Guest Writers, Home Birth Safety

Home Birth: “Brave” Has Nothing To Do With It

147 Comments 29 March 2010

Morgan, co-director of North Metro Birth & Breastfeeding Coalition

Guest post by Morgan A. McLaughlin McFarland

When hearing the news that I had my last baby at home and am planning to have this one at home as well, the first response from most people is, “You’re so brave.”

This has to be one of the most irritating things that people say to homebirthers. The implication is that birth is dangerous and that we are willing to take on a tremendous risk to do it anywhere but a hospital.

It negates the research and planning that we’ve done to come to this decision. It makes the choice about balls, not brains. After all, homebirth is “dangerous.” Hospital birth is “safe.” Therefore, it must be bravado alone that would lead a woman to choosing such an option. Right?

In 2003, over 20% of women had their labors induced, with a rate closer to 40% in many hospitals, while that rate should not exceed 10% (and has remained at 10% in most industrialized nations).

Inductions are approximately 5 times more likely among planned hospital births than planned homebirths. An 1999 American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology “Green Journal” review of 7000 inductions found that 3 out of 4 of the inductions were not medically necessary.

Inductions are performed unnecessarily for estimated size of the baby (too large or too small), going past the estimated due date, amniotic fluid levels that are low but not critically low (correctable in nearly all cases by rehydration of the mother), rupture of membranes without immediate start of labor, the mother being dilated/effaced but not in active labor, or scheduling reasons on the part of the mother or care provider.

Approximately 40-50% of inductions fail (depending on the induction method used and the mother’s Bishop score), and most failed inductions end in cesarean section. Inductions increase labor pain and length, and create, among other problems, an increased risk of fetal distress, uterine rupture, and cesarean section.

But homebirth is “dangerous.” Hospital birth is “safe.”

Over 30% of women in the US have cesarean sections, while overwhelming research has led the World Health Organization to set an ideal standard rate of cesarean sections at 10-12%, with 15% being the rate where more harm is being done instead of good. Cesareans are performed at a similar rate across all risk groups, low to high. The cesarean rate for planned births at home or in an independent birthing center is approximately 4%.

Cesarean sections increase the likelihood of maternal death by as much as 4 times, and have other immediate and long-term heath risks for mothers that include, but are not limited to, infection, bowel or bladder perforation, hysterectomy, future infertility, and increased risk of uterine rupture for future pregnancies.

Risks for the baby include respiratory distress, fetal injury, prematurity (if result of scheduled section or failed induction), and breastfeeding difficulties.

Four of the greatest causes for the increase in cesarean section are overuse of interventions during labor, concern for malpractice/liability on the part of care providers, failed labor inductions, and “failure to progress” (labor not progressing fast enough or regularly enough for care providers).

But homebirth is “dangerous” and hospital birth is “safe.”

The ACOG and AMA have both come out against homebirthing, calling it a dangerous trend and referring to it as a “fashionable, trendy, [...] the latest cause célèbre,” and they paint a horrible picture of complications arising in low-risk pregnancies with no warning that cannot be handled anywhere but the hospital.

Despite that, the most thorough study ever done on homebirth safety, Kenneth C Johnson and Betty-Anne Daviss’s Outcomes of planned home births with certified professional midwives: large prospective study in North America, BMJ 2005;330:1416 (18 June), found that the outcomes of planned homebirths for low risk mothers were the same as the outcomes of planned hospital births for low risk mothers, with a significantly lower incident of interventions in the homebirth group.

The Lewis Mehl Study of home and hospital births, which matched couples in each group for age, parity, education, race, and pregnancy/birth risk factors, found the hospital group had 9 times the rate of episiotomies and tearing, 3 times the cesarean rate, 6 times the fetal distress, 2 times the use of oxytocin for induction/augmentation, 9 times the use of analgesia/anesthesia, 5 times the rate of maternal blood pressure increase, 3 times the rate of maternal hemorrhage, 4 times the rate of infection, 20 times the rate of forceps use, and 30 times teh rate of birth injuries (including skull fractures and nerve damage).

Breastfeeding success rates are higher and postpartum depression rates are lower for planned homebirths.

But homebirth is “dangerous” and hospital birth is “safe.”

The United States spends more per pregnancy/birth than any other country, the vast majority of women in the US give birth in hospitals, and yet the US’s maternal death rate is the worst among 28 industrialized nations and the neonatal mortality rate is the second worst.

