Skeptics take note: natural childbirth is the gateway to woo

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Why don’t skeptics confront childbirth woo?

The same people who vociferously defend the efficacy and safety of vaccines, who fight against climate deniers, who battle valiantly against creationists, generally give childbirth pseudoscience a big, fat pass. Google the words skeptic and vaccines and you’ll find tens of thousands of sites and articles. Google skeptic and evolution and you will find even more. Google skeptic and childbirth, and you’ll find very few articles, most of them written by me.

My experience on Reddit, which has an active community of skeptics, indicates that far from questioning the pseudoscience of the natural childbirth and lactivism industries, skeptics have fallen for the same marketing tactics that have fooled so many women. Post or comment on an item questioning the science behind natural childbirth advocacy and you’re just as likely to be accused of “hating” midwives as you are to be supported in deconstructing their faulty, anti-scientific claims. This is unfortunate for skepticism, for women and especially for children, the victims of so many different forms of pseudoscience, (anti-vax, supplements, chiropractic, chelation therapy for autism, etc.)

Since most skeptics are men, I suspect that part of the reluctance to deconstruct and denounce the absolute nonsense spewing forth from many midwives, doulas, childbirth educators, lactivists, and birth and breastfeeding bloggers stems from the fact that they aren’t especially interested in childbirth and breastfeeding. Nonetheless, they ignore childbirth pseudoscience at their own peril.

Why?

Childbirth woo is the gateway to all other forms of health woo.

Combating childbirth pseudoscience would go a long way toward reducing the influence of quackery of all types, particularly anti-vaccination.

Ask any healthcare executive, and he or she will tell you that women are the undisputed healthcare decisions makers in any family. That’s why marketing of health plans and hospitals is often directed to them.

Women have long been the undisputed family health care decision-makers, making approximately 80% of family health care choices. According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation report, they also choose their children’s doctors (85%), take them to appointments (84%), and ensure they get recommended care (79%).

In short, they are the researchers, networkers, and hands-on care advocates. They are also social network power users. So they’ve taken their health activities online in “peer-to-peer health care”, which allows them to seek and share health advice from others at Information Superhighway speed and scale.

Their influence, already paramount within a family, extends to other families through the internet.

Women’s health care influence has moved beyond the family. … [N]early 70% of women use social networking sites, where they influence the health care decisions of the women in their online communities and those of their families. In a recent report, nearly half of consumers said social media-derived information would affect their health care decisions.

For most young adults, childbirth is their first experience with the healthcare system. And when a young woman finds out that she is pregnant, she heads to the internet for information. What does she find?

She finds a space dominated by a multi-million dollar natural childbirth industry busily hawking books, workshops, courses, movies (e.g. The Business of Being Born), childbirth education classes, hynobirthing tapes, doula services and placenta encapsulation “specialists.” It is a typical pseudoscience world of internal legitimacy with faux experts adorned with faux credentials, conferences, and journals (Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care, which masquerades as a peer review scientific journal, is actually published on behalf of Lamaze International, though you’d be hard pressed to find evidence of that connection on line). The natural childbirth and lactivism industries have created a vast echo chamber where it is possible to navigate literally hundreds of interconnecting sites without ever coming across actual scientific evidence. In other words, for many (? most) young women, their first experience of medical science is mediated by quacks.

This has important implications not only for childbirth choices, but for all health choices down the line.

Because the primary product of the natural childbirth industry is distrust of medical providers. Doctors, scientists and public health officials are supposedly all in the pockets of Big Medicine and Big Pharma. Anyone who questions the myriad near magical properties of breastmilk (“squirt it in your baby’s eye to treat conjunctivitis”) is in the pocket of Big Formula. The foundational message of the natural childbirth industry is that doctors, scientists and public health officials don’t care about your health or your baby’s health. They will actually actively try to hurt you to line their own pockets.

Sound familiar? It should. It’s the bedrock claim of all “alternative” health, especially vaccine rejection.

As a recent “Dear Prudence” column on Slate demonstrated, the natural childbirth industry is often the initial purveyor of the anti-vax message. The natural childbirth community is a particularly fertile area from which to recruit parents wavering on the issue of vaccination, especially after they have been primed by the message that doctors, scientists and public health officials are trying to hurt babies, not help them.

Childbirth is not a peripheral area in healthcare pseudoscience, it is ground zero. It is the gateway to the mirror world of pseudoscience, where experts are supposedly trying to harm you, high school graduates consider themselves qualified to opine on complex health issues and everyone has an online store.

I implore fellow skeptics to take note.

  • Dickson Harrison

    Ceci est mon témoignage sur le bon travail d’un homme qui m’a aidé …. Mon nom

    Anita William … Ma vie est de retour !!! Après 8 ans de mariage, mon

    mari m’a quittée et m’a laissée avec nos trois enfants. Je me sentais comme si ma vie était

    sur le point de se terminer, et tombait en morceaux. Merci à un lanceur de sorts appelé papa

    Osazuwa qui i rencontré en ligne. D’un fidèle jour que je passais en revue par

    Internet, je cherchais un bon lanceur de sorts qui peuvent résoudre mon

    des problèmes. Je suis tombé sur série de témoignages à propos de ce sort particulier

    roulette. Certaines personnes ont affirmé qu’il a apporté leur amant dos ex, certains

    a témoigné qu’il restaure ventre, certains ont affirmé qu’il peut jeter un sort à

    arrêter le divorce et ainsi de suite. Il y avait un témoignage particulier, je voyais, il était

    sur une femme appelée la grâce, elle a témoigné sur la façon dont papa a Osazuwa

    sauvegarder son amant Ex en moins de 72 heures et à la fin de son témoignage, elle

    déposer papa Osazuwa adresse e-mail. Après avoir lu tout cela, je décidai de donner

    papa un essai. Je l’ai contacté par courriel et expliqué mon problème à lui. Dans

    seulement 3 jours, mon mari me revenaient. Nous avons résolu nos problèmes, et nous sommes

    même plus heureux qu’avant. Papa Osazuwa est vraiment un homme talentueux et doués

    et je ne vais pas cesser de le publier parce qu’il est un homme merveilleux … Si

    vous avez un problème et que vous cherchez un véritable et authentique lanceur de sorts

    pour résoudre ce problème pour vous. Essayez la grande Osazuwa papa aujourd’hui, il pourrait

    être la réponse à votre problème. Voici ses contacts: Drosazuwa5050@gmail.com

    (lien envoie e-mail) Merci beaucoup Osazuwa. Contactez-le pour ce qui suit:

    (1) Si vous voulez que votre dos ex.

    (2) Si vous avez toujours de mauvais rêves.

    (3) Vous voulez être promu dans votre bureau.

    (4) Vous souhaitez femmes / hommes à courir après vous.

    (5) Si vous voulez un enfant.

    (6) [Vous voulez être riche.

    (7) Vous voulez lier votre mari / femme à être vôtre pour toujours.

    (8) Si vous avez besoin d’aide financière.

    (9) Les soins à base de plantes

    10) Aide sortir les gens de la prison

    Contactez-le aujourd’hui:

    Drosazuwa5050@gmail.com

  • kimber

    Je l’aime et je veux je veux son dos donc je suis allé chercher sur le net quand je trouve

    enfin un email templeoffinalsolutionhotmail.com avec cette cellule +2348055332158 comment

    les gens commentent bonnes choses sur lui , alors je l’ai contacté pour l’aide seulement

    dans deux jours il lancer le sort sur ​​elle et elle revint .Et il m’a demandé de témoigner

    au monde au sujet de sa bonne work.his email est nouveau (

    templeoffinalsolution@hotmail.com ) si vous avez besoin de son aide dans votre situation .

    ANITA PAUL
    DE LA ROUMANIE.

  • kimber

    Je l’aime et je veux je veux son dos donc je suis allé chercher sur le net quand je trouve

    enfin un email templeoffinalsolutionhotmail.com avec cette cellule +2348055332158 comment

    les gens commentent bonnes choses sur lui , alors je l’ai contacté pour l’aide seulement

    dans deux jours il lancer le sort sur ​​elle et elle revint .Et il m’a demandé de témoigner

    au monde au sujet de sa bonne work.his email est nouveau (

    templeoffinalsolution@hotmail.com ) si vous avez besoin de son aide dans votre situation .

    ANITA PAUL
    DE LA ROUMANIE

  • carajones

    Je suis Bella Tina, des Etats-Unis, je promets de partager ce témoignage partout dans le monde une fois mon mari revenir vers moi, et aujourd’hui, avec tout le respect que je tiens à remercier Aluda pour apporter joie et bonheur à ma relation et ma famille. Je tiens à vous informer tout ce qu’il ya un lanceur de sort qui est réel et effectif. Je ne croyais jamais dans aucune de ces choses jusqu’à ce que je lâchai mon mari, je tenu de l’aide jusqu’à ce que je trouve un grand lanceur de sorts, il jeta un sort d’amour pour moi, et il m’a assuré que je vais obtenir mon mari revenir dans deux jours après la sort a été lancé. Trois jours plus tard, mon téléphone a sonné, et ainsi de choquant, il était mon mari qui ne m’a pas appelé pour les 6 derniers mois, et a présenté des excuses pour la pause de cœur, et me dit qu’il est prêt à être mon épine dorsale jusqu’à la reste de sa vie avec moi. Dr Paul l’a libéré à savoir combien je l’aimais et lui voulais. Et ouvert les yeux d’imaginer combien nous avons partager ensemble. Comme I`m écrit ce témoignage en ce moment I `m fille la plus heureuse sur la terre et moi et mon mari vit une vie heureuse et notre amour est plus forte que la façon dont elle était avant même notre rupture. Donc, c`est pourquoi je promis de partager mon témoignage dans tout l’univers. Tous les remerciements vont au Dr Paul pour le travail excessive qu’il a fait pour moi. Ci-dessous l’adresse email dans toute situation vous subissez une coupure de coeur, et je vous assure que, comme il le mien a fait pour moi, il va certainement vous aider aussi. ealierthebetterspelltemple@hotmail.com qui est son adresse e-mail

  • susan

    FREE SPELL FREE SPELL !!!!! FREE SPELL FREE SPELL !!!!! FREE SPELL FREE SPELL !!!!!
    contact babaijebuode today he brought back my boyfriend for free….
    i am susan from los Angeles California i am just using this medium to spread the new about babaijebuode he brought back my ex for free..
    contact him today on email: babaijebuode@gmail.com.
    Name : susan whitfall
    Location: los angeles Ca

  • Godwin Ella

    i am short of words and i dont have much time to spend but i want to say some few words on how i got my ex-girlfriend back. i saw many testimonies on net on how ogunlovespelltemple@gmaicom and greatsolomonalter@outlook.com helped many people to get thier loved ones back. i emailed the email which i found there and told him that my ex left me because i dont have money that please dr helped me to get her back i really loved her to the extent that i can do without her beside me. so he gave me a form to fill which i did and also i sent the pictures of my ex and i to him, he get back to me that he need some items to cast the spell on me and it will cost me the sum of $150 dollars to get them, immediately a thought came to my mind that this is a fake spell caster and he want to take away my money after thinking this he told me that he is not trying to take away my money and also he is not fake, so that i should not think otherwise and if i really need my ex back that the choice is all my for me to take. i told him sir please i dont have any money at hand now and is there no any other way for him to helped me without those items, he told me that he can helped me and those items is what his gods will use to cast the love spell on me. then i told him that i will get back to him in three months time. he said to me that i should forget about the conservation which we just had that he is done and i should not come for help anymore that am not ready, and he told me that these items is needed before three days time. i cried but no one to help i sell out some of my property and also borrowed little from my friends and send the money to him to purchase the required items. he called me the next day and told me that he has done with my problem that my faith has set me free. i was imagine because there was no sign that my ex is coming back when i was about to call him back my ex arrived at my door step and go to her knees and ask for forgiveness that i should accept her back. now we are now engaged and thanks to dr ogun for his marvelous work. email him on ogunlovespelltemple@gmail.com and greatsolomonalter@outlook.com call him also at +2347032286452

  • Godwin Ella

    I never beleive on love spells until i met a friend of my who told me everything about DR.Ogun who brought her ex-boyfriend back, even when she was telling me i did beleive her because i thought that she also wanted the same fake spell casters to take away my money. Although i gave her chance to explain everything she has to tell me about DR.OLUBAM, i said to her that there are many scammers who want to take our money and i will never fall victim on them, even though my fiancee who suppose to marry to me in a few months from now left me i will wait patiently for another guy though i loved him so much. she told me that this DR is not a fake one that he is real and he has helped many people to get thier loved ones back, then i ask her so how does this spell work and what is the requirements that i have to do before he can cast the love spells on me? she told me that i should emailed him on ogunlovespelltemple@gmail.com, greatsolomonalter@outlook.com and i should tell him what i want. i really emailed him and tell him that i need my ex guy back and he told me that my friend directed her to me right, and also why am i doubting his work? he said that his work is 100% sure and guarantee that no one has ever come to his temple and also remain the same. i became flabbergasted on his words he say to me and a thought came to my mind that how does this dr know all the things we discussed earlier. he said before he can commence on my situation, that i have to have faith and trust on him and leave other spell caster and wait patiently for his own that if i can say do all this i will got my lover back in an hour time. i said okay i beleive and promise to work with you alone, then he gave me a form to fill which i did and send it to him with my pictures also and also the pictures of my ex-lover. he replied me in 30 minutes later and told me that his gods need some items to cast the spell on me and my problem is very easy if i can provide these items. then when i ask him that how can i get these items and how can i send it to him for the casting of the love spell, he told me that i should not woory about that, that there is a items seller here in his own country that can get the items for me. then i ask him how much will it cost me to buy all these items? he said $150 (dollars) only, which i send to him with full confidence, after an hour later he called me and told me that my problem have been solved that i should wait for an hour time that my love will ask after me which i did according to his words, when it was about 6pm my ex called me that if am at home that he want to see me urgently. i said to him hoped all is well he said yes then i told him that he can come, my ex guy came back to me and he was asking for forgiveness that he did know what came upon him. right now am so happy because i have regain my lover back and we are planning for our wedding that is coming up soon, i called the dr and thank him very much and ask him what will i do for him as a appreciation, he told me i should forget and keep my money that he is not after people money but to help people that also need help out there all he need me to do is to give more testimonies about him so that people out there who need help should email him also thats why am here today to give my testimony. may thy good lord continue to bless him and give him more long life prosperity and wisdom. this is the dr email address ogunlovespelltemple@gmail.com and greatsolomonalter@outlook.com call him also at +2347032286452 thanks.

  • Godwin Ella

    I want to share a testimony on how a spell caster (OGUN LOVE SPELL IS THE BEST) helped me in getting my EX lover back, I was married to him in 2005, ever since then I was living happily with him, but everything changed when I was unable bare him a child, so last year January I was sent out packing from his home, I went out from his house, I was in great pain, I looked worried, coz I loved him so much, I told my friend about whats going on, she introduced me to the great spell caster (ogun love spell), she gave me his email, I emailed him, he asked me to buy some items faithfully I did all he asked of me. He told me not to bother, that Im going to bear him children immediately he comes back to me, two days later my Husband came with his friends and started begging for forgiveness, and asked me to come back home, I forgive him, I went back to him, luckily I was pregnant, here I am today am now a mother, I gave birth to a set of twins, a boy and a girl, and we are living happily, DR.Ogun thank you very much, if you are passing through any hardship and you are looking for break through kindly email Dr ogun on ogunlovespelltemple@gmail.com, greatsolomonalter@outlook.com call him via +2347032286452

  • Godwin Ella

    Je ne ai jamais beleive sur les sorts d’amour jusqu’à ce que je ai rencontré un ami de mon qui m’a dit tout sur DR.Ogun qui a apporté son ex-petit ami de retour, même quand elle me disait que je ne l’ai beleive parce que je pensais qu’elle voulait aussi le même sort faux roulettes à emporter mon argent. Bien que je lui ai donné l’occasion d’expliquer tout ce qu’elle a à me dire sur DR.OLUBAM, je lui ai dit qu’il ya de nombreux escrocs qui veulent prendre notre argent et je ne tomberont jamais victime sur eux, même si ma fiancée qui supposent de se marier à moi dans quelques mois à partir de maintenant je vais me laissait attendre patiemment un autre gars si je l’aimais tellement. elle m’a dit que ce projet de résolution ne est pas un faux qu’il est réel et il a aidé beaucoup de gens pour obtenir thier proches dos, alors je lui demande alors comment fonctionne ce sort et ce est les exigences que je ai à faire avant qu’il peut lancer les sorts d’amour sur moi? elle m’a dit que je devrais lui envoyé sur ogunlovespelltemple@gmail.com, greatsolomonalter@outlook.com et je dois lui dire ce que je veux. Je lui ai vraiment envoyé et lui dis que je ai besoin de mon ex gars en arrière et il m’a dit que mon ami lui a ordonné de me droite, et aussi pourquoi suis-je doutais son travail? il a dit que son travail est sûr à 100% et de garantir que personne ne est jamais venu à son temple et restera aussi le même. je suis devenu pantois sur ses mots ce qu’il a dit à moi et une pensée me est venu à l’esprit que comment cela dr sait toutes les choses dont nous avons discuté plus tôt. at-il dit avant qu’il puisse commencer sur ma situation, que je ai d’avoir la foi et la confiance en lui et de laisser l’autre lanceur de sorts et d’attendre patiemment pour son propre que si je peux dire faire tout cela je vais obtenu mon amant de retour dans une heure de temps. i dit ok i beleive et promets de travailler avec vous seul, puis il m’a donné un formulaire à remplir que je ai fait et le lui envoyer avec mes photos aussi et aussi les photos de mon ex-amant. il m’a répondu en 30 minutes plus tard et m’a dit que ses dieux ont besoin certains éléments pour lancer le sort sur moi et mon problème est très facile si je peux fournir ces éléments. puis quand je lui demande ce que comment puis-je obtenir ces éléments et comment puis-je lui envoyer pour le lancement du sort de l’amour, il m’a dit que je ne devrais pas woory à ce sujet, qu’il ya un vendeur de pièces ici dans son propre pays qui peut obtenir les éléments pour moi. alors je lui demande combien cela va me coûter d’acheter tous ces éléments? at-il dit $ 150 (dollars) seulement, que je envoie à lui avec pleine confiance, après une heure plus tard, il m’a appelé et m’a dit que mon problème a été résolu que je devrais attendre une heure de temps que mon amour va demander après moi que je fit selon ses mots, quand il était sur le 18 heures mon ex m’a appelé que si h à la maison qu’il veut me voir de toute urgence. Je lui ai dit espérer que tout va bien il a dit oui, alors je lui ai dit qu’il peut venir, mon ex gars est venu vers moi et il demandait pardon qu’il ne savait ce qui venait sur lui. en ce moment suis si heureux parce que je ai retrouver mon amant de retour et nous prévoyons pour notre mariage qui est à venir prochainement, je ai appelé le dr et je le remercie beaucoup et lui demande ce que je vais faire pour lui comme une appréciation, il m’a dit je devrais oublier et garder mon argent qu’il ne est pas après l’argent des gens, mais pour aider les gens qui en ont besoin aussi aider là-bas tout ce qu’il a besoin de moi à faire est de donner plus de témoignages sur lui afin que les gens là-bas qui ont besoin d’aide doivent envoyer un courriel lui aussi des thats pourquoi suis ici aujourd’hui pour donner mon témoignage. que ton bon seigneur continuer à le bénir et lui donner plus de prospérité à long la vie et de la sagesse. ce est le dr adresse e-mail et ogunlovespelltemple@gmail.com greatsolomonalter@outlook.com appeler lui aussi au +2347032286452 grâce.

  • Godwin Ella

    Je veux partager un témoignage sur la façon dont un lanceur de sort ( OGUN Love Spell EST LA MEILLEURE ) m’a aidé à obtenir mon amant de EX en arrière, je étais mariée à lui en 2005 , depuis lors, je vivais heureux avec lui, mais tout a changé quand je ne ai pu lui enfanta un enfant , de sorte que l’année dernière Janvier je ai été envoyé sur l’emballage de son domicile , je suis sorti de sa maison , je étais dans une grande douleur , je l’air inquiet , coz je l’aimais tellement, je ai dit à mon ami ce qui se passe , elle m’a présenté à la grande lanceur de sorts ( Ogun de charme d’amour ) , elle m’a donné son email , je lui ai envoyé , il m’a demandé d’acheter certains articles fidèlement que je ai fait tout ce qu’il me demandait. Il m’a dit de ne pas déranger , que Im va lui porter immédiatement les enfants , il me revient , deux jours plus tard, mon mari est venu avec ses amis et a commencé à demander pardon , et m’a demandé de revenir à la maison , je lui pardonne , je suis allé revenir à lui , heureusement que je étais enceinte , je suis ici aujourd’hui, suis maintenant une mère , je ai donné naissance à des jumeaux , un garçon et une fille, et nous vivons heureux , DR.Ogun merci beaucoup , si vous êtes en passant par toute difficulté et vous êtes à la recherche de percée de bien vouloir envoyer un courriel Dr ogun sur ogunlovespelltemple@gmail.com , greatsolomonalter@outlook.com l’appeler via +2347032286452

  • Godwin Ella

    je suis à court de mots et je ne ai pas beaucoup de temps à passer , mais je tiens à dire quelques paroles sur la façon dont je ai obtenu mon ex – petite amie de retour . je ai vu de nombreux témoignages sur net sur ​​la façon ogunlovespelltemple @ gmaicom et greatsolomonalter@outlook.com ont aidé de nombreuses personnes à obtenir thier proches arrière. Je ai envoyé l’e-mail que je ai trouvé là-bas et lui ai dit que mon ex m’a laissé parce que je ne ai pas l’argent qui plaisent dr m’a aidé à obtenir son retour je lui ai vraiment aimé dans la mesure où je peux le faire sans elle à côté de moi . alors il m’a donné un formulaire à remplir que je ai fait et aussi je envoyé les photos de mon ex et i pour lui, il revenir à moi qu’il faut certains éléments pour lancer le sort sur ​​moi et cela me coûtera la somme de 150 $ dollars pour les obtenir immédiatement une pensée me est venue à l’esprit que ce est un lanceur de sorts de faux et il veulent prendre mon argent après avoir pensé cela, il m’a dit qu’il ne cherche pas à prendre mon argent et il ne est également pas faux, de sorte que je ne devrais pas penser autrement et si je ai vraiment besoin de mon dos ex que le choix est tout mon pour moi de prendre . je lui ai dit se il vous plaît monsieur je ne ai pas d’argent à portée de main aujourd’hui et est -il pas une autre façon pour lui de me ont aidé sans ces éléments , il m’a dit qu’il ne peut m’a aidé et ces éléments est ce que ses dieux utiliser pour lancer l’amour sort sur moi . alors je lui ai dit que je vais revenir à lui dans trois mois . il me dit que je devrais oublier la conservation que nous avions juste qu’il est fait et je ne aurais pas plus venir de l’aide qui ne suis pas prêt , et il m’a dit que ces éléments sont nécessaires avant que le temps de trois jours. je ai pleuré , mais personne pour me aider je vends quelques-uns de mes biens et aussi peu emprunté à mes amis et je envoie de l’argent pour lui acheter les articles nécessaires . il m’a appelé le lendemain et m’a dit qu’il l’a fait avec mon problème que ma foi m’a libéré . je étais imaginer parce qu’il n’y avait aucun signe que mon ex est de retour quand je étais sur le point de l’appeler mon dos ex est arrivé à ma pas de la porte et aller à genoux et demander pardon que je devrais accepter son retour . maintenant nous sommes maintenant fiancés et grâce à dr Ogun pour son travail merveilleux. lui envoyer un courriel sur ogunlovespelltemple@gmail.com et greatsolomonalter@outlook.com l’appeler aussi au +2347032286452

  • Anonymous

    i was so heartbroken and don’t know what to do with myself but after 3 days of contacting robinsonbuckler@yahoo.com , my lover came back to me

  • Melissa Marsh

    That’s a slippery slope fallacy. Just because there are bad midwives who do this doesn’t mean they are all like this.
    I had a natural waterbirth with only an intervention right at the end, a tiny episiotomy because I tore. No epidural, though I screamed for one. No pain relief other than gas.
    But this was only because my oregnancy was uncomplicated and so,was my labour. Had there been any complications, I would not have been able to give birth in the birth centre, it would have been hospital for me. And I would have been okay with that.
    The obstetrician who performed both of my operations, while at first advising a cesearean, said that if I waited at least a year and I was assessed by her or another OB, I could possibly give birth at the birth centre again but with a much more managed second stage with perennial pressure. And I’m okay with that, though I may not be able to get out of the pool by myself while in transition.

