While this author has been busy traveling and speaking (see the “Tour” schedule here), the birth blogosphere has been putting out some great material worth directing your attention to. First, check out Tina Cassidy’s VBAC chronicles. Bostonian and author of Birth: A Surprising History of How We Are Born, Cassidy gave birth to her first baby by unplanned cesarean four years ago. When she became pregnant again last year, she started investigating her options and, like many women, found little support for a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) at local hospitals and even birth centers. So she decided to find a midwife and order a birth tub. Read all about her “HBAC” here (start with “Installment #1″ for the full narrative).
New York women, you’ll especially be interested in this recent post on the NYC Moms blog about one woman’s dissatisfaction with her birth experience at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital. This mom wanted a normal, drug-free labor, as she’d had with her first baby. But, she writes, “I don’t judge anyone who has had or wants an epidural now that I have had one for my second child. I understand why people get them. We live in a culture of fear (of pain, consequences, failure) and instant gratification and an era of a disproportionate sense of entitlement. Mostly, however, I blame the environment one labors in.” The blog is titled, “Epidurals Are For Tolerating the Hospital, Labor Is The Easy Part.”
How would you rate your birth environment? If you gave birth in NYC in the past three years, you can fill out the online Birth Survey. It’s a new initiative, in pilot stage, of the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS); the Survey hopes to go national next year and build a database of feedback and ratings on providers and hospitals across the country–think of it as a Zagat’s of maternity care. It’s part of a larger movement toward “transparency in health care.”
Finally, a little gossip: the British celebrity site Fametastic reports that Minnie Driver, due to give birth in late summer, is planning a home water birth.