<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\07518872353\46blogName\75The+Lactivist+Breastfeeding+Blog\46publishMode\75PUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\46navbarType\75TAN\46layoutType\75CLASSIC\46searchRoot\75http://thelactivist.blogspot.com/search\46blogLocale\75en_US\46v\0752\46homepageUrl\75http://thelactivist.blogspot.com/\46vt\0754224927842028678352', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Just for fun...

Hmmm...interesting.


My blog is worth $89,197.32.
How much is your blog worth?



Anyone wanna write a check? Cause I'll totally sell. :)

Labels:

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Go to Give Birth, Come Home With No Arms and Legs

I can't even fathom that I haven't seen this on the mainstream news...especially since it happened a few months ago. I did a little more digging and I've found quite a few news stories about the case...doesn't seem like things have moved beyond legal threats yet though.

This is just so disturbing on so many levels...

http://www.wftv.com/news/6253589/detail.html

A Sanford mother says she will never be able to hold her newborn because an Orlando hospital performed a life-altering surgery and, she claims, the hospital refuses to explain why they left her as a multiple amputee.

Claudia Mejia gave birth eight and a half months ago at Orlando Regional South Seminole. She was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center in Orlando where her arms and legs were amputated. She was told she had streptococcus, a flesh eating bacteria, and toxic shock syndrome, but no further explanation was given.

"I want to know what happened. I went to deliver my baby and I came out like this," Mejia said.

Mejia said after she gave birth to Mathew last spring, she was kept in the hospital with complications. Twelve days after giving birth at Orlando Regional South Seminole hospital, she was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center where she became a quadruple amputee. Now she can not care for or hold her baby.


Everything I can find says that they are going to file a lawsuit. Interestingly, they are not suing for money, they are suing for information to try and find out how she contracted the flesh eating bacteria. Though I'd imagine that if it's found the hospital is at fault through negligence, that there would be a lawsuit to cover ongoing care and such. (which makes sense to me)

Labels:

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

All That Personal Stuff...

Ok, so Kelly says I've gotta give pregnancy updates. :) So here goes...

Four months in...and so so so thankful for my midwife. This time last pregnancy, I was still puking my guts out on an almost daily basis. This time around, thanks to a midwife that rides me about my diet (100 grams of protein a day! Protein! PROTEIN!) I'm almost always doing pretty good nausea wise.

Energy wise...blech. I'm still dragging big time... I really took it for granted that the last time around, I could sleep in in the mornings if I was tired. This time, I don't have that option because I've got to get up when Elnora gets up. Thus, instead of the 10 hours of sleep that I seem to need in my pregnant state, I'm very lucky to pull in 7 or 8. Anyone else find that they were just flat out exhausted the second (third? fourth?) time around?

Emotional wise...way worse this time around...which is funny, because most of the things I had anxiety about last time are gone. (I know how to deal with labor, I know how to be a mom...) On the other hand, I have no idea how I'll manage to keep working at home with two little ones. Mentally, things seem to hit harder this time around, though that could just be the stress of pregnancy while taking care of another kid.

Birth wise...still excited about the home birth. :) Trying to decide if we should rent a tub for laboring in. I have no desire to have a water birth, but I'd love to be able to labor in a nice warm tub. Also still trying to figure out how to approach my dad to tell him about it. Pretty much all of the rest of the family knows and they're supportive...but dad could easily go either way. You all know how dads are. ;)

Oh...and I missed my goal. I'd hoped to make it to twenty weeks before having to switch to maternity clothes...(I know, I know, hefty goal) but I fell three weeks short. Oh well...it's nice to not have to suck stomach in anymore. ;)

That said, only up three pounds, so that's nice. I only gained about 24 pounds the last time, and 9 of that was in the last two weeks. Had it all gone by 13 days after Elnora was born. Kinda hoping for a repeat. (Don't hate me, even without my pregnancy weight, I could still lose another 30 pounds) :)

Happy Kelly? :)

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Hug a Midwife!

Or maybe just tell her she rocks...

Either way, keep in mind that May 5th is International Day of the Midwife.

Whether you use a midwife, or are simply glad to have the option, it's a great day to make a blog post, send a thank you card, or write a letter to the editor sharing your thanks for the natural birthing options that the midwives of the world bring to expectant moms.

