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

ostrich MAM copy

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.

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.

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.

  • Poogles

    Always so funny when the ignorant proclaim the experts to be the ignorant ones.

  • I have a sexual abuse history and wanted to avoid internal exams during labor. I wish that instead of being lied to by NCB types I had been told to get a maternal request c-section as the safest option to avoid that. The exams given to me by midwives were completely inappropriate and excruciating. They said no exams until I was actually in labor and then they were so eager to turn me away that I was denied food unless I agreed to an exam. Believe me that if you want to avoid exams then do not go to a midwife, they will say anything to get you signed up for services and you can only guess what they will behave like when you need them to keep their word.

    • Daleth

      Yuck, I’m so sorry. That’s awful.

  • Amy

    One more thing, haven’t read through the other comments to see if anyone else posted about this, although I know you did an excellent piece on this issue several years ago, Dr. Amy. What the HELL is up with calling grown women “Mamas” nonstop? I know it’s in her nickname and all, but my God, “Mama” this and “Mama” that.

    No. I’m a MOTHER (mom, if you will) to two children. I’m also a wife, a teacher, a musician, a student, and a friend. I haven’t been anybody’s “mama” since my youngest was about two.

    • Sue

      Exactly. Just like every father isn;t perpetually a Daddy.

    • demodocus

      At the moment, I’m Bama, and so is his grandmother. He’s 1. I’m okay if some one is addressing him and referring me as Mommy (i.e. Are you having fun out with Mommy?), but I get annoyed if they are talking to me that way.

      • Who?

        I hated it when doctors called me ‘Mum’ when I was at appointments for children.

        I super hate it when the vet calls me ‘Mum’ when I take the dog for an appointment.

        • demodocus

          That would annoy me too. I loved my pets, but once I was old enough to realize I couldn’t have a pony for a sibling (true story), they were not the same as a sibling or a child. “Furbabies” and “featherbabies” are also mildly irritating to me.
          Another peeve is when casual acquaintances ask if I like being a Mom. Like I’d tell you if I didn’t?

  • Amy

    Slight quibble with a few of your points…..slight…

    4) You can breastfeed while pregnant, if you a) are still producing milk and b) can tolerate the pain. I was fully immersed in the woo while pregnant with my second, and committed to nursing my first (who was going on two at that point) until she chose to stop. And then it got to be too much, and I told her that she had to stop nursing until the baby came out.

    5) I believe VBAC may be safer than an elective repeat cesarean for the mother, but an emergency cesarean following a failed VBAC attempt surely isn’t. And VBACs attempts have a higher cesarean rate than non-VBACs, don’t they?

    • Jen

      Agree about breastfeeding. Isn’t it all about choice? I continued to breastfeed my first two until I was 12 weeks pregnant, at which point I started to feel repulsed and gave up. I know at that point with my boys (15 and 18 months) that it was for comfort, but until I gave up we all enjoyed it.

      And I was definitely not immersed in the woo!!

    • Eater of Worlds

      My friend breastfed her son while pregnant with her daughter. The only reason she stopped was because her son was growing breasts from the extra hormones in her milk due to pregnancy.

  • Megan

    Slightly OT: Here’s what Katie thinks about the recent measles death in the US, the first in 12 years:

    “Oh, I’m so glad someone shared that! Now I can explain why it’s ridiculous propaganda.See, that woman didn’t have measles. And, she was fully vaccinated. She was immunocompromised, and she died of pneumonia. After death, they found measles virus on autopsy, even though she had had no symptoms of measles while alive. We don’t know if it was wild strain measles, or if the strain actually came from the vaccine itself — hers, or someone in the hospital shedding to her. But it wasn’t what killed her, anyway.

    But of course, the pro-vax crowd is absolutely ridiculous and can’t turn down an opportunity for propaganda, so they’re reporting it as a measles death even though anyone with a brain knows it isn’t. That’s how absolutely pathetic the pro-vax crowd is at this point. Seriously grasping at straws.

    That’s okay though! Keep it up! It’s just making the reasonable people say, “Wait, something’s not right here,” and ask more questions. Thanks!”

    Funny how she knows more about the case than the coroner and the woman’s doctor!

    • Megan

      And of course the link to reply to her is conveniently missing…

    • Sue

      Immunocompromised > failed to seroconvert > suspectible to opportunistic pneumonia > died of measles pneumonitis.

      Yep. All fits. If you know about stuff, that is.

      • yugaya

        She knows her “alternative” pathology testing and reports – done completely naturally in the comfort of one’s home. After all, SHE is the expert on her own body and the bodies of her family members, and SHE is, as natural pathology expert mama blogger, able to apply that “knowledge” and determine what this woman died from better than any doctor ever would.

      • Megan

        And that her measles might be “caused by the vaccine??” The woman was vaccinated as a child and died from measles pneumonia in her 20’s. There’s no way it could be caused by the vax! I have no idea where she gets this stuff. And the vaccine shedding thing is so annoying and untrue. I also find it interesting that I commented on an article all about allowing vaccine choice and not being hateful and she responds with comments that pro-vax people don’t have a brain and are spreading propaganda. Really civil, MAM. And literally her comment asked for a case of measles death from an unvaccinated person so I posted a link. That’s it. I said nothing else to prompt her reaction. She is truly crazy.

  • Kathy Forbes

    Katie is quite a piece of work. Every post I see of hers makes me groan, but this one takes the cake. Her Facebook page isn’t as popular as one might think. If you take a look at her stats, she currently has 56,829 likes with 2520 people talking about her. When I consider in how many people talk negatively, it just doesn’t add up. This article confirmed that for me some time ago: http://twirp.ca/2013/06/how-to-tell-if-someone-has-bought-likes-on-facebook/ That being said, Kate is still a huge threat to vulnerable moms/dads and needs to STF up 😀

  • Lisa

    I swear people get dumbed by the decade. Better to risk you child’s life than trust a doctor. Yeah, rub some essential oils sold by Amway under another new name and then let’s have a cup of Strawberry tea for that blood pressure because darn it! Old Ways Worked–no matter that the maternal child death rate was reduced almost from the moment births began happening in hospitals–what do doctors know! Get out the Foxfire Books and brew up some herbs and bathe in them! They’re all “natural”! What’s that? There are natural poisons? That’s a myth perpetrated by the CDC to cover up vaccine deaths. Just breathe in the steam of this tree bark-mushroom-crab grass glop and, oh…you haven’t been putting Wormwood under your pillow? TELL. ME. you have a carving knife under the bed to cut the pain in two? Doctors are idiots, honey–like ex-husbands. They don’t “know” birth–trust me. Here, have an arrowroot-cumquat-smelt cookie. Helps dilate your spleen and make the liver function better–that helps avoid a breech birth you know. And now have a black smoothie–black for the coal tar in it. What? It could make you have to [move your bowels] but hey, you’ll be in the warm birthing pool and until the cord is cut your baby won’t be harmed by the so-called ‘fecal containment’..that’s all a myth, you know. Why look at your garden! Horse manure makes everything grow better. Fecal matter, blood–they all “nourish” the child during those 79 hours before you cut the umbilical cord. Incidentally, the cord and placenta makes a great sandwich spread once you toss it in the pressure cooker with some organic ginger ale and quioua……….[Must stop, I’m beating my head against the wall of idiocy that surrounds some people].

  • yugaya

    Ahahahaha she has more dangerous unlicensed quack medical advice to give: http://www.modernalternativemama.com/2015/07/14/12-more-mainstream-pregnancy-lies-you-likely-believe/ courtesy of our birth hypocrite du jour.

    “It’s sad, honestly, that there are this many lies out there, but — well, there are.”

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Ooh, enough stupidity for another post!

      May favorite part is how she “guarantees” and offers her opinion. Her guarantees and her opinions aren’t worth the paper their printed on (yes, I know they’re not printed on paper.)

    • LibrarianSarah

      I noticed that she didn’t cite where she got her numbers in #13 which leads me to believe she pulled them out of her rectum. I also noticed that she only mentioned MATERNAL mortality not perinatal. Guess it doesn’t matter as much if the babies die.

      And of course increased rates of maternal mortality has nothing to do with obese, diabetic, 35+, women more likely to give birth today than ever before. It is all due to doctors “bullying” women into interventions.

      Also, can I just reiterate that if you are a grown ass adult, nobody is “bullying” you. Bullying is, by definition, done to and by school age children.

      • yugaya

        That’s the thing really, she is, in terms of cognitive maturity, not really an adult. When you break down her system of beliefs ( applying the word system to her childish diatribes as loosely as possible here), and look at all that lack of complexity of thought and postformal patterns, you’ll see that she is clearly someone who has never worked their way successfully through the formal operations stage of brain development.

        • Who?

          Didn’t she write something-to do with the recent measles death in the US-to the effect that ‘everyone/anyone with a brain knows’. That kind of nonsense surely just makes people stop reading?

          • yugaya

            Here’s her antivaxx portfolio: http://www.modernalternativemama.com/vaccine-posts/

            My absolute frontrunner in that indigestible pile of idiocy would be her suggested “alternative” to pertussis vaccination, which is according to her:

            – breastfeeding
            – babywearing
            – complete social isolation
            – adults deliberately getting pertussis.

          • Who?

            I have a brain ache now.

          • yugaya

            I suggest wine and more MAM being a real life parody of herself – all that natural cleaning resulted in…her losing her house to mold:

            https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/sometimes-you-just-have-to-laugh/

          • Who?

            That is so depressing-how do you get mold on the toilet seats? I live in humidville humidania and we get a bit of mold in the bathroom-which I tend to scrub at while I’m in the shower-and that’s it.

            They must do no basic cleaning, washing or care?

          • Sue

            Each time she pretends to carefully weigh up pros and cons, she always (surprisingly) comes up with the same answer – best just to go with breastfeeding and good nutrition. Even for meningococcus and HiB! Ugh.

