Home Births, Good or Bad?

Amy - posted on 07/30/2010 ( 91 moms have responded )

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I was reading this article today and was very interested in the comments: http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2010/...

It seems a lot of people are for or against it, with very few who are natural. And those who are against hospital births in general believe women who give birth at a hospital get "drugged" and aren't allowed a natural child birth.

Personally I see nothing wrong with women who do home births, however I would never do one. The hospitals in my area all have a separate room for the mom to deliver and recover in. You are allowed a family dr, OB, or Midwife, and they follow your personal birth plan as close as possible. I enjoyed having everyone help me so much with my son, and although some things happed that I wish they didn't (like my dr breaking my watter) this time around I'm better educated and found a midwife willing to work with my needs and wants. I feel much more safe knowing that if something does happen that I'm right at the hospital.

So, What are your feelings on this? Do you think women who give birth at a hospital are crazy? What about women who do home births? Did you have one or the other and wish you didn't? Do the hospitals near you even give you the option of a natural childbirth if that's what you want?

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Mary - posted on 09/02/2010

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Amy - thanks for clarifying. I have no doubt that there may be a few individual hospitals that have that ridiculous rate. It's just that your post insinuated that was the overall rate across the board.

While I agree the there are entirely too many unnecessary interventions performed in labor, I do get a little sick of all of the demonizing of the medical profession as a whole when it comes to childbirth. First of all, before the medical community became involved in childbirth, all women did give birth at home. Some did just fine, but a large number of woman and/or babies DIED. The simple truth is that we are not all built equal, nor are our babies. Some bodies really cannot safely birth a baby without intervention, and some babies cannot withstand the birth process. Problem is, there is no way to predecit this ahead of time.

Now, I wholeheartedly agree that hospitalized births were ridiculously done prior to the late 1970's. It truly was treated as a medical condition...and women were isolated from any form of support system. However, I don't think it was done out of malice towards woman...I think it was done with good intentions, and the belief that it really was safest for both mother and baby. OB's truly believed they could and were improving upon mother nature, and eliminating risks by all of their interventions.

Society, and medicine evolved, and gradually there was a shift away from all of the bullshit practices that had become routine...enemas, shaving, saddleblocks followed by mid-forceps for all, whether warranted or not. While these sound barbaric now, it really was believed that this was best at the time.

The late 70's and early 80's saw a shift away from all of that, with the advent of family-centered birthing rooms in place of OR's. Women were educating and preparing themselves for childbirth...and reclaiming the right to let their body do it's thing. In the late 80's and early 90's, the push came for VBAC's. It should be noted that the primary driving force here was from insurance companies, and not woman as a whole, nor OB's. Woman and their babies, were automatically ejected from hospitals exactly 24 hours after delivery, unless one or both had a pretty significant issue. C-sections were deemed evil, and avoided at all costs...and the rates of instrumental deliveries plummeted. Birthing centers cropped up all over the place, and women had more options and control over their labor and birth

It all seemed good....and then this "little" issue of increasing lawsuits cropped up. More and more OB's were spending time in court, and being penalized for NOT intervening sooner...and a whole host of developmental issues were being attibuted to that catch-all evil, birth asphyxia. Courts were awarding families millions of dollars in damages, even if there was no clear cut evidence of malpractice or neglect. The recurring theme in these lawsuits was that all of the problems the child had could have ben avoided if the OB had performed a section, and the sooner the better. Malpractice insurance rates skyrocketd, with OB's paying over a $150, 000.00 per year just to be able to practice. One or two lawsuits, no matter how ridiculous or unfounded, and the insurance company dropped them, and no hopsital will let you deliver there without it.

So they began practicing CYA medicine, and I can't say I blame them. VBAC's, while not forbidden, were certainly no longer encouraged, since these were the most susceptible to lawsuits. Sections were performed at the first hint of fetal distress...since waiting on a women's body to do it's thing was fraught with the potential of being a punishable offense (up to 21 years later) in court.

I agree that pregnancy and childbirth have become entirely too medicalized, and unnecessary interventions abound. However, I also understand the history of HOW that came to be...and the blame cannot be soley placed at the feet of the doctors who practice OB. As it is, their numbers are shrinking at an alarming rate. If woman want to reclaim the "right" to labor without intervention, they need to also accept the responsibility for the outcomes...both good AND bad.

