Considering Homebirth? Think Hard.... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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All-

Here's a message from a dad with a word of warning to those considering homebirths.

I have two children, both born in a hospital with a certified nurse midwife attending. Consider the following:

Our first child was born in the hospital after a long labor to a C-section only after our nurse midwife said it was time to consider one due to complications. We trusted her, so we believed her when she said that if we didn't go with a C-section, we risked damage to mom and baby.

Our second child was born in the hospital to a successful VBAC, despite the fact that the midwife was held up at another birth and arrived halfway into labor.

Yes, hospitals can be difficult, but please consider your options carefully before dismissing hospital birth. There is a lot of pressure in the homebirthing circles to have a "normal" birth. I can't tell you the number of inconsiderate homebirthing advocates who responded after mom's C-section with comments such as the following:

"That's too bad- what went wrong?"
"It's too bad the doctor was so manipulative"
"You'll do better next time."

My wife felt so bad, for a very long time, because she felt she had failed somehow. It wasn't until after the birth of our second child 3 years later that she was able to overcome the stigma placed on her by these "advocates." Any birth that results in a healthy and happy mother and child is a successful birth in our shared opinion.

Consider also that insurance companies don't insure home birth for a reason. Insurance companies care about one thing- Money. If home births were cheaper, they'd insure them in a minute. But in the end, it's less expensive for insurance companies to have babies in the hospital because it's safer. Consider also that if birth complications arise, or your midwife makes an error (everyone makes errors) which results in a birth defect, the parents may be liable for a lifetime of costly medical expenses that can leave a family destitute, not to mention the guilt that comes with thinking that the defect may have been avoidable.

There are other options- consider birth in a hospital with an attending doula or nurse midwife to serve as your advocate. This ensures that someone will be your advocate while mom labors and dad assists, but also ensures that medical assistance is available if needed. If your local hospital doesn't offer this service, look for another hospital, or stay with friends and family near a hospital that does. Make these considerations before you decide to become pregnant so you don't get rushed into a situation you don't like and so you can make arrangements for adequate financial support to pay for your ideal arrangement.

Anyhow, those are just some thoughts, offered with the best of intentions. Best of luck to you and your kids.

Guvly
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#2 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 11:52 AM
 
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I've had two hospital births... so I'm not some huge HB advocate (though I was born at home and love the idea)

You see- my husband is an actuary for an insurance company. Guess what? He's calculated the risk based on government statistics and the COST risk is much, much higher in hospitals. Even with risk of transport- the risk of C section, risk and cost of drugs and prevenatative monitoring in hospitals bring up the cost risk a great deal.

And not all insurances deny to pay it- the company he works for- which is our insurance- covers it at a rate of 60%-equivalent to an out of network provider.

And I still don't get where you are saying the risk and danger comes from in a homebirth- could you be more clear on the facts? You say you had two hospital births so can I ask where your experience and information on homebirth comes from?
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#3 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 11:56 AM
 
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oh, just saw your post count- where is the "dont feed me" icon when you need it.

Are you just on a crusade against homebirth or here as an actual member of MDC?
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#4 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 11:58 AM
 
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I can't find the don't feed me icon either
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#5 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 12:10 PM
 
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I posted my comments on your first thread. Not sure why you created two threads?

And you're correct, any woman having a birth should "think hard" about ALL the choices she has to consider during pregnancy and birth.

I wonder if your wife ever educated herself about homebirth, maybe she didn't consider it out of fear from a lack of support from her partner?

An educated person, educates themselves about all the options.

Mama to Noah Jude, 8/17/01, Emerson Lily, HBAC 8/3/03-8/3/03, Beatrice Ruth, homeborn 2/6/05, and Winter Juno Lucine, 12/22/08.:
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#6 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Rainbow-

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. You are probably right that the costs of cost of the birth is much, much higher in the hospital. I can't really get into details, because I don't want to divulge information that's not mine to divulge. In instances where birth defects occur at home, it often can't be determined if the result of the defect was due to birth trauma caused by neglect by the attendant or unavoidable birth trauma.

The point is, since many midwives aren't covered by insurance, the parents will never know, and could be saddled with years of costly medical payments. IF the defect is caused by neglect, and the birth happens in a hospital, they'd have some recourse to avoid the huge financial impact this will have, and get the child the care that it needs. But because midwives are generally not insured, parents risk the burden and guilt of never knowing and struggling to find appropriate medical care for the child. That's a heavy price to pay. I'd suspect the real financial burden to insurer's is the risk of long term payouts due to negligence (however well meaning) in an uncontrolled environment.

IF the midwife was a certified nurse, and IF she was covered by insurance that covered any negligence/accidents, we may have considered homebirth, but it never arose because we HAD a midwife in a hospital where the liability was covered, and in effect, had the best of both worlds.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow
I've had two hospital births... so I'm not some huge HB advocate (though I was born at home and love the idea)

You see- my husband is an actuary for an insurance company. Guess what? He's calculated the risk based on government statistics and the COST risk is much, much higher in hospitals. Even with risk of transport- the risk of C section, risk and cost of drugs and prevenatative monitoring in hospitals bring up the cost risk a great deal.

And not all insurances deny to pay it- the company he works for- which is our insurance- covers it at a rate of 60%-equivalent to an out of network provider.

And I still don't get where you are saying the risk and danger comes from in a homebirth- could you be more clear on the facts? You say you had two hospital births so can I ask where your experience and information on homebirth comes from?
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#7 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 12:23 PM
 
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In the hospital, it is still unknown whether a problem was caused by birth trauma or already existed.

IF the defect is caused by neglect, and the birth happens in a hospital, they'd have some recourse to avoid the huge financial impact this will have, and get the child the care that it needs.

That "recourse" is exactly what the malpractice insurance companies fear. That's what drives up the cost of hospital birth and the intervention rates. The high intervention rates are a large part of what makes hospital births more dangerous than home birth for many healthy mothers.

Show us some scientific evidence that hospital births are safer for low-risk births, and we'll be very interested. Try to "protect" us from our carefully researched and thought-out decision, and we'll just be disgusted or ignore you.

Your wife's births are both great. Congratulations on your children. If you both feel more comfortable in the hospital, then that is the best place for you to be. If we are in the same situation as her first birth, we can safely transfer to the hospital for C-section. You supply no evidence at all that home birth is undesirable for us.

I'd say we've thought a lot harder about this than you have.
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#8 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Some posted a bit earlier asking if I was a legitimate poster. Of course, there's no way to prove that, so you'll have to take the comments for what they are worth.

I was hoping to have a legitimate conversation about the issue, but after reading some of the reply posts, I don't think I'm willing to wade through them for legitimate response. My posting was respectful and moderate, but a large portion of the replies, such as the following:

"I wonder if your wife ever educated herself about homebirth, maybe she didn't consider it out of fear from a lack of support from her partner? An educated person, educates themselves about all the options."

...reflect the same attitude towards opinions that are different from one's own that I mentioned in my original post. My wife is not an idiot, nor am I, and just because I disagree with homebirth (an opinion my wife shares) doesn't mean I'm a non supportive partner.

I thought I could provide some information that people would find helpful, perhaps an alternative opinion. I've done that, and will let the flaming continue without further reply. But I will include a final caution to pending parents that if for whatever reason you don't have a birth like hardline homebirth advocates dictate, expect a large number of them to cast aspersions on your character as they have in this thread.
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#9 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 12:32 PM
 
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Yes, I agree with the post above. If I may say so, the women I come into contact with who have had a homebirth or are planning one tend to be VERY well educated. And they tend to know FAR more about birth and its associated risks in general than the average woman who would go to a hospital to give birth. This is never a decision made lightly.

I don't know what the OP's point was in posting here, but it seems to me you're on the wrong board and are far outnumbered by women who can't possibly agree with you. And again, as someone else asked, since you have no personal experience with homebirth, what HAPPENED to make you feel the need to sound an apparent "alarm" to those who plan to do so?

Stacy
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#10 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 12:34 PM
 
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Well, the OP seemed heartfelt enough, so I'll just assume that he isn't up on internet forum etiquette.

Guvly, I'm so sorry that your wife felt bad about the well-meaning comments about her cesarean. But if she herself hadn't felt there was room for a better experience, she wouldn't have tried for a VBAC. Consider that from the "homebirth advocates" perspective, they might have felt they were only encouraging her in that. Surely they didn't mean to cause her further pain.

Rainbow is entirely correct about the insurance issue. You would think that a company whose main priority is to make money would be logical about what they do and don't insure. Unfortunately, it isn't quite that simple -- the consultants that insurance companies work with on medical issues are often doctors, who have a bias and a financial stake in keeping maternity care in the hospitals (which is also the reason that homebirth midwifery is illegal in some areas -- doctors make a lot of money, and so have a lot of money to hire lobbyists.)

In fact, there has arisen no hard evidence that homebirth is ultimately costlier or less safe than hospital birth. There are countless studies that have shown or implied just the opposite. Thankfully, though, many insurance companies have begun to do their own independant research and now do insure homebirth. So by your own argument -- that insurance companies only insure what is "safe" -- would you assume now that homebirths are safe? I doubt it. You would do your own research, right? If you are interested, please reply and I'd be more than happy to post references.
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#11 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 12:44 PM
 
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I do not even know what to say..............
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#12 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Blue-

Well- I'll give it one more go since Blue's response was so nice.

If you read my posts, you'll see that safety isn't particularly my issue- my concern is negligence liability, which happens everywhere, whether in homebirth or in hospitals.

I also said that if in our state we could have had an insured homebirth, we might have considered homebirth. Given that we had an advocate midwife in the hospital, we didn't need to. I still stand by my original assessment- regardless of the comparative risk between home and hospital birth, even if home birth IS safer, it's not prudent to have a home birth without negligence insurance.

Suffice it to say that I know of families that have been financially wiped out and struggle to find appropriate health care for their children because their midwives weren't insured and a defect occurred that might have been avoidable. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
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#13 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 01:17 PM
 
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A few more points -- some of the "flaming" that you feel you're being met with is -- that slightly angry, offended tone -- is to be expected considering that most people who have chosen homebirth have met a great deal of resistance and judgement from others, and your post could just be considered more of the same. You complain about your wife being told that she could have a better experience. But has she been harassed and hounded by family members to *not* have a hospital birth? Has she been told that she cared more about having a "nice experience" than a healthy baby? Has she been threatened with a call to CPS or to 911 once she goes into labor?

There is a huge amount of irrational fear regarding homebirth, and all of us who have chosen it have had to deal with that to some extent, and it's not a pleasant thing. So please know that this is not a simple issue of fanatical homebirthers vs. sensible hospital birthers. There are rude, misinformed people on both sides of the fence.

Guvly wrote: "In instances where birth defects occur at home, it often can't be determined if the result of the defect was due to birth trauma caused by neglect by the attendant or unavoidable birth trauma."

I assume you don't have sources for this statement and just believe that it's a reasonable conclusion to come to? Because in fact the same can be said of hospital birth. I have heard countless stories in which some trauma occured in the hospital, and there was no concensus as to why. Because obviously the care providers don't want to implicate themselves, but who better to know what really happened?

"IF the defect is caused by neglect, and the birth happens in a hospital, they'd have some recourse to avoid the huge financial impact this will have, and get the child the care that it needs. But because midwives are generally not insured, parents risk the burden and guilt of never knowing and struggling to find appropriate medical care for the child. That's a heavy price to pay."

However, consider that in matched-population studies, it has been found that birth complications occur at a significantly higher rate in hospitals than at home. In fact, iatrogenic complications are considered to be a huge problem by the medical establishment itself. There is something about the obstetrical model of care that is creating problems in what would otherwise be a healthy, normal process. In other words, by having a homebirth I am much more likely to avoid complications that would necessitate costly medical care. This has actually been researched extensively, yet hospitals still fail to practice evidence-based medicine in order to avoid these problems. Again, if you are interested in references, I would be happy to get you started.

