MIDWIFERY IN CANADA, THE MESS WE’RE IN
2 months ago
the betrayal of humanity's greatest gift--birth--by the greed of U.S. corporations. Hospitals, insurance companies and other members of the healthcare industry have all pushed aside the best care of our infants and mothers to play the power game of raking in huge profits.
His wife pregnant, first-time filmmaker Steve Buonaugurio set out to create a film that will expose the underside of the U.S. childbirth industry and help end its neglectful exploitation of pregnancy and birth with help from producers Betsy Chasse and Straw Weisman.
Pregnant in America is the controversial story of life's greatest miracle in the hands of a nation's most powerful interests.
Since they focus solely on non-medical care, doulas can spend their energy comforting and encouraging the mother and her family and helping them navigate the slew of questions and decisions that often need to be addressed during labor and delivery. “When I’m working with parents as a doula I want my role to be uncomplicated by the clinical aspects of birth,” says Young. “I’m there to meet their emotional needs, physical comfort needs, to help them with information.”
Births in New York’s hospitals, where pediatricians are able to check babies immediately for potentially dangerous conditions, it should be noted, still vastly outnumber those in its homes — in 2006 home births accounted for only one-half of 1 percent of the city’s 125,506 reported births.
But local midwives say they have been swamped with calls and requests in recent months, in some cases increasing their workload from two, three or four deliveries a month to as many as 10. (New York health department statistics for this year will not be available until 2010.) Several certified nurse midwives who have home-birth-only practices said they had gotten so many more requests in recent months that they have begun referring pregnant women to midwives in Rockland County, Long Island and New Jersey.
The risk of death from a caesarean section is estimated at fewer than 1 in 2,500, according to information on the hospital's website.
That is significantly more than the roughly 1-in-10,000 risk of death during a vaginal birth.
Tune In: Freebirthing
A growing movement of women in the US and in the UK are defying medical advice and choosing to give birth with no drugs, no midwife and absolutely no medical support. Supporters claim it's how having a baby was always meant to be. Doctors say this new 'freebirthing' craze carries great risks.
It's a problem seen throughout health care, but it might be of particular concern when the patient is a healthy pregnant woman: the overuse of tests and potentially risky procedures that, at best, might benefit only a limited number of patients, and the underuse of proven techniques with few or no known drawbacks.
My name is Zach Marion and I work at Video Arts Studios in Fargo, ND. We produced the series House of Babies for the Discovery Health Network. Under the guidance of master midwife, Sheri Daniels, at the Miami Maternity Center, the show follows couples during their pregnancy and ends with the delivery of their baby. It was very instrumental in raising awareness about non-clinical birthing practices on a national level.
Recently we have been approached to create a one-hour special on unique birthing practices worldwide. We are looking for families that would like to share their story on camera from pregnancy to delivery. Ideal candidates are expecting mothers due in and around early January that are planning to give birth outside of a clinic or birth center. This includes home births and beyond. The point of the show is to raise awareness about the alternative birthing options in the U.S. with the help of a midwife. Hopefully, the special creates a healthy dialogue among midwives, doctors, to-be parents, and the general public. Stories that are of particular interest are those that include interesting traditions during pregnancy and unique backdrops during delivery. For example, a Hindu family that wants to deliver outside or a family of hippies that are pursuing a home birth in a tent.
As you can imagine, access is usually the greatest struggle. Our presence at the birth goes nearly unnoticed. This unobtrusive nature was learned through experience gained while producing 26 episodes of House of Babies.
Do any clients spring to mind that might want to be a part of this project? Any and all contact leads are much appreciated. Feel free to contact me by phone with inquiries or information. I am available during weekdays between 8 and 5 CST. Thank you for your time.
Video Arts Studios
1440 4th Avenue North
Fargo, ND 58102
Women who take placenta capsules report fewer emotional issues, have more energy and tend to enjoy a faster, more pleasant postpartum recovery.
This is a safe place where you can feel free to ask questions you would like to have answered. Having a baby is a major emotional and physical adjustment. It’s normal to wonder:
“Is It Just the Blues?
“Am I the only one who feels this way?”
“What can I do to help my daughter, friend, niece, wife?”
This is a place where Moms, family members, support people for moms, or professionals can find some answers.
While the CDC recently reported that more moms than ever give breastfeeding a try, a new national study shows most moms do not stick with it as long as they should.
Although 77 percent of moms nationally start to breastfeed, the new Brigham Young University study found that only 36 percent of babies are breastfed through six months, well short of the federal government’s goal to hit 50 percent by 2010. The American Association of Pediatricians recommends continued breastfeeding through the first year.
For most pregnant women, a key part of their birth plan involves how they'll get to the hospital. But more and more moms-to-be are skipping that step and planning to deliver at home. Old-school birthing is back in style, with well-read women forsaking obstetricians for midwives and epidurals for warm baths. These women want to give birth in their own bed or tub, with none of the medical interventions that have become staples of modern childbirth, like contraction-inducing medication and C-sections, which now serve as the grand finale in nearly a third of U.S. births.
There was celebration Tuesday afternoon at a Columbia birth center after the Missouri Supreme Court upheld a 2007 state law that legalizes midwifery without fear of potential criminal charges.
"We're all still kind of like goofy around here," Ivy White, a certified midwife and executive director of the Columbia Birth Center, said in a mid-afternoon phone interview to a chorus of cheers and claps in the background. "Everybody's jumping up and down, screaming, and high-fiving."
The cause for her jubilation was a 5-2 state Supreme Court decision earlier Tuesday to reinstate a 2007 law making certified midwifery legal without the presence of a physician. The issue has undergone more than 25 years of debate and met with opposition from groups such as the Missouri State Medical Association. A Cole County Circuit Court had ruled against the law, saying its passage in an unrelated health insurance bill was unconstitutional.
"We've had setback after setback, and it's finally nice to have something go in our favor," said Dr. Elizabeth Allemann, medical director of the Columbia Community Birth Center. Allemann has been involved with the midwifery issue since 1990 and was a defendant in the suit ruled on Tuesday by the Supreme Court.
White said the Columbia birthing center is home to two of the 10 certified professional midwives in Missouri and hopes to be able to provide more options for mothers-to-be should the decision withstand a 10-day period before becoming law.
June 18, 2008
Dear BOBB Friends and Supporters:
We wanted to make sure you are all aware of the news story that has exploded over the last 24 hours regarding the recent AMA Resolution against homebirth and Ricki's response to being named in it.
In February of this year, one month after the premiere of BOBB, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reiterated its long-standing opposition to home births. In an obtuse reference to The Business of Being Born, ACOG stated, "Childbirth decisions should not be dictated or influenced by what's fashionable, trendy, or the latest cause célèbre." If that wasn't enough, ACOG, this past weekend, introduced a resolution to the American Medical Association (AMA) at their annual meeting. The resolution commits the AMA to "develop model legislation in support of the concept that the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period is in the hospital...". The reasoning for this resolution begins, "Whereas, There has been much attention in the media by celebrities having home deliveries, with recent Today Show headings such as "Ricki Lake takes on baby birthing industry: Actress and former talk show host shares her at-home delivery in new film...". (Resolution 205, click here to read).
Since when did Ricki become an evidence-based data point? What are they so afraid of?
Just last week, Medical News Today reports that "about 8.2% of infants born in the US in 2005 had low birth weights, the highest percentage since 1968." US infant mortality rates continue to rank us below 30 other countries, 22% of pregnancies are induced, and most worrisome of all, in the last 4 years, the maternal mortality rate has risen above 10 per 100,000 for the first time since 1977. To us, these seem like the troubling trends, not home birth.
News outlets including the AP quickly picked up this story yesterday as it hit TMZ, E! USA Today, Daily News, FOX.
Ricki will be featured on Good Morning America this Saturday discussing the controversy. (If you Google "Ricki Lake, AMA" you will see the bloggers are all over this!)
Filmmakers Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake teamed up with journalist and Pushed author Jennifer Block to pen the response (following at the end of this email) for the Huffington Post (click here to read).
Late yesterday, the AMA changed the final wording on resolution 205 to omit the mention of Ricki. (Hmmm...) The AMA says that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) drafted the initial statement so any issues should be taken up directly with them.
Stay tuned for more news to come...
The BOBB Team
DOCS TO WOMEN: PAY NO ATTENTION TO RICKI LAKE'S HOME BIRTH
Ladies, the physicians of America have issued their decree: they don't want you having your babies at home with midwives.
We can't imagine why not. Study upon study have shown that planning a home birth with a trained midwife is a great choice if you want to avoid unnecessary medical intervention. Midwives are experts in supporting the physiological birth process: monitoring you and your baby during labor, helping you into positions that help labor progress, protecting your pelvic parts from damage while you push, and "catching" the baby from the position that's most effective and comfortable for you-hands and knees, squatting, even standing-not the position most comfortable for her.
When healthy women are supported this way, 95% give birth vaginally, with hardly any intervention.
And yet, the American Medical Association doesn't see the point. Yesterday it adopted a policy written by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists against "home deliveries" and in support of legislation "that helps ensure safe deliveries and healthy babies by acknowledging that the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period is in the hospital" or accredited birth center.
"There ought to be a law!" cry the doctors.
The trouble is, they have no evidence to back up their safety claims. In fact, the largest and most rigorous study of home birth internationally to date found that among 5,000 healthy, "low-risk" women, babies were born just as safely at home under a midwife's care as in the hospital. And not only that, the study, like many before it, found that the women actually fared better at home, with far fewer interventions like labor induction, cesarean section, and episiotomy (taking scissors to the vagina, a practice that according to the research should be obsolete but is still performed on one-third of women who give birth vaginally).
Which is why the American Public Health Association supports midwife-attended home birth. The British OB/GYNs have read the research, too, and have this to say: "There is no reason why home birth should not be offered to women at low risk of complications... it may confer considerable benefits for them and their families. There is ample evidence showing that labouring at home increases a woman's likelihood of a birth that is both satisfying and safe"
The other trouble with the American MDs is that they seem to have lost all respect for women's civil rights, indeed for the U.S. Constitution - the right to privacy, to bodily integrity, and the right of every adult to determine her own health care. The "father knows best" legislation they are promoting could indeed be used to criminally prosecute women who choose home birth, say, by equating it with child abuse.
