Penny Simkin alerted me of a new marketing for Ultrasound in childbirth. TrigMed has developed a concept for viewing labor progress -and adding yet another wire, or two or three, depending on use, with their LaborPro devise.
TrigMed's LaborPro... My fascia is fluttering and my muscles feel mushy. What a weird experience to feel that we have stepped into a science fiction future.
Well, if it weren't so loud and probably dangerous to the baby I'd have no problem with this (Dr. Sarah Buckley; Dr Pasko Rakic).
If we join the argument about how nice it would be to avoid uncomfortable and inaccurate vaginal exams, How do we trade the baby's wellbeing for the mother's comfort?
but then if gravity weren't so persuasive I'd simply jump down from high buildings to save having to go down the steps. The side effects of ease
may not be as desirable as the intention.
Will the benefits be worth it?
If the hospitals can afford one, and if it is easy enough for the average provider and nurse to learn to use it accurately, then we are going to see these in labor rooms.
Consider the possible uses,
"Hard data" to justify cesareans and other interventions
- From Lack of descent
- OP, whether justified or simply present
- OT, same, whether in transverse arrest or simply facing a hip during a lull in labor
- When the baby's head is in Extension (chin up)
- By Remote viewing of fetal flexion, presentation, position, and descent by a doctor or nurse in a centralized location
Already I get emails from Spain, Italy and the Eastern US from women saying, "My doctor says my baby is OP and I should schedule a cesarean." - !
The good thing will be
- Learn the Cardinal movements better
- Learn about the Immediacy and efficiency of various techniques at various stations
- Avoid internal exams (or will they want to check to verify and increase skills?)
- Possibly distinguish whether baby's head is stuck in the pelvis; actually doesn't fit; or is simply waiting to rotate, waiting for flexion, or doing the necessary moulding?
- Achieve Remote viewing of fetal flexion, presentation, position, and descent in areas where experienced or expert providers can't get to easily
Dang, who's got one of these toys and how do I get to play ?
I so wish they weren't harmful. I'm so sad about that.
Women and babies are going to be exposed to this technology because they already are! Home and hospital providers use ultrasound in electronic fetal monitoring, doppler, and visual scans. This isn't new technology, its simply a new marketing strategy to have the technology sold in a new way that requires a new purchase for the promised uses.
We in the physiological birth movement need to get jump in, gravity be damned, and be an ethical voice to move things towards solutions rather than more confusion. We have to talk about the "right use" of this (actually) invasive sound wave technology to make it non-routine and as an aid towards maternal position changes and choices, allowing more time in labor, and reassuring mothers and staff about the normalcy of childbirth.
I'd love to consider your comments for a future post on this development.