Friday, August 20, 2010

Home births

Robin mentioned home birthing in her comment to my last post. It is one of those things I also feel strongly about.

I get why people want homebirths but it is another one of those things that are risky. Sure, most of the time they go off without a hitch but why would people risk something happenening? If I had Karl at home, I would have died. No ifs ands or buts. I would have bled to death and I would have left three children without a mother.

What do you think of home births?


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29 comments:

Jen said...

Personally I wouldn't want to risk a home birth. #1 turned into a c section (but not an emergency one) and #2 was a planned section and I had developed HELLP by the time the day I arrived anyhow. I get why people want them. It just isn't for me.

I would like for the nurses to just leave me alone at night in the hospital so I could get some freakin' sleep though!

jenn said...

I wish my birth could have been a little different- I wanted to be able to walk around & help the babes move down naturally- could have prevented a hard hard 3 solid hours of pushing (not labor!)but I definitely was grateful I was where I was. There was no hint of meconium until I delivered her & she had inhaled some- being able to have her taken care of in less than minutes by highly skilled and trained professionals was worth every second of discomfort or disappointment in not having a more 'natural' birth style for me. I get why people crave less medical intervention, but for me the risks of the unknown are just not worth it!

~*JaYmE*~ said...

I wouldn't risk it. No way in hell.

Jendeis said...

I've done a lot of reading into home births, and JD and I were considering having a home birth with this one. Ultimately, we decided that it wasn't for us. (We've been working with an OB, but are looking to switch to a hospital-based midwifery practice now).

I think that home birth can work for people though, provided that you've had a relatively uneventful pregnancy (that is, you and the baby are not dealing with any known problems), that you are working with a skilled and experienced care provider and that you are making an informed choice.

Christie said...

i had 2 textbook pregnancies. 2 very perfect healthy little girls. #3 was a totally different story. after a very routine 34 wk appt, i was in the hospital the next day because she wasn't moving much. i was never so grateful to have doctors & being monitored as closely as i was because she was an emergency csection. my 3lb 12 oz peanut had stopped growing in utero and not even my OB knew it because her pregnancy had progressed much as the 1st 2 did. had i not gone to the hospital, she would've been stillborn. i'm grateful every day that she survived. i understand the need for wanting less intervention and having more choices for yourself. i just don't understand why people would not want a hospital for the 'what if's' alone! my 4th had breathing trouble right after his birth & was intubated right away. could a midwife at home of done that or would i of lost him on the drive to a hospital? the potential answers to those questions are too scary for me to even consider taking the risk.

ssbean said...

Homebirths are NOT for me, never have been and never will be. My first was a c-sect, this 2nd will likely be an attempt to VBAC, but if there are anymore, I will not be doing a homebirth. I am not an advocate against homebirthing, it's just not for me with the risk.

Anonymous said...

i had a homebirth. best exprience of my life.

you never would have attempted to have karl at home if you were a homebirthing woman. you were a high risk pregnancy and just because healthy, low risk pregnant woman understand that it is statistically safer to birth outside of the hospital setting, hospitals DO have there place. such as in your case. so glad it was there for you and karl.

Kelly said...

I wouldn't/couldn't do it. I couldn't live with the guilt if something happened to my baby that could have been prevented if I was at a hospital. Just not for me.

projectkjetil said...

I wanted a hospital birth and got one. The day I was admitted, I had this deep feeling that Rilo would be more safe on the outside and that my body was doing something unsafe for him. Yep, my liver was shutting down.

I understand that for some women, homebirth is the goal and I do feel badly for them when they have an unplanned/unwanted/emergency transfer to the hospital.

Sarah R said...

There is no reason why someone with a low risk pregnancy cannot deliver at home. My second birth could have been at home, but it was a hospital waterbirth instead. No drugs, just the water for pain relief and it was the most awesome experience in my life, EVER!

The U.S. has the highest rate of infant mortality in the developed world and it is attributed to medical error and improper care in our hospitals. There are other countries considered much "poorer" than ours yet they have lower infant mortality rates. It makes me question the hospitals in general, yet I am glad that the one I go to is one of the best in the nation. It's also smaller so maybe that has something to do with it.

I understand there are instances where c-sections are necessary, but many c-sections are the result of doctors wanting to rush patients through. Patient comes in, doctor offers to break water. Contractions don't start up right away, or stop -- doctor highly recommends Pitocin. Contractions get too strong -- patient requests an epidural. Patient's BP drops, baby's heart rate drops -- doctor demands c-section. The rate of c-section has SKYROCKETED in the U.S. in recent years and there is no real rhyme or reason other than doctors no longer remember how to deliver anything but a "standard" birth. A link: http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/homebirthchoice.asp

I would not attempt to give birth at home myself, but I would trust my midwife 100% to deliver my baby (not that I'm having anymore, but I'm making the argument for the sake of this debate).

