Jen Kamel, VBACFacts and lack of integrity

ban

The most important tool of any expert-in-her-own-mind birth blogger is the delete button.

Jen Kamel, commercial real estate professional, and expert-in-her-own-mind birth blogger is an excellent example. Kamel has been banning and deleting for years. Why?

Should women who disagree be seen, acknowledged and respected or silenced and banished?

But that’s not how Kamel sees it. Consider her justification for her recent interaction with a CNM (certified nurse midwife) who publicly exposed Kamel’s advice as dangerous and irresponsible. First Kamel deleted the CNM’s posts, which were scientifically accurate, and then banned her.

Laughably, Kamel attempts to justify her tactics as integrity when they are the exact opposite.

I think it is important to follow people whose beliefs are in alignment with your own. This way as individuals and as a community, we remain in integrity.

That’s not integrity; that’s brain washing.

In that space of integrity, I am known as someone who gets the evidence into the hands of parents, professionals, and providers.

Among obstetric professionals Kamel is NOT recognized as a person of integrity, but rather a shill who charges a fortune for information that is available for free at many other websites; who promotes process (VBAC) over outcome (healthy baby/healthy mother); and who provides false information and deletes correct information when others post it on her Facebook page.

I have had hundreds of health care professionals, such as obstetricians, family practice doctors, labor & delivery nurses, CNMs, and CPMs, attend my programs to rave reviews.

I call bullshit. I’d be surprised if there were a dozen doctors of any kind who would waste money on Kamel’s nonsense.

Most importantly, Kamel let’s us know that she doesn’t like argumentative women on her Facebook page.

Now, from time to time, I come in contact with someone in the community who doesn’t resonate with my mission. This is to be expected in life. I respect their choice to not resonate with the message shared, just as much as I hope in return they respect that I will remain true to myself… speaking out on the importance of VBAC access, the ethics of forced cesarean surgery, the public health implications of VBAC bans, and so much more…

So I if don’t resonate with you, then I humbly and graciously suggest that you might find more joy in someone else’s community.

Yet how would she feel if obstetricians took the same view, ignoring women precisely because they were argumentative over the issue of VBAC or refusing interventions or the right to bodily autonomy? I suspect she would be horrified.

Imagine for a moment that an obstetrician said to a patient:

From time to time I come in contact with a pregnant woman whose desires to not resonate with my views. I will ignore her desires and remain true to myself. If you don’t like my views, get another doctor. If you don’t like my hospital’s VBAC ban, find another hospital. Do not try to change my mind or my hospital’s policy; that would be an assault on our integrity.

Would Kamel agree with that? I doubt it.

If Kamel’s work is about anything at all, it is about making sure that women who disagree with their obstetricians are seen, acknowledged and respected, not silenced and banished. Yet Kamel refuses to make sure that women who disagree with HER are seen, acknowledged and respected; instead she ensures that they are silenced and banished.

Why? Because she cannot tolerate disagreement, can’t address scientific criticism, can’t let women think for themselves, and cannot be diverted from her primary task of making money.

That’s not integrity; that’s hypocrisy.

  • Sue

    Kamel’s explanation of her motivation is very revealing:

    “With my professional history as a commercial real estate research manager performing demographic and geographic analysis for international, national, and local companies, I was accustomed to gathering information, analyzing it, and presenting my findings in everyday terms.

    So, my journey began. I directed my skill-set to post-cesarean birth options and got to work.”

    In other words, she assumes that understanding medical research and evidence is just about number-crunching.

    With no understanding at all of the clinical sciences, medical decision-making or being held to account for outcomes, she has no hope of negotiating, let along interpreting and teaching – the complexity.

    • Erin

      Not sure that many of her supporters want that complexity though.

      One of the comments on her facebook page I found was quite telling:

      “But at the same time- I want to see supportive words from other mamas that are feeling what I feel and are expanding our minds with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions about our bodies. With all the technological advances I wish there was a button to hit to delete trolls! It would save so much freaking heart ache when I am just looking for like-minded independent thinking mothers.”

      If her readers just want an echo chamber, then from a purely financial sense I suppose it makes sense to provide that. As far as I can see, those “trolls” that this poster is talking about are women who were okay with their c-sections for whatever reason.

