Author of “Perfect Birth Experience” has a dead baby

The increasing popularity of homebirth is the quickest road to ending the increasing popularity of homebirth. Why? Because more homebirths means more homebirth deaths. It is difficult to argue for the safety of homebirth when the dead babies pile up all around.

Even homebirth celebrities are not immune. In fact, they appear to have experienced a mini-epidemic of homebirth deaths. Ina May Gaskin, the doyenne of homebirth midwifery, lost a child at homebirth, Laura Shanley, the American exponent of freebirth (homebirth without a midwife) lost a baby at homebirth, and Janet Fraser, the Australian exponent of freebirth, lost a baby at homebirth, too. Don’t worry about her, though. She thought the entirely preventable death of her baby at home wasn’t particularly traumatic, not nearly as traumatic as the “birth rape” with her first (living) child.

Two months ago Canadian homebirth celebrity Annie Bourgault had a twin homebirth. One of them lived and one of them died.

Bourgault describes herself as:

… a reporter who finds evidence based information about birthing. She interviews health professionals, leading experts in childbirth and parents whose work help women feel empowered and fulfilled during pregnancy, birth and motherhood. Sign up for her free report: 7 Steps To The Perfect Birth Experience.

Bourgault was expecting twins, and her “perfect birth experience” did not involve being “fearful of the birth process.”

She was irritated with her obstetrician when he told her:

The babies were not very well positioned. Very unlikely they will move. I will need an epidural for the second twin. Start thinking of a c-section!

Wow! I understand why we are so fearful of the birth process and why we just hand them our lives and the life of our babies. He got me! He induced fear in me very easily…

Later I talked to my Doula & midwife who repeated what I already know: He just wants to paint the worst scenario for you. Don’t take that on board. You will be fine…

I love this man for doing his job the best he could. I understand where he comes from. But I would like to suggest to him that fear is not the way to help a woman achieve a happy outcome at birth. Comfort is. Knowledge and fear inducing are two different things.

Knowledge and “comfort” are also different things.

Pushing Max who was breech was amazing. I could even say it was easy-ish. Even if it wasn’t that easy. It felt like it. When I held him in my arms I kept thinking: “What was the big deal? Why did the hospital refused to let me birth you the way I wanted? Without drugs? Without a c-section? I knew we could do it.”

Then Sam… came out 45 minutes after his little brother. He was in a perfect position: head down. We heard his little heart beating 10 minutes before he came out…everything was fine…seemed fine. While I was pushing him out I heard my midwife say: Oh no! It’s the placenta!” She came in front of me and said: “push your baby out right now!”

… I pushed a baby and a double placenta at the same time. They came out at the same time!! I felt like I was opening a bottle of Champagne through my vagina. I scooped my baby out of the water. He was limp. We started CPR and gave him oxygen.

I had my little boy in my arms and I named him. Sam! Sam! I kept saying his name over and over..like a song. I thought if he had a name he couldn’t die. ” Sam my boy, my beautiful boy. I love you so much…stay with us Sam. We love you. You are not going anywhere. Are you? Stay with me. Stay with us!” I kissed him, massaged him, loved him with all I had. I believed he was going to be OK.

He wasn’t. He never took a breath.

Bourgault offer the usual homebirth disbelief:

So what were the chances of me suffering a placenta abruption? I was healthy, had energy, did yoga, ate more broccoli and kale in one day than my whole family in a year and my twins were 39 weeks +. So what happened? Fuck! What the fuck happened????

What the fuck happened happened? An utterly predictable complication of twin birth, placental abruption. In fact the high risk of placental abruption is THE reason that twin birth is considered high risk.

Before birth the entire surface area of the placenta adheres to the wall of the uterus. Once the baby is born, the uterus contracts around the empty space. The fact that the placenta is incapable of contracting. The illustration demonstrates that as the uterus contracts the placenta is forced off the uterine wall. The space between the contracted uterine wall and the peeled off placenta fills with blood. The pressure of the blood in the enclosed space forces more placental surface off until the entire placenta comes away accompanied by a gush of blood, the blood that filled the space between the uterus and placenta.

