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Water Births/home Births? (Page 2)


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July 27th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
Here is an article about a recent happening in Wyoming. I am appalled that midwifery is "illegal" anywhere! The medicalization of birth infuriates me! I do agree that in some instances a hospital birth is warranted, but i firmly believe that many of the complications related to birth are from the very interventions meant to improve outcome. And for all the improvements we have done, the US has one of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates, as well as an astronomically high C-section rate of most "developed" countries.

Last modified: Saturday, June 9, 2007 12:23 AM MDT
Midwife charged in death


But some local women defend Susan Merrill for illegal baby deliveries.

By Michelle Dynes

[email protected]

CHEYENNE - A local midwife has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and practicing medicine without a license after a baby died last year.

Midwifery has been illegal in Wyoming since 2003.

The Laramie County District Attorney's Office formally charged Susan M. Merrill, 52, in April.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed in Laramie County Circuit Court, she delivered approximately 400 babies during 23-24 years as a lay-midwife.

Court records indicate that Merrill allowed Randi Peterson to have a ruptured membrane, or amniotic sack, for about 33 hours before delivery, increasing the risk of infection for mother and daughter.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, Merrill never suggested or recommended medical care after the birth of Maggie Peterson, thereby leading to the baby's death.

The delivery took place in a hotel room at 1781 Fleishli Parkway between April 24 and April 26, 2006, according to the affidavit.

Cheyenne Police Department Detective J.F. Gay III said about 18 hours after Randi Peterson's membrane ruptured, her husband, Eric Peterson, asked Merrill about the risk of infection. According to the affidavit, Merrill admitted there was a risk of infection but stated, "We don't have to worry, Randi, everything is going to be OK."

Merrill posted a $5,000 cash bond in Circuit Court on June 1.

Merrill will appear in court for a preliminary hearing later this month.

Ellen Piver said she was shocked by the charges.

The Cheyenne resident had three children delivered by Merrill without complications. She said her last child was born in 2004, and she had no indication that midwifery was illegal in Wyoming.

She added that she didn't know the practice was even threatened or if there was an opportunity for public comment on changes to the law.

"I went with a midwife because I wanted options other than a hospital," Piver said.

At home, she was able to walk around the room and wasn't given intravenous drugs.

A preliminary hearing was initially set for Friday afternoon, and a group of about 40 women and their children planned to appear in court on Merrill's behalf. The case was continued until a later date, however.

Kari Snell said she thought her home would be a better environment, and Merrill delivered her son in April 2004. After giving birth to two children in the hospital, she wanted an alternative.

The Wyoming Legislature defeated a bill in 2005 that would have allowed certified midwives to deliver babies in Wyoming.

"I had known (the bill failed)," Snell said. "That wasn't going to change my choice."

Krista Blaxton said she had some complications during her child's birth last January, but Merrill handled the situation professionally, helping her deliver a healthy baby boy, she said.

Patricia Kopf said she had her first home birth with Merrill last year, describing the experience as "wonderful."

"Sue seemed very experienced and comfortable," she said. "I hope the charges are dropped and this can be a first step toward home birth being more accepted."
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replied July 27th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
wow that's a tricky subject...
how do you think they will rule?
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replied July 27th, 2007
Experienced User
There is little information in that article about exactly how the baby died and what the midwife did (if anything) that was negligent.

I agree wholeheartedly with you sillya - the medicalization of birth is infuriated (I stopped watching baby stories on TLC because I just get so Evil or Very Mad every time I watch an overly-medicalized birth).

In hospitals I think the timeline is 24 hours. If baby is not out within 24 hours of ROM (rupture of membranes), they will push for more interventions (i.e. c/s).

The risk of infection can be virtually eliminated by not having anything stuck up your vagina while in labor.... meaning, no vaginal exams. No, the birth attendant does not need to check how dialated you are.
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replied July 27th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
Marfa Wrote:

"wow that's a tricky subject...
how do you think they will rule?"

Well, I don't know. I don't think that helping someone have a baby in their own home should be considered "practicing medicine", per se. What's next? I can't bandage up a wound on my kid's knee? Really...The fact that this woman allowed the home birth to take place knowing the possible consequences and side effects seems to me like she was, in fact, endorsing her provider, without respect for the law. It seems to me like saying "Hey, I bought cocaine from this guy on the street and It made me have a heart attack." (Obviously, different circumstances, but it was in fact illegal at the time and the mother chose midwifery anyway.) Furthermore, I don't think there is any way to know whether or not the child would have been saved had she been birthed in a hospital under all the medical care in the world. There are simply no guarantees when you have a baby. If litigation continues as it does toward ob/gyn's and midwives, women will be left with fewer and fewer choices in regard to birth. It is our litiginous society driving these things. That is why c-sections have become so prevalent. phyicians can do them and claim "I did everyithing in my power" regardless of the outcome. I sure wouldn't want to be an ob/gyn or midwife right now! Scary.

