Monday, August 22, 2011


Link Discovered Between Maternal IV Fluids And Newborns' Weight Loss

Very interesting. This study indicates that mothers who receive IV fluids during labor often end up with infants that are “overhydrated,” who then need to do extra work to “regulate” their bodily fluids in the first 24 hours of life. Since the babies are born swollen from the excess liquid, they weigh more than they otherwise would, and when they are brought back a few days later for their postpartum check-up, medical professionals are surprised to find that the babies are weighing in at less than they did at birth.

As if it weren't bad enough that we are forcing our babies to have to use their precious life-force energy on metabolic processes that would otherwise be unnecessary if not for technological interventions, this entire iatrogenically-induced situation trickles down into the lie that women are not producing enough milk (or are doing something wrong) and that they are at fault for their babies weight loss.

Never once in this article is there a mention that we might want to reconsider whether the use of IV fluids at birth is OK.

Let's be more gentle on our mamas and babies. Avoid the use of IV's in labor whenever possible.

Here are some more good reasons to avoid the use of IV's during labor:

- Allowing medical professionals to insert an IV during labor subconsciously means we are prepared to accept drugs during labor, are willing to forego the freedom to eat and drink as we please, fear that our bodies might not work properly, and believe that we need a lifeline to the hospital. As Robbie Davis-Floyd so eloquently put it:
"The intravenous drips commonly attached to the hands or arms of birthing women make a powerful symbolic statement: they are umbilical cords to the hospital. The cord connecting her body to the fluid-filled bottle places the woman in the same relation to the hospital as the baby in her womb is to her. By making her dependent on the institution for her life, the IV conveys to her one of the most profound messages of her initiation experience: in American society, we are all dependent on institutions for our lives. The message is even more compelling in her case, for she is the real giver of life. Society and its institutions cannot exist unless women give birth, yet the birthing woman in the hospital is shown, not that she gives life, but rather that the institution does."
The Rituals of American Hospital Birth

- the insertion of an IV can be the beginning of a cascade of technological interventions that will undermine the mother's (and baby's) ability to have a positive and love-filled birth experience.

- the introduction of an IV during labor can ultimately end up restricting the birthing mother's ability to move freely, making it difficult for her to get into positions which will help her baby get born.

- restriction of movement often leads to longer and more difficult labors.

- restriction of movement can lead to increased pain during contractions which leads to women asking for pain relief.

- all forms of pain relief will undermine the mother's ability to feel her own body, and therefore undermine her ability to help her baby get born. This can leave the baby feeling abandoned and unable to get proper support from his/her mother, and can leave the mother feeling completely disempowered and out of control of her own birth.

- all forms of pain relief will undermine the production of the natural hormones and neurochemicals of birth (such as oxytocin and beta-endorphins). These natural hormones not only bring enormous pain relief, but are also necessary for proper bonding, breastfeeding, and the production of the neurobiology of love at birth. If the natural hormones of love and well-being are not released during labor and birth, the neurobiology of grief activates instead and leads to postpartum depression.

Isn't it better to keep it safe and avoid the use of IV's during labor?