Connect with mothers, not machines

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The article "Baby girl born just outside hospital" in the May 3 Augusta Chronicle illustrates one of the reasons that the maternal mortality rate is rising in the United States: Doctors and hospital staff are spending more time connecting with machines than with their patients.

The article states that hospital staff hooked the mom up to equipment and checked her dilation. The numbers apparently told them that the mom was not going to give birth anytime soon. However, if hospital staff had paid attention to their patient rather than the numbers, they would have known birth was imminent.

The fact that the birthing mother "couldn't say much" indicates that she was fully involved in her contractions and fully consumed by childbirth. When the mother reaches this mental state, birth is imminent! The hospital staff neglected their patient when they failed to notice this.

In countries where midwives guide their patient through childbirth without using machines, they have much lower Cesarean section rates, and lower maternal and neonatal mortality rates. One reason is that they connect with their patients and not machines.

I urge women to find providers who recognize that childbirth is not a science. Rather, it is a natural function that varies between individuals and between pregnancies. Rare is the woman whose cervix dilates on a predicted curve. It is natural for labor to stall, particularly when the mom is settling into new surroundings at the hospital. Too few providers recognize this most basic fact of childbirth which often leads to an unnecessary Cesarean because of "failure to progress."

Groups such as the Augusta Birth Network or the International Cesarean Awareness Network in Augusta are here to help women learn how to improve their birth outcomes. Until we demand better care, and take the control out of the hands of machines and the staff who operate them, more mothers and babies will continue to die unnecessarily.

Andrea McPherson, Evans

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patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 05/16/09 - 06:57 am
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This is the first I've heard

This is the first I've heard of Augusta Birth Network. Do insurance companies and government agencies recognize midwives or would the mother have to be responsible for the expense? This letter has some wonderful perspectives and makes some good points, but doesn't mention responsibility or expense.

HotFoot
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HotFoot 05/16/09 - 08:52 am
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IN my experience, certified

IN my experience, certified nurse-midwives are very rarely allowed to deliver babies in cities where medical schools are located. The local medical community tends to be hostile toward "interlopers" and territorial about those rights. I gave birth with a midwife in another state and it was fully covered by insurance. My second pregnancy was in a city that was dominated by two medical schools and the medical establishment had managed to squeeze nurse-midwives out of the picture. Instead, I got a referral from a local midwifery group for an excellent OB-Gyn who honored my Birth Plan and supported me as I gave birth naturally and without medication. Please note that there is a difference between lay midwives and certified nurse-midwives, the latter of whom have master's degrees in nursing and midwifery.

disssman
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disssman 05/16/09 - 09:48 am
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Funny, but I have never read

Funny, but I have never read about a machine that does births. Do they sell it in Wallmart or Eckerds? It is obvious that the machine checks the dilation, but I thought a doctor did that, oh well the machine the lady in reference was HOOKED up to must have been quite a machine.

UncleBill
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UncleBill 05/16/09 - 01:30 pm
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That machine monitors the

That machine monitors the baby's heart rate and the mother's uterine contractions. It does not check cervical dilation. That must be done manually by the physician or by the nurse. I just went back and read the original article http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/2009/05/03/met_522588.shtml
I must admit that it doesn't sound very good for anyone involved.

gooddaysunshine
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gooddaysunshine 05/16/09 - 04:59 pm
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( AugustaBirthNetwork.org )

( AugustaBirthNetwork.org ) Augusta Birth Network believes birth is normal, natural, and health and promote mother-friendly care through:
Advocacy: by leading a grassroots movement of individuals who insist on and support mother-friendly care, based on the principles developed by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) and the Six Care Practices that Support Normal Birth outlined by Lamaze International;
Information: by providing facts about and contact for mother-friendly maternity care;
Support: by ensuring that families have a network of experienced, encouraging people to help them make informed choices and embrace birth.

