Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Call the Midwife but Celebrate the C-section too

The dedicated midwives depicted in this BBC drama undoubtedly deserve our praise.
But so far at least, there seems to have been a dearth of recognition (in reviews) for another praiseworthy life saver: the c-section.

The often untold stories of babies and mothers who died or were seriously injured during natural births in the 1950s are touched on in this series, and it's evident that the technology available to us today, including ultrasound and emergency or planned cesareans, would have prevented so much grief and heartache.

We marvel at how far we've come (e.g. contraception, IVF, pain relief and hygiene), and yet advances in the comparative safety of cesarean surgery can sometimes be overlooked, taken for granted or even maligned.

Let's celebrate the call to midwifery, yes, but we should celebrate the cesarean too; it's just as deserving.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Australian Hospital says NO to C-section (Same Story in UK and Canada)

According to this Northern Star article, "under the Towards Normal Birth policy, the [NSW] state is aiming to reduce the cesarean rate to 20% before 2015."

Remember - there is NO EVIDENCE for ANY ideal cesarean rate - yet (as is happening in the UK and Canada too), an ideological focus on achieving normality is deemed more important than best physical and psychological outcomes for babies and mothers.

Lismore pediatrician Dr. Chris Ingall is quoted here as saying that 'the rights of the both babies and mothers have to be balanced out'... "It's not just the mum's choice. It's also the baby's choice as to how the delivery transpires."

You may disagree, but having read this mother's very genuine and legitimate reason for wanting to schedule a c-section, I don't believe for one minute that - if such a consultation was even possible - her macrosomic baby would make a different choice. Do you?

Why are cesarean rates rising in India?

In response to a recent article in The Economist, journalist Sriram Vadlamani has written a very interesting rebuttal titled, "Auspicious C-Sections in India? Not really".
I've just commented on his blog, but for brevity here, I would have to agree with Vadlamani that when it comes to discussing c-sections, "context is paramount".

I also think it's likely that, as is the similar case in China, when it comes to birth choices, "Astrology is a probable side-effect of this new found awareness and risk averseness".

Latest news from Portland hospital makes interesting reading

The statistic most likely to hit the headlines soon is this London private hospital's c-section rate - 53%.

I don't know the elective/emergency breakdown yet, and will endeavor to find out, but given that the rate of emergency cesareans in public hospitals is around 15%, it's very likely that the elective number is very high.

The other interesting statistic is The Portland's 89% normal delivery (standard vaginal delivery) rate.

This is only for second time or subsequent mothers, and I'm not sure why this Private Maternity News report doesn't mention the first-time mothers rate too, but on the face of it, it looks as though this hospital, with its 2,230+ deliveries in 2011, deserves credit for striving to provide mothers with their preferred birth outcomes.

How to restore your sex life after having a baby

Not every woman who has a vaginal birth has sexual health issues months or even years later.

But some do.

Articles like this one, 'How to restore your sex life after having a baby' are helpful for at least getting the subject out in the open and informing women that there are risks with vaginal birth and they shouldn't be kept in the dark about the truth.

The French Government Wants To Tone My Vagina

This Slate article by Claire Lunberg is worth reading alone, but just as importantly, read the comments posted below, and in the Huffington Post version of the article, posted a few days later.

It's all about French postnatal care for the damage to a woman's pelvic floor that can happen during vaginal birth, something Pamela Druckerman also wrote about in the New York Times back in 2007.

We don't have anything like this in the UK or the U.S., at least not for the average woman (private medical care may differ), and what resonates most with me are the comments from women who, like so many others, echo the words, "No one told me this could happen."