Remember in Pushed, where Jennifer Block mentioned a company developing a continuous dilation and station monitor that would clip onto the cervix? Well, the BirthTrack is here and being actively marketed to both doctors and mothers-to-be. It consists of an internal electrode that is screwed into the baby's head and two ultrasound clips that attach to the cervix. Its purported benefits include (quotes from the manufacturer's website in red):
It will reduce the number of vaginal exams during labor. Instead, you'll have two clips permanently attached to your cervix the whole time! Sign me up! "In the usual procedure vaginal examinations are performed numerous times during normal labor. In the case of labor arrest or other complications the number of vaginal examinations increases."
It will help doctors perform a cesarean for "failure to progress" even faster! Because we're not jumping the gun fast enough as it is, with our 31.1% cesarean rate! Remember, labor must never stop or slow down! "In the event of non-progressive labor, the diagnosis may be delayed, thereby preventing the mother from obtaining the best medical care."
It will make sure you don't go too slow or too fast! "In managing labor, obstetricians are faced with a number of important challenges, including...identification of inadequate progress of labor and assessment of a quick developing labor process."
It is more accurate! "The information available to the caregiver is inaccurate due to the objective nature of the measurement and intermittent [assessment]."
You'll have information streaming at you non-stop, every second! Next up: sending the info to your Blackberry in real-time! "You will have continuous information regarding the progress of labor and you will know the position of your baby every second."
Your partner will be more involved in the birth! He can stare even more at the machines and less at you! "Your partner will be able to be an active participant in the labor process as he/she follows the progress of the partogram on the screen next to your bed."
Oh and of course, as this last statement indicated, you WILL be lying in bed!
You won't even notice it! It will just "minimally disrupt patient comfort."
It's more convenient for your doctor's pocketbook! He will get sued less, since the machine gives him "a lower risk of malpractice"! BirthTrack is also a "Support tool during litigation--BirthTrack provides full documentation of cervical dilatation and fetal head descent during the labor process."
More is better! This new device results in "significantly improved medical care"!
More is cheaper! By buying this expensive piece of machinery, we can achieve "reduced costs" by reducing human-to-human interaction even more! We can also make more money at each birth by increasing the cesarean rate due for failure to progress!
It provides not one, not two, not three, but FOUR paths to getting an infection. First, your water is broken. Next, an internal fetal monitor is screwed into your baby's head. Then you get two clips attached to the opening of your uterus. Free ride to any germs looking for some action!
My suggestion to BirthTrack and to those who stand to profit by making, marketing, and selling this new piece of gadgetry: get your hands (or rather your cervical clips) outta my vagina and outta my pocketbook!