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.