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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The media doesn't know crap about childbirth

OK, to some of us this is no surprise. I mean, if you model your ideas of childbirth after an episode of Friends, then you're in trouble.

While scanning the blog roll today my eyes fell upon this: CrunchyDomesticGoddess' post  about how the Today Show was airing a live c-section. The gist of the story is that the mother was having a repeat c-section because 'babies ran big in her family,' she was past due (by what, 12 hours?) and this child was 10 pounds at birth. Ummm...'kay. The doctor said that with those indications, a c-section was a lot 'safer than a vaginal delivery.'

He then went on to lie that if the mother had another child of a 'normal weight' she could 'absolutely choose to deliver vaginally.'

Hahahahahahahahaha...(this is me laughing hysterically.) Because if this mom already couldn't do a VBAC with her second, what makes her or anyone else think this doctor would support her possible decision to VBAC after two cesareans? I mean, sure, it's possible, but most doctors don't want you to actually know that!

And Meredith Vieira, in her divine wisdom, piped up at the end how 'they chose the right way to deliver.'

Oh Meredith. You brainless puppet, you. This part almost makes me want to start swearing, and I don't want to do that.

If you read my post about the mom who sued her insurance company because of a botched VBAC , you'll see what I mean: a "news" report that is so one-sided, so ill-informed that it makes me want to puke. But this is the only part people see, if those little alarm bells don't go off in their heads and convince them to do their own research. Sickening.

And even in their series on "The Empowered Patient," CNN's coverage of controversial VBAC mom Joy Szabo didn't even mention how she'd already had a prior VBAC before she had to fight to get a second one.

Before I left the workforce to become a mom, I wrote for a major newspaper. Whenever I did a story, I did tons of research and tried to give the most thorough information I could that told both sides of the story. I felt that was my duty, especially because whoever was reading might know otherwise, and I didn't want to be caught 'not doing my homework.'

I shudder to think of the number of women who might have chosen a home birth, a VBAC or just plain refused unnecessary interventions in labor until they saw one of these very one-sided reports. Perhaps the best thing that could have happened was for Szabo to voice her opinion in a very unique way. Because when she talked, it got people's attention. It raised awareness of a very real problem.

It's such a disappointment to those of us who are informed and know better that Meredith didn't do her homework. I only hope that thousands, maybe millions, of women watching could take her to task for it. Because there are so many women out there who base their decision on the half-truths and skewed facts of their doctors, and Meredith, honey, you do nothing to help.

CORRECTION: Because I'm anal, care about my work and was probably too heavily caffeinated,  I will add that Crunchy Domestic Goddess has informed me that this was the mother's first c-section, not her second. Which is even sadder: she hasn't even been allowed to experience labor, and just went straight to the assumption that her body couldn't handle it. How very, very sad. I hope this mom finds a new doctor if she plans on having any more children.


The Deranged Housewife said...

Interestingly enough, Meredith goes on to say, right before they cut off the segment, that "her first baby was a section." She has three children - yet her comment implies that her other children were not born via c-section. WTH? If someone can tell me otherwise, I'd love to know!

Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

I think this baby was this woman's first. I didn't hear that it was a repeat c-section, just that in her and her husband's families, babies run big. /shrug

I'm curious about Meredith too now.

The Deranged Housewife said...

Hmm...I don't know how I got that it was her second. Still, either way, she never even got to labor, then! Gag.

PErhaps I'm reading way too much into it, but at the end I almost detected a wistful, almost sad expression on Meredith's face when she made that comment. LOL Perhaps she's had a VBAC and feels like she can't even mention it - why open another can of worms now? Maybe she knows better and feels sorry for the mother...