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Beware Those Trendy Homebirthers!

Homebirths are trendy?  Fashionable?  The latest cause celebre?  Huh?  Did I miss the memo?  

These are the adjectives used in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist’s (ACOG) newest statement against homebirth.  Wanna hear more? 

Why are there so many C-sections in America?  Oh, blame it on the women, according to ACOG, who attribute the US numbers to “maternal choice and the rising tide of high-risk pregnancies due to maternal age, overweight, obesity and diabetes.”  Hmmm…how do they explain the incredibly low rate of homebirths that end in c-sections?  Or the fact that other developed countries don’t have such high cesarean rates?  Do they really believe that more American women are unable to give birth vaginally? 

This is my favorite part:  “Choosing to deliver a baby at home, however, is to place the process of giving birth over the goal of having a healthy baby.”  Wow.  Those stupid homebirthers.  They only care about the latest trends and causes celebre.  I’,m sure they haven’t looked at the links between common hospital interventions and cesarean birth or difficulty breastfeeding.  They haven’t considered that the US ranks 2nd to last in infant mortality rates among developed countries or that the National Center for Health Statistics reports that an estimated 40% of maternal deaths were due to “quality of care.”  And I’m certain none of these homebirthers read the British Journal of Medicine’s study which concluded planned North American homebirths were safer than hospital births.  I wonder if ACOG read that study?  Obviously, these homebirthers aren’t thinking about the well-being of their baby.  They care most about “the (trendy) process of giving birth.”

Homebirthers are some of the most well-researched people I know.  They don’t choose homebirth just for the fun of it.  They do it because they believe it is the safest choice for their baby and for the mother.  And the research that ACOG says is not “rigorous” enough supports their choice.  If ACOG really wants to speak against homebirth and direct entry midwives, then ACOG should fund a study, track the outcomes, and maybe, GASP, actually attend a homebirth! 

I wonder if this latest ACOG statement is a reaction to “The Business of Being Born” release on DVD this month?  Could Rikki Lake have stirred up this venerable establishment so much?  I surely hope so.            

4 responses »

  1. I was thinking about something our director (over Home Care) said at a meeting once. We were talking about what might happen if this pandemic flu ever comes to pass, and she mentioned that a lot of things would change–for instance, low-risk pregnant women may give birth at home. This says to me that birth isn’t a medical emergency. I am leaning more and more towards having a non-hospital birth next time I have a baby. It’s sad that they’ve started forcing women to come to the hospital by sending them on guilt trips.

  2. inexplicableways

    Read some of the reactions to the ACOG statement by birth professionals including the founder of the American Association of Birth Centers and Henci Goer here:

  3. Have you seen The Business of Being Born movie yet? I want to, but it’s only in faraway cities. I watched the trailer and it brings back bad memories from last May. I saw that you can get it on Netflix, but is it available already? Maybe I’ll check and see if it’s coming to Charter on Demand.

  4. inexplicableways

    I think it releases Feb. 24-ish on netflix. You can go ahead and queue it. The babywearing group hosted two showings in Greenville last October. It is well-done. I wonder how someone with no prior exposure to the idea of homebirth would react.


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