Friday, September 25, 2009

Eating and Drinking and Laboring

I'm a little late in discovering ACOG's press release "granting" women the right to now have fluids during labor. My first thought was:
Oh, thank you, Massa!
...but then I remembered what year it was and began to wonder what year ACOG is functioning in. Not so long before this, ACOG also raised their labor induction guidelines to no earlier than 39 weeks. I wasn't sure if I should be pleased that maybe they have started to practice real evidenced-based care, or upset that it has taken decades to get here.

Anyway, their previous reason for food and drink restriction was operating on the premise that any given woman may need to undergo a C-section, and thus would be at risk for aspiration under anesthesia. However, what, exactly do surgeons do when people present in the emergency room with full guts and they need to go under?

From their release:
"As for the continued restriction on food, the reality is that eating is the last thing most women are going to want to do since nausea and vomiting during labor is quite common."
From my release,

I'm sorry, but one of the FIRST things I wanted to do when my contractions started kicking in, was EAT. In fact, I begged the nurse for food. I couldn't even get crackers. But when I started to hold my breath in resistance, gelatin cubes appeared! And, I was spoon fed!

And yes, I threw up every last bit of it--attributable to the Stadol I had for pain relief; but I did not regret the food one bit. Choice, that's all we're asking for.

Please understand that these policies are based on what's in the best interest of the hospitals and insurance companies--not mothers and babies. If you know what's best for you, is in opposition to hospital policy, utilize peaceful resistance, or, stay out of the hospital.

Women who birth with home birth midwives have been eating and drinking and laboring since forever. What job can you perform while abstaining from food and drink and only dousing your mouth with ice chips. What year are you laboring in? 

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Friday, September 11, 2009

The Today's Show Tries to Bash Midwifery with an Anecdote

Amidst the full swing of politics happening right now in midwifery, do not be surprised by major media outlets continuing to paint us in a negative light. Those who have fought for midwifery recognize this as the same ol' battle.

I would have previously considered the Today's Show rather informative and progressive, until, today:

"A growing number of mothers are choosing to give birth with no drugs and no doctor"
A growing number women no longer consider their bodies a mystery, are educated, no longer are constrained by believing that doctors are omniscient, and are aware of the dangers of pharmaceuticals and unnecessary interventions in a country that has the WORST infant mortality of all industrialized nations.

Spotlight on Ina May's Book

Many medical practitioners in this country could stand to learn a lot from visiting Ina May at the Farm and seeing how she practices. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience, possibly unmatched. She delivers breech and twins.
"Wanted their childbirth experience to be special"
The childbirth experience is special no matter what happens and no matter how things are accomplished. Women choose midwives for quality care; midwives choose their profession to provide quality care for women that cannot be accomplished in the average medical practice.

Spotlight on Ricki Lake and The Business of Being Born

When celebrities take on women's issues like these, they become targets and their cause is made into an issue of being "trendy" to downplay its significance in advancing the rights of women. Since Cara Muhlhahan was featured in BBB, she has become a target as well. I doubt Cara has been practicing for 18 years because it is "trendy."

"The mainstream medical community says..."
And that "mainstream" community is responsible for our country's 1 in 3 rate of C-sections (though some hospitals are averaging 1 in 2)

"some of the medical emergencies that arise cannot be predicted"
And so, is the answer to treat all women as if birth is indeed an emergency? Where has this thinking gotten us? What would be the purpose of emergency professionals and hospital emergency rooms?

"it is impossible to compare the two because hospitals deal with more high risk mothers"
Comparison is difficult, not impossible. If we are to compare life versus death, we are being too simplistic.

This report was completely dramatized for effect. We hardly hear how about how many babies die, or are negatively affected
(physical and mental disabilities) by hospital procedures--medications, c-sections, maternal deaths, etc. This information may be published in the hospital statistics, however, responsibility will be placed on the mother (uncooperative) or happenstance. It exists like this for liability and insurance purposes--not to benefit women and babies.

"I would have 100 c-sections over, if I could just have my child"
If you have a c-section and you are dead, is it worth it? If you have a c-section and your child still doesn't survive, and now you also have complications, is it worth it? If you have a c-section, and your child suffers from extreme complications that are not fatal, is it worth it? These are value question whose answers are unique to those in the situation. Babies die. We need to get off this notion that everyone can be saved because the medical industry uses this against midwifery, highlighting every single incident as the outcome of maternity care out-of the hospital and/or without doctors.

The Today's Show could have presented this story in a more balanced manner (their attempt was pathetic) by citing current research such as: Evidence Based Maternity Care 2008 or New Mothers Speak Out, or Sharp Rise in C-Section Rate Defies Best Evidence and Best Practice to name a few; but instead they chose to use the oldest trick in the book: scare-tactics, to keep women from having a choice in childbirth. Disgusting politics at best.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bienvenido a Miami: Where Pregnant Women are Sold to the Highest Bidder

Since I have finally gotten the attention of the Florida Department of Health, the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, and the Jackson Memorial Hospital Public Health Department, maybe I should write some more on this blog.

Thanks to my twitter fans and the great blogosphere, I learned that a report came out, in May, stating that South Florida's C-section rate has climbed to nearly 50%.

