Orgasm for pain relief in childbirth?

Empress new orgasm

I am not making this up … a bunch of natural childbirth advocates are making it up.

I’ve finally been able to stop laughing and catch my breath after reading this nonsense and I thought my readers might get a good laugh out of it, too.

The paper is ‘Birthgasm’: A Literary Review of Orgasm as an Alternative Mode of Pain Relief in Childbirth, published this month in the Journal of Holistic Nursing. It really should be titled “The Empress’s New Orgasm.”

[pullquote align=”right” color=”#ff95d5″]So now orgasm in childbirth isn’t simply a form of pain relief, but it promotes bonding, too. Who could have seen that coming?[/pullquote]

You simply cannot make this stuff up:

Current thinking supports the view that labor and childbirth are perceived to be physically painful events, and more women are relying on medical interventions for pain relief in labor.

Current thinking? Current thinking??!! Have these women never read a Bible?

They go on to spew napalm grade stupidity.

This review explores the potential of orgasm as a mode of pain relief in childbirth and outlines the physiological explanations for its occurrence… While there are indications of widespread use of complementary and alternative therapies such as hydrotherapy, herbal remedies, and breathing techniques for pain relief in childbirth, orgasm was not among those mentioned. Lack of recognition of the sexuality of childbirth, despite findings that orgasm can attenuate the effects of labor pain, suggests the need for greater awareness among expectant parents, educators, and health professionals of the potential of orgasm as a means of pain relief in childbirth.

How is exactly is orgasm supposed to serve as a mode of pain relief? Are women supposed to have orgasms every two minutes for hours?

The authors don’t say. What they do say is ridiculous enough.

While it is understandable, in light of the aforementioned theory, how sexuality and childbirth may be viewed as separate entities, Harel (2007) argues that sexual pleasure and arousal during childbirth should be better recognized as a possibility, given that a woman’s sexual organs are stimulated …

If that’s the case, then men should have orgasms from being kicked in the crotch since their sexual organs are stimulated.

How many women note orgasm during childbirth?

… Gaskin (2003) and other researchers have observed that some women in the midst of labor and when birth is imminent, look and behave in a manner that is similar to women experiencing an orgasm. While numerous women have described the birth of their child in pleasurable terms, others have confirmed actually experiencing orgasm/s during labor and just before delivery (Baker, 2001; Gaskin, 2002, 2003; Harel, 2007; Shanley, 2008. Qualitative research by Harel (2007) revealed some women experienced “unexpected” orgasms while giving birth, that is, with no conscious stimulation. Harel refers to this phenomenon as a ‘birthgasm’. There were also reports of other women who experienced ‘passionate’ orgasms, that is, a woman, with or without her partner, stimulates herself to orgasm during the birthing process with the hope of relieving labor pain (Harel, 2007).

Surprise, suprise! The only people who have noted this phenomenon are well off white women who have read the natural childbirth literature. What a coincidence!

You want to know an another amazing coincidence? The phenomenon seems to be described only at out of hospital birth. The authors ponder this phenomenon:

The greater number of women experiencing orgasmic births in the comfort of their own homes or birthing centers may also point to how comfortable women are in the environment they choose to give birth in (Buckley, 2003; Gaskin, 2003; Hotelling, 2009). Gaskin (2003) refers to ‘sphincter law’ and explains that sphincters such as the cervix and vagina are involuntary muscles that can be “shy” and function best when a sense of privacy is ensured.

But Gaskin fabricated the “sphincter law” from whole cloth. There is no evidence that exists anywhere but in her fevered imagination.

The authors impress themselves with pages of scientific sounding terms but never demonstrate that what they write has any connection to reality. But that doesn’t stop them from making stuff up:

The above-mentioned findings have generated speculation that the combination of pleasurable sensations from VCS [vaginal cervical stimulation] together with its apparent pain relieving properties may assist childbirth by attenuating labor pain, thus promoting increased bonding between women, their partners, and newborn infants …

So now orgasm in childbirth isn’t simply a form of pain relief, but it promotes bonding, too. Who could have seen that coming?

The authors conclude:

The likelihood of orgasm as an alternative mode of pain relief in childbirth is a possibility… [But]there appears to be a paucity of information with regard to promoting orgasm as an alternative means of pain relief in childbirth.

Why doesn’t it happen more and why is there no actual scientific evidence about orgasm as a method of pain relief in childbirth? The most obvious explanation — that a bunch of natural childbirth advocates made it up — seems never to have crossed the authors’ minds.

Instead they blame it on hospitals. Who could have seen that coming?

There is speculation that perhaps hierarchical and time constraints within the hospital system along with deeply held cultural beliefs about sexuality may infringe on ability of hospital staff to encourage intimacy between birthing couples …

It’s the hospital’s fault! That’s why we no longer have the birthgasms described in every ancient literature around the planet.

Wait, what? No ancient literature from any other country or culture describes birthgasms?

It must have been an oversight.

574 Responses to “Orgasm for pain relief in childbirth?”

  1. TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya
    December 1, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

    “look and behave in a manner that is similar to women experiencing an orgasm”? LOOK AND BEHAVE IN A MANNER THAT IS SIMILAR TO WOMEN EXPERIENCING AN ORGASM?!?! Well, that’s a sure sign then isn’t it!

    • Azuran
      December 5, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

      I’d guess… Yelling and arching your back?
      Clearly there is absolutely nothing else out there that can make a woman yell and have muscle contractions. Certainly not pain.

  2. Opal
    November 27, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

    I just gave birth to my third child last week. It was my second vbac, in hospital, and no pain meds. (I think epidurals are fine, for the record!). At one point, I did have a mini orgasm at the end of a painful contraction. I don’t know what did it, possibly just the way I was moving my body? But it happened. Never believed it could, but it happened to me. I’m not gonna say women should seek it out as pain relief, because honestly, the next contraction was just as bad as the one before, but I am amazed that it’s a real thing.

    • sdsures
      November 27, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

      A sudden drop in pain can create euphoria.

    • PeggySue
      November 28, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

      Bodies are weird, aren’t they? Congratulations on the arrival of your new baby!

    • Kate
      December 1, 2015 at 6:13 am #

      It actually doesn’t really surprise me to hear that orgasms occasionally happen during birth. FTR, never given birth, don’t ever want to, can’t think of anything more unpleasan. But from what I’ve heard it seems to be a time when the entire nervous system is just going completely nuts (because pain), therefore a random orgasm slipping in there doesn’t seem all that implausible. Still not something anyone should be actively encouraging women to strive for. That’s just so cruel and wrong I don’t know where to begin!

    • Camilla Cracchiolo, RN
      August 13, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

      During birth there’s a lot of pressure on the vascular structures and nerves involved in orgasm. I think it’s physiologically possible for a few women, probably from that 1/3 of women who are able to orgasm from intercourse alone. Just really, really rare. And using it for pain relief instead of an epidural seems quite cruel to me.

  3. KarenJJ
    November 26, 2015 at 4:30 am #

    So when men start masturbating through a vasectomy I might come (haha) to agree that this sort of weirdness is not misogyny.

  4. Nick Sanders
    November 25, 2015 at 7:23 pm #

    Are you unwilling to read? Or just to lazy to even see what the link was?

  5. Dr Kitty
    November 25, 2015 at 9:19 am #

    A doctor who is local to me and deeply into the woo ( he runs a private CAM clinic) has been suspended by the GMC after prescribing MMS (bleach) for an autistic child.
    It is not being reported well in the local press.
    “Belfast Dad with cancer opts for natural therapy, only to be left in the lurch when the GMC suspends his doctor for practising holistic medicine” is not exactly what I would call ethical journalism.

    • Brooke
      November 25, 2015 at 11:16 am #

      That is completely off topic!

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        November 25, 2015 at 11:27 am #

        You a moderator now, Brooke?

        It’s off-topic for this post, but not for the blog. The mistreatment of kids by charletons is perfectly on-topic here.

        • Mishimoo
          November 25, 2015 at 6:37 pm #

          And unfortunately it’s common enough to warrant frequent discussion.

        • Dr Kitty
          November 25, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but the only rules Dr T enforces regularly with regard to content are:

          1) don’t try to sell stuff
          2) don’t use needlessly foul personal insults
          3) don’t sock puppet
          4) don’t edit your posts in order to deliberately mislead

          Otherwise, she seems happy to let the inmates run the asylum…

        • Sue
          November 26, 2015 at 5:56 pm #

          Yep – and we all throw in the occasional OT posts to alert the others of something going on or worth discussing. That’s another great thing about this site and its community of commenters. As well as the high level of witty, intelligent discussion.

      • Dr Kitty
        November 25, 2015 at 11:30 am #

        Which is why I put OT at the start. It stands for “Off Topic”.
        Anyone who reads the comments here knows that OT posts are common, and Dr T doesn’t usually have an issue with them unless they break the rules.

        We’ve had recent discussions about Indian food, MMORPGS, kids TV shows and, memorably, what songs we’d put on an NCB-themed playlist.People can read and contribute, or skim over and ignore, as they prefer.

        • Bombshellrisa
          November 25, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

          I am still finding songs for playlist, it shocks me how much NCB rhetoric and cheesy songs have in common!

          • Barbara Delaney
            November 29, 2015 at 1:06 am #

            Don’t tempt me. I’ve resolved to stay in lurker mode but that’s too enticing.

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 29, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

            Well, I have enjoyed your comments, please chime in whenever!

        • Francesca Violi
          November 25, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

          speaking of which (playlist), I was thinking, has anybody already suggested “Strep by strep” , about a woman curing her vaginal infection with garlic? “strep by strep, bit by bit, clove by clove, brick by brick…”

          • sdsures
            November 27, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

            Does that mean that she’s having bowel movements like bricks? (I used a less colloquial form in case admin doesn’t like cussing on here.)

        • Nick Sanders
          November 25, 2015 at 2:48 pm #

          Aww, I missed the one about MMOs. But then, I’ve only played one, and it’s no longer online.

        • demodocus
          November 25, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

          now I’m obsessing over lasagna. What am I hatching?

          • Dr Kitty
            November 25, 2015 at 4:18 pm #

            Someone with an excellent palate, clearly!

          • Who?
            November 25, 2015 at 4:47 pm #

            Can I suggest some spinach layers in there? It will change your lasagne eating life, not to mention sneak green veg into kids.

          • demodocus
            November 25, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

            Oh, I like spinach lasagna. And my kid notices, lol. Hates spinach. Fortunately, he doesn’t mind kale

          • sdsures
            November 27, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

            Great idea! But will the kids notice?

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 25, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

            That sounds so good. It’s really cold. Lasagne would be amazing

      • DelphiniumFalcon
        November 25, 2015 at 11:31 am #

        No shit, that’s what “OT” means. It’s an abbreviation that’s been used for over a decade on message boards.

      • Dr Kitty
        November 25, 2015 at 11:40 am #

        Speaking of which, did you have a chance to think about whether any theoretical risks of aluminium in a vitamin K shot was more or less likely to harm a newborn than the HDN that the vitamin K prevents?

        • Brooke
          November 25, 2015 at 11:47 am #

          You know since I already said that’s why some parents choose it and I’m not a expert maybe you should ask someone who is? I have read that the complications from not getting the vitamin K shot are extremely rare but I’m not advocating anything. You’d enjoy your life more if you didn’t consider everyone your enemy/need to prove yourself by arguing with people on the internet. Also recognize that your not entitled to a response to every fucking question you ask. Some people have babies to feed and kids to raise.

          • Roadstergal
            November 25, 2015 at 11:53 am #

            Well, I was initially dubious of your claims that the aluminum in the vitamin K shot is dangerous to babies, and that midwives can handle absolutely any emergency at home just as well as they would be handled in the hospital – but you throwing a pissy fit totally changed my mind!

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

            Unless you have multiple accounts this wasn’t even a response to you..

          • Dr Kitty
            November 25, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

            Ok then…I guess being defensive and rude has worked for you before. Pity.

            I’m enjoying my life fine, currently sitting on the sofa nursing #2 while #1 does her homework and dinner cooks in the oven. Raising and feeding kids too, but still in possession of intellectual curiosity and the ability to find answers to questions I don’t know. Shame if you can’t.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

            Obviously you don’t or you wouldn’t be asking a random person on the internet about the vitamin K shot you’d look it up yourself as opposed to feeling entitled to a response so much so that you’d ask it more than once. I’m glad your kid can cook dinner for you. My older kid isn’t quite capable of that yet.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            November 25, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

            Dr. Kitty knows that answer. I believe her point is that you don’t and will not be able to come up with any evidence that the risks of a vitamin K shot outweigh the benefits.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

            I never made the assertion that the risks from aluminium were greater than the risks from not getting the vitamin K shot.

          • Dr Kitty
            November 25, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

            No, but you didn’t say that rejecting vitamin K because of the supposed risk of toxins is patently stupid, and suggested that aluminium in the shot might be toxic.

            We’re used to anti-vax people “just asking questions” and “just saying why some people choose this option”.

          • yugaya
            November 25, 2015 at 6:14 pm #

            I’ve noticed that NCBers often demand that their claims are only to be interpreted at the most literal, purely semantical level of processing language. There’s never any context or intention to convey a message via implied meaning.

            Yeah let’s all pretend we are a bunch of five year olds and that she was “just asking questions”

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            November 25, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

            Just like “why would anyone need pain relief” was just a rhetorical question, and not at all dripping with judgement.

          • Nick Sanders
            November 25, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

            No “pain relief”, but “an epidural”. Because remember, labor pain is morally distinct from other pains.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            November 25, 2015 at 7:00 pm #

            Oops, my bad!

            I do remember being told in antenatal class that labour was a physiological pain and therefore different from pathological pain. All I could think was “period pain is physiological, but that still sucks”.

          • Brooke
            November 26, 2015 at 12:56 am #

            Morally distinct. Lol.

          • Nick Sanders
            November 26, 2015 at 9:30 am #

            That’s been your implication, yes.

          • sdsures
            November 27, 2015 at 12:37 pm #


          • Brooke
            November 26, 2015 at 12:54 am #

            I didn’t say “why would anyone need pain relief” I said that there are alternative methods to achieving pain relief during labor besides transferring to a hospital for an epidural/that a epidural is not a medical emergency. I had an epidural at the end of my first labor, so why would I judge anyone else for having one?

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            November 26, 2015 at 1:11 am #

            I agree that I got the quote wrong. You said “Why would someone “need” an epidural”. You later edited your post to say that it was a rhetorical question.

            I’m not the only person who thought that your post came across as extremely judgemental. Your subsequent posts on the matter have not changed my impression.

          • Brooke
            November 26, 2015 at 1:28 am #

            I didn’t edit my intital comment. The topic was about emergency complications. Wanting an epidural is not an emergency complication. Honestly I don’t care if it came across as “judgemental”. Anything surrounding birth is going to come across as judgemental especially on blogs like this where women flock to have their own experiences justified or rationalized, where there is so much animosity toward people you perceive as trying to out birth someone else/yourself. This blog intentionally fosters this kind of negativity & divisiveness. It might help the author get readership but it doesn’t really help women.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            November 26, 2015 at 1:45 am #

            “Why would someone “need” an epidural?

            Also I think you missed that obviously this was a rhetorical question as I answered it in the begining.”

            This is directly copy and pasted from your post. Are you sure you didn’t edit it to add in the second sentence?

          • Amazed
            November 26, 2015 at 5:56 am #

            If there is a second sentence, Brooke the Bold clearly edited it.

            Way to go, Miss Honesty!

            And then she started blabbering about how perhaps women just needed to be repositioned, fed, watered, or left alone to scream. Anything but acknowledging that they might have changed their mind.

          • yugaya
            November 26, 2015 at 1:59 am #

            “blogs like this where women flock to have their own experiences justified or rationalized”

            Try again.

          • Charybdis
            November 26, 2015 at 10:13 am #

            As opposed to the UC/HBAC/HBA4C groups not to mention the breastfeeding groups where feeding expressed breastmilk from a bottle gets major flak. Those are WAY supportive of other points of view.

          • AllieFoyle
            November 26, 2015 at 8:43 am #

            You also replied to me: “And I’m telling you that’s not the only way to relieve the pain or work through it.”

            As though, having personally experienced unmedicated births (because the people attending me (CNMs) believed the garbage that you’re trying to peddle here), my experience is worth less than some tripe you read in Spiritual Midwifery. None of the stuff that you’re suggesting was even remotely helpful –a lot of it wasn’t even possible– and to insist that it would have been is incredibly dismissive, insulting even.

            Vaginal birth left me so damaged I had to have reconstructive surgery. If you really think that the pain could have been relieved by position changes or that a c-section is a worse outcome than what I experienced then you are an inhumane hypocrite.

            You also don’t get to decide whether or not this blog is helpful for other women. It has a very robust following of commenters, many of whom have come here because it is one of the only forums for discussing issues around pregnancy and childbirth that doesn’t enforce a NCB perspective– which many of us have found harmful.

          • Montserrat Blanco
            November 26, 2015 at 11:04 am #

            Well, I am a woman and I find this blog very helpful. The blog and a lot of regulars helped me during the pregnancy, birth and early feedings of my son. It helped me much more than the NCB crowd, that is still judgmental about me formula feeding a 14 month old child (last time a couple of days ago), much more than the supossed lactation experts that only said: well, that is very rare… When I had problems pumping for my preemie and definetely much more than those NCB that suggested stupid things regarding my HELLP syndrome.

          • Box of Salt
            November 26, 2015 at 11:34 am #

            Brooke “it doesn’t really help women.”

            You know what else”doesn’t really help women”?

            Your advocating for a 5% c-section rate without bothering to figure out why c-sections are done.

          • Sue
            November 26, 2015 at 5:50 pm #

            Not to mention the fact that this blog has helped MANY women – they are hear telling us so.

          • AllieFoyle
            November 26, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

            You are so dismissive about other women’s pain, but you are in no position to judge the severity or seriousness of what another woman experiences. Severe pain can be a sign that there is a problem that needs medical attention, and prolonged unrelieved pain can have serious and long-lasting psychological consequences.

          • sdsures
            November 27, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

            Damn right. (chronic pain patient here)

          • fiftyfifty1
            November 26, 2015 at 1:28 pm #

            “Anything surrounding birth is going to come across as judgemental especially on blogs like this where women flock to have their own experiences justified or rationalized”

            I have yet to meet anyone on this blog who had birth experiences quite like mine or who made the choices I did. Yet I’ve been coming to this blog regularly for nearly 5 years. So try again.

          • Sarah
            November 28, 2015 at 8:44 am #

            I’m a woman, it has helped me. You don’t get to make that call.

          • sdsures
            November 27, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

            “Alternative” methods, like “alternative” medicine, don’t work beyond the placebo effect.

          • Sue
            November 26, 2015 at 5:48 pm #

            ProTip: one of the major sources for Aluminium for babies is BREAST MILK. It’s one of the earth’s most abundant elements.

          • Charybdis
            November 27, 2015 at 9:51 pm #

            But, but that is TOTALLY safe and okay. Because there are magical Brita (TM)-type filters that suddenly appear in a nursing mom’s breasts that filter out all the bad things (drugs and TOXINS) before the baby swallows it. Because breastmilk magic.

          • Nick Sanders
            November 27, 2015 at 10:07 pm #

            Except glyphosate, for some reason.

          • Charybdis
            November 25, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

            She never said #1 was cooking dinner. She said that #1 was doing homework and dinner was cooking in the oven.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

            What’s amazing is that you both managed to miss the point. I hope you have a good Thanksgiving if you’re in the US.

          • Amazed
            November 25, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

            With this level of reading comprehension, you’d better stick to your innocent “just asking questions”.

          • Sue
            November 26, 2015 at 6:26 pm #

            Brooke – look up the term “rhetorical question”. Also “Dr”.

