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Anti-homebirthing story on Today

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Today Show Infuriating Homebirth Story
Apparently there was recently a Today show story on homebirth (which was alternately captioned "Extreme Birth" and "The Perils of Midwifery". It focused on one couple who had, tragically, lost a baby during a homebirth. They totally glossed over the fact that mortality rates aren't higher at home (actually, they did sneak in that statistic but it didn't seem to influence the overall tone of "if you do this, your kid will die and it'll be your fault"). Did anyone see it? I didn't, so I don't feel comfortable contacting them about it.

They made the statement "these women are choosing to give birth WITHOUT DOCTORS!!!" Like this is actually considered "extreme" in most of the rest of the world.

The closing sequence had the mom who had lost her child saying, "a c-section isn't the worst thing in the world"...of course, very true. But did they mention that the c-section rate has gone up over 15% in the last 20 years while infant mortality has remained the same? And that in many cases a c-section would not have helped?

This is the type of information that scares women into hospital births who otherwise may try a home birth.
post #2 of 16
Here's the video clip.

And here's how to get a hold of them with your letters and comments.
post #3 of 16
post #4 of 16
Originally Posted by inkedmamajama View Post
I HATE it when the mainstream media does this: they see that an alternative business (midwifery) is taking customers away from doctors and hospitals, so they run a story smearing the midwives over something they most likely couldn't control!
I don't watch the Today show very often; but I now know I'm never watching it again and NBC Universal is gonna get an earful and a half from me.
post #5 of 16
Yay I am sure most women go in to home births thinking it will be like a spa treatment
post #6 of 16
Here's a copy of my e-mail:

Ladies and gentlemen:

I am writing a formal complaint over your story on the "dangers" of homebirthing on the Today show this morning. It's true that there are occasional accidents during labor and delivery, but that is not a reason for you to smear an entire industry. Cara Muhlhahn couldn't have predicted what happened with baby Noah; she did what she could, but unfortunately the baby couldn't be saved. It is beyond wrong of you to attack Ms. Muhlhahn's practice on national television over one extreme case, let alone the entire midwifery industry. Most homebirths go over fine with no complications; but occasionally something bad happens. This is NOT a reason to mandate that all births be conducted in hospitals: statistics show that babies born at home are no worse off, if not BETTER off, than babies born in hospitals. The only reason the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends hospital births is because they have a vested interest in protecting the financial assets of labor and delivery doctors, not because they honestly believe it is better for mother and/or baby. As most mothers know, a hospital birth is accompanied with lots of coercion to use drugs such as epidurals and artificial accelerants such as pitocin or Cytotec (AKA misoprostol, which is NOT approved by the FDA for use as a labor and delivery drug) and of course, Caesarean sections. After the baby is born, it is torn from its mother and doctors run a battery of tests on it, inject it with drugs and circumcise it (if it is a boy). All these procedures, which are standard practice in the industry, cost thousands of dollars and insurance companies pay more for certain procedures/tests to be performed, which gives doctors incentive to "fix what is not broken." There are options for parents to sign papers to opt out of certain procedures, only these papers (with signatures) are often ignored by hospital staff and the procedures are performed anyway, with the parents only finding out what has been done when the bill arrives. Hence, more and more expectant parents have opted to avoid dealing with the bureaucratic structure of hospital birth and aim for a less stressful, more natural alternative: homebirth with a certified nurse midwife (CNM) present. Your news article was, in my honest opinion, an attempt to intimidate parents into turning their children over to medical "professionals" who may actually do them harm and then charge the parents exorbitant amounts of money.
I do not watch TODAY very often; but now that I have seen this story, I will never watch ANYTHING broadcast on NBC or its subsidiary networks unless whoever was in charge of said story sincerely apologizes.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

***** (a concerned viewer)
post #7 of 16
post #8 of 16
changing the anti-homebirthing culture requires every one of us to get angry!

Please - writing to your federal legislators - insist that any healthcare proposals out of congress include coverage for homebirth midwives.

If you live in a state where CPMs aren't legal, contact the Big Push and get involved in legislating them.

CPMs need licensure in all 50 states, CNMs need autonomous practice in all 50 states.

We need insurance mandates that homebirth midwives and services are covered.

Until these things happen, ACOG and OBs will continue to successfully suppress homebirth options for American women.
post #9 of 16
ugghhhhh!!!!!!! Makes me sick and angry!!!!!!
post #10 of 16
Just wanted to let you know
Originally Posted by sweet.p View Post
Choices in Childbirth has crafted a petition in response to the Today Show segment, "The Perils of Midwifery."

Our goal is to collect 5,000 signatures from all across the country by October 9th, the final day of Midwifery Week. That morning we will hand deliver the petition to the Today Show offices.
(y'all are invited to join us!).

Please sign the petition and forward it to your clients, family, and friends.

post #11 of 16
I saw this a couple weeks ago and was thoroughly disgusted.

I believe the infant moretality rate has risen with c-sections.
post #12 of 16
I love how none of the "experts" save one was a woman - the piece struck me as very paternalistic and condescending.

The use of loaded language particularly bothered me.

Thanks for the link to the new ontario study from Huffington Post. I lost a baby at home during pushing very suddenly, just minutes before birth and am very saddened to hear these stories.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
So sorry for your loss, berkeleyp. Thanks for the link to the petition, mommadoula2
post #14 of 16
I am weeping as I watch this.

They do not do these clips when women in hospitals lose children due to malpractice. That statistic is always buried.

I hope for good things for this family featured in the Today clip.

I hope for accurate and open journalism.
post #15 of 16
I didn't see it, but I did contact them about Kathie Lee and Huda's comments on a breast feeding doll. They basically told all of America about how gross it and inappropriate it was. I was furious. They never answered back.
post #16 of 16
Originally Posted by jmarroq View Post
I didn't see it, but I did contact them about Kathie Lee and Huda's comments on a breast feeding doll. They basically told all of America about how gross it and inappropriate it was. I was furious. They never answered back.
Kathie Lee and Hoda are gross and inappropriate.

I stopped watching the Today Show a long time ago. It seems like all the pregnancy/parenting information they spew is everything that is wrong with a lot of "mainstream" ideas about both.
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