Thursday, February 11, 2010

Babies, Birth and Midwives

OK, so for this post I am completely stealing word-for-word what my dear friend Shaye wrote here on her blog, Miller Memories. She nails it.

PS - note the last 3+ minutes of the video are citing sources, so it's really closer to 5 minutes. And you can see a pic of me and Goose at 3:17, coincidentally her birth date. :>)
Nebraska Friends of Midwives is a consumer-based, grassroots group working to educate women in an attempt to better our prenatal care and birthing outcomes. We're currently lobbying for three proposed bills that would allow more options and greater safety measures in our state. Niecey of The Monkeys and Me created the following video for our group, leaving us breathless in her wake. As you'll see in the 8-minute video, there's an overwhelming amount of research and statistical data which show Nebraska to be in a serious crisis when it comes to safe, normal birth. So take just a few minutes to watch the video, contemplate our current statistics, and meet me on the other side to learn of ways you can help out this month!!

Today, February 11th, our group is hosting a luncheon at the capitol to meet with our legislators regarding LB 406, LB 457, and LB 481 (you may click on each one to go directly to the official bill in PDF format). These bills are only the first steps needed to help catch us up to most other states. Here's how YOU can help:

• Read and sign our brand new online petition HERE.
• Find your senator HERE and call to ask where they stand on "the midwife bills." Sometimes that's all it takes to pique their interest.
• Join the Nebraska Friends of Midwives e-list HERE or our discussion board HERE.
• If you feel inclined, we could sure use a few new members. It's only $10 for a year, but it increases our numbers and power exponentially. It doesn't matter your gender, age, experience, etc.

There are many more things I could tell you to do, but these really are the best beginning steps to begin getting involved in bettering our birth climate. Currently, Nebraska and Alabama are at the bottom of the barrel on these liberties. We'll soon see which state is the last to get this liberating legislation passed. We're so close, people.

If you live here, please lend a hand (or if you know someone who lives here, please send them a link to this post!). I'll beg if I have to.
Back to Lenetta: I was blown away by the statistical evidence that Nebraska - and the US as a whole! - is moving the wrong direction with regards to birth-related outcomes for mothers and babies. Things are getting WORSE for us!

I would also like to note that there are always going to be cases where mother and baby require the care of an obstetrician (I'm praying for one such friend right now!), and Cesarean sections have saved the lives of many who would not have otherwise survived. These cases should be exceptions, though, and it seems that more and more often they are becoming a very frightening norm.


MommyLydia said...

One of the things that needs to be solved though, before this is changed, IMNSHO, is the way mothers cna sue their midwives/obs for anything wrong with the child. I believe many actions doctors take that are "extra" are to prevent being sued for NOT taking them if something is wrong after the child is born.

Where I was in Washington, it was hard to find a doctor (of any sort) that serves pregnant women taking new patients because there were not enough doctors for the numbers of pregnant women. They had left the business/gone to other, less dangerous, practices, etc.

2Shaye ♪♫ said...

"...coincidentally her birth date." Heehee!

I agree with My Boaz's Ruth that medical tort reform is necessary, but I don't believe it needs to be accomplished BEFORE these basic human rights and liberties are restored to birthing women in our state.

Lenetta said...

I don't disagree either, MBR. The truth is, though, that interventions are often a slippery slope. The mother isn't progressing quickly enough, so let's break her water. Then get worried about the risk of infection, so let's start pitocin. Then worry about the health of the baby from artificial contractions that are too hard, so strap a monitor on the mother so she can't move around. Plus they hurt so much the mother wants an epidural. Then since she's numb, she has to lay on her back and try to push out a baby without feeling any contractions and fighting gravity, which leads to an episotimy. OR, it's getting to be dinnertime so let's crank up the pit, but the baby really doesn't react well to the pit so we need to get it out NOW and it's an emergency c/section.

I have also heard of some midwives that quit because they can't afford the malpractice insurance. It's very sad.

Heather said...

AMEN...and again I say, Amen!

I haven't watched the video yet, but I will. I'm so in favor of better education about the birth situation in this country. If you don't ask questions and educate yourself you'll NEVER learn that most of what we are doing is not the right thing. A good friend recently asked me if I thought MDs were changing their ways and I really do not think so. I think more and more women are asking questions which often leads them in different directions.

We used a CNM with little guy. It was a hospital delivery that became more and more medical even as we were VERY clear about our intentions. This baby will be born at a free standing center with a licensed midwife. I'm glad I learned what I did and have tried to share some of my knowledge/resourses with other who are pregnant. Woman DESERVE to know the truth.

OBs are wonderful, in the right circumstances. They save lives because they are trained SURGEONS. They are not needed for the typcial, normal, healthy pregnancy. In fact, they often look for/cause things to happen that shouldn't need to because of their training.

I always wonder what health problems we would all have if we saw cardiac surgeons for our general check ups. Or maybe saw the best neorosurgeons for physicals. I'm guessing they would find a few things to 'fix' because it is what they are trained for.

If only OBs got to see natural birth as part of their training...or if midwives were integrated into our health care...what a different place this would be.