AugustaBirthNetwork
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AugustaBirthNetwork 05/16/09 - 05:21 pm
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Here are some helpful links

Here are some helpful links to national groups & resources to help prepare and educate anyone interested in learning more about birth. YOU HAVE TO EDUCATE YOURSELF... DO NOT EXPECT YOUR DOCTOR TO DELIVER YOUR BABY FOR YOU....YOU HAVE TO DO THAT YOURSELF. http://www.childbirthconnection.org/ OR http://www.motherfriendly.org/ OR
http://www.choicesinchildbirth.org/ OR http://www.thebirthsurvey.com/ OR http://www.birthnetwork.org/ OR http://cfmidwifery.org/index.aspx OR http://www.ican-online.org/ OR http://mothersnaturally.org/

AugustaBirthNetwork
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AugustaBirthNetwork 05/16/09 - 06:32 pm
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A growing number of women are

A growing number of women are staying home as long as possible, laboring away from the hospitals that they have had to choose to give birth in because they are aware that the longer they stay home and reduce the time they are IN HOSPITAL the lower their risks are for having INTERVENTIONS like pitocin for slowed labors or EPIDURALS for pain from being INDUCED with pitocin (a synthetic oxytocin which increases contractions and speeds up labor & PAIN!) They are also aware that the need for C-sections (which by the way has hit 51% in Miami Dade County this month). When a woman labors differently ( and more efficiently) with other sympathetic women and so by staying home longer a woman has a better chance of having a normal INTERVENTION FREE birth- period. C-Section rates for Augusta are at 32% while birth center and midwife attended homebirths are much lower as are the maternal & infant morbidity rates.

gooddaysunshine
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gooddaysunshine 05/17/09 - 01:07 am
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QUOTE FROM MOTHER: "It was

QUOTE FROM MOTHER: "It was amazing. I knew exactly what to do," she said. How ironic & moronic. This is the point people! WOMEN know how to birth their babies but we have been told we NEED to go to a hospital. I think this whole thing is so funny & totally sad. She said...."It was amazing. I knew exactly what to do." Maybe we all need learn to trust birth again!

AugustaBirthNetwork
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AugustaBirthNetwork 05/18/09 - 03:24 am
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Hotfoot.. You are very right,

Hotfoot.. You are very right, The nurse midwives are gone from MCG bu there are a few around and of course there is the Covenant Birth Center in Columbia SC run by CPMs ( Ilike them better as they are not as engrained in the "medical" model of birth. Certified Professional Midwives are just as qualified & trained as CNMs but lack hospital priviledges etc. CPMs also do homebirths!

AugustaBirthNetwork
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AugustaBirthNetwork 05/18/09 - 03:36 am
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Patricia Thomas,,,sorry it

Patricia Thomas,,,sorry it took me so long to answer. ABN has been in Augusta for almost one year! We support women in making informed decisions. Motto is "It's YOUR Birth... Know YOUR Options! With hospital birth costing $10,000 or more for a vaginal (natural) birth which may just cover hospital & OB, not epidural and $50,000+ for an uncomplicated C-Section (not inlcuding NICU for baby) YOU CAN SEE that a $2500.00 all inclusive birth including waterbirth is a much better deal finacially. That's approx. what your deductible would be...Then you need to figure in the chances of having C-Sections (which is major abdominal surgery and the recovery time)..well it is just make no $en$e for consumers but it makes lots of $sen$e fir the Hospitals & OBs. Good Prenatal educations coupled with good labor support is SO much better than drugs and interventions! I know, I have done both. ALSO the sense of acomplishment is unmeasurable.

gooddaysunshine
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gooddaysunshine 05/18/09 - 04:09 am
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yeah, cheaper and better

yeah, cheaper and better outcomes. sounds like acase of evidence based care. i had a birth center birth, did not consider homebirth but now i would.

naturalbirther
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naturalbirther 05/18/09 - 08:05 am
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I've had homebirths with a

I've had homebirths with a CPM, as well as hospital births. I would not go back to the hospital unless there was an emergency. There just is no comparison in the care. I paid out of pocket all three times, even when my insurance would have covered all but $250. It was a bargain at twice the price.

HotFoot
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HotFoot 05/18/09 - 08:51 am
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Thanks, AugustaBirthNetwork.

Thanks, AugustaBirthNetwork. My information is out-of-date because my children are teenagers now and I didn't live here when I had them. What I have found out is that it's very rare to have a totally unmedicated birth--and people still, to this day, think you're crazy for not opting for the epidural, etc., etc. But have two natural childbirths is one of the things I'm most proud of, and I would urge any woman to plan for that. Take measures to avoid hopping on that freight train (epidural leads to inability to push leads to C-section).

devilishlymad67
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devilishlymad67 05/18/09 - 09:10 am
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hotfoot, I agree I had all

hotfoot, I agree I had all four of my children naturally without any epidural or drugs. While they were in a hospital, due to several of them being high risk I would not add that drug to my body thereby passing it on to my child.

gooddaysunshine
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gooddaysunshine 05/18/09 - 12:50 pm
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Risks of Inducing Labor *

Risks of Inducing Labor
* First-time mothers have approximately twice the likelihood of a C-section of induced labor as compared with spontaneous labor.
* Induced labors can be more painful.
* Induced labors can result in a premature baby (a baby who is not fully developed).
* Induced labors cause the need for more interventions (IVs, continuous fetal monitoring, etc.)
* Induced labors can cause problems such as uterine hyperstimulation (which can cause fetal distress).
* Women are left believing that their bodies are not able to birth a baby.
* Induced labor is often more traumatic on fetus' because the strength of the contractions are unnaturally strong.

AugustaBirthNetwork
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AugustaBirthNetwork 05/18/09 - 03:43 pm
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pantherluvcik
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pantherluvcik 05/19/09 - 07:41 am
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Not that natural birth

Not that natural birth doesn't sound nice, but I loved my epidural. I had to be induced all three times I gave birth, my contractions are there and strong, but i never seem to dilate. I don't know if it's easier or harder without induction, but the process is there for a reason. Everyone can't have a natural birth. And after 36 hours of labor pains without progress, I welcome induction. All my children were healthy and happy babies...

gooddaysunshine
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gooddaysunshine 05/19/09 - 10:32 pm
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Pantherluvcik: How early did

Pantherluvcik: How early did they induce you? Yes ,granted, once you are induced the labor becomes ungodly awful, strong & just plain intolerable! Also not as productive...hence alot of C-sections. I have had both natural and induced (and all that comes with that) and I really feel that the inductions & epidural was harderon me and my baby. they also had to give me a huge episiotomy...yikes and pulled baby out with forceps. I was anxious and not very educated and so on my due date I wanted my baby OUT...but looking back now I know that natural birth was soooo much better all around, I was really lucky I did not have a C-Section the 1st time, by today's' standards I would have. And yes every woman CAN handle natural labor, just not labors that are induced with drugs. I know 36hours is long, but if your Ob had waited till you went into good productive labor...you may no have needed pit drip etc and you could have dealt with labor especially if you had a midwife or Doula to support you!

gooddaysunshine
0
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gooddaysunshine 05/21/09 - 10:47 am
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http://trustbirth.com/trustbi

http://trustbirth.com/trustbirth.swf GO TO THIS LINK FOR THE TRUTH!!!! It is a video called "IMAGINE"...We have the potential to effect a historical cultural paradigm shift, which will result in a power shift, returning the ownership of birth back to the women who have come to trust birth.

carolouk
70
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carolouk 05/21/09 - 02:54 pm
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We have so removed mothers

We have so removed mothers from understanding birth and feeling empowered, but the TRUTH shall set us free. Read the article. This mother KNEW what she was feeling, she KNEW what she was talking about. She birthed her own baby in a car. There were no emergencies. This was NOT LUCK. It was nature. It was the way it is SUPPOSED to be. Yes, people need doctors. When you are SICK you need help. Pregnancy is not an illness, it does not need to be MEDICATED. We need emotional support as we go through pregnancy. We need emotional support as we go through labor and delivery. We do not need medication, we do not need equipment. We are 48th in the world with infant mortality (this includes the fact that we save micro-preemies). 48 other nations are doing better than America and we are convinced that we are doing delivery the right way?!?!? Other countries pay for midwives and doula support and they have MUCH better rates of non-intervention and infant and maternal mortality. Do not take my info at face value, read and educate yourself. You will be suprised at what you find when you look for resources other than government and hospital publications. Take back YOUR birth.

frickchen
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frickchen 05/23/09 - 03:52 pm
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I think that carolouk is so

I think that carolouk is so right. We should be outraged that our country ranks so far behind in maternal and neonatal mortality. In the US, 1 in 4,800 women die as a result of childbirth. In Ireland, it's only 1 in 47,600.

