Pregnancy and Birthing Q&A

I'm having a healthy pregnancy, why do I have to learn about interventions?

     Pregnancy and birth are normal. They are phases of your life that you are designed to go through, much like getting your period every month. Because your body has been perfectly designed to bring babies into this world, chances are you will not ever need any interventions over the course of your pregnancy and birth. So why should you bother learning about them?
     In short, you should learn about interventions so that if the unexpected happens during your pregnancy and birth you will know what's going on and what your options are. Sadly, doctors and midwives don't always give you all your options, either because they don't know them, or they aren't familiar with how to work them.
     Also, it is very likely that many women are offered interventions that they do not actually need. The United States has one of the highest intervention rates in the world, and some of the lousiest birth outcomes. This suggests that some of these interventions are actually making our birth outcomes worse, rather than better. The only way an intervention makes outcomes worse is when the risks of doing the intervention is higher than the risks of not doing the intervention. In short, if the intervention is not actually needed.
     All interventions (a procedure your doctor or midwife performs which alters the course your pregnancy or labor is taking on it's own) carry some risk. You will want to make sure you are only taking on that risk if you or your baby are in more danger if you don't get it. The best way to make sure this happens is to stay informed, because if you are not informed, it is easy for you to be lied to about what is going on with your body.
     I highly recommend you learn more about the risks, benefits and needs for the following interventions, at least:

      Induction of labor, to include induction with

  1. Pitocin
  2. Cytotec
  3. Foley Bulb
  • Cesarean Section
  • Augmentation of labor with drugs
  • Continuous fetal monitoring / internal fetal monitoring
  • Vacuum and forceps delivery
  • Episiotomy
  • Artificial Rupture of Membranes

These are the most commonly performed interventions in this country, and the ones most likely to be performed without need.
For more information, visit www.kellymom.com or www.yourbestbirth.com

 

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