Home Birth Advocacy, Home Birth Safety

Hospital Birth (Not Home Birth) – A Major Health Risk

6 Comments 08 June 2010

According to Susie, birthing at home is a major risk.

In this article on The Herold Sun (dot) com Australia, Susie O’Brien calls women who choose home birth selfish and shares two sad stories about births gone wrong.

Such scare-mongering tactics is so reminiscent to another woman patrolling the web, always on the look out for ways to pick on people…<cough> Dr. <cough> Amy…<cough>…

Read the post and comment below >>  Home Birth – A Major Health Risk

News flash ladies: this kind of alienating, angry, uncompromising and compassion-less rhetoric is never going to work!

We’re going to keep giving birth at home!


I’ll tell you why in this beautiful little comment I worked up and posted (comment pending) over at Suzie’s post:

“As soon as the standard medical model of care in hospitals today pays more respect to the sheer and awesome power of women’s bodies, we will continue to give birth at home.

Until hospital staff can completely and totally honor a woman’s wishes to birth naturally, without interruption, with or without food, able to move, able to moan, able to labor over 24 hours without hearing the words “induction or cesarean section,” we will give birth at home.

Women birth at home to avoid so many of the often unnecessary interventions that take place in hospitals today. We are not treated like customers – the nurse and doctors do not aim to please us – we are told to be quiet, we are strapped down and plugged in. We are cut, drugged and lied to.

And until that stops, we will give birth at home, under the experienced and caring hands of midwives who LOVE their jobs, love our bodies, love our children, and this big world that we’re bringing them into.”

I tell you, that felt so damn good to let it out!!

More great comments, shared by fans of Bring Birth Home

“People who have never had or witnessed a home birth are not qualified and should not be allowed to write or comment about it! We had a surprise breech our last birth and had we not been at home, our birth would have been AWFUL!!!! I know, because I was informed by the back up Dr. that he would never have allowed it and would have required a c-section. Low and behold, we had an AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL breech home birth and our son is healthy. Our skilled midwife made it possible. BUT HOW DARE PEOPLE SAY THAT THE RIGHT FOR MY BABY TO HAVE AN EQUALLY SATISFYING BIRTH AND MY RIGHT TO GIVE THEM THAT BIRTH SHOULD BE ILLEGAL??? No one owns my body and I will still have my home births…they may just have to be illegal!!!” – Kristina

“I had my first 3 babies at hospital, and it was horrible and traumatic. I ended up with mental illness (PTSD) and unnecessary caesareans. Great risk was put against me and my babies, especially considering babies are 3x more likely to die from caesarean section. The fact that mine were completely unnecessary is shocking (and a waste of taxpayer money!). I know those surgeries were unnecessary, as the reason given was that my pelvis was too small. But I went on to give birth to my 2largest babies (with larger heads!) at home, no problem, and those births were AWESOME. I am petrified of the dangers of hospital birth. This article is so scare-mongering and based on nil fact that it is also petrifying!” – Rebecca

Where is the responsibility on mothers choosing hospital birth if something goes wrong? Surely, Susie you are responsible for your traumatic first birth, you choose the location and the care providers, you ‘trusted’ the information you were given. If you get the chance to get a different perspective on home birth maybe ask an independent, privately practicing, midwife about induction before term and what are the usual outcomes are for mother and baby. Homebirth isn’t about the ‘experience’ for me (this is an added bonus) its about the safety. If I had of left home when my labour started with my second son he would have been born 15mins down the road which is at least 30mins short of a hospital. As it was I choose to stay home and employ 2 experienced midwives. What would you have mothers like me do if homebirth was well and truly illegal?? Be induced in hospital at 38 weeks and suffer the same trauma as you and your son!!!! no thank you.” – Chrissy

Sad truth is babies sometimes die – at home and in the hospital. Its a fact of life. Hindsight is a gift of not knowing if the outcome would’ve changed — but the possibility of it. By the sound of the comments all doctors and nurses caring for a mother or baby who dies should face criminal charges, if they feel families who choose home birth with death occurring should criminally charge the parents. Families make decisions all the time regarding health care, schooling, transportation.. all kinds of things… do they really want their government making decisions for their families.. slippery slope I would think, even for those against home birth.” – Shannon

That is the worst thing I’ve read in awhile. If home birth should be banned because it puts babies lives at risk then abortion should be illegal too because it’s fetal death rate is 100%. Do you really think that a woman would put herself before her unborn child? The reasons I had a home birth were all about protecting my child from the dangers of medical intervention. I think all women decide how they are going to give birth based on their knowledge of what they believe to be best for their child. And she should definitely be questioning her OB’s logic when they are going to induce her at 37 weeks because the baby is too small…that makes NO sense whatsoever!! It doesn’t take a doctor to figure out that maybe you should let the baby grow until it’s ready to be born, maybe that’s why it was allegedly “stuck”. I’d get stuck too if someone was trying to make me come out before i was ready.” – Cindy

Home birth isn’t for everyone. What is for everyone is FACT based information and not fear mongering! Hospital births carry a dramatic risk of major abdominal surgery, higher risk of infection, and much higher risk of postpartum depression. Those are facts. Home birth not safe? Opinion. Present facts or you’re part of the problem, perpetuating a culture where a woman’s innate ability to labor, birth, and mother are dwarfed by politics and profits. Educate yourself before making such sweeping declarations.” – Stephanie

See, the thing is, home birth is SAFER than hospital birth!

