Stop obstetric violence toward babies, Janet Fraser!

3D Stop Violence Crossword

You cannot make this stuff up

Janet Fraser, the Australian unassisted birth advocate who let her own baby die at homebirth has accused me of “obstetric violence.”

Fraser tweet 12-15

#endviolenceagainstwomen by Dr Amy Tuteur. Vicious vitriolic campaigning against women who experience #stillbirth #obstetric violence

You remember Janet, right? She’s the woman who, in the wake of her daughter’s entirely preventable death, declared:

[pullquote align=”right” color=”#fc0706″]There is such a thing as obstetric violence and it is perpetrated by homebirth advocates on babies.[/pullquote]

My birthrape with my first child is traumatic. My stillbirth was not.

As she went into the labor that eventually resulted in a dead baby, she actually gave an interview to an Australian newspaper on March 22,2009 in which she boasted of her decision:

Janet Fraser is in labour… Has she called the hospital to let them know what’s happening? “When you go on a skiing trip, do you call the hospital to say, ‘I’m coming down the mountain, can you set aside a spot for me in the emergency room?’ I don’t think so,” says Fraser, whose breathing sounds strained…

… She hasn’t seen a doctor or any health professional since becoming pregnant this time. No ultrasound, no genetic testing, no internal examinations, no stethoscope. Does she have any feeling for how long the labour will go? “I could do this for days. My daughter’s birth was 50-something hours. You just do it — it’s just birth, a normal physiological process.”

The baby was not born for another five days.

Fraser was excoriated by the coroner for her role in her baby’s death.

Essentially, Ms. Fraser was quite unprepared for what happened. There was not even a hard, flat surface available on which Roisin could be placed for resuscitation so these three amateurs – Ms. Fraser, Mr. Stokes and Ms. Duce, first placed the child on the rim of the inflatable pool and, when that proved unsatisfactory, used a chair. They were unable to abandon the chair and place Roisin on the floor in order effectively to administer CPR there because, the placenta not having been delivered, “that was as far as she would reach. ” Evidently, it occurred to nobody present to clamp and cut the cord and, anyway, Ms. Duce told the inquest, she had not been aware of the ready availability of any equipment to enable her to do so. According to Ms. Duce, further difficulties were encountered in administering CPR because Roisin was slippery and difhcult to hold and, evidently, it did not occur to anybody to wrap her in a towel although there were towels nearby.

And Fraser accuses me of obstetric violence?

There is such a thing as obstetric violence and it is perpetrated by homebirth advocates on babies.

Babies do not ask to be conceived. If a woman decides to conceive a baby and carry it to term, she has a moral obligation to care for the health and well being of that baby. She has a moral obligation to feed it and change it, and clothe it, and put it in a car seat when she takes the baby with her to the grocery store. She also has a moral obligation not to risk its life.

Obstetric violence toward babies involves real violence, injury and death, not hurt feelings. Over the years I have written about many women whose babies have died hideous deaths at homebirth.

These include breech babies whose heads were entrapped while their bodies dangled outside their mother’s vagina, and who died long before they could reach medical help.

They include babies who struggled for hours and suffocated, dropping dead into the hands of unsuspecting homebirth midwives who didn’t appropriately monitor their heart rates.

They include babies who slowly lost brain cells because their heads had delivered, but their shoulders became entrapped.

They include babies who died when they were suddenly extruded into their mother’s abdomen when a uterine incision ruptured and died for lack of oxygen long before they could reach a hospital.

They include babies who survived but suffered serious brain injuries leading to lifelong disabilities affecting their ability to move, to reason, to live on their own, to fulfill the potential that they had when labor started.

And, of course, they include babies like Roisin, whose mother’s hideous narcissism led to her death.

Who cares about the obstetric violence perpetrated on these babies?

Certainly not Janet Fraser who thinks everything is about her.

Certainly not homebirth midwives, who never met a risk they couldn’t label as a variation of normal.

Certainly not homebirth advocates, who never heard of a homebirth death that they couldn’t rationalize with the all purpose, and incredibly ugly claim that “some babies are just meant to die.”

As far as I’m concerned, there’s something very wrong when women claim that hurting their feelings is “violence. There is something very wrong when letting a baby suffocate to death, half the body born, and half still inside the mother is dismissed as inevitable, especially when it was not. And there is something very wrong when the obstetrician cares more about whether your baby lives or dies than you do.

As the Coroner noted at the inquest into Roisin Fraser’s death:

[Her views] are wrong views, extravagantly expressed and quite insensitive to the harm they may do to others, whether inexperienced mothers or children like Roisin whose chance of life was so unnecessarily put at risk. lf they seem intellectually valid or politically attractive to Ms. Fraser, she might give thought or more thought to the effect they may well have on children like Roisin.

Stop obstetric violence toward babies. Narcissism kills, as Janet Fraser continues to demonstrate.