Unassisted birth: surprise second twin suffers brain damage

Is there anything more selfish and self absorbed than planning an unassisted homebirth? It’s hard to imagine that there is.

This mother, like all mothers who plan a UC (unassisted childbirth) is criminally negligent, and ought to be charged.

According to the local paper:

The Wood brothers from Rensselaerville both work EMS for the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. They were the first and second people to arrive at a home after a call came in about complications during a home birth early Monday morning.

Brian Wood, the unit coordinator, says the mother and her husband had a planned home birth. The mother first delivered a healthy baby girl, but shortly afterwards the mother was on her way to the bathroom when she started to deliver a second baby. She told EMS she didn’t realize she was pregnant with twins.

That baby was not breathing and had sustained other complications during delivery. Records from the sheriff’s office show the baby was born without a heart beat.

The mother shared the story on Mothering.com under the absurd title, 4th UC, unexpected twins (warning: transfer). A baby was born without a heartbeat and appears to have suffered permanent brain damage and this self absorbed narcissist thinks the traumatic part of her story is the hospital transfer.

Short story – this was my 7th pregnancy, after three UCs and three miscarriages. It’s been a tough pregnancy, with a lot of early bleeding. I found a local midwifery firm to do a “non-diagnostic” ultrasound at 24 weeks to rule out twins. They could only find one. As I run a small store and am constantly with lots of people, there was lots of remarks about my size. In hindsight, I probably should have tried to get another ultrasound.

No, in hindsight, and in foresight, she should have had prenatal care from an obstetrician or certified nurse midwife.

I’d been having gentle prelabor for about a month, when I decided last Sunday that this was the real thing. Once we got home, though, it wasn’t really progressing, and I felt comfortable enough to go to bed. Slept for about two hours, finally got up again around 2:30, clearly in active labor…

About 45 minutes later … I sat down on the toilet and my water broke. I reached down and caught a small butt, with two legs to quickly follow. One more push and my daughter was out, pink and crying. Yelling for my bewildered husband, I headed to our living room. Easiest birth ever …

Sure, that’s because she trusted birth and trusted her mommy intuition. Wait, what?

… I was a bit surprised that my placenta didn’t arrive. An hour passed, then an hour an a half and the afterpains I thought I was feeling magnified. Finally, again on the toilet, I tried pushing a little and something popped and lots of clear fluid poured out. Starting to worry a bit, I reached up and felt another butt, then legs slipped out. And then stopped. I screamed for my husband that there was another baby. I tried again to push his head out, but nothing happened. I changed positions, while my husband called 911, and tried pushing again…

The ambulance arrived:

My son was not breathing, and not responsive, but was pink and looked good. I started rescue breathing – and the paramedics arrived. Literally, I think it was no more than 10 minutes from the time we realized we had another baby coming and their arrival. They immediately got a heartbeat, and intubated him…

The mother was transported to the hospital, too, for excessive bleeding, and promptly signed herself out AMA (against medical advice).

… This has to be one of the worst experiences – so see your newborn covered in tubes, on a ventilator, unresponsive. We were grateful that he was stable, at least.

How about guilty it was all your fault?

Because of the prompt response on the skill of the emergency responders, the baby will soon be well enough to go home, but he is not unscathed.

We had a discharge plan for Friday – they had taken him off the Phenobarb and everything had been completed except for a final EEG. As it turned out, the EEG was deemed abnormal, so they have him back on Phenabarb, and have renewed their insistence that he is at risk for seizures…

So, I’ve been spending lots of time with his twin camped out in NICU, nursing and pumping for him. I agreed to bottle feed for several feedings a day, with a formula supplement added to help him gain weight. Anything to get him home…

He’s still a lot sleepier than his sister, which concerns me…

Now she’s concerned? It would have been a lot more helpful, and far less traumatic for everyone if had put her babies’ wellbeing ahead of her bragging rights and delivered with an obstetrician or CNM in a hospital.

