Home Births

February 1st, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Megan Levy reports at Stuff:

    A mother who died while giving birth to her daughter at her Melbourne home was a strong advocate for home-births, declaring in a government submission that she would be have no choice but to have an unassisted birth at home if midwives were not legally protected.

    Online tributes have been pouring in for Caroline Lovell, who died after giving birth to her second daughter Zahra at her home in Watsonia on Monday last week.

    The 36-year-old was rushed to The Austin Hospital in cardiac arrest at 10.30am, but died in hospital the following day, a report in this morning’s Herald Sun revealed. A private midwife is believed to have been assisting her during the home-birth.

Some may see me having an opinion on homebirths is like me having an opinion on hair styles!

I do tend to agree with the saying that if men had to give birth, everyone would be an only child.

Having said that, my gut reaction is that is I had to give birth, I’d want to be in a place where if things don’t go according to plan, you immediately have nearby the resources needed to ensure a safe delivery.

The death of Ms Lovell is a reminder that while giving birth is a natural process, and is not a sickness or an illness (which is why some argue should not be done in hospital), it is a process where complications can arise very quickly. While I respect those who disagree, I place more of a premium on safety over ideology.

Of course at the end of the day, I’m never going to be the person deciding.

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63 Responses to “Home Births”

  1. kowtow (7,653 comments) says:

    All this home birth stuff is feminist bollocks.
    Child birth has always been tricky,in an era when we have easy access to hospitals it’s beyond me that people insist on doing it at home.
    Husbands should also have an equal say in the matter.

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  2. GPT1 (2,091 comments) says:

    Machines, doctors, hospitals. An absolute must for any birth. It’s only in the last few decades, in the West, that child birth has become relatively safe so why revert back to cave medicine?

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  3. Salacious Crumb (31 comments) says:

    This is a tragedy on many levels, the greatest being that she chose not to involve medical professionals in well equiped medical surroundings. Doctors are all about minimisation of risk, something that a small number of midwives seem to overlook. This is a sad example of the consequences.

    Mortality statistics in childbirth have improved so dramatically in the developed world as a result of improved medical practice – why turn your back on it?

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  4. hmmokrightitis (1,515 comments) says:

    My wife nearly died giving birth to our first – Im standing in a pool of her blood as 3 specialists fight to get her back. Not the happiest 10 minutes of my life – or hers.

    By all means, you go home birth, knock yourself out. But be aware of the risks if its goes tits up – pardon the expression :) Was quite glad about the fact that Id paid $1500 to have a specialist there, and then two more rock up to save her life. No birthing pool crap would have saved her that day.

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  5. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    Terrible death but for a topic:

    Oohh goody.

    I was going to start the day on “Treachery” or the “Hui-far” business – I’m off to chew this one over.

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  6. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    My girlfriend is a doctor. She’s never boastful or arrgoant about her skills. She made the salient point that “while most midwives are good at their job and know their skill limits, some midwives think they are as good as doctors – when in fact they are not.

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  7. JayMal (29 comments) says:

    Yes, unfortunately some who advocate for “natural birth” or argue women have been giving birth at home for thousands of years forget one of the biggest killers of women back in the good0old-days was birth complications.

    For the majority of women childbirth is a relatively safe exercise, however it is not always the case. Had my wife opted for a home birth both her and my daughter would have died. It was only the very rapid intervention of the hospital team that saved their lives (and I would argue therefore the lives of the two sons we subsequently had). In our case there was no way to have predicted the complication and no amount of pre-natal care or midwifery excellence would have saved her.

    Having said that I support freedom of choice for women regarding where they want to give birth. However, the decision must be one of fully informed choice. Women opting for home births must be made fully aware of all risks associated, and the potential consequences of their actions. For example, one friend who happily had a home birth for her first child opted for hospital births for her subsequent ones once she heard our story.

    Women who know the risks and decide to go ahead need to have fully qualified, highly experienced and competent midwives on hand during the birth. Those midwives need a measure of immunity from blame (assuming they were not incompetent and the woman was fully made aware of risks/consequences). Not to provide immunity means the chances of having someone who cannot spot potential problems early being on hand is slim. More deaths will result if this is not the case.

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  8. Thomas the Unbeliever (141 comments) says:

    Wihtout knowing the details of this case (which is clearly a tragedy) I cannot comment on its specifics.

    However, as a general statement, the child’s right to a safe/healthy birth seems often overlooked in favour of the mother’s right of unfettered freedom to choose her own birthing experience. There seems little accountability (legal or otherwise) when the mother’s choice impacts adversely on the child.

    I accept a mother’s right to put her own life in jeopardy (within some limits) but that right should not extend to a right to put the child’s life at risk – without accounability.

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  9. Kimble (4,383 comments) says:

    My experience involves a breech with the cord wrapped around his neck. My opinion is that home births are for selfish and short-sighted.

    Child birth is natural. You know what else is natural? Dead mothers and babies.

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  10. dime (9,470 comments) says:

    “Of course at the end of the day, I’m never going to be the person deciding.”

    ??

    id hope youd have some say if you were married.

    Dime wouldnt allow his wife to have a hippy birth. screw that.

    [DPF: I hope I would have input into the decision, and be in agreement on it. But as far as I know it is illegal to knock your wife out unconscious and smuggle her into a hospital]

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  11. trout (904 comments) says:

    Hospitals have bent over backwards to fit with the strident demands of midwives. Mothers now appear to have easy access to DHB birth facilities using their nominated midwife without intervention by hospital staff except when required. Mothers are free to leave the hospital as soon as mother and baby are assessed to be in good shape. So why home births? Is it some carry over from the hippy era? (Our second child was a home birth with no complications but that was when hospitals were much less accommodating).

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  12. jptucker (18 comments) says:

    I read the article as meaning that people in Victoria wanted the government to fund midwives for home birth, so that mothers had the option to have the qualified, experienced etc, people on hand for home birth with fast response to move to the hospital if complications arose. Either I misinterpreted that or responses seem to be overlooking that.

    However, as a soon to be parent, we would do not consider home birth to be a responsible choice and believe that the safety of mother and child is paramount, so hospital is the only way to go.

    +1 Kimble

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  13. mikeyj47 (1 comment) says:

    I just wanted to say that I was born at home in my parents bedroom in Belfast 50 years ago, my older brother was also born at home, it was just the way it was done back then

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  14. Mr Nobody NZ (397 comments) says:

    Thomas – The next logical step to that thought process (which I’m not disagree with BTW) is the rights of the society who are expected to pick up any ongoing cost associated if the birth process goes wrong.

    Trout – Have to disagree re the Mothers being free to leave asap. In my experience (3 daughters) the pressure comes firm and hard from the Hospital staff themselves with my wife being told (while in labour with our last child last year) she would be expected to vacate the hospital no longer than 2 hours after the birth. Which meant I had to transfer her and baby to a birth care facility around 0200 in the middle of winter.

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  15. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Should’ve had the machine that goes “ping”.

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  16. Jadis (147 comments) says:

    it will be interesting to hear the full story of this case. We don’t know at what point of the birth process that the cardiac arrest occurred. And, it appears that this woman had a previous low risk birth. So, while being a homebirth advocate it appears (with the very small amount of information we have) that this woman made an informed choice (presumably in agreement with her partner/husband). I do understand others concerns that the birth of the child, safety etc should be paramount however really it should be the safety of both. Women who choose to birth at home do take a calculated risk – many of these births are successful.

    I also think it is easy for DPF and others to talk only of safety without recognising all the ‘birth experience’ stuff that is fed into mothers – all the candles, music, birth pool, etc etc to make it a serene experience. I do think some of the ideal view of birth fed to mothers contributes to more choosing to take the so called ‘natural’ route.

    With this case, it is useful to consider that the Australian environment is quite different to the New Zealand environment. It is very easy for those of us who have birthed in NZ in recent years to assume that Australia is the same. Australia tends to be hospital or homebirth, there is no midway like there is in many NZ cities and provincial areas.

    There are also large differences in care environments across NZ. Wellington City for example has not had birth centres (a sort of homely environment but with more medical back-up (though still not as much as a complete hospital). Hamilton has had fully funded birth centres for a number of years, while I understand Auckland has them (but purely on a user pays basis). Obviously GPs have moved out of the provision of ob services, and in many parts of the country there are midwife shortages. Specialist care is also not available everywhere, and due to cost isn’t always accessible.

