The Central Carolina BirthNetwork is hosting a free showing of the 2008 Documentary “The Business of Being Born”. The movie, produced by Abby Epstein and Rikki Lake shows how the American way of birth has become a business which is sometimes detrimental to the health of mothers and babies. Health decisions based on profit and the practice of defensive medicine have turned the birth of a baby from a natural and spiritual event into the technocratic procedure it is today in American hospitals. This eye-opening documentary shows expectant parents that some of the choices they make in terms of provider, and place of birth can significantly effect both health and financial outcomes.
The CCBN, formed in 2011, is hosting this free event to promote the awareness of mother-friendly maternity care in the central carolina area. Expectant parents, birth professionals, and anyone else interested in the birth industry is welcome to attend. The documentary will be shown at the Sumter Library on Harvin at 3pm on March 3. A Q&A will follow. If you wish to sit on the Q&A panel please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Doulas, out of hospital midwives, doctors, and those who have had an out of hospital birth or a VBAC are invited to sit on the panel. Please feel free to forward this page link to friends.
When progress is slow during the first stage of labor, the drug pitocin is often started to help increase the frequency and intensity of contractions. Pitocin is the synthetic version of the body’s own oxytocin which causes the uterus to contract. The thought process is that adding pitocin will speed up labor and avoid a cesarean for “failure to progress”. While this large study confirms that use of pitocin in a “slow” labor may decrease total labor time by two hours, it does not decrease the number of overall cesareans. While the study reveals that using pitocin does not have adverse effects on mother or baby, it doesn’t help avoid cesarean section for delivery.
Like all studies and statistics, this needs to be interpreted very carefully. The study’s authors recommend that doctors and midwives look for alternative ways to speed up a slow labor. Perhaps we should review Friedman’s work. For those of you who do not know, Dr. Friedman studied labor patterns many decades ago and defined six labor problems. A “protracted labor” or slow labor was one of the six; however, by his own study, his recommendation was to simply wait. A protracted labor usually ended in a vaginal delivery. Perhaps all we “modern” doctors and midwives need to just wait longer for the body to do its work without trying so hard to “fix” the labor since pitocin doesn’t seem to be helping us out that much.
Scientists have known for many years that black women and babies have worse outcomes than their white counterparts. The answers are multi-factorial of course. Even when a black woman is married, with a better education and income, pregnancy and birth outcomes do not improve. Doctors feel that it may be more related to social stressors of being a minority. Stress is comparable to an erosion process on the body’s systems. It’s the constant, lifelong stress, many believe, that is contributing to the poorer outcomes. Find out more from this NPR story….