The Medicalization of Childbirth

by Dani Lasher, Vaxxter Contributor.

This is a third in a series of articles that will expose little-known scientific research on how Science and Pharma are destroying health, eliminating parental choice and negatively impacting the family.  Find Part One here and Part Two here.

Pain During Childbirth

For as long as women have been giving birth, their children have been birthed home. It wasn’t until the 1760s that doctors began to be part of the process. Beginning in the late 1800s, women began to seek out a way to escape the pain.

Epidural anesthesia was first used in childbirth in 1909 and became regularly popularized and used routinely during hospital births in the 1940s.  This procedure is not without risk; in fact, epidurals can lead to the following list of complications. Let’s explore the details.

  1. Prolonged labor and increased overall cost (Birth Issues in Prenatal Care, 1996)
  2. Increased risk of episiotomy, an incision made in the tissue between the vaginal opening and the anus. (Maternal Fetal Medicine, 2001). According to the MayoClinic:Recovery after an episiotomy uncomfortable, and sometimes the surgical incision is more extensive than a natural tear would have been. Infection is possible. For some women, an episiotomy causes pain during sex in the months after delivery. Fecal incontinence is a possible complication.
  3. A long list of other complications: (Cochrane Review, 2011)
    • Increased risk of motor blockade. Without adequate muscle strength, the mother will not be able to push effectively to facilitate spontaneous vaginal delivery. This increases the need for use of instruments to facilitate a vaginal delivery;
    • Maternal hypotension, fever and urinary retention;
    • Prolonged labor, increasing the need for oxytocin (Pitocin);
    • Increased risk of C-section due to fetal distress.

As hospital births became routine, medicine and media painted anything else as dangerous. Yet a 2014 study in Midwifery and Women’s Health supports home birth being as safe as hospital birth for low-risk women. Homebirth rates have been on the rise for more than a decade. In 2004, only 0.87% of births occurred outside of a hospital. By 2017, 1.61% did. A 2009 study in the CMAJ notes perinatal death, maternal hemorrhage, assisted delivery, infant oxygen therapy, and newborn resuscitation were all more common in hospital births than home births.

Women have successful natural births every day using guided imagery, TENS units, counterpressure, acupuncture and more.

Breast is Still Best

Like normal childbirth, mother’s milk has been the sustenance of infants from the beginning of humanity. Today, along with the medicalization of birth, doctors are disrupting maternal bonding by telling women to not breastfeed. Instead, they are encouraging women to use formulas to supplement the baby’s needs, which in turn, can decrease their milk supply. The NJ Department of Health notes:

“Babies are born to exclusively breastfeed.  Giving formula in normal circumstances in addition to breastfeeding can result in overfeeding, reducing the mother’s milk supply, and increasing all the known risks of formula.”

There are three primary categories of infant formulas: cow’s milk-based formulas, soy-based formulas and specialized formulas for infants with specific health problems. Soy can elevate estrogen in infants and this effect may carry risks for baby girls to adulthood. A 2011 study in Environmental Health Perspectives reported baby girls fed soy formula as infants were less likely to exhibit female play behaviors as toddlers.

Another Environmental Health Perspectives study, published in 2016, asserts among women with fibroids, those fed who were fed soy formula as infants had a 32% increase in the average diameter of the largest fibroid and a 127% increase in total tumor volume.

A 2010 study in the European Journal of Nutrition reported newborns fed cow’s milk formula were more likely to later have an allergy to such than newborns fed breastmilk or hydrolyzed formula.

Breastfeeding benefits the mother by reducing the risk of:

As for infants, a review of more than 9,000 abstracts from the peer-reviewed literature found a long list of benefits to infants who are breastfed, including reduced risk of acute otitis media (ear infection), nonspecific gastroenteritis, severe lower respiratory tract infections (pneumonia), atopic dermatitis, asthma (young children), obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes, childhood leukemia, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Breastfeeding mothers can safeguard their milk supply by nursing on demand without a schedule, co-sleeping, eating a nutrient-dense diet, and seeking the help of a lactation consultant for issues with latching or weight gain.

