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nice home birth article

706 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  punkprincessmama
i thought this was good for our "cause"
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I can't access the article... a login and password are required. Can you post a few sample paragraphs?

I'm very interested because I'm trying to convince dh to support my want to have a homebirth. Anything might help.


Originally Posted by lilgreen
I can't access the article... a login and password are required. Can you post a few sample paragraphs?
yes please
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Try that for a random id generator. Remember to change the password. Then all you have to do is cut and paste the id and put in the password you chose.
There's also another site that gives you id's and passwords to sites like that. You plug in which site you need the id and password for and it gives it to you! I wish I could remember the site... Anyways I think someone here mentioned it a while back.
Here's the article:

Published: June 2, 2005

Petra Müller's baby was a week overdue when her midwife suggested that she put a few drops of two herbs, blue and black cohosh, into her tea every hour. Ms. Müller, a fashion illustrator, followed the instructions diligently. She wanted to deliver her baby at home, with her partner, Martin Lasowitz, a freelance movie prop master, and Misha, her 6-year-old son from a previous relationship.
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Petra Müller in labor at her home in Manhattan, with Joan Bryson, a midwife. Ms. Müller gave birth to a boy, Sascha.
Forum: Parenting

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Ruby Washington/The New York Times

Petra Müller and Martin Lasowitz with their son, Sascha, at their apartment in Greenwich Village moments after his birth. A licensed midwife, Joan Bryson, assisted Ms. Müller with the delivery.

Many cups of tea and a walk around Washington Square Park later, Ms. Müller was in labor. At 9 p.m. on a Friday, the doorman at Mr. Lasowitz's Greenwich Village apartment helped Joan Bryson, the midwife, carry her oxygen tank and small bag of tools - scissors, suturing needles, clamps and a device for listening to the baby's heart - to the second floor.

Misha, looking a bit worried, was slouching on the living room couch, watching "Star Wars." Mr. Lasowitz, barefoot and in his undershirt, was shuttling between the boy and his mother, curled on her own sheets in the bedroom. As Ms. Müller's cries of pain grew, the midwife whispered, "You're doing really good, Petra."

Some New York City hospitals, like St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in Manhattan, offer women the chance to give birth in a homelike environment, complete with a Jacuzzi. But hundreds of other women, like Ms. Müller, are opting for the real thing, the comfort of their own homes, however humble.

They are part of a small but passionate subculture of women who are finding midwives who will make house calls, conducting prenatal visits and delivering babies in the homes of their clients.

The practice of home birth survives in an uneasy relationship with doctors, who, depending on one's point of view, offer the reassuring support of a hospital environment - and record-high Caesarean rates - or more cynically, vie with midwives for patient fees at a time when the birth rate is in decline.

Home-birth clients include affluent couples like Ms. Müller and Mr. Lasowitz, or Daria Ilunga, a former fourth-grade teacher, and her husband, Mark Reed, who runs a fund that lends money to nonprofit agencies. But others are like Annette Perel, 34, who is living with her mother while studying English at City College.

Ms. Perel will pay her midwife through Medicaid, which reimburses midwives just over $1,000. Usually, home-birth fees range from $4,000 to $7,000, and are almost always covered by health insurance in New York State.

Cara Muhlhahn, a 47-year-old labor nurse turned midwife, has been delivering babies in women's homes for nine years, and sees her mission as offering choices that women wouldn't otherwise have. (For those who can't afford a Jacuzzi, Ms. Muhlhahn advises that it's possible to have a perfectly lovely water birth in an inflatable kiddie pool.)

"I try not to foster a dependence on the experts, " Ms. Muhlhahn said, sitting in the office of her East Village home, where a yellowing newspaper obituary of Asoka Ray, a pioneering midwife of the 1960's, hangs on the bulletin board. "Even though I have lots of experience I can share, I try to help the mother and father find their own voice," she said of planning for a home birth.

At least nine licensed midwives are now delivering babies at home in New York City, and though statistics show the number of babies born at home declining, these midwives say they have as many clients as they can handle. Another dozen or so licensed midwives are delivering babies at home in the city's suburbs. The midwives screen out high-risk patients.

