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GMOs May Be Killing Our Babies: The Voice of the Midwives

Posted Feb 15 2012 12:00am
Hey y'all,


I'm writing this blog post with a very heavy heart. A couple of nights ago, I saw an article come through the Natural News.com feed on Facebook. I write for Natural News, and am an affiliate there. The article was so shocking that I burst into tears. A midwife from Indonesia, "Mother Robin" Lim, was telling the world that GMOs are killing our babies. Our human babies. I used to be a lay midwife, so I understood every word Mother Robin said. Today I want to write a response to that article, from both the perspective of a former midwife and a mother who has had five home births and two all-natural, midwife-assisted births in the hospital or birthing center. I will warn anyone who has a sensitive stomach that there are images on this post for education purposes that may be a little bit much to take. But I think my readers need to know what this midwife is talking about. GMOs may be killing our babies.


Here is a link to the original article on the Salem-News.com article, GMO Foods and the Damage to Human Babies, Placentas, and Umbilical Cords , by Om Shanti, Ibu Robin Lim. No copyright infringement is intended by re-posting most this article with my inserts and comments. I am going to put my comments in blue so you can see them better.




Short umbilical cords causing strife.
Shorter umbilical cords are being tied to consumption of GMO food.
Shorter umbilical cords- tied to consumption of GMO food. The problem stems worldwide now through U.S. businesses.
(JAKARTA) - I am writing from Indonesia, the country who got GMO soy first... 

This is Mother Robin writing. In 1995, Monsanto introduced "Roundup ready" genetically modified soybeans to the agricultural market. I have blogged about GMO foods and grains on BNHT before, in Roundup and Roundup Ready Foods Are Causing Reproductive Issues in Humans and . In 1997, only 8% of all soy crops were GMO. According to the 2010 National Agricultural Statistics Board report, 93% of all U.S. soy crops in 2010 were Monsanto's GMO soy. 
...[I}n 2008 Bumi Sehat Bali received 573 babies. We saw an increase in retained placentas....
This was about ten years after the introduction of GMO soy to the international market. 
The placenta is the "afterbirth" after a mother delivers a baby. It looks like a large piece of calf's liver when delivered. The umbilical cord is attached at one end to the baby's navel, called the umbilicus, and to the placenta at the other end. The placenta is what nourishes the fetus while it is inside the mother's womb. The mother's nutrient-rich blood goes through the placenta, down the umbilical cord, and directly into the baby through two arteries. The used fetal blood then travels back up the umbilical cord through a vein to mix with the mother's blood in the placenta.
 This is a healthy placenta, seen from the baby's side- image by Skeptic North

This is what a healthy placenta looks like from the mother's side where it attached to the uterus- image by Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE of About.com  A "retained placenta" means that the placenta does not detach on its own after the birth. Normally, a placenta will be delivered on its own in about twenty minutes or less with one or two good contractions from the mother's uterus. A retained placenta is a complication that every midwife is trained how to identify and correct, but midwives know that this is not normal and not healthy.
...Also I am seeing an increase in velamentous cord insertion....
Look at the first of the two images I provided. See how the cord is right smack in the middle of the placenta and there are some really nice, healthy blood vessels radiating out of it? This is what we want to see. This is good.
Now look at this image of a velamentous cord insertion:
See how the cord is attached way over at the edge of the placenta? This has real potential danger, as you will soon see- image by Vasaprevia.org

...One would expect given the rate of malnourishment here - ....


We do have to keep in mind that Mother Robin's birth clinic does see a lot of malnourished mothers, and that this does play a factor in birth outcome. However, the midwives there have been delivering babies at the clinic for years, and these placenta and cord complications are statistically "new."


...that the birthing women would use every bit of Qi to push out their babies (and we go so gently) - leaving little or not much Qi for releasing the placenta and involution....


She's saying it takes a tremendous amount of energy and patience to deliver a baby naturally, and even more effort is required of a mother who is malnourished.


...However, in 2008 and so far in 2009 we have seen many too many 'sticky' placentas,...


Mother Robin originally wrote this in 2009. A sticky placenta is the nickname for a retained placenta.


 ...two [mothers] even had to be transported...


