Thursday, October 18, 2007

Everything old is new again

Yesterday’s news had two pieces about labour and delivery. Having just read the book The Birth House, by Ami McKay, these stories stuck in my mind.

For those of you who don’t know the book, it’s a good read. The story takes place in the early 20th century in a rural village in Nova Scotia (in the Canadian Maritimes). Dora, the main character, takes on learning midwifery from the village midwife when a doctor arrives, very sure that he has the latest to offer the suffering pregnant and labouring women of Nova Scotia. Along with the battle of wills that occurs, we follow Dora’s life.

The news stories yesterday reminded me of the book. While we can’t ever forget that maternal and fetal deaths are a very real part of life where medical care is unavailable or substandard, we also can’t forget that pregnancy and delivery are not illnesses. Most women have uneventful pregnancies and deliveries and would do well without medical interventions, with the guidance of an experienced midwife.

Now the medical community is beginning to realize that maybe some of their approaches aren’t as necessary as they insisted they were.

I’m all for improving labour and delivery. I think epidurals are a great thing for women who want them. I wanted them. I had them for each of my three but they didn’t work. Go figure. I’m all for having special places to have babies, be it a hospital or birthing center since you would be closer to medical care if an emergency were to arrive. There is so much about the available medical care that can and does improve maternal and fetal health, but one thing that we always have to remember is that healthy and normal pregnancy and delivery doesn’t have to treated.

News for Today:

Multiresistant bacteria that cause kids' ear infections discovered: study
HPV test beats Pap in detecting cervical cancer
Experts issue warning about egg freezing
Obese children show early signs of heart disease
Patients should ask surgeons about using honey to heal wounds
HIV Linked to Increased Risk of ESRD in African Americans

Aspirin -- just for men?
U.S. agencies stick to pregnancy fish-eating limits

1 comment:

Crabby McSlacker said...

A timely post about birthing, at least as far as puppies go! I wonder if Dawn's dog (over at Flightless Writer) would have liked an epidural?

Had I ever had kids I would have wanted an epidural for sure--but i didn't know they don't always work. Yikes!