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Thread: Controversial Pregnancy & Birth Documentary

  1. #19

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    Will it only be aired in the USA?


  2. #20

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    Some of us are trying to contact them to make one along the lines of Pregnant Down Under LOL. Will let you know if anything comes out of it.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

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  3. #21
    mrmoo Guest

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    Thanks Flowerchild. I've sent a message via the "contact us".

  4. #22

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    That would be great, thanks.

  5. #23

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    Just on a little side note, I was LIED to by the midwife at Zains birth because I didn't want an internal. She told me I had meconium in my waters and that Zain was in distress which had the desired effect and had me hysterically wanting them to do anything to get him out quickly. He came out very quickly on his own, but the discharge MW told me that it was untrue. My waters were clear. The other one had just been 'paying me back' for being argumentative.

  6. #24

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    Yes its not just doctors but midwives in the system who are doing the same. When I go to births, the midwives are all very different - you dont get to choose going into hospital who you get, unless you hire your own, which I think is worth more $$ than getting a private Ob. Invest in someone who will be hired on the premise of a normal, healthy labour and birth, and spend most of your labour with you, not someone who will care for you on the premise of a complicated birth and will be there for 5 minutes at the birth.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

    BellyBelly Birth & Early Parenting Immersion - Find out how to have a BETTER, more confident birth experience... guaranteed!
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  7. #25

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    Yes, you are quite right Natalie and I am so sorry you had such an awful experience. Not all midwives have a woman centred mode of care. As Kelly says hiring your own midwife or engaging in a team midwifery programme where you get to know your midwife is a good way of ensuring you get the care you want.

    I had my membranes ruptured without my consent by a doctor during my first labour. Being mislead, having procedures done that you don't want etc happens A LOT in the system.

  8. #26

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    The words 'balance' and 'choice' come to mind.

    I agree that blanket statements are counterproductive to the point being made. But many sweeping generalizations have been made to justify the medicalization and institutionalization of childbirth in our modern culture. Not that I am saying that making generalizations in retaliation will help, but just to be aware of how accepting we have been of sweeping generalizations ad even untruths/propaganda because they came from 'the experts' (who had a vested interest).

    Esp in USA, the balance has swung so far away from choice and autonomy for women to birth without interference, towards technological control of a natural process, that it has become a system that exists to support itself instead of primarily women. It was only a matter of time before someone in the media took the natural birth demise in USA into mainstream consciousness with a splash. Whether he is doing this in a productive or counterproductive way might be debatable, but I think it was inevitable and that we will see a similar pendulum trend here eventually.

    We need balance, and we need choice. When the balance in pushed too far one way or another, people react. I think the balance in Australia is too far away from supporting and respecting birth as a natural and private process and too far towards controlling it (and controlling the women doing it). This perpetuates fear, which leads to more necessity for further interventions, which leads to more horror stories, more fear etc etc.

    In NZ, you have choice. You choose which midwife you like. Regardless of where you decide to have your baby, home, birth centre or hospital, or a combination of, that same midwife sticks with you throughout - pregnancy, birth and post-natal. In European countries where there is this kind of woman-centered, mid-wife led care, women report great satisfaction with the system and the safety rates for both babies and mothers are impressive. I wish our Australian midwives were as empowered, I wish Australian women had that sort of control, autonomy and choice. Then the pendulum makes natural variations and swings. Home birth becomes popular, then it kind of goes off the boil in favour of hospitals or birth centres, then it returns to favour .... depending on the women, and want they want. Not depending on the power games and propaganda of people who earn more from increasing technology at births.

    Thank God for modern medical science and technology. It will be life-saving and will ease suffering in a certain percentage of births. But to restrict privacy, gravity and mobility from the average Australian woman so that her body cannot function optimally, and then introduce interventions as "necessary" is reducing the potential of the majority of healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies to be able to experience just how well their beautiful bodies can and do function when the process is properly respected and supported. I hear women say, "well, there were just some unforeseen complications" but those complications were either caused or compounded by the fact that the need to "monitor" the labour and the baby took away her privacy, her support, her gravity and her mobility. The average woman's body just can't birth very easily under those conditions. There's nothing wrong with these women's bodies. It's just that what we have come to accept as standard obstetrical care in most hospitals is not what supports and promotes a spontaneous birth and positive, safe experience.

