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Homebirth Research - Page 2

post #21 of 33

My bigger problem with that book is that it's over 10 years old and out of date. Also, word of warning: If you ever try to use Henci Goer to fight an obstetrician, I'd bet money it won't go well, especially if you use The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth. If you see something in there that you want to use with an OB, check it out and use the study directly.

 

Also, if you really want to go for science you need to dig deeper. I've seen articles (speaking in general) where they just cherry picked the data they liked. If you don't double check the citations, you'll find that someone may just counter you with another study and you won't be prepared for it.

post #22 of 33

I wanted to second birthing from within!

post #23 of 33
Thread Starter 

Thank you, daisymommy. I'm going to need those in a few years! :D
 



 

post #24 of 33
Thread Starter 

Thank you, jenrose. I appreciate your advice. I don't plan on having a UC, but I do plan on having hospital preferences written out just in case because I know anything can happen with birth.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenrose View Post

Midwifery Today publishes a book called "The Heart and Science of Homebirth". It's due to be updated in April, I believe, though I can ask them if you want. (I used to work there, it's out of print at the moment.)

 

Lots of research in there, and lots of stories. 

 

Henci's book, for the last poster, is all science. I'd add Marsden Wagner's "Pursuing the Birth Machine" for more science. 

 

Birth Reborn is one of Michel Odent's earliest books. He's done several since. The Farmer and the Obstetrician was an amazing read, IIRC, and he's got at least one more out there. Well worth it. He talks a lot about the biochemistry of birth, which I find fascinating.

 

One note on the unassisted childbirth books. I've read both of them, and they strongly influenced me with my last birth. I planned a UC, and had a midwife as backup. What I found was that there came a point when things were out of my comfort zone (and as someone who's been reading about birth since I was 12, and I think I've read 97% of the books on your list and more besides, I have a pretty sturdy comfort zone with birth), when my instincts were NOT telling me things were okay, but not really screaming they weren't either.. and in that place of uncertainty, my midwife came in, confirmed both that things were a little odd and that they weren't dangerous, and I got my homebirth rather than transporting, because her reassurance helped me trust the process more. That's NOT a message you're likely to get from those two particular books. And indeed, my daughter was born with congenital issues... and again,.. my midwife was able to confirm that yes, things were odd, and no, they weren't dangerous. Because of that, my baby was born vaginally, at home, in water, and never needed the NICU, we sorted out her feeding issues at home. I'm not anti-UC, but I feel strongly that for any birth situation, the biggest barrier to a safe birth is inflexibility. Be that a mom planning a hospital birth whose labor goes too fast to get there in time, or a woman planning a homebirth, UC or not, where something stops feeling safe. Having contingency plans let us keep things as safe as possible, as natural as possible, as long as possible. We didn't have to start getting medical until she was 5 days old, and even then it was far less invasive than the NICU would have been. 

 

I trust birth, and I trust my body, but there are two phrases that cover it pretty well for me. Harriet Hartigan says, "Birth is as safe as life gets". Well, here's the thing. Life isn't actually all that safe. things can happen, things can go wrong, and we have to choose whether to live in fear of the things going wrong, or to live our lives giving them a chance of going right, in full knowledge that life is not predictable. 

 

What I say is this.... Birth is not a tame lion, but it is noble, and strong, and good. And it must always, always be respected. 

 

 



 

post #25 of 33
Thread Starter 

Do you have any recommendations for what I can read that comes from a different perspective?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzbuzz View Post

Can you say you've researched a controversial issue when all your reading is coming from one philosophical perspective?  Can I say I've "researched" the beginning of the world if all I've read is creationist literature and nothing on evolution?

 

Just some food for thought.

 

 



 

post #26 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzbuzz View Post

The Henci Goer book may be "all science" but its coming at things from a particular viewpoint.  After all, Creationists claim that they have scientific evidence that man and dinosaurs co-existed.


Which is true for just about everything, but her analyses are intelligent, well-reasoned, and 100% about the research. It seems to me that having the personal bias that "anyone who supports homebirth must be doing so out of emotional reasons and not scientific ones" is not an improvement over someone who spends 99% of their time looking at research with the goal of understanding it well. 

post #27 of 33

The problem is that you can use real research to support an agenda, too. If you're pro-home birth, you emphasize the studies that support that; if you're anti, do the reverse (I can think of bloggers on other topics who do just this). That's why it's important to look beyond one person's summaries of research. If you don't, you have no idea if the writer selectively quoted.

post #28 of 33

It sounds like you are a student?  If so, you probably have access to tons of journal articles.  The abstracts are available on pubmed to the general public, but you probably have access to many of the full articles if your school subscribes to a good number of journals.  That could be a great way to get the full background info on studies that are cited in the books you read.  I also might just play around on pubmed or a similar search engine and enter keywords and see what you come up with...books are great too, but probably won't include the really recent data (last 6 months or so).  In addition to reading journal articles generally about homebirth, I might also read articles about pregnancy and birth complications so that you have a wide range of data to support your conclusions about what complications might lead you to transfer and what complications you'd feel fine addressing at home.  