The Netherlands, where 36% of babies are born at home, has lower maternal and neonatal mortality rates than the US. Denmark, where all women have access to the option for a safe and legal home birth, has one of the lowest maternal and neonatal mortality rates.

But homebirth is “dangerous,” hospital birth is “safe,” and Brutus is an honorable man.

I didn’t choose a homebirth because I am brave. Bravery has little to do with it. If anything, I believe women who choose to give birth in US hospitals are the brave ones, because knowing what I know about our technocratic obstetrical system, I can’t imagine voluntarily choosing an obstetrician and a hospital for anything but absolute medical necessity.

My decision to homebirth wasn’t made in a void, but based upon years of research. I wonder how much research the average woman puts into her hospital birth?

Considering how many times I’ve heard someone say “I’m glad I was in the hospital because…” and then given as her reason a non-emergent situation (such as fetal size or nuchal cords), I’d say not that much.

Call me stubborn, because I wasn’t willing to accept out of hand the culturally held belief that hospitals are safer.

Call me an idealist, because I believe that birth can be a positive, safe, and empowering experience for child and mother.

Call me a nonconformist, because I choose to birth at home in defiance of a powerful technocratic system.

Call me outspoken, because I can’t keep my mouth shut when I hear about yet another iatrogenic birth calamity.

Call me a “birth nazi,” because I believe it’s the right and responsibility of every woman to educate herself about birth and take ownership of her birth experience.

But brave? Don’t call me brave. “Brave” has nothing to do with it.

Morgan is a freelance writer and co-director of North Metro Birth & Breastfeeding Coalition. Email Morgan at morgan@mcfamilies.com

Read Morgan’s follow up article, “Birth Safety as a Binary Condition.”

Your Comments

147 Comments so far

  1. Girlieeee says:

    Morgan, when I was talking about medical emergency I meant in reference to my first post about having a child in critical condition. Two of my three son’s had medical conditions that required attention. I don’t know if they would have died being born at home, but I didn’t know about these conditions in-utero so I was VERY glad I was in a hospital. My first son went into heart failure at 2 weeks old. Had this not been caught by the staff at birth I may have failed to take him to the doctor. Ect.

  2. Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

  3. Emily says:

    I struggle with the polarization of the two “sides”-those for home birth and those for hospital birth. For me, they both seemed too radical. I wanted to be able to have a natural, home birth like atmosphere with the best medical interventions available next door if needed. If it exists in my area, I couldn’t find it. In the end I had a natural birth at the hospital. It was the most excruciatingly brutal experience and I had horrible complications afterwards. I felt cheated by those (Ricki Lake, anyone) who championed natural birth and also questioned whether my natural birth was horrible because I was in a hospital. I long for the day that there are more than the two choices–radically natural and radically medical–but I fear it will not be in time for my next birth experience.

  4. Anisa says:

    Wow – EXACTLY how I feel everytime I hear how “brave” I was to home birth my babe! Thank yoU! Sharing on FB….

  5. Rachel says:

    I LOVE this article! We chose a home birth with our daughter and I was ALWAYS hearing how “brave” I was. I love how you have all the facts right there. I shared this with so many friends because we had so many people question our decision and it is nice to have all our reason in one article!

  6. jacqueline says:

    What is the correlation between the suctioning of your baby and the breastfeeding difficulties you mentioned? Thank you!

  7. Rochelle says:

    Great job, thank you for this. I’s unfortunate more women don’t know the straight facts, they might be able to enjoy having their babies if they did!

  8. christie says:

    That was awesome. This is exactly how I feel, You were speaking the words of my heart. I hold a small resentment to those who have paraded how brave I am. like I am a wild person totally out of my mind, fighting against all odds. You can almost here the pity in their voices. Thank you for writing this it makes me fell like Im not alone!

    Christie CD{Dona}
    1 birth center birth
    2 home births

  9. found your site on del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

  10. Briana says:

    You’re not brave, you’re smart! I’ve had four homebirths three of them assisted only by my husband. So much better than the hospital health, comfort, and recovery wise.

  11. BluebirdMama says:

    Great article. I love this!
    I would add one thing though. If I look at this comment from a non-defensive vantage point and consider the people who have said it to me sensitively and gently, it doesn’t really seem that they think I was brave, but rather that they were terrified, too terrified to even consider homebirth. I feel so sad about these women, women who were so so afraid to give birth.
    The hidden message in that comment is an idictment against our whole culture for putting such fear into everyone (men and women) when it comes to thinking about birth.

