Jen Kamel and the arrogance and ignorance of the birth blogger buffoons

woman with noisemaker on the party

Are you gullible?

Would you take flying lessons from a stewardess?

Would you get legal advice from legal secretary?

Would you take cardiology advice from someone whose qualifications are 3 heart attacks?

If you’re getting your childbirth advice from Jen Kamel and her fellow birth blogger buffoons, you ARE gullible. What’s worse is that you may be so gullible that you are actually paying for that “advice” in the form of “work shops,” courses, web subscriptions, etc. And what’s even worse is that your babies may be paying for your gullibility as you risk (and lose) their lives by following the bloggers’ “advice.”

Who are the birth blogger buffoons? They are women with no training in obstetrics who have the temerity to believe that they know more about obstetrics than obstetricians. They are walking, talking illustrations of the Dunning-Kruger effect, which Wikipedia defines as:

Unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude.

How can you identify the birth blogger buffoons? In most cases, it’s pretty easy. All you need to do is consider their role in the provision of obstetric care.

Doulas are the equivalent of stewardesses; their role is the comfort of clients (passengers). Doulas don’t know any more about childbirth than stewardesses know about safely flying the plane.

Childbirth educators are the equivalent of legal secretaries. The job of a legal secretary is to assist the lawyer; they may know legal terminology but they are unqualified to practice law or to evaluate those who do. Similarly, childbirth educators may know obstetric terminology, but they are unqualified to practice obstetrics or midwifery and incapable of evaluating those who do.

Lay birth bloggers are like lay people everywhere. They have no specialized knowledge, only their own experience, which they often don’t fully comprehend, and which may be irrelevant to your personal situation. Looking to a woman like Jen Kamel for advice on VBACs simply because she had a successful VBAC is like taking oncology advice from someone who survived cancer. It is confusing luck for knowledge.

There are many, many birth blogger buffoons out there, but some are more popular than others. Some of the biggest birth blogger buffoons, in addition to Jen Kamel, are:

Ricki Lake of The Business of Being Born and My Best Birth

January Harshe of Birth Without Fear

Gina Crosly-Corcoran of The Feminist Breeder

Doula Teri Shilling, former president of Lamaze International, of My OB Said What??!!

The childbirth educators of the Lamaze blog Science and Sensibility

The folks at ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network)

Journalist Jennifer Margulis

This is hardly an exhaustive list; there are many more.

How do you recognize a birth blogger buffoon? By what they are selling and by the fact that they are selling it. Their primary product is always distrust of modern obstetrics. Although modern obstetrics is probably the most spectacularly successful of all the many successful medical specialties (dropping the neonatal mortality rate 90% and the maternal mortality rate 99% in the past 100 years), the birth blogger buffoons never acknowledge the many, many, many lives saved by obstetricians each and every day. The secondary product is the services, books, workshops, and paid advertising from which they profit. They are not giving their “advice” out of the generosity of their hearts; they make money from it.

For example, both Jen Kamel and Gina Crosly-Corcoran run VBAC Workshops and charge steeply for them. You have to be some kind of stupid to spend money on a doula VBAC workshop from someone who has no experience managing VBACs, grossly deficient knowledge of the risks and benefits, and no obstetric knowledge at all. On the gullibility scale, that’s right up there with paying a stewardess for flying lessons!

I think this person sums it up best:

Every practitioner … has likely witnessed the problems that occur when lay people cross the line of giving information and feel competent to dispense actual medical advice despite the absence of any clinical training or education… A doula is not a medical expert, and medical advice is outside a doula’s area of practice.

My objective is to issue a warning: There are a lot of people out there who have no idea what they are talking about. And it is downright shocking to me how many parents and professionals are willing to just accept something as truth simply because they read about it on a blog … A little bit of knowledge is not enough to understand any complex subject including post-cesarean birth options.

Who said it? Why Jen Kamel, of course. Now if we could only get her to take her own advice.

314 Responses to “Jen Kamel and the arrogance and ignorance of the birth blogger buffoons”

  1. Bob Olson
    June 12, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    Sense this discussion has descended into personal attacks and insults it would appear my work here is done. When I showed up here yesterday there had not been a new post on this web sight for a month.

    Oh! Maybe I work for Dr. Tuteur to get the discussion going again? Or may be I am a CIA plant to judge the reaction to government dictated health care. It could be that I am just tired of bullies running around like a pack of wolves pouncing on anything they see as not up to their standards. What ever those are.

    I’ll help you out with the discussion of my leaving.
    1. We defeated him and he ran!
    2. He is a coward!
    3. He is a moron who could not state his case.
    4. Ect. Ect. Ect…….

    I have a life beyond this silly blog. The true believers will never be convinced of anything so this is a complete waste of my time. You may now return to you bubble where you all sit around and agree with each other. After you finish trashing me you can go another month before anyone posts here again. Have fun!

    • Young CC Prof
      June 12, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

      Or, you know, you could visit the homepage and find an active post.

      • Siri
        June 12, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

        God, YCCP, why are you so much more mature than me?! I’m sure I’m old enough to be your mum…

    • Siri
      June 12, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

      Don’t let the door hit you on your flouncy rear.

      ‘Bob’. Tee-hee.

      • Bombshellrisa
        June 12, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

        Oh well, I hope he is better at flouncing than some of our more recent trolls

        • Siri
          June 12, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

          ‘My work here is done’. Snigger.

    • Bombshellrisa
      June 12, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

      Don’t flatter yourself

    • Stacy48918
      June 12, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

      “When I showed up here yesterday there had not been a new post on this web sight [sic] for a month.”

      Wow. There’s a new post EVERY WEEKDAY on this blog. You’re obviously too lazy to find the homepage.

      Perhaps there wasn’t a comment on THIS POST in a month but that’s because there have been 15-20 NEW POSTS since then.

      You’re a very self-absorbed individual. “The blog was floundering until *I* showed up.” Go away already.

      • Mishimoo
        June 12, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

        Two posts on one day if someone is injured, dying or dead at the hands of birth hobbyists.

      • Bombshellrisa
        June 12, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

        He thought he was “saving” this blog LOL
        He can’t even figure out how to get to the homepage. And he wonders why we cannot take his arguments seriously.

    • Who?
      June 12, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

      Can you take, into your life beyond this silly blog, that the abbreviation for ‘etcetera’ is ‘etc’ not ‘ect.

  2. MaineJen
    June 12, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

    Wait: so CHER was the dried up old Marxist bat?? Mind. Blown. This has been highly entertaining.

    • Who?
      June 12, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

      I thought it was Nancy Pelosi-he had a flouncette earlier about me quoting it ‘as though’ he intended to refer to Dr T.

  3. Siri
    June 12, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

    I am proud to announce a new addition to my vocabulary! It was born just moments ago, at home in my own bed, in the sacred presence of my 24356781234567 other words. There was hardly any blood loss, and just a hint of logorrhea. From now on, Bob Olson is my new word for shill. Next time Orac is accused of shilling for Big Pharma, I shall retort, Well, Sir, YOU are just a Bob Olson for Burzinsky/Wakefield/some phoney wellness blogger!

    Watch this space for the full birth story; I haven’t invented all the gory details yet.

    • Bombshellrisa
      June 12, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

      Well, I wasn’t bright enough to realize we have a new word for shill HOWEVER I did realize we have discovered a new type of troll. We have concern troll, tone troll and now we have random defense troll.

      • Young CC Prof
        June 12, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

        Random Defender Man! The hero who dives into a conflict he knows nothing about and starts defending a side, complete with masses of misused technical terms. All the better if it’s on an old post and he is alone.

        • Bombshellrisa
          June 12, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

          Kind of like the random defense troll for Katie McCall last week. Although, to be fair, that was a recent post. She was still by herself though.

      • Siri
        June 12, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

        Shill troll? I still think Bob is Jen’s dad.

        • Bombshellrisa
          June 12, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

          I have had a lot of interaction with guys like this in my life. My father in law in particular, who believed all doctors were greedy shills for big Pharma. He was a more vocal home birth, cloth diaper, breast feeding advocate than anyone else I know. When I wanted to be a homebirth midwife, he defended my idiotic philosophy to everyone. When I changed my tune, he turned on me.

          • Siri
            June 12, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

            I feel for you. He should count himself lucky to have such a lovely, intelligent, sensible daughter-in-law! Not to mention provider of beautiful grandbabies…

          • Bombshellrisa
            June 12, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

            Thank you Siri! He passed almost two years ago, a victim of the woo. No folks, herbal remedies are no substitute for proper care for an insulin dependent diabetic who has a history of alcoholism, heart disease and has already had one heart attack. It’s sad. He loved his granddaughter. He would have loved his grandson.

  4. Bob Olson
    June 11, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    Just so I understand. A person who amasses knowledge from professional and credible sources in a central location for easy reference is somehow a buffoon? Sense when has a person without medical training been barred from saying, Here are the facts as stated by medical professionals and academics. Use this information to help you decide what is best for you?

    It is the arrogance of some professionals who think that their degree makes them the last word in any discussion that is the problem here.

    After reading much of what Jen Kamel has posted I find nowhere where she has taken any position on what an expectant mother should chose to do. She is just providing information from highly credible sources.

    For this sin she is vilified by a “professional” who conducts herself like a junk yard dog?

    I suppose that the fact that Bill Gates never received a degree in computer science, business management or anything else for that matter, disqualifies him from running Microsoft. Someone should let him know! Maybe this junk yard dog Amy Tuteur MD would be just the medicine needed to put this buffoon Gates in his place! After she finishes slandering Jen Kamel of course.

    • Mishimoo
      June 11, 2014 at 10:39 pm #

      Follow the money – Dr Amy doesn’t have seminars or courses, nor does she sell anything. Jan Kamel and Co all seem to be very willing to sell things to their followers. Who has more of a financial incentive to misrepresent information?

      • Bob Olson
        June 11, 2014 at 10:49 pm #

        You seem to be up to speed on what Jen Kamel does, right? Link me to the page where she is promoting one course of action over another. She is compiling and distributing highly credible information. If she can make a buck from this service more power to her.

        As far as Jen Kamel and Co (Her name is Jen not Jan) I have no idea who the “Co” is.

        • Who?
          June 11, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

          ‘Highly credible’ doesn’t mean what you think it means.

          Making a buck is so much more important than the life and health of others, isn’t it.

          And just while I’m here, Bill Gates and his business that he started from an idea, make new things that people think are so good they want to buy them. I personally don’t, but since choosing a PC over a Mac doesn’t endanger anyone’s health (except my husband who finds PCs rickety and unreliable) I can live with it.

          And BG is doing amazing life saving stuff in Africa.

          • Bob Olson
            June 11, 2014 at 11:17 pm #

            Highly credible means highly credible. Jen Kamel is not posting her original thoughts. She is posting the work of “Highly Credible” professionals and organizations. If you disagree with their work that is not Jen Kamel’s fault or problem. She is providing a service by collecting this information in one place for easy access. For this she should be slimmed? If you have a problem with a person making money that is your problem.

            Bill Gates will be thrilled that you can live with his product being made and sold.