In a twin birth, the first baby is born and the uterus contracts down around the empty space. The placenta is incapable of contracting, both the placenta of the baby that has born and the placenta of the baby still in the uterus, still depending on the placenta for all of its oxygen. That’s the main reason why twins are considered high risk. The second baby may lose its supply of oxygen long before it can be born vaginally. That’s why the second twin needs to be monitored very carefully, typically in an operating room with a team standing nearby to start an immediate C-section if the placenta begins to detach.

What happened to Annie Bourgault’s son Sam? First, the midwife utterly failed to recognize what was happening. During the 45 minutes between the birth of the first and second twin, she was almost certainly listening to the heartbeat of the mother, not the baby. The fact that a completely detached double placenta came out before the second baby indicates that the baby had been dead for some time, but the midwife never even noticed. Second, Bourgault was at home, too far away from the personnel and equipment that would have easily saved her baby’s life.

Bourgault, of course, is busily pretending that Sam’s was unpreventable.

I never thought he wouldn’t make it. I never thought he wouldn’t survive. Babies often come out flat at birth but they come back…Mine didn’t. He never took a breath.

It’s not suppose to be like that. Babies come first and the placenta comes out after because if it doesn’t the baby is deprived of it’s vital oxygen and can die.

Birthing at home is as safe as birthing at the hospital. Isn’t? True. But death doesn’t spare home birth. It doesn’t spare anyone.

Not exactly. Death is ALWAYS a risk at birth. The risk of death does not spare anyone (even those who write books insisting that homebirth is safe). But death itself CAN be prevented. That’s what hospitals are for; that’s what obstetricians are for; that’s what C-sections are for.

Bourgault insists:

When we went to the hospital later that day. I learned that in the case of a placental abruption like this…there is no so called “safer place”. Because when it happens the baby has only a few minutes to live. Had I been at the hospital I was told I would have had an emergency c-section…but I would also have a dead baby or a very brain damaged one. A c-section AND a dead baby. Thank you very much. I’d rather be at home.

Not exactly. The obstetrician who had advised Bourgault to have a C-section was not nearly as sanguine as she about the baby’s death.

The Ob/gyn who wanted me to have an elective c-section before she went on holidays two weeks prior to the birth came to our room to offer her sympathy and announced that she had called the coroner’s office for an investigation in the death of our baby…

Bourgault still doesn’t get it:

I came to the conclusion that women are allowed to give birth at home but not allowed to loose (sic) a child at home.

She didn’t “lose” a child at home. She let him die. It was more important to her to have the “Perfect Birth Experience” than to take the simple precaution of ensuring that her baby had access to life saving technology. Had Bourgault followed her obstetrician’s recommendation for an elective C-section, she’d have two babies at home today, instead of one at home and one in a grave.

  • Irene Allegra Maria Bariani

    Is MY right to have birth everywhere even at risk…is MY body not your body and no one can investigate me if a baby is lost at home, even if home would mean higher risk…your position that a woman has to be forbidden if has twins or refuse exam to have unassisted birth or home birth is foolish and FASCIST. In Italy is forbidden to force a cesarean without the woman consent even in serious emergence, unless she is unable to understand, and having pain do not means being unable. We are more civilizated than yours.

    • Azuran

      No one can force a C-section on anyone and that’s not what this is about. It’s about informed consent. You are right, you can totally birth wherever you want, it is your right (as is it our right to think your choice is stupid).
      But it has to be an informed decision. Home birth has more risk, any women who wants to do it has to be properly informed that she is risking the life of her baby and her own life. If that’s what she wants to do, it is indeed her rights. But the real tragedy is those who are lied to and manipulated by uneducated midwives and end up losing their babies as a result.
      Insurances companies also have the right to refuse to cover you for your riskier choice. Just as they can refuse to cover for sky diving and other dangerous activities.

    • Who?

      I don’t think it is anyone here’s position that homebirth be banned or that a woman be forced into obstetric or any other procedure she doesn’t want. I don’t understand how such a ban could ever be enforced.

      Equally, I’m sure you agree, doctors and other professional medical personnel should not be forced to attend home births if they don’t wish to.

      The right to choose is yours, and let’s hope whoever is advising you is very clear about the risks you choose to run.

      Two things though: don’t turn around and sue someone if you get everything you want except a live, healthy baby; and don’t get all fussy when people disagree with your choices.

