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Pro-homebirth risk ethics - Page 6

post #101 of 181
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyshoes
I wonder...are we talking about ethics? or just being lame? For example, thinking about the Netherlands, where midwife-attended homebirths are the norm, and the Netherlands comes somewhere within the Top Ten for infant mortality in the world (vs. 28th or 36th for the USA, depending on your source) do they think hosptial births are unethical? Or just bizarre? lame-o?

I'm just tossin' the idea that the question might not be as deep as ethics...could it be a question of overkill? Are OB-attended births the SUVs of American birth culture?

HEEEEEEEEEYYYY.....what about that????? has there been a thread about the wastefulness of different birth techniques?
Good point. Yes, I think it is partially an issue of lame-o and overkill... BUT as someone who analyzes things very carefully before making decisions (used to drive my mom crazy as a kid- watched other kids go down the slide at the pool for YEARS before I'd consider it) I do think that there is an ethical component.

-Angela
post #102 of 181
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by applejuice
Hospitals know when a woman births in their hospitals, they often are bonded to it and the doctors and nurses and the maternity wards are actually big $$$ for hospitals.
Hmm. This is a good point. I wonder if anyone has ever done any real studies on this? I would bet there is a real psychological component to that.

-Angela
post #103 of 181
Maybe I read this in Jessica Mitford's American Way of Birth? Obstetrics was once concidered the most DUMB and lame of medical specialties. If you couldn't do anything else, you could at least deliver babies.

Furthermore, delivering babies was a tactic to make and keep customers. What brilliance--deliver that first baby, and you've got a whole family coming to your MD practice for the rest of their lives.

Good point, applejuice...when examined, I think it's clear that L&D is ho$pital bread & butter.

alegna, I do not mean to discount the seriousness of ethics, morality, and SUV-style birthin' running rampant in the USA today. I thought that some of our thread-buddies who might be turned off by the big ol' ETHICS, or those feelin' the blame-game, might appriciate a more "lighthearted" viewpoint, akin to exploring cultural differances vs. Heaven and Hell.
post #104 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyshoes
Maybe I read this in Jessica Mitford's American Way of Birth? Obstetrics was once concidered the most DUMB and lame of medical specialties. If you couldn't do anything else, you could at least deliver babies.
Very True.

Most obgyns just get by. They are often found on the bottom of their graduating class from medical school.

Gives bottom feeders a bad name.
post #105 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyshoes
Just because this generation, and the one before it is cool with hosptial birth doesn't mean the standard of care will never change to homebirth (like it is in the Netherlands, for example.) I'm 28--my mom and grandmother gave birth in the hosptial, but my great-granny.....and EVERY woman ancestor I have before her, did it at home.
I'm not saying that we can't toward a change, or even that we can't achieve a change. I'm saying the language we use to get there is crucial and the judgement and negative attitudes have to go. Women of color have been considered animalistic by whites for a long time. It has led to a stigma in many communities about allowing themselves to let their bodies do their natural thing. These things are important to keep in mind. Cultural stigmas, poverty, etc.

If we are to advocate for more midwifery centered care, support UA, and encourage breastfeeding, we're not going to make any new converts by calling their educated or uneducated choices unethical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyshoes
I wonder...are we talking about ethics? or just being lame? For example, thinking about the Netherlands, where midwife-attended homebirths are the norm, and the Netherlands comes somewhere within the Top Ten for infant mortality in the world (vs. 28th or 36th for the USA, depending on your source) do they think hosptial births are unethical? Or just bizarre? lame-o?

Like, if you feel depressed and need therapy, you see a phsycologist. You don't see a neurosugeon! OBs are MDs who are surgeons. Midwives would be akin to the phsycologist...maybe even the phsychiatrist...do you need a surgeon if you just need assistance during an unusually stressful time of life?

I'm just tossin' the idea that the question might not be as deep as ethics...could it be a question of overkill? Are OB-attended births the SUVs of American birth culture?

