Cascade of Intervention
When we look across the history of human civilization, today in the West we are truly blessed to live in countries where maternal/neonatal deaths from Childbirth have never been so low – yet women have never been so scared of Labor, which let’s remember is a normal life event.
During Labour, anxious fear produces Adrenaline which inhibits the Oxytocin of contractions, so the woman’s cervical dilatation can drag on for hours.
…Leading to the need for spinal anesthesia.
…But the epidural reduces the frequency, length and strength of her natural contractions.
…Leading to the need for Oxytocin drip augmentation to force her uterus to contract.
…But with her epidural-induced inability for hours upon hours to mobilize naturally into forward-leading positions, eventually the fetus deflects its head.
…Leading to an obstructed descent needing an Emergency C-Section.
…And/orthe epidural-induced lengthened labour exhausts her Babe.
…Leading to fetal distress requiring an Emergency C-Section.
…But before an Obstructed Descent or Fetal Distress is declared, if her cervix does actually manage to dilatate completely, enabling her to begin actively pushing to birth her baby, then the epidural-induced reduction to her natural urge of a sensation to push, then typically this leads to the need for an assisted Instrumental Delivery (forceps/ventouse with episiotomy).
Collectively this all what is known on Birthing Suite as the “Cascade of Intervention”.
Cascade of Normalcy
As Midwives we all know, when Women proactively protect their own innate “Cascade of Normalcy” then nearly every time a spontaneous Natural Labour concludes as a spontaneous Normal Birth.
That’s a fact.
Gaia (Mother Nature) ain’t stupid girlfriend! She’s been doing this for a loonnngggg time!
Science knows, when a healthy normal woman with a healthy normal baby, spontaneously goes into natural labour and declines an epidural, thenboth maternal and neonatal morbidity rates are dramatically improved due to substantially fewer obstetric emergencies, specifically less:
- Instrumental deliveries
- Surgical deliveries
- Maternal hemorrhaging
- Low neonatal APGAR scores
- Neonatal respiratory distress & resus interventions
- Postpartum infections (maternal & neonatal)
- Maternal postnatal depression
This information is no secret.
I call it the “Cascade of Normalcy”.
And on the truly rare occasions a spontaneous natural labour of a healthy normal mother with a healthy normal fetus becomes medically complex requiring an obstetric delivery, the situation tends to slowly declare itself over a few hours as a suspected failure-to-progress (cervical dilatation or fetal descent) or increasing fetal heart-beat baseline (baby beginning to show subtle signs of fatigue). You see, these days, with access to modern antenatal care (ultrasounds, blood screens, hypertension checks etc), those unforeseeable “bells & whistles” traumatic and dramatic obstetric Birth emergencies nearly always only occur for a known high-risk Labour, ie pre-existing perinatal complexities requiring obstetric intervention (eg Inductions), or an Epidural (yes, just the use of spinal anesthesia for pain-management changes the Labour from low-risk to high-risk, thus requiring continuous fetal heartbeat monitoring and one-to-one midwifery care).
So, what’s the hack to change the persistently high C-Section rates?
Without ANY doubt, I believe the biggest contributing reason to the insane “Cascade of Intervention” rates today in Hospital Delivery Units, is the expectant Mothers-to-be possessing TOO LITTLE wise knowledge around Childbirth, resulting in her desire to opt for an Epidural, without fully understanding the impact it will have to her Labour, to the Birth, to her Body (longer-term) – and most importantly of all, to the state of her Baby’s wellness at its birth.
That is why low-risk healthy women are statistically far safer laboring in local Birth Centres (where there is no access to an Anaesthetist to site an Epidural). Instead the women cope (oftentimes stunningly I might add). They line-up all their ducks-in-a-row with the ‘layered’ use of multiple naturopathic support, such as cervical preparation herbalism, classical homeopathy, water hydrotherapy (pool), essential-oil aromatherapy, active mobilization, TENS hire, and hypnobirthing meditation, to collectively beautifully manage their contraction pain – which commonly, routinely, results in a beautiful normal birth with a wonderful at-peace content Newborn … almost ‘purring’ if they could (truly, I’ve seen it hundreds of times).
But how? Seriously how the heck?? Simple! Just from advanced antenatal education.
Routine childbirth education produces routine childbirth outcomes – that’s been demonstrated for decades. But enhance the Education, then we enhance the Outcomes.
The Carousel would like to thank Kathy Fray for this article.
Birth and Baby Whisperer Kathy Fray
Kathy is a senior Midwife who has been a best-selling birth/babies/motherhood Author since 2005. With a history of attracting a generally older and complex caseload who statistically should result in less than half having a normal birth experience, Kathy is a pioneer of Advance Antenatal Education resulting in 85% of her Client’s labours concluding as vaginal births … women empowering themselves, with Kathy’s help, to experience the “most extraordinary birth they can imagine”, including high Breastfeeding success rates, thriving well-sleeping Babes, and almost no maternal Postnatal Depression.
Kathy is also managing director of www.MothersWise.com, and an award-winning international private virtual Maternity Consultant, and the global thought-leader on Perinatal Integrative Medicine as founding director of the IIMHCO (Intl Integrative Maternity HeathCare Org) and their Natural Maternity Health symposiums.