The Increasing Medicalization & Industrialization of Pregnancy & Childbirth is Not Improving Outcomes

Sun, 10/02/2011 - 08:00
Submitted by Jessica Kramer

Amnesty International recently published this ad in an effort to raise awareness about the United States Maternal Health Care Crisis. It is, indeed, a crisis.


 

My persistence in promoting woman friendly maternal health care, my insistence that women’s voice must be a part of perinatal care, the urgency with which I speak about and explore issues of trusting our own bodies and the medicalization of pregnancy and childbirth is not only because I think childbirth can be an experience of a woman getting to know herself more deeply (which I do believe) but also because the every increasing medicalization and industrialization of pregnancy and childbirth is not improving outcomes!

The idea that danger during and following childbirth is resolved with increasing testing, monitoring and medicalization is a false one. Maternal and fetal outcomes do not improve with ever more testing, more medicine and more intervention.

If the statistics in this publication from Amnesty International don’t make that clear, I’m not sure what can.

There are absolutely situations when interventions are needed, but the frequency with which we are seeing them? It’s making things worse.

Let’s start looking at the statistics and making some serious changes. Our health as women depends on it.  Lack of education and betrayal of our knowing of our own bodies is not helping us or our children.

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Agreed and women have to speak for themselves

Sun, 10/02/2011 - 21:04

Women should be educated about pregnancy and childbirth. Women should be able to say no to testing after they know what the test is for and what the risks are. I've done that in my own heavily supervised pregnancies. It would be nice if doctors and midwives could work together so that the low risk women could have the options for home birth with quick transport to the hospital if the need arises and high risk women could have a better setting in the hospital (lower lighting, a chance to walk around, maybe no nursing students there all day just because it's not my first baby, etc...).

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