Birthing Bliss, Birthing Trauma, and the Role of the Perinatal Patient


KellyBroganMD.com
Dr. Kelly Brogan
February 8, 2020

I remember looking out of my living room window, drawing on my connection to all the women in the world who had felt this energy before, all that were in that moment, and all that would in time to come. This energy, this incredible power, was like a wave that I was riding for a brief window of my life, and sharing with my baby to move us through time into a new type of union. To me, this wasn’t anything to resist, to be afraid of, or to suppress. All I had to do was be there to witness, and keep my mind from getting in the way.

I came to a place of strong advocacy for homebirth because I am a tireless student of research, opinions, and “radical” theory espoused by critical thinkers. I believe in being an informed individual first and a patient second and surrendering my decision-making to a physician trained to perceive childbirth as a pathological process requiring management was not consistent with that perspective.  I knew that there were caregivers out there who believed in supporting the body’s natural process in a gentle way and who knew how to provide that support, actively and passively.  These are midwives.  They are the primary birth attendants in most of the 40+ nations in the world with more favorable maternal and infant mortality rates than our own.

So, how does a woman get to a place where she can turn her back on a society that teaches birth is a painful nuisance at best and a horror show of danger at worst?

Through active engagement in informed consent.  A careful review of some of the epidemiologic literature and an excellent book on the subject called Pushed by Jennifer Block will inform that prospective mother of the fact that countries with the best maternal/infant outcomes have 20-30% of their babies at home, and a caesarean rate of no higher than 15%.  In these healthy births, labor begins spontaneously, the woman is free to move about for whatever duration necessary, and she pushes in an intuitive position.

This soon-to-be-birthing reader might be prompted to question some of the casually accepted “rules” of hospital birth including induction of labor post-dates, the ban on eating and drinking, and active intervention after 24 hours after rupture of membranes.  She might note that continuous electronic fetal monitoring is a ubiquitous mandate in the hospital setting despite an absence of randomized, controlled studies demonstrating any benefit with regard to maternal/infant outcomes (and a noted higher association with caesarean section given the attendant immobilization and anxious interpretations of “the strip”).  Here is the informative Lamaze-sponsored handout I give my patients which highlights the discrepancy between known evidence (including Cochrane reviews, and even ACOG recommendations) and common practice, often militantly imposed.

Pushed discusses a WHO study which identified that only 10% of maternity care is justified by scientific evidence (as opposed to insurance constraints, convenience, liability, and habitual practice).  This wouldn’t be such a concern if the risks associated with interfering in a physiologic birth weren’t so troubling.  Here are some tidbits she reviews:

  • Infants born by caesarean are 3x more likely to die in the first month, and mothers are 2x more likely to die.  Caesarean carries risks of infection including necrotizing fasciitis, organ damage, adhesions, hemorrhage, embolism, hysterectomy, dehisance, poor respiratory adaptation for the baby, and future development of a major undesirable – placenta acreta (at an incidence of 1/533 in 2005 births from 1/19,000 births in 1970)
  • Epidurals decrease blood pressure, slow contractions, and lengthen labor, increasing the likelihood of tearing, fever, and instrumental delivery
  • Vaginal birth after caesarean has a rate of rupture of 1/200 which is comparable to the rate of miscarriage with an amniocentesis, but is all but impossible to obtain given the reflexive second, third, and fourth caesarean birth plans
  • Homebirth is comparably safe with lower intervention rates according to common sense and seminal studies.

The problem with the application of these interventions is that they serve to disempower the laboring woman, and force her to cope with the unintended consequences of the intervention domino effect.  Wresting autonomy from an individual in the interest of a questionably-evidenced system has feed-forward implications for generations.  Perhaps both psychiatry and obstetrics are guilty of pathologizing processes that scare us, and in our effort to subdue, we use crude and inexact implements in acute settings without consideration of the collateral damage.

Even the donning of a hospital gown on arrival puts a woman in the role of a sick patient rather than a conduit for life’s most transcendent contact with creation.  I hear frequent reviews from my patients, stating, “the room looked like a battle ground”, “I felt like I was drugged…like it wasn’t my baby”, “I was offered an epidural so many times, I thought I really needed one”.  This is not an arena in which we can expect Ina May Gaskin’s “sphincter law” to play out successfully – a woman needs a sense of calm, safety, and privacy open her body to the world and bring forth a baby.