:)

Labels:

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Advertising On The Lactivist - Rate Card

This rate card is current as of July 2007.

Mothers of small children make up one of the strongest demographics online today. They're going online to research products to learn about parenting options and to connect with other mothers. While they're online, they are coming to the Lactivist.

If you're looking to reach these mothers, advertising on The Lactivist Blog is right for you. By consistently reaching out to our audience and maintaining a presence on our site, you will gain the familiarity and trust of our readers. You also stand to benefit from the strong word of mouth advertising that comes to reaching the moms that are connected online.

We currently offer advertising on our blog. The Lactivist Blog receives more than 20K visitors and more than 40K page views each month with traffic continuing to increase over time. The following advertising options are available.

125x125 Graphic Ad:
Rate: $100/mo. (3 Ads Sold - 1 Ad Available)
Run of site. Left hand column under search box.

Here's an example:



125x125 Graphic Ad Specs: under 8K. 15 second animation allowed.
Buy this ad space

468x60 Banner Ad:
Rate: $300/mo. (1 Ad Available)
Run of site. Center column above first post.

Here's an example:



468x60 Graphic Ad Specs: under 20K. Pre-approved animation allowed.
Buy this ad space

Text Link Ad:
Rate: $25/mo. (10 Ads Available)
Run of Site, left hand column under 125x125 ads.

Here's an example:

Free Guide to Working at Home

Text Link Ad Specs: 25 characters max, spaces included.
Buy this ad space


IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

  • Ads are only accepted from websites that are directly related to the interests of our audience of mothers, fathers and breastfeeding advocates.


  • Ad rates and availability are subject to change.


  • All ads must be visually appealing and are subject to editorial review.


  • No overuse of caps and no over use of specials characters (!*@, etc.) will be accepted.


  • We reserve the right to refuse any advertising or ad campaign at our discretion with out explanation.


  • Ad rates are based on pre-payment. As such, all advertising must be paid in full, in advance of any ad run.


  • Due to the nature of advertising, we can not provide guarantees on results nor do we provide refunds.


  • Payment is accepted by PayPal, credit card via PayPal, or by check. Ads purchased by check will not begin their run until the check has been received and cleared.


Please contact Jennifer Laycock for questions or assistance:

Labels:

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Monday, April 24, 2006

WHO Says Growth Charts Were Wrong

Ooops!

British Docs Have Been Giving Bad Advice to Breastfeeding Moms

For forty years...British breastfeeding moms have been told to supplement with formula or add in solids in order to bring their babies up to the "proper" weights as dictated by growth charts. The problem is, those charts have been based on formula fed babies who put on weight at a faster pace.

It's believed that the pressure on moms to bring breastfed babies "up to weight" may have contributed to the UK's growing youth obesity problem.

From the article:


Health experts believe the growth charts may have contributed to childhood obesity and associated problems such as diabetes and heart disease in later life. A government study has found that more than a quarter of children in English secondary schools are clinically obese, almost double the proportion a decade ago.

This week, the WHO will publish new growth standards based on a study of more than 8,000 breast-fed babies from six countries around the world. They will say the optimum size is that of a breast-fed baby.

The move will put pressure on British doctors to replace charts which, for the last four decades, have taken into account the growth patterns of bottle-fed babies.

Labels:

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Lot of Articles Lately on Black Market Milk

Seems like there's been a lot of news articles lately about the rise in milk banks, breast milk demand and the growth of the breast milk black market via the web.

From the Boston Herald:

At $3 an ounce - about $100 a day - many moms can’t afford to buy from a regulated milk bank, but with a few clicks they can find it for as little as $1 an ounce. Diseases such as HIV and hepatitis can be transmitted through untreated breast milk.
“Buyers should beware that they may even be getting goat’s milk from somebody who just wants to make money. That’s what’s dangerous,” said Lois D.W. Arnold, who teaches at Healthy Children Project in East Sandwich.


