Well shiver me timbers and blow me sideways!
The BBC reported this morning the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges have brought out a list of 40 treatments that bring little or no benefit… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37732497
Treatments considered unnecessary!
Little or no benefit!
Thousands of patients up and down the country dutifully accepting prescribed courses of medication or action by their doctors.
Procedures that do bobbins!
Nothing at all!
Or potentially make things worse!
One of the list’s shamed procedures is electronic monitoring of a baby’s heart during labour in mothers considered ‘normal’ in terms of risk of complications.
Doctors and medical procedures can be awesome. They save lives for sure.
But when you learn about how birth works, how a woman’s hormones are beautifully orchestrated to make birth happen and how the environement is inextricably linked with that, routine medical intervention in the birth room when all is going well makes no sense.
Once birth is interfered with a cascade of intervention often occurs.
A hands-off approach when all is well is usually the best way.
Many women who were able to have normal births, probably ones you know, will have been hooked up to monitors whilst in labour.
All in the mistaken belief this procedure was necessary for the health of their unborn babies.
Electronic monitoring of the baby’s heart beat whilst in labour usually involves lying still on a hospital bed, on your back.
It’s a most unnatural position to be in during labour.
In fact, being on your back provides 30% less space for your baby to get out than natural birthing positions which make use of gravity. Like being on all fours. Or squatting.
And it involves being meddled with!
Just like other mammals, women need a protected space to give birth in.
We birth best in environments where we feel unobserved and are undisturbed.
Just like mammals, we need to feel safe enough to let go, to surrender to the process. To allow birth to happen.
Sometimes it seems in medicine, just because something can be done it should.
For most of us, we won’t have seen anyone giving birth except on TV until we do it ourselves.
And given the kinds of births we usually see on TV, chances are it’s someone giving birth in hospital on a bed.
Most of us don’t know birth doesn’t have to be like that.
It’s just so far removed from what we’ve seen or heard about birth.
My mission is to be part of the movement to change your perception of birth. To take back control. Because this is what needs to happen to give our babies a better start and help parents to feel excited and empowered rather than scared and anxious.
Medication and high tech equipment for some people gives an illusion of safety
I recently spoke at a Birth Conference in Norway recently entitled ‘Women’s Rights In Childbirth – Take Back Control!’ and was fortunate to hear midwife Dr Sarah Wickham speak for the first time. She said you can actually use ‘a toilet roll to listen to the baby’s heartbeat’ and really don’t need fancy machines to do this job. In fact, all the things you really need to give birth can be packed away in a tiny purse! Sign up to her great blog can be found here…. http://www.sarawickham.com/
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges recommends asking the following questions
- Do I really need this test, treatment or procedure?
- What are the risks or downsides?
- What are the possible side-effects?
- Are there simpler, safer options?
- What will happen if I do nothing?
This is a really good way of taking control of your health in a system that sometimes doesn’t give you your options or even let you know you have any.
There questions are surprisingly close to the BRAIN acronym we teach in Hypnobirthing; what are the Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, what does my Intuition tell me and what happens if we do Nothing.
And, of course, I always ask for the Evidence too. BRAIN-E!
Ultimately, we’ve got to feel safe.
And for some women, having medical equipment gives an illusion of safety even though it may be doing absolutely nothing and may even be counter-productive to the proceedings.
As birthing women you have the right to accept or decline proposed intervention and procedures (so long as you have the capacity to do so.)
Please don’t assume just because something is routinely done it’s the best thing
If you would like 1:1 support for your upcoming birth, feel free to contact me. I have two spaces opening up in my diary for hypnobirthing clients and if you’d like a doula, you may contact me also.
With Love Kati x