Instead of Birth Without Fear, how about Birth Without Death?

Street signs

I wonder how many women have been supported and encouraged by homebirth websites to risk their babies’ lives at homebirth and then have those babies die.

Here’s one mother:

March 1, 2013:

I love my intuition to find a midwife and I love the fact I have the strength to attempt a home vba2c …

June 19, 2013:

I’m having a vba2c in nov with a homebirth midwife, I must say I trust my midwife with my entire soul, the amount of knowledge and experience a good midwife has is far far far more superior to an obgyn , since the obgyn is a sergeon [sic] they will of corse be more comfortable to reccomend such intervention. Your body can do it …

The picture of the dead baby on Stillbirthday:

My sweet son who left the body during labor , I miss him with my every breath …

The obituary.

The desperate attempt at rationalization:

I would like to heal from (emotionally/physically) _____________ (regarding pregnancy/birth/motherhood).

Losing my son (3rd child) at 43 weeks during labor , was attempting a home birth vba2c , his passing was NOT due to me attempting a vaginal birth or a home birth , in fact when we attempt to have our 4th child I will be going for a vba3c, I am so supported through this by the women in my local homebirth group , it has allowed me to see the sun in the storm, I have started a charity in my sons name to help women get a doula or midwife when they would not be able to afford their services other wise.

Instead of worrying about whether their babies are naturally born, or born without fear, homebirth advocates should concentrate on whether their babies are born alive. Then maybe they will be born alive.

 

Addendum: If that were not horrifying enough, the “healing” thread from Birth Without Fear contains yet another homebirth death that occurred only a few weeks before. His mother wrote:

I would like to heal from (emotionally/physically) _____________ (regarding pregnancy/birth/motherhood).

Emotionally from the death of my son at two days old (7 weeks ago). After a perfect pregnancy and labor, my son was born and didn’t breathe unexpectedly. He lived two days on life support, and then died in my arms when we let him go…

Apparently this was just another casualty of midwives’ efforts to bring third world causes of death to the first world. Just another homebirth baby who was “fine” right up until it dropped nearly dead into the hands of the clueless midwife … just like the other 18 homebirth babies I have written about in the past 3 years who died in the same way.

According to the midwife’s website:

Perfect pregnancy
Perfect parents
Perfectly loved
Perfectly wrong that you are gone so soon

And perfectly unnecessary. When will these women stop worrying about their “experience” and start worrying about whether their babies will live or die?

  • lalekija

    you are such a bully.
    and calling yourself “skeptical” is a severe misuse of the English language. you are not skeptical; you are completely biased in everything you say. you name call and criticize mana for only reporting one-sided data, and yet you are 100% hypocritical in this.

    to mock the “birth without fear” community in this post’s title is a perfect example of your absurdity, because birth without fear does not solely focus on home birth. every day they post beautiful stories about women who labored in the hospital and/or had cesarean sections. they are careful to promote having options over which options women choose.

    i grew up in the midwifery community, as my mother spent many years working as a home birth midwife in Texas. she knows more about women AND babies than i could ever hope to learn in a lifetime of studying. true licensed midwives are not untrained or clueless as you so often suggest. it involves years of meeting education and apprenticeship requirements with classroom and hands on field experience, and then annual continuing education. my mother delivered hundreds of babies safely at home and never once lost a mom or a baby. she only needed to transport to the hospital a handful of times and most of those were simply failure to progress. she twice had a cord prolapse, and both times held the baby safely in position until they were on the operating table. shoulder distosia, unresponsive babies, hemorrhaging, etc. are all things that she was trained to deal with – and did every time without further complication. what’s more, the midwifery model of care involves a huge focus on diet and prenatal health. in fact, just this morning i learned that in all her years of practicing, she only had two women become pre-eclamptic because each time she had a client headed in that direction she changed their diet and it corrected the problem. midwives do not want to avoid all intervention; they want to avoid UNNECESSARY and HARMFUL intervention – which is the standard of care in hospitals.

    you often resort to the argument that i’ve heard a million times throughout my pregnancy when people find out i’m planning a home birth: that your birth experience doesn’t matter as long as the outcome is a healthy baby. but that’s complete and utter bull shit. it DOES matter. obviously it doesn’t matter AS MUCH as a healthy baby, and i’ll adjust if i have to. but the birth i want isn’t just some selfish fantasy – i’m making these choices based on what science and millenia of birthing women have proven are the safest, healthiest, and most positive ways to bring a child into the world/interact with them in their first few hours of life. they have been researched and well thought out. i’m not just winging it here and hoping for the best.

    the attitude that it doesn’t really matter what happens to you in the hospital during labor because as soon as you hold your baby you won’t care anymore is FALSE and it is hurting women. you may not care anymore for a few hours because you’re in awe of your baby – but days and weeks later the trauma that you experienced will resurface. there are thousands of women who are dealing with legitimate PTSD because of the way they were maimed or discounted during their hospital birth. women who were brutally cut and are suffering the consequences years later in their sex lives and future pregnancies. women who had an impatient doctor shove his/her arm inside of them and rip their placenta from their body because they were unwilling to wait for it to detach on its own. women being drugged past the point of coherency and then forced into procedures that they didn’t want because now their baby is in distress from all the drugs. women recovering from unnecessary c-sections who go home and can’t hold or comfort their confused toddler because they are in too much abdominal pain for weeks. women who suffer from severe postpartum depression and are unable to emotionally attach to their infant because the synthetic hormones that were pumped into their body (often without consent) block the natural oxytocin that releases during birth and initiates the bonding response between mom and baby. babies who never learn to latch properly because they are not left alone with their mother to engage in their natural instinct as mammals to find her nipple and begin nursing. babies who years later have unexplained fear responses because they receive two rounds of shots before they are 24 hours old even though science has proven that subjecting a newborn to pain can have lifelong psychological affects. and dads who are left feeling helpless and disconnected because rather than being counted as an integral part of labor and delivery, they were expected to stand beside a hospital bed while watching their wives in pain for hours on end. (dad’s experience matters, too!)

    it is NOT irresponsible, in the great majority of cases, to birth at home. what is ALWAYS irresponsible, especially for someone toting around their “MD” status, is to tell women that their experience doesn’t matter. it’s irresponsible to use your title to skew facts because you are afraid. it’s irresponsible to continue to spread the false assumption that medical intervention in labor is generally necessary and without long-term affects or risks. it’s irresponsible to strip mothers of their choices and their intuition under the banner of feminism. your blog is the opposite of empowering. it’s fear mongering and misinformed – and it’s mean.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Planned homebirth in the US has an 800% risk of neonatal death. The only people who appear to be unaware of the risk are homebirth advocates like yourself.

    • Roadstergal

      “women recovering from unnecessary c-sections who go home and can’t hold or comfort their confused toddler because they are in too much abdominal pain for weeks”

      There’s so much to pull out of your rant, but this one did pop out at me. My friend was convinced to VBAC for her second because ‘natural is better,’ and gave birth with a midwife present without pain meds because ‘natural is better,’ and was slightly post-dates because ‘natural is better.’ She had flashback nightmares for weeks due to the pain, her baby had an infection and was in the NICU for over a week, she had some retained placenta and was bleeding for weeks, and she had stitches where she sat, peed, and defecated rather than on her abdomen. Well, the experience matters, as you say. Nothing like my co-worker who had her children in the hospital, with epidurals. Pain-free, controlled pushing, safe and healthy babies, managed and quick recoveries. That sort of experience isn’t one you condone.

      Natural. So much better.

  • Ashley

    While everyone’s views may be different, I find it incredibly cruel for you to take one mother’s loss and use her personal posts and comments to try to prove your thoughts and opinions to be true. A child died, a mother grieves, how very cruel of you to quote her and use her loss in such a heartless way.

    • Who?

      If you want to see cruel, see the ‘natural’ community shun a loss mother who goes looking for understanding of why a baby died.