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Home birth is a wonderful option for women wish to do so and who qualify for it. Women should be supported by access to professionals, information and resources in their choices for their birth (whatever their choice may be) as long as they are making an informed choice. Women should be allowed to access midwifery services for home births if they choose and if the qualified midwife deems them an appropriate candidate for home birth.



The problem as I see it with an increase in hospital births is that medical professionals assisting with births nowadays are losing skills that enable them to support the birthing women to make safe choices as a result of medicalisation of birth, litigation, policy and procedures, staffing and resource shortages and high rates of interventions. Vaginal breech births are possible (they can be complicated by the type of presentation ie: if baby is footed/footling breech, frank breech or complete breech as well as if baby is facing transverse, posterior or anterior); vaginal birth of twins is possible (again this can be complicated by presentation of babies), vaginal birth after caesarean is possible (again can be complicated by many factors), babies with umbilical cord around the neck can be birthed safely without the need for medical intervention (again dependent on circumstance ie: length of cord, number of wraps, tightness of cord) but because fewer obstetricians, nurses and midwives are able to experience or are trained to assist with these there are fewer capable professionals who are able to offer these options to women. Yes, medical advances have made wonderful differences to infant and maternal morbidity and mortality and certain medical interventions are lifesavers when used correctly, but a lot of the time birth is not an illness or a medical event and the need to treat it as such should be determined on a case by case basis, not just applied to all "just in case". The more birth is medicalised, the more interventions are seen as the norm and the more women birthing in the medical system are expected to progress and experience labour and birth according to a structured set of guidelines and timeframes with less and less flexibility and consideration given to individual circumstance and choice, this leads to an increase in 'routine' interventions and so the cycle is perpetuated.



I do not have a problem with hospital births, for many women that is what they want and the only way for them to achieve their ideal birth, for many women hospital birth is necessary to save their or their child's life. For women who want and need hospital birth, it is great that the option is available for them, I wish that the option of safe home birth was as available for the women who choose that. I had a (wonderful) midwife attended, natural, drug and intervention-free vaginal birth at a birth centre for my first because I could not get a registered midwife to attend a home birth due to an uncertain political climate and new legislation concerning midwifery practice here in Australia. For me and my wishes (I wanted all-natural, drug and intervention free, midwife attended, active labour and water-birth options) a birth at a birth centre was the safest and closest option available to me. If all goes well, I will be having a home birth with my second, I am hoping I have located a midwife who will attend, but I am also open to the idea of a free-birth (unattended) as I am a registered nurse and a midwifery student and feel that I am informed and well-supported by experienced birth assistants. Yes, home birth comes with risks, as do hospital births. But women should be offered choice and not scare-mongered into accepting limited options by propaganda and lack of information.

Kate CP - posted on 09/01/2010

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Actually for a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy an at-home birth can be just as safe if not safer than a hospital birth. Think of the risks we take when we just WALK into a hospital: MRSA, staph, viral infections, medical errors like misdiagnosis, contra-indicated drug dosing, over-dosing, and injuries, plus a hefty bill if you don't have insurance. Hospitals are not the safest place for people who have compromised immune systems. Who has compromised immune systems? Babies. This is not to say that ALL women should deliver at home. But, it's not as risky as some would think. Birthing in the hospital is a booming business and they make lots of money off of you. Most women who birth at home or in a birth center go home the same day, have little to no complications during labor and after birth, and generally have faster, easier labors. A certified nurse-midwife should be present at a home birth and she will be able to monitor the baby and your progress and tell if there is a problem right away. If there is a problem, an ambulance is called, the hospital is notified, and everything is ready to go when you arrive at the hospital.

Home birth is NOT for every one, but women who choose a home birth with a certified nurse-midwife are not taking an unnecessary risk; they are simply doing what is right for them and their baby.