          • sdsures
            November 27, 2015 at 12:31 pm #

            “I’ve read that…” isn’t a sound medical argument.

      • Tiffany Aching
        November 26, 2015 at 6:57 am #

        Well, maybe that is why Dr Kitty wrote “OT” at the beginning of her post, who knows ?
        BTW I LOVE Dr Kitty’s posts about the Irish medical system, the ones she wrote some days ago about abortion restriction in Irish hospitals were incredibly informative (though horrific), and I really hope she will go on going off topic here.

        • Dr Kitty
          November 26, 2015 at 9:06 am #

          Thank you!

          • Tiffany Aching
            November 26, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

            This is very sincere, really. You’re always very interesting to read (for what it’s worth, which might not be much considering how such topics are covered by the media, I’m a journalist, and we crave for such insightful views from people who are directly involved in these matters).

          • sdsures
            November 27, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

            Me, too, love your posts! I’m in the UK – Manchester – but grew up in Canada. The NHS is a wonderful thing.

            Could you please link me to that post?

          • Dr Kitty
            November 28, 2015 at 6:09 am #

            I waffle on about abortion in Ireland in the comments on the “Got Ethics” post from 20th November. Nick Sanders posted a link to a Huff Post article, and it sort of went from there.

          • sdsures
            November 28, 2015 at 1:30 pm #


          • PeggySue
            November 28, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

            I will go find that. I have never forgotten the case of the triplets that ended with the loss of all three babies and grave illness of the mother.

    • Roadstergal
      November 25, 2015 at 11:28 am #

      “Belfast dad collaborating with doctor to physically abuse child”

    • Nick Sanders
      November 25, 2015 at 11:39 am #

      The chlorine dioxide trend really pisses me off. Want a better kid? Make them drink bleach until you dissolve their intestines! Not working? Just squirt it right on up there in an enema!

    • Who?
      November 25, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

      In the age of Rupert Murdoch, ‘ethical journalism’ is all too often an oxymoron.

      Add the need to use headlines as clickbait, and there you hae it.

      • Nick Sanders
        November 25, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

        Rupert Murdoch is just the latest in a long tradition of yellow journalists.

        • sdsures
          November 27, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

          My Mom has dozens of pre-Murdoch back issues of NatGeo in her house. I’ve made her promise never to throw them out. 😀

  6. Sue
    November 25, 2015 at 3:24 am #

    Here’s an important message arising from this article: the fact that a paper has been published in a journal doesn’t automatically make it valid. There are journals for homeopathy “research” too.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym
      November 25, 2015 at 4:41 am #

      Even being published in a good journal doesn’t make something valid. See Lancet, Wakefield, etc. You have to read and evaluate the evidence to know its strengths, weaknesses, and limitations.

      • Nick Sanders
        November 25, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

        Although at least the good journals have the decency to retract the real stinkers when they get torn apart.

      • Sue
        November 26, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

        Exactly, Nym. Peer review certifies the paper as being of sufficient quality for that particular journal – it doesn’t certify that the methodology is perfect or conclusions are correct.

        That’s what publication is for – review and critique by an informed audience. A step that is poorly understood outside professional groups that use research in practice. And woomeisters.

    • sdsures
      November 27, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

      See “Wakefield, The Lancet, 1999”.

  7. SarahSD
    November 24, 2015 at 11:07 pm #

    If babies as props wasn’t disturbing enough, Ina May and co present … babies as sex toys!

    Again, I get that birth can be a transcendent experience that exceeds everyday categories of experience. I can even buy the idea that some people experience sexual feelings during childbirth and that this is overlooked in part because of “deeply held cultural beliefs about sexuality”. But gosh, I’d rather have my medical professionals “prudishly” assume that my labor and birth will NOT be a sexual event, than have them try to turn it into a free love hippie sex orgy. Because, you know. Professionalism.

  8. Nick Sanders
    November 24, 2015 at 11:05 pm #


    I think it was here in the SkepOB community where I read about the woman that cultured yogurt from her vaginal flora? Well, now someone else is using their yeast infection to create a sourdough starter.

    • LaMont
      November 25, 2015 at 11:18 am #

      This is an idea!! Tho… um… totally asking for a friend, is there anyone here with experience of YIs persisting through multiple rounds of “90% effective” treatments? I’ve looked around online elsewhere, but of course, if you say that a medicine didn’t work and ask for hard reasons why that might happen, you end up in the land of woo and “toxins” and allcaps. I just want to go back to the gyno (a new one, the last ran a bit of a wonky office and wouldn’t give me answers beyond the two words “yeast infection”) armed with better questions… 🙁

      • DelphiniumFalcon
        November 25, 2015 at 11:41 am #

        Eh, it probably won’t help but you can try those women’s probiotics until you can get in to another doctor. Supposedly they help “balance vaginal flora.” I take them mostly to avoid getting c. diff again because no thanks. I’ll crowd that sucker out as much as possible! If it somehow balances the vaginal flora from ingesting them then meh, nice side effect.

        • Dr Kitty
          November 25, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

          Ok, is it definitely a yeast infection, proven by cultures, and not BV or lichen sclerosus or dermatitis or other causes of vulval irritation? Sometimes patients who have recurrent thrush don’t actually have recurrent thrush.

          You do need an HBA1C to exclude diabetes if it is. Sorry.

          I have reasonable success for my patients with fluconazole three doses for one week and then weekly for six months, with nightly lactic acid gel to the vagina for two weeks, but this is the “H-bomb” option.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            November 25, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

            Agreed. I see a lot of women who have been diagnosed with a “yeast infection” and treated over the phone and without anyone actually doing a vaginal exam.

          • LaMont
            November 25, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

            Culture-confirmed here, oh yes. This is my first time dealing with this so I wanted to be sure before proceeding. I take medication pretty seriously – I don’t want to be limiting alcohol intake, tracking schedules, and keeping an eye out for possible side effects for the sake of a wrong treatment! At this point I will definitely be raising the diabetes question the next time I go in (eep!).

            Incidentally, orgasms seem a rather secondary proposition in a time of pain and medical concern from this quarter… hardly a method of fixing things!

          • AirPlant
            November 27, 2015 at 10:25 am #

            I actually just read that is you saying that orgasms would cure a yeast infection. I was legitimately trying to figure out a mechanism for that before. I figure out that you changed subjects.

          • Dr Kitty
            November 25, 2015 at 1:09 pm #

            I’ve had patients with “thrush that won’t go away” and it turned out to be everything from gonorrhoea to cervical cancer to vulval psoriasis.

            Most people are sensible enough to see a Dr if the first OTC treatment doesn’t work, but some will literally try EVERYTHING before letting a Dr take a quick look at their genitals.

          • Who?
            November 25, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

            That lactic acid gel-I put some on my face every couple of nights-it exfoliates like nothing else I’ve tried-but boy does it smart.

      • ivorygirl
        November 25, 2015 at 11:57 am #

        I share your pain. Okay, so…just to provide my background, my babies were conceived in a lab and delivered via C-section after I developed HELLP syndrome. I am a big fan of intervening to override cruel Mother Nature whenever possible, and I love modern pharmaceuticals. BUT. For persistent yeast infections, I have had luck with boric acid suppositories — two per day for two weeks, or until your period starts. That is, assuming you’ve tried all of the conventional treatments. Were you just given suppositories, or did you also try Diflucan?

        • LaMont
          November 25, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

          Diflucan twice, two week-long rounds of three pills, which is apparently the freaking nuclear option, and while symptoms subsided (and still aren’t as bad as Day One) it’s still there and fluctuates in intensity. Thanks so much to you and Delphinium!! Of course now I’m just nervous that somehow *this* is going to be how I’m diagnosed with diabetes. (I thought I had a few decades left before it was my turn, Dr. Google!!)

        • RubyRed
          November 27, 2015 at 11:14 pm #

          YES. Boric acid vaginal suppositories saved my sanity and a LOT of money.

          Vet student and lover of conventional medicine here.

          I had terrible YIs that came every single month and would not quit for about 8 months. I was out of my mind. I tried Diflucan twice, which helped but the effects did not last. I ended up having to use both Canesten and Monistat every single month, which was super expensive and annoying, so I got desperate. I tried a bunch of ‘alternative’ methods, including a strict diet change, that didn’t really do anything. I changed detergents. I made sure all panties were cotton and I bleached them when I washed them. I even tried going commando for a full month. Nothing. Then I came across a post where someone said their gyno suggested boric acid suppositories. I went to the pharmacy immediately and asked for it. Funnelled the powder into gel caps, inserted one, and I was experiencing lessened severity of symptoms in less than a day. Completely better in about 3, IIRC. I think you can get it compounded as well. And for me, it actually ‘cured’ it. I don’t really get YIs anymore at all.

          You have to be careful that your mucous membranes are intact with using it, though. I think it can get dangerous if it gets into the bloodstream.

    • Charybdis
      November 25, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

      Yep. I posted that awhile back. Next it will be breastmilk yogurt. Made with your own vaginal flora!! And sourdough toast made with the same! But could it be considered vegan?

      • Roadstergal
        November 25, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

        They had breastmilk ice cream in the UK for a while…

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          November 26, 2015 at 3:40 am #

          You know why cannibalism is a bad idea (apart from, you know, yuck!)? Because if there are any infectious agents running around in the food, they are clearly agents that the critter eating the food is vulnerable to. See cows, prions. Or heck, humans, kuru. Breast milk from mother to baby is one thing (the critter’s already been exposed to her blood for 9 months or so), but eating something made from the probably unpasturized milk of multiple other humans? Bad plan. I’m not saying that it will inevitably lead to the zombie apocalypse, but…just, bad plan.

          • sdsures
            November 27, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

            Apart from cases like the Andes survivors, I don’t know of a case of cannibalism that HASN’T resulted in prion diseases.

          • demodocus
            November 28, 2015 at 9:32 am #

            Don’t know about the mechanics of the thing, but is seems that survival cannibalism pretty much doesn’t. Maybe you need repeated exposure? Maybe its actually fairly rare to develop in the first place but once you share the affected one it starts to spread quickly?

          • sdsures
            November 28, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

            The Andes survivors lived off meat that was mostly frozen, which they’d thaw and dry out, and VERY occasionally cook it, for those who couldn’t manage to consume enough of the raw meat. So I wonder if the subzero temperatures made prion disease not a problem.

          • Nick Sanders
            November 29, 2015 at 1:32 am #

            Since prions are misfolded proteins, not microorganisms, I kinda doubt it. I think demodocus is probably right. Maybe 1 in a gazillion people develops prion disease independently, but when ritual cannibalism is practiced, you get an amplifier effect as nearly everyone gets eaten instead of the few that had the bad luck to be stuck in a temporary starvation situation, so once somebody finally does have it, it gets picked up and spread throughout the community.

          • sdsures
            November 29, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

            Fascinating and ooky at the same time!

    • Dr Kitty
      November 25, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

      I read a cookery article recently where sourdough bread was touted as being ideal for people with “yeast sensitivity” because it was “yeast free”.

      If you don’t want yeast you can either have unleavened bread or bread made with alternative leavening agents like soda bread. Since sourdough starter is essentially a live yeast culture though, maybe don’t have that.

      And definitely don’t make sourdough with Candida Albicans.

    • sdsures
      November 27, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

      OK, I’m gonna go throw up now.

  9. staceyjw
    November 24, 2015 at 10:05 pm #

    This would be hilarious if there weren’t women desperately trying this. Im sure it happens, but as a goal? Just. No.

    What I wanna know is, are you supposed to have a 12+ hour orgasm, or a bunch of short ones, or maybe just when pushing?
    Inquiring minds want to know!
    A 12 hour orgasm actually sounds miserable.

    Dr Amy, there is a NCB book ALL about the birth orgasm, called “Sexy Birth” IIRC. Its from the famous unschooler that was on TV, the one with the 12 yr old that can’t read….

    They can sexualize and pornify ANYTHING these days…

    • Sarah
      November 25, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

      Miserable isn’t the word. If I can be forgiven graphic language, one’s clit would be red raw.

    • yugaya
      November 26, 2015 at 1:42 am #

      So she charges money to *coach* people how to raise illiterate children? And people pay for that???

      • Bombshellrisa
        November 26, 2015 at 2:03 am #

        Orgasmic Birth teaches online classes for much the same.

    • Sue
      November 26, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

      Great point, which the authors don’t address. They are essentially saying that (very rarely) some women claim to have orgasmic experiences during labor – but how can this be generalised to a “technique”. They seem to have fallen short of suggesting that organsm be INDUCED for pain relief (or have I missed something?)

      BTW -what’s the bet that these so-called “orgasmic” experiences might be something to do with hyperventilation, while “breathing through the pain”?

  10. Brooke
    November 24, 2015 at 9:35 pm #

    “If that’s the case, then men should have orgasms from being kicked in the crotch since their sexual organs are stimulated” I’m sure some men do but that’s an entirely different topic of conversation.

    • staceyjw
      November 24, 2015 at 10:07 pm #

      Some do. Don’t ask. LOL

      • DelphiniumFalcon
        November 25, 2015 at 11:42 am #

        Hey different strokes for different folks! As long as it’s all consensual.

        • Roadstergal
          November 25, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

          Absolutely. I don’t kink-shame as long as nobody is doing anything they’re not cool with.

        • Taysha
          November 26, 2015 at 9:57 am #

          I don’t think Brooke is familiar with the level of kink-acceptance in this blog =)

  11. Mary
    November 24, 2015 at 7:27 pm #

    I hesitate to post this here but…I did have orgasmic feelings during the in-hospital (but unmedicated) birth of my second child 18 years ago. At the time, I had never heard of such a thing and it took me a few seconds to figure out what was going on. I will note, however, that it was not pain relief, not in the slightest–it was more an overlay of a completely unexpected sensation on top of a freaking high level of pain. It did distract me from thinking about how much I hated the on-call physician (child #2 decided to make his appearance on a Sunday morning when my regular OB was off) so I considered it a win. I did not have a repeat experience with the birth of my third child.

    • Blue Chocobo
      November 24, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

      The difference between rare-but-possible, involuntary, unpredictable functional side effect and “birthgasm” is pretty important.

      It can happen…but not like they’re telling it.

    • SarahSD
      November 24, 2015 at 7:35 pm #

      I think that paying serious attention to the experiences of women in childbirth is one of the few valuable things to come out of the modern midwifery movement. Just because most women could not imagine that experience doesn’t mean it is impossible. BUT, the problem is in the way-too-hasty leap between anecdotal experiences and generalization/idealization/normativization. The fact that some women experience orgasmic feelings in childbirth doesn’t suggest anything about what those feelings are for, and doesn’t mean that everyone should experience them, or that orgasm should be formally adopted as a mode of pain relief.

      • Mary
        November 24, 2015 at 7:38 pm #

        Oh, I agree. It was completely unexpected and random, and I would never suggest to anyone that it could either be achieved on demand or that it was in any way functional as pain relief (it wasn’t). I’m sure it’s quite rare. But the idea that such a thing is theoretically possible during birth isn’t quite as nutty as it sounds, at least in my experience.

        • DelphiniumFalcon
          November 25, 2015 at 11:47 am #

          Inducing it somehow is what’s nutty to me. I’ve heard of it happening before at random so it’s not something that I considered out of the realm of possibility. Just the attempt at inducing it is what gets me. It seems like it’d be crazy sensory overload and more exhausting than just labor alone. Well at least if it’s a really good one. Maybe it’d relax the muscles a bit?

          At least the distraction is nice! But being forced to perform I think would take away from that.

    • Sue
      November 26, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

      Hi, Mary.

      Is it possible that your “orgasmic feelings” could have been the result of hyperventilation (over-breathing) during the pain? This causes low carbon dioxide, which can lead to tingling, spasms and altered mental state.

      • Mary
        November 26, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

        No. I was not hyperventilating, and at any rate it was a very definite and localized sensation. I was 35 years old at the time and I knew what an orgasm felt like.

        • Sue
          November 26, 2015 at 11:05 pm #

          Fair enough. Clearly it didn’t help a lot with labor pain, though, as you say.

  12. SarahSD
    November 24, 2015 at 7:24 pm #

    Medical professionals taking pain seriously and offering you various interventions including different kinds of pain relief = the man is keeping you down in order to make life easier for them and line their pockets

    “Midwives” saying pain is all in your head and reducing you to a body function = women’s empowerment.

  13. Spamamander
    November 24, 2015 at 7:12 pm #

    So now orgasm in childbirth isn’t simply a form of pain relief, but it promotes bonding, too. Who could have seen that coming?

    Yes, I’m juvenile.

  14. November 24, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

    It strikes me that this is feeding into a really, really toxic narrative about women’s availability for sex – if you can have (are *expected* to have?) orgasms during labor, then you really are available for sex all the time. All. The. Time. And at least in my head, it’s only a short walk from there to the way it’s so hard for some people to grasp the concept of affirmative consent. But I may just be paranoid.

    • Mishimoo
      November 24, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

      You’re not alone; it comes across like that to me too.

    • staceyjw
      November 24, 2015 at 9:52 pm #

      NCB is deeply regressive and misogynist to the core. That women should be happy to have sex during labor and birth is just nuts. If they want to- more power to them. But it sounds less like an option and more like a mandate when they write about it.
      Ina and her sick hubby are abusers too, straight up.

    • DelphiniumFalcon
      November 25, 2015 at 11:52 am #

      It creeps me out too. I mean I can’t have a good orgasm if I’m in a really depressed state, in pain, or a variety of other things which I’m sure isn’t unique to me. Now you want me to orgasm on demand during one of the most emotionally turbulent and painful moments is a woman’s life? Uhhh… Maybe it would happen randomly but I’m pretty sure it’s not something that could easily be induced. And then with how sensitive bits can get down there after a really intense one… I don’t think I’d want that.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        November 25, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

        Now you want me to orgasm on demand during one of the most emotionally turbulent and painful moments is a woman’s life?

        But you are missing the message. you have been misled to believe that birth is emotionally turbulent and painful. See, it’s really not, so if you have the right mindset, it’s actually foreplay.

        • Roadstergal
          November 25, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

          The problem is that we’re talking too much. We need to be like Ina May and just grab her privates without asking. It’s empowering.

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 25, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

            Or whoever is attending the birth do it, I remember the blog about someone who grew up on the Farm mentioning that the laboring woman didn’t have a choice about who attended her labor and a lot of the time Ina May’s husband would be there and take over.

          • Roadstergal
            November 25, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

            God, they are so creepy.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            November 25, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

            I agree, this whole thing is VERY creepy.

            I’ve said it before, it reminds me of the discussions of the turn of the 19th/20th century psychiatrists who used to “treat” hysterical women with vibrators because they just needed an orgasm. We look back at that now and consider it barbaric. Unless you are a midwife, when you think, “Hey, we gotta get in on that action!”

        • DelphiniumFalcon
          November 25, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

          I need an adult?

  15. RMY
    November 24, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

    So now you have to orgasm during birth to be there crunchiest of all? The bar just keeps getting higher and higher.

  16. attitude devant
    November 24, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

    Having graduated from college in a time when Freud was still studied seriously and thoroughly (yes I am that old), I find it amusing that the NCB types so often end up sounding like something written at his office at Bergasse 19, Wien, where it was actually held that birth was THE female counterpart to male orgasm. I kid you not.

    • DelphiniumFalcon
      November 25, 2015 at 11:55 am #

      Oh my gosh you’re right! I thought they had a touch of Freudian psychology to them but I thought I was just making connections that weren’t there. Like everything isn’t a penis and everything about genitals and sex isn’t Freudian.

      But now I feel better. Let the Freud jokes commence!