Research evidence be damned, the doctors want to mandate you to go to the hospital. They don't want you to have a choice.
We think they're spooked. The cesarean rate is rising, celebrities are publicizing their home births (the initial wording of the AMA resolution actually took aim at Ricki for publicizing her home birth on the Today Show!), people are reading Pushed and watching The Business of Being Born, and there's a nationwide legislative "push" to license certified professional midwives in all states (The AMA is against that, too, by the way).
The docs are on the defensive.
After all, birth is big business-it's in fact the most common reason for a woman to be admitted to the hospital. And if more women start giving birth outside of it, who will get paid? Not doctors and not hospitals.
"The AMA supports a woman's right to make an informed decision regarding her delivery and to choose her health care provider," the group said in a statement. But if it really supported women's birth choices it wouldn't adopt a policy condemning home birth and midwives.
Because if U.S. women are to have real birth choices, everybody needs to be working together to provide them, not engaging in turf wars at their expense.
By Ricki Lake, Abby Epstein and Jennifer Block for The Huffington Post
Just in time for Father’s Day, at its annual meeting last
weekend, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a resolution to introduce legislation
outlawing home birth, and potentially making criminals of the mothers who choose home birth with the
help of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) for their families.
“It’s unclear what penalties the AMA will seek to impose on women who choose to give birth at home,
either for religious, cultural or financial reasons—or just because they didn’t make it to the hospital in
time,” said Susan Jenkins, Legal Counsel for The Big Push for Midwives 2008 campaign. “What we do
know, however, is that any state that enacts such a law will immediately find itself in court, since a law
dictating where a woman must give birth would be a clear violation of fundamental rights to privacy and
other freedoms currently protected by the U.S. Constitution.”
Breast-feeding gives all infants numerous health advantages compared to baby formula, but in at least one respect girls get a greater benefit from breast milk than boys, researchers said on Monday.
By the age of 6, most children have been injected with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation of 48 doses of 14 different vaccines, not including optional immunizations. With that number of shots, parents are taking a critical-thinking approach to vaccinations and making themselves aware of the pros and the cons.
When the Golden Rule Insurance Company rejected her application for health coverage last year, Peggy Robertson was mystified.
“It made no sense,” said Ms. Robertson, 39, who lives in Centennial, Colo. “I’m in perfect health.”
She was turned down because she had given birth by Caesarean section. Having the operation once increases the odds that it will be performed again, and if she became pregnant and needed another Caesarean, Golden Rule did not want to pay for it. A letter from the company explained that if she had been sterilized after the Caesarean, or if she were over 40 and had given birth two or more years before applying, she might have qualified.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today proposed major revisions to the physician labeling for prescription drugs (including biological products) to provide better information about the effects of medicines used during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
The proposed changes to prescription drug labeling would give health care professionals more comprehensive information for making prescribing decisions and for counseling women who are pregnant, breast-feeding, or of child-bearing age about using prescription medications.
All Dads to be are nervous or at least skeptical when their wife/partner first mentions the idea of having a home birth. This is nothing to be ashamed of – us guys are conditioned by a life times constant bombardment that Doctors know best and that it is our patriarchy duty to always make safe choices. That's why when my wife Bel first brought up the idea for the birth of our second Daughter my first train of thought was about risk. Images of John Hurt's chest cracking open and a tiny, evil alien being screeching it's bloody arrival to the universe ran through my mind. I looked up at the walls of our apartment and wondered whether an arterial spray of blood could ever be washed out of that particular shade of off white. Ten minutes googling dissolved my misconception that home birth is reckless (with Bel peering over my shoulder and directing me to websites she'd already read).
FDA is warning consumers not to use or purchase Mommy's Bliss Nipple Cream, marketed by MOM Enterprises, Inc., because the product contains potentially harmful ingredients that may cause respiratory distress or vomiting and diarrhea in infants. The product is promoted to nursing mothers to help soothe and heal dry or cracked nipples. Product labeling states that there is no need for mothers to remove the cream prior to nursing. However, the ingredients contained in the product may be harmful to nursing infants.
In conjunction with the Olympics next August, WBW 2008 calls for greater support for mothers in achieving the gold standard of infant feeding: breastfeeding exclusively for six months, and providing appropriate complementary foods with continued breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond.
HARRISBURG - In a case that touched on whether women have the right to give birth where and with whom they want, a Commonwealth Court panel of judges ruled yesterday that a Lancaster County midwife could resume her work delivering babies for the Amish.
Diane Goslin, 50, had been under a cease-and-desist order from the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine, which had charged her with practicing medicine and midwifery without a license.
But the Commonwealth Court panel, in a 5-2 decision, nixed that order yesterday.
A doula is a person, usually a woman, who is professionally trained to assist a woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born.
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