Jen Kamel, your purge of VBACFacts Community is doomed to failure

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Poor Jen Kamel, her credibility and her income are threatened by the truth, so not only must the truth be deleted, but the VBACFacts Community must be purged of anyone who is not ideologically pure.

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Unfortunately for Jen, and fortunately for babies and for women who appreciate the truth, her purge is doomed to failure. Why?

1. It is a glaring, blinking, neon lettered, sign of desperation. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that anyone who has to hide what she and her followers write KNOWS that it will not withstand the scrutiny of anyone who is really educated about childbirth.

2. It is a sign of profound disrespect for most women. Jen needs to purge the group down to those who are ignorant, gullible and ideologically pure. Anyone with a modicum of knowledge, intelligence or skepticism need not apply.

3. It dramatically cuts the reach of her views. You can’t convert anyone if you only preach to the choir.

4. It reflects a profound misunderstanding of who forwards screencaps to me. Sure there are regular readers who send me links and screencaps so we can laugh over them, but many of the links and screencaps that I receive come from people who joined the groups as true believers, but are concerned by the dangerous advice and encouragement, and the resulting dead babies that they learn about.

Vetting your group for ideological purity won’t help you, Jen, because what you write and the carnage that results will inevitably turn the stomachs of even some true believers. Perhaps you don’t care whether babies live or die in the pursuit of the vaginal holy grail, but many other women do care about dead babies. Indeed, I received the original screencaps from a long time member of the group who was astounded that no only were uterine ruptures dismissed, and not only were deaths considered irrelevant, but the members of your community are so clueless that they were congratulating themselves on their horrible results.

I have a message for those who were purged from the VBACFacts Community and cannot get back in:

You should be proud of yourselves that Jen cannot come up with evidence that you are ignorant enough, gullible enough and ideologically pure enough to be trusted to swallow the nonsense that Kamel spews. She cannot be sure that you won’t think for yourself, that you won’t do independent research, that you will believe whatever garbage she writes simply because she writes it. That’s a compliment.

So purge away, Jen. You’ve haven’t merely lost a battle; you’ve lost the entire war. Don’t think that I’ve won, though, because I’m not the one who faces preventable death from your vagina fetish. The babies whose lives won’t be lost are the winners when you are forced to hide your faux “facts.” I realize that you think a few dead babies here or there is a small price to pay, but the rest of us don’t agree. Most women love their babies more than the chance to brag about a vaginal birth. Too bad for you.

  • CandiB

    Her admins also run her page at the same time she does?

  • sdsures

    “Vagina fetish” – LOVE IT!!!!!

  • Earl

    I’m currently in dental school and I’ve been very grateful for the objective perspective that Jen Kemmel was able to provide regarding research in general. Me and my wife drove 180 miles to have personally attended her presentation and have been greatly enriched in the raw statistics that she evaluated. It’s a shame that she has been pushed against a wall of scrutiny merely for telling us what the facts are.

    Unfortunately the general public of America regards anyone who is a doctor to be the authority when it comes to gathering information. I’ve been burned myself a couple of times using doctor web sites like mayo clinic or MD.com for my research. Don’t get me wrong these sites are good, however even doctors have to learn from someone, that someone is research. Although all research isn’t created equal, the more people in a study is more credible than less people, multiple studies provides a cumulative effect and is more credible and so on.

    I admit that Jen has been pushing an agenda of siding with vbacs being safe and a reasonable option for all women. This shouldn’t be her intent and I think she could work harder at being more neutral and let the facts speak for them selves. However in a world of 160 tweets it’s hard to present facts objectively that make any sense, so in an effort to fight for clarity and the american mom Jen has filled a role that no one has filled, and because the conversation is so one sided she has been seen as opposition when all she is trying to do is clarify.

    I believe she should be applauded for her bravery and commitment to finding the truth from the same place that doctors find their information. Which isn’t cheap.

    So, skeptical OB I would hope you can embrace conversation about something that is sensitsensitive and scary to American mom’s. It’s these types of slanderous interactions that make going to the hospital such a scary thing.

    • MLE

      Jen Kamel is anything but objective. Tell us more about the presentation you saw if you’re willing.

    • Anj Fabian

      [breaks out pom poms]

      • sdsures

        LOL!!!

    • Trixie

      Do you have a lot of lecturers at your dental school who are laypeople?

      Would you be interested in attending my seminar on healing dental cavities with coconut oil? It’s only $79.95, and I’m convenient to major cities in the Northeast corridor.

      • fiftyfifty1

        Or how about my lecture, at only $89.95? I present “data” that show that fluoride causes cancer and mental retardation and doesn’t prevent cavities anyway.

        • Mishimoo

          Ooooh! But I have magic green strips that can you hold in your mouth after liberating them from their packaging (sanitary napkins). They cure everything with negative ions, only $145 for a Dynamic Mixed Box! They have so many uses! Also, a toothbrush for $30 that never uses that awful fluoride, cleaning your teeth and preventing cavities with the power of a titanium dioxide rod.

      • AgentOrange5

        everyone knows that Black Walnut Hull will prevent the need to have cavities filled (people who end up with root canals obviously didn’t use it faithfully.) Dentists keep this quiet to protect their own interests, not because they’ve actually spent 4+ years study teeth & dentistry. Oh, but don’t get any Black Walnut Hull on your skin, because it might eat a hole through to the other side. Disclaimer: I’ve never even thought about attending dental school, but I keep myself well informed by doing random google searches.

    • Bombshellrisa

      Please keep reading the other entries here. I am not sure what you mean about “embracing something sensitive and scary to American moms”. Dr Amy isn’t against VBACs in the right setting (hospital properly equipped for VBAC) with an OB or CNM. Doctors encourage VBACs for the right candidates and there are a lot of women who feel they have to advocate for themselves when they wish to have another c-section because of this pressure to VBAC.
      Once you get done with dental school, will you encourage your patients to attend workshops led by people who are not actual dentists but lay people who have read about dentistry? Especially of those patients choose to delay or not take a suggested course of treatment based on attending said workshop?

    • yugaya

      “It’s these types of slanderous interactions that make going to the hospital such a scary thing.”

      LOL. I wonder how much “research” it took to come to that conclusion.