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        November 25, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

        “Anything taller than it is wide is a phallic symbol. Anything wider than it is tall is a phallic symbol on its side. Anything the same height and width is a phallic symbol from an end-on view”

  17. Megan
    November 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

    “perceived to be physically painful events”

    Perceived?? Have these women been in labor??? It IS painful!! I can tell you that during what labor I did experience, orgasm was the furthest thing from my mind. If my husband had tried to “rub my button” he would’ve had a newly rearranged face.

    • lilin
      November 24, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

      What gets to me is the blatant disrespect. Women don’t know what they’re actually feeling!
      Can you imagine what they’d do if a woman told a doctor that something hurts and the doctor said that the procedure was just “perceived to be painful”?

      • Inmara
        November 24, 2015 at 3:35 pm #

        Unfortunately, doctors have been known to dismiss women’s pain because… they’re women and not to be taken seriously

        • lilin
          November 24, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

          Oh, absolutely they have. And it’s a cause for outrage. I just think it’s funny that the natural birth community, which is supposed to be a great and supportive environment for mothers, not only does the same thing, but peer reviews and publishes it.

          • Megan
            November 24, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

            Not sure how rigorous the “peer review” is over at the Journal Of Holistic Nursing…

          • fiftyfifty1
            November 24, 2015 at 9:06 pm #

            Yes, the rigor of peer review is highly dependent on the quality of the peers involved.

          • seekingbalance
            November 24, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

            given that they’re the purported “peers” of those who are putting forth this theory in the first place, I inherently don’t feel inclined to trust any reviews or other judgements on the work they might offer….

          • November 25, 2015 at 12:28 am #

            You forgot the quotes around “peer review”

        • Chi
          November 25, 2015 at 3:51 am #

          Oh wow, that’s awful. I have a similar story:

          3 years ago, I had chronic upper abdominal pain that would get worse after eating. Long story short, I wound up having an ultrasound, and at least 2 gastroscopies (looking for ulcers) before I finally went to a private gastroenterologist (thank god for health insurance). He reviewed my history, asked about the symptoms and finally told me that despite the lack of gallstones on the ultrasound, he would give removing my gallbladder a 50/50 chance of alleviating the pain.

          I agreed and scheduled the surgery, which went like clockwork. When I came out of recovery and was more alert, the theatre nurse came in and told me that while they were doing the procedure, they’d done something that allowed them to see my ducts and apparently I DID have gallstones, just not in the gallbladder.

          They were in my common bile duct. 4 of them like ‘little peas in a pod’ (her words).

          Unfortunately, my gastroenterologist was in the process of packing up his private practice and moving into the public system. So he scheduled a follow-up ERCP a couple of weeks later to remove the stones in my duct through the public hospital (as opposed to the private one where I had my gallbladder removed).

          It was supposed to be a simple procedure, in in the morning, procedure in the late afternoon, an overnight stay for observation and to ensure all the drugs had worn off then home the next day.

          The procedure went okay, I think I go into the OR at about 3pm. Then I was in recovery for a little while, then back up to the ward. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed dinner as I had to wait for a certain number of hours before returning to the ward. I FINALLY got fed at 9pm and wolfed down what I was offered because I hadn’t eaten all day and oh boy, was I starving.

          By 10pm, I knew something wasn’t quite right. My stomach was starting to feel…tight and…it wasn’t quite nausea but close.

          By 10:30 I was heaving my guts up into the sink because it happened so suddenly there was NO way I was going to make it to the toilet. I rang the bell for the nurses as I vomited for what felt like HOURS (reality, 20 minutes). When it finally stopped, I was shivery, clammy and my stomach was REALLY starting to hurt.

          I told the nurse about the pain and she just handed me a couple of paracetamol tablets and walked off. When she came back to put in a catheter (ouch! talk about adding insult to injury) I told her the pain was ramping up and she told me, rather condescendingly that I needed to give the paracetamol time to work. After 40 minutes, I was screaming for something stronger.

          It took them an HOUR to get a doctor to chart me some ibruprofen. The pain laughed at it.

          Another hour, and some codeine phosphate. I’ve HAD codeine before so I know that my body usually metabolizes it in around roughly 20-30 minutes so when it hadn’t kicked in after 40 minutes, I KNEW it wasn’t going to do anything. And I called the nurses back and TOLD them as much. By this stage, I was in so much pain, I was crying, curled into a tight ball and almost begging people to make. it. STOP. My pain was an 11.

          But I kept being told that I needed to give the codeine more time, that I needed to be patient. I was being made to feel that I was being a bother pestering the nurses and doctors for more pain relief, and there was a DEFINITE air of ‘just suck it up’.

          FINALLY at 3am they gave me my first dose of IV morphine. I had been in screaming agony for nearly 5 hours and when they finally gave me the morphine, I literally wept, inconsolably with relief.

          Also, while all this had been going on, I’d had lab techs flitting in and out drawing vial after vial of blood (one vial was more like a small flask which the tech told me they were taking for bacterial cultures).

          The next morning, I had the pain management team come in and hook me up to a morphine pump. Every 5 minutes, I could self-administer a dose of morphine (1ml I think). So yay, no more having to nag the nurses if I hurt. Just wait for a little light to flash and push the button.

          The physician doing the rounds that morning came in and listened to my chest immediately sending me down for a chest x-ray. As soon as I got back from that, I had to down a barium drink and was taken for a MRI of my abdomen.

          It turned out that I had pancreatitis. Apparently this is not uncommon after an ERCP as the contrast they use to illuminate the ducts can roll down into the pancreatic duct and severely irritate the pancreas. I also had pneumonia in my left lung – hence the chest xray.

          What was supposed to be a simple overnight procedure turned into an 8 day hospital stay. And it took months before my appetite returned properly.

          So yes, I know all too well how women and their pain are disregarded by the health system. It SUCKS.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            November 25, 2015 at 4:30 am #

            Not only did disregarding the pain result in your being, well, in pain for longer than necessary (5 hours, FSM!) but it also caused them to miss the diagnosis. Not that there’s much that can be done about pancreatitis except let the pancreas rest, but the pneumonia might not have happened if you were not vomiting profusely and probably aspirating because you were in too much pain to pay attention to your secretions. I hope the morbidity and mortality conference had some words to say about this one.

          • Chi
            November 25, 2015 at 4:38 am #

            Yeah when my husband spoke to the surgeon who I was initially under he mumbled a lot and basically refused to tell my hubby what was ACTUALLY wrong with me. Which caused hubby to throw a fit and demand a new doctor. Which was good because I actually wound up under the care of the doctor who did my gallbladder surgery.

            No idea if it went to a mortality/morbidity conference, but yeah, I hope if it did there were words so it can be prevented from happening in future.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            November 25, 2015 at 4:56 am #

            Hard to say whether it went to M&M or not. On the one hand, pancreatitis is an expected complication (which makes it all the more stunning that no one appears to have considered it when you were screaming in pain for hours), but the pneumonia is not. And an 8 day hospitalization for what should be an overnight procedure gets people’s attention. Especially in the public system where there is concern about limited resources.

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            November 25, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

            Holy shit! That is insane! I mean pancreatitis is just downright terrifying and painful by itself but then all that puking after surgery? I want to cry just thinking about it! And then pneumonia?!

            You must be made of iron or something not to just pass out from all that!

            And please tell me the staff was at least apologetic for doing that to you. At the very least.

          • Chi
            November 25, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

            None of the nurses over the afternoon/night shift were in the least bit apologetic.

            The pain team the next morning were AWESOME though. The lady who explained to me what they were doing (while a guy DID it) said that she was sorry it had hurt so much and was glad the morphine worked and that they were now making sure I was going to STAY comfortable (because obviously they knew before I did that I was going for the MRI and I’d reported that moving HURT like a bitch).

            I spent 6 days on the morphine pump. On day 7 the pump came off and I was switched to oral analgesic (still morphine though) and I was disconnected from the catheter and the IV fluids. I was on a liquid diet (smoothies, juices etc) and able to go to the bathroom by myself (even though walking down the hall to the toilet and back was EXHAUSTING). I was also moved back down to a normal ward as opposed to the coronary/pulmonary care unit.

            As soon as the lines all came out, I begged my doctor to let me go home and he said he wanted to see me eating actual food. So the next day I was eating yogurt, sandwiches and jello (lol) aka ‘soft’ foods. And yay, I kept them down and things didn’t hurt TOO much.

            Honestly I think the doctor wanted to keep me in a couple more days, but I was SO over being there. You should’ve seen some of the bruises on my stomach from the warfarin injections.

            I was sent home with a slow-release opiate and a fast release opiate. I was able to stop using the fast release ones after 3 days and the slow release ones after a week. But it took MONTHS for my appetite to return to normal levels.

            So yeah that was my ‘fun’ hospital adventure.

          • Sarah
            November 25, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

            You should have just masturbated instead.

        • Taysha
          November 26, 2015 at 10:04 am #

          Several years back I woke up at 1am bent over in horrible pain that made all of me shake and my teeth chatter. Barely able to walk into the ER. They did nothing. Four hours later I felt good enough to leave and was disgusted with their behavior.
          I followed up the next morning with my OB. An ovarian cyst had exploded and my abdomen was swimming in blood. I got all the painkillers.
          The next time it happened, I had an OB tell me that was normal pain women experienced every month.

      • Elizabeth A
        November 24, 2015 at 4:35 pm #

        I have had the occasional doctor or nurse try this on me. Memorable examples include the doctor who claimed that applying local anesthesia would hurt more than the unanesthetized biopsy (god I hope she was wrong, but I bought it), and the nurse who explained to me that digging in my daughter’s arm for a vein didn’t hurt her. I have had phlebotomists poke around under the skin for veins. It hurts! Also, “you’re not really hungry, you just *feel* hungry” while NPO.

        • Bugsy
          November 24, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

          Me too – an oral surgeon who declared “kids don’t know the difference between pain and pressure” while pulling one of my permanent teeth when I was 12, and the anesthesiologist for my epidural a few weeks ago, who implied I was feeling pressure and not pain. He realized otherwise when he realized he had hit my spine.

          • Nick Sanders
            November 24, 2015 at 9:44 pm #

            Apart from an overly strong gag reflex, I’ve never had problems with sitting through dental procedures. That said, had anyone been dumb enough to say I didn’t know pain from pressure while they had my hand in my mouth, I probably would have bitten them. Then maybe said, “What? It was just pressure.” if I had been quick enough to think of it.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            November 25, 2015 at 8:18 am #

            When I had my tooth pulled recently the Dr did the “is it pain or pressure?” crap. I said, it hurts when she blows air on it, it’s pain. I didn’t add, “dumbass”

          • Blue Chocobo
            November 25, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

            Getting whacked in the head with a 2×4 is just an application of pressure. So is applying your knee to a guy’s testicles.

            Pressure can be extremely painful, at least when it’s applied to men. Apparently women and children are somehow different from normal humans?

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            November 25, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

            I like this. I’m stealing it when I need to explain this concept.

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 25, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

            The male OB who delivered my son insisted that the pressure I was pushing into was pain. I appreciated that, although at that moment I couldn’t vocalize it. Because the first time I gave birth, the nurse kept saying “just keep pushing, the pressure is a good thing!”. I wish I would have had a 2×4 handy then.

    • Tumbling
      November 24, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

      There seems to be something funny going on in nursing over pain. Recently my husband had his second hip replacement surgery. The surgeon and anesthetist (males) were upfront about how painful recovery would be, but stressed that the hip itself would feel better immediately. The (female) nurses tried to insist to my husband that recovery would only be painful if he believed that it would be painful, and gave him very disapproving looks when he in fact was in pain. They weren’t keen on dispensing his pain meds, but he (and I) insisted and they eventually came.

      • Dr Kitty
        November 25, 2015 at 5:20 am #

        I met with a junior anaesthetist before this CS and raised my concerns about post op pain, given the change in hospital policy to stop prescribing take-home opioids to breast feeding women.

        I got a condescending bit about maybe if I didn’t expect pain I wouldn’t feel it, and studies have shown that women who learn more about the surgery are less anxious and have less pain.

        I shut that right down.
        I am a Dr who has assisted at least 50 CS, and I’d already had one. This was about entirely reasonable expectations of post op pain based on clinical knowledge and previous personal experience, of CS and other surgeries, and how my body handles analgesic medications (short version: it doesn’t think much of them).

        Upshot, I left the hospital 48 hrs after my CS with opioid medication, which I used for 3 days for afterpains during feeds.

        I got pushback from the MW but saying “OK fine, I’ll just stop breastfeeding, because I’m not leaving without adequate pain relief”was enough to get her on board.

        It was my informed decision, knowing that I’m the opposite of a rapid metaboliser of morphine, that any risks to my son from opioids were minimal and outweighed by the benefits to me.

        Of course, a year earlier when I had a laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy and appendicectomy, they we happy to give me nearly 30mg of IV morphine in a four hour window to control my pain, and I got a weeks worth of Oxynorm (which I took two of), despite the fact that the pain was worse with the CS, and I wasn’t awake all night feeding and caring for a newborn…

        • ivorygirl
          November 25, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

          Good night. My post-C-section period was the one time in my life in which opioids actually worked the way they were supposed to — i.e. took away the pain, rather than just knocking me out and leaving a metallic taste in my mouth. I had thought my nurse was being a bit condescending when she insisted on me taking exactly what my doctor had prescribed for pain, but she was right! I weaned off them after I had been home for a few days, but boy, did they help with my recovery.

        • Medwife
          November 25, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

          given the change in hospital policy to stop prescribing take-home opioids to breast feeding women.


          • Dr Kitty
            November 26, 2015 at 3:05 am #

            They used to give codeine.
            Now Guidelines say not to give codeine.
            Rather than giving an alternative opioid, the local hospitals just…don’t.
            So you get 4hrly oral morphine in hospital, but just Diclofenac and Paracetamol for home if you’re breast feeding.
            Unless you throw a tantrum like I did.

            The alternative, is that you phone your GP in tears as soon as you get home and they sort out something, which is a scenario I am not unfamiliar with.

          • Chi
            November 26, 2015 at 3:15 am #

            Here in NZ you don’t get codeine if you’re breastfeeding. You get tramadol. And I HATE that stuff, it makes me SO groggy and then the day after I take it, it’s like being hungover. Yuck. I was so glad when I went to formula, codeine is much more agreeable to me.

          • Dr Kitty
            November 26, 2015 at 7:55 am #

            I tried to get them to give me Oxynorm, which works really well for me, but I ended up with dihydrocodeine, which is meh, but better than nothing.
            Tramadol makes me hallucinate, so that wasn’t an option.

          • Sarah
            November 26, 2015 at 4:00 am #

            I was told I couldn’t be discharged post EMCS whilst still on morphine, so was sent home with only dioclafenac and paracetamol. No bf either. Granted, the morphine was doing my head in by that time so I’d decided to come off it anyway.

          • Dr Kitty
            November 26, 2015 at 4:18 am #

            I had very little incision pain and was happily up and walking about 24hrs post op. Paracetamol and Diclofenac were fine for that, but the afterpains during feeds were serious business and fast acting opioids are the only reason I was able to continue breast feeding.

            If you don’t want or need opioid medication, that is one thing, but to be denied it based on the potential risk to your baby, with no alternatives given and no assessment of your pain…not good.

          • Sarah
            November 26, 2015 at 8:09 am #

            Of course it’s not good. It’s just lucky that I didn’t want it, and had I bf it might have been a real necessity.

      • Paloma
        November 25, 2015 at 10:44 am #

        Also a woman in pain is usually brushed off as a crazy histerical person. I was in the ICU a year ago with a pulmonary embolism. After being misdiagnosed of an anxiety atack (even though I was very calm when I went to the E.R, but hey a young woman with shortness of beath can only be that right?) and once I was in the ICU, I started having horrible pleuritic pain every time I tried to breathe. So I told my doctor. He gave me acetaminophen and it did absolutely nothing. So I asked for pain medication again, and he was so rude to me, said it wasn’t pain, it was anxiety, and that he had already given me pain meds, what did I want, morphine? So I answered that I am a doctor too, I know the difference between pain and anxiety, and I knew as well as he did that there were many steps before morphine. And yes, if it was necessary, then morphine please. It is unbelievable that in 2015 we still have these double standards, I wonder if this doctor who was in the ICU that night (man, of course) would be upset if his pain when trying to breathe was brushed off as anxiety. It’s not like having a bilateral embolism makes it easy to breathe, pain shouldn’t affect at all or make you a little bit nervous…

        • demodocus
          November 25, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

          Last time I was in the ER (for taking a slice out of my thumb), I didn’t feel the pain right away, but it set in good and proper while I waited. Still offered the guy who came in after me Tylenol first, and didn’t offer me any until my friend went up and demanded some. They still made me have a pregnancy test because I couldn’t really remember when I had my last period, even though I told them my only partner is sterile.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym
          November 26, 2015 at 3:45 am #

          Spontaneous bilateral PE? About that hypercoaguable workup…

          • Paloma
            November 26, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

            Already done and all negative. Only risk factor was recent contraceptive method change. I had been on oral contraceptives for a couple of years but since I started residency kept forgetting to take the pill when on call, so I switched to Nuvaring and BINGO. Thankfully I’m a healthy young woman so no lasting consequences, and I’m back to my normal day to day. Except for the part where I’m the paranoid resident who keeps checking for every risk factor known to man before prescribing oral contraceptives and giving heparin to all surgical patients.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            November 27, 2015 at 2:23 am #

            Good. To both parts (no residual effects and being the paranoid resident who makes sure that her patients are not at risk of DVT/PE.)

        • Melissaxxxx
          November 26, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

          What a MONSTER. And just a bad doctor. Ugh.

          Also, aren’t NSAIDS pretty much the go-to for pleurisy? Not a gram of paracetamol then lectures about opiates and anxiety. Ffs.

          • Paloma
            November 26, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

            Bad doctor and plain idiot. I almost started lecturing him on all the pain killers he could use BEFORE opioids. What kind of an idiot pulls that kind of stunt when their patient is also a doctor? Not an intelligent one, clearly. My mom (ER doctor) had to scream for him to give me something else.

          • Dr Kitty
            November 26, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

            There is this nifty thing called the analgesic ladder, which is sounds like he was unfamiliar with.

            If someone is tachycardic and tachypneic complaining of pain, treating their pain will usually normalise their vital signs too, and if it doesn’t, well you know pain isn’t the problem. If someone with a PE is tachypneic and tachycardic and ISN’T in pain…anxiety is not what you worry about.

          • fiftyfifty1
            November 26, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

            That was me in my first labor. Heart rate in the 140s-150s so they were having trouble telling whether the heart rate they picked up on the monitor was me or baby. Epidural fixed all that.

        • Sue
          November 26, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

          He STILL diagnosed pain as anxiety in the presence of a diagnosis of PE? That’s incompetent.

          Not to mention the fact that pain causes hypoventilation, and further complications.

          What’s wrong with morphine for acute pain relief? In our ED, we use if as a matter of course.

      • Bombshellrisa
        November 26, 2015 at 3:48 am #

        That is wrong! I hope you contact the nurse manager of the unit and complain. I have worked ortho/joint replacement and the pain med orders are pretty standard for everyone and there shouldn’t be anything made of it when it’s asked for (as long as it’s time for it). Was the unit one that does strictly joint replacement or is it mixed in with other surgeries? Not that it matters, as he shouldn’t have to justify anything or beg for meds if he was hurting, but I have found that when joint replacement patients recover on a med/surf floor that the nurses can be really slow about giving pain meds.

        • Sue
          November 26, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

          Not only is it inhumane to withhold post-operative pain-relief, but it also affects outcome.

          People having hip replacements need to be back on their feet as soon as possible. Withholding pain relief leaves people lying in bed, reluctant to move about, and more prone to muscle-wasting and blood clots.

    • Bugsy
      November 24, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

      Heh, I might’ve taken that over my husband deciding to sleep through both of my labors until it was time to push. “But they said to rest up!” Was his excuse each time. I think he just wanted to sleep.