          • yugaya

            “Each time she pretends to carefully weigh up pros and cons”

            Her writings are a total failure at argumentation. Inaccuracies in citations, both accidental and deliberate, are also rampant. My mid-level EFL teenagers have a better grasp of summarizing, paraphrasing and quoting in an intellectually honest manner than she does.

            Example: for this statement “Risk factors include lack of exclusive breastfeeding, indoor air pollution, and nutritional deficiencies.” she presents this as source http://www.who.int/wer/2012/wer8714.pdf

            The linked report states no such thing as “lack of exclusive breastfeeding” being an identified risk factor – promotion of exclusive breastfeeding limited to first six months is recommended as one of the complimentary preventative measures, complimentary to the vaccine of course .

        • LibrarianSarah

          To be fair though, that description does apply to about 85% of mommy bloggers and 100% of “alternative medicine” bloggers.

          • yugaya

            So true.

      • Mattie

        “Also, can I just reiterate that if you are a grown ass adult, nobody is “bullying” you. Bullying is, by definition, done to and by school age children.”

        No, sorry, bullying can happen to adults and happens to adults on a regular basis. Bullying is to do with power dynamics, so you can be bullied by someone who is in a powerful position over you at work, in your social circle or by doctors. Doctors CAN bully their patients, it doesn’t mean they do..or that what women say is bullying is actually bullying, but it also doesn’t mean it does not/cannot happen. Midwives can bully women, so can doctors, so can therapists, so can your boss. It is harmful to pretend that bullying between adults does not exist.

        http://www.apa.org/topics/bullying/

        • yugaya

          Mattie yes the same bullying behaviour happens in those adult interactions too, but then we are talking about mobbing: http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/mobbing.htm, harassment: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/harassment.cfm and abuse of position of authority/trust: http://www.ussc.gov/guidelines-manual/2012/2012-3b13

          • Mattie

            Yeh, I’m just gonna call a spade a spade and keep calling bullying bullying. Unless you have an actual legitimate source that backs up your claim that the definition of bullying states that it is only between children. The links you included do not support that claim.

            Harassment is usually referring to a ‘protected characteristic’ so age, race, nationality, sexuality etc…

            Mobbing refers to a specific subset of bullying undertaken by a group against an individual, the link also suggests it is used as a term primarily in continental Europe…I know I live in England which is technically not continental Europe but I have never heard ‘mobbing’ used.

            Bullying behaviour by a person in a position of trust would be an abuse of trust…but not all abuses of trust are bullying.

            In a situation between adults where none of those criteria are met, it may still be bullying it just wouldn’t be ‘mobbing’ harassment or abuse of trust.

          • yugaya

            Mattie, you can check EU legislation ( you guys are still part of that methinks) for separate laws on bullying in schools ( children) and harassment in workplace ( adults) .The latter does not have the requirement of ‘protected characteristic’ at all: https://www.etuc.org/sites/www.etuc.org/files/BROCHURE_harassment7_2_.pdf

          • Mattie

            Yes, and no…yes we are in the EU, no the EU does not govern us entirely. This is the .gov website and as you can see, the difference is that harassment is unlawful whereas bullying is not…they are different. https://www.gov.uk/workplace-bullying-and-harassment Harassment (as is the case in the US link above) refers to protected characteristics.

            Once again, harassment can be bullying…but bullying is not always harassment. They are different entities under the law, and bullying can happen between adults. Spreading the misinformation that bullying does not happen between adults, or even that bullying in the workplace is against the law (it is not, it should be) is damaging to people getting bullied.

          • yugaya

            I will leave this tangent with once again urging you to read the document I linked in previous comment. It provides examples where bullying or mobbing are both defined as part of workplace harassment, and punishable by specific laws. Even the overall EU call for action that mentions bullying in workplace is from a resolution titled “harassment in workplace”.

            Anyho, no one is “bullying” MAM – she is being exposed as dangerous hypocrite and quack, that’s all:
            https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/modern-alternative-mamas-skin-cancer-extravaganza/

          • Mattie

            Yeh I don’t think that anyone is bullying MAM (side note, thanks for the link…she’s such a train wreck). I just take issue with the idea that adults can’t be bullied. I experienced bullying while on my midwifery placements (it’s a serious problem in midwifery especially) and it’s very difficult to be taken seriously if you try to complain, legally (UK law) they are not harassing you unless it refers to one of the protected characteristics, and obviously if it’s not violent or stalking or anything else actually against the law then you are at the mercy of your employer’s human resources department. If they do nothing you have very little legal recourse open to you. Quite often the party line in many companies is to minimise the severity of the bullying or pretend that it doesn’t exist (blame the victim for being too sensitive etc…) which can lead to severe mental health issues in the victim.

            As shown in the direct gov link above, the UK does not limit the bullying definition to minors, and bullying and harassment are viewed as separate (although closely linked) issues. As to the EU info you linked, I did read it, it’s not something that plays an overt role in our government, although it may be worked in to some policy somewhere.

            In the end whether you call it workplace harassment or workplace bullying it is likely the same thing, but under UK and (going by the link you showed earlier)US law it’s unlikely you’d get a harassment prosecution unless the bulling/harassment was due to a protected characteristic.

          • yugaya

            Yeah I’m probably more sensitive to usage especially locally due to all the horrid EU materials I had to translate for school projects. 😀

            And MAM has turned herself into an internet birth joke. No one in their right mind is going to take any of her pregnancy or birth advice seriously now that we all know exactly where it comes from.

          • Mattie

            she is seriously nuts, and ngl I find it almost impossible to take any anti-vaxxer seriously, they could tell me the sky is blue and I’d want to double check lol

          • LibrarianSarah

            Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.

            http://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/definition/index.html

            One of the reasons that we have the word “bully” is that the words “harasser” or “assaulter” are pretty heavy terms to lay at the feet of a minor.

          • Mattie

            Thanks for the link, that does explain where the definition came from. Not the same where I am.

  • Monkey Professor for a Head

    OT but I think everyone will appreciate this. From the brilliant Dara O’Briain.

    http://youtu.be/khfJ-HB12Z0

  • Sue

    Another OT – Janet Fraser is angry. She is furious. She has “gut curdling, disgusted, appalled rage’. Very extremely ragey ragey rage.About? Emmm… stuff.
    http://janetfraser.id.au/blog/

    at this rally
    http://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/the-mother-of-the-mother-of-all-rallies-tickets-17163084247

    • yugaya

      Goodness grief. Poetry that she writes is appalling, but this is even worse.

    • Who?

      While some of her points might be valid, even reasonable, the hyperbole helps no one. And, wrong as it might be, the crankier a woman (perhaps anyone?) sounds, the more likely everyone else is to tune out.

      And that might be poetry, but if it is, it isn’t poetry as we know it.

      • yugaya

        Who? just like MAM, none of her points are valid once you interpret them in the context – Janet Fraser is the bitch who first killed her baby in homebirth, and then went on and deliberately lied that the baby was stillborn to cover her ass during coroner’s inquest. So when she raises her fists in anger at ” women who still choose to birth at home” being “punished for stillbirth in a way which would never happen in hospitals” remember that this same amoral maniac openly admitted that she considers it acceptable to lie that a preventable homebirth death of her liveborn baby was a stillbirth.

        Of course such “stillbirths” are not punished the same way in hospitals – medical providers would lose their licenses and risk criminal charges for killing babies with medical neglect and denial of adequate medical care that she “chose” to kill her baby with. And it would be even worse if they were caught trying to cover it up by lying that baby was stillborn.

        • Who?

          Not aware of her history-the Janet Fraser I was thinking of is a travel writer (world famous here in Oz), I thought she may have taken a turn to the crazy.

          Thanks for that, I’ll be aware of this one in future.

          • yugaya

            No, this is a different Janet Fraser – here : http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/home-birth-advocate-janet-fraser-admits-lying-to-hospital-staff-about-length-of-labour/story-fn3dxity-1226317892572

            And her sister is Meg that runs the crazy fb HBAWTF group that has from the beginning of this year killed and injured multiple babies – the UBA3C baby that died after that bunch of psychopaths cheered on the mom for four days with ruptured membranes covered by SOB is from that group.

            Those two are classic example of folie á deux.

          • Who?

            Oh yes now I’m putting it together. That second glass of wine with dinner is making itself felt, apparently.

            This level of arrogance, madness, whatever it is, fills me with horror.

          • Amazed

            This pair makes me believe in bad genes.

          • Dr Kitty

            I’m betting on horribly traumatic childhood myself…

            I mean you lose a baby, your sister loses a baby and you BOTH still believe UC is a safe, sensible option?

            I’m thinking trauma bonding makes the most sense as an explanation.

  • Wonderlust

    Maybe someone else mentioned this already but I noticed under internal exams she said that you can walk around at 5 cm and 90% effaced for weeks and it means nothing. I thought anything past a 4 was active labor. Why would you be walking around in active labor for weeks? If it’s pre-viability and your a 5 that would be a misscariage right? Am I missing something here?

    • Yes and no. It’s not uncommon for multigravidas to be a bit dilated, and even partially effaced, for the last couple of weeks prior to birth. The cervical never really closes completely after the first birth, and while, in multigravidas effacement tends to happen during, rather than before, labor, sometimes it does. Being 5 cm dilated, and 90% effaced, tho, without contractions*, is a bit extreme. If a woman’s cervix is found to be so before 36 weeks, she will probably be put on bed rest, to prevent premature birth.

      *At least 4cm dilatation plus regular contractions = active labor.

    • Amy M

      Anecdote–I walked around for 4 weeks (32-36), dilated to 4cm, and rather effaced. However, this was due to 2epi previous pre-term labor episodes (twins) and everything was stable for those 4wks—only BH contractions occasionally.

    • Sue

      How would anyone KNOW you were at x cm or y% effaced without an internal examination?

