Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mother, baby revived after 'dying' in labor - Heart health- msnbc.com

What a blessing that this young mother and her baby revived and survived.

Mother, baby revived after 'dying' in labor - Heart health- msnbc.com

What I found particularly interesting is that the woman had an epidural minutes before the circulatory collapse. Her husband noticed her colour was blue and when the nurses checked her, she had no pulse.

The fact that an epidural had been administered had not made it into any of the news reports that heralded the story about the miracle of this woman and her baby's survival.

The doctors are at a loss to explain what happened to this young woman.

Yet, there are several possible explanations with the administration of an epidural in labour:

1. The anaesthetic agent could have been inserted into a vein by mistake causing cardiogenic shock
2. The epidural block may have been too high, causing paralysis of the intercostal muscles and respiratory arrest and then cardiac arrest
3. Allergic reaction to the anaesthetic agent

None of these possibilities have been explored in the news. What this story does of course is add to the general fear cascade around 'birth' in western culture. The 'problem' in this story is not with labour, it is with the intervention, the epidural administration. The problem needs to be attributed to where it rightfully belongs. Where most of the problems with birth lie is with the interventions that are 'done to' birthing women. Instead of providing every childbearing woman with one to one midwifery care that enables a woman to feel valued and cared about, work through her feelings about becoming a mother and then supported to give birth in her unique way, according to her own body biorythms, women are fed a steady diet of fear and problems, anaesthetised, poked, prodded and pushed. The way that the normal natural process of birth is tampered with is what leads to the problems that women experience.

Fear is a powerful force for shaping women's experiences of birth. The trouble lies in our cultural conditioning and media portrayals of birth. Fear makes us compliant and anxious. Instead of women perceiving the birth of their babies as something special and transformational, they are encouraged to rush to take 'whatever' modern medicine provides for deadening the feelings associated with the experience.

Unfortunately the 'cure' can often be far worse than the experience itself.

This story should have read " Mother, baby revived after 'dying' post epidural"

No comments: