Wednesday, 14 September 2011

One born every minute - USA

After reading the inspiring book by Ina May Gaskin (Guide to Childbirth) I thought I would check out the TV Programme One born every minute - USA. Oh my goodness! It really was a pregnant woman's worse nightmare. There were no midwives at all present in the hospital, only obstetric nurses and doctors. The women did not stand a chance of anything like a normal delivery as we understand it in England. As soon as they were in the delivery room they were made to lie down on a bed and strapped to a CTG machine to observe the fetal heartbeat, and these were low risk primips. See the post 'Staying Upright' and 'Why Labour Hurts 4' and 'Hazards to a pain free labour 4' for why this is a bad idea. Next they were cannulated and an IV started and then when the nurses had made sure that they were in as much pain as possible, they were offered an epidural. A doctor came in for the birth, only 10% of women in America are delivered by midwives. They had to deliver with their legs up in stirrups in the lithotomy position, which as we all know is not a good position for an easy natural birth. The doctor then performed an episiotomy and applied forceps to deliver the baby. Oh my goodness, if this is what American women have to put up with then no wonder Ida May is so popular. I think she should be put up for election as President of the USA. I would vote for her. Maybe then you could see normal midwifery back in the US of A. Seriously, you cannot put up with this treatment, you would give more respect to a pregnant animal than they gave to the women in their care. The really sad part was that the women were so compliant and never questioned their treatment. Tell us how it really is, leave a message. Ann x.

8 comments:

  1. I used to tell my HypnoBirthing parents to avoid OBEM because I found it unhelpful in preparation for a comfortable birth since calm easy births do not make exciting television and are thus not shown. However, I was genuinely shocked by the US version. I felt that I was watching abuse and violation. It is no wonder that elective C-Sections are so high in the US if vaginal birth is really like that. I can only hope we are seeing a somewhat sensationalised version of American birth.

    ReplyDelete
  2. If only one woman goes through an unecessary painful birth due to the ignorance of hospital staff then that is totally unacceptable. What I have been watching on OBEM-USA is legal exploitation of women and I am shocked that American women sit back and put up with it. There is another way.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am an American living in England and thanking God that I have not had to give birth to my children in the US. You have to understand one word to describe the average American woman in her understanding of what childbirth should be: Ignorant--and this is not negative, it simply means not knowing or maybe naive. I thought the same way every other woman thought about giving birth with my first--"Just give me the epidural!" All of my mother friends think the same way--UNLESS--they give birth in Europe--and then they see a different way. That is all this needed--education, information, seeing a different, wonderful way. It makes me very sad that they are being exploited, but sometimes in my experiences with US gynecologists, I think "are they really naive too?...do they really buy into this?" I had my first in Holland and despite the fact that I did end actually needing an epidural, my midwives were extremely supportive of natural birth which I did in the first stage. Second one born in Scotland where I did get through a natural birth--not pain free, but natural. Wow--couldn't believe how fast I healed. Now getting ready for third and hoping to implement pain free techniques--yay for birthing pools! So I will continue praising the God-given way to give birth to American women who simply don't know.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Derech, so nice to hear that you have resisted the American way of birthing and followed your own instincts. Third babies are usually quick so you should not have to be in labour for long. Relaxing and staying upright really works but you have to believe. Don't forget to practice your relaxation technique in pregnancy so that you are ready when labour day comes. Good luck and let me know how it goes. Ann x.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yep, this really is what birth is like in the US...I had natural births only by showing up (literally) almost fully dilated so they didn't have time to do all their damage...but they still managed to fuck things up for me. I don't know who is the more ignorant: the women or the OB/GYNs! They actually tell you to get inn lithotomy/feet in stirrups so they can "help you to keep the perineum intact"...even though atleast 85% of women rip or are cut in US hospitals. They straight bully women into needless interventions by using the "your baby could be at risk" card. Inductions are the NORM, as are epidurals and some hospitals actually do more C-sections than vaginal births! Most women do not have mid-wives as an option. We have some great midwives, but many women cannot afford to pay them out of pocket. Hence, the growing unassisted home birth movement. We have McDonaldized birth into a profit-driven assembly-line industry. Even breastfeeding is underminded...the doctors have ORDERED formula for the baby when I have given birth even though I make enough milk for triplets and I an adamant 'lactivist'! I am so happy that there is a growing movement for American women to reclaim the birth process...however we are still a small minority. Small, but growing every day.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Jenna, thank you for the insight though it is a depressing one. Facebook has some sites that are being used to empower women so that they know what to ask for when planning their birth. The problem is that the care givers do not have a clue about normal birth so how on earth can they help women to birth naturally? The push has to come from women like you Jenna, women who will question what is on offer. Women who will speak out against the torture going on aimed at labouring women today. Good luck, Ann x

    ReplyDelete
  7. I had no idea until recently that births were approached differently in other countries. I am in the US and even though I got the impression that my doctors and nurses thought they were giving me the best treatment, it was far from it. I am pregnant and looking forward to a much more rewarding vs traumatizing experience this second time around.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Kristine, good luck with your next birth. Do not expect care givers to give you the birth you want, your birth partner is going to have to be an advocate for you. Just do the relaxing outlined in my blog and stay upright on a comfy chair or birth ball or simply walk around. The second is so much easier and quicker than the first. If you are relaxed then even quicker! Let me know how you get on. Ann x

    ReplyDelete