Look at this:

MIAMI-DADEC-Section Vaginal Total C-Sec %
Kendall Regional1,5346462,18070.3%
South Miami2,4831,6624,14559.9%
Mount Sinai9441,0001,94448.6%
North Shore8471,1692,01642.1%
Palmetto General9591,0462,00547.8%
Jackson Memorial2,7862,7385,52450.4%
Jackson North6261,0781,70436.7%
Jackson South5049681,47234.2%
TOTAL: 15,33614,63329,96951.2%

BROWARDC-Section Vaginal Total C-Sec %
Plantation General1,5441,7103,25447.4%
Northwest Medical7451,1101,85540.2%
Holy Cross6255861,21151.6%
Memorial Regional1,7332,4204,15341.7%
Memorial West1,9472,8114,75840.9%
Memorial Miramar1,4131,5792,99247.2%
Broward General1,4792,0713,55041.6%
Coral Springs8371,3772,21437.8%
TOTAL: 10,32313,66423,98743.0%

MONROEC-Section Vaginal Total C-Sec %
Lower Keys19033852835.9%

TOTAL SOUTH FLORIDA 25,84928,63554,48447.4%

So much for Healthy People 2010!

Pregnant women and their supporters should be terrified--but not terrified to the brink of paralysis. Radical activism is needed to turn this situation around.

South Florida and Miami in particular has a large community of midwives. The medical establishment continues to reject them and their supporters even though OBGYN providers have been decreasing in numbers.

Interestingly, nearly one year ago, Miami Dade College shut down the only non-nurse direct entry midwifery program at the undergraduate college level in the United States (see previous posts on this site)*. This program lead to Certified Professional Midwife certification (CPM--which is gaining legal authority nationally). The students in the program were allowed to continue, but those that were accepted for that fall, were left out to dry.

Those prospective students, midwives, and friends rallied and wrote letters to legislators, media, and organizations, garnering international support. However Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padron, and the 8 Board Members only had excuses and weren’t interested in any of the solutions that were offered. Even the fact about the C-section and infant mortality rates being abysmal and the fact that Governor Charlie Crist had signed onto measures to combat this–nothing was offered to the students or to support the program. Not one single glimmer of hope.

And now look.

More interestingly is that Jennie Joseph, owner of The Birth Place in the Winter Garden area of Orlando, FL, has been successfully attending pregnant women for quite some time. And NOW, drum-roll please…a Certified Nurse-Midwife pilot practice in the area has been implemented to copy her results–-which is great because we want results, but no credit is given to awesome CPMs like Jennie. This isn't a special interest, this is a lifetime commitment and part of the uplifting of a community.

The CNM-CPM and medical establishment debate continues….while women and babies are dying.

They know what to do in Florida, they just aren’t doing it. It’s really that simple.

It has been obvious that the medical establishment is not going to simply acquiesce in the face of opposition. They think they are doing great service with pregnant women existing as commodities to feed the machine.

Think about it: So long as there are women who are getting pregnant, who are taught to fear their bodies and who are ignorant of its natural processes, there will be a group of those who claim superior knowledge, to whom we give power and thus render ourselves as objects of gross malfeasance and continuous exploitation and experimentation.

As Sojourner Truth said,

“If women want any rights more than they's got, why don't they just take them, and not be talking about it.”

*Let me distinguish this from SUNY Downstate's non-nurse direct-entry midwifery program at the graduate level, leading to ACNM certification in which Certified Midwives (CM) can only practice in three states

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

In An American Hospital

I was doing a search on Thandie Newton (not realizing that she was the one who once played Dr. Carter's wife on ER several years ago) when I came across the following clip. Watch the first 2 minutes and listen to the references to birth:

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

$11 Million for Nursing

According to the Miami Herald, the Wolfson Foundation donated $11 million to Miami Dade College for nursing to combat the shortage.

$11 million?

$11 million!

$11 million.

Also, according to an op ed article that I read in the same newspaper, the writer accuses the Herald of burying this news within the print edition.

Hmmm. I wonder why they didn't want everyone to know?

I think that it is great!

Why hasn't anyone stepped forward to donate so grandly to midwifery? Women are not going to stop giving birth. Obstetricians aren't increasing in number. Labor and deliver nurses...are only nurses--not practitioners.

Yes, I feel a little slighted.

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The Midwife Debate Lingers On

Sorry folks. I have been gone for awhile because I am working on so many projects--including picking up my life after Miami Dade College dropped me face down on the ground and rolled over me.

The midwifery fight still continues..and I am not just referring to with MDC but also nationally. Apparently, today concludes National Midwifery Week (October 5-11). I'm sorry to have missed it but I was completely unaware until 5 minutes ago.

The problem is that National Midwifery Week really didn't have anything to do with direct-entry midwives.

How do I know this?

Because the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) lumped midwives that are not certified by them, meaning midwives that are not CNMs or CMs, as "other." Please check out this link.

So, I guess CPMs and LMs shouldn't be celebrating...LOL.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Things You Can Do to Help

The following is a list of things that you can do to help us stop the Miami Dade College Direct-Entry Midwifery Program from permanently closing:

Attend the Rally at 10 am, Wednesday, August 27, 2008, at the Wolfson Campus!

Contact the Miami Dade College President:

Eduardo Padron
Office of the President
300 N.E. Second Avenue
Miami, Florida 33132-2297


Contact the Governor of Florida:

Office of Governor Charlie Crist
State of Florida
PL-05 The Capitol
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

Citizen Services Hotline: (850) 488-4441
Fax: (850) 487-0801

Leave a Comment of Support on this site, educate yourself by reading the articles in the sidebar, and stayed tuned on Miami Dade College Midwives.

Sign our petition!

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