More VBACs will take communication, compromise, better training, and tort reform

The NY Times has reported on a woman who wanted to deliver vaginally and claims she was forced to have a repeat c-section (her third c-section) against her will. I can’t comment on the veracity of her claims, however a forced c-section is never, ever acceptable. It doesn’t mater if the fetus has an agonal rhythm …

Rocking delivery dogma: induction of labor doesn’t increase c-section rate

There is a widely held belief that induction of labor increases the risk of c-section.  This is something that has been widely promoted by many OB/GYNs, nurses, midwives, doulas, and patients alike. I can not tell you how many times I have heard, “Don’t let them induce you.” I think that so many health care …

A water birth isn’t natural it’s an intervention

The joint statement on laboring in water and delivering in water (the latter also known as immersion births) from the American Academy Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is making the rounds. I’ve linked to the full statement above, but in essence it says that some women find laboring in water …

Using pot in pregnancy linked to stillbirth, new study

Legality and safety (from a health perspective) are two different things. Cigarettes, alcohol, and opioids while all legal have health consequences. Some more concerning than others. This is especially true in pregnancy. Chemicals (whether they are naturally occurring or not) may have effects on blood flow to the uterus or at a microscopic level in the …

Listeria and pregnancy, when discussing risk it’s all perspective

Emily Oster has a book coming out entitled Take Back Your Pregnancy. In preparation for the book launch, as most authors do, she wrote a nice piece in the Wall Street Journal about decision-making, risks, and how some of what OB/GYNs recommend during pregnancy isn’t always evidence based. In particular, she mentions listeria, a bacteria …

When sex hurts after having a baby (and it didn’t before)

A new study published in the BJOG indicates that by 6 weeks after a delivery 41% of women have resumed sex, 78% by 12 weeks, and 94% by 6 months. Most health care providers recommend waiting 4-6 weeks after an uncomplicated vaginal delivery before resuming sex, the issue being an open cervix could increase the …

Irish Catholic Bishops reveal ignorance in statement on death of Savita Halappanavar

The Irish Catholic Bishops have seen fit to clarify the church’s view on gynecology given Savita Halappanavar’s death from sepsis at 17 weeks in her pregnancy and the concern that evacuating her uterus was delayed because the fetus still had a heart beat. The full statement is here, but this is the excerpt I find …

How sick must a pregnant woman be in Ireland for her doctor to say her life is at risk?

While a full analysis of the tragic case of Savita Halappanavar’s death from sepsis at 17 weeks in her pregnancy is not possible without access to her medical records, there is a key piece of information provided by her husband that supports his claim that a termination was not allowed or was delayed because of …

The physical dangers for mothers who deliver prematurely

Mothers who deliver prematurely face serious health risks that are often neglected when we talk about prematurity. Today, in honor of Savita Halappanavar’s death from sepsis that was a direct result of her previable premature delivery, I would like to let the world in on the physical perils faced by mothers who deliver prematurely. Many …

Did Irish Catholic law or malpractice kill Savita Halappanavar?

This is what is known. Savita Halappanavar was 31 years old and happy to be pregnant with her first child. Then, at 17 weeks, tragedy struck and she was “found to be miscarrying.” Her husband reports that she was in “severe pain” for three days at the hospital and a termination was requested. He says …