Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Natural Childbirth - Road to Health


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I was awakened to the ease of natural birth in a hospital when I was about 7 years old. I witnessed a village woman who was shouting at the top of her voice protesting her forced hospitalization after childbirth. She was washing her clothes when she went into labour and delivered a child. Her mother in law helped her cut the cord and cleaned both child and mother. Then she went back to washing her clothes. Her horrified husband had admitted her forcibly into the hospital. She created a ruckus and was discharged pronto.

In the year 2010 I was on a tour to Andhra Pradesh and met a group of village birth attendants in Medhak district. They told me how they prepared the mothers for delivery with food and massages and how the delivery was in sitting and standing positions for ease. I interviewed new mothers and they said they were highly satisfied. The doctors in PHCs of the district told me how these attendants had opened their minds about natural birth and they too allowed natural birth in their PHCs if people went there. They came gave birth and were gone within hours. Even among the few cases they referred to the CHC many had normal birth under supervision.

The birth attendants were well versed about traditional ways of pain management that modern doctors should know too. If people are interested they can contact DDS Hyderabad to know more. The women managed agriculture and millets programmes of DDS ensure all round nutrition for the mothers and also empower them.

Since then I have associated with tribal in Odisha who too don't feel birth is an issue. Why have things changed now? The major factor is deterioration in health and vitality. The health of our ancestors is no longer visible today. The other of course is mainstream fear mongering about the process and mismanagement. Even the WHO has come to recognize that caesarean sections are a menace and take place for profit.

There is nothing romantic about natural birth. Nor about organic food and lifestyle. They were normal since human beings appeared on earth. They have been turned abnormal because there is money in artificial. This is the truth. The child loses out tremendously in the process of caesareans unable to inherit its mothers microbiome and the first milk. It also has to deal with all the medications given to the mother which are passed via the breast milk. Such a baby can never be healthy.

Today studies show a baby born at home has a richer and healthier microbiome than one born out of home. There is a study to show how the body learns through a difficult childbirth and rectifies the problems in a subsequent one. Institution births are encouraged so children can be shot up with vaccines. Modern medicine completely negates the healing power of the body to impose itself. It is not a system of medicine. It is a business plan that thrives on ill health and misery.

The biochemical model of health no longer holds true. It has been replaced by extensive work on the microbiome, mycobiome, epigenetics, and new discoveries like the role of the appendix, extension of the lymphatic system to the brain, the interstitium, and the role of the mucosal system, gut microbiome, and lymphatic system in immunity. Thus we have entered an era where we acknowledge biology to be the main driver.

We are just 43% human and 57% composed of trillions of external cells that connect us to the environment and perform vital physical, mental and emotional functions. We are also gaining insight into the role of mitochondrial energy as a driver of organs and their functions. There is also seeping in the knowledge of alkaline and acidic mediums and the importance of the circadian rhythm that extends beyond timely functions to the full life cycle. From conception to death we follow such a cycle.

All of this point towards a totality that is in sharp contrast to the reductionist viewpoint. How do modern concepts affect the totality? Let us start with pregnancy. Earlier the MD's who were not specialists tended to accord the highest respect to this state, careful not to medicate. Nutrition and routine activity coupled with evening walks was recommended.

We know about the placenta barrier. This barrier is today breached and made porous thanks to mercury, aluminium and Polysorbate 80 in the two tetanus shots given to pregnant women. Consequently all medications directed at them reach the foetus - a forbidden territory. Today we also know how the ultrasounds women are subjected to impacts the foetus.

The process of normal childbirth is a cathartic which releases precious hormones in the mother. These hormones take care of the many problems associated with childbirth and may even correct a breach as observed. The passage of the baby through the normal channel compresses all fluids out of it, clears the lungs, and also seeds it with vital microbes that shape its future health. If we preserve the coating on the baby instead of washing it instantly, allow the full cord blood to flow into it, and retain the placental connection for a little more time we do a great service to the baby.

A caesarean childbirth is convenient but is a great loss to health as far as the baby is concerned. Hospital births also ensure a not so safe environment and force the supine position that is not really a birth position. After caesarean the mother is not in a position always to deliver the first colostrum robbing the baby of vital nutrients. The medicines directed at the mother passes on to the infant further affecting its health. In a hospital the infant is also exposed to a not so friendly microbiome. The mother may continue to be medicated depending on the complications after surgery.


Thus home based natural births accompanied by common sense trained attendants are now being preferred by those knowledgeable who wish to preserve their health and also that of the new born.


Evolutionary perspectives on cesarean section 

Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, Volume 2018, Issue 1, 1 January 2018, Pages 67–81,https://doi.org/10.1093/emph/eoy006
Published:

27 February 2018

Abstract



Cesarean section (surgical removal of a neonate through the maternal abdominal and uterine walls) can be a life-saving medical intervention for both mothers and their newborns when vaginal delivery through the birth canal is impossible or dangerous. In recent years however, the rates of cesarean sections have increased in many countries far beyond the level of 10–15% recommended as optimal by the World Health Organization. These ‘excess’ cesarean sections carry a number of risks to both mothers and infants including complication from surgery for the mother and respiratory and immunological problems later in life for the infants. We argue that an evolutionary perspective on human childbirth suggests that many of these ‘unnecessary’ cesarean sections could be avoided if we considered the emotionally supportive social context in which childbirth has taken place for hundreds of thousands or perhaps even millions of years of human evolution. The insight that human childbirth is usually a cooperative, even social event in which women are attended by familiar, supportive family and friends suggests that the harsh clinical environment in which women often give birth in the developed world is not the best setting for dealing with the strong emotional forces that usually accompany labor and delivery. We argue that providing a secure, supportive environment for laboring mothers can reduce the rate of ‘unnecessary’ surgical deliveries.
https://academic.oup.com/emph/article/2018/1/67/4911519

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