      • November 25, 2015 at 12:26 am #

        Like most women can even REACH their “button” at 40+ weeks.

        Seriously tho, this stuff skeeves me beyond words.

  18. mythsayer
    November 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

    Here’s what is funny. To them, breasts are not sex objects- they are for feeding babies. God forbid someone sees breasts as sexual.

    But childbirth? TOTALLY SEXUAL. Makes sense.

    • Brooke
      November 24, 2015 at 9:31 pm #

      Actually Ida May Gaskin recommends that the father can sexually stimulate the mother’s nipples during labor to speed things up since this gets the body to start producing oxytocin.

      • Azuran
        November 24, 2015 at 9:58 pm #

        Because apparently, the body, whom you should totally trust to know how to birth without any medical intervention, does not know that it needs to release oxytocin during labour if you don’t stimulate your nipples.

        • Brooke
          November 24, 2015 at 10:06 pm #

          Midwives like Gaskin actually believe that in some cases medical intervention is needed. Otherwise they would be advocating unassisted birth and would not carry pitocin for hemoraging or oxygen in case a baby needs resuscitated. Nipple stimulation sounds a whole heck of a lot better than an IV of pitocin or a c-section.

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 24, 2015 at 10:30 pm #

            I believe that, but it’s usually when it’s too late. The Farm had a loss earlier this year, a mother who was risked out of home birth in the Netherlands came to the US to go birth with The Farm midwives. Her labor went on too long and by the time the transfer was made, it was far too to late for that baby. The pictures of these parents crying and holding their perfect, beautiful dead child are heartbreaking.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 3:22 am #

            Darn those responsible Dutch midwives. I can’t believe the gall of them, risking out a woman. I mean, what could happen? I’m sorry…the sarcasm is wrong but I just can’t…

          • Azuran
            November 24, 2015 at 10:49 pm #

            Heck no. Pitocin sounds a lot better than me (or someone else) playing with my nipples while I’m in pain in front of other people.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 3:35 am #

            Who said anything about doing it in front of other people?

          • Azuran
            November 25, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

            Sure, I’m going to ask my boyfriend, the nurses, midwife, OB or whoever else happened to be monitoring me and my baby to step out of the room and leave me alone while I stimulate my nipples.
            I’d rather have a treatment that actually works and is not super embarassing.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 3:21 am #

            Nope. My C-section was amazing. LABOR sounds awful.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 3:44 am #

            Well I’m glad that you got the birth that you desired for whatever reasons you chose or were necessary. My first labor was pretty awful but my second one was pretty amazing.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

            And that is exactly how it should be. I just have an issue with pushing homebirth without acknowledging the risks. If someone fully understands the risks and accepts them the. I’m fine with that. I’m NOT fine with lying about the risks. They exist and they are far greater than hospital birth. If someone understands that… Really understands it, then fine. I’m good with that. What I don’t see however is women who REALLY understand, and that is concerning.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

            They are not far greater in a low risk, on time, planned home delivery. I’d say the risks are different and certainly homebirth is not as dangerous as many make it sound or seem especially with a well trained midwife. I think most women understand that labor and delivery is inheritantly dangerous.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

            Really? Please provide all of us here with real stats showing that.

            Every time we ask for this, we get nothing.

            The MANA numbers compared low risk women at homebirth and at the hospital and the numbers were staggeringly bad even so.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

            And this also raises the issue of “trained midwives.” There are women here who have lost babies despite having trained midwives. Did they just make a bad choice? Because if so, how in the world is anyone supposed to make a GOOD choice? At least with doctors, you can look up their license to see if they’ve been sued. There’s nothing like that for midwives. Some women have used midwives they felt comfortable with, who had years of experience, who lost their babies only to discover their midwife had multiple deaths. That’s terrifying.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

            The only reason such a database doesn’t exist is because midwives have been legally pushed into a corner where in some states they cannot practice. Again this midwife versus doctor thing ultimately harms women the most.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            November 25, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

            So? Why does that prevent such a database from being available where midwives are legal? And you think that’s the ONLY reason? What about midwives who deliberately chose not to get licensed so that they can do whatever the hell they want?

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 25, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

            But it doesn’t stop them from practicing. From Calling to Courtroom’s entire reason for being written is that midwives are going to practice whether they are legal or not, so they need to know how to protect themselves and their assets if a family tries to take action.
            “Even if we aren’t this midwife, we probably know her. Her story goes like this:

            “I don’t actually call myself a midwife (although my clients might call me that). I am just a helpful friend, assisting in the normal process of childbirth. I do tell my clients not to ever give my name out to anyone, and if one of my ladies needs to go to the hospital, I tell her not to give my name to the hospital staff. Nobody even knows I am out here doing this.”

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            November 25, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

            Have you actually seen what happens when a midwife transfer happens? I have. I’ve heard the doctors and nurses talk about it in the break room trying not to cry because it was too late and they need emotional support from each other.

            I’ve seen the mothers leave with empty arms and red eyes. Some are wheeled out in wheel chairs because they are too weak from blood loss and then lifesaving transfusions to walk. I’ve heard the nurses talk while trying to hold back tears so their next patient doesn’t get concerned about the women being rushed into an emergency c-section with a breech baby that was supposedly safe to delivery at home. Their legs are kicking and slowly becoming paler and paler, the kicking slows, the legs get bluer, and in minutes the kicking stops. The emergency staff never forget that and dread seeing a breech transfer because they know its about to happen again.

            They do everything they can to get that baby out but it’s stuck. They try an emergency c-section because they find out only after transferring that this wasn’t a single baby but twins. They go as fast as they can hoping to save at least one baby from death and brain damage. The other one they still try to save but it will only live a few days at most. Maybe a week. Even after being Lifeflighted to the closest NICU that might have a chance of keeping them alive.

            But they don’t. Almost every time this same case presents itself, a baby dies or is taken off life support because they will never regain consciousness.

            This is something that happens often here. Twin births especially. Midwives who claim to specialize in multiple birth. They don’t risk them out. They use cayenne pepper on babies who aren’t breathing, rubbed into their chest and burn the delicate skin. Other midwives bail out these women by crowdsourcing after being arrested for their incompetence and then delay trial when the family tries to get closure. If they don’t bully the family into not pursuing criminal charges first.

            That is the reality of home birth. Midwives don’t talk about the heart break and the nightmare that is a home birth gone bad. Women who can never conceive again because of a ruptured uterus they only survived by some miracle. Making the choice to take their days old child off life support. The years long wait wondering if their child is going to hit their milestones because of brain damage.

            We all have choices in life but birth is an odd grey area. Not only are you making choices for yourself but also for another human being. If the pregnancy wasn’t terminated before this time it in most cases means someone wants this baby very badly, whether it’s the birth parents or an infertile couple adopting. The best outcome is a happy baby. Even in termination of a pregnancy it is done reluctantly to save the mother or to save the children from greivous disability or death shorty after birth.

            We don’t have women that pull their children from burning buildings saying they didn’t have fire rescue experience they wanted. The ones that pull their drowning kids out from the water saying it wasn’t a spiritual enough experience. That’s what this kind of stuff looks like to me. And I can’t understand it. Mothers put themselves in danger to save their children all the time. Not as an expectation but because they want to. Why is birth suddenly so different and now the aim is what the mother wants despite the risks to that child? Many women here have said they elected for c-section because it transferred risks present in vaginal birth away from their baby and put the risk on hemselves through surgery to avoid the possibility of something happening to the child. Why are they then derided as not really mothers? That sounds like one of the most selfless things one could do. Put risks on yourself to avoid risks to your child.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 4:52 pm #

            One of the reasons for that is that they refuse to comply with some pretty simple and logical requests…like carrying malpractice insurance. If doctors can make mistakes, and we all know they can, then midwives can, too. I’m sure you agree with that. So why do
            Midwives get a pass when they screw up and a baby ends up permanently disabled? If a doctor screwed up like that, the child would have options for care because of that insurance. Parents are own their own when it’s a midwife.

            And that’s just ONE reason states don’t always license midwives. If they’d agree to be trained and treated like medical professionals, I think more states would license them properly. And that’s all most of us want here. Proper training and licensing.

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 25, 2015 at 5:17 pm #

            Even when non nurse midwives do carry malpractice insurance the coverage is usually not enough to cover a long NICU stay or for long term care or lifetime care after injury.
            CNMs are able to be licensed in all 50 states. Which means that they are also able to get real malpractice insurance and be held accountable for any adverse outcomes. We really don’t need another class of midwife, one with limited medical training and who may or may not qualify to be licensed.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 6:52 pm #

            No, you’re correct. The CNM is a perfectly fine degree and much more in line with other countries like the Netherlands. The insurance amount issue is a different issue and it’s hard to get enough insurance to cover a child for life no matter who the provider is (like after surgery or something else as opposed to a birth injury).

            I’m just trying to simplify the issues for Brooke. I agree that everything but the CNM needs to go And not advocating for more or less insurance. Just some basic accountability for ALL midwives. Whatever form that comes in. And if that form is the CNM, that’s great.

            It’s ridiculous that we have RN’s, NP’s, PA’s for things like pain management, gynecology, etc. who have to work under a doctor. But you wanna deliver babies? Go right ahead random person!

          • Brooke
            November 26, 2015 at 1:06 am #

            Malpratuce insurance is prohibitively expensive. The reason why people have fought against certain licensing requirements is that it would exclude or make illegal any kind of lay midwife from attending a birth regardless of her success rate or the cultural practice/necessity of her within her own community.

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 26, 2015 at 1:29 am #

            Here is an example of rates for malpractice insurance for midwives (both CPM and CNM) in a state where midwives are licensed.
            New to Practice LM/CNM Base Rate: $5,150

            Covers the first 0-12 births for midwives whose policy starts within 12 months of first Washington State midwifery license date. This NTP rate applies to the first year of your policy and, if your first policy was pro-rated (ie. it started after July 1st and was for less than 12 births) also to your second full year.

            Established LM/CNM Base Rate: $6,867

            Covers the first 0-12 births for established midwives

            Incremental Birth Rates

            If you attend more than 12 births a year, your premium includes per-birth increments as follows:

            Births Per Birth $
            13-24 $198
            25-49 $164
            50-74 $153
            75+ $130
            So, as an example, if you are not new to practice and you plan to attend 30 births, your premium would be calculated as:

            Base Rate First 12 births $6,867 =$6,867
            13-24 12 births@ $198 each =$2376
            25-49 6 births@ $164 each =$984
            50-74 0 births@ $153 each =$0
            75+ 0 births@ $130 each =$0

          • Chi
            November 26, 2015 at 4:09 am #

            If they’re a lay midwife, they’re NOT a midwife. Simply because they do NOT have the credentials. And I’m talking about a bachelor’s degree in nursing and usually a masters in midwifery.

            Making up credentials and awarding them does NOT a midwife make.

          • Sue
            November 26, 2015 at 9:24 pm #

            SPot on, Chi.

            The term “midwife” should be reserved for specialised nurses with registration as health care professionals.

            Others can be called “birth hobbyists”, “midwitches” or some such. Even “birth visitors”.

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 26, 2015 at 9:58 pm #

            “Space Holders”, “hands off experts in knitting in the corner” and “non medical birth attendants” could also be good terms.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            November 26, 2015 at 9:50 am #

            Malpratuce insurance is prohibitively expensive.

            And why do you think that is? Hmmm???

            It’s because insurance companies have to cover the costs associated with bad outcomes. If malpractice insurance is “prohibitively high” what does that tell us about the bad outcomes?

            You keep spouting platitudes with absolutely no thoughts of the consequences or implications.

            Meanwhile, we here have heard it all before, and have talked about what it means countless times.

            Once again, think of what you are saying: bad outcomes for midwives are so likely that it makes malpractice insurance very expensive. Therefore, the solution is to not get malpractice insurance.

            In what universe does that make sense? THIS is why people want to make lay midwifery illegal. Because they actually think this is the right approach.

            “Malpractice insurance is too expensive to carry” is one of the STUPIDEST arguments by midwives. It illustrates how absolutely clueless they are.

          • Dr Kitty
            November 26, 2015 at 10:10 am #

            I currently spend more than 10% of my gross earnings on insurance, and I’ve not been sued yet, so those are the minimum premiums for someone in my position.
            It’s just the cost of doing business and ensures a safety net for me AND my patients.

            No sympathy for uninsured midwives.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            November 26, 2015 at 10:45 am #

            It’s just the cost of doing business and ensures a safety net for me AND my patients.

            It’s about professional responsibility. Real professionals can be held accountable for their actions, good or bad.

            Midwives are trying to act without any accountability. That is the height of irresponsible, and not the behavior of a serious professional.

          • Box of Salt
            November 26, 2015 at 11:50 am #

            “Malpratuce[sic] insurance is prohibitively expensive. ”

            I just don’t get this argument, Brooke. Midwives want to perform the same function as the MD specialists who have some of highest (among specialities) insurance premiums, and they think they won’t be judged for the same consequences? I just don’t get it.

            “You wanna play, you gotta pay.”

          • Sue
            November 26, 2015 at 9:22 pm #

            So it’s OK for OBs to carry this risk, and its associated costs, but not MWs?

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 25, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

            Some of the midwives who have had preventable losses are CNMs. Wasn’t Magnus’s mother Sara attended by CNMs?

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

            Yeah…I agree. The bad ones come in every form.

          • AllieFoyle
            November 25, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

            The risks are significantly higher, though low in absolute number. Women should still be allowed to make that choice, but they should know that they are taking on additional risks with their baby’s life and health. Too many women choose home birth having been told that it is a safer choice.

          • Amazed
            November 25, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

            Make it sound? Studies show it to be this way, you fool. Every. Single. One. Even the MANA joke of a study. Even your patron saint Ina May Gaskin’s – yes, the same one where she screeched just how amazing her rates were.

          • Sue
            November 26, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

            Brooke hasn’t read the literature.

            In the UK Homebirth Study, where the midwives were part of the system, and there were very tight risk-out rules AND a 40% transfer rate, and where hoomebirth is relatively common, THREE TIMES MORE BABIES DIED with first-timers.

            They don’t even report the incidence of injury or hypoxia.

            So, no. You are wrong. yet again.

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 25, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

            It is! I would have loved a c-section!

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 3:31 am #

            Also…WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER MIDWIVES??? All midwives need to believe in medical intervention. Not midwives “like” anyone else.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 3:38 am #

            Um yeah you need to chill. I never even implied that other not like Gaskin midwives such as nurse midwives do not believe in medical interventions in some instances.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

            No see you don’t apparently understand that there re some really bad midwives who act like intervention is bad. They have left slews of dead and injured babies (no I’m not being sensationalist…this is true) in their wake. I’m not taking groups of midwives like nurse midwives vs lay midwives. I’m talking midwives of ANY sort who don’t transfer quickly enough and don’t risk out women.

          • Sue
            November 26, 2015 at 8:26 pm #

            SHE needs to chill? Brooke – you’re stomping embarrassingly all over this thread. Can you not see?

          • Sarah
            November 25, 2015 at 3:34 am #

            I’ve had both. It isn’t.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 3:36 am #

            You’re seriously telling me nipple play is less comfortable than an IV or c-section. Right…

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            November 25, 2015 at 3:43 am #

            Actually, when I was pregnant, yes, for me it was. My breasts were sore pretty much from the third trimester to when I stopped breast feeding. The IV hurt mildly for about 2 seconds. The c-section didn’t hurt at all although I got some very strange proprioception sensations at the start. If nipple stimulation could have prevented the c-section (with no danger to the baby) I would have taken it because I’d rather not have an abdominal scar if I could avoid it, but in terms of actual pain, nipple stimulation would have been much worse.

            YMMV, of course, and if you are telling me it was the opposite for you I have no reason to disbelieve you.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 4:10 am #

            It’s possible IVs just really really bother me for some reason.

          • Sarah
            November 25, 2015 at 3:46 am #

            I highly dislike having my nipples played with, IVs don’t bother me, and I had loads of pain relief for the section. So yes, actually. If you get to universalise your experience, so do I.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 4:03 am #

            Lol. I feel like I need to do a poll on this one! So I’m assuming you didn’t breastfeed your kids then?

          • Chi
            November 25, 2015 at 4:08 am #

            How the hell is it any of your business how she fed her kids? Or how any of the rest of us did?

          • Dr Kitty
            November 25, 2015 at 4:57 am #

            Let’s see…
            I CHOSE CS over vaginal birth, twice.
            I let medical students practice putting IVs in me before I let them loose on patients.I have good veins, no communicable diseases and will sit still for them, so they may as well get their confidence up with me as their first go. That is how little IVs bother me.
            I’d still take my CS over labour with a pitocin drip or nipple stimulation.

            While I breast feed, I can’t ever say I’ve *enjoyed* the sensation of a baby sucking on my nipple…

            So…how’s that poll going?

          • demodocus
            November 25, 2015 at 6:41 am #

            I did nurse the boy. I hated it, but I did it.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            November 25, 2015 at 7:50 am #

            I breastfed both my kids. And I would chose IV pitocin over “nipple play” any day, FFS.

          • yentavegan
            November 25, 2015 at 9:16 am #

            I breastfed my children past the age of acceptability in polite circles. However, I detest nipple play..go figure.

          • Sarah
            November 25, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

            Nope. Well, I tried breastfeeding with the first one because I wanted to see if I liked it, I didn’t.

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 25, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

            I hate IVs only because it’s impossible to start one in my veins and I would take fifty failed attempts if one got me the pitocin that would help my labor over my husband trying to “help” with nipple stimulation. I don’t want to nurse my toddler or pump during labor either, other ways I have seen women try to get labor moving.

          • Charybdis
            November 25, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

            Same here!

          • Amy M
            November 25, 2015 at 7:52 am #

            I had pitocin augmentation during labor. The IV was placed when I came in, wo/issue. I was given adequate epidural pain relief when I asked for it. Delivered vaginally. No one suggested nipple stimulation. That would have come across as weird, at best.

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            November 25, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

            If I’m already in pain I don’t like to be touched at all outside of maybe a side hug or being held and only by very specific people. And I can count those people on one hand. I certainly don’t want any especially sensitive bits touched when I’m in pain, north or south of the equator.

            I’d rather have an IV put in quickly and then not be touched. I can’t handle it.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

            If you like it, fine. But you’re generalizing. I get my blood drawn all the time and have had more iv’s than I care to think about. But they don’t bother me. If I cared to experience labor, and I thought nipple stimulation worked, I’d try it maybe (except not a fan of have my nipples rubbed). But not everyone wants to try it so I can’t say it is better than an iv or pitocin or vice versa. Just like how I chose a CS (because I wanted one…the horror)….for me, it was the right choice. But I don’t try to push it on people. I tell them exactly that…I wanted one but you might not and that’s fine. But it IS annoying to have people condemn you for a decision you knew the risks of and actively chose. As I said below, if a woman said “yup, I read the real statistics of homebirth, including the MANA stats, and I understand it had a higher risk, but I’m willing to accept those risks” then FINE.

            I’m good with any choice as long as there really is informed consent. And there doesn’t seem to be a lot of the time.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 12:58 pm #

            You’re assuming there isn’t, you actually don’t have much evidence there is not informed consent. And there’s plenty of irony here being as hospitals & doctors don’t always provide informed consent to pregnant women.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

            If someone doesn’t acknowledge ACTUAL risks, then there IS NO understanding. It’s like claiming that you choose to drive over fly because driving is nearly as safe as flying. Statistically, no, it isn’t. And if you think it is, you didn’t understand the actual statistics. But it’s still something most people understand and choose to do anyway.

            So you can’t say “I did my research!” And claim to understand the risks but go around spouting off (not you here, General you) that homebirth has a nearly identical risk to hospital birth. It’s not true, and if someone thinks it is, that person is misinformed. Misinformed = no informed consent.

