Ilia Blandina – Book Journeys Author Interview – Apr. 6, 2017
On this episode of Book Journeys, Vice President for The Author Incubator, Jenn McRobbie, interviews Ilia Blandina, author of Give Birth a Chance: How to Prepare for an Empowered VBAC.
Ilia was a practicing nurse and midwife who assisted at some five thousand deliveries and did most of her practicing in South Florida. As a nurse, she needed to follow certain hospital rules that didn’t make sense for her, such as needing to do a vaginal exam on an expecting mother every two hours. She also experienced being on the receiving end of a protest by midwives who were protesting against the hospital that she had then been working on. Granted, as a nurse, Ilia saw the point of view of hospitals and doctors, in that they feared being sued for malpractice, particularly by people who wanted the “perfect” birth, but it was the consumer report statistic of South Florida having 68% of its childbirths done by Caesarean that was one of the reasons why she wrote Give Birth a Chance. According to Ilia, the rate of Caesarean births in the United States is 32%, and the recommended World Health Organization rate is 15%, which indicates that far too many women in the United States are undergoing Caesarean operations.
VBAC stands for “vaginal birth after Caesarean,” and Ilia notes that she, herself, gave birth that say, as her third child was delivered via Caesarean and her fourth was delivered naturally. She remarked that some hospitals ban VBAC and addressed concerns about the uterus rupturing, if a woman decides to do a VBAC, by saying that, if the uterus ruptures along the scar tissue due to a previous Caesarean, there will be very little bleeding that will actually take place. She also notes that the chances for a uterus breaking during VBAC is actually as great as if a woman underwent vaginal birth for her first time ever, with the chance being one in 1,400. Ilia also remarks that a uterus rupturing during a first-time birth will also be bloodier and messier, due to the presence of so many blood vessels in the ruptured area.
Ilia also noted that, in the same way spas give their clients water unnecessarily, hospitals also give their patients unnecessary tests. She then gave the example of amniocentesis, which is used to determine fetal infections, chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus and also gender, and notes that the test is one which is routinely done. She also notes that the chance of getting an infection from such a test is somewhere between one in two hundred and one in four hundred, which is a lot higher than the possibility of a uterus rupturing.
Ilia remarks that women should trust their bodies when giving birth, pointing out that generations of women prior to them have done so, and that we humans are around today. She also notes that doing a Caesarean gets in the way of the immune system’s normal functioning, and is glad for the most recent ACOs pronouncements regarding childbirth, one of which is to leave an expectant mother alone if she is okay and another stating that hospitals should give expecting mothers one-on-one care.
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