    • Amazed

      That’s your right, you say? Nice to hear it. Now, would you tell us who wants to deprive you from that? It isn’t Dr Amy, as I’m sure you know. You’ve read her posts, right?

      Yeah. That’s what I thought.

      • Who?

        And I do wonder whether any responsibilities attach to that right? Seems not.

    • guest

      Why is it so important that no one can investigate you when a baby is ‘lost’ at home?

    • momofone

      Absolutely. You have the right to be reckless, and other people have the right to see your choices and your behavior as selfish and irresponsible.

    • BeatriceC

      Why should a home birth death be investigated any less thoroughly than a hospital death?

  • KimCraigNeeDay

    Advancing cancer is “a natural process,” too. Similar to cancer, the process of birth used to mean a harrowing death for droves of people.It was that way until scientific and medical intervention began to reduce the death rate. Women who yammer on about their bodies being perfectly designed to deliver babies and that they are better off birthing in a backyard tub than a sterile environment filled with medical professionals are utterly delusional and quite frankly, dangerous. Although free birthers claim otherwise, there was never a time when pregnant women rather casually copped a squat on the side of the field they were harvesting, popped out a baby with nary a glitch or anything more than a passing pain, strapped that kid to their chest and went right back to working the field. Like it or not, human females are rather inconveniently designed for the process of birth. It seems almost cruelly painful, arduous, dangerous and physically damaging. Make no mistake that pushing a baby out of one’s vagina is to some degree results in physical trauma. It is the free birther movement’s out of hand rejection of this fact that makes them particularly sadistic, ignorant and ultimately dangerous.

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  • Trish Sweat

    I know you are vilified, Dr. Amy, for shining the light on an industry who has to lie, brainwash, and deceive in order to make their ignorance and danger more palatable and acceptable to the general public, but please don’t give up. It infuriates and disgusts me that the baby is not given the benefit of the doubt for the safest of all deliveries, Instead, these midwives seem to shore up the moms to be mindset of “her birth choices and birth plan.” The midwives are made to sound as if they are the only ones who truly understand the desires of the mother. Well, who cares? Shouldn’t it be the BABY’s birth plan? Shouldn’t all of this be about the life of the baby? Good gravy, I’m PRO-LIFE and that means I support all measures to give the baby the best possible chance of life. Why is it that so many of my pro-life counterparts don’t tow this line when it comes to giving birth?

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  • Neffy

    This is horrible! You are a cruel person who I don’t think has any right providing medical care to expecting women! I hope you are focusing all of your energy on speaking against home births and have no time to actually “treat” patients, because no one deserves to put their trust in you.

    • yugaya

      If she was still a practicing OB I would want her to be my doctor because: her education and experience are admirable, she is up to date with all the most recent studies and guidelines, she expresses her professional opinion in a clear and precise manner, she advocates for true informed consent and rights of patients, she would with same credentials be qualified to work in almost any other country in the world and as a licensed OB she would have malpractice insurance. Whether someone is the holding hands type or not is truly irrelevant if you are making rational decisions when picking your health care provider.

  • sdsures

    ” The fact that the placenta is incapable of contracting.”

    Should this read, ” The fact is that the placenta is incapable of contracting.”? It might make more sense that way.

  • Johannine Logos

    Amy, your slavery to hyperbole is the reason I can never respect your opinion, even if now and then you make a notable point. Even if your position is right, when I read your blog, I don’t see some who cares about babies or mothers. I see someone with a huge axe to grind. I don’t see someone “for mothers and fathers” but someone “against homebirthing mothers and fathers”.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      thank you for your concern.

    • We call this tone trolling. Stop it. This is Dr. Amy’s blog and she can be as harsh and abrasive as she wants.

      I, personally, find her tone refreshing. I read in it the pain and rage of anyone who has had to watch women and children die for no good reason at all. To me, the hyperbole and satires says “I care so much about this that I don’t care if people say I’m mean or bitchy, so long as I can get this message out there”.

      • Johannine Logos

        Of course she can write whatever she wants to write. And I can write that she’s obnoxious and unhelpful. I came here to learn about the pros and cons of homebirth. I encounter statements like this:

        Amy: “It is difficult to argue for the safety of homebirth when the dead babies pile up all around.”