      • Anne

        “like-minded independent thinking mothers”?
        To paraphrase Monty Python, Life of Brian:
        “We are all individuals!”
        Lone voice “I’m not…”

        • Roadstergal

          “Ssssh!”

  • CSN0116

    Ugh, VBACs. I learned a lot from navigating my two VBA2Cs with an extremely conservative, high-risk, male, OB (whom I adore). I learned that people like Jen Kamel and women who strive to know every VBAC “fact,” know their “rights,” believe in their bodies, write-up birth plans, switch doctors, switch hospitals — are exactly who are PREVENTING VBACs and inhibiting the “VBAC movement.”

    They are also collectively working *against* ALL of the women out there who desire VBACs; creating some crazy culture that freaks out doctors and hospitals, and if you want a VBAC, you are automatically associated with the culture by default and must prove yourself OUT of it.

    You come at your OB with all of this shit and you’re going to get stereotyped and dismissed immediately. You come at your OB rational, calm and open-minded, and you receive respect and support. Pushing women to behave and think in the ways Kamel teaches actually directly sabotages them. I would know. Maybe I should start selling shit…

    • Karen in SC

      what an excellent point!

  • yugaya

    “And
    $300 is actually a tremendous value for all of the time you will save
    collecting this information yourself. You can literally hunt and peck
    around the Internet for months or years and still not be clear on what
    is fact, what are scare tactics, and what is just wishful thinking.”

    • Roadstergal

      Literally hunt and peck around the Internet?

      • Mattie

        You hunt and peck around the internet, then have a dust bath in the vacuum cleaner bag, before finally curling up with your head under your wing inside the tv.

    • moto_librarian

      Let’s assume she is distributing scholarly literature that she sees as supporting her agenda. Is she paying royalties for these materials? If a publisher were to get wind of this, there would be a lot of questions.

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      She’ll do all your cherry picking for you! What a bargain!

  • yugaya

    Bwahahahahaha: “The fact is, my work is mainstream. I cite the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG.)”

    ( guess which idiot layperson claiming to be a VBAC expert said that)

    I cite my neighbour Zoli often – he repairs elevators. I’m engineering mainstream!:)))

    • BeatriceC

      I cite MrC from time to time. Does that make me a biophysicist and pharmaceutical expert?

      • Steph858

        Mr C? Or Dr Zee?

        • BeatriceC

          🙂 MrC is how I refer to my other half. His Ph.D. is in biophysics and he’s a retired pharmaceutical researcher.

          • Steph858

            Ah. My apologies. I thought you were referring to the Medical Research Council and was attempting to make a lame joke.

          • BeatriceC

            No worries! I haven’t noticed your name around a lot so I figured that might be the case. I just wanted to clarify. 🙂

        • Roadstergal

          (There’s a set of dirtbikes/dualsports that have DRZ at the beginning of their names. Mr R refers to them as “Doctor Zees.”)

  • Dr Kitty

    Things I have learned:

    For every 3 women who have a VBAC, there will be 1 who has another emergency CS.

    For some women a successful VBAC is “healing”, for others an elective CS without labour is “healing”. For very few is a second emergency CS after failed TOL a good experience, never mind a “healing” one.

    Part of supporting VBAC means educating women that any TOLAC carries a risk of repeat emergency CS.

    Part of supporting VBAC means supporting the 25% of women who will fail to achieve their goal. I don’t see much of that from Kamel.

    Where does all of the “your body was built to do this” and “your body is not a lemon” and “you can do this if you want it badly enough” leave the women who DO want it badly, and DID shell out for the course, and STILL find themselves in the 25% of failed VBACS?

    With such a huge range of individual priorities and expectations and risks and benefits, it really doesn’t make sense to have the blinkered view Kamel seems oddly proud of.

    • Irène Delse

      Heh. There’s a reason why it’s called a *trial* of labor…

  • demodocus

    anyone who says they’re humble probably isn’t

    • Roadstergal

      “I’m bigly humble. The best. These other losers who think they’re humble – pathetic, just sad.”

      • Mattie

        “Think you’re really righteous? Think you’re pure at heart?
        Well, I know I’m a million times as humble as thou art” Amish Paradise, Weird Al… seems fitting lol

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
  • mostlyclueless

    Jen Kamel can fuck right off. Here are some VBAC facts for her:

    Five weeks ago I had a failed TOLAC, attended by a hospital midwife (CNM).