  12. Betsy says:

    I think your whole article sounds ticked off and condescending. It made no difference to me whatsoever in my decision on whether or not to home birth. Thanks for the facts but I don’t think you’re helping your cause.

  13. Morgan McFarland says:

    Jacqueline,

    Vigorous/deep suctioning of the neonate can create an oral aversion in the infant that make them resistant to latching and suckling.

    Kroeger M, Smith L. J. 2004. Impact of birthing practices on breastfeeding: Protecting the mother and baby continuum. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

  14. Morgan McFarland says:

    Betsy,

    I sound ticked off because I am ticked off. If you’ve looked at the US’s abysmal rates of maternal and infant mortality, the rising rate of cesarean sections, the decline in VBAC availability, and all the other factors limiting women’s choices and endangering their health, you should be ticked off, too!

    Frankly, my essay shouldn’t be a factor in your decision on where to birth and I’m surprised you’d think I believe I have (or would want to have) that sort of power over over anyeone. I would hope that, wherever you choose to be, you’re there because you researched your options carefully and chose what was right for you, not because it’s where someone told you that you should be — not me, not an OB, not your mother or sister or neighbor.

  15. Beth says:

    I have both of my children at home. Was told I shouldn’t/couldn’t, of course.
    Whether to have a home birth or not, should be the mother’s choice. But, we don’t live in a country where most mother’s have a choice. It’s not a feminist issue. It’s a human rights issue. If a mother prefers to birth in hospital and has all of the correct information about that to make this her choice, then that is proper. But, many women are bullied into a decision that they would not have made; whether it was not being able to birth at home or having that 3 day failed induction that they didn’t want.
    Bottom line: We’re not given the choice.

  16. Laurie says:

    LOVED this!!!
    I totally agree with you!
    I was not brave either. I was simply pregnant and birthed where I felt most comfortable. Our first birth was at a free standing birth center..not connected with a hospital. Our second birth was an unassisted homebirth with Daddy delivering our son. Our third birth was back at the birth center…we felt led to going back there, so we obeyed that leading. Our fourth birth was at home with a midwife who barely made it there to catch our baby.
    Should we be blessed again, we’d be planning another homebirth unless we felt led otherwise.
    There are medical reasons for women to birth in the hospital, and I’m thankful it is there. However, I don’t use the Dr or hospital unless I have a medical emergency…I don’t consider a normal, low risk birth to be a medical emergency.

  17. Kelly Jo says:

    I loved this article. It was exactly what I heard both times I choose to have my babies at home.
    I would like to add another element to your article. That is that this prevailing belief about home birth is hamstringing the midwives ability to safetly help mothers and babies to the best of their ability. For example, when I had both of my babies the law in CO was that midwives where prohibited to carry and administer potocin. A powerful drug that stops hemorrhaging (as happened in my case with my first). Additionally, most midwives in the US aren’t allowed to assist in delivering (neither Dr’s nor midwives deliver babies, mothers do. Dr’s and midwives assist-pet peeve of mine) more “complicated” births, ie. vaginal breech or multiples-for that matter neither do drs as they just automatically go to C-section for both of these situations. In both of the situations with Dr’s or with midwives a lack of experience in either of these situations can be life threatening.
    Both of my midwives had practiced in thrid world countries and had the experiences of having to handle all varieties of situations that midwives in this country are barred from learning about or assisting with. I see this as a big problem in our country.

  18. Samara says:

    Well, I am glad for an intelligently written and insightful commentary on Home Birth and reasons for making this intelligent and safe choice.
    Keep up the good work!

  19. Stephanie says:

    When are we going to get over this fight? As mothers, we are so good at supporting each other but also SO good at creating judgment and rifts about these passionate topics. Why? Because one side thinks they need to prove something to the other?

    I had my daughter in the hospital. No one forced any procedure down my throat, no one pushed me in any direction and I’ll tell you I am glad I was there as my daughter was nearly dead when she came out… because my doctor hadn’t pushed me to a c-section and let me birth naturally as long as I could, but it hurt my child.

    But that’s my experience, and for that reason I would be terrified to be anywhere but within a medical environment – does that make me less “brave” too? That’s what I base my decisions on, not because I am lead around by “society”.

    I also believe you can find statistics to back up any point of view, and if I had the time and inclination could probably find published facts to counteract every one of those in this article, but that’s not the point. I don’t care where the next person wants to birth, I think it’s most important that you do what’s right for you and that you have a healthy, happy mom and baby. What I take exception to is the mud-slinging on this debate and trying to make this into such a fight.

    Each perspective is legitimate, so why be “pissed off”? I could be just as pissed off that you suggest I haven’t done research because I want a hospital birth, or that I am somehow uninformed because that’s where I choose to be. But I don’t know you, and it means little to me, just as it should be a personal decision and experience for everyone without the suggestion that someone’s out to lunch.

    To each their own. Let’s start treating each other with more respect. I hate this debate cause it can go nowhere positive as it’s all based on opinion and interpretation, and just serves to alienate groups who should be celebrating with each other over the eventual outcome.

  20. Liev says:

    I think I’d find it irritating if I thought people meant that about our home birth, but I get the feeling they actually just mean that it’s brave to not have access to the pain meds. Hopefully this will help the next time someone tells you you’re brave. I guess some are talking about the risk, but usually when they say it to me, they talk about how they don’t think the could do it without the epidural, and how can I handle the pain? (natalhypnotherapy.com, that’s how! It was great to be walking around and smiling through transition!).

  21. Martin says:

    I loved this article. It was exactly what I heard both times I choose to have my babies at home.
    I would like to add another element to your article. That is that this prevailing belief about home birth is hamstringing the midwives ability to safetly help mothers and babies to the best of their ability. For example, when I had both of my babies the law in CO was that midwives where prohibited to carry and administer potocin. A powerful drug that stops hemorrhaging (as happened in my case with my first). Additionally, most midwives in the US aren’t allowed to assist in delivering (neither Dr’s nor midwives deliver babies, mothers do. Dr’s and midwives assist-pet peeve of mine) more “complicated” births, ie. vaginal breech or multiples-for that matter neither do drs as they just automatically go to C-section for both of these situations. In both of the situations with Dr’s or with midwives a lack of experience in either of these situations can be life threatening.
    Both of my midwives had practiced in thrid world countries and had the experiences of having to handle all varieties of situations that midwives in this country are barred from learning about or assisting with. I see this as a big problem in our country.

  22. Julie says:

    Jacqueline,

    Vigorous/deep suctioning of the neonate can create an oral aversion in the infant that make them resistant to latching and suckling.

    Kroeger M, Smith L. J. 2004. Impact of birthing practices on breastfeeding: Protecting the mother and baby continuum. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

  23. Rose Flower says:

    This is an absolute AWESOME page!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!!!

  24. Jane says:

    The reason the U.S. has such a high maternal and neonatal death rate is (1) Though we may be industrialized, we are by far the unhealthiest population on the planet — the mother’s health (diabetes, heart disease, drug abuse, age, etc…) significantly contributes not only to the health of her baby, but also to her ability to survive the (not innocuous) endeavor of childbirth; and (2) The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world that takes care to deliver and treat what most other places would simply refer to as pregnancies that do not reach term. This includes babies born very prematurely and babies born will severe drug addictions. Our efforts to treat these extremely high-risk children — the U.S. has the most neonatalogists in the world — unfortunately also make for high infant death statistics.

    The problem isn’t your data; it’s your inability to analyze.

  25. Grace says:

    I LOVE this article! I have heard a million “brave” and “your crazy” comments about my home-birth. At a very unplanned 16 years old, I chose home-birth and thank my family for providing me with the support and knowledge to do so every time I see my amazing 10 year old. At only 5 1/2 lbs at birth (yet very healthy) I fear medical intervention in a hospital would have tainted my young experience.
    Again – Thank you for getting the actual stats out there to show how “dangerous” hospital birth is!

  26. Olivia says:

    I just want to say that this article did provide a lot good information, but you shouldn’t pass judgment on anyone when it comes to giving birth. I gave birth to my daughter in a hospital. I did my research and when I first found out I was pregnant I wanted to do a home birth, but my final decision resulted in a hospital birth. To me the experience of giving birth is amazing, but not as amazing as watching this little bundle of joy grow into an amazing young lady. I just couldn’t imagine not having her in my life. With so many risks out there I felt more comfortable having people with more medical knowledge and equipment near by in case of an emergency. Anyone who gives birth in my opinion is brave no matter where you do it at. Giving birth can be scary and very painful, but the end results are totally worth it. If someone wants to give birth at home then that is perfectly ok. If someone wants to go to a hospital and give birth then that is perfectly ok. Giving birth in a hospital is not dangerous and you shouldn’t judge someone for making the choice to deliver at a hospital. You can have a perfectly natural birth in a hospital.