But, I think they will probably tie this woman to the stake and burn her alive for this. Sad, but I think she does not have much chance in saving herself from a nasty outcome.
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replied July 27th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
i agree..
and even tho the lady says "she did not know that midfiery was illegal in the state of Wyoming"... it still was and if they don't get her for the death of the baby (which like you said could have just as eaily died in the hospital, but we will never know)...they will surely get her for illegal midwifery...

i agree with you that too much medicine is used today, not only with the birth of a child but anytime that you go into the hospital..
and how do WE know that what they are giving us is what they are telling us it is...

but i think you're right she can't escape it..
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replied July 27th, 2007
Experienced User
Some homebirth links:

Study Confirms Safety of Homebirth (Globe and Mail)
www.sogc.org/media/pdf/articles/studyconfi rmshome-april14_e.pdf
(requires Adobe Acrobat to open)

Homebirth: As Safe As Birth Gets
http://www.compleatmother.com/homebirth/hb _safety.htm

Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/bmj%3b 330/7505/1416

From what I've found, I think there are a few main reasons why homebirth is safer, and more preferable.

1) Fewer medical interventions.

2) Not being hooked up to IVs and fetal monitors and without having a birth attendant who demands when to push and in what position. The woman has the freedom to move around into the most comfortable position for her. She can listen to her body and push when she feels the urge to push. The birth attendant can suggest positions which might be helpful but ultimately it is the woman listening to her own body, fully experiencing birth (not possible with an epidural - see #1).
Here is a link explaining why the typical hospital birthing position actually hinders birth (though it is nice and convenient for the OB):
http://www.midwifemama.com/vertical_delive ry.html

3) Women giving birth at home are in a more relaxed setting, where they feel safe and at ease (if they are confident in their decision to homebirth). Birth is not hindered by increased stress/anxiety at being in a hospital setting (this one is huge for me personally).

Another link on homebirth:
http://www.homebirth.org.uk/firstbaby.htm
"Studies of x-ray pelvimetry have found that the diameter of the pelvic outlet can increase by as much as 30% when the mother is in a squatting position."

That being said, if a woman feels safer going to the hospital and does not want a homebirth or isn't fully confident in her decision to homebirth, than it is not for her - and that's great too. The point is, that women have options - or rather, women should have options - and should have the freedom to make informed choices about their prenatal care, birth and postnatal care.
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replied July 27th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
Anne, have you read the book "Babycatcher"? It is a really great book and includes some historical perspective about how midwifery has changed over the years. Also, I read something by Ina May Gaskin when I was pregnant and it, too was great. I wish I could remember the name of it though....hmmm...nothing is coming to me....I have no brains!
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replied July 27th, 2007
Most Diplomatic Poster
sillyakchick wrote:
Anne, have you read the book "Babycatcher"? It is a really great book and includes some historical perspective about how midwifery has changed over the years. Also, I read something by Ina May Gaskin when I was pregnant and it, too was great. I wish I could remember the name of it though....hmmm...nothing is coming to me....I have no brains!


i read some of her book called "spiritual midwifery". i really liked "birthing from within" even though i am still going to give birth in the hospital. my biggest fear is intervention. i feel capable of giving birth but i am afraid that i will be railroaded into interventions if i don't keep my mouth shut enough. like if i'm too loud they will tell me i need an epidural. i've talked to rich about all of this and we are having a doula with us at the hospital and i've talked to her as well. i'm not against interventions for others or for myself when they are needed but i know i'm going to be in a vulnerable state and i worry about being pressured into something i don't really need. all i can do is hope that i will be respected and that i can trust the nurses and doctor. i wouldn't have the baby at home by myself or anything like that, so hospital it is.
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replied July 27th, 2007
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That's the one! I read Birthing from within as well. With both babies! I loved that book. My dh always said I looked just like the figure on the cover, LOL. He's so kind!
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replied July 27th, 2007
Experienced User
Sillya - I haven't read either of those books yet.

I made a mental note to read Birthing From Within after Kaerbear recommended it to someone in another thread. I will definitely add Babycatcher to my list of must-reads.

Thanks!

Here's another book I'm working on reading:

"Labor Among Primitive Peoples"
Showing the Development of the Obstetric Science of To-Day from the Natural and Instinctive Customs of all Races, Civilized and Savage, Past and Present

The whole book is available online here: http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/publi c/EngLabo.html

Originally published in 1884 it is fascinating.
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replied July 27th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
Anne, i bet it is! I will have to put that on my "summer reading list"!
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replied July 27th, 2007
Experienced User
Sillya - the book you recommended "Babycatching" - I can't seem to find it.