HEEEEEEEEEYYYY.....what about that????? has there been a thread about the wastefulness of different birth techniques?
I agree with your premise here. You are talking about a country with a different history and culture, a different attitude towards health and birth. We are going to have to make changes one at a time to get there. I think in general, people are coming around. The biggest challenege we face is the medical lobby who make so damn much money on our bodies. It isn't about which is unethical, homebirth vs. hospital birth, it's about why it's unethical to have a medical system based on capitalism and what we can do to change that. It is literally for our health.
post #106 of 181
Nope. Not necessarily. (Sorry, haven't read all the threads yet.)
Go look at the figures for the UK: in the 1930s and the 1950s, around 2/3 of babies were born at home and beds in maternity homes were reserved for those with special needs- for instance, first-time mums, those with additional needs for support, and so on.By 1970, policies had changed so that every mother should be able to have her baby in hospital and benefit from that standard of care, should she want. The Patients Rights charter and the Maternity Rights charter in the 1990s (95??) preserved the right for a woman to give birth at home and for a woman to have to consent to each and every intervention individually.
The upshot? 2% homebirth rate nationally, down from 70% in less than 50 years. Almost identical to the US, yet the finances aren't an issue.
The only conclusion I can come to is that this isn't about the money, because we don't pay for healthcare- as a PP mentioned, it's partly about the state desperately trying to reinforce the idea that a family's first loyalty is not to each other but to the state, and they should obey/trust outsiders. It's also about an innate distrust of women's bodies.
Unfortunately, the American media is so darned influential and so much of American culture is being exported (think McDonalds in Russia- or anywhere else in the world) that unless the women of the US stand up and change their system, you could see the homebirth rate in countries like the Netherlands start to fall as it has in the UK. It's already happening with infant feeding- birth could be next. Just something to think about, especially for those of you who live there.
As far as the risk thing goes, I think human beings are being audacious when they believe that we should be the one species with a 100% live birth rate. I have been pregnant 7 times. I have two children living, have miscarried early three times, and my daughter was stillborn at 24 weeks (at home, as she would have been if she had gone to term.) I think ultimately we need to learn enough humility to know that a live baby is not all that's important- what is important is that each individual involved can keep their dignity and accept themselves and the choices they made in the face of overwhelming emotions.
post #107 of 181
Flapjack, are you saying doctors and hospitals in the UK make the same amount of money for natural vaginal births and cesareans? What about the pharmaceutical compainies who make money from every intervention?
post #108 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamma Mia
I think we know that mothers *can* and do protect their babies from circumcision in the hositals and free formula only gets to babies if their mothers give it to them or allow hospital staff to. I'm sure someone around here has heard a horror story, but almost all of the time, if a mother chooses not to give formula or circ it doesn't happen.
Allow me to quote myself, since I know my other post was so frickin long I bet no one read it:
Quote:
I know of children that were circumcised because their parents didn't see the little box to mark if you DONT want your son to be circed. Why is it you have to specifically opt out of an uneccesary surgery?

It happens

Also,

Quote:
originally posted by pfamilygal: For many of my patients (mostly teenagers), the hospital birth is a very good thing. It is the first place where they are introduce to the idea of breastfeeding, infant care and self-care.

Again quoting myself:

I agree that some teenagers are sadly under-informed. But we can't assume all are of course. I myself was discriminated against at the hospital when I had to be transported after HB delivery for stitches. They went so far as to have CPS try and schedule a visit at my home. NOW?! I was so proud of myself for having just given birth naturally, without putting my daughter into uneccesary exposure to drugs or forceps or vacuum extraction, etc. And what do I get? A visit from CPS because they think I was being reckless for being a teenager and having a homebirth! They also gave me a D&C FOR NO REASON other than I had a homebirth, and I was too weak from the experience to stick up for myself. I tend to think it's reckless to go into the hospital intending to have an epidural from the start or intending to have a cesarean for unmedical reasons. But I don't see CPS knocking on their doors…… so why mine? Do they do this at your hospital, or did I just have a sign on me that said, "I just gave birth, wanna make me punch you?"
post #109 of 181
But when you say they are making this decision on faulty logic, what statistics are you basing this on? Is your own logic faulty? Come on! How can you have the audacity to say this without backing it up with statistics? Are your statistics based on casual conversations with others who simply share your opinions? It sounds very immature to me without the facts to back it up.

Peace,

Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
True, this is WHY they choose hospitals, however this is usually done with faulty logic as they don't have all the information (or choose to disregard the information)

-Angela
post #110 of 181
I believe it is just as unethical to impose stereotypes on women who choose to natural birth in a hospital, as if they are uninformed or don't want to be better informed.