From the Student Operated Press:

But a fairly new phenom has some questioning whether or not we have taken this idea of for your convenience a little too far. These are breast milk banks. Yes, breast milk banks. Women all over the country are pumping their milk and sending it in to these banks to be processed and sent out to needy families.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Demand for donated milk rose 28 percent last year at the Human Milk Banking Association of North America, which operates nine banks in the United States, from Delaware to Denver, and one in Canada.

Much of the 745,000 ounces the association shipped in 2005 was prescribed for premature or otherwise ill infants, though parents of healthy babies who are adopted or whose mothers can't breast-feed also can obtain prescriptions. Up to 15 percent of mothers experience serious difficulties breast-feeding, said Dr. Joan Meek, editor of the American Academy of Pediatrics' "New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding."

The banks typically charge about $3 an ounce, to cover their costs. By contrast, powdered formula can cost as little as 10 cents an ounce.


I realized why all these stories are popping up when I ran across another one and was reminded of the interview I did a few weeks back.

Prolacta, the for-profit milk bank, has just opened up operations and is on a publicity kick trying to spread the word. That's generating a lot of new media coverage for milk banking and breast milk. That's a good thing, in that it's new coverage for milk banking, but it's a bummer in that I worry that Prolacta's marketing dollars will make it more difficult for HMBANA milk banks to recruit donors.

Labels: ,

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Baby Dies from Cocaine Laced Breast Milk

Hey, I'm all for breastfeeding. Anyone that reads the Lactivist knows that I'm...well...a lactivist... but there are some instances in which breast milk is NOT the best thing to give your baby.

Like when you're on cocaine.

From WOOD TV:


Ogemaw County prosecutors say the five-month-old girl died after drinking breast milk containing cocaine.

Assistant Prosecutor Scott Williams says she wasn't charged with murder because he believes the death was NOT intentional.

Prosecutors allege the mother used cocaine while she was breast-feeding the child.

The drug was passed on through her breast milk.


Of course the bigger issue here isn't bad breast milk, it's a mom that's on drugs.

Labels:

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Scotland Working on Breastfeeding Legislation

In a country where just 36% of mothers are still nursing by the time their babies are six weeks old, the government is working to come up with a plan to encourage more mothers to nurse and to nurse longer.

From Scotsman.com


Women will be allowed to take breastfeeding breaks at work, under proposals being considered by ministers to encourage women to feed children for longer.

The Infant Feeding Strategy for Scotland, launched by Andy Kerr, the health minister, says health and safety rules could be changed to allow women to feed babies or express milk while at work.


The goal is to increase breastfeeding rates by making sure that mothers are given every opportunity to either feed or express milk for their children. The legislation is similar to that being passed in many states in the U.S. in order to protect a mother's right to ensure that her child is receiving breastmilk.

To that end, there's a simply fantastic quote in the article that makes a point that I think many of us have failed to jump on in our fights...


Cynthia Clarkson, a National Childbirth Trust counsellor, said: "It is ironic that, until recently, every workplace provided a place to smoke but not a place to breastfeed."

Labels: ,

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Pregnant Robot Training Doll

Hopsitals beginning to use new advanced robot for training...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060417/ap_on_hi_te/pregnant_robot_1


Noelle models range from a $3,200 basic version to a $20,000 computerized Noelle that best approximates a live birth.

She can be programmed for a variety of complications and for cervix dilation. She can labor for hours and produce a breach baby or unexpectedly give birth in a matter of minutes.

She ultimately delivers a plastic doll that can change colors, from a healthy pink glow to the deadly blue of oxygen deficiency. The baby mannequin is wired to flash vital signs when hooked up to monitors.

About 50 doctors, nurses and others involved in caring for pregnant women attended the training session, which started with Noelle hooked up to standard delivery monitoring machines and tended to by nurses and doctors.

David Isaza, an engineer with Gaumard, sat in a corner with a laptop, sending wireless signals to Noelle. With a keystroke, he can inflict all sorts of complications, overriding any preprogrammed instructions.

As Noelle's heart rate increased, a nurse examined her under the sheets. An umbilical cord was visible — not a good thing. Immediately, the nurse called a "code 777." Several more medical personnel burst into the room and wheeled Noelle off to the operating room where she gave regular birth to twins after a frenzied 20-minute operation.


The thing that strikes me as most promising is the guy with the WIFI box in the corner that can "change things up" at a moments notice.