    My son was born with an Apgar of 3.

    His blood was acidotic (pH 6.88).

    His pO2 levels were 15 mm Hg and pCO2 were >100.

    Because of my VBAC attempt, my completely healthy son was almost sent to the NICU for his first four hours of life (the neonatologist agreed to increased monitoring while rooming in).

    My baby was suffocating and in distress until I gave up on my VBAC.

    I owe his life to the OB who did his c-section and the team who resuscitated him.

    I don’t think anyone owes their life to Jen Kamel or their VBAC.

    • moto_librarian

      I’m really glad that you and your son are okay. I hope that you don’t feel guilt for trying a VBAC. You were in the hospital where they were able to take care of him immediately.

      • mostlyclueless

        Thank you for your kind words. I do feel a little guilty, mostly for letting the pushing stage go on for so long (nearly 6 hours) even when it was obvious that he was distressed and we weren’t making any progress. I have to believe that if the doctors knew just how distressed he was they would have called it a lot sooner. But we are all ok now.

        • moto_librarian

          He could have suddenly taken a dip that made them worry. I do wonder why they would let you push for 6 hours though. Not so much because of danger for your son, but because of what it could do to your body.

          • mostlyclueless

            The CNM said that she had seen situations where mom pushed with no progress for a long time, and all of a sudden baby moved in such a way that they just popped out. I think she was hoping that would happen for me. The whole time we were trying different positions so they didn’t call it until we had exhausted every other option AND he started having decels that he wasn’t recovering from.

          • swbarnes2

            Is it really typical for CNMs to do VBACs? They aren’t garden variety low risk patients.

          • Azuran

            Under OB supervision it would probably be typical.

            Even in a hospital, it would make perfect sense for a CNM to monitor the birth. Even with high risk women, the OB isn’t going to be standing next to the labouring woman 100% of the time through all the labour if things are going fine. It’s the CNM’s job to monitor the birth, make sure everything is going fine and flag the OB at the first sign of problem.

          • mostlyclueless

            It was in a hospital with a 24 h staffed OR so I guess they decided the risk was tolerable/manageable. They also don’t use prostaglandins to induce VBACs (although they said under the right circumstances they would do a foley balloon induction or very low dose pitocin) which should reduce the risk of rupture.

            The CNM who attended me said she had only seen 1 rupture in the time she had been practicing, and it was actually on a first time mom (not VBAC).

          • moto_librarian

            The CNM practice that delivered my sons would do VBACs, but the criteria were pretty strict. I don’t think that they would do anything beyond VBA2C, and CEFM was a requirement. They were also practicing in a university medical center with 24-hour obstetric and anesthesia coverage and a level IIIb NICU. Back when I still followed their FB page, i would routinely see women bitching about the criteria.

    • Dr Kitty

      I’m so glad your son arrived safely.
      You absolutely did not do anything wrong by trying for a VBAC, it clearly just wasn’t meant to be and you were smart enough to call it quits when that became clear.

      I hope that you are recovering from the ordeal that you went through and that you are being kind to yourself.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      That sounds like an utterly terrifying experience. I’m glad you and your son are okay now!

      • mostlyclueless

        Thanks, I am too. I didn’t know enough to be scared at the time — it was only reading his discharge papers that I fully understood how much danger he was in and why they had wanted to take him to the NICU.

  • Heidi_storage

    She’d fit right in with my brother’s crazy ex-girlfriend, who came to lunch at my house and asked me if I’d had vaginal births for my two kids. I said I had, and she replied, “Good. Cesareans are BAD.”

    Um, so glad my birthing process met your approval? I guess I should be glad she didn’t charge me hundreds of dollars when she explained to me (at great length) why cesarean deliveries are harmful, after I observed that a great many mothers and children have been saved by timely cesareans.

    ETA: She is not a health care professional of any stripe, nor a CPM, nor a doula, nor even a mother herself. Not quite sure why she felt the need to educate me on the evils of surgical birth.

    • Roadstergal

      “She’d fit right in with my brother’s crazy ex-girlfriend, who came to lunch at my house and asked me if I’d had vaginal births for my two kids”

      In what universe is that a socially acceptable light-lunch question?

