Saturday, August 09, 2008

Catch up time

I have a list of things to talk about, or links to share, and it keeps piling up. So today I am playing catch-up:

1) First, a new blog I just came across: Rural Doctoring. She's a family practice physician in rural California. I especially like reading her birth stories. She's sympathetic to home birth and has recently included a lot of home birth transfer stories. For example, read A Red Carpet Birth and Seizure At Home. It reminds me of FPMama's blog, which I miss terribly.

2) I've heard great things about the PBS documentary Birth of a Surgeon. It's about a new training program to reduce maternal mortality in Mozambique--teaching midwives how to perform emergency surgical procedures including cesarean sections. I haven't had time to watch it yet, but I am sure it will prove fascinating.

3) Linda Hessel explains her understanding of intimacy in birth. While I didn't experience my own birth as sexual in itself (as some women have), I do agree that giving birth lies on the sexual spectrum of experience. I found that I was very vulnerable to feeling self-conscious, to the point that I needed to be alone in the room with no one watching. Anyway, this short essay explains one of the motivations for choosing an unassisted birth.

4) ABC News article Trying To Take Back Childbirth.

5) Time Magazine article Giving Birth At Home.

6) A press release from Dr. Mike Hargadon, a Congressional candidate from Maryland, about why he supports a woman's right to choose home birth.

7) Ilithia Inspired writes about Cross Nursing Support. Cross-nursing can be invaluable for a woman facing breastfeeding challenges.

8) Birth Activist writes about her conversation with a BirthTrack representative. Very interesting.

9) New research urges expectant moms to be patient and exercise caution with near-term inductions.

10) This correspondence about VBAC between a woman and Ralph W. Hale, Executive VP of ACOG, shows a blatant distortion of the evidence about the safety and risks of VBAC. If you scroll down, you will see her original letter and Hale's response, followed by (near the top) her response. Among other distortions of the evidence, Hale claimed that: "Although 98% of women can potentially have a successful VBAC, in two percent of cases the result can be a rupture of the old scar. If this happens, then death of the baby is almost certain and death of the mother is probable. Even if the mother does not die, virtually 100% will lose their child bearing ability." She refutes these wildly inaccurate claims. If the VP of ACOG is spreading these falsehoods, no wonder it is so hard for women to find caregivers and hospitals willing to "allow" VBACs!

Now for some random save-the-earth stuff:

11) How to make a rain barrel.

12) Hen and Harvest, a new online magazine full of information about "sustainability, good cheer, and better food."


  1. Ugh, do you know what bugs me about the Time article? The statement, with no supporting cites, that "other studies have suggested a two- or threefold increase in the incidence of neonatal death."

    I don't know of any studies, not even Jenny Pang's, that found a threefold increase in the incidence of neonatal death. Does anybody? The only source I'm aware of for that figure is Amy Tuteur's statistically naive assertions about the Johnson & Daviss cohort. You can find her proclaiming it all over the internet, but that doesn't make it accurate and it surely doesn't make it a peer-reviewed article.

    So what, a person has to wonder, is it doing in Time magazine?

  2. Thanks for the links. The BirthTrack interview was indeed interesting...

    I wondered about that statement in the Time article too, though overall I was pleased with the article for a mainstream publication. I do wish they'd not included that particular uncited phrase, but hey, I'll take what we can get. It's a start.

  3. I read the "Seizure at Home" post. Very interesting. It's too bad she never figured out exactly what happened with the mother. Still, it was a very interesting post.

  4. oh wow, even Dr.Phill is wanting to talk about it now...from his site:

    Are you a mom with a strong opinion on hospital birthing?

    Do you feel it's the safest, most responsible way to birth a baby? Do you think home birthing is a bad idea in our age of medicine and technological advances? Does it make you angry to see moms having babies at home? Do you feel they are putting themselves and their babies at risk, and you have lots of good reasons to support your stance?

    Or, are you on the oppostite end of the spectrum, and feel that home birth is the most natural, beautiful way to bring a child into the world? Do you think that birth has become something that society treats as a medical condition rather than a natural part of life that a woman's body is built to handle? Do you feel that many people out there have wrong information about what a home birth is, and you'd like to share the truth about it?

    The Doctors are working on a show where we will explore birthing options, and are looking for those that are passionate about their opinions and can offer good, solid information, and why they their method is the best possible choice. Please share your opinions with us, and you could be a guest on our show!

  5. CJ, re: Dr. Amy, have you seen this?


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