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vent -- anti-homebirth article

1085 Views 9 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  melixxa
This kind of thing just makes me foam at the mouth:

Here's the letter I wrote:

To the editor:

It's hard to imagine a more biased article than Jeanene Harlick's "Training of Midwives Inconsistent." She states that there have been 18 malpractice investigations against lay midwives since 2001 - but fails to note how many there have been against obstetricians. She cautions that it is hard to create a sterile environment outside of the hospital - but neglects to mention that hospital-acquired infections are considered a huge problem by the medical establishment itself. She quotes doctors who believe homebirth inherently dangerous - and fails to quote those medical researchers and physicians who have found that hospital birth carries far more risk of iatrogenic complications. She gives voice to doctors' accusations of mismanagement by lay midwives, yet does not provide instances of mismanagement by doctors. And so on.

Aside from the appalling lack of perspective in this article, I take issue with the implication that licensure should be mandatory. To legally mandate that a normal bodily process be managed by a licensed professional is absurd - especially considering that we know scientifically that routine medical intervention is a primary reason that the normal hormonal process goes awry. Further, the state should not have the right to restrict who attends me in birth. I chose my midwife specifically because she is unlicensed - and so not required to interfere with labor in ways that would likely create dysfunction. I hope very much that Oregon does not go back to the Dark Ages and make it a criminal act for the person of my choice - made after much research I might add - to attend my birth.

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Sigh. My MIL lives in Bend. Guess I better go send her something a little closer to the truth before she calls us worried about our hb.

Seems to me that the title of that article should actually be, "Why Homebirth is Unsafe According to Nobody in the Field"
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Eyes rolling at that stupid piece.

But, there was one very unintentionally funny part:

Local lay midwives say they're actually performing as many as 10 home births per month and that their phones are "ringing off the hook." All are booked through February 2005, according to Gladden.
Hehe, the
's haven't even starting coming in for March '05. :LOL
: :LOL


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you know, I'm so glad you wrote a letter Linda. My dh kept bugging me to write something but where to start? It was obviously written to be sensationalistic.

To me, I was more concerned as to WHAT sort of infection the mother and midwife contracted. Food poisoning? I didn't get it!
That was a fabulous letter. It makes me feel so good that there are so many well spoken women on the side of homebirth midwifery that can write great letters like that.

I also wanted to add how they didn't elaborate how homebirth midwives carry the EXACT same things that they have in the hospital for hemorrhage, etc.
UGGGGGGG...this kind of one sided information really, really makes me angry. I mean Good Lord, do they think that we (present and studying, future midwives) invented homebirth? I mean, think about it...that retired doctor~civilan of the year Dr. "I saw a few babies who died, and you have to question whether this would have happened in a different setting," Carver WAS PROBABLY BORN AT HOME (if he is in his mid to upper 60s). Sheessshhh.

Your letter was excellent, blueviolet. I will send one as soon as I calm down (I write more effectively when anger doesn't color my words). I am also going to forward this to my email lists and to my school, which is in Ashland...
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Originally Posted by pamamidwife

To me, I was more concerned as to WHAT sort of infection the mother and midwife contracted. Food poisoning? I didn't get it!

I'm curious about this as well. I can see how the mother, or even the babe could get an infection, but the midwife? Unless she ingested something she'd have to have an open wound or something to that effect, wouldn't she?
"In a true emergency like hemorrhaging or if the baby's not breathing, you have only minutes before a mother or infant dies, said Mickie Brennan, a certified nurse-midwife who practices in local hospitals and clinics. "It needs to be dealt with very quickly."
i can understand the latter point (baby not breathing) to a degree ~ if a parent isn't skilled in CPR, especially. but when my sister began hemorrhaging in the hospital the nurses waited an hour to see if it would get better, then it took them about 45 minutes to bring in a dose of pitocin to slow it down. i wouldn't say that's "only minutes."

eta ~

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists opposes home births and says midwives should only be used in hospitals or birthing centers.
DUH. of COURSE the ACOG would say that. and is this evidence based? of course not. look at maternal + infant morbidity rates in countries where our model of care is not the norm... then look at the US rates. it's disgusting.

While lay midwives like to quote European studies that show their deliveries involve fewer deaths, infections, and medical interventions, those countries have better support systems and more stringent education requirements for midwives, according to ACNM's Web site.
... so instead of recommending better practices for lay midwives here, they'd rather see them all forbidden to practice. yeah, *that* makes sense.

Brennan, who has not worked with the area's lay midwives, has no stand on their use. But as someone who has served as the primary care provider for hundreds of births, she's uncomfortable with home births, she said. "I've seen too many go awry at the end," Brennan said. "Ninety percent of the time they go totally normal, and things are fairly predictable, but if you're in that ten percent of times when (complications occur), it's not a good position to be in."
... and how many of those complications were caused as a direct result of her own intervention?
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The link didn't work for me, but that's OK. I'm sure it was a stupid article.
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Nice letter! I wish I could see the article, but yeah - what Greaseball said.

(Always working to shore up my hb arguments, I was thinking that a good response to the European-midwife remark would be to counter w/ Ina May Gaskin/The Farm's statistics: Aren't these some of the best in the world (hey, a 1.46% cesarian rate? Nice)? Reproducible right here on American soil? Aren't they, indeed, another cogent argument for enhancing those "support systems" here?

(Anyway, in choosing a care provider for pregnancy, labor, delivery and birth, I base my decision on the individual's amassed experience, mindset, temperament and track record - NOT on whether or not s/he has a pretty framed diploma on the wall.)
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