Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Links - how important is birth? problems with research, VBAC questions, and more

Enjoy Birth and Stand and Deliver and Talk Birth all meditate on the importance of birth - how it shapes women, how it shaped them - and whether or not it is important in shaping women as mothers. All provoked by this post at Sweet Salty. Excellent food for thought.

No Fat Talk Week - I personally celebrate this 52 weeks a year, and invite you to join!

Winning entries from the National Advocates for Pregnant Women writing contest. How's this for a title: “In the Manner Prescribed By the State”: Potential Challenges to State-Enforced Hospital Limitations on Childbirth Options. I like!

Melissa lists questions to ask a VBAC provider.

Amy at Science & Sensibility asks Do We Need a Cochrane Review to Tell Us That Women Should Move in Labor?. She says, "Somehow, things have gotten turned around, and the normal condition is now the “experiment” and the intervention is the “control”. In addition to being irrational, this is a set-up to perpetuate conventional obstetric care, which imposes unhealthy and unfounded restrictions on women in labor. This is because in “intervention versus control” research, you have to show that the intervention performs significantly better, otherwise the control condition remains standard practice." Read the rest on how this is a bass-ackwards way to go about things. It's alerted my eyes to look for the same issues in breastfeeding research.

Aaaand a new favorite (via, as so often, The Unnecesarean), Arwyn explores the analogy between athletics and childbirth:

"Everyone has heard of and no one doubts the existence of “runner’s high”, so why do we start plugging our ears and rolling our eyes and flapping our tongues when we speak of “birthing high”? ... Even discounting that, or in its absence, there is potential for pride and a sense of accomplishment: something we value so much in athletics, yet scoff at in childbirth, where our effort benefits both us and another. We deny women that pride in accomplishment (for which support of athletics is so vital to girls’ sense of self and women’s equality), that boost in self-esteem and feeling of competency, right when we need it most: at the start of parenting, one of the most demanding journeys a person can undertake."

And that's enough for tonight!


Amy Romano said...

I'm so glad my post has alerted you to the backward way studies are designed. Yes, you'll find it in breastfeeding research and pretty much everywhere you look. Newborn transitional care (skin-to-skin, suctioning, etc.), pushing position and technique, etc. etc. It's such a critical problem in the research and something we need to get vocal about. I'm glad my post resonated!

I love your blog, btw! I know I don't comment often but I always appreciate your perspective. I'm a public health person at heart, too.

Rebecca said...

Thank you for the nice words about my blog! I am so glad that when birth topics come up, I can send public health people to yours...we public health people love to parse the research.

The backwards-ness makes you nuts once you start to see it. I saw a formula feeding ad the other day comparing IQ tests of breastfed babies' to babies fed on their (DHA, ARA) formula. It was framed as "look how close the formula babies were to the breastfed babies!" Does no one look at it and think, "Wow, formula has a measurable negative effect on brain development?"