Sunday, July 22, 2012

Membership of The White Ribbon Alliance

My organisation,, has joined The White Ribbon Alliance For safe Motherhood, whose Mission, Vision and Principles include working to create a world where:
*It is a woman's basic human right to achieve optimal health care throughout pregnancy and childbirth for herself and her newborns.
*Women are empowered to demand quality, safe and respectful motherhood services and to help other women to do the same.

Turkish doctor's perspective on c-section rates

A very interesting interview with Professor Atıl Yüksel, head of the Istanbul branch of the Turkish Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was reported by journalist Barçın Yinanç this week, in the Hürriyet Daily News. Well worth a read if you've been following cesarean developments in Turkey recently.
He gives answers to questions such as:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

£2.25m settlement for devastating birth injuries

Mother:I begged, pleaded and cried for the Caesarian, thinking it was meant to be the mother’s choice, but it just fell on deaf ears”...

Reporter Hannah Upton, writing in the West Morland Gazette, describes how Mrs Hall, mother of Zak, who is now five-years-old, had "asked for a planned Caesarian for Zak’s birth when scans showed he could be as big as 12lb by his due date."

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cesarean live online chat transcript now available

Last Thursday 12 July, Dr. Murphy and I were invited to answer questions during a live online chat. The chat was moderated by Ruth Dunley (left) of Postmedia Digital, and you can now scroll through and read the entire Q&A transcript of "Should caesarian sections be more widely available?"

Is Turkey law playing chicken with doctors?

I've been researching the cesarean situation in Turkey for some time now, and this latest news about the government introducing legislation in order to reduce its countries high rates has really captured the attention of the media. This is the comment I've just posted on this Guardian article:

Doctor: Offer cesarean to women 40 years +

In a letter to the editor published in June's J Obstet Gynaecol Can, Dr. Venu Jain argues that with the increasing numbers of women giving birth at older ages, and the fact that they are more likely to experience obstetric problems, doctors should consider discussing and offering them an elective cesarean birth.

In 'Elective Caesarean Section for the Mature Nullipara', Jain concludes:

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Centralised maternity care - but who's it for??

The Press AssociationGuardian and Telegraph have reported today on the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologist's strategy for the future of maternity care. But while the focus has been on Dr. Falconer's idea to centralize care into fewer and larger obstetric units - giving rise to concerns about the distance women might need to travel to hospital, - an even more important issue is being missed.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Worrying statement by RCM's new President

"...midwifery led care is safe and is associated with a lower intervention rate and is more cost effective than care by a team of doctors and midwives gives an impetus to developing more midwifery led care including out of hospital care. Perhaps it is time for this to be the default path for healthy women."

This is an extract from a statement by Professor Lesley Page (my bold), who is the new President of the Royal College of Midwives.

Did the cesarean section originate with Caesar?

I don't usually post information on 'cesarean history' articles, but when I came across this one earlier in the week - "DID THE CESAREAN SECTION ORIGINATE WITH CAESAR?????", written by Dr. Michele Brown OB/GYN - I made a note to blog about it because I think it provides a very interesting and easy-to-read historical overview.

Take a look and see what you think.

Canadian mother files 'denied cesarean' case

If you haven't read this blog yet, it's a must. On July 4, 2012, Mrs W, who lives in Victoria BC (Canada) posted: Filed. Let the legal process begin.

It reads, "As of this morning - I filed my case regarding the denial of my maternal request c-section in July 2010. The legal process begins...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Do C-sections "cause" childhood asthma?

In her blog today, "Do C-sections "cause" childhood asthma?", the Skeptical OB discusses the importance of understanding that in scientific studies, cause and correlation are two very different things. It's a very interesting post on this topic, and well worth a read. I commented:

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Maternal mortality rates are in sharp decline

Charis Gresser, writing in the Financial Times' Care: Maternal mortality rates are in sharp decline (July 7, 2012), reports that around 287,000 women die each year "because of complications from pregnancy or birth", but although this marks an improvement, Gresser reports that nearly two million babies still die every year "either during labour or shortly thereafter".

The article is certainly worth reading as it outlines what's working well and discusses how further improvements could be made.

Two babies die - but 'normal birth' is achieved

This week, two separate stories appeared in the news describing the devastating loss of babies and their parents' anger at the maternity care they received. An inquest recalled a verdict of natural causes in the first report (below) and an investigation is pending in the second, but I think it's fair to say that both examples demonstrate that no matter how 'low risk' a pregnancy first seems, all pregnancies and births are inherently risky, and a mothers' instinct that her risk has escalated deserves due attention.

(July 3, 2012 Kingston News) Heartbroken mother whose baby died at Kingston Hospital 'denied Caesarean section'

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Live Chat: Should C-sections be optional?

Next Thursday, July 12, is hosting a live online chat with me and my co-author Dr.Magnus Murphy. It begins at 8pm UK-time (3pm Eastern, 12pm Pacific), and asks, Should C-sections be optional?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Montreal radio interview today

Earlier this evening I was interviewed about our book by Suzanne Desautels, a presenter on CJAD 800 AM's The Ric & Suzanne Show, and you can listen to the Podast here.

Suzanne told me she'd had three vaginal births and was completely non-judgemental about women who choose surgery instead. Definitely one of the most open-minded and honest interviewers I've experienced.

Also worth a listen if you get chance is Dr. Murphy's interview on CBC's Calgary Eyeopener radio show, which also aired today. Podcast here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Doctor advocates informed choice for mothers

An interview with my co-author Dr. Magnus Murphy appears in the Calgary Herald today, and here are some examples of what he says:

"We're not saying what women should choose," he said. "We're saying there should be a choice."

Murphy, whose urogynecology practice deals with these issues, said pelvic floor injuries include serious vaginal prolapse, urinary and stool incontinence and sexual dysfunction. "I have many patients who wish they did have a caesarean. Some of my patients are pelvic cripples at a young age because of damage sustained during childbirth."