    • fiftyfifty1

      This comment is difficult to follow. You describe having an episiotomy during the waterbirth “because I tore”. How could they cut an episiotomy under the water? Why would they cut an episiotomy after you had already torn? Then you say that your pregnancy and labor were uncomplicated, but refer to having 2 obstetrical operations done. Are you perhaps referring to a different birth? And why would the OB advise you to not deliver in the water again if everything went so well in the water? Lastly, I am confused about why you would even want another waterbirth. Midwives call waterbirth “the midwife’s epidural”, yet you say that despite having a waterbirth, and gas on top of that, you “screamed for [an epidural]” anyway. What’s the point of a waterbirth if it still leaves you begging and screaming in pain and you tear because nobody can support your perineum?!

      • Melissa Marsh

        I had a third degree buttonhole tear and needed a small episiotomy to facilitate the birth which happened right after I was cut. The midwife managed to do it while I was in the birth pool. Though she almost fell in doing it. She was also able to do foetal monitoring periodically with a Doppler and internal examinations at my request.
        As for the operations, that was to correct the tear which could have happened with a hospital obstetric delivery. The second was a revision as some of my stitches popped as I had a very bad cold and wasn’t aware of how I injured myself when I coughed. These surgeries were done by OB/GYN at the hospital as the midwives made the call that my tear was too extensive for them to correct, so they transferred me.
        And everyone screams for an epidural while it happens. And their mothers. And to go home. They don’t mean anything. I remember telling my husband that I’d changed my mind and didn’t want to have the baby. I know I didn’t mean it.
        And while I understand why people have epidurals, had two myself for the operations, but frozen down there I woudont have known what was going on.
        I could feel my baby being born. I could feel him descend inside me, his head going up and down like an elevator inside my pelvis,mths burn as his head was coming out. And that sudden emptiness when he left my body and he was born.mwhy would I want an epidural to dull all that?
        My baby is five. I the old now, completely breasted thanks to the midwives at the birth centre (no thanks to the ones at the hospital who traumatised me into almost not feeding) and I’ve healed very nicely.

        • fiftyfifty1

          “And everyone screams for an epidural while it happens…[…]… They don’t mean anything.”

          So basically women are crazy during labor, no better than tantruming toddlers, and what they say they need and want should be ignored? I wonder how far we should take this assertion of yours? Because if a woman in labor is crazy, then all decisions ought to be made by her team, no? I think we also ought to set parameters about exactly *when* we can start ignoring women and treating their requests as frivolous. Your argument seems to be that that is certainly the case during labor, but I wonder if we oughtn’t to extent it a bit to both before and after the labor. We all know how emotional and “hormonal” women are during pregnancy, and how they frequently complain about being pregnant and every little ache and pain and sometimes even opt for induction. This proves that women in the last month of pregnancy are irrational, and I think that status should be legally recognized. Perhaps we can put women under the guardianship of their husbands starting at 36 weeks. Maybe 35 to be on the safe side? And as for after pregnancy, we all know about the “baby blues” and other crazy hormonal swings. Are women really to be trusted? You yourself are an example of how they shouldn’t. In the good old days, women were never repaired under epidural. Sure you might have screamed and begged for an epidural during your repairs, but what of it? Clearly it just would have been “the pain talking”. It would have been good for you to feel your flesh come together and be joined once again. What real woman would want to be “frozen down there” or “dulled” for that? If you had really felt it, you might not have been so careless with your repair and busted it and needed it repaired again.

          • Samantha06

            Great comment!!

          • fiftyfifty1

            Actually, I think Ms. Marsh’s comment is the stronger comment. It really speaks for itself. She was out of her mind with pain, and her pushing was so uncontrolled that she had a “third degree buttonhole tear”. What that means in plain terms is that instead of her vagina tearing towards her anus in the usual fashion, her anus busted open first and started tearing forward toward her vagina. Her midwife had to go under the water to cut the remaining bridge of tissue to make the tear complete. And this is the way of birth that she promotes. Boy, I bet the women are really going to start lining up for waterbirth now!

          • MLE

            The idea of being cut open while languishing in a pool of filth…

          • yugaya

            Damn midwife, if only she had let the tear take its natural course, Melissa would’ve won herself the unmedicated intervention free waterbirth medal!

          • Samantha06

            That and the idea of your baby possibly gulping and/or aspirating that water….. gross..

          • DebraB

            They are told that babies only start breathing when their faces are in air. I saw this on a Facebook post in reference to the baby. When I linked to an article that showed that babies do aspirate during water birth, she got abusive. So I didn’t bring in the anecdote that my husband, who was post-term, aspirated meconium. Because facts are confusing and brick walls hurt.

          • Samantha06

            I’ve heard this too. The truth certainly hurts and is not well-received by those not interested in hearing it. I wonder what she would say about the picture of the woman defecating into the water while her baby is delivering?

          • Guesteleh

            And the doctors are recommending a CS no doubt to prevent lifelong fecal incontinence. That post really is completely crazy. It’s like someone in a cult praising the cult leader for providing wooden planks to sleep on and gruel for dinner.

          • Samantha06

            My statement was regarding your responses to her assertion that women “don’t mean it” when they are screaming for pain relief in labor. I’ve seen buttonhole tears myself, having worked in L&D for a long time.

          • Dickson Harrison

            Ceci est mon témoignage sur le bon travail d’un homme qui m’a aidé …. Mon nom

            Anita William … Ma vie est de retour !!! Après 8 ans de mariage, mon

            mari m’a quittée et m’a laissée avec nos trois enfants. Je me sentais comme si ma vie était

            sur le point de se terminer, et tombait en morceaux. Merci à un lanceur de sorts appelé papa

            Osazuwa qui i rencontré en ligne. D’un fidèle jour que je passais en revue par

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            déposer papa Osazuwa adresse e-mail. Après avoir lu tout cela, je décidai de donner

            papa un essai. Je l’ai contacté par courriel et expliqué mon problème à lui. Dans

            seulement 3 jours, mon mari me revenaient. Nous avons résolu nos problèmes, et nous sommes

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            pour résoudre ce problème pour vous. Essayez la grande Osazuwa papa aujourd’hui, il pourrait

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            (lien envoie e-mail) Merci beaucoup Osazuwa. Contactez-le pour ce qui suit:

            (1) Si vous voulez que votre dos ex.

            (2) Si vous avez toujours de mauvais rêves.

            (3) Vous voulez être promu dans votre bureau.

            (4) Vous souhaitez femmes / hommes à courir après vous.

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            Contactez-le aujourd’hui:

            Drosazuwa5050@gmail.com

          • Roadstergal

            I want to scream just reading that description. But I’m sure it doesn’t mean anything.

        • Bugsy

          From personal experience, I can assure you that not everyone ‘screams for an epidural while it happens.’ I have suffered debilitating menstrual cramps my entire life. When I was in labour with my son, my contractions were only beginning to approach my menstrual pain at 7 cm…but unlike menstrual pain, they were delightfully coming only once every five minutes. I was in a pretty damn good mood, frankly.

          Because the pain was completely familiar to me – and something I completely wanted to disassociate with my son’s birth – I calmly asked for an epidural. It wasn’t done in the heat of the moment, nor was it done during my screams and cries. It was a well-thought out and deliberate decision on my part.

          The epidural was placed, and it was happily one of the best decisions I could have made for my own labour. I had no further contraction pain, and my son arrived peacefully into the world 5 hours later. My memories of his birth are completely disassociated from the cramps that have left me in debilitating pain my entire adult life.

          I’m glad you had the L&D of your choice, and am also glad that my epidural gave me the L&D of my choice.

          • SporkParade

            Mine was more of a whimper for an epidural. And I don’t particularly appreciate it when women say, “Oh, ignore everything I say when I’m in labor.” It makes me worried that my future requests for an epidural will not be taken seriously.

        • Frequent Guest

          I actually never screamed or even asked for an epidural once. Or asked to go home or that I didn’t want to have the baby. I didn’t have an epidural (or any drugs), but the pain wasn’t as bad as I’d anticipated and I stayed calm through the whole process. Sooo… there goes that part of your argument.

          • yugaya

            Melissa Marsh: “And while I understand why people have epidurals, had two myself for the operations, but frozen down there I woudont have known what was going on.”

            Sometimes women do not have the privilege to either scream for an epidural during the birth or after when the repairing goes on, because there IS no epidural, and there is not even leftover local anesthetic shot from someone else who did not need it. Sometimes, to continue with such all natural unmedicated bonding experience, there are no pain meds on the entire maternity ward the next day, and you can experience mind-blowingly empowering surges while you try to breastfeed your newborn and you shake in uncontrollable spasms from the pain at the same time. To quote your own words, why did you want an epidural to dull all that glorious experience and miss out truly feeling everything that your body went through?

            You re an arrogant self-righteous hypocrite, and you don’t understand anything except boasting about how empowered you are at the expense of every other women who does not or cannot make the same choices that you made when you gave birth.

        • MLE

          Granted I only had to make it to 8cm before my epidural, but I was not screaming for it, even though I really, seriously wanted it the whole time. I would hope if I were screaming for it, that someone would take me seriously just like anyone else in pain in any other circumstance.

        • Guesteleh

          I had an epidural and I also felt my baby being born. When I reached transition my epidural was turned down so I could feel what was going on. I felt his head move through my pelvis and also the emptiness once he was out. Only I wasn’t delirious with pain. I did feel kind of ouchy so at one point I said to my OB, wow, that hurts and she said, yeah, this is the point where women who are unmedicated are screaming.

          Your birth story reads like someone with Stockholm syndrome or like the old joke, “Aside from the shooting Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?”

        • Cobalt

          If you’re screaming for an epidural, it’s because your pain level is at a point where you need an epidural. If your care providers told you otherwise, they lied. If they told you gas was safer than an epidural for you or your baby, they lied. If they told you birthing in water was safer for you or your baby than an epidural, they lied.

        • moto_librarian

          A third degree tear is not minor. At least your midwife was smart enough to transfer you so that you could receive proper treatment. Plenty of lay midwives just tell new moms to hold their legs together for a couple of weeks to let it heal naturally. I know of at least two women who wound up with major surgery for prolapse as a result.

          I had a cervical laceration and a second degree tear with my first child (a “natural” birth with a CNM). The strategy for preventing a recurrence with my second child was to have a strong epidural to allow me to control my pushing. It worked.

    • Samantha06

      Yes, I agree with fiftyfifty1′ … very difficult to follow your comment. You say you had a “tiny episiotomy because I tore” then you say that you had two operations and your OB recommended a C/S (for your next baby?)or possibly a vaginal birth with a “much more managed second stage.” Why on earth would you even risk that again? If your midwife couldn’t control your delivery the first time, what makes you think she can control it the second time, especially with you not having adequate pain relief, screaming and writhing in pain? Perhaps you are a better candidate for hospital birth with an epidural. There is nothing wrong with wanting pain relief in labor, DESPITE what the Natural Birth Nazi’s feed you!!!

  • sdsures
    • Cobalt

      I think I just sprayed milk out my armpits.

  • Sue

    You’re right, Amy, childbirth woo is incredibly strong and widespread.

    I spend a lot of time in the social media sphere, battling the anti-scientists and the pseudo-scientists – especially the anti-vaxers, but also the “subluxation”-chiropractors, homeopaths and other related ”magic”. Even within a rational pro-science community, though, it can be difficult trying to battle the woo of childbirth or the magic of (literally) ”mothers’ milk”. Some holy cows just seem to be too holy. (not that it stops me!)

    • Daleth

      Breast milk, nature’s perfect food, doesn’t provide babies with enough vitamin D to prevent rickets or with enough vitamin K to prevent brain bleeds. Hmm. Perfect? Um…

      And yet it is so perfect that when my sons were in the NICU and I was on Lasix (a diuretic) and Vicodin (an opiate), the NICU doctors kept insisting that I should try and breastfeed or pump breast milk for them. I had already given them colostrum but the docs said I should give them all the breast milk I could produce. WTF?! I did not want to give preemies, one of whom had a breathing issue (opiate = respiratory depressant), an opiate and a diuretic!!!

      I ignored those doctors’ advice apart from giving the babies colostrum in the first few days. Does anyone have any theories as to why they were urging me to give my preemies breast milk that contained Vicodin and Lasix?!

  • southwarkbelle

    Oh so true, I don’t even really call myself a skeptic as the misogyny and attitude of many skeptics is so off putting. No wonder so many women are more attracted to the lovely fluffy stories of the woo pedallers and quacks. Sadly even in the UK where our midwives are very well trained they often also promote this stuff. A while ago I tried to find an independent (private, not NHS) midwife, someone who could provide a level of care and time pre/post birth that most NHS midwives simply can’t. EVERY SINGLE website I looked at offered alternative remedies and most were also proud to be “qualified” homeopaths. I didn’t hire one, how could I possibly trust them to be evidence based in other areas?

    • Nik

      Ugh, this was my problem finding a doula in the US. My mother died when I was little and I’d experienced abuse after her death at the hands of some other family members.. I knew that birth could trigger some of that trauma for me so I thought having someone supportive there “in place of” my mother would be a good idea. Every single one I went to was a total nutter and all about the homeopathy, eating your placenta, avoid any and all intervention at all costs, and so on. I came to the same conclusion you did– I couldn’t trust them on that stuff so I didn’t feel I could trust them on anything else as far as being a birth advocate and a source of support.

      • Sarah

        Yes, I think there’s a definite gap in the market for sciency doulas.

  • Puffin

    My trust in the NCB movement died when my midwives (in Ontario, so for midwives these ones are relatively well educated and competent) gave me homeopathic preparations. At the time, I did not know what bullshit homeopathy is, so I looked them up and found out what that actually means and I was horrified that supposed primary maternal health care providers were using that nonsense. That is actually how I found other skeptics.

    I am now, and always have been, adamantly pro-vaccine and for real medicine and actually couldn’t make many friends in the NCB community because of it. It really is the gateway to all sorts of nonsense and a general distrust of any and all real health care providers.

    I am going to be a physician myself and plan to write about this material too. Particularly as I have also noticed the tendency of the skeptical community to tiptoe around this subject matter. It is definitely upsetting how this very important issue of women’s health is virtually ignored, and preventable maternal and neonatal deaths are occurring because there aren’t enough educated voices.

    The anti-pseudoscience world does tend to be a bit of an old boys’ club, though female voices have started being heard, though not loudly enough yet.

    • KarenJJ

      To be honest, I think that those women that have started to be heard still seem to have very little to say about women’s health and when they do they still aren’t using critical thinking to look objectively at the evidence.

      • KarenJJ

        The women whose voices were heard the most within the skeptic movement were those whose knowledge level didn’t threaten the men at the top of the skeptic movement.

        I believe it ties in with the point I was trying to make wayyyy down the bottom of the comments on this post – for someone to effectively analyse evidence within context they need to have specialist expert level knowledge. The women’s voices that I’ve come across in skepticism that seem to be the loudest don’t seem to have that type of knowledge. The few that do,for example Dr Amy, Dr Pamela Gay (Astronomer) and Dr Harriet Hall (MD), seem to be more on the outer. Dr Rachie (biologist) in Australia is pretty good and seems fairly central to the movement here though. I had a bit of fun yesterday catching up on what’s been going on in the skeptical community and sounds like an unhealthy attitude towards women has been biting them in the bum.

        • Sue

          Interesting view, Karen. The ”friends of Dr Rachie” within the Stop the AVN community include many women, including a lot of nurses and even the occasional CHiro. I don’t perceive the Aus skeptic community as being misogynist or even male-dominated.

  • None of the childbirth woo stuff was on my radar at all until I got pregnant in 2011, and I think I came much closer to falling down the natural childbirth / lactivism / attachment parenting rabbit hole than I would have liked — which is all the more remarkable considering that I had followed a number of the mainstream skeptic bloggers pretty closely in the years beforehand.

    The story of how I even found the Skeptical OB is a testament to what you’re taking about in this post: One of the aforementioned skeptic bloggers I was following at the time, who championed evidence and science when it came to the creation vs. evolution (non-)controversy, posted something positive / uncritical about waterbirth. I may not have even noticed there was anything questionable or woo-ey about the practice at all if someone hadn’t linked to this site from the comment section.

  • Kq

    I found the hospital dannicalliope is talking about, and how she’s able to say it’s baby friendly and has a well baby nursery, it’s brand new but had a controversial high induction rate, etc. She’s referring to the entire hospital network as if it was all one hospital. That said, it does look like a quality birth center – though it’s not the same hospital that’s baby friendly. Also, the whole “no elective inductions” has nothing to do with the hospital directly, it was a decision by Blue Cross at the state level.

    Also, for such a prolific poster, there’s a suspicious lack of posts on birth/pregnancy related sites that tie to her profile – plenty of comments on other things though. Her way of hitting every talking point, with an anecdote for every one and a few other… hard to define oddities that don’t line up with our typical parachuters… I’m somewhat suspicious that this is a Poe of some kind.

    Just an observation, since I’m at home with a nasty cold and a sick 4 year old.

    • anotheramy

      what’s a Poe?

      • realitycheque

        It’s a person who acts in accordance to Poe’s Law (from Wikipedia):

        “Poe’s law, named after its author Nathan Poe,[1] is an Internet adage reflecting the idea that, without a clear indication of the author’s intent, it is difficult or impossible to tell the difference between an expression of sincere extremism and a parody of extremism.[2]”

    • MLE

      Is she in Louisiana? Because they were denying women pain medication in the ’80s too, but it was a monetary thing. Not to mention the post partum pain medication that was ordered but never quite made it to the rooms….

      • sdsures

        Ick!

  • After being in relationship with Johnson for seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that don’t believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I meant a spell caster called Dr.Brave and I email him, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email: bravespellcaster@gmail.com you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything. CAN NEVER STOP TALKING ABOUT YOU SIR HIS WEBSITE ADDRESS is http://enchantedscents.tripod.com/lovespell/ CONTACT HIM NOW FOR SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS.

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  • After being in relationship with Johnson for seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that don’t believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I meant a spell caster called Dr.Brave and I email him, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email: bravespellcaster@gmail.com you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything. CAN NEVER STOP TALKING ABOUT YOU SIR HIS WEBSITE ADDRESS is http://enchantedscents.tripod.com/lovespell/ CONTACT HIM NOW FOR SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS.

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  • After being in relationship with Johnson for seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that don’t believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I meant a spell caster called Dr.Brave and I email him, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email: bravespellcaster@gmail.com you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything. CAN NEVER STOP TALKING ABOUT YOU SIR HIS WEBSITE ADDRESS is http://enchantedscents.tripod.com/lovespell/ CONTACT HIM NOW FOR SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS.

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    5). Business problem Spell
    6). Stop Divorce Spell
    7). Marriage Spell
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  • After being in relationship with Johnson for seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that don’t believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I meant a spell caster called Dr.Brave and I email him, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email: bravespellcaster@gmail.com you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything. CAN NEVER STOP TALKING ABOUT YOU SIR HIS WEBSITE ADDRESS is http://enchantedscents.tripod.com/lovespell/ CONTACT HIM NOW FOR SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS.

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    (1). Lost Love Spell.
    2). Pregnancy Spell
    3). Lottery Spell
    4). Protection Spell
    5). Business problem Spell
    6). Stop Divorce Spell
    7). Marriage Spell
    8). Hiv/Aids spell

    (9) Once again make sure you contact him if you have any problem he will help you. his email address is ( bravespellcaster@gmail.com ) contact him immediately……………

  • DiomedesV

    OT: How common is it for estimates of birth weight to be way off? A friend was told the baby’s weight was 8.5 lbs, but was actually 10.5 lbs. Birth was catastrophic VBAC with rupture and abruption. Labor over the course of 3 days, 2 at home. Fortunately the rupture happened in the hospital and everyone (amazingly) appears to be fine. But I’m pretty skeptical that risks were appropriately evaluated in advance.

    Don’t they give a range? I guess since I usually give standard errors with my estimates, I’m surprised at the point estimate. But I never had such an estimate done that I know of because I was a 39-week scheduled C-section.

    • Young CC Prof

      For a full-size full-term baby, the margin of error is 2 pounds, and they are most often within 1 pound.

      For some reason, they don’t do ranges, only point estimates. They probably should, and I can’t believe it’s never occurred to me to wonder why not. (The estimated fetal weight comes from a formula based on the apparent width of the baby’s head and abdomen and apparent length of the humerous and femur.)

      • Haelmoon

        Most commonly used calculation uses head circumference, abdo circumference and femur length. The femur is squared in the calculation, so at term we often over estimate tall lean babies. However, the ultrasound software does give the plus or minus, it’s up to the radiologist to report it. For the math folks, there is the combined error of three measurements to estimate fetal weight. I always qualify the results with the plus or minus, but also the individual measurements. An abdo circumference greater than the 90th is predictive or macrosomia, and less than the 10 percentile for small for gestational age and IUGR. It is an estimated fetal weight. It’s only the NCB crowd who seem to think we take it a face value. It’s just one piece for information in the pregnancy.

        • Dr Kitty

          My daughter’s EFW at 38 weeks was 7lbs.
          7lbs was the upper limit of what my OB thought I could safely deliver because of my wonky pelvis.

          I opted for a CS at 39 weeks as my cervix was not favourable to induce, and my OB and I were both on the same page about an early term induction in a prim with a long, closed cervix and possible CPD being a highway to nowhere good.My daughter was 6lbs 3oz.

          IMO, since having an 8lb baby was also within the EFW, it didn’t make sense to me to wait it out.

        • Elaine

          Mine was a pretty low-risk pregnancy so I didn’t have any late ultrasounds. When I was in labor with my son, the junior doctor who did my intake palpated my abdomen and estimated the baby weighed about 7 lbs. He indeed weighed 7 lb 6 oz. Is that kind of measurement by palpation done routinely? How accurate does it tend to be?

          • Medwife

            We do it routinely. It is very very dependent upon the experience level of the provider.

          • Ceridwen

            My experience was similar. No late ultrasounds but when I showed up in labor I asked the OB how big he was guessing based on palpation and he told me “not more than 7 1/4 lbs but probably around 7. She was 6lbs 15oz.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Remember my rule of thumb:
            Normal Full term is 7 1/2 lbs ± 1 lb
            Add or subtract a half a pound for every week late or full

            Now, I just made that up based on experience. However, last time we had this discussion, someone posted the table of size percentiles, and it’s amazing how close my made up Rule of Thumb really was. IOW, close enough.

          • Young CC Prof

            I would guess that palpation is reasonably accurate for identifying Babies of Unusual Size, which is really the important thing if you’re talking about a woman who’s in labor right now anyway. It doesn’t matter whether the baby is seven pounds or eight, what matters is that the baby ISN’T, say, 11 pounds.

          • Elaine

            Babies of Unusual Size! Love it!

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        For a full-size full-term baby, the margin of error is 2 pounds, and they are most often within 1 pound.

        Yeah, it’s not perfect but I’d call it a standard deviation of 1 lb.

    • anotheramy

      And I’ve seen enough NCB online forums to know, most often women assume their baby’s weight will be on the low end. Whenever induction is mentioned for big baby, everyone says “ugh! Ultrasound estimates are always inacurrate, that’s no reason to induce, etc” but no one ever says ” an estimate of 8 lbs might = a 10 lb baby.

      • Bugsy

        That’s a really good point.

    • MLE

      Very glad they survived!

      • Mishimoo

        Same here! That would have been awful, I’m glad that they’re both okay now.

    • Bugsy

      I’ve heard the estimates can be fairly inaccurate. I was told at a 36-week ultrasound (for gestational diabetes) that my son was around 7 lbs. He was born at 39 weeks weighing 6 lb, 8 oz.

      Somewhat related – I know a very tiny (5’2″, maybe 100 lbs at best) mom who had GD in her first pregnancy (7# baby, overdue by 1 week), but desperately wanted the NCB route for her second. I believe she had the GD test, but otherwise declined all ultrasounds and monitoring. Baby 3 days overdue born at nearly 9#. I don’t know the details, but without the GD monitoring or ultrasounds, can’t help but wonder if the baby’s unmonitored size turned the birth into a C-section.

      Why on earth would you decline monitoring that’s in the best interest of your child’s health? I can’t begin to understand the logic behind that, but then again, I had a rough pregnancy with my son. I wanted to do anything and everything possible to ensure he would arrive safely.

      • Cobalt

        Because ultrasounds, not high blood sugar, are what make babies fat. I read it on a natural birth website, so it must be true.

        • Bombshellrisa

          No! Ultrasounds make you have c–sections. Your body won’t grow a baby too big to be birthed vaginally, it’s the ultrasound that makes the evil doctors afraid of getting sued so they do a section.

          • Samantha06

            And those ultrasound machines have special waves that intentionally make babies look bigger, AND, the machine will automatically generate a “big baby, C/Section recommended” warning on the screen!

          • Young CC Prof

            They have a special ultrasound setting, like a convex mirror or something. Makes the babies look fat. Mothers who agree to IV and epidural in advance get the concave setting.

          • Samantha06

            Yes! I forgot about those darn mirrors! And women who agree to induction for the doctor’s convenience (so he can get to his golf game even if it’s January in Montana) not only get the concave setting, they get a “normal size baby, probable vaginal delivery” message on the screen.

      • Young CC Prof

        The myth that natural is best.

    • Cobalt

      15%, either way.

    • SuperGDZ

      The weight of the baby is itself only a proxy for the baby’s dimensions. My son’s weight was quite significantly over-estimated at 3.8kg when it was actually a very average 3.3kg at birth. The error was probably at least in part because his head circumference at birth was 39cm. I assume that a baby that actually weighed 3.8kg but was long and lean with a more average 34-36cm head would be no more difficult to deliver than my 3.3kg baby with his bowling ball head.

    • mythsayer

      My daughter’s was way off. I was in Japan and they give you US at every appointment and every single time the doctor would say “baby big”, but I wasn’t very big at all so I didn’t really think she was that big. He had her estimated at 8 pounds when I was 35 weeks or so. That might be one of the reasons he agreed to do an elective CS (he never told me why he agreed, but others asked and he told them no, he wanted them to try the regular way first, so he had some reason for agreeing).

      But the day I showed up to the CS, he did a final US and this time, she was showing about 6 1/2 pounds and I saw him hesitate… I was really afraid he was going to cancel the CS, but he went ahead with it anyway and she was 6 pounds 5 oz, so… tiny basically. I have no idea how he could think she was 8 pounds repeatedly and then on the final day figure out she was really 6 and some. So yeah… I don’t give much credence to weight estimates since that experience.

  • Cobalt

    Follow up on the “medical kidnapping” of the breastfed, homebirth twins.

    http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2014/12/05/4012570_court-return-rengo-children-to.html?rh=1

    In short: homebirth was irrelevant, but the 21 calls to the police since 2013 (including domestic violence while she was 8 months pregnant), untreated eczema on the older baby, twins being very underweight (1st percentile), the father being very controlling of the mother, and the family living with the father’s father in a one bedroom apartment, and the grandfather having trouble staying on his very necessary bipolar medication were all relevant.

    CPS returned the children to the parents.

    • Mishimoo

      Those poor kids!!

      • Young CC Prof

        Indeed. The only hope I see for them is if the mother gets out. Maybe this whole ordeal has at least pointed her in the direction of some resources to do that, though it sure doesn’t sound like she wants to.

        • DiomedesV

          It said in the article that the mother requested help from CPS, then backed out. I’m assuming that’s a huge red flag.

          • Dr Kitty

            Yup.
            Social services here will often only give custody back to the mother if the father leaves the home, attends anger management and has only supervised visits with the children, at least initially.

            I’m surprised that both parents have access to the children.

          • Mishimoo

            My friend’s workmate had the opposite – the mother had to leave and have no contact, which she happily did and returned to the UK. Bub is doing okay as far as I know despite having a rough start, Dad is currently doing the stay-at-home thing because it makes more sense financially.

            (Mother left her in a pram in the backyard at 7 weeks old at night in winter in light clothing and no blanket, so she could go out drinking)

    • toofargone

      I heard that the grandmother said the father was crazy controlling. Saw this posted in a comment thread.

      • lawyer jane

        Horrific. Newborn twins and a one-year old are enough to drive the most stable couple clinically insane – I shudder to think about this already messed up family. And I wonder why CPS downplayed the home birth angle, which was clearly also medical neglect. Apparently they got no prenatal care, had no birth attendant at all, and the twin was unexpected. I don’t think this family should lose custody, but I do think that they should be required to have a third adult in the home (like the Grandma) if they want to keep the kids. Part of this is the fault of our zero-sum child custody system in this country. There should be an intermediary between losing your kids, and leaving full legal custody in a situation that all but has a neon sign saying “abuse and neglect.”

        • Cobalt

          There is a third adult in the home, Cleave’s father. He’s mentally ill, unstable, and goes off his meds. It’s actually his 1 bedroom apartment they’re living in.

          Oh, you meant a responsible adult.

        • Bombshellrisa

          I think the home birth angle was played down because DSHS also does Medicaid in our state and it pays for home birth.

        • Therese

          You can’t require that a couple have an adult move in with them in order to keep their children, unless the state is going find and pay for this adult to do so. The grandma lives in Texas, no guarantee that she would be able or willing to just pack up and go move in. But that would be ridiculous to only allow people who have family supportive enough to be willing to move in with them to keep their kids and people unlucky enough to not have this family support just end up losing their children forever because of it.

          • lawyer jane

            Yeah, I know that that is the law. But I think there should be something in between total loss of custody and leaving defenseless babies in a situation as unstable as this. The current law forces the state to just sit around until it turns into actual legal abuse and neglect. If there were a way to mandate more oversight (like Grandma moving in, or maybe the entire family being fostered by another family) then that would be better for everyone. I am no proponent of termination of parental rights, but I don’t think we do anywhere close to enough in precarious situations like this, and in part that is because of the legal dichotomy between parental rights and no parental rights.There should be another option in a situation like this where it is clear that the parents should not be parenting on their own.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Yowch.

        Once again, the heroes of the NCB movement.

        Along with Drs Biter and Fischbein.

        Interesting horses they hitch their carts to.

        • Samantha06

          “Interesting horses they hitch their carts to.”

          Love that! lol!

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Thanks. Grammar issues aside…

          • Samantha06

            Who cares about the grammar? lol! I’m going to use that one at work!

      • AnonyMom

        I also saw a comment thread where the same grandmother posted saying basically the above but also included that one of the twins is deaf and blind due to asphyia during the birth.

    • Bugsy

      All around, it hope it’s not a disaster waiting to happen. Having one newborn is tough enough, let alone 3 children under the age of one. Add in that they’re in a 1-bedroom apartment, living with his father and then the sad comments from the grandmother…wow.

      Irrespective of their medical decisions, I hope they’re able to get the long-term help and support they need.

  • DiomedesV

    In my experience the one thing that distinguishes nearly all idiots and uninformed opinion holders on childbirth is citing the “infant mortality in the US is abysmal” factoid. Correcting that goes a long, long way. If you can make it clear to someone that it is not the right statistic and point out what is and how low our perinatal mortality rate actually is, you can make good headway with some people, and at least convince other stubborn people to not make fools of themselves in public. Don’t hesitate. That’s what reality is for.

  • guest

    Kind of OT: Is there any evidence that formula destroys the gut micro biota!?. My friend was EBF until 2 days ago. She needed some rest and started to give her baby one bottle at night but she is terrified because of what she was told by the LC at hospital. How can reassure her.

    • Cobalt

      Destroy? No. Change? Yes. Just like any other food will change the microflora of the gut. The gut’s ability to adapt to effectively digest different foods is a good thing.

    • theadequatemother

      Gut microbes don’t become stable until two years of age and are influenced by foods as well as when your toddler sucks on the wood chips at the playground.

      • Young CC Prof

        And eats dust bunnies, and toys licked by other children, and swaps saliva with other family members. Toddlers are really good at acquiring microbes.

        • Mishimoo

          Especially when older siblings don’t close the bathroom door and the toddler decides to play a rousing game of “Does it flush”

          • Samantha06

            That is too funny! lol!

          • Mishimoo

            It makes me giggle so much, he’s adorable just like his sisters.

          • Samantha06

            Awwww!! That is so sweet!!

          • Bugsy

            …or when he plays a game of “does it flush” with the favourite stuffed animal he’s intending to curl up with 5 minutes later. Ochi the octopus is currently sitting in our washing machine instead. 🙂

          • Mishimoo

            Ooops! Luckily the (unnamed) penguin hasn’t made it into the toilet…yet.

        • theadequatemother

          Mine are currently water birthing all their poos. Since thy bathe together that’s got to be good for their gut flora right?

        • Dr Kitty

          Since my five year old has no problem with letting the cat share her cereal and milk if I don’t watch her like a hawk, I have no concerns about the breadth and depth of her microbiome.

          Cat saliva has so far done her very little harm, but I’m not keen to expose her to it more than is avoidable!

          • Sarah

            Children will never thrive on the saliva of an alien species.

        • guest

          Her baby is 2 months old that is why she’s scared of not “E”BFing. She was told “cluster breast feeding will build up immunity one feeding upon the next but one bottle will destroy everything” 😐

          • Young CC Prof

            Total nonsense. Breast milk provides antibodies that help protect against GI infections, but formula doesn’t destroy those antibodies! NICU staff combine breast milk and formula or breast milk and calorie fortifiers all the time. There’s absolutely no excuse for a supposed professional to say things like that, it has no basis in science whatsoever.

            And of course the first few weeks are when those antibodies are most important. By 2 months old the baby’s own immune system is working fairly well on its own, much better than during the first few days.

            And, I can’t stand this “oh, breastfeeding MUST be exclusive” thing. Not only is it absurd, it probably decreases the total quantity of breast milk going into babies.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      No, no evidence. It’s just something made up by lactivists because they like the way it scares women.

      • guest

        She was obviously feeling guilty for these bottles and that’s why she was asking me weather this is an overstating from the LCs or not and I told her that there’s no evidence for this but I wanted to make sure about my information and as a mother of 2 formula fed I couldn’t say much so I don’t look like defending my situation!

        • lawyer jane

          If it helps, my anecdotal evidence is that my child’s digestion (spitting up, mucosy & bloody poops, slow weight gain) got MUCH better when we added in some formula. The formula actually had probiotics in it, which could have been a factor! Not sure if the improvement was really attributable to the formula, but it certainly did not hurt.

          • guest

            They claim that BM protects the mucosal lining of the stomach!!.
            I was planning to mix feed but had to EFF due to the baby not latching then very low supply so I mixed feed for the first few weeks and I have noticed the same thing! more spitting up after bm and blood in poops few times only after BF. Once I switched totally to formula I never saw a drop of blood in poops.

          • Young CC Prof

            You baby may have actually had an intolerance to your breastmilk. It’s not super common, but it happens more often than you’d think.

          • deafgimp

            My understanding is that so many of the probiotics actually die in your stomach acid that it’s actually pretty tough to get them into your system. Close friends who have been instructed to take them for things Crohn’s by their regular doctors were told this by their specialists. That’s why my friend who had a poop transplant had to shove it up his ass and not swallow it. Even my dog had the same issues, he had a long standing giardia infection (not for my lack of trying to get it diagnosed) and his probiotics that I tried, which were at least 4 times as many as the average probiotic, didn’t do shit for him. A colostrum supplement, suprisingly, did. It’s called Transfer factor, made for humans (though they have pet versions now, I only use the human form because it’s cheaper and doesn’t have added vitamines and flavoring).

      • Sue

        And because ”gut biota” is part of diet woo at the moment too.

    • Joy

      So will those yoghurt drinks. The question is for how long and does it really matter. For formula it appears that the answer is isn’t doesn’t really matter.

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      Everything changes your gut microbiota. It is not ever static.

      • Sue

        According to my reading, it;s a changing feast (so to speak) until a full solid diet is established.

        • Sullivan ThePoop

          Well, it becomes somewhat static until you move or take antibiotics or change your diet or move in with someone else

  • dannicalliope

    I want to have a “natural child birth” in the sense that I want a hospital birth with no interventions unless medically necessary. I’m a biologist. Most of us agree that a birth sans unnecessary medicines and surgeries is better for mother and child. It is certainly not a “start” on the road to medical quackery for me, as I am educated and well informed about medical procedures and vaccines (and yes, I am a HUGE proponent of vaccines). But a natural birth is what I CHOSE to do, unless I or the baby require more invasive medical treatments. And one shouldn’t overlook the very real problem (that I’ve witnessed first hand) of perfectly healthy women being coerced into having an induction or a c-section because it’s convenient for the doctor. So no, while I don’t advocate completely ignoring medical guidelines and medical professionals, I think the whole “assembly line” birth process needs to be overhauled. I like the idea of being able to walk around, eat, labor in a tub, etc instead of being confined to a bed, pumped full of drugs I don’t want, and possibly cut open because the drugs interfere with my body’s natural ability to give birth (and it’s pretty well documented that they can). The hospital I go too won’t even administer elective pitocin (or any other inducing drug) nor will it give elective c-sections. They encourage epidural free deliveries as well.

    • theadequatemother

      Actually all the best contemporary evidence does not show a meaningful prolongation of labour due to epidural placement and no association with cs. Modern lower dose epidurals are not even associated with an increase in instrumented vaginal delivery. Those reasons you cited are not factually correct reasons for avoiding epidural analgesia. Now you might not want it for other reasons but please don’t use your scientific credentials to spread misinformation. Signed, an anesthesiologist.

      • dannicalliope

        I’ve read studies that backed up my statements and my hospital says the same things I’ve cited. Again, I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I would like to see some studies that you have read so I can add to my own knowledge base. However, the tenure of my original comment was that I don’t think that all women who prefer to have a natural childbirth are automatically against all main stream medicine and health care. Because it’s not really the case.

        • Samantha06

          This must be your first baby..

          • dannicalliope

            I know so quite a few women now who have had multiple children sans medication (and in hospitals, not homes). So while yes, this is my first, the implication that I will change my mind in the middle of it is a little offensive. I MIGHT–but it’s not a foregone conclusion. Especially since this is something I WANT to do. If other women can do it successfully in a hospital and be happy with it (happy enough to do it multiple times) why should I expect anything different, barring an unforeseen complication?

          • Samantha06

            I see lots of women, primips and multips having unmedicated deliveries. You assumed that I was implying you would change your mind. What I was thinking is that it’s obvious you’re having your first because of the questions you are asking. I took care of a lady last week having her third baby and first epidural. If you want to have an unmedicated delivery, go for it. My only recommendation would be to keep your expectations realistic.

          • dannicalliope

            They are. I really am more open minded than what people on this thread seem to think. 🙂 I’m also very stubborn and dislike people telling me what I can and cannot do. So I appreciate the clarification of your comment.

          • Samantha06

            I don’t think anyone is trying to do that. I think we are trying to give you factual information to help you with your decisions.

          • Sue

            ”the implication that I will change my mind in the middle of it is a little offensive”

            This sort of attitude will set you up for failure. Of course you must change your mind as circumstances change. Nothing makes for Post-natal Depression like the scientifically-minded educated woman who want to be in control of things, and then finds that things are out of her control – not only in childbirth, but also lactation, sleep etc. Please be careful about this.

        • Young CC Prof

          Actually, I would agree with you on that, that not all natural childbirth proponents are against mainstream medicine. I was pro mainstream medicine, but believed quite a few natural childbirth myths, because they are so incredibly pervasive!

          ACOG does NOT believe that epidural anesthesia increase the probability of cesarean delivery. Here is a Committee Opinion, with various studies in the footnotes. http://www.acog.org/Resources-And-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Obstetric-Practice/Analgesia-and-Cesarean-Delivery-Rates

        • Karen in SC

          Check the study referred to and linked here: http://theadequatemother.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/2-cm-810/

        • MaineJen

          How old are those studies, though? Epidurals today are very different from how they were 20 years ago.

          • dannicalliope

            That’s a valid point and one I honestly haven’t explored. I will keep that in mind as I continue my research. 🙂

          • theadequatemother

            Which is very true. You need to look at studies using a concentration of bupivacaine or ropivacaine less than or equal to 0.125% with added short acting narcotic.

        • theadequatemother

          I’m an anesthesiologist tho. I wasn’t responding to the “tenure” of your comment, just the myths you are repeating about epidurals. I have a range of articles on my blog reviewing the literature on NCB myths and epidurals. All heavily referenced. I know there are lots of reasons why someone might no want an epidural – for example not liking the idea or needle phobia or wanting to see what they can do on their own etc etc. and that doesn’t bug me at all. But I would. Be bothered if you endured a very long or very painful labour because of some incorrect idea that refusing help in the form of an epi was going to save you from a csection or a vacuum delivery or somehow decrease labour duration. Long painful labours can be traumatic. These are the risks: block failure (2-5%), post dural puncture headache 1%, neuropraxia 1/15000, infection/ meningitis 1/20 000, neuraxial hematoma or abscess 1/187000-1/250000, paralysis 1/500000-1/1000000, death 1/1000000. It’s reasonable to not want to run those risks if you are coping well. It’s reasonable to get an early epidural. It’s patient choice and preference but it’s not going to make your labour go sideways or lead to a cascade of interventions ending in Emergency cs.

    • Young CC Prof

      I would have agreed with you a couple years ago. The fact that you’re mistaken isn’t evidence that you are uninformed but rather evidence of how deeply these myths have dug in.

      You don’t have to get an epidural, you always have the choice, but it doesn’t increase the risk of c-section. Induction or augmentation of labor when medically indicated reduces the probability of c-section.

      • dannicalliope

        I’d like to see some sources for that. Because all of the sources I’ve found have said the opposite. Not saying you’re wrong, but I would like to read those studies myself.

        • Young CC Prof

          This is a good starting point, a meta-analysis published this past April that demonstrates induction can actually reduce c-sections. Here’s the abstract, the full text is free! http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2014/04/28/cmaj.130925

          • dannicalliope

            Thank you. If the study is true, that would actually make me feel better, since nearly all hospitals will induce after 41 weeks. And I’m quickly approaching that mark and I don’t want an induction. But if this study can convince me that I may still be able to avoid a c-section, I’ll sleep better. 🙂

          • moto_librarian

            “If the study is true”?!

        • mJ

          You call yourself a scientist, but haven’t even looked at Cochrane or the two systematic reviews published in BJOG & CMAJ this year? What are YOUR sources “scientist”.

    • Mishimoo

      That raises a few red flags for me – I’m not sure that I would feel safe birthing in that kind of hospital as I couldn’t be sure that they would recognise a problem or act on it in time for both of us to be safe.

      • dannicalliope

        They can recognize problems–and they do. The labor rooms are literally right next to the operating room and there is a full staff of OBs on hand. If you read my comment, I never said they wouldn’t do an induction or a c-section, I said they wouldn’t do ELECTIVE inductions or c-sections, which is too vastly different concepts. I can’t walk in and demand a c-section or a shot of pitocin. But if my labor stalls or there is a medical complication, they will do whatever they can to save both of us.

        • Mishimoo

          I did read it, however, your phrasing suggested that the doctors and nurses have bought into the woo rather than following evidence-based practices, hence my concern.

          • dannicalliope

            “The hospital I go too won’t even administer elective pitocin (or any other inducing drug) nor will it give elective c-sections. They encourage epidural free deliveries as well.” The word elective is clearly in there. 🙂 Anyway, I’m pretty happy with my hospital, so no problems. I’ve had abdominal surgery once, never want to have it again–so I feel an unmedicated birth might help. However, ALSO as I’ve said in my comment, I’m not against interventions if I need them. I am flexible enough to realize that it might be necessary. “Might” being the keyword.

          • Guest

            In a medical context, “elective” doesn’t really mean what you’re saying here.

          • dannicalliope

            Well, that’s how my hospital defines it. They told me from day one that I cannot request a c-section or an induction. And my state has so many problems with patients asking for inductions (and getting them) that the health insurances here have actually stopped paying for them before 39 weeks unless there’s a pretty valid reason for them.

          • DaisyGrrl

            The “39 week rule” is pretty much universal in the US. Because of the successful lobbying of groups like the March of Dimes and the natural childbirth movement, women with soft indicators for a pre-39-week induction aren’t getting them and I’ve heard of some near misses as a result.

            I’m extremely suspicious of seemingly arbitrary rules that are pushed on women and their healthcare providers by a party that has no true interest in the outcome. These people assume that doctors are going to push unnecessarily risky procedures for kicks. I’m skeptical of that position.

          • dannicalliope

            It’s new here. Just passed this year.

          • Samantha06

            I agree with DaisyGrrl, I don’t like that either.

          • Kate

            Wow. I am so glad I didn’t have to convince my insurance company that my pre-eclampsia was urgent enough.

          • dannicalliope

            That’s completely different and falls under “medically necessary.” As it should. Pre-eclampsia is pretty serious, I almost lost a friend to it this year.

          • Kate

            Yes, but my medical records say “elective induction”. 🙂

          • dannicalliope

            Well, clearly I wasn’t talking about you. 🙂

          • Young CC Prof

            That rule has actually had some unintended consequences: Women who clearly should be induced, but the doctor can’t do it because the reason doesn’t “qualify.” One woman I encountered had to wait 3 extra days with rising preeclampsia because a nurse forgot to write down her blood pressure.

            Should you induce at 37 weeks just for the heck of it when everything is normal? Absolutely not. But, there’s really no evidence that it was ever a widespread problem. Bans on induction without medical indication actually had very little effect on the induction rate, suggesting that most inductions were medically indicated all along.

          • dannicalliope

            Weird that they made her wait. My friend went pre-eclamptic a few months ago at 31 weeks gestation. Within 24 hours her blood pressure had risen to the point of being life-threatening and her liver and kidneys were shutting down. The doctors initially tried an induction and then decided her condition was deteriorating too quickly. So c-section it was. As it should have been, in her case. Thankfully, both mother and child are doing fine now.

          • Young CC Prof

            The hospital had a policy that induction before 39 weeks required 2 elevated blood pressure measurements 24 hours apart. (She was 37 weeks, not exactly super early!) The nurse forgot to record the first one, so the woman had to wait until Monday. It was OK in the end, but it was a stupid risk.

          • dannicalliope

            Sounds like the nurse dropped the ball on that one. I’m sorry that happened to your friend. I would have been freaking out.

          • Who?

            It’s why blanket rules are dangerous and unhelpful. Humans make mistakes, everyone accepts that-rules that turn mistakes into problems are not productive.

          • Sarah

            Not weird, just the inevitable consequence of a policy restricting pre 39 week inductions and made by non-clinicians.

          • Karen in SC

            Elective in medical speak still means medical indicated, just not emergent. No one asks for pitocin and just gets it, administration is always medically indicated. The same with a c-section, elective ones are still medically indicated. I’m repeating this concept over and over so you still get it since from your reading before you did not learn this.

            You are probably referring to maternal request c-sections and who are you to dictate what a woman wants to do for birth? None of your business.

          • dannicalliope

            It’s not my business at all. I just stated what I wanted, and then stated that my hospital wouldn’t give an elective c-section, which further encourages me to go natural. So… if you have a problem with the hospital policy, that’s fine. I never said I judged people who had inductions or c-sections, I said *I* didn’t want one, and then I stated my reasons.

