Originally Posted by annakiss
How does everyone feel about homebirth as a domain of the privileged (not necessarily wealthy, mind you - privileged as in referring "to special powers or 'de facto' immunities held as a consequence of political power or wealth. Privilege of this sort may be transmitted by birth into a privileged class or achieved through individual actions.")?
I think it's sad, since you could almost look upon it as a type of cultural appropriation (maybe not the accurate term, but I can't think of what I mean, exactly). At one point, homebirth, even in the US, was not the domain of the privileged. Then as access to modern medicine and hospitals became more common, more and more of society could take advantage of these things, until it became a situation where choosing homebirth, denying hospital care to certain segments of the population would be seen as something to be put down by any right thinking, moral person. Now we've come in a circle to a place where often the people who are choosing homebirth are the ones who have a certain amount of power and privilege, at least to be taken seriously by the mainstream. They have to say, "Yes, we researched it and it is scientifically sound." And that is what bothers me, the most, I think, because when it comes to obstetrical care in this country, I feel like we've thrown the baby out with the bathwater in many cases.
However, I don't necessarily think homebirth is for everyone, and I think the best way to educate is by word of mouth. I think we need to work on a governmental level to make birthing choices and obstetrical care better for everyone, regardless of whether a woman gives birth at home, in a birth center or in a hospital
When I have talked about homebirth with less privileged than I, there was a resistance. And then finally what came out of it is, "I don't WANT to stay home, are you kidding? I want to get OUT of here, I want to go to the hospital and at least have some break." (I've also talked to at least one person for whom a hospital was not an option, because of her financial situation.) If you are talking to people who might be returning to work as soon as 2 days after giving birth, they may welcome the chance to get away from their home for just that little bit of time. We don't know what their home situation is like. The idea that one would give birth in their tiny, messy place (or that they would have to clean it and make it ready) without access to any pain relief or aftercare may not strike a person as empowering, it may feel precisely the opposite. So word of mouth, IMO, is the best way to really explain the benefit one might get, but you have to accept she is not going to feel the same way. That's why I would like to work on bettering birth choices all around.
I thought it was interesting when I was pregnant, and I was talking to my doctor about how I wanted a homebirth midwife, and she was really confused, and then finally suggested that if I wanted a midwife, I could use the clinic that they ran for the underprivileged. But the midwife wouldn't deliver me, the OBs have to do all the in hospital stuff.