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Pro-homebirth risk ethics - Page 2

post #21 of 181
I think it is unethical to be judgmental. I don't want to be a part of a discussion where being judgemental is fair game. That is exactly what I was trying to get at - that this seemed like a judgemental thread. Now you have confirmed that it is.

Not interested in judging other mothers - or being judged, so will bow out.

I hope you get what you are looking for from your thread.

~Tracy
post #22 of 181
Is it unethical for mom to get an epidural during labor knowing the risks to the baby and herself? How about is it unethical for mom to have an elective c-section because she doesn't want to do labor? Is it unethical for mom to have an induced birth because she wants baby to be born on X day. Also is it ethical for OB's to administer these things for said reasons, given the risks?
post #23 of 181
This is a very interesting thread.
At the start of my 1st pregnancy I thought a homebirth would be best. At that time in my life though I hadn't really "bulit up" my backbone or knowledge yet. I was 41 weeks and leaking fluid so my family practitioner sent me in to be induced. Well, long story short...after 29 hrs. of labor I had a section due to "fetal distress." (Yet to be told how he was distresssed...) Bah!! Fast forward to baby #2. I tried for a VBAC. Same Dr. After FOUR DAYS of labor that...I really can't think of an appropriate word, the pain was...there's just no word, I was really losing touch with reality (THANKS, PITOCIN!!)...I had section #2. When I got pregnant with my daughter I WAS NOT going through that again & scheduled a section. When they had me open they said NOT to conceive again - the scar tissue was all over my bladder...just everywhere. Well, I am having another. (My last...due in March.) I will HAVE (yes, one of those cases it's truly needed) to have a section again. I fault all the "health care" I recieved for all of it. And myself for not knowing better. Personally, my surgeries were great, recovery was wonderful...but that's little consolation for when it comes to all the drugs the babies recieved and all the trauma they endured because of being evicted too soon. (Why do they HAVE to be out by 40 weeks?!) I only bring up how easy the sections were because some women do schedule them for convenience...shame on them!! I wish I could do it over. I never would have went to the hospital the 1st time...amazing how the labor TURNS after that pitocin drip gets turned on. Painful? Yep. Unbearable? I don't think it would have been. Let me tell you - PITOCIN CAN MAKE IT THAT WAY!! Just say NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #24 of 181
Oh, I also wanted to thank the poster who pointed out the risks of prenatal testing. Good point...I am still deciding how I feel about US, but as for the rest, no thank you!!
post #25 of 181
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheacoby
Is it unethical for mom to get an epidural during labor knowing the risks to the baby and herself? How about is it unethical for mom to have an elective c-section because she doesn't want to do labor? Is it unethical for mom to have an induced birth because she wants baby to be born on X day. Also is it ethical for OB's to administer these things for said reasons, given the risks?
I think in most cases it is unethical to assume a risk for someone else (the baby) without a REALLY good reason. A balancing reason if you will. There must be some other risk that is at least as heavy as the risk you are assuming. Therefore, IMO, barring any medical reason, yes, it is unethical to induce simply to choose a birthday. It is also, barring any medical reason, unethical to choose a c-section to avoid labor. IMO.

-Angela
post #26 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmzbm
amazing how the labor TURNS after that pitocin drip gets turned on. Painful? Yep. Unbearable? I don't think it would have been. Let me tell you - PITOCIN CAN MAKE IT THAT WAY!! Just say NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh man, yes. And while there are valid medical reasons for pitocin drips, to voluntarily want it is beyond me. That stuff is the devil to me...or maybe it's the super long painful contractions that are the devil to me. :LOL
post #27 of 181
I don't really think it's unethical for a woman to choose a hospital birth after waying the risk/benifits , surprising yes. I don't think many women are actually making an informed decision , is that unethical I'm not sure.
Then whole birth climate in this country is pretty darn unethical so it's hard to seperate that from the decisions women are making. It is completely FEAR based and I think a lot of women make their birthing decisions based on fear and not facts.
post #28 of 181
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyRae
WOW....I can't believe I'm reading people saying it's unethical NOT to choose a homebirth. Wow. So, um, what happens if you live an hour away from the nearest hospital? What happens if you're not comfortable going u/c, but there are no midwives in your state? What if you are just not comfortable having a baby in your home for any reason? I do NOT equate it to choosing to formula feed...sometimes a hospital birth is more warranted for medical reasons, sometimes for personal reasons. But you CAN have a med free intervention free birth in a hospital.