          • fiftyfifty1
            June 12, 2014 at 10:01 am #

            “She is providing a service by collecting this information in one place for easy access”
            It’s not a “service” if you provide biased information in order to influence your reader to buy what you are selling.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 11:59 am #

            And highly qualified professionals can and do disagree. So your point is that if not everyone sees a block of information as “Fair and balanced” then no one should see the information at all? That should work out well.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            June 12, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

            But Jen Kamel isn’t a professional, let alone a highliy qualified one, is she?

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

            I was not speaking of Jen Kamel in that context. I was speaking of studies from highly qualified professionals differing with each other. Medical research and studies are not like climate science where the professionals promoting one side of the issue can just declare “The science is settled and the debate is over!” For the first time is scientific history they know all there is to know and all that will ever be known on the subject. A fools folly indeed.

          • Young CC Prof
            June 12, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

            She has the right to draw up her website. And other people have the right to point out that, while some of it is correct, she’s made dangerous errors and omissions. As other commenters have pointed out, she supports HBAC and does not discuss the risks.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

            Please set me straight and point me to where she says this is what a person should do. I am unaware of Ms. Kamel writing or saying this is the choice anyone should make.

          • Young CC Prof
            June 12, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

            In this article, she basically says that if you try to VBAC in the hospital, you’ll automatically be bullied into a c-section, so you should just do it at home instead. She also employs a classic NCB fallacy, popular among people who don’t understand statistics, claiming that a looking at your hospital’s c-section rate is a good way to determine your chances of a c-section. (This is only slightly less absurd than looking at the average age of your town to find out how old you are.)


          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

            There are lies, damn lies and statistics. I am sure you have heard this old saying before.

            If hospital A has a 60% c-section rate and hospital B 5 miles away has a 30% c-section rate, assuming the facts are correct, I as a non doctor would think that the chances of a woman having a c-section in hospital A is twice as high as hospital B. But I do not have an advanced degree so what the heck do I know.

          • Young CC Prof
            June 12, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

            ” I as a non doctor would think that the chances of a woman having a c-section in hospital A is twice as high as hospital B.”

            Many people believe that, occasionally they would be correct, most of the time they would be wrong. The first thing I’d look at is the type of hospital. How many high-risk women do they care for? How many preemies and multiple births? How many low-risk women having a second or third baby? (That group is very unlikely to need a c-section regardless of place of birth.)

            There’s one hospital I know of that has a c-section rate over 80%. It’s Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the reason is they literally never do normal deliveries. The only pregnant women they accept are ones whose babies have been diagnosed with serious complications or, who are in or at high risk of premature labor.

            There is SOME association between hospital policy and an individual woman’s chance of c-section, but the hospital’s total rate is a really poor guide.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

            I am sure you are correct on Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The information for anyone looking at this hospital would explain the high rate. Anyone researching a hospital may start with the statics but that should not be the end of it. The fact that for some people it is can not be the fault the the person providing the statics in the first place.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            June 12, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

            The information for anyone looking at this hospital would explain the high rate.

            But how do you know that doesn’t just as much apply to your hospitals A and B? You just took the 60% and 30% uncritically and assumed that meant you had twice as much of a chance of c-section, without looking at the information about the difference.

            This is why you failed.

          • Siri
            June 12, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

            See, this is why you’re an ignorant shill rather than a professional; you’re too uninformed even to realise how little you know. Best stick to the cut Jen pays you.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

            Thanks for your will thought out and comprehensive reply. Ignorant as it is.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            June 12, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

            There are lies, damn lies and statistics. I am sure you have heard this old saying before.

            Yes, so why do you misuse the states in an incorrect fashion?

            You know what? “60% in hospital A and 30% in hospital B” IS a statistic! So why do you foolishly apply them in the most simplistic fashion? It’s especially odd that immediately after telling us about the lies of statistics, you turn around and parrot statistics and think they mean what you think they do.

            Although it’s not the statistics that are lies. It is in their misuse. Like in taking a percentage that applies to a population and presuming that it applies to an individual’s situation.

            But I do not have an advanced degree so what the heck do I know.

            And now that you have had it explained why you are wrong, I trust that you will not make that mistake any more.

          • MaineJen
            June 12, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

            What if hospital A takes on a majority of the high-risk OB cases in the area because it has a level 4 NICU and 24 hour anesthesia support, and hospital B takes the lower risk cases because it has neither of those things? What does that do to your analysis?

          • LibrarianSarah
            June 12, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

            And who are these “highly qualified professionals?” Why don’t you name a few for us.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

            Why do you not visit Jen’s sight you are so quick to trash and see who authored the information she posts? Seems you would already know this information if you are so quick to condemn!

          • LibrarianSarah
            June 12, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

            You are the one who made the claim it is up to you to back it up. So who are these “highly qualified professionals” Bob?

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

            1. National Center for Health Statistics. User Guide to the 2012 Natality Public Use File. Hyattsville, Maryland : National Center for Health Statistics, 2013.

            2. Guise, J.-M.; Eden, K.; Emeis, C.; Denman, M. A.; Marshall, N.; Fu, R. (.; Janik, R.; Nygren, P.; Walker, M.; McDonagh, M. Vaginal Birth After Cesarean: New Insights; Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US): Rockville (MD), 2010.

            3. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Practice Bulletin No. 115: Vaginal Birth After Previous Cesarean Delivery. Obstetrics and Gynecology 2010, 116 (2), 450-463,–_Obstetrics/Vaginal_Birth_After_Previous_Cesarean_Delivery.

            16. National Institutes of Health. NIH VBAC Conference, Day 2, #04 – Discussion, 2010. Vimeo.

            17. Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. Utilization Rates* for Selected Medical Procedures in California Hospitals, 2011. (accessed June 12, 2013).

            If you want more go to her sight and look.

          • LibrarianSarah
            June 12, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

            Oh so it isn’t that “highly qualified professionals” read and vouched for Jen’s website and the information on but her ability to put a bib salad at the end of her posts impresses you.

          • moto_librarian
            June 12, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

            Oh, I’ve visited Jen’s site. Her bibliography is especially precious, given the number of times that she cites her own blog posts.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

            Then why are you wasting my time asking about the “highly qualified professionals?” You should already know.

          • fiftyfifty1
            June 12, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

            “And highly qualified professionals can and do disagree”

            Name one.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            June 12, 2014 at 10:32 am #

            Jen Kamel is not posting her original thoughts. She is posting the work of “Highly Credible” professionals and organizations.
            Such as…what? Perhaps you could link to a site where Ms. Kamel is discussing the latest data on, say, the risks versus benefits of C-section in breach presentation and demonstrating her understanding of the issues involved. Feel free to pick a different topic-that was simply the first that came to mind.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

            Jen Kamel’s sight is not about breach presentation and again, she is pulling together an impressive data base. She is sticking to one topic VBAC and is not advising one course of action over another. It is information only. I fail to see the problem with providing information on this topic.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            June 12, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

            It’s only impressive to you and others like you who have no idea what the research actually shows. Why do you think you are in any way qualified to assess anything about Jen Kamel or VBAC? The fact that you are impressed is utterly meaningless and you ought to realize that.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

            And there we have it. You are an MD and if you tell me I need some blood letting and a few leaches applied to cure what is bothering me I should just shut up and comply. Your education and experience makes you fare more qualified than myself, but, sorry to inform you that you are not the last word in everything medical. I sure do not know as much as you, but I know enough to not take everything any professional tells me as the last word. Ever hear the term second opinion? You practice medicine because medical knowledge is always increasing and evolving. If you were the last word on the subject you would be preforming medicine.

            No offence intended Dr. Tuteur.

          • MaineJen
            June 12, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

            You are free to ask as many doctors as you like about this topic. Don’t be surprised, though, when the second opinion, third opinion and all subsequent opinions look a lot more like Dr. Tuteur’s opinion than they do some random layperson’s opinion. Much like with auto mechanics (see what I did there?), the good ones will tell you the truth whether you like it or not. The bad ones will try to sell you what you don’t need and leave you worse off than you were before.

        • Mishimoo
          June 11, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

          I chose to use ‘and Co’, referring to her birth blogger buddies, instead of ‘et al’, because I didn’t feel like having to explain. I’ve also corrected the misspelling of her name.

          Now that is out of the way, would you like to discuss how you appear to feel threatened by professionals; particularly female ones? What about how you’re running in to defend someone that conducted herself with far less grace than most of the professionals that post here (including Dr Amy)? How about discussing how Jen, instead of clarifying her position, went for an emotional attack on the questioner instead of citing accurate sources?

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 12:07 am #

            You must be on some good drugs. Just what exactly have I said or implied that would lead you to believe I am threatened by professionals, female or otherwise?
            I have not read every post on this blog so have not seen the post you allege Jen posted. That makes it hard to comment on.

            Although it would be hard to imagine anyone acting more unprofessional than “Dr Amy”. Name calling and slimming people with lies and falsehoods is not the mark of a professional.

          • Mishimoo
            June 12, 2014 at 12:30 am #

            The quote marks around professional and referring to a female one as “a junk yard dog” in your original comment kind of gave it away. Also, the comment about drugs amuses me. Someone challenges you and you immediately try turn to insults in an attempt to invalidate their point instead of refuting it.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 12:41 am #

            Again you show your lack of compensation. The quote marks around professional indicates she is not acting like one. Also, junk yard dog speaks to attitude not gender. If I were indicating gender with the junk yard comment I would have called her a junk yard bitch. See the difference?

            You seem to take a clear and concise comment and interpret it as you wish regardless of it’s clear meaning. Please try a little harder. This is too easy.

            Still waiting for that Jen quote giving recommendations you alluded to. I have a feeling it is going to be a long wait.

          • Mishimoo
            June 12, 2014 at 12:54 am #

            Considering your track record of referring to women in other areas with such choice comments as: “Who cares what this dried up old Marxist bat has to say?”, I think that my presumption of your misogyny is fair.

            If you’d read some of the articles here, I wouldn’t have to quote for you. Since it would be rude to copy and paste a whole article, here is a link to one with even more links for you to follow (including some in the comments) :

            So, why have you parachuted in on this article? Why is this topic so important to you?

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 1:30 am #

            I see! If I think a dried up old Marxist bat is a dried up old Marxist bat that means I hate all women. I also think OJ Simpson is a murdering SOB who got away with killing his wife. I suppose that means I hate all blacks, football players and men, right? Way to think it through!!

            Again it is hard to comment on your link. It is a one sided description of events.

            The topic is a valid issue that should be infused with as accurate information as possible. It does not affect me personally and I will not have to decide what to do the next time I am pregnant. But believe it or not, this practitioner of misogyny has women in his life who I care greatly for who have and will face these choices. To be a supportive and helpful misogynist it benefits me to be as informed as possible to understand and support them.

            Strange isn’t it? A misogynist defending a woman under what seems to be an unfair attack by other mostly women. Any self respecting misogynist would just sit back and enjoy the cat fight.

            Or I could point out that your name calling will not silence me.

          • Mishimoo
            June 12, 2014 at 1:40 am #

            How is it name calling and silencing if it’s a title you seem proud to claim?

            It’s only hard to comment on the link if you don’t understand the subject.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 1:47 am #

            I see you do not understand sarcasm either. Too bad. There are occasions where sarcasm is used to make a point that you seem to be incapable to grasp.

            I understand car crashes. But I would be foolish to talk to one of the drivers and decide how the crash accrued and who was at fault. But then that is just me. I am sure you could assess fault by just driving by.

