“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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Get Me Out!- Birth History Teaches Lessons for the Present

I think I have to get this book. It’s called Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank By Randi Hutter Epstein. The author was recently interviewed on “Fresh Air” from NPR and I had a chance today to read the excerpt (linked above) and listen to the interview. Although her bit about Eve was a little too matter of fact for me (did that really happen- the whole rib, and apple thing?) it seems like an interesting and intriguing book worth a read for all interested in birth. We need to know the history because if we don’t know where we’ve been, then we don’t know where we’re going-right?

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Bed Rest Court-Ordered?

Thank goodness for the ACLU. They have taken on the case of Samantha Burton, who at 25 weeks started experiencing premature labor and was told by her doctor to remain on bed rest for the rest of her pregnancy. When she explained that she had two toddlers at home and would unlikely be able to achieve complete bed rest and did not want to stay in the hospital, she was court ordered by the hospital to remain on bed rest to “preserve the life and health of [her] unborn child.” Sadly, she miscarried three days later.

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Breastfeeding Under Fire? Still?

Come on already.

A European “pregnancy expert” has come out today saying that breast milk is no better than formula. I thought this debate died in 1974 or so. Apparently not.

His argument is that although breast-fed babies are slightly heavier than formula fed babies, it wasn’t the milk that made the difference. He says it’s the pregnancy. He says that a healthy placenta lowers the level of testosterone in the womb, and testosterone is linked to a women’s ability to produce milk and to breastfeed. So if a woman has a less than perfect placenta, she will produce more testosterone which will in turn lower her milk production. It has something to do with the milk gland production.

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Teen Pregnancy is Glamorous, a New Lifetime TV Movie

On January 3rd, Lifetime Channel announced its plans to air a TV movie called “The Pregnancy Pact”, based on a ‘true’ story about The 18 Gloucester, Mass teens who in 2008 supposedly made a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together. (This will air on January 23rd)

The ‘true’ about the story is questionable. As the story goes, there were 18 girls between the ages of 14-16 who became pregnant in the same year and seemed happy about it. Time magazine, who broke the story said they had created a pact. According to the article, these teens perceived that there was no other opportunity for their future other than motherhood and teen mothers were ‘overly encouraged’ to bring their babies to school. It was actually cool to be pregnant because ‘you got extra attention and you will get all that unconditional love from your baby and stuff’.

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Midwives and Passports in South Texas

Back in the 1990’s  75 midwives in the South Texas area were convicted of filing false birth certificates claiming to have delivered babies in the United States that were actually born elsewhere-mostly in Mexico.  This was one way for babies to gain US citizenship without the mothers risking their lives to cross the border to gain citizenship for their babies. I know it was illegal, but if only women ran the world……

For those of you who don’t know this, it is pretty common practice for pregnant women to enter into the US to deliver their babies so they can gain US Citizenship. (I am looking for statistics on this and not having an easy time finding them.) It’s an issue of contention for people against illegal immigration.

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Birth- Web 2.0 Style

Wow!  Did you hear this?  A 23 year old woman from Minnesota broadcasted her labor and delivery on the internet. Thousands of people signed up to watch the 7 hour labor.  She even ‘chatted’ with many of the viewers until things got too intense!  Oh, and this was a midwife assisted birth!  YAY!   This is believed to be a first.  It’s so hard to believe that just 40 years ago, the dad was typically not allowed in the room during a hospital birth, and now this……amazing.  Here’s the recap– in her own words.

Bad Reporting on Prime Time TV!

The Today Show aired this video, badly named “The Perils of Home Birth” on September 11th 2009. Wondering how much they were paid by the ACOG (American College of Obstretricians and Gynecologists)?

Even though the ‘special investigation’ concluded what many studies have shown….that home birth or birth with a midwife is as safe, or safer than hospital birth, the slant of the story was hideously skewed and the main interviewees were a grieving family who lost their daughter to cord compression after a particularly arduous labor.  My favorite line of the whole ‘report’: “Homebirth had become almost the equivalent of a spa treatment for women, that it was this sort of hedonistic concept of birthing.”

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