Let women choose birthing alternatives

Full story: The Morning Call

I am writing about my concerns about Lehigh Valley Hospital terminating the delivery privileges of Laurice Dunning and Valley Midwives.

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Lib Terminator

Lake Ariel, PA

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#2
May 24, 2009
 
Christina,

I believe you make a good point. C-sections have probably been prescribed for more women that it should be. It is more costly and maybe even more lifethreatening than natural births.

I agree, natural birthing should be made available for those wouldbe mothers convince it is the best option.
VBAC Mother

Annapolis, MD

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#3
May 24, 2009
 
Keep searching for a hospital that allows VBAC. I had mine at St. Luke's (Bethlehem) 24 years ago, with no problems! My VBAC baby weighed 9 pounds 11 1/2 ounces; my Caesarean baby weighed 8 pounds 10 ounces.

Good luck in your search!
Johnny -The See- ILDee

Bethlehem, PA

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#4
May 24, 2009
 
This whole thing = Test-tube babies today, test-tube babies tomorrow, test-tube babies forever.

Since: Mar 07

AOL

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#6
May 24, 2009
 
"Hospitals and insurance companies are taking away a woman's right to give birth the way God intended "

And centuries ago they DIED doing just that. If you want to be a martyr it's up to you.

Since: Mar 07

AOL

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#7
May 24, 2009
 
VBAC Mother wrote:
Keep searching for a hospital that allows VBAC. I had mine at St. Luke's (Bethlehem) 24 years ago, with no problems! My VBAC baby weighed 9 pounds 11 1/2 ounces; my Caesarean baby weighed 8 pounds 10 ounces.
Good luck in your search!
I hope you don't think it's the c section that made the baby smaller

Since: Mar 07

AOL

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#8
May 24, 2009
 
Jim wrote:
Some people have real health problems, like cancer, arthritis, MS and diabetes. If health insurance companies didn't have to spend so much on prenatal care, deliveries and delivery complications, there would be more resources for sick people. Your problems are preventable - half of the women who give birth wind up with post partum depression anyway. If you want to be a parent, adopt a child. With half of the world's 7 billion starving to death, we don't need any more mouths to feed
It's not all preventable, sometimes things happen in the middle of the pregnancy that are unforseen. Only preventable thing about pregnancy is pregnancy, we can always suggest condoms for everyone & kill off the human race, is that an acceptable option for you, bet your h ealth insurance will be cheapo then.
Christine R

Bethlehem, PA

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#9
May 24, 2009
 
Just as a homebirth is not an option for every woman, neither is a medically-managed hospital birth. A midwife-assisted hospital birth offers the best of both worlds - birth the way nature intended with high-tech care available if needed. It's an outrage that this choice has been eliminated here.
Your Choice

Newton, NJ

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#10
May 24, 2009
 
Perhaps the midwives can get privileges at another hospital, or do home births. The ob Drs. have very high insurance rates. A number of them have left the state because of this, others have just stopped doing deliveries. Some Pa. hospitals have stopped delivering babies.
Jenn

Macungie, PA

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#11
May 24, 2009
 
JoisyGirl wrote:
<quoted text>
I hope you don't think it's the c section that made the baby smaller
I think the point was that she was probably told for the smaller baby that either the baby was "too big" for her to deliver vaginally, or her pelvis was "inadequate." Her second birth proved those ideas to be incorrect.
Nicole S

Newark, DE

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#12
May 24, 2009
 
Jim wrote:
Some people have real health problems, like cancer, arthritis, MS and diabetes. If health insurance companies didn't have to spend so much on prenatal care, deliveries and delivery complications, there would be more resources for sick people.
The truth is that vaginal births (in hospitals, birthing centers and at home) are all far less expensive than what insurance companies are paying for Cesarean sections.
Jenn

Macungie, PA

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#13
May 24, 2009
 
I believe that many people in America do not really know what midwives are. For example, a friend of mine who has 2 children thought that midwives only attended out of hospital births--in birth centers or homes. The reality is that the majority of midwife attended births in America--as many as 80% of them--occur in hospitals.