I like the whole "hey, let's make it breech" thing or "it's shoulder dystocia time!" because this is the type of thing that COULD give OBs the training on how to properly do vaginal births in those situations.

That said, my question is...can this robot deliver in anything other than the stranded beetle position?

Also...can we put them side by side and run the exact same programs with a well known OB in front of one robot and Ina May Gaskin in front of the other?

;)

Labels:

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Victory for Home Birth in Wisconsin

KaiserNetwork has a quick update on the story about the Wisconsin midwifery bill that was headed through the legislature earlier this week.

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (D) on Monday signed a bill (SB 477) that regulates licensing procedures for midwives in the state.

Also...

The new law prohibits people who are not licensed midwives from referring to themselves as midwives. Licenses will be granted to those with a certified professional midwife credential from the North American Registry of Midwives or a certified nurse-midwife credential from the American College of Nurse Midwives.

Finally...

Doyle said, "For parents who choose home birth, it is important to make sure that midwifery is practiced under a regulatory framework so they know that their midwife is properly trained and accredited," adding, "The new licensing requirements will help to make sure that births performed by midwives are safe for the baby and mother"

Nice! According to data I can find, there are currently 15 midwives in the state that will qualify for licensing and about a dozen more that should qualify shortly.

Labels:

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Missouri Midwifery Bill Having Trouble

The Columbia Daily Tribune ran a story last week that talked about the trouble that local advocates are having in getting adjustments made to the state's requirements for home birth.

Right now, home births are legal in the state, but only MDs and Certified Nurse Midwives working in conjunction with an OB are allowed to attend them. With less than a dozen practitioners in the state that are willing to attend home birth, that makes it virtually impossible for Missouri mothers to make a true choice.

From the article:


A bill sponsored by Sen. John Cauthorn, R-Mexico, would allow midwives certified by the North American Registry of Midwives to practice in Missouri. During a House hearing, Rep. Cynthia Davis, R-O’Fallon, said certification generally involves three years of formal training.

Under the bills, midwives must also prove they have attended at least 40 out-of-hospital births, although that requirement would be waived for midwives with 20 years of experience who pass a skills test.

[Chuck] Graham aide Ted Farnen said the senator is concerned for the safety of children and mothers, pointing out he isn’t the only legislator - or the only one from Columbia - who opposes the bill. "He’s the one filibustering the bill," one woman countered.

In an interview later that afternoon, Graham confirmed he is trying to block a vote on the bill. "I support the right of people to have home birth," he said. "But I want to make sure that it’s safe and that people have proper medical training before we’re going to license them to deliver babies."


This type of thing simply incenses me. Every single study that has withstood peer review has shown home birth with a CPM for low-risk moms to be every single bit as safe as hospital birth. Why our legislators can continue to bury their heads in the sand AND to get away with it is simply mind-blowing.

If you're a Missouri mama and you're reading this blog, I hope that you'll take the time to contact your own representatives to let them know how you feel about this legislation.

Labels:

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Adding in the Middle Man

Another story on Prolacta.

From the article:

Prolacta will first use its facility to buy donated breast milk from independent milk banks and hospitals across the United States, pasteurise it at its Monrovia plants and sell it back to hospitals to treat very-low-birth-weight babies.

Ok, so explain to me how BUYING milk from milk banks, so that you can pasteurize it yourself and then SELL it back to hospitals will make it more affordable and more available then simply letting the milk banks, which have already collected it for free and already have the pasteurizing machines.

I just don't get it.

Even more so, I just don't get why other people don't get it.

Labels:

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Another Breastfeeding Mom Asked to Leave

We've not had a news story to get up in arms over for a month or more. (That's a good thing mind you...it means that people aren't out there trying to tell women to hide...)

Unfortunately though, it has happened again. Lactivist reader Lisa Stewart sent me an email with a link to the following article in the Leeds Today Evening Post.

Mum left 'humiliated' by breastfeeding ban.

Basically, a mom was nursing her 10-week old in a health club restaurant and was told to leave by management. She was also told that it was company policy that moms could not nurse in the restaurant.

