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Google Alerts - What's in the News?

If you don't have Google Alerts, why not?

I love the alerts. I get a smattering of obstetric news this way. It's one of the coolest functions of the Net; consider trying it!

I have alerts on these words:

- "Navelgazing Midwife" (and I love seeing who's yacking about me in their blogs or articles!)
- homebirth
- "home birth" (you need to put the quotes around phrases or else you get a million irrelevant notices)
- waterbirth
- "water birth"
- "natural birth"
- midwifery
- midwife
- "San Diego midwife"
- "Licensed Midwives"
- "Licensed Midwife"
- "Vaginal Birth After Cesarean"

and then some that relate to my office. I used to have "Kauai" and "Hawaii" but got way too many to be able to read and since we're not heading to Kaua'i this year, I removed them.

A few interesting headlines that have come through recently:

Choosy Mothers Choose Cesareans - This atrocious Time Magazine article highlights a child psychiatrist (!!!!) that chose to have a cesarean long before she ever even got pregnant... and once she was, she did, indeed, have a cesarean-by-choice.

"In an increasingly technological and medicalized society, maybe even childbirth is losing some of its magic and becoming less about the miracle of life and more about simply getting a baby out safely and without incident. 'We put a lot of emotional, psychological and spiritual value around birthing,' says Dr. William Callaghan, an obstetrician at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 'But perhaps we are coming up with different cultural norms.'"

Sad. Very sad.

Who Can Help Women Give birth? Pa. Court Will Decide -

Diane Goslin, a 50-year old midwife who's helped more than 5000 babies be born in Pennsylvania, many of them for Amish families, is waiting to practice again - but only will be able to if the state recognizes Certified Professional Midwives. Goslin has been a CPM for 12 years and lost an Amish baby in 2005. The coroner's report says Goslin was not responsible for the death.

The court counters that there are (Certified Nurse) Licensed Midwives for a reason. Goslin says, "There is no amount of nursing school that could prepare me any better," she said.
"I hope the court sees it that way."

Malpractice Insurance: killing issue for midwife bill? -

It looks like the lack of insurance for homebirth midwives might destroy any attempt at getting CPMs legalized in Missouri.

Jamie Lynn Spears Terrified of Giving Birth -

Oh, for goodness sake.

Apparently, mom showed Jamie Lynn a "natural birth" video and it freaked Jamie Lynn out, causing her to barf. What the hell did she show her? So, now, Jamie Lynn is so afraid to birth vaginally, she wants a cesarean... so she "doesn't have to face the pain."

Someone better call that girl up and tell her what great videos to watch and that having a cesarean is FAR from avoiding the pain of birth.

Negligence Kills 130,000 Mothers a Year in India -

"In developed countries, the maternal mortality ratio is 27 per 1,00,000 live births. In India, it is 540. In developed countries a woman’s lifetime risk of dying from pregnancy related complication is one in 1800. In India, the ratio is one in 48."

"In India, nearly seven million abortions, in legal or illegal method, take place annually. For every legal abortion, 10 are induced illegal abortions. Other major factors that cause to mothers’ deaths are hemorrhage, eclampsia, obstructed labor, sepsis and pre-existing conditions such as anemia and malaria. The studies show that 60 per cent of all maternal deaths occur after delivery. Yet, less than 17 per cent of women in India receive any postpartum care. Health facilities are available to only 34 per cent ladies and in rural areas three out of every four babies are born at home under unskilled personnel."

"Nations are uprising. Globalisation has opened the door for fresh developments – both in thoughts and practice. Unfortunately, the world remains careless to the third world, as it has been always, particularly to the mothers, the most vital source of power of human civilisation. International conferences are held. Agendas are taken. NGOs are involved. But we forget as usual that maternal mortality is not just a health issue, it is an issue of human rights."

A top obstetrician on why men should NEVER be at the birth of their child -

This article is written by Michel Odent, MD... the wonderful natural birth-oriented obstetrician that first became famous for his birth center in Pithiviers, France in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He now works in London (but as an OB? From what I understand, he is now only a researcher, author and lecturer).

Michel Odent says in part:

"That there is little good to come for either sex from having a man at the birth of a child."

"For her, his presence is a hindrance, and a significant factor in why labours are longer, more painful and more likely to result in intervention than ever."

"As for the effect on a man - well, was I surprised to hear a friend of mine state that watching his wife giving birth had started a chain of events that led to the couple's divorce?"

"Or another lady describing how the day after her husband had watched her deliver their child, he had fled to his hometown of Rome, and never returned again?"

"For many men, the emotional fallout of watching their partner have their baby can never be overcome."

