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Considering Homebirth? Think Hard.... - Page 3

post #41 of 159
guvly-

The way you worded your title "Considereing homebirth? Think hard..." was, I think, very offensive to a lot of us. Most women here have done hours upon hours of independent research. We've had to take it upon ourselves to seek out the studies that are not written by a surgeon, that are not sponsored by ACOG, that are done correctly. We've done our homework. We're having births every day.

You say you're not necessarily concerned with safety....you are basically advising us to make a decision to birth in a place that is LESS safe in a low-risk pregnancy, so that in the event that something "goes wrong", which is MORE likely to happen in the hospital, we can sue them?

I'm sorry, but there is a huge logic gap there.

If I went to the hospital fully knowing that labor and birth complications are more likely to happen there, and a complication DID arise there, whose "fault" would it be? I can tell you one thing: unless I needed to be at the hospital, I sure as hell would feel guilty for making a decision not about my child's safety, but about my ability to SUE.
post #42 of 159
If I went to the hospital fully knowing that labor and birth complications are more likely to happen there, and a complication DID arise there, whose "fault" would it be? I can tell you one thing: unless I needed to be at the hospital, I sure as hell would feel guilty for making a decision not about my child's safety, but about my ability to SUE.

Yeah, what she said.
post #43 of 159
"BTW, where are the mods?"

Oh, I hope they stay far away! There have been such great responses, IMO, the discussion has been valuable, well worth putting up with any annoyance at the OP.
post #44 of 159
You are right, Linda! At first I hoped this thread would get closed, because who beides an obvious troll owuld post the original post on a homebirth support forum, but this thread should prove invaluble for anyone considering homebirth!
post #45 of 159
However, it would be nice if the other "Considering homebirht, think hard" thread would get removed!
post #46 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by guvly
Here's a message from a dad with a word of warning to those considering homebirths.....

I have two children, both born in a hospital with a certified nurse midwife attending.....




Consider also that insurance companies don't insure home birth for a reason....
I just found this thread and have not waded through all replies, but guvly, sorry, you are VERY misinformed.
You don't even know a thing about homebirth, I am guessing, since YOU DIDN"T HAVE ANY!

Also, perhaps the insurance thing a) matters to you and b) is the case in your state, but consider the following

a) not everyone cares about the insurance thing
b) Some states such as MY state, the State of Florida, require that insurance companies cover homebirth BY LAW and all Midwives carry malpractice BY LAW.

Please, do some careful research before starting some sort of misguided crusade on a homebirth board
post #47 of 159
Actually, I didn't think very hard when deciding on a homebirth. As soon as I knew I was pg, I knew I would have this baby at home. I didn't think hard about it because it just made too much sense. When something makes a lot of sense, you don't have to think about it and weigh all the pros and cons. Hospital birth is what does not make any sense to me.

This was dh's and my conversation when I told him I was pg:
Him: "So, you wanna get a midwife?"
Me: "Yep."

That was it. That was how we decided. We didn't read "studies" and "statistics." We already knew what to do.
post #48 of 159
Yes, Greaseball, but there is a reason that hospital birth doesn't make sense to you, and that has partly to do with your first birth experience and the fact that you do know some things about different ways of managing birth.

But it's true, also, that research and statistics are not always applicable to specific situations. This is of course why, even though hospitals and OBs have such atrocious stats and practices, it can still make sense for some people to give birth in the hospital. Nobody has to be an expert on these things to make the right decision -- they just have to know themselves and their own situation.
post #49 of 159
guvly,

Although heartfelt and possibly, well intended, your title is offensive. If you believe the mothers her are not informed enough to consider all their options, than you do not know us very well. Perhaps you should address all the mothers who blindly look to their OBs and hospitals for positive outcomes with their births.

Secondly, that was a lovely post based on your feelings, but I think you need to read up on some of your presumptions and back up your claims with some solid refferences and research. Your statement of cost of hospital vs homebirth is erroneous.
post #50 of 159
Wow. I have to say ladies this is the most thoughtful and respectful bunch of reponses I have seen in ages. I've thoroughly enjoyed everyone's answers.

I would add more, but I wonder if guvly is still even reading this thread?
post #51 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by guvly
Here's a message from a dad with a word of warning to those considering homebirths. ...
Our first child was born in the hospital after a long labor to a C-section ...
Yes, hospitals can be difficult, but please consider your options carefully before dismissing hospital birth. There is a lot of pressure in the homebirthing circles to have a "normal" birth. I can't tell you the number of inconsiderate homebirthing advocates who responded after mom's C-section with comments such as ...
So I should have my baby in the hospital because if I have a c-section after trying for a home birth, someone might be inconsiderate?
Even though, as you say, hospitals can be "difficult"?
Even though study after study shows that, for low risk women, home birth is either AS safe or SAFER than hospital birth?
Oh, that's right - you think that since sometimes care providers make errors, I should make sure to hire one I can sue the living SH*T out of. There's a mind set I can get behind! NOT!
post #52 of 159
Well, I didn't read all the replies, but I just wanted to comment that:

1) My insurance is covering my midwife, less $500

2) My son's birth was in a progressive hospital w/a CNM and a doula. Due to mismanagement at the birth my son was transferred to the NICU some 10 hrs after his birth and spent the 1st 4 days of his life there, hooked up to many wires, undergoing many painful tests, given full spectrum antibiotics (in case of infection, but there wasn't one) and not allowed to breastfeed. The nurses didn't want me to hold him either, b/c I would get him used to being held. They managed to feed him a mixture of corn syrup and essential amino acids while he was in there. As soon as we got out, my son struggled w/35-40 different food allergies, which, as he was exclusively breastfed, were from my diet. He was most reactive to corn, which is in everything. For the next 26 months, he screamed excessively and all night if I ate anything he was allergic to, such as corn, which could be found in table salt, and almost everything. Finally, after going from dr to dr, and trying many different hokey treatments, we found a homeopath who knew what he was doing, and with the exception of dairy, his allergies are gone.

So yeah, I've thought real hard about it. And I'm birthing at home.
post #53 of 159
Geez...I thought that women have been giving birth at home for hundreds and thousands of years. I thought that our bodies...from birth...were made to have babies. But I am wrong! They aren't and didn't just give birth successfully at home...they did it in the fields, in the forest, in the wagons, in the water, with support and all alone. And these women are strong!

Birth is not an illness.



And women aren't sick when they are pregnant, so why would you think that they would need to be in a hospital? 95% of all births can be done safely and vaginally at home. So then why is our national c-section rate at 26%? The Farms (all homebirth) c-section rate is 1.4%. Why are some states induction rate as high as 44%!!!! That is insane! That almost 50% of women in some states can't manage to go into labor on their own. Wow! It must be something in the water, huh?

I have paid $2500 per homebirth and it was the best money that I have ever spent.



Sarah, who homebirthed a 17 day post-edd OP brow presentation 2x nuchal cord home waterbirth...as well as a OP waterbirth two years ago



We have a secret in our culture, and it's not that birth is painful. It's that women are strong.
- Laura Stavoe Harm
post #54 of 159
Quote:
Geez...I thought that women have been giving birth at home for hundreds and thousands of years. I thought that our bodies...from birth...were made to have babies. But I am wrong! They aren't and didn't just give birth successfully at home...they did it in the fields, in the forest, in the wagons, in the water, with support and all alone. And these women are strong!
Oh, but didn't you know? Those babies all died! :LOL :
post #55 of 159
Sarah
post #56 of 159
:LOL Greaseball!
post #57 of 159
Thread Starter 
Yes, Jesse-

I am still reading. Many of you have asked why I bothered to post this message to this forum.

There ARE people who have been wiped out financially, and their beautiful children disabled, because of the avoidable and negligent actions of midwives coupled with the lack of disability insurance. Yes, these are "single" cases. Yes, rules vary from state to state. Yes, doctors can also be negligent, and perhaps even more so. Yes, disability is disability, and no amount of money can cure a permanent disability. But, providing a disabled child with appropriate care, education, and therapy is expensive beyond the means of most normal families. This scenario should be considered, not swept under the rug with sarcasm, self righteousness, and paternalistic snideness.

Many of you express a disregard for making decisions based on liability concerns. I hope you are never involved in a car, workplace, or other accident caused by someone who shares your feelings about insurance.

All I did was express an opinion, however imperfectly. The negativity expressed in the replies magnified any unintended negativity in my original post ten fold. I posted for those who may be looking for objective feedback. The replies illustrate that this is not a place for objective exchange. As such, those looking for objective information should seek it elsewhere.
post #58 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by guvly
Many of you express a disregard for making decisions based on liability concerns. I hope you are never involved in a car, workplace, or other accident caused by someone who shares your feelings about insurance.

All I did was express an opinion, however imperfectly. The negativity expressed in the replies magnified any unintended negativity in my original post ten fold. I posted for those who may be looking for objective feedback. The replies illustrate that this is not a place for objective exchange. As such, those looking for objective information should seek it elsewhere.
guvly, we're not talking about driving a car or the workplace or other accident though, now are we? We're talking about having babies. It's the first thing there is - it's the verb "to be". It's the POINT OF THE SPECIES. And it was long before there were hospitals or cars or "workplaces" or machinery or negligence liability. Which I think is where we're coming from. Obviously, you are not coming from that perspective. You're coming from the perspective that there is risk in birth that must be managed.