If considering the rate of unnecessary and dangerous interventions in hospitals today, women have a better chance birthing normally at home than in hospitals.

Babies are 3x more likely to die during cesarean sections than vaginal births.

Read more about the risks to mom and baby through induction, epidural use and cesarean section in the various chapters within Why Birth Experience Matters.

Your Comments

6 Comments so far

  1. Lorelei says:

    The truth is as it has been through the many millenia that women have given birth. Babies die, mothers die… it doesn’t matter where or how it happens. How is it better that they do so in a hospital when the doctors and nurses in charge are not to be held at fault or investigated… but that if it happens at home mom, dad, and the attendant of choice are suddenly guilty of child abuse or murder? It’s a very slippery slope indeed if we begin by letting a government take over mandating where a woman will give birth… then of course we must pursue all other avenues of life where one might be injured or killed. Certain foods must be banned for making people fat, causing injury and death. Cribs must be banned for causing crib death and injury. Oh, wait… we can’t ban those things, they make MONEY.

    I’m angry. My husband’s angry (if ever you want a homebirth advocate, my husband’s the guy for the job). I hope the woman who wrote that pitiful excuse for an article… *sigh*… anyway. If women and their partners decide to go elsewhere for their homebirths, I volunteer my home in the US (I even know a few homebirth midwives). I will stand until my last breath to defend women’s right to birth out of hospitals.

  2. shana says:

    Okay so my baby was said to be to small so they wanted to induce me around the same time as the woman in the artical. They said the ultra sound showed she was to small to be born at home like I planed I thanked them for thier opinion and ask my midwife his he said they were crazy so birthed at home two weeks late a six pound healty baby. She is 8 mos and 18 pounds of happy baby. They told me I needed a c-section and if I birth at home we could both die all because she looked small on one ultra sound. fear fear fear. But I was educated with all the research Id done and a great midwife. When I think of how my birth could of been so violent like hers if I would have bought into that crap. Im not selfish my choice was based on what was best for my child….a safe happy non-violent homebirth that should be available to any women who chooses it. If what I wrote isnt enough to upset you you can think about the fact that I am also breastfeeding as I type this…take that. I had a homebirth and I am breastfeeding a 8 mon old someone call the police!

  3. Janet says:

    ZOMG this was five minutes of pure reading pleasure! *applause* Thank you _so_ much! *kotc*

  4. Michelle says:

    Great post! All I can say is my decision to give birth to any and all of my future children at home has really made me think about all of my current health and medical care choices. Oh life!

    It has also made me think a lot about the issues of whether ideally or not any woman should give birth in a hospital at all.

    I think that for the tiny amount of women who need true emergency and highly medical life saving care, the hospital should be available and equipped to deal with it. But for the rest (majority) of mothers preparing to give birth; it should be a option of either home birth or a government funded and midwife led birth centers should be available to everyone. My reasoning for this? Hospitals in their premise and design where NOT created for women to give birth in. They really are “sick houses” where you should only go for medical expertise and surgical treatment.

    Women need to know that not only do they NOT NEED ROUTINE MEDICAL INVENTION but how truly DANGEROUS it is to how they feel about themselves and experience their postpartum life – Namely, their future mental and physical and reproductive health; their baby’s health; the impact or strain it has on their marital, parental and familial relationships and their success in early breast-feeding and bonding… just to name a few.

    I don’t think this is just a birth place choice or maternity care or even feminist issue but a human rights issue that people need to acknowledge and reclaim!

    Thank you for reading (staying awake through lol) my ramble and keep up the excellent work on your fantastic site :)

  5. Katie says:

    As a first time mother, I was traumatized when my healthy pregnancy turned very tragic at only 28 weeks. I was diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia.
    Many of you commenting on this page sound very uneducated in terms of medicine. One woman commented about a “37 week fetus being too small so the mother was induced and the baby got stuck”, and the author coudn’t understand WHY such (foolish) OB’s would even consider inducing a woman before her time- “why couldn’t the baby be left alone in the womb to grow until 40 weeks?” ARE YOU SERIOUS? I would suggest reading a book on placental insufficiency before you ask your foolish questions.
    I am so appreciative that I was able to receive such thorough, technologically advanced medical care at such a well known medical facility when my pregnancy took a turn for the worse. My daughter was born 12 weeks early, weighing only 2lbs 1oz. I remained sick until two weeks postpartum.
    I have seen completely healthy, low risk pregnancies turn tragic in a matter of minutes; women who successfully birthed their babies naturally (without any medical intervention: no IV’s, no meds, etc.) hemorrhaged in seconds, requiring IV’s and blood transfusions for survival. I’ve carried cold, dead babies in my arms to the morgue due to maternal complications that could have been prevented.
    I personally would not want to live with myself knowing that my child may have survived if I simply allowed myself access to an operating room.
    I am thankful for the nurses, OB’s, and hospital midwives that provide such compassionate and effective care.
    FYI women that used to deliver their babies in fields without IV’s or medications had a very high risk of maternal and neonatal death; since hospital technology, that risk has dropped dramatically. It is such a shame to see women that have access to great healthcare, refuse it. Many women would love to have the safety and technology of a hospital birth! I personally think that you are all a bit too “granola” for me, not to mention, ungrateful and uneducated.


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