  • Sue

    OT, but on the topic of dangerous pseudo-scienitic advice, check out this anti-vax thread, where multiple people claim that fevers “kill viruses”:

    https://www.tavs.info/2015/07/12/antivaxers-child-ends-up-in-hospital-after-terrible-advice/

    • Who?

      I nearly fell off my chair when I saw this yesterday. It’s horrifying. There was one poster suggesting medical advice is a good thing if mum is worried.

      And they raced through red lights with mum in the front seat of the car, child (unrestrained) in arms, talking to paramedics.

      Why don’t they just go back to the 18th century and be done with it.

      • Chi

        It’s disgusting. The mother of the baby in question kept going on about how her daughter was ‘damaged’ at birth by the Hep B vaccine and then by antibiotics she received afterwards.

        And then she’s going on about how angry she is that the doctors gave her daughter panadol and ibroprofen when her temperature spiked to 44 degrees!!!!!

        OMG, god forbid the doctors want to a) get that poor little girl’s temperature down and b) make her feel more comfortable oh and c) save her life.

        Some people should NOT be breeding.

        • Who?

          I wonder if they’ve ever had a temp like that? It feels revolting. Sounds like she and her husband might have some negotiating to do about the child’s care.

          • Chi

            Anything over 38 degrees and I’m whimpering and looking for the paracetamol (as my recent brush with strep throat illustrates) and when I got up to 39 degrees one time in hospital, I was almost delirious.

            So no, I can’t imagine a sane, rational human being, who has experienced this for themselves allowing a small child to suffer like that for more than a DAY.

            And dear god what is all that bullshit about paracetamol making things worse? Scientific evidence please or GTFO.

            As far as I’m concerned, if my baby is uncomfortable and a little bit of pamol helps her feel better so she can sleep and heal, it’s all good.

          • Who?

            That whole site (TAVS) has so many interesting posts about how the anti-vax/all natural community behaves. They do seem to enjoy sharing all their feelngs other than by tomtom or carrier pigeon, which you would think would be perfect if ‘all natural’ was the criteria.

            Whoever puts TAVS together seems very well connected! Good on them, I don’t have the stomach for it.

          • Mattie

            I run ‘cold’ my normal body temp is around 35.5/36 so a temp of 38/39 and I am literally bedridden I cannot move, only sleep and hopefully take medication. God knows what would happen if it got to 40 or above. That poor little girl.

          • Mishimoo

            I got to 41 once as a teen and it was terrible. Thankfully, I was taken to the doctor’s and had an injection of something to bring it down. No idea what, but it worked and I was so grateful.

          • Who?

            It’s horrible. I’ve only ever had a few high temperatures, but my son would get to 39 no trouble and then break through 40 in no time. Lots of panadol, lots of nurofen. Sponging him when he was that hot caused him actual pain.

            He recently had a flu bug and rang to ask if he could come over and be with us because he could feel the temperatures spiking and was really frightened, particularly that he wouldn’t be able to keep the panadol etc down and would end up very sick and unable to call for help. He stayed with us for a couple of days, and pulled up okay.

            As I understand it the temperature itself can cause trouble at those levels, particularly if it goes on for a long time or makes you vomit, losing fluid.

            All crossed this little girl will be okay and whatever is making her so sick is identified and treated.

          • Megan

            Yes, this is what angers me so much about these people. I’m sure if they had to experience any of this, they’d be hitting the Tylenol or Motrin before the thermometer had cooled off. But their kids? Let ’em suffer is what they seem to think. Makes me sick… Where is their compassion for their own offspring??

        • N

          44 degrees? wow! My 4 year old daughter was ill now. Between 38 and 39 degrees she felt almost fine. Up to 40 and a bit more, she was horrible, burning, whining, could not talk, nor drink nearly enough. Pediatrician told us to wait for 2 days before coming back to him for antibiotics, as first there was no indication for bacteria. After those 2 days we went back immediately, and started antibiotics immediately, as I could not stand to see her like that anymore! With perdolan and neurofen, the fever went always a bit down, but she was horrible all the time.
          In kids fewer can go higher as in adults before they feel really bad. But 44? Is that not ways too much. And yes, i’ve heard about the theory that fever can help killing viruses. So, than lets see how high the fever gets, if it goes away on its own again, if not too high, and before all, how is baby/kid dealing with it. Still playing, talking, at least drinking? Ok, lets wait a bit and see. Really miserable up to not really responsive anymore? Ok, really time to do something!!!

          • Chi

            Yeah, generally anything over 42 means you’re in some SERIOUS trouble. If I recall correctly in the original post, the kid started having seizures, so bad they had to give her anti-seizure meds.

            And the woo crowd claim that’s not from the fever itself, but because it rose too fast or some such nonsense. I agree that parents shouldn’t be running to the doctor every time their kid has a fever, and if they monitor it carefully and keep the kid comfy, then sure, let it run its course. But if it spikes like that or is prolonged, you bet your ass you better seek medical help.

            Because some of the infections that cause fevers are nasty and can progress VERY quickly.

            Oh and I will point out here that the mother in the original post blames recently vaccinated kids ‘shedding’ for the fact her daughter got sick. She’s one of those special snowflakes who blames everyone else but herself.

        • KeeperOfTheBooks

          44??? Google tells me (and I assume it’s actually correct in this?) that that converts to 111 (?!?!) F. (I’m an American…most of us don’t speak Celsius. :p) I had always understood that at 106 (41 C), you’re killing brain cells…I’d never even *heard* of a 111-degree fever! That’s horrifying, and seriously can’t be compatible with life for very long.

          • Angharad

            That’s what I had heard too! It’s why you’re not supposed to leave a child in a hot car – once their body temperature gets over 106-107, their brain and organs start shutting down. Does this not apply with fevers or is this group as crazy as they sound?

          • Tiffany Aching

            Yes, it is truly horrifying. Remember that the same woman who freaks out because her husband gave their daughter a panadol will drive through all red lights with her 2 year old seating on her lap in the frontseat. You can also read on the same site about a kid who had a very nasty-looking and HUGE wound due to bug bites, whose mother wouldn’t take to the doctor (because who needs topical antibiotics when you have essentiel oils). I really juste don’t understand how these people appraise relative risk. I hope CPS will be involved at some point for the sake of those kids.

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            I can’t imagine that your body cares whether the source of overheating is itself, a hot car, or a microwave beam. 106 is 106 is 106 is Bad For You.

          • Sue

            I have treated hyperthermic people after marathon running, but I’ve never seen above 42 or 43, and these people were very sick.

          • Megan

            Yes, I wondered if that could really be correct. I’ve never seen anyone over 106 (and they were very very ill).

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            Yep. I used to help do therapy for a child who almost certainly could attribute his severe mental retardation to the 106-degree fever and accompanying seizures he had at a few months old.

        • RMY

          I really think there needs to be better science education, especially when they have children. People go for the woo because they want answers and the one thing I can say that’s positive about naturopaths and lay midwives is that they tend to spend more time on patients. That and woo provides very confident answers and less informed consent.

          • Roadstergal

            But it’s out there! With the time these women spend online and the money they spend on alt-med crap, they could take some decent courses in biology at the local community college. They just don’t want to.

          • RMY

            It’s much more convenient to read blog posts when you have the time than to sign up and commit to attending community college courses.

      • Sue

        Not to mention the pseudo-science on fever “killing viruses”. These people have no idea. No idea.

        • Who?

          I loved how for everything that happened, the ‘expert’ had an all natural explanation-the panadol (hours and hours before) caused the brain fever that led to the fitting-it’s gruesome the way they carry on. Hopefully mum has a good experience with the hospital and a tiny chink is opened in her armour.

          And in the meantime let’s hope the little one made a good recovery and will keep well for the rest of the winter.

          • yugaya

            Don’t forget the initial fallacy of baby being ruined after birth and ending up in NICU because of Hep B vaccine.
            My eldest had febrile seizures and for nearly four years every time she caught a sneeze it was a struggle to keep even the smallest fever under control. I fear how much damage the parents will cause if they continue to let this baby fight her body’s inability to handle fever rise untreated.

          • Who?

            It’s like they think the fever is caused by her body itself, not the illness she had, whatever it was. Convulsions must be terrifying and a very strong motivator to get across any increase in temperature at all.

            When you think that one of the reasons they won’t have a vax is the risk of convulsions, how relaxed they seem to be about the ‘naturally occurring’ variety boggles the mind.

          • Amy M

            Well, the fever is caused by the body itself, but not out of nowhere usually. In response to a virus (in this case).

          • Who?

            Quite so-it would be most unusual to have a fever for no reason. The trigger ie infection might not be immediately obvious, but there is a cause to be found and dealt with, or monitored. Either way, a temp of over 40 is unlikely to be doing anyone any good. Pouring vitamin C in is unlikely to be helpful, though if the problem is minor and self limiting it might appear, after a day or two, that the vit C had done some good.

          • KarenJJ

            Yes, I thought that was the case with someone’s innate immune system controlling fevers. Although it’s not very usual, I can get fevers without an infection.

          • Sue

            But Karen, you have an extra-special immune system!

    • Guest

      Ok, so a couple of things. Fever is a symptom and not a disease. There is some thought that an elevated body temp can help fight infection, but I haven’t seen any good research on it. Febrile seizures can happen at 38.4/101. It’s not how high the fever gets, nor how fast it gets there (the latter was based on old research that involved putting cats in ovens – don’t ask). I’ve seen plenty of kids with temps of 41/106 without having seizures. Most febrile seizures I see tend to be around 39/102. It’s also quite common for a non bacterial illness (like viral influenza) to cause a fever that high. We had a large number of healthy adult and children get the flu last year (get your flu vax!). They routinely ran 104/105/106 everyday for a week. And if we see a kiddo with a fever that high, they get ibuprofen and/or acetaminophen and recheck in 1 hour. If they are down to 39.5/103 but are running around laughing with a Popsicle in each hand, I don’t care what the number is. They are better. But a kiddo with a temp of 38/100.4 (the official threshold for fever) who still looks crappy at 37/98.6 is way more concerning. Just some basic fever info…

      • Guest

        But, fwiw, the rest of that screen cap is horrifying. Those people are completely crackers!

      • Dr Kitty

        Part of what I love about Paediatrics: little kids don’t do sick roles and secondary gains.

        If a child looks sick, doesn’t want to do normally enjoyable activities and isn’t themselves- something is really wrong, no matter what the numbers or test results say.

        If the kid is laughing, running around and happily playing, things probably aren’t as dire as the thermometer, the impressive vomiting and the florid rash might make you think.

        My kid had a temp of nearly 42C. She was hallucinating… It was not fun.
        We went to the ER and it turned out to be pneumonia. She was fine within 48hrs of starting oral amoxicillin.

        • Aren’t antibiotics wonderful? Our generation has better ones than our parents did, and yet, I usually see the tried and true. If it isn’t broken…

      • Sue

        Sure – I get all that, as I see febrile children in ED. I also know that temps of 40o don’t kill viruses, and that children rarely get paracetamol toxicity, even in overdose. The main reason kids are running around happy after the paracetamol/ibuprofen is that they FEEL LOUSY when their temp is high.

        SO much stupid in that thread.

      • Been there

        Hi! I’m generally a lurker here (stupid iPhone) but would it be possible to provide further insight re:febrile seizures? My four year old recently had his second in the space of two years (he’s fine now of course), and no one seems to be able to tell me why… Except ‘freak fever’. Because, of course he was ‘fine’ one second, and blue/foaming at the mouth the second. He recovered relatively quickly (emergency cooling helped) both times. The word ‘terrified’ doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings during such (rare) episodes.
        Thank you so much!

        • Dr Kitty

          Some people are more prone to febrile seizures than others. It runs in families, once you’ve had one you’re more likely to have another, and they are very rare after the age of 8, with most kids growing out of them. There is an association with a family history of epilepsy.

          You can do your best to give antipyretic meds, ice pops and cold drinks and keep your child stripped off at the first sign of a fever, but the ones who are prone to seize will often still seize despite your best efforts.

          Stay calm, put them in the recovery position and call an ambulance if they seize for more than 5 minutes or if it is their first seizure.

          First febrile seizures are usually investigated to ensure that there is no other cause, but parents are often advised that subsequent febrile seizures, provided they are quick to resolve, don’t necessarily require the full lights and sirens emergency response (although if you are in no state to drive your post ictal child to the ER yourself, an ambulance is always a safe transport option).

          I’m someone who always spikes high fevers with even minor viral infections and I had a febrile seizure when I was little. My kiddo has inherited this fun trait, and had a possible seizure with a fever last year. Not fun, but thankfully almost always a worse experience for the parents than the kids, who usually remember very little about it.

          • Sue

            Kitty is right – the young brain is more susceptible to temperature, and tendency to seizure with high temp runs in families.

            They are quite common, almost all kids grow out of them by age 5. So-called “Simple Febrile Convulsions” (occurring with fever, short duration, age < 5 and no neurological abnormalities) are benign and don't cause any long-term complications. You may find someone else in the family has also had them.

    • RMY

      As soon as she said that the body isn’t suicidal, it became beyond obvious that this was a case of the blind leading the blind. The body can be suicidal. Sepsis and autoimmune disorders should be things that are common knowledge cases of the human body being suicidal.

      • Roadstergal

        Sepsis is caused by the ‘pyrogens’ they laud.
        Suicide (apoptosis) is a common feature of development and regular bodily function. If it goes wrong, Bad Things happen.

    • Roadstergal

      There’s so much hideous Dunning-Kreuger in that thread, I can’t even snark. That Bronwyn gets a special dipshit bonus prize.

  • Sue

    What makes ANYONE go to this person for any health or pregnancy/birth advice? She is a young woman who used to be a music teacher, has had a few kids, and appears to have no scientific trainging whatsoever. AND she makes money by shilling products. Asking your neighbour would be more reliable, and less conflicted.

  • Liz Leyden

    Number 8 sounds like a variation of “eat whatever will stay down.” As long as you don’t have GD and it’s not food that will actively harm the baby, like unpasteurized dairy, why not eat junk food while pregnant?

    • Sue

      Good point. Responding to cravings for a short time during pregnancy, so long as you are otherwise getting all essential nutrients, is no big deal – so long as you go back to a healthy diet afterwards.

      • just me

        For me it was more like eat anything that will stay down vs. cravings. I never really ate anything that unhealthy but for a few weeks tortilla chips, nuts, crackers were all I could handle.

        • Sarah

          Ah the beige food stage. I remember it well. Unfortunately, the pregnant body wants what it wants. I tried force feeding vegetables down, they just came back up again. So, junk it was.

          • Dr Kitty

            I think there was a week when all I wanted was Vanilla Shakes from McDonalds. They came back up, but that’s what I wanted!

            Unfortunately, while the nausea has gone, my third trimester heartburn is battling my current cravings for coke floats, kosher pickles and extra hot Nandos. The pickles are winning.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I had major Nandos cravings during pregnancy! Much to the despair of my husband who is a bit of a food snob. Luckily for me, “but I’m pregnant” wins most arguments.

          • Sarah

            I didn’t even know there was such a thing as kosher pickles until today.

          • An Actual Attorney

            You’ve never had a kosher dill? It might not be hyperbole to say you haven’t lived.

          • Eater of Worlds

            Kosher dill pickles are not necessarily kosher, though they can be. There was such a strong association between the pickles and the kosher food stalls that they were called kosher pickles. Traditionally they were made with garlic and dill.

            My favorite kind of pickle is fermented half sour made with just salt, water, cucumbers, and dill.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      A friend of mine has hyperemesis. She was slim before pregnancy, and any weight she’s gained now, when she’s nearly due, is all baby. One of the few things she could reliably keep down was ice cream or frozen yogurt. Her OB’s response to her mentioning this was pretty much, “Awesome, at least you’re getting calcium, protein, and some fat. Keep it up.”

    • phoenixfire

      I lived for 2 weeks on cool ranch Doritos and soda. It;s the only things I could eat and not bring back up or gag while consuming. My OB said as long as I could get something into me, to do it. He said his wife has gone 3 weeks on Cheetos and Dr. Pepper with their first.

  • Amazed

    My SIL is following everything her OB recommends but just today, she told me that both she and the Intruder didn’t exactly understand the value of a test that would just tell you IF your baby has this or that syndrome. And she’s read all the horror stories in the internetz. She wasn’t sure she wanted to do the test because she’s keeping Datey, no matter what.

    Of course, I told her that such tests help prepare to give your kid the best start. That IF there is a problem (which, of course, our Datey won’t have), you know that you need to give birth in controlled environment and not your local hospital, with people who already know what the problem is.

    She grasped my logic immediately and was so happy that we talked. What the hell is wrong with knowing, MAM? Know better, do better – isn’t that a tenet in your world?

    I forbade SIL to read in the internetz. The reason? Happy people usually don’t take to the net to tell just how pleased they are, so we’re stuck with the horrors, mostly.

    ETA: Her OB told her not to bother about Datey starving just because she can’t hold anything down without evil meds. He told her that the little parasite has a way to take care of itself at her expense. She’s thrilled to be reassured like this. MAM would be horrified. Those evil doctors, calling the BAYBEE a parasite. Or, more precisely, “Think of the baby like you would think of a parasite. It’s good at surviving.”

    • Young CC Prof

      Knowing is good. For example, if you find out your baby has a birth defect that may require complex treatment, you can meet with specialists beforehand and give birth inside a hospital best equipped to provide that treatment, even if that turns out to be a Children’s Hospital hours away.

      • Kerlyssa

        No kidding. Down Syndrome is one of the biggies people get upset about testing for, but it often comes with a number of organ defects that need immediate treatment. If you’re going to keep the baby, keep it healthy!

        • Mattie

          Out of interest, would the organ defects show up on an anomaly ultrasound? Or would it be a precaution after the initial screening/diagnosis?

          • Inmara

            I think they should – at least by my ultrasound technician’s remarks I understood that baby’s organs are ‘normal’, therefore I assume that at least some abnormalities can show at 20 weeks and later. I had to undergo additional fetal heart echocardiography to make sure baby’s major blood vessels are normal because baby refused to roll around and show one vessel in anomaly scan.

          • There are people — ultra-Orthodox Jews, for example, who avoid testing and ultrasound precisely because they won’t terminate a pregnancy for any reason and feel they’d rather not spend months agonizing over the knowledge that the baby would be abnormal. Not my way of looking at things, but they are entitled to their POV.

          • Who?

            Can I ask-would those people accept heroic or emergency measures for the child once born, that might be more effectively available if doctors know about them? Because in that case surely the testing would be desirable?

            I completely understand the view that such knowledge wouldn’t trigger a termination, but as others have said, forewarned is forearmed?

          • KeeperOfTheBooks

            This is my view exactly. I’m prolife, and I find out that information when I can on the grounds of a) More Information Is Always A Good Thing and b) that way we can take better care of the baby once he or she’s here.
            This view reminds me of the idea that if we just don’t tell our kids about sex, they won’t have it…and we all know how well THAT works out. I repeat: More Information Is Always A Good Thing.

          • Who?

            Well, yes. Knowledge is power!

          • “God will provide” is the stock response.

          • Who?

            That makes sense in that context, though it wouldn’t be my choice.

          • yentavegan

            I can speak about the families in my Large Metropolitan area. Yes the ultra-orthodox here do everything to save the baby and everything to safeguard the babies life. Heroic measures are par for the course.

          • Who?

            Thanks for that.

          • Young CC Prof

            They should, although it’s not 100% accurate and occasionally something is missed.