Interfering with the sophisticated process of a physiologic birth may have unintended short, medium, and long-term effects.  Studies like this allude to the role of vaginal birth in the foundational seeding of the infant’s microbiome, but are there any benefits with regard to mom’s postpartum mood?  Does mode of delivery influence the risk of postpartum depression?  To my mind, it certainly seems possible that disruption in oxytocin feedback loops through interference with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-gonadal axis would set a woman up for near-term difficulty buffering the transition to new motherhood.  If a physiologic birth is interfered with, the woman is left to go through the motions unaided by appropriate hormonal cascades – like walking across hot coals without shoes.

Despite the intuitive connection between a mother’s birth-related trauma and postpartrum depression, data addressing the question of whether mode of delivery influences risk is equivocal: some propose no risk associated with caesarean, like this study in which depressive symptoms after caesarean were resolved by 6 months and this that suggested being a housewife with a history of depression were primary risk factors, and this metanalysis. Others, like this Armenian study, suggest that caesarean, and particularly elective caesarean, may put a woman at greater risk for postpartum mood disturbance.  A prospective cohort study in China found that, at two weeks, by Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), women were 2x more likely to be depressed if they had a surgical birth. Myriad confounders compromise this data, and I would argue that a woman’s psychological orientation toward self-empowerment – what an empowered birth looks like to her – may be more important than the disruption of the hormonal cascade.

The mind is a powerful filter.  Perhaps the most provocative study I have come across is an fMRI evaluation of women responding, in multiple brain regions, to their own baby’s cry, and how this response is blunted after a surgical birth.  Could this evolve to be corrected for?  I would imagine so, but it suggests that surgical birth should be reserved for the <10% of true emergencies that could not otherwise have been prevented by allowing a woman to labor at her own pace, in her own comfort zone, without any interventions… the way it’s been done for millions of years.

Read More At: KellyBroganMD.com

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This post originally appeared on Mad in America as Birthing Bliss, Birthing Trauma and the Role of the Perinatal Patient.

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Kelly Brogan, MD

Kelly Brogan, M.D. is a Manhattan-based holistic psychiatrist, author of the New York Times bestselling book, A Mind of Your Own, and co-editor of the landmark textbook, Integrative Therapies for Depression. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from MIT in Systems Neuroscience. View full bio. Want to share this article on your own blog? View our reposting guidelines.

Book Review: A Mind Of Your Own: The Truth About Depression And How Women Can Heal Their Bodies To Reclaim Their Lives by Kelly Brogan M.D. and Kristin Loberg | #SmartReads #MentalHealth #Depression

“Psychiatric diagnosis still relies exclusively on fallible subjective judgments rather than objective biological tests.”
– Dr. Allen Frances, author of Saving Normal

“Probably as much as 75% of the medicine of sickness is unnecessary and its cost can be avoided.”
–  Dr. Ghislaine Lanctot, Author Of The Medical Mafia

MS

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
February 1, 2020

Dr. Kelly Brogan’s work first became known to me when she addressed countless health issues in an article she penned years back that was shared via the website GreenMedInfo.com which is an absolutely superb website about health.  From that moment forward, Brogan became one of my ‘go-to’ alternative medical doctors whose work I attempt to read as much as possible given how mental health issues are increasing significantly each year.

Bottom line: A Mind Of Your Own: The Truth About Depression And How Women Can Heal Their Bodies To Reclaim Their Lives by Kelly Brogan M.D and Kristin Loberg shows the reader many of the inherent issues within Big Pharma and Big Psych while also outlining many proactive steps individuals can take to take charge of their health in significant ways.

Not only is the reader seamlessly shown countless examples of very troublesome issues regarding medications doled out like candy by Big Pharma and doctors, but also how this health for-profit system of ‘medicine’ is set up by loose strings, which care not for people’s health rights and simply care for profits.