        Her blog is replete with this kind of mind-numbing hyperbole and sarcasm. Whether she really has a huge axe or grind or simply is trying to keep readers entertained, I don’t know, but in either case I’d rather learn about homebirth from some person or group without an obvious personal vendetta.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          If someone has a personal vendetta, isn’t it better to be obvious about it?

          I mean, when you read NCB propaganda, you are getting a very personal vendetta as well, they will just do everything they can to mask it. How is that better than this?

          We all have biases, and Amy has made it very clear what hers is.

          It’s about information. REAL information.

          • Johannine Logos

            It isn’t better. That’s why I don’t care for their material, just like I don’t care for Amy’s.

            There’s a difference between having an agenda and having a vendetta. We all have agendas. Hopefully our main agenda is finding the truth. But having a vendetta is personal. Amy has a blog that is a source of income. She has an established readership. Her reputation is entwined with whether homebirthing is evil. You think that isn’t going to color her interpretation of the data?

            I’d rather read the opinions of someone who doesn’t have a dog in the fight. They do exist, and they aren’t morbidly opposed to homebirth like Amy is (or religiously in favor of it, like some homebirthers). Look at the MayoClinc’s article on homebirth pros and cons. No bitter jabs, no fuzzy heart-warming anecdotes, just solid reasoning based on a wide range of medical expertise.

          • And shockingly enough, the Mayo Clinic’s article comes to all the same conclusions as Dr. Amy does, it just presents them in a more neutral tone. The pros of homebirth are all comfort-based. The cons are all serious health consequences or death.

            I believe that’s what this blog has been arguing since, oh, forever?

            Look, you don’t have to like this blog. Clearly, you don’t. I just don’t understand why you’re upset about the tone of it, when it’s not your blog to tone-police.

          • Johannine Logos

            Might want to take a closer look. It doesn’t come to the same conclusions. Amy’s conclusion is “If you homebirth, you are stupid, ignorant, and possibly evil.” The MC article on the other hand says, “Here’s the situations where we would not recommend you do a homebirth,” and then let’s the reader choose what they want to do.

            If I was failing to persuade intelligent people because of my wanton hyperbole, I would want to know.

          • Amazed

            You fail to convince me with your implication that no known complications is equal to no complications happening in the delivery itself.

            Now, you know.

          • Johannine Logos

            There’s possible unforeseen complications in any birth setting, why do you keep repeating the obvious? Whether in a home or in a hospital, the deliverer can only work off of what he or she knows, not what he or she doesn’t know.

            Yes, terrible unforeseen complications can happen in a home birth. Terrible unforeseen complications can also happen when you drive to work, yet you do drive to work anyway. It comes down to risk.

            If you can show me that for an apparently healthy child, due 38-40 weeks, with a hospital nearby, with a good midwife, has a serious risk of dying in a homebirth, please do. Until then, your what-if scenarios are tired and uninteresting.

          • Amazed

            Somehow, I happen to think that giving birth to your child is a little more extraordinary than driving to work but to each her own.

            To this day, I have worked about 1000 days in my life. I don’t know how many children you intend to have but I certainly won’t make it to 1000, so I don’t mind taking all precautions for the 2 or 3 times I will probably give birth in my life.

            My what if-scenarions are uninteresing and I don’t mind. You might think of your if-scenarios as inspiring but they are possibly lethal.

            I’d better be boring than giving advice that might lead to death.

          • Johannine Logos

            Never said driving to work is “extraordinary”. I think my point about weighing risks versus benefits was clear enough so I won’t repeat it.

            Your what-if scenarios are “tired” (meaning, trite and therefore unhelpful) in that they attack a straw man. No one denies that complications can arise in home birth. Complications can arise in hospitals as a result of interventionism as well. What it comes down to is risk versus benefits. That’s the issue. This site is a poor resource because it’s so black and white: home births are always inferior, hospital births are always superior.

            I did not criticize Amy’s tone. Indeed, I don’t mind a sharp tone at all. What I criticized are Amy’s laughable hyperboles that show severe lack of precision in her argumentation. For example:

            “Homebirth with an American homebirth midwife kills babies.”
            http://www.skepticalob.com/2013/01/new-cdc-statistics-same-old-increased-homebirth-death-rate.html

            What is remarkable about this quote is that it comes right after several graphs showing hospital deaths as well as home birth deaths. Why then did she not also say “Hospital births with an American MD kills babies”? Because hyperbole sells.

            You call me a troll because I post a legitimate critique of Amy’s sales tactics (which she doesn’t deny at all… read her response to me a couple of comments earlier). Yet you defend someone who plays fast and loose with words provoke readers… funny, it sounds a lot like trolling 😉

            You can have the last word, should you desire it.. Farewell.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Except that the “wanton hyperbole” attracts thousands of readers every day. It is the statistics that change their minds.

            Over the years I’ve convinced enough people that I write for Time.com and have been quoted in the NYTimes and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications and have been invited to speak later this month by ACOG. I strike fear into the heart of professional homebirth advocates, who won’t dare to debate me because they know they’d be eviscerated in short order.

            Other than that, “no one” is influenced by this blog.

          • Johannine Logos

            Incidentally you leave your absurd hyperboles behind when you write for those publications. I wonder why.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Amy’s conclusion is “If you homebirth, you are stupid, ignorant, and possibly evil.”

            Funny, weren’t you the one complaining about hyperbole?

          • Johannine Logos

            http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Askepticalob.com+moron&safe=strict&oq=site%3Askepticalob.com+moron&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i58j69i61.1526j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

            http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Askepticalob.com+moron&safe=strict&oq=site%3Askepticalob.com+moron&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i58j69i61.1526j0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#fp=50f15fe200ae490c&q=site:skepticalob.com+ignorant&safe=strict

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            I don’t make money on this blog; I lose money.

          • Johannine Logos

            Point retracted.

        • Like who? When homebirth does have at least a 3x higher death rate, almost exclusively from things that wouldn’t kill in a hospital, how much hyperbole is it to say the dead babies are piling up?

          You can stick with the more scientific, statistics-analysis posts if the satire and angry posts are to much for you. There’s both kinds.

          • Johannine Logos

            “When homebirth does have at least a 3x higher death rate … how much hyperbole is it to say the dead babies are piling up?”

            Presently the bodies of homebirth victims in my immediate vicinity are more what I would call “strewn” than “piled”. Until the concentration increases significantly (perhaps 5 bodies per square foot), I fear I must regard Amy’s comment as hyperbole.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Actually, I’m against babies dying preventable deaths. How about you?

      • Johannine Logos

        There’s a really surefire why to prevent infant deaths: don’t have children. Yet I don’t see you advocating that position, which proves that you aren’t really against “babies dying preventable deaths” but rather “babies dying preventable deaths some of the time”.

        I’m FOR parents having access to quality information to make an informed decision about the risks of home births and hospital births. (Which puts you and I on the same page in many regards.)

        I’m AGAINST myopic black/white treatment of vastly complex issues. Yet this blog could be summarized more or less as, “Home birthing is bad. Hospital birthing is good. If you disagree, you’re ignorant or stupid. The end.”

        Would it be so bad to tighten up your argumentation by abandoning hyperbole and losing the “good vs evil” paradigm? Sure, you might lose readers, but what would that say about those readers? Is your goal to get the most readers or to present the most helpful information?

        I’ll conclude there. Farewell.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Classic flounce. You told us your opinion. You provide no statistical evidence to support it and then you leave when you realize that you aren’t going to convince anyone since you have no data.

          • Johannine Logos

            I need statistics to prove to you that the homebirth issue cannot be reduced to a black/white, good/evil category? Fascinating. Did I strike a nerve by calling out your lame hyperboles?

            For the record, I agree that *on average* home births are more dangerous than hospital births. But why do I have to be an “average” homebirther? Am I incapable of making choices to ensure a better outcome? Statistically, I shouldn’t have started my business, because most businesses fail. Yet my business hasn’t failed, because I made a serious effort to avoid the mistakes of others. (Please don’t retort with “business risk is an insignificant risk compared to losing a child”. I’m highlighting your naive use of statistics, nothing else.)

            So, explain to me why it is stupid or ignorant to have my child at home when 1) the baby is well-positioned with no known complications, 2) this isn’t a VBAC, 3) the hospital is 5 minutes away, 4) our midwife has 1500+ successful deliveries without a single death?

            Don’t tell me there are *still* risks. I know there are *still* risks. There are risks if we go to the hospital. Tell me why the risks outweigh the benefits such that it is foolish to have a home birth. I’m listening.