          • Mishimoo
            June 12, 2014 at 1:55 am #

            As you should know by now, sarcasm is often hard to gauge with text-based communication. There is also the chance that you’re using the standard “I was just joking; can’t you take a joke?” defence, and adapting it slightly.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 1:56 am #

            Ya right!

            I’m off to bed. Have a good night.

          • Mishimoo
            June 12, 2014 at 1:58 am #

            *waves* Good night, sleep well.

          • Siri
            June 12, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

            *sniff* he looks so cute and innocent in that flouncy nightgown…

          • Siri
            June 12, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

            Flounce flouncity flounce, shillboy! Sweet dreams of Kamel-related profits.

          • Who?
            June 12, 2014 at 7:56 am #

            If you think referring to a person who you have never met as a ‘dried up Marxist old bat’ says anything about anyone but you, you have another think coming.

            More interestingly, even if each of those pejorative terms were true-I have no view on Dr Tuteur’s state of hydration (though I think it more likely, given your tone, you are referrng to what you imagine is her hormone status), and she is clearly middle aged not old, and human not bat; and if the not automatically pejorative ‘Marxist’ (love how you capitalise it despte your obvious disrespect for the theory) were all true, she would still be telling the truth about the risks of home birth, and JK would still be pushing one side of the story, a side that happens to be profitable for her.

            Women are used to this nonsense. Someone was annoyed with me the other day when I disagreed with him. I suggested we have the discussion which followed in private, but he insisted on doing it in front of the group. I displayed, by objective fact, that he was wrong. He was humiliated. Do you know what the ultimate response to me was? Blah blah’…and you have a fat face.’ If he didn’t look like a moron before, he looked like a vicious moron then. No one in that room cared about my face, they cared about the facts-he couldn’t grasp that. And he clearly thought, despite my having been right, I’d be devastated by his critique of my appearance.

            Like you, he didn’t make the impression he thougth he would, and his tedious vitriol made him no friends and did his cause no favours.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 11:12 am #

            Please try to keep up. You jumping to conclusions from misunderstood information says a lot about you.

            Mishimoo did some opposition research and found that “Old Bat” comment I made months ago. My past comments are not blocked as hers are, strangely enough. It was a accurate description of a senator who’s first name is Nancy. It has nothing to do with this sight or anyone here.

            I could not care less how some guy you had a discussion with reacted. Everyone I come across is treated the same. You can not hide behind “He hates women” because I do not. I also do not tip toe around them either.

            All I ask is you quote me accurately and in context.

          • Who?
            June 12, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

            So your old bat remark in this blog (on this site, btw, Bob, not sight) was directed at Nancy Pelosi not Dr T, despite Nancy Pelosi not being mentioned here? Got it.

            And it is ‘site’ not ‘sight’.


          • LibrarianSarah
            June 12, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

            If you referred OJ Simpson as a “murderous nigger” I would assume that you had a problem with black people not just OJ Simpson. Using the same logic calling a woman a “dried up old bat” shows that you have a problem with women not just the particular one you are trying to insult. If you have to go straight for the sexist and ageist insults when arguing with someone it says something about unpleasant about you.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

            Nice try. Come back when you have a valid argument and not just your opinion.

          • LibrarianSarah
            June 12, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

            Ironic considering you haven’t provided a single valid argument in this thread. Why don’t you come back when you can name one of those “highly qualified professionals” that endorse Jen Kamels website instead of just stating that they exist you misogynistic troll.

          • Siri
            June 12, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

            No one is trying to silence you, you prat! They are simply giving you enough rope to hang yourself with, and you are busy stringing yourself up. NB! That’s a metaphor, not a threat or incitement to violence or self-harm.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

            I see we are now in personal attacks. Thanks for playing.

          • Siri
            June 12, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

            No, not personal attacks; don’t be such a drama king. Simply having fun at the expense of a random stranger who happens to be properly low-hanging fruit! Thank YOU for supplying such prime joke bait, ‘Bob’!

          • Siri
            June 12, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

            P.s. You score more points with the gullible crowd if you say ‘ad hominems’ rather than ‘personal attacks’; just a hint for next time you parachute in here. ‘Bob’.

          • MLE
            June 12, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

            Personally, I prefer “add homonyms.”

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            June 12, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

            I see what you did there. I like it.

          • Young CC Prof
            June 12, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

            You know when someone wins the Internet? One time I saw someone LOSE the Internet. The discussion was getting a bit heated, so a poster asked everyone to quit with the ad hominems.

            Dude says, “Hominem isn’t a word, asshole.”

          • Mishimoo
            June 12, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

            I thought the personal attacks started yesterday when you arbitrarily decided that I’m on “good drugs” or are you just selfish enough to think that you’re the only one entitled to insult others?

          • Young CC Prof
            June 12, 2014 at 12:56 am #

            It’s really quite simple. Jen doesn’t provide adequate information about the RISKS of Vbac.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 2:55 am #

            She supplies the latest data from the most credible sources widely recognized by most medical professionals as such. If you disagree with this information take it up with the authors. Jen Kamel is amassing this information from many sources into a central location. Many medical professionals have commented that Jen’s is the most complete and comprehensive data base available on this issue. The data on the risks is the data on the risks. If you do not agree with that data you have every right to your opinion. But why trash Jen for making it available?

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            June 12, 2014 at 9:19 am #

            You seem to have missed the point entirely. She DOESN’T provide accurate information. She provides a small subset of information on VBAC, the information that she likes. All the rest she ignores.

            You aren’t knowledgeable enough to understand what is missing and that’s what she relies upon. When a real professional challenges her, it quickly becomes apparent that she has no idea what she is talking about.

            She makes money from the gullibility of people like you and she is responsible for misleading women into risking the lives of their babies and themselves.

            Imagine for a moment that you in your professional capacity told someone that he needed his brakes replaced because they were at high risk of failing. Then imagine that the customer told you that he read on the web that auto mechanics who recommend brake repair are just trying to make money off of you and you should always refuse.

            Imagine if the customer had pointed out that he knew lots of people who had driven with faulty brakes and hadn’t died. Would you agree that a website claiming that brake repair is almost always unnecessary was providing information more accurate that what you provide after actually examining the brakes? I doubt it.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 11:54 am #

            You are correct Dr. Tuteur, I am not an expert in VBAC. I surely would not know if information is missing form Jen Kamel’s web sight.

            What I do know is that many many medical professionals sing high praise for the quantity and quality of information Jen Kamel has pulled together.

            If you pulled together information on automotive braking degradation due to leaking calipers or warped rotors, or contaminated brake fluid or worn brake linings or loss of power assist from a defective proportioning valve or brake booster or a malfunctioning anti-lock brake system I would say good job, now here is what you have overlooked. I would not call you a buffoon. And as long as you advised your readers to gather all the valid information available and then to consult a professional for repairs so as to better understand what you were being told and the process, good for you.

            Sense I have never seen anywhere where Jen Kamel has voiced advice that a woman should take this course of action or that course of action, I fail to understand why she is so personally vilified on this sight.

            If you feel she has missed some important information I would think she would be pleased to include it in her data base. It could be the case that some information is in the form of promoting one course of action over another due to the authors bios. If Jen Kamel should include such information then she would be accused of promoting one course of action over another, which I believe she works hard to avoid.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            June 12, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

            So if you don’t know whether information is missing, why are you defending her? You’re defending her because you want to believe what she offers, and that’s what she counts on. She tells people like you what you want to hear NOT what you need to know.

            “If you pulled together information on automotive braking degradation due to leaking calipers or warped rotors, or contaminated brake fluid or worn brake linings or loss of power assist from a defective proportioning valve or brake booster or a malfunctioning anti-lock brake system I would say good job, now here is what you have overlooked. ”

            And what if I simply didn’t include the information after you told me I had overlooked it? Would that be okay?

            The basic problem is this: Jen Kamel is a layperson and is providing incomplete information about life or death decisions. Why would anyone get their medical information from a layperson? Why not get it from an actual doctor, the person who knows ALL the relevant data?

            Lay birth blogger create books, websites and message boards to COUNTER information from doctors. They have no qualifications to do so, no business doing so, and an incredible disregard for the deathly consequences of the misleading and incomplete information they peddle. Why would you take Jen Kamel’s word about anything to do with obstetrics?

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

            “Why would you take Jen Kamel’s word about anything to do with obstetrics?”

            And there is the fault with your argument. I am not taking Jen Kamel’s word for anything. I am using a resource she has created to access information produced by the foremost authorities in this field.

            I can assure you that neither I nor anyone else looking for information on the issue of VBAC has the time nor inclination to read everything ever published of the issue. And in many cases would not know where to look for the best information. Jen provided a central location for this information that was unavailable before she put it together. And because this study or that opinion piece is not included Jen must be silenced and if possible her credibility as a gatherer of information destroyed.

            Why do we not just burn all this information and be forced to take any medical professional’s word as gospel on the issue? The doctor says “You must have a C section and we have scheduled you for 10 AM Wednesday. This schedule fits in very nicely with the doctors 1 PM tie time at the country club. Do no tell me this never happens.

            In any profession there energetic professionals and there are slackers. Doctors, lawyers and auto mechanics are not to be seen as the gods of their domain. Some of them are extraordinary and some of them are incompetent. Without some information of the subject, incomplete as it may be, we are left at the tender mercies of a person we do not know, on a subject we are completely ignorant of. Some of us are not comfortable wandering around in complete ignorance.

            Jen Kamel is not telling anyone that the information she has amassed will make us experts on the subject. She is saying that to be an informed consumer of medical services you should not be totally ignorant on the subject. I see no fault with this line of logic.

          • moto_librarian
            June 12, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

            Scheduling a 10 am c-section to make 1 pm tee-time? BINGO!

            Thanks for playing, Bob. We now know that you are immune to reason on this topic.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

            And now we know you are immune to the facts of the real world.

          • moto_librarian
            June 12, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

            Such as? Do you really want to argue that a HBAC is safer than a VBAC? Do you know how quickly you have to move to a c-section in order to save the baby’s life when a uterine rupture occurs, to say nothing of how easily it can kill the mother? Did you know that the majority of uterine ruptures are first detected on EFM, a tool that is unavailable during home births? That many ruptures present without pain or bleeding?

            You claim that Jen Kamel is hosting a “database.” Databases do not through in personal commentary – they provide a mechanism to search for certain types of material. Do you not understand the difference between a blog and ProQuest?

          • Siri
            June 12, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

            Why waste your reasoned arguments on ‘Bob Olson’? The only response he/she merits is a) relentless mocking or b) complete withdrawal of attention. Anyway, ‘Bob Olson’ went to bed hours ago, so it’s safe to conclude you’re trying to argue against a team of people, ‘Bob Olsons’ if you will, who are well organised and taking it in turn to rest and recharge. Ignore them. Laugh at them.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            June 12, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

            And now we know you are immune to the facts of the real world.

            What facts? How many doctors schedule a 10 am c-section to make a 1 pm tee time?

            Moreover, even if they do, SO WHAT? Doctor’s don’t have to work all the time, so what’s wrong with scheduling a c-section for when the doctor is available? Better than scheduling it for when they aren’t there.

            Our c-sections were always scheduled for Mondays, because that was the day the doctor set aside to do c-sections, so she didn’t have to worry about missing her regular appointments. Yep, it was for her convenience. So what?