Sally - posted on 08/11/2010

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Ideally, every woman should have the birth she feels comfortable with.
Statistically, the 10 percent of woman who have high risk preganancies will be safest at the hospital with a doctor and THANK GOD we have doctors and hospitals when we need them.
The 90 percent of women who are healthy and having a normal pregnancy will be twice as likely to die at the hospital than at home mostly because many of the hospital procedures that save the 10 percent who need them are dangerous to the 90 percent who don't and hospitals perform them on everyone as a CYA.

Minnie - posted on 08/06/2010

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Laura, is name-calling necessary?



I did not say that doctors are always unecessary but I do believe they are most of the time. 'Low-risk/high-risk'- these are subjective terms. Doctors would say a breech baby is 'high-risk.' An educated competent midwife would not. Doctors say that twins are high-risk. Many educated, competent midwives regularly attend twin births.



Do not take this personally- I am not discrediting your experience but showing this from a different point of view- you mentioned two occurances at your own births- your daughter with a cord around her neck and your son having his first poo as you were pushing him out. Doctors would consider these emergencies.



However- nuchal cords are not typically life-threatening unless they are tightly wound. And in that case certain maneuvers can help the baby out more quickly and ressucitation can be done at home. It becomes life-threatening when doctors and nurses seek to remedy the situation by cutting the cord before it is done pulsating and by handling the cord (which can cause vasospasm and cut off the baby's oxygen).



Meconium staining isn't the cause of the problem but a result of the problem- a baby that is stressed.



So yes, doctors do have a purpose, but I do not consider them the be-all end all. Much of what is considered hospital-worthy can be taken care of at home.

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Sherri - posted on 06/15/2012

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@Dori I am in NH US. I have 4 boys the last being born only 4mo's ago and each and everyone is circumcised. It isn't recommended or not recommended, it is however a question that is asked every single expecting couple if they want to or not (at least here it is). It is performed in the hospital within 24-48hrs by your OB. My last son's was done when he was 19hrs old.

Dori - posted on 06/15/2012

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i am expecting our 5 child my first 4 were hosptial babies and none of them were acually delivered by my ob so i had a complete stranger for every birth exect my last as she was delivered by my partner and nurse because the Dr was busy with another mom . we chose home birth for this one because I am healthy and have had 0 complecations with any of my births during or after ,we wanted to acually know who was going to be delivering our child and my last labor from the first contraction to her being born was just shy of 3 hours and we dont want the risk of delivering en route to the hospital lol . Our midwives will be staying with us for as long as I need then after the birth and they know baby and myself are all good . In the event that something does arise then its a change in plans and we transfer . i say to each their own as long as the choice is an educated one if there is ever a chance there could be any risk to either my health or childs then we will switch back to ob and hospital but right now all is good and we are excited as are my older children to be able to experience this with us .

@ Sherri i am just curious at what part of the world yuo are living in as in Canada circ is not medically recomended anymore and hasnt been for years neither of my boys have had it done but that is our personal choice

Thepmala - posted on 02/14/2011

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Before saying, "I would never have a home birth," I would suggest you look into it first. A good documentary to watch is The Business of Being Born where Ricki Lake talks about her experience. I used to be the one that said, "why would women even think of having a baby at home, They are crazy!"

In America, midwives are very uncommon and some women don't even know much about them. I feel that giving birth is natural and our bodies are made to give birth and it knows how to...but our minds are taught that we go to the hospital and the doctors deliver our babies. But really they are just their to catch the baby. However, if you do have health risks, then a hospital would be the best way to go.

Nicole - posted on 09/02/2010

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Birth is normal. It is not a medical condition. Why go to a place that is designed to treat bodily malfunction when you are merely doing what your body is designed to do.The "normal" position- lithiotomy is one of the least efficient ways for a baby to come out. It was designed without regard to the mother. I think birthing on your back with your feet in the air like a dead beetle is disgraceful. As for dirt, when hospital births became the norm so did the rate of maternal infection. Anyone remember child bed fever? Yeah, thank you hospitals. In general, hospital staff are very impatient and want to fire up the pitocin drip to get you in and out. When labor is augmented without medical need it is a recipe for disaster and the piss poor c-section rate. Hospitals are a business- they need to keep the birth machine going to keep the money flowing. To hell with women and bodily respect.
The bottom line, whether you choose home or the hospital, own your body. Arm yourself with information well ahead of time. It is high time women question the brutal practices that have become the norm (episiotomies, senseless augmentation- pitocin, cytotec, etc, AROM, clamping the cord before it has finished pulsating, cord traction/ general third stage management).

