Marsden Wagner

Marsden Wagner, MD, was a perinatologist and perinatal epidemiologist from California. He was Regional Officer for Maternal and Child Health in the European Regional office of the World Health Organization for 15 years. He raised four children as a single father. Marsden was an outspoken supporter of midwifery, speaking at Midwifery Today conferences and contributing numerous articles to Midwifery Today magazine (see below). Marsden passed away in April 2014 at the age of 84. His books, Born in the USA, Creating Your Birth Plan, and Pursuing the Birth Machine, are invaluable for anyone involved in birth.

Choose & Lose: Promoting Cesareans and Other Invasive Interventions

After more than a decade of trying to bring down the number of c-sections, some obstetricians are now reversing themselves and promoting more of them. In fact, a growing number of American obstetricians now urge women to “choose” a cesarean even when there is no medical indication that they need one. Read more…. Choose & Lose: Promoting Cesareans and Other Invasive Interventions

La Partería Global – Tradicional y Oficial – y la Humanización del Nacimiento

Hasta hace 200 años toda la atención del nacimiento en el mundo era humanizada ya que era brindada por parteras que mantenían a la mujer en el centro, y en general, respetaban la naturaleza y la cultura. Read more…. La Partería Global – Tradicional y Oficial – y la Humanización del Nacimiento

Global Midwifery and the Humanization of Birth

Prior to 200 years ago, all birth care around the world was humanized as it was attended by midwives, kept the woman in the center, and in general, respected nature and culture.
Then came the technological age after World War II. If we can put a man on the moon, surely we can also have perfect birth. So without any scientific data to justify such a move, childbirth was moved to hospitals with doctors and machines and drugs. Midwives were marginalized, with no role for women or family, and birth became medicalized.

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 Read more…. Global Midwifery and the Humanization of Birth

Global Midwifery—Traditional and Official—and Humanization of Birth

Throughout history, women (midwives) have been in communities for other women to turn to for support with women’s concerns—not just reproductive health care, but also issues such as spousal abuse. Read more…. Global Midwifery—Traditional and Official—and Humanization of Birth

Midwifery and International Maternity Care

We Americans are consumed with the need to believe that we are number one. But here’s a wrenching fact: 41 countries have better infant mortality rates than the US. Read more…. Midwifery and International Maternity Care

Adverse Events Following Misoprostol Induction of Labor

Off-label use of misoprostol (Cytotec) for labor induction has been steadily increasing for 10 years, even though this use is approved neither by the U.S. [FDA], other national drug regulatory agencies, the pharmaceutical industry, the Cochrane Library nor a number of national obstetric organizations Read more…. Adverse Events Following Misoprostol Induction of Labor

Cytotec Induction and Off-Label Use

Without adequate testing of Cytotec (misoprostol) for labor induction, obstetricians simply began to use it on their birthing women. They were taking advantage of a huge loophole in our drug regulatory system. Read more…. Cytotec Induction and Off-Label Use

Cytotec Induction And Off-Label Use

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today, Issue 67, Autumn 2006.Join Midwifery Today Online Membership Without adequate testing of Cytotec (misoprostol) for labor induction, obstetricians simply began to use it on their birthing women. They were taking advantage of a huge loophole in our drug regulatory system. Once a drug is approved by the FDA for a specific medical indication and put on the market, there is absolutely nothing to prevent any doctor from using that drug for any indication, in any dose, for any patient he or she chooses. Since the label of the drug contains the indications approved by the FDA, this is called “off-label” use of a drug. When obstetricians using Cytotec induction are confronted about their willingness to use a drug “off-label,” they inevitably answer: “We use drugs off-label all the time.” There are several serious problems with this answer. First, in reality, using Cytotec for induction is not “off-label” at all—it is “on-label contraindicated.” On the Cytotec label it is explicitly written that this drug is contraindicated for use on pregnant women. Contraindication would not be on the label unless data exist suggesting possible serious risks from such use. “On-label contraindicated” is a whole different level of risk-taking than a use that is not mentioned one way or the other on the label. A second reason to be concerned with the offhand answer of some obstetricians is that all off-label use is lumped together as though there were equal risks involved. During a case I was involved in, I asked the obstetrician about the off-label use of Cytotec for labor induction. He replied with the same answer that I have heard from so many clinicians: “We use Cytotec off-label for induction just like we use other drugs off-label all the time.” Compare this… Read more…. Cytotec Induction And Off-Label Use

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 Read more…. Cytotec Induction And Off-Label Use

Midwives and Cytotec: A True Story

When the obstetrician said he would use Cytotec, the woman and her husband said they expected he would use prostaglandin gel but he said that he now uses Cytotec, as it is ‘more modern and reliable.’ They were not told Cytotec is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this purpose… Read more…. Midwives and Cytotec: A True Story

Choosing Caesarean Section

…why not allow women the option to choose [caesarean section]? Unfortunately, the option to choose (or demand) is not that simple. CS, even when elective, carries serious risks for mother and baby. Read more…. Choosing Caesarean Section

Technology in Birth: First Do No Harm

Cesarean section can save the life of the mother or her baby. Cesarean section can also kill a mother or her baby. How can this be? Read more…. Technology in Birth: First Do No Harm

Misoprostol: More on the dangers of Cytotec

Of 170 women given misoprostol (Cytotec) for induction with VBAC, eight have lost their uterus and two lost a baby as well, according to the combined data of two articles published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Read more…. Misoprostol: More on the dangers of Cytotec

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