          • MLE
            June 12, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

            Yeah seriously. He’s confused. He meant to say the doctor stopped a perfectly normal vaginal birth by advising a c-section so he could get to his tee time. He doesn’t know that though because he’s just a fanboy.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            June 12, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

            Begs the question of how he determined it was a “perfectly normal vaginal birth” of course.

          • Mishimoo
            June 12, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

            I posit that he is a magical obstetrical unicorn with the power to judge which caesareans are and aren’t necessary.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            June 12, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

            Nothing Dr Amy has said is contrary to the consensus opinion of the ACOG or AAP.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

            The ACOG and the AAP have labeled Jen Kamel as a buffoon who should be silenced? News to me and I am sure news to Jen Kamel.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            June 12, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

            They certainly don’t agree with Kamel’s opinions.

            Whether they consider her a buffoon could just be a matter of whether anyone asks and decorum.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

            I almost got excited. I thought for a nanosecond that someone posted something here I could agree with. Ms. Kamel opinions, what there are of them, are from the research she has read and is providing. Anyone is welcome to read the same research and form their own opinions. Or we can do as Dr. Tuteur suggests, remain completely ignorant and take the first doctors opinion we come across.

            Vilifying a database provider because it is lacking in this and that discourages the discrimination of information. Is that a good result for anyone?

          • Young CC Prof
            June 12, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

            Why do you think Kamel is a “database provider”? She is a layman expressing her opinion with selected expert quotes.

            You’ve repeatedly claimed that experts consider her site a good source. Please name one.

            Perhaps you meant “dissemination of information” rather than discrimination?

          • LibrarianSarah
            June 12, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

            Oh for Pete’s sake she’s not EBSCO Bob. She’s a blogger.

          • moto_librarian
            June 12, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

            I was thinking this very same thing, LibrarianSarah.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

            You are right! Let’s burn her at the stake!

          • LibrarianSarah
            June 12, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

            Is someone defensive because he got caught using words that he doesn’t understand the meaning of.

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            June 12, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

            Or we can do as Dr. Tuteur suggests, remain completely ignorant and take the first doctors opinion we come across.

            Like all those “professionals” who agee with Jan Kamel? Then again, as I said, Dr Tuteur’s medical positions are perfectly in line with those of the ACOG and AAP, so it’s not “the first doctor’s opinion” you are relying on.

            Meanwhile, opinions espoused by Jan Kamel run contrary to the positions of the ACOG.

            ACOG: to do a VBACS safely, it should only be done in a hospital and where there is anesthesiology available within 10 minutes, should a problem occur. Without both of those features, a VBACS is not safe.

            Dr Tuteur: VBACS are risky and require appropriate measures in case of problem. They absolutely should not be done at home.

            Jan: you can do an HBAC to avoid a c-section.

            You: Unnamed professionals support Jan’s work.

            Now, who is trusting the “first doctors opinion we come across”?

            Vilifying a database provider because it is lacking

            It’s not just that it is “lacking” but that it is selectively lacking. Jan’s problem is not that she doesn’t have all the information. It’s that the information she leaves off is done with an agenda to influence.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

            You as with Young CC Prof are also a mind reader. A wonderful skill for laying motives to people you do not know and have never met. I have never met Jen either. Therefore I am not so quick to condemn her motives.

          • Siri
            June 12, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

            Unlikely, as you are either a) Jen Kamel or b) on her payroll.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

            Wrong on both counts. Try again.
            I am posting using my real name. What is you excuse for not doing so?

          • Siri
            June 12, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

            Her dad! Got it. Jen herself knows how to spell, and probably wouldn’t marry anyone so brazenly ignorant. You’re her old man. I’d bow out before she spots your attempts at ‘championing’ her.

          • Siri
            June 12, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

            I don’t believe ‘Bob Olson’ is gullible; I think he has a vested interest here. A junkyard dog in this fight, if you will.

          • sdsures
            June 13, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

            You’ve touched on another point that interests me. When gullible women get sucked into the NCB movement, or at the very least read a book or two, or website, etc, run by a NCB buffoon what about the fathers/spouses of the woman, who may not be in agreement with her desire to have a “perfect experience”, “perfect birth”, HB, waterbirth, etc?

            Although you have written one post about fathers (that I know of), it’d be nice to hear more about what they can do in the face of birth buffoons in terms of PREVENTION.

            So many fathers’ stories are heard only after the tragedies of a natural childbirth or homebirth gone wrong (i.e. Hurt By Homebirth). I can only imagine the self-blaming they must endure, wondering if they could have said or done something differently to change the outcome.


          • Siri
            June 12, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

            Why shill for Jen, ‘Bob Olson’? What’s in it for you?

          • Young CC Prof
            June 12, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

            I was wondering the same thing.

          • Siri
            June 12, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

            Great minds think alike. 🙂

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

            Not a darn thing. And it is taking a lot of time trying to answer questions to which the answers are obvious.

          • Siri
            June 12, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

            So pure altruism then. She must be so grateful to you. Or you must be so grateful to yourself, seeing that you and Jen share a fleshly abode.

          • fiftyfifty1
            June 12, 2014 at 9:54 am #

            Exactly! She provides lots of sources that talk about the pros of VBAC, very few sources that talk about the cons. When a risk of VBAC comes up she will downplay it and imply that that risk won’t apply to you if you follow her advice, e.g. yes, rupture can be a risk, so just make sure you aren’t induced

          • moto_librarian
            June 12, 2014 at 11:20 am #

            Jen Kamel believes that HBAC is a defensible practice. She is very careful not to appear to be an advocate for it, but the fact that she had one and discusses it as an option makes her stance fairly clear. She also does not want to hear from women who have had bad outcomes during HBACs.

            She also doesn’t think that VBAC bans should be allowed, yet fails to grasp why they exist, nor does she propose any real solutions to the problem.

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

            All valid personal opinions you have. Everyone is entitled to and dose interpret what they read. Another person can read the same information you read and come away with a different conclusion on what the information means. Should we, as thoughtful people, try to vilify the person who brought the information together? Surely a person who assembles a data base and is careful not to advocate for one side or the other is not the villain.

            As far as VBAC bans, she has presented studies on the issue. It is not her position as I understand it to propose solutions, but to provide information.

          • Young CC Prof
            June 12, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

            OK, you think her “database” is complete and impartial. I don’t. Who are these professionals who have read her entire site and consider it complete and impartial?

          • Bob Olson
            June 12, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

            Besides being a Young CC Prof you are a mind reader. That must be a helpful skill during lectures!

            I never said her database was “Complete and Impartial.” I said it is the best and largest available to date. That leaves a lot of room for improvement. But it also demonstrates that no one can go POOF and upload everything you or anyone else thinks should be included in this data resource. Clear enough?

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            June 12, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

            I said it is the best and largest available to date

            Why do you say that?

            It’s not better than, say, PubMed and the scientific literature, which is the “database” that doctors use and from which they derive their conclusions.

          • mtbakergirl
            June 12, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

            Or maybe, for example, you could put a team of expert Obstetricians in a room and let them review the evidence for you putting years of education and professional experience to work and saving you the trouble of either having to do a thorough literature search of your own OR having to rely on the cherry picking and uneducated commentary found on Ms. Kamel’s website.
            Try googling: VBAC ACOG (US) and VBAC RCOG (UK) and VBAC SOCG (CAN) and you will find the complete, up to date evidence based recommendations of educated professionals from 3 entire countries (please feel free to add the recommendations from the country of your choice!).
            They will all have slightly different takes on the issue of VBAC but all of those expert opinions will be far more accurate and informative than one random vbac evangelist who, far from being neutral had a home birth after C-section, not because the cruel obs wouldn’t let her because of their outdated policies and anti-woman sentiments but because she couldn’t be arsed to go to her local hospital for a tour and to talk to the nurses, even if the price of that inaction might be her baby’s brain function or life.

      • sdsures
        June 13, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

        In the US, medical care under doctors such as OBs must be paid for by either insurance or out of pocket, correct?

        I’m Canadian and living in the UK, so there is the National Health Service (NHS) which covers many, if not all things, This usually entails a substantial waiting period for specialist, non-urgent appointments, referrals, etc. If you want to see a specialist sooner than the average of 6-8 weeks, you have the option to pay for it privately. I’ve never done this, so I have no idea how it would work or what it costs.

        I am curious: how much does the average doula charge? Where do her quack credentials come from, if she has any to tout: workshops? Seminars run by other doulas? (Woo-woo, how impressive! *sarcasm* )

        The reason I ask is because when my older sister had her twins (hospital) 4 years ago, she also had a doula. I do not know if this was an actual doula, or simply a family member from her husband’s side (their family is quite large, whereas ours is small).

        Is being a doula really as simple/silly as fetching ice chips and rubbing mom’s back?

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      June 12, 2014 at 10:27 am #

      Which claims that Dr. Tuteur makes with respect to Ms. Kamel do you believe are incorrect and why? Simply stating that Dr. Tuteur is acting like a “junkyard dog” is unconvincing.

      • Bob Olson
        June 12, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

        Dr, Tuteur alleges that Ms. Kamel is giving medical advice, playing doctor if you will. When in fact I have not see one instance, nor has anyone been able to point me to an instance where Mr. Kamel has said or written “This is what you should or must do.

        I have no idea of the personal interactions between Dr. Tuteur and Ms. Kamel, if any. But this sure seems personal for some reason.

  5. ngozi
    May 2, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    I actually found out about your site, Dr. Amy, because someone was bashing you on My OB Said What. They were raking you over the coals so badly it made me curious.

  6. S brown
    May 1, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

    Thank you Dr. Amy for being the SOB!

    Every single one of these birthers has the blood of babies on their hands! They have no right to tell any woman that their birth isn’t valid. I have two beautiful children. They are bitter hags with dead children.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      May 1, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

      It seems to me that an NCB advocate claiming another woman’s C-sections isn’t a “real” birth is the equivalent of telling an adoptive mother that she isn’t a “real” mother.

      • S brown
        May 1, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

        I think it is so much worse. Every baby they kill with their pseudo science is horrible. That they convince other women to join their voodoo cult to validate a choice and pull others into their zombie army? appalling. it’s a viscous cycle that feeds of dead babies martyred for their birth experinece (so loved your article!). It’s more like women trying to take away adoptive children because they don’t have any of their own so therefor no one should.

        That they give women the illusion of a birth choice based on psuedo-scince is so appaling. It reminds me of another type of woman’s right to choose. And guess what, that ends up with dead babies too.

        NCBrs need to own up to the deaths they are causing and stop trying to fight modern science and the saving of lives just because they made a bad choice don’t inflict that same delusion of choice on others.

        • Renee Martin
          May 2, 2014 at 12:01 am #

          “It reminds me of another type of woman’s right to choose. And guess what, that ends up with dead babies too.”
          Yeah, all that nonsense about bodily autonomy, how very awful! A woman is merely an incubator, whether she likes it or not. A baby has MORE rights, unborn or not, why would women get to choose what goes on in their womb anyway?

          • S brown
            May 2, 2014 at 8:50 am #

            Bad choices get made all the time. How many times have you heard of a child damaged due to alchohol or drugs that the mother took? There is an epidemic of “crack babies” and an equal epidemic of dead and damaged babies from stupid birther “choice”

            A woman is NOT merely an incubator. God gave her the responsibility of bringing life into the world. A woman chooses EXACTLY what goes on in her womb. That some women choose to kill or damage that life through their “CHOICES” just means at the very least that they will face the consequences of their actions on judgement day.