    I want to see a better deal for Aussie women. I want to see a better balance, real choice, and continuity of care.

  9. #27

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    Julie,

    I agree with what you have said, i think you said it very well.. There are for sure sweeping generalisations from the medical side (that most have accepted as fact), and i also agree sweeping generalizations wont help... For me, i would respond better to somebody pointing out the fallacy of one sides statements, rather than just making the same generalizations in reverse...

    The only thing i question is that people often blame complications on monitoring, the situation etc...

    Is it at all possible that unforseen complications could arise to a women giving birth at home under a midwife?? I believe yes... I don't think its right to imply without intervetion EVERYONE would be having spontaneous and positive births... But i also believe that intervention leads to more interventions....

    Its such a hard line.. b/c you can't have it like sliding doors and see how a birth would progress in one enviroment vs. the same lady in the same situation (medically i mean), in a dif. enviroment... I guess we all try to compare, well, you story sounds similar to mine, and i had a ... birth and this is what happened to my baby, so if you were in my spot ... would have happened to yours...

    Basically we can never know if it would have happened from the intervention or not...


    I don't think it is fair to blame complications entirely on hospitals etc. People say there is nothing wrong with womens body, that they are basically perfect without help.. why then did i see a doco about a women in Africa whose labour stopped, the baby died eventually and she went to hospital 4 weeks later slowly expelling bits of baby with a huge fistula between her reproductive and digestive tracts? I don't think there is anything majorily wrong with our bodies, but i don't buy the 'we are perfect' either...

    Also, lets not forget womens choices in here... We are talking about hospitals/dr taking away woemsn "privace, support, gravity and mobility"... basically her choices... there are quite a few women who are still informed, or don't want to be informed, feel safer in a hospital enviroment, and don't want a midwife. Just becuase its right for one women doesn't mean it is for another, and doesn't mean you can blame the drs for that womens choice!

    But like i said, i really liked the way you wrote the above post...

    I think people will come to accept the 'other side' through positive messages, not extreme ones!

  10. #28

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    I agree that there is a lot of problems with the commercial birthing industry, as it has unfortunately become.
    However I truely believe that Australia has a long way to go before it gets even close to the way America treats their next generation.
    After having three children in three different states, one of which was 10 weeks prem, I have seen a lot of the quality of care given to both mother and child and I have yet to come across any care as bad as what is obviously now happening elsewhere in the world.
    We complain about the quality of care in Australia so often but can we really say that the problems we mention are the norm or merely, and hopefully, random incidents that should be dealt with one by one rather than saying they are happening everywhere, all the time like it seems in the states and possibly the uk.
    I for one can say that my prem baby got the very best of care from both the Geelong hospital and the Mercy hospital in Melbourne. Credit where credit is due however and the Geelong hospital did above and beyond their very best and I now have a very happy and health one year old on Saturaday the 3rd. Happy birthday Willow!!! She made it.!!
    Raven

  11. #29

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    There was a discussion on the midwifery list about comparing birth to Africa and from memory it was about being difficult to compare when they have substandard living.

    There is a book called 'The Hospital By The River' about a fistula hospital which had been set up for the women there. The fistulas were often caused by obstructed labours, mostly due to malnourished women with an abnormally developed pelvis (Rickets) and also having babies very young. It's very rare in the developed countries like our own.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

    BellyBelly Birth & Early Parenting Immersion - Find out how to have a BETTER, more confident birth experience... guaranteed!
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  12. #30

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    Kelly, i think you are right about not being able to compare...apples and oranges i guess

    should i go and edit that bit out of my last post??