...to a hospital, because the midwives knew these were real medical emergencies requiring an obstetrician.


... (we do manual removal...


 ...of the placenta by either pulling on the cord or going up inside the mother to tear the placenta off the wall of the uterus- this is *never* something a midwife wants to do.


... on site when absolutely necessary - but 2 really had to go in, one for a hysterectomy, in another - Dr. Weda gama [sic] nearly took her into surgery... but was able to remove the placenta (over 1 liter blood loss!)....


The alternative to hysterectomy would have been the death of the mother in these cases. The second mother lost a quart of blood. This is the real danger with retained placentas- "bleeding out," or hemorrhaging to death.


...In the last 6 weeks of 2008 I had to go after [manually remove from inside the mother] 4 placentas!!! It was not pretty, and I do not take it lightly. (usually never more than 1 per year)...
She's saying she had to save these mother's lives in very high risk situations. This is extremely abnormal for midwives to see, and they never want to have to resort to this kind of action. A midwife never attends a birth if she sees a complication during prenatal care she knows she could not handle. These placenta problems she has been witnessing have come as a great, alarming surprise.
...Also most shocking is the empirical experience ( I have no research to prove it) of seeing an increase of velamentous umbilical cord insertion and short cords....
A normal umbilical cord is 60-70cm (about 2 feet) long at birth, according to Yale University School of Medicine.  A short cord indicates that the baby has not been very active in the uterus, and may have a lowered IQ or motor abnormalities. If the cord is too short, the baby will not be able to be delivered vaginally.
...Two weeks ago we had Padma, a vegetarian for 15 + years... third baby died the week before birth - from what was diagnosed as a cord accident. This 4th baby was born healthy... but the cord was flat and 4 to 5 cm wide (looked like a tape worm) and had five skinny vulnerable vessels arriving each separately to the placenta!!!....


A flat cord means there is not nearly enough Wharton's jelly in it. A normal umbilical cord looks like an old fashioned white telephone cord with blue cords inside. Wharton's jelly protects the fetal arteries inside the cord. A loss of Wharton's jelly is usually seen (extremely rarely in midwife assisted births) down at the baby's side. But she is saying this cord was not only flat, but the blood vessels weren't even contained in the cord where they were attached to the placenta side. I think she is also saying that instead of the normal three blood vessels in an umbilical cord, there were five. She is using exclamation points for good reason!


... I am seeing a decrease in Wharton's jelly among all our babies....
This is not good at all. The umbilical cords are too thin and too short.
...Last week a young mom lost her baby in labor... suddenly FHT went from 150 to zero exactly 15 minutes between listening times... there was no dipping or drop in heart tones, but we were concerned as they had gone up to 160 and once above... but easily stabilized with position change of mother. We had no time to transport before infant demise.....


Midwives are trained to check the fetal heart tones (FHT) every fifteen minutes in a normal labor. They will listen continuously if they detect a problem. FHT's are the first "alert" that the baby is in distress during labor. A baby's normal heart rate is 140 beats per minute. It's usually slightly lower for boys and higher for girls. The top high range of normal is 160. The base low range of normal is 120. She's saying the midwives were keeping a close watch on this baby's FHT's because they went too high twice earlier in the labor. But, changing the mother's position got them back down to normal. This is routine procedure. But she's also saying the FHTs were 150 (normal for a girl) 15 minutes before at the last check, and the baby had flat-lined at the next check, with no real warning. 


...Five hours later a lovely baby girl was born dead.... The cord was less than 30 cm [a foot] long and had been pulled too hard as it was wrapped tightly around her foot....

I cannot imagine the devastation.

Yesterday evening we had a 2nd time mom come in,very poor and malnourished. On arrival FHT were above 160, [above normal signalling fetal distress] she was 9 cm,...


 ...in transition- when the cervix, the neck of the uterus,  is stretched out to 10 cm the mother can push the baby out.


...but nothing we did to try to stabilize baby worked... and when we got up to 188 and climbing (that is with O2 support! and hands and knees) we transported... 


She knew this baby was coming fast, and by this time she had had enough bad experience to know this was a life-threatening situation. They had to have been working fast with all they had to get the pressure off the cord and giving the mother oxygen.


