On Wednesday, June 30th, The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecologists published an article about a “new” home birth study.
The “Planned Home Birth vs. Planned Hospital Birth” publication was based on a study gathered from researchers in Portland, Maine. The findings were studied from multiple birth studies all over the world. 342,056 were planned home births, while 207,551 were planned hospital births.
Conclusions of these studies determined:
The women who gave birth at home received lower rates of obstetric intervention such as epidural, augmentation of labor, and cesarean section, lower chances of infection, fewer vaginal lacerations and hemorrhage.
However, the study also found the rate of neonatal mortality to double or triple in the planned home birth group.
“They report that less medical intervention, characteristic of planned home births, is associated with a tripling of the neonatal mortality rate compared to planned hospital deliveries.”
Canadian researchers call the U.S. analysis on home birth “deeply flawed…”
“Patricia Janssen, an associate professor at the University of British Columbia’s school of population and public health, says the conclusion is “sensationalist” and based on data that are in some cases decades old, on very small samples and in some cases incomplete…
In many cases, she says, women included in the studies may not have planned to give birth at home.
They may not have been attended by a properly trained midwife. And much of the data used were retrospectively, gathered using birth records, which may not include enough information.” Taken from Globe Life’s article, also published Wednesday
Dr. Janssen’s published a more recent study last September. Her findings showed no real difference between planned hospital and planned home births. Similar results were found in a recent study of planned home birth in Ontario.
The American College (which is not really a college by the way) of Obstetrics and Gynecologists stand firm on their long standing opposition to home birth.
“ACOG does not support programs that advocate for, or individuals who provide, home births. Nor does ACOG support the provision of care by midwives who are not certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) or the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).”
Mighty funny that this article was published on the very day that the Midwifery Modernization Act passed in New York. Coincidence? I think not.
ACOG and their allies will continue to publish studies and statements that are skewed against home birth.
Ob/gyns do not want you to give birth at home! As a pregnant woman, you are a customer. If you don’t pay the hospital, or the insurance company who pays the hospital, you are taking money away from them.
In my humble opinion, ACOG and the AMA, (American Medical Association, who also stands firm against home birth) would spend less time trying to talk women out of making the choice to birth at home and start improving the disastrous rates of maternal morbidity and skyrocketing c-section in the U.S. (those climbing morbidity & c-section rates go hand in hand).
If more women are giving birth at home, (study shows an increase in home birth) perhaps wanting the quiet and peaceful experience of giving birth at home is not the only reason why…
Maybe women are giving birth at home to escape the unnecessary medical interventions that take place in so many hospitals today. One in three women undergo cesarean section. I would have been one of them had I not given birth at home. Seriously.
Read my story here: Home Birth Saved Me From A C-Section.
Sure, we can always write a birth plan…
But this article Doulas Are Banned, Another Bad Birth Plan, at Birthing Beautiful Ideas points out what might go wrong in that department. And the Feminist Breeder points out Independent Women Will Be Cut. Yikes! No wonder why we want to stay home to birth our babes.
I have a feeling there will be more press on the topic.
p.s. I am a home birth advocate alright, but I’ll never claim that having a natural birth in a hospital is impossible. Heck, I was born that way!