          • Amazed
            November 25, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

            Look, stop making generalizations and run to Ina May for some comfortable, relaxing, comforting nipple play. You don’t belong with sane people.

          • AirPlant
            November 27, 2015 at 11:04 am #

            Anyone who touches my nipples gets slapped. I fucking hate having my nipples touched. It is nervy, and gross feeling and. I get these instant flashes of white hot rage if they even get brushed by a t-shirt. That is actually reason #1 that breastfeeding is a no go for me.

            I will take an IV thanks. I would even take a prelabor section if I could get away with it. Controlled, medicated surgical pain over an I known outcome any day.

            I mean, it is almost like women are a non homogenous group with varying needs and preferences…

          • demodocus
            November 25, 2015 at 6:40 am #

            Except if you don’t like nipple stimulation.

          • Who?
            November 25, 2015 at 7:44 am #

            Why is nipple stimulation ‘better’? It might just feel nicer, but if it doesn’t reliably do anything to help the baby arrive safely, how is it ‘better’? And if all you need is someone to stimulate your nipples to make labour great and delivery safe, all those women can save all that money they would be spending on a homebirth midwife.

          • Medwife
            November 26, 2015 at 12:01 am #

            Well, I never thought I’d be saying this, but I did nipple stim in my last labor. I had been sort of on the verge of active labor for several hours- had gone verrryyyy slowly from 3-4cm with contractions that were just moderately painful. This is my second baby so it was a typical multip early labor. It was at the point where I was going to tire myself out before the real work had to be done. I asked for monitoring to be changed from intermittent to continuous, got in the tub, and tried some nipple stim hoping it would get things going without starting pit.It did NOT feel nice, it made me kind of nauseous, but my contractions went up several notches right away, my water broke within half an hour (at which point I left my nipples alone because labor was off and running), and my baby was in my arms about 40 minutes after that. I’m glad I did it through nipple stim and not pit just because it was psychologically easier not having to watch the IV pump rate getting increased, and I felt more in control. I’m sure pit would have worked fine too. It was kind of cool to run this experiment on myself, and now I can say with great conviction that there is nothing magically happy about “endogenous oxytocin” augmentation in labor. More oxytocin=stronger, closer together contractions, end of story. And if you’re doing nipple stim you should think of it as augmenting labor just like with pit but with unknown dosing, and do continuous monitoring.

          • yentavegan
            November 25, 2015 at 8:48 am #

            Nipple stimulation did not bring on contractions for my first baby. Ten days after her due date I had a non-stress test . The results showed that my baby was thriving and had a good heart beat. My doctor had me come in for another non-stress test at the end of the was strong heartbeat was normal. Doctor gave me the option of waiting for labor to start spontaneously, waiting until non stress test showed issues ( and then induction) or schedule an induction for Tuesday morning. I chose induce on Tuesday. It took from 9 am until 8 :40 pm for my darling to arrive even with the pit drip. I did not ask for pain relief ( I am one of the lucky few who do not experience labor as painful)

          • Sue
            November 26, 2015 at 8:23 pm #

            Why would anyone care what someone like Gaskin “believes”. SHe is untrained and unsafe. She can “believe” whatever she wants, but that doesn’t mean she is correct. Or should be heeded.

            She’s an ex-hippy who got obsessed with childbirth, and holds whacky ideas. Big deal. Many people here went to university and got degrees in nursing or medicine, did post-graduate training, and continue life-long learning in professional practice. THAT’s what capable and responsible people do.

      • mythsayer
        November 25, 2015 at 3:20 am #

        She ALSO admitted to doing it herself. Which is ACTUALLY birth rape. For real. Literally.

        • Brooke
          November 25, 2015 at 4:01 am #

          Did you miss the part in sex ed where they explained the consent part of rape or…

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            November 25, 2015 at 4:33 am #

            The description I read of what Gaskin was doing didn’t make it sound like she had obtained consent for what she was doing. She talks about just grabbing a woman’s breasts or “keeping her hands busy” without ever discussing the need to ask the patient if she is okay with this. It could be that she simply didn’t mention doing so, but it’s a troubling omission.

          • demodocus
            November 25, 2015 at 6:38 am #

            It’s only consent if you’re in your right mind. Dunno about you, but I was not entirely rational. Pain does that to me.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

            Re-read gaskin’s comments about this. Sure doesn’t look like she asked permission.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

            To be clear, I am good with just about anything IF there is consent. I’m also against doctors doing things without consent. If a woman wants gaskin touching them like that, okay. But her comments don’t imply asking. As someone below said, it’s a troubling omission.

          • Roadstergal
            November 25, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

            I personally don’t think a doctor/patient relationship is one where sexual contact, even with consent in place, is ever appropriate. Partly because of the power imbalance (I don’t think teacher/student sexual relationships are ever appropriate, either), and partly because it compromises care.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            November 25, 2015 at 12:38 pm #

            Yes. Yes. Exactly!

          • Dr Kitty
            November 25, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

            You know the nope octopus meme?
            That would be me if any patients suggested I get involved in anybody’s sexy times.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 4:44 pm #

            Oh no, I agree there! It’s weird. I was more saying I don’t agree with things like episiotomies without consent and that kind of thing.

            So let me rephrase: as long as the action is appropriate in a situation, and consent is given, I’m okay with that, even if it’s not something I would choose.

          • Dr Kitty
            November 27, 2015 at 6:32 am #

            Deeply ironic coming from someone who thinks that once you have declined an epidural you cannot at any point change your mind without first trying everything else.

      • mythsayer
        November 25, 2015 at 3:27 am #

        And you’re not getting the hypocrisy. The point is that things are one way when you want them to be and not when you don’t.

        The fact is that some people in this country are offended by seeing breasts, okay? YOU don’t get to decide that for them. So just because YOU feel you should be able to do whatever in public (I’m not accusing you yourself of being an exhibitionist, but they do exist) doesn’t mean others feel the same way.

        I’m not against bf’ing in public. I did it. But I also found a quiet, out of the way place because I didn’t want to offend anyone. Because I realize it’s not all about me.

        That is the point of my post. Vitamins are good until a doctor recommendsvitamin k, pitocin is good when midwives say, but not doctors, etc, etc….on and on….

        • Sarah
          November 25, 2015 at 3:34 am #

          WRT to nursing in public in your post, I wonder if you could clarify something. People obviously have the right not to want to see public bf, and women have the right to find a quiet place if they wish. I hope, though, that you don’t think a woman who doesn’t wish to do as you did and find a quiet place when bf publicly is doing something objectionable?

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 4:21 am #

            Why would I object to a woman doing whatever? Its her breasts and her baby not mine.

          • Sarah
            November 25, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

            That wasn’t addressed to you.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

            No, it doesn’t bother ME. I’m also of the opinion that if I’m outside (like on a patio) where smoking is allowed, I should be the one to leave, and not the smokers. I’m just sick of the attitude that smokers have the right to smoke anywhere and no one else should be bothered, and same with public breast feeders. I don’t care where or how people breastfeed because I don’t have any issues with breasts in public but it frustrates me when breastfeeders get all pissy about others being offended. Of course they have the right to be offended in our culture. I don’t LIKE our puritanical attitudes but they exists and everyone need to find a way to live. My daughter was born in Japan and you know what they have in Japan in every major store and location? Nice breastfeeding and changing rooms. We need those here.

          • Sarah
            November 25, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

            I don’t really see how smoking and breastfeeding belong in the same paragraph here, to be quite honest. Smoking harms the people around you, breastfeeding doesn’t. Certainly it would be beneficial for there to be more feeding rooms for those women who want to use them, but only so long as there’s no obligation whatsoever.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 4:37 pm #

            Sigh…my point was that they are both things that make people uncomfortable/offended. And the question is really who needs to remove themselves from the situation.

            If smoking is allowed somewhere, and you have the option of moving, then YOU need to move, IMO. Since BF’ing is allowed everywhere, if someone is offended, that person should move if the option is available. Got it? It’s a analogy.

            It was to illustrate my opinion, which is that people get overly offended and want to be catered to. In both situations. But I also feel that you should consider others’ feelings and not just yours. If you have the option of feeding your baby is quiet, clean, safe place, why not go there instead of just plopping down in the middle of target to feed the baby? That’s all I mean. Everyone should try to consider others.

            If there’s no decent place to feed the baby, by all means, feed the baby. Similarly, if you want to smoke and are in the appropriate place, smoke. Similarly, if you are on a nude beach and want to go topless, go ahead.

            But why antagonize people otherwise? That is how I feel about EVERYTHING, not just breastfeeding.

          • Sarah
            November 26, 2015 at 3:47 am #

            Right. It’s a flawed analogy then, and it would seem that we fundamentally disagree on whether people engaged in non-harmful behaviour (public breastfeeding) have any kind of obligation to put others feelings about it before their own. The idea that a woman breastfeeding her child should have to consider whether she’s antagonizing people, people who are in the wrong, is appalling.

        • Brooke
          November 25, 2015 at 3:59 am #

          No I don’t get the hypocrisy because this isn’t a midwives versus doctors. In fact its about neither. Its about what’s best for women and giving them choices.

          Although I feel as if its an entirely different topic(s) I do breastfeed in public and I don’t make a point of hiding it. I’m not going to run off and hide to hypothetically make people feel more comfortable. Not only is it my body to reveal or conceal but in the 3 years I breastfed my daughter no one made a single comment about it, most people didn’t notice that’s what I was doing. My son more hands on and pulls down my shirt so people notice more, I’ve recieved two comments. One woman praised me for my choice, telling me all the benefits of breastfeeding and another was a young woman who commented on how beautiful it was that I was nurturing my son.

          Again no one is against doctors just to be against doctors. The vitamin K shot contains aluminum which is why some people are against it. Midwives and even people who promote unassisted birth agree doctors are vital in emergencies. However…not every or even most pregnancies, labor and deliveries are emergencies.

          • Chi
            November 25, 2015 at 4:07 am #

            And why is aluminum bad exactly? First of all, it’s NOT the same thing that the drink cans are made out of, it’s usually aluminum phosphate which is a SALT which the human body is QUITE capable of processing and expelling without any harm coming to it.

            And of course doctors are vital. SOMEONE needs to clean up YOUR (midwives) messes when labors DO become emergencies.

            The problem with home birth is that when things go wrong in labor, they go wrong FAST and there is limited time to get to help.

            Which is why being in a hospital is FAR safer. If things DO go wrong, the help is right there.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            November 25, 2015 at 4:18 am #

            There is occasional worry about aluminum and Alzheimer’s risk, but I’ve never heard of anything definitive coming from it. Even if it is true, the tiny amount in the vit K shot is not going to make any difference in a world where people drink out of aluminum cans and cook in aluminum pots. Also, deodorant contains aluminum. Vaccines and vit K are the least of your worries, even if there is something to worry about with respect to aluminum.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 4:18 am #

            The kidney and liver in a newborn are premature they are not as well able as an adult to excrete toxins/heavy metals. Aluminum does negatively impact the nervous system but I’m not really an expert on this, I only know some parents oppose the vitamin K shot for this reason.

            I disagree that a normal low risk pregnancy can become an emergency that a midwife cannot manage without enough time to get to the hospital or that hospitals prevent such emergencies from happening. In some instances interventions can cause emergencies. I highly doubt midwives are CAUSING emergencies.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            November 25, 2015 at 4:22 am #

            Amniotic fluid embolism. Uterine rupture. Hemorrhage. Pulmonary embolism from undetected DVT. Cord emergencies including prolapse. Separation of the placenta from the uterine wall. Shoulder dystocia that can’t be resolved rapidly. These are all emergencies that can kill the mother, the infant, or both within minutes. Being in the hospital with an IV in and blood, an OR, and medications on hand can make the difference between life and death.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 11:15 am #

            I’m not going into the details of how midwives would deal with every one of these complications but they are prepared for these events. I’d recommend you pick up Spiritual Midwifery and/or listen to some talks from child birth conferences.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

            SPIRITUAL MIDWIFERY?????

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 25, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

            The “button” book? Isn’t that where Ina May described how SHE would rub a laboring woman’s button?

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

            Not that I recall. And are you referring to the clitoris? Or belly button? I’m confused.

          • Roadstergal
            November 25, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

            Didn’t you read the book?

            “Don’t let the head suddenly explode from the mother’s puss. Coach the mother about how much and how hard to push. Support the mother’s taint with your hand during rushes. It helps the mother to relax around her puss if you massage her there using a liberal amount of baby oil to lubricate the skin. Sometimes touching her very gently on or around her button (clitoris) will enable her to relax even more. I keep both hands there and busy all the time while crowning … doing whatever seems most necessary.”

            “Sometimes I see that a husband is afraid to touch his wife’s tits because of the midwife’s presence, so I touch them, get in there and squeeze them, talk about how nice they are, and make him welcome.”

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

            And? That doesn’t sound like she’s trying to get the woman to orgasm but relax to give birth. Try again.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            November 25, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

            No, she’s just committing sexual assault. No biggie.

          • Roadstergal
            November 25, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

            If a woman told you a doctor in a hospital had touched her like that, would you say, “He was just trying to get you to relax. Try again.”?

            You think that’s appropriate behavior for a medical professional?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            November 25, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

            And? That doesn’t sound like she’s trying to get the woman to orgasm but relax to give birth. Try again.

            Nice attempt to change the subject.

            Let me remind you of the discussion:
            YOU: I’d recommend you pick up Spiritual Midwifery
            Bombshellrisa: The “button” book? Isn’t that where Ina May described how SHE would rub a laboring woman’s button?
            YOU: Not that I recall. And are you referring to the clitoris? Or belly button? I’m confused.
            Risa: Didn’t you read the book? (quoted section)

            So again, did you actually read the book? Because you were apparently unaware of what’s in it. That you think it is acceptable is a wholenother kettle of fish.

            So back to the point: you come here and start telling people that they should read some book, as if we don’t know anything about it. Yet, ultimately, not only do folks here know about the book you are talking about, they apparently know it better than you do.

            Look up “Pablo’s First Law of Internet Discussion.” You might find your picture there.

          • AllieFoyle
            November 25, 2015 at 2:06 pm #

            Does molestation make you feel relaxed? Because personally, NO.

          • demodocus
            November 25, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

            If my cnm was rubbing me there, I’d have kicked her in the head.

          • Charybdis
            November 25, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

            How is any of that relaxing to the mother?

          • Nick Sanders
            November 25, 2015 at 7:35 pm #

            It sounds like she’s molesting the poor mother in a low budget porn flick.

          • Nick Sanders
            November 25, 2015 at 7:34 pm #

            I want to hurl. That is the least professional sounding thing I’ve ever read. Does she not know the medical terms for these parts, or does she think talking about them like she’s in a shitty porno is cute?

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 12:13 pm #


          • PrimaryCareDoc
            November 25, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

            We know it’s a book written by INA May Gaskin. It’s also a crock.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

            You know you can correct people without being a dick right?

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            November 25, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

            Sure. But you are deliberately obtuse. Don’t come here and act like you know what you’re talking about, all the while spouting off about aluminum being a heavy metal and UTIs being caused by eating feces-covered meat.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 12:36 pm #



            I’m not sure if I used the term heavy metal but my point was it can cause harm to the human body. I also said I’m not an expert on the vitamin K shot, just relaying why some parents choose to refuse it.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            November 25, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

            You should probably actually read both of those articles before you use them as evidence for your claims.

            And yes, you called aluminum a heavy metal.

            It is painfully obvious that you are not an expert on Vitamin K (or apparently anything else).

          • Roadstergal
            November 25, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

            To be fair, she called it a toxin/heavy metal. (Neither of which is correct.)

          • Nick Sanders
            November 25, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

            Acute intoxication is extremely rare

            From your own link.

          • Dr Kitty
            November 25, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

            In excessive amounts oxygen and water can cause harm to the human body.

            Those parents are trading hypothetical risk from imagined toxins for real risk from a fatal disease. Which is a terrible reason to refuse vitamin K injections.

          • Sue
            November 26, 2015 at 8:18 pm #

            Tip to Brooke – your’e clearly not an expert in health care, but many people here are. Please stop pontificating.

            We already know the mythology and pseudoscience – we don’t need you to repeat it for us, thanks. You are not educating anyone.

          • Nick Sanders
            November 26, 2015 at 8:58 pm #

            my point was it can cause harm to the human body

            Not at the level found in any shot given to anyone in America, Vitamin K injections included.

          • Amazed
            November 25, 2015 at 4:35 pm #

            With your letter reading skills rivaling your number reading skills you’re the dick, Brooke. The uneducated one, at that.

          • AllieFoyle
            November 25, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

            I always recommend people pick up Spiritual Midwifery too, but I prefer they put it in the rubbish bin, where it belongs.

          • Mishimoo
            November 25, 2015 at 8:11 pm #

            I prefer the compost bin, it’s of more use in there and there’s no chance someone else will come across it and be infected.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

            No. I don’t read books by quacks, and she’s a quack. I’m not an atheist by any stretch and I love spiritualism (I do). But spiritual midwifery is ridiculous, sorry.

          • Dr Kitty
            November 25, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

            Brooke, the problem is that many other posters here are midwives, nurses and Drs, and we know exactly, in detail, how to handle these emergencies.

            We DO know how woefully unprepared Homebirth midwives are to manage these things, or simply how impossible it is to manage these emergencies at home full stop, often because we’ve managed them in hospital or seen train wreck HB transfers first hand.

            Listening to som one talk about how she can prevent complications by “holding the space”, or how she carries oxygen and misoprostol to use in emergencies doesn’t reassure us.

            Reading a book by a woman whose premature baby died because she chose to deliver him on a bus and not to seek medical care for him is not going to convince us.

            I don’t think you’ve judged your audience here.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

            How many home births or natural births (no interventions in the hospital setting) have you experienced?

          • Amazed
            November 25, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

            How many deaths caused solely by unneeded hospital interventions have you experienced? For that matter, how many unnecessary C-sections?

          • Dr Kitty
            November 25, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

            I haven’t attended any home births.

            Plenty of unmedicated hospital births though. At least 20.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            November 26, 2015 at 4:09 am #

            I’ve seen maybe a dozen no intervention births in the hospital. And a smaller number of births that started out as low risk, no planned intervention that went wrong and ended up with significant interventions–and the mother walking out of the hospital a few days later with a healthy infant instead of one or both dying.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

            That was back in the 1960s/1970s when the rate of survival for premature babies wasn’t nearly as high as today.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            November 25, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

            Well, I guess that means that sacrificing her baby to the alter of natural birth was perfectly justified….

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

            No it means her baby would have died either way. She also talks about how she wasn’t eating healthfully etc and completely blames herself for what happened. In other birth stories they talk about hospital transfers and when to transfer in that book.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            November 25, 2015 at 9:40 pm #

            No it means her baby would have died either way.

            How did you determine that?

            What did the autopsy find?

            Oh wait, there wasn’t one.

          • demodocus
            November 25, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

            A couple of us here are preemies born in the 70s. In hospitals where we were able to be saved. Mom didn’t have so much as a Tylenol. Rates in hospitals have indeed improved a great deal, but they were always higher with a pediatrician standing by than they were/are somewhere else.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

            Pediatrician’s are not god, they can only do so much.

          • Nick Sanders
            November 25, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

            How is that even remotely relevant to what demodocus said?

          • An Actual Attorney
            November 25, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

            And they can’t do crap when you let your baby die in the gutter instead of going to one

          • Dr Kitty
            November 25, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

            Right, but they can do more than a bunch of hippies on a bus.

            If your child was dying in front of you with meningococcal septicaemia, would you sit by and watch at home because “paediatricians are not god” and the odds are slim, or would you take your precious baby to the hospital as fast as possible , just hoping they could be saved?

