Friday, October 18, 2013

Birth "Device" Not Required

Oh. My. Word.

Did you all see this? Apparently some company decided to invent some torture medical labor-helping mama-helping - oh, I don't know - Some kind of device that is supposedly designed to help prevent "pelvic floor damage", and speed along labor/pushing.

From the initial article (found HERE), it explains that: "The device itself is surprisingly simple: a mechanical dilator that would penetrate the first third of the vaginal canal and basically pre-stretch it to full dilation. It would be used for an hour or two during the first stage of labor, and is equipped with sensitive load and location sensors, plus a semi-automatic force-controlled actuation system, so the device can be removed quickly."

Um, ok. {blink}

So, I'm really not much of a feminist or anything, but seriously? Two men came up with this? To benefit who or what, exactly? Their tee time?! I'm sure this - um - device can't possibly be about helping women have more confidence in their bodies to give birth in the way that they were designed to do. Because even if they had the best of intentions with the design (I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt on this), it completely missed the mark.

Don't women who give birth in this country have enough against them? Maternal and infant mortality and morbidity is CRAZY high, c-sections are rampant (next time you are in a room with other women, look at the woman on your left, then look at the one on your right. Statistically one of you three will have a c-section. Yep. It's that bad), and our culture simply doesn't value birth for the POWERFUL and emotionally significant life event that it is. 

If you have any doubts about that, just look at Hollywood portrayals of birth. Then talk to your friends about their birth experiences. Did the majority of the births you saw on the screen or heard about from women you know make the mom feel in control, empowered, and respected? Or did the majority of them have a care provider swoop in for a few minutes, tell mom what was "wrong" with her body and how she was laboring and progressing and how he was going to "fix" it. Then whatever he did to "fix her broken body" lead to another intervention, and another, maybe even to surgical birth?

I just feel that WAY too many providers* have no idea how to support a laboring woman in
Mom deserves emotional support!
the way she needs to be. She needs to be respected, talked to (and not about), and whoever is caring for her needs to be supportive and make sure that she knows exactly what is going on at all times. SHE should be the one in charge, and if she needs some alone time with her birth partner to discuss options before proceeding with any intervention, then it should darn well be given to her. Without her having to ask for it. Birth trauma** is a real thing, and it can be caused simply by not respecting mom enough to give her all information and time necessary to make a good decision for herself and baby.

Women's bodies are NOT broken! They CAN give birth on their own! They did for thousands of years before all these fancy medical procedures and "devices"  were invented, and except for a small minority, natural and intervention free birth should be extremely attainable.

So, as far as this new device to stretch out women's vaginal tissues before baby is making his way through the birth canal, implying that a woman can't do it on her own? I say, no thank you. 

And I hope you do to. You don't need it. You can give birth on your own. You were designed to do this, and unless a real medical necessity comes up, you won't need anything other than some great support and the information and time to make good decisions for yourself. 

You CAN do it. Device not required.


P.s. You can read more about this company and device here.

*I really hope this goes without me saying, but I know that not ALL providers don't know how to really support a mom in labor. I have had the great pleasure to work with many AMAZING doctors, midwives, and nurses who really, really understand birthing women. Unfortunately, not all providers are amazing, and this commentary is directed at them. If you are pregnant and don't feel like your provider is amazing, SWITCH! It's never too late, and really it can make all the difference in your birth!

**If you have experienced birth trauma, first of all - I'm SO sorry! Secondly, check out Educated Mommy's event page on facebook (HERE) and come join us at our next Birth Trauma Support Group. It's a safe place to come and get the support you need to help deal with what you have gone through and how you are feeling about everything now. We are here to help!!

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