Monday, November 27, 2006

Oxygen Monitor Worthless During Labor

Another intervention that does nothing:

The device, a fetal pulse oximeter, was meant to be used with fetal heart-rate monitoring, which is performed in 85 percent of births in the United States. Despite its routine use, the heart monitoring is controversial, because doctors adopted it in the 1970s without rigorous testing and then kept using it even after studies found that it led to higher Caesarean rates but not healthier babies. The heart monitors can create false alarms that lead to Caesareans.

Researchers had hoped that the fetal pulse oximeter would improve that situation — that monitoring both the oxygen level and the heart rate would help doctors do a better job of deciding when a baby was in trouble and needed to be delivered in a hurry. But it did not, the study found.

These interventions are actually harmful: they lead to more Caesareans which result in more interventions, longer hospital stays, more infections, and more complicated recoveries for mothers. In Houston, C-section rates are up to 50% and higher by some doctors.

This is absolutely insane. For ages, women have birthed babies the old-fashioned way, drug-free and without stupid interventions that impair the natural course of things. These days, women are so brain-washed that they believe birthing a baby to be a medical problem looking for a solution. And doctors decry their malpractice insurance rates. Why? They try to intervene and create an environment where birth can be "managed".

A baby is not a tumor. It will come out on its own 99% of the time. C-sections were a nice help for the 1-2% freak happenings. They have morphed into a fall-back position for mothers and doctors intent on controlling the uncontrollable. Birthing a baby is perfect preparation for parenthood--mysterious, with it's own timing and rhythm. Just like a baby's personality, the birth has it's own pace and pattern. Attempting to control it often leads to more problems.

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