Important note for expectant mothers

Emergency cesarean? An HSI member named Mary has been there, done that. Twice.

In the e-Alert “Like Candy from a Baby” (7/29/09), I told you about an appalling hospital practice known as “pit to distress,” in which Pitocin (a synthetic drug version of oxytocin, the hormone that prompts contractions during labor) is given in high doses in order to distress the fetus and force the need for immediate cesarean birth.

Mary: “The article about Pit for distress explains exactly what happened to me…Twice! And I betcha anything it was because I was an ‘older’ mother (36 and 40). Funny thing is…being ‘older’ didn’t prevent me from getting pregnant on the first try…twice!”

In that e-Alert, I made the point that parents-to-be should create a detailed birth plan with specific instructions for doctors and others who participate in the birth. An HSI member named Justin has a suggestion for making sure the plan is implemented.

Justin: “Your article on ‘pit to distress’ was illuminating. However, you didn’t go far enough in your recommendation to parents. These types of issues can generally be avoided when using a midwife rather than an OB. Have you seen the Ricki Lake documentary ‘The Business of Being Born?’ Midwifery is not the backwoods birthing practice the public thinks it is. In fact having a baby with a midwife is statistically safer than a hospital birth.”

Great point. But note that in addition to home-births it’s also common for midwives to work within a hospital setting.

I haven’t seen the Ricki Lake film, but from the trailer it looks like a real eye-opener for anyone committed to a natural childbirth. You can find the trailer on YouTube with the search phrase “Ricki Lake.”