    At a personal level, I would likely have died giving birth to my first child if I had birthed anywhere except for hospital. There would have been no way to stop such a huge haemorhage in a home environment. My second child was a completely different birth involving no intervention, and completely easy. That is the problem with childbirth. It is greatly unpredictable. I don’t know any women who can say their birth experiences of their children were the same.

    Hours of debate available in this subject.

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  17. BlairM (2,288 comments) says:

    I am pretty hot on this subject – a birth is a MEDICAL PROCEDURE! Cancer is a natural occurrence too, that doesn’t mean we put up with it. All these hippies with their spiritual bullshit endanger lives. I include in that a lot of the midwives in New Zealand. While some of them are well meaning, they are not doctors. I count myself lucky that I had twins and was therefore able to get someone actually qualified to deliver children.

    NZ’s soviet healthcare regime practically ensures that very few doctors now do births. The day when midwives are eradicated from existence will be a happy one.

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  18. Brian Smaller (3,999 comments) says:

    Luckily for me both my kids were born back when you could have a doc and a mid-wife. They used to work pretty well together. Both present at the birth. The doc for the health and medical issues and the mid-wife for all the ant- and post-natal care. It worked.

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  19. Martin Gibson (227 comments) says:

    When I was growing up I saw little of my old man because he was often out delivering babies. Then Helen Clark turned childbirth into a feminist issue and edged GPs out of maternity helped along by a militantly feminist midwives association.

    In hindsight, he said it gave him back his life, bit he watched (with some grim satisfaction) as the government turned on midwives and screwed them down.

    Now there is a more balanced approach where midwives and GPs are cooperating more, but not before the rate of birth by caesarean section had doubled as midwives remained determined to see through a natural birth, without induction until foetal distress indicated it was an emergency to get the baby out.

    These lengthy lengthy labours in pursuit of natural births have resulted in quite a few babies he calls “a bit sawn off”. Nothing that is going to make it into any statistics, just slow to talk, slow to walk, slow at school; not quite all there.

    The rate of maternal mortality also rose, and he often pointed out that if that had happened after men took over from women the Ministry of Women’s Affairs would be all over it.

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  20. Viking2 (11,147 comments) says:

    DPF said:
    I do tend to agree with the saying that if men had to give birth, everyone would be an only child.

    Ah not so. You have failed to factor in that most obvious of reasons to produce children in NZ.
    Its called the DPB and presumably men would qualify as well.

    Go for it if you can make it happen.

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  21. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    Kimble at 11.05 am

    Simplistic reasoning. Not everyone births a breech baby with a tangled cord.
    Do you regularly throw fellow women under the bus I wonder?
    Shit happens. Life is fatal.

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  22. RRM (9,478 comments) says:

    Having said that, my gut reaction is that is I had to give birth, I’d want to be in a place where if things don’t go according to plan, you immediately have nearby the resources needed to ensure a safe delivery.

    The death of Ms Lovell is a reminder that while giving birth is a natural process, and is not a sickness or an illness (which is why some argue should not be done in hospital), it is a process where complications can arise very quickly. While I respect those who disagree, I place more of a premium on safety over ideology.

    I was in this boat too, until my wife got pregnant (her second child, my first) and instructed me to inform myself about the issue as she was adamant she did not want to have another baby in hospital and be treated as a piece of meat.

    Yes Hospital is safer than home birth – for the very small % of women who are likely to get into trouble and require medical interventions.

    Hospital is NOT safer than home birth assisted by a competent midwife, for the majority of mothers who can give birth without any complications. A competent midwife has assessed your predisposition to have complications months before birth. A competent midwife can also see most complications coming, half an hour or more before they become acute – is your hospital really that far away?

    Dismiss this as “ideology” if you like, but these were the highlights:

    The U.S.A. has the highest rates of hospitalised childbirth of any western country, and they are significantly higher than the next highest western country.

    The U.S.A. also has the highest rates of death in childbirth (mothers and babies) and that rate is also significantly higher than the next highest western country.

    So if there’s a problem, routine medicalised childbirth isn’t the solution.

