Two articles – Breastfeeding and Epidurals

Here are two totally unrelated articles, but both seem worth sharing. It’s been a while since I shared much in the birth or breastfeeding realm, so here ya go. :)

The first is about breastfeeding and feminism and covers such topics as:
-Scant support for breastfeeding in the medical community
-Low U.S. breastfeeding rates
-Human milk and long-term human health
-History of infant feeding practices in the United States
-La Leche League steps in
-Formula companies convince HHS and AAP to alter breastfeeding campaign
-The question of guilt
-What feminists can do

It’s a very long article, but contains a lot of good information. I’d love to see feminists take on the breastfeeding cause for the numerous benefits it would have for both mothers and babies.
What Feminists Can Do for Breastfeeding and What Breastfeeding Can Do for Feminists

This second article is a story aired on Dateline on Sunday about how a routine epidural turned deadly for a new mom. It is scary that something like this could happen and that the medical community seemed to ignore all the signs that something was wrong with this poor woman until it was too late.

I know that serious complications such as death are very rare with epidurals (though epidurals are not without risks), but it certainly strengthens my resolve to avoid one if at all possible. It’s interesting because two of my friends who just had the VBACs ended up having epidurals in order to avoid repeat c-sections and it made me start to think, “well, maybe I could have an epidural too if I really wanted it.” I know there are situations where it is beneficial to have an epidural, but it still bothers me that they are so widely accepted as the norm and routine procedure in the U.S.

After reading such statistics as “— Infections contracted in hospitals are the fourth largest killer in the United States, causing as many deaths as AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined.
— One out of every 20 hospital patients gets an infection. That’s 2 million Americans a year, and an estimated 103,000 of them die.”, this story also makes me wonder if a hospital birth is really the best option for me. Decisions, decisions.
A routine epidural turns deadly

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2 thoughts on “Two articles – Breastfeeding and Epidurals

  1. I’m hoping to have a VBAC next time around and I didn’t know it was recommended to have an epidural to help prevent another c-section. Interesting..I haven’t done my VBAC research yet, all I know is I’m having one!!!

  2. Mama c-ta – Oh no, I hope I didn’t imply an epidural is recommended to avoid a repeat c-section. In both of their cases, they had been laboring a long time and were feeling very tired and worn out. They got the epidurals so they could relax and rest a bit before having to push, so that they would still have some energy to push. It’s not that you need an epidural for a VBAC at all. It just happened to help them in their particular cases. I’ve heard of moms having VBACs (totally unmedicated) at home, so I know that an epidural is certainly not necessary. Sorry for the confusion. I didn’t mean to mislead you or anyone else! Oops!
    Good for you for wanting a VBAC next time! :) Sounds like you have the perfect attitude to get what you want. :)

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