      • Heidi_storage

        I don’t know; it was only the second time we met; sadly, it wasn’t even the looniest thing she said to me during that lunch.

        • Daleth

          Omg. Please, go on! 🙂

          • Heidi_storage

            (After my two-year-old stripped off her wet clothes in the kitchen): “You still let her DO that? Aren’t you worried some pervert might be watching? Have you checked the sex offender registry?”

            (After we showed her our garden, and munched on a few herbs): “You shouldn’t do that; they haven’t been washed.” Me: “True, but I know there isn’t any pesticide on them, and we’ve been grazing on these herbs for years….” Her: “Yes, but neighborhood cats might have come and peed on them.” True, I suppose, but I think I’ll take the risk….

            She then announced that she wasn’t really my brother’s girlfriend because she couldn’t trust him; she’d made him give her his passwords and looked through his emails for evidence. She was fine with sleeping with him, though, because he paid for her groceries and let her do laundry. She said all of this in front of my brother and my kids.

            I think they broke up later that day.

          • Roadstergal

            Cuckoo for cocoa puffs. Glad he got out of that one!

      • Sarah

        Hmm, I had lunch with some new people, all women, at a training session the other day and we got to talking about how we gave birth. Maybe I just have boundary issues, but I’m quite happy to discuss the births of my offspring with strangers! The problem I’d have had with XGF would be the view on sections, not the conversation matter!

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Hey, she could have asked where is the strangest place you’ve ever had sex.

        What are some other great awkward light-lunch questions?

      • Was her name “Storm”? You need to watch Tim Minchin’s song by that name, if you haven’t seen it already. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhGuXCuDb1U

        • Roadstergal

          A rare day goes by that I don’t listen to something by Minchin…!

          • LaMont

            I’m seeing him live this evening for the first time!!

          • Roadstergal

            So exciting! I saw him several years ago at the Palace of Fine Arts – and then when Matilda was touring in our city two years ago, he had an impromptu show at the Nourse. We stood outside and bought two excellent tickets from a dude whose girlfriend had dumped him the week before, and he was scalping their tickets at the door. :p

            He’s SO funny and so fun as a stage act!

          • Dr Kitty

            TMI time…
            My daughter was conceived the weekend we went to see Tim Minchin on the Saturday and Seasick Steve on the Sunday.

            We were in the front row for TM. I had not realised he performs barefoot. I do not like feet, but his set was so great that I didn’t really mind.

            You’ll have a great time!

          • Roadstergal

            So- how was it?

          • LaMont

            So wonderful! I was fangirling so stupidly!! God I love that man. This past Tuesday, I worked on the last minutes of “Storm” (from “life is a mystery, but there are answers out there!” to the end) at a gathering of a group of actors, and it was so much fun. He’s the best.

          • Roadstergal

            Squeee!

        • Heidi_storage

          Ha, ha! Nah; anyway, my husband and I usually just call her “Laundry Whore” when we mention her.

          • Sean Jungian

            OMG, you just reminded me that I once dated a guy so I could use his in-apartment washer & dryer.

            I, too, was a Laundry Whore. Not a woo-ful one, though.

      • Charybdis

        I’d be liable to say something like “Oh no, I picked them up at the baby pound. They were having an adoption drive at the local Babies R US.”

        Or: “Nope. I’ve been reliably toilet trained since I was a toddler and I wanted to maintain my continence. Those Depends don’t come in a thong version”.

        Or: “Oh HELL NO! You couldn’t PAY me enough to have a vaginal delivery. CS was the best thing EVER! I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want one! I fed them FORMULA too!”

        Or: “So, do you orgasm from anal sex or do you find it too painful? Do you spit or swallow? Tampons, pads or menstrual cups?”

        • Roadstergal

          I would definitely go the anal sex angle. “I have no sympathy for women who don’t have anal with their husband, it’s such a fantastic bonding experience. People complain that it hurts, but it was so easy for me! If you do feel a little pain, you can just breathe through it. If you really love your husband, you won’t selfishly put your own desires ahead of his well-being.”