For example, did you know that the U.S. and New Zealand are the only countries which allow drug companies to advertise directly to consumersPrior to 1997, there was a ban in place that restricted pharmaceuticals from advertising to consumers – known as drug-to-consumer-advertising, or DTCA- but this ban was removed, to the detriment of the populace.[1]

Why is this important?  Because that law was in place to protect individuals from the highly specialized, and yet misleading advertising of all drugs.

Another point of serious concern is how the great majority of prescription drugs sold take place due to DTCA.  As Dr. Kelly Brogan notes in her milestone book, which homes in on the efficiency of this specialized advertising:

“It’s been calculated that DTCA [drug-to-consumer advertising] is responsible for nearly half (49 percent) of requests for drugs.  And fully seven out of ten times doctors prescribe based on appeal by patients who learned through their computers and televisions that they have an “imbalance” that must be fixed with a pill.”[2][Bold & Underline Emphasis Added]

Predictably, all that already-disturbing information leads to prescription drugs being doled out at 4 Billion per annum[3], it’s no wonder that Medical Errors are the third leading cause of death.[4]  According to a new John Hopkins study, which is covered by the Washington Post:

“Their analysis, published in the BMJ, shows that ‘medical errors’ in hospitals and other health care facilities are incredibly common and may now be the third leading cause of death in the United States — claiming 251,000 lives every year, more than respiratory disease, accidents, stroke and Alzheimer’s.”[5][Click here to read the study named Medical Error – The Third Leading Cause Of Death In The US]

You, as an astute reader, might be wondering, okay, what does that have to do with psychiatry?  Excellent question.

About 10% of Americans take anti-depressants, which equates to about 30 million people.  With the downright disconcerting facts that Dr. Brogan brings up in her book A Mind Of Your Own, many of the people that will be railed by the medical system will be within the psychiatric field, and a significant portion of them will be children as well.

What’s disturbing about this is that, as Dr. Brogan herself cautions, most drug research is in fact, short term:

Their patients have never consented to the long-term effects of these medications because pharmaceutical research is, by nature, short term.  There is no incentive on the part of the pharmaceutical  companies to take a good look at what happens to the average individual when she takes a medication for a decade or so.”[6][Bold & Underline Emphasis Added]

As an individual who’s had a few friends that have depression and continues to meet people with it randomly through life, and also as a person who has a great interest in all of health, the information presented within this book is paramount to understanding the larger landscape of Big Pharma and health as a whole within the United States.

One of the greatest strengths A Mind Of Your Own showcases is the fact that this book is chock-full of real verifiable data that would shock most people who haven’t begun doing their own research about what happens within Big Pharma and the psychiatric field.

Thankfully, not only is this book rather easy to comprehend, but the reader can feel the honesty and concern that have been staples of Brogan throughout her work. This is vital, because in the arena of medicine there are countless doctors who care more about prescribing pills, than they do about the welfare of the patient and actually solving the problem.  This is known personally to me and my family via my many hospitalizations due to poor health, doing exactly what the doctors suggested which was always taking more pills, which never solved any problems.  It was only when seeking my own solutions following nutrition, getting off of medications, and many steps that true healing began taking place for me.

On that note, this is where Dr. Brogan shines because she is doing what should be undertaken by most if not all doctors or concerned individuals within the medical establishment, which is outlining the dangers so many people are going through in respect to side effects by the overmedication of America, as well as – and arguably more important – offering solutions/alternatives to the for-profit (and not for-health) medical system. 

Brogan’s book on the mental health in America is quite unique and reminiscent of the work of another author.  A Mind Of Your Own reminds me of a book called Toxic Psychiatry by Peter R. Breggin M.D., who not only outlines glaring problems within the psychiatric establishment, but also, like Brogan, covers issues with medications that most people would consider safe, but aren’t as safe as they are made out to be by medical doctors.

To be precise, I’m not implying that the Dr. Brogan’s work takes from Dr. Breggin. What I am saying however is that both doctors have great concern regarding mainstream health, and seem to share very similar values in how they think patients should be treated in respect to actual solutions that don’t revolve simply around handing out prescriptions non-stop without seeking to actually solve the underlying issues.

With that said, this particular book ventures into myriad paths.  It rightly gives an extensive look into the flawed theory of depression but also shows how that theory is an outright fallacy.  It also covers many of the ways in which depression symptoms can manifest in people, which at times may be solved with specific vitamins, which is something that goes directly against the Big Pharma prescription medication model.

