Here’s the homebirth website,
Here are the people,
Open the homepage,
Look at the sheeple.
“Sheeple” is a derogatory term thrown about by homebirth and natural childbirth advocates to imply that women who consult and heed the advice of obstetricians are blind, unthinking followers. However, when it comes to sheeple, homebirth and NCB advocates have it precisely backward. It is they who are sheeple, blindly following leaders of the cult like homebirth and NCB movements, lacking the knowledge base to question the lies they are told, and putting the lives of their babies at risk for no better reason than bragging rights.
Consider the following comment, typical of the homebirth advocates who regularly parachute into the blog to chastise and “educate” the rest of us:
Babies Die. It happens in hospitals and it happens at home or in transit. The only difference is that the world looks down on you if your baby died during a homebirth. Then it turns from pity to the fact that you deserved to have your baby die because you chose to have them at home. That attitude does nothing to bridge the gap between home birth and hospital birth. After reading your blog for a few days now, I have come to the conclusion that you are just as harsh, in your face, and rude as you claim all the homebirth advocates to be. This kind of behavior only feeds the hate that is out there already. You posting pictures that were taken from a website in which parents gather together and post to help support each other and then use it to say “SEE! I Told You So.” is truly disgusting. There seems to be nothing sacred to you and people like you. You are all correct and everyone else is wrong.
I’ve seen these sentences, in a various combinations, literally thousands of time. They are lifted wholesale from homebirth and NCB websites and message boards where the ignorant inspire other ignorant women to believe nonsense. I would hope that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would learn to question the nonsense, but they rarely do. That’s because they are not independent thinkers; they have no original ideas. They lack even the most basic knowledge of science, statistics and childbirth to make any independent assessment of anything. They are cult members hoping to enhance their reputation among other cult members.
Let’s parse the comment for the components of their foolishness.
1. Babies Die. It happens in hospitals and it happens at home or in transit.
Duh. Of course babies die. Childbirth is inherently dangerous. The issue is not that babies die in both places but how the rates of death compare. Homebirth advocates have a serious problem with basic arithmetic. Apparently most of them were day dreaming in the 4th grade when they were supposed to be learning abut rates.
Approximately 12 people die from poisonous snake bite in the US each year. Approximately 520 women die from pregnancy and childbirth related causes each year. By the “reasoning” of homebirth advocates, pregnancy is more than 40 TIMES more dangerous than poisonous snake bites. Wow, who knew that pregnancy was so dangerous?
What’s wrong with this “reasoning”?
Comparing absolute numbers is inappropriate. The only valid comparison is that of rates. Rate, in this case, is the absolute number of people who died from the cause divided by the number of people who could have been exposed to the cause. Approximately 8,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes each year for a death rate of 1.5/1000. Approximately 4 million women are pregnant each year, for a death rate of 0.13/1000 (equivalent to 13/100,000). In other words, snake bite is 12 times more dangerous than pregnancy.
2. The only difference is that the world looks down on you if your baby died during a homebirth.
No the difference is that most babies who die at home did not have to die. They died for lack of access to life-saving emergency procedures (like C-sections) and personnel (obstetricians, anesthesiologists and neonatologists) who could have saved them. Babies who die in the hospital probably would not have lived regardless of where they were born because they die in spite of access to life-saving emergency procedures.
It’s the difference between babies who die in car accidents because they weren’t buckled into carseats and babies who die despite being buckled into carseats. That babies die in both situations does not change the fact that buckling a baby into a carseat means taking every precaution, while letting your baby sit unsecured in a moving car is the height of irresponsibility.
3. That attitude does nothing to bridge the gap between home birth and hospital birth.
So what? My attitude does nothing to bridge the gap between women who secure their babies in carseats and women who don’t, either. I’m not trying to “bridge the gap”; I’m trying to introduce homebirth advocates to the dangers of homebirth through the use of basic logic, basic statistics or stories and pictures that bring the death toll of homebirth into vivid view.
4. This kind of behavior only feeds the hate that is out there already.
Do you think I care? Your “hate” is like the “hate” of my children when they were small and didn’t get their way. I’m not here to have you like me. I’m here to force you to face unpleasant truths, and give up comforting lies. The fact that people hate me simply emphasizes their dread that I am right and they risked or even sacrificed their babies’ lives for no better reason than an experience.
5. You posting pictures that were taken from a website in which parents gather together and post to help support each other …
Proving yet again that homebirth advocates can’t be bothered to read simple English before leaping to conclusions. The Hurt by Homebirth website is MY website, created in response to requests from homebirth loss parents who selflessly share their pain so no other parent has to walk in their shoes. How did the commentor “know” what I had supposedly done. Some other homebirth advocate told her and she believed it unquestioningly.
6. You are all correct and everyone else is wrong.
No, I, in my capacity as an expert with decades of training, experience and command of the obstetric literature are much more likely to be correct than homebirth advocates who are a fringe group full of women lacking basic knowledge of any relevant discipline. I represent the overwhelming majority of obstetricians, of doctors of all specialties and of American women who would never risk the life of their babies on the say-so of the icons of the homebirth movement, who speak mostly nonsense.
My blog is a testament to the fact that women who choose hospital birth recognize the value of professional expertise, but are also eager to learn and capable of reading the scientific literature, debating the merits of various points of view and holding a self-image strong enough to withstand even the most vile comments of homebirth and NCB advocates.
Who are the real sheeple? Homebirth advocates, of course, who believe things not because they make sense or because they are said by experts by because they choose to unthinkingly follow the nonsense of other lay people as ignorant as themselves.