Tuesday, September 16, 2008

But home birth is weird?!??

Finally, after thousands of years of women delivering babies without modern technology to keep them updated every step of the way, the BirthTrack has arrived. Can I hear a collective sigh of relief, please?

With this nifty device, women's dilation can now be checked continuously via electronic sensors attached to her cervix. A third sensor "is affixed to the fetal crown and at external anatomical locations [to] enable accurate monitoring of fetal head descent". In plain English, this means the sensor is screwed into the baby's scalp. Since the manufacturers probably guessed that some Moms might shudder at this thought, they were careful to add that internal fetal monitoring via ECG is standard practice in most hospitals, which it isn't. Nor has it been in about 20 years. Of course, that leads to the conclusion that the sensors attached to either side of the cervix are most likely also screwed in - how else could they even stay in place? The manufacturer claims that this is painless, but that could only be true if the area is anesthetized. Either that, or their little blurb was written by a guy who has never had his cervix touched during labor.

Cervical dilation is NOT an accurate prediction of how fast or how well labor is progressing. Most moms with many children are dilated several centimeters during the last month of pregnancy without being in labor at all. You could go from 0-8 cm really fast (as is the case, for example, with many breech babies), and then get stuck at the end because the baby is not yet ready to descend after such rapid dilation, poor presentation, or a short cord that takes hours to stretch. On the other hand, it could take a lot of time and hard labor to get to 5 cm, only to have labor kick into high gear at that point and delivering within an hour. Home birth midwives perform manual checks of the mom at her request, but rarely of their own accord. To a midwife, the mother's attitude is a much better indicator. If she is only dilated to 6 cm but saying that she just can't go on any more, everyone knows baby is about to come. If she is still laughing and having a good time at 7 cm, it is probably going to be a while.

Of course, there are many advantages to using such a monitor, mostly financial. By tying a woman to bed with this device, her labor will likely progress much slower, which leads to increased rates of C-sections because it makes it so easy to convince the mother that her baby was in distress and needed to be delivered via emergency surgery. Also, any Mom would get discouraged if she didn't make much progress for some time, or not as much as expected, and would be asking for an epidural at best, if not an elective C-section.

My guess is that another supposed advantage of this device is to cut down on every intern on the maternity floor performing an internal exam on the mother. Which of course, it wouldn't. Not only do medical students have to perform a prescribed number of various procedures before being licensed, but I doubt they would just want to miss out on the fun of examining a helpless, laboring woman. Yes, I did just say that. Since 90% of OB/GYNs are men, and 100% of those men are perverts, I conclude that 90% of OB/GYNs are perverts.

By the way, if that upsets you, please don't forget to check "I hate this blog" on my poll in the right column. Then call your male OB for an appointment to get molested.


  1. Hi Zsuzsanna.

    This device is horrendous and pretty disgusting! I can't understand what it's for, except for making birth painful and nightmarish. It's a short step from becoming a Giger painting. I can't say I love your blog but I don't hate it either. Your categories are a bit extreme, but you are not one to mince words either, so I guess the poll agrees well with the blog. I would be in the category ...I have something in common with you...but also a lot not in common. For the record, my lifestyle is different from yours in many respects, and I don't agree with a lot of your opinions. But I am a mother and I do agree with every word you wrote about natural births and on how doctors are trying to make births become medical procedures, and how pregnancies are regarded like illnesses. And you have a pretty good sense of humor for a fundamentalist (or because of it?). All the best!

  2. Did you see the discussion I posted about male gynecologists? I brought up questions that had been asked of me before. I wanted to have responses to those questions. Did you look at my discussion? Your husband commented on it and said I had good points. I hope you can use it as a tool to help women to understand why male gynecologists are wrong. I encourage you to be gentle and explain to them that not even the strongest Christian men can stay pure in thoughts when they see naked women. It is so hard to believe that some unsaved people see the truth about male gynecologists. There are several people in the "How Husbands Feel About Gyn Exams" who see this point.

    I am not sure if you realize this, but there are so many more female gynecologists today. In fact, I heard that 80% to 90% of ob/gyn residents are female now. Praise the Lord for that. There are more and more all female practices today and I am so glad about that.

    I am so thankful that your husband stood up and preached about a very hard issue that most pastors are afraid to preach about.


  3. Hi Zsuzsanna,

    I voted that I loved your blog. But that doesn't mean I agree with you on everything you've blogged about. I really don't think that there is one person who will agree on everything. That's the way life is. I have never found anyone who agreed with me on everything.

    I really enjoyed seeing pictures of your children and reading funny things they have done. I also deeply appreciate how your husband and you understand the truth about male gynecologists and how they are not morally above other men and IVF. I had thought some about IVF before your husband preached on IVF. I was not completely sure about IVF before I saw some of the facts. I had reservations about IVF for a while because I felt like it was an act of playing God and I was concerned about what they did to the unused embryos. I do understand that it's very difficult when a married couple discover they cannot have children. But they always could adopt. One of my friends and her husband could not have a baby. They adopted a little girl from China. She's so precious. They are wonderful parents.

    I assume that a number of people have voted that they hate your blog because of what you just said about male gynecologists. It's so hard for Christians to see the truth about male gynecologists because we were taught that it's okay for the medical industry to do anything which is not true. A male gynecologist is still a man even when he puts on a white coat.

  4. Zsuzsanna,

    I am little sad by the poll results but not surprised. I love your blog. You are right about many things, homebirth, childcare, woman working outside the home and such. What people fail to realize is that though some of your views may seem radical in 2008, if a person actually takes the time to study the Bible and look at other evidence ( the bad things in the school system, hospital births, etc) a person will quickly see that your views are not illogical.
    What would you willing put your baby in daycare when you could make some money adjustments and stay home? Why would you send your child to school to be told lies and never learn to read and possibly get shot? Why would you pay outrageous amounts of money for christian school when homeschooling is cheaper? It is still cheaper even if you buy all your books brand new. TV is bad all the way around. A person will become used to seeing and tolerating sin as entertainment. Quacks like Dr.Phil and Oprah will become your heroes and and you will worry yourself to death over "global warming" and all the other silly things on the news most of which probably don't really affect you anyway if you think about it.
    I know things are tough right now with the stock market and gas prices
    and I'm not saying a person should
    bury their head in the sand but turning to God for the answers and peace is what people need to do. Obama and McCain are not going to save us so you are wasting your time watching debates and worrying over that as well.

  5. I enjoy reading all of your post.
    The things you come up with to discuss, I would never think of.
    Thanks for bringing all of these hot topics to light.
    I wish I had a better experience during all 3 of my births. I hated the fact as soon as you get to the hospital they strap you down with all of these devices. Then they will not let you up till the baby is born. I was induced with all of my babies and I wanted so badly to go into labor on my on with my 3rd but it didn't happen that way. I wish I had been more informed early on about home births when I was younger. Hopefully your post will persuade other women to seek other options than just going to the hospital to have their bundle of joy.

  6. Zsuzsanna,

    You read on my blog about my hospital birth experience and I was wondering if there is any way the problem of the baby swallowing the fluid in his mouth is something that a midwife can prevent and if not is there a better way to handle it as opposed to what the hospital did.

  7. Misty,

    I am glad you enjoy reading my blog in spite of different opinions we have on some issues. No two people will ever agree on everything, and that is perfectly fine. Keep up the great job exposing male gynecologists!


    the poll results are not surprising to me at all. In fact, I would have thought that more people hated my blog based on the comments I receive every day.

    As far as your previous birth experience goes, it is really impossible for me to say if or how it could have turned out differently with a midwife. I do not understand why the hospital moved your son to the NICU after he didn't cough the swallowed fluid back up. Was it causing him a problem? Did they do anything in the NICU (such as pump his stomach) or just have him there to watch him? Did he maybe not swallow the fluid (i.e. get it in his stomach) but rather inhale it (i.e. get it into his lungs)? Midwives do routinely suction the baby's mouth with a bulb syringe, but I have never heard of anyone transferring to the hospital after the baby swallowed fluid into his/her stomach. A transfer would only be necessary if the fluid gets into the lungs, and even then only if it is either a lot of fluid, or if it has meconium in it. Water births reduce the risk of any of this from happening, while using pain medication greatly increases such complications because it messes with the baby's alertness.

    Some moms or babies will need to be transferred to the hospital during or shortly after birth, and there is a place for modern medicine - in maybe 1-3% of births. People don't realize that transferring from home to the hospital in most places in America is no more dangerous or time-consuming than for a problem at the (understaffed) hospital to be detected and then to be transferred within the hospital itself.

    Giving birth is a normal, natural, and safe process - much like becoming pregnant, breastfeeding, or caring for a child. It is not inherently dangerous. In fact, I think it would statistically be more dangerous to drive to the hospital on a Friday or Saturday night (= drunk drivers everywhere) than to stay home to give birth.


    my intention is never to make anyone feel bad about their past labor experience, but rather for them to be able to make more educated decisions in the future. I myself learned much of the information on natural birth after my first birth, which was not that bad for a hospital birth, but certainly not what I had expected, either. Midwives are better and more educated than doctors hands down. I do not understand why people idolize doctors. So they go to medical school for 8 years, but how much of that time do they spend out partying and drinking their brain senseless? Anyone can go through medical school and become a licensed physician no matter how dumb they are if they are willing to "serve their time" in medical school. Compare that to a loving parent or a midwife who delivers babies out of love for them and woman, who educate themselves on their own time out of interest and not out of greed for money. I have been reading hundreds of books, publications, articles, etc. on birth since our oldest was born 7 years ago, so I don't understand why people think I know so much less than a doctor.

  8. Funny that according to your poll, most people think you are insane. (Okay, maybe I'm just speaking for myself here.More accurately, they "hate your blog".) But if you were to just read your comments section, you'd think you had nothing but supporters. I'm all for editing out the obscenities, but I wish you had a little more courage to post the comments from those who take offence to the things you write, especially since your whole intention, usually, is to offend people.

  9. In my experience, (only one hospital birth), you can refuse checks at any time. The only times I was checked (which was only a few times) it was by my female nurse(s) and my female ob/gyn. I personally don't think male ob/gyns are perverts, but I don't feel comfortable with a male.

    As for why so many people voted that they hate your blog, I really don't think it has to do with your beliefs...I think it is more the delivery. Many people don't agree with male ob/gyns, IVF, daycare, out of home schooling, working moms, but people don't like being demonized for their choices. And even people who agree with you on the issues (me in some cases) don't agree with what appears to be extreme criticism. I am aware that this is your blog and that is your right. But, I really think it astounds people whose personal Christian faith or view of Christianity seems to be contradictory to yours.

    For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Who am I to judge? All I can do is try and be a better person and make a difference in this world.

  10. hudson6803,

    so what you are saying is that it's not what I say, but how I say it. That's also what the children of Israel said about hearing God's voice in mount Sinai, but the NT makes it clear that "they could not endure that which was commanded."

    I seriously doubt that anyone who is against daycare, for example, is offended by me saying so publicly. The people who were mad were all working moms.

    Maybe I wouldn't have to be so adamant about my views if the world wouldn't be cramming their views down everyone's throat. I don't believe that different from people even 70 years ago (except on the male ob issue).


    it's not a lack of courage that makes me not post most opposing comments. For one, I rarely read more than the first line of these comments because of a lack of time and not wanting to read possible vulgarities. Secondly, this blog is not a discussion forum. I feel no need to give the "other side" a platform, or drive traffic to their website.

  11. Zsuzsanna,

    I was checking in Arizona if they have birthing centers but did not find any. Have you heard of any in the Phoenix area?

    We are moving there October 3rd and have been fusterated with the options for birthing in AZ. We have plenty here in PA and they are run by midwifes (near to a hospital).

    Just wondering. If you don't know don't worry about it.

  12. Christine,

    As far as I know, there are no birthing centers in Phoenix. There are many, many good midwives though, and pretty much anywhere in the Phoenix area is within a few minutes of a major hospital (in case of a transfer), so I guess that's why there is no need for a birthing center. I'll ask my midwife about it at my next prenatal.

  13. I forget what the original post was about but I LOVE your blog!! haha

    If people hate your blog so much they need to lighten up or quit reading it.

  14. Thank you Zsuzsanna. That would be great. I just couldn't do it at home because the boys are around. I don't have family in the area to watch them while giving birth. A birthing center would work great so that I can have something nearly the same as a home birth but not in my home.

    I would LOVE to do a water birth with the next one. I think it's great!

  15. Zsuzsanna,

    You don't have to post this or even tell me if you don't want to but I was wondering who h.bowman is? A really sour working mom with nothing better to do? She ( I'm assuming it's a woman) sounds pretty bitter about what you have to say. Don't change it though. This is your blog and not a debate site and if people don't like what you have to say there are many liberal blogs on the internet that will pat them on the back and make them feel good about the choices they make.

  16. Hey Brittany, allow me to answer as to who I am. I checked out your profile quickly, and basically I would describe myself as the exact opposite of you in every conceivable way. Hope that helped. Cheers!:)


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