      “the general public of America regards anyone who is a doctor to be the authority when it comes to gathering information”

      People all around the world rely on opinions of professional people when gathering information in all walks of life, that is stereotyping and generalizing. (I personally do not regard anyone who is a doctor to be the authority when it comes to gathering information on how to unclog my kitchen sink. I also do not regard natural unclogging kitchen sink activists to be a reliable and unbiased source of information on how to best solve my kitchen sink problems.)

      Isn’t it a bit hypocritical to be complaining about this, since you managed to invoke that same type of medical establishment authority effect to reinforce the strength of your argumentation in the very first sentence of your comment?

    • Box of Salt

      Earl “I admit that Jen has been pushing an agenda of siding with vbacs being
      safe and a reasonable option for all women. This shouldn’t be her intent
      and I think she could work harder at being more neutral and let the
      facts speak for them selves.”

      Have you expressed that opinion to Jen Kamel? Please do.

    • fiftyfifty1

      “It’s a shame that she has been pushed against a wall of scrutiny merely for telling us what the facts are.”

      So her take on the “facts” has been subjected to scrutiny and has been found to be a biased load of half truths. That’s not a shame, that’s science.

    • Lion

      Um, I hope you’re never my dentist.

    • GuestB

      You’re currently in dental school. I’m a dentist. What does that have to do with anything?

  • Amy

    Your characterization of those who have forwarded screencaps and links to you is eerily similar to the path I followed out of crunchy-at-all-costs. (I will still proudly cop to being pretty crunchy in a lot of areas for a variety of reasons, but not because I think it makes me a better parent.) My first was a c-section and postpartum, I bought into the woo hook, line and sinker. I believed the “mamas” who told me I must have had issues with letting go and embracing my labor and birth. I believed the “mamas” who recommended the ICAN list, and I’m ashamed to say I recommended the same list to others. It was 6-10 months (I forget how long) of elevating vaginal birth to an idol status, above safety, above avoiding rupture, above live babies. Lots of talk about how MEAN Dr. Amy was; this was back in the Homebirth Debate era. And then two things happened that drove me out forever. First, a longtime list member had a home VBAC that resulted in a dead baby, and people were going on and on about how the “mama” got “her VBAC.” Second, another member, not as longtime, joined the list after her VBAC resulted in a rupture and the baby died. Her signature included, as all members’ did, each child’s sex, birth month, and mode of birth (because we all know that’s all that matters), as well as a line that all future children would be born via scheduled cesarean for obvious reasons. Even though she repeatedly asserted her support for OTHER women’s right to VBAC, the members wouldn’t leave her alone and kept accusing her of “scaring” people with her story. There was one thread in particular where they just wouldn’t let up, and that was it for me. I couldn’t believe how mean they were to a mother who’d lost a baby by doing what they recommended.

  • formerreader

    You know.. I had been pretty interested of late in much of the stuff you had posted but when it turns to juvenile mean girls, I’m out. I am in the birth community but naturally a skeptic and appreciate your perspective until it turned into attacks. You lost this reader.

    • Trixie

      Jen Kamel was encouraging people to do things that killed their babies. Do you get that? It’s not like Jen didn’t let Dr. Amy sit at the popular girls’ cafeteria table.

    • MLE

      Honest question: what is mean about this?

    • Karen in SC

      Sometimes the tone gets harsh. I get that and I understand why.

      Why not give What Ifs & Fears, Safer Midwifery for Michigan, Awaiting Juno, Married to Medicine some traffic and comments. Nice and respectful, excellent writing, well cited. And zero to few comments since nice blogs don’t generate a lot.

    • Renee Martin

      If it is “mean girls” and attacking to show what VBAC facts is up too, then mean girl away.

    • Stacy48918

      Jen Kamel DELETED HER ENTIRE MEMBERSHIP. And Dr. Amy is the MEEENN girl?

      In the words of Jon Stossel…give me a break!

  • Heidi

    If VBAC Facts is a support group like I thought it was. Is it in fact actually supporting women? I had contemplated many times removing myself from the group, tired of having the “I did it” moments shoved in my face. Like I didn’t do it because my body was too small to give birth naturally. But I figured I was being bitter. So I had a talk with my sister about a month ago about VBAC Facts. She questioned whether it was actually helping me in anyway. She further went on to say that giving birth vaginally, well kind of sucks. I said “well you should see these women write about their I did it moments”. She said “of course they are going to say that because that is what is expected of them, even if it really sucked”. So after talking with you ladies the other night and hearing how you loved your c-sections and some hated their vaginal births it really gave me WAY more support than I had received once I had a failed TOLAC in the group. My 2 c-sections WERE beautiful because, well, 2 beautiful, healthy babies were born. I had no loss of bonding. My love for my babies was instantaneous. So because in the other group I felt I couldn’t say such a thing because to them I was a failure. I will say it now. “I DID IT”, yes I did via RCS.

    • baileylamb

      Congrats, you have a good story/ lesson to teach your kids one day.

      • Heidi

        Ha ha, your right! Don’t get involved with extreme people with a one track mind. :)

    • Guest

      I’ve done birth both ways, and I can tell you there was nothing magical about the three high-degree tears I suffered naturally birthing a nearly 10-pound baby, nor the months of recovery it took for them to heal. And 15 years later, there’s still nothing magical about the hemorrhoids and anal fissures I deal with regularly from said birth. Maybe if I’d been in the woo then, I’d have had mystical unicorn tears in my perineum wash bottle, but no, I had to just tough it out. I was disappointed when my second birth ended in a c-section, but shocked at how quickly I physically recovered versus my vaginal birth experience. I’m due in less than 6 weeks now with another suspected large baby and leaning heavily toward an RCS. My self worth isn’t limited to what tricks my vagina can or cannot perform under duress, unlike many of the VBAC activist crowd.

      • anion

        Congrats & best of luck for the safe delivery of your beautiful, healthy new baby!

    • Renee Martin

      I am glad you stayed around. Its amazing how supportive this group can be, even when disagreeing on some things.

    • anion

      That is awesome to hear, Heidi! I am so, so glad that we’ve made you feel better!

      IMO your sister is right; of course the women there are going to say it was amazing and beautiful etc. because they’re expected to. And because yes, birth is beautiful and amazing. The thing is, I’ve never heard from anyone (except the hardline NCB types) who’s had both a CS and a vaginal birth and thinks/feels the moment of birth itself was less beautiful and amazing with the CS baby, so I tend to think what matters is Baby, not Mode of Birth.

      And I don’t think any place that makes women feel bad or like failures because they–like a very sizable number of other women–ended up needing a little boost from modern medicine, is a supportive place.

      Personally, I think a place that truly supports women hoping for VBAC would be one that says, “We’re here to give you information and help you decide and be your friends and commiserate, we’ll encourage you in your safe attempt, and we’ll share advice on talking to your OB and hospital policies and such, but remember that if you don’t end up having a VBAC that’s okay too. It doesn’t make you a failure or less of a woman, and there’s nothing *wrong* with c-sections even if it might not have been your first choice.” And maybe a place that truly supports women hoping for VBAC would also encourage and help women to think about sections differently, to make peace with their sections, and learn how to speak to their doctors about their previous experiences and fears in a way that allows their doctors to understand them and help them be a part of their care, instead of encouraging them to think of doctors as adversaries, vaginal birth as the ultimate life experience and the main goal of having babies at all, and their bodies/themselves as failures.

      That to me would be a truly supportive place.

  • Trixie

    Still floundering while throwing her admin under the bus.

    • Young CC Prof

      So, a voluntary-response Internet survey, not confirmed by any offline information or medical professionals, with a dropout rate of 87%.

      Yup. Garbage.

      • Trixie

        Still doesn’t explain why the results were advertised as great news….

        • MLE

          If anything, more reasons to scupper it. Or, pull a Portland and claim everything is dandy and all unknown outcomes must be assumed to be positive!!

  • Dr Kitty

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-28116564

    Seen this?
    Fuel to the NCB fire…although I’m pretty sure that correlation and causation in this might be somewhat difficult to tease out.

    Particularly since placental insufficiency is a cause both of foetal distress requiring emergency CS in labour or IUGR requiring pre-labour CS and of stillbirth…and placental insufficiency can recur in subsequent pregnancies.

    My reading is that *needing* a CS is probably a risk factor for future stillbirth rather than CS surgery itself being a *cause* of future stillbirth.

    • araikwao

      Tara Haelle over at Red Wine and Applesauce (on SOB blogroll) gave this an excellent review. Spoiler: the background risk is so low, it is clinically insignificant. NNH is >3300.

    • Young CC Prof

      There are absurdly many confounding variables, they controlled for some but weren’t able to control for all.

      Generally when someone says, “I controlled for all the confounders I could find, and we still found this tiny, barely statistically significant relationship” I am not too impressed.

  • Sadlady

    I thought she was just purging it from people who might copy and paste to use her own words against her. Like counter intelligence between 2 countries. Seems legit. You wouldn’t want a foreign national spy to stay in the country…you’d want to know who their friends were and get rid of them too. The enemy will call such behavior what they want. Besides doesn’t support group mean everyone is wanting to believe the same thing? If I join a lactivist group and then start bitching about how some babies need formula or else they’ll die, and say the host is a liar, then haven’t I joined the group under false pretenses? By joining I agreed I supported lactivism, but then my every behaviour subverted that. I lied. And maybe I made fun of her online on a different page. That can’t be the intended purpose of the group. I don’t know much about this group but I joined a widowed support group, and you are darn right we ban fakers. People pretend to have a deceased spouse when they don’t. Everyone doesn’t have a right to be everywhere and that’s ok. Just don’t pretend you love vbacs when you don’t. That’s what it means when you click “join group”. It means you love vbacs. That being said, I’m sorry the title of their group is deceptive but vbacfacts is just a name.

    • Young CC Prof

      I sincerely hope the Mommy Wars don’t degenerate to the point that counterintelligence is required. And if we get out the missile defense network, it has really gone too far.

      Now, Munchausen’s by Internet does happen. People join groups and completely lie about who they are and what happened to them, and that sort can be very damaging. However, the expectation that everyone believe exactly what the group leader believes is a bit much. What if you are in favor of VBACs, but aren’t sure they’re right for everyone all the time? What if you change your mind after you join?

    • Guestll

      So if I join a group called granitecountertopfacts this means I have sworn to love granite countertops? That I cannot ever pledge my wallet to laminate, quartz, Corian, soapstone, tile, butcher block, stainless steel? Or might it mean that I’m looking for facts on granite countertops before I decide that I prefer this option to any other?

      What if I join the granitecountertopfacts group because although I like granite as a counter surface, I also want to hear from people who chose granite but wish they’d gone with quartz or stainless instead before I make up my mind?

      What if I don’t love granite, but I join because I’m willing to learn more about it as it’s an option my contractor is recommending at least consider?

      What if I really love granite countertops as an ideal, but then I join granitecountertopfacts and learn the facts about granite and decide that the cons of this particular surface (having to seal them, f’irinstance) aren’t for me?

      We’re a quartz family but we respect granite too…

    • yugaya

      “I thought she was just purging it from people who might copy and paste to use her own words against her.”

      Pointless, as there are enough of her deceptive words out there on all of her publicly available web pages to document how she bends facts and deliberately misleads. Example: her VBAC “facts” mish mash of thoughts about VBA3C http://vbacfacts.com/2012/09/13/thoughts-on-vba3c-vbac-after-three-or-more-prior-cesareans/

      Irrelevant, distracting information ( introduction on definition and meaning of TOLAC, citing guidelines for VBA2C, throwing all sorts of stats that are valid for VBAC and cannot and should not be simply translated to VBA3C) gives the overall impression that VBA3C is as safe as your regular VBAC, but no one has bothered before her to document how safe it is really.

      When she was smearing Doula Dani she tried to use word count to prove that Dani was biased – now using that on Jen, how many words on that page are directly relevant for VBAMC, and how many were copied and cited from guidelines, recommendations and studies that are relevant ONLY for VBAC? The facts she presented there are actually fraud that sets up a context in which she deliberately distracts people and implies that VBAC after three or more C-sections is no biggy and to be demanded and attempted just like any other low risk VBAC.

      That post appears to have information and appears to present facts about VBA3C, when in reality it is agenda-driven propaganda that only looks factual and relevant that is overall highly misleading.

      I have to google to see if dr. Amy has written in the past on the risks of VBAMC but I am pretty sure that if she has, regardless of the tone, her post will hold real, relevant facts and detailed information about specific risks.

    • anion

      Sadlady, I am very sorry for your loss.

      And I would understand and even agree to some extent with you, if people were joining VBACF to post made-up stories or berate people (or rather, I agree wholeheartedly that people who join loss support groups and lie about having suffered a loss should be excised from such groups immediately, but VBACF isn’t such a group). I would even understand–not agree, necessarily, but understand more–if it was simply a group where women shared their personal thoughts and/or feelings. But unfortunately, that’s not the case. The intended purpose of the VBACF group is, afaik, to “educate” and share “facts” about VBAC, not just to provide a place for women to commiserate.

      Imagine if the person who ran your support group for widow/ers started posting a bunch of things about how the best thing to do after losing a spouse is to run off and have sex with dozens of other people, and saying it’s a medical fact that doing so helps you get over your loss. Imagine if they claimed that you could help yourself heal by (forgive me, I don’t mean to sound insensitive here) drinking the ashes of your spouse, or sleeping on their grave in all weathers, and claimed that she knows it works because 400 people in your group tried it and only five of them were seriously injured in the attempt and a further 60 ended up sick or in jail. Imagine if she started offering “facts” about how to bury your spouse in your backyard without any help or licensing or anything of that nature. Imagine if a new widow posted a question about how to get the funeral s/he wants to honor her spouse, and one of the leaders of the group recommended she just put said spouse in the basement for a while and not report the loss to anyone instead. Imagine that you then found out said leader earns a living by giving pricey workshops on how to build your own backyard pyre, or teaches expensive classes on how death isn’t real and in fact you have total control over whether you and/or your spouse dies at all.

      Is that “support,” or is that dangerous misinformation? Is that “support,” or is that inciting vulnerable people to take dangerous risks that could result in jail time, injury, or even death? Would you still feel that said leader shouldn’t be held responsible because she’s only trying to help?

      Now imagine that after seeing her words repeated–her words that she posted on the internet for anyone to see–the leader started banning anyone and everyone she didn’t personally know from the group (thus leaving people she claims to want to help without a support group) rather than saying, “Wow, okay, maybe I’m not expressing myself well,” or “Maybe I should ease up on the ideology,” or :Wow, maybe I’m not really supporting people so much as endangering them and I should offer some more science-based facts.” Would you still believe that leader was genuinely trying to help and support people? Or would you think said person is merely trying to build her own little cult of personality, and doesn’t want to hear anything that interferes with her vision of herself as High Guru of Mourning?

      Don’t you think that in a support group, it’s kind of strange for someone to be worried about their words being “used against” her? What could you be posting in a support group that could be used against you? The very phrase suggests you’re posting things you know you shouldn’t.

      And to clarify, again, I’m not talking about personal feelings or emotions, which should indeed be kept private. I’m talking about claiming things are true when they’re not. I don’t worry about the truth being “used against” me; I only worry about things I say being “used against” me when I know I shouldn’t have said them in the first place or when I know they’re wrong or dangerous to others. Do you know what I mean?

      Again, please accept my sympathies for your loss. I hope my examples given haven’t been hurtful or upsetting to you, as that was genuinely not my intent.

    • Trixie

      Let’s clarify something here. You can breastfeed your children exclusively, enjoy it thoroughly, think it’s a wonderful thing to do, let your children self-wean in toddlerhood, etc. and not be a “lactivist.” Lactivists should worship me for my flawless lactation abilities. But I realize it’s mostly lucky biology and life circumstances that allow me to be with my children enough to have nursed them. Support certainly helps, too. But I’d never join a breastfeeding board looking to shame someone whose breasts were less perfect than mine.

      Also, I’m deeply sorry for your loss.

    • Stacy48918

      How exactly does one “love vbacs”? Is that part of the VBAC”facts” mission statement – “We solemnly swear to love vbacs”.

      Their name is VBACFacts. So I would think that members should love the FACTS about VBACs. It makes complete sense then that if someone who loves FACTS about VBACs sees the propagation of outright lies and misinformation might take issue with that. And certainly one’s opinion of a group pre-registration can change once they are members and see what the group ACTUALLY promotes compared to what they just put on the front page.

      • Heidi

        They actually say they support all births equally. But, as I have shown; all evidence to the contrary.

      • wookie130

        I don’t get the “love” for VBACs themselves, either. I mean, I do love my vagina, I guess…and I love my babies…but, loving a VBAC ITSELF – this is confusing to me.

    • Renee Martin

      I totally agree that fakers in a group with a specified, narrow, focus, ought to be banned. 100%.

      That is NOT what this is. They are deleting people that ARE true believers, and they cannot accept that maybe, just maybe, whats going on in there is bothering TRUE BELIEVERS! This isn’t an issue of “infiltrators” AT ALL. They think it is, because they cannot conceive that one of the real group is appalled by this stuff.

      This group claims to “educate” people, and they claim to be spreading facts, in addition to “support”. They also claim to support ALL kinds of births, but are focused on VBAC, so its not as narrow as a widow group, or a loss mom group, or a survivor of dog attack group would be. Those support groups aren’t in the business of educating others, they are there for support only. Its a big difference, IMO.

  • Heidi

    Headed to bed. But just curious if anyone knows. The death of baby Griffin was clearly very big news. Yet I only learned of it from members of Dr. Amy’s blog. I’m surprised that it did not come up on my newsfeed in VBAC facts. Was this story deleted as well from the site as another part of Jen’s censorship?

    • Trixie

      Who knows if she deleted it. But if she had a conscience or a thread of decency she would’ve said, enough is enough. I can’t endorse HBAC anymore.

      • Heidi

        Agreed.

    • Stacy48918

      #notburiedtwice

      NCB diehards support dangerous practices, babies die, and then they go out of their way to bury them again so no one finds out. It does not surprise me at all that you had not heard of baby Griffin.

      • Heidi

        It must have been buried. You don’t miss something like that. I just don’t get it. Why would you hide the risk to women?

        • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

          Why would you hide the risk to women?

          I think that now you actually have figured that out.

          It is certainly not an accident.

  • Empliau

    So VBACFacts is Fight Club?

    • Zornorph

      No, because all they do is talk about VBACs.

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

        ZING!

  • hurricanewarningdc

    I’m confused. If the information is legitimate, if it’s factual, if it’s truly useful to all who might read it, what requires privacy? I thought that this woman’s goal was to educate. What is there to hide?

