I was hoping one could PM me, I have some questions. I think I am just pregnant and stupid, I thought there would be somewhere on the page with this info and a link.
Look to the bottom of the page and you'll see a tab entitled "Staff in Homebirth Forum." It lists the moderator as IdentityCrisisMama. I also recall that Viola recently was able to close a thread.
I can't imagine what this could possibly be about, though...
I am not the mod of HB - haven't been for a while now. I will ask Adina to update the listing. MM there are links at the top of the main HB forum. If you're looking for more specific information a Google search or library books are a good way to start. If you'd like some input from the community, you are welcome to start a thread. If you need Mod support for something, you can PM any mod and they can help.
Hi there, thank you. Actually I am wondering why a certain poster is allowed to be here continually with the negative attitude that is continually brought to every home birth thread it seems. I am really sick of the negativity and anti-home birth attitude this poster continually has here. I have been coming to MDC for years for advice and support, although I don't always post I use the archives and search old threads for help and advice often. It seems this person has been posting for a long period of time and permeates nearly every home birth thread here with their crap. It seems this person walks the line following the rules just enough to stay but not enough to be kicked out.
Anyway that is what I wanted to ask about. Seems the home birth forum might benefit from some SUPPORT only rules much like the UA forum enjoys. Just a suggestion.
Thanks for listening. :)
I just wanted to clarify one point: I have nothing whatsoever against homebirth. I have a big problem with homebirths being supervised by people who are ignorant of the potential dangers that can arise in any birth setting. I have a big problem when people who don't know that babies need amniotic fluid invent a meaningless credential for themselves and trick women into thinking that they're actual professionals with an actual skill set. I have a big problem when people mock concerns about dangers because they don't understand them (one sometimes gets the impression that health care providers induce posdates moms because they don't believe that their bodies are capable of giving birth, not because the risk of bad outcomes for babies are massively increased when the pregnancy goes far past the due date).
And I have a HUGE problem when this ignorance directly leads to the death of a baby and those responsible respond by pretending it never happened.
I don't understand why it should be a "support only" thread. It has been a good place to discuss the good and bad about home birth. If women talk about being fully informed and educated about birth, they need to know both sides, not just the side they want to hear. I really worry about women who are so delicate in their beliefs that they can't hear the possibility that it isn't all rainbows and unicorns.
My understanding is that you need only to have had a home birth or to be in support of them to post to these threads. In case anyone is wondering, I have had a homebirth, and I am a home birth midwife. I want women to understand all sides so they can make the safest possible decision.
appalled20, you assume a lot and often from what I have read here. For you to pick out immediately that I was talking about you just emphasizes what I am accusing you of is actually happening, it isn't my imagination. Defensive much? If your intentions were true to heart you wouldn't be. If you TRULY supported home birth your posts would not all have something negative to say about it. Other than you CONSTANTLY saying you have nothing against home birth, every post here has been negative. You always continue that statement with a "but". Do you know what but really means? But is the big eraser. But means: Forget what I just said THIS is what I really mean. You type out of both sides of your mouth. Obviously you knew exactly why I wanted a mod to contact me thus your 1st post in this thread, makes me wonder if this has been brought up about you before now?
I agree with facts. I agree with information and knowing all sides. I agree with being informed. I feel that happens here without fear mongering and being on a crusade AGAINST home birth, which is what I feel appalled20 is doing. And SAYING you have nothing against home birth and then only posting negative things about it are two TOTALLY different things. A person can say all day long they support a thing, or have nothing against a thing, all the while talking out of the other side of their mouth proving just the opposite.
Assuming women don't have the intelligence to do their own research and make their own informed choices without these negative posts combating home birth is insulting. These women don't need you to bring the ugliest side of a thing to their attention in order to be "informed". Do you run around telling women you meet in the grocery store planning a hospital birth all the bad things that could happen to them at the hands of their OB in your "sincere" crusade for fully informed mama's?
Some of the onus for the responsibility of your OWN care lies with mothers as well. Blaming everything on midwives or OBGYN's when you have a mouth and should be advocating for yourself is crap.
I have had 2 home births. I researched and made my own choices. That was MY responsibility. I am the only person completely responsible for me. If I sit around avoiding my gut instinct and closing my mouth when I could have been advocating for myself and something bad happens some of that is on me.