          • demodocus
            November 26, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

            ‘Course not. They are, however, a hell of a lot more likely to be able to do something useful than the other people on the buses I ride.

          • Nick Sanders
            November 25, 2015 at 7:26 pm #

            So, what changed to bring the survival rate up?

          • Sue
            November 26, 2015 at 8:15 pm #

            Brooke – when Dr Kitty tells you who you are arguing with, does it not inspire you to pause and think? I guess not.

          • Chi
            November 26, 2015 at 4:01 am #

            Hint: You’re not going into details of how midwives would deal with those complications because they CAN’T.


          • The Computer Ate My Nym
            November 26, 2015 at 4:05 am #

            Pick one. Explain in detail how a midwife would deal with it at home. Let’s say severe post-partum hemorrhage. In he hospital, this would be dealt* with by immediately running fluid wide open into the already set large bore IV, starting a second IV, sending someone running to the blood bank for blood that is already typed and screened, putting pressure on the wound, fundal massage, examining the uterus for retained placenta that could explain the hemorrhage, and readying the OR for possible hysterectomy in the extreme case. You’d probably activate the massive transfusion protocol as well to ensure that factors and platelets as well as RBCs were being replaced. Pressors may be needed. How much of that could you do at home?

            Oh, and someone needs to keep track of the baby while all this is going
            on. In the hospital, you just toss it to the pediatric team and they
            take care of it. How does one single midwife with maybe one assistant and a relative or two make sure that the baby doesn’t freeze or suffocate while trying to stop the massive hemorrhage in the mother?

            *As far as I know. I’m not an OB and could easily have some of the local measures wrong. But I do know what to do about severe anemia due to blood loss and the short answer is “replace it”. Which you can’t do without an IV and a blood bank.

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 26, 2015 at 4:18 am #

            Not to mention how one midwife and an assistant would handle a NRP situation AND care for a mother at home.

          • Chi
            November 25, 2015 at 4:32 am #

            You DO realize there is more aluminum in breast milk than there is in any vaccine right? If they cannot process a teeny tiny amount of aluminum in a vit k shot, how the heck do they process the stuff in the breast milk?

            You’re not really an expert on anything, are you?

            And they ARE causing emergencies by failing to recognize warning signs and act on them appropriately. And just because a pregnancy has been relatively simple and free of complications in NO WAY means that labor will be.

          • demodocus
            November 25, 2015 at 6:35 am #

            Aluminum is not a heavy metal.

          • Dr Kitty
            November 25, 2015 at 7:24 am #

            How does Haemorrhaghic Disease of the Newborn affect the brain, liver and kidneys? Only someone who hasn’t thought out what Vitamin K actually prevents would choose avoiding hypothetical risk from an imaginary toxin over preventing actual risk of fatal illness.

            A Midwife in the USA who found protein in her patient’s urine, a high BP and noted peripheral oedema and headache. Instead of advising immediate hospitalisation she told her patient to follow Brewer’s diet, drink more fluids and rest.

            That midwife’s management plan led to her patient almost dying from eclampsia, which is an emergency. You might doubt that it happens, but it does.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            November 25, 2015 at 7:46 am #

            Please tell me more about how aluminum is a heavy metal.

          • Who?
            November 25, 2015 at 7:49 am #

            They oppose Vit K for that reason because they are ignorant.

            Midwives cause emergencies by failing to recognise, or by ignoring, or by not looking for, variations in mum and baby that give a hint of possible trouble to come.

          • yentavegan
            November 25, 2015 at 10:55 am #

            Brooke, just because you” disagree that a normal low risk pregnancy can become an emergency that a midwife cannot manage”, does not make it true.

          • yentavegan
            November 25, 2015 at 11:02 am #

            Yes Midwives are causing labeling every thing as a variation of normal, by not risking out post date pregnancies, twins, breech, VBAC’S by missing a third degree tear, a placental fragment,. Midwives are causing emergencies please read the hurt by homebirth blog or the facebook page of Justice for Vylette Moon.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 11:39 am #

            Obviously my heart goes out to these women but the reality is that sometimes bad things happen and we want someone or something to blame. It’s easy to point our fingers at midwives but babies and moms die in hospitals too and even because of medical interventions or mistakes. The horrible, frustrating thing is that regardless of who you pick for medical care your placing a lot of trust in someone , literally your placing your life in someone else’s hands.

            Also the midwives versus doctors, home versus hospital war is causing a lot of these problems. If a woman can’t do VBAC with an OB at her hospital, what’s next? In some cases women who are risked out of homebirth decide to go unassisted. Is that really best for mom or the baby to give birth completely alone with no trained person there?

          • Roadstergal
            November 25, 2015 at 11:43 am #

            “but babies and moms die in hospitals too”

            I think that’s the center card in Homebirth Bingo.

            Here’s a simple one for you. There’s a great dataset from Oregon collected by a homebirth midwife on planned site for birth vs outcome. How did the rate of death of babies compare for each planned birthplace?

            “If a woman can’t do VBAC with an OB at her hospital, what’s next?”

            Depending on the reason she ‘can’t,’ she can travel to a hospital that has the facilities to safely offer VBACs, or she can face the fact that she’s a lousy candidate for a VBAC and that nature sometimes derails our plans.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            November 25, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

            If a woman can’t do VBAC with an OB at her hospital, what’s next?

            Why can’t she? Because it’s TOO RISKY.

            Therefore, the obviously solution is to do it at home with a less qualified provider.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

            Sometimes its actually because of insurance regulations but unless you are advocating that women be physically forced into hospitals and given c-sections without consent, which would you rather have; a woman doing a VBAC with a trained midwife who can transfer her to a hospital or a woman giving birth unassisted with only her partner or a friend who isn’t medially trained around?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            November 25, 2015 at 12:55 pm #

            Sometimes its actually because of insurance regulations

            Why are there “insurance regulations”? BECAUSE IT’S TOO RISKY!!!!!

            Again, your position is as described above: “This is a procedure that is too risky for doctors to do in a hospital. Therefore, the obvious solution is to have less qualified providers do it in a fewer-resource setting.”

            How does that make sense?

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

            That’s actually not my positon. My position is that if the choice is no one or someone trained at the birth I’d rather women have someone trained that can recognize problems like fetal distress and transfer them to a hospital.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            November 25, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

            That’s actually not my positon.

            That is the consequence of your position, whether you realize it or not.

            I’d rather that women actually make good choices about their birth, and have the c-section, because it’s safer for everyone involved (yes, a scheduled repeat c-section is going to be safer than a HBAC with an incompetent (by definition) provider)

          • Dr Kitty
            November 25, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

            Nope. If they want too VBAC and are competent, they should be able to attend a hospital and have a TOLAC, after informed consent.
            If it goes pear shaped and they still decline CS, then signing a waiver that they understand that their baby could die and they could lose their uterus if they decline a CS and still prefer to proceed with VBAC should prevent any legal fallback on their HCPs.

            BUT… tort law doesn’t work that way, and when women attempting VBAC have had catastrophic ruptures in hospital and sued their doctors, juries have consistently taken the position that women in labour don’t really understand what they are refusing.

            The issue isn’t with obstetric SOP, it is with medical malpractice law.

          • Nick Sanders
            November 25, 2015 at 7:21 pm #

            I’m personally of the opinion “Fuck ’em, save the damn kid; they shouldn’t have to die because Mom is an idiot.”

            But I recognize that opens up a whole ‘nother legal can of worms.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            November 25, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

            Which sounds good, but are these women getting accurate information in order to make the decision to give birth at home?

            If a midwife plays down the risks of birth by making untrue statements such as
            “I disagree that a normal low risk pregnancy can become an emergency that a midwife cannot manage without enough time to get to the hospital or that hospitals prevent such emergencies from happening.”
            then they are being robbed of their right to informed consent.

          • AllieFoyle
            November 25, 2015 at 1:58 pm #

            But those are never the only choices.

          • Nick Sanders
            November 25, 2015 at 7:19 pm #

            And OBs don’t count as “someone trained”? Plus, it lets you skip that whole nasty “transfer” step.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 7:21 pm #

            Did you miss the whole part about women not going to an OB because they’ll insist on a repeat c-section versus a VBAC or?

          • Nick Sanders
            November 25, 2015 at 7:22 pm #

            I missed the part where mom’s whims outweighed the baby’s life.

          • Who?
            November 25, 2015 at 9:40 pm #

            That is an unspoken assumption. They are not gutsy enough to say it out load though, and will indulge in serious pearl clasping if anyone else does.

          • AllieFoyle
            November 25, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

            Did you miss the part about that entire dichotomy not making any sense and that line of thinking being completely unreasonable and encouraging such actions being unethical?

          • Roadstergal
            November 25, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

            If she’s doing VBAC at home because she’s a poor candidate for VBAC, any midwife who would attend instead of immediately risking her out isn’t trained.

            And sure, she can move to the UK and have a VBAC at home with an actually highly trained midwife, if she’s a good candidate (good enough to have it in a hospital) – and then, as per the Birthplace Study, face a ~1 in 100 chance of her baby dying, vs ~2 in 1000 chance in the hospital.

          • Roadstergal
            November 25, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

            And our point is that any midwife with training and ethics is not going to attend an HBAC for a woman who’s been risked out of VBAC at a hospital.

            That’s not even considering that, as I mentioned in my comment below, even good VBAC candidates with trained attendants have horrifically bad death rates for their babies when doing HBAC. Can you name any activity you’d sign your baby up for that has a 1/100 death rate?

          • AllieFoyle
            November 25, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

            Those aren’t the only choices. A woman who is a good candidate for VBAC can try to find a provider or hospital that is willing and able to facilitate that. No, it isn’t convenient or easy, but people with all sorts of medical issues are forced to travel to get the specific treatment they want/need. VBAC is no different.

            Women can also go to the hospital in labor and refuse a CS. It places everyone involved in a bad position, but it is very rare that any one could actually force someone to have a CS without consent.

            The real question is why are women being encouraged to believe that a home VBAC is safer or more desirable than a repeat section? Transfer is supposed to be the safety net, but in reality it’s fairly common for attempted VBACs, probably not very pleasant or comfortable, and often just too late.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

            Maybe because a c-section is surgery which carries a risk of infection and a higher risk of hemoraging? Maybe women have other reasons like feeling cheated out of natural birth because they had a c-section when it was not an emergency or medical necessity? Maybe they don’t want or cannot go through a 6 week recovery period?

            In theory women can shop around for OBs and hospitals. In theory. Planning to have a hospital birth further way is a really bad idea because it increased the chances of a woman delivering her baby at home alone or on the way to the hospital which is by far the most dangerous kind of birth.

          • Chi
            November 25, 2015 at 3:29 pm #

            The reason women feel ‘cheated’ is because women like YOU and other NCB advocates tell them that natural is ALWAYS best and anything else is sub-par and they’re NOT real mothers because they didn’t push their baby out their snatch.

            Who the HELL has the right to tell any woman that their c-section was unnecessary? The ONLY people who can tell her that are the OB and the attending nurses. And if they went to c-section, it was likely for a VERY good reason, even if a woman cannot understand those reasons.

            Yes surgery carries risk, but not having a c-section when the doctor says it becomes necessary carries a FAR greater risk – that of a dead or permanently damaged baby.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

            I’m not a natural birth advocate and I never said any of those things. I’m not saying whose c-sectuons were unnecessary but statistically speaking the c-section rate should be 5%. Its 33%. That means many women have had c-sections (even according to the CDC) that were not medically required to save the life of the mom or her baby. That leaves many women feeling “cheated” by the “system” because they had a c-section they feel like they could have avoided. If you actually read what I’m saying without this warped perception that I’m some natural birth Nazi, I’m advocating that a midwife who transfers a woman to a hospital to have a c-section at some point, is far far better than a woman giving birth at home alone because she risked out of a homebirth. Women are literally risking out of home births & giving birth at home unassisted because they want to avoid another c-section.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            November 25, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

            statistically speaking the c-section rate should be 5%. Its 33%

            No. Just no. Stop it.

            You don’t have a clue.

            Please provide a single example who had a woman who had a c-section that you can say was not necessary, aside from a MRCS.

            HINT: Don’t bother. You can’t. It is logically impossible to know that a baby could have been born without a c-section.

            Don’t try to talk statistics. It is another topic that you don’t know as much as people here. Just like pretty much everything else you have tried to discuss.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

            Lol. OK. Keep chugging the Kool-Aid. I guess the World Health Organization is wrong. II guess the CDC is wrong too. I guess all the doctors in all the other countries where the c-section rate is lower are wrong too.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

            The WHO stepped back from that CS rate. And I believe it was 15%, not 5%. But it has said that has no evidence. Why do
            People keep quoting it?

          • Charybdis
            November 26, 2015 at 11:17 am #

            Because a governmental agency has SAID something, and actually published it or something, so it MUST BE true. Never mind that they have admitted that it was arbitrary and wrong and have published that fact as well. Very similar to the “vaccines cause autism” thing. It was published by a doctor/researcher and is now in print so people can keep looking it up. Never mind the fact that it has been disproven, repudiated and generally accepted as the crock of excrement it is. But people keep citing it and banging on about it because someone “official” said it once and published it.

          • Amazed
            November 25, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

            LOL. The absurd number they reached with 0 reasoning was 15%, not 5. Keep reading, Brooke. Are you, by chance, Abby R.’s sister? With such glorious failings at basic reading of numbers I won’t be surprised.

          • Dr Kitty
            November 25, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

            Riddle me this, what is the ideal CS rate in a population where 35% of mothers are obese, more than 25% have advanced maternal age, a significant proportion have pre-existing medical conditions, more than 10% are non-White and there is a relatively high percentage of multiple pregnancies, smoking and drug misuse?

            Might it be at all different from the “ideal” CS rate of a population of 20 year old, healthy, white, non smoking, 5’10 women with BMIs of 22 and singleton, cephalic, naturally conceived pregnancies?

            Which population do you think is closer to the USA?

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            November 25, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

            Absolutely. It would also be very different in a country where the mother has no access to birth control and may not have access to medical care in future pregnancies. There is no ideal worldwide c section rate because the world is not homogenous.

          • yugaya
            November 25, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

            This clown is still here? Fun facts time then:

            1) There is no WHO or CDC recommended CS rate.
            2) There is no recommended CS rate in other countries either, except in countries where it is inhumanely low.
            3) Not a single OECD country has CS rate below 15%.
            4) Countries with 10-15% CS rate according to the latest stats:

            Saudi Arabia

            You wanna escape the evils of modern obstetric medicine in USA? Hop over to give birth in one of those countries and check out for yourself what kind of systematic denial of adequate care keeps a CS rate that “ideal”.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            November 25, 2015 at 9:36 pm #

            I guess the World Health Organization is wrong. II guess the CDC is
            wrong too. I guess all the doctors in all the other countries where the
            c-section rate is lower are wrong too.

            OK, I am probably a moron, but can you please point me to where the WHO or CDC says the c-section rate should be 5%? I know that you told Sarah above to look it up herself, but I’m having trouble finding it. Can you point me in the right direction?

            Actually, I’m lying. It’s not that I am a moron, I actually haven’t looked it up myself, and I’m not going to. Because, as usual, I know that it’s bullshit. You are making it up.

            Again, Pablo’s First Law of Internet Discussion. Learn it, live it, love it. Stop being the poster child.
            If it’s so easy to google, then indulge us all and send us to the link. Put up or shut up. Then again, since you are wrong, as usual…

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 4:26 pm #

            Hey now…requested C-Sections can be just as necessary. I had a absolutely paralyzingly fear of labor but not of surgery. My mental state more than justified the CS. And my OB, who was Japanese (and you don’t question doctors in Japan if you’re following their culture), nearly jumped for joy when I requested one but he refused to schedule them for two friends who also asked. He had a reason he thought I needed one (I’ve come across some reasons why since I had her but I don’t actually know HIS reason…only mine).

            I feel that if I can get a tummy tuck, I can also get a CS. And I even okay with homebirth PROVIDED everyone understands the risks and has a good provider. Those are the sticking points I have issues with. Otherwise, I’m good with whatever.

          • Sarah
            November 25, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

            I cannot wait to hear you justify that 5% claim.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

            You could Google it. Just a thought.

          • Dr Kitty
            November 25, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

            Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and it is customary for the person making the claim to back said claim with evidence they provide. Evidence which they presumably have to hand, since they were convinced enough by it to make the the claim in the first place.

            Not to run in, make a claim and have everyone else run around trying to disprove it.

            Do you not understand how this works?

          • yugaya
            November 25, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

            CS rate 5% or less?

            In 2013:

            Afghanistan 4%
            Azerbijan 5%
            Benin 4%
            Burkina Faso 2%
            Burundi 4%
            Cambodia 3%
            Chad 2%
            Congo 3%
            Ethiopia 2%
            Gambia 3%
            Guinea 2%
            Haiti 3%
            Laos 2%
            Liberia 4%
            Madagascar 2%
            Malawi 5%
            Mali 2%
            Nepal 5%
            Niger 1%
            Nigeria 2%
            Sao Tome and Principe 5%
            Sierra Leone 5%
            Tajikistan 3%
            Timor-Leste 2%
            Turkmenistan 4%
            Uganda 5%
            Tanzania 5%
            Zambia 3%
            Zimbabwe 5%

            You can check maternal mortality rate for that same year as a measure of obstetric care in those countries here:

            Brooke, you should have totally said it was a typo because arguing that CS rate of 5% is ok makes you look like a bloody sadist.

          • Sarah
            November 26, 2015 at 3:44 am #

            Oh no, I’ve heard plenty of people make up reasons why the section rate should be 5%, each more scientifically illiterate than the last. But I want to hear your take, in particular.

          • demodocus
            November 25, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

            Druther have an overabundance of caution from the doctor delivering my baby than take a risk with her health or life from whatever my ob is fearing. For the record, there have been 5 babies born in my family in the last 10 years, and one emergency C-section after 24 hours of labor, only to discover the uterus and umbilical cord riddled with cancer. Thankfully, both mother and son are still around 8 years later.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 5:12 pm #

            Which shows what exactly? That medical help is necessary in some instances. No one is saying it isn’t.

          • Charybdis
            November 26, 2015 at 7:14 pm #

            Yes, but someone here (I apologize, I can’t remember who) stated that you can TRY for a “normal, unmedicated, non-interventioned birth or you can schedule a pre-labor c-section. Those are truly your only two choices. A non-intervention, vaginal birth can only be considered as such after the fact. Anything can go wrong at any time during a labor and delivery. You cannot guarantee a so- called normal delivery, no matter how hard you believe in your body or trust birth. You cannot guarantee a complication-free CS, but it comes a hell of a lot closer to that ideal.

          • Anna
            November 25, 2015 at 4:07 pm #

            “That means many women have had c-sections (even according to the CDC) that were not medically required to save the life of the mom or her baby”. What about permanent damage to mom/baby? You do not consider this a serious enough reason for a c-section? Anyway, who are YOU to make such conclusions anyway? Maternal and infant mortality has dropped dramatically in the age of c-sections. Period.

          • Abby
            November 25, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

            First of all who says the cesearean rate should be 5%, is that a figure you just made up? There is no way to tell the ideal rate, everyone who needs a cesearean should have one, so an ideal rate is the one that means every baby survives labour neurologically intact. Unfortunately and this is the part that the ncb advocates never understand, detecting the babies in trouble is not an exact science, if you want to have a very low rate of adverse outcomes and definitely pick up all the babies in trouble you will inevitably do more c sections than are necessary, most people accept that and are grateful for a healthy baby. If it is more important to you to reduce your cesearean rate and only do the ‘absolutely necessary ones then you will inevitably miss some babies who are in trouble so more will die and more will be born with HIE etc. It’s all very well to be traumatised by an unnecessarian but it’s just healthcare providers playing it safe, which is generally what we hope they will do no?