Like most mothers who have, through their own negligence and ignorance, allowed their own babies to be injured or killed at homebirth, she is aggressively ignoring the important things and obsessing about the trivial. She’s more concerned about the sedation from the phenobarb than the seizures from the brain damage. She’s more concerned about his ability to breastfeed than about the handicaps he is likely to face.

The worst part, though, is that it is so unnecessary. We live in a time and place where birth injuries can be prevented and yet some women are so blindingly stupid and self absorbed that they think their “birth experience” is more important than their babies’ brain function or even their very lives.

  • Annoyed By The Judgmental BEEP

    So Amy, Tuteur … how excited are you about vaccinating? A practice which claims more lives of healthy infants than any disease the vaccinations are supposed to prevent. MORE BABIES AND MOTHERS DIE (BASED ON PERCENTAGES) IN HOSPITAL BIRTHS THAN HOME BIRTHS. But you’re not likely to care about the facts. You’ve got a god complex, and you’re a jerk.

    • guest

      Where are the links to the studies to back up your claims? Oh, that’s right, there aren’t any… come back when you can put your money where your mouth is…

    • Roadstergal

      “vaccinating? A practice which claims more lives of healthy infants
      than any disease the vaccinations are supposed to prevent… But you’re not likely to care about the facts”

      Heh.

      Are you worried about the fluoride contaminating your precious bodily fluids? Come to that, I’m pretty sure the EMF from whatever device you are using to access the InterWebs is scrambling the water in your body into Food Babe Hitler crystals. Better step away.

  • Safety first

    The united states has one of the worst Infant and mortality rates via hospital birth, despite our technological advances. We are still losing mothers and babies IN THE HOSPITAL at alarming and unacceptable rates. For every home birth death I am sure that you could find countless other deaths that occurred in hospital. If Dr. Amy is so concerned for the safety of mother’s and their unborn babies I suggest she look into our countries mortality rates of mothers and infants in our hospitals. Lets start there….

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Imagine how hideous that makes the death rate at homebirth if it is 3-9X higher than in the hospital.

      • attitude devant
      • I call it like I see it.

        WRONG … and a blatant lie. You lost all credibility, and the MD is wishful thinking … or maybe it means MAD DOMINATRIX!

        • guest

          “Lost all credibility”. With who? Certainly not with anyone who is actually educated!

        • Poogles

          “and the MD is wishful thinking”

          Hmmm…that’d be news not only to Boston University School of Medicine where she received her medical degree but to Harvard Medical School where she was a clinical instructor! Not to mention her former patients.

    • Poogles
  • 57Academics

    If insurance was part of the problem, she could’ve signed up for numerous programs that would have covered her, like Medicaid, and programs that could cover the babies. My God. I hate to pull this card out, but given the situation…Those are some seriously shitty parenting decisions, right there. You could even argue that it’s neglect. (No prenatal care, barely any medical help in delivering, refusal of postpartum care while she was hemorrhaging…)

    I don’t even believe that she went to a midwife for that 24-week ultrasound. There are places all over that will do 4D imaging simply so you can “see” your baby and get video of it to take home. She either went to one of those or went to the worst possible midwife. (Not knocking midwives. Until I became ill, I was going to school to become a CNM – not a lay midwife. I like my mothers safe and my babies healthy. Not to mention practicing legally.) Any midwife worth their salt could’ve seen that she was measuring larger than she would have with a singleton. (And she admitted up there that she was way bigger than usual.)

    Just reading that she had an unassisted breech at home with a surprise twin and ANOTHER breech scares the *shit* out of me. You don’t mess with breech babies. Not saying they should go straight in for a c/s, especially since there are things that can be done via external palpation to try and get the kiddo to turn around.

    Of course, none of this would be a problem if she’d just gotten prenatal care, which she COULD have gotten. They would have found the multiples early on, monitored them, and there would be two happy babies in the world now instead of a twin with brain damage.

