Since Science & Sensibility posted about the Wax study again yesterday, I had to comment:
I made a few corrections over the actual comment I left where I made a bunch of mistakes - my fingers are thundering through this today so I can get to "real" work. If you see any typos or mistakes, please give me a heads up.I got to hear Michel Odent speaking about this study last week and was really fascinated to hear his take. Rather than criticizing the study methodology, he said that its results as well as a couple of others of the last 6 months (Netherlands and China) indicate that birth is becoming more difficult in all settings. He suggests that we have a gross misunderstanding of the needs of a laboring woman across the board, even in natural childbirth circles. I’ll be writing more about this in the coming weeks because it is possible that we are largely turning a blind eye to a lot of widely accepted and in fact celebrated and endorsed practices even in the most natural and low-intervention approaches that may not actually be physiologically sound.That being said, I’d be delighted to see this study retracted or taken down as inflammatory or unsound – but if there IS a kernel of truth in it, I think we’re wise to look directly and honestly at the implications.
I had no idea, until this weekend, that midwives are widely ignoring a number of the less convenient and conventional (midwifery-wise) criticisms Odent makes about very common and very accepted interventions (or as we like to think of them, practices.) That dude is way more fringe than most midwives, makes some very specific and potentially revolutionary observations, and we're not listening.
To give you a teaser... Is it possible, despite all our advocacy for allowing women to have food and water freely in hospitals, that they don't actually need food and water in labor, and that we are actually making their labors more difficult, prolonged, and unnatural by insisting that they do?
More to come, more to come.