Australia’s Maternity Consumer Network is run by providers and supported by industry

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The Australian Maternity Consumer Network is mad at me!

Well, we know we’re really getting somewhere when the birth world equivalent of Woman’s Day jumps on our viral media on Birth Trauma!!

Yeah, nah thanks. The credibility of an American OB that fails to raise serious concerns about their own maternity system, is limited- American women are 50% more likely to die in childbirth than their mothers were, and black and women of colour are 4 x more likely to die.

Ignore Cochrane review into midwifery continuity of carer + WHO recommendations- polarize women by playing on their vulnerabilities. This fear based approach is to keep hoodwinking women so we won’t demand system reforms.

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What does any of this have to do with birth trauma? Nothing! It’s just pathetic ad hominems from an organization that can’t rebut my claims.

Is Australia’s Maternity Consumer Network an example of astroturfing?

Apparently they were stung by my recent piece accusing them of leveraging birth trauma to promote industry interests.

What do I mean?

Imagine a “Breastfeeding Consumer Network” organized and run by Similac and Enfamil and supported by money from Tommee Tippee and Dr. Brown’s.

Who’s interests do you think it would represent?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the organization has little to do with breastfeeding, less to do with consumers and everything to do with the sponsors promoting their own products.

Now consider Australia’s Maternity Consumer Network. It is sponsored by MyMidwives and Australian Doula College with money from a wipes manufacturer and the Mum Collective.

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Whose interests do you think it represents?

Let me help you out with images from their websites:

My Midwives, motto “Midwifery Continuity of Care for Every Woman”:

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Australian Doula College:

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The Mum Collective, “Connecting brands with our community of influencers …”:

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Do you see anything here about consumers? Me, neither!

I see a midwifery organization, a doula organization and a public relations organization that wants access to new mothers.

I see astro-turfing.

According to Merriam Webster, astro-turfing is:

organized activity that is intended to create a false impression of a widespread, spontaneously arising, grassroots movement in support of or in opposition to something (such as a political policy) but that is in reality initiated and controlled by a concealed group or organization (such as a corporation).

The folks at MCN, like any other industry representatives, are free to create an organization that pretends to represent consumers while actually representing themselves.

Hopefully, journalists will keep the MCN’s industry affiliations in mind in future articles involving them or pitched by them. If they want to hear from maternity consumers battling birth trauma, they should turn to the Australasian Birth Trauma Association (ABTA). ABTA was started by consumers, serves consumers and has a homepage that isn’t decorated with plugs for providers and industry.

That’s what a real consumer organization looks like.

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  • T Partridge

    OT but perhaps this post has a lot of Australians reading it: does anyone have experience with formula feeding from birth at RPA? (It’s a major hospital in Sydney with BFHI designation.) My obstetrician has warned me to expect pressure from the “breast police”, and it would be good to know a bit more about what to expect. Also if anyone has any suggestions for heading off the pressure I’d be glad to hear them. Thanks!

    More generally: a huge thank you to Dr Tuteur and this community for helping me come to terms with my experience breastfeeding my first child, and reach the decision that formula from the start is best for the second.

    • Kate

      Hi!
      I gave birth at RPA about two and a half years ago and there were definitely breast police. I lost a lot of blood and the OBs warned that I would likely have trouble BFing. The midwives seemed to not believe that. Even though my daughter lost a lot of weight, and was prescribed formula, we had to sign a waiver form to be given formula. None of the midwives believed I had no supply, I was told to try for 45 mins each side when she would hardly stay latched for 2 minutes. The worst moment was when I asked for our usual top up of formula after fruitlessly trying BFing, the midwife said ‘I think you should wait until you see the LC before I give you formula (my baby is screaming in hunger and we hadnt seen the LC all week), besides, if you wanted to be breastfeeding you should start trying now’. Was also encouraged to breasfeed while asleep on my side in a hospital bed and just lean her against a pillow to stop her falling out…

      I ended up writing to the hospital and they basically said ‘sorry but you said you intended to breastfeed and we supported you…’

      I would basically bring everything you need to FF to the hospital and tell them to F-off. I don’t know if they still sell them but the Tommee Tippee perfect prep machine would be perfect to bring as you just plug it in and it heats the water etc… if i have another bub I’ll bring ours to the hosp.

      • Kate

        Also the prep machine works with any bottles (no need to buy tommre tippee ones, especially as they leak)

      • T Partridge

        Thank you very much, knowing this we’ll just bring all our own supplies. Baby 1 thrived on formula in boiled water cooled to room temperature (once we made the excellent decision to quit trying to breastfeed) so Baby 2 can have the same.

        And I’m really sorry to hear you had such an awful experience at RPA, in so many ways. That’s not “support”.

    • AnnaPDE

      So I gave birth at the Wesley in Brisbane, not even BFHI designated, but the amount of absolute bullshit, stalling tactics and gaslighting just to avoid bringing the formula I asked for was astounding. Absolutely illogical, clearly false statements about how babies just need drops, or how a baby that is headbanging and screaming in desperate hunger is not hungry. So I’d say, be prepared for some awful breastapo.

      Unfortunately we don’t have RTF outside of hospitals, so I would recommend putting “formula feeding” in your plan, so they give you the bottles, which you can use as top ups if you feel like giving BF a go.

      • T Partridge

        Thanks, good to know how bad it might be so I can be prepared – but I’m really sorry you went through this. I’ll ask my OB to write down formula feeding on the yellow card (yes, all the crucial info for RPA is on a piece of cardboard that I carry around).

        • AnnaPDE

          Thanks! My one big takeaway from this whole having-a-baby thing is to never ever stop listening to your rational brain and maths-honed intuition. It’s ok now, but I felt super guilty about allowing myself to do what “the pros” said against my better judgement, and then lose a large amount of said judgement once we got into sleep deprivation territory.
          It’s tricky to be assertive (or downright rude) enough in the face of authority when you’re just out of surgery, but it would have been worth it.

          The kid seems hungry? That’s because they are.
          The drops of colostrum seem way too little to satisfy a baby? That’s because they’re not even a teaspoonful.
          You don’t have the impression a lot of milk is going into your baby? That’s because there isn’t a lot of milk getting into them.
          You’re wanting to do a weighted feed and the nurses are trying to keep you from it because those numbers would be confusing and make you think your baby is not getting enough? That’s because the numbers might really show that no milk is going in and you wouldn’t believe all the “oh it’s fine”.
          Some explanation doesn’t seem to make sense or contradicts basic physics? That’s because you’re being told rubbish.

          ETA Oh, it’s baby #2? Then you’re definitely aware of this anyway! 🙂

          • T Partridge

            My husband (also a maths person) and I definitely felt bad for listening when the “pros” told us that bub was getting enough milk, should get a tongue tie operation, etc. We’re mostly over the guilt now though, and won’t be listening to those people again. Our training did not prepare us well for the level of BS we would encounter.

        • Daleth

          Just bring your own ready-to-drink formula. Don’t depend on them to provide it when needed. Ask them for it, but have some on hand already so you don’t have to wait to start feeding.

      • T Partridge

        By the way does PDE stand for Partial Differential Equations? (I’m in maths.)

        • AnnaPDE

          Spot on! 🙂 There’s another Anna on this board already (who also happens to be in Australia), so some kind of extension to the name was necessary.
          I used to do regularity theory for PDE, but these days it’s more fun with discrete event simulation, also known as “playing SimCity and getting paid for it”.
          What’s your area? 🙂

          • T Partridge

            I do geometric group theory (so am somewhere between algebra and geometry/topology). And now I’ve probably outed myself to any other academic mathematicians on this board 🙂

          • MaineJen

            Math people are amazing 🙂 I never made it past calc. I bow to your modeling prowess!

    • rational thinker

      Tell them when they admit you that you are exclusively formula feeding sometimes that helps. Or you could put a sign up on the door of your room that says….”LC services are not needed. If you insist on providing LC services anyway you may be verbally and/or physically assaulted. Enter at your own risk.”

      • T Partridge

        Thanks, might try a version of that sign…

      • KeeperOfTheBooks

        My best friend exclusively breast feeds her kids, and STILL puts a sign similar to that (“no lactation consultants permitted”) outside her hospital room door because she despises them so much, which should tell you a lot about the profession…

    • Anna

      I can’t speak to RPA but I would ask your OB to assist you in any way they can. He or she isn’t likely to be around during the post partum period but they can and should take steps to protect their patient’s mental health. If offering colostrum is something you are up to, let them know that, if not just make it clear to someone early on that is the case. I was at a non BFHI and I had grand plans to rip up the formula consent form like Sinead O’Connor ripping up the Pope but as it turned out our little one was in NICU and I couldn’t get over there so my husband was asked to sign the form and just did so without argument because our daughter was in pain and needed some formula to help her settle. It was that or morphine and neither of us recalls a consent form for the morphine. In my experience the LCs are actually pretty busy and can be hard to come by when you need them but you never know.

