in the realm of childbearing and childrearing.

  • Adelaide GP

    There is a ludicrous degree of hyperbole and self pity expressed by home birth advocates in this poem and other grossly exaggerated metaphors used such as “birth rape” . It’s like they revel in the romantic role of tragic victim. So out of touch with reality . But it looks like it is this type of rhetoric that helps maintain their manufactured rage and sense of “birth trauma” which sees them avoid hospital at all costs.( Unfortunately if a baby dies this scenario turns into an actual tragedy. The irony is that modern obstetrics is trying to prevent the very real trauma that they imagine they are already experiencing)

  • Sue

    “Not fair!” “Don’t WANNA!”

    • Adelaide GP

      Foot stamp! I thought pre schoolers only did that in cartoons, but my 4 year old daughter crosses her arms and stamps her foot when she doesn’t get her own way! It’s all I can do to keep from laughing sometimes lol.

      • Medwife

        My toddler throws himself on the floor and kicks in a totally stereotypical way. It’s like, Did you read a book on being 2 or something?

        • Who?

          My daughter used to do that too. The day she did it on granite tiles was the last time it happened…

  • Lisa from NY

    OT: Is it true that if you wash off produce with soap then you don’t need to buy organic?

    • Mariana Baca

      I’m not sure how this is related? Organic does not mean clean or unclean. It means no chemical pesticides, herbicides and no GMO. (some additional things for organic meat/dairy/eggs). But it could still have parasites or bacteria or plain dirt so you should wash it. OTOH, non-organic could be cleaner, but cleanliness doesn’t mean the plant hasn’t absorbed chemicals or that the GMO is ok. Jury still out whether these things are harmful in the normal amounts available in washed plants.

      • Lisa from NY

        Thanks. Totally OT, but I am confused by the information overload out there.

        • Trixie

          Here’s what I do — I buy locally when I can from farmers I get to know. I figure they own their land and want to pass it on to their kids, so they probably are making good decisions about it. Also because I’m a produce snob. I never worry about organic or not, but if something good is incidentally organic, I’ll still buy it. But I won’t pay a premium just because something is organic.
          BT corn is a good example — it’s a GMO that’s better for the environment. Notice how your corn on the cob never comes with caterpillars anymore? Organic corn still gets sprayed with BT, using more petroleum and increasing runoff. The farmer who plants corn with BT already in it doesn’t have to spray.

        • Trixie
          • Lisa from NY

            Thanks for the link.

        • me

          Try to eliminate or at least minimize three things and you’ll be light years ahead of the std American diet, even if you can’t find/afford organic/pastured/free range/non-GMO/what have you:

          1. Sugar. In all its forms (not just HFCS). A little is okay, especially that naturally occurring in food (tho you can still go overboard with that – for example some fruit has enormous amounts), but eliminating sodas, sweets, and processed foods that are heavy on sugar (or at least minimizing them) is a good idea.

          2. Heavily processed fats, especially trans fats. Use minimally processed fat in your cooking – butter, EVOO, palm oil, coconut oil, even bacon grease or home-rendered lard (not the hydrogenated lard you find in the tubs at Walmart). Highly processed seed and vegetable oils tend to contain more trans fats than the labels state and they break down easily during cooking rendering them even more rancid and unstable than they were to begin with (and they aren’t any where near as tasty as the less processed alternatives).

          3. (and this is where some controversy comes in) Grains. They tend to be nutritionally weak compared to meat and veggies, and they spike your blood sugar nearly as much as table sugar does (sometimes more). They don’t offer anything that can’t be obtained through other more nutrient dense foods, and while they are undoubtedly cheap, they are calorie rich, nutrient poor foods (aka “junk food”). Don’t get me wrong, I do indulge in small portions rice or pasta a couple times a week, but after ditching most of the grain from my diet I lost 40 lbs in 6 months and my eczema cleared completely. Obviously your results may vary, but there’s certainly no harm in giving it a try.

          • Trixie

            This is paleo woo.
            Obviously cutting down on refined carbohydrates and sugars is a good thing for most people losing weight. But it’s false to state that grains are lacking in nutrient value.

          • Irène Delse

            Exactly. And whole grains are a great source of slow absorption carbohydrates, minerals, fatty acids and various vitamins and proteins.

          • me

            Are they as good a source as cruciferous veggies? Meat? While certainly “whole” grains are better than refined grains, and if you insist upon eating grains you are better off making most of them whole, veggies tend to kick grains ass.

            For a similar number of calories (about 100) you’d get 1/2 cup brown rice vs 2 cups of Brussels sprouts. You’d get more protein with the Brussels sprouts (8g vs 2g), same number of total carbs (about 22g), the sprouts give more fiber (8g vs 2g), more PUFAs with Brussels sprouts. The only vitamin or mineral that brown rice has in greater abundance (calorie for calorie) is selenium, and not by much. This is all straight from the USDA (hardly “paleo woo”).

            Obviously all this will vary depending on what grain you compare to what veggie, but generally speaking, veggies (especially leafy greens and cruciferous veggies) will come out on top, calorie for calorie.

            As for meat, a 1/4 lb sirloin steak has a similar number of calories as 1 C of brown rice (about 200), the steak has nearly 5 times as much protein, no fiber, but also no starch or sugar, 5 times as much MUFAs, more Omega 3 (both ALA and DHA), and has the same or higher amounts of 16 of the 21 vitamins and minerals listed on the USDA site. I think I’d rather eat a quarter pound of juicy tender steak than plain brown rice any day (but then, that’s subjective, lol).

            So why do we need grains? How is it that they are so much better for us than other foods (besides refined grains, because those are, afterall, still grains)?

          • Irène Delse

            Sigh. Notice that I am answering to the claim that it’s unhealthy to eat grain based food? Not trying to push a no-meat or no-vegetables diet? Did I say anything about other than “grains can be healthy too”?

            No. So please spare me the lecture.

          • me

            You said whole grains are a “great source” of a number of nutrients. What defines a “great source”? Are whole grains better sources of those things than refined grains? Sure. Better than other food groups? Not necessarily. Not lecturing. Having a conversation.

          • Trixie

            There’s several problems with this. First, people need carbohydrates. Second, I love Brussels sprouts but I don’t really love my colon after eating two cups of them at a sitting.
            No one here said grains are better than other foods. We said grains are not worse than other foods, which seems to be your claim. Since you made a ridiculous claim, it’s up to you to prove it. What harm befalls people from eating reasonable amounts of grains?

          • Irène Delse

            Exactly. Unless one is celiac or has an allergy to cereal proteins, it’s not a bad thing to have on your diet.

          • LibrarianSarah

            The first thing I thought when I read me’s comment was how sick I would be if ate 2 cups of Brussels sprouts. I like Brussels sprouts but only in 1/2 cup doses. Otherwise, I am no fun to be around.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I have only loved Brussels sprouts in large quantities once. There is a restaurant that serves seared Brussels sprouts in their Beecher’s cheese Mac and cheese and puts pork belly in it. The Brussels sprouts taste amazing. I could eat two cups of THOSE Brussels sprouts. Unfortunately I can only handle a small amount.

          • me

            I was only equaling out the calories for fair comparison. A half cup of rice is 100 cal, a cup of brussels sprouts in only about 50. So not only are they more nutrient dense (cal for cal), but you get way more volume for your calorie buck as well. Double score!!

          • LibrarianSarah

            I am sorry but I do not see calories as my enemy. Though last I checked, saturated fat is also very high in calories as well but you have no problem with that.

          • Certified Hamster Midwife

            Saturated fat is definitely delicious. I switched to whole milk and stopped putting sugar in my coffee and that has worked out well for me. Insulin resistance is a bitch.

          • me

            This! I know not everyone will relate. Not everyone has a family history of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Not everyone watched their blood glucose creep up over the years despite eating “healthier” all the while. I suppose trying to get these people to understand is futile. But, yeah, insulin resistance sucks.

          • me

            I don’t see calories as the “enemy” either (I stopped counting about a year ago. I find, unsurprisingly, that I don’t need to count calories if I watch my carbs). But many people are stuck in the CICO mentality and they do scrutinize calories.

            Yes, saturated fat is high in calories (ALL fat, really – all fats have about 9 cal/g regardless of type). But sat fat (all fat, really) is filling. It doesn’t raise your blood sugar. It “sticks” with you so you can eat less throughout the day. Yes, mathematically it makes more sense to cut fat (9cal/g vs 4 cal/g for protein and carbs) but unfortunately our bodies suck at math. Your appetite is based less on calories and more on satiety (why you can tear through a whole bag of potato chips without realizing it, but try to do that with steak? good luck). And fat is more satiating (at least for me) than other macro-nutrients.

          • Certified Hamster Midwife

            That’s true, but I at least have to apply some kind of oil or butter to those sprouts before roasting in order to make them delicious. I’ll eat steamed broccoli, but I’d rather eat twice as much roasted broccoli.

          • MaineJen

            Uuuuugh whenever people start going on about grams of this and carbs that, my eyes glaze over. I feel like I should care more, but really…can’t we just eat a balanced diet without having to scrutinize each and every label? I have better things to do.

          • KarenJJ

            Same. Diets are the most boring thing to talk about. Unless you’ve brought along a nice bottle of bubbly and some sort of cocoa goodness, I’m seriously uninterested in what most people eat. It’s more tedious then talking about cricket (close call though).

          • me

            Yes, people need carbs, but, unlike essential amino acids, and essential fatty acids, we can produce much of the carbs we require. So we probably don’t need some 50-60% of our calories to come from them. And maybe it’s just me but brussels sprouts don’t bother my colon nearly as much as bread does.

            My claim was that grains are comparatively weak when compared to other foods, calorie for calorie. If you want to lose or maintain a healthy weight, it’s helpful to try to get the most nutritional bang for your caloric buck. What harm befalls people from reasonable amounts of grains? IDK. Define a “reasonable” amount. I eat a few servings a week. I don’t think any harm will befall me from that. Some people could probably eat several servings a day and have no harm befall them. Celiacs can’t eat any amount of wheat or significant harm will befall them. Diabetics should keep a close eye on grains, or significant harm could befall them.

            So, you are asking a question with undefined parameters, and that has an answer that will vary greatly based on individual health.

          • Trixie

            No harm befalls most people from eating reasonable amounts of any food. Including grains. Just because celiacs can’t eat gluten, doesn’t mean it’s bad for the rest of us. That’s silly.
            I’d like some evidence that we can “produce much of the carbs we require.”
            Have you been reading Food Babe?

          • Mishimoo

            Maybe Mercola or Philip Day, if not Food Babe.

          • Stacy48918

            Or that ridiculous “Grain Brain” book.

          • Mishimoo

            Maybe ‘Sweet Poison’ and ‘Toxic Oil’ too?

          • me

            Never heard of those either.

          • me

            Never read it.

          • me

            Heard of Mercola, not interested. Never heard of Philip Day.

          • me

            I didn’t suggest that gluten was bad for non-celiacs. I only pointed out that depending on one’s underlying health concerns what constitutes a “reasonable amount” may vary greatly. You still haven’t defined what is “reasonable”. Never heard of Food Babe.