Amy - posted on 09/01/2010

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Mary, I can't remember which hospital had the 60% rate. There were a few sitting near 50% but there was one at about 60% in the New York area from memory. I'd have to look it up; it should be quite easily searchable.

I'm aware of course, that some c-sections can be explained by the fact that women who choose to deliver by c-section or who are extremely high risk will undoubtedly choose a hospital birth, and probably a hospital specialised in high-risk pregnancy and caesarian section. It can't explain the overall higher rate though. The USA has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the developed world.

What most people don't understand, is that c-sections are riskier for both mother and baby in the majority of cases than a vaginal delivery. The same goes for many other interventions (which increase the chance of a c-section). C-sections are a godsend in a minority of cases - it is a bit of a catch 22, because in those minority of cases, you want surgeons experienced enough to be able to perform them as safely as possible - but not at the expense of practicing on healthy mothers and babies.

Mothers are often told how risky birth is with the statistics from third world and developing nations used to back this up. What isn't explained is that these countries often have poor sanitation and unclean water, making puerperal sepsis more likely, and that many of these women are underdeveloped due to poor nutrition during their growing years due to general poverty and societies that see girls as less important when rations are given out. Women with stunted development due to poor nutrition DO have risky childbirths - not to mention that some of them are also victims of FGM.

Stasia - posted on 09/01/2010

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having had a home birth and a hospital birth I would say home births are the best for those that are comfortable with it

Jackie - posted on 09/01/2010

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My son, whom doctors believed to be perfect in every way while I was pregnant, was diagnosed with complex Congenital Heart Disease 12 hours after his birth. If we had not been at a hospital he would have died. I hate hospitals as much as the next gal but when it comes to birthing, better safe than sorry. Make sure you have a midwife in your corner at the hospital and that all your wishes are met with a smile before you decide to deliver there.

Kate CP - posted on 09/01/2010

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Mary: Good to know. All I know is that the copay for my insurance isn't that bad but if I did have insurance...boy, I would suspect they were making money off of me. ;)

Mary - posted on 09/01/2010

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Kate, I just need to correct one misconception...hospitals DO NOT make money off of obstetrics. In fact , Labor and Delivery departments often lose money. Insurance amdmedical assistance is pretty poor for OB. Hospitals continue to do it because they see it as a stepping stone - if people have a good experience, when they are sick, they are more likely to go back to a place they know. Now, if a hospital has a NICU, that is a money maker, and does help offset the costs of OB. Oh, and don't think they try to do additional interventions to ramp ou reimbursement - it doesn't work that way. The hospital gets one set fee for a vaginal delivery, and one for a c/section, regardless of what additional equipment or meds are used. An epidural? The Anesthesia practice gets that - not the hospital, nor your OB.

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Sherri for ME I completely agree that I want hospital births (I never considered a home birth but would never have been allowed one if I had wanted it, because of my Pre-eclampsia I was induced at 37 weeks after spending weeks in hospital). But I do feel that if women want it and have normal healthy pregnancies they should be allowed.

Sherri - posted on 09/01/2010

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Hmmm well I could never be comfortable enough at home. I think hospital is the best way to go. IMO

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Sherri, if you have a high risk pregnancy home birth is risky yes but for a run of the mill healthy pregnancy home births are as safe if not safer (in some instances) than hospital births. They are safer because women tend to be more relaxed and calm, so their bodies can do what nature intended rather than having interventions which are unnecessary in many cases.



As for the clean environment, if your home is clean enough to take your baby back to it is clean enough to give birth in, nobody is suggesting giving birth in a cat litter - remember hospitals are where the ill go to recover so they are full of germs!



Amy M - "why not play it safe and have all the experts and equipment present???" - there are midwives present at home births so the experts are there and they carry a certain amount of equipment. If there looks to be a need for an emergency c-section etc the midwives transfer to a hospital, it is very rare that an emergency turns into an immediate life or death situation so there is time to transfer.

