Monday, May 19, 2014

May BHM: Rinat VS. The Beast
To be honest, I didn't know who Rinat Dray was until two days ago, but this week's media spotlight on her is enough reason for me to instantly crown her this month's Beautiful Human of the Month.

Rinat is suing the beast!

Rinat Dray is one of millions of American mothers who are sick and tired of being assaulted and treated like property once they become pregnant. She is a modern-day Rosa Parks--a simple mother who refused another c-section (after having had two), yet was forced to undergo this disempowering major surgical operation, which ended with the surgeon perforating her bladder and putting her life at risk. For begging to have a natural birth, she was accused of endangering her unborn child, and threatened that her baby would be taken away from her. All this mother pleaded for was some more time to give birth on her own, and her doctor called this "child abuse??" Birthing cats and dogs are given better treatment in America. They are at least allowed time, space, quiet peace, and privacy to have the best chances for a successful natural birth!

This scenario is becoming very widespread in hospitals all over the world. In Britain a woman who is deemed "mentally unfit" can be sedated , restrained, and forcefully cut open to remove her baby.

Expectant mothers very often check into hospitals with the full intention of having a natural birth, and come out traumatized and threatened as the hospital staff rush to get the babies out on their own schedule. It seems the concepts of free choice and "informed consent" when having surgical procedures in American hospitals do not apply to pregnant women. Women seem to lose all ownership of their bodies once they become pregnant.  Just this week in Tennessee, the governor passed a law that made criminals out of pregnant mothers who might struggle with "substance abuse."  This is outrageous! What defines "substance abuse" these days? What about forced substance abuse? What is that, you might ask? Well, here is the story about a pregnant woman who was legally fired from her job in the state of Pennsylvania because she refused to take the flu shot for fear it might harm her unborn child. Aren't vaccines a substance, and wouldn't administering them by force be considered abuse?

That is why, Rinat Dray's fight is so important for women all over the world. Enough is enough. Enough controlling our reproductive systems, birth, and medical decisions. Enough meddling with our parental rights, already!

Although there is a steady rise in home births among educated American parents wishing to avoid hospitals, I honestly don't know what is taking so long for us to fully unite with Rinat Dray and fight this barbaric practice of legalized assault on mothers. I do hope we see more and more such law suits, maybe even a class-action suit, to put an end to these mad practices once and for all. It's one thing for a woman to choose a pre-scheduled c-section for her own convenience (a mistake if you ask me), but quite another to be forced into it. It would be just as wrong and criminal as forcing people to have face-lifts (or amputations?) against their will, and putting them at risk of further injury in the process.

Here is a step by step breakdown of the Cesarean trap (also called an unnecesarean) which many women are falling into today. This is the trap that Rinat Dray was desperate to avoid. I copied it below from my midwife's website where it is called "The Cascade of Interventions."

Does it sound familiar? If it hasn't happened to you, surely it must have happened to someone you know...

Changing into the hospital gown

Something as seemingly harmless as wearing a hospital gown can have an effect on the laboring woman. Putting on the hospital gown shifts the balance of power from woman to hospital.  Her perception of herself shifts, and she sees herself as a patient, in the care of “experts,” rather than as a woman confident in her ability to birth on her own terms. This simple act may also make the woman feel less comfortable, feel cold or she may be concerned about modesty as well, which increases stress and makes relaxation harder.

Continuous Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM)

The major effect  of continuous EFM is that it keeps the mother immobile in bed. The use of EFM is not evidence-based, and even ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) admits it has had no effect in improving outcomes for babies.  Evidence shows that Intermittent EFM with a handheld Doppler is just as effective as continuous EFM at identifying babies in distress.  The only effect continuous EFM has had is that it has increased the cesarean section rate.

Getting the IV

IV’s restrict a woman’s mobility and make it easier to administer fluids and medications that can interfere with natural birth.  Sometimes, IVs can be helpful, especially if a woman is unable to tolerate oral hydration, or in an emergency situation.  In normal labor, women need to be free to move their bodies throughout labor, and should be encouraged to change positions frequently.  Having an IV can hinder that. The IV is also simply uncomfortable, annoying and may interfere with her focus on relaxing with contractions as well and make holding hands with her support person more uncomfortable or impossible. Even a hep lock can be bothersome in the same ways. The perception that having an IV readily available is helpful in an emergency is not evidence based. Many times this IV port is not working well enough to handle an emergency and must be restarted.

Labor augmentation with Pitocin®

The use of synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin®) makes labor more painful for the mother, and more difficult for the baby to tolerate. There are studies that show Pitocin® may interfere with the body's natural ocytocin hormone production which may hinder the mother's natural efforts in the pushing stage, may contribute to postpartum hemorrhage and may interrupt her bonding with her baby, contributing to postpartum depression.

Pain relief

Because the contractions are so intense with Pitocin®, the mother frequently will choose to receive an epidural for pain relief.

Restriction of movement

An epidural keeps a woman confined to bed for the duration of the labor and birth.  Being unable to move restricts the woman’s ability to help her baby get into a good position for birth. It may also hinder the baby's ability to move, too.

Contractions slow down

Epidurals can slow labor progress, which results in increasing dosages of Pitocin® to increase contraction intensity and frequency, which can lead to an even greater need for pain relief and greater risk of fetal distress.

Progress slows or stops
Assuming the woman reaches full dilation, the epidural can interfere with the woman’s ability to push effectively.

Fetal distress
Hard contractions, combined with reduced blood pressure and the lack of blood flow to the baby, can cause the baby to go into distress.

Cesarean section
After having exhausted all of the tools at the obstetrician’s disposal, this one option remains.

I'll be following Rinat Dray's case with great attention, and I wish this Beautiful Human of the Month all the justice and peace that she and her children deserve.

Keep your ears on...


Jenae Frick said...

Love your post, and I'm glad you featured her. I 100% stand by this woman in her lawsuit, and it's like the doctor on the NYT article said, nobody has a right to put a knife in your belly without your consent, EVER.

Ruby Justice said...

Thanks for reading Jenae. It is indeed a crime. and not childbirth, when doctors violently invade a woman's body and do it such harm in the process.

Rinat Dray wouldn't be the first nor last woman to file a lawsuit of this sort, but I hope her story gets the attention that this human rights crisis deserves.