          • Kerlyssa

            Depends on the defect. However, it alerts doctors of possible issues to check the baby for at birth, before they go home, and gives the parents symptoms to watch for. Don’t want to send the baby home with an undiagnosed heart condition and parents who don’t know how to spot the symptoms of heart failure.

          • Mattie

            That makes sense 🙂

      • Amazed

        I was actually thinking of the case in your family when I told her that. It was your family, right? With a baby who was born not with the local midwife but a venerated company of people who were ready to treat a problem found still in pregnancy.

        I was also thinking of a case in our family. A cousin whose baby was airlifted almost immediately after birth to where people could deal with a problem. Thank God, he’s fine now but wouldn’t it have been nice to know in advance what he’d need and provide in beforehand?

        • Young CC Prof

          One such case was in my family, a baby with hypoplastic left heart. Prenatal diagnosis allowed for immediate treatment at the best-equipped hospital in the region. He’s 2 years old now, and acting like any other toddler.

    • yugaya

      Good luck to your sister, her wee parasite and you aunty! I’m sure you will be amazing in that role. :)))

      • Amazed

        Thanks! That’s the plan – being amazing. Because It will be the most amazing date around, I’m sure.

  • yentavegan

    It was so easy being sucked into the birth goddess movement. This was an era before the internet and meetings were posted on the bulletin boards at the all natural food market. What started out as an interesting alternative approach to birth, breastfeeding and child rearing descended into a cult and a counter culture. Strong headed women with a financial agenda slandered every local obstetrician with tales of woe. Pediatricians were painted as drug pushers. Homebirth became the buzz word of group think. Medicine was corrupt and toxic but eating your placenta and treating illness with homeopathy were held aloft.

    • Chi

      And unfortunately it’s still going strong, with the internet now readily available to spread misinformation and undermine the mainstream medical community.

      It’s still a cult, and anyone who deviates from their way of thinking is viciously attacked. Of COURSE it wasn’t the midwife’s fault your baby died, it’s yours because you didn’t trust your body to do what it was designed to. Never mind the fact that your baby could have been saved in a hospital.

      Then there’s the mentality that drugs in labor are bad, will force you into unwanted interventions and prevent you from producing the hormones that help you bond with your baby.

      It’s still a cult. They try to pretty it up by saying they’re all about the empowerment of women, when really they’re about repressing women and everything feminism has gained in the last 60 odd years, all in the name of funneling money out of the pockets of obstetricians and into their own.

  • yugaya

    Modern Alternative Mama, the clown who lied about only having “a slight tear that healed on its own in less then a week” with her latest homebirth, only to be caught moaning on the internet eight days PP how “she tore so bad that had she torn any more it would go all the way” ( to a fourth degree tear), and how she was “still split” and how she was in horrible pain and wondering what lifelong damage she should be looking forward.

    Please dear lurkers don’t take any pregnancy or childbirth advice from a woman who lies about childbirth injuries that she is enduring out of sheer privileged stupidity and to protect her “natural is best” business.

    • briar

      I totally missed this. Links or screenshots?

      • yugaya

        Eight days PP she was “still split” and complaining how she was unable to do even basic stuff.

        Meanwhile, in her redacted birth story on her blog she posted how “I did tear, though, but it didn’t need to be repaired. Recovery’s been much easier in many ways too”. http://www.modernalternativemama.com/2015/07/01/calebs-home-birth-story/

        When someone called bullshit in the comments on that birth story, she came up with a whole rebuttal post where she lied even more about how ” It wasn’t, however, third/fourth degree, it was more like first/second and it healed by itself in about a week.” This quackso even went on to claim how by getting all messed up down there like that and declining qualified and timely surgical repairs she has (wait for it) somehow successfully avoided a c-section! http://www.modernalternativemama.com/2015/07/03/its-time-to-empower-natural-birthing-moms/

        MAM, aka “Maimed Alternative Mama”.

        • Roadstergal

          _Even_ if that were true – tidy surgical incision vs untreated V to A tear?

          • yugaya

            She also had prolapse with one of her previous homebirths.My legs cross themselves shut in horror at the very thought of the consequences of such combo left untreated .

          • Daleth

            Omg horrifying. Mine too.

        • briar

          Holy moly! How can you be so against medical treatment that you are willing to suffer and possibly die?

        • Bombshellrisa

          Wish my husband’s grandmother was around to type an answer: she had 10 home births with granny midwives back in the 30’s and 40’s. She tore and was not repaired. Her 11th child was born in a hospital and she was repaired AND finally was able to get help for the damage done earlier. It was a “blessing” according to her. ((She also liked the twilight sleep or whatever it was that she got that made her not remember the labor))

          • Sarah

            I would have genuinely liked that option.

        • Monkey Professor for a Head

          Yikes! That gives me renewed appreciation for my episiotomy (and even better, it got my son out quickly when he was distressed). Huzzah for interventions!

          • Chi

            I’m with you on that. I also had an episiotomy and it healed within like 8 days. Very little discomfort during the healing and I haven’t had any problems since. And it got my daughter out when she was distressed too. Right when the surgical registrar was gearing up for a forceps-followed-by-c-section-if-forceps-fail delivery.

            Episiotomy, three pushes and she was out. Ok I may have lost a bit more blood than anticipated as a result, but both me and baby were pretty much healthy so that’s a good outcome in my book.

            Of course I was in hospital for 2 days while they waited for my resting heart rate to drop below 100bpm but…

        • Daleth

          Omg WHY would anyone want to stay that way (“healed, but still split”)?!

          • Who?

            It sounds, well, grotesque. It must be agonising to go to the loo, sit, walk or really do anything.

            How is that better than a few stitches which, yes, will feel sore for a while and uncomfortable for a while after that, but will result in at least an intact-ish sit-upon area (which I assume has a name but you know where I mean).

          • Chi

            Perineum. That’s the area in question that tears/gets cut in the case of an episiotomy.

            I’d definitely take a few clean stitches that will heal and dissolve in no time versus a ragged tear that would probably take ages to heal on its own and is probably more likely to become infected as a result.

          • Angharad

            I thought MY recovery was the worst case scenario (multiple tears plus episiotomy, stitches didn’t heal right and I had to be cauterized at my six-week appointment)! I never even considered just leaving everything to heal without being intact. How can she live that way?

          • Kesiana

            Just curious–is there any real difference in how well a cut heals versus a tear? Heard somewhere that tears actually heal better, but can’t find any confirmation. (This is, of course, assuming that either way stitches were used as needed…)

            And while I’m asking… still rather unsure how retained placenta can lead to bleeding to death. Anybody have an easy-to-understand source?

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            I don’t know the answer re: tears vs cuts but this seemed relevant. The bit in question starts from around 5 mins on, but the whole thing is worth watching!

            http://youtu.be/khfJ-HB12Z0

          • yentavegan

            funny and relevant. thanks for the share.

          • Sue

            LOVE Dara O’Brien! He calls out all the anti-science nonsense. Proscience people always have a better sense of humor.

          • yugaya

            I never tore like poor MAM did “most of the way through perineum” – I only had one surface, superficial tear once, that a qualified medical provider (my OB) assessed and determined needed no stitching. It was hardly noticeable at all. No one wonders about lifelong damage from a slight tear that heals by itself in a matter of days.

            Episiotomy cut can be a heap of horror, especially if you are getting stitched up or healing from it without any pain relief due to circumstances like shortage of meds in your hospital/country.

          • Amy M

            Not a doctor: but the cut vs. tear would likely depend on the severity.
            AFAIK, Retained placenta can prevent the uterus from clamping down all the way, and closing off all the blood vessels that went to the placenta. So blood can keep flowing into the uterus (and out the body).

          • Azuran

            The difference is probably more about the control you have with the episiotomy. When it tears, you have no way to control exactly where, how and how much it will tear. Generally speaking, when you cut, you control all those things (although it very urgent situation, you may end up with a bigger cut than was really necessary) A straight cut is also easier to suture than a tear, since those could be irregular.
            As for healing, I’m not sure, Tearing will most likely stretch the capillary, which could slightly affect the blood flow to the injury, but I’m not sure how that affects healing..

          • Kesiana

            When it tears, you have no way to control exactly where, how and how much it will tear

            Good point! Though, I heard that one big problem with episiotomies is that they can rip open even further as baby emerges… hopefully the odds are relatively slim? (I’m not in a position where I will EVER need to know anything about this, but as a medical geek and a writer, I end up researching the most random topics.)

          • Dr Kitty

            I can try to explain the placenta bit.

            When the placenta detaches from the uterus it leaves a raw area, which bleeds.The uterus has to contract to close down the blood vessels and stop the bleeding. If there is still a piece of placenta attached to the uterus this process of contractions and blood vessels being squeezed shut doesn’t happen properly.

            The old adage is that PPH is caused by the “Ts”
            Tears: self explanatory, a cervical, vaginal or perineal tear will bleed until it is repaired.
            Tone: uterine atony, the uterus just isn’t contracting strongly enough, and this what active third stage management with uterotonic drugs is designed to prevent.
            Tissue: retained placenta, clots or membranes preventing the uterus from sealing off the bleeding vessels in the placental bed. Treatment involves removing the offending tissue, often with uterotonics afterwards.
            Thrombocytes: low platelets in peripartum thrombocytopenia, HELLP or DIC meaning that the blood just isn’t sticky enough to clot. The rarest cause, only fixable with blood products.

            If you look at the causes, diagnose and treatment of PPH, and realise that in a massive PPH you can lose most of your blood volume in less than 5 minutes (because of the sheer volume of blood being pumped through the placental bed) you realise that anyone who thinks that a significant PPH can be safely managed at home is deluding themselves.

          • Kesiana

            in a massive PPH you can lose most of your blood volume in less than 5 minutes

            That ALONE had me deciding that homebirth should never, ever be considered safe!!

            I’m also still completely horrified to know that PPH can happen up to FIVE HOURS after birth… -shudder-

          • Monkey Professor for a Head

            It’s seriously scary stuff. I was a textbook low risk pregnancy, and then had a PPH and lost 1.6 litres of blood despite having the obstetrics team right there beside me initiating treatment straight away. My Hb dropped from 144 to 80 and I needed a blood transfusion the following day as I was getting dizziness and palpitations everytime I stood up.

            Anyone who tries to argue the safety of home birth by saying that they’ll have warning if anything is wrong and just transfer is incredibly ignorant. There was no warning prior to my PPH. If I was at home I could have died.

          • Daleth

            Seriously. My doctors’ PA (using the plural possessive because I was cared for by a team of MFMs) tried to scare me off a c-section for my MONO-DI TWINS on the grounds that “there can be wound-healing complications with the incision, and even if there’s not you’ll have to come back a week later for a wound check, which is really inconvenient when you’ve got newborn twins at home.” I told her, “There can be wound-healing complications with perineal tears, too, right? I’d rather have healing complications with a surgical incision on my belly than with a horrible tear in my privates.”

            The ironic thing was that she got pregnant while I was pregnant and told me, during one of my post-c-section wound checks (I did indeed have healing complications, due to preeclamptic fluid retention), that she was terrified of the damage that could be done to her ladybits in a vaginal birth. Oh NOW you understand! Was it really that hard to understand before you personally were pregnant?!?

        • Sue

          What part of “still split” equates with “It’s healed”?

          • yugaya

            Well, she likes to backpedal like crazy and she has “a passion for natural remedies”, so I’m sure she will employ all of her five functioning brain cells to come up with some sort of explanation, as well as some concoction to sell that has “all the benefits of surgical repair and no downsides”.

          • Sue

            I have a passion for the restoration of normal anatomy.

          • Amy M

            Maybe the edges of the wound healed, but since the edges were never brought and held together, it still gapes?

        • Azuran

          She looks more worried about possibly needing sutures than she is about the potential additional tearing.

          • Mariana Baca

            Sutures are like the oldest possible medical technology ever. How can people be against that?

          • Roadstergal

            It’s sewing! It’s a lot like knitting!

          • Mariana Baca

            Maybe they should call it “knitting mama whole again” or some other phrase laden with feel-good buzzwords. Maybe they can insist on “all-organic, locally produced sutures”.

    • Cobalt

      I thought that was her!

    • Bombshellrisa

      I thought it interesting how she talked about not being able to relax and let her labor happen like she did before. She said she had to “work” during her labor. That has to be the best rebranding for “it hurts so badly I was unable to hold still” yet. I know this feeling well, I thrashed around all over because I was denied pain relief.

  • Guest
    • Angharad

      It’s there today under “12 More Lies” or something like that. Apparently if you just eat yogurt your baby won’t get vitamin K deficiency bleeding.

  • Mel

    You can breast-feed while pregnant – but it’s a huge caloric drain on everyone involved. Believe me – dairy cow nutrition is all about how to keep milk production up without destroying the health of the unborn calf or the cow. It’s nearly impossible to pull it off during the last 2 months of a singleton pregnancy and during the last 3 months of twins. Don’t ask about triplets or the nightmare of quads.

    I did give someone who was having problems keeping weight on during pregnancy Milk Duds. In my defense, she was a young teenager with a short cervix half-way into her second trimester who was on hospital bed rest and losing weight pretty severely. She just wasn’t hungry very often – which I’m guessing was worsened by the stress of trying to prevent preterm labor – but she did like Milk Duds. She said my “Oh! I got a good deal on Milk Duds and couldn’t eat all of them” was not convincing at all – but she did eat the Milk Duds – and dinner.

    • Amy M

      Being pregnant with twins also squishes your stomach, so you don’t feel hungry as much. I also did a stint on hospital bedrest and I know my doctor wanted me to gain more weight, but I just wasn’t that hungry. And it was holiday season, so I had tons of cookies and stuff that people brought or sent, but I kept giving it away to my visitors and offering it to the nursing staff, because I couldn’t eat it all.

  • mostlyclueless

    “You can breastfeed when pregnant, but it’s unnatural.”

    Why does it matter if it’s natural or not? Seriously, Dr. A?

    • Azuran

      It doesn’t. But since advocate of homebirth/natural shills are all about ‘natural’ things, she pointed it out.

      • mostlyclueless

        I thought these were actual rebuttals, not rebuttals that are only convincing if you use logical fallacies as the basis for your worldview.

        • LibrarianSarah

          She was pointing out Tietje’s hypocrisy. Tietje criticizes things that are “unnatural” (vaccines, inductions, GMO’s, formula etc) based solely on the fact they are “unnatural.” So Amy points out that tandem nursing is also “unnatural” but it is something Tietje likes so it doesn’t count.

          She should have added IMO that the only reason that Tietje and those like her can tandem nurse is because of a wide variety of other “unnatural” things such as industrial farming providing enough calories, and modern housing keeping out predators etc.

    • Megan

      I think she was referring to the fact that Modern Alternative Mama eschews all other things “unnatural” besides tandem nursing. That was my interpretation anyway…

      • indigosky

        That was mine as well. MAM is all for natural only, but she is pushing unnatural processes.

      • Tosca

        So is waterbirth. The only mammals that give birth in water are whales and dolphins. Yet altis are All About waterbirth.

        The logical disconnect makes my head hurt.

        • Young CC Prof

          They often confuse non-medical with natural. For example, I may use an ice pack as a first treatment for my child’s pain, and give medicine only if the ice pack doesn’t seem to work.

          Some people might say that the cold therapy is a more “natural” treatment. In fact, plastic filled with gel cooled to well below freezing in the summertime and a liquid containing purified acetaminophen are both equally unnatural.

  • Taysha

    The Glucola test CAN be avoided if you’re willing to comply with a strict regiment of blood sugar testing (3+times a day), food intake monitoring and report these back on a biweekly basis (assuming you know your head from your ass when it comes to blood sugar trends).

    I have a friend who wanted to avoid the Glucola, and did check her blood sugar religiously during her ENTIRE pregnancy. Her numbers were great always, but she was vigilant. If you ask me, that was a much bigger effort, but I’m glad she was willing to do it for the health of her baby.

    • Azuran

      All of this just to avoid drinking some bad tasting liquid? It’s really ridiculous.

      • Taysha

        She made sure she and the baby were safe. Good enough for me. *shrug*

        • Actually, she didn’t. Had she been a definite GDM, her methodology was not really the best it could have been. If she didn’t have GDM, she went to a great deal of needless trouble and expense, and might have not been eating properly.

          • Taysha

            Her methodology was lifted right off the T2/T1 testing patterns. I’m diabetic. We talked a LOT about what her testing said/did not say
            Also, there are cheap strips for glucose testing.

        • Fallow

          The baby is safe; whether or not it had to do with her methodology is uncertain.

      • Cobalt

        As long as you are responsible about managing your personal quirks and phobias, why not?

        I would just take the short test, but everyone has their thing. Mine’s painkillers.

      • Mattie

        See, I have an incredibly sensitive gag reflex and if stuff tastes gross I will throw up. Like, I had to have a test for asthma and the tiny amount of inhaler medicine that hit my taste buds made me gag…I’d likely try the glucola test but if I couldn’t do it I’d just do the daily blood glucose testing.

        • Azuran

          But you’d try it. If you can’t do it, that’s perfectly understandable.

          • Mattie

            I wasn’t going to…but that’s because I didn’t fully understand the risks of GDM, I fortunately don’t have to worry about it now, and I will def cross that bridge when I get to it. Obviously puking is never fun and I’m pretty sure that when I have babies I will get insanely sick from the sensitive gag reflex anyway, so eh whatever we’ll see.

        • Sue

          ONE yucky-sweet drink vs many many times sticking your finger with a needle? Sounds easy to me.

          • just me

            Yeah, I found it gross but much better than the alternative.

          • Mattie

            Well, one I’d be able to do, one would likely make me vomit and so be unable to do the test…it’s not a question of ease it’s a question of ability to tolerate it.

      • Mac Sherbert

        I try to sympathize, but as I didn’t find it all that bad…

      • JellyCat

        I can understand why some people may want to avoid that test.

        However, there are other options offered (in Canada) for people with low risk such as hemoglobin A1C but of course if results are abnormal you would have to go for a drink 😉

      • Fallow

        I didn’t think the Glucola I had was nasty. Everyone hyped it up to the point I was really worried, but it tasted like a melted, goopy popsicle to me.

        • briar

          Oh good, I’m not the only one! Everyone warned me about it and after I guzzled mine down I wanted another. It was yummy. Everyone was looking at me like I was a weirdo. Crap, now I’m craving one. Time to start TTC #2…

        • Liz Leyden

          It reminded me of the orange punch in the McDonald’s jug at every high school CYO dance I attended.

          • OttawaAlison

            Yup, we used to have that McDonald’s drink at track and field days.

          • An Actual Attorney

            I loved that stuff!

        • Kelly

          They did not give me a choice this time and I ended up with fruit punch. It was awful. I liked the orange better.

      • Sue

        Exactly, Azuran. Days of agonising labor are easily tolerable without pain relief, but one yucky-tasting sweet drink? Torture!

    • Unfortunately, that is not entirely true. For one thing, GDM is not diagnosed before 24-28 weeks, so “blood testing” for the entire pregnancy is a waste of time. Furthermore, as you rightly point out, testing 6 times a day, which is the protocol, is both expensive (approx $5-7 per day just for glucose test strips), and far more unpleasant than a single Glucola (in Israel we don’t use Glucola; both the 50 gym and the 100 gm GTT is done with glucose, a glass of cold water, and the juice of a fresh lemon squeezed into it. Patients tolerate this lemonade very well.)