Consider also that parents who hire uninsured homebirth midwives have generally put a lot of thought into the decision. Given that it is considered such an irresponsible choice by society in general, they do their research in defense. Most of us are quite aware of these issues. I intentionally chose an unlicensed, uninsured midwife in spite of being very aware that I could not expect a malpractice settlement from her or anyone else. In my case, however, the benefit of doing so far outweighed those risks. Namely, the benefit of *not* giving birth in an environment and with management that would interfere with the normal birth process, which would have greatly increased the risks of complications and iatrogenic damage.
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#14 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 01:23 PM
 
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I guess I just don't understand what prompted you to post under this forum. You didn't have a homebirth, so why come and post here? I respect that you are trying to help, but what you are doing is the equivalent of hawking formula at a LLL meeting. We're given enough messages about how "unsafe" HB is, despite the overwhelming evidence that it IS safe. We know that hospital births can lead otherwise healthy moms into c-sections by imposing time limits, fetal monitoring, evasive vaginal checks, etc. I'm sure your intentions are good, but we just don't need more people telling us that HB is bad... that's why we come to this forum, to get support!

Do with it as you will and I really do hope you're well intentioned.
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#15 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 01:27 PM
 
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The day I start making decisions based on liability concerns and not on my family's best interest is the day I have stopped being human. Living itself is a risk. That doesnt mean I choose not to have children simply because it may turn out bad for us. Don't come on this board and tell women the risks. All you have to do is read the the other boards to know we are very well aware of them.

anna kiss partner to jon radical mama to aleks (8/02) and bastian (5/05)
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#16 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 01:36 PM
 
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Guvly wrote: "Suffice it to say that I know of families that have been financially wiped out and struggle to find appropriate health care for their children because their midwives weren't insured and a defect occurred that might have been avoidable. I wouldn't wish that on anyone."

I wouldn't either. What a terrible burden. Knowing that wouldn't change my decision though, because it's not the only factor in the equation. There are no guarantees, no matter what choice one makes -- it comes down to what the risk/benefit ratio is, and that is going to be different for everyone depending on their special circumstances.
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#17 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 01:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guvly
Any birth that results in a healthy and happy mother and child is a successful birth in our shared opinion.
Well, I'm not going to get into the debate over the safety of homebirth simply b/c the facts are stacked against the hospitals. One only has to look at the US's perinatal mortality rate to realize that the majority are doing it all wrong here.

I do, however, want to address the statement quoted above. First, I would ask you to define healthy. You see, there is more to a healthy baby than a heartbeat and lack of visit to the NICU. As a primer, I would suggest looking into the mounds of research Dr. Michael Odent has accumulated on the effects of traumatic birth.

Next, I would ask you to define happy. In the case of your wife, at least, it would seem she suffered emotional distress at the outcome of her unplanned birth experience as well as the reactions of homebirth advocates around her. I am one to believe that no one can *make* us feel guilty about anything. Her unhappiness may have stemmed not from the "pressure" in the homebirth community, but rather *her own innate knowledge* that what was done to her was not natural, necessary, or in the best interest of her/her child. In situations such as this, it's quite normal to ignore that little voice and instead find a way to justify/rationalize/defend the course that was taken.

At any rate, it sounds like she underwent a major shift after her VBAC. To what do you attribute her satisfaction with that birth experience? Personally, I would attribute it to the fact that she gave birth vaginally (meaning the normal physical & chemical processes of birth were not as disturbed as in the first birth, and hormones that facilitate bonding were allowed to do their job) as well as the fact that the MW wasn't there for much of her labor (and therefore unable to "direct" or "manage" her).
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#18 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 01:36 PM
 
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annakiss (and everyone else)

Quote:
I do, however, want to address the statement quoted above. First, I would ask you to define healthy. You see, there is more to a healthy baby than a heartbeat and lack of visit to the NICU. As a primer, I would suggest looking into the mounds of research Dr. Michael Odent has accumulated on the effects of traumatic birth.
worth repeating
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#19 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 01:46 PM
 
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Many insurance companies are starting to cover my mw fees, and she is convincing more to do the same. Ours though is problably going to be one of the last to do so. : Oh well, its still cheeper for us to have a home than hospital birth.