    Basically, Hospital birth means birth within the hospital’s timeframe. (No-one is saying this is an evil conspiracy, but it IS a matter of resource allocation and triage.) :arrow: Hospital’s timeframe means Pitocin (or similar) to induce contractions if you are “late”. :arrow: Pitocin (or similar) means unnaturally strong contractions, which are unnaturally painful —> epidural. :arrow: Epidural severely limits mother’s ability to feel and control the contractions. :arrow: Unnaturally strong contractions + unnatural lack of mother’s sensitivity —> fetal distress, high heart rate, etc :arrow: Fetal distress —> OMG we need to do a forceps delivery / Caesarian NOW if we’re going to save this baby! :arrow: Caesarian = major abdominal surgery. :arrow: Forceps delivery = possible spinal injury for baby, life-long neck problems, etc.

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  23. Francis_X (149 comments) says:

    Yeah, that’s a toughie, DPF. On the one hand, it’s a woman’s right to choose – her body and all that. the State should keep it’s fricken hands of us, whether it’s a woman or man’s reproductive bits.

    On the other hand there’s the safety of mum and babe to consider.

    All I’ll say is, I’m glad it’s not a decision or option I have to consider.

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  24. La Grand Fromage (145 comments) says:

    Child birth is less painfull than a blow to the nuts. Around the same time my wife gave birth to our first child I took a decent knock to the knackers. A year later she wanted to have another baby and go through child birth again yet I certainly wasn’t willing to voluntarily take another blow to the nads. Ergo getting hit in the balls must be more painfull than labour.

    On the subject of hippies who homebirth, if the kid dies or ends up a mong then they should be charged with criminal negligence.

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  25. Salacious Crumb (31 comments) says:

    RRM,
    How many people do you think are well equipped to deal with a major hemorrhage at home?
    The reality is that fewer mothers and babies die during the birthing process now than at any time during our recorded history.

    Your repeated use of the word “competent” is a good point. There are some pretty average quality midwives out there as I am sure any woman who has experienced birthing in this country will attest to.

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  26. RRM (9,478 comments) says:

    Salacious Crumb:

    If you haemorrhage, yes you *might* be unlucky and bleed at the rate where you are in big trouble in ten minutes. But you might crash your car on the way to your hospital birth, too.

    And how many instances of major haemorrhaging are due to bad practises that simply should not happen any longer (palpitation of the abdomen, yanking on cord to hasten placental birth etc)?

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  27. RRM (9,478 comments) says:

    Le grand Fromage –

    And if a child dies during birth at the hospital, who would you like to see charged then?

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  28. tvb (4,210 comments) says:

    Home births should be banned and mothers that deliberately do them and if the child dies should be charged with manslaughter and so should the midwife. I would also like to remove the role of mid wives in the child birthing experience. It seems to me that emotion surrounding giving birth has been allowed to outweigh the safety of the child. However there maybe a place to make birthing suits a much more friendly environment.

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  29. Kimble (4,383 comments) says:

    Not everyone births a breech baby with a tangled cord.

    No shit. So what? Seriously. So fucking what? It happens sometimes, it can happen to anyone, you cant predict when it will happen, it is one real risk amongst many others.

    It wasnt simplistic reasoning, your thoughts were simplistic. So let me correct my statement; “My opinion is that home births are for the selfish, the stupid, and the short-sighted.”

    Do you regularly throw fellow women under the bus I wonder?
    Shit happens. Life is fatal.

    What was the point you thought you were making?

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  30. La Grand Fromage (145 comments) says:

    “Not everyone births a breech baby with a tangled cord.”

    Not every pissed driver kills crashes.

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  31. Kimble (4,383 comments) says:

    If you haemorrhage, yes you *might* be unlucky and bleed at the rate where you are in big trouble in ten minutes. But you might crash your car on the way to your hospital birth, too.

    And you might die on the way to the hospital from a stray bullet from a bank robbery. So what?

    All the successful home births dont prove anything. We care about the risk. The other successes are only considered in reference to that risk.

    Consider seatbelts. 99% of people who make it click, dont need to. They dont ever use the seatbelt for its intended purpose. Even when there is a crash, the seatbelt may not have been needed. In some crashes, the seatbelt doesnt help. And in others it actually does harm.

    None of that makes the decision to not wear a seat belt an intelligent one.

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  32. RRM (9,478 comments) says:

    None of that makes the decision to not wear a seat belt an intelligent one.

    No it doesn’t.

    But again, the fact that USA has the highest rate of deaths in childbirth, in spite of having the highest rates of hospital births, might give you some cause to think about what risks you are really taking, and what you’re really doing to minimise them…?