      This is harsh, I agree, but cruel? If one prospective home birth is averted because someone reads this and starts having doubts, that is good news.

      And this isn’t thoughts and opinions being ‘proved’, it is facts and statistics being shared. Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but they are not entitled to their own facts. The homebirth community’s manufactured ‘statistics’ don’t withstand the disinfectant of sunlight.

  • J.R.

    An overwhelming amount of studies show that home birth (birth without unnecessary intervention) is safer than birthing in a hospital. Birth is like intercourse – intimate, private. Why would anyone want to do it surrounded by strangers and hooked up to machines in a building where sick and contagious people congregate when she could do it in her own home, surrounded only by people she trusts the most? As for the risk, I could site stories of babies being decapitated when the doctor goes to forcibly remove them from the canal (something that’s done often) or being induced far too early and then being severely underweight/underdeveloped. Dont even get me started on the high c-section rates that leave thousands of mothers scarred and babies bereft of the experience of birth (which is intended to benefit them in countless crucial ways)… Stop trying to scare women. Birth is not an emergency. Pregnancy is not an illness. Women are MADE to do this incredible thing called birth, and we (especially those who are grieving) do not need your fear mongering.

    • Kq

      You’re and idiot. Babies die and mothers grieve because of stupid rhetoric like this.

      • Bombshellrisa

        Oh Kq-now I really, REALLY love you. Maybe I will share my loot from the bingo I just yelled above : )

    • Sara M.

      Interesting because ever since I started reading this website I have been feeling LESS scared and even let go of the unearned guilt from my previous birth. It’s your rhetoric that scared the hell out of me. Not you specifically, but the statements you make are old, boring, and completely useless to someone like me. By the way, I was born via C-section and no one has ever told me that I was “bereft of the experiance of birth”. I am grateful to be breathing apparently that was an issue prior to the C-section. But you can judge me and mine however you want.

      • Cobalt

        Better to be “bereft the experience of birth” than bereft the experience of life.

    • An Actual Attorney

      Grabbing popcorn…

      • Mishimoo

        Coffee and brownies here.

    • Why are you grieving if women are MADE to do this incredible thing called birth?

    • guest

      Please post links to the “overwhelming amount of studies” that show that “home birth is safer than birthing in a hospital”.

    • D/

      Doctors *often* forcibly decapitate babies in hospital births?!

      Now I do recall a neonatology estimate of such events as 1:30-some MILLION births, but *often*? … Seriously J.R., that’s some professional-quality scaremongering you have going on there!

    • Pregnancy is not an illness. But it sure can make women sick. Let’s talk about all the life-threatening complications women are at risk for ONLY during (or immediately following) pregnancy. HELLP Syndrome? I spent last Saturday catching up with the family of my most precious NICU baby, whose poor mama was taken off life support 6 days after he was born…emergently….thanks to HELLP.

      And birth isn’t ALWAYS an emergency. My own pregnancy was absolutely perfect. But my labor and birth? Anything but. My c-section was not an emergency, but it was urgent. And without it, myself and my daughter would not have made it. Would have been a slow long death for both of us, but back in the good-old days, at least one funeral would have happened. And then my poor husband would be forced to attend the World Series tomorrow night all by himself…..GO ROYALS! (Sorry, I had to throw that in….)

      But in all seriousness. Open your eyes. Pregnancy and birth are both unpredictable…

    • Life Tip

      “Dont even get me started on the high c-section rates that leave… babies bereft of the experience of birth (which is intended to benefit them in countless crucial ways)…”

      Forget “countless”, maybe you could name two or three? With legitimate studies to back them up?

    • guest

      Maybe this would be easier for you to understand:

      This your baby’s brain: intact egg

      This is your baby’s brain without proper medical intervention during labor (ie- home birth): Visualize egg frying in pan

      Any questions?

    • “An overwhelming amount of studies show that home birth (birth without unnecessary intervention) is safer than birthing in a hospital. ”

      Please list all peer-reviewed studies that support this claim.

      And please don’t hold back…I am ready to be overwhelmed!

    • Bombshellrisa

      BINGO!
      You managed to fill the idiot card in ONE comment. That isn’t a record, but I can’t believe anyone can simply repeat a bunch of garbage and think it makes them sound even remotely like they know something about obstetrics.

    • Hey J.R. Superstar….we’re waiting. All I’m hearing is crickets…

  • G G

    many a baby may be survived without hospital treatment involved.
    my experience all from one of the top 100 hospital.

  • G G

    there are stillborn in big hospitals as well. my friend had one in one of the best hospital. and I myself gave birth all in the hospital and had the most horrible experience which I tried all these years to forget.

  • Stacy21629

    Let’s weigh the options this mother had:
    Option 1 – 39 weeks – RCS – live baby
    Option 2 – 40 weeks – RCS – live baby
    Option 3 – 41 weeks – RCS – live baby
    Option 4 – 42 weeks – RCS – live baby
    Option 5 – 43 weeks – show up at hospital in labor, RCS – live baby
    Option 6 – 43 weeks – show up at hospital in labor, demand TOL, CS at first sign of distress – live baby
    Option 7 – 43 weeks – attempt homebirth vba2c – DEAD baby
    Yea…the homebirth had NOTHING to do with it. I’m sorry, but the “details” don’t matter. It doesn’t matter if mom was GBS positive, if her water was broken or not, what the baby’s heartrate was, how far they were from the hospital or how fast they drove to get there. What matters is that mom had MULTIPLE options that would have GUARANTEED a LIVE baby and she picked the only one that had a high risk of a DEAD baby. And not only that, she is so blind to that fact and so in love with the idea of a vaginal birth that she’s willing to do it again! If she gets pregnant again, her goal is NOT a live baby (or she’d just pick option 1-6, preferably 1-2) her goal is pushing that baby through her vagina, so she’ll pick option 7 again.
    Amy does not “torment” women that see the terrible error they made and are truly grieving over it. She does make examples of those that are more in love with the experience than they are their baby.

  • anon

    I feel so very sorry for you ladies who feel so negative about birth. It’s so very sad.

    • Anj Fabian

      I feel for you who trivialize needless deaths. That isn’t “sad”. It’s pathetic.

      • attitude devant

        It should be criminal.

    • Siri

      We don’t feel negative about birth; we feel angry and upset about babies dying needlessly. Don’t you?!

    • attitude devant

      I feel very sorry for people who feel they have to risk their babies’ lives to show how groovy they are. That’s so very disgusting.

    • Captain Obvious

      We all feel positive about babies that live/survive. The negativity comes from watching a woman choose a birth plan that risks that outcome. The negativity comes from watching women ignorantly cheering on high risk decisions that increase neonatal death and stillborn outcomes by 3-10 fold. The negativity comes from watching women attempt to sweep a baby’s death under the rug and not learn from their mistakes.

    • AlisonCummins

      Not negative about birth. Negative about dead babies.

    • Karen in SC

      Classic sanctimommy!

    • DaisyGrrl

      Negative? I’d call us realistic.

      • anion

        The ignorance of these people is astonishing. If homebirth was so safe, hospital birth would never have come into being; anyone who’s read novels set before modern obstetrics, anyone who’s spent ten minutes reading nonfiction about any historical period or paid attention in history class, knows that pregnancy/birth was a *major* cause of death for young women.

        All those women who had homebirths back then? Were desperate for some way(s) to make it safer and less painful. It was *women* who fought for pain relief and hospital birth. And to promote homebirth and act like it’s the cool feminist thing to do, to deny the dangers, is to dishonor the memories of every woman and infant who lost their lives before modern obstetrics.

        • ngozi

          I am sure my grandmother who died during childbirth felt a little negative about childbirth. Her children who lost a mother AND a baby that day probably felt a little negative. Watching their mother and stillborn baby brother loaded into a wagon and carried away was probably a bummer too.
          But hey!! She got her HOMEBIRTH!! WHOO HOO!!!

