Friday, March 20, 2009

Can This Really Happen?

Yes. And it did.

Expectant mother taken to hospital after four hours of minor, but relentless contracting. She is 36 and a half weeks pregnant. At 8:30 pm, nurse finds her to be 3 cm dilated and 60% effaced. At 1:00 am she was to be re-examined for change. At that check, water bag was broken....(on purpose.) Remains in hospital until morning. Morning, no change. Most likely was given Pitocin. No change. At 5:30 pm she had a Cesarean section.

In the words of Marsden Wagoner, M.D. and former director of the World Health Organization, "If you really want a humanized birth, the best thing to do is to get the hell out of the hospital."

From the documentary The Business of Being Born:
  • Midwives attend over 70% of births in Europe and Japan. In the U.S. they attend less than 8%.
  • The U.S. has the second worst newborn death rate in the developed world.
  • The U.S. has one of the highest maternal mortality rates among all industrialized countries.
  • In 1900, 95% of births took place at home.
  • In 1938, half of all births took place at home.
  • By 1955, less than 1% of births took place at home. This is still true today.
  • Since 1996, the Cesarean section rate in the U.S. has risen by 46%.

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