Cesarean Scar Website

Barb from Navelgazing Midwife has launched a new website dedicated to the “story” your Cesarean scar tells. From the “About” page on the website:

Something told me the cesarean scar needed a place to speak.

As this site was being born, I asked three things:

-1. Take a picture of your scar.

-2. What does your scar say when you look at it?

-3. What does your scar say when you touch it?

What followed was a steady trickle of photos and stories… tender, painful, wonderful, awful stories.

Here, I humbly offer space for the stories to find their way to light.

I’ve read a few of the stories, and already there is a wide range of emotions: “I hate my scar,” “My scar mocks me,” “I’m now at peace with my scar,” “I love my scar because that means my child(ren) are alive,” etc. Everyone has a story to tell…

ISO: Home Birth and/or Midwifery pictures and videos

I’m making several promotional/educational videos about midwives, midwifery, and home birth for our Mississippi Friends of Midwives group, and would like to have more pictures and/or videos that I can use. Here are the two that I’ve gotten done so far.

This second video is clips from my younger son’s newborn exam (we had no video nor pictures from my first home-birth). I edited it for length as well as due to background noise (my mother and sisters talking), so this isn’t the entire exam.

I may even be able to make a lengthier DVD production if I can get enough material. If you have any pictures or video that I can use of midwife-attended births (preferably a home-birth, but I wouldn’t exclude a hospital birth), or even pictures/video of an OB-attended hospital birth to use as a contrast to home birth, or you can video yourself talking about why you chose a home birth, if you’re a midwife why you became a midwife, etc. — if you would like to be included, you can email me the pictures and/or links at kathy_petersen_283 at yahoo dot com [note the spelling of my name!], and in the email please write some sort of statement giving me permission to use the pictures/videos for MS Friends of Midwives.

Thanks!

Video of the Webster Technique

This was pretty cool. I’ve heard about the Webster Technique, to help a malpositioned baby to turn into a good position — usually from transverse or breech into vertex, but this is the first time I’ve seen it done. Well, actually, I’ve seen the “pretzel” (as my mom calls it) numerous times, since that’s what my mom’s chiropractor usually does on her every visit. Although it looks exactly the same, I’m not sure if there is some slight difference not noticeable to my untrained eye, between what my mom’s chiro does and what this video shows as “the Webster Technique.”

Maternal Mortality in NYC

I can scarcely get my thoughts together after reading this article:

In 2008, black women in New York City experienced 79 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births compared to 10 white maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, and a national rate of 13 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, according to the latest data available.

I’m utterly speechless.

Diaper-free

I’ve mentioned “elimination communication” once or twice before on this blog, and the more I hear about it, the more interested I am in it. Here is a blog post from “Dr. Momma” on EC, including a video showing babies being pottied and interviews with their parents. There are many links to more information on that post, so I would encourage all of you who are even remotely interested (even if it’s in a “what in the world??” sort of way) to read it and/or bookmark it for future reference.

CBC Radio Program on Breech Birth

Rixa transcribed the radio interview of a couple of Canadian doctors who are learning how to attend breech births. Well worth a read! My favorite part is when they talk about the “new” German way of handling breech birth: put mom on her hands and knees.

Robin Guy: Well, you know what’s really exciting about this is not just that we’re starting to see vaginal breech births happen more frequently, but that we’re seeing an openness to a change in practice. It has been traditional in North America for women to have been, like it or not, placed on their backs, which actually causes some problems. It increases the likelihood of cord compression during a breech birth. Putting the mom on all fours—we’ve got early data from a group in Germany who made these videos that this [all fours position] is actually a real significant increased safety for the mother and the baby. So to see this adopted and to see the collaboration with a midwife. We don’t like it, but there is professional snobbery. There are women everywhere who are cheering for Glenn Posner, who wasn’t afraid to take advice from a midwife. We’re cheering for you Glenn; we love you!

and later,

Robin Guy: If I can add for just a second, this group in Germany who has been pioneering the hands & knees position in the hospital, they’ve been doing this for 5 years and 400 births. And they have not had to use forceps to get a baby out. Not once.

World Maternal Mortality Declining!

Now this is wonderful news!! Full article here.

From a study posted in the Lancet, a number of reasons were given for the improvement: lower pregnancy rates in some countries; higher income, which improves nutrition and access to health care; more education for women; and the increasing availability of “skilled attendants” — people with some medical training — to help women give birth. AIDS still remains a big cause of maternal death, however, with the article saying that what is needed in these areas is more drugs to fight HIV/AIDS rather than more skilled attendants.

But here’s the part I don’t quite understand: “[S]ome advocates for women’s health tried to pressure The Lancet into delaying publication of the new findings, fearing that good news would detract from the urgency of their cause, Dr. Horton said in a telephone interview.” Yeah, I understand that these people may fear that the decline in deaths will lead to increased apathy about the problem, but, as Dr. Horton said, “…my feeling is that they are misguided in their view that this would be damaging. My view is that actually these numbers help their cause, not hinder it.” In fact, I can see that if there were no change in the rates, that there could be increased apathy, because “nothing we’ve tried so far works, so why bother?” Exactly!

Yet part of me wonders if there is a darker reason for these unnamed “advocates” to delay publication. They apparently wanted the publication to be delayed until after a couple of big meetings with some powerful people (and lots of money) to put towards maternal health. Why? Maybe it’s because I’m optimistic, but I would think that this news would be a big boon to them, as they could say, “Well, now we know what works, so let’s do this and this and this.” After all, isn’t it part of evidence-based medicine to look at what studies say and go from there? This may not be purely “medicine” (higher income and better female education don’t exactly fall under those categories), but it is at least evidence-based funding so that we can get the most bang for our buck. The negative part of me thinks that these people wanted to delay it possibly because the results didn’t match what they expected, and they wanted to push alternative methods for reducing maternal mortality that have not been proven, but which might line their pockets a bit more. I don’t know how exactly all this funding stuff works, but if you have ten different people or organizations each pushing a different way of improving maternal mortality, but only five of those ways have been shown to actually work, then it is likely that the other five unproven (or perhaps disproven) methods may get their funding reduced or even eliminated. If you’re one of those five whose money is about to be cut, don’t you think you’d want to delay the news that what you’re pushing doesn’t work?

Shame on those who wanted to delay the publication of this research! It shows what works, and should be a boost in confidence — it’s exciting that we can actually say that what we’re doing is helping; now let’s redouble our efforts to keep the trend going in the right direction. And if these people had high and pure motives for their desire to delay publication… I don’t know — get a dose of sunshine, watch Pollyanna, or do something to lift your spirits and restore some positivity to your life. At the least, hire a better spin doctor so that you don’t come off looking like a first-class woman-hating jerk, trying to suppress this wonderful news.