    And as an epileptic, just the thought that someone placed their comfort over the health of the baby, resulting in that child getting stuck with seizures for the rest of his life… It makes my blood boil. She has made his life hell. Her choices directly led to this.

    I get why people want homebirths. I understand that birth can be scary, and that there are many people out there who are extremely uncomfortable or even outright terrified to be in a hospital. My first daughter was delivered by a woman I’d never met, who waltzed in, caught her, stitched me up, and left without EVER saying my name, speaking to me, or even making eye contact. (And it was a totally uncomplicated delivery.) Part of why I wanted to become a midwife was so that I could be there for emotional care as well as physical.

    But as moms… You have to be taking care of your baby before they’re born, as well as *while* they’re being born. Parenting does not start when you are handed your child. Parenting also means that sometimes (if not all the time) you have to put your child’s well being ahead of your discomfort. It means understanding that doctors/midwives don’t know everything, but this is their wheelhouse, and they know a whole lot more than you do. The assumption that she knew better than a medical specialist would directly led to her son being born with brain damage and epilepsy that are irrevocable.

    This mom’s hubris in thinking that she knew more than a doctor or midwife would is ridiculous. For starters, who in the world would call a baby with no freaking heartbeat and who is not responding at all as “he’s pink, and looks good! What the….? NO. BABY IS NOT “GOOD”.

    I really hate yanking this one out, but she is directly to blame for permanently changing this child’s life for the worse. Someday, she’s going to have to answer to him for this. He’s going to want to know why he can’t be in mainstream classes with the other kids, why he has to take medicine that does awful things (seizure meds often have nasty side effects; you have to pick the lesser of all evils), and why he has all these really awful seizures that hurt him and take memories from him.

    In the end (and beginning, and before the beginning), that’s something we all will have to do as parents – answer to our kids for the choices we’ve made. She chose to risk both her daughter and her son’s lives, and as far as her son goes… She played Russian Roulette with his well-being, and she lost.

  • TaraChapman

    Putting babies ahead by planning a hospital birth???? Isn’t that what we do by choosing homebirth? Babies have sky-higher rates of resuscitation and birth injuries in hospital. Mothers have higher rates of infection, injuries, hemorrhage. And PPD that also affects her care for baby.

    Babies die by the hands of doctors, too. So many babies are cut out now, raising mothers’ and babies’ safety. Just recently a doctor killed a baby with forceps. If the mother had been at home and had gone by instinct, a position that makes sense could have been used, rather than that horrible tool.

    I feel a LOT safer at home than I ever would at hospital…unless I needed emergency medical care, but that is rare. I’ve had five home births, the second and third being planned unassisted. The first two would have ended in surgery at hospital just b/c they were nearly ten pounds. My body handled it fine.

    Criminal negligence? So the billions of women who have lived before this mad age (or live in other parts of world today) were criminals who deserved to be charged??? Give me a break! God designed us to give birth! He designed us to eat, too, but sometimes a person chokes and becomes injured or dies. Is it criminal to eat outside the hospital for fear the next eating episode may not go as normal?

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      That’s complete nonsense. If you believe otherwise, please provide the relevant quotes from scientific citations.

    • Young CC Prof

      Let’s see. Roughly 100 children per year die from choking, out of 60 million total children. Assume each child eats 3 times a day. (Many eat more often, especially the youngest ones.)

      So, the probability of a child choking to death in any given meal is 1 in 700,000,000. Probability of death at home birth, 1-3 in 1,000.

      Totally reasonable comparison there!

    • Trixie

      You know, you’re exactly right: “So many babies are cut out now, raising mothers’ and babies’ safety.”
      Our c-section rate really has raised safety for mothers and babies. Finally, a parachuter says something true!

  • Sara

    “Illness” is the heading on the box or line you fill out with “pregnant” or “in labor” as your reason for being at the hospital. So the hospital is categorizing ‘labor’ or ‘pregnancy’ as the ‘illness’ or ‘reason for visit’ since both pregnant and sick or injured fill out the same forms.