          • Siri

            And most mothers who die, do so in absolute AGONY, after hours and days of unbearable, unrelieved pain. Fever. Seizures. Vomiting bile. Massive internal trauma and bleeding. Breech babies hanging out for a day or more. Dead babies decomposing inside mother’s uterus. Uterus itself disintegrating. Horror upon horror, then, finally, death. A mercy; by then it’s her only hope of relief. Dying in hospital, by contrast, means everything possible is done to relieve, alleviate, treat, comfort and console. No abdo massage with planks of wood; no fundal pressure throughout labour; no 6-8 IM injections of Pitocin (common interventions by lay birth attendants, which cause lots of harm); no dirty equipment or dodgy drugs or random potions or exorcisms or or or….

        • sray

          Novels?? Nonfiction… Really?? This is what you base your opinion on?? I don’t disagree with the fact that some women wanted safer situations or that some may have wanted pain relief, but what fool wants to go to a hospital where diseased and infected individuals were also kept to give birth.. granted today’s hospitals are more sterile than hospitals even as recent in history as the 70’s, but back when women were first brought into the hospitals to give birth the places weren’t even as clean as your garage floor today! They were bound, gagged and given drugs that drove them mad or caused millions of babies born with birth defects… husband weren’t allowed to see their wives, new moms were allowed to hold their children but maybe 30 minutes every few hours (breastfeeding was out of the question for many), dads could only see the infants through a glass until after mom and infant were released… Yet we argue that medicine and science are correct??
          Homebirth for most is not the “cool feminist thing to do”, it’s a way for some to make sure that they are in control of their birth instead of allowing a so called medical specialist to tell them what drugs that they need or what practices have to happen to ensure a “safe” delivery. I am beyond confused as to what you think is ignorance – believing that a woman’s body that was designed to give birth is going to do just that unless something stops it…or believing that a doctor that has probably never seen a natural birth nor experienced pregnancy or birth themselves (because most OB’s that I’ve encountered have not experienced either situation) is capable of knowing what each individual woman is needing??

          Has anyone stopped to think that maybe the reason that Hospital birth is believed to be the best opinion is because that has been what we are “trained” to believe?? Do you realize that most of what you have been “trained” to believe about the birth and labor experiences before current medical practices was put into place by men who never observed birth?? Religion played a key role in shutting out women from having even a midwife, or whatever constituted the experienced doctor of that time, because men believed that women suffered during birth to cleans their sins and those of the child because the act of producing said child was in fact a sin – but those same religious men were part of the same sin, but they never “suffered”. Women were put in closed rooms, devoid of sunshine or fresh air – some from the moment they began to show… if that happened to you, would you produce a healthy infant?? Would you be healthy enough to go through birth and labor?? Wouldn’t you be afraid of what was to happen and therefore cause your body to tense up and strain to do what it naturally should be doing? Do you know that prior to Christianity taking such a strong hold over the birth process, women were surrounded by mothers and grandmothers, children were allow to observe, birth was a celebration not something to be shunned or hidden in a dark room?
          You speak of honoring the lives of the woman and infants that were lost, what do you know of honoring those individuals? Have you ever lost an infant to miscarriage or stillbirth, even while under strict medical care? How many lives are lost every day due to malpractice, drugs that haven’t been tested properly or even observed close enough in those individuals taking them? Yet you act like medicine/science has the answer for the only way to safely deliver a child…

          The last thing I’ll comment with to end my rant about your so-called ignorance is that while most births are perfectly safe and the child arrives completely alert and healthy (regardless of hospital or homebirth) there is and always will be an element of life and death mixed into the equation – not all hospital births end in a live child, in fact the percentages are about equal in both hospital births and home births were natural vaginal births occur.. c-sec births however often have a higher rate of mortality or infection for either the mother or the infant.

          Maybe instead of always looking for the negative and worst case scenario, everyone should be looking at what is going to be best for mom and infant – after all Mother Nature and God have more to do with survival than any scientific calculation or procedure!

          • Young CC Prof

            Okay, so you put every single thing obstetrical medicine has done wrong in the past into a single paragraph, in the process mixing up several different eras, and apparently confusing Twilight Sleep and Thalidomide. Then you wrote another paragraph about the place of women and childbearing in medieval Christianity and in even earlier times. I have no idea what either of these extended rants have to do with modern hospital birth.

            Then you recounted the classic NCB myths that “most doctors have never seen a natural birth,” which is absurd, about half of hospital births involve neither c-section, instrumental delivery, nor drugs to accelerate labor. Then you claim without evidence that the safety of home birth is “about equal” to hospital birth.

            Go find some evidence. Limit yourself to the past, say, 25 years. Then come back and play.

          • Dr Kitty

            *snort*
            You’re funny.

            I’m a little sad you don’t know WHY you’re funny, but you’re still funny.

            Note I said funny.

            Not convincing or coherent or credible or trustworthy or cogent or plausible or rational.

            And definitely not right.

            Just…mildly amusing, and not in a “laughing with you” sort of way.

          • expat

            So, you hated birth in the sixties. I saw that Mad Men episode too, but it has nothing to do with your other claim that back in homebirth’s mythical golgen age, the whole family (children included) would surround the mother with support. I think this is where reading old novels and history would teach you something. Dad and the kids would get as far away from the screaming and drama happening behind closed doors as they could and whatever lady or doc who had the tiniest bit of experience would show up and do what ever he or she could ( which often wasn’t much). The family had to wait until everyone was cleaned up, living or dead, to see the outcome.
            Your statement that nature and god have more ccontrol over these sorts of outcomes than doctors. That is where you are even more wrong. By tracking outcomes, we figure out what works and what doesn’t, and doctors know a lot of tricks that work. The survival rates for moms and babies testify to that. At home, the survival rate for the baby is 3-9 times worse than for a comparable risk mom on the hospital.

          • Young CC Prof

            “At home, the survival rate for the baby is 3-9 times worse than for a comparable risk mom on the hospital.”

            And of course, as everyone seems to ignore, that’s WITH a hospital available! 20% of MANA’s original data set transferred to hospital care during the pregnancy, and 10% of the remainder transferred during labor or immediately after birth. Many home birth midwives use at least some of the technology that hospitals can offer, from drugs like Pitocin to neonatal resuscitation techniques. When no hospital is available at all, as in the poorest parts of the world, outcomes are a hundred times worse than US hospital birth. This isn’t hyperbole, literally 100 times worse.

          • Siri

            1. Novels are actually a really good source of historical information; see the proliferation of novels, Victorian and earlier, that mention death in childbirth, motherless children, dead babies etc.

            2. No matter how many lives are lost due to malpractice, there will ALWAYS be more that are lost due to quackery and simple lack of access to qualified healthcare. You can afford to be blase about modern medicine because you know that if you need it, it is there. The malpractice argument is a massive straw man anyway.

            3. There was never a golden era when childbirth was celebrated by women and children skipping merrily in and out of the labour room; women have always, in all cultures, treated childbirth as something that is kept hidden from the men and children. Traditional birth attendants often do more harm than good; eg Jeevan’s description of abdominal massage leading to ruptured uterus. Qualified attendants offer the best chance of a successful outcome, period.

            4. Sorry, there is no god or benevolent Mother Nature. Modern medicine is your best bet by far.

          • Yes, most births end well, and not all hospital births end up with live babies.

            But! Given a whole lot of not-that-uncommon or even very uncommon complications, a homebirth means a dead baby and/or a dead mother. A hospital for the same conditions means a live baby and live mother. There are absolutely zero conditions or complications in which a homebirth is safer or better than a hospital birth, and there are lots and lots of cases in which a hospital birth is better. The consequences of a birth gone wrong are catastrophic- why take risks you don’t have to with it? That’s just being stupid.

