Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wanna take it outside?

Rixa on the True Face of Birth is confused.
Dr. Amy.
I have asked you before to refrain from picking fights on my forum. You are not welcome here. Sorry to pull a high school-er on you ("you can't be part of my group"), but I do not want my blog to become a stage for your debates.
She seems to think that correcting misinformation is "picking a fight". She's not alone. Within the homebirth advocacy community, telling the truth is viewed as impolite at best, and, at worst, as an assault on homebirth advocacy itself.

What precipitated Rixa's accusation? In a post, Rixa listed her objections to free standing birth centers. Radical Midwife supported her point of view with the following bit of homebirth fantasy:
... And, I would add to the list of 'cons' of the birth center vs. homebirth: at home, the woman is surrounded by her own germs, to which her body and baby are acclimated. At a freestanding birth center, this most certainly isn't the case.
Like most homebirth advocates, Radical Midwife appears to be ignorant of the major causes of infection among newborns. So I posted a comment:
AT: Of course the biggest infectious threats to the baby are maternal infections agents, and the baby is NOT acclimated to them. Group B strep and herpes kill and injure many more babies than hospital acquired infections.

Within the last year, a Wyoming homebirth midwife pleaded guilty in the death of a baby she delivered. The mother had prolonged ruptured membranes and the baby died of sepsis. On MDC a mother planning homebirth had ruptured membranes for over 4 days and her baby died of overwhelming sepsis, also.

Maternally acquired infection poses far greater risk to a healthy baby than hospital acquired infection.
Then Anonymous asked for evidence. My explanation:
AT: According to Neonatal Sepsis:

"The infectious agents associated with neonatal sepsis have changed over the past 50 years. S aureus and E coli were the most common bacterial infectious hazards for neonates during the 1950s in the United States. Over the ensuing decades, GBS replaced S aureus as the most common gram-positive organism that caused early-onset sepsis. During the 1990s, GBS and E coli continued to be associated with neonatal infection; however, coagulase-negative S aureus is now more frequently observed. Additional organisms, such as L monocytogenes, Chlamydia pneumoniae, H influenzae, Enterobacter aerogenes, and species of Bacteroides and Clostridium have also been identified in neonatal sepsis.

Meningoencephalitis and neonatal sepsis syndrome can also be caused by infection with adenovirus, enterovirus, or coxsackievirus. Additionally, sexually transmitted diseases and viral diseases, such as gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes simplex virus (HSV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), hepatitis, HIV, rubella, toxoplasmosis, Trichomonas vaginalis, and Candida species, have all been implicated in neonatal infection...

Staphylococcus epidermidis, a coagulase-negative Staphylococcus, is increasingly seen as a cause of nosocomial or late-onset sepsis, especially in the premature infant, in whom it is considered the leading cause of late-onset infections. Its prevalence is likely related to several intrinsic properties of the organism that allow it to readily adhere to the plastic mediums found in intravascular catheters and intraventricular shunts..."

In other words, the most common cause of neonatal sepsis is group B strep. Since the advent of antibiotic treatment of mothers testing positive for group B strep, the incidence of group B strep sepsis has declined almost 70%. Most of other organisms on the list are also carried by the mother including E. coli and sexually transmitted organisms...
That's what elicited Rixa's complaint of "picking a fight". Truth be told, I suppose that from her point of view that is what I am doing. Homebirth advocates feel very threatened by the truth, since the truth undercuts virtually all their claims. In the interests of harmony and "support", it is important to ensure their websites are "truth free" zones. The truth is simply too upsetting to contemplate.

0 Old Comments: