Saturday, September 15, 2012

Natural Child Birth

Let me be clear from the start. First, I recognize that modern medicine is far from perfect. And Doctors are even further from perfect. But the problems and imperfections in medicine are not a reason to reject the whole thing. Citizens need to educate themselves and keep what's good and try to avoid the bad parts.

Next, I think there is a place in medicine for Certified Nurse Midwives. CNMs should operate just like other midlevel providers like nurse anesthetists or PA,s. OB/Gyn specialists do not need to attend low-risk deliveries. Jesus Christ taught "the whole hath no need of a physician, but them that are sick". Pregnant females are not sick. However, and OB and a Neonatologist should be at hand as backup in case something goes wrong with the delivery. Doctors should not be seeing well patients and doing well checks. It's a waste. Doctors should devote their time to seeing the sick in all areas of medicine. Doctors should train nurses and PA's to see well checks.

When it comes to having a natural birth without any medication. I'm okay with this. I get that some women want to have the experience or want to practice techniques to deal with pain. Women have been having babies without medical intervention for thousands of years. However, we should never forget that giving birth historically was the most dangerous time for mother and baby. In the old days women and babies just died if anything went wrong. Today, third-world countries still suffer high infant mortality due to a lack of basic neonatal resuscitation. Women can go natural if they wish but should not put their baby at risk by depriving them of access to medical care or intervention in the case a routine delivery doesn't end up routine.

Last week my wife was invited to a meeting of women who had lost babies though miscarriage or stillbirth. In reality, the meeting turned out to be a group of women advocating for home-birth (very bad idea).

Ruth was concerned that this conservative group, who were advocates of midwifery and home-births, were using all the same arguments for abortion to defend home-births. Ruth was surprised when she heard conservative Christian women using the same arguments to support homebirth as liberal pro-choice movement does to support abortion.

One particular woman shared her grief at not being able to have a natural birth and "give birth" so-to-speak. After laboring at home for 36 hours, she was rushed to the hospital for a crash C-section. The entire incident caused this women great disappointed because the birth didn't go how she had planned. Instead of being grateful for medicine saving her and her babies life, she resented it.

My wife represented other polar-opposite end of the spectrum. Not only am I a MD, but Ruth's father is a neonatologist and teaches neonatal resuscitation all over the world. Ruth's brother, and uncle are both pediatricians. Ruth, summed up her feeling to this point by saying, having lost a baby at 32 weeks, she would have been happy however her baby would have been birthed.

I don't really understand this "give birth" concept which involves depriving your baby access to modern medical intervention. Again, the birth process is historically the riskiest the most life-threatening time for mother and baby. There is nothing "giving" about denying your baby access to modern healthcare if it is needed. Also, there is nothing "giving" about a mother planning a birth like she is planning her wedding. I feel that women who truly wish to "give birth" should make sure that the birthing process is more focused on providing for the needs of their baby first.

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