Monday, October 27, 2008

Consumer Reports: Birth too high-tech

Although this has already been blogged by Crunchy Domestic Goddess (Amy), I figured it wouldn't hurt to give it more press.

Consumer Reports reported on a new study about maternity care in the US. Conclusion? Less is more. They even have an informative quiz- reminding us that induction is risky, epidurals aren't side-effect-free, and due dates aren't legitimate (really? Because I was sure...).

I'm glad that Consumer Reports is picking up on this. Maybe it can enlighten just a few more people.

It mentions 6 interventions that should be reserved for high-risk women, NOT the every-day low risk mom.

  • Induction
  • Epidural
  • Cesarean section
  • Electronic fetal monitoring
  • Rupturing Membranes
  • Episiotomy
Most women are low-risk- then why are most women receiving one or more of those interventions? The Report replies, "money and liability (for the hospital) and convenience."

In my book, the risks of these interventions definitely outweigh the benefit of money and convenience.

Take the time to read Amy's view. Take the little mini-quiz. At the end of the article it also mentions 6 actions that we should be promoting including early skin-to-skin contact and birthing in upright standing/squatting positions.


  1. Thanks for sharing. However, there is one vital fact missing: most women WANT interventions. Maybe not a c-section, but I can't count how many women say "give me the drugs" or who would rather schedule their baby's birth. And I have even heard some women who prefer a scheduled c-section. Having felt "bullied" into using pitocin due to "slow" labor, and then realizing I couldn't handle the strength of contractions and therefore getting the epidural, I feel really annoyed with obstetricias. But, my baby got here safe and sound. I do want to prepare and feel the empowerment of actually birthing the rest of my babies, but it is important to remember that most women just don't realize that natural childbirth really is natural...

  2. Yeah, I thought I wanted a C-section. That's kind of embarrassing to admit, but I was terrified of labor and just wanted to get it over with. Then after I had the surgery I was totally pissed at myself. Oh well.

    Anyway, the NICU Toby was in did a great job at promoting skin-to-skin contact, even with all the tubes he was hooked up to. The second day we visited him they had me hold him inside my shirt. It was AWESOME! Yay for Kangaroo Care!

  3. Thanks for spreading the word! :)


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