Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oh, for the love of God. Aren't we done with this yet?



"SQUATTING in an inflatable pool in the open kitchen of her apartment in Astoria, Queens..."



Whatever, hippies.

Seriously, I would never give birth in an inflatable pool, for one thing. Let alone let my husband and mother and sister and high-school friend and my PTA co-chair hang out in with me.

Look at this poor mother! She needs drugs. She needs hard-core drugs to her spinal cord. Not an audience of people who can't do a motherfucking thing for her.

This kind of back-to-roots childbirth business is a load of crap.

To my future baby: Momma will have you with some drugs in her. Deal with it. Immediately following birth, she will ask the doctor to grab her compact and her Chanel lipstick and will re-apply before ordering a cocktail. You will not be born in an inflatable pool, nor in Queens. These will be the two ways in which I reassure you that I actually love you. Welcome to the world. Love, Your Mother. Now hand me my cigarettes...


Article HERE. I couldn't even bear to read it. Tell me how it goes.



(Then again, look at this pale, adorable little monster... it's not his fault he was born in a plastic pool... what a cutie.)

98 comments:

vicki archer said...

I hear you and I know!

Mary T said...

Hoo, boy, are you brave opening yourself up for this one!

(I did read the article and this line from one of the parents will strike you as it did me: "The impression is, if people are having home births, they must be hippie freaks or religious fundamentalists.”)

marc said...

I sure as hell don't get it. But then, I'm a man (read: low pain threshold). Propaganda in pregnancy books, I suppose. Have a baby in Paris. Their philosophy is feel no pain, stay in the hospital and rest, and let the nurses take care of the baby, say, until the kid can bring you your Chanel lipstick and cigarettes.

Anonymous said...

I was born in Paris, and as I understand it from those present, "feel no pain" is not the obstetric philosophy there.

I imagine birth is wretched for the baby, whether there are white tiles and shiny metal instruments everywhere or a pool that smells like a new vinyl shower-curtain liner. Sorry hippies. Birth sucks.

Alice said...

If I ever give birth, it won't be in a tub, because if I get my way, I'll be so drugged up that I can't sit in a kiddie pool without going under.

Anonymous said...

jeeeeeez.

Anonymous said...

I have three. I tried my doing my first natural and it was awful..it went on for 12 hours before I caved for an epi and still had 6 more before he was born. I was so worn out and 'contaminated' from so much prodding that I got a kidney infection that came from a HOSPITAL BORN bacteria (reads the first few anitbiotics they gave me in the hospital didn't get rid of it) Had to stay for an extra week after my baby was born and I was very sick, couldn't just go home with my new baby.
Second two...drugs as soon as they would give them to me. Much better and I went home healthy.
My mom is an ob nurse and said there are times the baby starts taking the water in during 'water births' as they come out and they can also get REALLY sick from all the crap in the water...Whose dumb idea was water birth???? How is sticking humans in a pool natural? Babies need air.

kat said...

I coudn't agree more. Bring on the drugs.

Anonymous said...

Having a baby hurts. Like, really bad. I would not even consider the pool thing, in case anyone is thinking about it.

Anyway it's all fine and dandy unless something goes wrong.

y m said...

I know you shouldn't be judgemental, but why, why, why would anyone give birth without an epidural? It's like having your teeth drilled without Novocaine. And in a kiddie pool? With everyone you know watching? Seriously, who would ever want to know that that's how they were born?

furglar said...
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furglar said...

Wow. That's the first time I've read you as superfluous. Since the 50's women have been scared into having their children hospitals where they unnaturally induce your cervix dilations (extremely aggressive on your body), perform caesarians when your body can't "keep up" with the hospitals time constraints, and manage to send you home with a nasty case of post-partum depression. This being a result of not enough physical contact with the infant, for a substantial amount of time immediately after the birth, as opposed to the weighing and measuring that takes place within the first 5 minutes of birth. There are hormones that need to be released in order for a mother to bond with her child, believe it or not. Anyway - Love your site!!

Kim said...

I have to say, when I was pregnant, I was with you totally. I could have written your post. Something happened during my last month of pregnancy, though, hormones or something, and I decided not to decide. In labor, I didn't get drugs right away--I wanted to see what it was like. And I ended up not having drugs at all...and no one was more surprised than me. Well, no, my mother and husband were pretty surprised.

It's different for everyone. I have wide hips, and I was never more thankful for them than that day, so it was easier than for most, I'll bet. My labor, in hours, was single digits. If it was worse, I'm sure I would have given up. I have no judgment on the epidural. Just saying, hormones make you do weird and brave things, and things you thought would always be important--well, you get surprised, that's all I'm saying.

But a plastic pool in the living room? I don't think so.

Maygan said...

This is hilarious, because in my pre-natal yoga class you would have thought I said a string of four letter words when I uttered the phrase "planned c-section" with my second. I wish I had a camera to capture all the glares I got.

With my first, I made sure I had the drugs (this was before the emergency surgery after 18 hours of labor and two hours of pushing....geez, I want drugs just thinking about it). My doctor used to laugh and say "It's not like you are saving the world here...if it hurts, get the drugs!"