          • yugaya
            November 25, 2015 at 5:14 pm #

            “but statistically speaking the c-section rate should be 5%”

            Abby is that you?

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            November 25, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

            Let me give you a scenario to help you understand why the current rate of c sections is higher than 5%. Let’s imagine we have 100 pregnant women with condition X. Condition X means that if these women give birth vaginally, 20% of their babies will die whilst 80% will be fine. You have no way of knowing which babies will die and which ones will live. If they have a c section then the chances of their babies dying is far far lower. So if these women all have c sections, would you consider all these c sections to be necessary? Or does it mean that there were 80 unnecessary c sections?

            Would a 10% risk of death be acceptable? Or in other words 10 dead babies to prevent 100 c sections. How about 5% or 2.5%. Where would you draw the line?

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 5:37 pm #

            Well why talk about the actual circumstances when we can come up with completely hypothetical life and death situations.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            November 25, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

            To simplify the example. Would you like to respond to the point that I have made? At what level of risk would you deem a c section to be necessary?

          • Dr Kitty
            November 25, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

            Not hypothetical situations.
            Exactly the situation faced by an obstetrician looking at an abnormal (category III) CTG tracing.
            Maybe the baby will be fine, maybe it won’t, but waiting to find out is considered unacceptably risky by almost all parents, so delivery is expedited, often by CS.

            To only perform “necessary” interventions you need either a crystal ball or access to parallel universes in which you can watch all possible scenarios play out. We don’t have that, so people decide that they’d rather risk “unnecessary” surgery than their baby’s life or health.

            Brooke, are you being deliberately obtuse, or do you just not know this stuff?


          • Chi
            November 25, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

            By going on about women ‘feeling cheated’ by c-sections, you ARE by all definitions a natural birth advocate, because to someone like you, that is the ONLY option.

            And where the hell are you getting this 5% stat from? The WHO have state a 15% c-section rate but even that number is completely arbitrary.

            Dr Amy has covered this in an earlier piece:


            There is NO ideal c-section rate. And there is NO way anyone can tell you that a c-section was medically unnecessary. Women who would rather risk their baby’s life with an unassisted (or assisted with a crappy MW) home birth rather than a repeat c-section are misguided and selfish.

          • Charybdis
            November 25, 2015 at 5:37 pm #

            The WHO basically said they pulled the 5% number (or was it 10%) out of their ass. The blind chasing of an irrelevant statistic with no thought or regard to the circumstances for each individual is irresponsible.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

            Lol. OK. Again the World Health Organization, the CDC, these groups don’t know anything. You’re starting to sound like an anti-vaxxer.

          • Charybdis
            November 25, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

            Nope, sorry. WHO is the WORLD health organization and there is a hell of a lot of world that is not the US or even a first world country. They make recommendations for health initiatives for second and third world countries where healthcare is often substandard and/or nonexistent. So the breastfeeding advice makes sense for a poor third world country that does not have ready access to clean water and sanitation so the mixing of formula is not recommended. In a first world country, the benefits of breastfeeding over formula feeding is negligible. A lot of their advice is geared to developing/poorer countries, where health advice and guidance is damn near required.

            WHO and CDC know plenty.

          • Sue
            November 26, 2015 at 6:59 pm #

            You DO, know, don’t you, Brooke, that the WHO withdrew its 15% recommendation, acknowledging that it wasn’t based on anything rational?

            And do you also know that, for impoverished communities, 15% would be a dreamed-for INCREASE in access for women?

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            November 25, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

            I believe it was 10-15%. I have no idea where 5% comes from.

          • AllieFoyle
            November 25, 2015 at 6:14 pm #

            I have an idea.

          • AllieFoyle
            November 25, 2015 at 6:35 pm #

            You seem to feel that people making decisions on that basis is a reasonable state of affairs. There’s only something to feel cheated about if you believe that you’ve missed out on something valuable, and who is telling these women that they’ve missed out, or that C-sections are terrible and dangerous, while HBACs are safer and better? Someone is doing them a distinct disservice by emphasizing the risks of CS, exaggerating the value of VB, ignoring the risks of VB, and ignoring the inherent dangers of HBAC.

          • Azuran
            November 25, 2015 at 10:11 pm #

            To obtain the absolute ideal rate of c-section, we would need a single test with 100% and specificity 100% sensibility to detect life treatening foetal distress.

            That means a test that will detect 100% of babies in distress, never show any signs of distress in a baby that is not in distress, and also show with a 100% accuracy whether or not the distress the baby shows is going to cause permanent trauma or death.

            That is absolutely never going to happen. There is abdolutely nothing in medecine that is 100% effective in anything.
            Basically, you would need a time machine. Then you would have to watch ever single birth, and whenever a baby came out dead or with brain damage you would have to go back in time and call a c-section.
            That’s what you are asking of doctor when you say they should only do c-section when ‘absolutely necessary’ or that there is a fixed rate they should achieve.

            You can never know in advance with 100% certainty if a baby is going to die until it drops dead in your arms.
            Doctors will recommend a c-section whenever the risk of pursuing vaginal birth become higher than the risk of the c-section itself. That’s how things work for every single treatment out there and that’s how it should be for birth.

          • Daleth
            November 25, 2015 at 11:20 pm #

            I’m not saying whose c-sectuons were unnecessary but statistically speaking the c-section rate should be 5%.

            What in god’s name makes you believe that? Where did you get that number–in a dream or something?! Even the WHO never argued for 5%–they used to say it should be 15%, but in 2009 they admitted that there was actually no evidence to support the idea that the c-section rate should be 15%.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 11:42 pm #

            Regardless of if its 5% or 15% (the c-section rate in 1970 was 5.5%, Norway’s current c-section rate is 14%) our current c-section rate is higher than it has been in the past and higher than other developed countries.

          • Who?
            November 26, 2015 at 12:05 am #

            But why is that bad? If, understanding the risks and benefits of both modes of delivery, doctors advise that one or the other is preferable to get the safest outcome for mother and baby, why is that bad? What is so special about vaginal delivery that it is worth risking the life or health of the mother or child to achieve it?

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 26, 2015 at 12:32 am #

            You have to look at race and ethnicity when you try to compare populations and outcomes. The research shows that Non Hispanic black women, Hispanic, Latina and Native American women are more likely to have c-sections then non Hispanic white or Asian women. About 3% of Norway’s population are people of color. About 39% percent of the US population are people of color. You can’t compare the two countries because the needs of the populations vary greatly.

          • Brooke
            November 26, 2015 at 1:23 am #

            Yeah I’m sure race is the problem…

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 26, 2015 at 2:09 am #

            Of all minority groups, African-Americans have the most, and many times the largest, differences in health risks when compared to other minority groups. African-Americans have more disease, disability, and early death as well.
            “For the past 5 decades, Black women have consistently experienced an almost 4-times greater risk of death from pregnancy complications than have White women. This increased risk of pregnancy-related death among Black women is independent of age, parity, or education.1,2 An increased risk of death from other conditions, such as breast and gynecological cancer, has also been reported for Black Women.3–5 Black women are also more likely to die from complications of pregnancy, including hemorrhage,6 hypertensive disorders of pregnancy,7 and cardiomyopathy.8 However, the reasons for this excess mortality remain unclear. Our lack of knowledge about what factors cause the disparity in pregnancy-related mortality between Black and White women impedes our ability to formulate appropriate research and to design interventions to eliminate this disparity.”

          • Chi
            November 26, 2015 at 3:37 am #

            Seriously???? You’re taking medical info from 40 odd years ago??

            Do you know why c-section rates were that low back then? Because c-sections were MUCH riskier because the doctor basically had to slice a woman open from hip to hip to get the baby out. Which put them at MUCH greater risk of infection and bleeding out.

            These days they try to make the incision as small as possible. Our suturing technology has gotten much better with dissolve able stitches, medical glue etc. C-sections are MUCH safer now than they were 40 years ago.

            Another thing possibly contributing to the high c-section rate is the obesity epidemic and the fact that a LOT of midwives actively discourage their patients from being tested for gestational diabetes (which would force them to risk out if they have it) which means a lot of women who have it are going undiagnosed and therefore their babies grow too big to birth.

            Whatever the reasons, it is not your place to say the rate is too high. Where is your science to support this? Where is the science for an ‘ideal’ c-section rate? I’ll give you a hint, it DOESN’T exist.

            If a c-section means that a mother and her baby survive childbirth, then it was necessary and it’s NOT up to you to judge whether it was or wasn’t.

          • Daleth
            December 2, 2015 at 12:33 am #

            Yep. My CS scar is like 4″ wide. They got two babies out through there.

            And don’t forget the massive improvements in anesthesia since then. A CS done under general anesthesia, as most of them were until recent decades, is much more dangerous than one done with an epidural or spinal block.

          • Box of Salt
            November 26, 2015 at 3:38 am #

            Brooke: “the c-section rate in 1970 was 5.5%”

            Take a look at this document.
            Pay special attention to the pie charts on p6, comparing causes of infant deaths in 2007 vs 1970, and the green slice showing Intrauterine Hypoxia & Birth Asphyxia.

            It fell from 13% of deaths in 1970 (5% c-section rate) to 1%.

            Do you still think that 5% c-section rate is a good idea?

          • yugaya
            November 26, 2015 at 6:16 am #

            2013 Norway CS rate is 16.5% and in USA it was double that.

            Norway has no statistically significant racial disparities to count in or lack of adequate prenatal care – healthcare is universal there. Overall the population is healthier too.

            So, based on your favourite statistic (CS rate) and taking all those other factors into account, is is at least twice as safe for babies to be born in Norway instead in the cut-happy insurance-driven USA? Nope.
            ( hint: perinatal mortality rate)

          • Carolyn the Red
            November 26, 2015 at 7:52 am #

            16.6 %, actually:




            That number is from 2006, and it likely has increased at least slightly since then.

          • Dr Kitty
            November 26, 2015 at 8:10 am #

            And what are the reasons for this?
            You have been told that American mothers are getting more racially diverse, older, fatter and sicker, with smaller desired family size and less tolerance for poor outcomes.

            These factors will continue to drive up CS rates, and some of them are not modifiable.

            First time mothers over 40 is a growing demographic, with a very high CS rate, for very good clinical reasons.

          • Daleth
            December 2, 2015 at 12:31 am #

            Regardless of if its 5% or 15% (the c-section rate in 1970 was 5.5%… our current c-section rate is
            higher than it has been in the past

            So what? The rates of many surgeries are higher now than in the past because those surgeries have become safer than they used to be. That’s certainly the case for c-sections.

            [the US rate is] higher than other developed

            Even if that were true, who cares? Our rate of obesity surgery is much higher than other countries, for two reasons: we have way more people who need it (i.e., our demographics are different) and we have way more surgeons who are highly skilled and experienced in performing it (i.e., it’s safer here).

            And it’s not true. Italy’s rate is higher (37.4%), we’re about the same as or a bit lower than Australia (31%) and not far from Canada (26.3%) and most of western Europe: Austria 25.8%, Germany 27.8%, Spain 25%, Switzerland 28.9%, Ireland 25.4%:


            The UK is also over 25% these days; the rate shown in the chart above dates from 11 years ago.

          • Box of Salt
            November 26, 2015 at 11:54 am #

            Brooke, “That means many women have had c-sections (even according to the CDC) that were not medically required to save the life of the mom or her baby. That leaves many women feeling “cheated”

            if you are committed to keeping the c-section rate as low as the 5% from earlier decades, please consider these questions:

            If you are in labor in a hospital with a questionable fetal monitoring strip, are you willing to refuse the c-section to keep the c-section rate at 5%, even if it means possibly sacrificing your child’s brain function?

            If you decided to labor at home, and your awesome homebirth midwife recommended a transfer to the hospital, would you refuse it in order to keep the US c-section rate down?

            If you had labored for 24+ hours with ruptured membranes and +GBS status, would you go with a c-section, or continue to TOL?

            Once you’ve made the decision, let us know.

          • Nick Sanders
            November 26, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

            You never did answer my question. What is there to feel cheated about?

          • Nick Sanders
            November 25, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

            What exactly is there to feel cheated about?

          • demodocus
            November 25, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

            Mom had us older 3 and the 8 month stillbirth without so much as a pain medication. She did not feel cheated out of her natural birth when she had the twins (at 42) by C-section. This is because she didn’t consider her kids’ births as an experience to be savored. It was a means to an end. She had us “naturally” because she had a really high pain tolerance and didn’t like how pain meds made her feel.

          • Anna
            November 25, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

            “Maybe women have other reasons like feeling cheated out of natural birth” You are good at giving birth. Congratulations. I hope that is not the only thing you are good at. Having a c-section can be frustrating but it’s just ONE day. And 6 weeks are just 6 weeks, not 6 years or 60 years. Women like you simply want to find a reason to feel superior to other women. Most of the NCB advocates I met personally were physically unattractive and not very successful in other spheres of life except giving birth. Sorry. You want to focus on the 6 weeks, other women look forward to a lifetime of being able to do what they want and enjoy and can spare these 6 weeks.

          • AllieFoyle
            November 25, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

            Nothing is perfect — with childbirth or any other condition requiring medical care. If you are in a situation in which you have been advised that a hospital VBAC is not safe, either for medical reasons or because the facility cannot safely provide it, then you have to look at your alternatives and make the most sensible choice possible. Suggesting that a HBAC is the preferred or only option is foolish. CS is still a possible outcome even with a planned HBAC — so CS-related complications are still possible, plus you’re taking on the risks involved in vaginal birth (which can include hemorrhage and infection), PLUS you’re placing yourself and your baby in a situation in which lifesaving medical care will necessarily be delayed if either of you need it.

            As far as not being able to take six weeks to recover, no one knows how long their recovery will take. Plenty of CS moms report fairly quick, easy recoveries, and a complicated vaginal delivery can leave a woman recovering for quite a while. No one is guaranteed a quick easy birth or recovery.

          • Sue
            November 26, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

            “feeling cheated out of natural birth”

            Use of the word “cheated” is a big Red Flag.

            What makes this person think that the care provider is “cheating” their patient? And why would they feel “cheated” if it weren’t for radical-NCB propaganda?

          • Who?
            November 25, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

            And why won’t insurance cover it? Because they calcluate the risk, calculate at the premium they would have to charge to cover the risk, and find no one is prepared to pay it.

            Why should anyone else pay for a woman to run a huge risk, that she will likely sue over if there’s a bad outcome even if she’s proceeded against medical advice?

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 5:15 pm #

            Well I’m glad were making decisions not based on the individual woman giving birth but a risk assessment made by the for profit insurance companies. Yay?

          • Nick Sanders
            November 25, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

            As opposed to a risk assessment made by the for profit midwives?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            November 25, 2015 at 9:26 pm #

            As opposed to a risk assessment made by the for profit midwives?

            Who bear no responsibility at all when things go bad….

          • Who?
            November 25, 2015 at 9:38 pm #

            I have minimal time for insurance companies, but they do know how to assess risk. They assess the risk of a VBAC as really high. Their stats are probably conservative-they tend to see bogeymen everywhere-but it doesn’t make them wrong or bad.

            And if the individual woman is getting her information from NCB, the safer and wiser choice (ie the choice that is most likely to everyone being, literally, alive and well) will be to do as the insurance company suggests.

            Be a rebel, by all means, just don’t drag little babies who can’t advocate for themselves into your personal activities.

          • Azuran
            November 25, 2015 at 10:39 pm #

            You can totally still have a VBAC. Just don’t expect others to pay for the treatments for yourself and your baby should your bad decision ends up badly.

          • Who?
            November 25, 2015 at 11:22 pm #

            From the NCB playbook: But VBACs never ever go wrong. Needing one in the first place is a symptom of labour being badly managed previously. Labour only goes wrong when doctors get involved.

            So why, none of them have ever been able to tell me, do they come rushing to doctors when things aren’t looking so good? The answer, we know, is to have someone to take the blame away from the midwife. But they can never quite say it out loud.

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 25, 2015 at 10:56 pm #

            The risk assessment also takes into consideration the hospital’s ability to handle a complication. If a hospital can’t provide surgical and anesthesia staff and an OR immediately available in case an emergency c-section is necessary during TOLAC, then an insurance company may assess the risk as too high and VBACs won’t be available.

          • Sue
            November 26, 2015 at 6:55 pm #

            What the zealots don’t realise is that not every hospital is set up for every procedure – many hospitals also cant provide neurosurgery or cardiothoracic surgery due to a lack of specialist staff, or ICU beds, or sub-specialised post-operative skills. They are not “discriminating against” people needing these skills – they just don’t have the resources or systems to manage these situations safely.

          • Nick Sanders
            November 26, 2015 at 7:11 pm #

            Because to them all “western medicine” is the same. Surgery is surgery, and if you’ve got a white coat it doesn’t matter if you are a GP, an OB, or an ophthalmologist, you’re the enemy and you’re interchangeable.

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 26, 2015 at 7:14 pm #

            Probably watched too many of those tv shows that depict the ER as a place where everything from birth to transplants take place. Just show up at a hospital and POOF! They can treat you no matter what.

          • Dr Kitty
            November 26, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

            On TV the intern on their first day can crack a chest in an elevator stuck between two floors in order to perform internal cardiac massage and in the next scene the patient is walking out of the hospital.
            Real life, not so much.

          • Bombshellrisa
            November 26, 2015 at 7:12 pm #

            Exactly. If I need a transplant or need to be treated for trauma, the closer and more convenient hospitals 20 minutes from me aren’t the hospitals for me. They aren’t trying to keep me from getting the care I need, they just aren’t equipped to treat me.

          • demodocus
            November 26, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

            Yep, They had to transfer my 20 month old to get his broken leg set and casted. Fortunately, the 2nd hospital was only another 20 minutes past our nearest one.

          • Who?
            November 25, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

            All those midwives working for free, are they?

            Thought not. And they have zero overheads, and usually zero assets, so there is nothing to sue should the need arise.

          • Brooke
            November 26, 2015 at 12:48 am #

            You’re so hell bent on demonizing midwives, did you ever take a single second to think that, hey, insurance companies deciding what DOCTORS can do with their own patients isn’t good for women either?

          • Sue
            November 26, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

            And the risk assessment made by for-profit insurance companies is based on WHAT? The cost of complications, of course.

            IN this case, safety and profits coincide.

          • Daleth
            November 25, 2015 at 11:17 pm #

            Sometimes its actually because of insurance regulations

            Do you know why insurance companies tell hospitals that they can’t do VBACs? Because VBACs at that hospital are too risky. (If you don’t have 24/7 on-site anesthesiologists, you cannot safely offer VBAC, because there is at least a 1/200 risk of uterine rupture and the only way to save the baby if that happens is to do a c-section within about 20 minutes of the rupture–which is impossible unless there’s an anesthesiologist on site).

            In other words, “insurance regulations won’t cover it” means “it is not safe to do it.” Insurance will cover any reasonable risk. They just won’t cover things that have a high risk of massive loss (like a million-buck payout for a dead baby).

            which would you rather have; a woman doing a VBAC with a trained midwife
            who can transfer her to a hospital or a woman giving birth unassisted
            with only her partner or a friend who isn’t medially trained around

            There is nothing a midwife can do if a mother attempting an HBAC (home birth VBAC) suffers a uterine rupture. You can’t even detect rupture reliably without continuous electronic monitoring, which requires equipment that home birth midwives don’t have and aren’t trained to use. And even if they detected it immediately, it is impossible to get from your home into an OR in time to get the baby out. Rupture kills too quickly for that.

            So as I said above, an HBAC with a CPM is no safer–at least from the perspective of the highest risk of HBAC, namely a uterine rupture–than an HBAC with the woman’s husband or some random lady from the bus stop at the corner. No matter who is attending the HBAC, if mama has a rupture the baby will die.

