You might check out this link
which lists many resources/studies about the safety of home birth, most are from other countries, and you would still have to locate them, but its a good place to start for information from things like medical journals. This is another good link
or just search the web for Home Birth Safety and you'll come up with lots of information.
Hope some of this helps.
Since then we have had 2 babies at home and my dh is an avid homebirth supporter!!! Neither of us would do it any other way. We are expecting our 4th and last in Feb and will be having another homebirth. I cannot express to you how different and beautiful my homebirths were compared to my first, which was in the hospital.
Another good tactic:
When I was debating about home vs. hospital, I made myself ask complete questions and to voice complete fears.
Oh I want to be in the hospital, it's safer.
Why is it safer? What will happen during birth that would be unsafe? I could hemmorage. What would I do if I hemmoraged at the hospital? I'd hope my doc took care of me asap (in 1976 my mother, for example, was hemmoraging in the bathtub, alone, yelling for the nurses who couldn't hear her.)
What about a hemmorage at home? What can a midwife do? How close is the hospital? How fast do you die w/ a hemmorage? 60 seconds? or 10-20-30 minutes?
What about a blue baby being born? Who can help that? Midwives carry oxygen & can ressucitate newborns until you get to the hospital.
What about your hospital's neonatal intensive care unit? Not all nurseries can handle all problems--my cousin's GBS + 1st baby was born in a hospital. The PARENTS noticed something was wrong w/ the baby (blue 1 hr pp), not the medical staff, and the hospital (hi-quality urban one) wasn't fancy enough to handle the life-threatening situation.
What if that baby had been born at home? The parents are still the ones who would've noticed the blueness. The ambulance would've taken the baby to the Children's hospital, just like the ambulence did from the birth hospital.
AND then ask, what if the above scenario WOULD"VE been a home birth? The mother wouldn't have had her bag ruptured early on. She wouldn't have had countless vaginal exams (THE BEST guarantee of initiating group b strep infections) or a fetal electrode on the scalp (again, inviting the infection into baby's head)
Jeez.......do I ramble on!
Main point: DH should clarify and examine his fears. I'm sure his main worry is that he doesn't want you or baby to die. HOW would you die? How much is dependant on LOCATION, and how much is dependant on the caregiver herself? A dumb-ass doctor will mess things up no matter what building (hospital, your house, my house) he's in.
Eating at McDonald's is normal. Bottlefeeding is normal. Hospital birth is normal. We decide these things are normal because that's what we know.
So it's time to normalize home birth, and a great way is with this book:
The Baby Catcher, by Peggy Vincent.
It's a midwife's account of her career first as a L&D nurse and then as a midwife attending homebirths. By the end of the book, you think that wrapping recieving blankets in tinfoil and putting them in the oven to warm while mom is pushing is TOTALLY NORMAL.
AND my DH is reading it, and it's the first birth thing I've been able to get him to read in 3 years. It's cool.
And when homebirth isn't seen as such a granola wierdo new-life crazy maniacs option, but as a totally possible option, THEN you and your DH can have a discussion based on reality and facts, rather than apprihension about "wierd organic dredlock crystals homebirth" stuff.
Good luck convincing your DH!
My dd was born at home, attended by 2 CNM's, and was born with very heavy meconium. My water didn't break until she was on her way out, so (luckily) there was no time to transfer to the hospital. The midwives carried oxygen with them, so she had oxygen before her APGAR's were even done. One was taking care of the baby, the other wa on the phone with the doctors and hospital and I was in the shower. We drove her to the local hospital in our car with a midwife in back administering oxygen the whole time. When we got to the hospital, they shortly realized that they couldn't provide the care that she needed and called the university hospital to come and get her. She was one of those worst case scenarios and required a heart/lung bypass machine for the first week (but so do babies that are born in the hospital with the same problem), but eventually she got better and came homes after 3 weeks in hopsital, doing just fine. The medical staff at the hospital all agreed that he being born at home did not negatively affect her condition or treatment, we actually think that it was beneficial to her that she had a natural birth and time to bond with us before her surgery.
Also, the point made about what is "normal" is excellent. If we didn't assume normal=safe, then maybe DH would be scared to send you to the hospital & looking for proof of its safety. To me I think that the hospital setting should have to prove itself just as much as the home!
I also recommend "A Good Birth, A Safe Birth" by Diana Korte & Roberta Scaer. It is not at all a "homebirth book" instead it fully discusses the risks involved in going to the hospital for an obstetrical birth. I read it for a doula class & it scared the pants off me- might be just want your DH needs
Thanks again... I think the more I play up that he wasn't able to be there for ds birth because he was off in the WAR, the more he likes the idea of him doing some of it!
W/O getting technical or academic, if anyone ever questions the safety of homebirth, just tell them that this conversation would not be taking place if it wasn't safe.
The human race would have died off long ago if hb was not safe.
mama katrina, you might also want to get the video "Gentle Birth Choices" (I check it out of our library or you can by it on line.)
Mostly birth center births, but a wonderful home birth too and it has commentary between the births with statistics, etc... Dr. Marsden Wagner specifically addresses the question of 'is it safe?' with regards to midwifery care.
My husband was already behind my choice of homebirth for #3, but this helped him as well.
I'm another one of those who likes to remind people that if not for breastfeeding and homebirths none of us would be here!
Sorry to get off topic
I recommend the book
"The Five Stabdards of Safe Childbearing"
It not only hails the saftey of homebirth but goes also talks about the dangers of being in the hospital and sites current research to back up everything. tons of studies. Technical stuff. men like that . Did you know that car birth has the lowest infant and maternal mortality rate. (Probably because it moves along unhapered and it is really hard to get in a lithotomy positon, most cords aren't cut and no one is pulling the plecenta out) Just one of the intresting facts in the book.
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
I'd say that the burden of proof is on your husband to prove that hospital birth is safer. He won't be able to.
and of course Henci Goer's Obstetric Myths Versus Research Realities (expensive, but if he wants evidence he'll find it there), and A Good Birth, A Safe Birth by Scaer and Korte.
Here are some other links he might find interesting -- they are not "proof" but commentaries on the ramifications of medicalizing normal birth:
Here is an excellent mainstream source for information:
the main site: http://www.pregnancy.about.com/
And some relevant articles:
Marsden Wagner, by the way, is a great place to start, because he is a doctor and he is so extremely credentialed. He was the director of women and children's health for the World Health Organization, and his articles have been published in medical journals. Also, you might check out any books by Michel Odent -- also a doctor.
This is an excellent resource as well: http://bonni.net/birth/inv/index.html
edited to add: I have added all of these sites to my favorites list!!! Dh will see that I am doing my research. :P
So I say, educate him if he will listen. Tell him how much it would mean to you and show him the back up plans...but if he still says no.... unless you are a really strong lady I would say maybe try for middle ground like a birthing center...
Just my idea... I just know that is what I would have done if my hubby had said no.
hospitals are not actaully safer then home births.. there are rsiks involved in both. AS far as the baby's health is concerned, you might want to remind your dh that hospitals are full of sick ppl, so the risk of your baby getting sick is greater at the hospital. Also, there is more chance of intervention which leads to intervention to intervention.. and who knows how it ends up in the end (most likely a c/s) or what was actually necissary..
in the end, it really boils down to where you feel the most cjomfortable, but I would incourage your dh to edu ate himself on the topic b/f excepting the mainstream idea of a hopstial birht.. b/c,as someone already mentioned, a lot of the "norms" in our society are not actaully the healtheier/safer/better chocies...
good luck!! and congrats on already educating yourself on this!
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