Posted by: brambledoula | November 3, 2007

Maternity Care article

Very well written and worth the 4 pages of reading.


“The predominant picture that emerges from our data,” the report states, “is of large segments of this population experiencing clearly inappropriate care.”

The majority of women ended up attached to IVs, catheters and fetal monitors. They had their membranes artificially ruptured and were given epidurals. Most of these women had little understanding of the side effects of these interventions, including cesarean and medical inductions. The report also shows that though women understood that they had the right to refuse medical interventions, few did, and many received interventions, such as episiotomies, without their consent.

“For 20 years,” says Eisenstein, “OBs have been saying you can’t have your baby at home because it’s too dangerous. The corollary would be, if you have it in a hospital, it would be safe.”

“It’s not true,” he says. “Show me a study that shows it’s safer to have a baby in a hospital. It’s not evidence-based.” Eisenstein says he feels that women are being led to believe that their low-risk pregnancies are likely to have better outcomes in the hospital and when something goes wrong, “they sue.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has never approved Pitocin for the use of augmenting labor and it has been suggested now that mismanagement of Pitocin is the leading cause of liability suits and damage awards.

Progress is being made nationally in providing birth options to women and their families. That progress, however, varies significantly from state to state. In 11 states women are prohibited from having a homebirth-trained attendant (a CPM) at their birth or are forbidden homebirths altogether, and in 17 states there are no freestanding birth centers available to women.


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