Keeping all of the above in mind, one would expect that with tens of millions of lives at stake, and with dozens of side effects to boot per medication, a more thorough process would be in place to safeguard individuals against possible iatrogenic mistakes that plague the populace en mass.  But such is not the case unfortunately.

Another great notion Brogan centers in on within her book is done in her chapter called The Great Psychiatric Pretenders.  Within it, Brogan details not only how the one-size-fits-all type of care that is carried out in America is inefficient, but she also provides a few of the circumstances that create bedlam within individuals and are often categorized as depression, but are incorrectly diagnosed.  Please read that again. 

It’s imperative to know this because people are walking around thinking a pill is the only solution to their problems when there are other possible solutions that may be possible.

Brogan also sheds light with a cursory glance at the fact that serious drug fraud has taken place in the past which is unknown to many.

Although there aren’t many doctors out there standing up for what’s right within medicine, Dr. Brogan and a growing number of others are, such as the aforementioned Dr. Peter R. Breggin, Dr. Mercola, Dr. Duzanne Humphries, Dr. Sircus, Dr. Natasha Campbell-Mcbride, Dr. Russell Blaylock, Tetyana Obukhanych Ph.D, and more, are forming new grounds in the field of health – true health.  Each of these individuals all put out very high quality information regularly and are concerned with various aspects of health. But don’t take my word for it, do your own research so you can be better informed.  I cannot stress the ‘do your own research’ part enough

It is vital for individuals as a community to support these people, because they’re in it to HELP people and refuse to throw people under the bus merely for profit.

In any case, if you’ve read any of Dr. Brogan’s work, A Mind Of Your Own employs the same high quality standards of research and thoughtfulness.  Brogan pulls no punches in her journey not only outlining the dangers within the prescription drugs given for depression that individuals should be concerned about, but also in offering holistic solutions that many do not realize are available.

If you’ve made it this far and are really interested in the topic, do yourself a favor and purchase this book. That, or perhaps recommend it to people that might find great value in it because they will find information that’s not only deep, but quite extensive. The information in this book can really change the course of someone’s life if they realize what’s out there.  I’ve seen it happen myself with friends and recommend it any chance I get, whether the person is interested in depression, mental health in a general sense, or merely seeking a deeper understanding of pervasive issues within the pharmaceutical industry.

Anchoring down, not only does holistic psychiatrist Brogan absolutely eviscerate the Depression is a “chemical imbalance” theory with ample data and serious research, but she also gives the reader precise methods in which they can retake their health back, while also seeking to empower women in countless ways.

Now, if that’s not self-empowerment, what is?

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Suggested Viewing:

Depression: Busting Myths & Finding Answers (Full Interview w/Dr. Kelly Brogan)

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Sources & References:

[1] Dr. Joseph Mercola, The Great Bird Flu Hoax, p. 39.
[2] Dr. Kelly Brogan M.D., A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression, p. 52.
[3] http://www.naturalnews.com/037226_drug_prescriptions_medical_news_pills.htm
[4] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/05/03/researchers-medical-errors-now-third-leading-cause-of-death-in-united-states/?utm_term=.d262ea291b26
[5] http://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i2139
[6] Dr. Kelly Brogan M.D., A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression, p. 35.

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If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and  BreakawayIndividual.com

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About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

Breakaway Individuals Throughout History: The Individual, The Trailblazers & You

Nothing Is Set In Stone, Individuals Change Every Day – History Changes As The Individual Changes
Empire Rise & Fall Based On The Individual

BreakawayIndividual.com
Zy Marquiez
April 5, 2019

Would fiction be the same if Tolkien didn’t write The Hobbit?

Would war be conducted the same if Napoleon didn’t become the military strategist he become?[1]

Would spirituality be the same if Buddha, Jesus and Krishna didn’t spread the wisdom they did?

Would music be the same if Bach and Mozart hadn’t decided to play instruments?

Would philosophy be the same if Socrates didn’t philosophize?

Would martial arts in modern times be seen as it does if Bruce Lee hadn’t followed his dream?

