Saturday, April 26, 2008

My letter to the Durango Telegraph

Back to basic birthing
Dear Editors,
April is Cesarian section awareness month.
The U.S. c-section rate is 30 percent. That means one in four pregnant women giving birth will receive a c-section. According to the World Health Organization, the c-section rate should be no higher than 5-10 percent. If it’s higher than that, c-sections unnecessarily harm both the mother and baby. Most c-sections are done because of failure to progress, or the mothers inability to push the baby out, which can be caused by drugs such as epidurals and the supine position. Women were designed to birth in a squatting position.
Women require the same need for privacy that all mammals do. When a women enters an unfamiliar environment like a hospital with many people around, her labor slows down because her primitive brain is saying this is not a good place to give birth. She needs to get back to her cave to birth in her own territory and in privacy. Birth is a sexual event, and just like sex, birth requires the need for privacy.
Pitocin and other drugs are often used to speed up labor, but these drugs can cause contractions to become more painful, the cause baby’s blood pressure to drop, and uterine rupture. Lying down in a hospital bed can cause this, too. This creates the need for many other interventions. Epidurals increase the chances of vacuum, forceps and c-section delivery. Interventions are like falling dominos – once one falls, the rest will follow, and it begins the minute the woman leaves her home. Complications are caused by interventions. Most homebirths are safe for the majority of women.
The U.S. has the second-worst maternal and infant mortality rates, and only 1 percent of women give birth at home. The countries with the lowest mortality rates have midwives and the majority of births are done at home. C-sections are major surgeries that carry many more risks than a vaginal delivery. It has more risks for mothers and babies, mothers have a harder time bonding with their babies, and a harder time nursing their children, and have a higher risk of postpartum depression. This is also true if the baby is separated from her mother immediately following vaginal delivery, and if the mother has had drugs given to her. The absence of this bonding time between mother and baby has traumatic results mentally and physically, which can result in depression, anxiety, violent behavior and drug abuse later in life for the child.
Babies need the stimulation of uncut vaginal walls to stimulate their breathing, their nervous system, and their digestive system. Without that, many diseases and poor
health often are the results. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. With drugs and interference both physically and mentally, the whole natural process of labor and birth is stopped. This stops the hormones that began the bonding process, and everything else that Mother Nature intended to happen for the survival and health of the species. Violent birth leads to violent lifestyles, so peace on earth begins with birth. C-sections should only be done for births with placenta previa, which is very rare.
Homebirths are safe, perhaps safer than hospital births, so please, women, educate yourselves and choose to have a homebirth either unassisted or assisted with a midwife that will respect your privacy. If the midwife gives you the feelings of being watched, then the midwife is no benefit. Wouldn’t it be more joyful for couples to catch their own children, and birth their children the way there where created? Like Michael Odent said, “the best place to give birth is the best place to make love.” The only way to avoid an unnecessary c-section is to stay out of the hospital. Poverty, intervention and fear are the major killers in childbirth. It was never doctors and hospitals that made birth safe – only more dangerous. But before I go, let me leave you with these two quotes: “There is something wrong with a society that insists on making a complicated, expensive, medical emergency out of a normal physiological function primitive women have been doing by themselves for centuries.” – Cathi Cogle; “If we hope to create a non-violent world where respect and kindness replace fear and hatred, we must begin with how we treat each other at the beginning of life. For that is where our deepest patterns are set. From those roots grow fear and alienation, or love and trust.”
-Suzanne Arms, author of Immaculate Deception II, and Cassandra Fisher, Durango

1 comment:

Saffron Doula, Christina Rochette said...

What a fantastic letter! Did they respond to you at all? Are you a member of ICAN?

You should really consider getting into the birth field. It doesn't matter that you don't have any children yet. In fact, it might help you focus, not having children to care for at this point in your life.