Births do not have to be so clinical. My own midwife told me this when I first off, thanked her for being so awesome, and told her that I was glad I waited until I was dilated to a 10 and my bag of waters was bulging, "Because what are you are talking about is WHY I do this, and feel so honored to be able to. To be with women and help them have the birth they desire is the true goal. Of course everyone's safety is a top priority, but so often, so many things are done to women in labor in the name of safety that really don't improve anyone's health, and actually detract from not only the experience (which as you know, IS truly and deeply important) but mom and baby's health as well. For example, there is often no reason to break the bag of waters, other than that the staff are impatient. So- good for you, for standing up for what you wanted, and doing it. I'm so glad I could be your midwife- truly it is an honor."

Sarah R said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah R said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah R said...

Sorry, my internet wonked out so I double posted, that's why my 2nd comment was deleted! ;)

Kristin said...

I could not have done it and never had any desire to be more than a hallway away from top medical care. If someone chooses to have a home birth, I can support their decision but never, ever for me.

MrsSpock said...

The US actually has the lowest infant and maternal mortality in the world. Comparisons to other countries do not use the same data- the US uses perinatal mortality, and counts stillbirths starting from 24 weeks gestation, something much-cited countries like Canada and the Netherlands do not. the netherlands is actually very concerned about it's high perinatal mortality at the moment, and it is a homebirth haven.

Would i ever make homebirth illegal? No, but it is not for me, never mind that I am high risk just by virtue of my autoimmune riddled body.

Homebirth midwives in the US do not even have university degrees, and CNM's with master's degrees in the US by and large do not attend home births, except in a few states. I know of many HB midwives who have only started an IV on a dummy, or gotten 5 sticks on a person for their IV requirement. I will tell you, with years as an ICU nurse, I cannot even get a good stick on a person bleeding out. And the first few times someone coded on me, I will ill-prepared and very grateful for the VERY experienced coworkers I had to guide me- and by experienced I mean could code someone in their sleep.

There are changes I would love to see in hospital settings, such as hospitals agreeing to pay for 1 on 1 nursing care, and telemetry monitoring being available at every hospital.

I can't help but remind folks too, that I was low risk in my last pregnancy, and planned delivery via waterbirth at my hospitals birthing center. Everything changed instantly when my son stopped moving, and because I was at an OB/midwife practice, the CNM was able to book me into a BPP, even though it was a Friday afternoon, and I did not have to wait to try and get an OB to be seen. If we had left my son another 24 hours, there is no doubt he would have been stillborn.

Lisa said...

I would never risk a home birth. My babies' lives were (and are) too important to risk it. It was a good thing I never considered it because there may have been some big complications when I gave birth to the twins. The oldest needed some extra oxygen for the first few hours as a precaution. And it took 2 OB's almost an hour to get my placentas out after the birth. After having given birth to the twins vaginally, I almost needed a c-section to get the placentas out. What would have happened if I had been at home?

I understand that women want more say in their birthing plan. But if your OB is unwilling to work with you, then find someone who will. Why risk your life or the life of your baby? I don't really get it...

Elana said...

There's no way I would attempt a home birth. I feel safer and more relaxed in a hospital in either case. I am seeing midwives, however, because I want a birth that has as few interventions as possible. OBs just won't do that for me, so I switched. Since I am a VBAC I do need constant monitoring, but the monitors they have are wireless and can even be used in the tub (woo hoo). But you know, I feel safer having the monitor on so I know that the baby is doing ok. Epidural? Pitocin? I'd MUCH rather not. :-)

Logical Mommy said...

I support a woman's decision to do it and would love to see more midwives being allowed to attend them.

It drives me bananas that every time a woman delivers too quickly and ends up delivering in the car or at home or something, they always say things like "HE did everything right" meaning the husband, rather than "the woman gave birth to her child without the medical attention she was expecting."

I hear so much about overly medicalized birth and women begging for drugs as soon as they get that positive pregnancy test, and so many women think that C-sections and epidurals are such liberating developments. They forget the part where they have to sit there in stirrups and have 10 people looking between their legs, or the part where they are cut open at the convenience of someone else, not necessarily themselves. Personally, I think it's a lot more "liberated" to do what your body was meant to do in the most healthy way possible. It's like getting to the next level in the gym. That's feminism right there.

I'd do it. I'd have a home birth. If I could get someone to attend. I'm not likely to have any more kids but if I do, at the very least, I'm going to stay at home as long as I can instead of rushing to the hospital so that I can labor comfortably instead of having to be confined to the bed for monitoring and bothered with other hospital crap.

