Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Moms share their home birth experiences

birth photo

kbiondlll was in labor for 30 hours before giving birth to her son Max. (Photos courtesy of Heidi Zeiger)

 

When we asked women to talk about having their babies at home, we expected a strong response, but we were still surprised to see the flood of personal stories and intimate photos and videos. We heard from more than 60 women who shared their birth experiences and explained their decisions to give birth at home.

 

We used a some of these iReports in our story about the growing popularity and growing controversy over home births. Your stories gave us a lot of different perspectives on the issue.

 

kbiondlll decided to have her second child at home because she wanted a natural, drug-free delivery. She says she was in labor for 30 hours before giving birth to the 9 pound boy, Max. She said it was painful – really painful – but she wouldn't change it for the world. She said home births aren't for everyone, but she encouraged women to do their own research.

 

Kelllilee said her first two children were born without any complications so she decided to have her daughter, Kya, at home so her older kids could be there. She gave her oldest daughter the job of announcing whether the new baby was a boy or a girl.

 

DenverIllini was the first person to respond to our assignment. She was going to have her baby at the hospital, but Annabel Rose had different plans. DenverIllini gave birth in her bathroom, while her husband was on the phone with a 911 operator. maylasmommie had her first child in the hospital and said she never understood why a woman would want a home birth until she went into labor while her husband was gone. He got home just in time to call 911 and the ambulance arrived 10 minutes after she was born. She said she wasn't sure if she would have another home birth, but said it was a much more peaceful experience.

 

We asked each of these women why they sent their birth photos to CNN and almost everyone who responded said they wanted to share their experience with other pregnant women, so that they would know that giving birth at home is an option. That's what CNN iReport is all about, so we hope you will also share your experiences with the community.

159 Comments
August 11, 2010
Click to view larena's profile

thanks davidw for this assignment

August 11, 2010
Click to view Soquilii's profile

I wish I could have had a home birth - the hospital and nurses made me miserable both times - but I'm rather glad I didn't, because as healthy and strong as I was, my first child had birth defects. 

August 11, 2010
Click to view mojdfiv's profile

30 hours is a long time.  With my wife's first child she was in labor for 18 hours and the doctor was very concerned about the stress that such a long labor would have on the baby.

August 11, 2010
Click to view theluce's profile

My wife and I decided to have a home birth. Our baby girl came out perfectly on 07/10/07.

 

It was very intense and one of the best decisions we have ever made. I delivered our girl with my in-laws standing by to help. I had extremely high confidence in them; they had 11 home births and my father-in-law delivered each of them.

 

 

August 11, 2010
Click to view antoniah's profile

I wish I could ask my mom what she made of having her children at home (all 10 of us) on a farm in the middle of nowhere when going to a hospital wasn't even an option.  When waters broke dad had to cart the horse and race to the village to fetch the nurse to assist.  I really wonder what that must have been like...

August 11, 2010
Click to view geode's profile

It is a natural act that God intended could even be accomplished on our own.  With younger women having children, it bacame more risky as younger women are not yet fully developed themselves, thus the birth canal also is not fully developed allowing for more complications. Think of the American Indian and our first settlers, there were many home deliveries. Less likely to contract MERSA at home than in the hospital.

August 11, 2010
Click to view fisherperry's profile

now days thats a very dangerous thing to do. i hope that this sort of fad does not catch on.

August 11, 2010
Click to view boatrocker's profile

My family homebirths because we have a history of long births, but perfectly normal babies. My sister's first was born in a hospital (at her husband's insistence) after 42 hours, and she was harangued by the doctor and nurses who insisted she was "too tired" and "too stressed" and needed a C-section despite her assurances that she was fine. She said never again.

 

Our mom, an RN, had had a similar experience. Her doc insisted she needed to deliver via C-section because she'd broken both hips in a car wreck...despite the fact that she'd already had three OTHER children since then. She fired him and homebirthed. 32 hours and an other normal son.

 

Women have the right to refuse medical procedures, but in a hospital it's a constant fight. Homebirth and avoid it.

August 11, 2010
Click to view notsafe's profile

just not smart. sure, it's great when everything goes right. but if there is distress, moms and babies have a MUCH greater chance of dying.

 

the whole 'natural' thing is so silly. i'm not denying that it may be an incredible experience IF all goes well. but it's 'natural' to die of pneumonia; it's 'natural' to die of any of a variety of childhood diseases;'it's 'natural' to fly out the windshield if your get in a car accident. similarly, it's 'natural' to have much higher infant death rates than we do when babies are born monitored, hospital situations, where emergency C sections can be done if they need to be done. it's like wearing your seatbelt- you don't NEED to wear it. unless you get in an accident... and with babies lives in the balance, that kind of retrospective 'shouldn't have done that...' is just NOT ok. my opinion.

August 11, 2010
Click to view MengeleJosef's profile

why is it any more dangerous than before??

 

August 11, 2010
Click to view macrae87's profile

While I applaud the women who decide to have home births, I feel there is still a chance something could go wrong and how would you feel if something happened to your baby or your husband if something happened to you. I am an obs nurse and follow what ever direction a mom in labor wants and encourage "natural childbirth". I have seen great deliveries but a piece of placenta became detached and the mom hemorraged. Quick action by the nurses and doctors saved that Mom's life. Same with baby, trained personal resuscitated the baby. Birthing plans can be made and followed when presented to LDR personal. Do your research when making any decision about home births.

August 11, 2010
Click to view svscnn's profile

I was surprised to read about the 30 hour labor here.  She must not live in Florida, because we were told by our midwife that if the baby isn't delivered within 24 hours of the water breaking, you are required by law to go to a hospital. (My wife delivered our daughter at home and we beat the 24 hour deadline be only one hour.  Our midwife had us prepping for the hospital by then, just in case.)

August 11, 2010
Click to view patronus's profile

I had a normal pregnancy and had my son in the hospital.  He showed signs of trauma right at the end of the delivery because the cord was wrapped around his neck three times.  My doctor pushed a pedal on the floor and after hacking the cord apart to get him out, a dozen people suddenly appeared to take care of him.  I shudder to think what would have happened if we had a home birth. Maybe some people are okay with taking that chance, but I'm certainly glad I didn't.

August 11, 2010
Click to view Katey12's profile

I completely believe that everyone is entitled to deliver however they want to. However, there are risks. When I was in labor with my first, I was pushing for 3 hours and he was stuck. His heart rate rapidly increased and we had to do an emergency c-section. I can't even think about what would have happened if I had been at home and ran out of time to get to a hospital to get him out. My second delivery was a VBAC and went very smooth but I felt like I still needed to be at the hospital "just in case".

August 11, 2010
Click to view photogrl03's profile

This is disturbing!  The risks of home birth complications with no monitors, no available doctors or facilities to get babies out when they are in distress are staggering.  It's irresponsible and negligent for parents to do things like this that could put mother and child at risk.  Hospitals will allow mothers to give birth naturally with no drugs if that's what they want.  If there are no monitors, you will never know if your baby is in distress.  If you are not in a hosptial, you will not have the expertise or facilities to respond to issues like shoulder dystocia that can cause mental disabilities, and even death!  There is a reason that death during childbirth statistics have decreased since the days on the farm when going to the hosptial wasn't an option.  Bottom line, this behavior is negligent and irresponsible.  A friend of mine just lost a full term baby boy during a home birth because of an attitude like this.  There were complications, and nothing that could be done by the time they had to wait for an ambulance and transfer to a hosptial.  I'm happy these other situations worked out, but what about the ones that don't?  How about we interview those mothers who are wishing they would have made the decision to be in the hands of people who could be the difference between the life and death of their child?  Choose wisely, mothers... I wish I knew when it became acceptable to gamble with your childs life. 

August 11, 2010
Click to view merry1971's profile

well thank the lord SOMEONE is talking about this.  Dangerous??? no more dangerous than hospital births.  midwifes are TRAINED to deal with distress and basic oxygen emergencies, including cord restriction issues.  nearly all babies gasp for their first breath and need some level of assistance.  Skin to skin contact by the mother is the most effective method of stimulating the baby.  The poster who made the natural is silly comment.  Thinking about the oxymoron stated there NATURAL = SILLY.  Natural is JUST NATURAL.  An inherently perfect state that does need to be adjusted or interfered with.  Period. 

 

30 hours of labor is quite typical as well.  and possibly her water did not rupture until birth itself. midwives are usually present for the entire labor which in itself determines a more successful outcome in birth because there has been observation of the labor and bonding with the mother.

 

unassisted home birth is NOT THE SAME as home birth with trained MEDICAL professionals.  OBS are not the only medical professionals trained to assist in birthing babies.

August 11, 2010
Click to view michiyuki's profile

women have been having babies, without the pricey medical stuff, for hundreds of thousands of years without complications. MOST women around the world still give birth outside of hospitals! the united states has higher rates of birth deaths than some 3rd world countries! so dont buy the bull about what if your baby turns out messed up. as long as you know what you are doing - hell you dont even really need to know its instinctual - everything will be fine. if the baby was meant to die then its going to die. dont let them scare you with horror stories of once-i-saw-a-baby-and-mom-almost-die-in-a-horrific-way-but-lucky-they-were-saved-...because for every story like that there are 10000 that are normal. i dont know why we even allow all these mostly male doctors to tell us, women, how, when, and if to give birth! dont be fooled births are big business in our US of A...if this trend were to continue the health care industry would freakout and issue all these crazy sensationalized stories of the horrors of home birth. funny when you have a one in 10000 chance of having a bad homebirth the doctors and people cuss you out and say what a horrible person you are BUT at the same time they shrugg off that you have one in 1000 chance of serious complications or dying under anesthesia for simple procedures  

August 11, 2010
Click to view kickin95's profile

Fisherperry, how is home birth a fad?  Babies have been born at home for centuries.  The hospital has become the "fad" the past 50 years because of insurance companies and doctors chasing the dollar.  Watch " The Business of Being Born"  might shed a little light on your blinders.

August 11, 2010
Click to view TonyInWilm's profile

anyone who does this should be arrested for child endangerment, unless you have trained medical staff present.  it's just that...the kid comes out wrong unexpectedly and boom...parents are mad

August 11, 2010
Click to view IndigoVA's profile

Speaking as someone whose first labor lasted for 77 hours, I think 30 hours seems relatively short! My second labor was 18 hours. Both births were in a hospital, but unmedicated with a midwife. I also stayed at home until the final stages of labor because I know that once you check into the hospital you're "on the clock." Hospitals don't want you using up one of their rooms for hours (or in my case days) on end. I chose not to have homebirths because of some medical problems in my immediate family, but for those who are low risk, homebirths (attended by a midwife) are extremely safe. People who think otherwise obviously do not understand homebirth.

August 11, 2010
Click to view keljam1978's profile

I do think that a women is entitled to decide where she wants to have her baby, be it at home or in the hospital. However, as many have said there are risk having the child at home. I feel if you are planning on having your baby at home you should at least have a Midwife or a Labor and Delivery nurse there to help in case of complications. I had all 3 of my children at the hospital. I did have pain medications with my first child. When I had my second and third child I did not receive any pain medication. You can have a natural birth in the hospital just like you can at home. I feel it puts a ease in your mind if there is a doctor or experienced nurse near. If I had not had my second child at the hospital she may not be here today. When I delivered her she past thru the birth canal so fast her lungs were not squeezed in order to releive fluid in the lungs.When a baby is born the canal will squeeze the baby and allow any excess fluid to come out. Had I not been at the hospital she may not be here today. She had to stay in the hospital for a week.  

August 11, 2010
Click to view bkm1204's profile

Glorifying these idiots just make it worse. These people are irresponsible and stupid. There is nothing loving or nurturing abuot bringing your child into the world knowing that if something goes wrong you both could die.

August 11, 2010
Click to view Zoidy's profile

I think it is just wonderful that people with NO medical knowledge aside from the internet and hearsay can decide to risk their baby's life.  Risking your baby's life to fulfill misguided notions of 'natural' is the acme of ignorance and/or selfishness.  Lots of things are natural, lightning, poisonous snakes, asteroids, and cancer are all part of the natural world....and all should be avoided.  Thinking the medical establishment is 'out to get you' smacks of paranoia to the extreme.

 

If home birthing is so safe (talking to you merry1971) then why did the British medical journal The Lancet state that: "Women have the right to choose how and where to give birth, but they do not have the right to put their baby at risk. There are competing interests that need to be weighed carefully."

 

August 11, 2010
Click to view 27irishgirl's profile

yes it is true people used to deliver at home most times but it is also true that infant and mother mortality were much higher and people accepted this. Most times is fine, but what if you are one of those people that experience complications during childbirth? it is a personal decision but I would rather have all safety measures I can in place with the best technology and most qualified people around than a "natural" experience (truly natural would be out in the woods, BTW)

August 11, 2010
Click to view Rete648's profile

My daughter who resides in now Mississippi had her first son at a hospital in Las Vegas and was not happy with the restrictive atmosphere, the badgering from personnel to allow them to give her drugs and finding charges on the bill after birth for drugs that she never knew she was given.  When pregnant with her second child, she opted for a home birth.  The birth was attended by a certified midwife and assistant.  Baby and mother did so beautifully that when she got pregnant with her third child she knew, without question, that it would be a home birth.  Same midwife.  Labor was only 7 hours and resulted in a 9lb 9oz healthy baby girl.  Home birthing is not new or a fad.  While most states don't license midwives, some do and women have been having babies at home since time began.  Arrangements are always made during the pregnancy term and prenatal care with the parents and midwife as to what happens if a medical problems arises. 

August 11, 2010
Click to view JustMy2Cent's profile

My ex sis in law was in the hosp and they said she needed a C section and she refused only to have a baby that lived 7 years with severe brain damage. Weird thing is she was able to sue and got 4 million because she "proved" they shouldn't have taken the advice of a woman in labor, she doesn't know what she is saying?!

August 11, 2010
Click to view Shawnr80's profile

You all need to understand that medicine these days is all cover you a** medicine. Doctors to not make decisions based upon what YOUR best intrest. They make them with the idea "how do I not get sued" I know its crazy but after 10 years at a hospital I see it all the time. And Geode, it MRSA not MERSA.

August 11, 2010
Click to view chrysannh's profile

If those considering birthing at home have a "transport plan" in place, you're saying you would go to a hospital if complications arise.   Unfortunately, when trouble ensues, there simply is NO TIME to waste. Why would you not want to have all the safety nets at your fingertips, instead of miles away? Do you strap your children in cumbersome car seats just to drive a couple of blocks?  Of course you do, because you LOVE your children and will do ANYTHING to protect them in case of an accident.  Are you planning on getting in an accident?  NO, but you know that your responsibility as a parent is to have the protection already in place, even if your child does not LIKE the car seat.  Your unborn baby deserves the same kind of protection, in case the unthinkable should happen.  In my opinion, it's irresponsible for a mother to choose her own idealistic experience over ensuring her baby has the benefit of skilled professionals, who have the experience and equipment necessary to resuscitate an asphyxiated newborn.

August 11, 2010
Click to view kickin95's profile

bkm1204,  you call them idiots? Why, because they are informed and have medically trained midwives that are more prepared and educated in the style of child birth these women are choosing than 99% of OB's.  Your statement just shows how ignorant you are to the facts.  You are a follower and believe everything a doctors tells you, try questioning them and do some hard research, you might find out that doctors don't know everything.  Doctors have the mother pumped up on dangerous cocktails of pitocin and epidurals and start the costly and un needed snowball of drugs which completely dopes up the child along with the mother, what is responsible about that. The kicker is the doctor doesn't even show up until 2 min before the birth and leave 5 min after.  Check out the most popular times that children are born in hospital by a doctor who is fully controlling the process with drugs.  Time to grow up and ask "why", the answers can be scary, but it is part of being an adult.

August 11, 2010
Click to view photogrl03's profile

I'm just wondering who MICHIYUKI thinks she is?  Baby birthing is a big business? Really? Are you a doctor? Do you know how little the insurance companies actually pay out to doctors to deliver a baby?  I have first hand knowledge of what it is, and I can promise you it's not "big business!" 

 

Furthermore, who are you to say, "Everything will be fine..." How do you know? Are you God? Are you a doctor?  "Don't let them scare you?"  I will scare you... my friend watched her little baby die because of her decision to home birth. It can and does happen.  Being in a hosptial isn't full proof either, but it does provide the resources for a better chance to live if things go wrong.

 

Look it up... there are plenty of WOMEN doctors who will discourage you from home birth.  In fact, check your facts...most individuals graduating and moving in OB/GYN are WOMEN today!  So, your male hating commentary is absurd, uneducated, and uncalled for.

 

You are living in a fantasy land, michiyuki.  When you are trained as a doctor and fully educated in this arena, then I'm happy to hear your commentary.  Until then, your conspiracy theory is equally irresponsible.

August 11, 2010
Click to view waldorf13's profile

my mom delivered me in a hospital after days of agonizing labor.  while she was the perfect picture of health during all 3 of her pregnancies, i was born with life threatening health problems.  had it not have been for the quick action of doctors and nurses, i would not be here today.  my parents had no idea there was anything wrong with me because they were not trained to see the signs.  while it is a personal decision, i'm glad my parents made the choice they did.

August 11, 2010
Click to view fl1fl0n's profile

Some of these posts seem to indicate it should be against the law to birth at home. Its considered stupid and careless.  Its ironic a fetus can be "termintaed" for a number of reasons, and women have that choice, but they would be denied the choice to have a baby at home. You can kill it but you can't have it at home. Maybe its just me. I don't get it.

August 11, 2010
Click to view itslate's profile

I realize for centuries past babies have not been born in hospitals. I also realize there were not the medical advances that have saved many Moms and babies when immediate medical intervention was needed. Not to mention the agonizing pain factor. To me wanting to have a drug free birth is about as rational as deciding to have an appendectomy (or any surgery for that matter) without anesthesia.

August 11, 2010
Click to view caligirl850's profile

My children were born over 30 years ago.  I had them both in the hospital. Even if i were to have children and do it all over again (which i would NEVER do knowing what i know now), there wouldn't be any home births.  Too risky for both involved.  30 years ago i was fed that "oh, it's such a natural thing", well, guess what, there isn't anything nice or natural about it.   It hurts like blazes, it's uncomfortable and there's nothing pretty or beautiful about it.  Some of these women who get into this mode of everything is so wonderful, are just trying to convince themselves of that fact..they don't really believe it.  

August 11, 2010
Click to view antonymous's profile

Looking at so called third-world-countries, plenty of babies and moms survive child birth without the help of medical staff. Sure some die, but even in more developed countries moms and babies die or end up with disabilities.

August 11, 2010
Click to view StLouis798's profile

I delivered my son at the hospital ......and couldn't have had a better experience. The doctors and nurses were wonderful, and I was comforted knowing that if there were any complications before, during or after the birth, my son would have access to any number of life-saving options. In my opinion, it is the epitome of selfishness to give birth at home........this is about your CHILD, not just your birth "experience."

 

As to the argument that "women have been giving birth naturally for thousands of years," take a look at the infant mortality rate before the past 50 years. Should we go back to performing surgeries without anesthesia, simply because it's more "natural?"

 

I am frankly stunned by the trend towards home births. I think this sends a dangerous message to pregnant women, since so many complications can arise during labor, that only trained medical staff can correctly observe and rectify. Are you willing to risk your child's health, or even life, to have a home birth?

August 11, 2010
Click to view caligirl850's profile

Oh, and by the way,what is it with women who don't want to have any relief from the pain?   I just don't get that at all.  It's drudgery as it to be in labor but to refuse relief from the agonizing pain is just plain stupid.  Some women are ridiculous and just want to be martyrs..guess what?   not impressed with the martyr scenario, never have been.   P.S.  when i was in labor, they told me they'd hold up a mirror for me to watch the delivery and i said NO THANK YOU.   It was just too gross for me...nothing pretty until everyone is cleaned up.

August 11, 2010
Click to view tattorey's profile

I think its GREAT!  If your pregnancy is normal and healthy, why not?  I have 5 wonderful children and 4 out of five came naturally.  Its a wonderful accomplishment to have your child naturally and drug free.

August 11, 2010
Click to view caligirl850's profile

The idea of what they do nowadays about some people having 20 people in the delivery room watching is really gross and embarrassing.  what woman would want people staring at her in the position she has to be in with a normal delivery?   sometimes it's friends of friends watching...that is just too gross...

August 11, 2010
Click to view annonymousie's profile

how could someone post under the name joseph mengele? do you know who that was?

August 11, 2010
Click to view anicole3's profile

Great stories, but I would still have my baby in the hospital.  I have several friends who worked right up until their due date and opted for a C-Section.  I will probably do the same.  I'm not really an all natural kinda of girl.

August 11, 2010
Click to view TellMeNoLies's profile

I had two home births,one in 1980 with a Doctor in attendence, and one in 1983 with a certified Nurse Midwife...the second time I had retained placenta which caused hemorage,but the Nurse midwife handled the problem like the pro she was and I was fine...I am surprised about the 30 hour labor,because I remember that that a long labor like that  was cause to terminate the home birth and head to the hospital for backup...

August 11, 2010
Click to view viri83's profile

This great and beautiful.

August 11, 2010
Click to view crunchychewy's profile

Being at home was key to my successful homebirth (after a cesarean), and I had complete confidence in my midwife to address any concerns that would arise, before or after the birth. I was being monitored continuously by a professional rather than just laboring alone waiting to get far enough along that the hospital would not interfere with the progression of my labor. As it happened, the baby was born just 4.5 hours after labor started, and with no rushing to get anywhere, we all were able to enjoy the experience.

August 11, 2010
Click to view mamarose3's profile

I birthed three babies, 20, 18, 14 years ago, in three different hospitals with two different doctors and three different sets of medical staff.  Each time, I had completely drug free deliveries, and the staffs did as I told them, and let me alone when I requested it.  I did it my way, even though I had state of the art medical help at my fingertips.  My births were perfectly "natural" (whatever that means) but I had help to hand, should my babies or I need it. 

 

By the same token, I wear seatbelts - in case I need them.  I've never once been in a crash, but I always put on my belt.  Imagine putting on a seatbelt DURING a crash, or better yet, after one.  Stupid, yes?  I didn't put helmets on my kids when they were bike riding because I expected a crash - I put helmets on their heads in case they got into a crash.  Same thing.  Responsible care in case of emergency because after the emergency it's too late.

 

Personally, I think that homebirthing is a parent's first act of parental neglect, and potential abuse.  I can understand accidental home births, but to think that a person would willingly risk the dangers that are part and parcel of human birth - REALLY?  We are all OK with this?  Not me.

 

I'm not a creationist.  I don't think that gods endowed us with any special abilities.  I think that evolution "cursed" us mothers and "blessed" us humans with a practically unbirthable head.  If you think that we are "made for childbirth" then go ahead and admit that you are a creationist, because you are.  You can't have it both ways.

 

 

August 11, 2010
Click to view mommalis's profile

I tried to natural birth (at a birth center). My lousy midwife let me labor far too long with broken membranes and I ended up having a c-section since it was too late for pitocin by the time she finally checked me an said it was hospital time. The aftermath of the c-section was horrific (infection, truly lousy hospital care, months in bed, etc etc) While I really wanted the natural birth experience, I now realize that it is too dangerous. The average modern woman is not in proper shape for giving birth (if you are a marathon runner/pioneer woman, you might be in shape enough), babies are bigger now, and you really have no idea how any birth is going to go. The truth is LOTS of women and babies died in childbirth before modern medicine. They still do, but not as often. My daughter's birth would have been better had I started out in a hospital.... not to mention that getting transferred into a hospital if you do have complications means you know no one and you do not get the care you should. Go with a birth center in a hospital, at least. Just be there to begin with. I can't imagine losing a child. It's just not worth the risk.. and there are just so very many things that could go wrong. IF I ever have another child, I will definitely not take risks again. I was stupid and I kick myself daily for being so irresponsible. Thank God we have a healthy daughter now.

August 11, 2010
Click to view NMD2000's profile

Many people are talking about the great risk to home births.  Do you think that we are unaccompanied?  Our midwives don't arrive at our homes with no training.  They, too, have years of training and they bring along equipment with them.  Oxygen, medicines for bleeding, pain meds for extreme cases and the list goes on.  The baby and mother are monitored thru the delivery and after. We are always aware that a trip to the hospital may be necessary, before or after birth.  No midwife wants a client or her child in dangered!  She comes prepared.

 

I have four children.  One hospital birth, 2 birthing centers and my last was at home.  I didn't have this child at home for a natural birth; I can do that at a hospital. I did it at home because it was a healthy pregnancy, a seemingly healthy child and we wanted the relaxation and comfort of home minus the germs and bacteria of hospitals.  It was the best decision for us. 

 

August 11, 2010
Click to view Trolleychai's profile

Home birth isn't for everyone, but for my wife and I it was a wonderful, rewarding experience.   Our older daughter was born in a military hospital, where by policy I wasn't even allowed to be present; indeed, I didn't get to see her until she was over nine hours old.   And the standard medical procedures used at that time (episiotomy, etc.) caused problems for my wife for a number of years thereafter.   Our older son and younger daughter were born at home - our son with a doctor in attendance, as well as several close friends for assistance if needed, and our daughter with a certified nurse-midwife and another nurse in attendance (along with friends again), and a doctor on call if needed (he wasn't).   Due to some known risk factors during my wife's last pregnancy, we made plans to have our younger son at a birthing center, but he decided not to wait; he was born in the back of an ambulance that was still in the parking lot of the Apex Rescue Squad (Apex, North Carolina) where we stopped when we realized we weren't going to make the birthing center in time.   All four children are healthy, and our older daughter has two healthy children of her own, also born at home with a certified nurse-midwife in attendance and a doctor on call.

August 11, 2010
Click to view rosie28's profile

If home birth is so dangerous than why are 80% of all births in industrialized nations in Europe planned for the home??? Only 8% of births in the US take place in the home, and yet our infant and maternal mortality rate are more than 50% higher than those European nations. So which one is the safer option???

I've given birth in a hospital and I am terrified to do it again. There were no emergencies with my pregnancy or labor, but the nurses and doctors had their own agenda and it didn't include my husband or I making any decisions. I was simply a body that was in their way of doing the job they were doing, and I came away from my son's birth feeling like I had when I was raped in college. Disrespected, used and invisible.

August 11, 2010
Click to view megh0618's profile

Why are all these people talking about how dangerous it is? It's not like the woman is in labor with only her clueless husband present trying to figure out what to do next. Homebirths are done with a very experienced and educated midwife present, a midwife who has worked with you your whole pregnancy. The midwife monitors you during labor, and if there is any possible danger in sight, you are swiftly transferred to a hospital. The process should be very legit if you are working with a good midwife. Same thing with doctors in hospitals...some are great, some not so much.

