“According to him, much of the information that women receive is incomplete or inaccurate, and that the lucrative “natural childbirth industry.... Natural childbirth has become a multimillion-dollar industry. The fear of epidurals is promoted by those who discourage their use - and who have a vested interest in doing so."Ok - so, we have a vested financial interest in a woman not getting pain medication? Yes, you are right, my vested interest is to support a safer, more effective labor and birth for mom and baby while preserving her physical body and autonomy as much as possible, but we are not making a living off of this, NCB is not a lucrative industry by a long shot... What Mr. Grant fails to tell you is that we don't have thousands of dollars to loose per birth, as he does, if a woman refuses pain medication. No wonder he wrote his completely inaccurate book, Enjoy your labor: A new approach to pain relief for childbirth
How many of you can remember a nurse coming in every hour to ask you, “Are you ready for your epidural now?”. Sometimes, it is even more of a demand, "Well, we know what you want, but sometimes it is about what we need to do and how it is going to happen." (yes, I have heard that one personally). Ever wonder why the push so much? In America, an epidural costs anywhere from $800 to $2500, depending on the hospital and community. The United States spends more money on birth ($50,000,000,000/year) than any other nation in the world... and that is without getting better results.
The average medicated hospital birth costs $7,500 - $12,500 and that can mean double for cesareans. It is not conspiratory to see that this provides nice profits for obstetricians, anesthesiologists, and the drug companies that market to these hospitals. Did you know that many pharmaceutical companies offer incentives and bonuses for the 'top sellers' in any given hospital or practice? In fact, my OB told me that one such rep offered a new plasma TV to the OB with the most medicated births in the first month of the new year from the hospital I was planning on birthing at. As I have said time and time again, the majority of hospital policies are based on financial goals and protection from litigation.
Ok, back to that wonderful article:
"It is barbaric that pain should still be viewed as an integral, even desirable, element of childbirth."(Let me reiterate, his book is full of misinformation, and this article is no different. I am only hitting on a few of the lies therein) . Contrary to his claim, medical studies have shown that pain in labor and birth is beneficial to the process and allows for a safer and healthier outcome. I know I have cited it before, but check out Dr. Buckley's wonderful article on this phenomena.
If you want pro-epidural substantiation of this fact, see this video. The poor CNM talks out of both sides of her mouth saying that epidurals are safe for labor and birth and alludes to them not slowing down/stopping labor, or raising the incidence of cesareans and yet, the flash-board says, first, "Myth: Epidurals are unsafe and I should wait as long as possible to get one.".. and then is followed up with "Fact: pain causes body to release stress hormones that cause muscles to contract not relax"...
Well DUH! that is the whole point, thank you for proving it for me. Epidurals cause your uterus to RELAX because your body does not feel the discomfort associated with it and does not, as a result, contract the uterus as efficiently - causing an increase in the use of pitocin, instrumental delivery, and cesarean.. all of which are profitable to some degree or another. I know what she was trying to say, that tension can inhibit progression of labor, but she fails to acknowledge the uterus is just one. big. muscle. A relaxed uterus does not contract, which does not dilate, which does not birth.
One woman hit the nail on the head when she said "Epidurals are for tolerating hospitals, labor is the easy part". With hospitals 'requiring' that a woman dilates 1cm every 2 hours or she will be given pitocin, which, in turn, makes contractions less tolerable, requiring women sit or lie on the bed for continuous fetal monitoring, making contractions less tolerable and dilation slower, requiring women to have multiple vaginal exams, which mentally discourages women and causes tension (both of which discourages dilation)... it is no wonder that they are making the nice profit that they are.
Now things begin to line up... why women are being refused VBACs because of hospital policy or individual practice, why a nurse refuses to adhere to one request out of many on her birth plan: that medication not be routinely offered, why the AMA refuses to acknowledge that home birth is as safe as hospital birth for low-risk women and why they are attempting to outlaw home birth all together, and why hospitals across the board are pushing for the 'safety' of medication in birth... profit.
But, you shouldn't take my word for it. After all, we NCB advocates are in such a lucrative industry, and have selfish vested interest for you birthing our way....