So much for leaving this blog alone...
Another of our dear friends had a baby this week. (I'd say we congratulate about a family every other week on a new baby... seems we're in that season of life) Yet again, though, as I eagerly clicked through the pictures of the new family, I noticed the sweet baby's head was misshapen (an example from internet, above). The tale-tale sign of a vacuum assisted delivery.
Surely this cannot be healthy for our babies. Yet, EVERY baby I know of that was born vaginally, with an epidural, is sucked out of it's mother with a vacuum device. I can't think of one of the 20 babies born to our friends (again, in the instance of epidural anaesthesia) in the last year who didn't have this procedure. Counter that with the 5 babies I know of born naturally this past year who all were born without a vacuum procedure. I recognize the is completely anecdotal evidence, but it's our true observation.
Not to mention, our own experience as well, my epidural birth was vacuum assisted and my natural birth was not. You can't have a "normal" birth if you get an epidural. You can't FEEL how to push. Not to mention - in my experience - you can seriously injure your body trying to push but not feeling the injury you are inflicting on your body due to the numbness.
I know many women who say, oh I could feel the baby coming out, "I could FEEL" with my epidural. Good for you, did you have a vacuum assisted delivery? I'm betting you did.
I have tried to find information on the current rate of the procedure in live births, but , in so doing, came across this article published by the FDA in 2009. The article gives a stern warning about the vacuum procedure and the increased incidence of complications between 1989 and 1995. I can only imagine the data if they had continued the study through 2009. I'll keep looking for that info and get back to you as I learn more. But for now... natural birth was a much happier and, we felt, safer experience for our family.
and, I'll bet you'll look a little closer at the heads of those sweet little babes now :)