Recent Interesting Reads

Not that I’m voting Republican, but I am curious to know anything about Sarah Palin.  Who is this woman and how did she secure the VP slot on the Republican ticket?  Here are my guesses: (1) She’s such a nobody that when McCain loses, no Republican with a political future would be sacrificed and (2) Should McCain/Palin pull out a win, they have Alaskan Oil in their pockets.  But I digress – read this post at Jezebel about Sarah Palin’s brand of feminism.  I don’t mean to be polemic, and well, when you hear it enough times, it ceases to be polemic and looks more like the down-low on shadiness.

Researchers from the University of Connecticut released a study which looked at the relationship between cesarean rates and malpractice rates.

“When I compared the malpractice rates to cesarean delivery rates prior to 1999, both were declining at a similar rate,” says Spencer. From 1999 to 2005, however, both were increasing. “I can’t say one led to the other or visa versa,” he says, but he speculates that rising medical malpractice rates are driving up cesarean delivery rates.  “With our data, we cannot prove a causation but only suggest an association.”

An insightful read from the UK, especially:

“Since the 1970s, the medicalisation of childbirth has been a hot topic for obstetricians, midwives and feminists. There exists in maternity services a clear division between the interventionists, typically headed by the obstetricians, and those, such as midwives, who favour a low-intervention approach. Caught in the middle are the women giving birth. Those who opt for high-tech hospital births are condemned for giving in to unnatural patriarchal models of healthcare and betraying the sisterhood. Those who eschew medical and technological assistance are deemed irresponsible and reckless. They can’t win.”

No, we can’t seem to win, especially those of us who have already been cut once.  To put our babies through a “trial of labor” is considered irresponsible and reckless at best by a growing majority of care providers and the general public.

And finally, I’ve never liked Dr. Phil.  I’ve watched enough of him on TV at various times in his career to know that he has nothing new to add to my knowledge base.  I find him to be a subversive character – wish I could remember the exact moment I decided that, but it was many years back and had something to do with him blaming a wife (in front of her husband) for their marital distress.  I don’t know who was at fault, but Phil pinned the whole thing on the wife and was using this icky patronizing tone.  Ick.

I digress.

Over at Inspired Mama I came across this post – Dr. Phil is asking for homebirth disaster stories.  <sigh>  I’m reproducing it below so you don’t HAVE to click on the link unless you want to go to the horse’s ass, I mean, mouth.  (Keep in mind that when you click active links it raises their “rating” in search engines.  Click at your own risk.)

Did you have a child at your home?

Did you want to have a soothing experience where you were in control and could bond with your child?

Did it not go the way you planned?

Do you regret having a home birth?

Do you regret using a midwife instead of going to a hospital?

Did you have your second child the traditional way in a hospital?

If you or someone you know regrets having a home birth please tell us your story below.

Be sure to be specific and include details!

Here’s an idea – instead I recommend flooding the Dr. Phil show with letters about how wonderful homebirth can be, how difficult VBACs can be to achieve within a hospital environment, and how the current maternity system ruins natural childbirth.

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12 thoughts on “Recent Interesting Reads

  1. When the Dr. Phil show originally asked for guests about home-birth, it was more balanced, and I actually linked to it on my blog. But it changed, and now it’s obvious that they’re going to smear home-birth, or at least are setting up a “fireworks show” a la Jerry Springer. So, I did what you suggested, and told them I did not regret my homebirth, and that Dr. Phil just lost my viewership. (Though to be honest, we don’t have a TV, so I haven’t watched it in years.) But I definitely lost what respect I did have for him (which wasn’t very much).

  2. I’ve never liked Dr. Phil, either. He’s always rubbed me the wrong way with his simplistic approach to things. I seem to remember a show where a woman had depression and he basically told her to suck it up. What an idiot!!! I’m now even further appalled.

  3. As Kathy mentioned, when I first heard word of the Dr Phil show they were looking for more balanced views, some from each side by the sound of it. Obviously that position has changed, and I’m disappointed but not surprised. With as big a viewership as he has Dr Phil has the power to get some good word out on this, or at least to get women thinking. Sad, sad, sad.

  4. Furthermore, I’ve heard that “Dr. Amy” will be a guest for this show, and with her on board, there’s no chance of a respectful conversation about the costs/benefits of birth venues.

    Thanks for your comments gals!
    ~ Kimberly

  5. It is possible that Dr. Phil’s request started out looking for both sides then became inflammatory, seeking only those against home birth was that he was flooded with pro home birth responses from the beginning and could not find any folks who wanted to be on his show that had had negative home birth experiences.

    It’s my understanding that the show has already been taped. Does anyone know when it will air?


  6. Sarah, very good point – these things sometimes take on a life of their own. On the other hand, he (and his production team) are STILL responsible for the end product. People forget that the medicalized perspective has the position of power, and therefore being “fair” and “balanced” continues to reproduce the same mores because the dominant mode of thought continues to dominate.

    If anyone does have info on when it does/did air, please do tell!

    ~ Kimberly

  7. Dr. Phil likes to mostly blame the men for everything. I find him annoying and rediculous. I love your pro-active idea of flooding the show with good stories. What a wonderful and positive way to handle it.

  8. Hi Trials, thanks for visiting my blog, so you know we’re on the same page about Dr. Phil, and I just want to add I have very very serious reservations about the potential vice presidency of Palin. I find especially disturbing the shrewdness with which they managed to put a pretty, girl-next-door face on anti-abortion, pro-oil lobby, socially ultra conservative politics.

  9. I went and shared my homebirth experience on the site, and since that questionnaire was posted, it has changed yet again. I bet you anything that all of us birth activists pushed the change on them. If you go and look now, it’s a totally different approach…

    I don’t like Dr. Phil either – and I can’t put my finger on why. I just don’t.

    And I have to say that while I probably line up with Sarah Palin’s views on a lot of things (not everything), I’m not sure I want her to be VP either – she has just as little experience as Obama, and if McCain were to win and have a heart attack…I’m just not sure she’d be cut out to be the President. Honestly, I have to say that I’m probably not voting for either of the major candidates this year…but I don’t know who I will be voting for.

    I’m tempted to write in Mickey Mouse. 🙂

  10. I know that the popular media really misrepresents home-births. I search the medical literature and came to the conclusion that it was the safest option for me as I was in a low risk category. I definitely had a bad experience, though. The midwife just really wasn’t present and left me alone throughout most of the birth (until I began pushing), just sending in an assistant occasionally to check on the baby’s heartbeat. It really was an awful experience and left me really traumatized. It’s part of the reason I had such awful ppd, I think. I know at least one other person who had a similar experience with midwives at a birthing center. So I think it’s important to not romanticize midwife-attended births and to recognize that there are bad experiences that need to be talked about in the natural birth community.

  11. Thanks for leaving comments on my blog, Muser. I’m about to go visit you as well . . .

    I am the editor for the ICAN’s (International Cesarean Awareness Network) newsletter, the Clarion. The fall issue deals with traumatic birth. May I publish your comment in our publication? If so, how would you prefer to be recognized? I tried to e-mail you, but I got an error with your address. 😦

    Thank you!
    ~ Kimberly (labortrials)

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