Archive for January, 2009

C-sections done too early, Infants harmed, Mothers blamed

Most of us learn the word “elective” in high school, when we find ourselves with the newfound freedom to take a course like AP music theory, or advanced sculpture, or yoga. Elective implies freely chosen, life-enhancing. Laser eye surgery is elective. Tattoos are elective. But the vast majority of so-called “elective” cesarean sections are not, and it is inappropriate and disingenuous to call them so in the medical literature, as did a recent study… (Read the the entire commentary at RH Reality Check.)

Severe Complications on the Rise With C-sections

Just a week after we learn that babies are suffering from C-sections performed too early — and a large proportion are — another new study finds that serious birth complications are on the rise in U.S. mothers. Nearly twice as many women needed blood transfusions in 2004-05 versus 1998-99, and there were 50% more pulmonary embolisms — life-threatening blood clots that are a direct complication of surgery. There were also more women in respiratory distress and kidney failure following childbirth in the latter group. Researchers made clear that this trend is not related to mothers skewing older in recent years, but rather the rising rate of cesarean birth, which has increased from 21% in 1996 to 31% in 2006. “It was just amazing the consistency,” study coauthor and obstetrician Susan Meikle told the Chicago Tribune, “from vaginal delivery, where the rates [of complications] were lowest, to repeat Caesareans, where we saw an increase, to primary Caesarean delivery, where the increases were the highest.” The overall risk of severe morbidity rose from 0.64% to 0.81%. With 4 million+ births per year, that’s a lot of sick mothers. This is yet more evidence that preventing unnecessary cesareans should be high up on the healthcare agenda.

What to Expect…When Women Want Better Birth Guides?

You know that pregnancy guide, the one that practically has its own aisle in the big bookstores? The one that’s been on the New York Times best seller list for-ever (391 weeks)?

Well, it’s off! The Times Book Review wonders if the birth rate is falling along with the economy, but this author wonders if women aren’t skipping past the What To Expect display and buying books that give them more info and less of a talking to, books like… Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (Ina May Gaskin), The Big Book of Birth (Erica Lyon), The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth (Sheila Kitzinger), Birthing From Within (Pam England), From the Hips (Rebecca Odes and Ceridwen Morris), Our Bodies Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth, and maybe even Pushed?

  • Miami Birth Center Treated Like Bioterrorist Cell

    courtesy Birthingfromwithin.comWoah, Florida dept. of health officials really need a childbirth ed. class. Twenty — yes, 20 — state and federal law enforcement and government agents RAIDED the Miami Maternity Center on December 24, Christmas Eve, based on allegations that the center was baking their clients’ placentas together in a single batch and grinding them up into pills for distribution. The midwives deny any wrongdoing. ”They charged in here as if I were making crack cocaine,” said one midwife. Or maybe a witch’s brew…. Read more about it in the Miami Herald.