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  33. berend (1,634 comments) says:

    How easy would it now for me to dump links and links of people who died in hospital while giving birth, either because by being in hospital, or because the supposed care wasn’t available (all cases are obviously in government hospitals).

    For a supposed statistician, jumping to conclusions on the basis of a single report is somewhat embarrassing. I would like to see properly done stats if home or hospital birth if safer. You would probably have to look at The Netherlands where a significant portion of women give home births, has 1st world standards of health care, and where giving home birth is not a huge ideological issue, just an often preferred option.

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  34. Kimble (4,383 comments) says:

    RRM, the relationship between hospital births and deaths in child birth is not linear. Sure the US case would make you consider what other factors affect the deaths in childbirth rate, but it cannot be used to assert hospital births are not a positive influence.

    You also cant use aggregate results to assume what is rational for an individual.

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  35. berend (1,634 comments) says:

    Salacious Crumb: Mortality statistics in childbirth have improved so dramatically in the developed world as a result of improved medical practice – why turn your back on it?

    Your statement is very funny if you know anything about the history of medical practice and child births. The most risky thing to do for a mother was to give birth in a hospital. Just read up on Semmelweis.

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  36. Kimble (4,383 comments) says:

    The most risky thing to do for a mother was to give birth in a hospital.

    Not is.

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  37. suzie q (25 comments) says:

    I absolutely believe that a woman (and her partner) have the right to choose where and how they give birth, whether that be in a hospital or at home without a midwife in a birthing pool. It is a very personal choice.

    Personally, I would choose the hospital with an obstetrician so that if anything goes wrong the doctor is there with all the medical equipment and personnel required should anything go wrong.

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  38. Pete George (22,866 comments) says:

    There’s another good reason to use a hospital – they clean up.

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  39. gump (1,491 comments) says:

    Mothers should have the right to choose the manner of their children’s delivery.

    They should also be prepared to accept the responsibility that comes with the decision.

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  40. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    @RRM

    We live in a country called New Zealand. This is a different country than the United States of America.

    I tire of hacks that wheel out “overseas studies that say X, Y, and Z”. New Zealand’s column-filling talking-heads either boast about being “world leaders” or bitch about how it’s better somewhere else, based purely on the political barrow they happen to be pushing.

    Yes, comparing ourselves with other jurisdictions is worth doing, but when Blog comments reach for an ‘overseas study’ I tend to glaze over.

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  41. RRM (9,478 comments) says:

    They should also be prepared to accept the responsibility that comes with the decision.

    Interesting observation – do you think that maybe some mothers don’t?

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  42. RRM (9,478 comments) says:

    Yes, comparing ourselves with other jurisdictions is worth doing, but when Blog comments reach for an ‘overseas study’ I tend to glaze over.

    Don’t take my word for it. Look at the how childbirths are managed in other countries similar to NZ, and how successful the results are.

    Or don’t. If you prefer to remain ignorant there’s really not a lot I can do to force this knowledge on you…

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  43. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    @RRM

    You pointed to two simple rates in a population of 350m people. How can you possibly come to the conclusion that hospital is more dangerous from this? It only begins to become meaningful if you add the caveats of “competent” to midwives, and then “non-complicated” to mothers. And also if you assume doctors are evil and will rip a baby out of the womb just because he has to go play golf. (And obviously the doctor is a woman-hating man).

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  44. RRM (9,478 comments) says:

    And also if you assume doctors are evil and will rip a baby out of the womb just because he has to go play golf. (And obviously the doctor is a woman-hating man).

    Oh dear…

    Let’s recap what I actually said:

    Yes Hospital is safer than home birth – for the very small % of women who are likely to get into trouble and require medical interventions.

    Hospital is NOT safer than home birth assisted by a competent midwife, for the majority of mothers who can give birth without any complications. A competent midwife has assessed your predisposition to have complications months before birth. A competent midwife can also see most complications coming, half an hour or more before they become acute – is your hospital really that far away?

    Dismiss this as “ideology” if you like, but these were the highlights:

    The U.S.A. has the highest rates of hospitalised childbirth of any western country, and they are significantly higher than the next highest western country.

    The U.S.A. also has the highest rates of death in childbirth (mothers and babies) and that rate is also significantly higher than the next highest western country.

