Thursday, September 16, 2004

Infant Mortality

Occasionally, I hear someone state that the U.S. has the best health care system in the world. This is a common misconception, especially during campaign season. True, we've got excellent trauma and critical care. And we spend more per capita than any other nation. But the U.S. ranks 41st in the world in terms of its infant mortality rate. Get these and other fascinating statistics from NationMaster.com.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Children at Birth

Now, from time to time we hear of babies being born in the backs of taxi cabs, in hospital or gas station parking lots; or, in the case of home births, into Dad's hands before the midwife arrives. But this article, As dad sped home, children helped mother give birth from the Detroit Free Press caught my eye.

Baby Isabella of Waterford, Michigan, was born while mom was home alone with the three older siblings, ages 3, 6, and 9. What struck me about the article was how calm everyone seemed, both during and after the birth. You see, the Spry family had planned a home birth, and had prepared their three older children to witness the birth if they wished.

My oldest son (2 at the time) was present at the birth of my younger son, and I have never regretted that decision. Children do great at birth if they are properly prepared. Here are two books I especially recommend:

Welcome With Love by Jenni Overend from Amazon or UBB's Natural Family Boutique.

Baby on the Way by Dr. William and Martha Sears from Amazon or UBB's Natural Family Boutique.

The Alia Blawg

Today I was sitting down at the computer, about to blog something, when my dear husband asked me to blog something in particular.

Me: "Write it on your own blog."
DH: "I don't have a blog."
Me: "Well, get one."
DH: "Make one for me."

So, I did. Took all of about 15 minutes (thank you, Blogger). Here it is: aliablawg.blogspot.com. Enjoy!

Hurricane Ivan

You can get a neat map of the latest hurricane track from the National Weather Service's National Hurricane Center. Just scroll down to the storm of your choice and click on "Maps and Charts".

3-Day Ivan forecast graphic

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Unassisted Births

The Pensylvanian Times Leader has published a story, Charged midwife's clients making other plans for home births about the options left for clients of Judy Wilson, the midwife arrested in April (see my April 29,2004 post).

One caveat: Vicki Pasterik, the client quoted in the article, has since claimed the reporter distorted what she said, saying: "The fact is, the first quote and the last attributed to me in the article are accurate. The rest are not." She does not promote unassisted birth, and has not yet contacted any other midwives, as the article states.

Nevertheless, the article brings up a good point, one that I have observed myself from women across the country who do not have access to homebirth midwives: many will "go it alone" at home rather than opt for a hospital birth.

Those who believe that homebirth is unsafe do women and babies no service by legislating or prosecuting out of existence those who attend homebirths. A better course of action would be to make homebirth safer (it is already safe, but that is another post) by ensuring that attendants such as midwives have access to quality training, are authorized to carry life-saving drugs such as pitocin and oxygen, and do not fear criminal charges or social disapprobation when properly transfering a patient into the care of doctor or hospital when compilcations arise.

Links:
Times Leader article.
Same article from PennLive.com.
Ebay auction for Judy's Legal defense.