Birthing at home: Getting over the fear.

Certainly not, but neither would we be happy to return to the days when a standard piece of advice to expectant mothers was to get her affairs in order just in case.

I am generally in agreement that childbirth is overly medicalized with too many routine interventions these days. But while it is certainly not a condition that needs to be cured, neither is it a routine occurrence with minimal risks and dangers. There is a non-trivial number of pregnancies that would end very, very badly if not for the interventions of modern medicine.

I support finding some middle ground between “stirrups and ether” on the one side and “birthing alone in a field” on the other. I actually think that birthing centers with midwives attending, located near a hospital, are a great idea and offer the best of both worlds. Due to being a type 2 diabetic, that option was unavailable to me when I was pregnant, but I definitely would have considered it if it were.

If the ether had no side effects, I’d be all for it. What could be better than going to sleep and just waking up with a baby without any fuss/effort?

Only if they could guarantee me that they’d wake me up the very instant the baby was born so that I could hold him and look at him in his first moments. Which they couldn’t, so no ether for me, thanks. :stuck_out_tongue:

I would totally welcome home dentistry, if a dentist wanted to lug all her equipment to my home. Why not? :wink:

I’m going to have to go with WhyNot on this one. There needs to be more talk with women on the risks and such and not just scare tactics. I remember when the first was to be born my ex was afraid of her hip because of past problems. They had her scared into doing a c-section.

With the second child the ex wanted to try a VBAC. One doctor was ok with it, however there are hospitals that do not allow it at all. That limits people’s ability to choose since if you live near that hospital you have no choice. The one doctor told us that with a VBAC there was the same odds of having problems as a vaginal birth.

I know that since we went to the hospital with a midwife for the second child they had the ex hooked up to all sorts of machines. They told us that if something even looked wrong they would have to do a c-section again.

Honestly I don’t think childbirth is as dangerous as people seem to make it out to be. I’ve been doing a lot of genealogical work and see very few women who die during childbirth. If it was so dangerous people wouldn’t be able to have 10-15+ children. This seems like something that people just know is true.

Phlosphr, you have your home birth and be happy with the decision and don’t let other people try and scare you with things they may or may not fully understand.

And charge you significantly less, to boot!

I think this is one of the things that is overlooked–when you talk about reasons to have a home birth, for people who do not have insurance but do not qualify for social services, a home birth with a CNW is dramatically cheaper. If the risks really are the same, it could be argued it is irresponsible to take on that kind of debt at the beginning of your child’s life.

Historical maternal mortality rate was around 1 in 100 women, according to Wiki. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maternal_death

Both our midwife and the back-up [they are both present] are Certified Nurse Midwives] which means they have the medical background. That was important in our decision. They have emergency medical equipment right with them, including pictocin (sp?) if needed. Our particular midwife had to have a certification to carry it, otherwise it was illegal.

Also, she has never used it. Case in point, one of her last births, [last week] the baby’s heart beat [tones] went waaay down, far enough where a doc would have called for a c-section. Our Midwife, alerted the father and mother they may have to transport, but before we do, she asked the woman to stop squatting and move into the tub, 30 seconds later, dad was holding the mother, moms back was relieved of all tension and her legs spread in the tub - floating - the baby’s heart tones immediately went back to normal.

Very true, but back then we were still considering the birthing center. After meeting with the midwife several times, we opted for the home birth.

One thing I must mention, something I put a lot of stock in: is that the chemicals that are floating your the mothers brain at the time of birth are very important to bonding - not that bonding does not happen during a c-section or with an epidural - but one of the main reasons for natural birth is to experience it…some people say it is a spiritual experience: I’ll say for me and my wife, it is a rite of passage that we want to be fully present for.

It varied tremendously according to time period and place (and not in a linear fashion), but yes, childbirth was by far the most dangerous thing most women did over the course of their lives. The dangers were even higher for the infants, however: most of the things that people are worried about with home births have to do with fetal distress. There can be a very short window to get the baby out and breathing. The window to just get the baby out is a lot longer.