            As for Mother Nature and God- in natural conditions, maternal mortality is 1 in 100. That’s right. 1%. Every single childbirth has a rather high chance of killing a woman without modern medical intervention. Fuck nature and God- they came up with hyperemesis gravidarum, obstructed labor, placenta praevia, breech birth, amniotic embolism, shoulder dystocia, and a huge number of other fatal complications. You know what saves people from those? Modern medicine. Science. The ability to go through various treatment options and mathematically figure out which ones actually work due to statistical analysis. You should not be so dismissive of that which saves lives, and you really shouldn’t trust God or nature since those kill and kill and kill (if you consider them anthropomorphic or supernatural forces, anyways).

      • Karen in SC

        And respectful. We respect birth.

    • Durango

      I feel utterly terrible for the poor families who’ve had their beautiful babies die at birth. They have to live with that grief forever. The midwives just move on, and if the families dare to question, they get ostracized by the midwives and the home birth community. Why do you support this?

    • ngozi

      Who feels negative about birth?

    • I feel so very sorry for you ladies who feel so threatened by science that you get suckered and sweet talked into risky, baby-maiming and killing “choices”. Dead and damaged babies are so very sad.

    • Stacy21629

      Hmmm…I feel so very sorry for this woman’s DEAD baby that would be alive if she’d just had a RCS. This woman “trusted birth” and her baby is dead. If that’s your advertising campaign, it needs some work.

    • Sally RNC-NIC

      Negative about birth? Surely you understand that the shittiest part of a women’s birth experience is losing her child, right? I agree with everything Stacy says above, and question how you interpret simple education, and advocacy for the poor baby who probably didn’t enjoy HIS birth experience, as “ladies who feel so negative about birth.” We aren’t negative about birth….we just want everyone to live…not for hours, or days, or weeks….but like, entire lifetimes!

      So, please “anon”….elaborate on what makes our advocacy so sad. I want more.

  • Burgundy

    I thought about this post when I read this news.
    http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/01/22/state-health-department-reviews-two-maternal-deaths-south-shore-hospital/T8BFShJ12p8k61flx7crVO/story.html
    The hospital went on full investigation because “2 deaths in a roll” is so rare that the hospital wants to make sure nothing was wrong. Meanwhile, the HB left a trial of dead babies/moms and/or injured babies and they think it is normal…..

  • attitude devant

    So BWF and her ilk encourage this poor woman to take a terrible risk and her son pays the ultimate price. But all these new commenters rage at….Dr. Amy. How strange is that?

    • MLE

      Don’t you read? It had nothing to do with home birth! VBA2Cs @ home that end badly are all random isolated events. Amy is stirring the pot for the sweet sweet profit. Case closed.

      But for real, the home birth community is lifting the mother up because she is not placing blame (ie she doesn’t want to be abandoned at this terrible time) or because she isn’t ready to feel that this could have been avoided, I imagine. So of course they have to go after anyone would point out that all is not well, even in a post that is 80% direct quotes from elsewhere.

  • Christina

    Take this down! You are twisting a story to make a point.. You do not know the details of this case. And should not be discussing it like you know what happened… The details were never shared publicly so you are ASSuming it’s the fault of homebirth.. It wasn’t! You don’t know what happened, this story is hurting the mother and not helping her cope. This is doing this opposite of helping her cope. You are a sick sick person to post this. She asked you to take it don’t. Have some respect and class and take it down. You can talk about why you hate homebirth all you want but don’t do it at the expense of another person’s grief.

    • expat

      Homebirth or not, whoever told her that it was okay to go to 43 weeks was a criminal. Homebirth is merely secondary to malpractice of homebirth midwives.

    • Monica

      Let us be clear here, the mother put her story out there. Dr. Amy is just reporting about it. Perhaps you should spend your time yelling at newspapers for sharing stories of tragic stabbings and shootings. I suppose that’s not healing for the parents as well.

    • Captain Obvious

      Let her get legal counsel. Let her have a MFM review whatever birth progress notes that Home birth junkie kept. Then let her learn the truth, that her decisions based on her midwife’s recommendations and her Internet comment section peer pressure contributed to a situation that directly impacted her child’s death. These sentinel events demand a root cause analysis. If she learns what could have been done different and learns from that, and takes steps to prevent this next time, then something good can out of this. If another woman doing her Internet research comes across this sad story and decides to take measures that are safer leading to a better outcome, than her story serves a purpose. I am not so religious as I once was, but the only explaination I can fathom why such tragedies are “allowed” is to serve as a teaching tool to warn other women from making the same mistakes. It is not because this baby wasn’t meant to be Earthside, it is so other pregnant mothers may make better decisions so their babies may.

    • anion

      If Dr. Amy is a “sick sick person” to report a tragic death (without actually saying anything negative toward or about the mother herself, btw), then exactly how sick are the jerks who alerted the mother to the post, rather than moving heaven and earth to keep her from seeing it if they thought it would upset her? How is sending her the link “helping her cope?”

      Or were those so-called friends more interested in using her to push *their* own agendas, and getting excited at the thought of involving themselves in internet drama?

      I have been the subject of more than one nasty internet troll attack, and I promise you, *no one* who sends you links to stories about yourself that they think might upset you has purely altruistic motives. In every single case, the person who sent me the link was trying to get me to say something they could report back, or trying to involve themselves in the situation, or trying to look important to other people. Every single time.

  • Emily

    I don’t think I can take someone seriously who claims to be passionate about the health and well being of women and babies yet you purposefully torment a women to make your point.

    And WHY is this one particular instance so imperative for you to share? Is it because you can’t find other stories? If this is such a seriously huge and dangerous practice (that whole “giving birth out of my vagina without a surgeon present” thing) then why aren’t there other stories that you could compile without torturing a grieving mother?

    If you seriously have to ask why someone would prefer to push a baby out naturally as opposed to having major abdominal surgery while awake…. well, you’re just dumb.

    It sounds to me like you have a major issue with trusting your body and jealousy issues because you feel inadequate to women who DO birth without fear. You should handle that on your own time without spreading misinformation about situations you weren’t involved in and have no clue about.

    I have no respect for you and you’re an uneducated quack. Get this women’s story off of your page you cold witch.

    • Karen in SC

      Hey, we’re even. I don’t have any respect for you either. There are several other stories – the point is disproving the myths of the NCB homebirth culture.

      Some women prefer to have a c-section from the get-go, and it’s proven even safer for the baby.

      • Emily

        Who cares?? I’d LOVE to know where you pulled that tidbit of crap but that’s not the point. Why are you tormenting this mother to push your own stupid agenda? There was a classy way to spread information that you are passionate about but this is trash. Totally unnecessary to use a story that you know NOTHING about.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Listen to yourself: saving the life of babies who didn’t have to die is a “stupid agenda”?

          • Emily

            What about the babies that DIE due to unnecessary medical intervention???? Oh, but you don’t think that happens,right?

          • Amazed

            Hey, show us the list. Full term babies of low risk mothers born in hospital with no problems during labour who died just because the OB decided to push intervention for no reason at all.

            I am warning you: a crash C-section made in attempt to save the baby’s life that failed don’t count.

            Come on, Emily, your sisters in incompetence were asked repeatedly on this thread to point us to the stories. None of them could. Maybe you’ll be the one who’ll be able to do it?

          • Emily

            Seriously? So all OBs are GODS who never push their own schedules or rush a labor?

            What about this story? —

            http://www.examiner.com/article/baby-olivia-parents-of-infant-internally-decapitated-at-birth-work-to-pass-law

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            What about it? The mother requested a C-section multiple times, but the doctor said a vaginal delivery is better. What’s your point?

          • Emily

            The DOCTOR at the HOSPITAL did this. Isn’t that what you’re pushing?

          • Emily

            Or should we ONLY be having C Sections since you were never allowed to experience a vaginal birth, yourself?

          • Amazed

            Again, Emily, the question was you claimed you could point us at babies who died of unnecessary interventions. You’re starting with one who died because it needed an intervention and did not receive it in time, leading to a tragedy (the vaginal delivery you all crow upon that went so wrong that nothing could fix it). A baby who died for the lack of a necessary intervention.

            Not a very good start.

            You know, this doctor should be hailed equally to Dr Biter and Dr Fischbein in your circles. A doctor who believes in vaginal birth at all costs.

          • Emily

            Hey, Amazed, who are you? Because I hope you realize by now that I have not intended to speak to you and I apologize if it seems that I have. I’m speaking to the dumb cunt who is exploiting a grieving mother. I have ZERO passion for homebirth or whatever. Even though my experience with my extremely low risk pregnancy was getting pushed for induction as soon as I hit 37weeks because my blood pressure was “a little higher” that it had been previously. My doctor insisted that I wasn’t in labor and laughed at me yet I was almost 6cm. Then I was forced to lay in pain in that hospital bed getting eye rolled and prodded by nurses who kept insisting I needed an epidural. Less than an HOUR of being in the hospital I had to refuse a membrane rupture. In less than an hour after that, I pushed my baby out with four pushes.

            What would have happened if I had trusted that doctor who wanted to induce me at 37weeks? It scares me to imagine being that my baby was barely 6lbs at birth three weeks later.

          • Amazed

            The list, Emily, the list. Don’t backpedal. The list of stories we can follow of babies who died because of unnecessary interventions. Not anecdotes. The list I could almost believe you had before your very bad start.

          • hurricanewarningdc

            They should start their own website: Hurt by hospital birth. They can throw in story after story about unnecessary c/s to save a baby or unnecessary fetal monitoring that led to a quick decision to act. They can post about how the evil nurse caved into the screaming pleas to give an epidural even though the 10-page birthplan said no drugs were to be used. Or the fact that a hospital might offer a nursery so a mom who had 40 hours of labor might get some sleep? How dare they tempt us! And OMG! Those NICUs! How dare they whisk one’s child away for treatment and not allow skin-to-skin contact right after birth! They can quote statistics that show how dangerous hospital birth is (conveniently leaving out that whole thing about how it’s significantly safer than the options). Memes about golf dates, big pharma, etc. Brilliant!

          • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC

            There was one. One of the posts was, I kid you not, a mother complaining that the fetal monitoring band around her abdomen was too tight. All the posts have since been removed.

          • Amazed

            It’s a pity, removing it. I remember this one. It was hilarious!

            Funny thing is, they launched it as the Hurt by Homebirth counterpart. A bunch of whiners was all they could find.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            And there can’t be any way that she only knows of one example, since she was the one who accused Dr Amy of only having one to pick on. List’em!

          • MLE

            Despite the link to 18 stories of death in that particular manner ONLY, excluding other types of HB death or injury, which Amy included at the bottom of the post. It’s too much.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Don’t be bringing no facts into this.

          • Amazed

            She is backpedaling. Who would have guessed!

          • MLE

            What a sad sad story you have. I am now convinced that we should stop shining a light on the atrocious death and damage rates of home birth. That way more women will not have to go through the torment you experienced. Oh sure their baby has a 300% greater chance of dying but in your words, WHO CARES about that.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “What would have happened if I had trusted that doctor who wanted to induce me at 37weeks? It scares me to imagine being that my baby was barely 6lbs at birth three weeks later.”

            Um, are you aware why high blood pressure at the end of pregnancy is a problem? One of the big reasons is that it goes along with a failing placenta that puts a baby at a high risk of dying of stillbirth before labor even begins. And if it lucks out and doesn’t die it is frequently born really undersized compared to its gestational age. Because basically the placenta is so crapped out that the baby can’t grow anymore. Babies can even *lose weight* prenatally when their moms have hypertension. Your baby was barely 6 pounds at birth and you wonder what your baby weighed at 37 weeks when the doc suggested induction….the answer is probably 6 pounds. Maybe even more!

            You dodged a bullet!

          • hurricanewarningdc

            But, but, but fiftyfifty1, her “experience” wasn’t what she’d wanted! Sure, her baby may be healthy and alive, but this was never about Emily’s baby. It was about Emily! Priorities, duh!

          • attitude devant

            fiftyfifty, you are absolutely correct. Nice analysis

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Don’t you bring your dang doctor knowledge around here. Emily knows better.

          • Playing Possum

            Ugh, don’t get me started on failing placentas. I remember a pathologist describing a post-term stillbirth as the fault of a senescent placenta. Which was a nice way of saying “these things have a use by date”. Post dates makes me cringe – the crunchy, shrunked, calcified placentas, the poor wrinkled babies that have lost the subcut fat that term babies should have, all skinny and sad. They’ve outgrown their placenta, and are living off their reserves, using up all their fat, exhausting their organs and stress hormones.

            Fiftyfifty is dead on. Your baby would quite likely have been 6 pounds, or maybe more at an earlier elective induction. I will readily agree that the clinical/ biological detection techniques of these cases are still in their infancy (haha punny), and there is a definite NNT. But this guides clinicians in their decision making – it’s not fair to ascribe any motive or intent towards your clinician’s recommendations other than “I want to get this mother and child through this with the least amount of physiological and biological risk and damage”.

            You are free to consider these things as unnecessary, and to refuse these interventions and recommendations and hope for a good outcome. That’s fine and that’s your choice, but that’s with the benefit of hindsight. But don’t criticize the people offering them or advocating for them – it is abhorrent to think that they do it based on faulty science, or because they’re financially motivated/ lazy/ hate women/ have deep rooted psychological hangups that make them want to inflict unnecessary pain on patients. Because that is just not at all true.

          • Young CC Prof

            My son WAS delivered (by scheduled c-section) at 37 weeks, because there were some complications and the doctors wanted him safely born before an emergency could develop.

            He was actually less than 5 pounds. But he was perfectly healthy, other than getting jaundiced briefly, and is on track developmentally, based on his birthday, not his due date!

            If I’d gambled, ignored the doctor’s best advice, and tried to stay pregnant for another 2-3 weeks, I might possibly have had a healthy 6-pound baby instead. Or he could have been stillborn as his weakening placenta failed entirely. I’m glad I didn’t take the risk.

          • Siri

            So you were forced to lie in pain by nurses who were offering you pain relief? And that’s BAD? And you realise, of course, that high blood pressure can be a sign of a placenta that’s not working very well, and that high BP often accompanies … a growth-restricted baby. So quite possibly you forced your baby to stay in a suboptimal environment, rather than consider induction of labour when your doctor first identified the need for intervention. Well done.

          • anion

            She was also–the horrors!–forced to say the word “no” to someone, when they suggested rupturing her membranes! I can’t imagine how traumatic it must still be, the memory of having to say “no” and having that refusal accepted and obeyed.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            She was also–the horrors!–forced to say the word “no” to someone

            To quote the young Elfaba in Wicked: “Horrors”

            (sorry, that’s just what your comment made me think of)

          • Dr Kitty

            Epidurals are usually quite effective at lowering maternal blood pressure…so maybe that is why one was suggested…just a thought.

          • LibrarianSarah

            Nothing says feminist like calling another woman a “dumb cunt.” And yet, we are the bullies.

          • moto_librarian

            Have you ever heard of IUGR? Sometimes, the womb is the WORST place for the baby to remain. But go ahead and tell us what an idiot your doctor is.

          • AlisonCummins

            Not sure who you’re addressing here. Amy Tuteur, MD delivered vaginally four times, twice without pain relief, and breastfeed all four children. Or are you talking to someone else?

          • LibrarianSarah

            If the only way you can argue is by making strawmen of other peoples arguments then you fail. In fact their is a specific logical fallacy that you are demonstrating here but I can’t seem to remember it. Thank you very much, that is going to bother me the rest of the day.

          • Karen in SC

            That anecdote is sort of the opposite from your point. No one is disputing that OBs can make mistakes, but again, the RATE of this happening in the hospital is rare. Very rare! And as explained in comments lower down, would be thoroughly investigated and consequences applied.

            Any scientific studies or data to back your position about babies dying from interventions?

          • AlisonCummins

            You said babies die from unnecessary interventions. That was not an unnecessary intervention. We’re still waiting for examples of babies who died from unnecessary interventions.

