Breech homebirth leads to genital amputation


Some days I feel like this blog writes itself. I don’t have to scout for examples of dangerous homebirths or ignorant, deluded homebirth advocates. They are everywhere I look.

Consider The Feminist Breeder’s take on Ruth Fowler’s homebirth that nearly ended in her death:

I love that Ruth’s birth is the textbook perfect example of a safe, planned homebirth wherein the midwives transferred to hospital care at the right time and helped this mother and baby finish out the job safely and happily. THIS is homebirth done right and this is the care that should be available to anyone who wants it.

Sure, just like a massive car accident that results in blood transfusions, surgery, anesthesia and a two day hospitalization is a perfect example of safe drunk driving!

No sooner had I caught my breath from laughing so hard at the entire concept that a homebirth that required blood products, removal of retained placenta, antibiotics for infection, “loads” of fentanyl and a 2 day hospitalization is safe, and before I even had time to wonder what these clowns think is an unsafe homebirth, I came across a perfect example. The comment comes from a homebirth advocate who is a nurse at St. Louis’ Barnes Jewish Hospital:

scrotal necrosis

Apparently, THIS is what passes for an unsafe homebirth:

It’s really hard to defend to my coworkers whose only frame of reference for home birth is (for one example) the patient who had been pushing for 5-6 hours on a not completely dilated cervix with a breech boy effectively in “scrotum” presentation. Thanks to her irresponsible and untrained “lay midwife” it Ended in genitalia amputation because they had necrotized.

I’ll bet it’s hard to defend homebirth when the end result is a necrotic scrotum and total genital amputation.

But you know what? It ought to be hard to defend homebirth even when nothing is amputated and no one dies and the end result is “merely” the near death of the mother.

What is wrong with homebirth advocates that their definition of “safety” includes near death experiences?

I can’t explain it, but this should serve as a cautionary tale to any woman contemplating homebirth:

When a “safe” homebirth includes blood transfusions, removal of retained placenta, antibiotics for infection, “loads” of fentanyl and a 2 day hospitalization, you know that homebirth is not and can never be safe.