I never understood (and still don’t understand) why a birthing woman in pain would not want pain control any less than a person with appendicitis would not want anesthesia for an appendectomy.
Curiously, the women who pressed for epidural free labor were of two sorts, upper middle class white women or young Hispanic girls.
Patients in the first group seemed to be in search of some New Age birthing experience, convinced that the resources used by lesser women would somehow be unfulfilling for them… They often spoke of a desire to bond with their baby or a need to feel the pain of childbirth, neither of which made any sense to me… The small percentage who did succeed without epidurals nearly always traumatized the rest of the delivery floor with hours of yelling and crying.
The second group demurred epidurals simply because they received bad medical advice. Most of the Hispanic girls came from community centers managed by certified nurse midwives (CNMs), nursing “specialists” perhaps even more incompetent than CRNAs (how OB-GYNs tolerate them I do not know; they’re acerbic, ignorant and foolhardy and generally built like linebackers). For some reason, CNMs preach a sort of gospel of minimalism when it comes to childbirth…
… some educated women choose to play Russian roulette with their children and shun conventional medicine in favor of ridiculous New Age birthing plans. It simply doesn’t make any sense to me. I understand why young, Hispanic girls with limited education get bamboozled by CNMs to forego modern medicine and its accoutrements, but New Age yuppie mothers-to-be simply have no excuses….
Now, Gentle Reader, I’m not a woman, but I’ve worked around laboring women long enough to learn what is worthwhile and what is not. For a safe and satisfying birthing process, here are my recommendations: 1) avoid nurse midwives because they’re ill-educated and dangerous; 2) don’t waste money on doulas, yoga balls or hot tubs; 3) make sure that an anesthesiologist is controlling your pain (in Wyoming or the backwoods of Tennessee, anesthesia nurses often masquerade as anesthesiologists); 4) get an epidural as early as possible, for the safety of you and your baby and the mental health of those around you (to do otherwise is irresponsible and simply crazy).
In response to comments (including a number from qualified health professionals) asking whether the good doctor had read the research on natural childbirth, wondering whether his lack of experience and his lack of any genuine dialogue with mothers who seek to avoid medicalised births should get in the way of his expressing an opinion on their motives, and asking whether he knows much about the positive experiences that many women do have of natural births, he replied:
- you’re obviously referring to the childbirth research found in “The Archives of Retarded Nurses”….Personally, I’m tired of having to manage precarious medical situations (that are wholly avoidable!) because New Age mothers prefer to be irresponsible and are encouraged to be so by insufferable clowns such as yourself who have no expertise in anything apart from being obnoxious and dispensing bad quasi-medical advice. You do a huge disservice by drawing patients away from the mainstream.
- I really don’t think that I need to actually give birth in order to realize that shunning modern medicine in favor of “natural” childbirth is both stupid and dangerous… I’m also guessing that you’re autistic. Keep up the fine work, you inbulbitating underwhelp.
- Bleeding to death at home in the bath tub isn’t exactly a positive experience.
- You’re insane. I pity your children.
- Words such as “empowering” let us all know that you’re a New Age wack job.
- Rock on, you para-medical professional.
In response to commenters who asked for evidence that epidurals are safer than undrugged deliveries, or even an explanation as to why this might be so, or asking how many actual labours he had witnessed from start to finish, he replied:
- These aren’t exactly an educated bunch that I’m dealing with here. It’s no use, I’m finding, to contend with the issues in a rational manner.
And finally: Epidurals make it so you can give surgical anesthesia quickly and safety in case a C-section is needed. If you don’t have an epidural it’s a dog and pony show and you have to do a rapid sequence intubation, general anesthesia (big risk of aspiration, baby gets sedated), etc
That’s it? That’s the ONE medical reason he can come up with why it is stupid, dangerous irresponsible, crazy, inexplicable, insane, and a whole lot of other stinky things, to decide against a routine epidural? Because in the event of an emergency C-section (often caused by a lack of proper support in the first place, I might add) it makes the anaesthetist’s job harder?
Oh, and the man thought he would say hello at Twisty’s place too: This is apparently a blog which caters to rabid (and exceedingly retarded) lesbian manhaters.
Nice work. Hateful, I would call it. Hateful. Apparently he is an actual doctor. I wonder how many other actual doctors think this way too?