          • Charybdis

            You can manage the discomfort by changing positions, vocalizing and taking deep, slow, cleansing breaths. Your fear is what is making it hurt, just relax and imagine your sphincter relaxing and opening with your intonations. Oh, and it’s not *really* pain, it’s just pressure, intense pressure. If you power through, it is the most empowering, enlightening and earthshattering experience of your life. There will be a rush of oxytocin at the end, especially if you have an orgasm. Imagine the bonding experience between you and your husband; with all that oxytocin, it will be sublime!!

            Or maybe try anal intercourse in a pool, because water, amirite?

          • Poogles

            “Or maybe try anal intercourse in a pool, because water, amirite?”

            No no no – it has to be *warm* water, so obviously you need to try it in a hot tub 😉

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I love you all!!!!

          • BeatriceC

            The pool and hot tub don’t really work because chemkillz. Ya gotta do it in a bathtub or living room anal sex pool.

          • Roadstergal

            Ironically for the Ina Mae crowd, the anus actually _is_ a sphincter… :p

          • demodocus

            they really don’t get that ‘just pressure’ can indeed be painful, do they?

        • demodocus

          Or “They got out the same way as they got in, with a team of doctors and nurses.”

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            “They were born the way they were conceived: drunk in the backseat of the car”

    • BeatriceC

      *blinkblinkblink*

      I’m really glad she’s your brother’s crazy *ex* girlfriend.

    • namaste863

      Well, how rude!

  • attitude devant

    Well I’m a VBAC-supporting and -attending MD and I think Jen Kamel has a nice little scam going, charging jaw-dropping amounts of money for information that is freely available (e.g., on the ACOG website or from your own provider). In the most recent kerfluffe she was egging on a high-risk mom who wanted to VBAC but was outraged that one of her providers pointed out that she was indeed high risk.

    • Sean Jungian

      “How DARE you refuse to support my fantasy!!”

    • Azuran

      I do agree with supporting VBAC whenever possible. But it can’t be done from an echo chamber like that. There are risks, it has to be a discussion with a skilled health care provider.
      They are making efforts in my local hospital to allow more VBAC (I am personally not interested, but I think it’s good) But they are following very strict guidelines. And with the closest NICU being about 1h30 away in a speeding ambulance, it makes sense to not blindly allow anyone to do so.
      Women like her, who encourage people to ignore medical advices are extremely dangerous.

  • Angela

    Deleting and banning people drives me crazy. Just address the opposing views, or let your followers address the opposing views (which happens on many scientific Facebook pages or blogs).

    I’m reminded of Modern Alternative Mama who bans people just for asking polite questions if there is even a whiff that that person doesn’t agree with everything she says.

    What are they so afraid of?

    • Amy M

      I think they fear that a follower might think for herself, and decide that the disagreeing viewpoint is valid. Then that follower might “do her own research” (as they so often claim we should all do) and reach the conclusion that Modern Alternative Mama (or whoever) is wrong, and stop buying Modern Alternative Mama’s stuff.

      They don’t want to encourage learning and debate, they want to manipulate fear and ignorance to their monetary benefit.

    • That is the angering thing. They survive by creating the impression that there is a consensus. They get that consensus by banning. I remember the days in which I was so surrounded by people who had similar beliefs I took it for granted those beliefs were correct. Dismissing people who disagree as trolls and banning them works to maintain the illusion that there is no debate needed, everyone that matters agrees.

  • Sean Jungian

    She’s quite the wordsmith weasel:

    “I think it is important to follow people whose beliefs are in alignment with your own. This way as individuals and as a community, we remain in integrity.

    “In that space of integrity, I am known as someone who gets the evidence into the hands of parents, professionals, and providers.”

    So, kudos to Ms. Kamel for finding a way to rename “echo chamber” to “space of integrity”. Hoo, boy.

    • Roadstergal

      Being open to new evidence and alternative viewpoints is critical to my definition of “integrity.” I have had fruitful and pleasing discussions with people who hold very different fundamental beliefs from me!

      I agree that there’s a certain amount of ‘people who will never be satisfied’ and ‘Gish gallop’ and ‘mind open so far that brains fall out,’ but that’s the far end of the spectrum from Jen Kamel’s bullshit ‘integrity.’