 

As a sidenote, I think that some documentaries and authors like Ina May can be very convincing to some people.  However, I stumbled upon the natural birth scene during my 1st pregnancy as a fairly mainstream, not-so-crunchy, grad student and I initially found those types of sources to be too "hippie-ish" and "one-sided".  I slowly became more drawn to natural birth and some natural parenting practices, but for me it started with peer-reviewed journal articles and then expanded more afterwards.  (I do appreciate a lot of Ina May's writing now, and I'd consider myself a clothdiapering, babywearing, extended breastfeeding mama)  If any of your friends and family are coming from a place like I was, its possible that your journal sources might resonate a bit more with them.  

post #29 of 33

I'll be frank.  I read a lot of the books the OP did and had a homebirth.   The homebirth was neither a beautiful, glorious experience or a horrible, dangerous one.

 

It wasn't until afterwards that I found The Skeptical OB's blog and was fascinated by a whole other side of the issue that I was unaware of despite thinking of myself as an "educated" homebirth mother.

 

I think a lot of her opinion pieces are crap.  However, what I find very helpful is that she is a good source for finding scientific studies that show that homebirth may not have the best record.   I can read what she has to say about them and then (to the extent accessible to me) find and read the study and see what I think about it.

 

She also has highlighted some attitudes that I think are certainly troubling in the midwifery community.  For example, the whole "protect the midwife" first attitude which does exist in my community.   Also some political issues -- for example in her most recent post demonstrates that while Colorado midwives are required by law to disclose their death rates, they have failed to meet that obligation for the most recent year.  Apparently, they've decided to wait until the legislature is no longer in session to disclose that information.  Can't be good can it?  Especially when in the prior year "Colorado licensed midwives provided care for 799 women. Nine (9) babies died for a homebirth death rate of 11.3/1000! That is nearly DOUBLE the perinatal death rate of 6.3/1000 for the entire state (including all pregnancy complications and premature births)."

 

Will I have a homebirth with my next child?  Not sure -- but if I do, I will certainly do so with a fuller understanding of what I'm doing.
 

post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by lizsky View Post
However, I stumbled upon the natural birth scene during my 1st pregnancy as a fairly mainstream, not-so-crunchy, grad student and I initially found those types of sources to be too "hippie-ish" and "one-sided". 

 

I came into the idea of homebirth through school as well.  I took a required early childhood ed class that covered birth choice including homebirth.  I still fine a lot of the homebirth stuff to be too hippie-dippie.  

 

I also second the suggestion that the OP try to read some of the studies for herself.  
 

 

post #31 of 33


Quote:

Originally Posted by Buzzbuzz View Post

I'll be frank.  I read a lot of the books the OP did and had a homebirth.   The homebirth was neither a beautiful, glorious experience or a horrible, dangerous one.

 

It wasn't until afterwards that I found The Skeptical OB's blog and was fascinated by a whole other side of the issue that I was unaware of despite thinking of myself as an "educated" homebirth mother.


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Buzzbuzz View Post

 

Will I have a homebirth with my next child?  Not sure -- but if I do, I will certainly do so with a fuller understanding of what I'm doing.
 


I think I can see where you're coming from.  I can totally see how someone could get so focused on the "pro-homebirth" message that it becomes difficult to maintain awareness of all the issues surrounding the choice to homebirth or not.  While I would not use a source like the Skeptical OB (who I am not sure is entirely welcome on this forum) I certainly agree that keeping an open mind and being a critical thinker is very important when making the decision about where to give birth.  I, personally, find statements like, "Homebirth is proven far safer than hospital birth" to be about as irksome as as Dr. Amy.  That said, t is entirely possible (and likely) that the OP has plenty of pro-hospital birth information.  I almost feel like pro-hospital birth is kind of the default.  And to contrast that, the likelihood that anyone even a little dialed into the topic of homebirth would hear quite a lot of negative press about the issue is fairly high.  

post #32 of 33

To go back to the books, one that has meant a lot to me is the Continuum Concept by Jean Liedoff.  She goes a little too far with a theory meant to cover EVERY facet of human behavior, but it remains a beautiful story of how people can live (and man, look out for those descriptions of babies' suffering in hospitals--they will slaughter you) and I still reread it every so often.

post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arete View Post

To go back to the books, one that has meant a lot to me is the Continuum Concept by Jean Liedoff.  She goes a little too far with a theory meant to cover EVERY facet of human behavior, but it remains a beautiful story of how people can live (and man, look out for those descriptions of babies' suffering in hospitals--they will slaughter you) and I still reread it every so often.



I read the CC and related ideas as part the discipline aspect of parenting.  Although I do baby wear and do some other things talked about in CC it resonated with me when my  child was older.  I think reading about discipline early on is really helpful.  For me, I am very grateful that my partner and I talked about some of that stuff before we had child.  OP, if you grow weary of reading about birth - maybe some of the great child-rearing books would be nice.  It is a continuum for sure.  ;-)  

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