Would women see themselves as they do if Joan Of Arc wouldn’t have done what she did, at the age that she did it?

Would modern morality be the same if Mother Theresa hadn’t carried out kindness as she had done, done the actions she undertook?

Intriguing considerations to ponder.  The answer to all the questions above is no, certainly not.

History wouldn’t be the same at all.  Those individuals serve as pillars for humanity.  Change the actions of merely one of them, and you change history in its full breadth and scopeThat shows you the power of the individualThat is incredible, resounding, incisive power; power that rarely ever gets the consideration it should.

The actions of individuals echo into the future, into eternity.  They change lives, they change circumstances, they change communities, they change nations, they create empires, they change history, they change everything

This is unprecedented power, incredible in every which way.  One would think that empowering individuals – and showing how capable each of them can be – would be one of the staples of public schooling, or communities and societies in general.  Such is not the case.

The Individuals that are extolled, those that are usually always talked about, are usually seen from the perspective of a complete package, already done, whole cloth [2].  Rarely if ever are individuals and the actions they took, the action they chose to take, ever spoken about at length.  This is quite noteworthy because seeing the steps that individuals – particularly the pillars of society, the breakaway individuals above – and studying those quite consciously, and pondering them at length, could reap incredible rewards [3].

At times, there are paths that individuals may walk through, paths that were paved before, paths that can be followed.  At other times, there are paths waiting to be imagined, waiting to be created. 

Those paths do not just appear out of nowhere; each of those historical paths, each of the actions individuals take, are taken via an endless series of choices.

Choices that change individuals.

Choices that spawn change.

Choices so powerful and resounding that they create ripples and resonance in life’s field, echoing into the future, farther than you ever thought possible.

Choices that create paths hitherto unknown, paths previously unimagined.

That’s the very definition of a trail blazer. 

And trails are something that must be created.  Individuals create them every single day.

Why not now?

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[1] This is not an argument for or against war.  I mention Napoleon because, whether you like him or not, he is an example of the fact that individuals change the course of history, one way or another.
[2] This notion came to me when having a conversation with someone last year.  It struck me that, when discussing any particular individual, we as a society always get to see the complete products, the full versions of individuals, and that’s not unlike seeing the movie version of a book.  The same way a movie will never hold everything a book did, such as The Hobbit, for example, an individual’s life is rarely ever seen through the full scope of their actions; rather, what we get is the shiny Hollywood version of what an individual became; the life of an individual is seen as all neat, polished, and in a finished form.  That does a great disservice to the study of each of these individuals and others.
This is a consideration that deserves a lot more rumination and will be expounded upon at length given the ramifications that it has for the study of the power of individuals and everything they have accomplished, do accomplish, and will accomplish in history.
[3] Why would I mention that these individuals mentioned are Breakaway Individuals?  Because as individuals, each of the individuals mentioned, and many more, were incredibly ahead of their peers, in fact, sometimes generations ahead.  Some of them were so far ahead that it could be argued they haven’t been topped, even now, millennia later.  If that’s not the definition of a Breakaway Individual, nothing is.  A notion to be pondered more in depth in the future, as it serves as the very foundation for this blog.

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Suggested Reading:

What Do You Find Inspiring?
What’s Your Story?
You The Individual Are Author Of Your Own Journey, Of Your Own Destiny
Harry Potter Fans Trash Talk?  Say WHAT?!
Consciously Creating The Road Of Change, The World Of Tomorrow
Wings Are Made To Fly, Seeds Are Made To Grow
What Are Your Personal Defaults?
Have You Ever Walked On The Moon?
The Opening Salvo, The First Minute
The Seeds Of Today, The World Of Tomorrow
Piercing Perspectives #1: Taking Things For Granted | Health & Mindset
Piercing Perspectives #2: You The Individual Are Extraordinary
Piercing Perspectives #3: The Divide & Conquer Left Right Paradigm
Piercing Perspectives #4: Poker As A Mirror For Life
How Are Your (Emotional) Bank Accounts Doing?
The Individual, The Foundation Of Society

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If you find value in this information, feel free to share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and  BreakawayIndividual.com

___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who aims at empowering individuals while also studying and regularly mirroring subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.