Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Books in the Mail!

Today was a really good mail day...I received " Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler, MPH and " Born in the USA: How a Broken Maternity System Must Be Fixed To Put Women and Children First" by Marsden Wagner, M.D., M.S.

Both of these books have been recommended to me and I can't wait to dive in! Thanks to Netflix and their free movies online, I was also able to see ' The Business of Being Born'- which was quite the eye opener.

I wish I could say I was confident in the maternity system here in my area, but since working at the hospital..I cant say so. We have the highest C-Section rate in downstate Illinois- over 30%. We induce most people, also. The funny thing is, a few years ago, I wouldn't have given any of this a second thought. The turning point was when my SIL had our niece. She was induced and knew virtually nothing about anything they were doing to her- she just trusted the doctor. That concerned me a bit, because I'm nosey and want to know everything that's going on.

Little did I know that starting to read about what DOES go on ..would lead me to question so much.

Out of curiosity...what are your opinions of the maternity system in the USA? Doctor care, quality of care, time spent with patient during delivery, etc. Would you ever use a midwife, or a certified Nurse-Midwife? I'm not pregnant, but I want to be informed if/when we have children.


Mrs W said...

You've read my blog for a while so you probably know that we are home birthers here! We use two lay midwives who are extremely qualified. In my opinion, a Certified Nurse Midwife isn't really any better than a doctor because they basically follow the medical model but pretend to be more "natural" about it. I have home birthed two babies and have no desire to ever have any of them in the hospital with a doctor! I would do it in a heartbeat in an emergency, but I just love home birthing so much. I do think the medical model of maternity care is all messed up here.

Mrs. Amy @ Clothesline Alley said...

I am not a fan of the maternity care system here and would only use the system during a time of emergency. Peapod was a planned homebirth, but wound up being born via natural birth in a hospital as she arrived five weeks early and there was no way to know how mature her lungs were, if she would need time in the NICU, and so on until after she was born. She did wind up being perfectly healthy, thankfully, and my birth went much better than I would have planned for the hospital.

The maternity care system in America is very broken and, frankly, I don't know what we can really attribute that to at this point. Fear of malpractice suits certainly fuels a fair bit of this but it also seems many people would prefer not to think for themselves, going against their doctors wishes if they are absurd, and just go with the flow, so the "cult of the expert" adds to the problem no doubt.

Our c-section rate is INSANE across the country, as is our usage of epidural, which isn't quite as safe as many wish to think. Many hospitals have 60% c-section rates and 90% epidural rates, which flies in the face of both CDC and WHO recommendations. The use of cytotec is also very problematic and dangerous, as pitocin can also be at times. All of these, in my mind, are very serious issues that need to be addresses as the health of mother and child needs to come first, not convenience of the doctor, not hasty precautions to somehow prevent a malpractice suit. Americans "enjoy" the WORST rate of maternal and neonate health in the developed world and, really, that needs to change.

If you are interested in reading more books on the subject, I would highly recommend all of Henci Goer's and Ina May Gaskin's books. These women provide wonderful insight on their experiences and also the statistical reality of childbirth and were books that helped me make wise decisions regarding these matters, during the preconception period, during pregnancy, and postpartum and during breastfeeding. I must also recommend "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" and "So, That's What They're For" as fabulous reads about nursing that were very informative and helpful to me. :o)

Mrs. Amy @ Clothesline Alley said...

P.S. I forgot to add that I used a CNM for my birth with Peapod and also for my last two pregnancies, which sadly ended in miscarriage. With my first pregnancy-another miscarriage-I was seeing an OB/GYN and the difference in compassion and care was mind blowing. The CNM always treated me with respect, kept me informed about what was happening, even during scary moments, and went above and beyond what needed to be done...and she never called my miscarried babies "products of pregnancy." Nice, eh.

The OB/GYN, on the other hand, knew that my first baby had ceased developing for three weeks before she told me, lying to me and sending me on my merry way as if everything were fine, despite the fact I KNEW something was wrong and asking questions. She pushed me to have a D&C when she did tell me, refused to perform blood tests or another ultrasound to make SURE my baby was indeed dead, referred to the baby as "products of conception" and an "it" This was a horrible experience and not all surprising with some of the care I'd received from Ob/GYNs in the past, when seeking treatment for ovarian cysts and just routine care.

If you did not already know, CNMs will typically see women for any sort of gynecological care they need, so you may be able to scheduled your next exam with a CNM and get to know her before you might need to use her for pregnancy. The care they offer is not only more compassionate but also a lot more thorough and something I wholeheartedly recommend looking into.