Wednesday, November 30, 2005

“You say you want a revolution/Well, you know/We all want to change the world"

“Crisp and non-preachy” is how John Lennon’s Revolution was described on the radio today. After almost 40 years the form of the message is still unmatched. What would John Lennon have said about the social and political climate in 2005?

I think I’m pretty clear on what he might have said about George Bush and Iraq. But what would he have thought about the “Britney Spears School” of birth? Would he have commented on the “Too Posh to Push” scene? Would he have questioned why women seem to be so scared of their bodies?

This evolution (devolution?) in birthing practices seems to be leading us towards the world portrayed in 1984 or The Giver. How do we call for a change, a revolution, in the birthing world, without sounding preachy? How do we stop the l
oss of “normal birth?”

These questions made me sit down today to check out my 2005 stats. I needed to look at them to see how many “normal births” I’d attended this year. I’m so pleased that, out of the 79% spontaneous vaginal births, 61.4% of my clients had simple no-fuss births, and only 3% had unexpected cesareans. So I think you can say I’m part of a revolution against the “Too Posh to Push” tide, one woman at a time. And don’t think that my clientele is skewed towards young “low-risk” women. The majority (56%) of my clients are over 36 (10% of which are over 40).

What I do isn’t about the stats AT ALL . My aim is to help each woman forge a memory that is positive and empowering. There is no judgement against the women who need cesareans or epidurals, forceps or inductions. Actually some of my clients who have very difficult, intervention-filled labours are the most empowered by their experience. But I try to keep things as simple as possible for everyone, to ensure the smoothest transition to parenthood. My greatest joy comes when I hear, “If I can get through labour, I can achieve anything!”

When I hear that, I know we can start a revolution...

70 births so far in 2005

Spontaneous Vaginal Birth 79% (55)
Assisted Birth 5% (4) (1 vacuum, 3 forceps)
Cesarean birth 16% (11)
13% Booked (7 breech, 2 sets twins) (What's with the 10% breeches?)
3% Emergency (1 fetal distress, 1 transverse arrest at 10cm, both w/previous epidurals)

Simply Straightforward Birth (i.e. No intervention, no meds, excluding nitrous oxide or TENS) 61.4% (43)

Epidurals for Vaginal Births 21.4% (15) Reasons: 4 to stop early involuntary pushing (1 resulted in vacuum), 1 hernia pain, 1 prophylactic for low platelets (w/no further complications), 3 for pain (2 resulted in forceps), 5 with oxytocin induction/augmentation, 1 for forceps (baby to SCN)

Place of Birth
Hospital Births
93% (65) BC Womens (51) (1 diverted from St Pauls), St Pauls (11), Lions Gate (2), Royal Columbian (1) (diverted from BCW)
Home Births
7% (5) (4 planned w/midwives, 1 unplanned w/paramedics!)

57% (40) Family Practictioners
34% (24) Obstetricians
9% (6) Midwife

Client Age
20-29 11%
30-34 33%
35-39 46%
40+ 10%

- Jacquie Munro, Vancouver Doula

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