          • Siri
            May 2, 2014 at 9:15 am #

            Oh naff off and take your judgmental attitudes to an anti-abortion website; they won’t get any traction here. There is no god, there will be no judgment day, and a woman’s right to safe abortion is absolute. No one, human or deity, has any business deciding what I do with my womb.

          • Siri
            May 2, 2014 at 9:18 am #

            Last troll-feeding comment! ^^^

          • Siri
            May 2, 2014 at 9:17 am #

            Don’t feed the anti-choice troll…

  7. Beth S
    May 1, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

    Birth bloggers are delusional if they think the risks they advocate women take don’t cause the death of both the child and the mother. I mean it would be like them advising me to go off my seizure meds, and hope that just upping my folic acid intake would keep me from going into a seizure. Sure it might not happen within the first couple of weeks off meds, but one serious stressor and it’s lights out for me.
    Risk management is something that has to be accounted for in making decisions, yet these women seem to think that any risk is worth it as long as they get their sacred birth experience. I just don’t get it, never have, and never ever will.

    • brown
      May 1, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

      Exactly right! Ever single one of these birthers is mayrtering other peoples babies for a stupid agenda of what they think makes a “real woman”. A good birth experience ends with a living baby.

  8. LibrarianSarah
    May 1, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    This may be a day late and a dollar short but aren’t flight attendants now trained in landing a plane in case of emergencies?

  9. Guest
    April 30, 2014 at 10:45 pm #

    Can anyone give me a brief takedown of the Farms “statistics” and success rate? I know this is off topic.

  10. Politically correct
    April 30, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

    Amy, flight attendant, not stewardess, please

  11. CanDoc
    April 30, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    Wow. I just wasted 10 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back at vbacfacts. Most interesting is a well-written but factually biased patient handout about VBAC that includes multiple scientific-sounding citations…. many of which are in fact FROM The vbacfacts blog. It would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic. Including the idea that having a physician “immediately available” during VBAC has been misinterpreted as needing to have a physician “immediately available”.

    • yugaya
      April 30, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

      I did not get past the front page where she gloats over how she put down someone else on facebook ( how old are you woman, twelve to fifteen?), and right under the bit where she claims this: “my personal choices are pretty irrelevant in terms of my work, since I’m not advocating for all moms to choose home birth or VBAC” she goes on to quote herself calling publicly women who have not had a c-section “unscarred moms”.

      Apparently she missed the memo on ways of determining how balanced a piece of writing is – something she used ONLY word count (sic!) to document when she tried to diss Doula Dani’s blog.

      The starting point is usually the overall tone, and using loaded language like that is a major red flag for bias, prejudice and subjectivity beyond repair.

      • Amazed
        April 30, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

        I spotted a comment where she told a mother who wrote, “I didn’t think what I was risking by having a HVBAC and I lost…” that she was so sorry and “if more hospitals were more friendly to VBACs, women wouldn’t have looked for them at home, that they were forced into this choice and with it came real risks… when the mother didn’t even say she was refused a hospital VBAC, merely that she could not stop wonder whether being monitored at the hospital would have made a difference.

        • May 1, 2014 at 10:55 am #

          Are we 100% sure Hush and Kamel are different people?

          • Amazed
            May 1, 2014 at 10:58 am #

            Not at all. That’s up to Dr Amy to share. But yes, now that you’ve mentioned it, the time of Hush’s arrival is very suspicious. And Kamel does seem keen on hushing everyone who infringes on her VBAC domain and unfair (since she isn’t qualified to advise anyone, let alone profit from that) profit.

          • May 1, 2014 at 10:59 am #

            I was mostly joking but your point about timing is apt. To be fair, Hush has been commenting for some time. At least a couple weeks, I recognize the name.

          • Karen in SC
            May 1, 2014 at 11:09 am #

            Yes, but Dani’s VBAC post has been up awhile and many recent posts have been about risk so it could be she was checking out the “competition.” Certainly it’s someone from her VBAC group IMO.

          • Amazed
            May 1, 2014 at 11:13 am #

            Not Philosophy Chick, for sure. Not patronizing and lofty enough.

            Sorry, there’s just something about this woman’s condescending attitude toward Dani and then being all sweet but without stooping to offer an excuse that simply gets to me.

          • Busbus
            May 1, 2014 at 11:33 am #

            I actually think Hush was genuine. Maybe she’ll come back some day.

          • Renee Martin
            May 2, 2014 at 12:02 am #

            Hush might learn something if she keeps coming back. It happens quite often!

      • Becky05
        May 4, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

        By “unscarred moms” she meant “moms with an unscarred uterus,” since both cesarean or other noncesarean uterine surgeries affect the rate of uterine rupture. It wasn’t meant to be loaded language.

        • yugaya
          May 5, 2014 at 2:45 am #

          Yes and no – uteruses are scarred and unscarred and neutral when used in medical jargon, but in given context she uses it to describe women who gave birth – scarred/unscarred moms, where besides the negative connotation of a “scarred mom” being physically damaged (as in NCB speak “my body was broken” phrase), it also conveys a rather insulting implied message that woman = uterus.

  12. OldTimeRN
    April 30, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

    I’m always amazed at our Mother’s who come in with their list of do’s and don’t. Things like my SIL said I shouldn’t get an epidural. My next door neighbor said I shouldn’t give my baby the Hep B vaccine. Google said I shouldn’t let you put a hat on the baby or let him leave my chest or we won’t bond. The NP, at my Ped’s office said I shouldn’t let you talk me into a shield? HELLO? Has that NP seen your flat nipples? I’ve been doing this work for a long time, I’m not there to make my life easier. If I was I’d put a bottle in your baby’s mouth and call it a day. Instead I’m standing over your bed for 30 minutes trying to wake your sleepy, tongue-tied baby up and latch him to your flat/inverted nipples. So yes I’m doing this to help you and your baby. Now take the damn shield and let’s get on with it.

    • Young CC Prof
      April 30, 2014 at 7:22 pm #

      By the way, why aren’t nipple shields shaped like bottle nipples, or for that matter, the more prominent human nipples? Why are they these cone things that slide out of the baby’s mouth?

    • Bombshellrisa
      April 30, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

      I bought a nipple shield to put with my hospital bag-I swear the nurses smiled when I pulled that out. Good thing too-my 35 weeker couldn’t latch without it for a long time!

  13. Amazed
    April 30, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

    OT: My mom just told me she was going to see a doctor for correcting pelvic floor issues. Beginning of those? You’ve nailed it: carrying two elephant-like babies (to her tiny frame, at least) and then actually giving birth to them through her vagina. Of course, age has not been a great help either but that was the start of it, weeks after second delivery/near death experience.

    Someone else thinking that it might have been, well, human and in retrospect, better to offer a tiny woman with a husband who towered over her and a previous huge baby (she left the hospital at 120 pounds and with concave belly – not because she had a tummy tuck) a C-section, instead of leaving her to deliver a 10-pounder vaginally?

    Screw you, Jen of VBAClies.

  14. Guesteleh
    April 30, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

    Kamel also posted this. What a jerk.

    • KarenJJ
      April 30, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

      So she chose to become a hard-ass and resentful and so afraid that she deleted her words?

    • Trixie
      April 30, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

      When karma bites you in the ass, vaguebook something Buddhist?

    • fiftyfifty1
      April 30, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

      This is second only to the Walt Whitman quote at the top of NgM’s facebook page. No actually , “I am large, I contain multitudes” is not the same as “I’m a flake who can’t get my facts straight”.

    • Renee Martin
      April 30, 2014 at 11:28 pm #

      She is hilarious.

  15. Guesteleh
    April 30, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

    From Jen Kamel’s FB page: [Please
    share if you know a good fit for this] Do you know a mom or couple who
    is contemplating VBAC? We’d love to explore the facts (and myths)
    together with Jen Vbacfacts Kamel
    on the Informed Pregnancy podcast next week. We record monday night at
    a studio in Venice. If you are interested please message me.

    • Renee Martin
      April 30, 2014 at 11:29 pm #

      INFORMED, that is pretty rich….

      • lawyer jane
        May 1, 2014 at 10:05 am #

        Her use of the terms “facts” and “truths” really bothers me. There are no “facts” and “truths” than can universally be applied to every patient! That she insists that their are is what really shows she’s a propagandist, not making a legitimate attempt to inform a lay audience, like Doula Dani does.

        • Young CC Prof
          May 1, 2014 at 10:34 am #

          Oh, some facts are universal. Like if you spill most of your blood supply inside your abdominal cavity, you die.

  16. Trixie
    April 30, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    Dr. Amy, these takedowns have been some of your best ever. Jen Kamel deserves every bit of it.

  17. Guest
    April 30, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    OT Can anyone tell me what the possible consequences of prolonged pushing are, for mother and baby? I’ve seen a few homebirth stories lately where the mother pushed for hours on end.

    • April 30, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

      I imagine the pelvic floor can’t be too happy about it…and transient asphyxia might not be so great for APGARS….

    • April 30, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

      Oh and if you ultimately do wind up with a CS, I’d think it might make recovery a bit harder…

      • Renee Martin
        May 2, 2014 at 12:14 am #

        It sure does, I didn’t move for 2 days after a 36 hour labor w 4 hrs of pushing, prior to CS.
        (after being refused an MCRS)

    • Elizabeth A
      April 30, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

      My view is not comprehensive, but prolonged pushing is associated with higher risk of post-partum hemorrhage.

    • Dr Kitty
      April 30, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

      Severe caput and moulding for the baby and cervical oedema, cervical laceration, exhaustion, pelvic floor damage and development of obstetric fistula for the mother would be the risks that spring to mind.

      Remember that second stage is from 10cm to delivery.
      If your cervix is as dilated as it can get, your uterus is contracting normally, you are pushing effectively and the baby is not moving it suggests that there might be something going on.

      Maybe there is a malposition, maybe there is CPD, maybe there is a short or tangled cord, maybe the pushing effort or the contractions are not strong enough…but the cervix is wide open and the baby is pushing on it every 2 minutes…if it’s taking more than 2 hours to get through, something is stopping that baby getting out and more time may not be the solution.

      Pushing hard with every contraction involves serious physical exertion.
      Doing it for 30-60 minutes is tough.
      Doing it for 60-120 minutes is very tough.
      Doing it for 3-4 hours is like running a marathon…on top of however long you might have laboured for.
      Many women, young and fit and healthy though they might be, will simply not have the cardiovascular capacity to manage a very prolonged second stage.

      • Guest
        April 30, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

        Thank you for this. I’ve seen photos of babies with extreme moulding posted on NCB avocates’ pages as an ‘amazing’ example of how babies know how to fit out! I’ve often wondered whether these babies are really ok after moulding that severe.

        • Anj Fabian
          April 30, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

          That may not be all moulding. There are soft tissue injuries that may cause blood or fluid to pool under the skin, creating what looks like a misshapen skull. But if you press down, you can see that it’s fluid/blood causing the distortion.

