Friday, July 25, 2008


Everyone and their brother should read this book... and their mother, sister, father, husband, friend... well, everyone!
I'm not exaggerating at all.
This book is obviously particularly pertinent if you plan on ever having a baby or perhaps plan on knowing someone who will have a baby.
What's shocking about the information in this well written and researched book is that so many (I would argue 99%) of people take what the medical community says as truth never questioning them.
This is sad.
I have had two wonderful births.
I wish I knew then what I know now.
I can't ever go back a re-do my births- and in comparison to most I had amazing births!- but if I can help anyone else start a little further along on the road to informed consent BEFORE entering the dizzying world of maternity care then it's been worth the ride so far.
What adds to my concern around these issues is the fact that even women who are actively seeking information still often end up under the knife.
At a recent playgroup that is geared towards Mothering parents, a self selected natural living type of parent- 40% of us had had cesareans!
That shocks me.
These are women who are typically proactive in their maternity care and very pro natural everything- and yet 40% had c-sections!
As with all discussions about maternity care and the dismal state it is in in our country I feel compelled to insert a disclaimer reassuring all that yes- c-sections have their place and thank goodness they are available for those that truly need them- but 40%?!?!
40% of American women are not somehow unable to birth children naturally.
That's impossible.
Our species would die out.
It makes absolutely no sense.
And it's not just c-sections.
It's routine fetal monitoring, the flat on your back position, the routine IV, the expectation that you WILL need some sort of pain killer... the list goes on and on.
Never mind the interventions that immediately follow births across the country performed on mother and baby with little to no information given to parents describing the risks and benefits.
The fact that the majority of births are attended by ob's in this country is frightening.
Ob's are surgeons.
They perform surgery.
And they are very good at it.
In a good way (I'm not trying to be facetious).
In light of the fact that they are surgeons they should not be asked to administer to a woman in labor.
Labor is generally a long process that is on the mother's and baby's timetable.
Unfortunately doctors have a timetable too and two don't always mesh.
Being in the care of an ob when experiencing a normal pregnancy is scary.
I'm not exaggerating.
It frightens me.
The idea of seeing an ob for a normal pregnancy.
And yet the majority of women in this country see obs.
And what's more frightening- the sensible alternative- which should in fact be the norm- not the alternative- the midwife- is often illegal!
I should stop.
I could go on for days.
But the book has already been written.
Read it.
If you need me to buy it for you- I will.
Better yet, borrow it from your library.
I did.
Well- I borrowed it from my library to be honest- but yours will hopefully have a copy also.
It was so good.
I bought it.
So if you need a copy- I have one.
Read it.


jo! said...

I'm excited that you found my australia blog, but I'm not sure who you are. I'm trying to think of friends "irl" who have little kids. Mind helping me out?

Hil said...

Great post! I just finished reading this book a couple of weeks ago and I feel the SAME way!!!! (of course you already knew that...)