That's Not How Science Works

Perhaps you are mistaken.

As Safe As Life Gets?

Maybe someone can help me with the grammar here. “Birth is as safe as life gets” means that birth is equivalent in safety to the safest aspect of life. I always thought that was ignorance squared.

If you want to make an argument that birth is not especially dangerous, excluding those who don’t count (high-risk), as long as you “trust birth” and/or some lady who calls herself a midwife. You won’t find any factual support for that position, but it’s a well-formed idea.

Saying that birth has no additional danger as compared to the safest of your other experiences is just messed-up. It doesn’t even bother to exclude women for whom birth is especially risky or those with known or preexisting conditions. Barring some preexisting condition or extenuating circumstances that makes other aspects of life more dangerous, birth is as dangerous as life gets.*


*I’m waiting to hear back from my mother on the grammar situation. I would link to my parents super-awesome freelance journalism/public relations business, but I haven’t told them about this blog.


Everything true doesn’t need to be said

Everything true doesn’t need to be said. File that in the bulging folder called “things I thought I made up”.

Here’s the extended quote:

Everything true doesn’t need to be said

Everything said doesn’t need to be repeated

Everything repeated doesn’t need to be written down

-Almost certainly from R. Israel Salanter,* a man of high standards and powerful ideas. I wish I could remember where I learned it.

Ok, ok. Fair question. What makes me bring this up? Dr. Amy recently posted another (!) homebirth/CPM death. This particular woman had experienced a few close calls in previous homebirth attempts. The mother was known to argue on message boards on the side of Natural Childbirth Activism, referencing such “chiropractors with a stethoscope”** as Dr. Marsden Wagner.

I’m frustrated with the need many posters have to explicitly blame the mother.

Before anyone dares compare me to a Screencapper Mother, this is all posted on the open Internet. It’s from 12/5/2011, and every word is there. Because I know how truth works.


What do you think?

*I saw many R. Salanter related places during my whirlwind tour of Kaliningrad, Russia, and Vilnius, Lithuania.

** I’m pretty sure that one is all mine.


Is the US episiotomy rate really 65%-95%?


No. Of course not.

Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE and editor at pregnancy & childbirth says it is.  “Depending on parity, ” she clarifies. I’m going to say that it depends more on time travel.

Episiotomy rates* are at 12% of vaginal births, nationwide.
As c-sections have increased episiotomies and use of forceps has decreased.
When she quotes a rate of 65%-95%, it must be a mistake. Also, there is a handy list of sources at the bottom. The paper that she quoted that got accidentally left off the list is from1989. Maybe that’s where the stats came from?

I really wouldn’t care that much, but this is quote all over the internet. Everywhere!

*from 2008, the most recently available data

The Enemy of Your Enemy… Thinks You Are Both Wrong -or- Complex Issues for Simple People

Let’s say, for example, that I’m an anteater.

As an anteater, I strongly disagree with aardvarks. I think that aardvarks are wrong about what this forest really needs. I think everyone should stop listening to aardvarks, despite the prestige bestowed upon them by starting with a double vowel. Aardvarks are fools.

Aardvarks are blind followers of Owls. If the aardvarks would only stop acting the owl way, and return to the ways of the ant-eater, everything would be better for the forest. Anteaters are the keepers of true wisdom, says this anteater. Obviously. Go Anteaters! Down with Aardvarks and their Owly ways!

Wait! What’s this? A book? The owls have, apparently, published a book excoriating everything Ant-eater (bigots!).  Owls wouldn’t know the write way to be in a forest if it….wait! stop the presses! Breaking news! Owls also think aardvarks are fools. Aha! In your face aardvarks! The owls think you are fools.

I’m going to sponsor reading all over the forest so everyone can absorb the wisdom of the Owl. Except about that other stuff. No matter. What’s important is that everyone knows that the owls do not like aardvarks. The details are immaterial.We can sort out the whole anteater/owl relationship later. DOWN WITH AARDVAKS!!

Now will you act like an anteater?


Ok, this is a dorky parable because I’m in a rush.

I’ll say it out because it’s too opaque :

Party A and Party B don’t like each other

Party B used to associate with Party C, but they have their differences.

Party C doesn’t even know about Party A.

Here’s the stupid rhetorical move, quoting all of Party C’s issues with Party B

It’s such a crazy position! It’s like GW Bush Picking on Bill Clinton using rhetoric from Obama. It’s crazy pants. They may have their differences, but both think you are totally off-base. If GW Bush doesn’t respect Obama, what does it mean to use his arguments to discredit Clinton. Just insane.


Overheard in Nursing School

Overheard at nursing school:

Student nurse A:”Formula is #$%&.”

Student nurse B: “Yeah. Formula should be illegal.”

If these ladies had been 19, I would have let it pass. Everyone has a right to be a teenager. Feel like a zealot. Think in extremes. Be inflexible. Just, go for it. It’s part of the maturation process. But, they looked around 28-29  years old and they were poised to be in a position to influence others’ healthcare decisions. I had to say something:

Know-it-all-student nurse C: “No. Formula is food. A 24oz. baby can be bottle fed infant formula grow into a healthy adult. It works amazingly well. Formula is a blessing. Just because it’s not first choice for uncomplicated families does not make it garbage*. It’s food for babies with sick mothers, mothers who have survived cancer, have a hormonal imbalance or babies who have allergies or endocrine disorders. Most people can breastfeed, many cannot. It’s a blessing that those babies get to grow up.”

Student nurse B: “Yeah. I just meant that women shouldn’t just choose to bottle feed instead of breastfeeding.”

Know-it-all-student nurse:  “It’s really hard to know what’s going on in someone’s body or family situation just by looking at them.”

Student nurse B: “I guess…” Turns back to Student Nurse A…

Student nurse A: “When I have a baby, I’m having a home-birth. Epidurals can give your baby learning disabilities.”

I looked down at my papers and went back to studying.

*My mother’s anti-swearing indoctrination won’t let me repeat a four-letter-word to a couple of strangers– and the growing number of eavesdroppers.

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