          • “Elective” in a medical context does not mean “because I asked for it.”

            You still aren’t getting it. When you say that your hospital doesn’t perform “elective” c-sections, you’re saying that they will not, for example, schedule a c-section when a baby is breech or a mother shows symptoms of pre-eclampsia. If that is the case, they are a terrible hospital and you should run away right now.

          • anh

            I’m so confused as to why you think it’s a good thing that your hospital as a policy would deny women a right to choose a csection if that’s what she wants. That’s so bloody paternalistic I don’t know where to start. I would strongly suggest choosing a different hospital if this is indeed their policy.
            (Not going to even touch on the horror of a medical establishment encouraging women to forgo pain meds)

          • Mishimoo

            So is the word ‘encourage’, and considering how my best friend went with being ‘encouraged’ to not have an epidural and ‘encouraged’ to push, it makes me highly suspicious. (Turned mild complications into an emergent situation that could have been avoided)

            I loved that my CNM listened to me about how I was feeling and gave me the pitocin I asked for when I expressed that I was feeling tired and that I felt my contractions were becoming uncoordinated. I wish I had been able to access an elective induction for my last, as it would have meant being able to see my granddad while he was lucid just one last time.

            As for interventions: I would rather have mild interventions that help me achieve my goal of a healthy mum and bub, than risk an emergent situation by waiting until the last moment.

          • dannicalliope

            As I’ve stated previously, I’m open to them if I think they’re necessary. I just don’t want to walk in wanting them. I want to try natural, and I have my reasons for it. And I don’t see why that’s so frowned upon in this thread, but it’s all good.

          • Samantha06

            I don’t think it’s frowned upon at all. I think the problem is with people who have unrealistic expectations as a result of the NCB rhetoric and woo. It makes it a lot more difficult on women in labor and those of us who have to try to explain why their decision to have an epidural does not make them a failure!

          • dannicalliope

            I don’t judge people who do. I realize I may in that boat one day (no one can predict these things). My original statement was on how I took a little offense to the concept that all “natural birthers” are against modern medicine.

          • Samantha06

            No, it’s more the cult of the NCB movement, I think. The whole mindset of defying modern medicine in favor of pseudo-science and then encouraging women to make decisions that are just outright dangerous. No one is against unmedicated labor if that is your choice.

          • dannicalliope

            I agree some of them are weird. I take a lot of their statements with a grain of salt. Many of them are anti-vaxxers which I totally cannot wrap my head around.

          • Karen in SC

            Many of us, including me & Dr. Amy, have had natural births, too. Just want to dispel any myths and misinformation.

          • dannicalliope

            I do appreciate the supportive comments and I will look into any studies (real studies, not someone’s blog) that anyone has.

          • Mishimoo

            It’s only frowned upon in this thread because you have based your opinions on articles that have no factual standing or are outdated. I went natural for one, and needed help for the others. I support going natural as long as everyone is safe, I just don’t support making choices based on pseudo-science.

          • dannicalliope

            As I’ve stated in numerous other comments, most of my information has come from my hospital. Not a birthing center. Not a mid-wife trying to talk me into a home birth.

          • Mishimoo

            As I said in my original comment: That raises red flags and I wouldn’t be comfortable in that hospital.

          • dannicalliope

            It just won an award for being the only baby friendly hospital in my state. 🙂 So I’m okay with it.

          • DiomedesV

            Ah, baby friendly. Ie, mothers who have had long, traumatic labors can’t get any rest because the night nursery has been eliminated. Great….

          • dannicalliope

            Baby friendly as in encouraging breast feeding. Which I’m also for. Guess that makes me a real winner on this thread. I am NOT however, for co-sleeping. That scares me and I won’t be doing that.

          • DiomedesV

            Who isn’t for breastfeeding? The question is whether baby friendly actually has been demonstrated empirically to increase long-term breastfeeding rates (ie, not just initiation of breastfeeding in the hospital). My understanding is the answer is no, but even if it does, I’m not convinced that encouraging long-term breastfeeding means requiring women have been in labor for 3 days, only to have an emergency C-section, to be the sole provider for their infant every 3 hours over the course of their hospital stay.

          • dannicalliope

            But it’s your choice and if that’s how you want to do it… I don’t see why it matters. And again, the context of my original comment was that I supported a natural childbirth but wasn’t anti-modern medicine. The tangents on this thread has gotten pretty far removed from what I was originally saying. And it’s not like it’s a lot easier to care for the baby after you’ve had a c-section. Major surgery is major surgery and I’ve had abdominal surgery once. Never again, if I can help it.

          • DiomedesV

            What is my choice?

            Baby friendly entails very specific commitments from a hospital, one of which is a policy against removing a baby from the mother except for needed medical exams. Sounds like a good idea in theory. In practice, it means that mothers are essentially on their own. Even mothers who want to breastfeed need to sleep. In the absence of good evidence that it helps long-term breastfeeding rates, I don’t see that as a plus for a hospital.

            There are also very significant financial incentives for hospitals to become baby friendly, not the least of which is being able to have fewer nursing staff since there’s no night nursery.

          • dannicalliope

            Our hospital has a nursery and nurses on staff to help mom. Everyone I know who has delivered there has been very happy with how they were treated, whether they went un-medicated, medicated or surgical routes. I’m happy to be in a place that supports my decisions about labor and yet will still step in if help is needed. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters to me.

          • Samantha06

            Yes, of course it’s your choice. The question is: is it really beneficial and does it affect breast feeding over the long haul. Studies say no. It’s just not realistic to expect a post-C/Section mom to care for and feed a baby every three hours when they can’t even care for themselves.

          • dannicalliope

            No, it isn’t. And from what I’ve heard from women delivering at my hospital, they don’t get treated like that at all. But I like the option of having my baby with me as much as I want and knowing they won’t take her away without asking. That’s not always the case–I knew someone who went to sleep with her baby in the room and woke up and the nurse had taken it out for some test. It scared the daylights out of her.

          • Samantha06

            And that is not appropriate! No staff should ever take a baby out of a room without the parents knowledge. That’s awful..

          • dannicalliope

            I know. They claimed she was knocked out from the drugs they’d given her. But still… I would have been furious. I’m already nervous about her leaving my sight as it is. I’m nervous about everything actually. I hope it gets easier being a parent but my mother says you never really stop worrying about them.

          • Samantha06

            Maybe check with the hospital about their policies. Some places I’ve worked, we offered the parents the choice of going with the baby if we had to take it to the nursery for a blood test.

          • Who?

            It’s really hard to separate legitimate worry about real risks from the general anxiety we all feel about all kinds of things. Learning to have faith in yourself, your parenting, and as she grows, your child , her good judgment and what you have taught her is a great gift, if you can cultivate it.

          • Samantha06

            You might want to read Dr. Amy’s post on Baby-friendly hospitals. I’ve worked in both, and Baby-friendly is a joke. Moms are exhausted after labor and delivery and need to sleep but they can’t because they are expected to forgo sleep to care for their baby. There is no nursery to send your baby to if you just need a break to sleep for a couple of hours, so someone else basically needs to stay with you. It;s just unrealistic. How can you go home and care for your baby when you are exhausted and sleep-deprived?

          • dannicalliope

            Our hospital has a fully functional nursery. 🙂

          • DiomedesV

            Is it actually a Baby Friendly hospital, or did they just tell you they were “baby friendly”? Not the same thing.

          • dannicalliope

            No, they are. It made the news and everything. They’ve actually not mentioned much about it at the hospital itself.

          • Samantha06

            That’s great! Is it a NICU though or a well-baby nursery? I didn’t think baby-friendly hospitals were allowed to “take babies to the nursery” at mom’s request, but I might be wrong about that. I would recommend you find out for sure. You want to have that safety net in place.

          • dannicalliope

            I’m pretty sure it’s a well-baby nursery (I think I remember them saying that from the tour, that you could have the baby put in the nursery if you wanted a break). But I can always ask again.

          • moto_librarian

            You had best find that out now. Baby-Friendly hospitals expect you to room-in 23 hours of the day. Even if you’ve had a difficult labor or a c-section.

          • Sarah

            That’s kind of a red flag…

          • Oh dear…

          • Young CC Prof

            My c-section really wasn’t all that bad. Compared to laparoscopic hernia repair, the initial pain wasn’t as bad, but the total recovery was a bit longer. I was getting around reasonably well after 3-4 days. By about 3-4 weeks, I was feeling pretty good, much better than I had while still heavily pregnant.

          • dannicalliope

            That’s great. My mom recovered well from her second c-section but her first one was terrible. She nearly died. I’ve had abdominal surgery before as well, and I hated it. I’ve always wanted to avoid it, unless of course the baby or I am in danger during the birth.

          • I’ve found that experience with other forms of surgery don’t really prepare one for the experience of C/S. I”ve had both. So don’t read too much into past difficulties. For example, I had a much rockier immediate post-op with my abdominal surgery for ectopic pregnancy, and although the first few days after my hip replacement weren’t too bad, it ultimately took me months to feel 100%, while apart from a slight soreness at the end of the day, by the tenth day I was fine. C/S IS “abdominal” surgery, but it is very minor compared to “major” intestinal surgery. The duration and kind of anesthesia also makes a big difference. A C/S is quite rapid.

        • DiomedesV

          You don’t understand the meaning of the word elective. Elective simply means scheduled. I assure you that your hospital does scheduled C-sections.

          I had an “elective” C-section. A baby with transverse lie. That is a medically indicated C-section, but it was coded as “elective” because it was scheduled.

          Maternal request C-section is entirely different from elective. It’s also very rare. If you live in Canada, I believe that your hospital doesn’t do MRCS, but I’d be surprised if that were true in the US. And just so you know, one of the most common reasons for a MRCS is a previous history of sexual assault.

          • dannicalliope

            Well, where I live people ask for c-sections (and get them) for no medical reason. People also ask for inductions (and get them) for no medical reason. I work with a girl who asked for an induction at 39 weeks because her OB was going on vacation and she didn’t want to deliver with anyone else. So… it happens.

          • DiomedesV

            Depending upon the details of her case, which I’m assuming you don’t know because you were not her doctor, she may have had good reason to believe that an induction would be successful. Since the evidence doesn’t link inductions to C-sections, there’s nothing wrong with her making the request.

            Also, another common reason for scheduled C-sections? An active herpes infection. How many people are going to tell you that they got a C-section for that? How many people are going to tell you that they got one because they have a history of sexual assault? How many people are going to tell you that they’ve had pelvic floor dysfunction for years and don’t want to make it worse?

            The fact is, you don’t know why people really made these requests and/or why they were granted. You’re in no place to judge whether there was “no medical reason.”

          • dannicalliope

            I’m not judging. She was very candid about wanting to be induced for the sole reason of having her doctor present because “she liked her.” And if you read my other comments, I’ve said I don’t judge people who want epidurals or inductions. I just don’t want them for myself, at least not at this time.

          • DiomedesV

            You may not be judging, but this statement is problematic: “Well, where I live people ask for c-sections (and get them) for no
            medical reason. People also ask for inductions (and get them) for no
            medical reason.”

            My point is that you don’t know that. Most of us don’t know even our close friends well enough to really know what’s going on in their lives.

          • dannicalliope

            It’s not just me that thinks it, or the insurance companies wouldn’t have passed the law they passed this year. Just saying.

          • DiomedesV

            Are we in the realm of arguing that insurance companies are the best arbiters of what is reasonable medical practice?

            I believe that some inductions and early C-section may be unwarranted.

            “Also, several of my friends have been induced at 37 weeks because their
            doctors told them it was more convenient for THEM (the doctors)”

            I find that hard to believe. I do believe that many patients don’t understand what their doctors are actually saying, though.

          • dannicalliope

            That is possible. But then again, you’d have to see this hospital to understand. It’s got a very, very high induction/c-section rate and many of its patients are not happy with it.

          • Kq

            Where Is this wonderful hospital that so fully embraces NCB ideology and can so perfectly treat every woman? That is baby friendly but has a well baby nursery? It’s fascinating, to see someone spout every talking point for NCB, but still be raving about this amazing hospital. So where is it? How can we teach other hospitals to be more like this one? It’s not fair, withholding the location of the Holy grail.

          • dannicalliope

            LOL. I didn’t say it was perfect. And I haven’t birthed there yet. But I know a lot of people who have and they have said it really is that good. I started out with an OB-GYN there long before I got pregnant and I loved him so much that I knew I would be chosing to deliver at “his” hospital long before I thought about what kind of birth I wanted (or even what kind there was). We’ll see I guess. If I remember in my post-birth haze, I’ll try to come back here to tell you guys if it was all they said it was. And trust me, if I’m not happy with it, I’ll dish. LOL.

          • Samantha06

            Remember that insurance companies are all about saving money, not necessarily what is in the best interests of patients.

          • dannicalliope

            And hospitals don’t want to get sued. So they sometimes do things that aren’t necessary just to cover their legal bases. It happens.

          • Samantha06

            How do you know? Do you work in a hospital? I disagree. I’ve worked in several hospitals in different roles as an RN and I have rarely seen “unnecessary” things done.

          • dannicalliope

            My husband best friend is a nurse. She tells some stories that would make your hair stand up. But maybe I just live in a crappy state as far as health care is concerned. That is a definite possibility. LOL.

          • Samantha06

            I hear you. I’ve seen some real “interesting” things myself!! Does your insurance give you a choice of hospitals?

          • dannicalliope

            Yes, thank God. And I chose this one initially because I had a great OB-GYN there (love that guy). I’m pretty satisfied with my choice and feel pretty good about the birth itself. Naturally, I’m nervous because I’ve never had a baby before, but I think I’m in good hands. And I have a great support team.

          • Samantha06

            That’s awesome! It’s normal to be nervous. I think the best thing to do is not have any expectations, because labor and delivery is very unpredictable and things can change in an instant. It’s the old cliche- “go with the flow”..

          • dannicalliope

            Or “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

          • Samantha06

            I like that! lol! Very true!

          • Sue

            In all seriousness, though, educated women having first-time births are at risk of post-natal depression. Having strong expectations can set you up for a feeling of failure – especially if we are used to being in control of our lives. Be cautious about this.

          • I, for one, will be very interested in reading your impressions of the entire birth experience after you’ve been through it. I hope you will find a few minutes to do so.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            You realize that Samantha06 is ALSO a nurse, right?

            She doesn’t need your husband’s friend to tell her what nurses see go on in a hospital.

          • Medwife

            Whoa there. Gotta disagree with you there. I’ve seen the ER shotgun method of diagnoses quite a bit. Unnecessary tests happen a LOT.

          • Samantha06

            Maybe it happens more often in the ER. I’ve never worked in an ER, only L&D so I don’t have anything to compare it to. I can’t even imagine the complexity of some of the patients they see.

          • Sue

            As an Emergency Medicine consultant, I constantly rail against unnecessary testing, but much of it is an attempt to minimise risk and uncertainty in a potentially hazardous and time-limited environment.

            Acute therapy, though? In an emergency, few things judged to be ”unnecessary” retrospectively are found to be so when seen through the prism of reality, and without the ”retrospectoscope”. The same goes for all potential emergencies – obstetric or otherwise.

            If the treatment seems ”unnecessary” because nobody appreared to be near death, it probably means it was given early enough. A treatment delayed until it is obvious to the patient that it is needed may be given too late to avoid morbidity from the complication.

          • Samantha06

            Exactly. I find in Obstetrics, we are almost always glad we intervened when we did.. and ensured a good outcome.. it’s the old adage of better to be safe than sorry..

          • dannicalliope

            Also, several of my friends have been induced at 37 weeks because their doctors told them it was more convenient for THEM (the doctors). I have one friend who is still really upset that she never once got to experience a normal labor onset, despite having had four children. She was pleased as she could be about her epidural, but wanted to forgo the pitocin injections at 37 weeks and couldn’t. Which is why my state passed a law this year that no one would be given an induction before 39 weeks unless there was a pretty good medical reason. Because this happens A LOT here. We have one hospital in my city that is infamous for it.

          • lawyer jane

            Your state passed a law regulating when doctors can decide to induce? That sounds like a really risky interference with doctor-patient relationships.

          • moto_librarian

            39 weeks is late term. Hospitals have been discouraged from allowing elective inductions prior to 39 weeks (i.e., 37-38 weeks). Much ado about nothing on your part.

            If I had none that my first birth was going to be such a clusterfuck, I would have asked for a c-section. You’re in no position to judge anyone.

          • fiftyfifty1

            ” I work with a girl who asked for an induction at 39 weeks because her OB was going on vacation and she didn’t want to deliver with anyone else”

            Wow, sounds like a win/win/win for everybody involved! Mom got to deliver with a doctor she had a personal relationship with while at the same time significantly reducing her chance of CS, baby got to avoid the risk of stillbirth AND decrease the chance of needing NICU.

            Yet you seem dismissive of your co-worker and her choice. I wonder why that is? Turns out she is more informed than you are and made a safer choice for her baby than you plan to make for yours.

            Natural childbirth philosophy contains a lot of thinly veiled misogyny.

          • Sue

            Well-said, fiftyfifty!

            NCB MWs market themselves as being with you throughout pregnancy and delivery. OBs try to do the same thing, and they are money-hungry golfers! Sheesh!

        • AmyH

          Are you saying that the whole hospital won’t do elective inductions or C-sections?

          I went to a “birth center” which has that name but is just an extension of the hospital. It is “free-standing” in that they built it on the other side of the road and it’s connected to the hospital by a tunnel. It has one C-section room for true emergency C-section; I assume you’d be transferred to the hospital if time allowed under most “moderate emergency” circumstances.

          It only accepts “low risk” women and you can’t deliver there if you’re having an induction *if it’s your first baby.* I assume this is just to automatically screen out a lot of slightly higher-risk situations. It’s fully staffed with the same medical professionals that work across the road. Don’t know if that’s the kind of situation you’re talking about?

          (They were wonderful and I plan to be back next month.)

      • Sarah

        Yes, it sounds horrific. I’d be waddling away as fast as I could.

      • theadequatemother

        I doubt the care at this hospital is significantly different from care at any other maternity center. I think they are just better at marketing to NCB-leaning women.

        • Mishimoo

          I’d hope so, but I’ve been a bit leery of that since my best friend had a horrible experience with a hospital-based birth centre where the CNMs said similar things.

        • Sue

          “I think they are just better at marketing to NCB-leaning women.”

          Yep – seems to have worked, too.

          What they really mean is “no hospital will force you to have pain relief, but we’ll imply that they do, so you’ll choose us and we’ll make more money”. Fixed.

    • Guest

      Does the hospital also encourage no anesthesia during passing of kidney stones, minor surgery, and sickle cell crisis? We used to amputate limbs without anesthesia and people survived. Any hospital that actively DISCOURAGES safe and effective pain relief during childbirth is suspect in my mind.

      • dannicalliope

        It doesn’t discourage it if you want it, as they will give it you. They just encourage you to consider not having it. They have whole birthing rooms set up for non-medicated births.

        • Guesteleh

          Why are they invested in keeping you from accessing pain relief? That’s not evidence based medicine. It’s well established that epidurals do not increase CS rates.

        • Sarah

          Are patients experiencing kidney stones, minor surgery and sickle cell crisis similarly encouraged?

        • Roadstergal

          They have birthing rooms specifically set up to not allow women to get pain relief if they find themselves in unbearable pain during a delivery? Ugh.

          My boss had one of those regular hospital births where all of the interventions were at hand if wanted/needed and she wasn’t encouraged to forgeo any of them. She had a short, easy, unmedicated, intervention-free birth because it was straightforward and her baby was small, healthy, well-positioned, and had a nice head. It turns out, if you’re lucky enough not to need interventions, you’re not going to get any.

    • fiftyfifty1

      “Most of us agree that a birth sans unnecessary medicines and surgeries is better for mother and child.”

      Actually it’s well established that CS is safer for baby. It’s that it is slightly riskier for mother.

      “possibly cut open because the drugs interfere with my body’s natural ability to give birth (and it’s pretty well documented that they can).”

      Nope. Well controlled studies show the opposite.

      • dannicalliope

        So you’re telling me that you don’t think an epidural, which prevents the mother from moving around adequately, could affect her ability to give birth, when studies have shown that movement helps with both pain management and the actual birth? Or hospital policies that say that if you have an epidural you have to stay confined to a bed, usually on your back, which makes you have to work against gravity to push? Or an induction, which increases contraction strength might make it more difficult to not have an epidural? Sorry, I don’t want anything that prevents me from moving around and I don’t want to have anything done that intensifies my contractions if I don’t have too.

        • Samantha06

          The hospital where I work uses epidurals that allow patients to walk if they want to. Most patients elect to catch up on their rest. Where are you getting this information that patients are “on their back”? That is not accurate.

          • dannicalliope

            From every single woman I’ve ever known who’s had a baby with an epidural (which is nearly every woman I’ve known). And every labor video I’ve watched (at my hospital) that says if you have an epidural, hospital policy prevents you from moving out of your bed unless you’re holding onto to a rail of the bed. So perhaps your hospital has a different policy? I live in a state which one of the largest rates of c-sections and most medical professionals agree that there is something wrong with that number. That’s why I want to do something different with mine and I feel like this will help.

          • Samantha06

            It could be a difference in the epidurals. Most of the our patients who get them can move their legs and walk fairly easily with help. But, most just want to sleep once the epidural is in place. It’s hard to know why certain hospitals have high C/Section rates. A “high” rate is relative as so many factors come into play. For example, my hospital is a Level III tertiary care center Our patients are much higher risk and tend to have complications so our C/Section rate is high. It’s difficult when you are having your first baby because you’ve never been through it before and are hearing different things and opinions and trying to come up with a plan.

          • dannicalliope

            True. Of all the people on this thread, let me say you’re probably the most open-minded. Thank you for your inputs.

          • Samantha06

            I appreciate your comment, but at the same time, I will defend everyone on this blog. They are not close-minded. They are very educated and know what they are talking about. When I first came on here, I thought some of the comments were a bit harsh, but I soon realized that everyone is very passionate about sharing accurate, science-based information and helping people. Sometimes people parachute in and try to argue a point based on pseudo-science and the NCB rhetoric and it’s very frustrating. I’ve learned a lot from everyone here. Stick around! You’ll learn lots of good stuff too and when you go into labor, you’ll be thinking, OK that’s what they were talking about!

          • dannicalliope

            I appreciate it, again. You’re right, there’s a lot of big decisions to be made when you’re having a baby. And I like accurate, science based information. If my opinions need to change, and I see evidence for it (real scientific evidence), then I will change them. But I still don’t understand why people don’t like the idea of natural child birth. I’ve stated several times I’m okay with needed interventions and that I realize that things may not go as planned when I actually do give birth. I’d be happy to leave it at that. And check back in with you when it does happen because it is literally any day now.

          • Young CC Prof

            Natural birth: Awesome if it works for you.

            Folks who lie to promote natural birth at all costs: Not awesome.

            That is the issue here, that’s what makes us angry. When mothers and babies suffer unnecessarily because the method is elevated above the outcome.

          • Samantha06

            Well-said..

          • dannicalliope

            I can agree with that. As a biologist and as a mother to be. And I hope that I’ve gotten across the point that I am pretty flexible about the whole thing. I just like to have a plan, and I’d like to start off as minimally invasive as possible first.

          • Sue

            ” I just like to have a plan, and I’d like to start off as minimally invasive as possible first.””

            But on what basis will you decide what is ”needed”? If you disagree with your specialist providers, whose opinion will you prefer and on what basis?

          • KarenJJ

            I think “natural childbirth” sets up huge expectations on women and sets them up to “prove” themselves and potentially feel like “failures” when something goes against the Natural Childbirth Storyline (ie I refused all interventions, had a beautiful childbirth and bonded instantly with my lovely, calm baby).

            That’s why I dislike it. Because often ‘natural childbirth’ is not seen as a “I’ll see how things go”, but it’s status is elevated to be an empowering goal to “achieve”.

