Baby Who Died During Home Birth Is Just Another Reason Laboring Moms Should Head to Hospitals

OMG 207

newbornHome birth vs. hospital. It's a heated debate among moms.

Many can't imagine delivering a baby anywhere other than a delivery room with an army of doctors and nurses at the ready, while the other side wouldn't even consider that sterile, cold environment.

Well, the death of an Australian newborn during a water delivery should have home advocates questioning how safe that choice really is. After an investigation, a coroner concluded that the lack of professional medical care contributed to the baby's death.

The mother, Janet Fraser, a very vocal home birth activist, had called her previous hospital cesarean "birth rape" and her second child was born safely at home, though Frasier had to be rushed to the hospital with a uterine hemorrhage. Her third, however, had tragic complications. Minutes after birth, the baby girl died when the cord became tangled around her neck and no one had the medical expertise to deal with it.

Even after this heartbreak, Fraser stood by her decision. "There are no risk-free options and I choose the option with which I was comfortable," she said.

She's right. Things can go wrong no matter where you deliver. Though, the risks of a home birth seem so much greater to me. Now, I am not dismissing the choice, which has become hugely popular in the US (1 in 90 babies are born that way). There are even stats showing the percentage of home births that were preterm was 6 percent, compared with 12 percent for hospital births. They had lower percentages for low birth weight babies as well. But experts say the reason for the difference is because women who chose this option typically have low-risk pregnancies in the first place.

And though Fraser did not have a midwife, most women opt for one, which certainly makes things safer. But that still does not compare to the medical expertise or life-saving equipment a delivery ward has, does it?

Anyone who has had a baby knows it is not always a smooth, simple process. I've listened to the arguments that hospitals are only interested in profits and do all they can to add up charges. But honestly, isn't that cost worth having a healthy newborn in your arms?

Do you think a home birth is just as safe as delivering in a hospital?


Image via Seattleye/Flickr

delivery, complications, homebirth, is it safe, labor, labor & delivery


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MeowLove MeowLove

i think if your to have a home birth their should be someone there like a midwife to deal with an emergency situation like that. that said i prefer hospital care, the nurses and doctor were very nice and professional and it made me more comfortable knowing that if there was a situation they would promptly deal with it. and for me there was i had mec staining and my daughters lungs had to be suction as soon as she was out to prevent an infection. if i had chosen a home birth i wouldnt have known and there could have been consequences. 

xreds... xredstarsx

Well I will be having a homebirth in december so I think that answers that. I wouldn't do it without a midwife though. My midwife has delivered more babies than my ob had. And her statistics are great.

regen... regenbogenpilz

This IS NOT about home birth, this is about not having the care of a professional!!!   How dare you lable homebirth as unsafe!!!  A planned home birth wth a PROFESSIONAL midiwfe is just as safe as a hospital birth.  Period.  

Albond86 Albond86

Home births are good as long as things remain uncomplicated, which many births in hospitals becomes "complicated" due to unneeded medical interventions. But there ARE times when hospitals are a great place to give birth safely. As long as you advocate for yourself and your baby you can have a good experience in a hospital setting. I think VBACs should be done in hospitals. But I think that due to legal reasons there aren't many well trained professionals attending home births. I do think the US is a little intervention crazy. There is a need for change, and not every baby needs to be born while mom lays on a hospital bed. Babies die daily, it's extremely tragic, but they do, whether in a home birth or a hospital birth.

PonyC... PonyChaser

Wait. The woman had a c-section (usually done for complications, unless it's previously schedled), AND a second pregnancy with a complication (uterine hemhorrage), and she STILL opts to have a homebirth with nobody capable of dealing with a medical emergency?

This is not a story about homebirth - this is a story about an idiot activist woman who put her own ideologies above the safety of her child. Un-freakin'-believable.

And I'm a woman who would NEVER have a home birth.

nonmember avatar Lilac

Not even a midwife? If she was trying to do this without anyone medically trained with her she should be charged with child neglect resulting in death.

Albond86 Albond86

But no matter how or where you chose to deliver there NEEDS to be a professional. Period end of story, professionals with the proper training for that emergency situation. And it needs to be made easier for women to choose, without being legally forced to do something she's not comfortable with.

Mommy... Mommy2justone

She had previous risks (c-section, and history of hemhorrage) plus no midwife,....... I wouldn't even compair that to the majority of home births which happen with low risk moms and a midwife. 

nonmember avatar Cate

An OB/GYN goes through a rigorous four years of med school and a four year residency. In a hospital, you are surrounded by professionals with years of training and (usually) even more years of experience. You have all of the equipment nearby to allow the aforementioned professionals to take every possible measure to save you and your baby at the first sign of trouble. At home, all you're doing is putting yourself further away from potentially life-saving care and in the hands of someone who has far less training, typically has less experience, and does not have the same equipment available. If something does go wrong, no matter what your risk originally was, there will be a delay in getting your baby the care it might need. Personally, I don't understand why so many women put their birth experience ahead of the health and well being of their babies. Bad experiences happen in both settings. In my opinion, however, I couldn't live with myself wondering, if something did go wrong, whether choosing to birth in a hospital would have saved my baby.

Rebec... Rebecca7708

Hmm, I see you tucked away the fact that this was an unattended home birth at the very end, and only highlighting the points that push your agenda. Yes, an unattended homebirth such as the one in this story is very dangerous. People should do their own research and make their own decisions. My sister in law has had 3 successful, uncomplicated homebirths. I have had two hospital births. It's not for everyone but, scaring people by not giving them all of the facts is not acceptable. You should be ashamed.

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