          • What do you plan to do if this time, you start bleeding to death?

            In a hospital, they’d have pitocin and blood available, with an OR if the bleeding didn’t stop. What are you going to do at home? Cinnamon breath?

    • I don’t have a creative name

      Who cares more about mothers and babies – someone syrupy sweet, with a constant phony smile, who assures any mother, no matter the risks, can give birth at home, then when babies die preventable deaths, trots out the old trope of “some babies just weren’t meant to live”? (a la IMG) Or someone quite blunt and sarcastic, but who cares enough to tell the truth about risk in an effort to save moms and babies?

      Save your outrage for those who are causing these needless deaths by the lies they spread. I’d rather have the cold hard truth than a sickeningly sweet lie.

      • Johannine Logos

        Why do you think it has to be either-or? Have you never encountered a piece of literature that weighs the pros and cons of a position without degenerating into saccharine sentimentalism or vitriolic sarcasm?

        • I don’t have a creative name

          I don’t think it has to be either or. I don’t always agree with Dr. Amy’s choice of words either. But you’re complaining that you refuse to hear the message because you don’t like her tone. What you’re missing is that she gets attention. The softer tones on this side of the debate are largely ignored. She gets people’s attention and shakes them up. I have talked to a number of people who came here to hate-read and kept coming back again and again to see what “awful” thing she had done now… and eventually up seeing that they had been duped by the NCB movement. Lives have been saved by this. So I reject your original claim that this is just about “grinding an axe” and that she doesn’t care. I think she actually does.

          She could tone it down if she wanted to, and I’ve said before there have been a few instances I wish she would, though it’s often way overstated how “mean” she is. But it’s her blog, it gets results, and if you don’t like it, no one is making you read it.

          • Johannine Logos

            I have heard her message. It is “homebirth kills, therefore choose hospital births”.

            Yet, because I don’t live under a rock, I know that hospital births also kill. So what does that do to her argument? Perhaps she meant:

            “Homebirth kills MORE THAN hospital births, therefore choose hospital births.”

            Statistically, this is probably true. (As far as you can trust statistics.) I would agree that homebirth is dangerous in certain situations. But what if the baby has been checked regularly and the pregnancy has no known complications? What if the baby comes at 38-40 weeks? What if a hospital is just 5 miles away? What if the midwife has a long, excellent history of safe deliveries?

            Yet for Amy, it’s black or white, and without good reason. If you homebirth, you are stupid, ignorant, and possibly evil. Simple as that.

          • Amazed

            What if the baby turns out to be a pound heavier than estimated? What if fetal tones get lost? What if the cord prolapses? What if the mother starts bleeding – the kind of bleeding that can kill in less than 10 minutes? The same 10 minutes she’d need to get dressed, go to the car, get driven the 5 miles you mention, get out of the car and go to the hospital?

            Dr Amy is all for homebirth if women know the risks. You are making it sound as if there are no risks, as long as those risks cannot be predicted. Yeah, your tone is nicer than hers.

            Guess who I would take on their word? Not you, as nice as your tone might be,

          • Johannine Logos

            We could present a thousand what-if’s for both hospital and homebirth, but that doesn’t make the issue black and white.

            I have found nothing on this blog that indicates any tolerance toward homebirth.

          • Amazed

            Sure, you can present a thousand if-s that make homebirth look nicer – mother more relaxed, no interventions, no evil vit K, mom can eat in labour, family around her, more alert and better bonded baby (at least in the mother’s eyes because epidural babies are all unbonded zombies).

            None of this sounds all this convincing to me when the other side of the coin is safety, life and health.

            Dr Amy has mentioned that she isn’t against homebirth but if you mean she is against the irresponsible way homebirth is practiced in the US, you are quite right.

            Mayo clinic has to be politically correct.Dr Amy is under no such obligation. I doubt that any self-respecting physician would recommend a homebirth to any mother.

          • I don’t have a creative name

            Look, you obviously haven’t read THAT much of this blog, or you would know the answers to the questions in your third paragraph. I think MOST people here think that while it may not be the best choice, it should be an option to homebirth if you are extremely low risk, have quick access to a hospital (though it doesn’t actually help in the event of a catastrophic emergency where minutes count), and HAVE A QUALIFIED MIDWIFE. This is the main problem. In America, this “CPM” designation hijacks the name of “midwife” with very little education, and only has to have seen a few births before they can start practicing. No other developed country in the world allows such poorly trained practitioners to catch babies. This needs to change.

