Welcome to the Blog for Busy Moms!
This blog is the home of THE MAMALUTION! Calling all moms, grandmoms, sisters & aunts to tap into their instinctual & intuitive wisdom to save the day! It is time for our collective voice to be heard.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Medicalized Birth

Just when you think that things may begin taking a turn for the better you come across something that sharply reminds you that we're not quite there yet....It is essential that we women begin to unravel ourselves from our oblivion! it is this alone that motivates me to finish my book. Below is my response to an article in our local newspaper just last week...although it's more like an advertisment rather than an article.

The recent article More Young Women Opting to Schedule C-Section Births by Hilary Waldman was disappointing in its lightness in addressing one of the most serious crimes happening in our country today. There are many rackets here in America but the one I find most repulsive is “Medicalized Birth”. In at time when 1 out of 3 women are having cesareans in this country, we need reporters who are questioning them, not condoning them. Something is wrong with this picture. Hillary, along with her comrades such as Doctor Girard, are irresponsibly condoning the consumer driven ways we live in the US in the realm of birth.

Yet this “my needs first” mentality has hidden costs that go beyond paper money. In April of 2008 , a report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documented that the
US infant mortality rate is now worse than 28 other countries. The study, “Recent Trends in Infant Mortality in the United States,” found that at least 28 other countries now have lower death rates for infants in the first year of life.

Where are the facts in Hilary’s article?

As pregnancy–related deaths increase in our country so does the c-section rate, up 40 percent since 1996. Almost eighty-two percent of women whose first delivery is a c-section have subsequent cesareans. Readers are being mislead by the information in this article to believe that a cesarean surgery is not only convenient, but safe. In October, a woman at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston died during a cesarean. “Valerie Scythes, 35, and Melissa Farah, 28, were friends who taught at the same grade school in Avon, N.J., and died two weeks apart last spring (2007) after delivering their firstborns, both healthy girls, via planned c-sections at Underwood Memorial Hospital in Woodbury, N.J. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Farah's death certificate said she died of "shock due to bleeding and anemia."

C-sections are not safe as implied! One in 2,500 women are at risk compared to the more than the one in 10,000 risks for vaginal birth. According to the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 36 women per 100,000 die while undergoing a caesarean compared to 9.2 deaths per 100,000 for a vaginal delivery. The risks from having a cesarean include infections, hemorrhage, transfusion, injury to other organs, anesthesia complications, psychological complications, and a maternal mortality two to four times greater than that for a vaginal birth. In addition, premature birth rates are being linked to cesareans which ultimately cause an array of health conditions for the baby as well as increase their risk for death in the first month. And what about the emotional impact of a non-vaginal birth on the baby later on in life?
Vaginal births massage the babies as the move through the birth canal gently preparing them for their entrance in the world. How does a baby being yanked from its mothers womb by a stranger respond to the world around them? Could there perhaps be a connection between the extreme levels of fear and hatred we Americans perpetuate on others around the world and the hardened and disconnected ways we are bringing new life into the world? We do not yet know the impacts of our behaviors, not much different than the now looming realities of global warming that we have conveniently chosen to dismiss in years past.

What about the costs?
In a time when our economy is failing and insurance companies are struggling to survive, how can we afford such a “luxury”? In May 1997 Hilary actually reported that “a c-section cost $12,600 at Danbury. The same labor ending in vaginal delivery costs only $7,000. And that does not account for the physical and emotional toll of major surgery” . Today, vaginal births are still about half the cost of a c-section totaling billions of dollars which in turn burdens health care cost for everyone. Women who plan c-sections are more than twice as likely to be hospitalized again in the first month after birth than the women who had a vaginal delivery. In addition, the average initial hospital cost of a planned c-section for a first-time mother was 76% higher than that for a planned vaginal birth. (
Rita Rubin, USA TODAY, Answers prove elusive as C-section rate rises, Jan 08.)

All for the sake of convenience?

In a time when our world is facing more challenges than ever before, it is essential that we take a serious look at how we are living our lives – including the realm of birth. The era of convenience must come to an end. No longer can we justify excessive waste of resources, extreme scientific experiments and harm to both people and planet. Not only do we need to be birthing “green” for the health of our babies, but for the future health of their planet as well.

On a personal note Hilary, how is it possible for someone so detached from the process of living like yourself be a Health Reporter for such a notable publication? Doesn’t health signify freedom from disease without dependence on “medicalized” models? The slant in all of your articles somehow puts modern medicine on a pedestal while providing mis-information in a time when studies show that more holistic treatments are not only safer and more economical, but more effective. Why are you choosing to be a mouthpiece for unnecessary procedures and surgeries? Perhaps you are more interested in merely reporting trends than truth. Who’s paying you to say such nonsense? And I am curious Hilary, how many children do you have?

Imani, mother of 6 (4 of which were born at home naturally without any interventions and whose body does not appear to be “ravaged by multiple deliveries”) and owner of The Green Vibration’s Alchemy CafĂ© & Eco-Boutique and founder of The Growing Green Co-op in Hartford.

Friday, November 14, 2008


It's been awhile....sigh. So much has happened in the weeks since I have written - the election, the financial crisis (which, like many other small biz owners, we're feeling at our cafe), an unexpected trip, some other unfortunate events, and some computer challenges....ah, such is life. So much happens in one day, much less weeks. It is a process of constantly finding and redefining my existence.

I am uncovering truth as I diligently write the pages of my book. It's as if I am living the book as I write it. In doing so, I am beginning to look more objectively at this illusion we call life and what it is we are creating together collectively. I grasp the seriousness of it on one hand, yet the ridiculous nature of it on the other. I am present, yet detached.

Even with such a historic moment in this Presidential Election, I felt a sense of distant objectivity. When faced with the possibility of someone like McCain even being considered as a leader of our country I vascillated between intense feelings of denial and depression. Will Obama really take the reins of the rights of humanity when this world needs it most or will he pass the potential on to the future like so many past hopefuls have?

Thankfully, the outcome of the election was a sign that we are still, as Americans, willing to shape a future based on the ideas that founded our country - but we still have a long way to go. I long for a time where a two-party system does not exist - where we can vote for who we want to vote for, not vote from a place of prevention. I wish Obama luck in one of the most difficult challenges ahead. His solicitation to Amercians for our priorities is a great place to start - so here's mine.

Dear President-elect Obama:

Congratulations on your election win!

There are many things that I would ask you to consider, but if I had to just pick one I would say this: Grow an organic garden on the White House Lawn (and all of the other suggestions outlined in Michael Pollan's NY Times "Letter to the President Elect") and please do not support a future for our children of genetically modified and cloned foods! If we can give back our food supply to our children we may have a chance to grow a better world for them! If we can educate them about the ways of the farm, both urban and suburban alike, we will transform the next century of life on this planet and perhaps be the determining factor in our own extinction. As the First Family- you have tremendous power to influence the minds of Americans - lead the way through your children. Show Americans a way to live that returns us to diets of whole, organic foods - not chemically-laden, packaged-processed, GM and non-food items. Feed your children only organic and boycott fast food. Role-model what is possible. What a powerful image it would be to have our President, with his sleeves rolled up weeding with children by his side, in the White House garden. Share that wisdom so we can give all the children in America a good start against the reality of obesity, diabetes, cancer and other food related diseases. In addressing this simple issue of food, we simultaneously begin to address all of the other issues that plague our country pertaining to the changing climate, consumerism and our relations with other countries. By getting back to basics we can begin to remember who we are and where we came from so we can better determine where it is we are going.
In Gratitude,