Frederick Leboyer on Woman's hour today on childbirth without intervention

(123 Posts)
queenceleste Tue 31-May-11 20:11:01

listen again here.

Amazing considering he's a man, he was one of the first promoters of waterbirth.

Jane Garvey obviously totally disagrees with him but it's all in her tone...

PeaceAndHope Sun 07-Apr-13 21:55:24

Spudulika

Just a note.

It sickens me that you -a WOMAN- are supporting a misogynist like Leboyer. Women don't need a white, privileged MAN telling them that they have to grin and bear the pain of childbirth in order to be called good mothers and strong women. That is pathetic in ways I can't even explain.

The premise of Leboyer's arguments has been that labour should only be about the unborn baby and not the mother. He viewed women as incubators who had no autonomy or rights- their only responsibility was to bear the pain of labour in order to be considered good mothers.

And yes, home birth is risky. You come across as brainwashed and silly if you try and deny it. I fully support a woman's right to choose a home birth but to ignore the risks associated with it is dangerous denial. If you have a shoulder dystocia which isn't resolved by McRobert's or asphyxia or a severely obstructed labour, your baby can die. If you have a PPH and don't make it to hospital in time you can die. It is entirely your choice to have a home birth, but please make sure you don't read selective research from clearly biased sources and instead make a truly informed decision.

A movement and philosophy that is based on trivialising women's pain by calling it "pain with a purpose" is misogynistic and disgusting. Pain is pain- purpose can be assigned to any pain, but to call someone's extreme pain good is inhumane. If you had any concept of science and biology, you'd know that all pain is processed by the body in exactly the same way. Shaming and guilting women out of epidurals and denying them pain relief is cruel and paternalistic.

You have some guts talking about "autonomy" in childbirth, all the while supporting a philosophy that doesn't even support a woman's right to choose pain relief or a c-section. What kind of autonomy is that?Or is this one of those hypocritical things where you say "your body and your choice- as long as I agree with your choice".

And ^cite your sources^- You claim that the maternal mortality rate was lower when the c-section rate was 5%. That's rubbish and you know it, so cite your sources. Prove your claims.
Did it strike you that back in 1940's, the NHS wasn't as shortstaffed? There wasn't as high a proportion of immigrant population? Obesity wasn't as widespread?

You whine and whinge that people resist the NCB ideology, but that's rubbish. How much more mainstream do you want it to become?
Hospitals nowadays offer more birthing balls and water births than epidurals. It's a herculean task to get a c-section or an epidural on the NHS. The RCOG has blatantly come up with guidelines to reduce the number of c-sections and epidurals. How will they do that? By denying women the right to choose. What does this mean? You and your NCB buddies win.
The fact that skin to skin and breastfeeding is forced on women whether they want it or not is all thanks to the ideology that you cry is not accepted.
The fact that hospitals no longer have nurseries to allow the mother to rest and rooming in is essentially compulsory, is all thanks to the NCB ideology. I have two kids and I have to tell you, I would have given anything for someone to have taken them to nursery so that I could sleep for just an hour.

Do you even realise how patronising and pompous you sound when you say that you found the pain 'enriching' and that it made you 'stronger'? Maybe nobody else can see the guilt trip that you are trying to send women on, but I can.
It's ironic that you speak of empowerment and then talk about how much you enjoyed being vulnerable and dependent on your husband while you were giving birth. Because that's the purpose of empowerment isn't it? To make you dependent on a man while you are whimpering and in pain.

I hope you realise just how ridiculous it is to patronisingly announce that you chose a home birth because you wanted an "intact perineum and abdomen." Location aside, an intact perineum can NEVER be guaranteed with a vaginal birth no matter what Ina May Gaskin has brainwashed you into believing.

You dislike hospitals and support home birth. Fair enough. STOP making other women feel like there is something wrong with them for preferring hospitals. There are distinct advantages to giving birth in a hospital and women are fully capable of making this choice themselves.

Your disregard for women's pain and your refusal to accept choices different from your own is staggering.

Noellefielding Sun 05-Jun-11 16:05:55

Thanks, Cory, but that makes sense, if you've been unwell that makes total sense.

cory Sun 05-Jun-11 15:33:45

Wonders if I am that only single woman on the planet...blush

My midwife kept encouraging me to stay more upright and walk around but I found it hard as I was very tired (after weeks of being unwell in hospital).

No shouting or slapping about, they were very kind and only made gentle suggestions, but I did find it physically hard to stay upright and was more comfortable lying down.

I still gave birth with only gas and air, but did ask for an episiotomy towards the end (and got it, but managed to tear just before they made the incision).

