When I realized that the only reason we had gone to the hospital was to have the doctor there “just in case”, it started to dawn on me that something was really wrong with that way of thinking. Being in my own home would have given me the security to relax and do what I needed to do, not what the nurse’s guide to childbirth says is supposed to work for the “average” woman. I began to research what happens to women with healthy pregnancies when they go to the hospital for birth. This will be a long post, but I don’t feel that any of this important information can be left out.
One of the first things I learned was that obstetricians are trained to manage complicated pregnancies and perform C-sections. They are trained to handle emergencies. They are NOT trained to stand back and allow a normal pregnancy and birth happen. I have seen several interviews with obstetricians who say that they feel like they aren’t “earning their pay” if they don’t interfere. They are trained to “do something”, so they apply their emergency training to perfectly healthy moms and babies. It usually starts with inducing labor when a baby is “late”.
You might be surprised how the idea of a 40-week pregnancy came into being. In the early 1800s a German obstetrician simply declared that pregnancy lasts ten moon months counting from the start of the menstrual cycle prior to the pregnancy. (2) It took nearly 200 years for researchers to investigate whether this was, in fact, true. It turns out that it wasn’t. When researchers in the late 1980s followed a group of healthy, white women with regular menstrual cycles, they discovered that pregnancy in first-time mothers averaged eight days longer than this, or forty-one weeks plus one day (2). The average was three days longer than forty weeks in women with prior births.
- Pitocin: info from www.drugs.com
- The following adverse reactions have been reported in the mother:
Anaphylactic reaction Premature ventricular contractions Postpartum hemorrhage Pelvic hematoma Cardiac arrhythmia Subarachnoid hemorrhage Fatal afibrinogenemia Hypertensive episodes Nausea Rupture of the uterus Vomiting
Excessive dosage or hypersensitivity to the drug may result in uterine hypertonicity, spasm, tetanic contraction, or rupture of the uterus.
The possibility of increased blood loss and afibrinogenemia should be kept in mind when administering the drug.
Severe water intoxication with convulsions and coma has occurred, associated with a slow oxytocin infusion over a 24-hour period. Maternal death due to oxytocin-induced water intoxication has been reported.
The following adverse reactions have been reported in the fetus or neonate: (that’s medical code for “baby”)
Due to induced uterine motility: Due to use of oxytocin in the mother: Bradycardia Low Apgar scores at five minutes Premature ventricular contractions and other arrhythmias Neonatal jaundice Permanent CNS or brain damage Neonatal retinal hemorrhage Fetal death Neonatal seizures have been reported with the use of Pitocin.
- Epidural anesthesia using standard medication doses increases your risk of:
- Having a prolonged labor. The average epidural labor takes an extra hour to deliver the baby.2
- Having a drop in blood pressure (hypotension), which can lower your baby’s heart rate. This is why you receive fluids through an intravenous (IV) line beforehand and why you’re encouraged to lie on your side, which improves blood flow.
- Being unable to feel your contractions and to push. This increases your risk of needing an assisted (forceps or vacuum) delivery and possibly your chance of needing a cesarean section you wouldn’t otherwise have needed.2
- Having your baby move into the wrong position (malposition) because of slack pelvic muscles and a slack uterus. This increases your risk of needing an assisted (forceps or vacuum) delivery.
- Having a seizure related to the medication.
- After childbirth with an epidural, you may have:
- Back soreness at the catheter site during recovery.
- Severe, prolonged headache after delivery, when the spinal cord sheath has accidentally been punctured during the procedure. ( http://www.webmd.com/baby/should-i-use-epidural-anesthesia-during-childbirth ) (I have personally known of a couple of women who had severe headaches for six months!)
(What they do NOT mention, is that women have had brain damage and death from spinal infections which were caused by the epidurals.)
- Infection of the bladder or uterus
- Injury to the urinary tract (I’ve known women who are still suffering decades after having a c-section)
- Injury to the baby
- Reactions to medications
- Problems breathing
- Blood clots in the leg or pelvic vein
A C-section may also cause problems in future pregnancies. This includes a higher risk for:
- Placenta previa
- Placenta growing into the muscle of the uterus and has trouble separating after the baby is born (placenta accreta)
- Uterine rupture
And March of Dimes says the baby can experience these problems:
- Some babies are affected by the drugs given to the mother for anesthesia during surgery. These medications make the woman numb so she can’t feel pain. But they may cause the baby to be inactive or sluggish.
- Breathing problems: Even if they are full-term, babies born by c-section are more likely to have breathing problems than are babies who are delivered vaginally.
- Women who have c-sections are less likely to breastfeed.