Monday, October 31, 2011

Is the BOBB effect dangerous?

I believe that there is a BOBB much of what I've read in the birthing blogosphere, there is a common refrain:

"I watched the Business of Being Born and it was then that...." which is ended in one of five ways:

a) "I decided on a home birth."
b) "I decided to avoid the 'cascade of interventions'."
c) "that a midwife was the best care provider for me and my baby."
d) "that freebirthing might even be an option for future children."
e) "I wanted to puke at all the misinformation and NCB bullshit."

The thing is that responses A-C are what 90 percent of the responses to that particular documentary are. Response D is also fairly rare (I'd say maybe 1 percent of women) and Response E only occurs among those who are skeptical enough to look for more information on birth and its risks.

What is dangerous is that the BOBB effect might be causing higher-risk women to push for non-interventionist births even when a more "hands-on" approach is safer for themselves and their babies. This might not be such a big deal in Canada where the regulations around midwives and their qualifications are pretty tight - but it might be in places like the US where regulations are more lax. I also wonder if it causes women to actively eschew tests that might demonstrate that they are higher risk, for fear of losing their preferred birth experience.

If there is a BOBB effect at work - it's not good - as at the end of the day babies and moms might be making some bad decisions when it comes to accessing appropriate care. Those bad decisions might lead to something far worse than an "unneccessarian" - a preventable death or a life-long disability.

It's time for the "Beyond Reason: The Religion of Being Born" to be produced - the anti-BOBB is needed, now more than ever.

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