Oregon attempts to bury dead homebirth babies twice


Oregon homebirth midwives have a very serious problem. A recent analysis prepared by Judith Rooks, CNM (a homebirth supporter) showed that for a baby alive at the start of labor, homebirth increased the risk of death by 800%.


That required action on the part of homebirth advocates. No, silly, not tightening requirements for the education and training of homebirth midwives. How about restricting their scope of practice? Are you nuts? Just because babies are dying left and right at Oregon homebirths is not reason to interfere with the income stream of homebirth supporters.

Instead, homebirth partisans have moved to bury dead homebirth babies twice. First they buried them in pathetically tiny coffins. Now they are burying them in report about homebirth that includes a blizzard of numbers, all the numbers EXCEPT the most important one, the death rate of babies who started labor alive.

You can find the unabridge document here.

It is 7 complete pages and includes a variety of pages, but search for any mention of “death rate” and you will find there is NOT A SINGLE MENTION of the deaths rates.

Why does that sound familiar? Maybe it’s because it’s just like the most recent report from Colorado homebirth midwives that ALSO neglected to mention the death rates. Maybe because it’s strikingly reminiscent of MANA’s decision to publicly proclaim the C-section rate, intervention rate, transfer rate, prematurity rate, and many other rates, and in a striking coincidence, they ALSO neglected to mention the death rates. It’s almost if there is a conspiracy among homebirth midwives and their supporters to hide the death toll of homebirth from American women!!

The abridged version tries another tactic: adding in stillbirths to dramatically soften the impact of the homebirth deaths.

The term perinatal mortality rate§ for planned out-of-hospital births (4.0/1,000 pregnancies) was nearly twice that of in- hospital births (2.1/1,000).

Doesn’t that sound so much better than an 800% increased death rate for babies who were alive at the start of labor? And it’s so much less informative, too, which comports with the efforts of MANA and homebirth midwives to obtain “misinformed consent.”

The folks at the Oregon Department of Health should be ashamed of themselves for agreeing to participate in a patently unethical whitewash.

The fact remains (even if they won’t include it) that for babies alive at the start of labor homebirth increases the risk of death by 800%. That is an appalling number, only slightly less appalling than the fact that homebirth partisans are desperate to hide the number by any means at their disposal.

Homebirth kills babies. Homebirth midwives and their partisans KNOW that homebirth kills babies and they are doing everything they possibly can to hide that information from American women.

When it comes to homebirth midwives, their lack of ethics is nearly as appalling as their lack of education and skill.

33 Responses to “Oregon attempts to bury dead homebirth babies twice”

  1. Amazed
    October 3, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    … or move to Hawai.

    Look! It’s Darby Partner, a glorified midwife and babykiller. Lucky them mothers in Hawai…


    Excuse me, I am now going off to be sick. See you soon and mucho love darlings! (Do I sound like a proper granny midwife?)

    I can’t believe the temerity of the woman.

    • violinwidow
      October 3, 2013 at 9:55 pm #

      She will never learn, she actually believes herself to be just as much of a victim as baby Shazhad.

      • Amazed
        October 3, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

        And more of a victim than Margarita who ‘persecuted’ her.

        • KarenJJ
          October 3, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

          Why can’t these people just teach yoga or some such Eat-Pray-Love-finding-myself activity? Why must they get involved in delivering babies.

          And persecuted indeed. She is a piece of work. I suppose I’m being meen now, too?

          • Mishimoo
            October 3, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

            Yoga requires effort as well as some training so as not to injure oneself. Knitting and/or “holding space” normally does not.

    • Happy Sheep
      October 4, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

      Too bad we didn’t know this when Dr Amy was there, THAT would be a meeting I would like to see.

  2. EllenD
    October 3, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    Of the 8 out-of-hospital birth deaths, 6 of them did not meet low risk criteria for out-of-hospital birth (including twins, postdates and morbid obesity). Hmmm… variation of normal or high risk? Either way, their babies are dead.

    • Certified Hamster Midwife
      October 3, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

      Dead is a variation of normal.

      Of course, as a Certified Hamster Midwife, I believe that eating your placenta and then eating your baby is normal, so take what I say with a grain of millet.