          • Anj Fabian

            “a vaginal birth is better”

            Now where have I heard that before…? There’s this place where that idea is pervasive. The same place that ‘supports’ women into HBACs that end with dead baby and tiny coffins.

          • Amazed

            Yes, what about it? Where was it mentioned that it was a smooth births with no problem at all?

            The baby needed an intervention. Just a different kind of intervention. A CS.

            So, what about this list?

          • rh1985

            The mother in that case wanted more intervention, an earlier c-section and was denied for reasons I still can’t understand. Anti CS doctor?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Oh, the irony. Just above, Emily is the one who complained

            And WHY is this one particular instance so imperative for you to share? Is it because you can’t find other stories?

            However, she is now the second person, after being challenged on her claim about “all the babies dying due to unnecessary interventions” in hospitals, to bring up one example, and the same example at that.

            The one where it was established earlier how that it was not that intervention was unnecessary, but that the doctor used the wrong intervention Not intervening was not an option. The doctor fucked up, for sure, but in failing to intervene enough.

            But hey, with all those babies dying in hospitals, you’d figure there would be examples all over. Yet, you all come up with the same one. And then you have the gall to accuse Dr Amy of not having any other examples? Which, of course, DaisyGrrl has shown how ignorant that claim was.

            Thanks, Emily, for demonstrating your lack of thinking skills. However, you do owe me a new irony meter, since you blew mine all to bits.

          • Yea I said that.

            🙂 you want stories of hospital births?? You got it!

            “The Tribune identified 75,
            000 preventable deaths “where hospital-acquired infections played a
            major role. This analysis, based on the most recent national data, is
            the most comprehensive of its kind and draws on thousands of hospital
            and government inspection reports.” ”
            http://www.ahrp.org/infomail/0702/26a.php

            http://www.blogher.com/real-danger-america-hospital-birth

            http://www.hlntv.com/article/2013/09/23/genene-jones-baby-deaths

            http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/funeral-held-baby-died-forceps-delivery-article-1.1566828

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqq_8u80biE

            http://www.examiner.com/article/baby-olivia-parents-of-infant-internally-decapitated-at-birth-work-to-pass-law

            http://guardianlv.com/2014/01/death-by-forceps-malpractice-allegations-in-southeast-texas-babys-death/

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/7004472/Mother-loses-baby-after-being-given-abortion-drug-to-induce-labour.html

            http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2001/01/forced-labor

            http://www.sciencebasedbirth.com/safety_issues01/CytotecDeathOakland.htm

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1393945/Misoprostol-Mother-dies-doctors-16-times-correct-dose-labour-inducing-drug.html

            http://community.babycenter.com/post/a21906283/anyone_ever_have_cytotec_to_induce

            http://www.ibtimes.co.in/articles/504397/20130907/infant-deaths-kolkata-wet-bengal-mamata-banerjee.htm

            http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/morecambe-bay-hospital-scandal-carl-1996080#.Uunw0vus2Gw

            http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/491-babies-born-alive-after-failed-abortions-left-to-die-in-canada-statscan

            http://www.nbcnews.com/id/20427256/#.UunyEfus2Gw

            http://www.salon.com/2011/10/07/my_stillborn_childs_life_after_death/

            http://abcnews.go.com/Health/childbirth-related-deaths-mass-hospital-spark-state-investigation/story?id=21621446

            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2540482/Grieving-mother-baby-died-shortly-birth-claims-TWO-hospitals-refused-admit-started-bleeding-heavily.html

            http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/443929/Mother-found-dead-on-maternity-ward-after-giving-birth-to-first-son

            http://news.stv.tv/north/252360-doctors-failed-leslie-cowie-who-died-at-aberdeen-maternity-hospital/

            http://www.ibtimes.com/stephanie-arnold-dies-while-giving-birth-illinois-mother-gets-brought-back-life-photo-1515504

            http://news.aitkenlaw.com/verdicts-settlements/mother-bleeds-to-death-after-giving-birth/

            http://www.ffw.com/latest-news/2013/nov/northwick-park-hospital.aspx

            http://nypost.com/2013/02/10/bronx-woman-died-after-childbirth-due-to-botched-placenta-removal-lawsuit/

            http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/mother-dies-royal-gwent-hospital-1925092

            http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/doubling-of-maternal-death-rate-blamed-on-shortage-of-midwives-7689172.html

            http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Mother-dies-after-giving-birth-204950071.html

            http://www.medicalmalpracticeblogillinois.com/2013/02/new-mother-dies-after-doctors-fail-to-remove-placenta-after-birth.shtml

          • attitude devant

            oohhh!!! Bibliography salad! Haven’t seen that one in a while. But you failed big-time, Yea. The first one is an article from 2002 about lax hygiene and its effects on babies, the second is a rant from Jennifer Margulis, the third is about a serial killer (seriously, Emily? You want to talk about serial killers, I can give you the names of some midwives…), and the fourth is the forceps story AGAIN. I gave up on you after that.

            The truth is, honey, that you can’t come up with ONE single story where an unnecessary intervention killed a baby.

            You failed.

          • Captain Obvious

            I clicked on the 6th and 7th link, it was the same story from two different Internet sites.

          • LibrarianSarah

            If a baby dies intervention was obviously necessary. The purpose of interventions is to prevent people from dieing. It’s the lack of timely interventions that kills.

          • guest

            Listen carefully. Despite all the ‘interventions’ done in hospitals, homebirth STILL manages to kill 3-7 times more babies without any interventions.

        • Amazed

          Emily: Who cares?? I’d LOVE to know where you pulled that tidbit of crap but that’s not the point. Why are you tormenting this mother to push your own stupid agenda? There was a classy way to spread information that you are passionate about but this is trash. Totally unnecessary to use a story that you know NOTHING about.

          I’m saving it, so even if she decides to delete it (we’ve seen it happen before), the pearls of wisdom homebirthing bitches sprout would not be lost.

          Congratulations, Emily. You just won the award of homebirthing bitch I give only to those who don’t hesitate to claim that they don’t care that homebirth killed this or that baby.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      A baby is dead. In the world of medicine and accountability, people would want an explanation. In the world of homebirth, no one dares to ask for an explanation because they don’t want to know the truth.

      What ever happened to homebirth advocates taking responsibility for their choices? Oh, wait, let me guess! It’s just an incredibly coincidence that she chose to two risks that dramatically increase the chance of the baby dying, (going to 43 weeks and attempting a VBA2C) and then the baby died, just like any real medical professional would warn her might happens.

      Let’s get real here. A baby is dead because a mother chose to ignore medical advice, and any attempt on the part of you and your buddies to ignore that death or to ignore WHY that death happened is utterly unethical.

      Don’t give me any crap about tormenting the mother. The people who supported her delusions about the safety of homebirth, and in the face of the baby’s DEATH continue to support are the ones responsible for her torment. They have blood on their hands.

      • Emily

        Okay, “lets get REAL” then. The REALITY is, you don’t have a single clue about what happened to her or her baby. You are exploiting her for the sake of proving your point.

        Until you see some medical records, you are merely speculating. And it’s unethical for you to spread rumors about a mother grieving the loss of her child. You’re sick.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          What I know is what she wrote. Please point to what the mother wrote that was wrong.

          • Emily

            Please point to where she said the reason this happened was due to “homebirth”.

          • attitude devant

            Oh, are you going to claim, as someone did earlier today that the hospital doctor said it wasn’t because of homebirth? Read this:
            http://www.10centimeters.com/guest-post-what-we-say-to-loss-moms/

          • Amazed

            Emily’s belief in doctors is touching, especially when they told mothers who eschewed all medical advice, all common sense, and had a dead baby at the end that they were good girls and did nothing wrong.

            Judging by Emily’s posts, that’s the only thing she trusts doctors about: when they are trying not to add to a mother’s grief by being tactful by omission.

            Figures.

    • Amazed

      Close your dumb trap, you babykilling bitch.