Mothercat, I don't think it is a matter of being "delicate" in beliefs, but as a midwife you know that fear effects labor and birth. There is a big difference between information based in fact and information that is at one far end of the spectrum used simply to scare people out of a thing. Surely when you talk to your clients you don't show them the one midwife out of thousands that lost a baby last week (whether she was negligent or not) and say, "Are you sure you want me to deliver your baby, cause ya know, this could happen??" There is a difference in what COULD happen and what normally does happen. For every nightmare midwife story there are just as many horrid OB/hospital stories. Part of the reason I chose home birth so many years ago was because I met a woman who delivered a still born due to OB negligence. She was suing for malpractice. The fear mongering stories are available on both sides....both sides could scare each other all day long. What matters is where a mama feels comfortable, what she wants, and can have within a reasonable scope taking into consideration her circumstances, that includes researching who you pick for your care, that responsibility is on the mama. I don't necessarily think it should be support only with a fierce conviction, but I do think someone should stand up for what MOTHERING has stood up for for the last 30+ years and protect this place of support and information from posters like appalled. If that can't be done, then maybe support only is an option.
I am no Pollyanna, I know complications happen, I know birth is not always perfect and pretty, and I don't see the majority of women coming to this forum feeling any different than that. They come looking for information that is valid, real women experiences, and support, but I find this is being undermined here. Just like I wouldn't go to a mainstream site like babycenter.com and post all kinds of horror stories about OB's and hospital births, I wouldn't go to the breastfeeding forum and post the new study that was done that concluded that breastfeeding has no long term benefits for kids, just to stir the pot. I feel it would be combative and missing the point of the forum, (support) and that is what I feel you are doing appalled20.
I truly feel appalled20 is a mannerly troll who colors just enough inside the lines so they can post here undermining and crusading against home birth all the while saying they support a woman's right to choose the birth she wants when it is abundantly clear they don't.
All of this reminds me of what happened on Jan Tritten and Midwifery Today's Facebook pages . A lot of people, including both hardcore homebirth supporters and opponents, were horrified to witness a baby dying in real time due to horrible, ignorant advice from people whose job it is to know about pregnancy. But then a small group of radicals started complaining about "negativity" and accusing dissenters of being condescending "trolls."
Then posts started to disappear and posters were banned. Then the already censored discussions started to disappear, as if it had never happened, as if some poor woman hadn't just come home with a cesarean scar but without a baby.
This is a homebirth forum. Home birth just means birth at home. I can support that idea without agreeing that it should be attended by people who are ignorant, incompetent, and grossly unethical and without buying into a bunch of facially absurd slogans about how childbirth is inherently safe, or how "babies will come out when they're ready, that breech is just a "variation of normal." Again, other countries have made this work without accepting the idea that someone with CPM-level training has any business delivering footling breeches in a living room.
One of the things that disturbed me most about the recent tragedy is that the midwife involved wasn't some kind of fringe radical. She participated in a lot of discussions on another website and it's clear that she truly believed that she was being safe and responsible. She took neonatal resuscitation classes. She had a backup OB. And yet she accepted all of those repeated false slogans. And it cost a baby his life.
Things need to change and they need to change now. Calling people trolls and accusing them of "negativity" when they've just seen a baby die due to the sort of ignorance and stupidity that passes for "wisdom" in some circles isn't going to help things.
middlemama - I share your concerns about the integrity of the forum as do our moderators.
Posting in the homebirth forum to raise issues of concern about homebirth practices is perfectly appropriate - for members of the community who are active advocates for and practicing or actively supporting homebirth themselves. If you post in this forum to raise an issue about homebirth without having an established participation here as a member who advocates, supports and encourages homebirth then your post is not appropriate here.
I'm going to review the posting behavior in question and see what can be done to resolve the concerns. But let's not resort to namecalling, which is not acceptable in any discussion on Mothering,
Just to clarify, saying "is a troll" and "is posting in a trollish manner" are two different things, the former being namecalling. That's what I'd like to see everyone avoid.
I'm sorry if this represents your personal feelings and stereotypes toward homebirthing women.
But no, seeking support related to a personal decision I've already made on my own is not an act of groupthink.
But you have nothing to worry about. The HB forum will probably remain at status quo.
Turquesa: "I've honestly stopped frequenting this forum because of its shift over the years."
Me too. Just stumbled back here after a long absence, and disappointed things are generally the same. Too much conflict raised by a small number of contentious posters. Reasonable voices shouted out.