This is a pretty significant piece! I wonder if, in 20 years, we will look back in horror that men were ever at births. I wonder if his article will have any impact on birthing today.

I know that some men have a really hard time watching the birth. Some cultures, as we know, don't even permit husbands from viewing the labor or birth. Do they have something? What of the UC movement? Should they reconsider their husband-as-midwife after all? Perhaps the norm is to have a woman assist, not the partner be the primary care-taker. I know many partners who struggle with "what to do" in labor. Is witnessing the birth too much to ask?

Interesting questions.

Well, that's a little wrap-up of recent news in birth. I love when people send me tidbits; Google doesn't catch them all!

Now go! Get yourself Google-Alerted!

References (3)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
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    - Navelgazing Midwife Blog - Google Alerts - What's in the News?
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    Response: new year 2016

Reader Comments (16)

The Michael Odent article is being discussed on MDC. I guess the "Daily Mail" is sort of a tabloid type magazine in Britain. The article is not actually written by Michael Odent and if I remember right, he even made a statement about it (MDC is down right now or I would check). There are things in the article that Odent would never say, like this little gem; "Of course, it would not be possible for women to give birth alone." I guess they either interviewed him, or pieced together things he's said in the past, but presented everything in a very sensationalized manner.

If he did write the article, I think it is written in a ridiculous manner. I saw no benefit to having my husband at the birth of my son, so I tend to agree with this philosophy, but the way the article is written is horrible. It presents no facts, and only touches on the evolution of our species in one tiny sentence, which to me is the best "proof" out there for this theory. The article relies on scare tactics like saying that your husband will divorce you or become mentally ill if he sees you giving birth. Um, yeah, right. I agree that the presence of some men is unnecessary, or even a hinderance in some cases, but I don't think it would cause a divorce or a schizophrenic episode. And besides that, it isn't a one size fits all deal, some women only want their husbands there and no one else, and they feel this is the best way for them to labor and give birth. I wish our culture would allow for both ways though. As it stands, if the husband is not there people think that your relationship must be in terrible trouble. I don't even feel like I can deny my husband the "right" to see his children be born, and it is so ingrained in our culture now that there is not really any question even as to whether or not he will be there.

April 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Oh, and here is a good article I stumbled upon; http://children.webmd.com/news/20080424/cuddline-cuts-preemie-pain?src=RSS_PUBLIC

You have to wonder, if kangaroo care cuts pain in preemies, and is recommended as "neonatal intensive-care policy" and it "lessens mothers' anxiety while promoting mother/infant bonding and breastfeeding", then why is not being recommended for full term infants and as regular old labor and delivery policy as well? Do they think that infants who are full term suddenly don't feel pain? Or that mothers of full term babies don't have anxiety or need help promoting bonding or breastfeeding?

April 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Mrs. Spears also scared the crap out of Brittany, and made her want a c-section too, so why not scare her other daughter into it. I bet she's insecure because she probably had c-sections either after laboring, or for whatever reason. She probably doesn't want her girls to have the joy that follows birthing your child. I've never felt more joy than after birthing my children. It's a truly amazing experience, and it's sad that anyone would choose for their first to be born that way. And it's sad that any mother would try to take that away from HER child and grandchild.

April 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJari


Wondering if you've read this blog..? I've got to say, I was startled by how very gung-ho she is about epidurals - it seems that she regards women who birth without pain meds as either unusual or as nuisances...

April 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

You know, I've had a few homebirth client families where dad was NOT involved in the birth per their choice. I also remember that in the early days on 'The Farm', Ina May and Stephen were pretty easy going about the role of the father at the birth--he was welcome as long as he wasn't a hindrance to the "ladies". On a few occasions, fathers were asked to leave by the Midwives if they weren't helping the mom with their presence. It's very interesting, as cultural narrative, to re- read the older editions of Spiritual Midwifery; the birth community was very "woman-centered" and the Midwives actually had a lot of control and 'say so' over what went on at the birth. Very "in charge". As with any and everything; I think the range of individual variation is wide.....some women and couples are very connected and physically close during the labor and birth; some much less so or not at all but all are equally healthy and functional. I've attended births where the agreement was that dad would take the older kids elsewhere until the baby was born and then they would all come back. "Women birth the way they live" still seems true to me!

April 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKneelingwoman

My pain always increases if my husband leaves the room. I don't know why, but I feel vulnerable without him when I'm in the hospital in labor. At home, I'm okay if he's sleeping or whatever before we get to the hospital. I also find myself frustrated with him if he doesn't stay near enough for me to grab and hug him...or labor dance when I want. He doesn't always know what to do, but I feel I need him there. I find nurses giving me suggestions just ticks me off if they aren't really paying attention to what works for me, like the birthing ball with a chux pad that makes it fall over...and not realizing I actually prefer standing. I hate to hear, "you'll love these stirrups" and phrases like "c'mon, you know how to handle this, use your breathing." My husband knows from experience not to say anything like that to me. He also gets things for me while I'm laboring like my water, etc. He's not one to act first, but rather acts after I express my needs...