  • Russell Jones

    The Australian Maternity Consumer Network is mad at me!

    Clearly, then, you are doing something right. This is like encountering an organization called Concerned Citizens for Adorable Little Kitty Cats and Puppy Dogs, only to discover that the organization gets 99.8% of its funding from the oil & gas industry and neo-Nazis.

  • Ima Skeptic

    Now tell us about the astroturfers on Facebook who push vaccines on folks who don’t want them.

  • Who?

    One way to tell what a person is like is to know who doesn’t like them.

    This guy seems to be a good one:

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/08/sydney-obstetrician-said-women-should-sign-a-consent-form-for-vaginal-births

    • AnnaPDE

      He’s excellent, has been around for years being honest about vaginal birth and its aftermath, and trying to stop the worst bits of NSW’s “Towards normal birth” BS campaign.

    • Amazed

      I’m scared for the journalist. So much righteous indignation can’t be good for her blood pressure.

      The midwives she has interviewed are disgusting but of course, I don’t need to hear what Hannah (perinatal mortality is a very limited measure of safety, look at the birth EXPERIENCE) Dahlen has to say. It’s enough that she is Hannah Dahlen.

      Hats off to Dr Dietz. I remember he used to be more restrained in his wording years ago but Ms Righteous Davies didn’t make an article about him then, right?

      I hate brazen POS like her. She has no business hyperventilating with indignation over the brute when she didn’t thought the doctor who politely discussed his concerns over women’s pelvic health years ago worth writing about,

      What a bitch.

      • FormerPhysicist

        He sounds awesome. She sounds like a snowflake who’s hurt her friends got their fee-fees hurt.
        I’m been incensed for years that medical consent forms don’t properly highlight the risks of doing nothing as well as the risk of the procedure.

        • Chi

          Yeah the entire article reads like she went around actually looking for people with bad experiences with him. Did she actually interview any of his former patients? Doesn’t look like it.

          She reads to me like a catty bitch with an axe to grind.

          • Anna

            Knowing the people quoted and some of the background Id say more likely those interviewed rallied together and went to the journalist. Ive read some comments from patients of Dietzs and colleagues and they all say he can be abrasive but he is frustrated by the stream of women he is seeing, some with horrific injuries that might have been prevented, and midwives making absurd claims like midwifery led care would prevent tears and its pregnancy not mode of birth that causes tears. Some women credit Dietz’s care with not being a statistic on maternal suicide. He is definitely on our side which is more than I can say for the faux feminists that post articles like c-section causes autism, the latest is c-section causes opiod addiction! Quite hilarious in Australia where you have to ask for anything stronger than Advil after day one.

      • Who?

        Exactly.

        A conversation is starting here about the emotional and financial costs of perinatal mortality. I wonder how much of that is related to women being told they can curate their birth experience the same way they curate their weddings and careers, and that their future as a parent hangs on appropriate curation?

        https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-08/perinatal-mental-illness-costing-healthcare-system-million/11685866

        • Who?

          Gaah, perinatal mental health, not mortality.

        • Amazed

          Who in their right mind thinks that everything in their life depends on them anyway? Even if you live in a cave, a bear might just appear. And we don’t even live in caves and on our own.

          Look, I sympathize with the feelings of disappointment. I hate to have my plans and fantasies ruined by something or someone. But such is life. I am not crazy enough to believe that only if everyone had played along, I would have gotten my way. Life happens. You rage, you pick yourself up, you dust yourself off and you go on. If not everything in life depends on appropriate curation, why would you believe your parenthood will?

      • Kate

        I love that he doesn’t use her Professor totle! And really, hot compresses? How about an epidural… as someone who had a 3a tear, i’m not sure how much good a warm towel would do…

        • Amazed

          To be fair, it would do a WORLD of good – admittedly, not to the suffering woman but SOMEONE’s self-esteem!

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Sometimes, but from what I’ve heard, Dr. Dietz’s comments are inappropriate and indefensible. It doesn’t change the fact that vaginal birth causes life changing injuries for mothers, but his behavior puts the focus on him, not on women who are suffering. Sadly, Dr. Dietz’s valuable contributions to GYN are now going to be overshadowed by his behavior.