 

Hospitals, doctors, and society have convinced us that natural birth at home is just not right. That is absolutely untrue. What's not right is all the unnecessary medication and c-sections that are occuring in hospitals! Sure, some births are complicated, and those things become necessary...but when more births than not are happening this way, something is wrong with this picture. I respect any woman who takes charge of her own birth instead of allowing doctors and nurses dictate - no matter how she chooses to birth.

 

August 11, 2010
Click to view Zona's profile

Hospitals are frequently such unpleasant and unsafe places that I completely understand the desire of a healthy woman not to be in one.  A comment column on doctors ignorance and arrogance would crash the internet (the majority can't even be bothered to wash their hands properly). A total overhaul of the medical industry would be superb.

August 11, 2010
Click to view ladycathy's profile

I am on the fence as to which is better. I feel it is what ever is best for the mother (AND the baby)..I would never give birth at home. I find that barbaric and just plain stupid.. I feel babys should be brought into the world peacefull and quiet and not mom screaming in pain for 12 hours. that does not make her or anyone a better mother because she didn't take any drugs for the pain..

 

but if someone thinks that having a home birth is for them. that is there choice and I stand by them all the way..

August 11, 2010
Click to view nosnobunny's profile

Geode, I think of all the young dead women.  If you doubt this, go to any old cemetery and check the ages of the women buried there.

 

August 11, 2010
Click to view antiPC's profile

YOU HOME BIRTHERS ARE IDIOTS. A child born at home is 4 times more likely to DIE. Why, if you love your child, WOULD YOU PUT THEM AT RISK?? Shouldn't you birth them in the SAFEST PLACE?? Only a nut job liberal hippie would put a child's life at risk.

August 11, 2010
RSH

Good for them. To me, this is a bold statement about the greed and corruption of the U.S. healthcare system. Too many women are getting c-sections and other unnecessary procedures and drugs — not for their own benefit, but so the doctor can maintain his golf schedule. I know several families who are still paying their hospital debts after having a baby. This is unheard of in nearly every other civilized nation.

August 11, 2010
Click to view antiPC's profile

The number one reason women died in centuries past was CHILDBIRTH. Yet you LUNATICS risk you and your babies lives because you want to give birth at home with your incense and hippie music. YOU ARE ALL FOOLS.

August 11, 2010
Click to view antiPC's profile

Oh, Yes, trust the midwife with limited medical experience...not the OB/GYN with 4 years of medical school and 4 years of residency....SMART!!

August 11, 2010
Click to view antiPC's profile

Plus what midwife brings a portable Neonatal ICU with her?? anyone?? An at home anesthesiologist? PLEASE comparing a midwife to a hospital is like saying your 3 year old child is a good a batter as Alex Rodriguez....you are silly silly people.

August 11, 2010
Click to view antiPC's profile

Oh yes, RSH this is about corruption. Nevermind that CHILDBIRTH was the NUMBER ONE killer of women before they started giving births in hospitals...THE FACTS SAY YOU ARE COMPLETELY WRONG.

August 11, 2010
Click to view JLG2010's profile

Here are the results of one study. enough said.

Results 655 (12.1%) women who intended to deliver at home when labour began were transferred to hospital. Medical intervention rates included epidural (4.7%), episiotomy (2.1%), forceps (1.0%), vacuum extraction (0.6%), and caesarean section (3.7%); these rates were substantially lower than for low risk US women having hospital births. The intrapartum and neonatal mortality among women considered at low risk at start of labour, excluding deaths concerning life threatening congenital anomalies, was 1.7 deaths per 1000 planned home births, similar to risks in other studies of low risk home and hospital births in North America. No mothers died. No discrepancies were found for perinatal outcomes independently validated.

 

Conclusions Planned home birth for low risk women in North America using certified professional midwives was associated with lower rates of medical intervention but similar intrapartum and neonatal mortality to that of low risk hospital births in the United States.

 

August 11, 2010
Click to view renethrenody's profile

No one has noted yet that many rural hospitals don't have the facilities to perform emergency C-sections.  Not just those that don't normally do deliveries -- that would be obvious -- but many of those which do.  They simply cannot afford to keep an OB and anesthesiologist on staff 24/7.  Effectively, however, that means that a birth at such a hospital is not one iota safer than a homebirth with a well-trained midwife.  What if an emergency arises?  If it would take 45 minutes for the hospital to get the staff on hand to do an emergency C, but only 10 minutes for the homebirther to get to that hospital, and the birth is attended by a midwife who has as much or more training than most hospital staff in recognizing complications that could lead to the need for a C section, then there is no added risk.

 

Then there are the very much scientifically-based objections to hospital births as they are typically handled in this country, problems which even the ACOG acknowleges: the excessive rate of unnecessary C-sections (surgical vs. vaginal delivery carries substantially higher risks to both mother and baby), the risk of hospital-acquired infection, and the unwillingness of many hospitals to respect choices which increase the odds of success in natural delivery, and homebirthing doesn't look like such a "lunatic" decision.  Studies have clearly demonstrated that it's statistically just as safe, and in some areas it seems to me that it's arguably even safer, depending on the specific hospital resources and the specific homebirthing support resources available in the area. 

August 11, 2010
Click to view venitale's profile

For antipc, let me remind you that before the 1950s, women were delivering at home all the time.  And who were the people clinically traning MD's for becoming OB/GYN's?  Certified Nurse Midwifes.  Contemporary medicine has been shoving epidurals down women's backs causing increased risk for failure to progress, thus having to need c section and possible vaccum extraction.  Use your research

August 11, 2010
Click to view mommaoffive's profile

I have had 5 children.  I think woman have a right to have a birth they want - to a point.  I gave birth to all 5 children in a hospital with a midwife.  3 were natural and 2 ended up having to have an epidural.  This is because my body needed to relax for the babies to drop enough to be delivered.  As soon as my body relaxed out they came.  Each pregnancy is different, each delivery is different.  I think when a woman puts her own desires ahead of the safety of the baby, that is wrong.  For me at least, I felt I found the perfect balance. Midwife - my choices - not being rushed - delivered how I wanted, but in the safety of a hospital just in case an emergency that was not for seen occurred.

 

Woman should educate themselves in what their rights are - especially in a hospital.  Many woman I have talked with about this felt with their first delivery that they had to do exactly what the doctor said. (Have an epidural, c-section or in their words "be cut from front to back".) Whether you have a doctor or a midwife, you should have a relationship with them that allows open communication, and leaves you knowing they are there to help you have the birth YOU want, and still keep the baby safe.If you do not - you are with the wrong person!

 

I don't believe you have to have it either or - natural birth = home birth, hospital = machines, epidurals and c-sections.

August 11, 2010
Click to view antiPC's profile

PLEASE PEOPLE. That study SPECIFICALLY excluded anyone who "might" have a problem and was specifically paid for by MIDWIVES who want you to believe that. IF YOU CHILD IS NONREPSONSIVE do you really want to 'wait for an ambulance, the ride to the hospital, then assessment there" versus having the baby in the PROPER PLACE. MY GOODNESS YOU PEOPLE ARE IN FANTASY LAND.

August 11, 2010
Click to view mommaoffive's profile

My last sentence didn't post - sorry.  What I was trying to say is that natural birth does not have to equal home birth and hospitals do not have to equal machines, epidurals and c-sections.

August 11, 2010
Click to view antiPC's profile

First, NO ONE shoves an epidural down your throat...it is your choice. TWO: Epidurals only delay birth if given before a woman is at 4cm dilation, not after. THREE: Home births ARE MORE DANGEROUS FOR EVERYONE THAN A HOSPITAL. What happens with an amniotic fluid embolism?? The mom dies and the baby dies without an emergency bedside C-Section  (i've seen two). What happens when a mothers uterus ruptures (she bleeds to death) without an emergency surgery. Again, if these happen at home YOU AND YOUR BABY ARE DEAD. Eat that research you ridiculous person.

August 11, 2010
Click to view antiPC's profile

What happens when a baby gets stuck and heart rate goes dangerously low???oh, a brain dead baby...but that's OK because I gave birth at home and that 45 minute wait for ambulance, ride to hospital, evaluation, and emergency C section didn't hurt anything.

SHALL I CONTINUE YOU SIMPLE SIMPLE FOOLISH PEOPLE.

August 11, 2010
Click to view Bobittyboo's profile

I think there is a misconception that home birth is in a barn while chewing on a leather strap. Midwives are trained and do carry medical equipment. They are trained on how to resuscitate a baby, carry oxygen and masks, carry pitocin for hemorraging after birth, monitor the baby via hand held doppler (there are studies stating that intermittent monitoring produces the same results as constant monitoring), take mom's vitals at scheduled intervals, and most important are trained to transfer to hospital if ANY warning signs come up.

 

I am a strong supporter of home birth but am also NOT anti-medicine. Interventions such as inductions and c-sections exist for a reason and should be used when needed. But I think the issues is that they are getting used more and more often and for convenience sake, not medical nesecity. These procedures do carry more risk but they have become so common place people forget this. The US actually has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world when looking at modernized nations.

 

Whatever you choose to do, I think women need to be better informed. That means they need to do their own research, but doctors also need to be more transparent with their treatment.

August 11, 2010
Click to view tedferret's profile

People who choose to do this are always crazy, hormonal women. We should expect nothing except outrageous behavior from them. If something were to go wrong during the birth, you and your child would be substantially more likely to die.

 

So yeah, enjoy giving birth at home, but when something goes wrong you're going to feel pretty stupid.

August 11, 2010
Click to view JLG2010's profile

Anti PC if are at high risk a midwife WILL NOT deliver you at home. If a child is NONREPSONSIVE they are trained in that situation same as DR. they have oxygen with them as well. Children die in hospitals also. there is a risk just because you are giving birth. there are no guarantees.

August 11, 2010
Click to view JLG2010's profile

What happens with an amniotic fluid embolism??

many die in a hospital also. This situation has extremely high death rate for mom and baby no matter where you are. There are risks at home, but risks at a hospital also. it there choice.

August 11, 2010

"...said her first two children were born without any complications so she decided to have her daughter, Kya, at home so her older kids could be there."

 

Traumatized for life.

 

It was hard enough for me to see my wife in such pain during the birth of my two kids.  Why would a mother subject her children to experiencing something like that?  What if there was a complication?  Listening to your own mother scream before she died...  That's a memory no one needs to have.

August 11, 2010
Click to view PenSieve's profile

I am baffled as to why the home birth advocates and those who prefer medical assistance insist upon vilifying one another unnecessarily.  Both sides agree - be it in study, survey, statistic, or general personal opinion - that the majority of births, even those performed in hospitals, do not 'require' medical assistance to be successful in producing a healthy, sustainable, live birth.

 

That said, there seem to be a lot of claims with no statistics in these remarks; a myriad of blanket statements.  Here are a few facts.

 

The AMA released a study in 1995 which demonstrated statical equality in quality and safety of care provided during pregnancy by the medical field and that provided by licensed, practicing midwives.

 

In 2006, the CDC reported 13.3 delivery-related maternal deaths per 100,000 births in hospitals, while the same figure among home-births was 3.1 per 100,000 for the same year.

 

In 2008, the AMA reported an infant mortality rate of 6.6% for all hospital births, ranking the US last among all developed nations in the world for this statistic.  In all countries which outpaced the US, midwifery and home-birth is a legally supported option, covered by medical insurance.  In the same year, the CDC reported home-birth infant mortality in the US at 4.1%.  It should be noted that this rate has held relatively steady since 1969, dropping as low as 3.1% and becoming as high as 5.8% in that time, while the infant mortality rate of hospital births has steadily declined from 14.8% to the current 6.6%.

 

The oft-quoted passage from The Lancet makes a valid point, though it is not pro hospital or against home birth.  The quote indicates that the 'competing interest' of the baby needs to be considered; however, The Lancet still advocates that how and where a woman gives birth is her choice, and that choice should be made as an educated one.

 

A woman's method of delivery is a personal decision, and as with any other life-altering decision, it should be made as an informed one.  Assuming we are dealing with women who have 'normal' pregnancies (i.e. not medically considered high risk), some women may prefer the legitimately arguable safety of a hospital setting, regardless of the statistically low likelihood that medical assistance will actually be required.  Others may find themselves just as at ease with assuming any risk associated with a home birth option, including the possible death of their child due to an unforeseen complication.  The more important issue is that women should be able to make this choice free of the reproach of their peers, the medical community, the home birth advocates, or the government.

August 11, 2010
Click to view kriso574's profile

antipc,... you need

A. an education (try ACNM or BMJ)to look at the facts.

your embolism story and rupture stories we both in hospitals and I would love to see those labor progress records, probably on pitocin, closed glottis pushing, on there backs, vbac with an epidural and pitocin??mmmhmmmm, and the incidence of rupture is 0.1% and AF-embolism 1/100,000 births so you have bad luck.

B. to relax, there is actually BETTER outcomes for moms and babies born at home, if they are healthy and have a low risk pregnancy!

C. put your effort into promoting a more healthy birth in the hospital so women will want to go there! elective cesarean sections have a higher risk of maternal and neonatal mortality than low risk home births. Pumping fentanyl and bupivicaine, the narcotic used in epidurals along with the numbing agent used derived from opium and cocaine, into a fetus because you don't want to be present and put some effort into your labor isn't selfish? if you would like a tutorial on the mechanisms of a natural vs medicated birth just let me know, you'd be surprised to see how the natural progression can be disturbed and lead to unecessary cesarean sections,....I have been catching babies in a hospital for years and the interventions we use are detrimental to a labor and birth! Our mortality rate for moms and babies is one of the highest in the developed world, yikes! and thats counting home, car, street, hospital births,...something to think about.