          • dannicalliope

            I agree that some natural birthers can be jerks. I’m not like that. I’m pretty pragmatic about most things, actually. I just don’t see the need for a lot of interventions if I don’t actually need them, and I’m honestly not the type to feel like a failure if I did need them. Because I don’t give a darn about other people’s opinions when it comes to the health of my child (and me, for that matter). But I’ve also encountered people who were so anti-natural birth that they’ve actually tried to convince me to have a c-section “to get it over with.” I’m not okay with that.

          • Who?

            How will you know you need them? Will you take a doctor’s advice? If yes, great. If you want to second guess a doctor caring for you, then you will run into trouble.

          • MaineJen

            But can you see that going into it with this attitude of “I know you’re going to try to push interventions, and I’m going to fight you” sets up an adversarial relationship with the people who are trying to help?

            Would you refuse pitocin for induction if you had prolonged rupture of membranes with no labor? Would you refuse IV fluids if the baby showed symptoms of stress? It’s problematic to hear someone talk about “not needing” interventions when you have NO idea about how your labor is going to go, or what could happen. Labor has this nasty habit of not being AT ALL what you expected, no matter how well you prepare.

          • dannicalliope

            But I’m really not going into with that attitude. I’m going into with the attitude of “I’d prefer not to have these things, but if I have to I have to.” I’m not going to refuse something that might save my life or the baby’s life and in some of my other comments I’ve elaborated further on it. And again, I just like to have a plan. If I’m like many other women who can safely deliver a child sans medications, good for me. And if I can’t, that’s why I’m going to a hospital not trying to do it at home.

          • KarenJJ

            Do you trust your doctors? Do you believe that they are trying to do the right thing by you? Do you believe that when they say they think you should do xxx, it’s because they have the experience and knowledge to make these recommendations? That your doctors and midwives at the hospital are at the “coal-face” and have seen your exact scenario go down a dozen times over the past week, have delivered thousands of babies over the past year to mothers just like yourself and done the best that they could to make sure each mother and baby in their care will go home healthy?

            I actually didn’t believe that. I thought people that wrote passionately on blogs and wrote books about all their “knowledge” knew more than those that were at the coalface and delivering babies and I now feel a bit of an idiot for thinking that. Luckily it didn’t affect my care at the time.

          • Sue

            By what criteria will you judge what is ”necessary”?

          • RKD314

            For me, it’s problematic that you said “we can all agree” that interventions/pain management are better avoided if not medically needed. I asked for an epidural right away upon being admitted, even before my contractions were that bad. (By the time I got it, they were unbearable.) I saw absolutely no reason to not have my pain reduced, since there is no evidence that pain reduction via epidural causes problems for mother or baby.

            Induction is a safe medical procedure. Cesarian is a safe medical procedure. Epidurals are a safe medical procedure. Note that “safe” does not mean “entirely devoid of risk.” There is definitely a non-zero probability that you will die in a plane crash on a commercial airplane. That does not mean that flying is not safe.

            There is nothing wrong with an elective Cesarian or induction if the baby is at term and the doctor deems the procedure to be low enough risk. There is nothing wrong with an elective epidural.

            It’s fine to have the “I’ll see how things go” mentality for yourself. What I personally have a problem with is the idea that this is the one right mentality, and that people who don’t make this choice are somehow choosing wrongly.

            You said that someone tried to convince you to have a c-section to get it over with, and that you weren’t ok with that. Would you have been just as not-ok if someone insisted that you should eschew any and all interventions? Both people are basically giving you unsolicited medical advice. Was that the offensive part, or was it specifically offensive that the person suggested a c-section?

          • Sue

            ”I just don’t see the need for a lot of interventions if I don’t actually need them”

            This attitude is the reason why you are getting a backlash here. As a microbiology lab person, you are second-guessing medical and nursing specialists in their own field, and making the assumption that they don’t do stuff for good reasons.

            There are many good reasons for a standardised approach in situations of life-threat – which labor and delivery are examples of. Do you see any airline safety procedures as ”unnecessary”, or do you allow the airline and its regulators to decide how risk should be minimised, based on better knowledge and experience than you have, as well as personal liability.

            Do you second-guess fire-safety regulations? Commercial food-safety? Industrial safety? Or do you want to make your own judgement in all of those?

            Registered clinicians are held to account PERSONALLY for the outcomes of their advice and decisions. Perhaps you’ve never experienced that role.

          • Samantha06

            Did you read anything that was said to you? We are NOT against natural child birth!!!! I think we’ve given you lots of evidence that you seem to be choosing to discredit. Lots of us are medical professionals who do this every day. I agree with YoungCCProf’s comments below. I do hope all goes well and you and your baby are healthy. Keep us posted.

          • dannicalliope

            I wasn’t necessarily talking about people on this thread, just people in general. And I’m sorry, but some of these comments do not come of as very natural birth friendly, but it could be me. I’m very pregnant and a little grumpy at this stage. LOL.

          • C T

            Being human, they are occasionally close-minded. My experience is that many of them refuse to recognize that the vulgar insults Dr. Amy hands out tend to turn off the very people she wants to get through to. They discount studies they disagree with sometimes (specifically, recent evidence confirming that epidurals do tend to have some negative effects). Some get very angry at the suggestion that monitoring is an intervention, even though it changes the course of labor for some women. They discount movement as a help, although the recent results with peanut birth balls are pretty clear evidence to the contrary. I still learn a lot from the commenters here, but they’re not perfect and many of them apparently decided that NCB in all its forms is anathema, which isn’t good for objectivity.

            I finally had an induction this last time around after having had four natural childbirths in hospitals. It seemed just as problematic as far as medical issues and near-misses as my “natural” births. Medicine and interventions come with side-effects, and in the cause of saving babies, they’re too ready to discount those side-effects, which diminishes their credibility to people who have experienced them.

          • Samantha06

            As a Labor nurse, I disagree with you. I’ve worked in Labor and Delivery in numerous hospitals for over 10 years, and I have seen and experienced A LOT . What kind of medical education do you have? Are you a doctor, nurse, respiratory therapist? Do you even work in a hospital? Or is your experience confined to delivering five babies? I am not discounting that, I am simply pointing out that if you have no medical education can you make truly educated claims? Most of us are experienced medical professionals and it’s very frustrating when people with NO medical education or training parachute in and insist on trying to “educate” us in what they “know.” And we are angry that people are willing to risk their lives and the lives of their babies because of crap they have supposedly “researched” or have been fed by the NCB industry. Do you understand what I am saying? Sometimes there are harsh comments. I’ve made them myself. Dr. Amy is much better at getting right to the heart of the issue and calling them out. It’s very frustrating when someone makes a comment that is clearly inaccurate, then gets defensive and even more angry when they are corrected. All I will say right now is thank GOD medical interventions are available because they save lives and in the bigger picture, isn’t that what is most important?

        • perpetual lurker

          I had a VBAC a few months ago. 9+ lb, posterior baby, just like last time. Like you, I wanted to hold off on the epidural because I wanted to be able to move around. Lots of moving did nothing to facilitate or speed up my 3 day labor last time, I just like being mobile. Anyway, imagine my surprise when my labor rapidly progressed to contractions spaced 2 minutes apart with an unbearable urge to push at 6cm, and moving around not only didn’t help, but it brought on excruciating pain even between contractions! The epidural gave me the relief and rest I needed to push for 2.5 hours and deliver over an intact perineum. Oh, and I pushed squatting, side lying, and reclining but certainly not on my back. With my first I even pushed on hands and knees with an epidural. Different hospitals, different parts of the country.

          I wish you the best, and I hope your labor is easy and safe. Certainly not every woman wants or needs an epidural. But keep an open mind, keep reading the real literature, and don’t believe the hype!

        • theadequatemother

          Actually moving around doesn’t affect labor progression. Pushing in a squat increases the risk of severe perineal tears. There is no need move to manage pain if you have a functioning epidural. Prior to pharacologic pain management movement can be soothing. Even with an epi most women are pushing in a sitting/ semi recumbent or side lying position…not flat on their backs which is a bad position fr the perspective of resulting in aortocaval compression

        • birthbuddy

          These comments illustrate exactly what Dr Amy was talking about. You, unfortunately think you know more than you actually do.

        • Sarah

          Had you ever considered that if you’re having a long labour, an epidural allows you to get a bit of rest, thus meaning you may have more in the tank when it comes to pushing?

        • RKD314

          I just don’t know where you get the idea that hospitals and doctors are so happy to give out drugs or surgical procedures that a patient doesn’t either need or want. As far as epidurals delaying birth progress, can you please cite these many studies? (On that topic, can you please cite the studies or journal articles you’ve read that lead you to believe that a significant number of interventions occur either unnecessarily or without the patient asking for them?) I had an epidural, and while it does lessen the pain you certainly can still feel pressure. Contrary to stalling my labor, I do not think that I would have had any energy at all to push if I hadn’t had the epidural. The contractions were exhausting and I couldn’t do anything but lie there.

          Are you by chance a first time mom? I know a lot of women say that they don’t want to be prevented from moving around. Keep in mind, if it is your first time, that you do not actually know what you’re going to want. My hospital birthing suite had a tub, ropes to pull on, a ball to bounce on, they’d let you walk around, they had essential oils you could use to calm yourself, etc. I thought I was going to use all that. I thought I was going to want reassurance from my husband, and for him to massage my shoulders or back. What I ended up wanting was to lie down, perfectly still, on my back with no one touching me or talking to me. And I wanted anything that would make the pain go away. Even if you are not a first time mom, your labor experience may be different this time. If you trust your care providers, I don’t see why you’re worried.

        • moto_librarian

          There is no solid evidence that moving around during labor has any benefit whatsoever. I have given birth twice – the first time was a totally unmedicated birth, the second with an epidural. Once I was in transition, none of the “coping mechanisms” did a damned thing for me. Water, moving around, birth ball – nada. And though I pushed in every position imaginable, I ultimately delivered semi-reclined because I was simply too exhausted to do anything else. I delivered the placenta and started hemorrhaging. I got to endure the manual examination of my uterus without pain medication. Once they were able to run an I.V., I was wheeled to the OR to have my cervix stitched back together. Even with prompt care, I narrowly avoided a blood transfusion. I was in a wheelchair for 24 hours, and was weak for 6 weeks after delivery.

          When our second was born, my epidural was repaired and topped off when I was complete. I had absolutely no problem feeling the urge to push, but I had absolutely no pain. Since I could control my pushing, I did not have a recurrence of the cervical laceration, and no pph. I was up and walking around within 2 hours of delivery.

          Before I had my first child, I was sure that people were just trying to bring me down when I said I was going to try to go without drugs. Turns out, they were just being honest with me. If you can manage the pain on your own, fantastic, but if not, there’s no reason to suffer.

        • fiftyfifty1

          “So you’re telling me that you don’t think an epidural, which prevents the mother from moving around adequately, could affect her ability to give birth,”

          I’m not telling you what I think, I’m telling you what the evidence shows. Epidurals have very little effect on labor length and do not increase CS rate or need for instrumented delivery.

          • C T

            The evidence is arguable on the points in your last paragraph. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22965331

          • Poogles

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu

            At first glance, it looks like they didn’t control for the biggest confounding factor – labors that are more difficult/painful are more likely to have epidurals AND last longer and/or require instrumental delivery; that is to say, the epidural didn’t cause the long labor or the need for instumental delivery, but that some other variable (e.g. malpositioned fetus) raises the likelihood of all three.

            Please correct me if they did indeed try to control for that.

          • theadequatemother

            controls were matched based on age, bmi and estimated fetal size.

            and then they controlled for parity in the statistical analysis – but only for labour duration.

            the study patients in the epidural group were 70% nullips. the non-epidural group was only 50% nullips.

            the mean duration of the first stage was 90 min longer in those with an epidural

            the mean duration of the second stage was 8 min longer in those with an epidural.

            I don’t think it is valid to not control for parity when retrospectively matching cases to controls. This would have been easy to do. Parity is one of the biggest predictors of labour duration, instrumental delivery and need for cs after onset of labour. I can’t imagine why this got published, but it did, albeit in a very third/ fourth rate journal.

        • Cobalt

          I’ve had three hospital deliveries without any painkillers, with labors ranging from 6 to 24 hours. At no point did I find movement helpful. Walking made my contractions very painful, but not any more effective. I wanted to lay on a pile of pillows, on my side, in a dim and quiet place to wait for my body and baby to be ready. The only “music” that helped was the sound of my baby’s heartbeat through the monitor.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Are you opposed to all preventive care or just preventive care in childbirth?

      • dannicalliope

        I’m not opposed to preventitive care at all. Go back and read my comment, but there’s nothing “preventative” about an unneccesary c-section. Or a shot of pitocin that I don’t need. Or an epidural for pain I can manage more effectively myself. If I NEED these things, then I’ll have them. But if I don’t, I won’t. I don’t understand why that makes some people upset, but whatever.

        • Guesteleh

          Pitocin is administered when a woman is post-dates or when labor stalls in order to avoid intrauterine fetal demise or the need for a CS. It’s the very definition of preventative medicine.

          • SporkParade

            I got Pitocin to prevent needing a C-section. Also, the dreaded episiotomy (eek eek!).

          • Amy M

            I also got Pit (augmentation) which prevented a Csection.

        • araikwao

          The point of the pit injection is to help prevent post-partum haemorrhage, of which it halves the incidence. Waiting until you haemorrhage means you may well need a lot more of those dreaded interventions.

          • dannicalliope

            The point of the injection is cause labor to start, or to speed up, when it’s not progressing. At least, that’s what my hospital told me. And they will induce if I don’t deliver by a certain date.

          • Young CC Prof

            Pitocin may be given to start labor or to speed it up when needed. It is also given immediately after delivery to help the uterus contract faster and prevent hemorrhage. Different reasons at different times.

          • dannicalliope

            Yes, I never argued against it being given after birth. I was specifically talking about it being given before birth. And hemorrhaging… scary in general. My mom nearly died from her c-section–started massively hemorrhaging and they nearly couldn’t stop it. Had to replace 4 pints of blood and didn’t even have time to warm it. :/

          • Young CC Prof

            Yikes! Yes, things like that still do happen sometimes.

            But, all those “elective” interventions? Are aimed at preventing those disasters and near-disasters. A c-section performed before labor or early in labor is much less likely to end in hemorrhage or infection than one performed after 30 hours and no progress, for example.

            Don’t be afraid of the induction process. Nowadays, they have some ways to make it easier, like putting a ripening agent on your cervix before they start the pitocin drip.

          • dannicalliope

            I’ll keep that in mind. But I still don’t want one unless there’s a good reason for it.

          • Young CC Prof

            Unfortunately, going past 41 weeks is a good reason. Post-dates pregnancy is a lose-lose-lose:

            1) The last few weeks of pregnancy are hard on the mother, obviously.

            2) It’s dangerous for the baby, the risk of stillbirth and NICU admission go up the farther you go past your due date.

            3) The risk of c-section rises the farther you go overdue. Why? Because if the placenta is still strong, the baby just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and less likely to fit through the pelvis. If the placenta starts to break down, the baby is more likely to go into distress during labor due to inadequate nutrition/oxygen.

          • dannicalliope

            Yes, I agree with past 41 weeks. I’ve already decided I’ll go in for that if I make it that far. But I really wouldn’t want it before then.

          • fiftyfifty1

            Did you know that elective induction at ANY time after 38 weeks both reduces a woman’s chance of needing a CS and decreases the baby’s chance of needing the NICU? Dr. Tuteur has a good post on it in the archives. This idea that waiting to go into labor naturally reduces your chances of CS turns out to be exactly opposite of what the evidence shows.

          • Roadstergal

            And it’s evidence that just makes rational sense to me. The kid is at an age where it’s ready to breathe and eat outside of mom – waiting will only, as you say upthread, give the baby time to get bigger and harder to get out through the ‘natural’ door, or the placenta time to break down.

            I know there’s lots of good data now on induction vs expectant management being better for the baby and reducing unwanted C-sections, the stuff you guys have linked to. Are there any reviews about maternal health with induction vs expectant management? For the same reasons, I wonder if it helps with maternal outcomes like tearing…

          • Sue

            But on what basis are you making these sorts of ”decisions”?

            Not every person with medical training is qualified to manage labor and delivery, so why would a lab microbiology person trust their own judgement in this area?

          • KarenJJ

            My mum had a rough time with childbirth and paternalistic medical providers (back in the 70s) – I too read as much as I could and tried to go as natural as I could and was very anxious about it all and very anxious about being poorly treated (I have a history of being treated poorly by the medical profession due to having an undiagnosed rare disease).

            I did a hypnobirth class and the midwife that ran it (full of woo, but also cautious) – told me to not do anything stupid (was thinking of not having an IV that I needed due to chronic anemia) and to trust my medical professionals. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

            I don’t know if you’re in the same headspace that I was in, but I was incredibly anxious at being cared for in hospital by doctors and midwives. In the end I needed the c-section, but I was very relaxed and happy about it and being “pumped full of drugs” by that stage was pretty blissful quite frankly.

            It’s now getting to be in the past for me – my youngest is now a preschooler so I’m feeling more pragmatic about childbirth, but it is one day of you and your baby’s life. Do what you need to feel happy about it, keep healthy (you and baby) and enjoy meeting your baby. They grow up so fast.

          • dannicalliope

            I will admit, the one time I was pumped full of drugs at a hospital was pretty nice… until they started wearing off and it turned out I had a bad reaction to some of them–vomiting fluorescent green when you’ve just had abdominal surgery is so not fun. So that’s another reason why I’d prefer just not to have any. I have a long history of not tolerating medicines well. Either they don’t take at all, or I have terrible drug “hang overs” after the fact.

          • DaisyGrrl

            In that case I would suggest discussing this with your OB. She can make sure that your drug sensitivities are clearly charted and that you don’t get those drugs. Also, she might suggest a pre-labour consult with the hospital anesthesiologist. That way they can go over your chart from your abdominal surgery and see if there are adjustments or changes that can be made for medications. I think a pre-labour consult could be a good idea not because I think you’ll get an epidural, but because if you end up with one or with an emergency c-section it will be much easier for everyone to have the information on hand, rather than trying to get it out of you while you’re in labour.

          • Anj Fabian

            Anti nausea drugs ROCK!

            Ask for them if you need them.

            This is on my list of “Things your doctor should tell you, but most don’t.”.

            Also Miralax before delivery makes postpartum poops less traumatic.

          • AmyH

            That’s the great thing about the epidural, though – it doesn’t affect you that way. It’s completely “local,” although I won’t claim to be a professional and know if that is the correct term.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Make sure you know which nausea meds work for you-labor can cause you to be nauseated. It’s not uncommon. I have seen women vomit while pushing their babies out. It’s a good reason to have a heplock or IV, to make sure you can get anti nausea meds if you need them.

          • Stacy48918

            Very shortly after my daughter was born, while we were having skin to skin time I practically threw her at the nurse. “I’m going to vomit!” Caught the nurse completely off guard. Ug, I HATED that part of labor.

          • What do you consider a good reason for induction? Do you trust your OB to have one, or do you think your obstetric knowledge is greater than his, because of your “research”?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Who do you think is NOT doing it for a “good reason”?

            You think that all those women who are getting induced are doing it for kicks and grins?

            EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

            had a reason to do it. And in their mind, it was a good enough reason.

            That’s pretty damn insulting to suggest that women are letting themselves get induced willy-nilly.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Yes, I never argued against it being given after birth.”

            Yes you did, because pitocin in injection form is never given before birth, only after.

          • Mishimoo

            Also different methods of delivery depending on why its being given (at least, that’s my experience)

          • araikwao

            It would be IV for induction or augmentation, not an IM injection (that’s the PPH prevention)

          • moto_librarian

            If your hospital told you that they augment with pitocin via injection, you need to find another hospital. Seriously. Augmentation of labor occurs through an I.V. drip.

            I had a pph. Few things make me more angry than hearing someone dismiss active management of the third stage.

        • Karen in SC

          which c-sections are unnecessary?

          You see, that is the problem. It’s a balance of risks. Would you consent given a 1% chance of losing the baby, 5%, 15%, or where does the balance tip for you? No one has a crystal ball, unfortunately.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Almost all of obstetrics is preventive care, even though you don’t know enough about it to realize that.

          Your claims are like saying that you’re going to refuse all mammograms and if you get breast cancer and NEED treatment, then you’ll get it.

          In the world of medical care, it is far better to prevent complications or diagnose them early than to wait for them to happen and treat them when the disaster has already occurred. But of course, you don’t understand that because you are gullible and believe all the crap you read on line.

          • dannicalliope

            I said I wasn’t against preventative care and then you school me on what it is? Dude, I just agreed with you. But I don’t believe that all birth interventions are necessary, but I’m going to a hospital so that if I need them, I’ll get them. And seriously, cut down on the anger a bit. Adults don’t need to insult each other to get a point across.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            You don’t believe they’re necessary. Based on what? How many babies have you delivered? Let me guess, zero, right? How many obstetric textbooks have you read? Zero, right? How many scientific papers on obstetrics have you read in their entirety? Zero, right?

            So your “beliefs” are based on crap written by uneducated laypeople to trick uneducated laypeople like yourself.

            I’m angry because you are thoroughly clueless about what you are discussing, and so clueless that you actually think you are educated. That’s depressing, but par for the course for those who read and believe natural childbirth propaganda.

          • dannicalliope

            Again with the insults. Sorry, I can’t take you seriously if you can’t discuss things calmly and rationally. I may be wrong, but at least I never personally attacked anyone on this thread. And no one (besides yourself) has personally attacked me. So… calm down, give me some scientifically researched papers to back up your views, and then we’ll talk. Really talk, because I am open minded enough to concede points when I see them being made.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            How about answering the question? On what are you basing your beliefs?

            You parachuted in to tell us all how “educated” you are and I’m telling you that you have no idea what you are talking about. It’s not an insult; it’s a fact. Please explain why you think you are “educated.” If you can’t explain it, perhaps you should consider that you aren’t really educated at all.

          • dannicalliope

            Well, actually, I just stated what I wanted and why. I never passed judgments against any one for doing anything differently. I stated my opinions. A few people have provided me with some interesting articles to read and those are the people I will take most seriously on this thread. The rest seem to be arguing away based on their opinions and personal experiences vs my opinions and personal experiences. And as you should know, that gets very subjective, very quickly. As far as my education, well I work as a researcher in a microbiology lab and am currently earning an advanced degree in the field of microbiology. No, it doesn’t make me a doctor (never claimed to be), but I do have a pretty good understanding of science. Not to mention a hospital that fully supports my decisions and has made many of the same statements that I have made. I’m sorry if the medical professionals I’m seeing disagree with you, and like I said, I’m open-minded enough to read anything of real scientific merit that you have to offer. But the animosity that you are showing if frankly quite a turn off. If you want to educate me, you’re doing a poor job of it.

          • DiomedesV

            Look, you may have a good understanding of science, at least better than most, but your language has been imprecise and you’ve not cited any sources for claims that other commenters here, who know considerably more about the subject than you do (since many of them are doctors and/or researchers in that field) have directly contradicted with peer-reviewed studies.

            That’s what’s getting you into trouble. Almost all of these threads have been initiated by people either contradicting or clarifying your statements with more precise terminology or actual citations.

            I have no doubt that you’re capable of being more precise when you want to be. (And I think Dr. Tuteur’s reaction was over the top, for the record.)

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Well, actually, I just stated what I wanted and why. I never passed judgments against any one for doing anything differently. I stated my opinions

            There it is. The admission that you don’t have anything to back it up.

            There’s a great scene in The Andy Griffith Show when Briscoe Darling is staying in Mayberry, and he and his whole family are staying at the hotel, although there is only supposed to be one person in the room. However, when the band is playing the hotel manager calls Andy. The conversation is something like this

            Andy: “I heard music playing.”

            Briscoe: “That’s just me and my jug.”

            Andy: “But I heard banjo sounds.”

            Briscoe: “You don’t think I can make banjo sounds come out of my jug?”

            Andy; “To be honest, Briscoe, no I don’t.”

            Briscoe: “Man’s entitled to his opinion.”

