Family Wellness First
The E-newsletter for Parents to make Informed Health Care Choices
Issue 7: Infant Mortality Rate Increase
The U.S. is not the safest place to give birth:
After years of steady progress toward improved health in the U.S., there are signs of a downturn that may soon translate into movement in the wrong direction, according to a new report released here at the 132nd annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA).
The report, "America's Health State: State Health Rankings," uncovers key troubling trends: one including the first rise in infant mortality rates in four decades. The increase in infant mortality from 6.9 to 7.0 births per 1,000 puts the U.S. 28th internationally in infant mortality, as well as the finding that 14 states have preterm birth rates that exceed 13%.
This increase brings up much speculation and legitimate concern: If the US is so technologically advanced in health care why are we 28th internationally in infant mortality rate? Perhaps it is not technology that allows for safer, less complicated births... http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/493512
The Rise in Technology
Birth today has become a technological experience where a natural process has been replaced with artificial procedures and schedules. Without the necessary support during pregnancy, women enter the birth process with fear and are led to rely on drugs instead of their bodies’ own natural strengths. These drugs weaken her body’s ability to function and lead to even further interventions.
The more interventions used in birth, the greater the risk of injury to both the mother and baby.
One such increased intervention is c-sections. During this surgical procedure, most women experience a great tugging sensation as the doctor is pulling on the baby. The struggle and pulling used to extract a baby out from the mother’s small incision is often not seen by the parents.
This surgical procedure is becoming more common and therefore more accepted today. Mothers have been erroneously convinced that this procedure could actually be better than a natural process! Unfortunately, they are not aware of the dangers and resulting injuries associated with them.
Medical research on birth trauma tells us that, “Forceful pulling on the baby’s neck particularly when combined with stretching of the spine … has been considered the most important cause of infant spinal and brain stem injury.”
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed startling data. It reports that "difficult labor itself and the method of delivery may lead to brain injuries and deaths in babies."
Are More Medical Providers Always Better?
The United States has significantly greater neonatal intensive care resources per capita, compared with 3 other developed countries, without having consistently better birth weight-specific mortality. Despite low birth weight rates that exceed other countries, the United States has proportionately more providers per low birth weight infant, but offers less extensive preconception and prenatal services. This study questions the effectiveness of the current distribution of US reproductive care resources and its emphasis on neonatal intensive care.http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/109/6/1036
Should obstetricians see women with normal pregnancies?
A multicentre randomised controlled trial of routine antenatal care by general practitioners and midwives in Scotland compared with shared care led by obstetricians. The results concluded with these findings: Routine obstetric visits for women initially at low risk of pregnancy complications offer little or no clinical or consumer benefit. http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/312/7030/554
"If left alone in labor, the body of a woman produces most easily the baby that is not interfered with... If left alone, just courage and patience are required."
~ Grantly Dick-Read, Childbirth without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth
Informed Health Care Choices
Choosing our birth care provider is of utmost importance. As seen in the literature, those trained for crisis care may lead to further intervention and crisis.
"Under no circumstances do the California data for 1989 and 1990 allow the obstetric profession to uphold the claim that for the large majority of low-risk women hospital birth is "safer" with respect to perinatal mortality. Our data also suggest that even for the high-risk levels of our Study Population the natural approach (including transfers) produces the same perinatal mortality outcomes as the obstetric approach."
"Given no differences in perinatal mortality it must be noted that the natural approach shows significant advantages with respect to lower maternity care cost as well as reduced mortality and morbidity from unnecessary cesareans and other obstetric interventions, and significant benefits from avoiding negative long-term consequences from unnecessary obstetric interventions and procedures. These advantages of the natural approach are of such a large order of magnitude as to raise serious doubts concerning the appropriateness of conventional "obstetric" treatment for low-risk childbirth."
- Peter F. Shclenzkahttp://www.vbfree.org/docs/meadsum.htmll
Before we decide, we must be informed!
Enhancing your Potential for a Safer, Easier more Natural Birth
Encourage your family members and friends to choose chiropractic care in their pregnancies. Doctors of Chiropractic work to restore a state of balance in the pregnant woman's pelvis creating an environment for a easier birth. Easier births need fewer interventions and are therefore safer for the mother and baby. Visit the ICPA web site to find a Doctor of Chiropractic who works with the special needs of pregnancy: http://www.icpa4kids.org/find.htm
This Family Wellness First Issue is co-sponsored by Mothering Magazine. Receive a discount to Mothering subscriptions here:http://www.mothering.com/sections/subscribe/affiliates/icpa.html
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