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60% is insanely high. Everything I've read says around 30% also, but it also says that 30% is too high. The WHO says over 15% does more harm than good. Unfortunately there are hospitals that are pushy and don't let the mom do what she needs to do. Not everyone has a great hospital birth experience and I completely understand why someone would want a home birth. If they have a low risk pregnancy then they're not putting themselves or baby more at risk. One could argue that going to the hospital, which like it or not is filled with germs, could increase mom and baby's risk for getting sick and exposed to things that she wouldn't be exposed to at home.

Mary - posted on 09/01/2010

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Amy B - just curious...where exactly is this 60% c-section rate? I live in the greater Baltimore area, and while the section rate is definitely rising, it is no where near 60% (last I checked, it was around 30).

And to Fiona...I've seen vaginal breeches done...I've also seen a baby die from head entrapment. I do not know of any competent, rational midwife who would do that, especially with a first baby.

Sherri - posted on 09/01/2010

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How can circumcision cause brain damage?? That is the most ludicrous thing I have heard. GAH It is simply numbing and removing some skin. Circumcision is such a minor thing I don't even know how you can compare the two. Very bizarre to me.

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Personally, I think home births are too risky.

That said, I come from the perspective of someone who had a traumatic emergency birth the first time, and a high-risk pregnancy the 2nd time.

Ironically, my 2nd baby was born naturally - NOT BY CHOICE! I was BEGGING for an epidural, but they couldn't give me one until my lab results came back. The lab was awfully slooooow that day.

Anyway, given how many mothers are having babies at more advanced ages, I think hospital births are imperative! Emergencies are, by definition, things you can't forsee. None of us wants to risk our babies health. So why not play it safe and have all the experts and equipment present???

Amy - posted on 08/31/2010

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Medically speaking though, it is unnecessary and carries risks - in some cases, these include brain damage and death, so I'm not talking minor risks. Smoking during pregnancy carries risks too, to the health of both mother and child.

Do you see how these things are related? Hospital intervention during birth carries risk as well. I'm not judging your choices, but it does reflect on your approach to risk assessment. How you assess risk for yourself is one thing, as you're entirely within your rights to make any legal choice for yourself or your child, but once you start to speak in general terms about the risk for a demographic group, the arguments start to look a bit hollow.

Sherri - posted on 08/31/2010

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Circumcision in my corner of the world is not unnecessary and very important to us here. It is not even something thought about it is recommended by the doctors and hospital and done.

What does this have to do with the safety of mother and newborn child? I am talking about the life threatening issues that can occur at home if something goes wrong. Where at a hospital there would be medical staff that could save both lives.

Amy - posted on 08/31/2010

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"I think woman who do home births are taking unnecessary risks with there own and there childs life. Your baby is not being born in a clean enviornment if something happens you are not in a hospital to possibly save you or your baby. To many variables can happen why take the chance."

Sherri, don't you also support routine infant circumcision? This is not an ad hominem attack, but it is related as I find it interesting that someone would see a home birth as risky, given the risks involved in unnecessary surgery.

Personally, I'm risk averse and believe that for -most- women, given the climate in many hospitals, a home birth is the option involving the least risk of harm, and this is supported statistically. This is one of those things where YMMV though, and may be subject to change over time as hospitals perform fewer interventions as 'routine'.

Sherri - posted on 08/31/2010

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I think woman who do home births are taking unnecessary risks with there own and there childs life. Your baby is not being born in a clean enviornment if something happens you are not in a hospital to possibly save you or your baby. To many variables can happen why take the chance.

My hospital had private rooms for birth and recovery, did anything and everything the way I asked for it to be done. I loved the staff and my OB things. I had no medication with my 2nd child so it was 100% natural. They didn't force me to do anything I didn't want to like walk around or bounce on a ball like I have heard other woman had to do. NO WAY!! Hospital birth all the way.

Ashley - posted on 08/31/2010

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I had a hospital birth would love to have a home birth especially a water birth unfortunately there are no mide wifes or dullas here and i wouldn't do it with out one so im stuck at a hospital. I simply dident feel comfortable at my hospital wish there was a mide wife clinic here but im out of luck so yes to both i guess lol

Amy - posted on 08/22/2010

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I've had two hospital births, and if I had another it'd be a home birth. To each their own. The food in hospital was crap and I felt 'molested' while figuring out breastfeeding. It was noisy and the bed was cold and hard.