I think it's unethical to take away choices.
Absolutely, there are most definitely cases where hospital birth is clearly the best choice. I am not suggesting that we take away choices at all. I think that we should all have all the choices in the book. On everything.

-Angela
post #29 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
I think in most cases it is unethical to assume a risk for someone else (the baby) without a REALLY good reason. A balancing reason if you will. There must be some other risk that is at least as heavy as the risk you are assuming. Therefore, IMO, barring any medical reason, yes, it is unethical to induce simply to choose a birthday. It is also, barring any medical reason, unethical to choose a c-section to avoid labor. IMO.

-Angela
:
and then you say:
Quote:
Absolutely, there are most definitely cases where hospital birth is clearly the best choice. I am not suggesting that we take away choices at all. I think that we should all have all the choices in the book. On everything.
it's not your choice to make for anyone but yourself. It's not your place to decide what is ethical or not. All you can do is inform yourself and make the best decisions given your situation. We shouldn't have to answer to anyone for our decisions, on either side of the story. I don't have to justify to anyone why I chose to vbac at The Farm anymore than my neighbor doesn't have to justify to me why she chose a repeat c/s with the same ob that did her first one. We all have our reasons, and whether you feel we are fully informed or not is not your place to say. I know my OB didn't feel I was fully informed to have made the decisions I did with my second pregnancy and birth. So what? He let me make those decisions, and he stood behind them regardless, the way everyone should, because they were my decisions to make.
post #30 of 181
Then we don't have the right to make ethical calls at all. I mean none of our social movements would have happened if people would not have made ethical calls that may or may not have directly affected them. There are many things that are unethical about how we birth in this country and I think we all need to voice our opinions about them. I wouldn't nor do I want to tell women how to give birth but I do know most women are NOT informed and yeah I judge that.
post #31 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by stafl
I know my OB didn't feel I was fully informed to have made the decisions I did with my second pregnancy and birth. So what? He let me make those decisions, and he stood behind them regardless, the way everyone should, because they were my decisions to make.
What do you mean by he let you make decisions. Who had the power in that relationship? Maybe you didn't mean it that way but that is the birth climate here. Ob's are in power and may or may not let women make decisions about their births.
post #32 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheacoby
What is unethical is the fact we aren't getting the truth. The medical establishment does not give us all the facts, they actually give us very few. Women are not making informed decisions because it's pretty hard in this culture to become informed.How can you weigh the risk and benifits when you don't truly know what they are?
exactly how I feel about it.
post #33 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheacoby
What do you mean by he let you make decisions. Who had the power in that relationship? Maybe you didn't mean it that way but that is the birth climate here. Ob's are in power and may or may not let women make decisions about their births.
I mean exactly that. too many doctors do not let women make their own informed decisions. Mine did. It seems many here would want to prevent women from making their own decisions as well, if it involved choosing a hospital birth or cesarean.
post #34 of 181
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stafl
it's not your choice to make for anyone but yourself. It's not your place to decide what is ethical or not. All you can do is inform yourself and make the best decisions given your situation. We shouldn't have to answer to anyone for our decisions, on either side of the story. I don't have to justify to anyone why I chose to vbac at The Farm anymore than my neighbor doesn't have to justify to me why she chose a repeat c/s with the same ob that did her first one. We all have our reasons, and whether you feel we are fully informed or not is not your place to say. I know my OB didn't feel I was fully informed to have made the decisions I did with my second pregnancy and birth. So what? He let me make those decisions, and he stood behind them regardless, the way everyone should, because they were my decisions to make.

You're right- I only get to choose for myself. But I CAN decide what I see as ethical or not. I don't think it's ethical to walk out my door and shoot the first person I see. I can't stop you if you want to do it, but I can think that it's not ethical. On a less severe note- I don't think it's ethical to spank children. However I can't stop my BIL from doing it and there are also no laws against it.

I can judge and discuss what I see as ethical or not without wanting to force anyone to do anything. Free will. We all have the right to make our own decisions. Even unethical ones.

-Angela
post #35 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by stafl
I mean exactly that. too many doctors do not let women make their own informed decisions. Mine did. It seems many here would want to prevent women from making their own decisions as well, if it involved choosing a hospital birth or cesarean.
Why don't women think there is something wrong with that, even if your doctor is so nice to "allow" you to make your own decisions. It should be the women letting or not letting the doctor do things not the other way around. Who is paying whom in the doctor /patient relationship.
post #36 of 181
Thread Starter 
but yeah. No one "lets" me do anything.