April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Thanks for the great google related tip! I am slowly falling in love with all the google gadgets out there though I know they often have glitches as they are being continually worked on.

Also in reference to the itsababynotbrainsurgery blog, I have read that blog and she's an L&D nurse; they can get a little burnt out. I know several, and few are very open after all the horrible things they've seen in the hospital. It is a lot less stress for the nurses when the women are calmly drugged and pain free, not that I condone regular use of epidurals. I can, however, see how people would fail to understand why you would go through apparently unnecessary pain. It's just a game of perspectives, information and roles.


April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKate

That last bit caught my interest. During my first birth, I couldn't have cared LESS where my husband was. He was just kind of in the room giving me support when I asked for it in a way that anyone could have. But during my second birth (which lasted 3.5 hours and took place at home), I felt as though I could not possibly handle a surge unless I could see his eyes. We have some beautiful photos of that birth, with he and I locked into each other so solidly, you wouldn't have dared to try to remove him from the space.

Yeah, I think anytime someone tries to make an absolute statement about birth, they pretty much have to be wrong. There's nothing absolute about that process. Not even the result.

April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElaine

at both of my son's births i *knew* my husband probably wouldn't be the best support. he didn't know how the heck TO support me, it's not like he'd ever gone through or even seen it for that fact.

so i had a support team and he came and went as he needed, or if i called for him he'd come in.

this second birth he knew the drill and it was just a different birth all around. he was very there for me, and there for our son and it was just such an easy going, fabulous experience.

but i can't imagine NOT having him there if i needed him.

April 27, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermommymichael

Here's a REALLY radical idea: how about we let each woman decide for herself who she wants at her birth! And then trust her judgement and stop second-guessing her! I'm so tired of experts--from whatever end of the spectrum--generalizing and lecturing about that particular issue.

April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThea

Have you checked out this website yet? I personally LOVE it!


April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRoxanne

Ayup! Sarah and I are both nekkid on that site.

Not telling where!

April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

I would not want to give birth without my husband present. He doesn't "support" me in the rub my back and say encouraging words way but I NEED him there.

He is not traumatized by birth. He has watched me give birth 3 times and will watch again when I birth our 4th child. He wouldn't miss it for anything.

April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

Re: fathers at birth, I'm convinced that this varies not only from couple to couple, but from pregnancy to pregnancy. My first time, I wouldn't let dh leave my side to go to the bathroom for 8 hrs (and this was at home! no scary L&D room to be left alone in) the second time, I told my midwife between two pushes to go fetch him because I assumed he wouldn't want to miss out on the actual baby. A lot changed between the two babies, except for my husband; but for one I finally believed and accepted that he is not as *into* all this as I am, on the other hand all I need is some good contractions!
RE Spears girls, the proper video to watch is one of a cesarean section. I saw one on YouTube. Well, not really saw it, I was averting my eyes most of the time. We may not remember any more, but crowning shots are rather shocking to novice eyes though! I'm in the nasty habit of showing stuff like this to friends of mine, but I always make sure to redirect their attention to the mother's emotions and to praise nature's design that her tissues are so extraordinarily elastic just when it's necessary LOL but my friend still seem a bit shaken up--oops...

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJudit

The other google tool i love is my 'reader': http://www.google.com/reader

This allows me to keep an eye on all my favorite web sites and blogs and tells me whenever there is an update. Saves me going back and forth all the time. cheers Sarah

April 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Stewart

I"m glad I found your blog again (I lost all my links)
RE: men at births, I have to agree that it must be an individual thing. I always wanted my husband to be there at the births, I suppose more for mental support than for any physical reason. Plus I always kind of felt that hey, he helped to start this, he should know what he caused!! My husband thought that watching our first baby arrive was the coolest thing ever. He doesn't flinch at blood and guts-I think most men are ok with that sort of thing in movies and tv-why should it be a huge problem if the pain and mess are part of the birth of their child? There's no question that then the blood and guts are for a positive reason. Social conditioning that birth is women's stuff and gross and ruins their wife's vagina maybe? I think some men do have trouble seeing their partners in pain and not being able to help. But I don't know if it made him see me in a different light after watching that? He said no, but there is a little part of me that wonders (though that probably reflects more on me than him) I think it should be an individual decision, who cares what is or isn't normal!

May 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersajmom

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