If hb's wherent safe, all of us wouldnt be here. There have been more hb's than hospital births.

Erin, who will have her 3rd hb come this fall
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#20 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 01:49 PM
 
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safety isn't particularly my issue- my concern is negligence liability, which happens everywhere, whether in homebirth or in hospitals.

Oh, now I get it! You're warning us about a risk some people may not have considered. By using a midwife without malpractice insurance, we are giving up our opportunity to sue if there is a birth defect that will affect us financially.

Personally, I don't believe it is ethical to hold the doctor financially responsible for something that may or may not have been his fault. Problems happen. Cerebral palsy happens. Even if a jury can be convinced that the caregiver was responsible, I would not take a doctor or midwife to court even if there was a problem with the birth unless I thought the person deliberately harmed me or my baby. A random doctor in the hospital, maybe that could happen. My midwife, no! She's in the business in spite of the laws against it because it is her passion to help moms and babies. Between the lower incidence of problems at home and my own ethics regarding lawsuits, this is not a disadvantage of home birth in my case.

It is possible that other people may not have my ethical objections to suing and would find the lack of legal recourse a disadvantage to home birth. There, you have a valid point. Sorry that we did not understand that from your original post. Thank you for clarifying.
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#21 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 01:52 PM
 
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I just need to say a few more things.

First and foremost - I apologize if you felt offended by any of my comments (on either of your threads). I honestly was being respectful, and just engaging you in a conversation based on your post.

Our daughter, Eme, was VBAC'ed at home, at 42 weeks, safely and beautifully. And she was unexpectdly stillborn at birth. The medical examiner, hospital docs, paramedics, and our three skilled midwives all have concluded the outcome would have been the same - no matter where she was born.

NEVER once did we consider suing - ANYONE. Death, as difficult as it is to accept, is a natural part of life. As are birth defects, mistakes, malpractice, etc. Insurance money doesn't change any situation.

I am still a supporter of homebirth, and am currently planning another one. Home was the safest place for me. I spent my pregnancy switching practices - nurse midwives don't function under their own guidelines (in most states)- they have doctors dictating what they can and can't do, so while it can make a hospital birth more satisfying for some women, it also can be like having a birth supported by an OB/GYN. I did alot of research and soul-searching. I wasn't settled on a homebirth until about 31 weeks.

My first child was born via an emergency c-section (caused by the interventions made, which I take full responsibility for agreeing to). The drug used to induce me is not FDA approved for labor. And it's been shown to create a number of problems, most seriously fetal and maternal deaths. The hospital I birthed at no longer uses this drug. Should I sue them for malpractice? They even cut my son's head, while performing the surgery - should I sue them? I don't think so. I put myself into the situation. I wasn't as informed as I should have been. I have to take responsibility for what happened.

Liability insurance is at an all-time high. In CT rates are from 350,000 upwards/year. So you think this creates a situation where docs/CNM's are assisting with births out of fear for the outcome? You bet it does. There is much data and strong information for why America's C-section rate is 26.1%, and the news is alarming.

I am so grateful for having had the choice where to birth my daughter. I was not allowed to VBAC at some hospitals and birthing centers - due to liability. What about the liablility for me having another major surgery unnecessarily? It just doesn't make sense.

I think many women just go to the first OB they find. They may not like some things about the situation, but are willing to settle - and do what they're told, because they want a good outcome, and think they don't know best. And in our culture we're programmed to think someone with letters trailing their name knows more than we do about a natural process. Everything during the course of most pregnancies with a traditional medical practice does it's best to undermine our natural mothering/parenting instincts.

I know that we're grieving and healing in the way we are because our daughter was born at home, surrounded by so much love. My concern about your original post, is that by not broadening our perspectives and allowing people to make their own decisions, we take CHOICE away, and become a police state. Homebirth is illegal in many states, and threatened in others. In most states it's alegal, which is still dangerous to women because there is no recognition or guidelines for practitioners whatsoever.