Medicated Mothers 

The process of birth and then bringing home a new infant to care for takes a lot of energy, especially if there are other kids waiting at home to care for. During that postpartum period, sometimes women want sex, sometimes they don’t. That’s normal. Biological sex drive is very individualized with a wide range of what is defined as “normal.”  When a woman has a low level of sexual desire persists, doctors now label it a condition and of course, pharma has a drug for it.

Flibanserin, sold under the trade name Addyi, is a medication dubbed the “female Viagra.” It is prescribed to treat a debated diagnosis, Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, or HSDD. Doctors can now label people with low libido with HSDD.

The FDA rejected flibanserin twice. Then, pharma campaigns accused the FDA’s ruling as being sexist. They wanted this drug approved to “even the score” between men and women, given that more than two dozen drugs approved for male sexual disorders. The FDA’s reasons for not approving the drug were legitimate: fainting, dizziness, low blood pressure, sedation, and the discovery of multiple drug interactions. Under pressure, the FDA approved the drug in 2015 and simply added a warning to not consume it with alcohol.

A second female libido drug, bremelanotide, sold as Vyleesi, was also approved for use in 2015. This is a subcutaneous injection also used to restore sexual desire in women diagnosed with HSDD. The Phase 3 trials of this drug only included 600 patients over 24 weeks. Is that long enough to establish safety or the potential for long term side effects? Over 40% of women experienced negative side effects – such as nausea – within 1 hour of dosing. In addition, the FDA noted very little difference between the drug and placebo in the number of satisfying sexual events in Phase III studies: only about 25% of patients treated with Vyleesi had an increase of 1.2 or more points on their sexual desire score.

Zoloft is prescribed for postpartum mood disorders and antenatal depression—also known as progesterone intolerance, signs of which include:

  • Episodes of rage
  • Depressed mood
  • Anxiety
  • Marked irritability and more

Zoloft carries side effects, including:

  • Serotonin syndrome
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • Birth defects
  • Miscarriage
  • Pulmonary hypertension in your newborn baby
  • Withdrawal symptoms for mom and baby

Mothers who suffer from antenatal or postpartum mood disorders may successfully treat the symptoms with meditation, herbal remedies like Vitex and St. John’s Wort, extra support in the home, and regular exercise.

Vaccines And Pregnancy

There are three vaccines that are now given routinely to pregnant women: Dtap, influenza, tetanus and now, there even suggesting Gardasil. The Gardasil vaccine may have dire consequences for women who hope to become mothers. A 2018 study published in Toxicology and Environmental Health asserted:

“If 100% of females in this study had received the HPV vaccine, data suggest the number of women having ever conceived would have fallen by 2 million.”

Mothers can strengthen their knowledge of vaccines during pregnancy and for newborn children by enrolling in Dr. Tenpenny’s educational courses at VaccineU.

Destroying the Image of Mothers

Pharma has launched a campaign to paint mothers as incapable of making the right choices for their children. Journalists mock moms who seek holistic treatments or search for programs to help their children recover from conditions such as autism. The media claims moms who choose to not vaccinate, or choose to selectively vaccinate, are listening to pseudoscience. Mothers who refuse chemotherapy or other mainstream treatments for their children can be charged with child abuse and have their children removed from their care.  If a mom claims her child has a health problem that doesn’t fit neatly inside of a diagnostic box, she may be accused of being a neurotic woman with a Google degree, or worse, be charged intentionally fabricating the child’s illness, referred to as Munchausen’s by Proxy.

According to the US Department of Labor, mothers make approximately 80 percent of health care decisions for their children and are more likely to be caregivers when a child falls ill. Did moms get it wrong, or does pharma – and doctors – know that mothers rule the roost? Are they seeking to discredit them and take away their power?

Big Pharma is entrenched in the lives of mothers, having worked its way into our daily lives and capitalized on our fears and weaknesses. The only way to overcome this is to stamp fear out with education and reclaim autonomy over our bodies.

Photo credit by dsyzdek – Pixabay

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Dani Lasher is a writer, motherhood coach, and health advocate living just outside of Washington, DC. While passionate about informed consent and women’s birthing choices, she’s also slightly obsessed with city living and cooking. You can catch up with Dani at her site, BumpMama. 



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2 Comments on "The Medicalization of Childbirth"

  1. Finding historical truth seems to be becoming harder and harder. Older generation die – and most people are taught “modern medicine” – humanity starts missing …. THE TRUTH.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

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