            We can produce glucose through gluconeogenesis. We can survive in a state of ketosis for periods of time (we would have needed to in some parts of the world, especially in winter). Now, I’ve never been in ketosis nor do I wish to be, and while I don’t think it’s harmful I’ve also never sen any evidence that it’s particularly beneficial. I never wanted to cut my carbs any lower than about 80g a day, and now that I’m maintaining I can have more like 120g a day without regaining. Yes, certain parts of our brain can only use glucose (just like our heart runs exclusively on ketones). But a minimal amount of carbs will provide for this.

          • Trixie

            I think steak is gross and haven’t eaten it in 25 years. Meanwhile I’ve been eating lots of whole grains and I’m a normal weight, in perfect health, and I don’t have eczema! Looks like my anecdote cancels out yours.

          • Siri

            And I love steak and eat it whenever I get the chance. I also love grains and potatoes, am slim and have never had eczema. Methinks there’s more than one way to achieve good nutrition! Plus, pleasure is important too; we only live once, so we may as well eat what makes us happy.

          • me

            Of course there is more than one way to get good nutrition. I only mentioned that compared to meat and veggies, grains aren’t as highly nutritious as many seem to think. Chocolate cake isn’t particularly nutritious, but I still indulge in chocolate cake from time to time. Nothing wrong with occasional indulgences.

          • me

            Okay. There are other types of meat you know. I was just using one as an example. I threw my story out there as an example. Not as definitive “proof” of anything. And I’m sure a grainatarian diet works for a great many people. But it simply doesn’t work for others.

            Not sure why so many are getting so defensive about simply suggesting that taking a careful look at one’s grain consumption could be helpful. If you do well on a high carb diet, wonderful. If you don’t, there’s nothing wrong with cutting back.

            *shrug*

          • Young CC Prof

            Here is precisely where we disagree. I believe that, barring food allergies and other unusual situations, most human beings can do fine on a variety of diets. The main issue is not which foods are “healthiest” but, for us, how to avoid overeating. Avoiding grains, for you, may represent a good psychological trick to avoid overeating, but that’s probably all it is. Another person might accomplish the same thing with vegetarianism.

          • mishabear

            ” The main issue is not which foods are “healthiest” but, for us, how to avoid overeating.”

            Absolutely agree with this. I think in the end that’s what most “diets” boil down to, including previous poster’s minimal carb diet. I’ve been doing the Fast Diet for the last 2 month-ish and lost 10-15 pounds. But I don’t think of it as a diet. In line with the maxim to eat less, move more, I think of it as a strategy to do the former. Personally way easier for me to eat significantly less on two or three days a week than to eat 6 small meals (really, snacks) every day or cut out carbs forever.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            believe that, barring food allergies and other unusual situations, most
            human beings can do fine on a variety of diets. The main issue is not
            which foods are “healthiest” but, for us, how to avoid overeating.

            No shit.

            The key to fighting obesity in the US? It’s not about organic vs non-organic, or eating fresh fruits and vegetables.

            Before worrying about all these other issues, the one thing we need to be “cutting out” of our diets are the crap. Eat a serving of canned peas instead of potato chips. Eat some canned peaches or pears, even in sugar syrup, as opposed to donuts and cookies. Have milk or water instead of soda (diet or otherwise).

            And in smaller portions.

            We do that, and our “obesity epidemic” is going to be cut way back.

            THEN we can worry about whether we should be doing more.

            But let’s start at the beginning, the obvious problems. Eat more fruits and veggies, less sugar, and not so damn much.

            Of course, I’m one to talk.

          • me

            I agree with this entirely. The only reason I opened this whole can or worms is because the attitude faced by many of us who already made the obvious changes and aren’t eating the “crap” anymore, but who are still struggling, is that we must not be telling the truth. We must be closeted. We must be eating larger portions that we claim or “cheating” on our diet frequently, or not be exercising enough, etc, etc, etc.

            And I know what that self blame feels like. I look back and wonder how I could so easily chalk may “failures” on conventional diets up to a lack of discipline or will power. I’m not undisciplined or weak willed in any other aspect of my life. But the message is clear: If you are fat it’s because you are a lazy undisciplined slop. All you have to do is step away from the donuts, fatty. If you claim to be eating “healthy” and aren’t losing weight you’re either lying or too stupid to know what healthy really is.

            It’s all very insulting, obviously. But it’s also not fair. If the diet isn’t working for you, maybe it’s the diet. It took me far to long to figure that out. But I’m glad I finally did. I wish someone had pointed out to me years ago that if you honestly are eating “healthy” but find the conventional wisdom isn’t working for you, maybe it’s time to look into the alternatives. That’s all I’m really saying here.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            Well I’m glad your diet worked for you, but why go further than that? Is that necessary for everyone? Of course not.

            As stated, humans have a lot of flexibility available for a healthy diet, so if you find something that works, great. Do it. But don’t presume for a second that it means anything to anyone else.

            If you had just left it at, “I’ve done X, and it’s been better for me,” this wouldn’t be a discussion. It’s when you started going on with the bullshit about the nutrition content of grains and all that nonsense that people jumped on you. With good reason. It’s all bullshit.

            If cutting grains made you not as hungry, I’m glad. But why can’t you just leave that as something that happened for you, as opposed to having to create some bullshit about why this would be better for everyone else, too?

          • me

            What part of “your results may vary” did everyone not get? why did I suggest it as a valid option that people might want to consider? Because I was discouraged from trying it for so long. With much the same arguments that I’ve sen here (It’s boring, you’re cutting out a whole food group, grains are “great sources” of important nutrients (implying that they are better sources than any other source and reducing them will leave you malnourished), too mush sat fat will kill you, etc). I wish I had heard someone defend low carb years ago. I might have considered it sooner. Unfortunately for many years all I heard was the negative press.

          • AllieFoyle

            In OP’s defense, there is evidence that a low-carb diet can have significant health benefits, and is probably preferable to the low-fat, high carb diets we were all counseled to eat for years and years.

            http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/low-carbohydrate-diets/

            I think the gluten-free obsession is a little over the top, but I think it’s reasonable to suspect that some portion of the obesity epidemic relates to eating a diet that’s relatively high in carbohydrates, especially refined carbs. Cutting back on grain-based foods could be a good strategy for improving diet for a lot of people.

            Obviously a complicated issue: evidence on sat fat = mixed, exercise is important, people vary, etc., but her position is not completely unreasonable. Well, except for eating two cups of brussels sprouts at a sitting…

          • me

            Thank you for that. Only one thing: I didn’t say anyone should eat 2 C of Brussels sprouts in one sitting, I just find when comparing nutrition info it is helpful to compare on a calorie for calorie basis, since serving sizes vary so much.

          • me

            Psychological? How so? You’re either full or your not. I eat when I’m hungry. After reducing carbs I find my appetite is better controlled. Many people (and studies) report the same phenomenon. The mechanism for this is pretty basic – when blood sugar is kept more stable (as it is on most low carb diets) you don’t experience the highs and subsequent lows that trigger hunger. And since higher fat and higher protein foods tend to be more filling you feel full on fewer calories.

            A small study (but at least randomized – not useless food questionnaires) comparing Atkins style diets to conventional low fat, calorie restricted diets. A larger study would be nice, but the results are interesting:

            http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa022207

            A few things about this RCT stand out:

            First, while the weight loss between the groups was insignificantly different after a year, the low carb group had lost more weight earlier on. This may provide motivation (it’s nice to see your efforts paying off, especially in the early weeks of a diet).

            Second, the low carb group had improved cholesterol results than the conventional diet group. So even if you say ‘hey there was no difference in weight loss after a year’ you have to admit that low carb appears better for improving cholesterol profiles (this mirrors my own experience).

            Third: The low carb dieters were completely unrestricted as to fat and protein intake, and had no restrictions on calorie consumption. They still managed to maintain a deficit with limited contact with professionals. A greater deficit even than the conventional dieters who were paying attention to calories. They also had a lower ‘drop out’ rate than the conventional dieters (tho is wasn’t statistically significant, a larger study would be needed).

            You seem to be saying that low carb, vegetarian, low fat, etc doesn’t matter, except psychologically. What are you basing that on?

          • Elizabeth A

            Psychological? How so? You’re either full or your not.

            Eating fulfills a variety of physical and emotional needs for a lot of people. We eat to address hunger, stress and boredom. Since we frequently eat with people, and associate food with social occasions, we often also eat when we’re lonely. Certain social occasions (like family holidays) also drive us to eat more. Sometimes, people eat when they’re not hungry because they like the way things feel or taste, or because they have positive associations with certain foods. Sometimes people eat socially. Hunger signals are also not 100% reliable indicators that what you need is food. Those can get messed with by medication, metabolic disorders, and emotions.

            So, yes, dieting is partly a psychological exercise in breaking non-hunger associations with food, to make it possible for the dieter to limit consumption to necessary fuel, rather than running over for the large variety of reasons above. If you decide to replace grains with brussels sprouts, you are not having lunch with your co-workers at the deli, or burgers with your friends at the lake. You politely decline your Nonna’s chicken soup with dumplings. (The lower intestinal effects of brussels sprouts may also serve to make you reluctant to eat, let alone overeat.)

            I’m so glad you’re happy with your diet, but I wish you’d quit evangelizing for it.

          • me

            Okay, yes there is a psychological component to why we eat (and what, and how much). However, once you’ve broken those non-hunger associations, then what? And FWIW, since I’ve cut back on grains, I can still eat at a deli (they have salad, or you can just eat the sammy filling and ditch the bread), burgers remain awesome (just ditch the bun), and my MIL’s lasagne is precisely what a well planned “cheat meal” was designed for. And I’m not sure why everyone thinks brussels sprouts give you gas. Well, I did believe that myself, but now I suspect it was the grains I was eating them with. It is entirely possible, and I’ve avoided mentioning it to this point since I’ve never been tested, but perhaps I have a sensitivity to grains. TMI, but some of the major improvements I’ve noticed since changing my eating habits has been improved regularity, less bloating, and far less (and far less stinky) gas. That coupled with the disappearance of the eczema may suggest I had more going on than simple insulin resistance.

            Sorry for evangelizing, tho. You are right on that count. I really didn’t see this getting so far out of hand when I first posted.

          • Stacy48918

            “Not sure why so many are getting so defensive about simply suggesting that taking a careful look at one’s grain consumption could be helpful.”
            Because you have nothing objective to back up this claim. Most folks here believe in science and evidence-based decisions. Just looking for some evidence upon which your *opinion* is based.

          • me

            I can appreciate that sentiment. Much of nutrition science is based on observational studies (food questionnaires). It is unfortunate that there aren’t many good quality studies on the effects of different types of diets. However low carb diets have been shown, if nothing else, to be safe and reasonably effective. If you’re happy with what you’re doing and/or you don’t want to try it, great. More Kerrygold for the rest of us :)

          • Young CC Prof

            Low carb diets have been shown to be quite effective in the short term, however, they are NOT safe. Kidney problems, for one thing.

          • me

            Citation, please.