      • Amazed

        Normally, that’s what would have happened. But normally would be “the focus is on the women who are suffering and he shifts it”. Alas, as an European user, I only see the damages caused by vaginal birth being discussed as a footnote in strictly medically orientated conversations – I don’t really count Dr Eugene DeClerqc and his infamous “Has someone asked women if they MIND being incontinent” line as focusing on women. Rather, I take it as a mockery of women and their integrity. Dr Dietz is literally the only one I have seen who was given some time – albeit some very limited time – in the press to speak on those concerns. He did it politely and he didn’t gain traction.

        The focus was never on women anyway. Dr Dietz only got some bigtime attention when he resorted to inappropriate behavior. But at least his concerns were given a voice, as shrill as the butthurt journalist was in framing them.

        We have all seen the way midwives are given space to present themselves – loving, caring, whatnot. The focus is always on them. They are human. Those tiresome doctors are just a bother and they present their opinion so very clinically. No humanity. Easy to dismiss.

        The focus was never on women who are suffering. Dr Dietz will keep contributing to GYN anyway. By working. And he doesn’t strike me as someone who’s going to care what people are going to think about him

      • Who?

        He certainly has some obnoxiously expressed and ignorant opinions about the state of his own profession, and the changes that are happening in it. That hardly makes him Robinson Crusoe as a senior medical professional.

        In Australia at least.

        But he seems to be on the money in relation to his speciality. The pushback he’s getting from Hannah Dahlen and the usual band of suspects is not to be conflated with the entirely appropriate challenges his opinions on other topics (not to do with how he practices his speciality).

      • AnnaPDE

        Can you point me to some kind of source for that? I’ve only ever seen him very outspoken against the push to make women go “natural” at all costs, which of course is labelled inappropriate by the people making that push.

        • Who?

          He’s made some fairly obnoxious remarks about the profession, particularly around the ‘weakness’ of young doctors who suffer from depression.

          That hardly makes him a rarity in the ranks of senior medicos.

          Those comments can be deplored while acknowledging his capacity as a clinical expert.

          • StephanieJR

            He’s an asshole in general, but he’s right about birth, basically.

  • Who?

    I wouldn’t count on the Australian media to bring too many scandals to light.

    We have a corrupt and mendacious government, and most of our media is owned by the Murdoch family, who are very keen to under-report known issues. Even major scandals (like government ministers profiting to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars from their portfolios) don’t get serious reporting in the main stream media.

  • Anna

    Also full of antivaxxers and 5G woonatics.

    • StephanieJR

      5G?

      • Anna

        Will fry your brain from the inside out… Unless you send me $49.95 and I will send you a special sticker for your modem.

        • StephanieJR

          Such a bargain, I’d be a fool not to!

        • Russell Jones

          lol

          Shades of Mike Adams, who started a woo empire in by selling Y2K scams back in the late 1990s.

        • MaineJen

          People really will believe anything.

  • mabelcruet

    OT, but speaking of Australia, the Academia.edu website threw up this paper as ‘suggested reading’ for me (which I really wish it hadn’t, because my blood pressure isn’t good at the best of times):

    https://www.academia.edu/35636010/Delivering_hegemony_contemporary_childbirth_discourses_and_obstetric_hegemony_in_Australia?email_work_card=title

    I am not fluent in academic anthropology and sociology psychobabble, but on page 54-56, she is complaining that an academic obstetric textbook, designed for trainee obstetricians, is showing “violent and grotesque imagery…a kind of obstetric ‘freak’ show; ghastly and gruesome images of diseased vaginas, deformed babies, abnormal cervixes, disorders of pregnancy, ruptured uteri and so forth giving a generally pathologic impression of women’s bodies and childbirth”.

    WTF??? She wants the book illustrated only with images of happy, healthy mothers and babies, all smiling and content after non-medicated, unassisted normal vaginal delivery? Seriously?? What the hell does she think the book is going to be used for? Does she have any idea whatsoever about how medicine is actually taught and what its for? Its whole frigging purpose is to recognize abnormalities in form or function and to treat them-not to sit and admire family photos of perfectly healthy births.

    She also doesn’t like the fact that the illustrations don’t show faces, only graphic close-ups of vaginas and torsos, spread open for the reader to “penetrate”. I’m not normally one for cursing, but seriously, does the daft bint think that we are getting off looking at female torsos without a face? And, she alleges, the chosen pictures of vagina and female torso are sexualised to show the triumph of authoritative and patriarchal medical science. For fucks sake, I feel like slapping her-just how on earth does she think obstetricians learn?

