We associate hospitals and clinics with medical care for illness and emergencies.
What could be safer for birth?
At first glance everything seems perfect.
In a majority of industrialized countries over 95% of births take place in hospitals.
Only 1-5% of births take place at home.
But there are some problems concerning birth:
1. the number of C-sections is increasing. 20 years ago a cesarean was considered an emergency operation. Today a lot of obstetricians and women believe it is a safe kind of childbirth. In particular, the elective C-section has significant effects on the health of the child. Child mortality could decrease if unnecessary elective C-sections would stop.
2. At every hospital the natural process of childbirth is disrupted by medical interventions.
Every intervention hinders the natural process of childbirth that is programmed into us like going to the toilet.
Can you imagine being under examination while sitting on the toilet?
Even just measuring the baby´s heartbeat with a fetal monitor during labour increases the risk of a cesarian for 20%.
3. There are not enough midwives to take care of mothers during birth. The number of midwives is decreasing so birth in hospital becomes more and more scheduled to suit hospital’s available staff without consideration for the mother´s and baby´s needs.
Experienced obstetricians know: we need more and not fewer midwives. Data proves that we need fewer cesarian sections to improve children´s health. If the number of C-sections will increase how it did the last 20 years this will lead to an even more increasing number of children with chronic diseases.
We pay homage to the medico-technical progress that helps overcome poverty and diseases. Somehow we forget that we are still mammals that have programs in their genes and brains that are much older than the industrial revolution.
Pregnancy and birth are not an illness or an emergency. By treating a mother like a patient the birth can become an emergency.
Cesarian – Rate only 1%?
Prof. Dr. Alfred Rockenschaub was the medical director of the Ignaz Semmelweis hospital in Vienna, Austria from 1965-1985. During this period over 44.000 births occurred in the hospital. He and his team achieved a C-section rate of around 1% only. Asked how this was possible, he said: “The only indication for a C-section is in about 1% of births. 0,5% are because of a small pelvis, 0,3% because of a placenta prevue and the remaining 0,2% due to some other very rare complications. Everything beyond that is nothing but superstition, charlatanism and/or fashion.”
Interview with Alfred Roggenschaub for Forum Sexualaufklärung, 2004