Something needs to change, and I think a start would be to give women control of their birth and not the doctors. Clearly all these modern interventions: inductions, c-sections are not benefitting us in the long run. People need to know the risks of these interventions! the pharmacist gives you a list of side-effects when she gives you a prescription. How many women would automatically go for an epidural if they knew it increased the risk that they and/or they baby will die? We need informed consent! Maybe if people start hearing the risks, they will demand less risky treatments.

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 05/23/09 - 08:00 pm
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Interesting perspective and

Interesting perspective and letter. I had two natural births and one C-section. My recovery after the natural births was a lot easier. You've got to watch the meds they try to give you, too. All three times they tried to give me medicine that would have dried up my breast milk. I asked them what is this for? They told me and I reminded them, "I am breast-feeding my baby (babies, when they were twins), so I won't be taking those". Saying I was "nursing" them, apparently doesn't mean breast-feeding anymore. You have to be your own advocate, if you have a question, ask it, and rephrase your question until you get an answer that you understand if necessary. Make a list of questions if you get shy around doctors and nurses. Educate yourself, it's your life and your baby's.

1941
4
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1941 05/24/09 - 07:19 am
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Why is this artcile still

Why is this artcile still here?

AugustaBirthNetwork
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AugustaBirthNetwork 05/24/09 - 05:01 pm
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1941: This story is still

1941: This story is still here because there are alot of passionate & angry women who have been robbed of their births, and possibly the subsequent bonding that happens due to an un-medicated and natural delivery. Interventions cause disturbances in bonding and if we have moms who are "detached" then you have social problems that we are now seeing in our "herd" population including ADD, autism, and all kinds of child abuse and neglect!!! WE NEED TO CARE about how our babies are born & treated during pregnancy & birth SO WE CAN IMPROVE outcomes. It has been proven that breastfed babies IQ is higher...so what happens when MOST babies are not? What does that society look like? Well the answer is "Look around!" We want people to think so we can stop perpetuating this problem. IT IS CHEAPER to treat Birthing as an assembly line! (less time with laboring mother & more time with machines...etc)

Debster
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Debster 05/25/09 - 11:31 am
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ABN: Give me a break! I gave

ABN: Give me a break! I gave birth to both of my children in Augusta hospitals and I don't feel that I was robbed of anything! I think you're spewing a bunch of hooey and are just trying to get your business promoted, albeit in a very lame way. Take out an ad; don't write a letter to the editor and then make constant posts.

gooddaysunshine
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gooddaysunshine 05/25/09 - 11:54 am
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Debster: ABN is a non-profit

Debster: ABN is a non-profit organization and others agree with their viewpoints! You posted earlier that you work at MCG so you know that there are improvements needed in Childbirth. "Evidence-Based Maternity Care: What It Is and What It Can Achieve," Childbirth Connection: The report argues that while U.S. women pay more than those in any other country for maternity care, they do not receive the highest quality care. The report looks at how maternity care is delivered and financed, and how it is received from the perspective of mothers' families and health care payers. The report concludes that maternity care can be greatly improved by using evidence-based care. The report also notes that caesarean sections are overused, a trend caused by physicians' preference for the procedure, rather than by the health needs of pregnant women and infants (Childbirth Connection release, 10/8). No hooey here!!!! And I did not write that LTE, but I agree with her completely as do others here.

gooddaysunshine
0
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gooddaysunshine 05/25/09 - 12:04 pm
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(PART ONE) Maternity Care in

(PART ONE) Maternity Care in the U.S. Health Care System

Childbearing is a major life passage for over 4.3 million mothers, newborns, and families annually in the United States. Within the U.S. health care system, childbirth is the leading reason for hospitalization. About 23 percent of all individuals discharged from hospitals are mothers or newborns. The current style of maternity care is procedure-intensive, and six of the fifteen most commonly performed hospital procedures in the entire population are associated with childbirth. Cesarean section is the most common operating room procedure in the country. Only three reasons for outpatient visits involve more visits annually than maternity care (prenatal and postpartum visits combined): general medical examination, progress visit, and cough.

gooddaysunshine
0
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gooddaysunshine 05/25/09 - 12:26 pm
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"It is difficult for a man

"It is difficult for a man (person) to understand something when his (their) SALARY depends on him NOT understanding it."... Upton Sinclair.

BarstoolDreamer
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BarstoolDreamer 05/25/09 - 12:35 pm
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If ANYBODY pays about

If ANYBODY pays about $2500.00 in co-pays for childbirth they need to change insurance companies!

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