There is so much more I could write. I think we can agree to want to birth our children differently. Many could try and persuade you to birth at home with scare tactics, and that's what your original post felt like to me. A scare tactic. No good decision can be made from a place of fear.

I posted on another support board looking for support - the negativity I received was overwhelming. I would love to see this discussion remain supportive - without you reading comments with a critical eye. I think most of us here just want to be heard with an open heart and mind.

Mama to Noah Jude, 8/17/01, Emerson Lily, HBAC 8/3/03-8/3/03, Beatrice Ruth, homeborn 2/6/05, and Winter Juno Lucine, 12/22/08.:
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#22 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 02:03 PM
 
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My question:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow

Are you just on a crusade against homebirth or here as an actual member of MDC?
was sincere. There are anti-homebirth trolls who are not good members of the community. It as, imo, a fair question.

There is risk in everything. Is there more risk in flying or in car driving? Well, car driving actually. However many will continue to make the choice to drive instead of fly for various reasons- money, environment, comfort, anything. You see, you can't live in fear of that small "what if" you have to use your reasoning ability and make the best decision with the info you have to work with.

My husband has worked the stats with a bias towards hospital births and yet he routinely comes up with stats in favor of homebirth. Still he has not been able to find comfort in the idea.

the stats are limited, but so far they favor homebirth if you are no high risk for some reason or another. Even if they didn't- there are many other factors to consider. Sometimes the choice isn't based purely on risk and stats.

I can assure you though that I've never met a woman who went against the grain and gave up the idea of a medical based birth without researching and uderstanding.

It seems to me that your problem might be more in how your wife has been treated by natural birth advocates. I get that and I don't condone "you'll do better next time" comments. The most important thing is a healthy baby- but birth really does play a much larger role. psycologically it can impact so much! Many women whose birth proceeds unlike she planned suffer depression and have bonding issues. There can sometimes be a great struggle internally- and such rude comments only increase that struggle.

I think advice to really educate yourself is a good one, but the idea that with education would come the dedication to hospital birth is a bit biased imo. That may be what *you* concluded- but many will conclude otherwise, and it doesn't mean they aren't equally informed.
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#23 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 02:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annakiss
The day I start making decisions based on liability concerns and not on my family's best interest is the day I have stopped being human. Living itself is a risk. That doesnt mean I choose not to have children simply because it may turn out bad for us. Don't come on this board and tell women the risks. All you have to do is read the the other boards to know we are very well aware of them.
what she said.

and i did think hard about birthing at home versus birthing at the hospital. i read and read and educated myself and still thought and felt that a birth at home was the best way for us to bring our baby into the world. i labored for 36 hours, and might have ended up with a birth via cesarean if i had been in a hospital. i know we made the right choice.

and our insurance has so far paid for approximately 60% of the midwives' fees and we are still waiting for the rest to be processed.

thanks for your thoughts, but i think we will have to agree to disagree on some fundamentals of what we consider when we make choices about our health.

warmly,
claudia
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#24 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 02:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by guvly
Any birth that results in a healthy and happy mother and child is a successful birth in our shared opinion.Guvly
The best argument FOR homebirth is contained in this sentance that you wrote yourself.

I just read "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth". She says that 95% of births with a well trained midwife result in no injury to mother or child. At the hospital over 50% of mother/child pairs end up injured. That means that at least 45/100 women who birth in a hospital end up injured with NO benefit.

If hospitals could equal the safety record of midwives then your argument might hold some weight, but just because the injuries aren't usuall fatal doesn't make them trivial. Obviously, homebirth with transport for emergencies is the best of all possible options.

I'm curious why you believe insurance wouldn't cover hospital costs in case a mother was transported? My insurance would certainly cover emergency room treatment. Or are you thinking that I would be able sue the doctor for malpractice and get big bucks if something went wrong?

Also, my homebirth MW charges $1,600 for a complete deluxe birth package. When I gave birth at the hospital the bills came to more than $20,000 (and nothing even went disasterously wrong, except that both baby and I were injured by hospital procedures). Since then I have realized that overtreatment (probably to cover their butts from the possibilty that I'll sue if something goes wrong) is a large reason for out-of-control health care costs in the U.S.