  • Leah

    I can’t stand Doctors like this who think all is solved as long as we let them be the god’s of birth. That everything will be ok if we let them make our decisions for us. This is wrong, simplistic, and arrogant. I have given birth to 7 children and have #8 due in a few months. I was under a doctors care with my first 3 births. My FIRST baby (a daughter) was induced after I convinced another doctor in that practice to let me be induced and try to have her because the first doctor scheduled me for a C-section. (I later found out he was planning his wedding and didn’t want to be on call for deliveries!) By the way I had her from the first contraction to birth in less than 3 hrs & 45 minutes. My second baby (another daughter) and another practice altogether, I had a similar experience. My third baby, (another daughter) in yet different practice from the other two, died of a Strep B infection during a full term delivery due to my water breaking 4 weeks before and my doctor refusing to check and thinking I was hot because the leak was slow and it was August in the South. So because of his error, she died. All 3 of my daughters were born in the hospital. I have since had 4 boys and home deliveries (Thank God)! They have been healthier and we’ve all been happier and ALIVE! This last one is a little girl and I’m terrified of doctors and hospitals. People ask me all the time, “How can you have your baby at home, what if something happens?!?!?!?” My response is, “Something already did!!!” So how dare some self-absorbed doctor like the author of this article use words such as self-absorbed, negligent, ignorant, obsessive… After saying all this. I still think there is a wonderful place for doctors, when they know their place. Doctors are for emergencies. But every birth is not an emergency. And just because there is an emergency doesn’t mean doctors can fix it. Many times the doctors themselves are the cause of emergencies and they can’t fix them. Basically, we all have the capacity to make wrong decisions, that is the nature of life. And doctors make as many as the rest of us. Only difference – they are hardly ever held responsible – and that’s a shame.

    • Jocelyn

      I am very sorry that you had bad experiences with your first three births, and very, very sorry that you lost your daughter. However, that doesn’t change the statistics that show that hospital birth IS safer than home birth.

      Again, I’m very sorry for your loss.

      • Leah

        Thank you for your thoughts. However, I must disagree with your conclusion. Regardless of what people may think, I really looked into all the statistics. All the pros and cons. And more things than I could possible mention here. I didn’t take having homebirth lightly or as a knee-jerk reaction. Regardless of my experience, the life of my children is paramount in my decisions regarding birth. Anyone who knows me, knows I will never take a risk that I believe would harm my children. They mean more to me than anything on this earth. If I ever felt that I faced an emergency I would do everything that I could to save the life of my child.

        I just don’t agree that the “statistics” are as accurate as you say. First of all, who puts out the statistics? Not an impartial group! It is a group with an interest to control where the money is spent and basically what everyone does with their bodies and their children. Can you imagine if they put out something that went against their own agenda (money making, control of world populations…). I have found many statistics in this country and many others that disagree with the birth in the hospital statistics that you are siting. Many hospital “emergencies” are actually brought on by the doctors, hospital staff, unnecessary drugs and various unnecessary and ridiculous intervention that really isn’t needed in the average birth. So then these doctors can sometimes “save” their patients and then they are promptly hailed as hero’s and quickly put into the “statistics”. “Look at how wonderful we are and how great we are at saving lives.” It would really be great if we were shown unbiased statistics on how many emergencies are brought on by so much intervention. I think if we put up a site called SkepticalHomebirthers, I bet we could come up with all kinds of articles that would show just how unsafe hospital births can be too.

        I’m still not saying there isn’t a place for doctors, but I am saying there is also a place for those who don’t choose to do it that way. Why must OB’s feel that absolute need to control everything? Why can’t they be around but let women alone unless they need intervention. I’m sure there must be places out there where the dedication to not interfere unless a true emergency arises is paramount. But I know of no such place! Drug intervention, C-sections, hands on, on our backs, strapped up to every machine they can strap to us in the name of safety – is just too much. Let’s just take C-sections. Let’s use their own statistics, shall we. According to the CDC, hospitals in the U.S. give C-sections to 1/3 of all deliveries!!! Honestly, there are that many babies and moms whose lives are in danger? Come on! And we praise them for their health prowess. People need to wake up. If we want to make deliveries for babies safer – DUH – find out why so many people feel so dramatically compelled to have homebirth. And why homebirth is growing at such a dramatic rate. Women have been giving birth since the beginning of time. If it is so incredibly unsafe, why is the human race still in existence and why is everyone out there so terrified about overpopulation.

        • rh1985

          Overpopulation seems to have become a concern sometime after modern medicine came into existence…..

          • Leah

            Before modern medicine, no one was counting. The world wasn’t as technologically advanced to even begin to know how many people were around the world or not. We are threatened because we now can keep track of it. I don’t believe in overpopulation at this point in our world. The entire population of the world could fit in the city limits of Jacksonville Florida. Granted, not comfortably, but really we won’t fit in the rest of the world?

        • Lizzie Dee

          It would really be great if we were shown unbiased statistics on how many emergencies are brought on by so much intervention.

          I don’t believe many of the things you believe – but I agree wholewheartedly with that suggestion. You believe it would show one thing, I would expect it to show something quite else. Of course, the idea that it is possible to produce unbiased and definitive statistics that would “prove” anything to either of our satisfaction is not too likely.

          What do you mean exactly by “every machine they can strap us to”? And how much thought have you given to the 1/3 CS rate? You do know that includes repeat CS, women who are more than happy to have one, etc? The rate in FTM is much lower; some of them WILL be precautionary which is not the same as unnecessary and it does not seem to me too implausible that 10 to 20% does actually reflect the number of pregnancies that run into trouble of one kind or another. That still means that the majority of women stand a reasonable chance of an intervention free birth if that is what they want, and that hospitals will provide it.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Why must OB’s feel that absolute need to control everything?

          In what respect do OBs “control everything”?

          BTW, I don’t know why you put this all on doctors. Mothers all over are wanting to be induced. Shoot, just the other day we had someone around here complaining about women requesting induction because they were “tired of being pregnant.” Similarly, no one is forcing anyone to have an epidural, that is mother requested, as well.

          According to the CDC, hospitals in the U.S. give C-sections to 1/3 of all deliveries!!! Honestly, there are that many babies and moms whose lives are in danger?

          Probably not, but then again, that’s not the question. The question is, which ones aren’t? If we knew ahead of time which ones would have to have c-sections, and which ones wouldn’t, life would be a lot easier.

          Of course, we already do that. We don’t do c-sections for everyone. Sufficiently low-risk pregnancies are allowed to go on their own, no problem. It is only when things start getting less safe that doctors intervene. A good thing to remember: the point of intervention is to prevent emergencies, not resolve them. If you have an emergency, you have gone too far.

          Oh, btw, see my comment above. How many of that 33% that turn out to be c-sections are maternal request? My wife had the option with our second. She chose a c-section. The doctor never required it.

          • Leah

            I appreciate that you have a different view that I have. And honestly, my same reaction to your statement of, “I can’t imagine anyone who gave it a mere moment’s thought could even ask it.”, is almost just the same. I honestly cannot imagine anyone who gave it a mere moments thought could think otherwise.

            I do not mean to attack anyone, honestly. But to call people horrible names like this doctor routinely does in her articles – this is not her only article – is really obnoxious. My desire in what I wrote was to show there are other strong opinions out there that oppose her own. She is hateful. There are so many different opinions that people have and that is ok. I am thankful for opposing viewpoints. It is just wrong to force these viewpoints on each other. Name calling, putting people down and raising yourself and your opinions above others in a condescending way is just wrong. My first statement of “I can’t stand doctors like that.”, still holds true. In my experience with my daughter that died, The doctor never apologized. He was not even kind. He was an obnoxious know it all with very much the same type of abrasive attitude as this woman who wrote this article. He didn’t care who he hurt and he would not listen to me even though I knew something was wrong and begged him to check me. He was the doctor, I was the patient, and he knew better than I did.