            Here’s the video. It’s classic.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg0S_LbWW7k

            So you can be like Briscoe Darling and just call it “an opinion” but if there’s no basis for it, and, moreover, it it contradicts reality, why do you expect anyone to take you seriously?

            Opinions are a dime a dozen. Baseless opinions are worth less.

          • Why so much paranoia that you will be bulldozed into having “unnecessary interventions”? For example, if you are having strong contractions every 2 minutes and progressing to dilate satisfactorily, do you think you are going to be forced to have pitocin augmentation because of some intervention-happy doctor or a hospital policy that “augments everybody” in “assembly-line fashion”? If your doctor advises pitocin, are you too timid to ask why he thinks it’s necessary? Isn’t it possible there’s a medically valid reason, such as dysfunctional labor and/or a baby who shows signs of incipient fetal distress?

            Of course you have choices. But basically the type of labor you are going to have is not one of those, and nature does not promise a textbook experience. The point of “interventions” is to give you and the baby the best chance, not to make you miserable.

    • KarenJJ

      “Pumped full of drugs”.

      How alarming. If I go to hospital I don’t want to be “pumped full of drugs” either.

      However I might accept a little bit of medical assistance with pain control, hemmorrhage prevention and infection prevention. Because coming through childbirth feeling less traumatised from pain, without a blood transfusion and without myself or my baby fighting a life-threatening infection, is something I’d consider to be helpful.

      “The hospital I go too won’t even administer elective pitocin (or any other inducing drug) nor will it give elective c-sections.”

      Why women cheer on medical providers that REMOVE options and remove choices I’ve no idea. Surely we can agree that women are rational beings that can make their own decisions based on the information provided to them by their medical professionals. If we can agree on that, why shouldn’t women be given the risks/benefits of elective c-sections and make up their own minds. Baby has to come out somehow.

      • dannicalliope

        This is actually the best point made here. I agree with you–it should boil down to choice. And for some women, choosing not to have drugs is the choice they want to make. I have chosen it, but I’m also flexible. I know when the time comes there will be many variables I can’t control so I may change my mind. Still… failure to plan and all that jazz. 🙂

        • KarenJJ

          So you would agree that women should be able to choose elective c-sections if their medical professionals agree and have gone through all the risks and benefits of her options, then it is not an unreasonable choice? Just teasing out your thoughts. My SIL made this choice and I was all judgey – but far out – she’s a smart woman (a microbiologist like yourself) and her kids are gorgeous and it was none of my business (and I’ve since apologised for my early opinions).

          • dannicalliope

            Yes, to a point. I do admit to judging slightly if it’s earlier than 38 weeks and it’s done because “I want to have a tummy tuck in edition to having the baby removed,” or whatever. But that could be my human flaw and I admit that. But if a woman is given all the benefits and the risks, and she’s full term… well, it’s her body. I might not agree with it, but I’m not going to say she can’t have it. At the end of the day, healthy mom, healthy baby is the goal.

          • Bombshellrisa

            I am sorry, but do you really think the scenario you mentioned above is something that is requested?

          • KarenJJ

            I think it is such a media beat-up against women.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Yes! And it totally ignores the fact that every woman is going to look different after giving birth. Just because one woman’s stomach looks a certain way a month after giving birth doesn’t mean another woman’s will. Oh NCB! Where every woman is unique and special and valued unless she gives birth with the help of interventions, then she is a vapid, shallow idiot who wants a c-section/tummy tuck combo with a side of drugs to hurt her baby.

          • Who?

            So what? If healthy mum healthy baby is the point, and the outcome, who cares? What if she’s had 5 normal deliveries, no 6 will be the last and she wants to feel good in her old bikini? Is that good enough?

            People are beating up on men here for being mysog-whatever it is, but we do a pretty good job on ourselves most of the time.

          • theadequatemother

            No competent surgeon does a TT at the time of cs. The cosmetic outcome is poor because the uterus is still quite large and there is significant excess adipose. In general they put patients off until they are at their ideal or prepregnancy wt.

          • Young CC Prof

            In fact, statistics show that for a woman carrying her first and only child, elective prelabor c-section may actually have the lowest risks overall. It’s certainly not more dangerous.

            If you want several children, then the numbers change.

          • Margo nz

            Hi. You won’t get any sense out of this site it’s full of people with closed minds, not all of them, but a lot of them. Be warned, some of them get nasty as well.

          • KarenJJ

            Absolutely. Take everything you read on the internet with a grain of salt and discuss with your chosen medical experts.

            Margo, you’re free to counter any of the claims made on this site. Snide innuendo is fun and all, but you will need more than that to convince people here that there is something wrong with any of the information.

          • Bombshellrisa

            It’s probably Margo The midwife again, Jane “support makes the pain go away unless you are a Pacific woman and then you don’t have any”‘s mother. She pops in ever so often to tell people who are reciting every NCB that they are right and we are nasty. At least we can see where her daughter’s name calling comes from.

          • KarenJJ

            I wondered if she’d commented previously. I like how she’s reading 🙂 and hope she continues.

          • Samantha06

            Who is Margo and who is the daughter? I guess I came on here way after this all started.

          • Bombshellrisa

            They are midwives from New Zealand. Jane the daughter came on here, posted some things that are ridiculous even for an NCB advocate and are alarming seeing that she is a university trained midwife and also had in some capacity taught midwifery to others. She made comments about “Pacific women” not having pain because they “get on with it” (labor and birth) without fussing, how support can take away pain and how the goal women should have is to “be ok with the pain”, not seek an epidural. Once called out, she erased all her comments.

          • Samantha06

            Good grief. I looked on that AIM site… how sad!! And all I could think of was, my God, what kind of care are these women receiving? And they seem to have no choice in the matter either! North American women have NO IDEA how good they have it.That’s one reason why I have very little patience for the NCB/woo crowd.

          • Bombshellrisa

            There are hundreds of families involved with AIM. I just couldn’t believe some of the things Jane said, if that is what a university level midwife’s care looks like the women of NZ who can’t afford private care are getting substandard care. Margo only comes around when there is someone like the poster above who wants a natural birth and she warns them about us (Jane called us lionesses, among other things) and tells them they won’t find “support” here.

          • Samantha06

            They certainly don’t sound much better than CPM’s in the US. I feel sorry for the women of NZ..

          • Amazed

            Because of the massive erasing, I cannot remember what Jane’s terrible problem in her own birth was. Whatever, it was SOOOO terrible that no amount of handholding and other “support” could solve it and she needed those drugs they gave her. She proceeded to compare it to moto’s bleeding near to death experience, implying that it was equally bad. I don’t remember what it was but it was pretty trivial. Guess Jane has a different set of rules when she’s the one feeling the pain.

          • Bombshellrisa

            It was her IV running her antibiotics. Her erasing everything says so much.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            You yung’ns … so much you missed in the old days. Like the Poster-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named I referred to on the other thread who went to visit her sister on the east coast and brought a sackful of his own food along because he wouldn’t let his kids eat what she provided. Or that LMS guy who was a doctor but turned everything into an anti-Obama rant.

            But don’t worry. There are always new whackos who come along and leave lasting memories…

          • Samantha06

            Oh my, I bet they were “quite interesting” to say the least! I’m already reeling at Patricia Robinette and her minion, Againstmedicalrape! Sounds like I have a lot more entertainment to look forward to! lol!

          • Bombshellrisa

            Dannicalliope-you should check out the link on the right Action to Improve Maternity. It’s about midwifery care in NZ, where Margo is from, and talks about the care she and her colleagues give. They are very natural childbirth friendly, unfortunately there have been many injuries to mothers and their babies because of it.

          • Margo nz

            Hi, yes it’s me again….No damaged babies from me …I support AIMS, just so we are clear there. My practice….that is MY practice, for which I am responsible has no claims against it…no damaged babies…..really you should know better than lump all midwives in the same basket…..it’s important to state facts isn’t it…so NO damaged babies through my practice of midwifery…..look as much as you like. but I have no claims against me…and yes, I support home birth and hospital birth and my opinions HAVE NOTHING to do with any other midwife…I am not fighting any other midwife’s corner….grow up, have some respect for opinions other than your own, Thankyou . I am interested in womens health and birth options and I realise NZ different from your country, however we are all striving for the same thing, safety for women and babies, many ways to approach this don’t you think ….attacks that are personal and NOT factual are annoying. Yes, everyone go on AIMS site, lots of sad stories there and we are all striving to make that better….but, like I said…..NOT involved with any families that have stories posted on their site…Thanks

          • Bombshellrisa

            You were the one who came and attacked every one of us first. You are the one who needs to grow up and respect others, not the other way around,

          • Sue

            What’s your point on the thread here, Margo? You don’t seem to have made it yet.

          • Amazed

            Margo the Midwife here? How is your not so little girl? Mommy’s Janey too scared to come back here and reveal what a blithering idiot she is again, so she sends her big strong mommy to do the fighting? Tell her I said hi.

            How are things going, Margo? Another damaged baby in your or your partner’s practice recently?

          • Margo nz

            Nasty nasty nasty. We have no claims against us for damaged babies….you talk nonsense. Yes, there are damaged babies in NZ, of course there are and it’s tragic,which is why we have AIMS and The Health and Safety Commision, where practice is examined…and yes, one of the midwives in the group I was affiliated with had a claim against her…..not for a “damaged baby”…..and she, the midwife, was found not wanting…go to the website and read THE FACTS

          • moto_librarian

            Oh hi Margo. Nice of you to drop by. Are you going to insult any AIM families while you’re here?

          • Bombshellrisa

            Last time she was here, she claimed she never had anything to do with an AIM family and was merely stating her opinion in as part of the debate. She then said something akin to “girls! Play nice!” and slithered away. Of course, we all know better.

          • Margo nz

            Hi, enjoy reading on this site….no not here to insult any AIMS families…maybe you could clarify with some facts how and when I insulted any AIMS families members ……just saying.

          • Guesteleh

            Where are women getting pre-38 week CS soley so they can get a tummy tuck? The fact you are even putting that forward as a hypothetical shows exactly where you’re coming from.

        • namaste863

          I’m a “Give me a double dose of every kind of dope you have” kind of girl myself. But, of course, that’s just me.

        • Amazed

          It’s nice that you’re flexible. I sincerely hope the hospital that loves limiting choices that are different from your current one (and you praise it for that) is equally flexible should you change your decision and decide that you do want those drugs after all.

        • Sue

          What is the basis of your ”choice” of medication use? I’m a medical specialist (in another field), but I wouldn’t second-guess an OB’s choice of medication for labor and delivery. What makes you feel that you are competent to do so?

    • theadequatemother

      Did you hospital tell you that the number of prelabour cs needed to prevent a prolapse surgery is 7? Did they tell you what the rates of urinary and fecal I continence are after one vaginal birth? Did they tell you what the rate of third and forth degree tears are? Did thy tell you that an elective cs is safer for the baby? If not you arent getting unbiased full/ complete information. But don’t worry almost no women are! 🙁

      • Who?

        This is really sobering. I wonder if a lot of the hospital stuff is about not scaring women, which is really patronising. I don’t agree with but actually get deciding to withhold information if it is scary and nothing can be done; but this would be good information to know if you on the fence about how to proceed.

        Or maybe more cs equals more expense, and they want to save a dollar upfront.

        • Sarah

          Kicking the can down the road.

    • MS

      You’re surprised by pushback your comments have garnered. You claim that you want no interventions unless “medically necessary.” You refer to labor wards as “assembly lines,” and claim the personel are going to “pump you full of drugs.” Thus, you are insinuating that OBs, nurses, and hospitals are in the business of trying to foist unnecessary treatments on you against your wishes because they want to, or it’s convenient for them. You are insinuating that medical professionals overlook each patient as an individual and subject her to a standard of care that ignores her wishes. That’s quite a few insulting claims to be making in a forum full of medical professionals who have devoted their careers to the wellbeing of mothers and babies. Perhaps your birthing choices are not the problem, but the way you are presenting them is a problem.

      Oh, and I don’t care how you give birth. But no, you shouldn’t assume that your personal choices regarding pain management and c sections are shared by all, or that they are better for mothers and babies. There are many choices that might be “medically unnecessary” but are really important to the family.

    • yugaya

      You claim objectivity and rational choice but your comment gives away major bias in at least ten points, most of which have already been called out and red flagged. You started off sounding ok but by the end of it you are just repeating the usual NCB mantras and loaded language like “cut open” and “natural ability to give birth” at the top of your lungs.

      If you were a biologist you would be “educated” and “well informed” on how many interventions in childbirth are really ” necessary” – more than a thousand women per 100 00 births would die in childbirth without any interventions and using only “natural ability to give birth”. If you were a biologist you would know exactly how and why nature is not the best choice when it comes to human childbirth in the year 2014.

    • As a biologist, I would expect you to be an expert in your field, not an expert in obstetrics. I’m a midwife, but I deliberately chose the best orthopedic surgeon available for my hip replacement surgery, because I wanted someone with optimal expertise in that field. As a professional, I expect professionalism in others.

      It’s about communication. You should have the kind of relationship with your health care providers that allows you to question why a particular course of action is recommended, and they should be able to explain why it is recommended. (“It’s hospital policy” is not an adequate answer). If you don’t have adequate communication with your doctor, or he/she with you, switch doctors.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      I want to have a “natural child birth” in the sense that I want a hospital birth with no interventions unless medically necessary.

      Can you define “medically necessary” for us? I want to make sure I understand.

      Because certainly you aren’t suggesting that the doctors wait to act until an emergency arises or anything.

      Most of us agree that a birth sans unnecessary medicines and surgeries is better for mother and child.

      Most of who agree?

      But you keep using that word, “unnecessary.” Can you provide any examples of unnecessary medicines and surgeries that anyone has gotten? Keeping in mind that avoiding emergencies is absolutely necessary.

      • Sue

        I think she must mean ” ‘unnecessary’ with hindsight and ideology bias”, not ” ‘unnecessary’ as part of rational, prospective risk minimisation”.

    • lawyer jane

      Well … why don’t you come back after you have experienced the actual pain of childbirth and tell us how it affected your decisionmaking. The main reaons women get epidurals is because labor HURTS, not because their doctors are pushing it on them. It’s the height of anti-feminist thinking and arrogance to downplay the fact that the vast majority of women want and are entitled to pain relief.

    • moto_librarian

      “Elective” pitocin? Do you really think that you can walk into a hospital and tell the staff that you want to be hooked up to pitocin just because?

      How nice of your hospital to limit a woman’s delivery choices. I sincerely hope that you don’t find yourself looking at urinary and bowel incontinence in your mid-30s as a direct result of vaginal birth.

      • Bombshellrisa

        I had a friend who wrote that in her birth plan. She “did her research” and it led her to believe that a low dose of Pitocin started she was admitted would help her labor move along and insure her giving birth “naturally”. She was crestfallen when she found out there had to be an indication for pitocon to be given.

    • Bugsy

      Just wanted to share with you my experience with a hospital birth.

      Like so many of us, I was worried about what could be foisted on me by the hospital staff…the cascade of interventions, etc. When I was confirmed in labor at midnight at 38 weeks, 6 days, I was assigned a nurse who had one other patient in labor. It was a nighttime labor, and she alternated between us. The OB on duty came into check on me every hour or so.

      At 7 cm (2:30 AM), I requested an epidural. Contractions were 5 minutes apart and intensifying. I had assumed that they would be pushing it down my throat, but instead, the OB staff repeatedly asked me if I was absolutely sure I wanted one…at least 10 times. I confirmed repeatedly that I did. The anesthesiologist came in and placed the epidural. Monitoring for my son and I continued as pre-epidural. My husband slept, my parents kept me company and we watched TV.

      At around 8 or 9 cm, I asked the nurse if we were preparing for a vaginal delivery. She laughed. She continued to monitor and keep us company the next few hours, with the OB checking on us.

      At 10 cm (7:00 AM), the OB came back in to break my waters. By this point, I was being monitored by 2 nurses: the day nurse who was just taking over, and the night nurse – she decided to stay late to be there for my delivery. The nurses requested that I start pushing at around 7:15, and seeing that it was effective, my room transformed into a birthing room. I still get choked up thinking about how quickly it changed and what was about to happen.

      I started pushing at 7:30 with a full staff of nurses, the newborn staff and the attending OB there. Aside from my husband attending, i had nurses around me, including one who kept holding my top half and getting me wet wash cloths (Didn’t even know I needed them.) The little guy popped out at 8:02 AM.

      The OB cleaned me up and headed out. My own OB came in a few minutes later, since her day shift had just started. The night nurse bid adieu after the delivery, and the day nurse who had taken over spent the entire day with us. We were her only patients, so she was with us whenever we needed her. It was amazing. I still have a picture of her holding my little guy just after we dressed him in his first pair of fuzzy pajamas.

      My one complaint was that after my water broke, I was given the option to start pushing or hold out a bit. If i’d known that waiting would have allowed my own OB to be in attendance, I probably would have opted for that. She started duty at 8:00 and missed my son’s 8:02 birth by a whopping 5 minutes. The OB on duty was fantastic, however.

      Yes, there were some minor issues during my 2-day hospital stay. The food really sucked, and I had one nurse in the postpartum wing who didn’t rank high on my list of friendly people. However, the general support I had from the OB and nursing staff were incredible.

      I share this story to say that a medicalized birth process does not mean a negative experience, nor does a hospital birth invariably mean that it’s an “assembly line” birth. Proponents of NCB are generally quick to focus on the negatives of birthing in a hospital or with medicine. I had both, and would do it again in a heartbeat. A birth in a hospital or with medicine doesn’t inherently mean that one will have a negative, depersonalized experience or be subject to a cascade of interventions.

      My son and I are living proof.

      • Elaine

        Yup. I had both of my kids in the hospital with, as it turned out, very minimal need for intervention during either birth. But I was glad I was there just in case, particularly when the placenta needed to be manually removed after my son’s birth and my midwife did not hesitate to jump right in and go for it.

    • Siri

      So you are outraged at women being coerced into interventions they do not want. Good.
      Why not be equally outraged when women are dienied pain relief or elective cesareans they DO want? Vaginal and without pain relief simply isn’t for everyone. Why don’t other birth choices (epidural, induction after 39 weeks, maternal request cesarean) deserve the same respect? Why are you cheering on a hospital system that denies these options to women who want them?
      The utter hypocrisy of the natural childbirth community about systematically coercing women into unwanted “natural” births and calling it ‘choice’ boggles the mind.

      • Minnie

        I tend to lurk mainly as I came across this site while researching childbirth methods when I became pregnant with my first child (I’m due in a couple days, so any day now–hopefully), but THIS is exactly my line of thinking. I decided I probably want an epidural, want to avoid a c-section if I can, but understand things happen. I’m not fussed if people don’t want the epidural or want a c-section and I just don’t get why some people are obsessed with other people’s choices. I’m all for women doing choosing what they want either way.

        That has been my problem with some of the NCB movement while researching different aspects of childbirth–it seems like a lot of the people part of feel their opinions matter more and need to be validated completely, with other women. It’s not really a discussion, but a demand. I know people on both sides can be this way, but as someone who came into it afraid of certain things through media I’ve come through this pregnancy more put off by some of the NCB movement than when I first looked into it.

        I am all for women making choices, even if they don’t align with my personal ones–I’m just not into making other women feel pressured to make the same choices. And being surrounded by women who make different choices than oneself isn’t pressure. If the original poster has friends who are pressuring her to get interventions, state you don’t want them–it’s your choice. However, on the flipside–what’s it to you if a woman chooses she just wants a c-section for any reason? It shouldn’t matter.

        • Mishimoo

          Congratulations! Hope everything goes well.

    • Jocelyn

      My first labor: I endured twelve hours of extremely painful contractions until I was able to get an epidural at 5 cm. From that point on, I was relaxed and happy. I was able to go to sleep for a couple hours and get the rest I missed out on while having contractions all night. Because I was GBS positive, they gave me antibiotics through my IV during the labor. Because meconium was discovered when my water broke, I was also given pitocin to speed up labor and get my daughter out more quickly. They also did an amnioinfusion to flush out some of the meconium in my uterus. When I was fully dilated, my OB discovered that my daughter’s head was in a weird position and asked if he could use forceps to turn her right. I agreed, and he did. I pushed for seven minutes and she was born. I had a clean cut from the episiotomy they had to give me for the forceps, which they stitched up but I didn’t feel because of my epidural. My daughter was perfectly healthy and my memories of the whole experience are good – it was filled with light and happiness. (Which may sound cheesy, but it’s true.)

      My second labor: After a few hours of slightly uncomfortable contractions, I decided that I was actually in labor and should go to the hospital. By the time we were walking to the car, the contractions were getting a lot more painful, fast. By the time we got to the hospital (ten minutes later), they were extremely painful. By the time we got up to labor and delivery and into a room, I was crowning and they were excruciating. I cannot fully describe the pain I was in. I pushed for seven minutes and she was out. I was GBS positive, but there was no time to give me the antibiotics in labor and we had to endure several stressful days of waiting and watching to make sure she was okay. I also had a messy second degree tear, which I could feel them stitching up even though they gave me all the local anesthetic they could. For months after I wondered if I had PTSD, and my memories of the birth are still the literal definition of tunnel vision – everything blacked out but the center of my vision.

      Which of these labors – one heavy on interventions and one without any interventions at all – was “better for mother and child”?

    • Bombshellrisa

      You should probably decide about eating, moving and such when you are in labor. You may want to lay down because it helps you focus more on your breathing or just because the pain is so intense. You may be incredibly nauseated during labor and be wrenching by the time you push. I understand the wanting some control over a situation that has many unknowns, but trying to take control of the “knowns” before hand and then still insisting on a plan you formulated before the event when labor deviates from the plan is not control either.

    • demodocus’ spouse

      Mom had all three of her kids without pain meds. Without any interventions. She had a high pain threshold and a low pain med threshold. (Gave her wicked nightmares) I had an epidural, but some hours after they started me on medication to make sure I didn’t have a stroke. The latter metaphorically tied me to the bed far more than the former. Unexpected complication. Still, it was better in the long run than my sister’s unexpected complication. Her unsuspected stage III or IV ovarian cancer was discovered on the cord (and elsewhere) after her emergency c/s. She’s still alive, btw, but battling it again. Both boys are healthy as horses.
      Hope everything goes as you wished, enjoy your little person, and remember that any crash everybody walks away from is a good enough landing!

    • Ceridwen

      I too am a biologist. I’ve got BS and MS degrees in biology and am working on a PhD. I also come from an *intensely* medical family (there are 7 doctors, 2 nurses, 1 nurse practitioner, and a doctor in training in my family). And I STILL bought into a lot of the woo surrounding natural childbirth until I started to look into things more deeply. I had even heard enough people I considered to be quite reasonable say that homebirth was as safe for low risk women as hospital birth that I’d started to believe it. But then I went to the actual research myself and I started to realize how wrong a lot of my impressions were.

      One thing I have learned during my training is how difficult it can be to pick the right control group, and how easily results can be biased by underlying factors you didn’t realize were involved in something. When I first read older studies on epidurals and the link to higher rates of c-section I was quite convinced that epidurals were worth avoiding, and especially epidurals before 4cm. But then I started reading things like this ACOG statement (http://www.acog.org/Resources-And-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Obstetric-Practice/Analgesia-and-Cesarean-Delivery-Rates) and I came to realize that many older studies suffered from a particular problem of great importance: they did not realize just how much underlying factors such as the position of the baby would influence which women would get epidurals and (completely independent of the epidural) have long labors. The more we learn about these factors and control for them, the less we find that epidurals actually impact the progression of labor. Furthermore, we’ve also learned more about how to administer epidurals safely and with minimal side effects, so that over time improvements in our technique have also likely reduced any negative impacts of epidurals on labor while also increasing the positive effects. They will never be risk free, but for a great many women the benefits are well worth the risks.