Your model of birth is neither safer nor cheaper and it is an example of one major reason why health care is such a crisis in the U.S. right now.

OK, I've thought about it and my conclusion is that your arguments just don't make much sense.

--AmyB
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#25 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 02:26 PM
 
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Guvly, with all due respect, you came to the wrong place to post this.

You've made an erroneous assumption that the women here are not informed. That you need to come in and "save" them from making a mistake.

I'm sorry that your wife did not receive the support she deserved after her births. In my eyes, cesarean births need more physical and emotional recovery and support - and your wife deserved such support and warmth.

However, because of some interactions with people who are pro-homebirth and not supportive of your wife does not mean that you have the right to assume or make judgements based on the same ignorance that was bestowed upon you.

The women DO think hard. They research, they are informed and they are the minority of women in America that take responsibility for their births.

You know, and your partner knows, how it hurts to be judged and made assumptions about. Think before you do it to others.

I find it interesting that the first posts that you begin here at MDC after registering are some like these. I urge you to stick around and get to know these women before making such broad and uninformed assumptions. You may learn something in the process - I know I have.

I won't get into countering your "facts", because, frankly, they are wrong. You've once again made broad assumptions without doing any research and your "facts" are a result of your feelings towards the pro-homebirth people. If you are interested in actually having a conversation about the safety of homebirth, the incidence of Cerebral Palsy in children before the actual birth, or the insurance portion of homebirth coverage, I'm sure you'd get more of a willing audience.

Care providers can be sued no matter if they carry malpractice insurance or not. There are civil lawsuits that can be brought forth to cover medical expenses. However, many homebirth clients have full informed disclosure about birth, proceudres, interventions and testing than hospital birth couples. They typically take more responsibility for their births and are full decision-makers in the process, which leaves them feeling more empowered. I believe there is no guarantee of not being sued, but a healthy birth with fewer interventions and drugs results in fewer serious health concerns for a normal mother and child.
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#26 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 02:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by guvly
Blue-

Well- I'll give it one more go since Blue's response was so nice.

If you read my posts, you'll see that safety isn't particularly my issue- my concern is negligence liability, which happens everywhere, whether in homebirth or in hospitals.

I also said that if in our state we could have had an insured homebirth, we might have considered homebirth. Given that we had an advocate midwife in the hospital, we didn't need to. I still stand by my original assessment- regardless of the comparative risk between home and hospital birth, even if home birth IS safer, it's not prudent to have a home birth without negligence insurance.

Suffice it to say that I know of families that have been financially wiped out and struggle to find appropriate health care for their children because their midwives weren't insured and a defect occurred that might have been avoidable. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
It is all about probabilities. In my opinion, a LOW RISK pregnancy has a higher probability of having something "go wrong" at the hospital than at home. I would rather forgo the insurance if it means that there is a much better chance that I won't need it at all. It doesn't mean much to me to have negligence insurance available to me at the expense of having a higher chance of actually needing this negligence insurance.

I know where you are coming from. I am also a man and have been aducating myself about homebirths, etc. and I had the same concerns that you do. In the end, I feel that in our case, the unassisted homebirth that we are planning is the best way to have our baby be born.
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#27 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 02:55 PM
 
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It is my understanding that there is a board of doctors that work for the insurance companies and decide what will be covered and what will not. Most doctors are against homebirth and their decisions prove it. The problem is that their motives are led by money, not the health of the mother.
I have had a successful vaginal birth, c-section because of breech, a successful VBAC last summer. I am now pregnant again and will be having my baby at home. Why? Well, besides the fact that I have always wanted a homebirth, the hospitals in my area are no longer providing VBAC's. Why? Well, certainly not because the statistics have changed on the safety of VBAC's. No, it is politics. So, I am supposed to trust these politically driven doctors with my health? No thanks-I will be at home with a trusted midwife who puts MY concerns first.