From the article:


Lindsay Cooper was feeding 10-week-old Calum at Esporta in Cookridge yesterday when the manager told her she had to move to a different room.

The incident took place in full view of the restaurant and Mrs Cooper described the experience as 'humiliating' and 'upsetting'.


also...

A spokesman for Esporta admitted: "It's true that we do have a policy that breastfeeding is only permitted within certain areas of our clubs.
"All our clubs have large and diverse memberships and we have to try and balance the needs of individuals with the views of our members.


According to the article, certain areas of England do not yet have legislation protecting a mother's right to nurse her child in public. I was under the impression that there was actually an item moving through Parliment that would address this issue, but there was no mention of it in the article. Hopefully one of my British readers (Jax?) can clue us in a bit.

No coverage of this in other blogs yet either, so info seems to be sparse.

Labels: ,

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Canadian Coverage of BMJ Study

Excellent article on the CTV web site about the recent BMJ study that shows homebirth to be as safe as hospital birth.

Read the full article: Home births better than hospital births: study

A Snippet:


While giving birth at home is still a controversial idea to medical experts in many countries, the study has become one of the most-read since being published in the influential British Medical Journal nine months ago.

After tracking 5,418 pregnant North American women who planned to give birth at home with certified midwives, the authors concluded these women needed less medical intervention, with far fewer epidurals and episiotomies. Forceps were also used less.


About the only negative thing in the article was the comment at the end from an OB. Very well balanced...because honestly, an OB IS going to speak out against home birth, it's totally understandable...but it is interesting to note his exact word choice... ;)

"Our perception is that we still feel that the hospital environment offers more safe options to the mother."

..."perception"

;)

Labels: ,

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Excellent Quote

In light of many of the states working to try to pass legislation legalizing midwifery and of the problems they are having due to the OB/GYN lobby...this quote seems oh so appropriate.

(kudos to sharitree at BBC for passing it on...)

“Benjamin Rush, physician and signer of the Declaration of Independences said: Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship to restrict the art of healing to one class of men and deny equal privileges to others. The Constitution of this republic should make special privilege for medical freedom as well as religious freedom.”

Labels:

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Uhh...Wouldn't That be Sexual Assault?

I just can't even say how much this terrifies me, despite being a three year old news story.

Pelvic Exams on Unconscious Women

I'd never heard of this, till someone told me that when they were in the hospital after a car accident, they found out that 10 medical students had "practiced" vaginal exams on her while she was under anesthesia to have her broken leg set.

That's right. You heard me. Ten medical students giving her a vaginal exam without her consent. Apparently, standard practice in most teaching hospitals until just a few years ago.

From the article:


Most medical students today learn the basics of the pelvic exam by practicing on paid volunteers but eventually need to move on to real patients.

Anesthetized women are the perfect subjects, doctors said, because they are relaxed and unable to feel the sometimes painful mistakes of novice examiners.

Consent is still far from a universal practice.

At the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, patients are told that students will be part of their care team, but aren't specifically told the treatment could include a pelvic exam for educational purposes.

There are similar policies at the University of Pennsylvania and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

"I don't think any of us even think about it. It's just so standard as to how you train medical students," said Dr. Jessica Bienstock, residency program director at Johns Hopkins.


The good news...students are speaking up.


Changes in that practice have taken place over the past five years after complaints from students who felt the exams without consent were unethical.

"My problem was that if they found out about it, they might be really upset, and it was really only being done for my benefit," said Dr. Ari Silver-Isenstadt, who refused to examine anesthetized women as a student at the University of Pennsylvania.

"I felt like I would be violating their trust," he said.


Ummm HECK YEAH it violates my trust when you go sticking your hands in my va-jay-jay while I'm unconscious.

The part that terrifies me is that the mom I mentioned earlier was 5 months pregnant. 10 students poking around in there? Can you even imagine what would have happened if one of them had accidentally damaged her cervix, or worse yet, broken her water?

I'm just steamed over this.

Labels:

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Home Birth in the News...

It's been a busy few weeks for the home birthing segment of the population when it comes to following news stories. While it's always true that sad/negative stories are always more entertaining to read about than happy stories, it's still disappointing to see the way that home birth continues to be portrayed in the media.

A few examples...

