Friday, May 15, 2009

The Homebirth Debate Continues....

Ricki Lake on The Doctors

Ricki Lake = awesome
Dr. Lisa = fear mongerer

What do you think? I'll add some more thoughts later- too bothered by Dr. Lisa's comments that "we manage labor, because if we don't we can have things like fistulas..." and that with homebirths "there's no one there to help the baby right now." Ummmm....have you heard of a midwife? AND she politely ignored Ricki's comments about how maternal and infant deaths are rising despite hospital births and routine interventions....

Okay, this is total rambling. I'll come up with something more coherent today. It's been not a great morning, mind-wise: accidentally poured my cereal into Chuck's dog bowl this morning. Dang you pregnancy brain! 


Beth said...

I didn't see the show that you're talking about, and I'm not putting down homebirths because I can see how it would be a wonderful experience, but if my mom had chosen to go that route I'm not sure if I would be here today. I had my cord wrapped around my neck and they finally had to use forceps to get me out. There was a whole team of doctors in the room working on me. I'm not saying a midwife couldn't handle that, but I wouldn't want to find out. I do know someone who delivered several of his children at home - one with a midwife and the others on his own - and it worked out well for them. Are you going to deliver at home?

Emily said...

Thanks for the comment, Beth! Unfortunately, I will not be having a homebirth, because my insurance will not pay for one on the great state of georgia- long story. Although every birth is different, I think it's important to note that many situations that frequently pop up are readily handled by skilled midwives- to include the cord- around- the- neck procedure you mentioned. In fact, several of the techniques utilized by doctors in hospitals were pioneered by one particular midwife- Ina May Gaskin. The bottom line is that yes, babies and moms die sometimes in homeborths, nut they die in hospital births too. Also, today midwives arrive highly trained and well-equiped to handle emergencies- they're not the midwives of the past! They bring along oxygen, fetal monitors, products to deal with hemorraging, etc. I guess the bottom line for me, here, is that I support a womans right to choose where she wants to give birth.

Emily said...

Beth, I re-read this and wanted to add a few more things. Please don't think I'm directing this at you- you just prompted my mind to remember a few other things I wanted to say!

Sometimes things happen that no one anticipates. There are some situations that even hospitals can't handle. When you chose to have a homebirth, you accept the risk that something may go wrong, and that you may lose valuable time traveling to the hospital. It's a decision that must be weighed carefully by each woman.

My other point- despite the fact that most women give birth in the hospital in the US, and despite the high levels of doctor intervention, the US lags terribly behind many, many other developed countries in terms of

There is a time and place for medical intervention, and thank goodness for it, because some babies and mamas need it! I'm immensely grateful for the advances in medicine, for example, that allow younger and younger- term babies to survive. However, in most cases, the average woman would be fine laboring without intervention, either at home or in a hospital.

PS- Have you seen The Business of Being Born? I think EVERY pregnant woman should see it. The trailer is here:

Jenny said...

We have been over the cord scenario too, because Jordan was born with the cord around his neck and his mom and grandma are worried that our baby will be too. Honestly, I was concerned as well so I asked my midwives about it. They have assured us that most of the time that is not a bad emergency. If a baby has the cord wrapped around his neck, the midwives just reach up and unwrap it before baby comes all the way out. If it's too tight to unwrap, they clamp and cut it (which isn't ideal, because it's best to wait until it stops pulsing, but if they have to do this they can). It's basically the same thing the doctor would do, like you said. My midwife told me yesterday at our appointment that cord prolapse is a much bigger deal, and it's weird because I don't think most people remember that one. She said that 1/3 or so of babies have the cord wrapped around one body part or another.

I HATE that show The Doctors. "Dr." Lisa is a silly twit who is all about "preserving her vagina," whatever that means. Personally, I'd rather preserve my uterus. It's probably a good thing I didn't see this episode. It gets me so irritated.

Cocoanib said...

The Doctors get on my nerves. I can't awtch that show, so I didn't see the episode, but bless Ricki for staying calm and getting the word out despite that ob's ignorance.

Kacie said...

I saw that episode and I too thought the Dr was being way too much of a fear monger.

Because of the complications I experienced during my first birth, I think I've decided that a planned homebirth isn't for me. I'll stick with a midwife at a hospital or perhaps birth center, but that's just a personal preference.

Still, while I was in the hospital, I thought "I wish I was having a home birth!" like 20 times.

Kacie said...

Oh, and I just wanted to add that at my 6-week postpartum checkup when discussing the details of my birth with the midwife, I found out that the cord was around my son's neck.

No biggie! It wasn't tight or anything, and she just slipped it over his head.

People are so freaked out by it, but it's a common occurance and usually not a big deal.