      Similarly, I always thought I wanted to avoid induction because it increased the risk of c-section (and I’m not certain enough that I only want 2 kids to have wanted a section for my first if I could safely avoid one). But older studies showing that inductions increase the rate of c-sections used a completely inappropriate control group: women who went into spontaneous labor. I have to be honest that as a scientist that is such a glaring error I’m appalled it wasn’t corrected quite a bit sooner. More recent studies that use the correct control group (women managed with “watchful waiting”, some of whom go into spontaneous labor, some of whom end up with medically indicated sections or inductions) almost always conclude that inductions (even completely 100% elective ones) actually reduce the risk of having a section. http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2014/04/28/cmaj.130925

      I thought I wanted to avoid my child have a pacifier because I’d been told it would interfere with breastfeeding (and because of this pacifiers are all but forbidden at Baby Friendly hospitals). Instead I found out that pacifier use has not been associated with problems breastfeeding (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22786506) and that is appears to lower the risk of SIDS (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16216900).

      I’m going to stop at this point because I’m going to get in trouble for having too many links in my comment, but there are many more examples of this. There is nothing inherently wrong with natural childbirth, but there is nothing inherently better about it either. Evolution, as you should know, can only work with what is available to it and thus is full of many tradeoffs. If we can circumvent these tradeoffs with regard to appendicitis and vision correction, why do we doubt that we can do so with regard to birth?

      • AmyH

        Man, I wish that were all in one post I could link to for some Baby Bump posters. LOL

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      Wow, this makes me embarrassed for my field.

    • Sue

      “educated and well informed ”
      “HUGE proponent of vaccines”
      “pumped full of drugs I don’t want”
      “cut open”
      “body’s natural ability to give birth”

      Maybe not the full NCB Bingo, but lots of ideological red flags there.

  • yentavegan

    I am not a scientist. I am trying to have a logical High School Level science based discussion with my fellow breastfeeding volunteer counselors. The issue being discussed is that due to IV fluids given to mothers during labor and delivery newborns weights are artificially inflated ( because an unnatural amount of fluids are now present in the neonate) Therefore the newborns weight should not be recorded until 24 hours later to get the true weight and that number should be used to assess whether the baby is losing too much weight ..or not gaining well when exclusively breastfed… Could someone here help me out!!! I can not find any ob/pediatrican to confirm this to be tru because I have a feeling it is not true..IV fluids given to mothers do not artificially raise the newborn weight, right?

    • Daleth

      Do IV fluids given to the mother go into the newborn’s body? If they do at all, do they go in any appreciable amount? I’m guessing the answer to both questions is no.

    • kerlyssa

      how would that even work? Excess fluids go to urine. Unless they are saying dehydration of mother and infant are normal…

      • Young CC Prof

        Actually, a woman who’s just had labor without IV fluids probably IS dehydrated.

        • Mishimoo

          I wasn’t for my first (no IV, felt fine, still urinating like a horse) but I was dehydrated with the next two and was ever so grateful for the IV fluids, they made me feel so much better.

    • fiftyfifty1

      This thinking is based on a poorly controlled observational study that did show a correlation. The author of this study proposed using the 24hr weight rather than the newborn weight. The problem is that correlation does not equal causation. It was already known that increased weight loss is more likely to happen after difficult labors, long labors and primip labors. These also happen to be the sort of labors where more fluids are given.

      In contrast, when this issue was finally studied in a *randomized controlled* fashion no correlation was found. (J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2012 Jan;41(1):24-32 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22834720)

      I find it telling that the weaker observational study was published in a breastfeeding journal and continues to be cited by lactivists, whereas the higher quality controlled study was published in an obstetrical nursing journal and never gets cited by lactivists. I also find it telling that lactation consultants seem to be the only ones promoting this 24 hour rule while pediatricians and neonatologists have decided not to change the standard practice.

    • Cobalt

      Why not just wait til the baby pees once? That’s usually pretty quickly, isn’t it? A lot can happen in 24 hours, I would think waiting that long for baseline metrics is a bad idea.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Ask and ye shall receive. Just published in Pediatrics:

      Early Weight Loss Nomograms for Exclusively Breastfed Newborns

      http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2014/11/25/peds.2014-1532.abstract

  • Further, in some communities – the women who question the proponents of natural childbirth the most are shunned and find access to woman-centred care that is as well-informed (if not moreso) difficult. In my local area, a low-risk woman cannot elect to have her pregnancy managed by an OBGYN – she must choose either a family doctor or a midwife (or travel to access care). This puts low risk women who prefer intervention – including epidurals and elective cesareans at a disadvantage in terms of accessing the services that they need. It doesn’t help that some of the largest proponents of natural childbirth in both Canada and the UK also set policy and are myopically focussed on controlling healthcare costs and have bought into the idea that “natural childbirth” saves money. The government is promoting home birth for low risk women, knowing full well that some of those women are going to have rather horrific outcomes (intrapartum fetal demise and fetal brain injuries).

    • LDowns

      Where are you situated?

      • Victoria, British Columbia.

  • Amy M

    Just this weekend, I was involved in an online discussion with some women about (thankfully, relatively harmless) woo. Someone asked about teething remedies. Most people suggested various toys or frozen washcloths. I was the only one to mention tylenol. But, a few people suggested amber teething necklaces. Evidently, these are not for the baby to chew on—just to wear. One of the women helpfully provided a link to a vendor of such necklaces, and that site had a fabulously bs explanation as to how the necklace was supposed to work. (something about succinic acid in the amber). I found an article debunking it, which I left there, and also pointed out the potential for the necklace to be a choking hazard. The woman who posted the necklace link was mildly offended that I provide scientific evidence that amber teething necklaces as analgesics is a bunch of crap and insisted, with some bizarre grammar, that everyone has to make her own choices.

    • Bugsy

      I have to admit that I’ve never understood the amber necklace phenomenon. Aside from the choking hazard, I was concerned that if the amber is effective as reducing pain, then what other types of not-well-understood biochemical effects might it be having on that child?

      My child happily went devoid of an amber necklace during teething, and suffered no ill consequences. Well, except for a general hatred of the dentist.

      • Who?

        They are so revolting. We live in a very humid climate and seeing that horrible thing nestled in the little baby neck folds gives me the creeps-it would drive me crazy if I had to wear something like that. Not that I have neckfolds 😉

        And when they wear them looser, they are definitely a choking hazard. And if the elastic stuff broke, couldn’t baby either swallow the beads or insert them into nose or ears?

      • Amy M

        Except that it isn’t–I did a little internet research and there’s no evidence that succinic acid has analgesic properties. If it did, it would be marketed in pills or something anyway. Wearing a small rock on one’s body, as long as it isn’t uranium, isn’t going to do anything.

        • Bugsy

          Fair enough. Then we’re just back to the choking hazard concern…good enough for me to keep them far away from my little guy.

        • D/

          Or perhaps kryptonite on a little super snowflake 😉

      • MaineJen

        Whenever I see a baby wearing one of those I have to fight not to roll my eyes. The marketers insist they’re not a choking hazard, that it’s “impossible” for the baby to get the beads off of the string, even if the string did break. Clearly they have never met my kid.

  • Ellen Mary

    I have said this for years: the strictly mathematical odds are BETTER for an unvax’ed hospital born baby than a Vax’ed HomeBirth baby in the US today. So when I hear you are a ProVax Homebirther, I think ‘can’t math’.

    However, it could make sense to support HB if you were aggressively, radically ProChoice & like Singer & co posited that ‘personhood’ is something a fetus earns some time after emerging from the womb, but not immediately. Them you wouldn’t be obligated to safeguard life beyond non-interference. But that would require informed consent, because fetal loss does have an adverse effect on women’s health even if you were to deny the ‘personhood’ of a neonate.

    • Amy M

      Do you mean that most babies born at home are not vaccinated? (in your first paragraph) And by saying that, you are saying that homebirth and anti-vax go hand in hand?

      • Ellen Mary

        No I am saying if you were to pick only one of the two (as a fair amount of women do, esp in skeptic circles) & compare your US based odds of survival, based on Dr. Amy’s calculations over the years that a child’s birthday is the single most dangerous day, the child born in the hospital would have better odds IMO than the child born @ home & Vax’ed on schedule.

        • Roadstergal

          The complicating factor is that the HB decision only affects the mom and child. Choosing not to vaccinate affects everyone. So even though the odds to the individual child are worse – in general, if someone is going to pick one woo, it’d be better to have it be the HB woo…

          Well, it’d be ideal to just not go woo with either decision, really. 🙂 And I appreciate the idea Dr Amy raised, that HB midwives have more at stake with rejecting mainstream science and can serve as a ‘gateway’ to anti-vax and all the other BS.

          • Ellen Mary

            I would argue that HB does not JUST affect the mother & baby. HB transfers are resource intensive, diverting resources from others. HB disasters affect whole families. Also successful HBs spread through the community: the mother in WA who just was in the news was posting Laura Shanely on her FB page.

  • LibrarianSarah

    There a few “blind spots” in the skeptic community. I would say anti-psychiatry nonsense would be another area that few skeptics are willing to touch.

  • Cat10

    Speaking from personal experience with a “friend” of mine this is very true. This “friend” gave birth to two of her three children at home. Thankfully, there were no complications and Mom and babies were alright. She also refuses to vaccinate her children. Claiming that since she breast-fed her three sons until they were six (no kidding), they had enough immune-protection. This person has a Ph.D. in a field that is heavy in statistics so you would think that she understands the evidence behind vaccines but alas, she drank the NCB kool-aid and keeps talking about Big Pharma conspiracy.
    I recently had a baby (c-section, the horror, the horror) and she wanted to come visit with us. However, since pertussis is making the rounds in our community thanks to a surplus of liberal anti-vaxxers, I kindly asked her to leave her unvaccinated kids at home. That did not fly well with her but I genuinely don’t care. If she is not doing her part to protect the health of those who are too young to be vaccinated, I have to take steps to protect my baby.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Thank you for explicitly letter her know why you wouldn’t let her visit. Anti-vaxxers need to know that their actions are not acceptable to others, and negative feedback from “friends” is a good way to do that.

      • KarenJJ

        I love my mother in law. She was planning a visit to see us and the new baby and her doctor warned her that pertussis was around and that people caring for new babies should get vaccinated. So she did, rang us and warned us (we knew and had been debating what to do about it and tell the grandparents) and we could then use that to help convince the rest of the grandparents that were flying across the country to visit.

    • Bugsy

      I agree w/ Bofa in thanking you for your decision. We need more parents willing to stand up against anti-vax decisions, even though it can be tough to do so.

      • Daleth

        We’ve asked everyone we were considering for possible childcare help what their vaccination status is re: pertussis, flu and standard childhood vax (measles etc.). Some said they didn’t vax at all or never got flu shots, to which we said oh well, thanks anyway, not going to hire you!

        One of them, in response, sent me a long email explaining why she didn’t get the flu shot–it was slightly defensive, like she wanted to convince me she wasn’t stupid, but the apologetic tone was even stronger than the defensive tone, and I got the impression that I was one more person in a long line whose views were weakening her anti-vax resolve. Hope so!

        • Bugsy

          Good for you! Were you able to find someone you like?

          Similarly enough, when we were looking for a baby-sitter for our son, the lady we hired included her son’s vaccination status in her cover letter. Bingo. It was just one more reason to hire her, and we haven’t looked back since. She’s essentially become a part of our family, and we all adore her.

          The vaccination status of potential caregivers is definitely important when they’re playing such a hands-on role in our kids’ lives.

    • DiomedesV

      We took a similarly hard line with a grandfather. Like you, I had no qualms. None. Hurt feelings are not my problem. My priority is my child’s safety.

  • sdsures

    Why, you ask? If I might venture a guess, it’s because many skeptics do not have medical degrees (specifically are not OB-GYNs), and therefore might not feel as safe writing about or talking about childbirth woo as much as the other forms of woo.

  • Trixie

    Dr. Amy, you are so very right about all of this.

  • Amy Tuteur, MD

    Another barrier to criticizing childbirth woo is that the NCB crowd invariably accuses critics of being part of the patriarchy and then dismisses anything they say.

    • Stacy48918

      There is a faction within the NCB movement though that is characterized by patriarchy. Members of the Quiverfull movement often support homebirth and they are the epitome of patriarchy. Examples – the Duggars, Vyckie Garrison.

      My husband’s support of homebirth and his demand that I homebirth absolutely were centered on patriarchy. I was to “submit” to his decision, without question.

      • sdsures

        Wow! I’ve never heard of (until now) a husband being the one to push is wife into HBing. I’m sorry you had to deal with that.

        • Stacy48918

          Yea, he’s a special kind of nuts.

        • Young CC Prof

          A few months ago, there was a post here about this guy sharing the story of his wife’s HBAC. I got some of the same controlling vibe off that story. (I can’t find the link now.)

          • sdsures

            @AmyTuteur:disqus Please let me know if someone finds that post. I know you’ve written one for doubtful fathers.

      • fiftyfifty1

        Yes, the liberal NCB nuts accuse women of being part of the patriarchy, conservative NCB nuts accuse women of the sin of rejecting their God-given roles and trying to “be men”. It boils down to silencing uppity women either way.

      • RKD314

        To be fair, the only full episode of whatever the name of the Duggar’s show is that I ever watched was when the oldest son’s wife had her baby. They decided to do it at home, alone (!). The son told the dad that on the phone and his dad was pretty clearly not happy about it. His response was something along the line of “Well, that’s your decision.” And I have seen partial bits of other episodes, several of which include the mom getting standard prenatal care. So while there’s a lot to disagree with there, I don’t think the Duggar family as a body necessarily supports homebirth. ETA: I happen to remember this so well bc I was absolutely FLOORED that someone would choose to give birth in her bathtub at home instead of going to the hospital as planned.

        • Stacy48918

          Actually, Michelle Duggar has had more than one homebirth herself, a couple of the grandbabies were born at home and one of the daughters is “training” to be a lay midwife.

          Duggar-style Quiverful is “nice” for TV, but the dark side is still there too.

          • RKD314

            Man, good to know! I was so sure of what I remembered….on the other hand I don’t really feel compelled to go back and view that episode to check. It isn’t by chance that I haven’t exactly seen a lot of them. 😉 I wonder if this is a case of selective editing in order to make the family seem more mainstream, normal, and relatable?

          • Stacy48918

            I don’t doubt for a minute that it’s whitewashed for TV.

            Here’s a different take on the Quiverfull movement:
            http://www.alternet.org/belief/how-playing-good-christian-housewife-almost-killed-me

            THIS depiction is far more accurate to what I have experienced personally.

    • itry2brational

      No, feminists invariably accuse men of being part of the patriarchy and then dismiss anything they say.

      • Mishimoo

        Actually, it is rather common for women who speak against the status quo in those areas to be accused of internalised misogyny which is a very efficient way of shutting up dissenters.

        • itry2brational

          You’re right, women who speak against the feminist status quo (Women Against Feminism, I Don’t Need Feminism, Hoff-Sommers, Paglia, Patai/Koertge, conservative/right-wing/religious women etc) are accused of internalized misogyny, by feminists.

          • Mishimoo

            I’m not sure that I would call NCBers feminist, considering how they behave and the erroneous things they believe/teach. Certainly they label themselves feminists, but it doesn’t really hold up when scrutinised.

            Also, you seem to be rather unhappy with the people that you label feminist. Care to explain?

      • Dr Kitty

        Do you have something that flags every time someone posts “patriarchy” so you can post a MRA “what about the Menz” comment?

      • Sullivan ThePoop

        That is only as true as antivaxxers who say that everyone who doesn’t agree with their ideology is a shill. That is one of their talking points. It has nothing to do with feminism and everything to do with entrenching in their dogma. Skeptics are used to that gambit.

        • itry2brational

          Do you even realize that your comment doesn’t refute anything I said? Feminism is and has always been THE prime player in the contemporary antivax movement. Tuteur even stumbles across reasons for that but without putting 2 and 2 together. She is deeply entrenched in feminist dogma and perpetuating feminist narratives at the expense of the truth.

    • fiftyfifty1

      Yes, the way they dismiss all female OBs being the prime example.

  • Allie P

    Mainstream skepticism and misogyny are bosom buddies, unfortunately. They don’t talk about human reproduction and childbirth or nursing because they are afraid they will get girl cooties. Anti-vax they can cover, because half the kids it effects are dudes, and a lot more autistic children, who bear the brunt of anti vax loons, are dudes, too. I’m shocked whenever I see Orac, for instance, so much as mention HPV anti vax nuts. GIrl cooties! Run!

    (Yes, I know he’s a breast cancer surgeon. It’s still weird.)

    • Who?

      I don’t experience it that way. The vein of woo is rich-chiropractic etc finding its way into university faculties, cancer treatments based on nothing at all, and anti-vax. It’s a big field, of which anti-vax is one stream.

      In terms of anti-vax and damage done, getting little ones the MMR is likely to bring more bang per buck (just watch the usual suspects jump on that remark, by which I mean fewer sick and damaged kids from VPD) than a teenager HPV, in today’s terms at least.

      Orac et al do a good job I think, more power to them.

    • SporkParade

      Oh, remember the time Richard Dawkins not only failed to criticize his fellow atheists and skeptics for sending death and rape threats to a female colleague, but actually said that the female colleague was stupid for feeling threatened when she was hit on alone, at night in an elevator? Even though elevators are just behind abandoned alleyways in the list of “places women don’t feel safe alone with strange men?”

  • Houston Mom

    I was very grateful to find this website when I was pregnant a few years back. I was very worried about epidurals and ending up with a c-section (I ended up with both & no complaints). I have a BA in the humanities, so not much in the way of science classes in college. The information that popped up first in Google searches or the top-selling books on Amazon just didn’t seem right but I had no way of knowing how wrong it was.
    I don’t like to think what would have happened if I had fallen down the woo-hole. Thank you so much for all you do in this area!

    When I looked for a book online, everything came up natural child birth and medical conspiracy theories. Normally I would be inclined to trust the top rated items on Amazon but when I would click to see the inside view of a childbirth book, it was full of nonsense.

    I took the hospital childbirth class (Lamaze) but it was next to useless. The instructor refused to talk about things like tearing or strep B when I would bring them up. I was especially concerned about strep B because it killed my sister-in-law’s first baby and I ended up testing positive. Everything was geared toward getting us through labor pain but hardly anything about what was going to happen otherwise during or after delivery in the hospital. Their only concern was non-medical pain management. Nothing about common
    complications/interventions, healing after vaginal birth or c-section, nothing
    about newborn screening or procedures.

    We have a local radio show hosted by a CPM turned CNM ostensibly about parenting but just about every show features a guest who is selling something – homeopathy, home birth, breast thermography, Waldorf schooling. Click around a few midwife websites and you start to see the anti-vaccine “education”, essential oil shilling, and AIDS denialism. One form
    of quackery just leads to others.

    The only anti-vaxxer I know was persuaded to forgo vaccinations by the home birth midwife who delivered his son in the bathtub. I encouraged him to get the kid vaccinated and got him thinking about it, but he ended up calling the midwife with his questions and was reassured that the shots were not necessary. Meanwhile the dude plays in a band with an actual virologist, but no the midwife was the expert to go to.

    My husband has a couple of cousins born at home. One was “cured” of childhood leukemia using magic salts by her woo-filled father who delivered her on the kitchen table (she also had chemotherapy but of course it was the salt that cured her). She now does some sort of energy healing over the internet for a paypal donation. She sincerely believes that natural medicine saved her life. She’s into all sorts of woo, some that I’ve never even heard of (theta healing?). Her brother does tarot readings on the same website and sells poetry that he’s channeled through some Babylonian goddess.

    So yeah, once you get started on the woo, I think there is a
    tendency to just keep going.

    • sdsures

      What’s breast thermography?

      • araikwao

        Quackery! (the heat is where the cancer is, blah blah)

        • sdsures

          Let me guess – detected via holding the hands over the breast in Reiki style? SMH

          My lumps were detected via ultrasound. Painful as hell, but much more reliable.

          • Young CC Prof

            No, detected via an actual thermal scanning machine, which makes it look entirely too convincing. There is a weak statistical correlation between “positive” thermography results and the presence of breast cancer, but it’s much less reliable that mammogram, MRI, ultrasound, or manual exam by a real doctor.

          • demodocus’ spouse

            My local yarn shop’s pet naturopath was going on about this a few months ago. It *seems* logical enough if you have next to no knowledge about cancer or cancer testing. Everyone *knows* real doctors are out to make you poorer and sicker.

          • araikwao

            Nah, it’s some quasi-high-tech machine..

    • SporkParade

      It’s funny, but reading the archives of this website was actually much more useful for me during labor than the hypnobirthing class I took. I knew enough about common complications to be able to remain calm when things went south during the second stage of labor. Then again, my hypnobirthing mantra *was* useful when they were stitching my perineum up afterwards. Not as useful as lidocaine, but useful.

    • Samantha06

      Wow… tarot readings and poetry channeled through a Babylonian goddess? OMG, it’s hard to believe people actually pay for that stuff!

  • I’m a woman in early middle age with lots of friends who are mothers, but am not one myself and probably won’t become one. I think it surprises people that I care so much about this since apparently only mommies care about “mommy issues,” effectively ghettoizing a hugely influential part of the health care system. For healthy young women, birth is their first deep interaction with the medical system: if a midwife, even a hospital CNM, sows distrust of the medical system, that affects all of us.

    I’m a friend, an auntie, and a skeptic who has seen really smart people fall down the woo rabbit hole, or pass along “soursop cures cancer” nonsense without giving it a second thought.

    • Roadstergal

      I’m with you and in the same situation. I don’t have or want kids, but people I know and love do, so aren’t I allowed to care, as well? I’ve seen otherwise sensible women go off the deep end with extreme irrationality when it comes to stuff surrounding how to birth and feed their kids.

    • Siri

      Early middle age??!! You’re in your early 30s, aren’t you?! Gorblimey, I must be ancient then! 🙁

      • just me

        Yah. At 46 I still somehow hope I’m not considered middle age. Comments like this make me wonder if I’m considered elderly. With a 2 and 4 year old.

        • Siri

          Just me, trust me; you’re young. Ok? Young and glamorous. I’m 45.5, so I know.

          • Who?

            You are all young and glamorous.

            And btw, like cmh I thought in my thirties I was middle aged. I was wrong. Now I’m in my fifties and probably actually middle aged, I feel I should have hung on to the young thing a bit longer.

          • Roadstergal

            My OBGYN called me ‘young’ at my last visit, which I appreciated. It was just seeing all of these college interns at work during the summer that made me doubt it. I swear, they get younger every year…

          • I’m in my early thirties. I saw a CNM/NP at a recent appointment at my OB-GYN, and when asked if I was planning to have children said that I might, but I don’t have a partner or any good candidates. “You have plenty of time,” she said. I sighed.

          • Who?

            My daughter used to love getting ready at the same time as me in the same mirror. I used to wonder why I got out of bed in the morning…

          • My head is 35, and my body is 100, and it all averages out at 68…:-))

      • I’m certainly not a young adult. Middle age is the middle part of your life…in my mind, maybe from 30 to 65.

  • fiftyfifty1

    Yep, the men aren’t interested in all that lady stuff, and the women have been socialized to be too nice to call out pseudoscience forcefully.

    • fiftyfifty1

      Not that I am blaming women. It’s not just that we have been socialized not to call others out. It’s that it really isn’t tolerated. Look how Orac is treated (hero!) vs. Dr. Amy (constantly criticized for her tone by both men and women).
      I have no idea, on a personal level, how I can even begin to combat NCB and lactivism woo in real life. What tack can I take? I can gently debunk during one-on-one patients visits after carefully assertaining that a woman might be open to the message. But to do it too forcefully threatens shutting down the conversation completely. And in social situations? I have no idea.
      I was at my book club the other day, filled with intelligent educated women. One of our members, a 43 yo nullip was spouting a bunch of NCB and other alternative health nonsense and boasting about how she was refusing all her OB’s recommendations and following the advice of her doula instead. I decided to respond factually with “Your OB is recommending induction because a woman over 40 who waits until 41 or even 40 weeks rather than inducing at 39 weeks has a much increased risk of stillbirth and your OB doesn’t want to see that happen to you”. It did not go over well *at all*. The discomfort in the room was palpable. Later, one other brave soul tried to broach the idea from a more personal story side of things (how she ended up with interventions that were needed and she was glad she had been flexible). That wasn’t received well either. So what tack to take? Challenging your female peers’ beliefs is a big faux pas, even in groups where NCB philosophy is not big.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Do they know you are a doctor?

