Archive for August, 2008

Brits Pioneer Kinder, Gentler Cesarean

Cesarean deliveries, even planned ones, can be traumatic for mother and baby: the woman is unable to feel or see the delivery, the baby doesn’t emerge slowly with time and uterine contractions to prime the lungs for breathing air; the cord is cut immediately and mother and baby separated, often for hours. British doctors and midwives are testing a “natural” cesarean technique that allows the mother and her partner to view part of the delivery and slows the birth process so that the baby emerges with the help of the uterine contractions, just as it would vaginally. “The baby’s shoulders are eased out ‘and the baby then frequently delivers his/her own arms in an expansive gesture,’” Nicholas M. Fisk , an Australian researcher, told Reuters. The baby is then placed on the mother’s chest while the surgery is completed.  Not exactly “natural,” but a step forward.

ACOG responds to heartfelt, well-cited letter with misinformation

On June 23, Amber Craig wrote a long, heartfelt, cogent letter to the president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggesting a reversal of the group’s restrictive policies on vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), which have lead hundreds of hospitals and legions of providers to “ban” women who’ve had previous cesareans from giving birth vaginally. ACOG wrote back with statistics and claims that are patently inaccurate. Craig wrote back again correcting the group’s claims with still more citations from the medical literature. If you’re following “VBACtivism” or ACOG’s recent attack on home birth, these letters are a must-read. They’re posted here.