    So if there’s a problem, routine medicalised childbirth isn’t the solution.

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  45. RRM (9,478 comments) says:

    It only begins to become meaningful if you add the caveats of “competent” to midwives, and then “non-complicated” to mothers.

    I would have thought it was perfectly reasonable to assume professional competence. You select your midwife MONTHS before the birth, you have plenty of opportunity to case them out.

    And OF COURSE mothers who are predisposed to having birth complications should go to hospital! :-)

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  46. Scott Chris (5,884 comments) says:

    Hmm, common sense tells you you’re an idiot to risk a home birth, but the research on the subject is less clear:

    >>”In North America, a 2005 study found similar mortality rates for low-risk hospital births and planned home births.”

    http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/briefs/pregnancy_infertility/hb050617a.htm

    However:

    >>”A 2010 meta-analysis of studies which compared home births with planned hospital births among healthy, low-risk mothers in industrialized countries found no difference in the home and hospital rates of perinatal death, but also found that “planned home birth is associated with a tripling of the neonatal mortality rate.” The authors wrote that they found this increase “striking” since women planning home births generally had fewer risk factors than those planning hospital births — lower rates of obesity, fewer prior Caesarean sections, and fewer previous pregnancy complications.[1]”

    Note: This study was controversial for many reasons, most notably that it included a large U.S. study that contained both planned and unplanned home births,[2] the latter of which are known to have much higher rates of perinatal mortality.[3]

    [1] http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(10)00671-X/abstract
    [2] Pang, JWY; Heffelfinger JD, Huang GJ, et al. (08 2002)
    [3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2352740/?tool=pmcentrez

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  47. sdm (39 comments) says:

    As somebody who was resuscitated immediately following birth, and therefore would have died if birth was attempted at home, I find people who chose this to be certifiably insane and unqualified to be parents

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  48. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    sdm

    Same with my boy, born blue, National Womens saved him

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  49. Nookin (3,037 comments) says:

    Paulestbay
    There seems to be a hidden political message in there. Maybe more apt if born red.

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  50. MT_Tinman (2,995 comments) says:

    You pays your money and you takes your chances.

    Just don’t whinge if things don’t go the way you expect.

    That must be the way of it.

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  51. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    It’s a terribly risky business using your uterus, regardless. I’ve almost died while pregnant, been disabled and spent months in an antenatal ward on a separate incident, Terribly risky growing up with a uterus as well. Try being female in the wrong Muslim neighborhood, as recent press would attest.
    There are a lot of people out there who think tits=thick. Just look at this thread. The “hang em high, the selfish cunts”, brigade is out in full force. With this line of argument you are essentially saying that you can’t provide intelligent rational women with relevant data and personal accounts and trust them to make an informed decision for themselves and their loin-fruit. Not necessarily the ‘right’ decision either. Anytime, any day we make decisions based on relevant data and gut instinct, any of these could lead to “tragedy”.
    Someone dying during a home birth is not a guaranteed risk factor, unlike driving drunk or without a seatbelt where theres always the possibility of full force impact and heaps of other drivers on the road who could also be driving drunk.
    Husbands should have a say? What about brothers and uncles just like the charming fellows who ‘off’ the women because they’ve born the wrong sex baby. You take one decision over their uterus out of the hands of women and that has an interesting knock-on effect on self-determination.
    Peeps. Examine the absurdities in your arguments.
    The human race has spread across the face of the earth even in the absence of hospital theaters, despite how the Superior Consultant Caesarean Fairies haven’t always been a part of the medical establishment. And that is what you are talking about when you mean being close to a hospital. Mother and baby in trouble: Consultant Go Chop Your Dollar.
    Where the money lies, so does incentive for particular trends. And, thank goodness because I agree: giving birth is risky business. But living is also a very ‘dynamic environment’, the phrase I believe John Key coined.
    Nobody likes a baby or a mother dying. BUT IT HAPPENS. Sticking the boot into woman or birth practices is pointless and divisive. Particularly, if it is other women doing this. And that, Sugar, is what I mean by “throwing other women under the bus”.

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  52. nasska (10,689 comments) says:

    Monique

    It’s a woman’s body & how they manage the risk of childbirth must be their own decision. That said, a rational decision can only be made after a person has been exposed to the full facts…..not the emotive garbage fed to the prospective mother by the sisterhood who know what’s best for everyone.