    • Mel

      Five years of college educator training and none of my books had pictures of the faces of actual students! I must think all teenagers have no faces!

      • mabelcruet

        I dread to think what she’d say about my pathology textbooks-page after page of various horrible syndromes and congenital abnormalities affecting fetuses and infants. Or forensic pathology textbooks-they are all about the different ways you can be assaulted, raped, tortured, or murdered with loads of scene photographs and autopsy pictures. She’d probably consider it snuff porn, and deride it as a manual to teach men how to abuse women.

      • Anna

        The midwifery and NCB groups here are always moaning about imagery used. Like “omg that news story had an image of a baby being bottle fed!!!!” and “why is the article about midwifery showing a midwife with a baby and not a woman labouring?????”. Theyre not happy unless every image is a woman in a birthpool with a midwife next to her. The rhetoric is “birth belongs to women” but the subtext is “those women are midwives!” – of course the baby doesnt warrant a mention.

        • rational thinker

          I remember a few years ago the lactivists were losing their shit about a commercial that had a dad bottle feeding a baby.

          • Anna

            They send in complaints if playschool shows bottle feeding!

    • rational thinker

      Sounds like the woman does not understand much of anything.

      • mabelcruet

        It’s triggered some memories relating to the organ retention issue many years ago. Undoubtedly, there were some pathologists who had been retaining organs (not without consent, because under the human tissue act that was in force at that time, consent wasn’t needed legally) , but without parental knowledge and with no explanation given about why the tissue was retained and what purposes it could be put to. When it came to a head, much of the disgust and opprobrium came from people who had no idea how an autopsy examination was carried out (‘they slice open the body from neck to pelvis! They take all the organs out!! They REMOVE the organs and SLICE them up!!! They put them back in the WRONG place all jumbled up!). There was disgust that we kept brains and other tissues (‘they hoard the organs for WEEKS and MONTHS!! They SHOW the organs to other doctors! Other doctors come to the mortuary and paw over them!!)

        There are solidly practical reasons why we carry out an examination in the way that we do, but it was treated as though we were doing whatever we liked with no professional oversight, and abusing our privilege as doctors. The Retained Organs Commission committee didn’t even have a pathologist on the panel initially-it was only after a few public meetings when it was very clear that no-one on the panel had any idea about the difference between ‘pots’, ‘organs’, and ‘blocks’ that they finally co-opted a pathologist. ‘Pots’ are medical specimens retained for teaching purposes-many medical school pathology museums have specimens such as different types of tumour preserved and mounted in see through perspex boxes containing formalin-this was absolutely normal practice for teaching medical students pathology of organ systems. Blocks are small samples of tissue, about the size of a thumbnail that are taken from each organ (liver, lung, heart, kidney and so on), and these are processed in the lab for microscopic examination. I was at a couple of the open access public consultation meetings, and the amount of misinformation being tendered beggared belief-the panel was making comments like ’47 organs were retained from patient A’, when actually it was 47 tissue blocks were retained (you often take two of each lung, two of the liver-right and left lobe-three of the heart and so on).

        Anyway, in the final report, the commission described the practice as complex, detailed, time consuming, and difficult for them to understand-well, duh! There is a reason why we train for years and years-its exactly the same for anyone in any profession that needs specialist training. I wouldn’t presume to judge whether my electrical rewiring in the house has been carried out appropriately-I got a professional survey done to consider that, so why do lay people presume to pass judgement on clinical practices without understanding why its done like that? This woman calling textbooks ‘grotesque’ is a prime example of that-passing judgement without any comprehension of the purpose of those illustrations. If she’d bothered to ask an obstetrician, she would have got an explanation of why it was necessary to show pictures of the various anatomical variations or obstetric procedures, but instead she decides to just bitch about it, call obstetricians sexual perverts for looking at ladybits, and assumes that the pictures are published for some obscene sexual gratification because that is the spin SHE is putting on the pictures, not the publisher and certainly not obstetricians.

        • rational thinker

          I think some people dont even bother with asking for an explanation about things like this. They overreact first and maybe ask questions later. Things like organ retention will always get a emotional reaction out of people because it once belonged to a living person. So some people maybe view it as disrespect even if the person is deceased.
          There was a accidental death case here years ago (student was trapped in a rolled up gym mat) and the family and others suspected foul play so case was reopened and they exhumed the body. When they did the second autopsy they found old newspapers stuffed in the chest cavity. Shortly after it was on the news how little respect they had showed and that they stuffed his body with garbage. If they would have just asked they would have been told that morticians use whatever they have at the time to make the body fit for viewing.

          As for the attack on textbooks with pictures that is just stupid. I dont know how she could think that pictures of diseased vaginas and other body parts is jack off material.

          When ever a doctor asks if a student can sit in on the appt whether its for me or for my kids I always say yes. If I ever have another kid I do intend on asking if they have any students who would like to watch. I wonder what she says about medical students watching a vaginal birth. I would not be surprised if she is against that too. Cause the student could go home and use the memory for jerk off material too.

          • StephanieJR

            The accidental death of teen Kendrick Johnson is an interesting case, because although the most commonly accepted explanation is that he suffocated in the rolled up gym mat (trying to get his shoes at the bottom, where he usually stored them for some reason), the parents are absolutely convinced he was murdered, to the point of naming two innocent students as the perpetrators, and I think it might have cost one of them a scholarship. There were accusations of organ theft in the funeral home (I’ve heard that newspaper is less common than other substances nowadays, but the funeral home prepared Kendrick for free for the family), claims of cover ups by the FBI, and failed wrongful death and civil lawsuits.

            (I’m a true crime fan, particularly of unsolved mysteries, but the general consensus online is that it was a tragic accident, with the family believing foul play)

          • rational thinker

            He was sharing the shoes with another student and thats where they hid them. I do think it was just a tragic suffocation accident considering the injuries he had. I can understand why the parents thought foul play. Grief can do that.
            They did say most places dont use newspaper any more,but its not uncommon. Maybe that was just all they had laying around that day so they used the newspaper.

          • StephanieJR

            They weren’t supposed to keep their stuff under the upright, rolled up mats and use lockers instead, but you try telling teenagers what to do. Sadly this was the outcome.

          • mabelcruet

            I was asked to do a second autopsy a while back on a child who had died whilst on holiday in mainland Europe. There had been an autopsy carried out in the country where he died, but the coroner in the region in England requested another one. When we opened the body, there were no organs at all, everything had been removed and retained and they’d filled the cavity with sawdust.

            In the UK, we aren’t permitted to retain organs unless there is consent from the next of kin (for consented autopsies) or unless its for the purpose of determining the cause of death (for coronial medicolegal autopsies). We tried to track the organs down, initially we thought that maybe they had been retained in the mortuary where the first autopsy took place. Eventually we discovered that the way the pathologist and the mortuary operated was that the mortuary technician removed all the organs from all that day’s cases before the pathologist arrived, and then once the pathologist had looked at everything, all the organs were put back haphazardly. Basically everything was kind of shared out between all the bodies lying open, so some got two tracheas, 1.5 livers, two hearts etc. It was utterly bizarre-that would get you struck off in the UK. So we think our organs got put inside another case after examination.

            Our standard practice here is to put everything back other than the tiny samples we take for microscopy. We always try and replace the brain in the cranium-the reason for that is that the babies are reconstructed by suturing and then using artificial skin (the same stuff they use in A&E for repairing incisions/lacerations of skin). The babies can be picked up and cuddled afterwards, and usually the way people pick up a baby, whether alive or dead, is by putting a hand under the baby’s head to support it. It sounds horribly gruesome, but if you fill the cranium with cotton wool or something, the baby wouldn’t ‘feel’ right when lifted. When you explain it like this in graphic terms, it can make people recoil in horror-its simply not something most people think about, but its done for the best reasons because we don’t want to make it any harder than it already is for the parents.

    • Cristina B

      If I had a disease or abnormality that was going to be used in an obstetric textbook, I definitely would not want my face attached to that.

    • AnnaPDE

      And then representatives of these fields wonder why they’re used as examples when someone is trying to illustrate the “See? Academics are useless stupid lefties with not a shred of common sense left in them, especially the girl ones!” prejudice. Seriously, this is why we have peer review, to filter out such people who’d embarrass their colleagues by playing at what they think is research.

      I like it best when this kind of “researcher” then calls herself a “woman in STEM” and shows off on both social media and the circus that is public science outreach, including telling off actual female scientists for being in bed with the patriarchy when they dare to voice dissent with the most egregious rubbish.