"I'm as busy as I need to be, and that's really, to me, pretty incredible," said Ms. Bryson, a midwife for 14 years, who began doing home births almost five years ago. Like most home-birth midwives, she handles about four to six births a month, compared with 15 to 20 for a typical obstetrician.

Still, many physicians are wary. "Obstetrics is 98 percent boredom and 2 percent sheer terror," said Dr. Jacques Moritz, an obstetrician who works with hospital-based midwives as director of the birthing center at St. Luke's-Roosevelt. "I would find it very hard to deliver a baby at home. They have more intestinal fortitude than I do."

Midwives say that transfers to hospitals occur in about 10 percent of their cases, and that even then they usually detect problems long before they become emergencies.

Dr. Moritz said he had a friendly relationship with two longtime home-birth midwives, Ms. Muhlhahn and Miriam Schwarzchild, and has sometimes helped them out. But he said that there was little incentive for obstetricians to back up home-birth midwives, because of the potential for malpractice suits. Some midwives choose to forgo malpractice insurance, saying that their close relationship with clients makes it less likely that they will be sued. They have formed a loose confederation, listing their names on a Web site,, and meeting to share experiences every month or two.
Last month, Martine Jean-Baptiste, a midwife, chatted with Ms. Ilunga and Mr. Reed at the dining room table of their Chelsea apartment. Ms. Ilunga, pregnant with her third child, was due the next day, and the midwife had come to do last-minute things, like putting a vial of methergine, a blood-vessel constrictor used in case of hemorrhaging, in the refrigerator.
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Karen Jefferson, right, a midwife, with Daria Ilunga, a former teacher, after Ms. Ilunga gave birth to a girl, Selah, at home in Manhattan. Her children Zora, 4, and Tayo, 2, at left, were there to greet their new sister.
Forum: Parenting

Ms. Ilunga worried about psychological problems during labor. Ms. Jean-Baptiste confided, laughing, that her biggest fear was rushing to a birth with her hair still in curlers.

A week later, Ms. Ilunga gave birth to a girl, Selah, at home, and Ms. Jean-Baptiste skillfully extracted the blood from the umbilical cord, so the stem cells could be frozen in case they are needed someday. She taped a vial of ammonia to the bathroom door, to be opened if Ms. Ilunga felt faint, and then tenderly kissed the new parents goodbye.

There is some evidence that the emotional support provided by midwives leads to a lesser need for medical intervention, according to a study comparing birthing centers and traditional physician care published in the American Journal of Public Health in June 2003.

The study of 3,000 low-risk, low-income women found that the outcomes were equally safe for mothers and babies regardless of who delivered the baby, but that birthing centers had a greater number of normal vaginal deliveries and administered less epidural anesthesia.

In New York City, the number of babies born at home, including accidental births, dropped to 443 in 2003 from 750 in 1996, according to the City Health Department. Statewide, the number of babies born at home dropped to 1,295 in 2003 from 1,776 in 1993, according to the state.

Counting all births attended by midwives, regardless of the setting, the number is rising statewide but shrinking in New York City, where midwives helped with 11,469 births in 2003, down from 15,198 in 1996. Statewide, midwives attended 25,838 births, or 10 percent of all births, in 2003, up from 19,994, or 7 percent of all births, in 1993.

Several midwives said the decline of midwife-assisted births in New York City might reflect the practice in some hospitals of having midwives manage the labor, but doctors come in at the last moment to deliver the baby, sign the birth certificate and submit the bill. Managed care has also put financial pressure on hospitals to have doctors, rather than midwives, attend births, said Laura Zeidenstein, director of the nurse-midwifery program at the Columbia University School of Nursing, which celebrated its 50th year last month.

Just before midnight on a Friday in May, Ms. Müller gave birth to an 8-pound 3-ounce boy, Sascha, with nothing stronger than olive oil to ease his passage. By the time the baby came, her son Misha had fallen asleep on the couch.

Ms. Bryson examined the placenta and tested the baby's reflexes. She made sure the new mother had a turkey sandwich and flattered the father by saying that his son looked just like him.

She left the apartment at 2:19 a.m. Saturday, more than five hours after arriving. Ms. Müller was already home, calling her mother in Germany to say, in German: "Hello, Mama. It's me Petra. The baby is here. Everything went well."
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thank you
i could not figure out which paragraphs were most important

i did not even think to copy and paste the whole thing!
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