            My whole point in writing such a reactionary post was simply to point that out. My daughter would be 15 now. I have learned a lot, I have attained a much higher education, and I have spent my life since my daughter’s death dedicated to learning, studying, reading research papers, looking at statistics (from various countries, including my own), helping others through similar circumstances, doing my own research etc. I do not believe I will ever be done. I am always on the lookout for the newest information and research… My words come from a place of education, experience, and a heartfelt desire to help others. I never want to go through that again, I want to help others to never go through what I have been through and my heart breaks when I help people who have gone through it.

            I meet many wonderful, smart, educated, uneducated people everywhere I go. We all have something to offer the world. It just really saddens and sickens me when others who feel that they are somehow smarter, or know more condescend to force their views on others by intimidation and demeaning tactics. I am allowed to have an opposing view and my opposing view should not be a threat. The only thing I feel threatened by are people who try to force others to believe the way they do because they think it’s right. Because they manipulate, threaten, demean… to get their way. People are manipulated, threatened, demeaned… because they are made to be afraid – NOT educated. Fear tactics and sneaky wording intended to make any other view appear stupid and uncommon are underhanded and narcissistic.

            Sadly your view of “fringe elements” shows that you are intolerant. I’m sorry for you. In my experience, people who enjoy forcing others to do, think, or feel what they want them to hardly ever change. It is a nature thing. When we find great pleasure in something, even if it is harmful to ourselves and/or others, we don’t stop. I really hope you are a strong enough person to go against the “statistics” and see that other people are smart too and that their views are as sometimes as good as your own. Maybe they aren’t as good and maybe they are better, but they are as important and as worthy of consideration.

  • Anj Fabian

    Dearly hoping that Susanna is not a doula or midwife.

  • Tiffany

    Its not common sense . The education to have a safe child birth or be ready to deal with a complication should it arise is much different in the US than it is in Africa. They have many many babies often very quickly, they are often malnourished, and so they are then better off in the hospital with a trained birth attendant than they would be birthing at home with no vehicle to transport if needed and no trained attendant . You cannot compare the two.

    Everyone please look up the farm birth statistics from Tennessee! Lookup real home birth statistics not just what you read in the news!

    • VIctoria

      You should visit the rest of the group on the current topic. It is about Ina May. Perhaps you can contribute some thoughts on the Ina May quotes that are, to me, disgusting.

  • Tiffany

    I have seen and helped doula women in unmedicated hospital births and it was amazing! However they were pushed to monitor more than they wished and one was told to have an IV. You gave birth a long time ago, I wish all hospitals were like that!! Awesome. However mostly depends on your OB and nurse staff now or at least in the hospitals in a 4 hour radius of me.

  • Tiffany

    They were not forced on you because perhaps you did not know any different, again education and true informed consent is key.When you use a Home Birth Midwife they asses as the birth moves along, emergencies or situations that need handled do not appear so fast that you cannot get to the hospital if needed. In home birth we do not create emergency situations so there is always time to evaluate and go to the hospital or meet the ems on the way. Rarely , rarely is a home birth transport ever an immediate emergency during birth. After birth regarding shock or PPH (hemorrhage) there may be more serious issues but we have things to help get that under control and that gives time to go to the hospital, if needed. In Va home birth midwives are not allowed to carry Pitocin , a hemorrhage stopping drug because it causes your uterus to contract and clamp down closing blood vessels, you may know this as the drug often abused for inductions.
    Note* there are times when a little pitocin is needed for a mother during labor to help her complete dilation or with placenta* that is when it should be used, when NEEDED.

    • Jocelyn

      By saying “In home birth we do not create emergency situations” you show an incredible lack of understanding of how emergencies develop. In the HUGE majority of cases, emergencies are not man-made. They are mostly unexpected, sudden medical events created by the body – and nothing (and no one) else – and they require immediate expert attention. Home births do not have the immediate expert care that these emergencies require. Hospitals do. By encouraging women to give birth away from the facilities and experts that can help them during these sudden, usually unexpected events you are putting mothers and babies at risk.

      Furthermore, some emergencies can be predicted. Some pregnancies and labors come with higher risks – such as twins, breech, post-dates – that are given extra attention in the hospital and yet are ignored in home birth. By ignoring (or being undereducated and oblivious about) these risks and telling families that they are just a “variation of normal,” you ARE putting women at risk and you ARE creating emergency situations.

  • Tiffany

    Birth is NOT highly risky, it is normal and natural, it is made highly risky by OBs and occasionally CNMs who manage birth to “prevent ” a problem when in reality that creates problems. Classic – PIT induction , body isn’t ready , baby freaks out from unnatural contractions labor stalls, emergency Sergical Birth to ” save the baby in distress. Thank god you were here! No if you had not induced me because I was a week ‘ past due’ none of this would have happened. It is a terrible tragedy that problems are created that could have been avoided, and mothers and babies suffer from it. I encourage you to watch an unmanaged labor( not the same as a non monitored labor, still watching vitals and well being of mom and baby) not on TV not in a Hospital and you will see that birth is BEST left ALONE UNTIL help is needed.
    PS – thankful for the few OBs who believe in natural birth and the CNMs who practice in hospital that believe in natural birth.

    What we DO need is emergency services like Sergical Birth for real emergencies and Pitocin for PPH not induction.

    In countries with no medical help , their statistics are bad also due to no attendant, lack of education, lack of proper nutrition, no care and still FGM. Not just no medical care.
    The USA with its HUGE amounts of money spent on maternity care still ranks in the 40s compared to other countries. Hmmmm????? That’s weird.

    • Elizabeth A

      Tiffany, which ranking are you looking at when you say that the US ranks in the 40s? Let me know, and I’ll address the statistic.

    • Victoria

      I’m sorry but I am having a hard time giving your thoughts much time because it is “surgical birth” not “Sergical Birth.” I don’t believe you anyway and you are making huge assumptions about what the readers here have seen or not seen. Did you know that Dr Amy has seen successful natural births? Had two of her own? That people here have seen unsuccessful natural births? Lost their own babies due to lack of intervention? That the readers here do not believe everyone should have interventions or a surgical birth but that they may need them?

      You are a doula right? How long was your education in doula-ing? 16 hour class? 5 books? This is not an education, that is an interesting weekend.

    • Jocelyn

      Hemlock is natural. Does that make it safe?

      My severe food allergies are normal. Does that make them safe?

      “Normal” is a measure of frequency and “natural” means that you can find it in nature. Neither are a measure of safety. Birth can be safe, and it can also be dangerous. Birth does inherently carry risk. Situations can arise (in completely healthy -looking women and babies) that are unexpected and must be dealt with by experts who know what’s going on and how to fix it.

    • Lizzie Dee

      Tiffany, I would agree with you that birth is not HIGHLY risky – but the idea that it is hospitals and OBs who introduce risk is so absurd I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone believes it. You describe the cascade of interventions as spelled out by NCB, – but have you ever looked at what it is that kills and damages women and babies? It isn’t interventions – it is the things that interventions are designed to deal with. They don’t die of Pitocin or CS unless the hospital is hopelessly negligent. It is as if people abandon logic and facts altogether and nervously conclude: babies die in hospital = babies die because of hospitals = if I stay away from hospitals nothing will go wrong. Pre- e, hypertension, PPH sepsis – these are not caused by hospitals. There might, just might, be an increased risk of infection – but there are also effective ways of dealing with it! Fetal distress is caused by strong contractions in babies already vulnerable – whether those strong, effective contractions are caused by pit or nature doesn’t change that. Having strong contractions at home but not bothering to check how the baby is doing isn’t going to change much. non of the other mishaps that can happen to a baby are CAUSED by interventions either. If you are destined to come safely through a natural birth – and most are – you don’t have much to worry about. But you can’t choose for it to go that way, you can’t much influence it – and if you avoid hospital for fear of intervention you end up in real trouble if it doesn’t. This is so blindingly obvious to the majority – NCB wants to persuade them otherwise.