          • Trixie
            April 30, 2014 at 8:04 pm #


          • Mer
            April 30, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

            That’s exactly what happened with my oldest, he was 9 lbs and had a huge head. He ended up with a hematoma that made him look seriously cone headed. There was no visible discoloration on his skin, just that big lump.

        • Mishimoo
          April 30, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

          My last had some awful-looking molding, thanks to trying to get hung up in my pelvis, which ‘popped’ back into place in about 24 hours from birth. The paediatrician that cleared him to come home asked for his lambdoid suture to be rechecked at his 1 week check-up by our GP, everything was fine and he’s developing appropriately.

          This was taken soon after he was born. I was a little worried about his fingers being so pale, but no one else was and they soon pinked up nicely.

          • Jessica S.
            April 30, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

            What a cutey-shmooty!! And I see what they mean by the term “moulding”, I’ve never seen that before! Amazing how quickly it disappeared. It’s amazing what their little bodies will withstand, as long as you don’t deprive them of air. 🙂

          • Mishimoo
            April 30, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

            Aww thanks! 😀
            Yes, it is pretty amazing. He had his Vitamin K shot within minutes of being born, just to be on the safe side. He didn’t even notice, he was too busy having a feed.

          • Jessica S.
            April 30, 2014 at 11:26 pm #

            My son didn’t so much as squawk when they did his heel prick. His first bath? That was a different story. Not a happy camper! 🙂 Good times.

          • Young CC Prof
            April 30, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

            Mine needed several blood sugar tests his first day. The nurse managed to get one while he was having his first feed, without disturbing him at all. 🙂

          • Mishimoo
            April 30, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

            Mine didn’t mind the bath, but was most emphatically NOT impressed by having his fontanelles and sutures checked.

          • Amazed
            May 1, 2014 at 5:13 am #

            Can I eat him? With some chocolate cream, please? He’s so very cute.

          • May 1, 2014 at 11:09 am #

            I was too busy ogling his adorable smushy red face to find the molding at first!

        • Amy
          May 1, 2014 at 10:37 am #

          My baby had such bad moulding that her head looked like the alien from the movie Aliens. For reals. It was creepy… and my fault since I insisted on walking around L&D for hours and hours. My water broke, labor didn’t start. I should have just got the pit and the epi.

      • Something From Nothing
        May 1, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

        It also makes for a riskier caesarean. Tired, edematous uterus doesn’t contract well, increased risk of post partum hemmorhage, infection and, an increased risk of tearing the lower segment during delivery of the impacted head and decreasing the possibility for VBAC in next pregnancy… Not insignificant risks of a prolonged second stage that ends in caesarean.

    • araikwao
      April 30, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

      Uterine atony in a first-timer, uterine rupture in a multipara

  18. Amy
    April 30, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    Ohh someone in my babywearing “group” offered rides to the Birth without Fear meetup in Columbus this weekend. Tickets are $99 per person. That’s a lot of scratch for herbal tea and validation.

    • Mer
      April 30, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

      Jeez! I’m going to a meetup in June for a group of moms and it’s free, and cake is provided! Paying to do a meetup of any kind is crazy! I mean unless it involves Disneyland I guess.

      • Amy
        May 1, 2014 at 10:39 am #

        Yum, I want some free cake! I don’t need the validation 🙂

    • CanDoc
      April 30, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

      It’s very expensive tea.
      Oh wait, no it isn’t. It’s very expensive validation.

  19. Amy
    April 30, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    Look at the 4th picture from the left. Is it just me, or does that water look VILE. My stomach is turning.

    • Amy M
      April 30, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

      how about the color of this baby?

      • lawyer jane
        April 30, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

        OMG that is terrifying? Is that color normal? I have a vague memory of my baby being somewhat blue like that, but that was just before the CNM called in the peds team that had been standing by …

        • Amy M
          April 30, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

          I don’t know anything about it, but I thought newborns were supposed to be more pink. Mine were born in a hospital, and though I didn’t get a good look at them when they came out, they got Apgars of 8 and 9…for bluish hands/feet. I saw the pics of them crying on the scale tho—very pink! So clearly, my babies (n=2) were NOT that awful bluish/whitish color of the baby in that pic above.

          • yugaya
            April 30, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

            Yeah mine (N=3) were all 9 and then 10 APGARs, I did not get a good look either but they all fell out kicking and screaming and weighing over/exactly/a little under 10lbs and definitely not blue like that at all.

            I hope this mom has the guts and honesty to share what the midwives wrote her baby’s APGAR scores were.

        • Elizabeth A
          April 30, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

          NO, that color absolutely is not normal. That is a baby in need of help.

        • Dr Kitty
          April 30, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

          No, that is a pale, blue baby.
          Usually that wins a ticket to the warmer, oxygen, blood tests including cord gases and an immediate assessment by a paediatrician.

          • Melissa M.
            April 30, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

            My uterine rupture, HIE baby looked like that. That image is burned onto my brain forever. 🙁

          • Young CC Prof
            April 30, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

            I’m sorry.

          • Melissa M.
            April 30, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

            No need to be sorry. 🙂 She’s a healthy, happy, 17 month old hellion now and it’s all a (usually) distant memory. Just totally horrifying that it apparently was just a ~variation of normal~ to these people. I would love to see a midwife’s spin on how a baby looking like that is totally not an emergency.

          • Young CC Prof
            April 30, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

            Glad to hear it! And yes, the most horrifying thing about that picture is the fact that anyone who claims to be a birth professional would NOT find it horrifying.

            A midwife doesn’t have to be a pediatrician, but she absolutely should know when a newborn is OK vs not OK, and how to resuscitate or stabilize one until a pediatrician or baby nurse arrives.

          • May 1, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

            I’m no kind of professional, I haven’t even had kids, and that picture is horrifying to me!

          • Amazed
            May 1, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

            Pleased to know it! Usually, I take pictures like these as a warning for parents just how far one can slip. But I suppose it might be different with parents like you – you didn’t go all grinning and cooing over you mummy baby, you sent her where she would be revived.

      • Young CC Prof
        April 30, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

        That baby is completely blue. And they’re just standing there like it’s normal. AND, the people sharing and posting these pictures apparently don’t, as my mother would say, “see anything wrong with this picture.” The mother said it was a birth center, and apparently no one there saw fit to give this baby any medical attention. Horrifying.

        • Amy
          April 30, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

          During my hypnobirthing class we watched so many natural births where the baby came out blue. When my baby came out bright red, I thought something was wrong.

          • Young CC Prof
            April 30, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

            According to Mark Sloan’s baby book, normal birth includes a little blue in the extremities that fades within a few minutes once the baby starts to breathe. Blue all over is not so good and sometimes very bad.

          • Rabbit
            April 30, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

            When my second was born, his feet were blue, and I voiced my concern to the nurses and my doctor. They said it was ok for hands and feet to be blue (as long as they don’t stay that way), you just didn’t want the baby to be blue all over! That baby is blue all over. 🙁

          • Hannah
            May 1, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

            That baby is grey, white and purple all over. With some navy blue lips thrown in for good measure. Horror.

          • Trixie
            April 30, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

            That’s how my babies were — blue extremities for a couple minutes, otherwise pink and screamy. Thanks, medical science!

          • Medwife
            May 1, 2014 at 1:45 am #

            I just re-certed nrp and acrocyanosis can take a few hours to resolve in perfectly healthy neonates. Central cyanosis is not ok.

            In no world or any normal person’s opinion is a limp, white infant making no attempt at breathing, ok. That picture made my heart rate jump.

        • CognitiveDissonaceHurts
          April 30, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

          “I labored there for 23 hours, and it was so beautiful. I paced the halls, looked out the floor to ceiling windows at the Alaskan mountains, snacked on whatever seemed good, and soaked in every contraction. Then, after taking over 20 hours to dilate from four to seven centimeters…”

          Methinks from his colour, baby wasn’t so happy with all that leisurely snacking and soaking. They DO get tired from labour, sometimes, right?

          • Carrie Looney
            April 30, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

            Can just that cause a jesus-tapdaincing-christ bluish-white color on a baby?

          • Amazed
            May 1, 2014 at 6:19 am #

            Oh god, baby comes out looking like this and she boasts that she had the chance to stuff her face? She knows that noble savages her cult admires sometimes happened and still happen to give birth after being malnourished for months, let alone picking their menu through labour?

            I cannot imagine how any sane person can trade their baby’s wellbeing for a day of pacing, view admiring, snacking, and soaking in.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD
        April 30, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

        There’s a new paper out about homebirth midwives and Apgar inflation that shows, among other things, that homebirth midwives have a 3000% (that’s right, 3 thousand percent) higher rate of Apgars of 10 than any hospital providers. I’ll be writing about it tomorrow or Friday.

        • Young CC Prof
          April 30, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

          The MANA study included 401 newborns who didn’t even GET an APGAR. Nobody bothered to write one down, apparently. Of the 245 who were given a low Apgar, only about half were transported to the hospital. For the others, apparently, unresponsive was a variation of normal.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          April 30, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

          I remember this coming up before, and the mention of seriously high scores given by midwives. The comment was something like “Virginia Apgar would be rolling over in her grave” seeing how inflated they were.

        • araikwao
          April 30, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

          So research supports the speculations made here in the past. Satisfying and scary, all at the same time.

        • Siri
          May 1, 2014 at 3:35 am #

          Well obviously! Their practice is 3000% better, so it goes without saying. Duh.

        • Amazed
          May 1, 2014 at 6:15 am #

          Well, no wonder here. Without being any sort of specialist, I can safely bet that the mummy baby from the link above did not get the 0 or 1 APGAR it deserved.

        • J brown
          May 1, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

          Good! Yet more proof of the birther lies. I have no idea how they get away with continuing to promote the death of babies just because the mother has an agenda or wants to feel more womanly. A good mother ALWAYS does what is best for her children. That is what being a real woman is about.

      • anne
        April 30, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

        Holy zombie baby. That’s shocking.

        • Burgundy
          April 30, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

          I jump out of my seat when I saw the zombie baby. That is NUT!!!

        • yugaya
          April 30, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

          Not really shocking if you read a bit around that blog. From another birth story:

          “Yup. I’ll take it. It was magic. I roared out my
          baby in a bath tub, caught him, and still looked fabulous. THAT, kittens, is success. I’ll spare you the details of the following week, which we spent in the hospital (DAMN IT DAMN IT DAMN IT) because everyone is FINE and it’s all just a horrible memory.”

          THAT is natural childbirth SUCCESS!!!! Never mind the dead looking babies with inflated Apgars or a week spent in hospital for complications in the homebirth aftermath – that is magic!!! …aaaand we are all insane and meeeen if we think otherwise.

          This shit is even more insane than I could ever try to be sarcastic about it. 🙁

          • Dr Kitty
            April 30, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

            How can I put this…I read that birth story, and in no conceivable universe would I want to be friends with that lady. Her writing style suggests the kind of personality that is like metaphorical nails on a chalkboard for me.

          • yugaya
            April 30, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

            I grew up in communism albeit the mild, suffocating version of it, but my worldview was shaped pretty much by writers who explored the depths of totalitarian deprivation and dogmatic brainwashing, and what it does to a person. I keep seeing that same totalitarian thought process MO in all of the narratives of NCB “movement”, both in birth stories and in the pearls of wisdom of the leaders.

            So I kinda like to give them all a blanket benefit of a doubt, that once before NCB immersion they were better people.

