Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Perils of Home Birth? - Carri's Thoughts

Posted by Carri

On Friday there was a segment on The Today Show titled "The Perils of Home Birth." Frankly the title already tells you what kind of piece this was. Though they tried to make it somewhat balanced by showcasing a bad outcome of a home birth and then also a short part about a couple that had a good outcome from a home birth, I felt that the whole piece was very crafty and I'm certain was effective in deterring many women away from home birth that may have chosen it otherwise. There is nothing more effective than showing pregnant women that their babies could die if they choose something out of the "norm." That was the point. The Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology has a publicist with the agenda to steer women away from alternatives in childbirth, and this was a prime example of their smear campaign against midwifery.

I thought it was interesting that it was two men discussing this subject and casually saying things like giving birth at home is "hedonistic" and like a "spa treatment." Both comments are very untrue and frankly offensive. I have given birth both in the hospital and at home, and neither were "spa like" - I'm not sure how two men get away with thinking that?! All in all, I feel this is a huge issue for women today. For some reason people are all about "choice" when it comes to abortion - even partial birth abortion, but if women want to make choices they feel are best for them and their babies they are hedonistic and jeopardizing the life of their baby. This is very controversial and I beleive is profit driven. Birth is one of the leading profitable businesses for a hospital and they would suffer huge losses if there was a large shift away from the hospital birth.

They also mention in the piece that many women have a home birth for the "experience." Duh! This is where the main disagreement lies; they are approaching birth as a medical emergency, and midwives and other natural birth supporters view it as a natural part of life that can occasionally have medical emergencies. Birth is more than pushing a baby out. Birth is about welcoming your child into the world and digging deep within your soul to grow as a woman and become a mother. There is a lot of evidence that shows that women who give birth naturally bond better with their babies and adapt to their role as mother much more strongly than those that have epidurals or cesareans. No mother should have to suffer the loss of a child, but depriving women of the choice of where and how they want to bring their babies into the world is also a travesty.

Do I think all babies should be born at home? No. I believe there is a place for both and am thankful that we have both. However, I do not agree that it is OK for ACOG to head a smear campaign against midwives and home births for their own profit driven agenda. Women should have choices, and that most definitley includes where and how to birth thier babies.

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