Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Home Births. They honestly make me mad.

The title says it all. I think allowing anyone to have a home birth these days is an utterly ridiculous concept. Midwife assisted or not, to me, it's simply too risky.

Okay, okay - I know I've already pissed off many people. But it's my opinion. If you are one of the people who got pissed off, think of it this way - you think it's ridiculous so many women have hospital births, right? Well, I feel the exact same way, we're just opposite. One of those "I'll have my opinion, you have yours."

But this is my space to rant and rave if I want to, so I'm going to throw down my opinion.

I understand there is way too much medical intervention with births now. Most women just have too much interference, c-sections, etc. But ... it's their choice. They could have gone to a birthing center and requested a natural birth with the assistance of positioning, water, walking, whatever. Just because it's a hospital doesn't mean you will be strapped down to a board to allow the medical staff do whatever they want to you.

I also understand how a home birth can be the most personal experience ever. You are totally in charge. You can birth your own child into a bathtub. You can play music and light candles and bring your baby into the world however you want to. I definitely see the magic in this situation. And it's something you really just can't get at most hospitals. I get this. I do.

What I do not get is why anyone would put their child are risk. For the purpose of this post, I did a bit of research and looked into some professional medical studies. These are random stats I pulled from medical sources, so I am not saying these are the be-all-end-all statistics. But for sake of what I'm talking about, it's good enough.

Note: I was very careful to not use any statistics from "pro home birth" or "anti home birth" groups, because their data is skewed. For instance - one pro home birth group mentioned more babies died during birth by a physician than a midwife. But what's not taken into account is high risk babies are usually not delivered by midwives, and have been referred to a physician from the beginning. Midwives tend to deliver mostly healthy, low risk pregnancies, so this is always something to think about when looking at pro-anything sites and statistics.

~ Women who gave birth at home had fewer procedures, inductions, epidurals, drugs, episiotomies and c-sections than the women in hospitals. (um, "duh"?)
~ There are 40% more complications for unassisted births.
~ .025% of babies die during (or immediately after) birth at hospitals.
~ .125% of babies die during (or immediate after) home births.

Did you catch the last 2 statistics? FIVE times more babies die from childbirth at home than in the hospital. In googling, I was appalled how many babies died from drowning at home water births. There were pages and pages of results. Then there were the cord issues and baby getting stuck in birth canal and breech babies dying during delivery. These are all normal risks any woman takes when giving birth, but the bottom line is - it is usually caught faster. And if something has to be done, like an immediate c-section where you have only 2 minutes to get the baby out alive, being ~in~ a hospital is going to give you that chance of getting your baby out alive.

I understand the risk of fetal demise during birth is low. With numbers like .025% and .125%, the chances you'll have a live baby are 99.975% and 99.875% respectively. Personally, I just couldn't chance it.

How could I live with myself if my baby died from a result of wanting a home birth? In one of the
results I read from my google search on home birth references, I read that in choosing home birth, one of the prerequisites is having a partnership strong enough to be able to live through fetal demise without blame in the process or one another. Wow. But it makes sense. If your baby dies at the hospital, you are probably going to be full of blame at the hospital and/or staff. But if your baby dies from a home birth, you are not going to have anyone to blame but one another, so this particular home birth group discusses this before hand. Quite smart actually.

I do feel compassion for the women who want to have their own birthing experience. I do get how so much is taken away from the experience when at a hospital. Even if you have a strict birthing plan, docs and nurses do tend to push for all kinds of medical things. The only way you can ensure you will be listened to 100% is to have a birth away from these people, which then you are risking your baby's life. Ugh. I guess I would just try to go to a birthing center where the rooms try to give you the feel of home. No medical type beds. No medical equipment. It tries to imitate what your own home would feel like, allowing you to bring in anything necessary. The problem is these types of centers are not available everywhere.

For those choosing a home birth despite the risks, I say good luck. 99.875% of you will have a newborn in your arms after having the perfect birth experience, which is the experience ~you~ got to choose. I just wish .125% of you won't have to fall into the other side of the statistics. The unfortunate truth is there will be a group who will end up empty handed. 1% of all births in the US are home births. With about 4,000,000 births every year, home births account for 40,000 births. 50 of these babies will die. If these 40,000 babies were born in a hospital, 10 babies would have died. 40 mothers would have been able to bring their babies home instead of making funeral arrangements.

What I am about to say doesn't really fit into my post here, since I'm focusing on a the risk of fetal demise instead of delving into all the reasons why a mother would want to have a home birth. But when I discussed this topic on the "pregnancy after infertility" website yesterday, this 'argument' was brought up. When speaking of unassisted childbirth, "women have been giving birth without a hospital since the beginning of time" has been used as a reason. True. But did you know the infant mortality rate in 1800 was 50%? And the maternal death rate was 1%? In 1900, the infant mortality rate was down to 30% and the maternal mortality rate was .9%. Today, the risk of dying at birth is .025% for the 99% of hospital births and .125% for home births. And the maternal death rate is .0011%. Why do you think this is? Because we continue to do the things we did at the beginning of time? Or maybe it's because of medical advances. Hrm, I just don't know what answer is the right one.

43 comments:

Jewels said...

I like the hospital, I like being catered too. Not that all staff are catering, but I still like it.
And I totally agree that if something went wrong, I wouldn’t want to lose my baby because of a 10 min drive to the hospital when I only had 2 minutes to save his/her life. It's too risky for me also.

jenn said...

I don't even want to chance laboring at home for ~too~ long... I like being monitored & having someone who has done this many times before there. That being said- I can see how nice it would be to have your ideal candles & music & whatever you want kind of experience. But for me- having experienced the life-saving qualities of being in the hospital first hand- I'll trade it for an ipod & asking to dim the lights & walk around as much as possible...

Elana Kahn said...

I agree with you 100%. Even though I live just about a mile from the hospital, there's no way I'd even consider birthing at home (twins or single). I love the staff at my hospital and I'm hoping to have a doula, so that'll make it as "homey" as I need.

the mol said...

Personally, I'd never want a home birth because I am worried about the risks, just in case something goes wrong.

But have I explained how I'm not a big fan of statistics? I'll do it again if you like but I don't want to bore your readers with my pathetic life. So I guess if x number of people have successful home births and healthy babies, then good for them, and I'm glad it all worked out.

missing_one said...

I used to think it was "just not for me", but then after my baby died, I think "hell no!" It's risky enough. I did everything right, was in the process of having a normal labor, and my baby still died, so what does that tell you?

Stupid. Why take unnecessary risk?
And the thing that gets me is that people are advocating it!!!

nancy said...

Elana, you could live next door to the hospital and it would be too late if the baby got stuck in the birth canal and stopped getting it's blood supply. You got seconds to get him out. With a home birth, you probably didn't have a monitor on and you wouldn't even know the baby stopped receiving it's oxygen flow through the blood. It's not about how close you are - it's about how well you are being monitored.

AJ said...

Since I haven't had any kids I can't really put in a valued opinion but I think that I would rather be in a hospital/birthing center. It's safer and they can do WAY more if there are complications.

My hair stylist labored at home for as long as she could manage and then went to the hospital. Her big thing was that she wanted to do it naturally, without any drugs. Her water broke while she was in the shower and her contractions went sky high pain-wise. That's when she finally said "ok, take me to the hospital". She then got mad at her hubby for not driving fast enough :0)

She did it without any pain-meds or other meds and was fine. That's not the same as a home birth right? Sorry, I am ignorant!

nancy said...

AJ - no, that's simply laboring at home in which I plan to do too. A home birth is having the baby (delivering) at home.

Jason and Samantha said...

Did you watch that special on National Geo about women who had unassisted births, and barely any pre-natal care?! I was yelling at the TV.

NO thanks. My birth at the hospital was wonderful. They respected all my wishes, let me be in charge (mostly), and let me walk even with my blood pressure being crazy. It took us so long to get pregnant, I wanted her to have the best care possible.

My only regret was that I wanted to labor at home longer, but my contractions were 2 minutes apart an hour after my water broke.. so again, didn't want to risk birthing at home.

~*JaYmE*~ said...

I couldnt agree w/you more. I would personally never even think about it.

Cate said...

I'm a big hospital fan, Lex may not have ever come out if I had done a home birth (labor stalled at 6cm even with pitocin). I can see the allure of being at home but it's really not for me and it's not even the whole needing medical assistance it's the clean up afterward lol.