          • Mishimoo

            Here’s another anecdote for grains:
            Beef annoys the hell out of my gut while wholegrains soothe it. I’ll stick with my ‘nutritionally weak’ grains too, because at least I’m actually absorbing nutrients from them, unlike that deliciously evil beef.

          • Irène Delse

            Oh, and while we’re at it, cruciferous vegetables is one kind of foods that I and other people with hypothyroidism shouldn’t eat too much of. I haven’t eliminated them but I’m certainly not going to rely on them for fibers or selenium. Recommending one-size- fits-all diets are not are not a good idea.

          • me

            Too true! Unfortunately that’s precisely what the USDA has been doing for the past 50 years. And forcing it on school children and soldiers and the people they help with the WIC program while they’re at it. It’s a shame.

          • Trixie

            Yes, the USDA is torturing our children with grains. Yep, that’s it.

          • me

            Nice hyperbole. Have you missed all the controversy over the school lunch program lately? Young brains need fat. Calorie restriction isn’t a great idea for young kids. And yet right now the kids are being put on a low fat, calorie restricted diet, at least at school. Unfortunately for some kids the meals they eat at school represent the majority of their intake.

          • Trixie

            I’m not the hyperbolic one here.

          • me

            Ok.

          • Elizabeth A

            Oh for fuck’s sake.

            If you are going to cook very inexpensive food for large numbers of people, you will find yourself making some nutritionally non-ideal choices. This is why school lunches are what they are, and why the armed forces eat what they do. I have insufficient info on WIC to comment there. Maybe if we funded school lunches better, they wouldn’t be so darn carb heavy. But I can think of about a dozen more urgent school-related things.

          • me

            I don’t disagree with you. I realize they do what they do because of budgetary constraints. They simultaneously try to convince people that the new lower fat, lower calorie school lunches are healthy. It’s one thing to admit that, hey this is the best we can do based on budget. It’s quite another to try to promote less than ideal choices as ideal.

          • Elizabeth A

            As far as I can tell, the big problem everyone has with school lunch programs is that they’re behind trend.

            For years, everyone groused about the gruesome, high-fat school lunches. THe issue of the obesity epidemic was raised. School lunch programs changed over to whole grains, and lower fat options just in time to get slammed for stunting kids’ growth via calorie restriction and low fat.

          • me

            Those years (when everyone groused about the high fat content) were the same years when the low fat fad really took hold. And as it turned out low fat diets, while not particularly great for anyone, are particularly bad for children. It’s certainly not uncommon for the government to be behind the times in terms of science, but the low fat fad is dying pretty quickly. It mostly died off in the 1980s and 1990s (remember snackwells?) but a lot of it lingers on. For example, the only milk options at my child’s school are 1% plain, or fat free chocolate. I’m glad she’s kinda picky and brown bags it. I went to a school function a few weeks ago, where dinner was provided (summer reading kick off party). On the buffet table were sandwiches (with one small slice of meat and one small slice of cheese (likely reduced fat), fruit, chips, cookies, and water. Carbs, carbs, carbs, carbs, and water. Pretty sad really. When I declined the cookie (but took everything else) one of the teachers commented on how “good” I was. shit I thought the chips were “bad” enough by themselves.

          • Siri

            1. Brussels sprouts make rubbish tomato sandwiches. Rye bread makes excellent tomato sandwiches. 2. I don’t like Brussels sprouts. I like bread. 3. Feel free to eat only steak and sprouts; I much prefer a varied diet incorporating all kinds of food. 4. I was raised on a diet of ‘nutritionally weak’ grains (as in sandwiches, porridge etc) along with limited amounts of fish, meat, fruit, veg, potatoes and dairy products, and I have always been slim and healthy, as are my five children. 5. There is no need to try to turn your own personal food choices into some kind of nutritional prescription for the rest of us.

          • me

            1. After I stopped eating sandwiches I found I didn’t miss them. 2. I like veggies. Always have, even when I was a grain-eater. 3. I eat meat, pork, poultry, fish, eggs, seeds, nuts, a rainbow of veggies, berries, stone fruit, and whole dairy products…. but yeah, keeping grains to a minimum means such a *boring* diet. Enjoy you bagel, I’ll enjoy my eggs and bacon. Enjoy your rye sandwich, I’ll enjoy my meat/poultry/fish on a bed of lettuce with a handful of almonds, a handful of cheddar, and some olive oil, thanks. Enjoy your plate full of pasta, I’ll enjoy my chicken thighs “breaded” with Parmesan, broccoli (with lots of butter), and a small portion of potatoes or rice. Enjoy your cookies, I’ll take my strawberries sprinkled with chia seeds and covered in heavy cream. Oh and a little extra dark chocolate on the side.

            But, yeah, that’s “boring”.

            4. I was raised on a similar diet, and I managed to stay “healthy” (high end of BMI for height) for most of my life. Then as I got older (and more insulin resistant, perhaps?) things changed. I hope things don’t change for you. But if they do, reducing carbs as a percentage of your calories may be beneficial. And maybe not. But you don’t know unless you try.

            5. I offered a suggestion to someone who seemed to be lamenting about “info overload”. It was not prescriptive in nature. And at any rate, if you are happy with what you are doing and it’s working for you, of course you aren’t going to do anything different (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right?). But if you find yourself, as I did, struggling to manage your weight even while following all the conventional advice, maybe give something different a try. I’m not going to track anyone down and force them to eat filet mignon and buttered green beans, I swear :)

          • Trixie

            Paleo woo paleo woo.
            Look, I don’t care what you eat, but it’s not inherently healthier than grains, and the huge amount of saturated fat in the diet you described is also concerning.

          • me

            Why is it concerning? Saturated fats have been exonerated. So has dietary cholesterol. Oh sure it will take a while for the masses to catch up with the research, but all I know is my total cholesterol is down, my HDL us up and my triglycerides are down after eating this way for a year. My doc isn’t concerned. And having lost 40 lbs and improved my blood glucose levels puts me at lower risk for diabetes than I was a year ago. Again, YMMV. No not everyone will benefit in the same way or to the same extent as I did. I just wish I had found out about all of this sooner (and not in the way it is often talked about, as some “fad” or as being “unhealthy”).

          • LibrarianSarah

            Congradulations you cut a food group from your diet. Here is your medal. Happy now? Ugh food smug is the worst kind of smug.

          • me

            How did I cut a food group from my diet? I still eat grains. Just not as much or as often.

            And I already got my “medal”, thank you. I’m back to my high school weight and my hands aren’t killing me anymore (eczema is a ruthless bitch). That’s all the “medal” I need.

            I feel like a broken record at this point, but I’ll say it again: If you like the way you eat and your happy with the results, keep on keepin’ on. I offered a suggestion mostly because I wish someone had told me about all this twenty years ago.

          • LibrarianSarah

            I am pretty sure if you had any real qualifications on the subject (such as being an RD) you would have mentioned them by now. I am glad you feel better. I have lost 35 pounds over the past year. I am at my college weight (I was underweight in highschool) but I don’t go out and give dietary advice because I am a librarian not a dietitian.

            We have seen multiple times on this site how the shit can hit the fan when lay people give out advice based on internet research and “what worked for me.” The Dunning-Kruger effect is a seductive mistress but a cruel one as well.

          • me

            I don’t believe I’m superior to anyone. I never claimed to be an RD because I’m not one. I’m an ordinary person who struggled needlessly on the advice many RDs hand out. I’m not suggesting anyone blindly follow my advice (how stupid would that be to read an anonymous post on a message board and decide to jump right in without investigating the issue for oneself?). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it (yet) again: if you’re happy with what you’re doing and it’s working for you, great. Keep doing it. But I wish someone had told me years ago that there were alternatives, and that maybe I wasn’t failing at my diet, maybe, just maybe, my diet was failing me. That’s all.

          • Amy

            Lol food smug… I almost just snorted diet Pepsi out of my nose. Toxic, chemical ridden, delicious diet Pepsi.

          • Siri

            Why do you feel the need to be so passive-aggressive?

          • me

            Passive aggressive? How so? You insisted my diet was “boring”. I beg to differ. I guess I don’t see what’s so “exciting” about a slice of bread. Seems to me grains are what you put food on (TIC).

            If my response was “passive aggressive” I was simply matching your tone.

          • Siri

            I said nothing about your diet, and I did not use the words ‘boring’ or ‘exciting’. I was talking about my own food preferences. Have you nothing better to do than spend hours making a nuisance of yourself by moaning about the evils of grains and the wonders if sprouts? Your diet may not be boring, but your endless posts are.

          • Siri

            OF sprouts.

          • me

            I said nothing about your diet, and I did not use the words ‘boring’ or ‘exciting’.”

            Maybe disqus is messing up, but you (or at least someone called Siri) responded to me saying “Feel free to eat only steak and sprouts; I much prefer a varied diet incorporating all kinds of food.” I simply responded to that, pointing out that I do not eat “only” steak and sprouts (no you didn’t use the term “boring”, but how else would you describe a diet consisting of only two foods? the implication was pretty clear). I also eat a varied diet. I just minimize one of the food groups. There’s still abundant variety to be had.

            “Have you nothing better to do than spend hours making a nuisance of
            yourself by moaning about the evils of grains and the wonders if
            sprouts? Your diet may not be boring, but your endless posts are.”

            And you wonder why I got a bit snarky and passive aggressive with you? Pot. Meet Kettle.

            If you don’t want to discuss this further you are free to stop responding. Have you nothing better to do than spend hours making a nuisance of yourself by moaning about what other people post about? are you the Lord Almighty of the Internet and you determine what topics people are allowed to discuss and for how long?

            No? Then shut up.

          • Meerkat

            I think all these new fashionable diet theories are pretty funny. They are a result of our privileged economic status.
            I grew up in the Soviet Union in late seventies. We ate pretty much the same way our ancestors did, which is to say that we simply didn’t have many fresh fruit and vegetable choices in the winter. We had plenty of carbs like potatoes though. At the beginning of the summer my grandma bought a sack of sugar and a sack of salt. We spent all summer making preserves and pickled vegetables. We didn’t have olives, let alone olive oil, avocados, bananas, almonds, broccoli, or kale.
            We should have been huge with such diets, but everyone was thin, especially children, because we ran around all day.

          • Young CC Prof

            But human beings are flexible nutritionally, and Americans generally do not suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. Adding brussels sprouts to a plate consisting only of meat and bread makes a healthier meal. A plate of brussels sprouts alone is too low in energy.

            Of course a person can’t be healthy living on grains alone, but there are many healthy diets that involve a combination of grains, produce and meat. Most human beings for the last several thousand years have followed some such diet.

          • me

            I don’t have an issue with grain consumption, per se (sorry if it came off that way. tho I did point out that I do include a small portion of grains a couple times a week, so I’m not sure where everyone got the impression I’m “paleo” or whatever). The issue is with the absolute crap-ton of grains Americans are encouraged to gorge themselves upon. 6+ servings a day? Really? How does one justify that?

