Science and Sensibility-Choice of Birth Place in the US.

The title says it all. Today, Medscape released a paper ‘Science and Sensibility’ outlining the recent studies related to the safety of home birth vs. hospital birth while discussing the barriers that home birth practitioners, and women who want home births are facing.

Recently, women are choosing or are interested in home births at a greater rate than in the past several decades. The paper discusses ‘planned home birth’, which refers “to the care of selected pregnant women by qualified practitioners within a system that provides for hospitalization when necessary.”

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Separation of Church and Birth Control?

The Roman Catholic Church prohibits sterilization. Many women, particularly those who have just had a baby, choose sterilization (also known as a tubal ligation) as a permanent form of birth control after they have decided not to have more children. This procedure is also very commonly performed immediately after a c-section (which accounts for 30% of all births these days) when a woman chooses it.

Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in Southeastern Arizona has recently partnered with Carondelet Health Network, a Catholic not-for-profit health care system that follows the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore, as a condition of the partnership, the hospital will stop performing sterilization procedures. The CEO of Sierra Vista insists that ‘we are not taking away anyone’s rights,” and states that these procedures can be done in a doctor’s office.

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Wyoming Taking First Step Toward CPM’s

Today it was announced that Wyoming is seriously considering passing a bill that would allow midwives to legally practice in the state.

A Virginia attorney, Andrew Emrich who moved to Wyoming was dismayed not to have the option of a home birth midwife when his wife became pregnant with their fifth child back in 2005. It was then he learned that ‘midwifery is illegal in Wyoming’.

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Empathy as a Science Project

Today, I came across this article written by Mary Gordon, author of “The Roots of Empathy”. She has dedicated her life to trying to promote global empathy- “the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and feel what they feel.” Her work came out of a recognition that our world doesn’t practice empathy evidenced by allowing genocides, wars, marginalization of people who are ‘different’ and tolerance of poverty. Her argument is that people must experience empathy to know how to practice it, and there is no better place to start than with children.

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A Nice Article About Birthing Centers

This expose’ on new birthing center in the Twin Cities highlights all the great things that a birthing center can bring to a community.

In Minnesota, mothers have been increasingly turning to home births as an alternative to hospitals. Yet there are a contingent of pregnant women who like the ‘happy medium’ that birthing centers provide. Mom’s are still leaving home to be taken care of, but enjoy the benefits of midwifery care in a setting that is not over-medicalized, and is more equipped to deal with minor medical issues. In addition this new center, another Minneapolis birthing center is scheduled to open next month, and yet another is in the works.

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Organic Baby on a Budget.

I could have written this book. But I didn’t. ECO-nomical Baby Guide, Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet was written by Joy Hatch and Rebecca Kelley and is to be a guide on green living with baby-on a budget.

It’s a great idea although people who really don’t have money are probably already doing many of the things listed in this book-no offense Joy and Rebecca.

When my (then) boyfriend and I got pregnant back in 1996, we had no money at all. We were pretty much unemployed, and then underemployed. I was on WIC, and got a free car seat out of deal too. Our families did throw us some modest baby showers, but because the news of a baby out-off-wedlock was not exactly welcome, they were not large affairs. When we did marry (when our child was 9 months old) our first tax return showed that we made $10,500 in ’96-jointly.

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“Fathers of Obstetrics” Murderers?!

Woah! I’m going to have to create a new category called “bizarre, but believable”.

The just came out with a paper saying that the ‘fathers of obstetrics’, William Hunter and William Smellie were actually serial murders. Until now, history describes them as anatomists who gave us the first ‘scientific’ basis for obstetrics and midwifery. They lived over 250 years ago and are still highly regarded as pioneers in the field of obstetrics. Smellie designed and developed forceps and other obstetrical instruments and they ‘wrote the book’ on anatomy of childbirth.

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Can I eat now?

Back in the 1940’s a man named Mendelson found that there was an increased risk of aspirating food or stomach acid during general anesthesia if ones stomach had food or drink in it at the time of said anesthesia. I’m not sure about today, but back when I graduated from nursing school (2001) no eating was allowed if a person was about to have surgery that required anesthesia. It is a practice that was always particularly difficult for me to agree with, especially with laboring women. Labor is hard work and women need nourishment during the process. Low blood sugar makes the whole experience much more difficult. To me it seems a no-brainer. However, the minute a fetal-monitor strip started looking bad (which could mean a c-section in your future) we were instructed to discourage the woman from eating or drinking anything. In fact, there were many nurses who didn’t want any laboring woman to eat or drink. If a laboring woman got one of these nurses, and say they labored for 12 hours and then had a c-section due to complications, it would sometimes be nearly 20 hours before they ate a thing. I always thought that something was wrong. It defied logic. Especially since a body needs nutrients-and lots of them-to heal from surgery.

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California? Why Say No to Midwives?

In California, what is supposed to be among the most ‘progressive’ of our 50 states, is banning certified nurse-midwives at at Camarillo Hospital– driven ‘by concerns of patient safety’. WHAT?

I guess they haven’t read the studies, or paid any attention to their own statistics. They cite the reason as ‘ doctors worry most about midwives who specialize in home births and rely on hospitals for backup when complications arise.’ But meanwhile, the midwives in question only do hospital birth. The change leaves only two hospitals in the county, St. John’s in Oxnard and Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, where midwives deliver babies.

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