Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A New Hope

I’ve posted about it on Facebook, and most of you, if you’re plugged in to the natural birthing world, have already heard about this, but I wanted to go ahead and blog about it as well. About what it means to me and what it might mean for other mamas.
I’m talking, of course, about the new recommendation from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada:
The evidence is clear that attempting a vaginal delivery is a legitimate option in some breech pregnancies,” said Dr. André Lalonde, Executive Vice-President of [SOGC]. “The onus is now on us as a profession to ensure that Canadian obstetricians have the necessary training to offer women the choice to deliver vaginally when possible.
What does this means? It means that having a breech baby at term in Canada shouldn’t automatically mean a woman is forced to attempt an external version. That she shouldn’t be forced into a cesarean.  Instead, providers should be trained in breech birth and offer it as the safer alternative to surgery, depending upon the breech presentation and the health of mom and babe.
I believe that if the USA had made a similar choice in recent years, to move away from c-sections and towards a more woman-friendly, evidence-based (vs. fear- and insurance-based) system, I wouldn’t have felt forced into a surgery I knew I didn’t need. Uli and I were healthy all through the pregnancy. And as a frank breech, her little butt pressing down on my cervix would have done a great job helping me to dilate. But of course, you all know my story. It was a no-go finding a provider in Madison who’d attend my vaginal breech birth.
And, while I’m thankful that women in Wisconsin currently have the option of going up north to deliver at the Morningstar Birthing Center, since it wasn’t a viable option for us, three hours away as it is, I’m sort of sad even to have known about it. It wasn’t a real choice. More than the distance, it was the cost. A practice of midwives, our insurance wouldn’t cover any of their fees, and we couldn’t have afforded paying a second non-insurance-covered provider fee beyond what we’d already paid at the Madison Birth Center.
Whether or not you have a few extra thousand saved in the bank shouldn’t determine whether  or not you receive compassionate, adequate health care in your town. At least THAT is being currently discussed by our government. Again. (Hopefully with some real solutions put into place this time.)
Check-out some of Rixa’s posts about SOGC’s recommendation:
And the link to the SOGC’s media site:


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