All This Testing! - Livin' the Good Life
May. 21st, 2007
06:28 pm - All This Testing!
I am starting to get really angry about the trend of requiring pregnant mothers to undergo a multitude of interventions, in the form of tests and scans, to see if there might be a problem with their babies. I already recounted the story of the woman who refused to be induced at 7 months because the scan indicated a problem with her baby. It turned out to be unfounded. There was no problem with the baby in the end. Well, today I heard another story. The woman told me that at 7 months her doctor said that, ACCORDING TO THE SCAN, she didn't have enough amniotic fluid, and his solution, of course, was to induce. Mind you, inducing at 7 months is taking a BIG risk of having a child with all kinds of problems due to immaturity, like respiratory problems, neurological problems, psychological problems, improperly funcioning organs, etc. etc. But, with no further adieu, the woman was induced. Her baby had never been in any distress. He was born perfect, but under 4 pounds. I'm sure the doctor believed he saved the day. I'm not so sure. There is a book called, LOOKING FOR TROUBLE that addresses this epidemic of prenatal testing. Basically, doctors are playing God. They see something on a scan that doesn't look "normal" and out come their drugs, hormones, and scalpels. They interfere with nature. They hurry things. They force things. In my humble opinion, most of the time they should just sit on their hands and WAIT. Simply "wait and see". Maybe they'll learn something. A woman's body is a marvelous thing... way too complex and mysterious for a mere doctor to understand, much less manage. I think that in most cases a woman's body will produce a perfect baby, all by itself, with no help whatsoever from a doctor. And I believe that our ability to look into the womb with hi-tech machines probably does more harm than good. In fact, I will boldly say that I think it DEFINITELY does more harm than good most of the time. I've seen it over and over again in my classes. A woman is having a wonderful pregnancy, she is given some kind of a test, is informed that there may be a probem, and then she worries the rest of her pregnancy. Pregnancy ruined. Woman loses confidence in herself and her ability to give birth normally and produce a healthy child. She loses her confidence and gets a lousy start with motherhood. (In one third of labors today, women are led to believe that the only way to get their babies out is to CUT them out. Outrageous!) When trouble is expected, trouble will be found. I think it is often created with our fearful looking. If I could wave a magic wand, I would uncreate all these tests. In their places, I would require mandatory Bradley natural childbirth classes, and midwives attending all births, most of them at home. We'd save the services of OBs for the 3 percent of women who actually need them. We would de-medicalize birth and treat it as the normal, natural process that it is. We'd look for the joy in it. The love in it. The beauty in it. If everyone did that, this world would be a wonderful place because all of its babies would get a terrific start and all of its mamas would begin motherhood with confidence that they are up to big challenges...something that parenthood is full of. Just imagine how great that would be!!