        • Trixie

          Being a doctor probably makes it worse in terms of their perspective of her.

        • fiftyfifty1

          Yes. The woman went into an anti-doctor rant followed by an intactivist rant. I wanted to say “Look lady, 2/8 of us are doctors and 5/8 of us are jewish. Your message is not exactly falling on fertile ground”. But I didn’t and neither did anyone else.

          • Samantha06

            That’s what makes it so frustrating even trying to help these people. They have their stupid minds made up, and when you tell them the truth, it grates on them because it’s not what they want to hear. Then it makes you the “bad, evil doctor.” I’ve gotten so fed up with these people, I just don’t have a lot of sympathy for them when things do go wrong because of their idiotic decisions. Especially when they are fully informed by their doctor and they brag that they are openly defying their recommendations. Sorry for the rant. I think that woman was horribly rude for spouting off that garbage knowing you are a doctor.

          • Who?

            Thing is, fiftyfifty1’s book club friend is entitled to her own opinion, but she’s not entitled to her own facts. I call people out when they are factually wrong-in my world it is mostly anti-vax-but honestly I don’t have the energy to fight about feelings.

            I don’t think you can convince anyone of anything unless they either have huge respect for you, your opinions, values and life choices generally, (and in that space you have massive responsibility and need to choose your words very carefully) or they for whatever reason want to be convinced.

            In a way it is the wrong argument to be having: the better argument is about how the numbers stack up. There is one dead baby on this pile and four on that one; choose a pile to line up behind. Do that again with brain injury numbers and again with physical damage to mum. Getting bogged down in the detail is fatal and how they end up winning, because zealots will always beat reasonable people who have a life.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Thing is, fiftyfifty1’s book club friend is entitled to her own opinion,
            but she’s not entitled to her own facts. I call people out when they
            are factually wrong-in my world it is mostly anti-vax-but honestly I
            don’t have the energy to fight about feelings.

            Back in the day on the monthly board at WTE,I got in trouble in a discussion about marijuana use for morning sickness because, in response to the statement, “It’s illegal. Enough said.” I had the audacity to mention that, in fact, marijuana is legal for medical use in many parts of the country (this was even before the CO free-for-all), so it’s not quite that simple. I got jumped on for my “personal attack” on that poster.

            Stupidly enough, in the thread I never even said anything in support of it, just that “it’s illegal, enough said” wasn’t factually correct.

            How dare I correct incorrect statements!

          • Who?

            I didn’t say it was a risk free strategy by any means; but it does give a basis for discussion. And telling someone they are in error about a matter of fact isn’t attacking them, as you and I know; but it makes a nice story when victimhood is the basis for the entire edifice, as it is here.

          • SporkParade

            Wow, WTE has been changed. I was attacked for pointing out that medicinal marijuana is a medication and should be subject to all the same scrutiny as all other medications before being used during pregnancy and nursing because natural does not mean safe.

          • Samantha06

            You’re right, you have to fight them with numbers and stats, it’s the only way to shut them down. I find it extremely frustrating dealing with them in the clinical setting when they get combative and totally unreasonable. Then if something goes wrong because of their own choices, they refuse to accept any responsibility and want to blame us. Grrr!!!

          • Who?

            It must be so frustrating. It’s hard managing combative people, and the more their beliefs are challenged I imagine the more they dig in. And no one likes to think the bad thing will happen to them.

            I really struggle with the idea that people are okay with a (say) one in two hundred risk of death. That seems like a lot to me, I wouldn’t risk it if I could avoid it.

          • Samantha06

            I hear you. I sure wouldn’t risk it either! It just blows my mind that people get so sucked into the woo that they take these crazy risks and think it will never happen to them. You are right, they do dig their heels in too! *sigh*….

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            They have their stupid minds made up, and when you tell them the truth,
            it grates on them because it’s not what they want to hear. Then it makes
            you the “bad, evil doctor.”

            I think that woman was horribly rude for spouting off that garbage knowing you are a doctor.

            Here’s the deal: how is spouting something like that knowing that a doctor is present anything but a personal attack?

            I wish I could say that my response would be to call them out. “I recommend vaccination. Do you think that I’m evil?” What are they going to say in the group? Yeah, you are evil? Would be instructive to the others, I would think. Or are they going to accuse you of being stupid? Whatever it is, the response is “Are you saying I am X?” Oh, not you, of course. But then who? My colleagues at work? You think they are evil or stupid? I works with them every day and I can tell you, they are some of the smartest, most dedicated people I have ever met. I don’t appreciate you calling them evil. You don’t even know them.

            If we can make these folks stand up and get specific, and make it clear they are talking about real people, others will see a lot more clearly.

            Right now, a problem is that too many people are unwilling to speak up, and that silence is interpreted as acceptance. It’s not true. The folks in the group don’t agree with the implicit message on the whole.

            You push them on it and get them to admit that either they are attacking you or they have nothing. Take it personally, and let them know, no matter how much they deny it, that yes, this is an attack on you.

            However, it’s easy to say to do it but a lot harder to do it.

          • Bugsy

            “However, it’s easy to say to do it but a lot harder to do it.”

            Having lost one of my closest and oldest friends due to finally speaking up (letting her know that there was no way I would let my vaccinated toddler have a playdate with her happily unvaccinated preschooler), I have to say that I agree. Vocalizing my disagreement was one of the hardest things I’ve done. Even though I did so in a pretty gentle way, I have no doubt that the very notion of disagreement is seen as a personal war to anti-vaxxers.

            For my own peace of mind, I’m glad I finally spoke my mind…even though it did kill the friendship.

          • Kq

            We really need t shirts or something.

          • Who

            Trouble with the emotive language is that it’s their world.

            My preferred approach is to acknowledge that they think they are right, in good faith, and ask them to acknowledge that I in good faith think I’m right. I then ask them about the basis of their thinking, listen without challenge, then talk about the dangers of vpd for the whole community, as well as their child, as well as the comparative risks of vax v disease.

            It’s not about canging minds but getting some alternative thinking going.

            Btw many of these people have little social conscience, think they survive by their wits and are a success due entirely to their own efforts, not their environment, so the whole social good thing is meaningless to them. I just like saying it.

          • MLE

            That’s a common sales tactic too, so I bet it has a better chance of success than you know 🙂

          • Who?

            I didn’t know that. I actually stole the method from a friend who does coaching, where she asks lots of questions, listens without challenge and I swear sometimes lets the words hang in the air in all their stupidity before being recognised and disowned.

            It’s powerful juju.

          • DiomedesV

            One step I took in my last argument with a creationist was to point out that, as a scientist, if someone could demonstrate to me using the peer-reviewed literature the validity of the phenomenon she was asserting (coexistence of dinosaurs with humans), then as a scientist I would ultimately be required to accept it. I then asked her if in contrast, such evidence failed to materialize or if it actively contradicted her position, would she ever be willing to change her mind. This person had accused me of being “closed minded” and having “no intellectual curiousity.”

            I’ve thought about this since and it occurred to me that this might be a reasonable strategy for dealing with people into woo: “What kind of evidence would you accept that would demonstrate that your position is incorrect.” If the answer is: “nothing” then you’re wasting your time, and you should more or less say so.

          • Samantha06

            I definitely think you’re right about it being a personal attack on her. That’s what makes it all the more disgusting. The unbelievable arrogance. And I think most reasonable people don’t agree but “go along” because they are afraid to speak up. It is difficult for sure. When I first came to Canada, I was shocked when someone at work made a derogatory comment about Americans. At first I didn’t say anything, then I finally spoke up and it stopped. But it sure was uncomfortable! It was like they felt like they just had the “right” to engage in personal attacks!

      • Bugsy

        fifty: I’m not sure if this is helpful, but here goes:

        The best advice I received regarding my childbirth was during my first trimester, from my OB’s nurse. I had a long list of questions for her at each of my monthly appointments, and at this appointment, I asked her whether having a birth plan was recommended. I was a first-time mom who wanted to be as prepared as I could be.

        She replied from her role in obstetrics and her role as a mom 4x over: “I think the best thing you can do is to be flexible. Labor and delivery bring with them a lot of uncertainty, and we don’t know the outcome. Having a birth plan can set yourself up for unnecessary disappointment and broken expectations. The more you can just go with the flow and accept labor as it comes, the better off you’ll be.”

        It was single-handedly the best, most genuine and kindest advice I could have received. The honesty and tact she offered were great, and the lack of confrontation in her reply allowed me to trust her. I ended up having an epidural a few hours before my son was born, and I’ve remained at peace with it to this day. I owe a lot to this amazing nurse.

        Perhaps something similar would work with your patients? Good luck!

        • Roadstergal

          “I think the best thing you can do is to be flexible. Labor and
          delivery bring with them a lot of uncertainty, and we don’t know the
          outcome. Having a birth plan can set yourself up for unnecessary
          disappointment and broken expectations. The more you can just go with
          the flow and accept labor as it comes, the better off you’ll be.”

          This is perfect. Why can’t this be the advice every nurse and midwife gives? Why is that so hard? :p

      • A woman who stands her ground and makes her views respectfully known – might not find herself with a wide array of friends. But the friends she has will be worth having – the discussions need to happen. I’d rather women be offended and aware of the risks, than to be blindly ignorant of the risks and then sideswiped by the reality. Few things are more heartbreaking than a term in utero fetal demise and any woman who has endured that outcome would move heaven and earth to prevent some other woman from suffering the same. Perhaps that is where the conversation is advanced, by giving voice to the truly “bad outcome” – a lot of space is currently given to bad experiences without bad outcomes and maybe more awareness is needed that bad stuff really does happen and real moms and babies and families must deal with the consequences. A personal story often is far more moving than some statistic.

    • sdsures

      Funny – my husband is VERY interested in my “lady stuff”. *salacious grin*

    • DiomedesV

      Even among scientists, people respond differently to critical women than to critical men. Critical women are still regarded as bitchy, especially by other women. If a female scientist reacts critically to another’s research (in a seminar or in the literature), the negative reaction of others is dulled to some extent if the female scientist is highly well regarded (essentially an expert in her field) and has a lengthy list of high quality publications. But this is one thing I repeatedly see in female graduate students — reacting more poorly to the criticism of other female students than they do to male students.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    In the past, I’ve sent whackaloon childbirth-related crap to Orac. The only thing that ever got his attention was when he learned that Mayim Balik was a major woo, but even then, he only focused on her anti-vax stuff, and didn’t focus on her other crazy AP stuff. However, she is a pretty obvious example of the magnetisim.

    I’ve also sent him bits about placenta encapsulation. Figuring his opposition to “supplements” he might want to go off on them as stupid as they are. He ignored it, of course. Because, you know, it’s not about anti-cancer supplements and only PPH, it’s not in his interest, right?

    Of course, it’s all the same problem. The correlation between whackaloon midwives and anti-vax is high enough to see that they are related. The fact that a very large number of homebirth midwives end up anti-vax is not coincidence.

    • The controversy with Skepchick and homebirth also got his attention. I know there was some bloggy incompatibility between Dr. Amy and Science-Based Medicine. Ironically, I think a big part of it was the deeply passionate comments that this subject draws.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        The controversy with Skepchick and homebirth also got his attention

        Because it gave him a venue to rip on Dr Amy again. Not because of the topic.

        • Pretty much.

        • Who?

          He and Dr T seem to punch about equal weight, I’d let them fight it out between themselves tbh.

          Silly thing is I suspect they would ordinarily be in violent agreement on a majority of things. They have quite different constituencies, with different interests, perhaps they both just prefer to stick to their own knitting, which is also fair enough.

      • sdsures

        What homebirth thing on Skepchick?

          • sdsures

            From the MANA stats, I have a question about their wording.

            “Safe Outcomes with Positive Benefits
            High rate of completed home birth (89.1%)
            High rate of vaginal birth (93.6%)
            High rate of completed vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC; 87.0%)”

            What exactly is a “completed” home birth, or “completed” vaginal birth? Does it mean the baby is alive and well?

          • Young CC Prof

            Completed home birth means the baby was delivered at home, completed vaginal birth means the baby was delivered vaginally, possibly after hospital transfer.

            The paper did not identify how many of the deaths occurred in the transfer group.

          • sdsures

            Shame.

          • sdsures

            Another question re this section:

            “Now, I fiddled around with the CDC Wonder Database a while trying to see if I could replicate Dr. Amy’s number. I couldn’t. There are lots of settings in the Wonder Database, and I tried to match the cohort in the MANA study as well as I could. No matter how I tried to do it, my numbers came out around 0.5 per 1000 or I got a lot of “suppressed” data, which apparently means that there were too few to be considered valid. As far as I’m concerned, that’s close enough, as I didn’t have time to fiddle with the settings all night last night and unless Dr. Amy reveals the exact settings she used to get her number, there’s no way for me to easily replicate it easily. So, because it’s simpler, I’ll just assume she knew what she was doing and go with it. I also note that it’s not possible to get death rates for birth and the six weeks after birth using the MANA database, because the choices do not include the first six weeks. The ranges are (1) under one hour; (2) 1-23 hours; (3) 1-6 days; (4) 7-27 days; and (5) 28 to 364 days.”

            I have studied psychology, and know that unless you can replicate a study, it’s useless. So, how do we replicate Dr Amy’s findings?

          • Young CC Prof

            It is not possible to find a hospital group that matches the MANA group with strict accuracy. However, it is easy to show that ANY hospital group that excludes preemies has much better outcomes.

          • sdsures

            Good to know the difference. In the UK, not all hospitals have ERs (A&Es), and road signs for them are clearly marked.

          • I’m just sharing links here. I have no idea.

    • Young CC Prof

      Actually, read Gorsky’s SBM post today. He does a rather good job of calling out both the Food Babe’s epic ignorance and inappropriately misogynistic language among her critics. He may be learning.

      • Roadstergal

        I noted the same thing. We can hope.

    • Allie P

      Word. He never talks about the practice of suggesting dangerous unproven medications to nursing mothers, though he’s obsessed with toxin-removing footbaths. He’s all about the anti-vax, but never talks about the movement to denigrate vitamin K shots or GBS+ woo or any pregnancy woo. Guess that’s “girl stuff.”

  • Bugsy

    Two comments: 1) YES. NCB very much was the “gateway drug” to other forms of medical woo for the attachment parent I know. It’s a slippery slope from NCB to everything else.

    2) “Nearly half of consumers said social media-derived information would affect their health care decisions.” Does anyone else find this as alarming as I find it? Yikes.

    • Samantha06

      I find it very alarming. I had a conversation with a patient the other day about looking up medical information on the web. She was concerned about having a C/Section and she said, I got online and found out… blah.. and I said, my concern with online information is that most of it is written by lay people with no medical education. And she looked almost shocked! People who get their “information” online just assume it’s “true” and the people who write it “know” what they are talking about! It’s easy to see how they get sucked in.. very scary..

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

        This made me giggle inappropriately because it reminded me of that (car insurance?) commercial here in the States. ” They can’t put anything that isn’t true on the Internet. Where did you learn that? The Internet…”
        Yes I’m five
        Seriously it’s frightening how much people believe everything they read on the internet, without taking into account who is saying it. :”My doula says blah blah blah about C-sections.” Umm and your doula has NO medical training! Why would you listen to her?!

        • Samantha06

          That’s exactly what I’ve told patients who take their doula’s “word” over their doctor!! It drives me crazy! Especially when the doula starts spouting off about the “danger” of C/Sections. I’m thinking, and where did she go to medical school?? It’s the whole NCB cult mentality. People just get sucked right in and think it’s gospel. It’s very sad and very scary… and how do you deal with it when patients come in and they are hostile and combative because they’re woo-infested and brain-washed… It’s very frustrating..

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

            I had thought when I had my daughter that a doula might be nice, because my husband was on active duty and might not make it to the birth. I thought having someone who had been through childbirth before and could tell me what to expect/tell me encouraging things during labor, would be nice. I decided to save my money and my friend played the part of a doula, she was crunchy but not pushy, which worked out pretty well. I would not have dreamed of asking her for medical advice and I don’t think she would have felt comfortable giving it!

          • Samantha06

            That’s awesome! I’ve worked with some that have appropriate boundaries and don’t give medical advice or try to undermine the L&D staff. They are fabulous to work with. That’s great you had someone supportive to help you! Unfortunately, some doulas have power and control issues and grossly overstep their roles, then it gets complicated and ugly!

        • Young CC Prof

          I tell my students, “Should you blindly believe everything authority tells you? Nope. Should you blindly believe every Tom, Dick, and Harry on the Internet who speaks against authority? That makes even less sense.”

    • sdsures

      “2) “Nearly half of consumers said social media-derived information would affect their health care decisions.” Does anyone else find this as alarming as I find it? Yikes.”

      *cowers under blankie*

    • FormerPhysicist

      Yet, when I had a horrible reaction a few days into a bout of pink-eye (and a couple of days after starting erythromycin ointment) the doctors I was seeing just told me I had somehow also acquired a (another) viral eye infection.

      My internet friend suggested that I might be allergic to the ointment, and asked if it hurt right after applying it. The doctors wouldn’t even consider it when I went back and floated the idea that I might be allergic to the ointment. And I am definitely allergic to penicillin and septra. But, damn if the whole problem didn’t just disappear when I discontinued it’s use.

      So, yes, I trust doctors much more, but I will let social-derived media affect my health-care decisions. I wouldn’t have stopped the ointment without my friend’s suggestion.

      • Young CC Prof

        IMHO, allergies are one of those things that shouldn’t require a specialist to figure out but often does.

        • FormerPhysicist

          I wasn’t asking them to diagnose a complicated food allergy, just to consider whether my inflamed eye could be related to an allergy to the medicine. They rejected the hypothesis out of hand, even though I am allergic to other medicines and was experiencing additional pain just after using the prescribed ointment. I don’t mean considered and rejected the hypothesis, I mean rejected out of hand, told me it couldn’t be possible and all but patted me on the head saying “now don’t you strain your pretty little head”.

          I didn’t bother to report or sue, but I do consider it incredibly poor medical care and possibly edging towards malpractice. I never went back and I warn others against that practice.

          It hasn’t led me towards the woo, but the experience was enough that I would probably check “yes” on a survey if asked whether I ever let social media affect my health care decisions.

          • Young CC Prof

            I’ve had similar experiences a couple of times. The second one, I had an allergic reaction that a doctor (who I’d never seen before) INSISTED was cellulitis. After I told him it was an allergy, because that sort of thing happens to me all the time and I knew exactly what was going on. And he insisted that it required immediate antibiotics, despite my history of multiple antibiotic allergies. And prescribed Cipro, the nastiest antibiotic you can get without an IV.

            Finally I just took the script and tossed it in the trash outside his office. Since then, I don’t go to non-specialists for allergies, only dermatologists or allergists. Even when it seems like it should be an easy question. (Which led to me not treating my allergies at all for several years, which might not have been the best decision, but oh, well.)

          • KarenJJ

            I love immunologists. I wish I’d gone to see one much sooner in life instead of dicking around with the various local GPs.

          • KarenJJ

            I would definitely tick that box too. In rare disease support groups on face book we are constantly sharing information, symptoms and dosages etc. We all typically get good care (oddly there seems to be quite a bit of research into the particular issue I’ve got in the hope that it will help more common and complex issues like arthritis etc) but learning from other patients gives us questions and ideas to talk about with our doctors.

            for example, most doctors will not give the MMR vaccine to people on the particular medication my child is on (contraindicated for live caccines). My child’s doctors discussed it and also took it to the vaccine specialist at the children’s hospital and decided we could give it to her anyway. Which we were happy to do. Now other parents want their kids to get access to the MMR and discuss with their doctors.

            That said, most of the discussions are around what to discuss with doctors and what information we are getting. So although social media influences our interactions with doctors, the doctors that care for us are the ultimate expert advice that we are relying on when making medical decisions.

  • Sullivan ThePoop

    I completely agree with this. It is sad that more skeptics do not address this issue because like cigarette companies in the past NBC knows that getting people while they are young is important to gain life long customers of alternative medicine.

  • Young CC Prof

    I suspect it is because the skeptical community is still alarmingly male dominated. I was at a skeptic’s meetup over the weekend, and, looking around the room, I suspected I was the only young mother present. A strong majority of the attendees were male, and the few women were either younger than me, or else much older. Most of the young women were clearly “with” someone.

    This gave me a literally unique perspective when we reached certain questions involving gender relations or childhood development, of course, but it was pretty darned obvious that few of these people cared about childbirth skepticism.

    They were also almost uniformly white. (One East Asian, one South Asian.) Hence why the quacks who predominantly prey on minority communities are so seldom called out effectively.

    White male skeptics, if you are reading this, take note. Prove Dr. Amy wrong, prove that the health of pregnant women matters to you. After all, those young women will not only be looking after their own health. They will also be making most of the health care decisions for their children and playing a key role in decisions for their aging parents and even their spouses.

    • Renee

      Never expect them to gives a shit about women in any way. We need to get out there ourselves, and not wait for men to do it for us. (I am not saying you meant to wait, just a thought).

      Best way to get men to tackle it? Make it about their ego. If they can get status points for debunking this, then MAYBE they will bother.

      • Young CC Prof

        Oh, you’re definitely right. And it seems some of these men think they are pro-gender equality, it’s just that they have no idea what women actually want or need, and it doesn’t occur to them to actually ask. It just doesn’t seem important.

        • InvisibleDragon

          I think a lot of men equate asking questions (especially of women!) to be right up there with asking for directions on the road. They lose “man” points.

        • KarenJJ

          I think these men fall into the same trap that many of us do and want to see themselves and their opinions validated. Any sort of serious cultural change will invalidate a lot of their current perceptions of themselves.

    • KarenJJ

      I’ve been to one skeptic conference a few years ago, while 6 months pregnant, and stood out like a sore thumb. Although there seemed to be a few nice people I did get an overwhelming feeling that the culture of skepticism (in Australia at least) was very WASM and a bit of a desire to be “right” rather than a desire to understand and learn – if that makes sense? Although the idea of skepticism is interesting, the culture of it is off-putting. And following some of the issues online I’ve not found myself keen to do much more (was really unimpressed with Orac and his treatment of homebirth). Plus it seems very repetitive – going after the same “low hanging fruit” – psychics, homeopaths etc.

      Simon Singh did some great stuff with chiropractors, but then I felt it lost momentum. Or maybe it was me? Whatever it is, the discussion that takes place here doesn’t seem to take place elsewhere and I think that’s a real shame that the issues raised are not getting wider traction amongst the skeptical community.

      • Young CC Prof

        Definitely makes sense, I really did not like the culture or the group feeling there at all. There was also this thread of militant atheism, and, although I don’t identify as religious, I just can’t get on board with the whole militant atheism thing.

        • KarenJJ

          Same.

          The other thing I came to conclude is that skepticism as movement feels rather meaningless without experts interpreting the evidence. For a bunch of skeptics talking, who don’t have expert knowledge, it just felt like a pissing contest as to who was smarter or who had the loudest opinion. I felt like I couldn’t be a skeptic voice on natural childbirth because I have no expert knowledge in that field. I can’t think critically about it because I have no real knowledge on it. I can ask questions and learn from those more knowledgeable and encourage others to ask questions, but I can’t realistically supply much in the way of answers. To me it is the answers that we get from people like Dr Amy (and the Adequate Mother and Orac and even James Randi in terms of cold reading etc) that are the most convincing that other people are talking complete crap.

          • Young CC Prof

            And a roomful of people isn’t really the best forum for advancing knowledge, you just can’t have a discussion with more than a handful of people unless you’ve got a really good moderator. There were a few speakers I would have liked to seriously debate with, but louder voices of dissent overwhelmed me.

    • carovee

      I don’t think that’s the whole story. Skepchick and its companion site Grounded Parents have done a terrible job being skeptical when it comes to NCB and they have lots of women writing for both sites.