It's a pity. The HB community could use a place to talk freely without having to defend the fundamentals at every turn.
Well that is why I originally brought this to light. I have been coming to MDC for 13 years through 3 pregnancies and children. I had been gone a long while as I was between the young years of #2's childhood and this pregnancy and just had drifted away. I came back a few months ago as I was pregnant with #3 and was SO SO SO SAD to see the lack of posting here from the HB community as well as this general negativity about it in many of the threads. It was honestly depressing because this had always been a great place to commune and share and talk amongst those like minded individuals that shared my ideals and thoughts about birth. It made me long for the days I curled up with my paper Mothering magazine and read it cover to cover feeling as if I had a friend. Did the forum change when the magazine left and went totally online?
I think it would be nice to have both. A general home birth section where active debate could take place and then a private forum for support only. I really like the fact that there is no more censorship in the home birth area. I was a CPM student and pregnant when I first started coming here. I saw many emergencies as student and really felt that I needed a place to put these experiences into context. Unfortunately, every time a thread was posted highlighting a negative outcome it was soon erased. There was no room for debate. I really like my position on home birth to be challenged. It helps me think critically about many issues.
On the flip side, when I was pregnant with my other two I just wanted a place for support. It would be nice to have a forum devoted to those in favor of home birth.
What I'm sensitive to is a double-standard mentality that I've heard elsewhere: If it's one of Dr. Amy's Facebook groups, (as just one example), it's a haven for like-minded individuals to share ideas on maternity care and related issues. But if it's MDC, by golly, it's an "echo chamber" for women with a "cult following" to engage in "groupthink."
Support is support, whether or not you share other peoples' views. There's a time for support, and a time for debate.
Everyone might want to review our recently revised guidelines for the forum. If there are violations please do flag and report posts. We'll take care of them.
So how does one prove that they are a home birth supporter or advocate?
Is it just a matter of having had a home birth?
Does being a midwife who assists at home birth count?
Or, does it have more to do with the general tone of messages in attempting to discuss home birth safety?
( Using the online Free Dictionary.)
There are 8-9 definitions of support total, but I suspect the ones which apply here would be:
Yes, fear can effect labor and birth. However, ignorance can also be detrimental. It can lead to denial that there is a problem that would be better handled at the hospital and time is then wasted convincing the family that it is time to go.
My patients know that I have an extremely low tolerance for risk factors and risks. It doesn't mean I don't trust birth. It means I respect it. They hire me to make sure they and the baby are safe. No, we don't talk about every possible situation, but we do discuss the most common ones or the ones they have concerns about.
We do talk about the stories that they have read or heard from other home birth families about the things that went wrong. Those stories are out there and they have fears whether they have heard about the really bad midwives or not. They know I will be honest about how things should have been handled to avoid the outcomes that occurred. We will talk about what to do if that situation should occur during their pregnancy, or birth, or with the newborn. Ignoring complications and horror stories does not equate to educating yourself. It is more wishful thinking and denial, which leads to a lack of preparedness, and poor outcomes result.
Mothercat, No one is touting ignorance. I don't know of a single woman who flippantly decided, with no education or research to have a home birth. Not a one. And to ASSUME that anyone here does that is insulting. There may actually be some woman out there who does...she may be some .00000000001 %. But you know what? She isn't who I am here for. SHE is responsible for HER, not you, not I and not the rest of the mamas here. And the rest of us should not be made to pay for that one mamma's poor choices.
There is a real disconnect in our communication. You are not "listening" to what I am saying. I am NOT advocating home birth for high risk moms. I am NOT advocating a home birth without due diligence. I am NOT advocating a home birth for EVERY SINGLE MOTHER. I am NOT advocating ignoring statistics or facts.
We are not talking about some fancy schmancy, everybody is doing it so I will too event. We are talking about something 99% of the world around you is already telling you is BAD, is DANGEROUS, is this horrible risk to your child, is this CRAZY thing, blah blah blah. It is already something we are fighting tooth and nail to have in a world that thinks it is insane. THIS used to be the place you could come to be among mamas, THE OTHER 1%, and be together, and believe in your birth TOGETHER. And after, if something went wrong BECAUSE NO ONE IS SAYING IT NEVER DOES, then you came here and licked your wounds with that other 1%. And they UNDERSTOOD. And they were sorry with you. It was never a place where some random person on a crusade came to plop down their doom and gloom. We can get that ANYWHERE on the internet...or a lot of us among our friends and family.