Poltzie said...

Had I have choosen a home birth I would not have a baby right now. Home birth is too risky!

I do feel for those who want a midwife or doula though. Where I live midwifes or doulas are not covered (only provence in Canada - richest one too, hmm) so if you want one you are going to pay about $3000.00. It's hard to justify when the hospital alternative is free.

As for a birthing centre, you must pay an extra $500.00 (and water birth is only offered in the birth centres in Alberta). And because you must have a midwife to labour in the birth centre you are looking at a minimum of $3500.00.

It's especially frustrating because if you live in another provence you can have a midwife for free and you have a better chance at water birth.

Also, all the hospital's in our city, limit your birth support to two people (usually your partner and one other person) - no exceptions. And you are only allowed to have the baby's grandparents and siblings visit while you are in the hospital.

There are limited private rooms and you can't reserve them so it's luck of the draw. I got a roomate and she sucked ass. It was a long night and so I asked to get out early because I was so tired - big mistake.

So yeah, I could see why home birth is so popular in Alberta but I still think it's way too dangerous!

ps. Sorry about the long comment!

WISHING...HOPING...and PRAYING said...

i agree with you a million percent. with my first pregnancy, my doctor told me that that there was only a 1% chance i would end up with a csection. i was effaced and dilating and the baby was low and positioned properly. everything looked great. after 13 hours of labor-they noticed i was having "bendels rings" (not sure if i spelled it right) very rare, but an indication that the uterus is struggling and a rupture could have happened had i continued. so...i had an emergency c section and all as fine. with baby number 2-although it was a planned c section-thank goodness i was in a hospital since my son was born with pnuemonia. he seemed fine, but after further monitoring that may not have happened, they realized he was not getting enough oxygen! i could never understand how anyone would take the risk of a home birth!

Jendeis said...

I guess coming from the other point of view...John Dear and I would like to have a homebirth if at all possible. Let me repeat that: if at all possible. Not, we're having a homebirth no matter what.

The important thing is that you do lots of research and choose what you feel comfortable with AND what makes the most medical sense.

I am not like my SIL who is much like a religious fanatic when it comes to homebirth. She refuses to consider any other possibilities. I am pro-education and pro-birthchoice.

MrsSpock said...

I just wanted to make a distinction between homebirth, which is usually assisted by a midwife, though her training and backup can vary, and an unassisted birth, which sounds exactly what it is- where you have no help and catch your own baby at home. One is far more risky than the other.

I am just as pro-choice when it comes to birth as when it comes to birth control, IF treatment, and abortion. I've been an OB nurse as well, so I have a different perspective.

The routines of your birth in the hospital have more to do with cost efficiency measures by the hospital, lawsuit outcomes, and the very time-constrained practices of OBs than with evidence-based practice. There are plenty of women who want to avoid this experience, and more power to them.

Of course, these same women find it hard to believe that many, like yourself, feel safer in a hospital environment. They take a paternalistic approach and say that you women just must not be educated enough. What a crock.

I considered a homebirth and chose not to have one. Only one in my area was a nurse-midwife, and the rest were just "lay midwives", who followed another like themselves around to learn the skills. This is not sufficient training for me. Yes, I'm prejudiced in favor of another nurse, who would have a Master's degree, and enough OB experience to be able to identify both the normal and abnormal. They should also have relationships with a local hospital and an OB, to refer patients to, because not everyone will remain low-risk.

Having resusitated many adults, I did not trust that someone who has only done IV sticks on a dummy's arm would be able to cannulate my vein if I hemmorhaged (which I actually did with my son), or be able to properly go through with coding a baby after just taking an NRP class once a few years ago (my son needed mild resusitation himself).

Homebirths assisted by a qualified midwife, with low-risk women, do have outcomes comparable to low-risk women delivering in a hospital. Ina May Gaskin has kept stats since the 1970s, and they are fantastic. Although now and then she will do a VBAC, a twin birth, and even breech births (it is a skill that is dying out), most of her clients are low risk. She refers others to an OB. She is an EMT as well, and carries oxygen and a few meds- and every homebirth midwife does not necessarily use or have access to these things.

My research on waterbirths turned up mostly positive literature, and one negative one from the AAP, that cites 4 near-drownings, and called for more research. I planned on a waterbirth at my birth center in my hospital (Level III NICU down the hall, high-risk OB unit). My OB has done them for years with no adverse outcomes. They aren't for everyone though.And they will not let you waterbirth if there is any meconium. Some lay midwives have also been known to delay bringing the child out of the water, and I suspect that practice may have poorer outcomes.

For some comparison, I will say that if you had a cord prolapse during a homebirth, which requires an emergency ceasarian, the time it takes to ride in the squad, get to the OR, and make the first cut might be 30 minutes. At many local community hospitals, an anesthesiologist is only there M-F from 6A-6P. All other times, your decision to incision time will be the same as a homebirth- 30 minutes. You have to wait for them to drive to the hospital and scrub up. There is nothing they can do other than move you to your left side, hold the baby off the cord manually, bolus IV fluids, and give oxygen- something a skilled midwife and a squad could do as well.

It is in the larger hospitals, like mine, where that decision to incision time is 7 minutes or even less.

When perusing the literature, you also have to understand that the women who choose homebirth also usually choose not to have ultrasounds, glucose tolerance tests, monthly urine screens, and other screening tools that might catch a fetal anomoly or other problem.

I chose a hospital birthing center with J, and will probably attempt a VBAC- in the hospital-next time. Maybe.

My great-grandma had 15 homebirths - and the first 3 were stillborn or died shortly after birth.

Jennifer said...

I would be WAY to scared to do it at home. I like Drs. and nurses to check and make sure all is okay.

A lady I know said for her 4th (I think it was 4th...she has 8 now) child she just had the baby at home and DH delivered her. She said she lived far from the hospital and didn't think she'd make it anyway, so she just did it at home and went to the hospital sometime afterward. She even stayed home for awhile after the baby was born! Not me...I'd have called an ambulance.

admin said...

I just found out that an old friend delivered an 11 pound 3 oz. boy at home - and it was a VBAC! Talk about crazy! I hear you.

I think a lot of times it has to do with what we have gone through to get to the end of a pregnancy.

nancy said...

I just wanted to add - there are MANY pros to homebirths. It's just that none of them make up for the higher risk of fetal demise.

Like MrsSpock pointed out - many things are the same between homebirth and hospital birth. And many nurse midwives are trained and some carry meds/oxygen and can do most anything the hosp can do. I simply want to be somewhere that would be the most equipped if the worst happened. Hell, that choice even came in play when I chose where to have my baby here.

With Ella, only one of the main hospitals here had a fancy birth center where it was un-hospital like. I really liked that. But it was the other hospital that had a higher ranked NICU. I chose the better NICU over the experience "just in case".

areyoukiddingme said...

My friend had a home birth for her second child, because the hospital experience with her first was so completely horrible (she's a control freak and they gave her no control and plenty of orders). She did have a doctor there at the birth. Her daughter was not breathing when she came out, but was fine inside of a minute. I think she was crazy to do it, and she's going to do it again for her third this spring. I was invited to attend...don't know if I'll do it yet.

I, however, was pretty sure I'd be in labor for 24 hours before needing a c-section. So, my water broke, I had no contractions that weren't pitocin induced, I stayed at 7 cm for about 8 hours and never went beyond. 25 hours after my water started breaking, I had a c-section. I also had good nurses (with a couple exceptions).

On top of everything else (leaving aside the safety considerations), I can't imagine having to clean up after the extremely messy process of giving birth.

theclam said...

Good post Nancy. Not having been in the position to make this choice as yet myself, I can't state an opinion.

But your "arguement" makes perfect sense to me.

xxx

Geohde said...

Yep. Yep. yep. I could talk in a similar way about vbacs, but I don't want to hijack your comments section....

J

eden said...

I would have loved a homebirth. I live in the Blue Mountains, which is very well known for it's "alternative" people, so homebirth is alive and well up here.

There's no, no way I would ever risk it, though. I actually follow a blog where the (wonderful) woman had a homebirth, but ended up with an emergency c-section, and her baby died. She now hates homebirths, and would give anything to do it all over and make different choices.

xo

Seriously? - Erin said...