Anonymous said...

Decorno: Sing it, sister! I'm all for do your own thing, but medical advancement happens for a reason. Labor hurts like a bitch. And my labor and delivery was uncomplicated and relatively easy. Personally, I think these women just want to dramatize the process and make themselves look like martyrs. But, what do I know? Your site kicks ass, by the way.

Kim said...

OK, I am remembering something now. My birth class was the opposite of maygan's yoga class--everyone just assumed we would all get drugs, didn't even bother to teach us the breathing, etc. Which kind of pissed me off. So maybe I actually had my daughter without drugs to prove something, like some weird competitive middle finger to my birthing class. Wow, that says something slightly disturbing about me. Definitely takes some of the shine off my "hormones make you do unselfish things" earth-mother argument, above.

EmElle said...

Lots of drugs + lots of profanity...that's the only way I would do it.

Anonymous said...

Eff that shizz. I had two lovely boys in the "comfort" and privacy of a hospital. I'm sure this woman will bring this story up at her daughter's birthdays, Christmas, and wedding. Poor kid.

thevintagechair said...

yikes... and check out all that afterbirth-y water he gets to have his first bath in... touching, right? A kodak moment for sure. I mean, in addition to a whole host of random people, why not invite a camera crew too? What's a couple more?
Not for me. drugs please.

Joanna said...

Wow. I usually love your blog, but this is about the most close-minded post ever.

I agree with Furglar. There are biological and mental (or dare I say spiritual?) things that need to happen following a birth, which can definitely happen in a hospital room, but sometimes (and in my knowledge, often) get rushed.

Bottom line: Whatever the mother and father are comfortable with is a-ok. No reason to slap on a judgement.

Who Sees the Seven said...

Hahahha. I also saw this article and refused to read it. So wacky. I am with you on the "my baby will be born with an epidural".

Anonymous said...

Joanna, it's her blog, thus, she can rush to any judgement she wants.

Jules said...

I'm sorry, but sometimes the stupid brings me out. You can't catch post partum depression from having hospital birth. It's just a tad more complicated than not having sufficient bonding time with the baby. I actually know someone who had a home water birth and (scandal!) she ended up with severe post partum depression. So much so, she had to take (cue the scary scary music) anti-depressants.

The horror. The horror.

Anonymous said...

What if something goes wrong at home? The peace of mind of having help at the hospital is worth it, and I HATE staying in the hospital. When you have an epidural you don't feel tired and miserable after birth. People get numbed to pull teeth, and all kinds of other minor things. We use Tylenol for headaches, why not get an epidural?? Just because something is natural doesn't mean it is better. Advances in medicine are why we have had such an increase in life expectancy over the years.

Anonymous said...

P.S. Those people are fucking freaks

zakary said...
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zakary said...
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zakary said...

I had both of my children without any drugs, but that's just my preference. Sticking needles into my back and pumping myself full of junk didn't seem that appealing to me.

But, I do totally understand why women get the drugs. It really hurts. Bad.

Leigh said...

Wow, Decorno. I love your blog, I think it's awesome that you often speak out on non-decor-related social and political issues (Prop 8, the presidential election), I usually dig your sense of humor, and I totally respect your desire to have a medicated labor, but what's with the hostility towards those of us who choose to have our babies in the comfort and safety of our own homes? And good luck getting anyone in a hospital to serve you anything to eat or drink (least of all your favorite cocktail!) once you've been strapped down and drugged up. The standard procedure once you've been admitted to the hospital is that nothing passes your lips but a few ice cubes (don't worry, you won't dehydrate because you'll be automatically hooked up to an i.v. when you arrive). It made me sad to read that you didn't even read the NY Times article before you disparaged and made fun of the people it profiles. If you had taken a moment to read the piece you would have learned that many of the women featured are anything but hippy-dippy. One is a publicist and event planner for Nylon, one is an Attorney, one is a marketing executive at American Express, etc. Another thing that many of the women in the Times story share is that they decided to birth at home after having deeply traumatic experiences with prior deliveries in the hospital. Now, I realize that home birth is not everyone's cup of tea, but please lay off attacking other women for making the choice to do what they believe to be the best thing for themselves and their babies.

Brilliant Asylum said...

"the prospect of an inevitably messy process in a tight space invites delicate questions, like, What happens to the rug?"

See--it's kind of design related. There may be another post in there somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Wow...thanks for the gross out Decorno!
Check out Photo 3 in the slideshow...That is some reeky stink water the mom/baby are in. You can see particles floating.
So how is this 'natural' and not unnatural?

Anonymous said...

WTH was this in the NYT style section? I had the same reaction, too.

Urgh!

I'm having a C-Section like good old mom did, for myriad reasons.

Anonymous said...

leigh -

I wholeheartedly agree.

I'm also a little mystified why Decorno keeps posting controversial shit like this, and then gets upset when there is controversy in her comment section!

Anonymous said...