  • Healthy babies and healthy moms must be the mission – the only thing that matters. That means supporting informed choice, respecting patient autonomy and providing quality care. Are VBACs a viable option that should be available and discussed with women and their care providers? Yes, in certain circumstances. However, there are circumstances that make VBAC reasonable, and other circumstances that make VBAC a dangerous option that puts both mother and baby in jeopardy. Why doesn’t Jen fundraise to ensure women can access VBACs in the safest conditions possible – in hospitals with 24/7 DOBA? Why doesn’t Jen work to solve the problems that prevent women from accessing the care they need? Sometimes a VBAC isn’t the answer – and why doesn’t Jen work to help women “come to terms” with what has to be done in their own context?

    • Sean Jungian

      She hasn’t done any of those things because she hasn’t figured out a way to monetize them.

      • There’s a great quote, “you lose your way, when you lose your why” – …or one could say, when you’ve got the wrong why in the first place.

    • Roadstergal

      “Sometimes a VBAC isn’t the answer”

      And that’s where you and Jen disagree. VBAC is ALWAYS THE ANSWER to her. Even to “Where should we do lunch?”

      • guest

        She’d better be careful – you can’t VBAC until you’ve had your first c-section. She’s going to end up advocating that all first births are ceasarian just so everyone can experience a VBAC in their lifetime. 😀

    • Monica

      Because to her hospitals should just be doing the 24/7 oncall anesthesiologist. She doesn’t care how they provide those services or what it costs or that it could shut down needed local hospitals, she just cares that all women get to have VBAC’s. It’s not up to her to figure out how it happens, because it should just be happening in her mind. It doesn’t matter what it takes to be safe. I mean it’s very clear she doesn’t actually know how it can be done safely since she advocates for HBAC. If she had any concern or knowledge of safety what so ever, then she wouldn’t advocate HBAC.

      And honestly, you don’t even need to be educated to know the dangers of VBAC. I had a c-section 9 years ago. My doctor told me as soon as I signed up for the c-section that I’d be a perfect candidate for a VBAC if I decide to have more children. I thought that would be my last and honestly didn’t care if I delivered vaginally or c-section anyways, I had 2 previous vaginal births. I knew I wasn’t missing anything. I ended up pregnant just over 3 years later though and when I got to the end of my pregnancy our doctor and I discussed my options given my previous c-section. She was still very on board with me having a v-bac and she went over everything with me in depth including explaining how the pendulum is swinging towards more vbacs now than before, but they could only do it in a hospital that had 24/7 anesthesiologist. And of course she told me about the chances of rupture at that point and did tell me about her own track record with vbac. In all her years she only had one rupture, but mom and baby were both fine because they were in the hospital and got the c-section right away.

      All this to say, I’m not a doctor, or nurse, or medically educated at all, but I sure as hell could tell you HBAC is not a good idea and is not safe. Encouraging women to just give birth at home when they run into a hospital ban is the worst possible advice to be given and her arrogance to say doctors and medical professionals look to her for answers is really very arrogant. There’s no way, I mean it has been 5 years, almost 6, since I had my own discussion with my OB about a vbac and I’m sure she did not get her information about vbac from the likes of her. If she did, then she wouldn’t have told me about my risk of rupture, my need to have constant fetal monitoring because of that risk, and the need to have a hospital with an anesthesiologist on call 24/7 because those are not things that Jen teaches. And yet I had a vbac and I was given accurate information with all of the thoughts of my safety and that of my child.

    • Azuran

      It’s sad how they pretend to use facts, but take them out of context and don’t use them properly in order to make women believe their lies.
      My local hospital has a VBAC success rate of around 70%.
      She’d use this statistic to say that everyone should VBAC and they all have 70% rate of success.
      Except
      no, the hospital has very strict risking out criteria: No GD, no high
      blood pressure or any other maternal illness, No breech, no multiples,
      no severely overweight mothers, a maximum estimated foetal weight, no
      previous dystocia, spontaneous labour, no one over 40 weeks and at least
      2 years since the c-section.
      So in this very carefully selected population of women, the VBAC success rate is good. But that doesn’t apply to everyone.

      But there is no money to be made from actually doing things to help improve care, and it requires hard work. Getting money from desperate people eager to eat your lies is just so much easier

      • Poogles

        “So in this very carefully selected population of women, the VBAC success rate is good. But that doesn’t apply to everyone.”

        And even in this very carefully selected population, with the highest odds of success, nearly a third of them *still* aren’t successful – but of course, that’s waved away by the likes of Kamel

    • Allie

      I’m not sure where this myth came from that all OB’s instantly dismiss the idea of trying VBAC. Everyone I know who has had a CS has been offered the option of trying vaginal birth, although going straight to an elective CS is also an option if you’ve already had one. Basically, it’s a classic case of informed consent: present options, discuss risks and benefits, decide. And if you opt for a trial of VBAC, you see how things go and then reevaluate. Not sure what all the fuss is about, but I guess feelings of persecution are part-and-parcel of the larger delusion : /

      • Sean Jungian

        It seems to me like they get a lot of their “arguments” from around 40-50 years ago (60s and 70s).

        • Daleth

          That’s true of so many issues that natural birth advocates care about. “Home birth so you can avoid routine episiotomy!” Wait, what? Those haven’t been routine since like Ronald Reagan was in office. Etc….

          • Heidi

            That, and I’ve seen them still claim they shave your pubic hair and give an enema (which if I understand correctly, they felt like having empty bowels helped labor along as opposed to whatever reason they think they gave women enemas). Perhaps they do shave some pubic hair for a c-section but I’ve shaved many a patient pre-op whereever the surgery was being done. No one gave me an enema and no one shaved me, no one drugged me up to unconsciousness and no one forced an epidural on me! Also didn’t receive an episiotomy; it was never even spoken of. I remember that LJ person claiming in the US they beat violently on our bellies just because. That didn’t happen either!

          • Sean Jungian

            Even 15 years ago
            -I wasn’t shaved
            -no episiotomy (I did have a minor tear though)
            -I was asked to complete a “birth plan” mostly to communicate how much pain management I was comfortable with (ALL the drugs, please) and if/when I might want an epidural (yes, please, ASAP and thank you)
            -I was allowed to have whomever I wanted in my birthing suite (inside a regular ol’ hospital) and they had fold-out chair beds and window cushions for my guests to sleep if they chose
            -I had my own bathroom, with a sterile whirlpool tub in case I wanted to use that to ease pain/help with labor; also a shower if I wanted that
            -also had a CD sound system (this was before DVDs were as popular) and television.
            -The hospital also provided beepers for me to give to my partner and my “birth coach” (my sister) to alert them when I was in labor (this was pre-ubiquitous-cell-phones)
            -Everyone told me clearly what was happening and what was about to happen (if someone was going to touch me, etc)
            -I labored all night so I guess no one had to get to his or her golf game because no one suggested a CS (it wasn’t indicated in my case)
            -The doctor and the nurses all checked in with me constantly while delivering, seeing how I was doing, encouraging me
            -They asked my partner if he wanted to cut the umbilical cord (he demurred, said let the pro do it)
            -They cleaned up my newborn son, wrapped him in a blanket and handed him to his father to bring to me.
            -They cleaned me up too and made me comfortable, then they discreetly left the room while we all got to know the new baby
            -They asked me if I wanted to keep my son in the room with me or if I wanted him to go to the nursery. I kept him with me until I was sleepy, then I rested up overnight and was ready to get home the next day.
            -I don’t recall if I was offered formula because luckily for us breastfeeding went well and by the next afternoon my milk came in abundantly.

          • MI Dawn

            We were still shaving and doing enemas when I was in nursing school and my first job (early 1980s) but within a year or so, it had become obsolete.

            Although, enemas were still offered to some women if they were really constipated when they came in if they were in early labor but they weren’t part of the admission routine any more.

  • moto_librarian

    Two things that really bother me about Jen Kamel:
    1. She has absolutely no understanding of what it means to be an expert in a discipline. She fancies herself to be one, ignoring that her extremely shallow surface knowledge hardly qualifies her as a novice learner. She, like many other people in the NCB world, value intuition and transgression over actual academic and clinical experience. Part of being an educated person means that you can recognize when you are out of your league. She does not, and it has already had disastrous results.
    2. If Kamel were so confident in her beliefs, she would welcome disssenting voices. Because she knows that she is a fraud, she cannot tolerate even the mildest of criticism. She must have an echo chamber, because the second that those with actual expertise in obstetrics begin asking questions, she knows that she has no valid response.

    • Madtowngirl

      My intuition tells me to trust doctors. I’ll bet that blows her mind.