Doulas on The Today Show 0Doulas are a wonderful addition to the modern, medical birthing environment. They are proven to reduce a number of unnecessary interventions, including cesarean. They offer emotional support and in many instances, doulas will gently remind a woman who is being coerced into unnecessary procedures about her original intentions and birth plan. Doctors (and CNMs) hate this. The following clip is from the Today Show which aired on November 20, 2008 and in which mother and doula's opinions were downplayed while the obstetrician got the lion's share of the interview and the woman basically blamed doulas for less than favorable outcomes which is absolutely and utterly ridiculous. They (the cogs in the medical model) have no one to blame but themselves, their wallets and their watch for less than favorable outcomes.
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How to Avoid Cesarean Delivery 5Author: Kara Spencer, LMT, CD A Cesarean section is major abdominal surgery performed in order to deliver a baby from its mother, through an incision in her abdomen. Cesareans are a vital emergency surgery for mothers and babies who are at severe risk. However, C-sections are on the rise in US and around the world, and it is reaching epidemic proportions. In the 1960's, only 5% of babies were born by Cesarean, in the 1970's and 1980's the surgery increased to 25% of women delivered their babies through surgery. Now, in the US, one in three women deliver their babies via Cesarean. You are having a baby and you want to avoid a cesarean - what do you do? The best thing you can do to reduce the risk of Cesarean is to hire a midwife for your prenatal care, labor and delivery. Midwives have dramatically higher rates of successful healthy vaginal delivery than obstetricians. A new research study by Sutter Health, shows that the two factors in hospital birth that most lead to a Cesarean are active management of early labor and medical induction. You can avoid active management of early labor through hiring a doula to support you through labor. A doula can come to your home in early labor, and is familiar with signs and behaviors of the different stages of labor, and may help you to cope at home, so you don't show up at the hospital too early. Try to stay at home until you are in active labor to avoid unnecessary interventions which may lead to iatrogenic complications. Increase your awareness of the realities of medical induction. Along with Cesareans, there is an epidemic of inductions happening in the United States. The baby's due date is an estimated due date, yet there is increasingly a medical and cultural belief that babies should be born on or before the due date. In fact, only 4% of babies are born on their estimated due dates, and most first time moms go about a week over due. Also, due dates can be tricky to calculate due to variations in women's menstrual cycles and the timing of ovulation. The Lamaze Institute for Normal Birth has a position paper on inductions, which I feel is a must-read for pregnant women. At one of my local hospitals, 70% of women who are medically induced end up delivering via Cesarean section. Also, choose your place of birth carefully. Midwives have lower c-section rates than doctors. Non-profit hospitals have lower c-section rates than for-profit or teaching hospitals. In Seattle, the non-profit Group Health has a c-section rate of 16%, while the nearby profit and teaching hospitals have c-section rates of 36%! Cesarean surgery is a hugely profitable industry, and 80% of cesareans happen Monday through Friday between 8 am and 5 pm. While surgery may be more convenient for the doctor, the increased risks are not convenient for mom and baby. Education increases your chances of a healthy informed birth. Hire a midwife, a doula, make informed choices, and trust in your body and your baby! Research and practice techniques for optimal fetal positioning, to encourage your baby to be in the best position for labor and birth. For more resources on Cesarean awareness and prevention, check out the ICAN website of the International Cesarean Awareness Network. About the author: Kara Maia Spencer envisions the birth of a peaceful humanity through midwives, doulas, gentle birth, conscious parenting, and sustainable living. She is the founder of the Birth Ecology Project and the owner of Maia Healing Arts Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/chimmy/911626776/
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