I found:

Catching Babies: The Professionalization of Childbirth, 1870-1920
by Charlotte Borst

Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife
by Peggy Vincent

Did you mean one of those? Thanks!
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replied July 27th, 2007
Experienced User
kaerbear wrote:
sillyakchick wrote:
Anne, have you read the book "Babycatcher"? It is a really great book and includes some historical perspective about how midwifery has changed over the years. Also, I read something by Ina May Gaskin when I was pregnant and it, too was great. I wish I could remember the name of it though....hmmm...nothing is coming to me....I have no brains!


i read some of her book called "spiritual midwifery". i really liked "birthing from within" even though i am still going to give birth in the hospital. my biggest fear is intervention. i feel capable of giving birth but i am afraid that i will be railroaded into interventions if i don't keep my mouth shut enough. like if i'm too loud they will tell me i need an epidural. i've talked to rich about all of this and we are having a doula with us at the hospital and i've talked to her as well. i'm not against interventions for others or for myself when they are needed but i know i'm going to be in a vulnerable state and i worry about being pressured into something i don't really need. all i can do is hope that i will be respected and that i can trust the nurses and doctor. i wouldn't have the baby at home by myself or anything like that, so hospital it is.


You'll do great. You'll have your doula and Rich there for you, who both know your plans and can help speak up for you when you can't. You could even have a signal that you can give Rich (or your doula) when you really need them to stick up for you.

Like, if the doctor is trying to talk you into getting an epidural because the anaesthetiologist needs to go into surgery and you won't be able to get one in a couple hours if you want one..... then you can wiggle your left earlobe, or scratch at Rich's left hand - then Rich can say "No, thank you. She understands that she can't get an epidural later, she's doing great and she will still be doing great in a few hours." Or something. They may even take him more seriously in some situations.
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replied July 27th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
Anne123 wrote:
Their first breath is not a ton of water, because they're still receiving oxygen from the cord/placenta.

They go from the vaginal canal into the water (both places they're not breathing air into their lungs), then you bring the baby up out of the water gently onto your chest and they can take their first breaths.

Also some good reading for you is here:

Why the Umbilical Cord should not be cut immediately after birth:
http://www.cordclamp.com/Why%20Do%20Babies %20Cr1.htm

It explains about the oxygen and blood supply the baby is still getting from the placenta after birth and why it is important.

Intuitively, by clamping the cord immediately after birth a "breathe or die" situation is created for the baby. Kinda stressful, yah???


Wow!

Wow, that was a cool read... I love love love stuff like that Smile Isn't the human body just freaking amazing? Hah, "Evolution is much more intelligent than you are". I like that article a lot.
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replied July 27th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
Wasn't midwifery made illegal during the american victorian "silencing" era where much sexual communicattion was made illegal? Heck, mothers couldn't even write letters to their daughters about puberty... I think midwifery was made illegal perhaps (I read this somewhere) because many midwives at the time also held the secrets to safe and effective herbal abortions and things like that, along with contraceptives, all of course went against MALE control?
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replied July 27th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
Oh my god :') I watched the 10 minute promo first and then the 3 minute preview... the preview made my cry in the good way... I just found out this afternoon I'm NOT pregnant thank GOD and that's taken a huuuge weight off my shoulders, so other people's pregnancies are once again beautiful to me, as they always were. So, Thank you, you made my cry happy tears :')
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replied July 28th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
Anne-It is the one by Peggy Vincent. I loved it!


Eiri- Shocked whoah! I am glad you got a negative. I guess I didn't know that you were worried about it! Glad you are more relaxed now, though.
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replied July 29th, 2007
Experienced User
Sillya - Thanks, I'll put the Peggy Vincent one on my booklist.

Eiri - Congrats on your negative!!!!! Glad you have some relief and can find other people's pregnancies/births beautiful again! Smile

Birth As We Know It looks so amazing... I really should get around to buying it.... but I'd hate to scare dh (lol). We're waiting at least a few more years before ttc.

In the shorter preview there's a scene where a woman is giving birth in a tub with clear plastic walls - baby's head is out and her partner is behind her and her young daughter is in the tub too - and the daughter is touching the baby's head - AMAZING. So beautiful.
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replied July 29th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
Yes! It was amazing ^^

I dreamed about giving birth that way last night =O.O= I ended up orgasming, and when I did I woke up in the middle realized I'd actually been humping my bed XD Just a little TMI for ya!
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replied July 29th, 2007
Most Diplomatic Poster
Confused
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