    During the early part of the last century childbirth was a major risk for women & many died from complications. When the country became sufficiently affluent to offer specialist facilities for birth & aftercare it made a real difference to mortality rates. As with many ‘reforms’ promoted by ‘Dear Leader’ & her ilk, change was delivered largely for the sake of change without giving much chance of input from the stars of the show…Mum & baby.

    For what the observations of a male may be worth, I have noted that the debate on the semantics of birthing seems to become less important in direct relation to the number of times a woman has gone through the experience.

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  53. Scott Chris (5,884 comments) says:

    Monique Watson says:- “…are essentially saying that you can’t provide intelligent rational women with relevant data”

    It always amazes me how many apparently intelligent, rational people there are of either sex who will take a homeopath’s advice over a physician’s.

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  54. Griff (6,829 comments) says:

    Monique Watson
    said the C word
    naughty naughty girl I am telling mommy

    “It always amazes me how many apparently intelligent, rational people there are of either sex who will take a homeopaths advice over a physician’s.”

    Natural selection in action

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  55. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    Oh alright, I’m sorry for wanking on. Seeing as there are more important childbirth issues at stake :)

    http://nowoccupy.blogspot.com/2012/01/givingashit-or-wedding-of-year.html

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  56. nasska (10,689 comments) says:

    Monique

    I think you may have been milking it a little. After all a recent poll of a thousand men showed that the pain of childbirth was grossly exaggerated.

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  57. Rufus (621 comments) says:

    For once I find myself agreeing with both RRM and Berend.

    Going to hospital usually means you end up with one intervention after another – and they aren’t good for either mum or baby.

    We planned for a homebirth, but decided to go to hospital for monitoring when something went odd. Healthy baby boy was born 28hrs later, but it was a horrible process. Once you start with one intervention, you’re stuck with all the others.

    He was an odd case, the midwife (very experienced and competent, with both hospital and home-birth experience) reckons she sees one every 10-12 years or so.

    So we’re glad the hospital was there when we needed it, but for the next one, we’d plan another home-birth.

    FWIW – Any competent midwife (and they work in pairs) would have hospital as backup.

    People forget that there are thousands of happy, healthy homebirths, for every one that makes the headlines.

    Hospital births that go wrong usually don’t make the headlines.

    All the cases recounted here to prove hospital birthing is the only way to go were outside of the norm.

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  58. Kimble (4,383 comments) says:

    People forget that there are thousands of happy, healthy homebirths, for every one that makes the headlines.

    No they dont. Opposition to home birth is due to things that go wrong.

    Hospital births that go wrong usually don’t make the headlines.

    So? No one is saying that hospital childbirth leads to perfect outcomes.

    All the cases recounted here to prove hospital birthing is the only way to go were outside of the norm.

    Of course, because the outside the norm things are the issue.

    You are arguing along the lines of, “most car trips dont involve head on collisions, so crumple zones are pointless.”

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  59. Rufus (621 comments) says:

    You’d ban all cars, since some people kill themselves (and others) whilst driving in them.

    I thought you’d be all for personal responsibility and freedom to choose and all that.

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  60. Sonny Blount (1,845 comments) says:

    ‘Outside the norm’ is rather callous way to describe the lives of our family members or our own for those posters on this board who would have lost them in a home birth.

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  61. Sonny Blount (1,845 comments) says:

    In fact, put against the ‘outside the norm’ Christmas I just had due to the people who wouldn’t have been there. I really don’t give a shit whether I was ripped out with forceps or what epidurals they gave my Mum or when she was moved to which hospital bed.

    And if the mothers complain about it I would tell them to take a flying leap.

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  62. Kimble (4,383 comments) says:

    I thought you’d be all for personal responsibility and freedom to choose and all that.

    You use the term ‘personal responsibility’ but I dont think you know what it means. It doesnt mean you can do anything you want, free from any risk of criticism. Freedom to choose doesnt mean other people cant have an opinion on your choices.

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  63. Rufus (621 comments) says:

    So Kimble, please explain to me your understanding of the concept of “personal responsibility”. Enlighten me.

    You can criticise me all you want – I don’t really mind. I’m still able to make my own choices, and bear the responsibility that comes with them.

    How do you suggest we resolve to home birth “problem”? Ban them?

    I’m intrigued.

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