Each to their own, though. On the whole, I'm informed and outspoken enough to refuse unnecessary interventions (though who isn't vulnerable in labour?) but some of the intervention rates are horrific. A 60% c-section rate? You can't tell me that 60% of women can't give birth. How did the species survive? You need to look closely at what is leading to those c-section (and episiotomies, and forceps and ventouse deliveries).

Birth has been over-medicalised and mothers and babies are suffering and dying from it. I was a forceps baby myself - probably unnecessarily. By all means, if a hospital makes you feel safer, go for it - but choose your caregiver wisely, choose your support people, and have a birth plan. Make sure the people around you are informed on what you want to happen, and make sure they're the kind of people who will advocate for your needs.

Isobel - posted on 08/07/2010

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many of your posts mention me by name.

and "riddle me this batman" is just a silly way of saying "here's a question for ya" You've never, ever seen Batman? Not even the old campy ones? I'm starting to understand you a little better ;P

Minnie - posted on 08/07/2010

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Lisa,



Riddle me this Batman...




Yes it was this I don't have a problem with you- I was simply responding to your last post to me. If you didn't mean it to be name-calling, then that's ok. I am not familiar with Batman, so I took it as name-calling.



I am certainly entitled to have an opinion of doctors- why are you taking it personally? I don't think they are evil, so please stop putting words in my mouth.

Isobel - posted on 08/06/2010

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yup...I've gone over all my posts many times...there's no name calling...just you singling me out for no reason. My age limit on breastfeeding? 4...not extreme in the least...my stance on home births? want one, but also want to be close to a doctor...not extreme. my stance on free births...yeah, they ARE reckless...but you didn't know that when you started calling me out...what exactly is your problem with me in particular?

Isobel - posted on 08/06/2010

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are you referring to "riddle me this batman?" cause that's one of my favorite ways to start debating posts in general.

Isobel - posted on 08/06/2010

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why do you keep calling me out? what name calling? I simply said that women who midwives refuse MUST deliver their baby with a doctor...WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM WITH ME IN PARTICULAR???...There are far more extreme women than me... I would like to have a home birth...I am simply offended by your assumption that doctors are evil.

Alicia - posted on 08/06/2010

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Okay, I like to think I am a pretty accepting person and I think everyone is entitled to making their own decisions, especially when it comes to their own bodies, but I have a problem with women who use a condesending tone when disscusing hospital births and drugs. For some reason this seems to be a common trend amoung "au naturale" advocates. I have given birth to two children in a hospital setting, I was induced both times, had my water broken both times, and had an epidural and other pain meds both times. The only difference is my epidural didn't take the first go round. I was in excrutiating pain the entire time, all I could think about was the pain and how much I wanted it to stop, eventually I pushed a perfect 9 lb. baby boy out it took me 4 years and a lot of anxiety to decide to have a 2nd child. I went in with my 2nd child expecting the same awful experience, but the doctor started the epidural before he even broke my water and I had the most relaxed and joyful labor. I plan to have many more children and I would never consider home birth. My children were both exposed to my epidural and pain medications and they are absolutley perfect. They both have hit ALL of the developmental mile stones early and my 5 year old will start kindergaten in 2 weeks reading at a first grade level. II apologize for the over zealous response, but this is a trigger for me. It just irks me when people try to promote their own lifestyle choices by degenerating others.

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Ditto from me fiona, I was with my midwife yesterday and talking about breech births. She was saying that you can have it naturally but the doctor put all the onis on the mother if something goes wrong. She was telling me about a woman who had 3 successful breech births, all natural but on her 4th she was bullied that much that she had a C section and was so upset by the whole thing. But also that the actual skills that a doctor needs to deliver this kind of birth is being lost because they don't do them any more. I think you will be an amazing midwife and i hope my midwife for my home birth will be as nice as you.

Isobel - posted on 08/05/2010

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I should make myself clear. I have no problem with home births...I just take offense to some people stating that doctors do nothing good.

Karen - posted on 08/05/2010

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I'm all for homebirth given the right circumstances (low risk, midwife attending etc). I planned a homebirth for my first (and so far only) baby. It didn't end up the way I planned and I ended up with a c-section at the hospital.
In my planning and decision making time I did a ton of research and found out that homebirths are deemed safe by my government (British Columbia, Canada) and even paid for by the government. Hey, if they think it's safe, it probably is!! I also learned that midwives carry all kinds of life-saving equipment/drugs to help both mother/baby. They are highly trained in birthing (way more than your average MD) and babies. Also, consider this ... not every hospital as an anthestist (sp?) in the hospital 24 hours a day. In BC the anthesitist has to be able to reach the hospital within 20min. So, even if you were in the hospital it could take 20min to get a c-section. Well, I live within 20min of the hospital, so there would be no more delay if I needed to be rushed to the hospital than if I was already there and waiting for the surgery. That made me pretty comfortable with planning a homebirth.
Also, since I had a c-section the first time, I will be trying for an HBAC (home VBAC) next time. My births will be greater than 24 months apart (which greatly reduces the chance of rupture - in fact the chance of rupture during labour is about the same as the chance of rupture just during pregnancy - since I'm not planning on spending my entire pregnancy at the hospital, then I guess a homebirth will be fine). Plus, the midwife certifying body in BC supports HBACs and they wouldn't if it was unduly risky. So, yeah - here's hoping for my water homebirth!

Isobel - posted on 08/05/2010

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I think most of the time you are right :) Unfortunately, when we are wrong, we don't know it until the very last second. My daughter was born with the cord around her neck and needed emergency care, and my son pooped on his way out, had he done it any earlier, he could've been poisoned.

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hospital were invented for medical problems and they do a wonderful job. Giviing birth is not a medical problem, it is the most natural thing, you are checked and rechecked for any problems during the pregnancy and any mother that has a problem does go to hospital but for the mothers who are giving birth to healthy babies with no help then why not have a home birth. We are putting too much emphases on the fact that this is a huge medical issue when it is not.

Denise - posted on 08/04/2010

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I have had one of each. After giving birth in the hospital, I swore I would never do that again and my second was a home birth. It was wonderful and I have no regrets. If I ever had another child it would be a home birth, unless of course I had serious complications that required a hospital birth. Home births are wonderful and safe provided a woman has had good medical care, is healthy and does not have any major complications.

Isobel - posted on 08/03/2010

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Lisa,

Riddle me this Batman...if midwives only take part in "low risk" births at home...exactly who would take care of the ladies with "higher" risk births...since doctors have nothing to do with the lower infant mortality rate.

The point is...they ARE needed. period.

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Toni: I was only in hospital one night after giving birth to my son, but when he was admitted into neonatal at 6 days old I was allowed to stay the 4 nights he was in having light therapy for severe jaundice so I had the chance to eat even more yummy hospital food =]

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"And from everything I read you can only have a home birth if you are low-risk, so the chances of needing to be at the hospital are lowered already."



Just a thought but nobody makes you go to the hospital so if you are stupid and stubborn enough you could just ignore the medical advice and have the baby at home - I'm sure there are ladies who have done so...



...You just choose to not go to the hospital!

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Alicia the VBAC was regarding a different post by Valerie, I didn't think you had a VBAC ;-) - Blame the baby brain I do (and my son is 9 months old haha).

Jodi I had awful heartburn too, right up til the end of my pregnancy, I found LOTS and LOTS of milk really helped (oh yeah and I hid huge bottles of Gaviscon in my hospital bag because the midwives were far too stingy with it - I supped it like an alcoholic would a bottle of booze gqtm) and I had medication prescribed to me which helped a little!

Sara - snuck food in my family just brought me carrier bags full of food and one couple ordered a curry from the local curry house and got it delivered :-)

Jennifer the food was ok at first but after 17 days where I got progressively ill it sucked, but then different hospitals have different catering arrangements (in the UK at least) my local hospital cooks its own for the maternity section. Hopefully next time I'll only stay in for a day or 2 :-)

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Quoting Amy, "Also, for delivering a breach baby, you don't always need a c-section for that. Someone I know found a dr willing to deliver a breach baby and did so with a natural birth, both her and her little girl were just fine. If you have a trained person there who has dealt with a breach baby you might not even need a hospital. (Although I would see where some would feel more comfortable with it)."

Totally understand that. And good for her!

But with my experiences, I'm still sticking to my hospital birth! For one, my daughter was in the correct position at my 39 week appointment. Between that Wednesday and when I went into labor on Sunday, she flipped. No one knew until I was 10 cm because my water didn't break until then (they wanted it to break naturally) and they couldn't feel her through the bag. After we discovered she was butt first, she was already so far into the birth canal that all attempts to turn her failed. A decision had to be made quickly. Later my doc told me that he had successfully delivered breech babies, but there was no time to prepare for that and the risks associated with c-section were lower in my individual case than the risks of delivering breech.

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The food at my hospital was yummy! Every relative that has stayed in a hospital over here in the UK says it's nice hehe =]

Jane - posted on 08/02/2010

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I delivered both of my children in a hospital, however, I'm not against home births at all. I do know that my doctors followed my instructions 100%....no drugs, quiet setting...it was nice for me and I had peace of mind because I was in capable hands if an emergency occurred.

I was glad I was in the hospital with my second because my son had a knot in the cord which kept cutting off oxygen every time I pushed. I had an AMAZING doctor (and quite good looking too - LOL) who talked me through those last few minutes of getting my son out. Had I not had him out in the 5 minutes my doctor was talking me through the delivery, we were headed for an emergency c-section. I was very thankful for the hospital, my doctor and the nurses and would have FREAKED out had I been at home.

Amy - posted on 08/02/2010

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It's interesting how a few of you who had home births also mentioned the water birth. I wish we could do a water birth, although I do plan to sit in the hot tub for a while before giving birth this time around (the ones in the hospital I'll be delivering are a nice size!).

And from everything I read you can only have a home birth if you are low-risk, so the chances of needing to be at the hospital are lowered already.

Also, for delivering a breach baby, you don't always need a c-section for that. Someone I know found a dr willing to deliver a breach baby and did so with a natural birth, both her and her little girl were just fine. If you have a trained person there who has dealt with a breach baby you might not even need a hospital. (Although I would see where some would feel more comfortable with it).

Ashley - posted on 08/01/2010

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Home births don't bother me. The unassisted ones I am not a fan of, but to each their own.
I will be having another c-section, so it's hospital birth for me again! But I love my OB and have no complaints. The hospital I go to will pretty much let you run the show unless the baby is in distress. A friend of mine went in on a Saturday to be induced (gestational diabetes and her bp was rising) and she did not want a c-section. Finally on Monday she had the c-section, but only because her labor was going no where. The hospital really respected her choices, but by Monday she just wanted the baby out. ;)
As long as the mom and baby/babies are healthy, any option is fine.

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I had my daughter at a hospital and lucky I did because I haemmorhaged after the placenta was delivered and could have bled to death. I personally think that for your first child at least, you should have them at a hospital. Once you've been through the experience, you can then think about a home birth and then, only with an experienced midwife and a detailed plan.

Alicia - posted on 08/01/2010

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Toni - sorry to hear that your food tasted horrible...but I definately agree with Jodi - the food was great at my hospital (it was a public hospital but maybe because it was in the country and maybe not as many meals to do, I don't know, but food was fantastic). Also not sure where you got the bit about the C-section from. Sorry I might not be reading your post right (can I claim I am still suffering from 'baby brain'...haha) - are you talking about c-sect in general or saying I had one? I have not had a C-section. Both my labours have been straightforward, very quick, drug and intervention free so that is why I was thinking I would be a 'prime candidate' for a home birth :)

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I'm a public patient and i still think the food at our local hospital is awesome!
But where i gave birth to my last baby was aweful. I had gdm and i should have eaten every 2 hours but i still only got low sugar food which is just wrong it should have been healthy diet not smaller amounts.

I think that might be a difference between Australia and other places our midwives are employed by the hospital and generally work with the Dr to give us thes best possible outcome.

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