A revolutionary new concept -- that the bacteria in our bodies is essential to our health -- is only just filtering down into modern day obstetrics. The health of our next generation depends on it.
It's hard to compete with 20 billion years of evolutionary selection, but the current medical management of the birth of the fetus and the placenta attempts to do just that, albeit rather unsuccessfully. For eons, all animals including humans passed on genes and habits that ensured delivering a live healthy newborn without bleeding excessively or dying of postpartum hemorrhage at birth.
The relatively recent discovery of the microbiome is completely redefining what it means to be human, to have a body, to live on this earth.
In 2009, while 99.3% of US women delivered in hospital, 0.7% delivered at home. In response to this slight rise in homebirths, The American Journal of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a warning to all doctors and midwives to refuse to attend homebirth under all circumstances. In the absence of respected medical research showing planned homebirth to be unsafe, their recommendation is based on a single maternal death reported in the Daily Mail.
When it comes to pregnancy, this intervention has slipped stealthily into the experience of nearly every pregnant woman alive today. But is it safe for expectant mothers or their babies?
Whether she is aware of it or not, the woman decides when, where and how to give birth. Our bodies are under our control whether we have accessed the keys to that control or not. Extreme control has been demonstrated by highly trained martial arts experts who can prevent themselves from ovulating. Mothers at term have put themselves into labor by simply walking up a steep hill for an hour to start contractions.
45% of births in the US are now induced, but evidence supporting this intervention is severely lacking. Case controlled studies show no benefit to inducing for postdates. Routinely inducing for postdates is based on 3 uncontrolled, retrospective studies showing 1/1000 less stillbirths while ignoring possible increases in brain damage to newborns as a result of induction.
Caesarean sections, unless strictly indicated, may be harmful to the health of mothers and their newborn babies. Two questions remain. Why are rates still on the increase? What can be done to reverse current trends? As a head obstetrician recently said, "If highly-paid soccer goalies won't practice evidence-based diving for the ball when they are paid millions of dollars a year, what hope is there for obstetricians?"
Since the ability of ultrasound to both diagnose and improve outcomes of severe defects is close to non-existant in most locations, routine prenatal ultrasound screening is most often simply the best way to terrify a pregnant woman.
Today research wrongly considers hospital birth as the gold standard. Bias towards hospital births causes the majority of researchers to ignore the fact that women could achieve even better outcomes than hospital birth, at planned attended homebirth.
"Mars Attack" is new term coined to describe unjustified violation of women by care providers at the time of birth, as well as the purposeful abandonment of the peer review system by major obstetric journals and the abandonment of the use of research evidence by ACOG in their latest protocols, in order to justify continued use of this form of violence against women.
A new study linking birth induction to autism is rippling through the mainstream press, but something vitally important is being lost in the translation; namely, the need to return to natural, ancient birth practices, whenever possible.
Cord prolapse, a cause of permanent disability and death, can be caused by amniotomy at or near term. To achieve optimal neonatal outcomes, the amniotic sac should not be ruptured artificially to speed up labor or induce labor.
When twins are diagnosed before labor, both twins are head down and full term and delivered within 15 minutes of each other, attended home birth is as safe as hospital birth.