    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

      What is there to hide?

      Information that is contrary to your agenda, of course.

      Then again, she will deny there is an agenda, but this makes it pretty obvious.

      Oh, and to her comment that the group has “high standards” for ethics and accuracy, and that is why she deleted Dr Amy’s comment, I will note that, ironically, it has been the defenders who have been the ones claiming that the data aren’t of good enough quality to draw any conclusions from. Negative conclusions, that is. So much for standards, I guess.

  • Heidi

    Funny when I was reading your post last night I was under the impression you were using scare tactics and were against VBAC’s in general. Now that I have taken the time to review your work I take back my comments from last night. Your tone is perfect! Because it’s not directed towards mom’s like me, whom were great candidates for VBAC and put the welfare of their child first. After reading your blog about baby Griffin, I am very disturbed at the warped minds of some women. While I understand the need to want to experience a vaginal birth, but at the risk of your child. I don’t get it! It’s almost like a cult mindset.
    So again, keep the tone!!! It’s perfect! Maybe these women will wake up and realize that the END result must be a healthy baby and mommy.

    • Mishimoo

      Thank you for reading and being openminded!

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

      Have to say – I’ve watched the evolution of your comments and I am seriously impressed!

    • Guestll

      Heidi, when I questioned your use of the term “jungle bunny” (“like I’m some hippy jungle bunny for wanting a VBAC)” on the other thread, you replied, “someone said something along those lines to me last night.” And I asked you, did someone here on SOB say that to you?

      • Heidi

        Not sure if it was directed towards me or someone else, but yes it was on here. I tried to find it again, but couldn’t. I don’t remember exactly the wording. But there were references of crotches and being in the wild or jungle and hippy, I don’t think bunny was actually used, but I was trying to make light of the name-calling.

        • Guestll

          I realize you’re everyone’s favourite convert right now, Heidi, but just so I’m clear: you thought you’d make light of name-calling by tossing out a deeply racist epithet that was not actually used by anyone here?

          • Heidi

            Is that a racist comment?

          • Guestll

            Yes, it’s a racist slur.

          • Heidi

            Seriously, I’m so sorry. I was wondering why you were so concerned about the comment. I did not know that. I probably heard the term before, but thought it meant people that lived in the wild. Excuse my ignorance, please.

          • Heidi

            I just googled the term. How embarrassing that I didn’t know that. So sorry!

          • Klain

            I had to google the term as well. I’d never heard of it until 5 minutes ago reading this blog.

          • melindasue22

            You aren’t the only one. I’ve never even heard of that as a racial slur.

          • Heidi

            Well that makes me feel better that I not the only one. I seriously would never intentionally say something to offend anyone like that. I thought it meant crazy people that live in the wild. That’s why I said make light of the jungle comment, as in they called me a crazy birthing mom living in the jungle. Ugh! I’ll never make that mistake again. :(

          • anion

            I’d never heard it, either, or rather, I’d heard it but not in a racist context. (I once as a child called my brother a racist epithet, thinking it was just a funny insult; I’d never heard it before I saw it in a movie and didn’t even catch that it was a white character using it against a black woman.) (I am white btw, as is my brother.)

          • Renee Martin

            Its a really old slur. If you are under 30, you probably never heard it. I remember it as a thing kids said to each other.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

            If you are old enough, you will remember this (I do, in fact)

            (not safe for work, or many other places, for that matter; no way you could see that nowadays; pretty much only having Richard Pryor could have even made that possible back then)

            PECKERWOOD!

          • Medwife

            I REMEMBER THAT CLIP! That’s how I knew “jungle bunny” was a slur. Yup, over 30.

          • Guestll

            Thanks for clarifying.

    • Young CC Prof

      With all the arguing and polarization on the Internet, I have massive respect for people who can change their minds when presented with new information.

      • Heidi

        Thanks, I appreciate that. It was the few kind people to me that made me actually pay attention. I think I was originally so furious that someone was bashing what “I” thought to be a “support” group. I didn’t fully read what Dr. Amy and others were saying. The more I listened, I did a complete 180. I’m generally firm in my opinions, but when I’m wrong., I’m not to blind to see it. Seriously, I thought it was a support group. WTF! Clearly, there is a much larger agenda!

        • Renee Martin

          Its awesome that you changed your mind when presented with facts. Thats awesome.

    • D.D.

      Kudos to you to have changed your mind :) And welcome here!

  • Guest

    I’m reading through the http://www.VBACFacts.com public Facebook page. It is just astounding to me that these people think that just because they rolled the dice and won, that means that it’s the right decision for everyone. I’m also shocked at the personal information people put on a public page.

    • yugaya

      ” It is just astounding to me that these people think that just because
      they rolled the dice and won, that means that it’s the right decision
      for everyone”

      From browsing that same page last night, I think this screencap says it all really about what goes on there: a woman is contemplating doing something that is far riskier than just a VBAC, she wants VBA3C. The reply she got? “Hey I know someone who had a successful VBA7C” hearsay anecdotal reinforcement how even far riskier births have happened.

      That is “facts” according to JenVBAC.

      • Karen in SC

        It can be done, sure. Even a 1-5% chance of success can happen. But should it be done.

        I would worry that scar tissue and adhesion from the tubal might negatively affect her chances. Is she is one that doesn’t scar, well, maybe a TOLAC could be supported.

        Why doesn’t she ask the OB who knows her history?

        • anion

          Because the OB who knows her history probably won’t “be supportive” (read: lie).

  • http://whatifsandfears.blogspot.com/2014/04/mana-study-part-4-vaginal-birth-after.html Doula Dani

    Left a comment for her:

    • Young CC Prof

      Point!

      Of course, when she posted the discussion between you and herself, it was random snippets without context interspersed with all sorts of other things. Totally incomprehensible without a lot of background, mostly incomprehensible even with it.

      • http://whatifsandfears.blogspot.com/2014/04/mana-study-part-4-vaginal-birth-after.html Doula Dani

        Sure there was context!! She added her own lovely commentary to give the conversation the exact context she wanted it to have… which is how she presents her “facts” on her website.

        • Jessica S.

          What a b-word. :)

        • Karen in SC

          karma!