I can't make what I am saying much clearer than that. If you still think I am advocating some dangerous mob mentality then I can't help you.
Cynthia Mosher, I am glad to see the change in the forum guidelines, I hope that sends the forum back in the direction it used to be in. Thank you for your consideration.
From the posting guidelines:
Topics of concern, including discussion of the risks and instances wherein homebirth might not be a good choice for a particular pregnancy or presentation may be examined and discussed critically by members who post to this forum regularly as supporters and advocates of homebirth.
If I understand this correctly, to be allowed to post a discussion of risks of OOH birth, one needs to be vetted through review of prior MDC posts.
I echo the same question as mothercat - "So how does one prove that they are a home birth supporter or advocate?" - as one who has attended more OOH births than in-hospital births, and who has never given birth inside a hospital.
I have criticisms of OOH birth practices. Quite a few. Mainly from my firsthand experience with it both as a client and a birth attendant.
I absolutely disagree that homebirth is 'as safe as' hospital birth. No data have indicated this, ever. And I would be lying to myself in believing that one of the rare unforeseen obstetric complications that could occur in a low-risk woman at home would have better or even equivalent outcomes than if it happened in a hospital setting. This is a commonly perpetuated belief among homebirth advocates and midwives.
I do support OOH birth - and love it - in certain low-risk situations.
As far as "support" goes - as a pregnant woman, I would have appreciated some balanced, level-headed information regarding risk factors and not fear mongering around the hospital. I would have appreciated a discussion regarding the evidence for reasonable assessment of risk factors, and support for the wise decision to move birth to the hospital when risks (however small) are increased. As one attending births OOH, I would have appreciated more effort by the midwifery community to establish good working relationships with hospital-based providers and a more positive attitude toward transferring care conservatively. Midwives lament the lack of 'collaborative relationships' with medical providers, yet professionally do virtually nothing to foster these collaborative relationships. (I have witnessed midwives attempting to do this individually, but as a group of professionals, they are failing to accomplish this).
Maybe I am an outlier in wanting that type of information and finding that it appropriate for a 'support' group. I grew tired of the delusion and myth around OOH birth and midwives. We are human, and midwives are human and we are subject to the limitations of our minds and bodies. Thoughts and fears are powerful influences, but they cannot dissolve a blood clot, nor repair wounded tissues, nor dilate a bony pelvis, nor eradicate bacterial infection.
"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." - Maya Angelou
"Well that is why I originally brought this to light. I have been coming to MDC for 13 years through 3 pregnancies and children. I had been gone a long while as I was between the young years of #2's childhood and this pregnancy and just had drifted away. I came back a few months ago as I was pregnant with #3 and was SO SO SO SAD to see the lack of posting here from the HB community as well as this general negativity about it in many of the threads. It was honestly depressing because this had always been a great place to commune and share and talk amongst those like minded individuals that shared my ideals and thoughts about birth. It made me long for the days I curled up with my paper Mothering magazine and read it cover to cover feeling as if I had a friend. Did the forum change when the magazine left and went totally online?"
The "lack of posting" you describe is a forum-wide issue (except for maybe the vax subforums). Quite frankly, the level of posting and activity on the forums generally is nowhere near the level it was in, for example, 2000-2003, when I first checked out the boards.
I ascribe this to the following:
(1) Alienation of existing posters due to the clumsy handling of the shutdown of the paper magazine and the move to increase the monetization of the website (more ads, etc.).
(2) Mothering's agenda becoming more mainstream. People started to have more choices in having AP/Natural parenting discussions and choose to take their posts and their discussions elsewhere.
(3) Finally and most importantly: the colossal moderating policy screw-ups. First, they pissed off a bunch of people by moving towards a very heavily moderated board. Those pissed off people left, and those people who ran the website realized what they had done. So they moved to more lightly moderated approach, which pissed off the minority of people who remained (who hadn't left because they actually liked the heavy moderation).
Honestly, I still find the moderating here odd and off-putting. For example, I was involved a while back in a really interesting discussion on the SAHM board. People were making great points, having an interesting and sometimes heated discussion that remained overall respectful in tone. The moderator closed the thread down for a couple of days "for review". When she opened it again she did not appear to remove any posts or require editing. Of course, at that point, the people participating had moved on and the thread basically died. It was bizzare -- finally some fast-moving activity on the SAHM board, and the moderator killed it for no apparent reason.
It is interesting to me that the vax forum, which has for a long time encouraged debate and discussion while providing "safe zones" remains the most lively area of the dotcommune.
I support homebirth that meets the qualifications set forth in the AAP's 2013 policy on homebirth.
If you're a midwife (who then obviously supports home birth in some way) and you have a fairly conservative limit on who you think is an appropriate candidate for home birth, please understand that while you may be excellent at what you do, I would not hire you. I'm speaking only for myself. I believe that people like me should have a place to talk where we're not put into defensive mode.
I feel like what's been going on is like if I went to the c-section forum and posted to a bunch of threads about the risks of c-sections. Sometimes a kind note like, Hey it sounds like there are other options for you, would be appropriate. But just going on and countering each post with risks doesn't seem cool to me.
Maybe now is a good time to divide up the homebirth board. I haven't been keen on it before, but it sounds like there are a lot of people here who want to have relevant discussions about safety and stratistics and such. I just think that as it stands, there is not a comfortable division of that and of support with regard to individual threads.
Also, I wonder if the midwives board would be a good place to have some practice and safety discussions?
My point about bringing the safety discussions here is that many midwives are not knowledgeable about them, or are very biased against hospitals and doctors. If the midwives who are advising women don't know, then how can they advise women on the appropriate options for mom and baby safety?
If the midwives aren't telling women these things where are women supposed to find them? The larger home birth and midwifery community isn't talking about them and women are frequently being told not to trust what the docs are saying.
The information that all women need in general to make safe decisions in a low risk birth, and more specific info about risks, risk factors, and complications, real, or potential can be found by talking with the people who have intimate knowledge. This can be by experience, or by education.
Just because you love your midwife and trust her, doesn't mean she knows everything she should and sometimes coming to these boards and seeing that someone else is discussing that situation clues you in that maybe you need to look beyond your primary source.
Some of us posting have seen far too many families hurt by a lack of knowledge and wrong actions. Babies have died. I suspect that many of us who appear on the surface not to be in support of home birth, actually are hoping never to hear another woman say "I trusted my midwife, but she didn't (fill in the blank here), and my baby died." Along with that comes the statement from home birth advocates, "She should have done a better job of researching her (fill in the blank here as well).".
Yes, there will always be the outliers. Those people who for a variety of reasons, will choose to be reckless with their baby's life. There will be midwives who continue to practice, and ask others to support them, even when they won't see that their lack of knowledge has harmed someone. However, I believe that the vast majority of women asking about home birth want to know both sides so they can make the best decision and I think this should remain a place where we can do that without worrying that we are offending by discussing it. The larger home birth community needs this open discussion.
What if those discussions went to birth and beyond? They need to happen, because I don't think moms are getting the full picture. You cannot make an informed decision without all the data. All home birth forums on the internet only talk about how safe it is. No one, anywhere that I am aware of, on the internet is able to talk to moms who want a home birth about the real benefits, and the real risks - both discussions. Non-home birth forums don't recognize any benefits, but how can one make a real risk/benefit analysis if they don't talk about both the risks and the benefits? And because some studies are just now in the last year or so coming out, this data needs to be discussed. If the numbers were all positive towards home birth, changing the TOS for this forum wouldn't even be discussed, but since it is not, and in fact shows home birth to be quite risky, it troubles me that the home birth community wants the info silenced. This type of thing is actually what made me quit working as a home birth assistant. It was difficult for me, after seeing the things I saw, and then on top of that seeing this data coming out. Where does that leave me and my beliefs about home birth? Hiding it doesn't look good for the home birth community. Not being able to talk about the risks makes us look like we can't understand science, or can't make real decisions because we can only listen to what we want to hear.
And, salr, those things DID happen to c-section moms. They were frequently lambasted on the forums for years. There was zero support, and a lot of flaming. In fact, around the 2002-2003 time frame, any discussion that seemed positive about c-sections in any way, was deleted. Along with any mention of home birth complications or death.
Also, I do trust that people are researching birth from more places than just mdc. I understand what you're saying about accountability for midwives and blind trust not being good.
I see safety discussions as something that should be available to women. But something that they can protect themselves from during a very sensitive time if they want to.
Maybe it's an issue of tone as well? Pregnant moms are very sensitive to any possibility of harm to their babies. We don't need to go all out on them. If I thought some information would possibly help my baby you'd better bet I'd look into it.