      • Tammie

        Wow, you people are classy.

        • Amazed

          What can I say, I get angry when babykilling trolls come here acting superior. I tend to lose my class.

          At least I don’t lie to women pushing them to kill their babies with dumb practices AMA.

        • MLE

          The incredibly naive post above this one (duh are there any other home birth disaster stories duhhhh) says we’re dumb and Amy is a cold witch but that’s just fine I suppose. Maybe you could stop covering for negligent midwives long enough to comprehend why that would induce rage.

    • DaisyGrrl

      “And WHY is this one particular instance so imperative for you to share? Is it because you can’t find other stories? If this is such a seriously huge and dangerous practice (that whole “giving birth out of my vagina without a surgeon present” thing) then why aren’t there other stories that you could compile without torturing a grieving mother?”

      Here’s the list of disasters Dr. Amy documented in 2013:
      http://www.skepticalob.com/2013/12/2013-the-year-in-homebirth-deaths-and-disasters.html

      13 deaths and 10 near misses. That are all documented in some way. This doesn’t include the women and their families who chose to grieve offline.

      Is this list enough? How many preventable deaths and near misses will be enough to get it through your head that BIRTH IS RISKY AND DANGEROUS!? I think that even one is too many, but apparently I am wrong and that makes me so sad and angry for these poor little babies that will never grow up because their mothers were fed a pack of lies by the “trust your body” crowd.

      • Yea I said that.

        Right.. you just care about the baby’s not surviving? What’s your stance on abortion?
        How about the HUNDREDS in not THOUSANDS of babies and mothers alike that die at the hands of doctors and surgeons? Never saw that before amy? Ah yes that’s because you turn your head as it’s swept under the rug and claimed to be something else that caused these deaths instead.

        18 deaths in 3 years, that’s 6 per year and based on the fact that homebirth rates have been rising in the past 3 years and nearly 30% of women are opting for homebirth I’d say those stats are pretty good and far better than your risks when walking through the doors of any hospital. Considering the fact that there are over 100 deaths of infant boys each year JUST from circing (which is of course done by you OB’s), I find it funny how you aren’t concerned with the unnecessary loss of life here. And just to help you get the picture, based on YOUR info (stolen bits and pieces of stories from grieving families) that means that circ is actually 16 TIMES more dangerous for a baby than HOME BIRTH.

        So if you are really concerned about keeping babies alive, then stop being pro abortion and stop supporting the amputation of a new baby boys genitals.

        • MLE

          Ignoring your insane, made-up statistics, your argument is that because babies die in hospitals and elsewhere by other means that we should all accept home birth deaths as well and refrain from discussing how to prevent them? Oh yes, you’re the one with all the compassion here.

          • Yea I said that.

            Discussing how to prevent them is one thing, what this site is doing is ANYTHING but. You people are preying on families who’ve lost a babe, making assumptions as to the cause of death and all for your own agenda which you CLAIM is to save babies and yet I see no other area that you are attempting to save babies. Death is sad and horrible, no one wants to experience it, sometimes it happens by chance and other times there were mistakes made to cause it. However, you are lashing out at a community of women who are working hard to give their babies the best start possible and completely ignoring the huge number of women and babies that die in hospitals that far exceeds that of homebirths… Trying to clean the speck out of my eye while you’ve got a flippin tree in your own eye.

          • attitude devant

            “…a community of women who are working hard to give their babies the best start possible..”

            Funny way they have of doing it. Best stats we have on home birth in the US show a 3-8 x increase in the risk of death, and an 18x increase in the risk of brain damage. I know a midwife in Ohio who has killed NINE babies, and this woman’s midwife has apparently killed at least two.

            It’s kind of funny idea of what constitutes a ‘best start.’

          • Captain Obvious

            So your logic is that because there are fewer babies that died last year at Homebirth as compared to all the other 99% of the population who chose hospital birth, that Homebirth is safer? Oh, I get it now. So convincing.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I just don’t get it, how people can be so completely loony.

            Fewer people died last year from juggling chainsaws than they did from homebirth. That must mean that juggling chainsaws is safer than homebirth, right?

            That is even besides the argument that I gave yesterday: more people die in non-alcohol related car accidents than in drunk driving crashes. Would anyone dare to suggest that means that drunk driving is safer than not?

            But when it comes to homebirth, any semblance of thought goes right out the window.

        • Captain Obvious

          Abortion is when a woman doesn’t want to keep a child.
          Homebirth is supposed to be a process that a woman wants to keep a child, but all to often has a 3-10 x risk of not having a child survive that was wanted.
          Abortions are not being forced upon women by surgeons and doctors. Women go in voluntarily demanding a safe, legal abortion. Most doctors don’t perform abortions, only a select small proportion does. If it were illegal, women would still demand abortion and women would be dying from illegal abortions.
          Why not focus on keeping the horse in the barn and not chastise efforts after the horse is already out. Focus on adequate birth control. Promote long acting contraceptives for girls. Convince unsupportive parents to get their children on effective birth control and their will be less need for abortions.
          Stay on topic here. You derail from Homebirth safety because you cannot defend it.

        • DaisyGrrl

          If 30% of American women were opting for homebirth, there would be so many deaths that Dr. Amy would need an army to help her document the deaths. Those statistics you pulled out of your rectum are so laughably wrong I don’t even know where to start.

          The subject of Dr. Amy’s post are two women whose babies died following a homebirth attempt. These women were encouraged by other women on the internet and in real life who have a terrible understanding of the risks involved. Sadly, it was the very much wanted babies who paid the price.

          If you want to rail against abortion or circumcision, there are plenty of places on the web where people do that. This is a corner of the web dedicated to remembering babies who are victims of the NCB mindset and to educating women so they don’t make the same mistake with their very wanted babies.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            The “30%” number is actually the extent to which HB has _increased_ in recent years. Of course, a 30% increase in a tiny number is still a tiny number. That “30% increase in HB” corresponds to a 0.2% decrease in the number of hospital births.

            Of course, expecting these morons to understand the difference is way too much.

          • AlisonCummins

            If someone can’t look at the statement “30% of women are opting for home birth” and recognize immediately that it can’t possibly be true, they are unlikely to be able to grasp relative risk either.

            Not everyone is good with numbers. For some people they are completely abstract and ungraspable.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            The problem is not just that “not everyone is good with numbers,” it’s that those people have no problems using them anyway.

            I have to say, if someone is going to run around spouting numbers, “not good with numbers” is no excuse for using them idiotically.

            I think the appropriate response is, “You should stop. You are embarrassing yourself.”

          • AlisonCummins

            If I don’t understand a number I might still quote a number I got from someone else.
            “You should stop. You are embarassing yourself” might be a perfectly good response to an individual who is embarassing themselves, but it doesn’t address the wider problem of science communication.

          • Amazed

            But it isn’t a science communication. It’s a communication where one side presumably understands what they are talking about and the other just sprouts something they don’t know is true or not.

            Once again, I don’t argue physics with physicists or non physicists, indeed, because it’s out of my grasp. It isn’t so with mumbers, although I still won’t debate top mathematics, especially with someone who, unlike me, has an idea what we’re talking about.

          • AlisonCummins

            She’s not arguing. She repeated something that she’d heard that was obviously impossible. Once that was pointed out she did not attempt to argue that it was correct or to redo our math for us. Presumably she’s feeling somewhat embarassed, but maybe not a lot embarassed because “anyone can make a mistake.”

            But if you go on Facebook you see all these implausible things that people just repeat and pass on. When you or I do science communication we need to think about what cognitive tools the person we are talkng to is using. They might not want to talk about numbers at all because they know they can’t distinguish between something that makes sense and something bogus and they don’t want us to bullshit them. They might want to talk about narratives though. They can understand narratives. (Possibly very well. And I know artists who are apparently brilliant but who can’t produce a narrative that I can recognize and can barely count. Not everyone’s brain works the same. I can barely read fiction and can’t read poetry at all, for instance. I always miscalculate the size of the bowl or saucepan I’m going to need. And my social skills are hit-and-miss.)

