TMC Delivers

To the Editor,

I have once again read an article that touts the glory of midwife delivery and the evils of hospital birth ("The Unkindest Cut," June 6). For Diane Daly to insinuate that mothers have no say in how their course of birth happens at a hospital is simply ridiculous.

I happen to be part of the labor and delivery staff at Tucson Medical Center and a mother who has had three of her own midwife-assisted deliveries. Why don't these women who are concerned come and take a look? TMC offers tours to all interested mothers-to-be by a labor and delivery staff member. But getting back to Ms. Daly: She is only instilling more fear into these mothers who are not sure what is going to happen.

I want to set the record straight. The staff at TMC embraces diversity and we love our midwives. We do everything in our power to provide an atmosphere conducive to the type of birth the mother had planned on. No, we do not deliver in our rather large bath tubs, but we do allow the mother to labor in them for quite some time. Our mothers are not strapped to the bed and hooked up to all the "gadgets" with no say whatsoever. Our birth center mothers, as with all our mothers, are treated with respect. We talk to our moms all through the labor process, which is in four stages, culminating in the transfer of the mom and baby to a private room for her entire postpartum period. At TMC we try to provide continuum of care, meaning that the same nurses attempt to be with the same patient throughout her entire labor process.

Ms. Daly is completely wrong in saying that we "completely lose the mom behind all the large equipment." The largest piece of equipment is in fact the bed. Want to use a birthing ball or squat bar? We've got 'em. Want a mirror to see what is going on? Got that too. Want to deliver without any epidural or episiotomy? Done. Why all the negative, scary misinformation? We are a safe alternative to a home delivery. If something went wrong at home the mother would have to call an ambulance, wait for it to get there, be transported, admitted, etc. ... which unfortunately could result in some not so pretty results. Are these mothers so selfish that they would risk their child's life to deliver without a physician in the area? I don't think so.

The birth center closed for several reasons and of course we in the labor and delivery field feel horrible about it. Some of our staff members as well as physicians have delivered at the birth center. But Ms. Daly is incorrect in stating that the physicians at TMC or anywhere else perform cesarean sections for sheer profit. That is the most blatant lie that is being spread by this group of women. TMC has a higher than average C-section rate for one reason only. We are staffed by a group of perinatologists at Obstetrix, who specialize in high-risk prenatal care. These are the mothers who have problems and know early on in their pregnancies that a C-section is a possibility. We do not encourage a C-section unless the baby is in real distress or the mother is as well. Why would we want to do more than we have to? It is more of a risk for the mother as well as the baby. Babies need to be squeezed through the birth canal to facilitate respiratory effort, and obviously in a C-section that is not going to happen. Our perinatologists are top doctors in their field--the best. You couldn't be safer with their level of expertise. In fact, prior to the birth center closing, the midwives delivered at TMC for the moms who chose to do so, and our perinatologists are in house 24/7 and always backed up the midwives when asked.

To all those expectant mothers to be ... try TMC, come for a tour, talk to the staff, see our facilities, check our delivery rooms, meet the doctors. We want what you want: A healthy baby.

--Hollie A. Calabrese, L.P.N.
TMC Staff Member and mother of 3

And Still Champion

To the Editor,

I saw where that blowhard Danehy used his beloved basketball to take another shot at PeTA. But then that reminded me of something.

He's always bragging about how his teams go undefeated every season. But he hasn't mentioned a thing about this past season. Does that mean that his team didn't do well or did he finally run out of schools from which to get fired? It's just like a jerk to boast when things go well and then clam up when things don't.

--James Crawford

Editor's note: Danehy coached the junior varsity girls' team at Green Fields Country Day School this past season. His team went 14-0.


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