The Place Where Home Births Are Discouraged

11

Chinese BabyMe, I’m not the home birth type. I labor like I’m under siege, too overwhelmed by labor pain to respond when I’m told to push, or stop pushing, or stop shrieking, or stop strangling my husband. An epidural is my only hope if I want to be emotionally present at my babies’ births.

(Seriously. I bit my husband while the nurse was sprinting for more Fentanyl. Later, he said, “You bit me!” and I asked, deadpan, “Aw. Did that hurt?!”

On the other hand, fully half my mom-friends have had home-births that either went perfectly well or transitioned into successful hospital births without a hitch, and everyone came out happy and healthy. Many moms and midwives are pushing for more home births whenever possible, saying this will lower medical costs and improve births across the board.

Yet across the world, it’s a whole different story. While we’re upping our home births, another country is decreasing them for the same reasons.

This mostly deals with minority and impoverished women -- they actually have a pretty dismal birth experience here in the US. Preventable pregnancy-related complications and deaths have increased sharply over the last 20 years, largely among the poor. But we’re still way ahead of China. There, deaths fell from 25 to 9 per 1,000 live births between 1996 and 2008. In urban areas, things have improved a lot more.

So what changed? The government started a program to improve hospitals, educate doctors, and encourage (and pay for) families to have hospital births. Their next task is to get free folic acid to pregnant women so they can reduce birth defects.

Home births are great if you’re prepared for them, if you have a backup plan, and if they’re what you want. I think the best option is to have a choice in the matter, and rural Chinese women are finally getting a choice. Safer births are always a good thing, whether they’re at home or in a hospital -- right, ladies?

Did you have a home birth? Would you recommend it to everyone?


Image via HotShot²/Flickr

homebirth, labor & delivery

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miche... micheledo

You completely lost me when you compared our birth rate to China's.  I truly wonder what their motivation is to prevent homebirths.  I have read too many stories about the forced abortions among the poor and in urban areas.  Stories of women hiding their pregnancy for fear of losing their child.  Stories of women being accosted and dragged to clinics and their babies killed while they and they husband are begging and pleading for them to be allowed to keep the baby.  I don't care how dangerous it would be for me to have a baby at home, if my other choice was my baby's death when it was discovered I was pregnant with my second - I would stay home and risk my death (or my child's).

Memph... MemphisSuzi

This mostly deals with minority and impoverished women -- they actually have a pretty dismal birth experience here in the US. Preventable pregnancy-related complications and deaths have increased sharply over the last 20 years, largely among the poor. But we’re still way ahead of China. There, deaths fell from 25 to 9 per 1,000 live births between 1996 and 2008. In urban areas, things have improved a lot more.

POORLY written paragraph!  Do y'all have a edit function once you post because if so, I would be taking advantage.

Kritika Kritika

THANK YOU.


I completely agree. It is my *opinion* as someone from another country that the US is spoiled by easy access to modern healthcare and technology and that's why people are jumping on the home birth bandwagon. They don't know what they have because they have never gone without. I know alot of people who lost their mothers to childbirth (some from their own births) because of "non-elective" home births.

MrsMWF MrsMWF

Safer births are a good thing but with China having the highest c/s rate in the world, I have to wonder how much safer the hospital is for most women there.

Momma... MommaGreenhalge

I read this blog three times and I'm still unsure what point the author is trying to make. That we should all have a choice? Sure, but do you really think women in China are chomping at the bit to birth their second or third baby in a hospital? I sincerely doubt it.

Bertha21 Bertha21

the countries that have home births usually have less death rates.... 

squish squish

China is still considered a developing nation, and the US is not. It is idiotic to compare the two. And like others have said, I doubt any woman would choose a hospital birth for the second or third baby. I wonder if they would go as far as to pass a law banning homebirths in order to keep their "one child" policy closely monitored.

sunny... sunnybunny5us

I had a hospital birth and a home birth. I strongly prefer home birth, but it isn't for everyone. I love the way she stated it in the article:


"Home births are great if you’re prepared for them, if you have a backup plan, and if they’re what you want. I think the best option is to have a choice in the matter, and rural Chinese women are finally getting a choice. Safer births are always a good thing, whether they’re at home or in a hospital -- right, ladies?"

Water... Water_geM

I'm assuming because it mentions impoverished women,most of their birth complication might stem from inadequate nutrition..and Craptastic education.

1love... 1lovelylady

My comments center on the fact that I did give birth at home, but not that I wanted to.  I started having labor pains and usually I go to the hospital when I feel it is time.  This time, my husband insisted I go early, because I had problems with this pregnancy.  I arrived about 8:30 am, they made me comfortable and checked to see if I was in labor and hooked me up to the machine that tracks contractions.  I explained that after 3 children I told them that my contractions were never that hard.  I sat there reading and occassionally someone would come in and check the machine to see how I was progressing.  Around 3pm, they said I was not ready and prepared to send me home.  At that time I explained the baby was now ready, but they said no, and sent me home anyway.  All the way in the hall, in the elevator, in the car, I kept having harder labor pains.  Finally, I get home, go upstairs and 5min. later, I give birth.  After the ambulance takes me back to the hospital, one of the nurses that had taken care of me previously, says "I don't know why they didn't listen to you, especially since this was your 4th child" and she began to laugh out loud.  I am blessed, none of my births were that bad, but that one was really easy.

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