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Does GMO soy impact pregnant women and their baby? Nobody gives credit to the placenta: oh, the politics of childbirth

April 29, 2009
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According to a recent post on Midwifery Today, a midwife in Indonesia says that since women have started eating GMO soy, she has noticed an increase in retained placentas, posing a hazard of increased blood loss when the placenta fails to come loose and allow the uterus to begin cramping down to quench the blood flow.  It’s a scary proposition for laboring women to have the problem with retained placenta.

For those of you with no idea how this may happen, the placenta grows in the uterus to support the baby.  When the baby is born, the placenta should come loose from the uterus to allow the uterus to begin to cramp and contract to stop blood from flowing out of the mother’s body.  As the uterus shrinks (called afterbirth contractions, and they are very powerful), the blood flow is minimized and this prevents hemorrhage.  If the placenta does not come off the uterine wall, the blood continues to flow from the uterus, and some women with retained placenta have lost so much blood that they necessitated a hysterectomy to save their lives.

I am not up for much fear-mongering regarding childbirth, because I think our culture promotes a ridiculous level of fear of body systems at all levels, and women can be prosecuted here in the US for making a birth choice a doctor doesn’t agree with,  but if eating GMO soy impacts placentas, how would it impact the babies?

Not much credit is given to a placenta, or the uterus, unless they are really needed to support a baby, but we can’t do without either one to produce a child.  This necessity, even with modern medicine seems to, by definition reinforce the value of these organs, but why is no one paying attention?  In order to promote our species,  at the most basic level, we need women and their healthy placentas and uteri.  In a country where roughly 90% of hysterectomies are unnecessary, I am not surprised that not many are paying attention to the uterus, but we must if we are to continue to have healthy babies and healthy moms.

Of the approximately 750,000 hysterectomies performed each year, 90 percent are unnecessary, writes Goldberg in Alternative Medicine, making the removal of a woman’s uterus one of the most commonly performed unnecessary surgeries. And the risk that comes with an unwarranted hysterectomy is high. “Each year 750,000 hysterectomies are performed and 2,500 women die during the operation. These are not sick women, but healthy women who go into the hospital and do not come out,” says Dr. Herbert Goldfarb, a gynecologist and assistant clinical professor at New York University’s School of Medicine, in Null’s Woman’s Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing.

Especially in developing countries, the survival rates for infants go way down with the death of their mothers.  Respecting the mothers seems second nature, except in a culture where people have determined that women are no more than what their uterus can produce, and mothering is expected, not respected.  So C-sections would become more prevalent, we should introduce our US medical system on these societies?  Every friend of mine who has had a C-section says it was “necessary,” but statistics don’t support this notion:

Women are also frequently subjected to Caesarean sections they don’t really need. With an estimated 920,000 Cesarean births performed each year, the Cesarean has become the “most common major surgery in America” and it is four times more likely a woman will give birth via cesarean section today than it was in 1970,

I don’t think we have changed that much since 1970, and in fact, women have been having fewer and fewer children, so why the increase in surgery?  Researchers say women are the most vulnerable to unnecessary surgeries, and I can’t help but think it’s a result of the male medical model living in fear of women’s bodies and not respecting them for what they can do.  Every aspect of unnecessary surgery has to do with our sexual organs, our vaginas, our uterus, our breasts.  You can’t argue that is not a form of medical aggression with those types of statistics–why the uterus and not the arm?

Women are also at special risk for receiving unwarranted surgeries because of the results of a mammogram, since the high rate of false positives in mammography often leads to invasive procedures. Women who do not even have cancer to begin with are treated for breast cancer, Goldberg writes. That’s right: These women’s bodies are carved up and altered and they aren’t even sick. So why does this happen?

Why does it happen?  I would argue an assault on women’s sexuality and their bodies, back to vagina medicine (for those of you who are new to this, the only women’s medicine specialties around include those related to the vagina, no women’s cardiac or orthopedic centers).  Others say it’s related to hospital and medical profits, which I can’t deny when you can see what benefits doctors have for doing surgery: increased revenue. Think that can’t happen?  Well, it already has!
One extreme case involving a doctor knowingly reaping the financial benefits of unnecessary surgeries occurred in California, where an ophthalmologist managed to bill Medicare $46 million over four years for unwarranted operations he performed on his patients. “According to the government, he created a ‘surgery mill,’ in which he falsified patient records to justify numerous unnecessary cataract and eyelid operations. In addition to this wholesale theft, he put his patients through unneeded pain and worry,” writes Gross. It is also important to note in all of this that unnecessary surgery is not considered medical malpractice, according to Rondberg in Under the Influence of Modern Medicine, which makes it even more important for patients to protect themselves by looking into all possible avenues before going under the knife.

Even in the face of good medical evidence, more complications, higher rates of mothers and babies dying, the medical onslaught of unnecessary hysterectomies and C-sections continues, which I see growing every wider with GMO soy-induced complications.  The people who will suffer will be the women.  Guess we won’t see any fast action on this until the men lose some sperm counts or  have deformed testicles.

Why do people put up with this?  The following quote offers an explanation:

If you imagine for a moment being knocked out, sliced open and having a part of your body removed for no logical reason, it sounds more like a nightmare than a visit to the hospital. But that’s what is happening to millions in American hospitals every year. We are having organs and body parts removed without reason, and for what? Why are we so willing to give our bodies over to a person wielding a very sharp knife and some very strong drugs? Maybe it’s because we trust that our doctors will do what is best for us, since, after all, we don’t have the medical training they do

I think it’s all fear-mongering, and our future societies will look back on our current medical system and compare it to blood-letting, which ironically enough is what happens during surgery.  GMO soy, retained placentas, and increased C-sections, when will the placenta gets some respect?

GMO Soy producers get the Asshole Business Award of the week.  (Next week’s award goes to medical doctors who perform unnecessary surgeries.)

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