August 11, 2010
Click to view mom24's profile

Well, having 4 children, I cannot imagine doing that at home. There are many dangers and I'm sorry but a Midwife is absolutely NOT a substitute for a medical doctor. Don't fool yourself into thinking other wise. If something is wrong that would only show up on a fetal monitor....no way is the midwife trained to handle it or to do an emergency c-section.  In a hospital, a doctor can have the baby out in about 3 minutes if a C-section is necessary...whereas home births....ride to the hospital, time for docs to figure out what you're medical need is....did our ancestors do it..well, yes, out of complete necessity since that's what was done back then....the infant mortality and birthing mother mortality rate was about 50x what it is today. Those who have home births and something goes wrong have no one but themself to blame for the outcome. It's selfish.

August 11, 2010
Click to view caw138's profile

My son was born very quickly, in the hospital, and instead of crying when he was born, he gave a soft grunt.  He ended up having undeveloped lungs, which means he needed surfactant, he got pneumonia due to excessive fluid, needed antibiotics, and had difficulty breathing, so he was in the oxygen hood, then moved to a ventilator, then the oxygen cannula with various wires to monitor him and provide him food.  Would my baby have survived if he was born at home without the help of the NICU to treat him immediately?  I don't know and I am glad I don't know.  I think in this day and age of advanced medical care, it's just foolish to PLAN a home birth.  I, for one, am glad we were in the hospital!

August 11, 2010
Click to view keljam1978's profile

I think its great if a women can give birth without pain medication(caligirl850). You will not have the side effects that you my might have with taking pain meds. I know I didn't. With my first child which I had pain meds, I itched, was very dizzy, couldn't get up and walk because of the dizzieness until about 2-3 hours after birth. I was sick on my stomach and couldn't eat anything and I was starving, I hadn't had anything to eat in 24 hours.

When I had my second and third child I did not receive pain meds and I was up walking around about 30-45 minutes after the baby was born. No dizzeness, no sick stomach, no itching and I was able to eat without getting sick. Not everybody has the same experience and some women may have a low tolerance for pain, which is fine, but i incourge those who have a high tolerance for pain to give birth without pain meds.

August 11, 2010
Click to view jebinwaco's profile

Having a home birth is great when everything goes smoothly, but that's not always the case, and you put yourself at unnecessary risk.

 

Both of our children had unexpected complications during delivery.  Had we not been in a hospital for first child would have died, and my wife's life could have been in danger.  Our second child had initial breathing problems that could have become long-term issues had we not had immediate NICU care.  Instead we have two perfectly healthy children.  Again, neither of these circumstances could have been predicted prior to labor.  Don't risk your own and your child's health.  The more people that have children this way, the more will die.  That's an undeniable, historically proven fact.

August 11, 2010
Click to view astraheight's profile

My ex-wife and I had a home birth and still to this day it ranks as one of the most special days in my life.  Within an hour of my son's birth, it was just the three of us snuggled in bed. 

August 11, 2010
Click to view NewsWoman's profile

Giving birth at a hospital is a battle especially when you are trying to AVOID DRUGS! I would've loved to birth at home. The docs in IL have made midwives doing homebirths ILLEGAL. Can you believe this is America?

August 11, 2010
Click to view JKPHOTO's profile

Why chance it with modern technology available. If I would have had my first at home he would have died. Perfect pregnancy and delivery then he went downhill from there (Accute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and was in the NICU for 25 day. After my 2nd perfect pregnancy my son got stuck (over 10 lbs) and after the delivery I almost bled to death. So, I would have lost my first son and then died after my 2nd, why risk it?

August 11, 2010
Click to view NebraskaDad's profile

Simple fact - there are now more things that can go wrong with labor since the engineers of science and medicine (drs) have been given a free reign to do as they want with maternity care. Women are being scared out of the right to be responsible for their birth experiences. Seems that if you put a white coat on you become an expert in birth.

 

For every fear you may try to place in me for something that could only go wrong at a home birth, I will be able to give you a bunch more that would only occur in the hospital. Interventions cause problems.

 

There is so much weight and belief put in C-sections - as though they are the saviors of mothers. Don't you realize that in the majority of emergency c-sections these days, the they are needed due to FAILED interventions (eg inducing early to get the baby out). The Dr's advice and leading CAUSES these sort of problems - and they do not know how to operate outside of their textbooks. Why would I want to force my wife into that?

 

This country is built on liberty - that also means taking responsibility. I will not simply hand that off to someone who happens to have a white coat and a clinical smile. My wife is worth more than that.

 

 

 

August 11, 2010
Click to view Amurikan's profile

Gross!

August 11, 2010
Click to view ndheurtygjhc's profile

I am in favor of birthing in the hospital as you don’t want to carry the burden of have harmed you child in anyway for the rest of your life if something goes wrong.

 

That said, my doctor seemed to hurry when it came to labor. She put me on oxytocin and wanted to ‘hurry up’ my labor … it made me a little uncomfortable. Right after the delivery, everyone seemed to hurry to move me to the recovery room … may be 10 minutes within birthing.

 

But still, I was glad I was in a hospital environment just to make sure I would have professional help if needed.

 

August 11, 2010
Click to view mom24's profile

Nebraskadad.....yes, those folks in the white coats with clinical smiles are called medical doctors.......they go to school for years and years to gain the ability to know more than oh, say someone who DID NOT got to medical school. Leading causes in problems during pregnancy and delivery...are you kidding me? that's BS.  Working in a hospital in the section that actually overseas the risk management/patient safety I can tell you you're quite ignorant. Doctors are in the business of saving lives, not taking them or damaging them.

August 11, 2010
Click to view NewsWoman's profile

NebraskaDad - spot on right! INTERVENTIONS = COMPLICATIONS

August 11, 2010
Click to view NewsWoman's profile

mom24 - Any cancer patient will tell you that docs are not Gods who know all. You have to be practive in your own medical care doing your own research on your condition. Docs certainly don't always know what's best for your particular case.

August 11, 2010
Click to view socwrkrmom's profile

I wanted a home birth due to the cascade of medical interventions I felt sure would occur at the hospital, but because I live in Alabama, was not able to fulfill this desire.  I did, however, labor at home and arrive at the hospital at nine centimeters dialated, thus sucessfully avoiding many interventions.  I had an unmedicated birth, but then had to be rushed to surgery after the placenta broke apart.  I'm convinced this happened because the OB was in a rush to get it out, but I suppose there is always a chance this would've happened anyway and, had it been a home birth, I could've bled to death.  I think the medical "establishment" needs to make it easier for women to have the birth experience they want at the hospital so that we all get the best of both worlds. 

August 11, 2010
Click to view bird1980's profile

READ THE EVIDENCE! Hospital births are NOT more safe than homebirths. When there are complications, women can arrange to transport to a hospital. But history has shown- and the research bears this out- that many "complications" that threaten the lives of mothers and babies during delivery are a result of medical interventions and restrictions! If you haven't read all the literature, you are NOT qualified to make a determination of relative safety. Obstetricians can do great things to save women and newborns in dire situations, but if you truly believe in helping women, you would do your homework and not just say hospitals are safer because that's what the doctors told you. Of course hospitals want us to believe that (duh!). There has been a long history in the US of medical doctors taking over women's birth experiences are doing serious physical and psychological harm to them in the process of taking home birth away as a safe option. DO YOUR HOMEWORK before you make ignorant blanket statements about birth safety!

August 11, 2010
Click to view mach7479's profile

It's about the numbers.  More succeed in hospitals.  Do you want to be more likely to not die?  Go to the hospital and take your culture and anecdote-based-belief system out of this for the good of your baby and yourself.

August 11, 2010
Click to view mom24's profile

Kriso...are you high?  Epidural medications do not enter the blood stream, so....the baby is COMPLETELY unaffected by the medications.....if someone chooses a home birth, yeah for them, but if something happens to mom or baby.....they're to blame solely. Are most births uncomplicated...yes, I've had 4 perfect pregnancies and 4 perfect delivers in a HOSPITAL....My youngest was 9lbs 11 oz...my pelvis was broken and so was his collar bone.  I was treated as high risk.  Dont spread BS out there to expectant mothers or women researching their options. Let them read the facts for themself instead of quoting incorrect statitics or opinions of midwives or dulas. They are in no way a replacement for a doctor.

August 11, 2010
Click to view al01's profile

It should be illegal for a doctor to perform a c section or episiotomy so that they can make their tee time or date.  It's not surprising that women want to have their babies at home.  Considering that humans have been having babies for about 3 or 4 million years, or 4000 years if you believe the Bible rather than science and facts, having a baby in a hospital is still very new.  Obviously having a baby in a hospital has it's advantages, but it also has many disadvantages as well.  Let the mom decide.  Anyone who thinks that a home birth is a crazy idea has never looked into it and is completely ignorant of the event. 

August 11, 2010
Click to view shykia's profile

I am an female obstetrician and very disturbed by some of the comments made here, on both sides.

 

Doctors are human.  Midwives are human.  Neither one is superior to the other.  Bad doctors and bad midwives both exist.  Both sides stress different points about the birthing experience, and it should be up to the woman which provider she feels the most comfortable with to manage her care.

 

That being said, and being a personal witness to some of the terrifying outcomes that can happen in obstetrics, I would strongly encourage any woman to give birth in the hospital. If it is important for you to have as little "medical intervention" as possible, find a hospital with a birthing center run by midwives. Write out a birth plan and have your birthing experience the way you envision. In this way the option for medical intervention, when and if it is necessary, is still at least immediately available.

 

Your "right" to your birth experience does not trump the safety and health of your child, no matter how small those risks may be.  Childbirth was the #1 killer of women before the days of medical intervention for a reason, and it remains the most dangerous experience most young women will undergo today. Really think about that statement.

August 11, 2010
Click to view mom24's profile

newswoman....gods, no....but we're not talking cancer, we're talking home birth versus delivering in a hospital.  do they know more about delivering babies than a dula or midwife...yep, without a doubt. as patients we SHOULD be involved in our medical care. We know our bodies, but doctors know medicine. there are some docs out there who truly are inexperienced or just bad doctors, but that's not the case most of the time. I'm not pushing hospital births, but don't quote that they're safer than hospital births because they're NOT.

August 11, 2010
Click to view mach7479's profile

In the 1800s, we did many live births from home.  Do you think the success rate was higher then than now?  How many "died in childbirth" tombstones do you see?   What do you have in your home that they didn't...that somehow helps when blood is everywhere - and the baby isn't breathing? 

 

Some are indicating that they can go to the hospital if necessary - to introduce this cop-out "best of both worlds" scenario.   Doesn't this somehow indicate that hospitals are better-equipped?  Why not start there, and decrease the risk of not getting there in time?  Think.

August 11, 2010
Click to view bird1980's profile

Women who birth at home are NOT more likely to die. I had a baby in the hospital and it was fine, but women should have the CHOICE and they should be able to get accurate information to make that choice. Doctors do not always provide the most accurate information, so to rely on their information alone is not good enough to make an informed decision about the kind of care you want. Pregnancy and birth are not diseases. Sometimes things go wrong, regardless of where you are, but the evidence simply does not support the claim that you or your baby are more likely to die if you stay home with a trained midwife. That's hard data, not "anecdotal."

August 11, 2010
Click to view mom24's profile

al01, doctors spend the majority of their life in a hospital, working...not playing golf or even with their own families. Doctors truly are concerned for your safety. I have seen with my own eyes the doctors who lose patients...they are absolutely crushed. They do not think we're numbers.

August 11, 2010
Click to view renethrenody's profile

Many people don't realize that certified midwives actually have more training in normal pregnancy and childbirth than medical doctors.  Obstetricians are trained as surgeons. Midwives are trained as primary care providers, with extremely extensive training in particular devoted to the early recognition of complications which would require referral to a specialist.  There's no logical reason that OBs and midwives need to be seen as antagonistically in competition with one another.

 

Furthermore, midwives aren't just having women labor at home no matter what; they're responsible, highly trained medical professionals.  About 10% of planned homebirths result in precautionary transfers to the hospital because a risk factor has arisen.  Nor are mothers or babies without care until they reach a hospital; midwives carry all kinds of emergency supplies and equipment on hand, including oxygen, medication to stop hemorraging, etc.  The rationale for outpatient birth isn't substantially different from the rationale applied to, for instance, outpatient surgery centers: some procedures are low-risk enough to be handled outside of a hospital, with a plan to transfer to a more extensive facility if medically indicated.  But I don't hear anyone screaming that outpatient surgery centers should be outlawed.

 

And yes, interventions carry risks, which can then in turn lead to the need for more interventions.  Obstetrical medical journals readily acknowledge this issue.  Yet multiple interventions remain the norm, not the exception, in hospital births.

 

For a low-risk mother and baby, with proper screening, with a well-trained midwife, with hospital backup readily available if needed, homebirth has been conclusively shown to be just as safe as hospital birth.  (Ask the Netherlands, for instance, where 1/3 of births are now homebirths.  Surely the parents of the Netherlands are no less concerned about their infants' wellbeing than parents in the US; they simply benefit from a medical system which considers homebirth midwives an integral part of providing excellent maternity care and outcomes.)

 

August 11, 2010
Click to view socwrkrmom's profile

i'm not convinced that OBs know more about delivering babies than some midwives.  medical obstetrics, yes, but there are some midwives out there who can run circles around many of the OBs in practice in terms of the labor/delivery aspects.  i don't see why docs and midwives can't function TOGETHER in hospitals and birthing centers in every state in this nation.     

August 11, 2010
Click to view NebraskaDad's profile

Awesome observations mom24 - they went to medical school and studied the science of the human body. If my wife is having a baby, Im sorry, but while there is science and biology going on, thats not all it is. So from that standpoint, I will consult the white coats when I need a science and biology question answered, but for birthing I will seek a professional in the matter - a midwife.

 

Also mom24 - if you oversee patient safety - isnt that just an alternative way of saying your job is to make sure that the Dr/hospital isn't sued? Are you seriously trying to tell me that decisions are not based on issues outside the patient - such as potential lawsuits and weither on not the Dr can get to go play golf that afternoon? Would you suggest that the rise in c-sections is not because of the chance of lawsuits? what about the issues surrounding VBAC?

 

Drs are in business of saving lifes? my wife and baby's life does not need saved. Thanks for making my point.

 

To add to your statement, home birth is about making a life, making a bond, making a relationship. I will not let a Dr take that away from us.

 

 

 

 

 

August 11, 2010
Click to view shakes2525's profile

I just watched a movie advocating Midwives.  In Japan and Europe Midwives deliver 70-80% of the babies.  Here in the US we have only 1% delivered by Midwives, yet the mortality rate for both the infant and mothers is higher.  The rate of C sections goes up a 4pm, why so that doctors can get home in time.  If we had it to do over again, I would like to look into home birth. 

August 11, 2010
Click to view Dawn123123's profile

I have a friend of mine, a former doctor, who is now a midwife.  I do know that she attends home births, and does have all the training, and medical equipment, monitors, etc.  That she needs to have a safe home birth.  I know a lot of people that think home birthing  involves very little medical care.  Most home birthing mothers are carefully checked by their doctor all during pregnancy, and are told of their risks depending on a lot of factors. 

 

That said, I chose a hospital for my delivery.  I felt the safest there.  My contractions were very close by the time we got to the hospital.  My daughter could have been born in the car, by myself! (and my husband who knows nothing about births)  I got to the hospital, and the doctor could not make it. He got stuck in traffic!  My daughter was born at 9 pm, and I was put in the recovery room 10 minutes later! I could hardly walk. The maternity ward was overcrowded.  They kept me in the hospital about 12 hours after that. I went home at 9 the next morning.  The nurse who put my daughter in her car seat had her wrapped up, and had her nearly STANDING in her newborn sized car seat, with her feet where they baby's bottom generally goes.  Had I not unwrapped her, I would have assumed the nurse fastened her correctly, and drove off that way! She could have fallen right out. I unwrapped her, and fastened it myself, when the nurse left.  Within hours of getting home, I found out I had an Uninary infection. It is not fun to go to the clinic, the day when you get home from the hosp.  Had the hosp. at least kept me, they would have found it there. and, when I got home, I fell down the stairs, tearing one of my stitches!  I think in my case, a home birth may have been better for all involved. 

 

This was at a hospital in Minnesota, that has a very good reputaion. 

August 11, 2010
Click to view Belly666's profile

I vehemently oppose this practice.  Modern medicine as it relates to births did not develop by accident or as a "just in case" contingency.  Complications occur regularly, and some are well beyond the capacity of a midwife, especially those requiring urgent C Sections.  Yes, it is the de facto method of giving birth in the developing world, but let's please keep our heads, the rate of serious and even fatal complications in the developing world is FAR higher as well, both for mother and child, and the lack of immediate, high quality medical care is the primary reason why.

August 11, 2010
Click to view NebraskaDad's profile

Belly666 - I disagree that it is quality medical care that is responsible for this difference. What we perceive of as quality medical care is actually big business, desperation for money, big egos and militant medical attitudes. We have our choices being taken away from us, normalizing our lifes. Developed world? more like controlled world if you ask me.

August 11, 2010
Click to view automagic's profile

If I ever have a child, I'm not taking him to a hospital either.  In fact, it's none of the government's business that he even exist until the census 10 years later.  I will not let them mutilate his penis.  I will not let them take his prints and DNA like a criminal.  I will not let them assign him a freaking number.  I will not let them shoot controlled substances into his body under the guise of vaccination.  My child will be truly free.

August 11, 2010
Click to view MamaKrzewski's profile

Here's one for the people who feel it's criminal or insane or both to have your child at home. A testament to the coldness of doctors and nurses today. A woman acquaintance found out at 37 weeks that her child had no heartbeat. So they're going to KEEP HER AWAKE AND INDUCE LABOR. Why? Why not put her under and do a C-section? Why put her through all that pain just to deliver a dead baby?

 

But we women are supposed to subject ourselves to this?

August 11, 2010
Click to view shykia's profile

MamaKrzewski - because having a C-section would complicate all of her future pregnancies in many ways. Because vaginal birth is much less morbid than major abdominal surgery. I'm sorry about your friend, but that is not the coldness of doctors and nurses, but because there are real medical reasons.

August 11, 2010
Click to view clsaldy's profile

I had both of my children at home in 1980 and 1983.  I wouldn't do it any other way.  Yes, we had a doctor and midwife present.  When first leaning that a baby was on the way we checked out the various options and found that too many of the hospitals interfer with natural births to either give drugs or perform c-sections that are unnecessary.  We also took every precaution possible prior to the births to ensure the baby was born healthy and any complications were considered.  This was the right thing for us.  Now, I look at two wonderful individuals who are 27 and 30 years and have no regrets.

August 11, 2010
Click to view 300Cooper's profile

you women are crazy but in a good way! much respect

August 11, 2010
Click to view ndheurtygjhc's profile

Automagic- Your thinking might very well change when you actually get pregnent and will then realize that a real person is living in you ... and maybe then want the best for him/her and go to the hospital to be in safer hands while birthing. Good luck.

And btw, vaccinations are not just controlled substances ... they save you from many many life threatening diceases later down the road.

August 11, 2010
Click to view crystaliris's profile

My wife and I had two of our three at home and it was great! It would have been all three except with #1 there was a concern for a BP issue, but we still went with a midwife. Unless you are educated about how the system works in the medical field you are setting yourself up for a lot of unneeded intervention. Learn as much as you can about pregnancy, home birth,your rights, and the medical system before running to any decisions. Because, when you are cornered in a scary predicament you'll regret your own ignorance.

August 11, 2010
Click to view howiecarr's profile

It is incredibly stupid, naive, and selfish to attempt to birth at home.  Sure, humans have done it for millions of years.  A large percentage of mothers and babies used to die during childbirth too.  Childbirth is dangerous, for the mother and the child.  Why would you want to do it anywhere but in a hospital where all the latest technology can be brought to bear in an emergency?  I am a father of 4.  In each of the births, the hospital staff was very respectful of my wife's wishes.  No one ever pressured us to have a c-section or drugs that she did not want.  One labor stalled and we were in the hospital on IV antibiotics for 3 days.  At home, that probably would have led to deadly infections as the waters had broken.  We were told that a c-section was recommended after a certain amount of time, but never was it forced on us.  Tow of the births had emergent situations, one cord was wrapped around the neck, the other was twins and the second twin got into major distress during the interval between births.  In each case the life of my child was saved by a quick thinking DOCTOR.  A friend of ours had an ovarian embolism (not sure of the terminology) where the amniotic fluid somehow went back into her blood stream and almost killed her.  Quick thinking doctors and a lot of expensive technology is all that saved her life.  This woman was young and in perfect health, as was my wife during her births.  Emergencies can happen to anyone at any time, why take chances?  These women who want to home birth are just being irresponsible.

August 11, 2010
Click to view NebraskaDad's profile

shykia - in your own words "having a C-section would complicate all of her future pregnancies" - but its so ok to do it at convience for many OBs - I cant understand why.

 

Earlier you stated -

'Your "right" to your birth experience does not trump the safety and health of your child, no matter how small those risks may be'

 

Weither or not that is the case, that standpoint should not be given as the basis of decisions - and unfortunately it is more and more. Tell any parent that they are bad and they will respond to that. Tell them they are being selfish and they will react.

 

So what am I meant to do when my wife gets post natal depression as a result of the sudden hormonal changes brought on by an 'emergency' C-section? When the biological bond is interrupted between mother and baby - what is going to happen to my child - they need their mother - and now as a result of following the 'safety and health' path it has cause a very big upset. What am I meant to do if the hormones present for producing breast milk have been interrupted and the baby cries incessantly at their mother - unable to feed - heart broken and lost? Why would I want to put our family in that danger?

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 11, 2010
Click to view NPSwife's profile

What beautiful pictures!

I had to comment about the 30 hr labor.  When I had my son, it was my second homebirth.  He was "sunny-side up", with his spine agains my back instead of facing out, as normal.  Because of this, he kept moving down very, very slowly.  When he moved down his head would seal off the amniotic fluid, so I labored slowly for five days, with the water breaking a bit more each day.  This would have been a guaranteed C-section in a hospital.

Thankfully, my midwife was married to a doc.  He helped her to monitor my labor, and as long as he kept declaring me and the baby OK, we kept going.  My son finally turned and was born naturally and quite healthy.  Today, he is a 28 year old business executive.

I went on to have two more children at home with no complications. 

I had faith in my own body to do what it was designed to do.

August 11, 2010
Click to view Belly666's profile

I find it shocking that anyone would suggest lack of high quality health care is not the primary reason for the egregiously high maternal and infant complication/death rates in the developing world. Do people really believe that mothers in less fortunate countries would opt for home births even if high quality hospital care were a viable option?  Sure, at first some still would, but as education increased that number would dwindle to virtually zero.  Western medicine is big business, it is not perfect and never will be.  That said, this line of thinking that it's all about money, control and unecessary procedures, so I am going to give birth in a wading pool at home is, in my mind, terribly self-indulgent.  The baby has zero say in the matter, and fathers are not often heard from either.  As a man, I am not about to take the risk that my wife or newborn needs urgent care and does not get it because we are at home.  I feel so strongly about it I will not have a child with someone who insists on a home birth.

August 11, 2010
Click to view photogrl03's profile

To those of you ignorant people making comments about doctors rushing off to make it to the golf course or to a date, I can tell you from first hand experience that you have NO CLUE what you are talking about.  I am the daughter of an amazing man who's been doing regular OB and high risk OB for 30 years now.  This man missed just about my entire childhood because he was at the hosptial delivering babies.  He continues to miss the occasional event in my life because he's at the hosptial...delivering babies!  He has given up his freedom, and many a "golf date" in his life to bring lives into this world.  You are ignorant, uneducated and arrogant to think for one second that there are not doctors out there giving their entire lives (and bank accounts) to this business of bringing babies into the world. 

 

NebraskaDad- I feel sad for you.  You are the most arrogant person I've ever read comments from.  "My wife and my baby don't need to be saved."  You're BEYOND lucky they didn't need saving.  You didn't know that they were going to be fine, though.  What if they had needed saving?  Why don't you ask a husband whos lost his wife or baby during childbirth how he feels about those white coats?  The seconds it takes you to go find one of those "white coats" and consult them can be the difference between living and dying.

 

I've personally seen my dad save a baby's life.  I just so happened to be in the NICU visiting my premie cousin when a woman rushed in with a baby that was blue in the face.  I saw him do CPR and bring that baby back.  The mother of that baby is still thankful to this day that he was there.  That moment is why this man spent $200k of his own money to put himself through undergrad, med school and an additional two years of osteopathic medical school to be a D.O.  TO SAVE LIVES and help people!  NebraskaDad, if you think that can't happen to you or your family, you are dead wrong.  You refer to these white coat doctors like they are emotionless aliens... sounds to me, it's you that has that problem.  I know a man that doesn't just preach about bringing life into the world, but actually does it.  He's missed christmas, vacations, graduations, and all sorts of other events to do what he does. As a family we spent christmas eve in L&D once because he had to race to a delivery and had no time to take us home.  You should be thanking people like him.  I haven't read a word about you making that kind of a difference.

 

There is no substitution for a trained physican people!!! Not even a midwife, and many of them will even admit that.  DO NOT underestimate the power of an amazing, caring doctor. 

August 11, 2010
Click to view Slappo's profile

Have your baby at home, fine. But make sure there is a scrubbed OB in the next room, because all sorts of stuff can go wrong, and does all the time. Before the last 60 years or so, women died in childbirth all the time.

August 11, 2010
Click to view Brucette's profile

I had both my children as home births, I never ever wanted a hospital birth, especially after hearing what my oldest sister went through at an Army Hospital while they were in the service. All while growing up and playing pretend, I was always "Late getting to the hospital and had to give birth in a wagon train, cab, etc". I had birth classes specifically setup for home births, and did much reading and felt totally comfortable as well as my husband in that we wanted a home birth. We found a midwife who delivered both our children. I gave birth in a black recliner chair after 6 hours of labor. No pain, just some hard cramps. It was joyous and I had perfect births. With my daughter, I had to change positions and get on my hands and knees as she had a shoulder sticking, but she was healthy and same midwife. Both times weather was horrible, with my son a Snowstorm and with my daughter thick muddy country roads that were impassable. I could not ask for a more rewarding way to give birth. I have attended 3 births since then and all with large children, helped by a chiropractor - Everyone needs to find where they are comfortable and being as informed as possible with a backup plan is necessary - but you take charge of your own labor and delivery as uncertainty and fear is what caused the pain and long labors. Relaxation and confidence is the key. I worked up to the day of delivery, had both within 6 hours of labor, and have 2 beautiful healthy children because of it.

August 11, 2010
Click to view Codepwned's profile

There is nothing wrong with Home Birthing. We've been doing it for thousands of years! Today everyone is afraid of the littlest things. I think with today's technology a mid wife, or nurse there to let you know when things are not right.

 

What truly bothers me is that most people don't realize the cost of birthing in a hospital with insurance, let alone without. It's unreal.

 

You can say "it's a baby cost doesn't matter" but it does. Some people do home births because they cannot afford to pay $20,000 (or the $5000 co-pay) most have to pay for a child. We can argue the semantics about having a child if you can't afford it another time.

 

Home birthing has been around since we have. Only in the past 50-75 years has it become normal to birth in a hospital. Keep that in mind.

August 11, 2010
Click to view shykia's profile

 

NebraskaDad-

It is not okay to do a c-section for the convenience of the OB.  Our professional organizations do not and will never condone it -- because, like I stated, it complicates all further pregnancies. It is reactionary and insulting to insinuate that obstetricians are all like that.  Like I also stated, bad doctors do exist, but for the majority of us, the most important priority is the health and safety of our patients. 

 

You have raised several concerns about specific incidences where emergent surgery would have emotional impact on the baby and the mother. Of course all of those things should be avoided if possible.  I think you and I -- and the majority of women, obstetricians, and midwives -- really do ultimately agree that c-sections, surgery, and medical intervention should be used only when necessary, that c-sections solely for the sake of convenience have no place in practice.  But I do urge you to consider that emergent intervention and surgery DOES have its place in obstetrics and is live-saving. We simply come from different ends of the spectrum - you have seen healthy normal births, and I have seen horrific complications resulting in maternal and fetal death, even in instances where the pregnancy was completely uncomplicated to begin with.  You ask why you would ever put your wife in danger of losing the ability to breastfeed or bond or suffering from postpartum depression.  I ask you why I would ever put my patients in the danger of dying, or watching their newborns die.

August 11, 2010
Click to view Viviana123's profile

I have been an NICU RN for over 20 years and have seen many babies brought in from home with seizures and long term brain damange which probably would have been avoided if they were born in a hospital.   

August 11, 2010
Click to view mpsc's profile

I'd love to know what percentage of mothers who choose home birth to embrace what is natural also opt for an unnatural amnio to determine the health and/or sex of their babies.  Interesting tangent....

 

Let's be honest, neither choice -- home birth or hospital birth -- is without risks.  But no one can seriously argue that home birth is safer.  Yes, hospital births may come with some hassles, occasionally questionable medical interventions, annoying staff, a mostly sterile environment, rules about family involvement, insurance irritations, etc., but the outcome (healthy baby and mother) should matter more than the process.   I was asked to attend a home birth, and let me tell you, when mother and baby went into distress, there was nothing peaceful about it, especially when the midwife ordered the husband to call 911 and the entire ambulance squad showed up to transport the laboring mother to a local hospital for an emergency C-section.  All went well, but it was a very unpleasant experience, shared, I am sorry to say, by concerned neighbors, paramedics, and traumatized older siblings.  if the only thing going for a hospital is the on-hand medical staff and technology to obviate the admittedly remote possibility of a tragedy, there is no choice.

August 11, 2010
Click to view Fredbaraboo's profile

Just a note:  There are different kinds of midwives. 

 

Certified Nurse Midwives are Advanced Practice Nurses with extensive graduate level education, specialized in maternity and childbirth.  They generally have ties with physicians and hospitals for hospital transport in an emergency, and have been trained to recognize and deal with such emergencies.  They may also legally prescribe needed medications if that is desired.

 

Lay midwives are women who deliver babies in their community, like amoung the Amish and some other minority communities.  They have no medical training and minimal certification requirements, only community experience, and generally do not have physician/ hospital back up or recognition.

 

I would recommend the Certified Nurse Midwives for home births.  Some physicians may still assist with home births too, with restrictions.  (Close to hospital, etc)

 

Freddy 

August 11, 2010
Click to view swmachi's profile

I had all 3 of my children at home. they are now 20, 17, and 13.   The first after 40 hours of labor was born in a bathtub outside.  The next 16 hours also bathtub, and third in 4 hours also bathtub.  Definately home births are not for everyone, but I wouldn't do it any other way.  I saw may midwife regularly and sometimes our appointments would last over an hour.  She was well trained and was able to answer all my questions, relieve my concerns, and prepare me for delivery.  She checked and double checked and monitered me before, during and after.  I felt I received much better care from my midwife than I would have from a doctor.  

August 11, 2010
Click to view Jefe23's profile

I'm all for natural in many cases (foods, not taking anti-biotics except in dire need, etc.), but this to me just doesn't seem like the best idea.  I understand the merits, but you have to be ok with the "natural" idea of old-world infant and mother mortality rates.  If you're ok with that, then by all means, go for it.

August 11, 2010
Click to view AnotherGuest's profile

I keep reading comments like "babies have been born at home for years". Ah, yes, the good old days--when a woman's life expectancy was around 50 and hemorraging in childbirth was certain death. If you look at the maternal death rate (and infant mortality rate, it has dropped sharply due to medical advances. I'm sure there's plenty of anectdotal evidence to make this sound good. You, your sister, and your friend may have had a wonderful home birth. And your parents probably never made you ride in a car seat, either and you lived to tell the tale. Are you willing to take that chance with your child?

August 11, 2010
Click to view 2ptcnvrsn's profile

Home birthing is downright RECKLESS.  My wife had a perfectly normal pregnancy, but our child was born with minor breathing problems that required immediate NICU staff assistance.  Our child is absolutely fine now thanks to quick action on the part of the doctors and nurses and techs.  Are you telling me you're willing to risk the long-term health and well-being of your child just so it can be a "more natural, nurturing experience" for you, the mother???

 

Sure, in the old days people gave birth at home, but infants died or suffered horribly because they didn't have access to the technology we have available today in hospitals.

 

And if you can't afford to have your child in a hospital, maybe you shouldn't be having a child.

 

I understand women who give birth at home because they couldn't make it to the hospital - that's an emergency situation.  But I could never forgive myself if my child had died or suffered brain damage because of our idiocy.

 

Think about it, people.  Hospital or home?  Doctor or midwife?  Trained staff and every conceivable type of medical equipment or you and a pot of boiling water on the stove?

 

Seriously?

August 11, 2010
Click to view MOCaseA's profile

While I am male, I am a father of four and do have a bit of insight into childbirth. On top of that I also spent several years working as an EMT, including an emergency delivery in the back of the van. Frankly, at home childbirth is no more risky than childbirth in a fully functional and prepped OR. Complications during childbirth are multitudous and unique to each pregnancy. I will not be the one to discourage women to seek at home childbirths, but I do encourace speaking with thier doctors about it. Having a midwife on hand is also a boon as she can quickly identify most complications and whether or not the mother and child will need immediate hospitalization.

 

As for those who tout technology and sensors and diagnostic equipment, they are fallable. My last two children (twins) were born at the hospital, under the close supervision of highly trained and experienced medical professionals, with all the sensors in place and reading. However, the professionals FAILED to pay attention to my wife, and as such didn't realize my wife was actually giving birth at the time. It took her demanding an immediate check because the nurses, relying on technology, saw no signs of labor. When the doc checked, the very first thing he saw was the crown of my sons head. If there is a problem the MOTHER is generally the first one to know, not the docs and not the technology. So at home is just as safe as long as the mother keeps everyone appraised of the proceedings.

 

FYI, my wife was at the hospital because her cervix was open (incompetent cervix due to a LEAP and Cone) and one of the amniotic sacks had torn. We were worried about infection, not preterm birth.

August 11, 2010
Click to view AmyTC's profile

ANYONE WHO THINKS THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO TELL ANOTHER PERSON HOW TO GIVE BIRTH IS OFF THEIR ROCKER. YOU LOSE THE RIGHT TO YOUR OPINION WHEN YOU DECIDE NO ONE ELSE DESERVES TO HAVE ONE. IF YOU THINK I AM NUTS THEN YOU AREN'T PAYING ATTENTION TO THE FACTS.

I had both of my children in the hopsital by my own choice but I would never suggest that everyone must do so. If you people think that homebirthers OR hospital birthers aren't educated you are wrong. People do pay attention to these things.

August 11, 2010
Click to view Slappo's profile

Now I've read all the comments and I've had enough. You people who are so against OBs, here are some facts for you: Most OBs under 40 yrs old are women. There are extremely few men going into obstretics anymore, partly because young women resist having a man checking them out, and partly because it doesn't pay well. And with few exceptions, most of these women OBs care a lot about what happens to your child, taking overnight call and delivering you at 3:00am (an extremely common birthing time) and few of them play golf. Next, midwives are trained birthing specialists, yes but, surprise, so are OBs. They are ALSO trained surgeons, which midwives are not. If anything goes wrong, it's not only extra oxygen you'll need, you may need an emergency C-section. You need this within MINUTES of major fetal distress, which can happen at any time. By the time you've gotten in the car, it's probably too late, and by the time you arrive at the hospital, you'll be having a stillbirth instead of live one. Third, generalist OBs are grossly underpaid, and pregnancy is one of the worst remunerated conditions in all of medicine. If they're lucky, with all the prenatal visits and phone calls and emails answered over 9 months, they'll net $900. Nobody is getting rich on that. Newly minted OBs getting a job at Kaiser or any HMO hospital probably make $160k/year, which after taxes is less than $100k. Oh, and their malpractice insurance is the highest in the industry - over $150k/year. Why? Sue-happy mothers, that's why. Because everyone expects their kid to be born perfectly and when they aren't, they sue everyone in the OR, including the candy striper, because they're so filled with grief they can't think straight - like the woman mentioned above who refused to have a C-section, thus having a child with brain damage, and then sued and won $4m because she proved that docs shouldn't have listened to her because she couldn't think straight as a pregnant woman. Some states, like FL, take away your license permanently if you've been sued 3 times.

 

Women die in childbirth all the time, and increased success in women's health outcomes are directly correlated to those womens' exposure to hospitals and trained doctors. This was never possible in the world before modern medicine, which is why women died in childbirth much more than they do now. IF you are medically low-risk (no gestational diabetes, e.g., which lots of overweight pregnant women have, or have risky genetic factors, like blood clotting, or are obese, or whatever), and IF you've had lots of prenatal care (and not every ethnic group in America receives the same amount of prenatal care - some groups tend not to bother to show up for prenatal care at all), and IF you've got a midwife, and IF you're under 35 yrs old, then you may be a good candidate for a home birth. And I'm sure most under-40 female OBs would be OK with that if you wanted to do it. But they also know what kinds of things could go wrong, which is why they choose to cut you open when things get dicey. They've seen for themselves lots of bad outcomes, which you, the mother, haven't seen or even heard about. The little money they receive for the C-section is nothing. Hospitals and insurance companies take most of it. You should be grateful that they know how to do it and that they can make a living at it. That's why they went to school for 8 years after college. People who make a living at stuff are usually really good at whatever it is they do because they do it every day.

 

It's one thing to want the experience of a home birth, it's another thing to be irrational and rail against docs as if they're all money grubbers. You'll be so grateful they saved the life of your kid if you're one of the ones who need it.

August 11, 2010
Click to view kriso574's profile

those of you who had complications with your labors and deliveries should ask yourselves why? what was being done to you that could have led to this "complication?" its great to have a NICU, but most of the time a medicated, artificially ruptured membranes, induced/augmented, epiduralized birth leads to fetal distress. When you say ok to a doctor breaking your water you put you and your baby at risk for serious infections and decrerased tolerance to contractions,...and NO study ever has shown that having your water broken will speed up delivery by any more than 40 minutes max,...is it worth it to have your water broken early, to end up with an infection, fetal distress and c/s? then you have a baby with breathing issues on antibiotics. I will continue to practice medicine in the best interest of my patients, mom and baby and if they are low risk, attendend by a skilled midwife, good for them, there is nothing like giving birth to your baby, having him put right on your chest in your own bed:) to all you naysayers, get the facts straight! There is nothing more unselfish than having an unmedicated, uninterrupted birth! PS  I went to school as long as a MD and I teach MDs daily as a CNM,...

August 11, 2010
Click to view NebraskaDad's profile

photogrl03 - for the record I have lost a baby. And in the face of that, given the choices that are available for my wife and I here in the US, I choose home birth. Pregnancy is NOT a medical condition - you call me arrogant for thinking that? I know the pain of loss - I face the fear of that. I choose to aim for th e 'win-win' option rather than what would be for me (and please respect I said 'for me') the 'make my decisions on fear' option.

 

shykia - I do not seek to question your profession - but I hate the fact than my wife is treated as a medical emergency as soon as she is pregnant.

 

"I ask you why I would ever put my patients in the danger of dying, or watching their newborns die."

 

I totally want you should I need your services, to not let my baby die, but my issue is that its assumed I need you outright. Why would we come to this conclussion unless there is evidence. And if there was evidence then who wouldn't seek medical support? The problem is the social norm in this country is to assume that is so serious it needs a Dr, it needs a sterile delivery room, it needs equipment, it needs someone with a phd in medicine to be there to catch the baby.

 

How many births have you attended that have had no interventions at all? No needles - no monitoring equipment.... for us on the outside here we are conditioned to see birth only in that context. Our perceptions are so far gone from what nature provided that people get arrested in the country for 'child abuse' becuase they dont birth in the hospital.

 

And to support my case here look at '2ptcnvrsn' last paragraph.

 

" Trained staff and every conceivable type of medical equipment or you and a pot of boiling water on the stove?"