      “Watching one’s diet” is not the same as being in a dietitian’s care. Besides, some GDM patients need insulin to maintain correct glycemic control.

      • Taysha

        They were pushing for a glucola test at 8 weeks.
        She did consistent 1-2-3hr pp numbers to show she wasn’t at any risk with recorded carb/fat intake for extrapolating.
        She is in the healthcare field, so for her (and only her) “watching her diet” was pretty close to being under a dietitian’s care. Had her numbers rising, she would have marched right into the OB for meds to control it.

        • Fallow

          Being “in a health care field” does not necessarily constitute being a dietary expert of any sort. I suspect if your friend actually were a dietary expert, you’d have said so rather than just vaguely handwaving “she’s in the health care field.”

          What do you evne mean by “health care field”, anyway? I have several paramedic friends – that’s a “health care field”, right? So they should be as good as registered dieticians?

      • fiftyfifty1

        “both the 50 gym and the 100 gm GTT is done with glucose, a glass of cold water, and the juice of a fresh lemon squeezed into it. Patients tolerate this lemonade very well.”

        Oh my goodness, this sounds like a terrific solution! Sounds really lovely.

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I was SO hungry when I did my glucola tests that I liked it. Two short tests with 50 g and one long test with 100 g because one of the short tests showed a borderline result.

      Best hours reading a book in a long long long time.

      • guest

        I would have liked it if they’d just carbonated it. Something about it being so sweet but not a soda was revolting.

        But of course I took the test.

        • OttawaAlison

          I swear it was carbonated when I took both the screen and the GTT back in 2006.

  • Megan

    OT but NPR did a story this morning about Neel Shah, MD and the assertion that women should be emulating the UK system and having homebirths with a midwife. I normally love NPR but wanted to scream about this. They gave only a few seconds of airtime to the doc disagreeing and all he really got to say was “the UK is different than the U.S.” but didn’t get to elaborate (you know, about how incompetent home birth midwives are here). Wish they would’ve interviewed Dr. Amy…

  • Inmara

    On #3 – no wonder that GT testing is considered inaccurate in NCB crowd if what their midwives offer is doing it in “natural” way, like “You don’t need to fast, just don’t eat anything sugary before” and “You can’t bear the taste of glucose? Replace part of it with orange juice and you’ll be fine”. I have seen such advice even in quite reasonable parenting resources. Here GTT is done precisely – 12 hour fasting (that means, you should just go to lab in the morning without breakfast), precise amount of glucose and liquid (maybe a bit of lemon juice to make it bearable), blood draw in 1 and 3 hours. I did it at home because I have testing device but even going to lab isn’t that bad if you know what to expect and bring some salty snack to get after testing is finished.
    Regarding #8 – I guess many doctors are not insisting that pregnant woman switches to organic-only-diet-and-don’t-forget-your-purely-natural-vitamins as soon as she pees on a stick, and how will Modern Alternative Mama sell them her products and supplements then? Oh, the horror! Women are indulging themselves with occasional BigMac during pregnancy, not the kale smoothie with some supernatural herbal supplement which could be bought in Kate’s website!

    • Gatita

      I was so sick during the first trimester and I craved the crappiest food, like Dominos pizza and canned ravioli, things I think are revolting and that I wouldn’t touch now. Somehow I managed to have a healthy kid. Imagine that.

      • Amy M

        McDonald’s hamburgers were like crack to me. I craved them, but when I ate them I regretted it—wicked bad heartburn. And one round of pre term labor, which was probably just coincidence that it happened shortly after eating McDs but I decided to blame it anyway, for no good reason.

        • Megan

          For me it was spicy asian food, particularly pho with practically an entire bottle of sriracha sauce in it. I also regretted it later when I’d get horrible heartburn. I never much liked really spicy things prior to pregnsncy so my husband thought his wife had been replaced with an alien!

          • guest

            I was extremely lucky to have only mild nausea with my twin pregnancy, but during the times I was nauseated, the only things I wanted to eat were potato chips, salted lemons, and olives. And I had a very strong aversion to coffee for the first half of the pregnancy. I read everything I could about safe amounts of caffeine (because no way in hell was I giving it up completely – coffee makes my life worth living) and then blam – I basically quit cold turkey around week 8. Pregnancy is weird.

            I had a woo-leaning friend try to tell me that my body “knew” the caffeine was bad for me and wasn’t that magical, and I was like, um, no. I hate the taste of coffee but coke and tea still taste just fine.

          • Inmara

            I got coffee aversion for a few weeks too – at the time morning sickness hit in (also had only mild nausea). After that, I’m back to my usual 2 cups a day.

          • Sarah

            Could be the smell. Tea and coke don’t have anything like as strong an odour as coffee. I don’t like coffee at the best of times, but really disliked the smell when pregnant.

    • Liz Leyden

      I ate a lot of Chinese dumplings, McDonald’s cheeseburgers, and Chicken McNuggets.

      • Chi

        Chicken McNuggets were one of the FEW things I could tolerate in early pregnancy. I wasn’t getting morning sickness, I was getting ‘after-I-eat-anything’ sickness. The only thing that didn’t seem to trigger my upchuck reflex and was quite happy to stay put was chicken nuggets.

        Oh and strawberry flavoured milk.

    • Monkey Professor for a Head

      I didn’t have bad morning sickness but when I got nauseous I found that junk food was all that sounded good. Anything with lots of salt and fat! I tried those fruit and veg juice shots once as I thought I should have a healthy snack – it tasted perfectly nice but I had an immediate aversion reaction and couldn’t think about it without feeling sick for the rest of pregnancy.

      So is my body perfectly designed for pregnancy and should I have trusted that it knew what it needed, or should I have forced down the kale smoothie even if it made me feel sick?

      • Kelly

        It is funny because I thought I was just being lazy but I loved fast food during my last stint of morning sickness especially Chick-fil-A. After it settled down, the strong desire went away and I realized that I had really really craved it during that time. I did not want my husband finding out how often I went there, so I started to pay in cash and hiding the bags. He never understands how intense these cravings can get.

      • Angharad

        I saw some chart on an alternative medicine site explaining what your cravings “really” mean in terms of vitamin deficiencies. It all sounded terrible. An example (probably not exactly what they said): if you’re craving chocolate, you’re deficient in potassium and should eat a banana. If you’re craving salt you’re deficient in some other nutrient and should eat spinach.

        • Azuran

          I just love the contradiction of the alternative movements. ‘Trust your body’ do what it tells you to do.
          BUT, if your body is telling you it wants sugar, it does not really want sugar, it want potassium.
          If it tells you it want salt, it doesn’t really want salt, it wants iron (I guess? or whatever else is in spinach)

          • Chi

            Dude if my body wants sugar, it wants damn sugar.

            Bananas are gross. I couldn’t even tolerate the smell of them in pregnancy. Hell I can barely tolerate the smell of them now.

          • Angharad

            Found it! Basically it’s saying your body is such a bad communicator that it tells you to eat bread when you really need beef. I think if my body is so terrible at getting what it needs, it deserves the chocolate 🙂

            http://naturallynourishing.com/food-craving-chart/

      • Inmara

        I was lucky for having only mild nausea, and during that time I really craved everything healthy – fresh salad, fruit juices etc. But that’s only me and I’m not thinking that my body magically “knows” what it needs – after 1st trimester I haven’t had problems with junk food, sweets and coffee at all.

      • Sarah

        Perhaps you needed calories and fat more than anything else.

    • KeeperOfTheBooks

      Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwiches was about the only source of meat-based protein I could stand the first few months.

  • Angharad

    My favorite quote from the article (about why you shouldn’t induce for a large baby): “A woman’s body is meant to stretch and open for a baby.” I think she’s using “open” as a euphemism for tearing. Because who wouldn’t rather wait and have a twelve-pound baby and incontinence for life instead of a nine-pound baby and a chance at normal function?

    • Daleth

      I know, totally. I mean, fourth-degree tears are natural.

    • Mattie

      Like, women can and do have large babies with no problems…but unless you’re psychic you don’t know if that’s gonna be you and your baby or not. Tearing is just so painful and uncomfortable and can lead to so many problems. All about proper informed consent…based on science not rumours.

      • Angharad

        Fair enough, and women can and do have problems delivering smaller babies. I had multiple extensive tears and recovery was so terrible I’m not sure if I’ll ever have another child, and my daughter was normal weight (7.5 pounds) with a small head (15th percentile). I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, and I just don’t think women should be misled into thinking tearing is natural and easy to recover from, or that their bodies can’t grow a baby too big for them to handle, which are both things I’ve heard multiple times.

        • Mattie

          Yeh, no…if our bodies were perfect we would never need birth attendants, or doctors at all. Obviously, if it’s your third baby and it’s big, but your other babies have also been big, then that’s a different situation from a first baby but even then…unless you have a crystal ball then it’s best to be cautious.

        • Sarah

          Well, positioning can be as important as tearing. If you’ve got a six pounder in a particularly difficult position, your perineum could still be a mess afterwards.

          • guest

            And head size. I was an eight pound baby with a large head. Broke my mother’s tailbone on the way out. She says she couldn’t sit down comfortably for a year.

      • Sarah

        I will say that my second degree tear with no 1 wasn’t actually that bad. Itched a bit when healing. Presume 3rd and 4th are much worse.

      • Eater of Worlds

        Someone told my SIL she should have given birth vaginally. It was her first baby, breech, and it was over 11 pounds when they did the c-section at 38 weeks.

        • Mattie

          That’s too many risk factors. Like you may be able to swing breech, or even breech with a large baby, but not breech, large baby, and first baby…or really even breech and first baby…just too dangerous. Glad your SIL had her section, and I hope her and baby are doing well 🙂

          • Eater of Worlds

            Yeah, it was 6 years ago so the “baby” is doing great. She was able to have a VBAC with the second because it was 4 pounds lighter.