-Angela
post #37 of 181
I live in a city with one homebirth midwife. She is SUPER respected and loved and the homebirthers rant and rave about her and love her sooo much. She is involved with much of the politics of homebirth, too. She's been doing it for 23 years. She has hosted Ina May Gaskin and others...

When I chose to switch from homebirth to her attending my hospital birth with my second child, a lot of "friends" who really identified themselves as "homebirthers" in their daily lives suddenly gave me a lot of shit. I was totally blown away and saddened

I called my midwife to confide in her and do you know what she told me? She said that those people angered her.

She said she was not

"pro homebirth"

but rather she was

"Pro women having choices and freedom".


When my second was born, a lovely, natural birth where the docs stood out of her way, I hemorraged.

My midwife said she was glad I went with my intuition and switched to hospital, because she would have been overwhelmed trying to get the baby started AND controlling my bleeding.

Let's factor in a woman's intuition, Mamas, when discussing this, and have respect for that.
post #38 of 181
In my opinion, women have the right to birth wherever they feel comfortable. Regardless of whether hey know the risks for themselves of the baby, women have the right to birth where they choose. This is an intrinsic part of our reproductive rights.

I take issue with you saying that it is unethical for a woman to choose not to breastfeed. (I'll take this moment to say that I am a doula, student midwife, homebirther and CLWer) Breastfeeding is another aspect of women's reproductive rights. There are a host of reasons a woman may choose not to breastfeed, even knowing the dramatic benefits to her child. None of them should be up for judgement. It is her body, and therefore her choice.

Back to the OP, a woman may choose, knowing the risks of hospital birth, to birth there because she still feels safer. Were she to birth at home and not feel safe, there are a lot of complications that could arise form her unease.

On one hand, I think this is an interesting topic, but I just wish it weren't headed in that direction that chooses ethics and morals for women. Were it to be more theoretical, I might have enjoyed it more. Not that we're all here for my amusement!
post #39 of 181
My issue is that very few women are actually making informed choices. Do all the many many women who choose not to breastfeed really know what they are choosing? The same question can be asked about hospital births. Why do a lot of women feel safer in the hospital, why do many believe the hospital is safer? Why do so many women let doctors choose for them?
If we didn't have readily available formula would it still be ethical for women to decide not to breastfeed eventhough it would be very detrimental/deadly to their babies, would it still be a matter of choice? Is it ethical to have massed produced artificial baby food?
post #40 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyRae

I think it's unethical to take away choices. I think it's unethical to pressure women to birth where you want them to. I do not see anything unethical about making an educated decision on where to birth based on the risks and benefits. For some people, a homebirth is not a wise choice, whether it be medical risk factors or proximity to a place where emergency medical treatment could be received. When discussing ethics, it's important to understand that not everyone's situation is identical to your own. But, the ethical decision is to do the research, make the decision based on the facts, and not to allow other people's idea of "right" pressure you into doing something that isn't right for you...

Now, obviously this can be expanded to breastfeeding. YES, there are instances when breastfeeding is unethical--especially if you are on medications required for your own health that will hurt or kill your child. However, most people, when doing the research, will not find themselves in a position where the risks of breastfeeding are greater than the benefits, so choosing otherwise may be unethical. However, choosing to FF is not unethical in itself...if anyone considers ff to be unethical, it's choosing to FF when the benefits outweigh the risks. The same can hold true if someone were to consider hospital birthing unethical.
I agree with AllyRae.

I'm not against homebirth, but for myself I have chosen hospital births. I know the benefits and risks of all of the procedures that my OB/GYN might want to do on me or my child. It's called informed consent people.

I think that people who don't look at the benefits vs risks of any issue involving their health is ignorant, a fool perhaps, but immoral? That's taking it a bit too far.

Now breastfeeding... when does breastfeeding become too much to ask? Two of my three current children have food allergies, and when I breastfed my youngest, I had to cut several foods out of my diet for 18 months. I've talked to other women in similar situations who are on diets of 5 foods, for example rice, sweet potatoes, chicken, pears and apples. Can you imagine being on a diet like that for 2 years? Can such a limited diet be healthy for a breastfeeding mother for such an extended period of time? Often in situations like this, many vitamins are also off limits as they can be made from allergenic items.

Is it immoral to formula feed, using an elemental formula that the baby can tolerate, in the interest of Mom's health? I don't think so.
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