Pregnant in America

I liked this more than “The Business of Being Born”.  Here is what I took from it.

“Some of us have found that the process itself, the actual process of birth, is quite an extraordinary event, and would chose not to just miss that.”

“There is not cultural valuation any more on women’s bravery and courage in pushing their babies out on their own.”

“A mother and baby are designed to work together during labor, and when drugs are used they both are drug-impaired so they’re not working together.”

“There are studies linking labor drugs to teen-age drug addiction and suicide.”

“We have been brainwashing Americans about childbirth, about how dangerous it is, how all the terrible things that can go wrong, and how you need to be in the hospital where all the doctors are, all the machines are, and all the operation tables are so that we can take care of horrendous emergencies when they occure.  It’s absolutely not true.”

Ina May’s Numbers:

  • 2000 births
  • 95% needed no medical intervention or hospital transfer
  • <30 got a c-section (that’s less than 1.5%)
  • her mortality rates were still below the US documented rates for low-risk pregnancy and birth

“I don’t know but one person that can have a baby and that’s the mother.  Mather nature knows best.” – Father of a home birthing woman, also a horse breeder.

Section Stats:

  • Between 1990 and 2000, induction doubled from 10-20% and the number of babies born M-F went WAY up.
  • 50% of inductions end in c-section
  • section rate in 1975 = 7%
  • section rate in 2008 = 33%
  • the infant and maternal mortality rates have not declined in response to the quadrupled section rate

“Why is our section rate high?  Because surgeons are in charge of birth.  To a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.  To a surgeon, every problem looks like surgery is the answer.”

“Everywhere women are getting cut open because they are being told it’s safer even though all the evidence is to the contrary.”

“If I have a reason to do a section, I can be home in 30 minutes.” – Ron Sancetta, OB/GYN

“Breech [birth] isn’t even taught at most schools anymore.  Insurance companies to hospitals they’d pull support if they taught breech anymore.”

“We are victims of our insurance.”

“Most Cytotec cases are settled with a gag order which is why we don’t hear about it.”

“It’s sad that a country with the technology we have could institutionalize medicine.”

Doctors play the ‘dead baby’ card so often women believe that it happens very often in non-medicalized births.

“We’re just concerned about your baby.”

“Doctors in America do not want any significant change in the present system.  They have all the power, they have all the control, and they’re making the big bucks.”

“A loving midwife does what she does because she wants to help other women experience the miracle of childbirth.”

“Thank goodness for epidurals and Pitocin when they are truly needed.  But in countries where they don’t use it just as a normal management of labor technique or protocol, they have much better statistics and outcomes, and we can learn a lot from that.”

“[Birth is] as close to magic as human beings can know.”

“There is no more empowering experience that a woman can possibly have than giving birth herself.”

“It’s so sad what women are missing and they don’t know they are missing it.”

Books that the experts in the film have written:

“Gentle Birth Choices” by Bruce Lipton, PhD

“Magical Child” by Joseph Chilton Pearce, PhD


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