          • Amazed
            April 30, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

            Hehe, I knew we were neighbours.

            I am not quite sure I agree, though. I do think that those immersed did not become worse people because they were immersed. There are still those who mourn for the good ol’ days but they were either living off the rest of us as higher ranking party members or are children of higher ranking party members. I mean, how am I to take seriously someone who wasn’t even born when communism fell but insists it was all better then? (For her parents it sure was! For mine, not so much. In olden days, having a father who fought the regime and refused to hand over his very own cows, lands and so on to the state did that to a person, even if they were not born at the time. And I am old enough to actually remember the brainwashing.)

            It’s much like the NCB world. Once you have an experience or have someone you know have one that affirms you as a member of the cult, it’s very hard to escape.

          • yugaya
            May 1, 2014 at 4:35 am #

            (waves to neighbour) 🙂

            “There are still those who mourn for the good ol’ days”.

            And not just sentimental fools who never suffered any real consequences – I watched a documentary on women who were victims of post WWII “purges” – sent to gulag prisons for not being truly enough communist in their beliefs ( ‘trust birth’ is not the first ideology to hit the universe that requires blind faith in everything it preaches). Now these women they were showing scars from physical torture that they suffered there, and knew first hand that nearly half of those imprisoned like they were did not make it home alive, and still, there was a small subgroup among these survivors who expressed firm belief that communism was good, the best actually, and that what had happened to them was an understandable glitch in an otherwise most perfect system. It was to them a fair price to pay.

            The equivalent of that is the mother from the other recent blog here who ‘martyred’ her own son via childbirth and claimed it was well worth it, and that if possible she would do it all over again.

          • Trixie
            May 1, 2014 at 6:37 am #

            I know several people very well who risked their lives in multiple attempts to escape communism. It sounds awful. I’m sorry you had to grow up that way.

          • yugaya
            May 1, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

            My own growing up bit during communism was like I said, mostly uneventful experience compared to people who had to live under it in its heyday, or in other places. Sort of like when you have a homebirth and nothing bad happens.

          • MLE
            May 1, 2014 at 10:39 am #

            At the end of “Journey into the Whirlwind,” the author repeats that very sentiment. She doesn’t blame communism for her 20 (approx) years of abuse and imprisonment. That was just some aberration.

          • MLE
            April 30, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

            The gloating….I can’t stand it.

          • Jessica S.
            April 30, 2014 at 11:20 pm #

            It’s disgusting, really.

          • araikwao
            May 1, 2014 at 3:11 am #

            And in the comments we learn there is a “MW” out there who administers “alternative therapy” for GBS. Oh goody.

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 1, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

            “Re GBS my midwife does Hibiclens throughout labor when using the restroom. No ivs. I’m doing tea tree oil suppositories this week.” OUCH

          • araikwao
            May 1, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

            Tea tree oil? That’s new…although I’m not sure that inserting it in the rectum is advisable. That stuff is toxic if ingested, IIRC. And it will get very well absorbed from there…

          • Bombshellrisa
            May 1, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

            She cared that she looked fabulous? Ugh. I also noticed she didn’t mention what the hospital stay was for the following week. Who stays in the hospital anymore for a week unless it’s serious?

          • ngozi
            May 2, 2014 at 10:20 am #

            The only time I was in the hospital for a week was when I had pre-enclampsia so bad that my OB thought I was going to have a stroke or seizure. My baby also had bad jaundice, so they kept him too.

      • theadequatemother
        April 30, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

        that isn’t a baby that i would place on mom or leave on mom. That is a baby that’s going to the warmer for stimulation and possible PPV.

        • Dr Kitty
          April 30, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

          Homebirth MWs go on and on about their neonatal resuscitation training.
          You know what, you need to know when to use it.

          When a baby is that colour, you start resuscitation immediately, and if they pink up and cry, happy days.

          You do not take photos, have a family cuddle and then resuscitate if the colour doesn’t improve.

          That photo should not exist.

          • Young CC Prof
            April 30, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

            To misquote the old aphorism, it doesn’t do you much good to have a hammer if you don’t know what a nail looks like.

            And I absolutely agree that the photo should not exist.

          • ML.E
            April 30, 2014 at 10:32 pm #

            But Dr Kitty….how would she have gotten that blissful photo to post on BWF if they had rudely taken the baby away? That was her main goal of this second pregnancy!

        • AmyP
          April 30, 2014 at 6:21 pm #

          And it’s billed as a “peaceful birth.”


          • AnnaC
            May 2, 2014 at 6:40 am #

            I guess they think that a baby who cries does so because s/he is distressed ergo a baby who does not cry has been born ‘peacefully’. This baby clearly did not have the energy to cry and looks very close to being at peace forever.

      • Mariana Baca
        April 30, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

        Ah! That picture needs a much stronger warning! 🙁

      • Kerlyssa
        April 30, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

        Dear god that baby looks deader than some of the actual stillbirth photos. That’s horrifying.

      • Dr Kitty
        April 30, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

        Wanna bet the 1 minute APGAR was 9?

        • Mer
          April 30, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

          You know what’s really sad? My happy healthy baby was born and had a 1 minute apgar of 4 (precipitous labor and shoulder dystocia)and he looked better than that poor little blue baby. My son was even born with bruising on his face and was less blue. He got a ped, oxygen, and 48 hours of observation in the hospital he was born in, I doubt that little girl got anything.

          ETA oops! This was supposed to be to yugaya up above!

      • Life Tip
        April 30, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

        “Every woman should be given the opportunity to see what her body is capable of”.

        I know people who spout ideas like this (or “your baby knows when to be born” or “your body was designed for this “) are probably not thinking about the meaning or implication of their words. But it’s just so so offensive. Not every female body is capable of conceiving, caring a baby to term and delivering a living child. And our value as human beings is not determined by how well our reproduction system works.

        I’d rather not take the opportunity to see what my body is capable of, thanks. It looked like my body was capable of dying with a dead fetus lodged in my pelvis, so my excellent OB intervened.

        • yugaya
          April 30, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

          ” Not every female body is capable of conceiving, caring a baby to term and delivering a living child.”

          And not every woman is wanting to have children at all or use her body for either pregnancy or birth.

          Nope, the natural birth medal winning brigades never think for a second just how many women and how hard they are insulted every time they chime in with that “our bodies were meant” crap.

          • Young CC Prof
            April 30, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

            Yeah, our bodies were meant to go through puberty at like 17, because we only had enough to eat about half the time, get pregnant immediately, have 8 kids and bury half of them. The ones who live, you breastfeed them for 3-4 years because the food supply is unreliable. And of course, you don’t regain enough body fat to ovulate again until the first child weans or dies, and then you die around 40 with no teeth, right before all that hunger causes you osteoporosis.

            Awesome, eh?

          • Trixie
            April 30, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

            That is if you’re lucky, and don’t die in childbirth first.

          • Life Tip
            April 30, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

            Personally, I wish everyone had the opportunity to see what her body is not capable of, if they want to…the opportunity to access medical care to avoid, achieve or sustain a pregnancy.

            I rock to sleep every night the little baby that my body was not capable of delivering. And I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to access wonderful medical care that allows me to see (and hold, cherish and love) what my body is not capable of. How many women throughout history would have done anything for that opportunity? How man women alive today still do not have that opportunity?

          • Jessica S.
            April 30, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

            Insulting and limiting!! I mean, I love my kid and I assume that I will love this one in the oven just as much, but having them is not/will not be the greatest achievement of my life. In fact, if they grow up to be amazing, change-the-world-for-the-better kind of people, it will almost certainly be in SPITE of me, not because of me. 😀

          • yugaya
            May 1, 2014 at 4:19 am #

            ” if they grow up to be amazing, change-the-world-for-the-better kind of people, it will almost certainly be in SPITE of me, not because of me.” Same here. 😀

            And it will most certainly have NOTHING to do with them being born through a vagina.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          April 30, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

          “Every woman should be given the opportunity to see what her body is capable of”.

          The problem with this is that, in giving those opportunities to see “what her body is capable of” (wait – communications major?) we too often find out what she is not capable of doing. And that is not something I am interesting in finding out, because the consequences are too high.

          • Young CC Prof
            April 30, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

            Tests to destruction are for prototypes not people.

          • Bystander
            May 1, 2014 at 2:54 am #

            Slight amendment: tests to destruction are NOT for valuable prototypes. Non-destructive testing is a big field. I, too, would also like to think a person worth more than any prototype.

          • Jessica S.
            April 30, 2014 at 11:01 pm #

            Yeah, I’m more impressed with what science is capable of, such as giving a chance to a mother and baby who may not have lived otherwise. Or would have had a really hard time of it.

        • Irène Delse
          May 1, 2014 at 11:42 am #

          “Every woman should be given the opportunity to see what her body is capable of”.

          Like the opportunity to really bad tearing? Or haemorrhage to death? Or compress the umbilical cord for so long that the baby is born with brain damage? Or dead?

          I don’t know, maybe it’s the pessimistic in me, but that kind of glib, nature-worshipping pep-talk just makes me think “oh yeah, and what about the ones that don’t go well”?

      • AmyP
        April 30, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

        That baby is GREY.

        • Amazed
          April 30, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

          On my screen, it’s WHITE. As if it has been whitewashed to delay the decomposition process.

          • thankfulmom
            April 30, 2014 at 11:55 pm #

            That is absolutely horrific! I wonder if the baby has any brain damage from that birth experience?

          • Amazed
            May 1, 2014 at 5:11 am #

            My fears, exactly!

            When I look at such pictures in such circumstances, I am always reminded of a child I met in the hospital my brother was a patient in. Poor child was all wrapped in bandages. He had sustained severe burns and his fool of a mother stayed at home for HOURS waiting for her husband to come home from work because, you see, she didn’t have anyone to leave her other child with. Really, lady? That was the best reasoning you were capable of?

        • Certified Hamster Midwife
          April 30, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

          Reading this thread before I clicked did not prepare me for what I would see. Poor child, it looks like a cartoon zombie.

      • Amazed
        April 30, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

        Why is he grinning? WHY IS HE GRINNING?

        Oh god, this baby looks… mummified. Even the most moronic brainwashed moron should know that there is something WAAAY off… and he’s grinning.

        Oh my. I usually flatter myself with thinking that I’m fairly liberal but I become more and more convinced that some people are too stupid and should not be allowed to procreate.

        I couldn’t read her ramblings. I cannot unsee his stupid grinning face, though.

        Poor baby. What kind of life will it have with parents who are so grossly divorced from reality?

      • Young CC Prof
        April 30, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

        And notice that the midwife is wearing gloves that stop at the wrist, so that her arm is wet from reaching all the way into the birth pool to retrieve the baby. Of course, lousy hygiene is the least of their problems.

      • Mer
        April 30, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

        Oh that poor baby, she looks so . . . not alive. Blue and limp are very bad, that poor little thing. Her little hand is just lying on her moms arm limp. And they very likely didn’t take her in for evaluation for low apgar.

      • MLE
        April 30, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

        That is one of the worst things I have ever seen. I seriously hope the gloved hands in the picture are seconds from yanking the baby away…but to do what, I don’t know, since they are at home.

        • MLE
          April 30, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

          Correction, not home, birth center.

      • Busbus
        April 30, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

        Oh my… That IS bad. Can anybody of the doctors chime in about what it means if a baby is this color? What would be done in a hospital?