          • fiftyfifty1
            November 26, 2015 at 9:03 am #

            “Sometimes its actually because of insurance regulations ”

            The wonderful thing about insurance companies is that they are in it for the money and nothing else. Therefore you can trust them 100% to be non-political. They will insure *anything* as long as the odds show that it is safe enough that they aren’t going to get into a situation where they are bankrupted on huge payouts. They insure bungee jumping and skydiving and X-treme motocross. You know what they won’t insure? VBACs in hospitals without 24/7 in-house OBs, full OR team staff and dedicated anesthesiologists. That says something!

          • Charybdis
            November 25, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

            Why would one WANT a VBAC to begin with? To prove that they *can* do it, dammit? And the ones who are risked out of homebirth (how many of those are there, actually? You NEVER hear of them), why the hell don’t they listen to the reasons why they are being risked out? They are so damn intent on what THEY want and giving the finger to the conventional medical folks that they will blatantly ignore medical advice and recommendation to DIY at home. That, that right there is the thinking I can’t wrap my head around.

          • Megan
            November 25, 2015 at 8:51 pm #

            To be fair, some women consider VBAC if they are planning large families to decrease their risk of placental problems in their future pregnancies.

          • Charybdis
            November 26, 2015 at 11:32 am #

            And I get that. I would hope that those women would be under the care of a OB or CNM and not be planning a home birth, due to the risk involved. And that the reason for the original CS was due to something like transverse or breech position, something that might not be repeated in a subsequent pregnancy.

          • Azuran
            November 25, 2015 at 9:55 pm #

            Sure, babies can die in the hospital too. But babies die MORE OFTEN at home. Same as you can still die in a car accident if you have your seatbelt. Doesn’t mean that you should stop wearing it, as not wearing is it riskier.

            Medical professional have an obligation of service. Not result, and certainly not of doing whatever the hell the clients wants, especially if the doctor considers it too risky or does not consider himself skilled enough to do it without putting your life in unnecessary risks. If the services offered does not please you, or they do not offer a particular service you want, then it is your responsability to find someone who will.

            A doctor cannot force you to have an intervention you do not want. But you cannot force a Doctor to prescribe you medication or do an intervention he considers to be dangerous or does not consider himself skilled enough to do.

            All of this does not have to be a confrontation. If you want a VBAC for example. Perhaps there are reasons the doctors at your local hospital do not want to do it. Perhaps you are a bad candidate? Perhaps they do not have enough experience with VBAC? Maybe the closest NICU is 4 hours away and they do not have the resources to care for you and your baby accordingly if you have a rupture or other complications?
            If you really want a VBAC, or any other kind of particular treatment, you should seek out people who are experienced and have the ressources to give the treatments you want.
            If every single doctor you meet tells you it’s a bad idea. Maybe you should listen to them.
            If you decide to ignore them and do it anyway, then no, they don’t have to hold your hand through your stupid decision. Yea sure, you can force their hand by showing up in labour and refuse everything, they will give you a bed if you show up at the hospital and take care of you. But they will probably not pretend to approve and everyone involved will have a bad time.

          • Daleth
            November 25, 2015 at 11:10 pm #

            Obviously my heart goes out to these women but the reality is that sometimes bad things happen and we want someone or something to blame. It’s easy to point our fingers at midwives but babies and moms die in hospitals too

            Babies and moms die at dramatically lower rates in hospitals than they do in home births. What you’re saying is kind of like saying “sometimes bad things happen, and it’s easy to point fingers at people who don’t wear seatbelts, but people who do wear seatbelts die in car crashes too.” Yes they do… but at much lower rates (i.e. they’re much less likely to die than people who are not wearing seatbelts).

            So not wearing seatbelts actually does kill people, just like home birth.

            If a woman can’t do VBAC with an OB at her hospital, what’s next? In some cases women who are risked out of homebirth decide to go unassisted. Is that really best for mom or the baby to give birth
            completely alone with no trained person there?

            With a VBAC, honestly it makes no difference because there is a 1/200 risk that a baby born in a home birth VBAC will die, no matter who is there. A midwife can’t even detect a uterine rupture, much less do anything about it, so if it happens–and even for the best VBAC candidates there is a 1/200 chance it will happen–the baby is going to die unless you’re in the hospital. And mom might too, from massive blood loss.

          • Charybdis
            November 25, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

            Aluminum is not a heavy metal. The metals that are considered to be heavy have an atomic number of 21 or higher and has a specific gravity of 5.0 or greater. Environmental science considers lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, copper, manganese, nickel, zinc and silver to be the ones to be concerned about in the form of air, water, or soil contaminants.

            Aluminum doesn’t make the list.

          • demodocus
            November 25, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

            and gold, I think

          • Chi
            November 25, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

            Yeah I think gold is a heavy metal because wasn’t there an episode of House where a guys wife was sprinkling gold flakes on his breakfast and he had heavy metal poisoning?

          • demodocus
            November 25, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

            I think it was in CSI once, too.

          • Sue
            November 27, 2015 at 12:02 am #

            Gold compounds used to be used for Rheumatoid arthritis:

          • demodocus
            November 25, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

            Its certainly heavy for its size.

          • Charybdis
            November 25, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

            It’s gold salts that can be toxic and potassium gold cyaninde which is used in gold plating. Pure gold itself is a noble metal and is non-toxic and non-irritating when ingested. Gold leaf is edible and used on a lot of fancy desserts and on the world’s most expensive hamburger, if I remember Food Network correctly,

          • Nick Sanders
            November 25, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

            Most expensive hamburger, most expensive sandwich, most expensive ice cream sundae, and a ton of other “most expensive” things to jack up the price.

            Also, it’s rare, but if you eat enough gold, you can turn yourself a purplish-blue color…

          • Charybdis
            November 25, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

            I thought that was silver…you know, from the “colloidal silver cures EVERYTHING” woo camp.

            Can you imagine the magical curative power of a placenta, kale and colloidal silver smoothie blended with breastmilk yogurt made with cultures from your own vagina? Good for colds and moles and sore elbows, itches, twitches and slippin’ of the britches!

          • Nick Sanders
            November 25, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

            Gold can do it too, although gold produces a drabber shade than silver.


          • Dr Kitty
            November 25, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

            Great, now I’ve got Lilly The Pink as an ear worm.

            We’ll drink a drink a drink
            To Lilly the Pink the Pink the Pink
            The saviour of the human race!
            For she invented medicinal compound
            Most efficacious in every case!

          • Nick Sanders
            November 25, 2015 at 6:38 pm #

            I prefer Charlie Mopps.

          • Monkey Professor for a Head
            November 25, 2015 at 6:47 pm #

            I’ve seen a couple of patients with argyria from colloidal silver. They were indeed blue.

          • Dr Kitty
            November 25, 2015 at 6:28 pm #

            You’re giving me flashbacks to doing shots of Goldschlager as a student.
            Which was a thing.
            Goldschlager is a horrible cinnamon liquer with gold leaf in it.
            Incredible heartburn. Do not recommend.

          • Nick Sanders
            November 25, 2015 at 6:37 pm #

            That’s one of the few things I remember about Superbad.

            I really, really wish I hadn’t let my college buddies talk me into watching it. As I had expected, the title was an accurate description of the movie.

          • An Actual Attorney
            November 25, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

            But then you can blow on a woman to stop her pph.

          • Megan
            November 25, 2015 at 8:49 pm #

            Oops. Didn’t see your Goldschlager post before I posted mine. Sorry!

          • Chi
            November 26, 2015 at 3:25 am #

            I thought that was silver? Like the guy who drank colloidal silver every day for like a year? It’s called Argyria – silver poisoning.

          • Box of Salt
            November 26, 2015 at 3:55 am #

            Rosemary Jacobs


          • Chi
            November 26, 2015 at 3:59 am #

            Ew. Just…ew.

            That’s one argument from anti-vaxxers/natural health nuts I could NEVER wrap my head around. They go on and and on about the evil heavy metals in vaccines and then will chug back colloidal silver.

            The stupid. It burns.

          • Nick Sanders
            November 26, 2015 at 9:29 am #

            It’s both. With gold, it’s called chrysiasis.

          • Megan
            November 25, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

            And Goldschlager, right?

          • Nick Sanders
            November 25, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

            Aluminum does negatively impact the nervous system

            Only in massive quantities. There is nowhere near enough in any injection to cause concern.

          • Nick Sanders
            November 25, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

            I highly doubt midwives are CAUSING emergencies.

            Marcambe Bay.

          • yugaya
            November 25, 2015 at 5:54 pm #


          • Azuran
            November 25, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

            Homebirth by itself does not cause the emergency. (for a low risk women at least.)
            Having sub-standard prenatal care and/or labour monitoring can, however, delay the identification of life treathening emergency, being out of the hospital will also delay and treatment substancially. That delay could result in the death of the mother or the baby.

            Even a low risk pregnancy can have life threathening emergency. And if you are not already in a hospital when this emergency happen, then yes, you can totally die before you can be transfered.
            My grandmother had undiagnosed placenta previa, She had 0 risk factor for it and was ‘low risk’. When her labour started, everything looked normal and her husband drove her to the hospital, she started bleeding heavily in the parking lot of the hospital and needed transfusions. If she had still been at home, she would have died before ever making it.
            Shoulder dystocia can totally kill your baby before you ever make it to the ambulance.
            PPH can kill you in minutes
            Uterine rupture, which can totally happen even in ‘low risk women’ can kill your baby in less than 20 minutes.
            Of course you can have a homebirth and not have any complication. But IF you have one, then both you and your baby have a higher chances of being permanently damaged or dying than if you were in a hospital.

          • Daleth
            November 25, 2015 at 11:05 pm #

            I disagree that a normal low risk pregnancy can become an emergency that a midwife cannot manage without enough time to get to the hospital

            Australian homebirth activist Caroline Lovell had a home birth with her second child, and she was attended by not just one but two *real* midwives (Australia doesn’t allow CPMs to practice, only midwives with medical training equivalent to a US CNM).

            She hemorrhaged and died.


            And that’s a MATERNAL death, which is of course drastically more rare than the perinatal death of a baby.

            As for babies, rather than flood this post with individual tragedies, I’ll just link to a study that looked at ALL low-risk births in the US over a 3-year period (so over 10 million births). These were full term, head-down, singleton babies who all weighed at least 2500g (5.1lbs).


            Just look at the chart at the bottom to see the numbers. The fact that “a normal low risk pregnancy can become an emergency that a midwife cannot manage without enough time to get to the hospital” is evident from the fact that these low-risk babies were more than 4 times more likely to die when they were delivered at home by a midwife than when they were delivered in a hospital by a midwife:

          • Mariana Baca
            November 26, 2015 at 1:39 am #

            Aluminum is NOT a heavy metal. Nor is it toxic.

          • Sue
            November 26, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

            “I’m not really an expert on this” – the most accurate statement in Brooke’s post.

            Since babies are exposed to Al through breast milk, how are all their premature kidneys and livers coping with all that prolonged breast feeding?

          • moto_librarian
            November 30, 2015 at 11:22 am #

            Screw you. If I had given birth at home, I would have died. A pph caused by a cervical laceration will not be stopped by pitocin or cytotec, and I would have bled out in the ambulance. There were absolutely no warning signs, and I had absolutely zero interventions. My CNM didn’t cause this emergency, but thank goodness that she had plenty of other healthcare professionals available to help her.

          • Roadstergal
            November 25, 2015 at 11:33 am #

            So you’re in favor of exposing babies to a fully preventable risk of death because you don’t want to expose them to one of the most common elements on this planet, that they ingest in copious quantities in breastmilk. Sounds fair.

            “One woman praised me for my choice, telling me all the benefits of breastfeeding and another was a young woman who commented on how beautiful it was that I was nurturing my son.”

            Creepy. “I love what you’re doing with your tits!” “I’m sorry, do I know you?”

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

            *eye roll* I never said that babies shouldn’t get the vitamin K shot only the reasons behind why some people refuse it not me personally.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

            So you’re totally cool with people wearing whatever they want WHENEVER they want, right? Because it’s their body.

          • Brooke
            November 25, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

            Yes actually I am.

          • mythsayer
            November 25, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

            That’s cool, then (honestly, I think that’s a cool way to think).

          • Sue
            November 26, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

            What an ironic comment from Brooke, considering the major source of ALuminium for babies is breast milk!

            And, yes, I know the difference between injection and ingestion – both methods lead to absorption.

      • yugaya
        November 26, 2015 at 4:16 pm #

        Oh Brooke you got it all wrong. During their heyday on The Farm Stephen Gaskin, Ina May’s husband, was the head midwife and he could come and be present at any woman’s birth and do whatever HE wanted without obtaining any consent.

        Who do you think taught Ina May that it was perfectly fine to fondle women without their permission during childbirth?

      • sdsures
        November 27, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

        Cannot. Unsee.

  19. Roadstergal
    November 24, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

    “The above-mentioned findings have generated speculation that the combination of pleasurable sensations from VCS [vaginal cervical stimulation] ”

    Isn’t it funny how much they sound like Lawrie.

    Not funny haha. These women are vile. Simultaneously getting pain relief, birth, and sex so very wrong.

    • Roadstergal
      November 24, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

      Am I alone in finding something deeply wrong with them trying to get women to intentionally use their babies to achieve orgasm? Yes, sometimes things happen, but the _intent_ to have sex with your newborn is beyond ‘dubcon,’ as the kids call it.

  20. Nick Sanders
    November 24, 2015 at 2:34 pm #

    Two things:

    First, the opening quote reminds me of the Sokal Affair.

    Secondly, I’d rather be kicked in the crotch than give birth, because at least the kick just happens and is then over and done with and I can go put some ice on it.

    • attitude devant
      November 24, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

      I thought of Sokal too. How different can the Journal of Holistic Nursing be from Social Text? And what the heck do they mean by “a literary analysis?” Does that translate as, “not scientific?”

  21. CharlotteB
    November 24, 2015 at 2:17 pm #

    Bodies are weird, and I totally believe that *some* women may experience involuntary orgasm during childbirth. Just like some women have obstructed labor, some have precipitous labor, some have breech babies, etc., and we don’t know all the causes of these things. So, I believe that it IS experienced by some women, and that a woman shouldn’t feel embarrassed or ashamed if she happens to orgasm while having her baby.

    BUT…I do NOT think that it is in any way related to birth setting, BS ideas about sphincter laws, cultural thinking, blah blah blah. I think it’s because bodies are weird and unpredictable. Nor do I think it’s at all realistic to act like it’s an option for pain relief.

    It is SO misogynistic to me to assume that anything traveling into or through the vagina would cause sexual pleasure. Tampons, transvaginal ultrasounds, pap smears, cervix checks–NONE of those things are pleasurable.

    Additionally, orgasm can be an unwanted physical response. I’ve heard of sexual assault victims experiencing orgasm–does this mean they were consenting? Of course not. Does it take away the pain (physical or emotional) of the experience? No!

    • LaMont
      November 24, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

      Upvoted after the first three words alone 🙂

    • Megan
      November 24, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

      “Tampons, transvaginal ultrasounds, pap smears, cervix checks–NONE of those things are pleasurable.”

      Huh, it’s almost like context matters or something. Perhaps someone should tell our old pal, Lawrie.

      • manabanana
        November 24, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

        HA! Orgasmic pap smears. Yeah, let’s try selling that to the public.

        • Who?
          November 24, 2015 at 7:12 pm #

          More pressure on doctors too…

          • Nick Sanders
            November 24, 2015 at 9:48 pm #

            The patient feedback questionnaires would make for interesting reading.

          • Who?
            November 24, 2015 at 10:52 pm #

            I’m thinking about the two minute chat beforehand. None of it is good.

          • Roadstergal
            November 25, 2015 at 11:48 am #

            TMI, but having a TV ultrasound (not one of those bullshit legally mandated ones, a necessary one) given by a very handsome male OBGYN was a profoundly uncomfortable experience for a different reason than most give. :

            I did not get a Patient Satisfaction survey. :p

          • DelphiniumFalcon
            November 25, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

            Please tell me you watch Scrubs.


          • Roadstergal
            November 25, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

            LOL, I don’t, but I really enjoyed that. “I got a lotta pap.”

            (That dude doesn’t do it for me, though.)

          • Nick Sanders
            November 25, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

            When I was having some bladder problems a few years back, every single one of the nurses and assistants at the urologist’s clinic was a cute little twenty-something woman. I was mortified the whole time. Especially after the one who did my bladder capacity and uroflow tests started talking about her boyfriend.

    • Roadstergal
      November 24, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

      “Tampons, transvaginal ultrasounds, pap smears, cervix checks–NONE of those things are pleasurable”

      Hey, now, bodies are weird. 🙂 Never underestimate the power of medical kink…

      But it’s a fringe thing, not something to provide reliable relief over hours of what is often the worst pain of a woman’s life.

      • CharlotteB
        November 24, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

        Haha, whatever floats your boat.

        (Labor? NOT a time to try anything new, kink-wise.)

    • Blue Chocobo
      November 24, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

      The experience of orgasm can be purely mechanical. Intense circulatory pressure, then sudden relief of pressure, combined with strong nerve stimulus and heightened emotional stressors.

      The context doesn’t have to be consensual sex, and the emotion doesn’t have to be sexual desire or any positive emotion. It’s technically, mechanically, an orgasm, but without the pleasurable context it’s not a pleasurable reaction.

    • demodocus
      November 24, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

      my husband did when he was assaulted. First time he achieved a voluntary one, he was surprised it didn’t hurt. And said so. (For some reason he never wanked to orgasm as an adolescent)

  22. Tiffany Aching
    November 24, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

    “Gaskin (2003) and other researchers have observed that some women in the midst of labor and when birth is imminent, look and behave in a manner that is similar to women experiencing an orgasm.”

    I feel very sorry for the women these people have sex with.

    • Tiffany Aching
      November 24, 2015 at 2:05 pm #

      Also, it is sad that they never got to watch “Sex and the city”

      (the following video may not be appropriate in some environnements).

    • manabanana
      November 24, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

      “Gaskin and other researchers”…. this implies that Ina May Gaskin is some type of researcher. Really?

      • Roadstergal
        November 24, 2015 at 3:13 pm #

        She’s doing very valuable research on how much shite you can get away with if you pepper it with ‘holistic’ and ‘spiritual.’

  23. Dr Kitty
    November 24, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

    Orgasm releases endorphins and increases pain thresholds. This is not new information.
    But it is about as clinically useful as “runner’s high” in managing sports injuries.

    How would you even sell this to patients?
    “Well, you can have an epidural, or nitrous oxide, or IV remifentanyl, or you can masturbate to orgasm, repeatedly, for the entire duration of your labour, while your midwives walk in and out of the room.Oh yes, and isn’t your mother one of your labour support people?”

    I don’t see many women going for this, although the birth story where the labouring woman reportedly used her vibrator “like a boss” as told by her friend suggests someone is buying it….

    • DelphiniumFalcon
      November 25, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

      Would the hospital or the patient be supplying the vibrator? Because if the hospital doesn’t and the patient doesn’t have one, there’s going to be some very cramped up hands and tired fingers.

      • Roadstergal
        November 25, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

        Is this covered under Obamacare?

        • DelphiniumFalcon
          November 25, 2015 at 12:48 pm #

          No, because it’s related to women’s reproductive health and that’s a slow road to travel. We could try marketing it as a prostate massager for prostate pain and then it might be covered!

          • Dr Kitty
            November 25, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

            I think for health and safety reasons the patient should supply her own.
            I don’t think we really want the sterile supplies department involved in making vibrators reusable…

            Possibly the Medicaid and Obamacare patients get a lipstick vibe, and the private insurance patients get a magic wand…

          • Roadstergal
            November 25, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

            Condoms – either actual ones or the strange floppy ones that go over the TV wand.