I am using midwives, and by that I mean Certified Nurse Midwives. Nurses that did graduate work (in both their cases) for women's health. Still everyone asks, oh your not having a home birth or anything like that. Um? No. I will labor at home until they tell me to head to the hospital where I will have doctors there just in case.

I totally agree with you, it's just not worth the risk...

Cara said...

"Would you like me to take the baby to the nursery for a few hours so you can get some sleep?"

THAT doesn't happen at home and let me tell you...I LOVE that part of the hospital gig. I know - bonding and all - we did but wow without sleep I am a totally unrecognizable person!

Mareike said...

I can't imagine choosing a home birth. There are far too many things that can go wrong. I had three children and all of my labors and deliveries were easy. I was very relaxed but only because I knew that if there were any problems I had the best chance of delivering a healthy baby by being in a hospital where medical intervention was close at hand.
One should know how to be a self-advocate. When I was in labor with my first child (31 years ago) I was doing just fine but a nurse kept coming in to offer me demerol. I said, "No thanks." At one point she said, "Yawr the one whose sufferin honey." I wasn't "sufferin" and she was annoying but I was glad to be where I was.
My second child was born 8 minutes after I arrived at the hospital. When I was moved directly to the delivery room a nurse was about to put an IV in. I said, What!!?? Now!!?? I just needed to push a baby out. My doctor told her not to do it.

Sarah R said...

I definitely feel more comfortable in a hospital too. That said, there are some things I can take from my first experience and know that I'd do them differently this time around.

#1. I'm at home laboring most of the day. Contractions 5 minutes apart from 5am until 10am, then they were 3 minutes apart. Around 11 am, I call the hospital and tell them they are 3 mins. apart. They told me ahead of time that that is the time to go in to the hospital, when they're 3-5 minutes apart. The nurse thought I was having BH contrax (hello, I'm not an idiot. I know the difference). She has me take a bath and drink some water. A few hours later, I'm on the phone with my mom and the contractions are 2-3 mins. apart and she's like, "You need to go in now. That's how I was right before I delivered.". So we just go in. They monitor me and send me home stating that I will definitely be back later, but home will be a more relaxing environment to further dilate (I was at a 3 and 100% effaced I believe). Fine with me. I wasn't home for an hour when I felt a gush and thought that my water had broken. But it wasn't my water. It was blood. It was gushing out. I call the nurse and she acts like it's just bloody show. "Just relax". Um, I'm bleeding like a stuck pig, like a very heavy period. We decide just to go in. Docter All-Knowing states that it's "just from dilating". I go to the bathroom and pass clots upon clots. Hmmm. Dilating. (AT MY CHECK-UP LAST WEEK, I ASK THE NURSE WHAT THIS COULD HAVE BEEN. MOST LIKELY THE PLACENTA WAS DETACHING FROM THE UTERINE WALL. LUCKILY, THEY HAD ANDREW ON A MONITOR, OTHERWISE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY SERIOUS, OBVIOUSLY). So, in this case, I wish they had looked into it a little more.

#2). The epidural. After 20 hours of labor, I give in to the epi. I'm only dilated to a 5 and geez louise, I have to get to a 10 and THEN push? I freaked. The epi goes in and pretty soon I am numb up to my neck. Not good! They're elevating my upper body (the 2 nurses) in an attempt to get the juice to stay down--I'll call it "juice" for lack of a better word). Later, I learn that it's pretty dangerous that the epi was so strong, despite them turning it down twice.

So, I learned two things. One, question everything and trust your gut (I knew the blood meant more than what it was; thankfully things turned out good for both Andrew and me). Two, no more epidurals for me!

Shinejil said...

Before I started down the wonderful IF treatment road, I was Ms. Hippy-Natural-Birth-Midwife-Rainbows-and-Granola. My mom, who had some complications with me, was adamantly against it. Now, ironically, I wouldn't even consider home birth.

Though I do hope to labor at home. Friends in the medical professions have told me that unnecessary interventions often result from women coming to the hospital too soon. This, oddly enough, tends to slow labor down significantly (again, I'm no expert, just repeating what nurses and PAs have told me).

I've already been through too much to risk losing a child. That would be far, far worse for my mental (and thus physical) health than any epidural, c-section, etc I might face at a hospital.

Secret Pop Star said...

Nancy, I personally am a hard core supporter of letting professionals do what they are trained to do. I don't color or cut my own hair, I don't try to fix my car, I don't do my own plumbing Etc. I recently watched a documentary called "the business of being born" with ricki lake. It really made me understand the "other" side better, but home birth is definetly not for me! It was a good documentary with a somewhat surprise ending. I would be interested in knowing your thoughts on it!

Tammy said...

Well, I have been blessed with a mother who is a labor and delivery nurse. And she has 25+ years experience with labor and delivery and neonatal care.

Her advise to all thre of us girls is, epidural, edipural, epidural... lol

Honestly though, I know through her stories all the things that can go wrong and I would have a birthing center birth over a home birth any day. BUT... I can't really say that my opinion matters since I have yet to even have a child. :o)

amazingk8 said...

Skirting the larger issue of what is 'better' (a totally subjective concept anyways), when asked if I had considered a home birth I immediately had visions of my seconds old child covered from head to toe in cat and dog hair. Because there is just too much pet hair in our house to ever hope to get it all up. I don't know why, but I just don't want my newborn daughter to have a dog hair stuck in her mouth for the very first feeding of her life - so its the hospital hands down. I guess sometimes our decisions are more pragmatic than principled.

Motel Manager said...

I participate on a message board where the people tend to be pretty pro-homebirth, which is pretty opposite from me. After all the IF BS, I am probably too interventionist, but I am an assertive, informed patient who thinks that I have a good bit of control over how I am treated, and what tends to make me angriest about the comments on the board is that so many are kneejerk responses to ANY situation that imply that all that OBs and nurses want to do is strap you to the bed and force you to have a c/s so that their insurance premiums don't go up, whereas only midwives and doulas have your interests at heart. I think this is a load of crap since I think ALL of those people (OBs, nurses, midwives, doulas) went into their lines of work in part because they wanted to help people.

I can definitely see the appeal of a homebirth, but I agree with you that some advocates of this route conveniently forget that childbirth used to be a very perilous proposition for all involved. I have the same issue with people on the above-referenced board who claim that 100% of women can exclusively breastfeed. Um, no. Some of us are endocrinological freaks. In the old days, babies starved, or someone else in your family or tribe would nurse the baby. Not everything can be solved by laboring at home or breastfeeding your baby every two hours. Things go wrong, even though your body is supposed to be able to do everything. I also have to wear contacts and had to have antibiotics all the time as a youth because of my frequent ear infections. Other people have to take statins or insulin or avoid salt or wear hearing aids. The body doesn't do everything right.

Blah blah blah. Getting off my soapbox now....

jenn said...

So- this is totally not the place for this- but I don't have a phone at the moment & will call you the second I do! I got your package today & I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!!!! The outfit is totally not a boyish outfit- but then again I don't think it's too girly either! Tom really likes it, but he is concerned with the amount of pink in the toys, lol! I think they are just so sweet & perfect & I am honored that you are sharing your girls' favorite toys with us! I love you Nancy!

Okay- off to battle with the phone store yet again... I'll be back to you soon!

Baby Keeper said...

Interesting post and comments. I appreciate hearing the thinking of so many who can appreciate why women would choose homebirth but would not for themselves. I appreciate the respectful discussion.

Common theme seems to be "not wanting to take the risk" with understanding that one will experience unwanted, even unnecessary interventions.

I believe we need to have a standard of care in maternal health care.

I believe that neither home nor hospital birth, that neither doctor , nurse, nor midwife are safEST.

I believe that what will create truly safe birth is when parents and caregivers see that the baby is fully aware being, and is experiencing and remembering birth. (Recorded in brain as there is no moment of time in which experience is not recorded).

While it is denied, especially by those in obstetrics, and because they have to change their systems and protocols, it remains scientifically founded. The change it creates is really simple -- we just realize that EVERYTHING done to a woman and baby can be done with regard for them, can be done with awareness, respect and regard, even if medically necessary, ESPECIALLY if medically necessary. BUT, If the intervention is NOT necessary and it is done without regard for the experience of the baby, it has great potential for harming the baby. Hospital caregivers do much of what they do for reasons other than the need of the mother and baby -- that is commonly known. They do so because obstetrics does not have a standard of care -- a standard that is the consistent from state to state, hospital to hospital, doctor to doctor, and nurse to nurse.

