I debated about the title of this post. The other contender was “a one minute advertisement for why women birth unassisted”. I don’t know how to get those nice little TV sets with a google video right on my blog so you’ll have to go to this link to watch the one minute Youtube clip. All offers to teach me how to get WordPress to show videos gratefully accepted.
Watch it once and then come back and see what’s wrong with that scenario.
1. “chin on chest”–her baby’s coming out, for heaven’s sake, why would she put her chin on her chest? Women are quite capable of knowing how to throw their heads back, forward, sideways or any direction they want. These pushing comments show a practitioner who is not tuned in to what is happening in the moment. She’s simply reciting her schtick that worked once, so let’s apply it to every birth.
2. “good girl!”–again, words have power. If you need to open your mouth and say something when a baby’s head is on the perineum, please, make it something helpful. Even “good woman” would be better than “good girl” but is any of it really helpful? How about urging her to slow down and pant the head out to avoid a tear.
3. “big one”, “PUSH”: see 2 above
4. digging into the mother’s perineum and gripping the top of the baby’s head. Who taught this practitioner to do this? It is counter productive. Hands off the perineum. Only the mother’s own hands should be touching her baby’s head and vulva, if she so chooses. Digging fingers can bruise the blood filled tissue and cause tears. Primum non nocere–it does harm and does no good so don’t do it.
5. pulling on the baby’s head and twisting the neck instead of waiting for the contraction that will rotate the baby’s shoulders spontaneously. Very bad practise. One would never twist on a baby’s head like this after it’s been born so don’t do it at this point either.
6. announce “It’s a boy” -this news does not need to be announced by practitioners. Each family will find it’s own expression of greeting a baby. Learning to keep your mouth shut should be the first class in obstetrics courses.
It’s amazing to me that a one minute video can encapsulate so many errors. Now, go back and watch it a second time and see if you can see these blunders.