Just because someone is a homebirther, doesn't automatically mean they are better informed, either. I know several people who homebirthed because it was cool and they wanted to be considered a part of that group/community or it was a status symbol. They are quick to judge others as if they need to be in that position for selfish reasons. Is it any better to blindly follow a group of people without deciding for yourself? Maybe some hospital birthers just don't follow groups as much and are still transitioning-like me:

2 natural midwife attended hospital births, homebirth coming in January.

Hmmmmm. It works both ways!

Let's consider the best in each other before we assume the worst.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raven
I think to focus needs to be shifted. The ethical blunder lies within the hands of the medical profession who LIE to women.
post #111 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by beansavi
I believe it is just as unethical to impose stereotypes on women who choose to natural birth in a hospital, as if they are uninformed or don't want to be better informed.
Totally. If a pg woman desires a natural birth but ends up opting for an epi, at least she went in there with some good intentions. There's nothing wrong with changing your mind. I would like to think that all women do their research when it comes to such a life-altering event as childbirth. But dammit, they don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beansavi
Just because someone is a homebirther, doesn't automatically mean they are better informed. I know several people who homebirthed because it was cool and they wanted to be considered a part of that group/community. They are quick to judge others as if they need to be in that position for selfish reasons.

You are so right. Any hey, it's a pretty cool thing if I may say so myself. I chose to homebirth for specific reasons, but I also get some comments like "OMG that's so cool, you're so brave!" (now that I made it through alive- of course when I was pg I got this look ) and stuff like that, which is more or less ignorance dressed as a compliment. Sorry, I mean ignorant as in "Brave? Nope, just well-informed and confident in my ability to birth..." I wish more people had this confidence. I wish I could just go around with a wand and *poof* it onto pg women. how cool would that be? But it's my experience that MOST (not all, but most) women that decide on HB do it because they educated themselves on it. Not because they thought it was "cool".
Conversely, I would be willing to bet that a woman that goes to the hospital expecting a totally intervened hospital birth and willing to do whatever doc suggests DID NOT do so after reading up on the facts. I would say this happens when people are uninformed, and interventions don't happen at a HB people.
post #112 of 181
Quote:
I know several people who homebirthed because it was cool and they wanted to be considered a part of that group/community or it was a status symbol.
That is the worst reason to have a home birth. The only place a woman should give birth is where she feels comfortable. I remember women having babies in the 'groovy hippy commune' because everyone else did, only to be in labor for days because they could not let go and have the baby.

I am angry at people who put their own personal fears on me even when presented with the facts.
post #113 of 181
Quote:
The only conclusion I can come to is that this isn't about the money, because we don't pay for healthcare- as a PP mentioned, it's partly about the state desperately trying to reinforce the idea that a family's first loyalty is not to each other but to the state, and they should obey/trust outsiders. It's also about an innate distrust of women's bodies.
It is a world wide cultural abberation of the 20th century.
post #114 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamma Mia
No offense, but your three experiences don't negate anyone else's. I'm glad you didn't have the experience applejuice described, but I bet it's more common (or similar actions/words are) than you think.
Unless you live in my area, there is no way to know just how common the level of care I received is. Most of the women I've spoken to who have kids the same age as mine have told me that their OBs have been very respectful of their wishes. Granted their wishes may not have been the same as mine, but still, their doctors respected their wishes. Most of the women I've talked to about this are like me where they don't blindly do what the doctors tell them.

It probably helps that I live in an area that tends to embrace a lifestyle that is a bit more granola crunchy than mainstream. Pain med free hospital births, breastfeeding and the like are a bit more common here than some places.
post #115 of 181
This thread is over the top subjective and without real facts to back it up. Which, I guess is the point.

Comments like this, "I remember women having babies in the 'groovy hippy commune' because everyone else did, only to be in labor for days because they could not let go and have the baby." Applejuice
So now a woman who labors for days can`t let go and have the baby? Sounds like that woman must be a total idiot, if she was a perfect informed homebirthing goddess who trusted her body then what would it take, 3 hours? This leads to the kind of high school mentality that keeps women judging each other and keeps us drinking the HATORADE. There are women on this board who felt sad that they missed out b/c they had short labors. There are people who have healthy babies born in waterbirths that are pissed b/c they forgot to drink their special tea and light their candles. This is crazy to me and one thing about a lot of hospital birthers is most of them are not constantly comparing their experiences and outdoing each other.

Other comments like there aren`t interventions in hb or that OB`s are like bottom feeders, I think its obvious that anecdotal evidence is only acceptable in this discussion if it supports the original premise. If you have anecdotal evidence that shows that even smart women go the hospital or that not all OB`s suck, well, don`t mention it. How about real facts?
post #116 of 181
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyshoes
alegna, I do not mean to discount the seriousness of ethics, morality, and SUV-style birthin' running rampant in the USA today. I thought that some of our thread-buddies who might be turned off by the big ol' ETHICS, or those feelin' the blame-game, might appriciate a more "lighthearted" viewpoint, akin to exploring cultural differances vs. Heaven and Hell.
That's cool- room here for that too. I am just one of those weird-o nerds who actually enjoys the mental exercise of things like logic and ethics of every-day situations.



-Angela
post #117 of 181
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamma Mia

If we are to advocate for more midwifery centered care, support UA, and encourage breastfeeding, we're not going to make any new converts by calling their educated or uneducated choices unethical.
Honestly this thread isn't about converting anyone. It's about exploring the deeper implications of decisions that are often not fully researched and considered.

-Angela
post #118 of 181
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by flapjack
As far as the risk thing goes, I think human beings are being audacious when they believe that we should be the one species with a 100% live birth rate. I have been pregnant 7 times. I have two children living, have miscarried early three times, and my daughter was stillborn at 24 weeks (at home, as she would have been if she had gone to term.) I think ultimately we need to learn enough humility to know that a live baby is not all that's important- what is important is that each individual involved can keep their dignity and accept themselves and the choices they made in the face of overwhelming emotions.
Thank you for bringing this up. I agree wholeheartedly. Humans are an arrogant bunch these days.

I know that many many people would disagree with your last bit:
"I think ultimately we need to learn enough humility to know that a live baby is not all that's important- what is important is that each individual involved can keep their dignity and accept themselves and the choices they made in the face of overwhelming emotions."

but I agree.

-Angela
post #119 of 181
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beansavi
I believe it is just as unethical to impose stereotypes on women who choose to natural birth in a hospital, as if they are uninformed or don't want to be better informed.

Just because someone is a homebirther, doesn't automatically mean they are better informed, either. I know several people who homebirthed because it was cool and they wanted to be considered a part of that group/community or it was a status symbol. They are quick to judge others as if they need to be in that position for selfish reasons. Is it any better to blindly follow a group of people without deciding for yourself? Maybe some hospital birthers just don't follow groups as much and are still transitioning-like me:
All hospital birthers that I know personally have done NO research on out of hospital birth. None. Zip. Zilch. I'm sure that there are many that HAVE researched their options, but I don't think that I would be out of line to say that MOST (51% or better) women in the US who birth in the hospital have not researched any alternatives. THAT is a shame in my mind (and IMO, unethical, as I believe that we are obligated to do our best to make ethical choices and to do so we must search out information on those choices)

I'm sure that there are uneducated homebirthers- I even met one of those. IMO that is just as unethical as uneducated hospital birthers.
[However, I would venture that MOST (again 51%) homebirthers in the US have made a researched decision, as it is not the default decision]

hmmm, interesting conclusion.

Perhaps what is unethical is not the choice of birth-place, but the lack of research/thought that goes into such a choice.

-Angela
post #120 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by WC_hapamama
Unless you live in my area, there is no way to know just how common the level of care I received is. Most of the women I've spoken to who have kids the same age as mine have told me that their OBs have been very respectful of their wishes. Granted their wishes may not have been the same as mine, but still, their doctors respected their wishes. Most of the women I've talked to about this are like me where they don't blindly do what the doctors tell them.

It probably helps that I live in an area that tends to embrace a lifestyle that is a bit more granola crunchy than mainstream. Pain med free hospital births, breastfeeding and the like are a bit more common here than some places.
Okay, you and I both live in "granola" areas where it is less likely to happen. Our areas do not dictate the norm. You can't use your area or experience to discount someone else's. All you can really say is, "Thank goodness this is nearly unheard of where I live!"
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