...stat cesarean, baby was very weak low apgars...


 The Apgar scores are a standard newborn assessment of a newborn's health at one and five minutes.


... but she has come around and my staff midwife has gotten her out of hospital nursery and onto breast. This baby would not have survived our normal hands-off gentle birth. Saved by O2, a doppler and cesarean - is this the kind of drama the placentas want now????


She's saying that normal, all natural birth is gentle and sacred. This high drama, emergency cesarean birth is anything but normal, yet she is seeing an alarming increase of this kind of birth. 

...Cords are shorter. We don't cut them for a minimum of 3 hours at Bumi Sehat and many families choose lotus birth...


Lotus birth is where the parents decide not to cut the cord at all, and place the placenta in a basket or blanket next to the baby until the umbilical cord falls off at one week or so after the baby is born.


...so we hang out with the cords a long time. Last week our midwife Ayu had to cut a cord after birth of head, as the body would not follow, it was that short a nuchal cord... she had never had to do this before in her life as a midwife!.... This morning Dita having her second baby was stuck at 9 cm [10 cm is complete] (with crazy transient but strong intermittent urge to push) from 7 pm to next morning at 8:30 she finally got complete....

Eleven and a half hours of transition labor? It usually takes a lot less than an hour for a cervix to stretch from 9 to 10cm.


...After hands and knees with butt up, moxa Kidney 1 [an acupuncture or reflexology-type move] and pulsatilla [an herb to induce contractions] to dis-engage baby from pelvis and then elephant walking stairs to bring him down right...


The baby had cephalopelvic disproportion at the angle his head was fitting into the pelvis and he couldn't get through. They had to back him out of the pelvis and then re-position him during the brief intervals between intensely painful uterine contractions. This was why it took so long.
.... we had had strange bleeding in first stage [first stage is the labor stage before pushing], but baby remained strong and stable, mom also was quite well through the long labor - but I was spooked to speed this up in any way... just wanted the cord to stretch gently.... 
That strange bleeding plus the long transition, plus all the recent cord issues alerted her that there might be a problem "behind" the head. Her "midwife's intuition" told her not to rush the birth, even though she had red flags.
...20 minutes before the birth FHT were suddenly absent.[No heartbeat] Hands and knees, O2 and slowly slowly, he came back. [Compressed cord] Now Dita was really urging to get her baby out. He was most stabile when she squatted, but this was not our preffered [sic] gentle birth... Dita did it (we had not time to transport - I actually considered episiotomy - imagine,...
An episiotomy is a surgical cut made between the base of the vagina down toward the rectum. This is routinely done to hurry the birth and avoid deep tears in obstetrics but is almost "never" done in midwifery. Every midwife worth her salt prides herself on her ability to keep a mother's perineum intact and deliver a baby without so much as a nick.
... and had ready a quiwi to vacuum him out!!!)
This is emergency obstetrics, not the arena of a midwife! This is certainly nowhere near a gentle, natural birth.
...our 3.6 kilo [eight pounds] Baby boy's cord was short, just about 40 cm. velamentous insertion... AGAIN. Yet another.....
...Last week we had a five babies in a 12 hour night... two had velamentous cord insertions! It's just not average anymore. In five days time I saw one fatal cord accident, another cord problem leading to stat cesarean birth, and today another incident of deep fetal distress due to cord problems. BTW - none of these three were nuchal cords [cords wrapped around the baby's neck], just short and velamentous.....

...We really don't want GMO foods, or anything, i.e. environmental pollutants etc. to make changes in placentas. It would be shattering. As I see it we have Three combined potential ways in which the placentas are being affected in Indonesia ; Malnutrition, Pollution (including Roundup) and GMO soy. We can also add to that economic and emotional stress, which taxes pregnant women's vitamin and mineral stores, add to that increased cortisol, which Dr. Odent has proven impairs brain development in fetus. I hope I am wrong....

First published by  Birth of a New Earth


I hope she is, too. Do you?


Please support Ibu (Mother) Robun Lim and her non-profit work in Indonesia by "liking" her on Facebook.



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