    • Trixie

      You win 1 Internet. Hahahahaha

    • Heidi

      I got $10 that says it gets deleted. Lmao!

      • http://whatifsandfears.blogspot.com/2014/04/mana-study-part-4-vaginal-birth-after.html Doula Dani

        Oh yes, it’s already gone!

        • Heidi

          Shocker! Lol

        • Guest

          I was just going to comment that it looked like it had been deleted. Poor Jen Kamel…had to spend all day deleting posts and blocking people from her “support” group. Don’t you people know she needs that precious time to convince people that cesarean babies weren’t really born and that everyone should have a HBAC? ;)

        • Captain Obvious

          Make a post about it on your site and as many sites as possible.

          • http://whatifsandfears.blogspot.com/2014/04/mana-study-part-4-vaginal-birth-after.html Doula Dani

            I just wrote out a letter for her community and included some shots that Jen has deleted of mine.

    • Heidi

      I’m on page 4 of your story. Have to go to bed. But boy can I relate to everything you have said. Your writing is great. Can’t wait to finish the rest.

    • Guesteleh

      File this under Oh Snap!

      • Amy M

        Like this?

        • Amy M

          Let’s try again, now with pic:

  • Amy Tuteur, MD

    Jen explains:

    • MS

      She claims that the group has “high standards of evidence and ethics,” but members have repeatedly stated here that all births are to be supported. But you can’t have it both ways. Supporting all births, no matter how risky, means the group has no standards of evidence or ethics. Or, conversely, having high standards of evidence and ethics means that some birthing practices would have to be excluded. It’s illogical.

    • Renee Martin

      HOPE THIS KILLS HER GROUP, this way she won’t be able to do so much harm.

  • Mel

    That’s wonderful. The fewer women who are reading the shit the better. Plus, it shows how cult-like the Vbacfacts administration is….

    Good luck weeding out the sensible people while still trying to convert the masses…..

  • SArlint

    You’d better block my picture-that’s a child for goodness sake- and name and the other screen shot people too. You know damn well that’s illegal. Fix it immediately or I will be sending legal towards you. -Stacia

    • Mel

      Lol. Sending this to my law school faculty friends. They are always looking for common legal fallacies.

      • SArlint

        Cute. It’s still my kid and she should at least black out my picture and the other users. I know it’s the internet and she can screen shot what I post publicly but I’ve never seen anyone post pictures (or names), I don’t care to be involved in this slander.

        • auntbea

          Maybe Dr. A will block them out because you asked so nicely. But it is neither illegal nor slander to take a picture of something someone intentionally left out in public.

          • Shocked at lack of Knowledge

            Is SArlint for real? Is someone really that ignorant about both Facebook Terms of Service and the law? And is someone really putting their kids at risk while being that uneducated about the law?

            SArlint – let this be a lesson to you. Your child’s picture could end up on all kinds of worse websites or even printed in the newspaper and you would have absolutely NO legal recourse. Don’t make your pictures public if you don’t want the public to use them…for whatever purposes. How can you be so indignant when you have broached your child’s privacy and placed them at risk?

          • Junebug

            This person is raising at least one child (probably a few if they are obsessed with vbac.).

            So special.

        • Trulyunbelievable2020

          Wow. Now we know that your baby looks like… a baby. How awful.

        • Lost

          It’s great a newbie finally worked out how to manage their online presence – send a nice request to the site admin. Better than asking all search engines (e.g. Google) to remove it from the search results.

        • anion

          You’re not involved in any slander. Even if this met any sort of legal standard for such (it doesn’t), slander is spoken. Libel is written.

          Also, polite emails tend to work much better than leaping in shouting false legal terms and threats that make it clear you don’t know what you’re talking about. Just a hint for the future.

          • Mac Sherbert

            Yes. I’m sure a simple plea from a mother about her concerns for her child’s privacy in a private message to Dr. Amy would have sufficed. (or even posted here)

        • Renee Martin

          ALL YA HAD TO DO WAS ASK.
          Pro Tip: no one wants to help those making stupid threats.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Your child’s picture? Really? Who put your child on your PUBLIC Facebook profile picture? Oh, right, that was YOU.

    • Jessica S.

      “sending legal towards you”? Do you retain your own legal department?

      Don’t use your child’s image in public groups and you won’t have to (non-sensible) threats. It’s really quite simple.

    • Jessica S.

      BTW – Dr. Amy is so MEEN and unreasonable, right? And this, considering you failed to use your polite words. Spread the word.

    • anne

      I would love for someone to explain to me the correlation between not understanding how the internet works and NCB wackiness. It seems strong.

      • AmyP

        How about “not understanding how things work”? That’s a possible common thread.

    • lilin

      Yeah! That’s a child for god’s sake! A child whose picture I put up on the internet!

      And who knows? If that child’s picture is seen by these sickos, they might do something crazy! Like give wait until the kid grows up and give them accurate medical information!

    • Renee Martin

      You know, you don’t have to threaten. All you have to do is ask! No one here is malicious, whether you think so or not. If you make threats like this, expect for others to NOT want to help you.

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

    In the interest of informed consent, I would view dissent and debate as facilitating a truly comprehensive point of view on any topic…know your case as well as that of your opponent…

  • InfiniteSovereign

    My local ICAN group is aghast at the deviousness of Dr. Amy and her “minions” in their blasting or this VBACFacts post. It seems many of them were victims of the purge and are scrambling to figure out how to get back in. Whenever Dr. Amy is mentioned, the “Dr.” moniker is always in quotes. She’s also been accused of being “certifiable” and “out to ruin lives.” Hahaha.

    • Young CC Prof

      Dr. Amy wrote something mean about VBACFacts, which FORCED Jen Kamel to destroy her own group. It wasn’t Kamel’s fault at all, she is completely blameless in this mess.

      Does that make Dr. Amy a witch? Or a voodoo priestess?

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

        Master of mind control?

        • Anj Fabian

          Loki has nothing on Dr. Amy!

      • EM

        It was the power of a Jedi mind trick… The force is strong with Dr A ;)

        • anion

          These aren’t the facts you’re looking for. Move along.

