Thursday, September 22, 2005

Shock Horror Miranda gets it wrong again

The Devine Ms M has struck again. Fans of Ms M will not be surprised that she has again gone off half cocked and with only a small amount of information at her disposal that supports her argument, ignoring the large amount of information that conflicts with her view.

So what has she done today? Slagged off midwives. I never used to worry about stuff like this until I came to Alice Springs and got involved in an organisation that runs antenatal classes and provides information for parents to be. That's when I discovered that you can actually choose to have a midwife attend your birth, that if you see the same midwife all the way through your pregnancy your labour is likely to go more smoothly, and that generally outcomes for both mother and child are significantly improved with continuity of care throughout the pregnancy and beyond. Strangely enough I was never told this when I was pregnant. Granted it was a difficult pregnancy, and any midwife I did see probably would have referred me onto specialist care. I have no problem with that. But my labour could have been a lot different if I had known the midwife for more than five minutes before she ... broke my waters (fill in the blanks yourself, this is a family blog), and then went off shift.

Now I'm not one of these women who believe that all obstetricians are evil. However, I disagree with Ms Devine that midwives can't adequately look after women who are going through a normal pregnancy and deliver the child without complications. I know a lot of women who have been through midwife clinics at their local hospitals and had no problems and no interventions and not seen an obstetrician at any time. If you believe Ms D then midwives are incapable of safely delivering babies without an obstetrician's help.

I am also really unimpressed with her analogy with women in Nigeria. I am well aware that there are lots of issues with labour and that it can be difficult and damaging, but what she failed to mention is that women in Nigeria who suffer the problems that she mentioned are in labour for days and days. That is highly unlikely to happen in Australia to a woman under midwife care. Midwives aren't ego maniacs. If a woman is in difficulty they refer her on to a specialist. End of story. Ms Devine has neatly ignored the large number of women who choose to give birth safely with a midwife. God forbid she get started on homebirth.

She talks about the medicalisation of childbirth like it's a god send. For some women it is. For others it's unneccessary. What it comes down to is that it should be the woman's choice to go for a medicalised birth or not, depending on how her labour is progressing. If everyone is fine, leave her alone and let her and the midwife get on with it.

My last bitch with Ms Devine is her last comment how the obstetrician's only desire is for a safe mother and baby. As is suggesting that midwives don't have the same desires. Silly woman.

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