Kylie - posted on 09/13/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )




I was watching a special on homebirth in Australia last night on telly and was surprised when the reporter said almost half the states in America have made home birthing illegal.
And Australia is going down the same path because due to recent legislation, private insurers will no longer provide cover for home birthing midwives and the government has refused to subsidize professional indemnity insurance for homebirth claims. As a result these midwives will be unable to register, hence making it illegal for them to attend homebirths.

Do you think it’s a woman’s right to choose homebirth or is it putting her baby at too much risk?
Would you have a home birth with the help of a registered midwife?

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While I don't think it's fair for the government to basically cut off the ability of these women to do this legally, I can't blame insurance companies for not wanting to cover homebirths. Although most births occur without problems, many things can go wrong during childbirth, even if the pregnancy has been uncomplicated and the mother has received excellent care. I firmly believe that the reason infant and mother fatalities has dropped over the years is due to better medical care from pregnancy all the way through birth. I don't, however, discount well-trained midwives and doulas from this group of trained professionals.

Even if I weren't a worrier, this would never have been an option for me, as I had a C-section at 32 weeks because of pre-eclampsia. But after seeing him in the NICU, and seeing babies in the NICU who were full term babies, it's doubly hard for me to say that I ever would have a homebirth, because without immediate medical care some of those babies wouldn't have made it.

I agree with Sharon's suggestion that hospitals should provide some sort of situation that meets the mother halfway, whether it's provided more home-y rooms and allowing a midwife to deliver the baby instead of a doctor or some other compromise. Maybe there is a way of making this a safer and more comfortable thing for moms who would rather do things the old fashioned way.

Now freebirthing-that's a totally different story. I don't think it's responsible not to have a trained medical professional (midwife, doula, or both) on hand.

Johnny - posted on 09/13/2009




If I have another child and the next pregnancy is normal and without any sort of complications, I will plan for a homebirth. Several of the circumstances which lead to problems with my last birth may have been avoidable if I had a planned home birth with a specific midwife and doula. The last birth was a hospital one, with a hospital midwife and doula (the midwife whom I'd never had the opportunity to meet before) and I was expected to labor at home until I was almost ready to birth before I came in. After 36 hours in unassisted labor, with just my hubby, my blood pressure was sky high and I was extremely stressed. If I had planned to be at home, had arranged to have a midwife here with me throughout, and had my doula to myself, I suspect that complications could have been avoided. Especially if I had a home birthing pool to ease the pain. Hospitals are wonderful places which provide life-saving interventions when things go wrong in labor and birth. And if I was further from a hospital, I might feel the need to spend my whole birth there "just in case". But most births which are appropriately managed do not require hospital interventions. In many cases, simply being at the hospital leads to getting more interventions. In my case, many hospitals would have definitely performed a c-section after I had been in labor for a certain number of hours (say 24 or 36) because that is "medical policy". It wouldn't matter that my baby was perfectly fine, that her heartrate was strong, and that there were no medical indications that a c-section needed to be performed. I went over the arbitrary cut-off point, and so it would have been out of my hands. Fortunately for me, the hospital I gave birth at is trying very hard to lower it's c-section rate and does not employ arbitrary rules such as that, but my midwife told me that at other hospitals, I would have not been so lucky. So for me, I'd prefer to labor and attempt to birth in a more comfortable atmosphere where the stress on myself, and thereby on the baby, will be less. Midwives here are exceptionally trained in birthing and bring all the necessary equipment to your home. My hospital is only a short trip away if anything went wrong.

There is quite a bit of statistical evidence that the maternal outcome rate for normal pregnancies delivered by home birth is actually superior to the hospital. Here in Vancouver, many more women are choosing to birth at home, with strong support from much of the medical community.

Sharon - posted on 09/13/2009




I think its a nice idea.

Its not a risk I would want to take. I realise most births are relatively uncomplicated but its that chance that something could go wrong.

I think some women are so determined to have it their way no matter what they opt for homebirths. They claim comfort but really? Comfort over safety?

Because of my issues not having a doctor in attendance was never an option.

I also don't think the public should foot the bill for it.

But it would be AWESOME if hospitals would get behind midwifery and provide a set of rooms for it. Maybe set up like a typical home, problem would be keeping it sterile but lets face it, how sterile is the average home?

Midwives here are seriously under fire. Which sucks. I read of a case up in NE America - where the baby died. The mom didn't want to press charges but the state did. Claiming she was negligent. Poor woman, from what I read it didn't seem she was at fault at all. She no longer midwives.

Lindsay - posted on 09/13/2009




I could personally never have a planned homebirth. I'm too much of a worry wart. I took comfort in knowing that the hospital had whatever was needed in any situation just down the hall. Although some women really treasure their home birthing experiences, I don't blame insurance companies for not covering them. I do hate it for the women that prefer the home birthing experience though.

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