    • Susan

      If I had the time I write a comic book about “Dr” Amy and her minions… (cackle cackle)… and show Dr. Amy and us as the flying monkeys with a bunch of preggo and breastfeeding mamas running in fear dragging their birthing pools and rebozo’s behind them….( the moms would have Ina May braids, well, maybe I would draw Ina May…)

  • anion

    So…their goal is to support all women looking to VBAC, unless they don’t know those women personally, in which case they can stuff it?

    How is this going to affect Jen’s bottom line, if she can’t push her workshops on unsuspecting women looking for sympathetic friends?

  • Gueteleh

    Pardon the profanity but what the motherfucking hell is up with these assholes and their mass purges????????????? You’re right, it’s for the best because it shows what an idiot she is but holy shitballs, are none of the NCB nutbags willing to tolerate even a modicum of dissent? Someone needs to lock them in a room and force them to read 1984.

    • Mishimoo

      I think they’re using 1984 as a playbook. Mass purges of potential unbelievers/spies, deleting information, sudden changes that are wholeheartedly endorsed as the way things have always been, doublethink, and so on.

      • Trixie

        I imagine that’s sort of how North Korea works?

        • Mishimoo

          When I finally read it (earlier this year even though it’s been on my to-read list since I was a kid), that thought struck me too.

          • Wishful

            I can’t decide if I think this turn of events is ungood or not.

          • Mishimoo

            Or doubleplusgood?

  • Heidi

    Well said! Could not agree more. I was shocked and horrified when I learned that admin of her group were encouraging woman to have unassisted home births. Then to further learn from Doula Dani of the hiding of home birth facts. SMH!

    Might I also add that I noticed a common trend in the group that whenever a mother would post a failed TOLAC she would get around 100 FB likes, while successful VBAC’s would get 300-400 likes. When I called the group out on the fact that all birth is beautiful and should be celebrated I was attacked by many members and a few admin. While Jen was tagged in the post by another member, she never even commented. I thought it was strange. Now I know why, she clearly doesn’t support all births as equally beautiful!

    Glad I was purged because I was on my way out after learning this shocking information.

    • http://whatifsandfears.blogspot.com/2014/04/mana-study-part-4-vaginal-birth-after.html Doula Dani

      She used to have her HBAC birth story on her blog. I cannot remember her exact words but she said something along the lines of “now I know what it’s like giving birth the real way.” Something like that. The blog Common Sense Parenting wrote about it and it has a cached version of her birth story.

      She deleted her birth story at the same time that she deleted that blog post that she wrote about birth bloggers where she shared our private conversation. Trying to hide the agenda driven Jen that the rest of us see.

      • Heidi

        I haven’t fully read your research yet (plan to get to that later). But I did read the things she wrote about you. Very sorry!

        • http://whatifsandfears.blogspot.com/2014/04/mana-study-part-4-vaginal-birth-after.html Doula Dani

          It’s ok. She showed everyone her true, nasty, untrustworthy colors. And she looked ridiculous, too, trying to warn people about non-expert birth bloggers… and she herself is a non-expert birth blogger.
          She was wrong about HBAC data. And Dr Amy pointed it out to her.

        • Trixie
          • Heidi

            Well that sure stuck it too her. Lmao

      • http://whatifsandfears.blogspot.com/2014/04/mana-study-part-4-vaginal-birth-after.html Doula Dani

        “This time, I actually gave birth and felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment. I was so devastated that I had to have a cesarean with my daughter. I was so looking forward to labor and giving birth and when that was taken from me. . . I was devastated. There are women who have had cesareans and feel like it was a birth – I’m just not one of them. K was surgically extracted from my body… which is very different than being born. And I felt like there was this huge thing that I hadn’t experienced which contributed to what made me a woman and a mom.”

        From her birth story…….. ^^

        It’s no wonder she removed her birth story. It’s full of all kinds of fun little tid bits to scare women away from hospitals and to make c-section moms feel bad about their experiences. After all, c-section babies haven’t actually been born!

        • Captain Obvious

          Jen is no Birth Goddess. Seriously, in her own mind, she is a failure.

      • melindasue22

        I think that cached versions are only lasting for a certain time now. I read Dr Amy’s article about what Jen did to you and the cached link there is now bad. Kinda stinks because I like being able to look back on something that was.

    • Amazed

      Yeah, amazing what information can do to people, isn’t it? Suddenly the tone of both bloggers and commenters (yours truly included) doesn’t look this big of a deal. Not when compared to the reality of people in power (information is power!) dispersing deadly advice.

      We can only hope there would be more women getting their priorities straight. Nicety is big. Safety is BIGGEST.

    • Box of salt

      Heidi, thank you for sticking around.

      • Heidi

        Glad I did!

  • Becky05

    The worst thing about this is that VBAC Facts was much, much better than the other VBAC support groups I have been in. I absolutely saw unsafe place being recommended by members, but I also saw other members speaking up to point out the risks. I was able to speak up when I felt it was necessary and Jen always supported my right to do so even when others complained. Even when I disagreed with her as long as I presented facts and evidence and spoke politely my viewpoint was welcome. So now these women are going to be running to the even more extreme support groups where mention of facts isn’t allowed at all, and they’ll be led even more astray.

    • CandiB

      Then why did she feel the need to delete members? What is she hiding?
      She moderated my comments before when I was genuinely concerned over members suggesting a home birth. I was told to respect the tone of the group.
      The fact is that group is dangerous and it’s proved to be. Jen is not a professional and had nome focal training period. Her admins have even recommend an unassisted birth to a member before even when multiple OB’s told her she was not a candidate for VBAC.

      • Becky05

        She began deleting members now due to the leak. Part of the agreement of being in the group was not taking the information outside the group. I can’t speak to your experience. It was not my own experience. I left a few months ago because I was tired of engaging in online debate. In any case, it was MUCH better than the other VBAC group I was in. Jen may not always get it right, but she’s always open to people presenting evidence. Did you just complain about homebirth being dangerous, or did you bring up evidence?

        • CandiB

          Why should she be afraid of “leaks”? It’s to cover her own behind. She has realized she was wrong and did not need anyone else digging around her group to confirm it even more.
          Jen has stated that nothing was private in her group.
          I did present evidence but it was not the evidence she wanted to be shared.

        • Heidi

          Does evidence matter when I just found out that admin have been recommending unassisted home birth to women. Why are they allowed to do that without evidence, but I can’t say that a home birth is risky and the ultimate goal is a healthy baby. I too wanted a VBAC, but not at the risk of my son!

