Monday, June 11, 2007

Sextuplets and birth rantings

First I just have to say that I am feeling better about my life after reading about this mother who just had sextuplets. They were born this morning, 3 boys and 3 girls. The mother is a first-time mom so she has no idea what to expect... which is probably a good thing! I'm sure she has plenty of family and friends to help as well. I can't imagine! I thought it was hard having 4 kids 3 and under and not having any help. I think 6 newborns definitely trumps that!

In other news, the wife of the associate pastor of my church back home just had her first baby. It was a 6 lb girl, born by cesarean after an elective induction. My mom was surprised and asked me why she might have had a c-section. I try not to bore her with the details of my work as an ICAN Leader, but I was a little shocked that she was so clueless. I told her how elective inductions double a first-time mother's chance of a c-section. I told her how the c-section rate at the biggest hospital in my town was 41% last year. 41%!!!!!!! She couldn't believe it was so high.

It upsets me to see mothers being led to believe that an induction is routine, without risk. That a c-section is just another way to have a baby. That babies are either "too big" or mom is "too big" or "too small." These mothers trust their care providers to give them accurate information and are putting their lives (and their baby's life) into their hands. I find it appalling that some people don't feel the need to inform these mothers with the FACTS and EVIDENCE instead of using scare tactics to deceive them.

I just found out that there is a mother down the street from me who is 36 weeks pregnant with twins. Another client told me that she has a c-section scheduled because the doctor told her she could either schedule a c-section now or have an emergency one and risk recovering from both a vaginal birth and a c-section. I'm dying to go down the street and introduce myself but can't figure out how to do it and not seem pushy.

I just want moms to know that they need to seek out information for themselves. There is nothing like meeting a new client and realizing that she has done her homework and knows what type of birth she wants. It's so empowering for her and those are the births that I love because they are usually just perfect! Women rely on their doctors to tell them what they need to know and so many are not being told about the RBA-risks, benefits, and alternatives.

Risks of elective induction?
Fetal distress, failure to progress, and a cesarean to name a few!

Benefits of elective induction?
Umm, I guess picking the baby's birthday???

How about letting your baby and body decide when it's time!?!

I'm glad my mom is starting to "get it", even if her baby-making days are over. More women need to realize that when almost half of the mothers in a town are having their babies cut from their bodies, something is NOT right.

The pastor's wife is recovering from abdominal surgery now and future pregnancies will forever carry increased risk and the label of VBAC, should she decide not to schedule a c-section next time. There was also a picture of the baby having her first bottle and my mom wondered why she would not be nursing. I had to laugh because my mom is so sweet, so naive. I told her how hard it is to nurse a newborn when your stomach is stapled shut and your nipples are raw with thrush from the antibiotics they pumped you with after surgery. And I totally feel for this mom, I really do. I'm not judging her. I'm judging the medical community who has caused this mess in the first place. And if I was back home I'd be helping her breastfeed because she CAN do it, despite what she may think or may be told. It's not easy, but I did it and I know she can too.

Anyway, my rant is over for today. I am pretty sure I scared away a potential client last week after I told gave her studies showing the dangers of elective induction. I told her it wasn't about her hiring me as her doula, but about her having a wonderful birth and no regrets. I couldn't let her think that there was no risk involved in her decision so I gave her the necessary info. I just hope it helps her avoid the knife.
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