Monday, January 28, 2008

Scared for Life

The Sydney Morning Herald recently put Caesarean Birth's as a major headline for more than a week. As the caesarean rate fast approaches 1:3 births - it was a timely response from a major newspaper. If you happened to miss the headlines you can read about them on Sydney Morning Herald's Website. They have also uploaded a very powerful video interview with two women who's caesarean births went very wrong.

Awesome VBAC story

I was reading my emails this morning and was sent a link to the site One True Media - which I wasn't aware off. It is similar to YouTube so I thought I'd check it out. The link was to a short video of Theresa's journey to a successful vaginal birth after three caesareans - it is one of the most powerful birth stories I've come across - so I thought I'd share it with you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The worst intervention in the birth room ...

My recent experience working as a midwife in the hospital system has fastened my belief that the worse intervention in the birth room is the clock. When working with women in the community - there is no clock, there is no pressure and there is no unnecessary intervention. The events of labour unfold as nature intended. This is in stark contrast with birth in hospital. Every aspect of labour is MANAGED according to the clock. For example a women's membranes break the clock starts ticking. Often times she may be offered an induction of labour straight away or alternatively allowed 12 to 24 hours to establish labour or then have the induction of labour (and all it's associated problems).

A women's progress in labour is managed by the clock - the expected dilatation is 1cm per hour or her labour is considered abnormal and her labour sped up with Syntocinon. There is no quality evidence that supports a woman must dilate at a certain rate and in fact speeding up a labour unnecessary is quite harmful. Syntocinon causes the uterus to contract more painfully than a natural labour - increasing the use of pain medications (and their inherent effects). Syntocinon often causes too frequent contractions - depriving the baby of oxygen causing unnecessary fetal distress. One of the most catastrophic problems syntocinon causes in an increase in postpartum haemorrhage and the associated morbidity and occasionally mortality that a haemorrhage can cause.

While Syntocinon, in a few causes, will assist a woman to achieve a vaginal birth where her labour is truly prolonged. In most cases it is used unnecessary, causing a cascade of intervention.

Get rid of the clock in the birth room and allow women to labour under their own steam.

Monday, January 21, 2008

First Post for 2008

I can't believe I've left it this long to add to my blog. I must say that it was exhausting organizing the screening of The Business of Being Born - there was more work than I'd anticipated. The feedback from the screening was very positive - I'd love to make the documentary more widely available. It looks like the DVD will be released in March 2008 - which is great news. I'll keep you posted.

Christmas was fantastic, I enjoyed time with my family doing Christmas activities (like taking my younger children into the city - they are seen in this photo riding Santa's train).

I continue to work at the local hospital in the birth unit. It is challenging as intervention rate is unnecessarily high. The system has lost sight of what normal birth is and complication rate is high. It is rewarding though as I feel like I make a difference and I have access to lots of education programs.