If you are interested in learning more about what midwives do or specifically about the situation in the Lehigh Valley that led to this letter to the editor, please come read my blog at http://knittedinthewomb.com/wp/...
Jenn

Macungie, PA

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#14
May 24, 2009
 
Your Choice wrote:
Perhaps the midwives can get privileges at another hospital, or do home births.
This really is more about women's freedom to choose the method of birth that they desire than about the specific midwife who has been targetted. She was targetted because she supported a woman's desire to have a vaginal birth when another care provider wanted her to have a cesarean. Had the midwife not been in the hospital, the mother would have been unlikely to have had a safe vaginal birth (which she did have) because she would have either been bullied into having a cesarean, or if she persisted in insisting upon vaginal birth, there may not have been a care provider there with the specific skills needed to handle the breech birth.
The ob Drs. have very high insurance rates. A number of them have left the state because of this, others have just stopped doing deliveries.
To a large extent this is a myth that has been foisted upon us by Dr's who expect us to pity them and stop putting pressure on them to provide better care. Dr.s consistently rank as the highest paid professions--I think recent news was that 3 or 4 of the top 10 paying professions were Dr's--this despite their malpractice costs which are now usually paid for by the hospital that owns their practice.

There are EASILY 50 OB's attending births in the Lehigh Valley--there are about 30 working out of just St. Luke's Bethlehem. With approximately 8000 births per year, that works out to about 13 births per month per OB...which is a fairly standard client load. I know a homebirth midwife who at one point was attending 12-15 births per month, which certainly is more of a challenge than an OB with all patients in one hospital (with a nursing & resident staff handling most of the "labor care") since she had to travel to multiple locations to attend those births.
Some Pa. hospitals have stopped delivering babies.
There are some hospitals that are no longer doing births, but that is because they were not handling a high enough volume to make them profitable.

While this is sad for the women who now have to travel further to a hospital, certainly a hospital which is "for profit" can not be expected to maintain a department that is not profitable.

Funny story on that though...I had a client couple who had taken classes with me during their first pregnancy, and came back for refresher classes in their second pregnancy. They explained to me that the hospital they had their first birth at (Warren, NJ), was closing the OB unit a month before her due date, and they really had a lot of angst about this. They did not want to go to a different hospital, even though it was just as close, if not closer, to their house.

As it turned out...she ended up having an unplanned homebirth--the labor just went so quickly that she didn't have a chance to make it out the front door. Her 3 year old son opened the front door to let the paramedics in--AFTER the baby had already made her arrival.
Abby

West Palm Beach, FL

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#15
May 25, 2009
 
Midwives provide a real service, not just to women who want a lower level of intervention in their birth and delivery, but to all women who seek maternal care. Midwives train on procedures that OB/GYNs do not (breach birth, VBAC, etc.) and by having midwives attend low risk patients we lower the overall cost of health care that we all are forced to pay.

C-sections and OB/GYNs save lives. This is without a doubt true. But midwives are not the the opposite of this. They provide an alternate form of care for a specific population.

The current C-seciton rate in America hovers around 30%. That means that 1/3 of all babies are delivered surgically. Europe and espcially scandanavian countries that encourage the use of midwives have significantly lower C-section rates, and better over all outcomes for mothers and babies. Do not be fooled into believing that the higher rates of interventions that US mothers go through means we do better over all, we dont.

LV Hospital revoked Dunnings priveledges because they no longer want to perfom VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section). It is not because they are thinking about patients, but rather their bottom line.
rabiddog

Allentown, PA

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#16
May 25, 2009
 
VBAC Mother wrote:
Keep searching for a hospital that allows VBAC. I had mine at St. Luke's (Bethlehem) 24 years ago, with no problems! My VBAC baby weighed 9 pounds 11 1/2 ounces; my Caesarean baby weighed 8 pounds 10 ounces.
Good luck in your search!
You do realize that in most cases of C-sections, the labor has failed to progress or the baby gets into distress. Insodently, I had both of mine vaginally. First was 8 pounds 10 oz, and the second was 9 pounds 2 oz.
Melissa