    • bringbirthhome says:

      Olivia, thank you for your comment. I agree with you that someone can have a natural, positive birth and birth experience in a hospital. I don’t think women *have* to give birth at home to achieve this. For some women, it is easier to have a natural childbirth at home, uninterrupted and away from medical interventions. However, for other women, they feel safer being at the hospital, and can have a calm and natural labor and childbirth there without the stress of fear being away from the hospital. Birth centers are also a great option for women who don’t feel 100% comfortable with birthing at home, but do want a natural birth. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and feelings, and for visiting Bring Birth Home.

  27. Rae says:

    We, too, chose a homebirth for our daughter, and we feel that it was the best for us. My close cousin had reciently had a hospital birth before we had our baby (her son is six months older than our daughter) and her experience at the hospital in our area soured us. 1 – the hospital staff never asked her medical history, which would have told them that one of the pain meds they had given her would make her halusinate, 2 – they left her in her room for three hours, completely unnassisted, while she was pushing, 3 – she told them she wanted her mom in there with her, but because her husband was already in there, they would not let her mom join them, 4 – the nurses whispered to the OB on call that she (my cousin) was ‘not complying’ because she had said (but not actually did it) that she felt like she needed to sit up, 5 – she was in labor for so long, she got exhausted, and ended up with a cesaran because basically…nobody was helping her. So why, oh, why would I want to give birth there? Oh, and this was not the first case of bad staffing and doctoring stories I have heard. (All first hand accounts of my friends babies, 5 of which were born in that hospital).

  28. Anna says:

    I LOVE this article, and am about to share it on my Facebook page! I am planning a home birth right now for baby #3 (the first two were planned birth center births, with #2 being successful and #1 being a transfer for post-dates) and just the other day my husband’s boss remarked that I was brave to be planning a home birth. He thought that was strange since she is German, and in Germany where both her children were born, there is a far greater focus on natural birth even in hospitals, so it’s not that she would likely be someone who would think she needed a full cart of interventions just to survive it. Yet even to her, uninfluenced by the American medical establishment as she may be, home birth is considered brave.

    I actually take no offense to this. I just find it erroneous. When I was a hospital transfer with my first, I was scared to death with each successive intervention (I had pitocin, monitors of all kinds, and even very late in the game, an epidural. It was so bad, but it was that or a c-section, so I took the epidural.) I remember looking at my mom and my midwife, and saying, “Really? What more can they do? There are no good options left for me…” after about 20 hours of it. It really was like torture. I cannot imagine that Guantanamo Bay has anything worse than the interventions inherent to hospital birth.

    With my second, as I labored unassisted at home, prior to going to the birth center just in time to push, I wasn’t scared at all. I felt great, in some control of the situation, strong, and well… just plain a-ok. It wasn’t scary at home. It felt great. It really wasn’t scary at the birth center either (and funny enough, people told me I was brave for that one, too.) I just felt like everything was fine. I had a very talented midwife to help me through the whole thing. I knew she wouldn’t let anything bad happen to me or my son, and she didn’t. At home, I will have the same thing (although not the same midwife. We’re stationed somewhere else now.)

    I do not think I am brave to birth at home. I think it would take more courage for me to go back to a hospital. I would probably have panic attacks the whole way if I had to do that. Hospital birth… now THAT’S brave.

  29. Karen McMinn says:

    What a brilliant article! We had our five children at home – the first in 1979 – we were considered crazy then! Seems not a lot has changed!! Our children’s ages now add up to over one hundred and thirty five years – and still they have never seen inside a doctors office!!

  30. Chelle says:

    I’m so glad I was in the hospital because… my appendix was on its way out, my gallbladder was overflowing with stones and my pancreas was infected and my temperature was up to 104 degrees and I was covered in hives. At that point, the first thing that needed to be “fixed” was my being pregnant and successful induction was priority #1 (a c/s would have set back my surgery by at least a week and that wasn’t acceptable). I guess I am in that 10% who actually had a medically necessary induction but it still makes me sensitive on the topic. Not every induction is an act of pure evil.

    Assuming that a mother who chooses a hospital birth has not done her research is just as wrong as someone assuming that your choice to homebirth was brave.

  31. Jennifer says:

    Emily, There are ways to find a middle ground like you are describing. One is a great birth center. Another is giving birth with a midwife in a hotel room next to a hospital. :-)
    Great article btw!!!

    “”"Emily
    April 7, 2010 at 12:55 am
    I struggle with the polarization of the two “sides”-those for home birth and those for hospital birth. For me, they both seemed too radical. I wanted to be able to have a natural, home birth like atmosphere with the best medical interventions available next door if needed. If it exists in my area, I couldn’t find it. In the end I had a natural birth at the hospital. It was the most excruciatingly brutal experience and I had horrible complications afterwards. I felt cheated by those (Ricki Lake, anyone) who championed natural birth and also questioned whether my natural birth was horrible because I was in a hospital. I long for the day that there are more than the two choices–radically natural and radically medical–but I fear it will not be in time for my next birth experience.”"”

  32. Joyanna says:

    Right on! Thank you!

  33. Emma says:

    You know, I see the facts that you have given and assume that they are completely valid. But, I think the biggest thing I’m dealing with in your article is that regardless of where you have your baby, its the fact that a midwife is with you instead of a standard hospital doctor that seems to be making the difference.

    As for the pain meds, c-section decision, forceps, etc – Can you not ask your midwife (or even doctor from a hospital) to NOT use these based on your decision? In which case being at a hospital may be better in case of an ‘emergent-situation’?

    I am trying not to sound defensive, mean, critical etc but am trying to get the full understanding.

    I get that being at home may be more comfortable, but what about the question of ‘what if’? What if something critical were to happen at home that could be easier to fix at a hospital?

  34. Sandi says:

    Emily, I felt the same way: cheated by those that championed natural birth. I gave birth to our son at home 9 months ago, and it was horrible. Most excruciating, agonizing time of my life. I was not prepared well. People had me looking forward to some “blissful” “empowering” experience. Empowering? I felt like I had been hit by a bus. I lost almost 2 liters of blood. I couldnt walk without pain for almost 8 months due to tearing. I really feel like the Natural birth community does not adequately prepare mothers for what may be coming there way. They dont talk enough about pain, about terrible pain, about despaire, about the shock that can cause if you’ve only been expecting “hard work” or “doable pain.” I feel very lied to and confused. how could the natural birth community let that happen to me? How could they still be smiling at me saying “yay! you did it!” I feel terrible. I believe int eh natural birth benefits for my baby. But good recovery? empowering feeling? feeling in control? Enjoying the birth? Nope. Not one of them came my way. Sad . . .:( I’m sad. and confused. very confused. Dont understand you all. I want another natural birth for my baby, but I would like to enjoy giving birth, not feel so shell shocked afterwards. I wish more women had been more honest with me about what was coming. I feel like sugar coating birth is one of the greatest disservices to women.

  35. Nicola, UK Bournemouth says:

    Absolutely! Brave has nothing to do with it!

    I have had my first and second baby, at home in water. The choice wasn’t anything to do with hippy-out-there-stuff. I knew it was the best choice all round for my babies. (afterall the hospitals are still there for a home birthing family)

    I knew that having my babies at home wasn’t just about me being able to walk about freely, eat and drink what I liked (I had some wine I have to admit!), play my own music, use my own bathroom, and get snuddled up into my own bed afterwards; it WAS part of the bonus of it, but more so, all about incresing the saftly for my self and my babies.

    My local hospital has a culture of c-sections (29%) – which, to there credit, they are actively trying to tackle. They also have timelines for Prims and multis (2 hours established labour for first time mothers and 1 hour for second/subsequent births – as per NICE guidelines) which, with there culture of emergent interventulist outlook, does not bode well, when the largest reason for c-sections is “failure to progress” which I really think should be “failure to wait!”

    I had the Rolls Royce, gold standard of care from the highly trained professional widwives who attended my birth. (1 to 1 care is what any hospital is striving to acheive) There were at least 2 of them which each birth and they NEVER left me, not for a second. And in doing so they knew me, my baby and my labour – they had no need to do vaginal exams because they had to attend another women or answer the phone, and then have to come back “to see how we are doing” They listened. They observed. They offered encourgement and support – medically and personally.

    Birth is something that you will remember vividly for the rest of your life..so I only hope that all women (literally) get off there arses and reclaim their birth.

    Bravo – for your poinent words
    xxx

  36. Lisa says:

    Those c-section statistics are alarming. 30% in a hospital?? Wow. I love your “call me” statements at the end- very well written.


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