Sunday, February 3, 2008

US Newborn Fatality Rate

I will be honest and say I am a huge proponent of natural birth.....as I am many other natural things of course. I praise God for the medical technology that exists for those that TRULY *need* it and then say that otherwise I believe that a natural vaginal birth is the safest and healthiest route for mom and baby. I have had two drug-free births and we hope to have a waterbirth with this baby, due in August, at home (!!!). So Im going to post now and then about natural childbirth - its not about being "better" or getting a medal or showing off but about doing things the safest and healthiest way possible. FEAR is a big factor in the US - so many women now elect to have a csection becaues they are afraid of labor .... this is a tradegdy in our country.

Article from CNN - US has second highest infant deat rate in the industrialized world.

American babies are three times more likely to die in their first month as
children born in Japan, and newborn mortality is 2.5 times higher in the United
States than in Finland, Iceland or Norway
, Save the Children researchers
found....

"The United States has more neonatologists and neonatal intensive care
beds per person than Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, but its newborn
rate is higher than any of those countries," said the annual State of the
World's Mothers report.


so all this begs the question - why????

maybe because Dr.s (immorally in my humble opinion) allow women to elect to have a csection for non-medical reasons, schedule csections at 39 or even 38 weeks and because of the constant PUSH to induce labor.

I believe God has created our bodies to birth our hand-crafted baby, usually, with absolutely no intervention or "help".

Pregnancy is not a medical condition - its a natural, beautiful, gift.

what will it take for Drs to stop putting God and His Creations on a timetable - to stop playing god themselves????

7 comments:

Alli said...

You know I have to disagree with you on some level, simply because of my own experiences and choices. I agree that too-soon inductions and elective c-sections probably have something to do with the high infant mortality rate in the US. But in order to jump to the conclusion that the main reason is induction and c-sections (and doctors), I'd have to have a whole lot more numbers and statistics for pregnancies/births in the US and the industrialized wolrd. I bet we also have more teenaged mothers, babies born in poverty, babies born to drug addicted mothers, multiples, etc.

I also have to believe that the doctors (ESPECIALLY OBs) look out for the best for their patients, not because they care that much, but because they have to cover their butts. OBs have a HUGE rate of malpractice suits and carry huge insurance premiums because of it. But they still can't afford a lawsuit. AND doctors aren't always the ones pushing for c-sections or inductions. Sometimes, it's the moms.

It's an interesting topic. I look forward to reading what else you have to say about it. But no matter what, I'm thankful for my healthy boys AND c-sections....all 3 of them.;)

chewymama said...

somehow I knew you'd post Alli. I tried to make it clear that csections can be very good things - didnt you have GD???? I was thinking of you when I wrote that.

I doubt we have more teenage pregnancies than other nations (think of the middle east where its common to have children young), and Id doubt less babies born in poverty too. Other countries are more supportive of maternity leave (like Canada) and breastfeeding too .And Id agree because of infertility treatments we probably have more multiples.

I will try and dig up some more hard-core numbers as far as WHY the babies in US die more often.

I agree about Drs and covering their butts. That often influences their decisions in not-helpful ways like having No-VBAC policies simply because of insurance.

It is sad that moms would push for their own csections and inductions NOT for medical reasons. Ive read so many posts online from moms who are traumatized by the way their induction-turned-csection births went. I just believe there is a better way by being educated and viewing birth in a more natural,not-fearful way to begin with.

Alli said...

Yes, I did have GD twice, but it was well maintained and not really an issue in my births. I had to have a c-section with Stephen because he had stopped growing so they had to induce me. But I didn't progress, then he flipped breech (!) at the last minute and my blood pressure started to sky-rocket and I was spilling proteins in my urine. They had to get him out. After that first c-section, my doctors weren't all that supportive of a VBAC (probably because of the exact reasons we mentioned about insurance). I had considered it, but Sweet Hubby pretty much said no because it scared him too much. I was totally ok with the repeat c-sections and if/when we are blessed with another child, it will also be born by c-section. I think I'm at the point of no return now, even if I wanted to try VBAC.

As far as the numbers, we're talking about the rates in the DEVELOPED world. Throwing in the rates of teenaged mothers and babies born in poverty in developing countries would totally change things. I'm still willing to bet that we have higher rates of those and the other circumstances I mentioned in my earlier post, if we're talking still talking about the industrialized/developed countries only. And I'm not saying that the high rate of inductions and c-sections in the US doesn't contribute to the high mortality rates, I'm just saying that I have to be convinced that it's the main reason.

Anyway, I'll definitely be interested in any numbers you can dig up. I'm glad we can have an intelligent and respectful conversation like this.:)

chewymama said...

well your situation with Stephen certainly warranted a csection - and Praise God we had the technology to save him! (my mom is an RN and says babies that are breech usually are because something isnt right) I can totaly understand Dh's fear about a VBAC - that is a very common fear because of how OBs react to it. There IS a small risk of course, just as there is with csection/surgery.

so I dug a little bit..... The CDC says the biggest factors in our infant mortality rate are SIDS and premature birth.

An article from ABC news in 2005 said that premature births and multiple births are the most obvious reasons although its complex and is also higher among african americans although it doesnt follow exact socio-economic lines.

The average gestation in the US is now 39 weeks (a common time to schedule repeat csections) and much fewer babies are born after 40weeks. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/GlobalHealth/story?id=1266515


In other countries you arent considered "post dates" until after 42 weeks. I think we are in such a rush and we've gotten 40wks in our head from our Drs that its just keeps being pushed back when really some babies NEED that entire 40 weeks. Ive heard of csections being scheduled BEFORE 39weeks just because. Even at 39 weeks babies can have breathing troubles - especially since "due dates" arent an exact science unless you know when you ovulated.

i wasnt suggesting throwing in all countries but obviously even developed countries - like the US -- have poverty. (for example china is considered industrialized - of course they dont have the same birth rates because of their laws but just an example)

im glad we can discuss this too Alli. Really what Id like to get across is that csections can be helpful and necessary but they are being abused - women are scared to death of labor, too many inductions are happening to be safe, etc. etc. Regardless of which numbers say what, God designed our bodies to give birth so for the MAJORITY of women there doesnt NEED to be a long, long string of interventions which ultimately arent the healthiest for baby and mom :)

Alli said...

I agree.;) With everything you said in your last comment. My dad was a very late baby. It fascinated me to hear how long my grandmother was overdue and how the doctors "let" her go that late. We've moved toward too much medical intervention.

Esmy said...

So I stumbled across your blog and the very interesting debate you two had over the topic of natural chil birth and it seems that i just finished having the same debate (almost verbatum) with my husband. You guys may be interested in the movie “The Business of Being Born,” if nothing it offers some very interesting statistics and just over-all knowledge about the subject. I think what it all comes down to is the lack of knowlege that most women have in the US. Most women think that having a baby in the hospital with an OB or doing a c-section are the only two options. I think that the mentality is that naturl child birth is a hippie/granola thing and that no "normal" mother would consider it. I consider myself pretty norm in most cases and the more I learn about it the more amazed i am and when the times comes i think it's definately the road i'm headed down.

chewymama said...

thansk for your comment! Since posting Ive seen the Business of Being Born and I agree thats its a great documentary. Three of my 4 deliveries have been natural, without medication, and two were in the care of a midwife at a free-standing birth center. So I totally agree there is a third option - and its a beautiful one! I wish more women got to experience it. For many women its one of those things they could never imagine appreciating until they had the opportunity to experience it!