        • Amazed

          When Doula Dani presented evidence supported by an OBGyn and a statistics professor, Jen balked on the chance to present her position, then tried to tear Dani apart without using her name or linking to her blog, so people could not read the post in question, and finally deleted it when the evidence that she had torn herself apart became overwhelming.

      • Heidi

        I was referenced to tone as well when I commented on the risk of home birth. That should of been my red flag.

        • Becky05

          Apparently I got my tone right because I never had a problem. If you thought VBACFacts was bad, you should spend some time in some of the other VBAC support groups out there.

          • Heidi

            Actually other than that tone comment. I felt fully supported in my decision to hospital VBAC. I also found my amazing doula in the group. But last night I came in here to defend the group and Jen, only to learn that information is being deleted and admin our recommending dangerous behavior to mothers (unassisted home births). I reflected on my first encounter of my tone and it finally made sense. If you are pro home birth your comments are fine, but anything against home births “better watch your tone”. It all makes sense now!

            Didn’t get my VBAC, but I do have a beautiful baby boy sitting with me. I will celebrate that!

          • Jessica S.

            Yea!! That is awesome! Sorry the VBAC didn’t work out for you, but I’m thrilled you had the opportunity and you and the baby came out healthy in any event. I’m having a repeat CS in two weeks. I would love to have an uncomplicated VBAC, pop the baby out in a day, stay the night and be home for dinner the next night. But with my history – first baby was big at 10lbs 10oz and didn’t descend even tho I was at 7cm – combined with this baby’s current estimated weight – 10lbs! – the OB was right in recommending a RCS. I think she would support me if it was really important for me to try (the hospital is very well set up to handle VBACs) but she didn’t downplay the unlikelihood of it being a success and certainly didn’t withhold the risks. Thanks to Dr. Amy’s wonderful blog, I already was familiar with a lot of it. Long story short, it’s a very personal, case-by-case issue. I’m glad you were able to try – thank heavens there’s a safe alternative when things don’t go as planned!!

    • http://whatifsandfears.blogspot.com/2014/04/mana-study-part-4-vaginal-birth-after.html Doula Dani

      I think the worst part about it is that Jen Kamel had the opportunity to do the right thing, and didn’t. And now other people (her community) are being punished for it.

    • Renee Martin

      Yes, it is a shame there are worse places out there. It is ALSo a shame that this mess is the best there is!

      I don’t get why she went nuts. All she had to do was ignore Dr Amy, write a reply or two, and it would have all blown over, no big deal.

  • Trixie

    I would like to invite anyone and everyone to a new VBAC and birth choices after cesarean group where we believe in science, informed choice, and in not giving medical or legal advice. Debate welcome, however. https://m.facebook.com/groups/289408731231663?view=permalink&id=289557761216760&ref=m_notif&notif_t=group_activity&actorid=100000686015818
    Oh, and no one is selling any workshops.

    • Maria

      No more kids for me, but I love the idea. The link doesn’t seem to be working though.

    • anion

      Your last link worked for me. :-)

      Question: is this a group for specific factual info and/or debate, or is it also for support for women disappointed by their c-sections or whatever? I ask more out of curiosity than anything else, really (I was happy with my sections, and because my FB page is for professional promotion I don’t join any groups that are personal or could look even remotely controversial), but talking to Heidi here, and seeing that she’s now been kicked out of a group whose support in at least one matter she found helpful, made me wonder if this group might be good for her and others like her?

      Might this be a good place for women who really wanted/needed understanding discussions with others who share their feelings, who are now left abandoned because Jen Kamel thinks giving Dr. Amy the finger is way more important than them and their needs?

      • Trixie

        That is EXACTLY what we are trying to do there. Support for all modes of birth, positive tone, and not selling anything or pushing a vaginal birth at all costs agenda.

      • Trixie

        Also, this group will not delete anyone for debate or asking questions. We will delete, after a warning, for giving medical or legal advice over the internet

  • Anj Fabian

    As a matter of general policy, I always recommend against embarking on a troll hunt.

    The usual result of a troll hunt is to damage the community. It disrupts the community. It causes discussions that have nothing to do with the group’s goals. A significant percentage of the people who are removed from the group will decide not to rejoin it.

    • Therese

      And I don’t know that the NCB side is anymore likely to do purges than our side. Not Dr. Amy specifically, but her followers definitely do their own purges when moles get into their closed communities and take their own screenshots.

      • Anj Fabian

        I’ve watched multiple groups go through an Open Group => Closed Group => Private Group migration.

        It’s SOP on social media now.

        • Renee Martin

          Yes^ and this is because of the way FB is set up. I may not have anything to hide, but I don’t need every personal thing spread all over either. Sure, nothing is really private, but I don’t see why we should make it EASY for those that would post our stuff.

          You keep it open long enough to get a big/good enough group, then hide it, only opening it when you want to add new people. This is also smart because there is a limit to how big a FB group can get and still be personal.

      • auntbea

        There are definitely secret fb groups that have spun off of this board. I have been trying to decide if they are different and have concluded that they are. 1) The new groups were intentionally spun off to be more secret than the existing group for those who care about such things, while allowing a public forum to remain. No one has decimated the roster of an existing group, and I don’t think you could get the mods to do it. And 2) those secret groups were created so that members would have a place to discuss sensitive personal things that weren’t really related to the purpose of the public groups. They were not a response to outside criticism.

        • Trixie

          This exactly.

      • Renee Martin

        Thankfully thats all over in Fed Up groups. The lesson was learned a few years back. Better to keep a troll and keep a group intact, than to tear it apart.
        The only exceptions are in groups where personal safety is an issue, though there is a limit of what can be personal online.

  • Young CC Prof

    That is so freaking bizarre. “Someone in my public internet community disagrees with or doubts me! I must purify the group so everyone agrees!”

    Can you imagine if actual science communities did that? Isn’t the whole POINT to communicate with people who don’t necessarily agree with everything you say? Maybe you change some minds. Maybe your mind gets changed. Maybe you agree to disagree, but come away understanding one another a bit more. Maybe you get into a big argument because the other person is Wrong on the Internet. But no matter how it goes, the interesting places are the ones where people don’t always agree.

    • Guest

      The older I get, the more there is to learn. Dunning-Kruger effect.