One thing would be that you miss the birth.

We live in the Mountains near Boulder, this is a very friendly midwife town. The town stats [no cite] are ridiculously high for healthy home births. Luckily the birthing center we are attached to with our insurance is very, very good, possibly best in Colorado. Many women have midwives, and the center is located in the hospital’s parking lot.

I’m not too worried. I am looking forward to walking with my wife during labor, looking at the mountains, playing a little Ben Folds, and other music, getting in the tub, and just being in a climate and location that is very familiar. The reduction of stress is incredibly helpful during birth and our midwife is all about the low stress!

There’s also a ‘I’d rather give birth in a natural environment as opposed to a sterile hospital’ view. Because a lot of insurance doesn’t cover home births, it may become a status thing to afford it amongst the natural parenting circles. I’m not a mom and don’t intend on being one, but I’d be a little concerned about it being like the breastfeeding debate. If you really want to be close to your baby and do it ‘right’, you need to have a home birth.

Did you read what I linked to? If you define ‘outcome’ as ‘death’, well, yeah, home births aren’t that much different than hospitals because HOME BIRTHING CAN RESULT IN SUCCESSFUL HOSPITAL INTERVENTION.

CAN.

Cite 1 threw me off completely as I didn’t understand the math there. Also, it doesn’t indicate why the women at the hospital had planned births or if all factors were the same.

Cite 2 states:

Cite 3 states:

  • which indicates a potential disconnect in hospitals to push potentially unnecessary medical procedures on a patient. This is changing as hospitals are listening more to women and doctors are on par with ‘birth plans’. Lord knows it was the rage six years ago; I can only imagine it increased.

Cite 4 is a summary of someone else’s unpublished dissertation done in 1999.

“Oh, who cares if I want to endanger my baby’s life? I can fix it!” is just backwards.

Two more things: A low-risk preganncy can be a high-risk pregnancy pretty freaking quick. And I have problems with studies that show that home births are no more dangerous when home births are such a small portion of births per year. Cite 3 studied 5,418 women and compared to other studies.

That’s a bad thing? :slight_smile:

I know people talk about giving birth as this big spiritual thing but it doesn’t seem all that important when you think about actually parenting. And we don’t attach psychological importance to being in the moment when it comes to other medical procedures.

Yes, very much so. That’s why I get annoyed when midwives and crunchy mothering types claim homebirth is superior - in terms of maternal/fetal outcomes - to hospital birth. It’s not. It does tend to have fewer interventions, but the same outcomes. So it may be “superior” for some people in a subjective sense, like patient satisfaction, and it may be “superior” in terms of finances, but *neither *way is superior in the most important sense - having a living, healthy mother and baby when it’s over.

I want to smack the crunchy folks who make low-risk people feel bad for choosing a hospital births just as much as I want to smack fearful folks who make low-risk people feel bad for choosing a homebirth. :smiley:

I don’t really think it’s a big spiritual thing but I want to be there and awake to meet my kid when he arrives into the world, if possible. I don’t think this is a difficult concept to grasp. I’m OK with my fibroid tumor going into the waste bin without my having said “goodbye” to it first, though.

In Canada, health care is not an issue. In the U.S., I thought pregnant women were eligible for Medicaid? Most should be.

No one is going to refuse to treat you. And rarely will a low-income woman be forced to pay a 20k hospital bill if she can’t afford it.

:dubious:

Heh. You’re funny.

Why wouldn’t you be awake?

If you were knocked out with ether, as in the hypothetical situation that we are discussing in this thread.

Really? I live in a state that is not rabidly liberal, and we have things called hospitals that coordinate with low-income health programs.

Hmm…where else could I get medical care for pregnancy? California, Vermont, Mass., Iowa…all states have some kind of program.

Now that I think about it, home birth is probably more expensive.