            Yes, adding veggies to your meat and grains makes it healthier. Healthier still would be to swap out the grains for a starchy veg, or at least replace some of the grains with the brussels sprouts. Personally, I didn’t eliminate grains completely, but when I eat them, they no longer take up a third of my plate – now it’s half brussels sprouts, a third meat, and a sixth grains. And plenty of butter on those sprouts!

            Minimizing grains (much like minimizing other less nutrient dense foods) leaves more room for healthier options. And, FTR, I’m not paleo (I consume dairy), and I’m not primal (at least not all the time). I practice carbohydrate restriction with an emphasis on minimally processed foods (and since grains are such carb-bombs, I have made them a very small part of my diet). After decades of following the standard USDA advice (and being consistently at least 20 lbs overweight with borderline high fasting blood glucose and elevated cholesterol for my troubles) I found a way of eating that allows me to more effectively control my appetite, thereby allowing me to easily maintain the right energy balance to maintain a healthy weight (and my bloodwork has improved pretty dramatically as well). If you are happy with what you are doing and it is working for you, by all means, keep doing it! I only wish I had tried what I’m currently doing years ago. So maybe that’s why I wanted to chime in – maybe someone else who was struggling like I was (while doing everything “right”) will open their mind to trying something else. That’s all.

          • Trixie

            Uh, you can say you’re not paleo, but your whole “plenty of butter on those Brussels sprouts” schtick is ridiculously obviously paleo jargon. Your first post said “try to eliminate” grains because the “standard American diet” is so awful. Dude, that’s paleo speak. Now you’re backpedaling because you’ve been called on it.

          • me

            It’s not “paleo” per se, it’s low carb jargon. When you reduce carbs you must replace those calories with something. Protein remains pretty constant (too little or too much isn’t good) so you replace the carbs with fats. I didn’t simply say “eliminate” I also said “or minimize”. Trans fats? Eliminate. Sugar and grains? Minimize. I also said “your results may vary” meaning sure, some people can seem to eat a lot of grains and sugars with no ill effects. Others can eat very little. Most are somewhere in between. *If* you find yourself struggling while following the conventional advice, it may be a good idea to try the unconventional advice.

            Geez, I knew it would be controversial (said so in my first post), but why are grains such a sacred cow? If I had said try to eliminate or reduce animal products, I doubt I’d have gotten the same response.

          • LibrarianSarah

            As someone who used to be vegetarian and still eats a mostly vegetarian diet I can assure you that the response would have been the same here and much worse on other places on the internet. In some forums simply saying “I am vegetarian” will get horrific insults thrown at you never mind actively trying to promote a vegetarian diet.

            I would have given you just the same response if you came here promoting a vegetarian or vegan diet. I am against the idea of dividing food into good and bad and eliminating the bad. I am also against lay people giving out health advice based on personal experience and internet research. You also got a reaction because some of your posts came off as smug and passive aggressive. Perhaps you didn’t mean it that way but that is how they came across.

          • me

            I apologize if I came off that way. I realize (to my chagrin) that some of my posts probably sound like the proselytizing of a born-again. And I’m sorry for that too. I just am very excited. The changes I’ve made have been life altering for me. I understand not everyone will share in that excitement, and not everyone wants to hear the “good news”. I truly didn’t mean to offend anyone. I guess I’m still in the shout-it-from-the-rooftops phase. I know my 3rd suggestion is not without controversy, and I know not everyone will experience the same results as I did. I tried to make that clear. I’m sorry if it wasn’t.

          • Busbus

            It’s also about money. Grains, such as rice or pasta, are a cheap way to fill up.

          • me

            This is very true. And yes (a thousand times yes) eating a grain-heavy diet is better than starving. I would never dispute that. But if you aren’t worried so much about where your next meal is coming from, and have the luxury of worrying about what your next meal will consist of (and I am aware that this is a luxury) that’s where this topic begins. Yes, the reason the subsidized school lunch program is gran based is because it’s cheap. And I suppose it’s easier to convince folks that grains are good for you than it is to admit that it’s the most cost-effective means of feeding people who need help. Moses opened the granaries when the slaves complained of starvation. He didn’t give them all a bunch of chickens. Even then, grains were a cheap way to keep people alive. That’s not to say they are a terribly healthy option when you aren’t worried about starvation.

          • Busbus

            What I’m trying to say is that this is a very privileged discussion. I like veggies with butter, and I certainly like me some steak. However – we are not poor, and I could still not afford to feed my family fish on a bed of salad. We’d have to buy about three times as much fish for one meal than we currently do. But throw a little rice in the mix and it looks quite different. And it’s a healthy meal.

            There I’d nothing wrong with eating like you do if it works for you. But even if it was healthier all around (and I think the scientific jury is still out on that), it is absolutely illusory to believe that the majority of people could follow such a diet, even in a rich country like the US. Grains work for humans, and I think when it comes to the health of the nation as a whole, those who eat fish with rice are not the ones we need to worry about.

          • me

            I get what you’re saying. And certainly it is more important at this time, for the overall health of the nation, to encourage people to minimize/eliminate obvious junk and encourage more minimally processed foods (including minimally processed grains). Heck, that’s the first step I took – cut out the soda and the sweets and the ice cream, started replacing refined grains with whole grains, ate more veggies, lean protein, switched to low fat/fat free dairy, etc. And it worked. To a point. Then it stopped working. That’s when I explored alternatives.

            Yes, this is a privileged discussion to have. I get that. But they don’t call ‘em “diseases of affluence” for nothing. No, when you are starving you aren’t worried about keeping your cholesterol under control or reducing you blood sugar levels. You are more concerned with not wasting away than you ever could imagine being concerned about being overweight (tho, ironically, lower income people in America have higher rates of obesity, but that is not necessarily the case in other parts of the world). The sad fact that a lot of people don’t have enough to eat doesn’t make it wrong to discuss the idea of the effects of differing diets on our health. Many people can’t afford to own a car. Doesn’t make it wrong to discuss different makes and models and options in determining what would be best for a person who can afford to own a car.

          • me

            I didn’t say they were entirely devoid of nutrition, only that, compared to meat and veg, they are kinda weak.

          • Trixie

            Yeah, I know, and you were wrong.

          • me

            Please elaborate. I’ve done side by side calorie comparisons of brown rice vs broccoli and brown rice vs sirloin below. For your convenience.

          • me

            sorry, that should be “calorie for calorie comparisons”.

      • Bomb

        it doesn’t mean no chemical pesticides. It means no synthetic chemical pesticides. Organic farms have a whole arsenal of highly toxic pesticides and herbicides they use.

        • Mariana Baca

          Synthetic, that is the word i was looking for, thanks. Obviously all chemicals are chemical. :)

          • Trixie

            There are plenty of lab-produced chemicals that are used in organic ag. In some cases, they’re more toxic to wildlife than the non-organic ones.

          • Amy

            Can you link to evidence for this? I want to read up on it.

          • Trixie

            It’s like the difference between “natural” and “artificial” flavors. Natural strawberry flavor isn’t from strawberries, it’s made in a lab in Jersey out of some type of derivative of an actual animal, vegetable or mineral. But it’s not really any more “natural” than the artificial flavor is. Organic-approved pesticides are often still made in labs through unnatural processes; there’s just an arbitrary line in the sand about how old the technology has to be to still count as “organic.”

          • Trixie

            For the same reason, all truffle oil is fake. Natural truffle flavor is not derived from truffles. It’s just an overpriced bottle of oil with some lab-created flavor in it.

          • LibrarianSarah

            What about chocolate truffle oil? Is that a thing? Oh please, please, please tell me that is a thing.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          Yeah, my rule with “organic” produce is that I generally only want to buy it if it has some evidence that bugs have tried to eat it. If bugs aren’t interested in it, something is wrong. For example, it’s been treated with older pesticides which haven’t been developed to specifically inhibit enzymes present only in insects and not in mammals. In short, I consider synthetic pesticides likely safer, but do like truly organic food with the occasional bite out of it from a worm if I can get it.

          • Amy

            I get an organic CSA box and I pay $35 for it. For what I get, it’s reasonably priced. But I do notice a difference between the produce from the box and what I get at a store…some things do taste better. Leaf lettuce and broccoli are the two biggies. They also last much, much longer than conventional produce. BUT I suspect that the reason is that it’s fresher than what’s at my local grocer, and has little to do with pesticides or GMO.

          • Trixie

            Yeah, it’s just fresher and you’re getting varieties that aren’t planted for large scale agriculture because they don’t transport well. Zero to do with “organic.”

        • Irène Delse
      • Trixie

        Jury is not still out on GMOs — they’re safe to eat.

        • Carrie Looney

          And a good thing, too. Everything we eat has been extensively genetically modified – by radiation and other mutagens, by transposons, by hybridization, with selection by breeders for centuries. Intentional human use of recombinant DNA technology is just the most recent means.

          • MaineJen

            True. Take corn…the ‘corn’ we eat today bears laughably little resemblance to that gathered by foragers 500 years ago. It’s been modified within an inch of its life, and most of that was selective breeding/hybridization that took place before genetic manipulation was possible.

        • Alcharisi

          Ugh, I wish this consensus were better communicated. It actually came up in a conversation this weekend. I pointed out that we have several decades of solid evidence and consensus that most/all known GE crops out there were safe to eat. The person I was talking with replied that they “just didn’t believe that.”
          This response came up earlier wrt the OVERWHELMING consensus re: vaccine safety, too. The irony of it all was that during this conversation the person in question was drinking a beer and had just come in from smoking a cigarette.* So much for concern about toxicity.

          *Yes, I’m aware that cigarettes are addictive, and am not judging Conversation Partner for that alone. I’m merely noting some pretty awesome cognitive dissonance.

          • Young CC Prof

            I’ve noticed the same pattern in the naturalists: a fear of hypothetical or “secret” hazards that exceeds their fear of well-known and solidly proven hazards.

          • Alcharisi

            I mean, there’s a certain amount of that that’s intuitive and that we all do. I mean, despite all evidence to the contrary, I’m still more scared of flying than I am of driving–probably in large part because being 30,000 feet in the air is novel and not part of my day-to-day encounters. The trick is to recognize it for what it is.

          • Young CC Prof

            The difference is (I THINK) most people who are afraid of flying understand that their fear is irrational. Like fear of the dark, it’s an instinctive reaction that has little or nothing to do with real danger. Lots of people are afraid of flying, but white-knuckle and do it anyway. Even folks who can’t bring themselves to do it generally don’t go around warning other people that flying is dangerous

    • araikwao

      I understand there’s no evidence that organic food has any health benefits (thank you Science Based Medicine!). Either way, produce should be washed and/or peeled first.

    • olphi

      I would think washing it with soap would leave soap particles on it – making it even less healthy. Organic is all about the absence of foreign particles in food.

      • Stacy48918

        “Organic is all about the absence of foreign particles in food.”
        No. “Organic” is all about a made-up, non-scientifically based ideology of food production/consumption.

        Washing food with soap = bad
        Washing your face with soap = good

        Yea. That makes sense.

        • Box of Salt

          As long as you rinse well, the soap is washed off, taking the dirt and bacteria with it. That’s the whole point of soap.

      • Trixie

        Ahahahahahaha.

        No.

        “Organic” produce gets sprayed with just as many pesticides as conventional produce — sometimes more. The difference is just that they’re generally older, less effective pesticides.

  • Guest

    The irony is, after every “They came for ______” statement, you could, and *should,* add “and prevented the needless death of an innocent child.”

  • Beth S

    OT but the preschool analogy reminded me: My four year old said I was a mean Mommy because I made her go to the doctor to get a shot (antibiotic for an ear infection) I’d rather be a mean Mommy than have a sicker kiddo.

  • Bomb

    Email from a Las Vegas midwife, Margie Dacko.

    ” First of all after 2400 home births I have had several negative outcomes, any midwife who tells you they have never had a bad outcome at a birth is either lying or they haven’t been to very many births. The nature of birth is that most of the time everything goes extremely well but on rare occasions there are complications with birth or with the baby or mother after birth that require intensive care. I have had a few babies who have died soon after birth (2 with birth defects and 1 from a delivery complication) and I have had 1 baby still born. Considering that the USA’s rate of fetal death is around 8 per 1000 births, my statistics are extremely low. I have had several babies over the years who have needed to be transported to the hospital for health issues after birth, except for the previously mentioned deaths all babies recovered well and are normal healthy babies. Rarely I have to send a laboring woman into the hospital but I have never had a mother die and my transport rate is around 2%, which is very low. Nearly every woman I have ever sent to the hospital has been a first time mother with a long labor and lack of progress, not an emergency, just a transfer to the hospital because the mother is done…those transfers are always by car as there isn’t an emergency, just a change of plans. ”

    Can you spot the bullshit?

    • Beth S

      I can spot a huge range of bullshit, I’m still trying to figure out when HB became safe for FTM I thought that first time motherhood was a risk out for homebirth midwives because of the things that can go wrong. Well they just proved they’re liars.

    • areawomanpdx

      well, if the low-risk term neonatal death rate in the US is 8/1000, I’ll eat my hat.

    • Lisa from NY

      The transfer rate is much higher, and these babies are deprived of oxygen and have brain damage. Brain damage is not shown on any graph.

      • Sue

        How shocked the community would be if neonatal HIE resulting from birth accidents were reported for home births.

    • AmyP

      Yeah.

      For one, a lot of the disaster stories involve transfers by car. That doesn’t mean that the situation isn’t a total nightmare.

      http://10centimeters.com/henrys-story-did-lax-oregon-laws-contribute-to-his-death/

  • Beth S

    I wish I hadn’t just read that drivel…not the post, the poem that the post was based around. Seriously they want to equate the wishes of those of us who want to modernize and make safer homebirth with the struggles of the Jews in concentration camps?
    Good God, and I thought the idiots on my birth board were looney.

  • CanDoc

    Wow, I am beyond appalled. But I like your response, which amounts to more of an eye roll.

  • Forgetful Guest

    I wish people would stop abusing that poem to fit their agendas.

  • Ducky7

    Wow, burnt! “I can only aspire to be as successful in discrediting them as they are in discrediting themselves.” And wow, that rewriting of the poem does not make sense. What did they do when they came for you?? Tell you that you had to have a c-section? Made you seek care from a real medical professional? This is so offensive I don’t even know where to start. One poem is about genocide, the other is about eschewing evidence-based medical care.

  • Jessica S.

    It is hyperbolic, for sure, but even beyond that, it doesn’t even make sense, at least not the last “they came for me” line. Came to what, kill you? Sterilize you? Force a CS? So not only is it offensive but it’s nonsensically offensive. It’s fitting, since their grievances over breech, VBACs, treatment of midwives, etc is entirely nonsensical.

    • MLE

      Came to blemish their bloom of ignorance so that pretending risks don’t exist is not as fun anymore.

    • Siri

      They forced me to have a court-ordered caesarean section. And I wasn’t even pregnant.

    • Sue

      “They” won’t be coming for me, cos I don’t intentionally do anything to endanger the lives of mothers or babies during childbirth. Simple.

  • bomb

    Would some homebirth midwives fit the criteria of Hero Syndrome? Taking on ever increasingly dangerous births- hbac, breech, breech hbac, twins, breech twins, hbac twins etc. So they get to “save” the birth from csection and other interventions (of course their own interventions are ok) while getting admiration and adoration for their negligence.

    In nurses you’ll see them injecting paralytics and insulin so that the baby crashes. Then they call for help and are lauded for saving the day. If a baby dies, no big deal. It’s like gambling. Instead of a loss it’s an almost win.

    I know of a handful of cases like this involving nurses, but I can think of many many midwives that seem to fit the criteria with their track record and trail of dead babies behind them.

    • attitude devant

      Yup.

    • Susan

      I have thought that many times as I read here…. they really seem to be getting off on the high risk births

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

      That’s known as Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy.

  • araikwao

    Wow, I love the way she is also trying sell her quacktastic remedies underneath it, too

  • Amy M.

    Anyone else having disqus issues? It’s not letting me log in…(this is Amy M)

  • Susan

    First they came for the Venti Cappucino ……

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      …And then I spoke up. I said, “That’s a fine idea” and got one myself.

  • guest

    Wow, that poem is really offensive.

    • http://whatismyreferer.com/ MikoT

      It’s idiotic and offensive.
      Are they really presuming to liken themselves to the righteous gentiles?

  • DoulaGuest

    She offers discounts to single moms, teen moms, military families….and women having HBs, but “every woman deserves a doula!”. Wow, if that is not a judgement on moms
    choosing hospital births, or medicated births I don’t know what is.

    • Beth S

      So basically if you’re a married 20-30s age mom who isn’t in the military who is giving birth in the hospital you don’t deserve a doula…wow.

      • Amy M

        Oh you do, just not a free one. In that case, you deserve to get swindled by a doula.

        • DoulaGuest

          We aren’t all swindlers. I am mostly pro bono or trade and have never made more than $350 as a doula. Of course I am in nursing school and this is not my primary income. Doulas can be great support for many women, and all
          You have to do is watch doula Dani’s video to know there are many of us who just want to support women in whatever birth choices they make.

  • Zornorph

    Honestly, I think that ‘First they came for…’ thing has to be the most ridiculously overdone meme out there. I was trying to come up with a really sarcastic, snarky parody of this that these crazy people might come up with, but the only line I could think up was ‘When they came for the Doctors, Amy Tuteur didn’t speak up because she wasn’t a doctor’. Couldn’t figure out where to go from there.

  • yentavegan

    We must be ever vigilant! Our daughters and grand-daughters will be at the mercy of ideologues as more and more of their health-care choices are taken over by the government.
    Women who are educated in liberal leaning universities seem to be easy targets for the NCB propagandists.

    • Trixie

      The lady who wrote this is a birth photographer with an online herb business who seems to have dropped out of community college.

    • http://whatismyreferer.com/ MikoT

      as more and more of their health-care choices are taken over by the government

      Care to expand on this?

      Women who are educated in liberal leaning universities

      Most of the regular commenters here appear to be liberal leaning – would you call them easy targets?
      Perhaps it’s more accurate to say that people without a scientific background are more susceptible to woo in general.

      • VeritasLiberat

        it’s because women from such universities have had a greater exposure to feminist rhetoric and associate it with positive things. Much of NCB uses similar rhetoic to gain converts. For example, conservative women are not likely to see the appeal of the “midwife sisterhood subverting the patriarchy.” They are more likely to be roped in to NCB by an appeal to either religion or tradition.

        • Carrie Looney

          Or libertarianism. (Ditto anti-vax.)

        • doctorex

          I think this argument is really a limited one when you consider how many conservative women are deep into the woo. It’s one of those weird places where the extreme right and the extreme left meet. Partly, this is because a lot of the logic of NCB advocates, and particularly the objection to c-sections, is based on a logic of pro-natalism. C-sections aren’t really a problem unless somebody is going to have at least four kids. Conservative women are much more likely to do that than their lefty counterparts.

  • Kazia

    California has a whooping cough epidemic. My county has low vaccination rates, and surprise surprise more pertussis cases. And we had an (unvaccinated) man with measles a few weeks back as well.

    • Mac Sherbert

      Yeah, my vaccinated kid got it…Not saying not to vaccinate, but don’t assume vaccination will protect everyone or that everyone that has it didn’t vaccinate. My doctor said this vaccine is not great (ok she was way more technical) and wanted to proactively treat my vaccinated baby/toddler just in case because she had be exposed to it.

      • Kazia

        The vaccine is 80-90% effective according to the CDC. No, it isn’t perfect, and immunity decreases over time. But the disease is potentially DEADLY, especially for small children. I’ll take a sore arm for a few days, thanks.

        • Sue

          Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine is the poster-child of the anti-vaxers because it is one of the less effective vaccines. But, unlike in anti-vax land, less than 100% efficacy does not equate with 0%, and boosters are certainly needed.

          It’s newborns who (still) die of pertussis, so it’s a good idea for older children and newborns to renew their immunity.

          • Mac Sherbert

            Absolutely, which why I stated I wasn’t saying not to vaccinate. It just drive me nuts that because my child had it everyone thinks I’m an anti-vax nut. My kids are vaccinated and if I had another baby I would get a booster and vaccinate my baby.

          • Anne

            Is it less effective because it was made safer? I thought acellular pertussis vaccine was less antigenic than whole cell vaccine- but less likely to cause seizures.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        That doesn’t mean that the vaccination wasn’t useful. Vaccination can sometimes lead to an attenuated case of the disease, even if it doesn’t completely prevent infection. For example, I got influenza last winter despite vaccination…but only had two days of fever and chills instead of the usual 5-7 days.
        Also, the pertussis vaccine really isn’t the greatest thing, especially with so many adults not getting a booster. Limit exposure if you can.

        • Sarah

          Well, yeah, the fact that the vaccine isn’t 100% effective is the biggest reason we need herd-immunity. I didn’t take my twins out of the house until they had their two month vaccines, and now I’m thinking of keeping them inside for the rest of their lives. Well, maybe until they are no longer babies.

  • http://whatismyreferer.com/ MikoT

    Very off topic: The pyramids were not built by slaves but by free men, and it appears they were treated fairly well for the time.
    It was done as a kind of national service, a patriotic duty of sorts.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      They almost certainly were built by slaves, just like other major projects in the ancient world.

      • Zornorph

        It’s funny, because I’m not from the US and slavery in the Bahamas only existed as an institution for a short period of time, it wasn’t much of a subject in school and so whenever I hear ‘slave’, I always have images of the Hebrew slaves building pyramids and not black slaves on a plantation.

        • Bethany Barry

          That’s surprising, considering 85% of the population of the Bahamas are descendants of African slaves. I don’t doubt you, but the African slave trace of the 17th-19th centuries is a huge part of Bahamanian history.

          • Zornorph

            But you see there are two things to consider. Most Bahamians during that time were poor (and the islands were not heavily populated during that time, either). More to the point, during the period between the US revolutionary war and the Emancipation act, it was discovered that the soil in the Bahamas was not suitable for large scale plantations, so slaves wouldn’t have even been profitable. Not that there was no slavery, but it just didn’t last very long. Pirates and fishermen didn’t have slaves for the most part.