 

Congratulations to the OBs on trying to run the midwives out of business by putting such ideas in the heads of the public. As if midwives only have hot water to do their job. Seriously?

August 11, 2010
Click to view NebraskaDad's profile

Truthfully Im not against OBs. Like all good engineers they have a time and place. If that time came for me and my wife I sure would take their help.

 

I realize Ive been a bit zealous in commenting against them, but it more because of frustration than not.

 

I don't believe home birth is for everyone either. But should my wife be treated as being a bad mother for doing it?

 

Fact is, the maths agree - that the majority of births are not requiring it. So in view of that, why should I choose an OB in the hospital over a midwife at home? We have a healthy history. We still get all the test in advance - its mostly only the final location of birth thats any different.

 

 

 

 

August 11, 2010
Click to view shykia's profile

In my hospital we have a birthing center as a choice for mothers.  No needles. Intermittent monitoring. No medications.  Run by midwives. So yes, NebraskaDad, in our field we DO support those decisions, and we applaud mothers who take that initiative. But the medical OB floor, with our IVs, epidurals, medications, and the OR, is literally a hallway away.  My point is that you can have 'natural' birth - with midwives - but do it in the hospital, where the medical team is a second away when you DO need them.

 

As for evidence of pregnancy being a medical condition, I invite you any time you'd like to my prenatal and postpartum clinic, and to my labor floor, and would be happy to educate you on the necessity of regular medical care in pregnancy, and exactly what happens when preventative measures fail.  Those folk in white coats - they went through 4 years of medical school and 4 years of residency to learn them.

August 11, 2010
Click to view NebraskaDad's profile

shykia - I respect your response, and would also subsequently request that you come to Nebraska and start one of these clinics. There is not much to do here outside of football season, but I can assure you that you will not be disappointed with the number of clients. We need more OBs like you.

 

I have never advocated not having regular checkups - please be clear - I am NOT a free-birther. We all have our limitations! But my wife does not need every new test that comes on the market. We want respected - and privacy. We also want to be able to call you as soon as our elected medical support declares that there is a problem (just as your midwives do in your birth center Im sure).

 

I apologize for generalizing - I don't believe all OBs are the same - but out here in Nebraska the 'elite' have us in their clutches both in practice and in the law. Seems we are not educated enough to know what is good for us.

 

 

August 11, 2010
Click to view Slappo's profile

Hey NebraskaDad,

 

You've really got something against OBs, don't you? Like there is this big OB conspiracy against natural birth, or against midwives. There isn't. Maybe there was when women's medicine was young, but there isn't any more. And, you do understand that OBs are in hospitals, not in people's homes, right? So, if you want their services, it's not just a leisurely little jaunt away. You need to be right there, in the hospital already, right as the problem is unfolding. 5 minutes later and it's all over. Most of the time, you're not going to need it, but when you do, you need it immediately. Also, back in the old days, women started having kids in their late teens or early 20s. Now, they're STARTING to have them at 35 or older. The risk factors just aren't the same anymore, and yet, too many home birthers are looking at childbirth through this nostalgic lens of "thousands of years of human history" without recognizing that times have changed, and people have changed, often for the worse. OBs don't make pregnancy a medical condition anymore, mothers-to-be do. They eat too much (and eat poorly), and drink too much and smoke, and do all sorts of stuff that's bad for their bodies and their unborn kids. They get married older and have kids older. When you're 20, having a kid probably isn't going to be a medical condition. When you're 40 and having your first kid, I'm sorry, but it's now become a medical condition because of the age of the mother.

 

Despite what you may think I'm saying, I'm all for midwives, and I'm all for natural birth, without drugs and unnecessary procedures. Women's bodies do what they are naturally supposed to do, and it's really a great thing. But, it's the most extreme thing a human body is supposed to do and still survive the process. You really have no idea how many things can go wrong at a moment's notice in women who otherwise seem very low risk. Have a home birth if you want, but if you denigrate huge advances in women's health which have only been possible in the last 100 years of human history, simply because you have a bad attitude against OBs, you do so at the peril of your unborn kids, who I'm sure would rather just be alive and healthy, however it was they came out, rather than not.

August 11, 2010
Click to view renethrenody's profile

I don't think anyone denies that birthing centers staffed by midwives are a fantastic option.  Unfortunately, many mothers don't have access to them.  (For me, for instance, it would be a 3 hour drive to the nearest one.)  To make things more confusing, many hospitals call their maternity areas birthing centers, but fail to respect all (or even a majority of) the six of the key evidence-based practices known to best support natural childbirth: letting labor begin on its own, encouraging mothers to walk, move around, and change positions throughout labor, encouraging continual labor support, avoiding interventions which are not medically necessary, avoiding requiring women to give birth on their backs and encouraging them to follow their own body's urges to push, and, after the birth, making keeping mother and baby together a priority. 

 

Most facilities are fairly good on the third point, a lesser number on the 6th point, but 1, 2, 4, and 5 are generally very difficult to come by in your average hospital or hospital-based birthing center.  (Despite claims which would suggest the contrary, in many cases: the "birthing center" nearest me, for instance, advertises itself as encouraging natural childbirth, but their actual policies are such that they actually only meet the 3rd requirement.)  Given the statistics on not letting labor start on its own and on unnecessary interventions, in particular (for instance, continuous electronic fetal monitoring(93%), restrictions on eating (87%), mandatory IVs (86%), restrictions on drinking (66%), episiotomy (35%), artificially ruptured membranes (55%), and artificial oxytocin augmentation (53%)), it's not surprising that many mothers are skeptical of the odds of being able to have a natural childbirth in a hospital setting.

 

Doing away with outdated hospital policies (the restrictions for eating and drinking are based on the fear of aspiration, for instance, despite the fact that almost no C-sections are performed under general anesthesia anymore) would go a long way toward both answering the concerns of the proponents of natural childbirth and improving outcomes for mothers and babies in general, including those who do need medical interventions.

August 11, 2010
Click to view NebraskaDad's profile

Slappo,

 

thanks for your thoughts.

 

Im not knocking OBs - Im saying there is a time and place.

 

Similarly, my wife is having her babies in her 20's and also does not smoke and drink. So why should I settle for being  put into treatment methodology set for a different demographic? (by your definition)

 

Yes times have changed - it used to be that the sole driving force in the medical world was the advancement of health. That process is now polluted with money, marketing, industrialization, normalization, egos and pride.

 

I recall some OB somewhere referring to 'natural (drug free) birth as "feminine masculinity". Problem is, even now the maternal health mind is still over-influenced by male understanding of birth. Not very helpful.

 

 

I do not denounce the medical world - I say it should tend to our needs, rather than we conform to its limitations.

 

Course its made worse out here in Nebraska because we have no choice but to accept it. 

 

 

 

August 11, 2010
Click to view Gunner1969's profile

@antiPC - You obviously need to check your statistics and then offer a retraction for your blatant ignorant posts.

August 11, 2010
Click to view t0lipari's profile

Ha ha, I see the doctor/technology = god people are ought in full force. If it's a drug, a surgery, or a medical test, it MUST be good, no matter how stupid your health complaint is. How 'bout change "my baby would have died at home" to "my baby was injured because of the drugs in my system/ the unnecessary surgery to cut him out of me/ the ob who was playing golf and watching me on a machine instead of in the room/ he got mrsa from the hospital.  A low risk woman giving birth in a hospital is taking the chance of cesarean section (tripled risk of neonatal death), hospital acquired infections, cerebral palsy from inattentive obstetricians, medical mistakes, episiotomy, drug reactions, etc.

 

And despite the few and far between hospitals that let you wear your own clothes and look pretty, there are few who won't break your water at all (mine broke on its own during pushing all 3 times), don't use "count to ten" directed pushing (mh hb, no tears, no nothing), and will wait up to an hour for a placenta, forgo the hep lock, let an OP first baby take the 30 or 40 hours it needs to turn. The stupid birthing centers offer cosmetic "options" only.  Out of hospital centers are a great option, however, and supported by ACOG.

 

The funny thing is that the U.S. and Australia are alone in its opposition to homebirth. The Canadian medical association, the U.K. Obstetrician groups, the World Health Organization, and the rest of the world are completely supportive of homebirth, for low risk mothers with well trained midwives. Most of the people here have a knee jerk, uneducated reaction against homebirth and have NO CLUE what they are talking about.  They haven't a clue of the risks of hospital birth and obstetricians who receive continuing education credits from drug companies and haven't read a research paper in 40 years (if ever).

August 12, 2010
Click to view mamawrench's profile

shykia -- It's great that your hospital has that option, but that is the extreme minority. For most hospitals, it's one system, one method, one conveyor belt for a 20 year-old first time mom as well as the 35 year-old mom on her 3rd c-section.

August 12, 2010
Click to view rosehips's profile

Wow, so by some standards I am a child abuser because I had my children at home. Yet, hospitals are filled with germs and an alarming number of people get sick from hospital exposure. But germs aren't necessarily bad. They help build strong immune systems. But hospitals are notorius for using strong anti-bacterials, allowing only the heartiest of those little buggers to survive. Now in Europe, scientists are talking about a new superbug. If I had my births to do all over again, I would feel negligent going to a hospital, unless in an emergency.

August 12, 2010
Click to view Think934052's profile

All these claims that home-birth is "unsafe" are not logical.  Professional Midwives ARE trained medical professionals. 

 

My children were delivered at home by a Certified Professional Midwife.  She is/was licensed by the state of Virginia.  These are people who go to school for years, then apprentice for years and then take a test to be licensed.  If the medical board of the state of Virginia (and MANY other states as well) say these women are qualified then who are you to say otherwise. 

August 12, 2010
Click to view danae28's profile

To anyone who thinks that homebirth should not be a choice women should have because there are risks involved (as there are in every birth location):

 

Do you think women should be able to choose whether to breastfeed or formula feed? Because studies have shown that homebirth has comparable infant mortality rates but lower morbidity and intervention rates than hospital birth, yet formula feeding (lack of breastfeeding) has been proven to cost the lives of millions of children worldwide, and there is no question whatsoever that formula is a poor imitation of breastmilk that endangers babies' health.

 

So as long as women have the right (vigorously defended among some people) to choose not to breastfeed their children, which is PROVEN to endanger them and increase their risks of serious illness and death, then I don't want to hear one more word about women endangering their babies by birthing them at home.

 

Homebirth has been proven to be safe, and women have the RIGHT to have their babies wherever they feel is the best place for them to birth. End of story.

August 12, 2010
Click to view DoulaSam's profile

To all the people who say homebirth is so unsafe and dangerous you all are also aware that the USA has the highest infant and maternal mortality rate of any developed nation, right?? We also have one of the highest c-section rate of any developed nation(32-33%), which is 2-3 times higher then the WHO's recommendation of 10-15%. The US has the highest use of epidurals, induction, and elective c-section all of which cause complications in birth. We are one of the only counties who does not use midwives as normal care providers. If you lived in the UK you only see an OB if there is an issue with your pregnancy. The NHS(hospital system for UK) is actually recommending homebirth for low risk women as it has shown BETTER outcome for both mom and baby.

 

Did you all know that induction increase your risk of c-section by up to 50%? Did you know that the use of an epidural can drastically drop your baby's heart rate making a c-section necessary? Did you know the use of induction medication such as pitocin or cytotec increases your risk for a postpartum hemorrhage? Did you know that babies delivered by c-section are more at risk for infection and breathing difficulties? Did you know that moms who have c-sections are at an increases risk for hemorrhages, infections and developing a blood clot? Did you know that the main causes of shoulder dystocia(someone mentioned it above) are induction, epidurals and assisted deliveries(vacuum/forceps)? Did you know that the use of pitocin increase your baby's risk of distress during labor? Or were those things they left out on the hospital tour?

 

Most women who homebirth do so with a qualified professional(midwife or OB). They have dopplers to monitor the babies heart rate, they are trained in neonatal resuscitation if that type of complication occurs as well. They carry IV fluids, antibiotics and oxygen for mom. They carry medication to stop bleeding in the cases of postpartum hemorrhages as well. People should do their research on safety of medical intervention before judging those for birthing at home.

 

This is coming from a birth doula and nursing student, so I see what happens day in and day out at this hospitals.

August 12, 2010
Click to view swmachi's profile

Home births today are very different than home births 40 years ago.  Midwives have training and look for and evaluate possible problems.  If they see something not going well, they are the first to advise going to the hospital.  Because my midwife spent so much time with me during my pregnancy and labor, I feel she knew me and my body better than most Doc's that would have only spent a few minutes with me during visits.  I have nothing against the medical community and if I had had problems I would have used their services.  As a matter of fact we were reviewing going to the hospital when after 40 hours my daughter decided to make her appearance.  Twenty years later we still have to wait on her when going somewhere.  Like I said before home births are not for everyone, but be assured that those who chose them, do so having given it much thought and research.  We are not irresponsible, negligent, or abusive.  We feel this is the best way for our family and in my case I KNOW it was the best choice. 

August 14, 2010
Click to view abev4's profile

I don't even know where to begin... First, I will say that this is a very complicated issue that can't fully be understood by a one page article on cnn.com Second, unless you've birthed within the past 5 years in a variety of settings, there's no way you could ever understand why a parent (especially a mother) chooses to birth at home.

 

Hospitals have changed. In the 70s and 80s, most hospitals were taking a more patient centered approach to combat the all the bad press from decades before and also they were worried they would lose birth to midwives again. So yes, some hospitals then weren't bad (there also wasn't as much technology then either).