I'm also a little mystified why commenters keep getting disappointed in this blog, as if it should represent their views, rather than the blogger's.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 1:32: I've never heard Decorno get upset by controversy in the comment section--I think she relishes in it!

That being said, I don't have babies yet, and am undecided on my stance on drugs or no drugs. But my mom went both ways-- her first labor with my sister was awful. In the hospital with no family allowed, cold and sterile. She was only 20. They glued a bow on my sister's head. Ten years later when she had me, they went to a "birthing center" sort of like a midwife, but in a facility right across the street from the hospital. I think she was wary of the hospital after her first experience but chose to be nearby for medical reasons (she and my dad lived over an hour from the nearest hospital at the time!).

After I was born and washed up, the four of us left 2 hours later for a family party at my aunts. My (literally) first birthday party. Kind of cool, but I will definately have my little ones in the hospital. Maybe I'll pull a J.Lo and have a custom gown...

Anonymous said...

can you imagine hearing one of your neighbors giving birth in the apartment above or below you? that'd be worse than hearing them conceive the baby!

Anonymous said...

One of these home swimming-pool birthers is a publicist and event planner for Nylon?

Then it must be a good idea.

Anonymous said...

lol...you have me cracking up decorno

alissa said...

the look on the friends/familys faces...

kristin said...

I wouldn't feel comfortable with having a home birth. I want an operating room nearby in case of an emergency. My sister's third child got stuck in the birth canal. I think the baby's shoulder was lodged in somewhere. The OB had been practicing for 10-15 years and had only had this happen twice before. The OB had to do all of the moves she had learned to get the baby unstuck before she popped out. Fortunately, my niece had enough oxygen, a miracle, perhaps, because she was stuck for 2-3 minutes. She could have easily become brain damaged. If the doctor couldn't manipulate her out, then they would have had to do an emergency c-section. My sister had the epidural, thank goodness, because imagine how painful that would be to have a 9 pound baby stuck in the canal for 3 minutes.

I did, however, witness a friend's natural birth. She gave birth while squatting with a doula. It was amazing, and completely scary. I fainted. Since I'm a wuss, I'll have the needle and the doctor.

Anonymous said...

hello? never mind the pain, you get that no matter where you deliver. What about the infant? Would you rather be three minutes away from the NICU or 30 minutes? That can be a lifetime of a difference. For the infant.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:56 PM: THANK YOU.

Twelve percent of home-birth attempts have to be stopped and the woman transported to a hospital.

Twelve percent.

If the figure were, say, 0.1 percent, I could sort of see some women, with low-risk pregnancies, attempting home birth.

But 12 percent?

Anonymous said...

If the mother has a bad birth experience, and feels the hospital is "cold" and "clinical" and "non-nurturing," she can spend the rest of her life blogging resentfully about it.

It still beats a baby having a bad birth experience, with no medical expertise available.

Sacheverelle said...

As someone who has given birth, I am completely perplexed by this phenomenon. Giving birth is an undignified affair under any circumstance, but why a full-term pregnant woman would want to be seen naked by their non-medically trained extended family, while squatting like an animal in an inflatable pool is beyond me.
Look at the expressions on the family's faces. They do not appear to be thrilled to be there.
I just gave birth to my second child a month ago. It was c-section #2 for me, in the hospital with an epidural, fentanyl, the works. I feel it's the child that is important not the birthing experience, I mean what's the difference how the baby comes into the world as long as he's healthy?

Anonymous said...

As someone who never intends to even come close to this messiness of having children at all, I am no one to judge on the larger issue here. Home birth, hospital birth--it all sounds miserable to me, and I have no desire for the end product.

But what I do have a clear thought on... One thing really jumped out at me about these particular NYC home births. Everyone in the article is talking about celebrating the naturalness of the birthing process and how the woman is in control and can feel completely comfortable and 'at home.' But does she really? When she has to leave notes for the neighbors to apologize about all the noise she might be making? Or thinking that the neighbors suspect she and her husband are 'hippie freaks or religious fundamentalists.' And the woman hoping that the construction workers next door hadn't arrived yet -- why? These are men who will only be around in the building temporarily -- why does she care if they hear her, or if they do, what they might think? I personally would be having the same reaction as the women in the article about making the noises, but it doesn't jibe with the attitude of being comfortable and in control. This all suggests some sort of shame associated with the process. I just don't think most apartments in NYC are private enough to really be comfortable for this sort of thing..

And from the other side of the wall, if I ever had to spend a night listening to someone give birth in the next apartment, yeah, there'd be some serious evil eye for the rest of our neighbor-tude. I would not be lighting candles for you. There's a reason I'm not having kids and I don't need anyone to supplement my life with that little missing nugget of experience.

Anonymous said...

Funny how this blog keeps coming back to mysogyny.

Fucking bullshit.

eM said...

just because I hate listening to the woman next door or down the hall give birth does not mean I hate women

yes birth is noisy and messy and beautiful (to some) - but I do not want to listen to it happen to some inconsiderate stranger

that's just ridiculous

Anonymous said...

"Funny how this blog keeps coming back to mysogyny."

I noticed that too! All the posts about makeup, hairspray, high heels, purses, home decor: All tools of the Patriarchy, used to enslave women and keep them churning out babies and neglecting to vote.

Rise up, Sisters!

riki said...

As an almost-60 year old mother & grandmother, what strikes me most about this blog entry & much of the commentary, is how ignorant so many of the women are about the birthing process. I could go on & on, but the main thing i want to say is WOMEN, EDUCATE YOURSELVES! Would you not find out as much as you can about a candidate before casting your vote? Do at least as much investigation regarding one of the most important decisions you can make. And for those who think this is about women's selfish choices, think again! HOW a baby comes into the world makes an enormous difference to who they become. Being drugged-up (Yes, ladies, drugs actually do go from the mother TO THE BABY - what a concept!!) can lead to difficulties with bonding in those first hours & days, one of THE most important times in the life of the newborn. EDUCATE YOURSELVES - PUH LEASE!!!

Anonymous said...

"HOW a baby comes into the world makes an enormous difference to who they become."

OK Riki, you're on.

Give us the actual data that shows how drugs, a hospital setting, the presence of doctors, etc.--has an "ENORMOUS" effect on a child long after the birth is over. A year after, five years after, 10 years after.

Give us the proof. The evidence. The data (published data, in a real scientific journal).

Educate us, Riki.

Anonymous said...

"(Yes, ladies, drugs actually do go from the mother TO THE BABY"

Show us the data that an epidural block goes "TO THE BABY' and has an effect on him.

my little apartment said...

GOD THANK YOU.

whenever i give birth, i want the baby completely cleaned before they hand it back to me...i don't want it all gross and covered in goop.

also, i want a c-section and i want LOTS OF DRUGS.

kristin said...

Anon 7:53, I can't tell if your comment is sincere or not, so I am going to treat your comment as if it is sincere. There is nothing inherently bad about "makeup, hairspray, high heels, purses, home decor" or any other design-related topic. Many people, including myself, have a genuine interest in these things. How patriarchy uses these to oppress people is by saying that these things are negative, insignificant, and related to women. Therefore, women and their interests are negative and insignificant. Your chastising us is an act of patriarchy. How we can rise up against patriarchy is to reject those associations. I am proud of my non-gender-specific interests, they are not negative, they are not insignificant, they do not keep me from voting, I choose to have children in the future and respect and protect the choice of others to not have children, I am an extremely intelligent, strong, and well-rounded person, and I actively pursue making the world a better place.

Anonymous said...

"Drugged up" is the way to go according to my sister; she was present and aware of what was happening to her but the drugs helped with the overwhelming pain of the birth. And I was happy she went to the hospital as she lost a lot of blood during birth and the doctors were fairly certain she could have died without medical assistance. So I'm all for hospitals if they can save my sister's life.

Anonymous said...

Here's some info for you. Hospitals aren't always safe and doctors don't always know what is best. There are risks involved in home and hospital births and it is up to women to educate themselves and make the best ecision they can, for their own health as well as for the baby.

http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/drugsinlabour.asp

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9818616/

http://www.bellybelly.com.au/articles/birth/epidurals-real-risks

Anonymous said...

I can understand a woman wanting to have her child in her home, in her familiar surroundings. I cannot for the life of me think why anyone would want to do a water birth. Women have been having babies for millions of years, so why do people keep trying to "reinvent" it? And why do American doctors prefer to treat it like a disease???

tracey said...

The indignity of being born in a plastic pool! But, each to their own. My first was a difficult labour, impossible to breastfeed. Without making any decisions beforehand, I decided to see what would transpire with my second, much easier - excellent short labour and managed to breastfeed for months! Take it easy, don't use your pregnancy as a political statement, go with the flow.

Alexis said...

A few of my friends have recently given birth and given the circumstances they went through (pre-term labor and an epidural wearing off resulting in a c-section) I was curious and rented that documentary Ricki Lake did a couple of years ago, The Business of Being Born. It completely changed my mind on what I thought I would do if I were in their situations and I am seriously considering a home birth if I ever get pregnant.

Anonymous said...

let's face it...we're terrified of pain, we're terrified of being physical, terrified of a mess. yeah...i had two home births. no drugs. i'm healthy and i had excellent care leading up to the birth. it hurt but i wanted to experience it.
hospital birth is kind of violent.
they give you drugs and make you get in a position that collapses your pelvis, making it harder for the baby to come out. they screw a fetal moniter thingy into your baby's head. NICE. you can't feel the contractions so they either cut your perineum or you tear from your cooch to your ass.
i'm a bit of a hippy and i've done my fair share of drugs, but i never experienced a high as powerful as that quiet space between contractions.
ABSOLUTE BLISS.

Anonymous said...

I recently had to be in the hospital for a procedure and got in to a discussion with an anesthesiologist about epidurals and natural birth. I had an epidural, but was raised by a hippie momma who made them out to be the equivalent of drinking and smoking while pregnant so I have always felt 'guilty' about 'giving in'. Anyway, he made me feel so much better. He said that pain causes stress and this stress releases hormones in to the body that affect the baby. By not going through all that pain, by giving your body a break, you are actually making the birth process a lot more pleasant for your baby.
Now--in the end, the decision is totally up to the mom. A lot of women get a natural high for delivering without drugs and that's great. I think no drugs is the way to go if the mom can handle it. But to go through all that pain and look back on birth as an awful experience when the end result is the same as if the experience had no pain involved, well then the decision seems sort of obvious.

Anonymous said...

"Anon 7:53, I can't tell if your comment is sincere or not, so I am going to treat your comment as if it is sincere."

It wasn't.

Anonymous said...

i have tried to be open minded but i just think homebirth is selfish. the moms have intentions of having this beautiful home experience which is theoretically better for the baby but what if the child needed assistance, like oxygen at birth. i wouldn't appreciate being wheelchair bound and brain damaged because my mom wanted to give birth in a pool.

i do wish their were more options for a semi natural less institutional birth in birthing centers - where they still have all modern advances close at hand if needed for the benefit of the child.

ps. I think the bonding in the first 5 mins theory is crap.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:34 PM

I checked out your three references. All I could find in them was a mention of a single 1981 study that showed some differences in babies of moms who'd had epidurals. I looked up the study. It followed the babies for only six weeks, so there is no way of knowing whether the differences persisted, or if they had any significance to the child's later functioning. None of the differences was noted to have required hospitalization or medical care.

It's hard to interpret this single 1981 study. In the first six weeks of life, babies don't reveal much: They don't speak, they can barely move, and they have a limited range of expression. Doctors measure what they can, but it's not much. And six weeks is a very short followup.

It would be interesting to measure how newborns are affected by labor pain. In other words: Which is more likely to affect a newborn: The epidural, or the exposure of the baby to the mom's prolonged or intense pain?

kristin said...

Anon 7:53, phew! Sorry I didn't get the sarcasm; I hear a lot of people say similar things in seriousness.

Anonymous said...

"i'm a bit of a hippy and i've done my fair share of drugs, but i never experienced a high as powerful as that quiet space between contractions."

Then you haven't done the right drugs.

Anonymous said...

For Anonymous 8:39, Anonymous 8:42, and Anonymous 9:20:
ON DEMEROL:
One of the most common drugs used in the labour ward is pethidine, a synthetic, addictive, narcotic drug that is similar to morphine. In Britain it is also known as meperidine, and in America it is known as Demerol....Demerol readily crosses the placenta. The baby may have greater sensitivity to the drug because of the immaturity of the blood-brain barrier and the circulatory bypass of the liver (Burt,1971)....[R]esearch shows that Demerol is most likely to have a depressant effect on the fetal respiratory system if the dose is administered two or three hours before birth. The higher the dose to the mother, the greater the effect on the fetus (Yerby, 1996). Because the baby's liver is immature, it takes a great deal longer—18 to 23 hours—to eliminate the drug from its system.
Although 95 percent of the drug is excreted in two to three days, this can have significant implications for breastfeeding. Rajan demonstrated that "Demerol proved to be the (drug) most inhibiting to breastfeeding." By breastfeeding, the mother often unknowingly gives the baby a second dose of Demerol, as the drug is transferred to the baby through the breast milk. She may not be aware that Demerol is the cause of her "sleepy" baby and her problems with getting the baby latched on.
Little research has been done into the long-term effects of Demerol. However, infants with high Demerol exposure were more likely to cry when handled on days seven, 21 and 42, as were those with a high cord-blood concentration on day 21. Demerol also reduced the infant's ability to quiet himself once aroused. This was still observed at three and six weeks (Belsey, 1981). It is interesting that researchers consider three to six weeks to be "long-term." Our definition would be in years.
For those babies whose breathing is depressed at delivery, naloxone is given to reverse the effects, but the reversal is only temporary unless it is given in an adult dose (Weiner, 1977). We know of no research that investigates the short- or long-term effects of naloxone on the baby.
ON EPIDURAL ANAESTHESIA:
In 1981 Rosenblatt published a six-week follow-up of the effects of epidural anaesthesia, which showed that immediately after delivery, infants with greater exposure to bupivacaine in utero were most likely to be cyanotic and unresponsive to their surroundings. Visual skills and alertness decreased significantly with increases in the cord-blood concentration of bupivacaine, particularly on the first day of life but also throughout the next six weeks. Adverse effects of bupivacaine levels on the infant’s motor organisation, his ability to control his own state of consciousness and his physiological response to stress were also observed. Interestingly, this study considered six weeks to be "long-term," but what are the long-term effects at 5, 10, 20 or 50 years?
ON POSSIBLE LONG-TERM EFFECTS:
In a well-designed case control study at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm in 1990, researchers compared children exposed to pain-relieving drugs in labour with those who were not exposed and discovered an increased risk of drug addiction later in life (Jacobson et al., 1990). In 1988 they showed that when nitrous oxide was given to the mother the child was five and one-half times more likely to become an amphetamine addict than a brother or sister born to the same parents. In their paper in the British Medical Journal(1990), patients who had died from opiate addiction were compared with brothers and sisters; the researchers found that if the mothers had been given opiates or barbiturates or larger doses of nitrous oxide, the risk to the child of opiate addiction in later life was increased 4.7 times. In a further study, researchers discovered that the risk of drug addiction was related to the hospital in which they were born. In other words, the likelihood of a child developing drug addiction in later life depended on the labour ward policies of the hospital the mother chose for the birth, and I quote: "For the amphetamine addicts, hospital of birth was found to be an important risk factor even after controlling for residential area" (Nyberg, 1993). Jacobson and Nyberg’s research suggests that the use of opiates, barbiturates and nitrous oxide in labour causes imprinting in the babies, and we are now reaping the whirlwind.

REFERENCES:
• Belsey, M.E. et al. (1981, April). The influence of maternal analgesia on neonatal behaviour: 1. Pethidine, British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 88: 398-406.
• Brackbill Y. (1979, Nov.). Effects of obstetric drugs on human development. Paper presented at the conference Obstetrical Management and Infant Outcome arranged by the American Foundation for Maternal and Child Health, New York.
• Burt, R. (1971). The fetal and maternal pharmacology of some of the drugs used for pain relief in labour. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 43: 824-836.
• Chamberlain, G. ed. et al. (1993). Pain and its relief in childbirth: the results of a national survey conducted by the National Birthday Trust. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
• Haire, D. (1989, May 30). Obstetric Related Drugs: Their effects on parturition. Paper presented to the ISPOG Conference, Amsterdam.
• Jacobson, B. et al. (1988).Obstetric pain medication and eventual adult amphetamine addiction in offspring. Acta Obstet Gynaecol. Scand., 67: 677-682.
• Jacobson, B. et al. (1990). Opiate addiction in adult offspring through possible imprinting after obstetric treatment. British Medical Journal, 301:1067-1070.
• Lieberman, E. et al. (1997, March). Epidural analgesia, intrapartum fever, and neonatal sepsis evaluation. Pediatrics, 99(3): 415-419.
• Nyberg, K. et al. (1993). Obstetric medication versus residential area as perinatal risk factors for subsequent adult drug addiction in offspring. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 7: 2332.
• Olofsson, Ch. et al. (1996, Oct.). Lack of analgesic effect of systemically administered morphine or pethidine on labour pain. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 103(10): 968-972.
• Rajan, L. (1994). The impact of obstetric procedure and analgesia during labour and delivery on breast feeding. Midwifery, 10(2): 87-103.
• Rosenblatt, D. B. et al. (1981).The influence of maternal analgesia on neonatal behaviour: 11 Epidural bupivacaine. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 88: 407-413.
• Stillman, R. J. (1982, April 1). In utero exposure to diethylstilbestrol: adverse effects on the reproductive tract and reproductive performance in male and female offspring. American Journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, 142(7), pp 905-921.
• Vessey, M. P. et al. (1983). A randomised double-blind controlled trial of the value of stilboestrol therapy in pregnancy, and long-term follow-up of mothers and their offspring. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 90: 1007-1017.
• Wiener, P.C. et al. (1977). Effects of naloxone on pethidine induced neonatal depression. British Medical Journal, 11: 228-231.
• Yerby, M. (1996, May). Managing pain in labour Part 3: pharmacological methods of pain relief. Modern Midwife: 22-25.


The preceding information is excerpted from a paper appearing in Midwifery Today, Issue 50, Summer 1999, Entitled "Drugs in Labour: What effects Do They Have 20 Years Hence" by Beverly Lawrence Beech. The paper can be read in it's entirety here: http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/drugsinlabour.asp

Anonymous said...

"they screw a fetal moniter thingy into your baby's head. NICE."

Oh please. "screw into your baby's head"?

You're saying they drill into the baby's skull?

Stop with the inflammatory language already.

Anonymous said...

I find this discussion fascinating, as the biggest single killer of women prior to modern medical advances was, you guessed it, childbirth. Unfortunately for humans, walking on two legs (rather than 4) had profound effects on anatomy that make labor and delivery difficult. Some women have anatomical structures that make childbirth easier to bear (ha ha) but others would die without medical intervention. There is an interesting article in the New Yorker that explains just how important medical advances have been in saving the lives of pregnant women http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/10/09/061009fa_fact

Anonymous said...

a baby's head is pretty soft...no drilling needed. it's a little needle, goes right in.

is this inflammatory? i guess you got one screwed into your kid...

Anonymous said...

"Screwed into your baby's head" is just false.

You used bullshit language. And you know it.

Anonymous said...

anon 12:32 PM:

Again, when it comes to epidurals, you have only that one study, the one published in 1981. Lasting only six weeks. Giving no indication that the changes observed--the effects of the epidural on...

"the infant’s motor organisation, his ability to control his own state of consciousness and his physiological response to stress"

...actually amounted to anything, or lasted much longer than six weeks.