The members of MDC here can quote you statistics and show you how safe homebirth is and you'll still think that there's risk and it doesn't matter becomes sometimes bad stuff happens. I think that most people who choose homebirth are aware of the risk inherent in childbirth and are willing to take those risks. Which is why it's not for everyone. You see it one way, those of us who have had homebirths see it another way. I don't however think that your point is very objective at all and I don't think that people visiting this forum will necessarily benefit from your point of view that they lose negligence liability when birthing at home, so it's not at all worth it. I think that people will benefit much more from the statistical analysis offered by the posters in this thread and the really good information about homebirth advantages and disadvantages. So thanks for the thread, it got us very organized with great information that clearly disputes your claim that homebirth is not so good.
post #59 of 159
The basic fact is that homebirth is safer for MOST women who have healthy and normal pregnancies. Things are getting messed up when you take a healthy woman with a healthy pregnancy and put her under a CNM (who is under an OB's authority) or an OB. Then you give said woman an epidural, which 85% of ALL BIRTHING WOMEN in America have, with her baby in an OP or an asynclitic position from laying back in that big comfy chair all of the time. There aren't very many women who are practicing optimal fetal positioning, and then are told that they need a C-Section because of "Failure to Progress" or that they aren't built right, or my favorite..the baby is too big! Do you know how rare it is to grow a baby that is too big? Yet they use that all of the time. Hospitals are so much more dangerous then most people think. I attend women in labor for a living, so I know what I am talking about. I see this done over and over. It is so sad. So I give birth at home, because I know that it is safer for me and my baby.
post #60 of 159
Is Homebirth Safe?
by Lauri Smit
Many people ask if homebirth is safe. Our society views labor and birth as pathological, an illness that needs to be fixed or cured. Since the beginning of time, humans have given birth without medical help or intervention.
Is the Hospital Really the Safest Place to Deliver?

The National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit concluded in Where To Be Born in 1994 that "no evidence exists to support the claim that a hospital is the safest place for women to have normal births." The World HealthOrganization (WHO) reports that "it has never been scientifically proven that the hospital is a safer place than home for a woman who has had an uncomplicated pregnancy to have her baby. Studies of planned home births in developed countries with women who have had uncomplicated pregnancies have shown sickness and death rates for mother and baby equal to or better than hospital birth statistics for women with uncomplicated pregnancies."

David Stewart states that "since the founding of NAPSAC in 1975, we have searched for the data, if it exists, that supports 100% hospitalization for birth. We have not found it. We have formally requested all of the major medical associations (ACOG, AMA, AAP, AAFP) and any other professional organization who supports 100% hospitalization to share their data. To date, they have not. We have asked them to write chapters for the NAPSAC books. We have offered to publish their documentation. We have given them the opportunities to speak before large audiences at NAPSAC conferences in order that their valid statistics, if they have any, can be made known. To date, they have failed to produce even one study in support of their contention." If your doctor tells you that home birth isn't safe and you should birth in the hospital, ask for his/her statistics. Chances are, s/he doesn't have any.

Unnecessary Medical Interventions

The research shows that lower intervention rates are achieved at home, making for a more natural, gentle birth experience for mother and baby. Overuse of interventions in low-risk deliveries have iatrogenic results, meaning the intervention caused more problems than it was supposed to remedy. A.M. Duran stated in The Farm Study, published in the American Journal of Public Health in March 1992, that "home births attended by lay midwives can be accomplished as safely as, and with less intervention than, physician-attended hospital deliveries." Dr. Lewis Mehl compared matched populations of 2,092 home births and 2,092 hospital births. Midwives and family doctors attended the home births, while OB/GYNs and family doctors attended the hospital births. Within the hospital group, the fetal distress rate was 6 times higher, maternal hemorrhage was 3 times higher, limp unresponsive newborns arrived 3 times more often and there were 30 permanent birth injuries caused by doctors. In another study, Dr. Mehl compared matched groups of 1,046 home births with 1,046 hospital births. There was no difference in infant mortality. In the hospital births, there was greater incidence of fetal distress, lacerations to the mother, neonatal infections, forceps delivery, cesarean section, and nine times as many episiotomies.

Perinatal/Infant Mortality

The United States is in 22nd place among developed nations of the world. David Stewart reported in the NAPSAC News that the national infant mortality rate in 1991 was 8.9 deaths per 1000 live births. Washington D.C. had the highest mortality 21 deaths per 1000 births. The state with the lowest death rate was Vermont, with only 5.8. "Vermont also has one of the highest rates of home birth in the country as well as a larger portion of midwife-attended births than most states." Stewart adds that "the international standing of the U.S. did not really begin to fall until the mid-1950s. This correlates perfectly with the founding of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in 1951."