Coatesville, PA

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#17
May 25, 2009
 
This is tragic. A doctor I interviewed for my pregnancy said as much. He explained that doctors and hospitals are part of a business and are looking out for themselves, not the best interest of the women giving birth. I hate that my choices are being taken away.
Sara M

Bethlehem, PA

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#18
May 25, 2009
 
Jim wrote:
If health insurance companies didn't have to spend so much on prenatal care, deliveries and delivery complications, there would be more resources for sick people.
Jim, if you did your research (like those who natural birth do) you'd find that natural birth is WAY cheaper and so is using a midwife. So, by promoting natural birth, you are helping insurance companies to save money for other causes.

Pregnancy and birth are viewed as medical conditions that need to be fixed or cured instead of a perfectly natural process that needs to be supported, not managed. Do your research ladies! That's how I chose natural birth - after lots of research. We sometimes spend more time researching to buy a video camera than we do on giving birth!
Sara M

Bethlehem, PA

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#19
May 25, 2009
 
Abby wrote:
Midwives provide a real service, not just to women who want a lower level of intervention in their birth and delivery, but to all women who seek maternal care. Midwives train on procedures that OB/GYNs do not (breach birth, VBAC, etc.) and by having midwives attend low risk patients we lower the overall cost of health care that we all are forced to pay.
C-sections and OB/GYNs save lives. This is without a doubt true. But midwives are not the the opposite of this. They provide an alternate form of care for a specific population.
Abby summed it up beautifully - those of us who want more options in birth are not against OB/GYNs or totally against life-saving measures such as C-sections. At least I know for myself that I recognize how OB/GYNs play a vital role in births. However, so do midwives and I hope for the day when the two work together, like in other countries such as Canada, France and Sweden where the infant mortality rate is lower than our country's. Midwives provide the labor care that you simply do not receive from the nursing staff or doctors. This labor care is what often prevents other interventions such as Pitocin and epidurals (both of which keep the mother tied to the bed with IV's and monitors, which works against gravity and slows down labor since she is unable to walk around and allow the baby to lower into the pelvis), and ultimately C-sections.
It is about having options so a woman can choose which birthing method works best for her and her family, and Lehigh Valley Hospital has taken that choice and right away from us in the name of their bottom line. I just encourage women everywhere to research your options before you give birth so you can make an informed choice.
Sara M

Bethlehem, PA

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#20
May 25, 2009
 
Lib Terminator wrote:
C-sections have probably been prescribed for more women that it should be. It is more costly and maybe even more lifethreatening than natural births.
I agree, natural birthing should be made available for those wouldbe mothers convince it is the best option.
Yep, C-sections are major surgery and the national average for them is 30%. Way too high considering many of them could have been prevented if the labor care received beforehand was comprehensive, like that provided by a midwife. It's a domino effect - once one intervention (such as Pitocin) is used, it causes other side effects, which then have to be treated with other meds, which then cause more side effects...and it keeps going until the next thing you know, you're having a C-section! The crazy thing is, at Lehigh Valley Hospital, their C-section rate is DOUBLE the national average at 60%. This is scary!
Stephanie

Emmaus, PA

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#21
May 25, 2009
 
I was heart broken to learn that Laurice would not be able to help me give birth to my baby. I'm concerned that an OB/GYN practice will not provide the same type of support and advocacy for me to have a natural birth. This issue is about having choices and my choice to have a natural birth supported by a caring and supportive midwife has been eliminated. My only choice now is to have my baby outside of my community either in Doylestown or Reading.
Abbie Patterson

Nazareth, PA

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#22
May 25, 2009
 
As a childbirth educator-in training and as a childbirth advocate, this whole situation deeply distubs me and disgusts me.

Women in Lehigh Valley have very few choices if they want a non-surgical birth (the areas cesarean section rate is well above the national average and more than TRIPLE the World Health Organizations suggested rate.

Hospital birth has become dangerous. Most women are not well-informed about Home Birth as an option. We need our choices back! We need our midwives back!

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