Noellefielding Sun 05-Jun-11 10:24:08

spudulika
it must be because that position suits the professionals mustn't it?
I mean, that can't suit a single woman on the planet can it?
I mean unless there is some sort of physiological problem with her being upright.
But what kind of sadist would not use gravity to help?
Has anyone had a baby on her back or in strirrups who would recommend it?
I'd love to hear it, I'm happy to believe I'm wrong.
It just stinks to me of the history of men taking over obstetrics from women.
I mean sure, let's improve maternal and infant mortality but lord, what's wrong with gravity?

BagofHolly Sat 04-Jun-11 23:47:27

Barelyutterly I quite agree about questioning. In fact, I dispensed with my local midwife because she couldn't answer what I think are reasonable questions eg;
Me -"you're testing for antibodies. Antibodies to what?"

Her -"Things."

I asked her what she was going to do about the fact that she had dipped my urine 3 times and each consecutive appointment I tested positive for glucose. She said she wouldn't do anything as the hospital would pick it up. So I said "Then why test?" And she said she had to test for lots of "things" and this was just one and if it bothered me she would cut off the glucose bit off the bottom of the test strip. FFS.

BagofHolly Sat 04-Jun-11 23:43:54

Barelyutterly I quite agree about questioning. In fact, I dispensed with my local midwife because she couldn't answer what I think are reasonable questions eg;
Me -"you're testing for antibodies. Antibodies to what?"

Her -"Things."

I asked her what she was going to do about the fact that she had dipped my urine 3 times and each consecutive appointment I tested positive for glucose. She said she wouldn't do anything as the hospital would pick it up. So I said "Then why test?" And she said she had to test for lots of "things" and this was just one and if it bothered me she would cut off the glucose bit off the bottom of the test strip. FFS.

Noellefielding Sat 04-Jun-11 23:14:53

you can see why I have tender fantasies about homebirths where there are no monsters!
wine
brew

BagofHolly Sat 04-Jun-11 23:13:02

"slag"
PMSL! grin

Noellefielding Sat 04-Jun-11 22:36:43

one of my mws stank of some kind of coconut hair product that actually made me heave when she came near me.
Also she really told me off when she couldn't get her fat fingers inside me to see how dilated I was (let's draw a veil over how earth shatteringly painful that examination was, I'm sure there are vets who are more digitally tender with cows than that cow was with me).
Then a tiny like obstetrician came in with tiny little fingers and she checked how dilated I was with little discomfort and without telling me off and huffing and puffing at me as if I was getting in the way of her and a night out on the town. slag.

grin I hated her so much.

Spudulika Sat 04-Jun-11 22:09:34

"and then slapping around with her slappy shoes and generally shouting like she was a strumpet in a medieval Inn"

grin

I remember the midwife at my first birth slapping around like that. She'd trodden down the backs of her shoes, so she could shuffle around like she was wearing slippers. What else do I remember about her? That she strongly encouraged me to have pethidine and when I said 'I'm worried it'll make me sick', confidently said it wouldn't, because she'd give me an anti-emetic with it. And then she watched me being sick for the next 4 hours.

Spudulika Sat 04-Jun-11 22:05:13

WidowWoman - which book have you read? What particularly concerns you about IMG practice and/or approach?

I don't think she suggests anything that isn't pretty mainstream UK midwifery practice.

BagofHolly sounds like you really were in a risky situation then! That's why I said what I did, and if a cons had turned around and told me straight up that I had the same risk, I would listen.

I've just been annoyed by the amount of crap thrown around in an attempt to get me to just "shut up and do what we want already". Give me real facts, real information, not nebulous threats and rhetoric please.

I actually questioned a registrar on the risks of ELCS for low-lying placenta mothers, based on what I read here.

quote:
Serious risks include:
Maternal
In all women with placenta praevia:
- emergency hysterectomy, up to 11 in 100 women (very common)
In women with placenta praevia and previous caesarean section:
- emergency hysterectomy, up to 27 in 100 women (very common)

She pulled out her iphone to calculate the statistics of women at my hospital who had had ANY type of c-section and had to have a hysterectomy. As if that was somehow the local equivalent to the numbers I quoted to her from that specific document. hmm

That was when I said "you need to get someone more senior in here, I'm done talking with you".

Noellefielding Sat 04-Jun-11 21:02:11

My friend was shouted at by a mw at the Royal Free 15 years ago using the same line!
You're upsetting the other mothers!

I was induced at night in the labour ward and had to sit and listen to a harridan at the central mw station outside my side ward. She had a really loud bellowing voice and spent what seemed like hours moaning about the staff really loudly and then slapping around with her slappy shoes and generally shouting like she was a strumpet in a medieval Inn. This was 3 am and I was lying in tons of pain very close to this storm of noise.
My mw told me she was the most senior midwife in the hospital.
God help anyone who's been in pain listening to that woman.
I meant to complain but never did, I should have, I know!

