Border Patrol agents are learning how to "deliver" babies that might be born in the middle of nowhere. A San Diego hospital (the one with the highest induction, epidural and cesarean rate) is giving them a three-week course (8 hours a day? 5 days a week?). They are practicing on doll babies, but will also be observing births (or participating, it isn't clear) in L&D.
How in the heck can a hospital teach normal birth - or even normal birth with minor complications during birth - when nearly all of the women they deal with are drugged in one way or another? How realistic is it going to be to watch as woman after woman is wheeled into the operating room for a baffling array of reasons from "because I want the baby born now" to iatrogenic disasters? Don't you all think this type of training (and I use the term loosely) is going to scare the bejeebers out of these people?
Why didn't the supervisors consider the plethora of Licensed Midwives in the San Diego area? There are at least 15 to choose from; 20+ are Licensed, but not all live in San Diego or are actively working as midwives.
I would think a Licensed Midwife would much better be able to demonstrate normal birth without medications and medical paralysis. Or, are the agents being schooled in giving desert epidurals, too?
And what the heck is taking three weeks?!?
1. Keep your hands off the woman and baby
2. Watch for a cord and remove it if necessary
3. Cut the cord if it hampers the baby's decent
4. If the cord comes before baby, put mom's ass high in the air and her face on the floor of the car/truck and race to the hospital for a cesarean.
5. Don't pull on anything! Cord, head, hand, vagina included
6. If the head comes and the body doesn't, change the mom's position to a lunge (even lunge one way and then the other) - if that doesn't work, flat on her back, knees in her ears, and supra-pubic pressure should dislodge the baby's shoulder from behind the pubic bone.
7. Do not try to "deliver" the placenta! Just let it come when it is ready.
8. If there is bleeding before the placenta, have mom stand to see if placenta is ready to be born; if it doesn't come, do nipple stimulation (put the baby to the breast) to make a contraction to encourage its birth.
9. If there is bleeding after the placenta is born, massage the uterus while also putting the baby to the breast or having her do nipple stimulation to contract the uterus.
10. Keep mom and baby and placenta together. No need to cut the cord!
How hard is that?
Since they are always taking women to the hospital, any birth that isn't straightforward like this will be in the hospital anyway. Prolonged labor, bleeding, mom having blood pressure issues, etc. all would find their way in the hospital (just like UCers do).
I wish I could go through their course or get the agenda so I could see what exactly they are learning. Wouldn't it be nice if a Licensed Midwife had some input that demonstrates the normalcy of out-of-hospital births?
My favorite quote in the short piece was:
“Babies are born all over the world outside the hospital,” said Irene Carr, of Scripps La Jolla.
Now, isn't that just so!?
Ayup. She's right.