The Jennifer Williams Indiana Incident
Synopsis: Home births attended by anyone but a Dr. or a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) are illegal in Indiana. Nonetheless, many Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) practice underground and do home births. (CPMs can legally attend births in 41 states) Williams delivered a stillborn baby last June and has since been charged with practicing medicine without a license. Williams was not at fault in the baby's death. In fact, this was the first death at the more than 1,500 births Williams had participated in. Williams performed an episiotimy during the birth, which is what led to the charges. (An episiotimy is considered a surgical procedure, thus, it's practicing medicine.)

Coverage:
Coverage in the NYT
Letter to the Editor of Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel
Article in the IndyStar


The Helen Dentice Wisconsin Incident
Synopsis:
Another instance of a state where only CNMs are able to attend births in the home. Once again, prosecution came about because of the death of an infant. The news here is a bit more murky however. According to published accounts of this story, at least one midwife had already turned the mother down due to her high risk status (3 previous c-sections). When the birth did begin the midwife repeatedly discouraged the mother from transferring to the hospital, despite the mother's feeling that something was wrong. The midwife also told the couple that if something did go wrong, she would be leaving and taking the video tape of the birth with her. (which is what happened after an ambulance finally was summoned.)

Coverage:
Coverage on WFRV TV
Coverage in the Milwaukee Journal

Now, there are two key differences between these stories, despite the fact that they are being portrayed the same way.

In the first instance, it has been made clear that no one, not even the medical professionals that examined the case felt that the midwife was in any way at fault for the infant's death. In fact, the death likely would have occurred even in the hospital. Instead, the state is using the death as an excuse to make an example of a highly skilled and respected midwife that has a better track record than many OBs do. In this case, tragedy occurred despite everyone doing "the right thing."

In the second instance, we have example after example of poor choices behind made on all sides. Few reputable midwives would attend a home birth for a mother that has had three prior c-sections because the risk of uterine rupture is too high. The fact that they were turned down as high risk by midwives, but continued to interview until they found one shows that this couple was likely more focused on the home aspect than the safety aspect. We also have a prime example of a mother's intuition telling her that someone was wrong. The news stories report that she first insisted on calling 911 for a transfer at 2:30pm, more than four hours before the eventual birth and death of her baby. Yet, the midwife insisted that things would be fine and the mother and father "gave in." Again, a tragedy, but likely an avoidable one.

So what's the take away from all this?

Home birth is still safe. These horror stories are tragic, they're sad, but they are also part of life. In the last few weeks I've also read about the death of a woman who was paralyzed by her epidural in the hospital. I've also read about a woman whose OB applied too much traction to the cord in order to detach the placenta and ended up quite literally pulling her entire uterus out. Does this mean that hospital births are not safe? No, it means that tragic things can happen in the hospital by chance and by acts of stupidity, the same way that they can at home.

What bothers me about all of this?

That most of the stories that I've read include plenty of quotes from doctors that go on and on about the dangers of home birth, yet fail to counter those statements by citing even the most recent studies that show home birth for low risk women to be EVERY BIT AS SAFE as hospital birth. Instead, the articles focus on moms wanting home births because of some lovey-dovey emotional reason, making it seem that these mothers have no idea what they're getting into. That annoys me and it should be inciting all of us to whip out our pens and start sending letters to the editor with the link to that BMJ study every single time we see that type of drivel being printed.

Labels: ,

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments:

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

$300 Won for Milk Banking!

Thank you Lactivist readers!

Because of your help when I called you to action with this post earlier this year, the Lactivist's entry page for the carcasherdotcom seocontest has managed to capture the first place prize for both MSN and Yahoo this month! That means that another $300 has been raising for milk banking.

That brings the total from the 30 day project, reader donations and contest earnings up to an even $1000 for milk banking. That's $800 for the Mother's Milk Bank of Ohio and $200 for HMBANA. I'll be taking the checks down this week and will try to get a picture to post.

The contest continues to run until December with monthly prizes being awarded for top rankings on each engine, so we still have tons of time to build links and earn more money. Please keep spreading the word and thank you so much for your help.

Lactivist readers rock. ;)

Labels: ,

Author: Jennifer Laycock » Comments: