Thursday, June 19, 2008

Safety of Home Births In Question

Over the last 30 years the c-section rate has gone up each year under the care of OBGYN's. Currently we are hovering at a c-section rate of almost 50%.

Under the care of Midwifes, many whom offer home births, the rate of c-sections is 3-4%.

Read the fact sheet regarding the statistics on home birth.

"An obstetrician is a medical specialist who focuses on labor and delivery. Obstetrics is actually a surgical sub-specialty, meaning that an obstetrician attends surgical training and then specializes in the care of pregnant women and in surgeries which are related to labor and delivery, such as Cesarean sections." -Wise

Rates for premature birth have been increasing, and recent studies have connected this increase with the increase in cesarean sections.

Sadly these same OB's who have brought the c-section rate to its highest ever and who have brought premature birth rates to its highest ever are calling for an end to the option of home birth.

Why is the c-section rate so high?

Doctors are denying food and drink during labor, preventing or discouraging mothers from walking and other physical activity during labor, using drugs to "start labor” (ie, induction) or hasten labor (augmentation), not“allowing” mothers to be in a vertical position to push the baby out, using directed breath-holding pushing, are all examples of routine hospital/obstetric practices that have been shown to interfere with the normal process of labor and cause complications, causing harm and not benefits to mother or baby.

All of those methods listed contribute to an exhausted mother who doesn't have the strength to push when the time comes, which leads to uneccessary interventions leading up to c-sections.

Most Midwifes encourage eating and drinking, movement and position changes, and encourage breathing techniques that aid in labor and delivery. And most home birth Midwifes have an extremely low c-section rate and low transfer rate to the hospital.

With the evidence glaringly in favor of mothers and babies fairing better in home birth situations why is it that the AMA is trying to ban this option to laboring mothers?

Ask your physician his or her c-section rate, episiotomy rate, rate of epidural and pitocin as well as the same information for the hospital you plan to birth your child in. Then call a Midwife in your area and ask the same questions. Then decide which seems better for the health of the mother and the baby.