Monday, July 20, 2009

Pit to Distress

There has been a lot of chatter on the internet recently about the "pit to distress" phenomenon apparently practiced in some hospitals. The phrase referred to the administration of Pitocin until the baby goes into distress and a cesarean can be performed. The Unnecesarean blog (as well as others) covered the topic in such depth, I don't have much to add! See this post and this post for her thoughts and quotes from a variety of sources. She quotes Keyboard Revolutionary (who I believe started the whole blog-flurry) as saying, “'OBs, do you still think women are choosing not to birth at your hospitals because Ricki Lake said homebirths are cool? Do you still think we are only out for a 'good experience?'"

Nursing Birth also has an excellent post on the subject.

All these posts and the "pit to distress" subject keeps making me think of the quote that opens Henci Goer's Obstetric Myths vs. Research Realities book: "Facts can be disproved, and theories based on them will yield in time to rational arguments and proof that they don't work. But myth has its own furious, inherent reason-to-be because it is tied to desire. Prove it false a hundred times, and it will still endure because it is true as an expression of feeling...It is illogical--or at least, pre-logical; but from this very fact it gains a certain strength: logic may disprove it, but it will not kill it."

This, to me, explains the essence of why harmful maternity care practices continue to persist in hospital settings.



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