Everything old is new again, and the simpler ways of doing things is so frequently healthier. BUT we are also very fortunate to have the interventions that we do for when we need them, and the sophisticated medical equipment and highly educated medical practitioners to know the difference.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

Home birth is not for me. I understand the thinking behind it, but when it comes to anything medical, I get nervous. I just can't imagine giving birth at home. I'm going to be nervous enough when I go into labour... I want to be where I feel safe. For me, that's the hospital.

Samantha said...

Nope, wouldn't do it. Charleigh's pregnancy and birth was textbook. So I could see at that point WHY people would do it.

But then Cade came along, and I had a lot of issues. They were minor, but they kept piling up. Anyway, I was still consider low-risk. BUT after giving birth to him I started hemorrhaging like crazy. It was pretty scary, (and painful) I had the midwife shoving her hand up there so far I couldn't even see her arm. Mind you, I had no epidural, so while they were trying to stop the bleeding, I felt everything.

So even low-risk births can go wrong, and I could never, ever risk something happening to me or the baby. Who knows what could have happened if I had given birth at home.

Erica912 said...

Being that my cousin's baby should be almost three months old, but didnt get past 48 hours old all because of a bad decision on their midwife's part..... I think anyone who is willing to go through with an actual home birth is extremely foolish.

Jennifer said...

I prefer a hospital in case something goes wrong. I had really low blood pressure during delivery and a lot of blood loss (very close to transfusion). I do wish there were more options in the hospital. I'd like a middle ground...an OB in a hospital that allows walking around after water breaks, sitting in a tub, etc.

At home is just too risky.

~Jess said...

I've considered it with #2...my pregnancy and labor were textbook with #1 and my labor was short, smooth, and the doctor barely made it into the room. It kills me how much they got paid (and I'm still paying) for something they had nothing to do with.

The only thing stopping me from doing it with #2 is I'm a nervous nellie. My MIL was an OB nurse for 30 years, we're approached her about it, but she refuses to be involved...and we literally live 10 houses down from a hospital.

I think it's great that people do it and I would love to do it myself.

Searching said...

As a NICU RN- never, never, NEVER would I risk my baby's life w/a homebirth. There are so many unknowns and to know my child died or suffered disability or even just extra pain because I wanted things MY way instead of what was best for him/her... I would not be able to handle the thought.

I DO support doulas, midwives, laboring in tubs, no meds other than IV fluids, birthing balls, hypnobirthing, any of that as long as within very close proximity to emergency medical care fully equipped to handle labor, delivery, and premature/very sick neonates. A normal, low-risk pregnancy only needs minutes to turn deadly and you can't 100% predict who will end up w/a knot in their cord just before being born, who will have a placental abruption or uterine rupture, or who gets a uterine infection. My coworker who had 2 previous NORMAL births, taught aerobics up until the 8th month, ate healthy, did everything textbook ended up w/her uterus rupturing and they both coded. If she had been anywhere else both she and her son would have been dead.

Tanya said...

I think there is a reason women started giving birth in the hospital. With my first I had some tearing that took about 1/2 an hour for 2 doctors and a nurse to stitch up. When I had Grant 8 weeks ago not only did I tear along the previous scars but started hemmorhaging as well. I wonder how things would have turned out if I was at home.

Sarah R said...

Searching: great post -- great insight.

I did enjoy my natural, hospital waterbirth and it was very homelike. :)

Suzy said...

I think too many people have the mentality that "women have been doing it for hundreds of years without hospitals" and forget that there was also a really high infant and maternal mortality rate that went along with it.

Personally I think that they are risky, and people need to be more educated of the risks.

I personally know two women whose babies died because they were homebirthed (and yes it has been determined by a coroner that they would more than likely have lived had they been born in hospital)

Too many people think "it wont happen to me" but if something goes wrong, and you have to be rushed down the corridor for an emergency c-section, or you start hemorraging, or you have a prolapsed cord, a placental abruption or one of the myriad things that can go wrong (that I have personally seen go wrong) think of this - If it is so urgent that they have to run down the hall to theatre...what would you do if you were 20 minutes away from the hospital in your home...

(sorry for the rant, its a topic I am extremely passionate about!)

Bay said...

I am usually a "to each their own" kind of girl but I can't even tell you how many girls came into the hospital in bad shape in the 7 weeks I was there on bedrest.

I was in with the nurses and they would give me details I'm sure I shouldn't have had and almost all of these girls had severe complications i.e., almost died, almost lost their baby, lost their baby etc. AND almost all of them could have been prevented. So sad.

So in this day and age why risk it!

Jen said...

So it has been a couple weeks, but I want to add a follow-up to this post. I was talking with friends in my knitting group who are all really into home births last night. Of 6 home birth experiences, 3 of them ended up going to the hospital for various reasons and 2 of those 3 ended up with c sections. In one case it was an emergency because the baby crashed and nearly died.

So yeah. Totally not worth it IMO.