          • Johannine Logos

            I am not opposed to requirements for midwives, just like I am not opposed to regulation for doctors.

            Such regulations don’t exist as far as I know, but even if they did, I would still ask a midwife these questions: How many babies have you delivered? How many complications did you face? What did you do when those complications arose? How many babies have died during your delivery and why did they die?

        • Karen in SC

          We need a bot to answer tone trolls. “For many of the same points presented in a nicer tone, please see Safer Midwifery for Michigan, Awaiting Juno, What Ifs and Fears are Welcome, Redwine & Applesauce, etc (on the blog roll to the right). Excellent excellent blogs presenting the same point of view with the main aim of giving parents all the information.”

          Note how few of these excellent blogs even get comments! The squeaky wheel and all that….

          • Johannine Logos

            There you have it. Getting the most comments is the goal, at any cost… never mind if your commentary devolves black/white categorization, condescension, and vitriol.

            Thank you for the list of resources. 🙂

          • Karen in SC

            I see your point, but I was actually trying to point out that those blogs you wish this blog was like actually exist. But no one reads them, so no one is getting the important message. Getting the most readers is the goal. Please refer to the first blog of this year for “testimonials” from people who are grateful for this blog.

    • KimCraigNeeDay

      “…slavery to hyperbole,” said a slave to hyperbole herself. Overwrought much?

  • Audrey Yarper

    The countries with the very lowest infant mortality in the world are the 1st world countries like the Netherlands (nearly 40% of women give birth at home) with the highest rates of home birth. 2nd or 3rd world countries like China do decrease their infant and maternal mortality for the same reason we did when initially. This reason is sanitation. In rural and poor areas in China women are giving birth with no basic sanitation and are not attended by professional midwifes. My husband is Chinese and his untrained father delivered him and his siblings. I do agree that high risk women should birth at hospitals though, they have their place.
    Here’s a less misleading article which has accurate numbers from first world countries proving that home birth is statistically safer than hospital birth.
    http://betsydewey.com/the-world-is-round-or-homebirth-is-safer-than-hospital-birth/

  • Audrey Yarper

    I’ve got news for you. More babies die for no reason what so ever at hospitals. Babies are cut out for convenience, oops premature, they die. Hemorrhaging or uterine rupture due the the very strong contractions as a result of unnecessary Pitocin given. Oops mom and baby die. It goes on and on. We don’t go on a witch hunt and try to out law hospital births though. Do you know that countires like the Netherlands have the highest rates of home births in the first world. Guess what? They also have the lowest infant and maternal mortality. Hmmmm? Why don’t you write and article about how doctors kill babies now, or didn’t you want to look at that? Your article is propaganda, nothing more.

    • Bombshellrisa

      http://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c5639 “Conclusions Infants of pregnant women at low risk whose labour started in primary care under the supervision of a midwife in the Netherlands had a higher risk of delivery related perinatal death and the same risk of admission to the NICU compared with infants of pregnant women at high risk whose labour started in secondary care under the supervision of an obstetrician. An important limitation of the study is that aggregated data of a large birth registry database were used and adjustment for confounders and clustering was not possible. However, the findings are unexpected and the obstetric care system of the Netherlands needs further evaluation.”

      Homebirth midwives in the Netherlands (or the UK, parts of Canada or Australia) are not the same as homebirth midwives in the US. These countries require a level of education and training and have only one classification of midwife. US homebirth midwives practice under the credential of Certified Professional Midwife, which requires no formal training or skill set.

    • ratiomom

      For the umpteenth time: The Netherlands has a perinatal mortality rate among the worst in western Europe. France, Belgium, Germany,… where 99% of births happen in hospitals all do significantly better.
      As a consequence, there is a big debate ongoing in Holland about large scale reform to the homebirth system. Meanwhile, Dutch women are turning to hospital birth in droves. They are willing to pay a significant co-pay (homebirth is free!) for a hospital birth. The homebirth rate is currently about 20% and falling fast.

    • Squillo

      What is the rate of preventable death for hospital-born babies in the U.S.?

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