  13. #31

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    Up to you - I don't mind people knowing, they may have the same concerns. I am just trying to de-mystify the things that people see or read about but may freak out about... there is so much of it out there!
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

    BellyBelly Birth & Early Parenting Immersion - Find out how to have a BETTER, more confident birth experience... guaranteed!
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  14. #32

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    I think my point was more that when things are left 100% nature, things aren't perfect either.. but maybe a malnourished women isn't the best example of nature... gosh i don't know anymore.. i find myself having arguments with myself.. i think i'm going mad

    But like i said about having two parallel cases occuring, you can't compare a healthy women in Australia vs. a malnourished African women and actually think thats going to give you an accurate comparision

    But you can't really compare 2 women in Australia either, everybody has different bodies, babies etc etc

    Thanks for posting about it.. i think it is very interesting, and i think discussio about this topic is the only way people perceptions will change

    I've said it before to some people, i would love to have a midwife, and a water birth, and the only reason i go private is because i want the post natal stay and not get sent home the next day

    Some people are more comfortable at home (my mum discharged herself after 3 hrs), and other want to recoup in hospital.. I'm like that, but don't want the shared room

    I wonder if i can tell my obs to stay outside, unless i feel i need him??

    But then again, i think all of us would take medical help if something serious did go wrong

    I'm just for a balanced approach to everything... lots of things have its positive and negatives.. hopefully it doesn't have to be all or nothing!

  15. #33

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    This is a very lively and interesting debate ladies!! (My dinner is going cold while I read it...)

    Mrmoo - my vbac won't be for a few years, but I'd be more than happy to give my story when it happens - I'll be so proud of myself I'll probably want a doco-film maker along as well!!

    I would just like to point out that, although I haven't seen the film, I think the message will probably relate more to the effect that the corporatisation of the health system has had on maternity, rather than trying to portray medical professionals as being incompetent and uncaring. At least, I hope that's what it's trying to do. If you've seen the film The Corporation you'll know the bent I'm talking about. In this set-up, the medical professionals are at the mercy of the system as much as the mothers and babies are. It's a sad thing that (particularly in America) people are less important than profits. When a hospital is privately-run and owned by millions of different shareholders (who have invested to make money), whose funds are managed by in-between fund managers (wih no personal stake in the 'company') it's not hard to see why it leads to decisions being made that are not in the best interests of the patients.

    On a lighter note, I remember telling my ob that I watched some shows on Foxtel about birth (American, obviously) and he told me they were good to watch for a laugh! If you do watch them, you'll see how different they are to what happens here. At the moment...

  16. #34

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    hmm... looks interesting! I'll be watching. Don't care if it's biased Sometimes you need a hardhitting doco like that to get the point across. If you start being all politically correct so as not to hurt feelings, the point gets lost.

    If Supersize Me had 'softened' its message by saying that on the flipside, if you exercise and eat such and such to counteract eating some mcdonalds meals, it would have totally lost the impact of the message it had.. that fast food is very unhealthy, and it's marketing is geared so much towards our children. Now, whenever we get takeaway, this movie ALWAYS comes to mind.

    I hope this doco can have the same impact.. whether it's extreme or not.. if it comes to mind during our dealings with OB's and midwives, I think it can only be a good thing. It will make us take a step back and question whether the 'care' we're receiving is part of the medical system, or if it's something we really do need.

    I must admit, I'm not a home-birther hehe. Perhaps I'm one that can't shake the thinking However, I try to fight the system whilst in it. It is still possible to be under the care of an OB and reduce your risk of intervention. Find a good OB, be well informed, and be sure they are going to follow your wishes. You don't have to be at home to enjoy the empowered natural birth, you can have it hospital too, it's just a harder fight.

