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Labor in Your Living Room

SS Member Image By drodriguez 11.21.08
Labor in Your Living Room
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Bringing a child into this world brings with it a huge list of questions.  From what doctor to choose to what crib to purchase, women find themselves making big decisions daily.  One decision women seem to be making more often these days is having a planned homebirth with a licensed midwife.  According to both the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, homebirthing rates are on the rise in these metropolitan cities.

One reason that is believed to be a cause of the rise in homebirths is a recent documentary that was screened in both of the city’s movie theaters.  The Business of Being Born documents famed talk show host Ricki Lake’s homebirth and shows that in most countries midwives reduce the need for cesareans and improve survival rates. 

Many women describe their homebirths as more intimate and relaxing than the hospital experience.  Sitting in a warm birthing tub can help ease labor pains and has become a staple in homebirths across the country.  A lot of women who have had what they consider to be unpleasant labor experiences in hospitals turn to homebirth for their next child with open arms. 

But for most women the first question that comes to mind is, how safe is it?  According to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, homebirthing had about the same mortality rate as what were considered to be low-risk hospital births. 

Despite these findings, the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) take the stance that the hospital or birthing center is the safest place to be during the time of labor and delivery.  Practicing OBGYN and vice chair of ACOG, Dr. Erin Tracy, reported to the San Francisco Chronicle about his concern on the safety of homebirths.  He said, “I think the vast majority of women who give birth do fine, no matter where they do it.  But there is a certain number of low-risk pregnancies that become high-risk minutes before their babies need to be delivered.  How does someone who needs help within minutes get from home to a hospital in time?”

What do you think of the idea of more women giving birth at home?

Is this something you or your friends or family members have ever considered?

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  • am_i_lost By am_i_lost

    I think it is up to the individual. I am past the point of having any more children of my own. My 23 year old daughter just had a baby girl 3 weeks ago today! My youngest turned 22 on Monday Nov. 17th. Eveything has changed completely since then. Nothing is left up to God it's all in the Dr.'s hands as to what and when it's a good time for them. She was induced on Friday evening Oct. 30th and the baby was born on Oct. 31st in the after noon by C-section. She wasn't due til Nov. 6th. Had no problems the Dr. just told her that she could be induced early!! I don't get it but what do I know?? I guess I'm too old

  • meowmix By meowmix

    I work i the healthcare field, and belive it or not, USA has the third highest infant mortality rate in the world! Maybe because we are not allowing physicians to do their jobs? THere are so many things that can go wrong with a birth to mother or child, and why take thechance? Freebirthing is another new fad on the market now, no help or intervention through the whole pregnancy.What about diabetes, high blood pressure in the mom, placenta previa, etc? Just asking for trouble when you don't have to.

  • Lusadi By Lusadi

    I am totally a fan of the home birth. I realize that for certain pregnancies, interventions are necessary. For a pregnancy that is proceeding normally and under the supervision of a skilled midwife I do not see any reason a woman should not be able to give birth where she is most comfortable. I do think Freebirthing with no skilled professional is risky and foolish.

  • meowmix By meowmix

    free birthing is being promoted on the discovery health channel with a program of its own. I would never take a chance with a life of a child like that. I know it is free choice society, but now hospitals are making deliveries like a 5-star hotel and midwifery is making it less costly, so options are out there for everyone, but freebirthing is just stupid.

  • erica_cal By erica_cal

    It would help if doctors and the medical establishment would be a bit less sexist and anti-mother. A lot of insurance does not even cover maternity care! Also, a lot of doctors will do totally unnecessary C-sections that destroy the mother's body just because they can (e.g. induce labor earlier). The reasons can be as simple as the doctor desiring to leave work early. Hospitals are full of germs (MRSA anyone?) that are poorly documented in death certificates. Many people come away from hospitals with more problems than when they went in and there is an exceedingly high prevalence of drive-by deliveries. This is simply evidence of women finding a niche that attempts to serve their needs better than the chaotic medical establishment. p.s. If you do not believe what I said here about MRSA, drive-by deliveries, or lack of coverage, google the terms. Extensive documentation is cleverly concealed in news sources like the New York Times!

  • red1977 By red1977

    If you would be more comfortable with a home birth I say go for it just have a proffesional there. I am due in June with my second and no way will it be a home birth I want to be in a hospital where I know I will get the quickest care if something goes wrong and I also am all for epidurals and I don't think they will do those at home.

  • GeologyMom By GeologyMom

    I'd say it's up to the individual--just make sure you're well educated on all the risks before you decide on a home birth. Personally, I didn't want a home birth. With my first my water broke 6 weeks early and I was put on hospital bed rest, and then induced 10 days later, when the risk of infection was higher than the risk of having the baby early. With my second I ended up needing a c-section, after 18 hours of labor, as she was extremely crooked/stuck in that position. When both my children were born, they had the cord wrapped around their necks. They were both fine, but it's just one more complication that could use professional expertise in a hospital environment. I'm all for having a more friendly/relaxing birthing center with immediate access to an operating room if necessary. Have it be a 'home like' environment, but with all the medical equipment at the ready if needed.

  • kikirose78 By kikirose78

    I would love to try it, and experiance a natural birth. Unfortunately for me I was dumb with my first child and listened to the Dr who probably was tired and wanted to go home and I had a csection for NO REASON other than being impatient, I became pregnant again a few months later so I Ihad no choice but to have a 2nd C. During this delivey we discovered I had a "window; in my uterus- my scar had stretched so thin they could see through into my uterus. I am now expecting my 3rd and will be having a 3rd C at 38 wks. I wish I could experience what it is like to give birth, I have had so many problems from having Csections- aparently my body makes too much scar tissue and can attach to my intestines down the road and cause a blockage. And I have to have reconstuctive surgery after I am done to fix my crooked belly from more scar tissue being taken from one side that the other. Having a Csection is my biggest regret in life, our bodies are MADE for childbirth.

  • hpersellin By hpersellin

    I'm expecting my first child. I want to have a home birth. I want to do a waterbirth with my friend who is an EMT delivering. I have only just started to research. I really, really, REALLY do not want to give birth at a hospital.

  • cveldman By cveldman

    The natural way for babies to be born isn't under water. I had three children using natural childbirth after going in to labor. I think too many women are pushed to get these babies out so they can not inconvenience the doctors. However, after seeing a few babies get into trouble at birth, I would never consider a home birth. My babies lives were never worth compromising so that I could have an interesting or meaningful experience. I wanted the reassurance that a physician was not only there, but that personnel were nearby in case of emergency.

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