Homebirth versus Hospital Birth…Do Your OWN Research.
Take an Active Role in Your Birth Plan
I can understand how Americans can be skeptical of homebirth in a nation and medical system that has less than 1% (0.65%) of births in the US occur purposefully at home. Fear based propaganda has been filtering through our society since Doctors began profiting from deliveries. Homebirth specific Midwifery practices have been bullied by the medical establishment, our legal system and deemed ‘allegedly’ illegal in some states for no other apparent reason than control and money. Meanwhile, in states that do allow homebirth, stipulations on midwives include high priced insurance liability premiums (Often this can cost between 30% – 50% of their annual income depending on the size of their practice), plus they are required to have a Physician affiliated with a Hospital Maternity Dept. in order for them to have “rights” to continue treating their patient once on Hospital property if the delivery deems a Hospital visit necessary.
I believe that those who have never been to a homebirth are unaware and instinctively underestimate how VERY prepared a midwife comes when attending a homebirth. Most midwives come equipped with 3 giant bags of sterile instruments, drugs and oxygen just waiting at the sidelines to spring into action should the need arise. The midwife’s assistant, typically a CNM or in training to get Certification, is present to hand her what she needs the moment she asks for it in the event of an emergency. You are also responsible for providing a birthing kit that you purchase for typically under $40 that includes all of the basic necessities for a birth plus personal and infant care after.
With all of the hype that Hospitals boast about their safe environment and security they carry significant risk too. The most prevalent difference being that your newborn never has to leave your arms in a home setting delivery to be put into a warmer, handed to a stranger and routinely if not abrasively suctioned or diapered and dressed without you. I have finally seen a change in the last 20 years where they no longer whisk babies to nurseries to be brought in at the nurse’s convenience to be fed after probably already having been introduced formula without consent. In the Hospitals you are putting you and your infant in potential contact with new antibiotic resistant infections. I have heard various stories from friends and documentaries showing Hospital maternity nursing staff pressuring mothers, hoping for a natural birth, into using unnecessary drugs that slow birth, seep into breast milk plus put a mother at risk of spinal injuries and infections. Surgical procedures typically result from the concept that they need to “save” the baby and liability of the hospital has taken precedents over patient choice and as a result C-Sections are now performed at a rate over 30% of all hospital births where only 5-7% are actual emergencies. Doctors also feel the freedom to perform episiotomies under the assumption that “we have to get the baby out!” I sometimes wonder if they secretly think “Oh well, you’re already numb down there anyway, besides you weren’t thinking of having decent sex ever again anyway right?”
Instead of being skeptical of just homebirth at the very least be skeptical of BOTH then do the real research to find out which one is right for you. Every pregnant woman should start by watching “The Business of Being Born” I am 100% positive that, as a species, if homebirth was not “safe” we as a whole human race would have died off long before we invented hospitals. As a mother of 2 children born at home I consider myself lucky to have had the knowledge available giving me the confidence in my decision to homebirth. As a result I have been seriously considering becoming a Doula. A doula is an assistant who provides various forms of non-medical and non-midwifery support (physical and emotional) in the childbirth process. I want to impart my knowledge and experience to those who are curious about the process and want to play an active role in their pregnancy and birth. Feel free to email me about anything from questions or to have me as your doula at firstname.lastname@example.org.