• Sarina Beasley, PT, DPT

My Royal Two Cents

Updated: May 10, 2019

To be honest, I think it is sickening that the medical community is putting their two cents in on Meghan Markle’s decision on where to birth and who was welcome to be there to catch the new prince, but if everyone else is doing it, why not join. I present to you, my Royal Two Cents.


I feel that we are HORRIBLY overstepping our boundaries on why we should even care how she chose to manage her pregnancy. But if you must have an opinion, know the facts.


It is well documented in the literature that choosing to manage a low risk pregnancy or even a “geriatric”pregnancy (age >35 years) with midwifery is the safest route for both mom and baby - a home birth, or not!

FACTS


•Mothers birthing with midwives have significantly lower rates of Cesarean deliveries, low-birth-weight infants, preterm delivery, and maternal and neonatal mortality (death of mother and infant). Midwifery care also allows for statistically more successful vaginal birth after Cesarean (VBAC). And don’t even get me started on risks of being a black pregnant woman- Google your heart out on that one!


•There is a significantly lower chance of needing instrument-assistance (vacuum or forceps) and perineal tears are less likely, as well. This lowers the risk of developing prolapse, chronic pelvic pain and incontinence.


•Another bonus is that midwifery clients are also more likely to be successful with breastfeeding than their physician counterparts. Hello, antibodies and loads of saved money!


•The C-Section rate in the US is incredibly too high, approximately 30%. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the rate be between 10-15%. Lord help my fellow Pennsylvanians - One in three pregnancies lands you on the OR table not without risks to you and your baby. There is a time and place for medically necessary procedures, but not 30% of the time. Just being in a hospital places you at a higher risk of this.


Getting to the point - You and your baby are less likely to die under the care of a midwife in home or in a medical setting. Something to chew on for the day...


Oh, and having a doula makes you statistically more likely to be able to carry out a natural, unmedicated labor and delivery, as well!


To put this into perspective for those that may not quite know why the Duchess wanted to have a natural delivery at home vs. risking a medicated one in the hospital: take a morbidly obese male that is told that he needs to lose weight or he may die (stroke, heart attack, diabetic shock, etc). The physician gives him two options- bariatric surgery (medical) or diet/exercise (natural unmedicated). He chooses to forgo the medical route and plan to incorporate physical activity and healthy eating choices into his life. His physician and his family/friends are pleased that he has chosen to take the natural route that will have SIGNIFICANTLY less risk than a major surgery. This is the recommended and evidence-based choice. (Did you know that C-Sections are classified as major abdominal surgery?)


When did we, as a society, decide that bariatric surgery was the “expected” route and that diet and exercise was a taboo way to care for oneself??? I hope you are saying “never!”


Fact: You are more likely to die laying on an OR table from surgery than eating some carrots and an apple and going for a brisk walk recommended at 30 minutes per day.


Take home point: it’s nobody’s business, but I applaud the Duchess for choosing the best route of prenatal care for her. It’s what SHE wanted, not what the rest of the world did. While not confirmed yet, I hope she DID have that baby at home! She was safer there. We need to stop shaming women for making appropriate, educated, and informed decisions and support them in whatever they choose.


If you have questions on how to prepare for a natural or medicated childbirth, contact Pittsburgh Pelvic Health for a free consultation ❤️


Love to you all! 💋


Sources:


https://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/cesarean-risks/

https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/maternal_perinatal_health/cs-statement/en/

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/sosmap/cesarean_births/cesareans.htm

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1049386711001605