  3. MrG
    October 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    If I read the original data correctly: 2,021 planned homebirths and 39,990 hospital births.
    Neonatal death: 4 at home and 26 in hospital
    4/2,021 = 1.979/1,000 and 26/39,990 = 0.65 / 1,000
    So 3.04 times more neonatal deaths in the planned home birth group.
    Isn’t that clear enough?

  4. E-m
    October 3, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    I am confused. I thought perinatal mortality was the statistic that was the most meaningful comparison? What am missing?

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      October 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

      Perinatal mortality is the gold standard for international comparisons. However, if you are looking specifically at the effect of place of birth, the best measure is outcomes for babies who were alive at the start of labor (intrapartum still births+neonatal deaths). That’s the best way to judge the impact of giving birth far from expert assistance.

    • Young CC Prof
      October 3, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

      Perinatal deaths can be caused by many things, some of which are unpreventable, like severe birth defects, sudden placental abruption, or complications of prematurity.

      Intrapartum deaths (DURING labor) of normal babies should pretty much never happen if there is decent medical care available.

  5. Renee
    October 3, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    If the state allows this, will it open then up to lawsuits when some mom loses a baby and said they relied on THIS for informed consent? Oregon is already being sued over a severe CP outcome.

    • auntbea
      October 3, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

      The information isn’t missing. They just aren’t advertising it. Their AIC.

  6. Renee
    October 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Ridiculous. If you want a HB, fine, but you NEED the FACTS before you do it. This is ensuring no one gets them.

  7. October 3, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    I feel for any parent who loses a child – I cannot imagine a heartache that would be worse – except losing a child and then finding out that providers and the government knew that homebirth increased the risk of death but willfully with held that information from those who were making a decision about where to give birth. It’s an outrageous betrayal layered on top of an incredibly heart breaking loss – frankly, it strikes me as breaching a duty owed to those parents, the duty to provide informed consent.

  8. fiftyfifty1
    October 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    I could use this tactic if I wanted to argue against mandatory car seats for kids. Sure kids who aren’t restrained have a risk of dying in a car crash that is many times that of the risk of a restrained kid. But HEY, I hope the following distracts you!! Look over here—-> Car crashes aren’t the only sort of important accident. Drowning and gunshots and getting strangled in the min-blinds are also important! Also cancer is an important cause of childhood mortality! If you look at ALL of these causes of mortality (and I’m betting I can fool you into doing so), your un-restrained child doesn’t have a many-multiples risk of dying in childhood compared to a restrained kid, now he has only a double risk. See, not so bad. I’ve diluted it down, and it’s so much more palatable. Strapping your kid in won’t prevent cancer after all, so what’s the point?

  9. FormerPhysicist
    October 3, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    2/1000 seems like such a low number, until you realize that my child’s elementary school is 500 kids. Which one would you like to erase before they even draw breath?

    • auntbea
      October 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

      Right. I always remember that my high school class was 400. For “small” risks like 1/100, that’s four people just dropping dead. I believe that would cause a stir.

      • fiftyfifty1
        October 3, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

        Yeah, but these babies don’t “drop dead”. They are “born still, peacefully sleeping”. That’s so much nicer, don’t you think?

        • WhatPaleBlueDot
          October 3, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

          Sounds so much better than “suffocated or poisoned while being beaten against an unyielding pelvix.”

          • Certified Hamster Midwife
            October 3, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

            “choked to death on its own poop”

      • Captain Obvious
        October 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

        Football two-a-days practice stopped because of a rare child dying at these practices. Yet Homebirth continues.

      • Amazed
        October 3, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

        22 kids in my class in high school. 1.1 mothers unable to breastfeed.

  10. Lisa from NY
    October 3, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    Planned OOH births have a higher rate of stillbirths, since they think all babies “know” when to be born.

    • fiftyfifty1
      October 3, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

      Yeah, but at least it’s not a 800% greater risk. So even though it’s a worse rate they can still use it to dilute down the 800% number. Slick how that works, isn’t it?

    • Anj Fabian
      October 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

      So does that mean the hospital born babies were smarter?

      • October 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

        No, they got pulled out before they were ready by evil, evil OBs worried about silly things like them not-dying.

    • October 3, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

      After all why would you want to sacrifice your OOH birth so that you could have timely induction?

      • Allie P
        October 6, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

        Me and my adorable little timely induction (who just turned three) would like to dedicate this birthday to Cervadil.

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