        • ihateslugs
          May 1, 2014 at 2:28 am #

          Ok, as a pediatrician who has seen a lot, even I am freaked out by those pictures! There is definitely a variability in color at birth, and I’ve seen plenty of purple babies who are just fine, (especially when I used to practice at a higher altitude). When hypoxia sets in and a baby has been deprived of oxygen even briefly, (say in the final few pushes), the color response is to turn blue/purple. However with a few good cries, they should immediately pink up, and by the one minute mark, are usually a nice rosy color, (which is part of the APGAR scoring). Some babies still have acrocyanosis, (which is duskiness of their extremities and can even persist for hours), but the head and trunk should be pink. The babies that worry me are the ones that are grey or even white, as it tends to be more suggestive of prolonged oxygen deprivation. Rarely do they have a good one minute APGAR, and typically need more resuscitation than just some stimulation and suctioning. I can tell you this: upon seeing the color of that infant, she should have immediately been whisked away to a warming bed for full assessment and resuscitative measures. The fact that she looks like that and is on her mother’s chest and not getting appropriate medical evaluation and treatment is very disturbing.

      • realitycheque
        April 30, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

        I shared this on FB and someone is trying to claim thT it’s perfectly normal for a newborn to look like this in the first few monents after birth. I was wondering how the OBs here feel about this? The black lips are frightening to me…

        • Anj Fabian
          May 1, 2014 at 4:47 am #

          If you look closely, you can tell the head is darker than the rest of the body.

      • Melissa M.
        April 30, 2014 at 10:29 pm #

        I said it below, but my uterine rupture/mild HIE baby girl looked like that, except her eyes were not open. She had NO heartbeat at birth. 1 minute Apgar of 1. I am horrified by that picture. 🙁

      • RN who has seen too much
        April 30, 2014 at 11:55 pm #

        OMG. A friend of mine had a stillbirth and her baby looked like that 🙁 How scary. Would love to hear the true story of baby’s transition.

      • Beth S
        May 1, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

        And I’m not going to sleep tonight. Jesus that baby looks completely dead and that father needs the crap smacked out of him, even my untrained eye can see something is wrong and I’m just a mother.

    • CognitiveDissonaceHurts
      April 30, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

      It is possibly an herbal bath concoction that is sometimes used postpartum to aid in healing. It turns the water a gross shade of greenish brown. Or not.

    • Aki Hinata
      April 30, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

      I cannot believe she is sitting there in that filth! And she’s *holding her baby* in there! Blech!!!

  20. Captain Obvious
    April 30, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    That is one long convo that I may read when I have time. Has Jen answered any of your comments towards her yet?

    • Anj Fabian
      April 30, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

      She seems to have gone Tritten on us.

      • Amazed
        April 30, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

        Wow, there is a place you can ask Jen questions? I thought it was over after she heroically deleted her oh so truthful post and disappeared.

      • MLE
        April 30, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

        We need a Gone Tritten’ sign for bloggers to hang on their splash page.

      • Siri
        May 1, 2014 at 3:38 am #

        Oh, tritt off, you Trit!

  21. Meredith Watson
    April 30, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

    An unfortunate aspect of the internet and social media is that it gives many people a much wider audience in front of which to parade around acting as experts.

    • anne
      April 30, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

      My husband calls this “garbage in, gospel out.”

  22. Jocelyn
    April 30, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    I found this site (the SOB) because of My OB Said What?!

  23. April 30, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    Here’s the thing – there’s a niche for patient advocacy that needs to be filled. It exists in maternity care. It exists in oncology. It exists in cardiology. There is a unique perspective that being a patient brings – and there is value to better understanding that perspective. Sometimes there is a conflict between what is best for the patient from the patient’s stand point and what is best for the patient from a medical standpoint. There are conversations that should happen in the context of care, that just do not happen. The patient’s role in their own care is changing – and that is the reality.
    I’m hesitant to say that what many of these bloggers engage in is really “patient advocacy” though – because many of them are more engaged in advocacy for an ideology.

    • Certified Hamster Midwife
      April 30, 2014 at 10:26 pm #

      Do you think that’s the role that doulas should be playing? Maybe we need hospital-provided cancer doulas, too.

      • T.
        May 1, 2014 at 3:31 am #

        That would actually be a very good idea.

  24. Mel
    April 30, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    Here’s the list of people in my family who LIVED because of OB’s + other trained HCPs:

    Me: Hospital birth at 29 weeks gestation. Needed neonatal resuscitation + NICU stay. (IOW, I didn’t suffocate at birth)

    Twin Sis: OB performed a total breech extraction after I was born. He recognized that a beet-red twin could mean twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome and got sis out before she bled out after I was delivered. Long NICU stay.(Didn’t bleed to death, starve, suffocate or die of hypothermia)

    Mom: Postpartum pre-ecclasmpsia with me and sis. Resolved with no problems. Pre-ecclampsia returned with brother 2 which was managed successfully with an induction. (Didn’t stroke/seize to death or die from septic shock after a post-date fetal death)

    Bro 2: In family lore “He’d still be in Mom today if left to his own devices.” Induced at 41+ weeks and born with high APGAR scores. (Didn’t die from placental failure.)

    Bro-in-Law 1: Had problems descending during labor. Low forceps delivery. (Didn’t suffocate)

    Husband: Triple nuchal cord that nearly suffocated him during delivery. Vacuum delivery when his heart rate dropped. Immediate neonatal resus.
    (Didn’t suffocate.)

    Sis-in-law: LD nurse recognized meconium staining when MIL water broke. Needed immediate neonatal resus + NICU stay for meconium pneumonia. (Didn’t die from meconium pneumonia)

    In short, out of the 12 people in my immediate family 7 people would likely be dead without OB and HCP assistance during labor and delivery.

    Please don’t trust birth. Birth is untrustworthy.

    (It goes higher if my MIL died if her oldest son never descended, died, and caused septic shock in her.)

  25. Julia
    April 30, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    Good post, but I do have to disagree with equating the role of doulas to that of “stewardesses” (actually, they’re called flight attendant or cabin crew). The presence of cabin crew at flights with more than a certain # of passengers is mandated by international regulations (unlike the presence of doulas at deliveries), and their primary responsibility is passenger safety, not comfort, again unlike doulas. Flying the plane is not the only thing that ensures safe air travel. It’s the cabin crew’s responsibility for example to oversee evacuation of the cabin in an emergency. There is also a chain of command among cabin and flight crew. All completely unlike the relationship between doulas and whoever delivers the baby. Minor issue, but sexism and arrogance towards “stewardesses” is distracting from the main point.

    • Mariana Baca
      April 30, 2014 at 11:21 am #

      Yeah, I read the sentence and was like: wait, the flight attendant is responsible for the safety of the passengers, just not responsible for the safety of air/plane navigation/flying.

    • April 30, 2014 at 11:56 am #

      I hear “stewardess” and think of Austin Powers. It isn’t the strongest comparison.

    • Carrie Looney
      April 30, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

      From what I’ve read, the original stewardesses, unlike doulas, were required to be RNs:

      • Susan
        April 30, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

        Cool link. Different world then for sure. Glad things have changed frankly with the age/weight/height/looks thing being pre reqs and glad nursing has evolved too!

    • Young CC Prof
      April 30, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

      Yes, flight attendants are part of the team, trained to help keep planes safe. Perhaps birth bloggers are more like that arrogant annoying frequent flyer in a blue suit trying to tell the pilot how to land.

      • Susan
        April 30, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

        I agree I read that and thought… flight attendants aren’t pilots and don’t pretend to be but they are trained in safety. I didn’t think it was a good analogy either. Actually had an incident where I helped out on a plane trip and they were really helpful to me and the doctor who also volunteered to help.

        • KarenJJ
          April 30, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

          I thought the same about the flight attendants. Perhaps the analogy would be for people that enjoy playing “flight path” on their iphones…

          • Young CC Prof
            April 30, 2014 at 7:06 pm #

            Playing flight simulators totally teaches you how to fly! Professional pilots use them and everything!

  26. yugaya
    April 30, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    “Would you take cardiology advice from someone whose qualifications are 3 heart attacks?”


    How about being told you should trust natural birth more than medical science by a woman who let her prematurely born baby die without seeking medical attention that would have saved her child’s life?

    • Houston Mom
      April 30, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

      The first time I read about Ina May Gaskin letting her premature son die, it struck me that he was as premature as one of my friends born in the late 60’s. But he was in the hospital and survived as did his premature sister a few years later. No normal mother throws her child’s whole life away. Her son should be alive with a family of his own by now.

      • Amy M
        April 30, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

        I have a friend who was born about that gestation in the early 70s, so maybe 5yrs after Gaskin’s son. He was a twin, and his twin didn’t make it. He had some issues due to prematurity (needed heart surgery as a toddler, and ended up with a fragile retina (ROP)), but otherwise grew up to be a healthy man. I know outcomes from prematurity weren’t as good 40yrs ago as they are now, but even then, there were things that could be done in a hospital and it wasn’t an automatic death sentence, at least to a point.

      • Captain Obvious
        April 30, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

        He wasn’t meant to live:-/ Had she been in the hospital, he still would have died.

      • moto_librarian
        April 30, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

        One of my cousins was born early in the late 1960s. He was so small that he came home from the hospital in a shoe box. No one expected him to live, but today, he is a 6′ 4″ healthy man in his 40s.

        • Young CC Prof
          April 30, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

          Actually, my great-grandfather was shoebox-sized, like 4 pounds or something. “His grandfather tucked the baby into a boot-box lined with cotton-wool, set it beside the fireplace, and fed him milk with an eye dropper.” I don’t know that anyone really expected it to work, but they couldn’t bear the thought of not TRYING, and in the end it did work.

          • Karen in SC
            April 30, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

            One of the best birth stories I’ve read on this site was someone’s parent or grandparent delivered with the help of a veterinarian during World War II. I think premature also. Heartwarming.

          • Amazed
            April 30, 2014 at 5:00 pm #

            My mom wasn’t shoebox-sized – she was the mighty 5 pounds. Or maybe she was and they just never tried. My grandma can’t say either way – she was too busy trying not to die in the hospital where she spent 40 days afterwards. Clearly not educated enough and so unnatural – she went there to have a living child, she went there to have a cancer surgery – twice over – and she’s still alive and kicking, although very annoyed that she cannot keep her house sufficiently clean for her standards. Being 82 does that to a person.

            All hail UnNature!

          • Dr Kitty
            April 30, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

            My grandfather was born in 1898, I think at about 34 or 35 weeks. Another shoebox/cotton wool/eye dropper baby. He was the only one of his brothers to survive beyond 1945 (one died in WW1, one died in the Holocaust), and the only one with living descendants.

            He was, very clearly, meant to live.

          • moto_librarian
            May 1, 2014 at 10:43 am #

            My great Aunt had already had one stillborn daughter born early, and her other living son was also early, but not nearly as small as his brother. Once when we were talking about it, my aunt who is an OB nurse said that today, they would have known from tests and technology that things weren’t going well with these pregnancies. The outcome may have been much different for the stillborn baby.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          April 30, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

          One of my cousins was born early in the late 1960s. … today, he is a 6′ 4″ healthy man in his 40s.

          Glad to know he aged normally.

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