You did indeed post this in the wrong community.
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#28 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 03:06 PM
 
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Ony, great post! Thanks for contributing.
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#29 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 03:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by guvly
Consider also that insurance companies don't insure home birth for a reason. Insurance companies care about one thing- Money. If home births were cheaper, they'd insure them in a minute. But in the end, it's less expensive for insurance companies to have babies in the hospital because it's safer.

Hey there, I am a nurse at an independent birthing center. I'd like to address this aspect.

It is not true that if homebirth were safer, insurance companies would pay for it. There are lots of cheaper, less invasive means of care that insurance companies won't pay for. In-home care, for example, for most long term care patients would be alot cheaper; but it is difficult to regulate, and insurance companies like things that are safe and familiar.

Another personal case in point--we are a clinic, similar to a doctor's office. We draw our own labs, then send them to the hospital, much like most doctor's offices do. For something like a fasting blood sugar, we can do that with a finger stick and a glucometer, and read it right in the office. We bill something like $5 for this. But because we are not a state certified lab (and to be a state certified lab you have to process the labwork on site with certain equipment and have a microbiologist/lab director full time), some insurance companies will not pay for this on-site glucose check. Instead they pay $35 for me to draw a venous sample and send it to the hospital lab to be measured. Exact same results, but one costs $30 more. This is one of many, many examples that I see on a daily basis. Another example is some insurance companies not covering VBACs. It takes roughly 2000 repeat c-sections to prevent a death from a uterine rupture during a VBAC. C-sections cost 3000-10000 dollars more than a vaginal birth. They aren't saving money, and a routine repeat section is not safer. It is more easy to control, however, so it is covered.

As a medical professional who attends out of hospital births, I take issue with your unsubstantiated claims that hospital births are safer than home birth. You can check out our statistics at www dot topekabirthcenter dot com. I challenge you to find ANY hospital with such great statistics. I'll bet you dinner than you can't find anything close to that in a hospital, anywhere, *even if you control for high risk moms and only measure the outcomes of low risk moms*.

I *am* sorry that your wife has had people comment negatively about her birth experience. That is crummy and insensitive. A hospital birth can be a wonderful, empowering experience. With a c-section, most people assume that something did indeed "go wrong," and luckily there is this wonderful surgery that can indeed save the life and health of baby or mom when something is going wrong. This might have been the motivation for at least some well meaning but completely insensitive comments.

Blueviolet and many of the others have said most else that I would want to say, and probably more eloquently than I could have. So I will leave it at that. Thanks for popping in, though. I hope you and your wife can come to peace with her births.

Lori
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#30 of 159 Old 08-13-2004, 03:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by guvly
Some posted a bit earlier asking if I was a legitimate poster. Of course, there's no way to prove that, so you'll have to take the comments for what they are worth.

I was hoping to have a legitimate conversation about the issue, but after reading some of the reply posts, I don't think I'm willing to wade through them for legitimate response. My posting was respectful and moderate, but a large portion of the replies, such as the following:

"I wonder if your wife ever educated herself about homebirth, maybe she didn't consider it out of fear from a lack of support from her partner? An educated person, educates themselves about all the options."

...reflect the same attitude towards opinions that are different from one's own that I mentioned in my original post. My wife is not an idiot, nor am I, and just because I disagree with homebirth (an opinion my wife shares) doesn't mean I'm a non supportive partner.

I thought I could provide some information that people would find helpful, perhaps an alternative opinion. I've done that, and will let the flaming continue without further reply. But I will include a final caution to pending parents that if for whatever reason you don't have a birth like hardline homebirth advocates dictate, expect a large number of them to cast aspersions on your character as they have in this thread.

If you wanted to have a discussion about this, you would have worded your initial post differently. Instead, you came in with this "warning" like a father telling his child that he knows what is best for him/her.

I also think that part of the response comes from your obvious judgement of "hardline homebirth advocates". Instead of knowing who we are, and knowing how we operate and what we support, you make judgements.

Judgemental attitudes, as you know from personal experience, does not say "hey, I'm a friendly person - let's discuss!". C'mon.
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