Judy Slome Cohain makes a video


If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I guess I should be flattered that Judy Slome Cohain, CNM has noted the success of my video The truth about homebirth midwives, seen by nearly 10,000, and decided to make an imitation touting the “safety” of homebirth.

You may remember Judy. She’s the clown who declared that intravaginal cloves of garlic are an appropriate treatment for maternal GBS colonization. She has blood on her hands because babies, including Wren, have died as a result.

Apparently she hasn’t been responsible for enough preventable perinatal deaths, so she’s made a video!

The video is an outstanding example of what passes for “logic” and “education” among homebirth advocates.

Let’s start with Judy’s title, Why home birth is 1000 times safer than hospital birth for low risk women. Now you might think that means that Judy is going to show us research that demonstrates that hospital birth has death rate that is 1000 times higher that the death rate of homebirth. Don’t be silly! How would she do that when we already know, from numerous studies and datasets (including Oregon, Colorado and CDC data), that homebirth has mortality rate up to 10 times higher than comparable risk hospital birth? Maybe it’s just rhetorical, kind of like claiming that homebirth is wicked safer than hospital birth (even though it is not).

Do watch the video. It provides loads of laughs especially since it is designed for medical practitioners who will listen to the first 30 seconds, and conclude that Judy is a dolt.

She starts with the idiotic and then moves on from there.

Judy explains that some people think homebirth might be unsafe because of the risk of emergencies, but dismisses this because, in her mind, an “emergency” is a cord around the neck, which isn’t particularly dangerous at all. How about fetal distress? Judy doesn’t say. Breech with a trapped head? Judy doesn’t say. Abruption, Judy doesn’t say. Presumbably, in those situations, your baby will simply die, but how could that compare with the utter devastation of having a C-section.

Judy does talk about shoulder dystocia and what she says (and what she neglects to say) make her conclusion ludicrous.

According to Judy:

Shoulder dystocia … are [sic] easier to manage at home

JSC shoulder dystocia 1

That sounds extremely unlikely, but Judy actually provides a reference to a website, shoulderdystociainfo.com.

I happened to have worked with Dr. Lerner, the creator of shoulderdystociainfo.com, and it’s hard for me to imagine that he would have written that shoulder dystocia is easier to manage at home, since correct management of shoulder dystocia involves a team approach including a nurse, an anesthesiologist and a neonatologist. And what do you know? When I reviewed the website I found that homebirth ISN’T EVEN MENTIONED, let alone described as safe for shoulder dystocia.

But, hey, when you have no regard for the truth, and you just make stuff up as you go along, it only makes sense that you would site as a reference a source that doesn’t even mention your claim, let alone endorse it.

Apparently, Judy “knows” that shoulder dystocia is easier to manage at home and she provides us with the reasons.

JSC shoulder dystocia 2

You have to give Judy credit. How many other people could cram so much stupidity into one slide?

Shoulder dystocia is safer to manage at home because “suprapubic pressure easy on mattress on the floor.”

Is this woman for real? How many homebirths occur on mattresses on the floor? Probably zero. They are much more likely to occur in a kiddie pool of fecally contaminated water and there’s no way to apply suprapubic pressure there, not to mention no one available to apply it.

You lose “2 critical minutes” untangling BP cuff, IV, monitor, epidural and lowering the bed? Why would they be tangled in the first place? In addition, the beds are electric, they can be lowered in seconds. And (here’s the clincher), in the hospital, the staff ARE PREPARED for shoulder dystocia. Many hospitals drill their staff on shoulder dystocia treatment, so the requisite maneuvers proceed quickly and smoothly.

But of course, Judy just made up these claims (and lied about the source), just like she made up her claim that intravaginal cloves of garlic are an appropriate treatment for maternal group B strep colonization.

I left a comment on the video and I didn’t mince words:

Judy, you should be ashamed of yourself for the blood you have on your hands. You are the clown who made up the idea of intravaginal garlic to treat GBS and babies have died as a result of listening to your nonsense. This is just more garbage.

I don’t even understand most of the gibberish that Judy spewed in response, but I do understand this:

And contrary to Amy’s post, not a single baby has ever died because her mother put some garlic in her vagina or mouth during pregnancy.

Really? How about this baby, Wren Jones?


Judy ends her video with more of her trademark mendacity.


Oh, look, Judy isn’t claiming that homebirth has a lower death rate, since it doesn’t. She’s claiming that homebirth is safer because it has a lower intervention rate. Yes, your baby has a greater chance of living if you give birth in a hospital, but what does that matter if you ended up with an intervention?

Earth to Judy:

There is no evidence that the lower intervention rate at homebirth makes it safer and copious evidence that the lower intervention rate makes it more dangerous. Of course that assumes that you care whether your baby lives or dies, which most mothers do, even if you do not.