  17. #35
    mrmoo Guest

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    I'm one woman and I've had four different birthing experiences at four different hospitals. My first was in 1992 where I had an older OB who very much believed in women only birthing on their backs with their feet in stirrups. There was not much research in magazines and the internet was no way near as common or popular is it is today. My labour was brought forward by two weeks and the week before again my unborn child was given steroids to help his lungs mature. I was unduced via the drip and was given an epidural. I had to sign a form during hard and fast contractions whilst strapped to a bed, the form was basically to say if the epidural went wrong the hospital was not responsible. My son was pulled out with forceps after my waters were artificially broken and I tore in the process, so then had to have stitches. This was in a private hospital with a private OB and I had private health cover at the time. Two years later in 1994 I was birthing again but this time in the public system with public midwives who fully supported my birthing desires. There was no intervention unless I asked for it. Going past due dates was not an issue, I was induced with the drip on the 14th day past due date but that was ok as I was still allowed to labour how I wanted. I was not strapped to the bed or to any machines. The midwives basically watched and only gave support when it was need - yknow the "you're doing fine" type words. Even breech births was still allowed and caesarean was still quite uncommon. Even my mum had twins naturally back in the late 60s.

    Fast forward twelve years to a world where everything is techno and almost robotic and the basic skills of helping a woman to birth is just about forgotten. In 2003 I had no choice but to have a caesarean because the dr's and midwives did not know how to birth a breech baby. That important skill had not been kept up. In Jan 2006 I was in labour again for the fourth time and this time I led the entire birthing process despite still more opposition from midwives and drs. I had to be strong and empowered for my final birthing experience because I knew that no-one else would be. I had to go back to the basics even without the support because I was constantly reminded of how *damaged* my uterus was after the caesarean, *damaged* because the staff didn't keep up their end of the bargain - keep up the necessary assistant birthing skills.

    I still believe the doco will be one-sided but even so it will be necessary to show just how far the medical profession does intervene even when unnecessary. Maybe it will show just how much pressure woman are placed under to have unnecessary caesareans - especially because of breech babies and the lack of skill in their delivery as one example.

  18. #36

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    My opinion won't mean anything here with more experts commenting on it, but I wanted to share my bit.

    Just wanted to say, I'm very big on having a natural vaginal birth, I did so with my last two children with little intervention except induction for PE with my first, I had no pain relief either birth, I was too scared to even have gas in case of harming my babies, went home very early with my second, 4 hour discharge. Both babies were posterior which made things a little harder. This time I've already given my caregivers a hard time because I'm adamant about wanting a natural active birth like before and I'm getting told because of my history I will need more monitoring and I need to accept that intervention is a possibility.

    BUT, with the birth of my DS, I would have and he would have benefited from medical intervention. I had a midwife that wanted self glory, I can confidently say that now after discussing my traumatic experience with both OBs and other midwives, that she acted very dangerously. I was only just turned 19 and I didnt' speak up when my DS's head was stuck on my perinium which made the pushing stage 2 and a half hours, all of which she made me lay on my back for. I was told when I pleaded with her to get a dr 'it won't make it any less painful you know!', this is after 10 hours of an induced posterior labour, and I didn't even have gas. She made me feel like I was failing for even asking. The other midwife in the room was begging her to consider calling a doctor, she kept insisting that 'she' could do this. I now know what a dangerous stupid thing this was for her to do, to not even consider getting a medical opinion, I was in a hospital. I am not thankful I avoided a episiotomy or a vacumme extraction, my DS would have been better off out of there much quicker than he was and it would have saved all the blood tests and stress to treat the severe jaundice he had from the massive bruising on his head from it being squeezed for so long.

    Another lady on here has posted her story about a similar situation with the midwife working in a similar way when the head got stuck half out, she wasn't so lucky and her son has ongoing problems from it, pretty bad ones.

    Even though I fight tooth and nail to control my birth, I still feel very reluctant to trust midwives after that experience. I kicked them all out when I was in labour with DD and only allowed them in for small checks and then when I needed to push. I lost faith in them after my first experience. I am hoping this one will restore it, I am planning if all goes well to give birth in the midwife run birth centre.

    Yep, it's not all black and white.
    Last edited by Aranah; March 1st, 2007 at 10:28 PM.

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