      • LovleAnjel

        http://news.psu.edu/story/141300/2008/03/24/research/probing-question-how-were-egyptian-pyramids-built

        “The image most people have of slaves being forced to build the pyramids against their will is incorrect, Redford says. “The concept of slavery is a very complicated problem in ancient Egypt,” he points out, “because the legal aspects of indentured servitude and slavery were very complicated.” The peasants who worked on the pyramids were given tax breaks and were taken to ‘pyramid cities’ where they were given shelter, food and clothing.”

        Don’t we have a motto of listening to the experts here?

        • doctorex

          I’m pretty sure all slaves get tax breaks, shelter, food and clothing. Because they can’t be taxed if they aren’t citizens or at least considered people, and not feeding, adequately clothing, and sheltering your slaves is a pretty terrible investment strategy.

    • Therese

      The pyramids were built over a period of about two thousand years. Just because there is some evidence that during a small fraction of that time period free men were employed in pyramid building doesn’t mean that slave labor was never used. It would be like a historian looking back and claiming that slave labor never existed in the United States because of all the evidence that there were minimum wage laws.

      • http://whatismyreferer.com/ MikoT

        I guess so. I’m basing this on a late night Discovery documentary I saw a few years back which I admit is not the most erudite of sources.
        Wikipedia says that the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Middle Kingdom Pyramid were built by paid labourers at least.

        • attitude devant

          There is some written evidence that some were ‘paid’ in beer (to be precise) but I always wondered if those were just rations and not real pay

          • Rita Rippetoe

            Money had not been invented yet. All “pay” would have been in commodities: food, fuel, clothing, housing, etc. The work was done during the flood period when the farmers could not work their fields.

        • Klain

          It was a way for farmers to earn food (bread) during the time of year the Nile was flooding while their farmland was under water.

      • LibrarianSarah

        Aren’t you putting Miko in a “celestial teapot” situation? There are tons of historical evidence that slaves worked on American plantation but I don’t know of any evidence that slaves worked on the pyramids. Just because we can’t prove that each and every pyramid was built by paid labors doesn’t make our cultural presumption that slaves worked on the pyramids is correct.

        • Therese

          Oh, sure, there is plenty of evidence of American slavery now, but in 2400-4000 years how much evidence will still exist? I think it is more presumptuous to say, “Oh look, the head workers of the pyramids were well treated Egyptians and oh, look, we found a lot of animals bones in their camps, so the workers must have eaten a lot of meat and they were given beer, so therefore that means in their entire history the Egyptians must have never enslaved anyone ever! Yes, everyone else in the ancient world did it and all testimony from the ancient world claim the Egyptians used slave labor, but look meat bones and beer trumps all that!”

          Here’s an article that gets into the political motivations for the ‘Egyptians didn’t have slaves’ argument: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2011/03/maybe-the-egyptian-pyramids-werent-built-by-union-workers-after-all

          • LibrarianSarah

            You are now making a straw man. I never said that the Egyptians never had slaves. I said that their is no evidence that I know of that slaves worked on the pyramids.

            If in 2400-4000 years all evidence of slavery were wiped out people would be justified in saying that, as far as they know, slaves didn’t work on southern plantations. It sucks but that is how knowledge works in a skeptical framework. You believe things based on the evidence you have not based on what sounds right. This means that we should do whatever we can to preserve our history even the parts we are ashamed of.

            By your logic you can just as easily say that one or some of the pyramids were built by aliens because I can’t prove that they weren’t. I am sure it is in the Egyptian government’s best interests to promote the idea that their ancestors built the pyramids instead of aliens.

            Burden of proof is on those who make a claim not on the doubters.

          • Lindsay Beyerstein

            A four-year-old isn’t doing Biblical exegesis. For his rhetorical purposes, Pharaoh and Moses might as well be characters is a much warmer version of Frozen.

          • http://whatismyreferer.com/ MikoT

            I did say it was very off topic.
            Sometimes it’s fun to take a break from the serious business.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Hence why I didn’t comment on the four year old nor am I having the conversation with a four year old. I simply responded to Therese’s post.

    • pinkyrn

      And how do you know this?

  • Tina

    I agree with cognitivedissonancehurts when that person said that this poem is an insult to those who actually survived the holocaust. It was written in poor taste. However, when Dr. Amy wrote, “it seems that natural childbirth advocates think that satisfying their wishes is and should be the primary goal of everyone with whom they interact” it bothers me a little bit. Does that mean that natural childbirth advocates shouldn’t think that OB/GYN’s should respect their wishes during birth? I understand that OB/GYN’s are trained to give medical advice and that women should be able to trust their decisions but from time to time, I think it’s okay to question and even say no, for example if the OB/GYN is not following ACOG guidelines.

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      There’s a difference between “satisfying” someone’s wishes and “respecting” someone’s wishes.

      • Amy M

        Also, “primary goal” being key here: OBGYN’s primary goal is to end up with healthy baby and mother. Respecting the mother’s wishes as much as safety allows should also be a goal, but not the primary one.

        • Tina

          Actually, legally, if the mother says no to any treatment or procedure that her OB/GYN recommends, the OB/GYN has no right to force their decision on the mother or that doctor will be held legally liable for malpractice. While I agree that the goal should be to end up with a healthy mother and baby, and while I agree that OB/GYN’s far more often than not have this goal in mind for their patients, respecting the mother’s wishes is actually the mother’s legal right even if that goal is not on her mind. Most recently in the news about this is the Rinat Dray case.

          • Haelmoon

            But on the other hand, we are not obligated to support every decision that women make. If they are a poor candidate for a vaginal breech, I do not have to offer them an induction if there is another compelling reason to deliver that baby. Yes, that can refuse a c-section, but I can refuse to augment or induce their labour, and refuse to faciliate a vaginal delivery that is not going to happen on its own.
            I once had a lady with twins who refused an induction. She finally went into labour at 39+ weeks and baby A was a brow presentation that eventually converted the wrong way to a face presentation. She refused a c-section. I refused to augment her labour when it stalled at fully and I refused to tried to do anything to assist a vaginal delivery (as there was nothing I could do). She was fully for 10 hours when she finally consented becuase there really was no other way the baby would come out.
            Just becuase someone wants a breech vaginal delivery or a VBAC does not mean that we should be offering it if they are not good candidates. Mom is free to voice her opinions, and they should be listened too, however, we also need to attempt to ascertain what baby wants – I suspect babies want to be born alive, with minimal damage. I am caring for both patients, but only one gets to voice their opinion. We have to respect both of their needs.

          • Karen in SC

            A pragmatic strategy.

          • Paloma

            I don’t know how this works in the US, but in med school I was told that should a case like this arise, I could call a judge and get a court order to perform a procedure, but only in extreme cases and never before consent from a judge. Like for example, if parents didn’t want a surgeon to perform an apendectomy on their son (with apendicitis) and otherwise he would die. I’ve never heard of anyone actually having to do it, but it is a possibility…

          • Montserrat Blanco

            You can do that in Spain when it involves children or vulnerable adults (someone with dementia for example). In that particular case you would be arguing that the unborn child has got legal rights, which is a difficult place to be from the legal point of view. You still have a good shot at it with a 39 weekend foetus though, at least in Spain, but the judge can deny the order on the grounds the foetus is not a person from the legal point of view.

          • Paloma

            I guess with OB you could do it, but probably there wouldn’t be enough time. However, I really want to believe that reasoning with the parents works. I’ve never heard of anyone actually calling a judge, other than the hypothetical cases in my legal medicine exam :)

          • Sue

            In Australia, we work according to the principles that we are not obliged to provide a service that is not an emergency, but we also have an obligation to provide care (in a life-threatening situation) where the person refusing is demonstrably not competent to decide, or is mentally ill within the meaning of the law (and their behaviour is a threat to their own safety or that of others).

          • OldTimeRN

            In my State, if parents refuse the Vit K and eye ointment we will get a court order from a judge allowing us to give it.

          • araikwao

            So tell me about this eye ointment – there must be a much higher rate of chlamydia infection to be able to justify routine administration? We don’t use it routinely in Aus, and I’m certainly not aware of an epidemic of resulting infant blindness.
            (The vit K I fully endorse, because every baby deserves a brain free of haemorrhages)

          • Jessica S.

            You have quite a way, Haelmoon. :) I wish you could deliver my baby!* Not that I don’t like the staff at my hospital – I really do. But I love the way you deal with patients!

            * As it will be a repeat CS, it wouldn’t be very exciting. Hopefully – HOPEFULLY! – it will be uneventful, with the most exciting moment being the sound of her cries. :)

          • Meerkat

            Jeez, I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to deal with such stupidity. What would you have done if you felt that her babies were in immediate dander?

          • Amy M

            I didn’t say the OBGYN should be forcing anything on anyone, I said what the primary goal usually is. If they go about achieving that primary goal by forcing procedures on women who have explicitly refused them, then yeah, that ‘s illegal/wrong/assault/however it is officially classified.

            This conversation sounds a lot like that post last week(?) about how not all that matters is a healthy baby and mother. NO ONE is saying that OBGYNs should act to achieve the goal of healthy baby/mother at ANY COST including refusing to offer informed consent, ignoring a mother’s refusal of a procedure/performing a procedure on a mother wo/her knowledge or consent, blowing off a mother’s wishes when there is no reason not to honor them, or otherwise treating the mother like less than a human. The point is that the doctor’s primary goal is a healthy patient/s. Hopefully, the doctor and the patient can work together to reach this goal, not only with everyone healthy, but with everyone satisfied and feeling respected.

          • OldTimeRN

            And what a tangled web we weave.

      • Tina

        While I respect your post, I hope that any doctor will satisfy any patient’s request if that person says no to a drug or procedure.

        • Maria

          Of course doctors should always do their utmost to help their patient have the birth they want. That is respect. However, it is within that doctor’s right to try every means of persuading the patient to change her mind if she is steadfastly holding onto a wish that could harm her, her baby, or both. It would be unethical of the doctor to just shrug and say, “whatever you want” in a dangerous situation. But, according to some that would be a doctor bullying the woman into an intervention.

        • PrimaryCareDoc

          Of course anyone has the right to refuse a medication or a procedure. And I certainly respect that. Otherwise, that’s battery. However, as far as “satisfying” my patient’s wishes- well, I don’t do that on a daily basis. If a patient wishes for an antibiotic for a viral infection, they go away unsatisfied. Likewise for people who want narcotics that are not indicated.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          No more or less than any other professional bound by professional ethics. A lawyer can’t knowingly lie to the court, no matter how much his client wants him to do so. A structural engineer cannot compromise on the safety of a bridge, no matter now much the contractor wants to save money. An electrician can’t violate building codes no matter how much a client insists that it will be safe anyway.

          Medical ethics mandates following certain patient wishes, NOT all patient wishes. And it certainly doesn’t mean that a doctor has to treat those wishes with respect if they aren’t worthy of respect.

          • Meerkat

            Absolutely! NCB advocates think that doctors are in a service industry where customer is always right.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Exactly the problem! Unfortunately, they are not alone in this view. Hospital admin and insurers are also picking up on this viewpoint. While I agree that every patient should be treated with respect and their requests taken seriously, the only available data shows a negative correlation between patient satisfaction scores and outcomes. That is, the more a hospital concentrates on making patients happy, the worse the care they give.
            (Now I want to start a practice that specifically ignores patient satisfaction data, if only for the chance to use the slogan “Come to Hospital Cranky: you’ll live to hate us another day.”)

    • Paloma

      I agree that doctors (myself included) should respect any patients wishes to say no to whatever treatment there is. However, it seems that the NCB crowd want OBs to say what they are doing is awesome and not speak up about how dangerous it is to try a breech delivery, a VBAC at home, etc. Apparently, for them to do so is the equivalent of throwing them in a gas chamber…
      If a woman doesn’t want a procedure NOBODY should perform it, but that doesn’t mean I should shut up and not warn her of the consequences.

      • yentavegan

        The OB/GYN who delivered my second child (c/sec) and 3rd child (VBAC) refused to take me on as his patient for baby #4. He preferred to lose my business rather than put up with all the dangerous NCB I was so heavily committed to.

        • Deborah

          The problem is that as an OB I am rarely permitted to “fire” patients, definitely not if they are already pregnant. (They’d pretty much have to commit a crime against or involving me to get fired.) Otherwise it counts as abandonment. (And don’t even get me started on the homebirth “transfers” who come into L&D.)

          • attitude devant

            Deborah, yes you can. You have to give them thirty days notice and take care of any emergencies during that time. And frankly, you should. If a patient is non-compliant, or the relationship is adversarial, you are doing no one any favors by keeping them on.

          • Irène Delse

            Unless Deborah is not in the USA? IIRC, health providers in the UK, for instance, can’t fire a patient.

        • Sally RNC-NIC

          “Lose your business?”
          Imagine, for a moment, that your OB has his own set of ethical standards that guide his decision on who is an is not an appropriate patient candidate. Standing ovation to this OB. Guess what? It’s NOT a business. Your OB, the LD nurses, the Mother-Baby team, the NICU staff? We actually care about you and your family. It’s not a business to us. I wish more doctors would say NO to patients with unrealistic expectations….you out yourself and your baby at harm. Bad news. You cannot predict your birth experience. It’s insulting to seek the advice of a trained medical OB only to tell him/her she’s wrong in every way….

          • Stacy48918

            I may be wrong, but I think yentavegan would agree with you given her comment “all the dangerous NCB I *WAS* so heavily committed to.” I imagine her opinion of this OB might have changed from that time.

          • Siri

            Read Yentavegan’s comment again! ;-)

          • Sally RNC-NIC

            Got it. I read it over and over and I guess I just knee-jerked a response. My bad. Not usually my style. Lesson learned.

          • Susan

            Yes Yenta has said more than once she now respects this OB for taking that stand, she actually agrees with you, I think, though it’s not clear from her comment as a stand alone.

          • Sally RNC-NIC

            Oh got it. Thanks for letting me know. Sorry for knee-jerking without the entire story. It was late. Yenta, if you’re reading this. My bad.

      • OldTimeRN

        I’m all for patients being upfront and stating what their philosophy is. Their needs and what they expect. But I’m also for doctors being upfront with their medical knowledge and what they will and will not bend with. I also have zero problems with a doctor politely but firmly telling a patient she needs to find another doctor if they don’t see eye to eye and neither will bend. I’ve seen this happen with both OB’s and Peds.

    • Jessica S.

      I don’t think that translates into “don’t question your OB”. NCB diehards* like to cherry pick what the ACOG says, using your example, and then immediately cry about there autonomy being lost when their doctor dares correct them. And when I say “correct them”, I don’t mean “forces unwanted procedures on them”. NCB diehards often conflate being told otherwise with having procedures forced on them.

      *I use the term “diehard” to distinguish between the extreme side and those who are genuine in their desires – they don’t go around trying to force everyone to do it there way. I’m not painting with a broad brush. :)

    • Susan

      Agree that a patient has a right to refuse any care or treatment. I think there is a difference between respecting a patient’s right to autonomy and care with dignity and actually respecting any opinion no matter how dangerous. Sure the patient always has the right to refuse anything, but a doctor, nurse or midwife has a responsibility to tell them the hard facts about the potential risks of their choice. A truly caring care provider puts the patient’s rights to refuse and to hear the facts over their own popularity with the patient.

  • Mel

    I feel like I should be offended, but the poem makes no sense. Unlike the groups mentioned in the original poem, the first two groups of women change with each pregnancy. In the original poem, a cursory understanding of the Nazi regime makes the identity of “them” clear. Heck, I don’t know who “they” are in this poem.

    The poem is so bad that it’s funny. Anyone know of a crappy poetry contest we could nominated the poem in?

  • Renee Martin

    We ARE in a war for reproductive freedoms. But it has nothing to do with NCB, breech, VBAC or MWs, and everything to do with abortion.

    Nice little ad at the bottom too. How ignorant.

    • Ellen Mary

      Actually do you know the other area of OB where they use undertrained, unqualified lay women to provide direct patient care? Planned Parenthood. I would need to be a MA or CNA to work in a doctors office in any capacity besides administrative (and even admins are increasingly required to hold these licenses), but to work in a PP clinic, I just need to be ProChoice.

      There was just an expose released, where a woman wearing scrubs & sporting a stethoscope expounds on the virtues of a 50 Shades of Grey type arrangement with a 15 year old. I believe this never would have happened if she was a medical professional even of the lowest caliber & it is deliberately misleading to put a non-medical professional ‘staff person’ in scrubs in a medical office.

      So if using undertrained ‘professionals’ to work in women’s health care is a war on women in the HomeBirth arena, it is certainly also a war on women in the contraceptive/abortion arena.

      • Karen in SC

        In my doctor’s office, everyone wears scrubs except for the doctor who wears a nice dress and a white coat. In thinking about it, I think it would be a more accurate reflection of professions if the receptionist and the billing clerk were in office clothes.

        • Mac Sherbert

          When I taught at a special needs school all the teaching aides wanted to wear scrubs. The Admin would not have it. They said parents might mistake them for LPNs (or the one RN), which we did have on staff.

          So, I do think (but I’m Old Fashioned) that the regular staff should be dressed in regular clothes. Especially, if have some they might want to offer suggestions! Of course, I also thought the teachers needed to dress like teachers and not be called Ms. First Name. So, what do I know!

        • Dr Kitty

          I’ve written before about my work attire- basically wrap dresses, shift dresses, skirts and silk blouses or occasionally trousers.
          Our admin staff wear work appropriate wear- twinsets and skirts or trousers, chinos and shirts, that sort of thing. Not suits, but not jeans- your basic non-corporate formal work attire.

          The nurses wear clinical tunics and dark trousers.

      • Dr Kitty

        But that was due to the ghetto-isation of abortion services in Drs offices and clinics rather than keeping abortion as a general Gyn service offered by hospitals.

        That is part of the problem.
        Abortion services SHOULDN’T be something you have to go to a special clinic for, they should be just another Gyn procedure your OB Gyn service offers. That this isn’t the case is about politics and fear, not about technical difficulty of the procedure or patient safety.

        • Jessica S.

          I wish I could upvote this 100 times. It baffles me that it isn’t commonly handle within the usual OB/GYN services and locations. It’s one thing if a doctor declines to offer such services – they should be able to make that choice. But for it to be such a disjointed practice in general, I just don’t get it. If the patient has a right to privacy, it sure is an odd way to protect that, making women skulk around to clinics that are foreign to them. I speak from experience. The abortion was bad enough, but the added dose of shame was unnecessary.

        • doctorex

          Exactly this. I have a colleague in Fam Med research who is specializing in how to get general practitioners to receive this training again, both to care for uncomplicated pregnancies and offer first trimester abortions. The studies show that doctors want this knowledge, it has just been pushed out of a lot of curricula as ob care has become more politicized. A generation or two ago, babies were most likely to be delivered by generalists.

          • Dr Kitty

            I do routine antenatal care, contraception, well woman screening and the “crisis pregnancy” consultation (“I’m pregnant and I don’t know what to do, doc can you help me?”) but local laws mean that I couldn’t offer anything else in terms of abortion care, although I have no personal problem with undertaking that work in future should things change.

            Most OB-gyns in the USA, from what I can understand don’t have personal objections to performing abortions, but have concerns about their safety or have logistical barriers (i.e. working for a Catholic hospital etc) that prevent them being able to offer it as a service.

            My opinion- abortion services are just another women’s health service that some women will need to access at some point, and it should be treated that way.

          • VeritasLiberat

            Anybody have any evidence either for or against the idea that most doctors want abortion training?

          • doctorex

            Yep. There are published studies about this, some of which are mentioned in these two articles: http://m.amednews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?aid=/20051024/profession/310249958&template=mobile_art and http://m.chronicle.com/article/As-States-Try-to-Curb/139831/

            for more formal studies, check out http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1363/4214610/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false and http://www.stfm.org/fmhub/fm2007/march/ian164.pdf

            The last one in particular provides stats about the percentage of fam med residents who choose to participate in abortion training when it is available to them, and reports on a pilot program increasing access to such training. There are a number of other pubs by that same group of authors on this subject.

            The third link is to an article that reports on a slightly different problem, namely the obstacles to providing abortion care to women that are faced by obs even when they have the knowledge and training and desire to do so.

      • AllieFoyle

        Um, color me skeptical on this one. An “expose” about Planned Parenthood? Are you sure it isn’t anti-abortion propaganda? More information, please.

        PP was a great source for reproductive health care when I was younger. Everyone was very professional, helpful, and kind. I can’t imagine the kind of scenario you are describing.

      • Jessica S.

        Who was behind the exposé? Can it be backed up by other reports? I’m not saying it didn’t happen, but like Allie said, Planned Parenthood is definitely a subject ripe for distortion, just like any number of organizations that are at the center of heavily politicized subjects.

        • Ellen Mary

          Don’t comment until you watch the tape. The unedited version is available & the STAFF person was waaaaay out there & has been fired. But if you let a worker with NO medical license, just a HS degree, free range, that is what you will get. So it isn’t one bad worker, it is a bad structure. Just sayin, besides CPMs, ‘Health Care Assistant’ at PP is the only other place you can work in women’s health with no medical license.

          • doctorex

            I haven’t seen the tape, but I would caution folks not to it too much faith in the credentialing of low-level medical personnel. In some places, you can become a CNA or a CMA in six weeks. Credentialing is not what gives the people in those jobs knowledge.

          • Bombshellrisa

            https://plannedparenthoodext.hire.com/viewjob.html?optlink-view=view-100880&ERFormID=newjoblist&ERFormCode=any&eresc=Indeed this is the job description for a health care assistant at Planned Parenthood. Six months experience as a MA is required. Also, these hca’s are not acting as solo practitioners, they are working with clinicians.

          • AllieFoyle

            So direct us to this “expose” then.

            Planned Parenthood is often on the receiving end of ideology-based slurs and violence from people who hate that they provided confidential, compassionate, non-stigmatizing reproductive health care. I expect that this is just more of the same anti-abortionist propaganda.