British childbirth expert Sheila Kitzinger states that planned homebirth with an experienced lay midwife has a perinatal mortality rate of 3-4 neonatal deaths per 1000 births, as opposed to 9-10 deaths per 1000 births in the hospital. In a study of births in the Netherlands in 1986, 41,861 women having their first babies in the hospital had a perinatal mortality rate of 20.2. 15,031 having their first at home with a trained midwife had a perinatal mortality rate of 1.5.

Marsden Wagner states that the countries with the lowest perinatal mortality rates in the world have cesarean section rates below 10%. The United States' cesarean rate is 25%. Obviously medical interventions, including cesarean section, are not doing for women what doctors claim.

What About "Emergencies"?

Birth isn't without risk. There is a slight risk that a major catastrophe could happen which could possibly be better handled in the hospital, such as umbilical cord prolapse, uterine rupture, abrupted placenta, postpartum hemorrhage. Birth is generally a slow process and there is usually ample time to transport even in the case of a true emergency. A skilled midwife provides one-on-one care and monitors the laboring woman carefully for potential problems.

Shoulder dystocia is handled better at home because of the freedom of birthing positions. If there are signs of trouble, a midwife can easily and quickly help the birthing woman get onto her hands and knees (the Gaskin maneuver, named for Farm midwife Ina Mae Gaskin). In the hospital, the beds aren't as adequate for allowing this type of position change.

The baby's oxygen supply is preserved at home by delaying umbilical cord cutting. In the hospital, the cord is cut immediately, increasing the need for resuscitation efforts.

Postpartum hemorrhage can be remedied at home by putting the baby to the breast immediately to stimulate oxytocin production and uterine contractions. Compression of the uterus can also be done at home. Some midwives carry IVs or an injection of Pitocin for these circumstances.

For true emergencies that require transport to the hospital, women laboring at home 20 minutes from the hospital have the same access to emergency surgery as women laboring at that same hospital. Many hospitals cannot prepare for an emergency surgical delivery in less than 20 minutes. The ACOG standard is currently "30 minutes decision to incision" for all non-scheduled cesarean sections.

Postpartum Depression

Women who give birth in the hospital are much more likely to experience postpartum depression or even post-traumatic stress disorder. Sheila Kitzinger states that the more interventions a woman experiences, the more likely she is to be depressed, with cesarean sections carrying the greatest risk. British physician Aiden McFarlane notes that while 68% of mothers that delivered in the hospital experience postpartum depression, only 16% of mothers that delivered at home do. This could be because of how birth is handled in the hospitals in this country, including numbing medications and routine separation of mother and baby.

Hospital Risks and Errors

There is a chance that your doctor won't be there for your birth and you may end up with an inexperienced student or someone you don't like. At home, your midwife remains with you throughout labor and delivery.

There is a chance that your or your baby could contract a disease or illness (hospitals are for sick people). Your own germs are in your own home.

Your baby could be switched with another baby or snatched by a stranger. In 1983, 101 newborns were stolen from healthcare facilities; 94 of those were recovered, seven are still missing. No fear of this at home.

You have a one in four chance of having a cesarean section in the hospital, compared to 1-5% at home. Cesarean section carries a greater risk of death than do vaginal deliveries. A study in Georgia, cited by Nancy Wainer Cohen and Lois J. Estner, showed a maternal death rate of 59.3 per 100,000 women who had a cesarean section compared to 9.7 per 100,000 for women who delivered vaginally. Other complications of cesarean include infection, infertility problems, organ damage, postpartum depression, pain, and paralysis from anesthesia.

Conclusion

So are you perfectly safe delivering at home? Carl Jones states, "There is always going to be some risk when giving birth, as in all of life, and women should be carefully screened for any health problems that could be dangerous during labor and delivery. For certain women in rare circumstances, obstetric care is essential. However, for most women, better, healthier results are seen when mothers choose to birth at home." If you are a woman with no health problems or contraindications to safe labor and delivery, consider birthing at home. The risks to you and your baby are lower at home.

References

Bloyd-Peshkin, Sharon, "Midwifery: Off to a Good Start," Vegetarian Times, December 1992, p. 69.

Duran, A.M. "The Safety of Home Birth," American Journal of Public Health. 82(3):450-3, March 1992

Goer, Henci. Obstetric Myths vs. Research Realities, Bergin and Garvey, January 1995.

Institute of Medicine. Research Issues in the Assessment of Birth Settings, National Academy Press, Washington, 1982, p. 175.

Jones, Carl. Alternative Birth, Los Angeles: Dorling Kindersley, 1991.

Kitzinger, Sheila. Home Birth, London: Dorling Kindersley, 1991.

Stewart, David, PhD., "Five Standards for Safe Childbearing."

Stewart, David, PhD. "International Infant Mortality Rates--U.S. in 22nd Place," NAPSAC News, Fall-Winter 1993, p. 36-38.

"Where to Be Born", National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, 1994.




Sarah
copied from: Is Homebirth Safe?
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