Many things are done "in case" even when their own literature shows it should not be done, ie., suctioning for "meconium risk". Their own research shows that it is does not alter the incidence of meconium aspiration, yet babies are suctioned in case, even though it is rare. This is just one example of poor, faulty, inconsistent standards of care. When we consider what the baby needs .... we can look at hospital and homebirth care and create a system that respects the sentience of the human baby.

That is the purpose of my film, "The Other Side of the Glass: Finally, A Birth Film for Fathers"
and this is a link to the Youtube trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVf4rzam0Xo
I hope you'll check it out.

Thanks. Happy New Year!
Janel

Not in the Water said...

Hey unrelated to your post but I wanted to tell you that when the doc did the hysteroscopy he took out the septum...So hopefully the IUI will work this time and I will get past 6 weeks.

Karyn with a Y said...

Birth is risky enough, why add to it. It's not worth it to me. I didn't want a c-section the first time but I DID want a health baby. My OB knows best, so I did what he suggested.

JamieD said...

I am also with the majority here. I am a nervous wreck in general, I couldn't imagine putting my baby at ANY potential risk without a full team of professionals on stand-by. And, being a nurse myself, fully support job security for other nurses!

Steph said...

Home birth--no way. Not for me. I've had 2 scary deliveries that needed immediate medical intervention, one resulting in an emergency c-section.

No thanks. I'd rather be at the hospital and be 'uncomfortable' and 'intruded upon' than be 'comfortable' at home and risk my baby's life or my life. JMHO.

Steph
stephs_3_kidz

Heather said...

My cousin is due at the end of January, and she'll be using a birth center with a small staff of midwives. She's glad, though, that this birth center (in Denver) is literally right across the street from the hospital, so if things go south, in seconds she'll be at the hospital. If I do manage to achieve pregnancy this year, oh yeah, I'll be at the hospital...no home birth for sure. Too risky. Great post.

docgrumbles said...

I am very anti-home birth. When people try to tell me it is the way women did it for centuries and it is more "natural" I point out that for centuries women dying in childbirth was a very common and pretty much "natural" event. Now, since people don't die in childbirth that often, people take it for granted that the birth will be risk-free. Birth is frickin' DANGEROUS - I want medical professionals and life-saving equipment on hand!

Rachel said...

I have had 2 babies, and can't imagine going thru the birth process without the security of life saving people and equipment present. (not to mention pain medication, very handy when a rather large boy's head gets stuck!)
After having a low birthweight daughter who was blue when she came out, and a son who needed emergency surgery at 2 days, there's no way I'd risk trying this at home! If I'd been so foolish, both of my babies would have died.

And after 3 miscarriages, months of clomid, trigger shots, IUI's, an HSG test, follicle checks, thousands of dollars and other various debacles, there's NO WAY I would risk ANYTHING!!!

Sugar and Ice said...

I couldn't agree more!

Kaci said...

I'm late but just trying to catch up. Statistics aside, what I can't imagine about a home birth is cleaning up the mess. Shallow but honest.

I was pissed with "hospital policy" when Scarlett was born so am determined not to deliver there again, and hopefully find a hospital with more flexible policy, or better yet, a birth center. Unfortunately my insurance won't pay the ~$3000 for a birth center but will cover 100% an OB and hospital stay. ::eyeroll:: Yeah I can pay the $3000 but it pisses me off.

sacredandscarred said...

I am simply for choice. If you don't want a homebirth, don't have one. If you don't want a c/s without medical reason, don't have one. But there HAS to be choice, and informed choice at that. And it'd be great if those choice were able to be free from financial and geographical biases as well, but unfortunately that does play a part.

I do not think it's right for anyone to tell any birthing woman how she is "allowed" to birth.

If I was to have another baby I would absolutely consider a HBAC if my intuition led me that way.

You've got to be careful with statistics. Do the deaths include babies born prior to term and unintentionally at home? Were there other factors? Etc etc etc.