 

I had my son in June 2009. I was treated like a dying animal. I wasn't allowed to walk, use a toilet or eat. How many of you would take on the most physically challenging task of your life with no food?? How many of you would go back to a hospital or tell a mother she was endangering her child if you knew that she was held down by a nurse lying on her big belly while the doctor forced her legs open and shoved a metal hook inside of her so she couldn't go home? How many of you would say a mother had no right and was selfish for birthing at home after she had her genitals cut without permission to the point of a 4th degree tear?? (PS for those that don't know, that's ALL the way down "torn")

 

For me, homebirth was always the way to go. It came from inside me: a cavewoman instinct that was smothered by those who didn't believe I could do it, who didn't trust God's design and the powerful being that evolution has made me into. Giving birth is not a disease, it's not an emergency all the time, it's a normal process for the female body just like menstruation and hair growing. 

 

And just a few facts for those that don't believe me: it takes an average of 30 minutes to prep an OR for even an emergency c-section. Any life threatening condition won't just "pop up" in 5 seconds, there are warning signs that can be determined by trained birth professionals (people, not machines). Midwives come with equipment to handle such situations as hemorrhage, infant resuscitation and other things (while having someone else dial 911).

 

And most of the women that died in childbirth at home prior to the 20th century did so because of two things: either a vitamin D deficiency (rampant in 19th century Europe and America) and no sanitation procedures (this also falls onto the 'doctors' that were doing births as well). When you pee and poo in a bucket and toss it in the street, there's not a lot of places that are probably clean enough for a baby to be born into. 

 

Also, the woman I reference above was myself.

August 14, 2010
Click to view Messenger03's profile

This is a great iReport topic.  It was so interesting reading through the comments. 

 

I, myself, have only had hostpital-births with Certified Nurse Midwives.  Yet, because the research data on the birth outcomes for clients and their babies with Certified Professional Midwives in birth centers and at-home births are so compelling, many women here near the SD/MN border literally cross into western Minnesota for maternity care.  They pay completely out-of-pocket since the midwifery practice is out-of-state and not covered by insurance.  So everything is out-of-pocket: all of their prenatal appointments, the labor/delivery, and postpartum appointments -- all in order to have a Certified Professional Midwife provide their front-line maternity care in MN.  WHY?? Why would women go to that trouble to have a Certified Professional Midwife just deny them pain-meds??  Here is one reason: because the numbers for birth outcomes of "low-risk" women have been tallied in very large-scale studies and published in medical journals numerous times among different childbirth attendents. Hiring a Certified Professional Midwife for front-line maternity care in the U.S. - whether in an accredited birth center or in an at-home childbirth - is statistically just as safe as laboring in a hospital, but with additional health benefits (e.g., respiratory advantages for baby, breastfeeding success, and less chance of hemmorhage).  For "low-risk" women - after the numbers are objectively tallied - there is no "compromise" in safety by hiring a midwife but "boons" in safety, statistically.

 

One South Dakota friend of mine who received maternity care from a Certified Professional Midwife in Minnesota did end up coming back across the border to a SD hospital during labor.  Her midwife recommended a transfer at the very first warning sign of a complication beyond what is considered "low-risk", and then my friend actually labored in a SD hospital for 14 hours (with no machine able to detect what the midwife in MN had observed) before she had a "recommended, non-emergent" Cesarean Section.  The only detection technology offered was an increase in blood pressure, which was promptly reversed in the hospital.  It was not until after the birth that it was discovered she'd had a partial placental abruption -- which the midwife had observed the early telltale signs many many hours beforehand but could not "legally" accompany the woman to a SD hospital.  Certified Professional Midwives know what normal birth looks like and while they do utilize modern monitering technology, that technology is not usually the "first" tip-off to a complication (just a supporting clue). Reading the mother is. But when monitoring is relied upon as such, and when the very first warning signs of complications (typically slight, abnormal pain between contractions, for example) are ignored or "masked" by drugs, then YES, childbirth can start to look inherently dangerous with common "sudden emergencies" that really were not "sudden" at all.  YES, if homebirth midwives treated childbirth in a similar manner as the process is generally treated in typical hospital settings (encouraging warning signs to be masked with drugs rather than responded to), then YES, we'd have some seriously devastating homebirth outcomes.  But homebirth midwifery is so very different; so we don't see those outcomes.  Instead, we have what we read above: a majority of beautiful, empowering childbirths with very healthy breastfeeding babies and also a very low percentage of women (under 4%) who, like my friend, are grateful for back-up access to a cesarean surgery that they know was truly a good idea and worth the risk to them and their baby, and who, statistically, arrive at the hospital in a timely enough manner that they have zero increased risk to them or their child had they started out laboring there (because their midwife was attuned contraction by contraction). 

 

Statistically, the "danger" of choosing an out-of-hospital setting versus an in-hospital setting vanishes when a midwife is present who is trained in "normal" childbirth - that is, trained to recognize the differences between warning signs of complications that can versus ought not be handled at home.  Check the New England Medical Journal, British Medical Journal, Journal of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, Canadian Medical Association Journal, etc.  The conclusion of every, single large-scale published collection of data on "low-risk" women who CHOOSE out-of-hospital care with a certified midwife versus a hospital-setting reflect this.  (Its not the case when "accidental" homebirths without a midwife are included in the data set, not surprisingly.) Truly, women who hire midwives are not placing their "birth experience" over the health and well-being of their baby by any stretch. They surrender to the natural aches of labor (safe from MRSA and other hospital-dangers) FOR the well-being of their baby.

August 19, 2010
Click to view jamann's profile

Messanger03 says it perfectly! 

 

I am a student midwife and thoroughly versed on the pros and cons of both birthing environments.  So when people tell me that I am putting myself and baby at risk by birthing at home I just smile at them because I know that they are reacting from fear not fact.

August 19, 2010
Click to view Pushed's profile

Home birth is as safe as life can be. Families who home birth are some of the most well read, educated people. They have researched their options and make a choice that they may find unpopular with their peers or family. This is very rarely taken lightly by the people who chose it. There are studies that show out of hospital birth is safer than hospital births for both moms and babies.

There are several types of midwives who attend home births. Certified Professional Midwives practice mostly out of hospital and are quite qualified to handle any type of emergency including hospital transfers.  I had a hospital birth with my first child and then became educated on my safer, healthier options with my second. I chose 2 Certified Professional Midwives to attend my birth. There are support groups who help to educate women on their choices as not everyone will or should be a candidate for home birth. Most normal pregnancies should consider this as an option if they want to avoid dangerous drugs during labor, medical mistakes, infections and surgical deliveries. Check out your local ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) or The Big Push for Midwives Campaign (www.thebigpushformidwives.org) to find out more about CPMs and safe birth options.

August 19, 2010
Click to view sarahsudds's profile

I ditto what Messanger03 wrote! 

 

People who are so opposed to home birth, often have never witnessed one, or have any idea how knowledgeable, and well prepared for emergencies, midwives are.  Women who choose home birth often have educated themselves beforehand on the physiological and emotional aspects of birth.  When you understand how the complex systems of birth actually work, it is easy to see how the numerous interventions at a hospital interfere with the normal process.  The routine procedures administered, often cause the very complications that they were intended to prevent or detect.   It's mind boggling!  A C-Section for a failed induction??!!  Why on earth did they induce in the first place?   Wasn't the idea to avoid a possible complication resulting in a c-section?  It goes on and on.  This is the reason why I chose home birth for my third child.

August 19, 2010
Click to view Pushed's profile

@ Slappo You should really look in to apprenticing with a Certified Professional MIdwife. They do all of their prenatals at their clients homes, do all the tests (blood work, urine analysis and many more) an ob would including ordering  ultrasounds if needed or desired. They do a complete nutrition work up and include emotional issues their clients might have that could affect the labor or birth in their visits. They follow their patients through delivery as well any time of day or night. CPMs check the mom and baby personally in their home for several visits postnatal as well. They are highly skilled in normal unmedicated birth. They have apprenticed with a senior Midwife before they are licensed. They are completely prepared for any and all emergencies and talk fully with their clients about possibility of transfer to hospital.  They make on average  a little more than you claim and they tend to be very satisfied and have ongoing relationships with their past clients. I am not a CPM but all of the OBs and Family Practioners around the country I would trust to deliver my baby or my family's babies have all been trained and highly respect Certified Professional Midwives.

August 19, 2010
Click to view MicheleG's profile

Had all 3 of my children at home: 1969, 1973 and 1976. Nobody got mixed up in the hospital with another family, and no doctor or nurse got between me and my babies in the name of "medicine." These 3 natural births are three things I did emphatically right. And they all were breast fed about a year each and all had healthy childhoods. Would not change this even if I could.

August 20, 2010
Click to view jcoble25's profile

It makes me sick to hear people call this a 'fad' or 'dangerous'...Obviously, they are not educated in mortality rated. The birth system in this country is on of the worst. My daughter was born in a free standing birth center in 2002 and it was one of the most special experiences, and my midwife and doula helped make it that way. They helped and supported me to prove to myself that I was a strong woman. I didn't need drug interventions. I didn't need any pain meds. I did it myself. They helped me with nursing and I am proud to say I did it successfully for about a year and a half. Do the people that are SSOOOOOO against this know what the csection rate in this country is?? It is almost 40%!! So really, near almost 1/2 of the births can't be done naturally?? There is something very very wrong. These same people probably support epidurals and induction as well. However, they probably do not know that they fall hand in hand and then eventually lead to csections. The most important thing to do is to educate yourself. Some people say that hospitals are cleaner than your home. However, hospitals are covered in germs and bacteria, whereas your home has 'good' bacteria that your baby needs to be around.

Ignorance is bliss in this country. It drives me crazy how childbirth is treated.

Midwives see birth as a miracle and only mess with it if there's a problem; doctors see birth as a problem and if they don't mess with it, it's a miracle!

Barbara Harper

August 20, 2010
Click to view DQ2002's profile

I had a great out-of-hospital birth experience.  No, I did not choose to deliver at home;  I delivered, supervised by 2 fabulous midwives and an RN, at a certified birthing center.  I would not have made this choice if there were any complications at all with my pregnancy.  Yes, childbirth can be unpredictable, but we were all well prepared for ANYTHING.  The birthing center is literally less than 2 miles from the closest hospital, so I felt confident that I would be taken care of quickly in the event of an emergency.

I do feel that unsupervised home births can be dangerous, but midwives are very very capable and well-trained to care for women during the birthing process.  I would have no second-thoughts about delivering any additional children we might have with a midwife at a birthing center. 

August 20, 2010
Click to view homebirth1's profile

I am so glad to see other families who share my beliefs about homebirth. On the other hand, it is so very irritating to read the ignorant comments made by people who have very little understanding of what a real home birth is like. Hollywood does everything it can to make birth look as traumatic, risky, life-threatening, and dramatic as possible that it's no wonder so many question the safety of a home birth. But it is your job to QUESTION & do actual fact-based research on the topic, not just jump on the OB-driven bandwagon to discredit home birth proponents. ACOG is extremely opposed for obvious reasons - $$$$. Talk to a midwife, get the FACTS. Home birth was the most beautiful, serene experience of my life. No hospital birth could have compared with it. I'm all for physicians and hospitals when we need them, but birth is not an illness. And for everyone who says, well my baby was born with this or that so it's good I was in a hospital - many do not realize that more often than not it is hospital policy and interventions that CAUSE complications. All I have to say is this - if you are truly interested in home birth, do not be afraid of it. Research it, learn everything you can from -unbiased, accurate, reliable sources-. Then you will see what the home birth community does - a safe, alternate option for pregnant women and families to have a beautiful birth without being "managed" by the powers that be.

August 20, 2010
Click to view homebirth1's profile

Man, I think it's so great that so many idiots on here are bashing home birth. What exactly do you know about it other than what your pea-brain tells you, or ACOG? You obviously have NO idea about what a home birth entails. The mortality rates are NO HIGHER for homebirth than for a hospital birth in low-risk women. In fact, the intervention rate is LOWER, resulting in better outcomes for women and babies. If the US is so great with their hospital births, why do we have one of the worst mortality rates? Less industrialized countries than us have a majority of women having home births with midwives and have BETTER OUTCOMES THAN WE DO. Explain that!!! Something is not right when the majority simply follows big corporations (yes, a hospital is a BUSINESS) and does what they tell them to do.

August 21, 2010
Click to view pyrokayte's profile

I have been a doula (labor coach) for 6 years now, and have seen births from one end of the medical spectrum to the other. Many women feel compelled to have a home birth simply because they do not feel that hospitals will allow them the freedom to move, walk, get in the bathtub, or even just provide them the time needed to birth a baby on their own. Unfortunately, in many places this is true. I personally had a great hospital birth, but only because I did not go to the hospital until 7 cm dilated, as my natural-minded OB recommended. I feel that birthing centers, attended by Certified Nurse Midwives, are a very responsible, safe, and comfortable place to give birth with all the comforts and freedoms of home, but with professionals who intermittently monitor the baby's heart rate as well as know how to deal with an emergency if it arises.

August 22, 2010
Click to view midwifesara's profile

Sometimes our birth experience is more about our child rather than our own wishes. I am a Certified Nurse Midwife who had hope for a low intervention, "natural" birth, whatever that is. My son's umbilical cord began to prolapse in front of his head- I was darned happy that there was an OR just down the hall. He would not have survived intact otherwise. With a trusted birth provider hospital birth can be a low-key event. The women I take care of make thier own choices about what, if any, interventions that they will accept. But sometimes you just need a cesarean, and you need it fast. I would have never forgiven myself if I would have attempted a home birth.

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