          • VeritasLiberat

            Naah. They don’t hate compassion or health care. They just hate abortion because they regard it as a barbaric procedure that results in the snuffing out of a little life. Part of the reason we never get anywhere in this country on the subject of abortion is that both sides accuse the other of having motives that they do not actually have.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I’m quite sure that a number of people who oppose abortion do so because they believe that abortion is the killing of a baby or baby equivalent and they want to stop that. I’m also equally sure that quite a number of people who oppose abortion do so out of less honorable motives. How else do you explain things like the Salvadoran and Jamaican cases where pregnant women were not allowed to have abortions even though it was known that they had conditions that would end their lives before the pregnancy became viable? I see no compassion for the fetus or the mother in that position.
            If the pro-life movement would kick people who say that it’s better to let a woman die that let her have an abortion because better two deaths than one “murder” out and be guided by people like the person who comments here as “pro-life feminist” I at least would feel a lot more kindly towards the pro-life movement in general.

          • Poogles

            “They don’t hate compassion or health care.”

            That’s not exactly what she said, though. She said “people who hate that they [PP] provided confidential, compassionate, non-stigmatizing reproductive health care.”

            So, they hate that this particular kind of reproductive healthcare was not only provided, but done confidentially, compassionately and with no stigma.

          • AllieFoyle

            There are many PP haters; I’m sure their motives vary. For many there absolutely is an element of wanting to keep women in the dark about their reproductive health and options, and to shame and punish those who have sex.

          • Carrie Looney

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23037916
            As soon as anti-abortion groups make it a priority to provide free birth control with optimal convenience and compliance to all women who want it, I will start taking them seriously. Most pro-choice people I know – including me – are big fans of reducing the rate of abortion. The data shows that abortion can be made as rare as possible by reducing the demand, not by making it illegal. PP does a lot to provide birth control to women who need it. Is it ideal? No. Is it the best a lot of women can get? Yes.

    • Young CC Prof

      Precisely. The real war on reproductive freedom is one that refuses young people access to accurate information, puts up barriers to contraceptives, abortions and assisted reproductive technology. On a global level, the casualties of the war on reproductive freedom are the young girls in arranged marriages who die from pregnancies too young or too close together and from public health authorities who put women’s health last.

      There is definitely a war on reproductive freedom. Doctors who refuse to attend births by methods they consider too risky, however, are no part of it.

    • Sue

      “Euphoric herbals” – do they mean like cannabis?

  • An Actual Attorney

    Oh, she’s a “doula, herbalist and placenta alchemist.”

    • Irène Delse

      Figures. To appropriate another famous quote: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

      Or a woman, of course.

    • Guesteleh

      WTF is a placenta alchemist? She turns lead into placenta’s?

      • Guesteleh

        Argh, stupid auto correct putting apostrophes where they don’t belong.

      • Karen in SC

        Now if she could turn placentas into gold, that would be worth something.

        • Meerkat

          She does turn placentas into gold, or, more accurately, into money in her pocket.

      • MLE

        She matches up different placentas by shape and size and then they disappear.

    • yentavegan

      …and I’m a mermaid.

      • Amazed

        No, *I* am the mermaid here. I have proof. My nailpolish is named I Am Your Mermaid and I applied two coats just a few hours ago.

        What the hell are her magical placentas named?

  • Young CC Prof

    The extreme antivaxxers make the same argument, that criticizing people who make bad decisions or refusing to assist them with said decisions is equivalent to persecuting and killing people for the way they were born.

    It’s disgusting, but it’s also the kind of clear proof of their extremism and separation from reality that will really turn off most potential listeners.

  • Maria

    Ugh. This is just…ugh. It was clearly written/posted by someone who thinks they are “educated” and think deeply about the world around them. Instead they are just “inspired” by pithy sayings and tenuous historical connections to today. They have no context for any of it and no true understanding of the word nuance. Empty shells.

  • CognitiveDissonaceHurts

    I’m sorry but I am offended by this poem. It is an insult to those who endured the horror of the Holocaust. Yes, I know that we NCBers feel strongly about childbirth, but shame on the author who wrote it.

  • WordSpinner

    This reminds me of my favorite ridiculous “First I came for” version:

    http://wehuntedthemammoth.com/2011/08/14/a-nice-guys-lament-first-they-came-for-the-rapists/

    Yes. Going after rapists is exactly like going after communists.

    (Note: wehuntedthemammoth is a mocking blog, not where the verse came from.)

    • Renee Martin

      I miss the old title of Man Boobz!

  • AnnaC

    According to Godwin’s law, whoever ‘wrote’/posted that poem has lost the argument.

    • Amy

      That’s actually not what Godwin’s law says. Godwin said that as the length of an internet thread increased, the probability that Hitler would be mentioned approached 1.

      • AnnaC

        Yes, I know that’s what Godwin said but the way it has been applied is that when someone in a thread mentions Hitler/Nazis then that person loses the argument and the thread comes to an end. Therefore, by comparing homebirth-regulationists to Nazis the author/poster of the poem, in addition to being extremely offensive, has automatically lost the argument. Mostly, in fact, when a person resorts to the hyperbole of comparison with Nazis it is an indication that s/he has run out of real arguments.

  • Dr Kitty

    What does “coming for me” even MEAN in this context?

    Does the author really foresee a time when UC will be outlawed?
    Where Epidurals or CS will be mandated?

    Or is this “I wanted a water birth and my OB says no, and I don’t want to UC to get one and I don’t see why the hospital can’t accommodate me?”

    As someone who lost family members in the Holocaust, I don’t find the comparison offensive so much as so hyperbolic as to be hilarious.

    “The establishment is coming for my birth experience! Help me, help me, they want me to get evidence based care based on best practice guidelines and don’t want me to bleed to death, suffer obstetric fistula or uterine rupture, and want my baby born alive and well!”

    Yeah, Death Camps it ain’t.

    • Amy M

      Thank you, this was the first thing that sprang to my mind as well. They are coming for the breech? As though some kind of OB gestapo is surrounding their houses in the night and kidnapping them for forced C sections? It doesn’t even make sense for the VBAC one, unless its more like they think that women who have a VBAC are being thrown in jail, as soon as the baby is out. What if the VBAC is unsuccessful (either because it ends in Csection, a dead baby, and/or a hysterectomy)? Do those women get thrown in jail too?

    • Jessica S.

      I’m chuckling at the fact that I said almost the exact same thing a short but ago, that’s it’s hyperbolic but more over, it is nonsensical! :)

  • guest

    Martin Niemoeller’s name is written with “ie” and not “ei”. Regarding the content: As usual the midwives show bad taste and judgement in comparing their situation with the Holocaust, even if they were persecuted. But since when is it persecution if one asks for licensing, education and strict exclusion rules for homebirth?

    • attitude devant

      She has no idea who Niemoller was, let alone how he spelled his name

  • jhr

    “A Modest Proposal”
    NCB/HB zealots and anti-vaxxers should be urging their elected representatives to increase funding for special education and other support services for families with disabled children since the most significant long-term outcome of their crusades are increases in the needs for such programs.

    • Mishimoo

      I am very tempted to begin spreading a conspiracy theory using that as a basis. Something along the line of “Depopulation targets are being achieved through the homebirth movement along with the lowering of vaccine rates and the deliberate infection of unvaccinated populations. This, of course, also opens new areas of revenue, as a higher rate of people with disabilities will require extra medical assistance for the rest of their life.”

      • KarenJJ

        Didn’t Ben Elton write a book along those lines?

        • Mishimoo

          If he did, I haven’t read it (yet – I’ll look for it).

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Um..huh? How is saying to a woman, “Having a breech birth vaginally is risky. Good studies have shown a higher risk of perinatal mortality when a breech baby is delivered vaginally. I strongly recommend you have a planned C-section” “coming for the breech births”?
    Likewise, how is saying, “If midwives are going to deliver babies they need to act like professionals and get licensed, have practice standards, and carry malpractice insurance” “coming for” midwives.
    Finally, who or what is “coming for” “me” and what are their intentions? To tell me that I shouldn’t have a home birth. ‘k. To call me a fool if I ignore their advice? I can live with it.
    There are real risks to pregnant women’s freedom. I haven’t forgotten the woman who was forced to have a C-section. Or the laws on abortion. Or the policing many people feel they must do of women’s decisions while they’re pregnant. But, quite frankly, one of the risks to a pregnant woman’s freedom is her being taken in by the NCB propaganda and putting herself in a risky situation that she would never have chosen if she’d had proper informed consent. Or the women who have been physically forced to continue a home birth when they changed their minds. Remember the woman whose midwife took away her cell phone so she couldn’t call for help?

    • Amazed

      Margarita Sheikh. Not likely to forget her. What happened to her and Shahzad was monstrous.

      • Renee Martin

        Yet, one of her MWs, DARBY PARTNER CPM, went out and got a CPM “license” afterwards like nothing at all happened. And now she is still catching babies, probably still killing them.

        • Amy M

          yeah, nobody came for her.

        • attitude devant

          She’s living on the Big Island now, practicing her way around the Mamalahoa and goes by Kavita Amrita (or something like that). Her FB page is a hoot: all diving with dolphins and doing belly checks on the beach, with mom and Darby/Kavita both in bikinis. It’s flat strange. She’s not the only Oregon midwife to have wound up there—Clarebeth Loprinzi is in Captain Cook. For info on both, look at oregonmidwifeinfo.com

          • Amy M
          • An Actual Attorney

            Amy, you should do a post of all of these blue babies. Watch the NCBs swarm to tell us all that it is normal that a baby is the color of a smurf.

            Now, someone get that baby some f’ing resus.

          • Amy M

            The above pic was actually 3rd? in a series, and you can see in one of pics before that, the baby being pulled up from underwater. The mouth and eyes are open…I sure hope it didn’t inhale a whole lot of that nasty pool water.

          • Trixie

            Ew.

          • Anj Fabian
          • Amy M

            I’m no doctor, but I thought turtling was when the head wasn’t quite out yet and kept sort of playing peek-a-boo. That head is all the way, and I can’t imagine it could slip back in, but if it did, I guess it would be turtling.

          • pinkyrn

            The womans legs are at an odd angle. Usually when the head comes out, the woman is holding her legs back while she pushes. I don’t think you can tell if it is a turtle sign by one picture. The definition of turtle sign in my circles is “the head comes out then it looks like the head is getting sucked back into the womans body. It is the movement of head out then retracting into the body. However, when I see this happen I do not really have time to study it. I am busy bringing her knees up to her ears (McRoberts), then if that does not work, I jump on the bed and provide supra-pubic pressure with my fist to dislodge the shoulder.

          • Anj Fabian

            So you don’t watch it for twenty minutes?

            (As reported by a woman who live blogged her homebirth. She said that the FHR was fine so the midwife wasn’t worried. Then the midwife became alarmed and told the woman to get the baby out NOW! I lurve the internet. You learn so many interesting things.)

          • pinkyrn

            No, watching it for 20 minutes is not standard of care.