WidowWadman Sat 04-Jun-11 20:55:31

Actually I have, spudulika. So there.

Spudulika Sat 04-Jun-11 20:11:16

"My mother speaks with loathing of being shaved for a vaginal delivery, given an enema, having me taken off her immediately and only brought to her 4 hourly for feeds, being treated like a loon for breast-feeding."

My mother was slapped round the face by the midwife for making too much noise in labour with my brother. She was in a lot of pain because she had a slipped disc. Which of course doesn't make pushing out a 9lb baby out while lying flat on your back much fun. Midwife said 'Be quiet! You're upsetting the other mothers!"

Spudulika Sat 04-Jun-11 20:08:59

"I can't imagine having a child on my back in stirrups?"

Nationally more than 1 in 4 women in the UK still gives birth in stirrups.

That rises to 44% in some hospitals shock.

30% will be flat on their backs.

WTF?

Spudulika Sat 04-Jun-11 20:02:47

"Spudulika - how do you know how much those who aren't awed with her have read? That's your presumption."

It's a presumption based on the fact that the assumptions they make about her practice and her attitudes aren't born out by any published information about her or her work.

Have you read her books WidowWadman?

"The system has got better since then, women are more aware of their options"

I agree.

Funnily enough though, the organisations and individuals who have been the driving force for changes in the way women are treated during birth are often the focus of sneering and derision by the public for being 'extremist' and natural birth 'loons' - people like Wendy Savage and Sheila Kitzinger, the NCT and AIMS.

But at the same time that there has been - in theory - a move towards more autonomy in childbirth, there's also been an ENORMOUS decrease in the number of births that don't involve interventions, and, at least for the last decade, no decrease in the stillbirth rate. sad That can't be right.

queenceleste Sat 04-Jun-11 19:57:28

grin no just two dc!

I can't imagine having a child on my back in stirrups?

I mean I was up on my knees like a keening primate bawling at the moon, slinging everyone out. But using gravity to help, I mean why would you not use gravity to help?? You wouldn't try to wee or poo or vomit standing on your head would you?
Seriously would you?
I wish I could have been down on the floor on super clean sponge flooring in a darkish room with no one near me smelling of anything but it being clean and somewhere comfortable to rest in between contractions..... hm... OH that's what a HOMEBIRTH could be like!
But the worst thing is those birthing tables, you feel six feet up in the air, who's that to help? And it hurts your knees to kneel on them. Madness. Don't get it. Sadists designed those tables or at least Not Women.

Checkmate Sat 04-Jun-11 14:47:00

Yes, QueenCeleste you must have made up since you've had 3(?) DE's with him! grin

Back to the debate; weren't the research of both Ina may and Frederick Leboyer in the forefront if getting the system changed from what it was like in whT it was in the past. My mother speaks with loathing of being shaved for a vaginal delivery, given an enema, having me taken off her immediately and only brought to her 4 hourly for feeds, being treated like a loon for breast-feeding.

The system has got better since then, women are more aware of their options, even though there isn't really a full choice for most women, as I think there should be.

WidowWadman Sat 04-Jun-11 12:58:41

Spudulika - how do you know how much those who aren't awed with her have read? That's your presumption.

BagofHolly Sat 04-Jun-11 12:00:45

"What I have learned is the gap between what they say and what they do is directly related to the difference between perceived and real risk. Every single time I was told "you'll bleed to death if you go into labour" I asked "so if that risk is so high, why don't you just admit me right now then?" only to get a blank look and a sheepish shake of the head. They are used to spouting hyperbole and being believed because of their position of authority."

I asked the same question and my Cons Obs said "I was just coming to that. Your husband needs to go home and get your bags." shock

queenceleste Sat 04-Jun-11 11:53:22

checkmate
He was rubbish, he smelt of coffee and fags and made me feel sick.
I slung him out of the room both times telling him to go to hell and not come back!
We made it up very quickly once labour was over!
grin

Spudulika Sat 04-Jun-11 11:35:07

Maybe - doesn't change the fact that she's generally seen as an inspiration and a highly principled person by midwives and bythose of us who have actually read her works.

It makes me sad that there are people out there who are so keen to demonise her and other natural childbirth pioneers, without having read her work or knowing very much about her.

WidowWadman Sat 04-Jun-11 10:04:26

"she's one of the few midwives to have had an obstetric manouvre named after her..... "

She's named it herself after herself after learning it from somebody else. Also, from what I understand it's very hyped, however actually not used as much nor more successful in comparison to McRoberts.

Checkmate Sat 04-Jun-11 10:01:37

QueenCeleste what I really want to know, is was Babar a good birth partner?

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