Doctors Are Trying to Make You Fear Home Birth

Rant 74

homebirth You can read these home birth recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics and think something changed. And then it hit me what changed: home birth is on the rise. Essentially doctors who do not perform home births are trying to get us to fear birthing at home. If you are wondering why, I believe it comes down to money. Birthing at home takes us out of the hospital -- that means less money for them. So they put forward a grand statement to make people scared.

Remember, there are studies that show home birth to be as safe if not safer than a hospital birth. The AAP contends a hospital is the safest. Midwives aren't vagrant birth junkies living on the street. They are skilled medical professionals who come with all you may need in case of an emergency and a clear plan in the event a hospital visit is needed. The AAP statement elicits fear.

I can't help but think of the pushed c-sections. Convincing women they need Pitocin or Cervidil. The tense and sometimes impersonal atmosphere that just stresses women out causing them to have a difficult birth experience. All at a hospital.

I'm not hosptial averse. I am averse to pressure or scare tactics disguised as sweet little memos. Like this statement:

The AAP concurs with the recent statement from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) that the safest setting for a child’s birth is a hospital or birthing center, but recognizes that women and their families may desire a home birth for a variety of reasons.

Is it the safest setting? For every birth? Is there a one-size fits all when it comes to safety? No. A home birth is often better for low risk pregnancies. And of course parents should choose their midwife wisely and with research. Many home birthers have a midwife and a doula present. But then AAP admit how home births increased, and go on to essentially state the obvious, what every skilled midwife and doula knows. That "every newborn infant deserves health care that adheres to AAP standards" which almost feels like a knock to the standards of midwives.

Instead of causing unnecessary fear, hospitals should join forces with midwives. Doctors should look to home birth for inspiration and to fix what is wrong with hospital birth -- this way all of our choices on where to birth are really best choices.

What do you think of the AAP's statement? Would you or did you have a home birth?


Image via Nico Nelson/Flickr

delivery, homebirth, natural parenting


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AmyTu... AmyTuteurMD

Homebirth midwives make 100% of their income from homebirth. Who has the real economic motive to deceive people about the safety of homebirth? Hint: it's not obstetricians.

nonmember avatar shandeigh

If someone wants to do homebirth... that's their choice... but if you look back in history... all women had babies at home and a lot of them died. My son wound up in the nicu for 10 days... there was no warning that anything was wrong with his lungs until after he was born... if I had done home birth... who knows what would've happened.

Alexa... AlexaAdams

As a medical profressional myself, I do not support home births. Even a low risk pregnancy can have complications during or after delivery. If that baby is born not breathing for example, the time ir takes to get the baby to a hospital could make the difference between life or death.

kelti... kelticmom

I do not understand this popular aversion to childbirth in a hospital setting. Sure women have been birthing at home for thousands of years, but up until the past 100 years - before all the achievements in obstetrics - it was not an uncommon thing for women to die in childbirth or to lose baby. We would never tell someone to have a tooth pulled at home. Or to pass kidneystones without pain relief. Childbirth is natural yes. But it is painful. Sometimes excruciatingly so. And a seemingly easy uncomplicated birth can go to seriously complicated in seconds. Mine did. Why on earth are so many women opposed to having their children in a building with the best medical equipment, surgeons, NICU, etc at the ready in the very real chance that something could go wrong? An ambulance ride to the hospital could be too late.

PonyC... PonyChaser

And this article could be flipped around and have the same result. I have read so many scare-tactic articles about hospital birthing that it's ridiculous. Hearing from some home birth advocates, you'd think that a hospital is nothing more than a slaughterhouse with clown-faced charlatans wearing a stethoscope and stripping patients of their wallets as they walk through the door to their doom.

Have some hospital births gone wrong? Yes. Does every single birth go according to the mother's "birth plan"? No. Welcome to motherhood. NOTHING goes according to plan!

I am not bashing home birth by any means. I'm just sick of hearing about how OB's and hospitals are "only in it for the money", and that home births are the best thing ever. I'm sick of seeing women be bashed for their choice, and sick of seeing women who do end up having to have a C-section demonized.

Hospital births are not for everyone. Neither are home births.

early... earlybird11

Haha this article is funny considering some of the most pushy ppl I met while trying to find the best Dr/midwife was the midwives pushing home birth and in the end a midwife refusing to do a section and call my real Dr after my sons heartbeat was dropping and he was without fluids and the cord was wrapped 2 around his neck... Yes its the drs are are pushy

nonmember avatar Blush

A midwife where I live charges between $2500 and $3000 which is all out of pocket. Adding a doula is even more. My health insurances waives my deductible during pregnancy and pays the OB at 100% as part of their healthy baby initiative. I found a great OB with a low c-section rate who is happy to help me try to achieve my birth plan, the others in her practice are good too. It took some research and work (started when we were TTC) but i am confident we are doing what is best for our family. And if anything goes wrong there will be pediatritians and a NICU down the hall for our child.

nonmember avatar FarmersWife

Home birth midwives do NOT make 100% of their income at home births. My midwife provided all prenatal care, both our care through 10 weeks post partum, was my lactation consultant, AND delivered in the hospital or at home. Moms choice.

nonmember avatar Val

I completely disagree with this article. Hospital birth is safer for everyone even in instances of "pushed c-sections" as you say; the only possible downside is a less pleasant birth experience, but what difference does that make in the long run compared to the risk to you but moreso to your baby in a home birth? I like your articles but I can't get behind you on this one.

abra819 abra819

Wow, so happy to see the hospital birth support!

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