        • Daleth

          Omg. “Someone” is insane. How… NICE to suggest that other people take massive risks with their babies’ health.

    • briar

      I liked my unnatural planned C-Section. Baby turned out to be smaller than estimated, but being a planned C-Section meant doctors could take their time. I was pretty normal by a week and back to 100% normal in about three. And I admit that I loved being able to jump back in the saddle earlier than my 6 week PP check-up since there was no trauma down below and that I didn’t have to worry about leaking when I laugh like my other mom friends.

    • Liz Leyden

      Incontinence is natural.

    • Amy

      No kidding, a c-section scar or even just the inability to claim you had a 100% natural birth is SO MUCH WORSE than leaking pee for the rest of your life.

      • Dr Kitty

        If you’ve seen one 30something with procidentia (basically, a prolspse so bad her uterus fell out of her vagina) after 2 “easy” vaginal deliveries of big babies, it is one too many.

  • anotheramy

    Ugh, I went to the modern alternative mama website and read the post. So many annoying things there, but one that sent my blood pressure soaring was under point #7, there’s a link to ” an article in a medical journal by a PhD RN showing the benefits of waiting for spontaneous labor”. Yeah.. the “medical journal” was “perinatal education” published by Lamaze International. It had an “abstract” (if you can call it that), but the article was basically a Q& A format, opinion piece. Nothing remotely close to a scientific study. Just gross. How naive I was for thinking it was gonna be from a real medical journal. I should’ve known.

  • I guess it depends on the goal the woman has in mind – if a natural pregnancy complete with the full range of natural pregnancy risks and outcomes is what is wanted, then I guess Katie has a point. Prolapses, shoulder dystocia’s, 3rd and 4th degree tears, fetal demise – all of it is “natural”, and not even exceptionally uncommon when pregnancy is left to progress as “nature intended”. Now if a live baby and minimal damage is the goal – a woman quickly learns that nature is a cruel crap shoot and a dash of technology vastly improves the odds.

  • Amy M

    These people (altie-shill types and their adoring fans) always come across as very black-and-while. There is only good and bad, and no shades of grey. Ms. Tietje presents her arguments as straight up true/false statements, so to her, only #4 is true, the rest false. She/They seem to apply to thinking to just about everything.

    It looks like she just picked all the things that the ncb’ers don’t like about “medicalized” birth and whimsically decided that they were all unnecessary or dangerous. I guess that’s what the homebirth crowd wants to hear, so they choose to believe every word. Does she claim that she’s done her research and then simplified it and this is the crib sheet so everyone else doesn’t have to?

  • Young CC Prof

    I hate that saw about inaccurate ultrasound size estimates. No, they aren’t perfect, but ultrasound IS the best way to estimate a baby’s size before birth, and it IS close enough to be useful. Don’t expect it to be accurate down to the ounce, but if the ultrasound says your baby is unusually large or small, he most likely is.

    Also, size estimates are a lot more accurate now than they were, say, 15 years ago. Better ultrasound machines, more knowledge about how to interpret the images.

    • Cobalt

      Ultrasound is a lot more accurate than any other proactive method. Of course, the most accurate is weighing the born baby…dead or alive…but that’s not preventative of anything but life and health saving intervention.

      • Dr Kitty

        Here is the situation I currently find myself in.
        A previous pregnancy in which my SFH measurements all equalled my dates, my 38w US gave an EFW of over 7lbs…and my baby was 6lbs 3oz when she was born at 39w, which is just under 9th centile.

        In this pregnancy at 31w my SFH was measuring 36cm (>90th centile for my individualised growth chart), 28w scan put this baby on the 50th centile, and I feel bigger than first time around. 34w Growth scan next week is going to be interesting…

        Of course, it’s all academic because I’m planning a ERCS at 39w, but at this point baby could be anywhere between 6lbs and 8lbs at term and I wouldn’t be surprised.

        In my first pregnancy my OB felt the safe limit for attempted vaginal delivery, based on my uniquely messed up pelvic and spinal anatomy, was probably about 7lbs.

        • Cobalt

          I wish other mothers could have your confidence, to just choose what works for them and not the narrative. There are those that even hearing all that would be pushing you to VBAC.

          My last pregnancy I happened to have an ultrasound 24 hours prior to delivery…he was 10 oz lighter than the estimate, off by about 11%. Had that gone the other way, he would have been the biggest of my bunch.

    • guest

      My ultrasound weight estimations were two pounds off. They were reading 50th percentile for weight and length the whole pregnancy up to the day before I was induced. Both babies were supposed to have been over six pounds. Baby A was a pound off, baby B was two pounds less than predicted. It is what it is. I wish it had been caught sooner, but I don’t know that anything could have been done if it had been. She is apparently at risk for obesity and diabetes because of her low birth weight/small placenta.

      But that’s not a reason not to get ultrasounds.

      • Amy M

        See, and they were actually pretty close for my babies. They estimated both A and B at 5lbs, A was, but B was 4.5lb (which at that size is a fairly large difference). I wonder how much depends ont he person reading it.

    • just me

      Yup, I was lucky. My OB on her not that fancy ultrasound ( hey I was used to RE and MFM technology) did a scan at 38w, predicted 6 lb, diagnosed me as iugr, and induced. Baby was 6 lb 1oz.

  • demodocus

    It’s more the exception proving the rule, but kangaroos can tandem nurse. That animal births show from PBS talked about it last summer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangaroo

    • Cobalt

      Lactation during pregnancy is common enough (horses, cows, etc).

      Tandem nursing is a whole other story. I saw a horse do it once. Of course, it was so bizarre that everyone was shocked and it’s still the only example I’ve ever seen. It was an “exception that proves the rule” kind of thing.

    • Adelaide

      We keep dairy goats and they will tandem nurse if the year old baby is aggressive enough or the nanny goat is just super chill. It isn’t the norm, but it isn’t uncommon either. It is actually kind of hilarious to see a goat with her own babies trying to nurse on her mother.

  • FortyMegabytes

    #4 confuses me. Are women not supposed to breastfeed their current offspring if they happen to get pregnant shortly after giving birth? I honestly don’t know the answer to that one.

    • Amy M

      I don’t know much about it, but some women find their milk supply dries up when they conceive again while nursing, making it difficult to keep breastfeeding the older baby. But, if the milk stays, I don’t think it does harm, as long as teh mother is nourished enough to produce enough for both.

      • demodocus

        And presuming she has sufficient glandular tissue, etc. to nurse 2 at once. Don’t a lot of mothers of twins supplement?

        • Amy M

          I have twins (and as a result, know a bunch of other twin moms–online and in real life.) I fully expected to combo feed from the get-go, but didn’t produce enough milk to even do that. I’d say most of the mothers of twins I know either combo fed, or used mostly formula, but one had an oversupply and could have fed another baby or two.

          • Cobalt

            I probably could have easily supported 3 or 4 babies, supply-wise. Spending that much time actively expressing milk isn’t happening though.

          • MegaMechaMeg

            There is a mother of triplets who makes the internet rounds who exclusively breastfed without supplementation when her triplets were infants and who is currently extended breastfeeding them through toddlerdom. I can’t even imagine what her oversupply would be with a single pregnancy.

          • Cobalt

            If everything works regularly, supply will go down to match demand. Many women start out with enough milk for twins or triplets, then the excess glands “deactivate” if they aren’t emptied often enough in the first weeks. That’s part of why pumping excessively, on top of nursing, with an already adequate supply isn’t necessarily a good idea. It can create a persistent oversupply in sensitive individuals.

          • guest

            Ding ding ding! This is what happened to me. I didn’t know it could and my hospital LC put the fear in me so I pumped on a crazy schedule while my twins were in the NICU and ended up with oversupply. It wasn’t all her fault since she was trying to help scores of women at the same time, but I needed someone to advice ME about MY breasts. When I paid for a private LC that’s what I got, but it did take awhile to get to a more normal and manageable supply. I once pumped 26 ounces IN ONE 20 MINUTE SESSION. And it was like being engorged multiple times a day. Ugh. I am starting to remember the feeling all too clearly right now.

          • Cobalt

            Nobody needs that much milk! 26 oz is a day’s worth for an average baby! If you you have that much overproduction, it’s time to either start supply reduction strategies or open a dairy.

          • guest

            Yep. When I explained what was going on to the private LC she told me to start dropping pumping sessions gradually until I was pumping just enough to have what we needed. (I had been advised to first let the babies nurse, then give them pumped milk, then pump, every feeding session).

          • Amy M

            Ugh! That’s awful. I would pump maybe an oz in 45 minutes, so I cannot relate. I’m glad it worked out for you eventually though.

          • guest

            Thanks. I rarely bring it up because of how many women struggle with supply, and even if I’m not boasting it can be hurtful. But it was a painful and awkward time for me, and also difficult for the tiny babies were were getting hit with a massive letdown. I switched to formula when I went back to work because I was tired of months of managing bodily fluid excretion to prevent oversupply, undersupply, mastitis, chafing, etc., etc., but I recognize that I was lucky to be able to breast feed both.

          • guest

            My impression from my twin group is that many are successful at breastfeeding both, although we’ve never polled. The group accepts all feeding choices, thank goodness. Anyway, I’m one of the twin moms who had enough for both of mine and probably a third too. It began with aggressive pumping advice from a hospital LC who assumed I’d have trouble building supply. I didn’t, and the crazy pumping regimen had me throwing milk away before my babies were a month old – my freezer was full. Oversupply with a hard letdown is no fun, either. I had to sleep with towels in the bed to keep from soaking the mattress every night even with the constant waking to feed newborns. It was a miserable time. Wet, sticky, smelly, and miserable.

    • Mel

      The way my mom knew she was pregnant with my youngest brother was the sudden refusal of her nursing 7 month old son to nurse.

      Apparently, David didn’t like the taste of the milk due to hormonal changes making it somewhat salty.