Why One Midwife Doesn’t Want You to Learn Neonatal Resuscitation Skills

7 12 2011

My article on Neonatal Resuscitation was removed from The Birthing Site because one midwife took issue.

Her argument is that laypeople cannot learn neonatal resuscitation.

Cannot, or should not?

I knew when I discussed with TBS about potentially writing for this subject that this particular topic was touchy. I asked them first. I let them know my intentions. I knew I was too much for people, not for everyone’s palate, and I knew that there could even be some concerns about liability surrounding this. Yet, I was enthusiastically received, published, and was praised both by them and other sites and members for writing a great article. People said it was helpful. It only took one professional to say “Nuh uh uh!” to have the information hurriedly snatched back, amidst apologies and thanks for their expert valid opinion.

Well, I’m not sorry. I did nothing wrong. I won’t apologize for writing it, and I won’t keep it from you. I will publish it again here. Look for the follow up to this piece.

Things in life sometimes ARE complicated. Our digestive system is complicated, yet we eat every day. Our nervous system is intricate, yet most of us move daily. Most things in life are a paradox, both simple and complex. Birth is one of those things. Neonatal resuscitation can be one of those things. There are probably 1 million and 1 things to know and learn about it, yet birth and resuscitation happens every day all over the world and largely without fuss. We need to find the balance between the intricate and the simple. The confidence to flow with the simplicity of nature, and appreciation for the complexity — we re-educate ourselves in an effort to regain the confidence stolen from us by the established businesses who hold authority over our heads. With it, they control our very life and death. I don’t know about you, but I’d like a little knowledge and a little say in that.

You can’t censor information. You can’t burn books, even if you’re afraid of what the commoners might think they’ve learned from it all. People in authority think information is dangerous. That’s the story of humanity. Choices and freedom are still for us to have. No one can “let” you do anything. You have the right to birth your way, and you have the right to read my article. What you do with that will always be your final choice. You are in control.

The facts are this:  Most mothers who feel the need to stimulate a response from baby achieve this naturally and with ease, unless someone has given them fears to hold, fears that they won’t know what to do, that they aren’t good enough to handle it on their own. That panic leads to death. Not being calm, irrational hesitation on your part leads to death. Not knowing when to call for outside help leads to death. Letting their fears contaminate your mental space is a graver danger than birthing without assistance.

Take back your power, think for yourself, and live.

I was the "liker" there, btw.

Now she's talking about breathing tubes? These are not a normal aspect of neonatal resuscitation. This woman is a midwife. I was not aware that midwives were trained and skilled with intubation. It is not recommended that people utllize intubation who are not skilled at doing it very regularly, since it can injure the throat (especially so for a neonate!). She is not making a case against UC, she is making a case against home birth.

I’ve read Samantha’s comments again and had this to add:  so much of what she is saying to do to stimulate the newborn is exactly what I am talking about (for example, rubbing). She and I are on the same page there. I am not sure how her info there is better or contrary to mine… it’s not. It’s in harmony with mine.

It terms of some things I found insulting… looks like a copy paste job? No, I wrote it all. I wrote it myself. That’s pretty inflammatory. That sounds accusatory. These are MY words. Never held a life in my hands? What on earth does that mean? I’ve been responsible for three newborn lives in my lifetime, the last of which was MY own UC. Of course I’ve held the life of a newborn in my hands! I would argue that every mother has.

So, I stand by my work, my good intentions, etc. Samantha having “UCers best interests at heart”? She is discouraging learning more. I am advocating it. She sympathizes with UCers. I am one. She’s a midwife who believes she is necessary. I believe you can DIY. I don’t think having their best interests at heart quite fits.


And this, my dears, is how one single person with a title after their name can silence others using fear.




6 responses

7 12 2011

I would really love to read your article on neonatal resuscitation, I’m having trouble finding it on your blog, could you link me there? Thanks for this!

7 12 2011
♥♂►Elizabeth, ISOTP Birth◄♀♥

Vanessa, thanks for the interest! I hadn’t published it yet, but you can now find it as the following post on this blog, or the link here: https://theperfectbirth.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/neonatal-resuscitation/

7 12 2011

I believe certified nurse midwives(CNM) can do breathing tubes.

8 12 2011
Cindy Hetzer

Not all midwives oppose UC’s. Rock on, you are in the right. ❤

8 12 2011

I see a flaw in the logic there: If lay people cannot learn neonatal resuscitation, why do the red cross, hospitals and other organizations including AAP provide classes to certify lay people on neonatal resuscitation? Granted, it’s normally part of the training toward something else, but anyone can pay for, take the classes, and take the tests.

No matter what you post, someone is going to take issue with it. Someone WILL choose to be offended. Keep sharing information, because knowledge is power. Loved the original post, and I’m glad you’re publishing it here. 🙂

8 12 2011
Georgia Vorhies

As a consumer of midwifery care 1984 to 1989, and now advocate as mother and mother-in-law to consumers of midwifery care 1991-present, and as an educated person, I am very disappointed in the trends I have been witnessing in the deterioration of the midwifery model of care. More and more I see midwives practicing with a medical model of care. This is all about control, power, and self-importance. Knowledge is power. This midwife has an objection to parents learning neonatal resuscitation because they are not as capable as she is of learning given accurate and thorough information? Because that would take too much power and importance from her and other midwives and place it in parents hands? It is no wonder that more and more people are planning and implementing unattended births.

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