Monday, August 23, 2010

Do You Want Me To Be High Risk?!



(By the way- I am not a Doctor- nor do I give medical advise- so please, feel free to ignore everything I say.)

I have often thought that most women in this country would be better of squatting next to a tree and catching their own baby rather than walking into a hospital and being stared at by a group of trained surgeons.

I get the distinct impression that they WANT women to be sick while they are pregnant in the hopes that by the time the baby is actually born, they will have lost all confidence in their bodies ability to birth!

After your prenatal "care" begins, so do all the tests. I use the term prenatal care loosely because what most women receive seems to be much more like a slew of unneeded tests geared toward the worst case scenario rather than actual CARE.

Prenatal care is sitting down with somebody who listens and talking about what is going on with your baby. It involves tips on eating right and natural ways to deal with possible pregnancy problems. It includes exercises for your health and comfort. It may also involve tests- not just because you walked in the door, but because you may NEED them. Getting this kind of care actually results in a mother that is HEALTHIER and confident in her ability to birth.

On the other side of the coin, prenatal TESTING occurring for no apparent reason seems so often to just scare women, remind them of all the things that could possibly go wrong, and prepare them for a very intervention heavy birth.

Why wouldn't the birth rely heavily on technology- the entire pregnancy has. The treatment is such that it leaves the very distinct impression that were it not for all these machines that go ding and miraculously look inside your body, you couldn't even carry a baby to term.

Care fits every individual woman and her needs for this pregnancy. Testing not only treats all women like they are the same, it assumes that each and every woman is a full fledged emergency waiting to happen.

I used to think that some of these tests were harmless- but many are not. Many tests have high false positive rates, some show no clinical backing for their use, and sometimes the treatment is ineffectual.

Even something as standard as gestational diabetes testing is fraught with problems. Even ultrasound is an intervention, and often uncalled for at that. Not to mention its unique ability to lead to c-section (Click here for more links about ultrasound)

Why on earth does this happen so often? Like so many things in obstetrics today I have the sneaking suspicion it has much to do with three factors:

1) Convenience

2)Treating all women as the lowest common denominator- (basically you must be a lying sexually pernicious drug addict until proven otherwise) and

3)-This is the big one ladies- MONEY. You can really increase your billable hours per patient by simply adding more tests to every single patient.

Time to bring birth back to health, back to normal, and back to natural. It starts by thinking of PREGNANCY as normal, healthy and natural. Demand prenatal CARE. You deserve it, and so does your baby. And if you decide to forgo some of those tests (and I am not saying you should) you must do so knowing that you might have to deal with the consequences of not having that test- in addition to the benefits.

1 comment:

mamapoekie said...

Great post... And so true. The way my pregnancy was manages (I really can't tell you I was cared for) really influenced my emotional state when I was pregnant with my daughter. To the extent that I didn't have a happy pregnancy at all.
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