12 natural pregnancy lies that Modern Alternative Mama hopes you’ll believe … so she can keep selling you stuff

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You want to become educated about pregnancy? Whom should you believe, an obstetrician with 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 4 years of hands on obstetric training delivering hundreds of babies, multiple years of clinical practice, having read hundreds or thousands of obstetric papers from the scientific literature or altie-shill Katie Tietje, Modern Alternative Mama, a legend in her own mind, a layperson who shills for “natural” products by fear mongering about obstetrics? Only a fool could imagine that Katie Tietje has any idea what she is talking about.

Like many altie-shills, Katie is most concerned about making money for herself and her friends. There is tremendous financial incentive for her to ignore preventive testing and care, ignore risks, and demonize doctors who want to reduce risk. The key factor for homebirth/natural childbirth altie-shills is the ongoing ability to bill women and sell them products. Acknowledging that risk factors necessitate obstetrician care and puts patients beyond Katie’s ability to shill products to them, so they must be ignored.

Katie and other homebirth/natural childbirth altie-shills behave like ostriches. They know that they can make more money by putting their heads in the sand and ignoring warning signs, so that’s what they do.

[pullquote align=”right” color=””]Altie-shills behave like ostriches. They know that they can make more money by putting their heads in the sand and ignoring warning signs, so that’s what they do.[/pullquote]

Case in point, Katie’s latest example of her profound ignorance: 12 Mainstream Pregnancy Lies You Likely Believe and her ostrich like bahavior.

Don’t see it? scroll down from the multiple products for which Katie is shilling and you’ll find it next to the additional products for which Katie is shilling. Those who think her blog is anything other than marketing for her shill products are touchingly naive.

Alti-shill Katie demonstrates her special recipe for combining money grubbing with mistruths, half truths and out right lies.

Let’s debunk Katie’s lies one by one, shall we?

1. Internal exams are beneficial and necessary.

They are if you believe that knowledge is power and that preventive medicine is better than treating emergencies.

How will you know if a cord has prolapsed if you don’t do vaginal exams? You’ll know when, in the classic tradition of homebirth, the baby drops dead into the hands of the clueless midwife.
How will you know if a baby is breech or a face presentation that is undeliverable? You’ll know when the baby’s head gets stuck and the baby suffers brain damage.
How will you know if a labor has stalled? You won’t know, silly! That’s a trick question since homebirth midwives don’t want to know. They would rather wait until a mother is exhausted and a baby is in distress and necessitating a C-section rather than transfering to the hospital when timely use of Pitocin can effect a vaginal birth.

2. Ultrasound Measurements Are Accurate

Ultrasound is used to measure two different things, gestational age and weight. In the first trimester, ultrasound is extremely accurate (+ or – one week gestational age). As the baby grows individual variation plays an ever larger part; although all pregnancies start out exactly the same size (one cell), at birth babies can normally weigh anywhere from 6- 11 pounds. Not suprisingly, ultrasound for gestational age is less accurate in the second trimester (+ or – two weeks gestational age) and the third trimester (+ or – three weeks gestational age).

Ultrasound for fetal weight is known as estimated fetal weight because it is always an estimate. Once again the same principles that apply to gestational age apply to estimate fetal weight. It is highly accurate in early pregnancy, much less accurate (+ or – 2 pounds) at term, but it still provides valuable information that allows mothers to make informed decisions.

3. GD Testing is Accurate and Necessary

Testing for gestational diabetes IS accurate and IS necessary. The glucola test is a very accurate screening test for gestational diabetes, and the 3 hours glucose tolerance test IS accurate in diagnosing gestational diabetes.

4. You Can’t Breastfeed While Pregnant

You can breastfeed when pregnant, but it’s unnatural. Tandem nursing does not occur in humans or animals anywhere in nature.

5. Repeat C-Sections are Safer Than VBACs

Repeat C-sections ARE safer … for babies, but they are slightly more dangerous for mothers.

The issue that mothers contemplating VBAC need to decide is whether they wish to carry the risk by electing a repeat C-section or whether they wish to place the risk on the baby by attempting a vaginal birth.

6. “Baby is Too Big” is a Reason to Induce Early

Macrosomia is a serious medical problem. It increases the risk to the baby of brachial plexus injury, fractured clavicle, brain damage and death. Because of the limitations of ultrasound at term, it is difficult to perfectly predict macrosomia. That doesn’t mean that we should just give up and let the baby get injured. That’s a decision best left to the mother and in order to make that decision she needs the same information that the doctor has. Estimated fetal weight is an important piece of information needed to make that decision.

7. Elective Induction is Safe

Elective induction IS safe. It lowers the perinatal mortality rate and does not raise the C-section rate.

8. Eating Junk Food is Safe or Beneficial for Weight Gain

Who ever said that it was?

9. Herbs are Dangerous in Pregnancy and Should be Avoided

9. Herbs ARE dangerous in pregnancy and should be avoided.

10. Vaccines in Pregnancy are Safe and Well-Tested/Necessary

Not all vaccines in pregnancy are safe, but pertussis and flu vaccines are safe, well-tested and life saving.

11. “Your Fluid is Low” is Accurate

Low fluid (oligohydramnios) is a risk factor for poor neonatal outcome when accompanied by other signs of poor fetal growth.

12. Going “Overdue” is Dangerous

If you think death qualifies as a bad outcome, going overdue is. There’s simply no question about it.

Look again at the 12 recommendations. Fully 9 of them are about ignoring risks (from prolonged labor, undiagnosed breech, undiagnosed cord prolapse, gestational diabetes, ruptured uterus, macrosomia, postterm pregnancy, herbs, and oligohydramnios) so that homebirth/natural childbirth altie-shills can continue to bill them for services and products. It is rather obvious that these “lies” are fear mongering to promote the financial health of altie-shills, mothers and babies be damned.

Katie insists that because screening tests and risk factors are not 100% predictive, they are useless. That’s the equivalent of saying that there’s no point in looking both ways before crossing the street if your vision isn’t 20/20. Sure, your ability to see approaching vehicles is less than 100% accurate if you don’t have perfect vision, but that doesn’t mean that the imperfect information is useless.

Anyone who gets their pregnancy information from a clown like Katie Tietje is both profoundly ignorant and profoundly gullible.