News about birth...
First, I simply must say, since I've so many times posted my frustrations about birth, that I recently attended a really great birth. The mom and the dad worked SO well together...it was one of those situations where, as a doula, at times I felt like I was intruding on a very private moment. But they wanted me there.
Mom worked SO well. Then she hit that classic "I can't do this anymore, I just want an epidural!" moment. I suspected transition because her water had just spontaneously ruptured, but didn't say that because she had been 5 cms barely an hour before. She had been able to be easily disuaded from an epidural an hour earlier, and I could see that wasn't happening at this point. So I did my "good doula" job, and started making suggestions to propell the nurses along in doing what they needed to do to get her ready for an epidural--suspecting all the while that it wasn't going to happen. But you know what needs to happen...getting that all important IV put in and running the bolus of fluids to prevent a drop in BP as a side effect of the epidural... Except that research shows that the bolus of fluids does NOTHING to prevent the drop in BP...but hey...
And what do you know, she was in transition. A few contractions later and I could hear it just as the nurse returned to the Jacuzzi room with the tray of stuff for putting in the IV--she was ready to push! It does amaze me sometimes how hospital staff don't know that sound, and they need to do a vaginal exam to verify. Or maybe they do know it, and like me, they aren't willing to say anything because if they are wrong it will be upsetting to the mom... I knew what they were going to find--baby's head was "right there!" Mom pushed for barely 15 minutes before holding her precious little girl in her arms.
Was really hysterical when a nurse--not the fabulous nurse who had been assigned to mom for her labor, but another of the myriad of hospital staff that showed up in the room for the "precipitous" birth--tried to convince her that she should lay down on her side to push to "utilize gravity." "What exactly about this position doesn't utilize gravity?" shot back the not-so-patient-at-that-moment mother. She was kneeling on the bed with her bum on her feet, back to the Dr, leaning slightly forward. Not exactly the most "OB friendly" position, but it was working for her. Nurse made up some cockamamy explaination about how the tailbone was UNDER the baby with the end of it running nearly parallel to the floor. Wished I had a model pelvis with me at that moment to show the nurse how it was currently oriented, and how the end of the tailbone was actually pointing straight down to the floor. Anyway...mom stayed where she was at and kept pushing.
I really do find it funny though...when mom is in a non-standard position that is really working, she is often encouraged by the hospital staff to switch to a "more productive" position--that is, one that is more conducive to the medical procedures they want to do. But if mom is in one of those "more conducive" positions, she is told how she is making great progress and should keep using this position, this is a fabulous position--even if she pushes for an hour in that position and doesn't make ANY change to the baby's station.
ANYWAY...this post is about Birth in the news...
National Public Radio did an interview this week with Tina Cassidy, the author of the new book "Birth: the suprising historyof how we are born." Among the many things discussed: baby'srotation, Dr. Bradley's contribution, midwifery and natural birth today. Definitely worth checking out.
Also in the news, the long awaited report on the 2nd "Listening to Mothers Survey" have been released. The news is not surprising to folks who advocate natural childbirth. They showed that no, women are not selecting cesarean with no medical cause in great numbers, despite recent media reports that attempt to blame the rapidly rising cesarean rate on "maternal request" cesareans. They also found that 4 out of 5 women who birth via cesarean reported pain at the site of their incision 2 months after the birth, and twice as many women who birthed via cesarean felt their post-operative pain interferred with daily life than did mothers who birthed vaginally. The survey further found a rather high use of interventions even in vaginal birth, including a 56% urinary catheter rate, 34% induction rate (35% of those for non-medical reasons), and 47% Pitocin useage rate.
This survey is definitely worth looking at if you are interested in birth information.