"but in balance i think the bad things that happen in hospitals are fewer and less likely to be fatal than the things a hospital can save you from. BUT ONLY if you are very well prepared with knowledge, support."
Well, I'm sorry you think that - you certainly have every reason to. I
think that the maternal mortality risks are the same, the infant mortality risks are probably the same (with homebirth likely edging out hospital birth as safer, with singleton vertex births, but you're right, the stats aren't conclusive on that one), and the morbidity risks for mother and child are simply not comparable. Hospital are risky places to birth. I also think you are incredibly naive about what it takes to avoid the very real risks of being in the hospital. It really isn't a matter of being prepared enough, of having enough support. You can adjust the odds, but they'll still be against you.
And as you say below, you can't prove that your "in balance I think" is actually correct. I will take the risk of dying via something a hospital could have prevented and the much, much better likelihood that my baby will be safe and healthy over the risk that I will die via something a hospital caused and the much higher likelihood that I will experience trauma, pain, violation, and my baby will be traumatized, hurt, and/or damaged, and my future babies having a higher likelihood of death.
You haven't yet said anything that is new or would make me reconsider my support of homebirth, although you have very eloquently stated why women would very much feel it necessary to birth in the hospital, and I thank you for that window into fear.
Originally Posted by pannacotta
i'm afraid the facts do NOT say that homebirth is safer because (as i explained in an earlier post) such a study is impossible to do.
you would have to take a group of low risk pregnant women and randomly assign them to home with the same set up (same midwives, same everything or hospital (same hospital, same obs and nurses) . and that's a study noone can do.
i'm not going to get into the absolute accuracy of studies for the above reason and because these are not 'facts'. noone CAN prove that home or hospital is safer in the vast majority of cases, but i'm not talking about the vast majority of cases. i'm talking about sudden emergencies that can ONLY be taken care of in a hospital, emergencies which are NOT predictable and which can be fatal if not caught in time. and which might be fatal anyway.
you say i don't look at the facts - well there are no facts when it comes to birth, except that a baby will be born one way or the other.
the other fairly certain thing is that if you have something catastrophic happen to you and you bleed out, or your heart stops or your uterus ruptures with little warning, you will most likely have a bad outcome if you are at home.
i'm not talking about the relative safety, but about those deaths that could be preventable, if a women had been close to backup.
saying 'if i feel something is wrong i'll go to a hospital' sounds nice but you do NOT always have time sadly. you can be dead before you get there. saying 'i'll feel if something is wrong' also sounds nice. and i did feel something was wrong. and i do not KNOW if that was connected to accreta. it could just be a total coincidence that i had a painful labor. i have a hunch, yes, but hunches are not facts. women who suddenly collapse AFE have no warning. (of the few survivor stories (many survive but brain dead) some report a metallic taste in their mouth for a few *seconds* before they collapse.
wouldn't the possibility of something like that happening to you, with all the sadness that implies, make you feel more comfortable in the only place that can handle such an event? even if you have to fight with a nurse or get cut when you don't want to be.
those of us in earthquake zones often buy quake insurance, even though it's such a rare event. we don't rely on 'it isn't going to happen to me' because we just don't know.
please don't quote 'safety of homebirth' statistics at me. i've read all the studies and neither they nor the hospital is safer studies are relevant in this case nor as i said a the beginning of this post can they demonstrate that homebirth is safer. there are just too many confounders. i'm talking about sudden obstetric emergencies that kill you if you're out of a hospital.
at the end of the day we each decide for ourselves. i felt talking about my experience was useful and relevant.
and to be told 'homebirth is safer this study says so' is patronizing at best and irrelevant at least. i did read those studies you know. i did quote them at my husband (the skeptical doc) who actually designs healthcare studies himself and pointed out a million flaws in them (and the hospital-is-safer studies too.
when something bad happens, and you don't know if it's going to happen to you, wouldn't you rather have that (imperfect) but potentially lifesaving safety net?
That safety net is an illusion, as many of us have stated. It's just as likely to kill you as it is to save you. It saved you. You are grateful. I am grateful, for whatever that's worth. Isn't that enough?