What IS "an infant's ability to control his own state of consciousness" anyway? Can YOU explain that? Can you expain how the scientists measured that, when examining a six-week-old baby who can do little more than cry and shit and sleep?

Because frankly, this "finding" sounds a little bullshitty.

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ, Decorno. Live and let live.

Seriously.

Anonymous said...

a typical homebirth with a midwife costs 2-4,000. a hospital birth 10-15 grand.

just think what you could do with all that extra cash! decorate, decorate, decorate...

what's a little pain?

Anonymous said...

"Internal monitoring is performed by attaching a screw-type electrode to the fetal scalp with a connection to an FHR monitor. The fetal membranes must be ruptured, and the cervix must be at least partially dilated before the electrode may be placed on the fetal scalp."

i'm not the only one using the word SCREW...

http://www.aafp.org/afp/990501ap/2487.html

Natalie said...

AMEN!

Anonymous said...

The baby to be is already floating in amniotic fluid...its lungs remain collapsed until they are exposed to air- so the baby cannot drown. The baby is still getting oxygen from the placenta. Also, sitting in very warm water stretches all the tissues and helps them open. Warm water is a pain relief method itself. I urge you to watch Birth As We Know It, Orgasmic Birth, or The Business of Being Born.

I have witnessed a handful of water births and they are beautiful. These women were not "hippies." Also, midwives and their assistants are trained in emergency measures like neonatal rescusitation- we can keep a baby alive until an ambulance comes. It is a disservice to claim that homebirths are dangerous. Midwives have oxygen, meds, and many nursing/medical skills. Most are licensed these days. We have fought so hard for the right to help women who choose us...and at the very least, I would hope other women could think "to each her own" without condemning another woman's preference.

-Student midwife

Anonymous said...

Hi Screwballs:

Have you ever had a blood draw? Have you ever had an IV? Ever donated blood? I guess you could describe those this way:

"Without any anesthesia whatsoever, a cruelly sharp metal instrument is jammed mercilessly into a very delicate, vulnerable blood vessel that never hurt anyone..."

Anonymous said...

"Jesus Christ, Decorno. Live and let live."

Jesus Christ, Anon 6:10 PM. IT'S HER BLOG.

Did you not get the memo explaining that there are about 649 trillion other blogs out there? You're not happy with this one? Try another.

alis said...

I wholeheartedly agree with anon 10:37 PM (even on not being keen on having a baby).

I justed want to add, I was born with a C-section, because I just wouldn't come out any other way. I turned out pretty normal and haven't had any trouble keeping up, despite my ADD. My cousin was also born with a C-section, but it was performed a week or two prior to my aunt's regular due date because her doctor wanted to go on vacation! His(my cousin's) fingernails were still in a pod-like form when he was born. He is an extreme case of ADHD, has Tourette's syndrome, and although he's very smart and has found a vast number of things he's uniquely good at, he always had (still has) trouble fitting in. Tell me a scheduled c-section has no negative effects on the baby... I think C-sections should only be performed if it isn't happening the natural way. But waiting for 3-4 freaking days to realize the baby isn't coming the natural way is too cruel on the mom!

Anonymous said...

Imagine labor and birth from the baby's perspective.

Your body being squeezed again and again, your head getting smushed, your mother screaming... I bet the pinprick of a fetal monitor is nothing compared to the torture of 12 or 20 or 36 hours of contractions.

Anonymous said...

Critique or constructive critcism = good

Name calling or insults = bad

Decorno, why must you participate in name calling? It really is no good for anyone.

Anonymous said...

"Jesus Christ, Anon 6:10 PM. IT'S HER BLOG."

So, because it's her blog means I can't disagree with her? Does it mean I can't call her out on her shit? Y'all just want to pat each other on the back and agree?

BORING.

Milo Busbecq said...

Wow. I just found your blog and for the love of God are you an ignorant asshole. Really, just pack it all in and close up shop. Stop embarrassing yourself.

Kristin said...

Decorno speaks in hyperbole. It's fairly obvious.

As for name calling, I didn't see Decorno call the mother "an ignorant asshole."

Anonymous said...

Rush Limbaugh speaks in hyperbole too. It's fairly obvious.

Anonymous said...

I'm one of the lucky ones who had a very short labor and delivery (less than 2 hours) and it was relatively painless. I can honestly say I've had worse gas pains. I know, I know, I said I was lucky. But I deserved it because I felt miserable the whole time I was pregnant.

I did get a shot of demerol when the doc was stitching up my epi. And then they cleaned me up and wrapped me in a heated blanket. That was really nice.

Though it took place in a hospital, my delivery was quiet and peaceful. And no family audience.

Fleyz said...

Oh God... If you like "all natural things" go live in a cave and kill your own food. The human race has developed and we should use the things discovered!! Really, I think it's insane... the baby feels what the mother feels, that's almost cruel!

Kristin said...

I haven’t listened to Rush Limbaugh for at least 10 years, so I can’t do detailed analysis on his comments. I am relying on memory. But my memory serves that Rush uses hyperbole to create wild claims and insults about people and rarely, if ever, tempers those claims by extending to hyperbole to the other point of view. By not doing that, his show seems to display a “version of the truth” based on the hyperbolic claims.

Decorno, on the other hand, uses hyperbole in another way. Notice that Decorno’s initial hyperbolic statements are actually sympathetic to the mother’s pain. She may disagree with the mother’s choice to have a home birth, but she doesn’t resort to insulting the mother in harsh language. Rather, she talks about what she would do and continues the hyperbole to make fun of herself (ordering cigarettes and cocktails immediately after birth; demanding the infant to fetch them for her). There is actually a third, unstated perspective that her posts come from. It is somewhere underneath the hyperbole.

Both have audiences that take the hyperbolic statements and run with them, often to disastrous and offensive conclusions, but I would hardly call Decorno mean-spirited. I think that the readers who interpret her comments as an okay to throw insults around need a lesson in reading. That goes for people to insult the subject of the conversation (the mother, people who chose home births) and the people who insult Decorno.

Anonymous said...

I think it's insane to think we know more than Mother Nature.

Kristin said...

My earlier comment hasn't been published yet, but from what I remember of it, I think I need to clarify what I mean by Rush's "version of the truth." By not providing an alternate vantage point in his lengthy speeches, the inherent sense of exaggeration in hyperbole disappears and the exaggeration becomes the reality (his reality). He doesn't use other means of expression to undercut the hyperbole and give his listeners the opportunity to understand that his exaggerations are just that, and reality is something different. You have to already have a different perspective to think that there is exaggeration. He doesn't provide within his statements an alternate perspective, therefore one could be justified for believing that he literally means what he says.

You don't have to come to this post with a perspective different from the hyperbole to think that Decorno's exaggerations are exaggerations. Decorno, as I already said, provides the other perspective by extending hyperbole to opposing sides. The perspective lies outside hyperbole.

Anonymous said...

I've had two children and frankly, it wasn't that bad. I think that people give birth the same way they live. If they are drama queens on a regular basis then please, for the sake of everyone involved, give them an epidural.

My advice for those who haven't experienced it: don't listen to they hysterical types.

Anonymous said...

Wow, anon 2:37, so everyone who has a bad birth experience is a drama queen? Nice to know that all the women who have died giving birth did so because they are hysterical.

Anonymous said...

Educate yourself and you may not be judging the natural approach so harshly. There are a lot of side effects and risks to mainstream obstetric care. The USA, in spite of its 'science' has a lot of litigation problems. And very high infant and mother mortality rates for a modern country. Watch "The Business of Being Born". It's not a hippie thing, it's an informed decision.

The Lil Bee said...

Really f'ing weird.

court. said...

Decorno, I think I love you.

Great post. Ew.

Anonymous said...

To Fleyz:
You said -
"Really, I think it's insane... the baby feels what the mother feels, that's almost cruel!"

You all can't have it both ways. If an epidural does not effect the baby that means that it masks mom's pain, but the baby is still feeling all the ctx (and if mom must be augmented due to that epi, those ctx will be even longer, stronger, and more intense). So either the epidural DOES drug up the baby, or mom is pain free, but baby is still feeling all the pain. You can't have it both ways. Which is it?

And, for what it's worth, mom wouldn't be in so much pain if she wasn't strapped down, poked, prodded, starved, and cut into, with bright lights shining on her. The screames you hear in the hospital aren't those of laboring women - those are the screams of tethered animals in pain.

Bethany Reine' said...

1st, I LOVE your blog and check it daily! 2nd, my mom is a midwife, and a wonderful one, too! I had a home birth (at age 24) with my husband and sisters at my side coaching me through it and my mother delivering my first child. It was truly an amazing experience. I labored for some time in a warm tub. The warm water took a lot of pressure and pain away, it's actually kind of amazing. Just as doing cocaine during my pregnancy would totally freak me out and obviously harm my baby, I believe that the drugs pumped into you at the hospital are freaky and very harmful to your baby. Of course, there are dangerous times when drugs can save lives (my sister delivered 2 months premature and I am thankful she was able to get to a hospital with drugs in time!), but for me, it's not my first choice. But come on ladies, we can do it! Yeah it hurts, but we're strong right? That's why God gave us the job of child birthing. He knew men wouldn't be able to handle it :)

rayner said...

You can avoid the use of drugs if you wish by beating a pillow strenuously for about 30 minutes or so. Sometimes longer sometimes a shorter period will work for you.
The pain is due to the adrenaline entering your system and stopping your cervix from opening up to allow the neonate to pass through the birth canal. If you can do the beating trick and about 80% of women were able to do this when I tested this method in Hawaii in 1981.
The only problem with having an epidural or other drug used in labor is that research has discovered that your infant has been imprinted with a desire to seek out drugs when it hits the stress and strains of adolescence. An epidural is made from a cocaine derivative. One research reference is added on. Good luck, Rayner
* Jacobson, B. et al. (1988).Obstetric pain medication and eventual adult amphetamine addiction in offspring. Acta Obstet Gynaecol. Scand., 67: 677-682.