  • Tiffany

    No heartbeat was not caused by her birthing at home, unfortunately it would have been the same with or with out a trained birth attendant – OB or CNM- home or hospital. I think you were very rude in this post to the mother and her family. Things skmilar to this happen ALL the time in a hospital as well , babies die from poor care based out of fear and mothers too sometimes. Babies suffer head injuries from vacuums or forceps because women are not allowed to birth in any position but on their back. Take an anatomy class the pelvis can move and open more if she were not prohibiting that by her position forced upon her to convenience the OB or CNM in the hospital. But we don’t report and act nasty to OBs who do not provide evidence based care, why? Because there is money in hospital birth but no money in home birth or birth center birth. TRUE INFORMED CHOICE/CONCENT is the most important thing. I prefer women to birth with a trained attendant so that they can help if anything rare arrives but that is their choice. <3 CPMs and evidence based care

    • Victoria

      So the lack of heartbeat might have happened at home but in the hospital they would have picked it up – in this unassisted birth no one was checking for a heartbeat because no one thought there was another baby and it was an unassisted childbirth.

      Things like this do not happen all the time in hospital. Tragedy can strike even in the hospital but it is not at the same rate as it does in homebirths. At least in the hospital you have done all you can to save the mother and baby.

      Pelvis – Dr Amy wrote a post on that which is not an anatomy class but will give you some insight. As Dr Amy has taken more classes dealing with human anatomy than you I would suggest you take a look.

      Forced to birth on their back – I think you are thinking of birthing in another century. But I guess that is what you want to do anyway – get back to “nature.”

      True informed consent and evidence based care – I do not think those mean what you think they mean.

      No money in home or birth centre birth? Really? So now it is conspiracy theories and flat out accounting issues.

    • Elizabeth A

      Actually, things like this *don’t* happen all the time in hospitals.

      In a hospital, a pregnant woman with twins would be asked to wear heart rate monitors – one for her, and one for each baby. A lot of mothers hate these monitors. In NCB circles, they’re described as part of the equipment “tying you to the bed”. In fact, they don’t restrict movement that much, they come on and off (you may need a nurse to help you find the heartbeats when you put them back on) and more and more hospitals are going for wireless units that don’t restrict movement at all.

      A heart rate monitor in this case would have been intended to identify early signs of distress in either baby, so that delivery could be managed appropriately. For example, a breech second twin going into distress after the delivery of the first twin would be indication for an emergency c-section.

      A second-born twin going into distress after the birth of the first baby is a really common situation – when the uterus has only half as much baby in it, it tends to radically decrease in size, which can cause placental abruption, endangering the baby that’s still using a placenta.

      This story is a story about a situation in which OBs could well have safely managed delivery, so that both babies were born healthy and didn’t require extra care. It’s a situation that OBs *do* manage in hospitals every day.

      If a delivery had gone this badly in hospital, everyone involved would be roped into the morbidity and mortality review, all their choices, actions and inactions would be scrutinized, and the hospital’s policies and procedures would be reviewed for improvement.

    • Ainsley Nicholson

      As a woman who has given birth to twins in a hospital setting, I can confirm what Elizabeth and Victoria have said- I had monitors for myself and each baby, and they didn’t restrict my mobility much at all…in fact, I spent most of my labor standing up.