            Yea I Said That is just an example of the Facebook crowd. She thinks she knows something because she heard it from a source she trusts, but she doesn’t understand it and she doesn’t attempt to defend it when challenged. So what can a science communicator give her instead? More numbers, no matter how accurate, are just going to be misremembered.

          • Amazed

            But she doesn’t want to hear any other narrative than the one that she has accepted in advance to matter. She not only misquotes and misremembers, she refuses to accept anything that doesn’t support the narrative she has already chosen.

            I think it’s important for us to correct the wrong numbers because those who pass by and see them unchallenged would probably think they are true. I know I would.

          • Amazed

            Then they should not talk about numbers as if they know what the hell they are talking about.

            I and Physics never got along. I don’t pretend to know more than physicists. End of the story.

          • AlisonCummins

            If I don’t have any intuitive feel for what “30%” means, or how it might be different from “30% increase,” I still have to use numbers in my day to day life. Sometimes I can get around using numbers by using simple but error-prone heuristics and sometimes I will simply repeat other people’s numbers without understanding them and will make mistakes.

            If these other people whose numbers I am repeating are similarly innumerate — which is likely — then the problem is compounded.

            People who understand numbers talk to one another in ways that are comfortable to them, but this may not be the best way of getting through to people for whom numbers are close to meaningless. If Amy Tuteur, MD says the numbers are bad and Melissa Cheyney says the numbers are great, someone who doesn’t grasp numbers has to decide who to believe. They will make that choice based on who they think they share a value system with, not on the math.

            Back in 2009 Amy Tuteur, MD wrote a post about breech birth for sciencbasedmedicine.org in which she said:

            At an excess rate of neonatal mortality of 9/1000, we could expect that 630 babies would die from preventable neonatal deaths each year.

            This is a relatively small number. Indeed, it would barely impact overall neonatal mortality figures (approximately 18,000 neonatal deaths per year), since the bulk of neonatal mortality is due to prematurity and congenital anomalies. On the other hand, that is quadruple the number of deaths we would expect in an otherwise low risk group. Most importantly, that number represents 630 sets of bereaved parents who would have had a healthy baby had they opted for elective C-section. Would those parents accept a preventable death philosophically, or would they be shocked and bewildered that the baby actually died? Would they simply try again or will they look for someone to blame?
            http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/is-breech-vaginal-delivery-safe/
            Much of the discussion in the comments was scientifically literate people saying that “630 dead babies” was meaningless, that we need to look at relative risk and rates. But for people who can’t understand relative risk or rates, maybe you just need to talk about all those babies and the devastation of their families.

          • Amazed

            I think you’re right, But I also think the problem comes from people being unwilling to admit that they don’t have a good grasp of numbers. When you don’t have that, you shouldn’t talk of number related facts and use them to push an agenda without making sure that you’ve grasped it.

            Numbers aren’t a mountain that cannot be climbed. Almost any literate person can get a grasp on the numbers we’re discussing. Some people would have it as soon as they only have a look at the raw data while others – like me – would need to sit down and focus. But at the end of it, almost all of us can do it. And since we can, it’s irresponsible not to make the effort and instead talk out of our you know whats.

          • AlisonCummins

            Some people might be able to grasp numbers with a bit of work but I think for others it’s a bit more complicated. I’ve always been very comfortable wtih them and assumed that if you just explained them that everyone could understand. Then I took a particular medication for a while. Thinking about numbers was like trying to pick up ball bearings with chopsticks. I went Ooooh, so that’s what it’s like!

        • Siri

          That’s absolute rubbish. Yes, I am very much pro choice. Yes, I am also very much anti-healthy term babies dying needlessly. There is no contradiction there. And I have never circumcised a baby boy or caused it to happen. That’s simply irrelevant, and just shows your lack of logic and debating skills.

    • Playing Possum

      “It sounds to me like you have a major issue with trusting your body and
      jealousy issues because you feel inadequate to women who DO birth
      without fear”

      Why does it always come back to “issues”? Why can’t it be about SCIENCE? Physiology, psychology, biomechanics, endocrinology, these are all fascinating and complicated and beautiful things that doctors and care providers have an incredible relationship with.

      • anion

        Because the unintelligent are unable to understand that not everyone is as small-minded as they are.

    • anion

      1. Serious question: would you be so angry if Dr. Amy had linked to a story about a hospital death? Have you ever done so as “proof” that babies die in hospitals too? Or have you ever read such a story on a homebirth forum or blog, and commented on it?

      2. I don’t feel “inadequate to” (I believe you mean “inferior to”) anyone because I had two c-sections. I was thrilled with them, and with my children. But then, I’m not so desperate to feel superior to others that I have to put all my self-esteem in my vagina (I will say, though, that mine isn’t all stretched out from giving birth, which is nice for my husband and myself) and act like enduring pain is some badge of honor. Oh, and I’m also capable of believing and understanding that if people disagree with me, it’s not because they feel inadequate; I’m able to understand that not everyone is small-minded, and I’m not so self-centered that I believe everyone thinks exactly like me and has the same ridiculous uncharitable motives.

      • Siri

        Well, I just want to point out here, Anion, that neither is MY vagina ‘all stretched out’, despite my five vaginal births. Neither does my self esteem reside in it; even if I wanted it to, it wouldn’t fit 😉 No need for us to start criticising each other’s private parts.

      • ngozi

        I don’t eat like 98 percent of the homebirth woo, but the vagina stretched out comment is wrong. Or maybe there are a lot of guys who love stretched out vaginas.

        • anion

          I should clarify: that was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, a comment on how silly the self-esteem-in-the-vagina thing is. It wasn’t intended seriously, and I’m sorry I didn’t make that more clear.

  • attitude devant

    Does anyone know what the legal status of midwives is in Ohio? Are they allowed to do VBACs? Are they required to transfer for post-dates? I do hope this was not another Brenda Scarpino case.

    • Anj Fabian

      Alegal – basically no effective laws either certifying and regulating lay midwives and no real laws forbidding lay midwives from practicing.

      The only regulated midwives in Ohio are CNMs.

      • OBPI Mama

        Yep. I know my old midwife takes all of the above. She has delivered vbacs… one lady she had labor 3 days (after 2 c/s) before transferring and she lets women go to 43 weeks… Sigh.

  • Stephanie

    you fail to mention the hundreds of babies lost during hospital births! I think you need to leave these mothers alone, let them stand by in their decisions to homebirth! Not everyone needs a hospital, and one of your examples had a baby who WAS on life support.

    • attitude devant

      Just once I wish the parachuting trolls would read what’s already been posted. Sigh. Stephanie, please read the many other comments below. Then let’s talk

    • Bombshellrisa

      Please point us toward the stories about term babies who were born to low risk women who had no known problems before birth that all of a sudden died in a hospital.

  • LMJames

    I just have to weigh in on this as a mother that has lost two children. No, not during homebirth. Not with a midwife/doula. In a hospital with an OB delivering boty. The fact that you feel the need to exploit not only the mother, but the deceased child, is completely revolting. Maybe you should consider seeing a psychiatrist. How do you sleep at night?

    I lost both of my children because of these supposedly “safe” doctors and hospitals. Negligence doesn’t just include home birth. Even trained doctors have malpractice suits filed against them daily. Both of my pregnancies were without major complication and tge second one was full term. Tell me why both times I left the hospital without my children? Tell me why you don’t understand that infant death IS NOT simply confined to homebirth? I really don’t care what the piece of paper on your wall says as far as yoir medical training. You’re a complete jackass that gets a rise out of exploiting grieving families and dead babies. YOU are what is wrong with this world. I truly hope you eat your words one day. You DISGUST me.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      So you believe that Ericka’s baby died of negligence?

      • LMJames

        No. I believe my children died because of my OB’s negligence. Some things are preventable, some aren’t. I know Ericka personally and I know the circumstances surrounding this tragedy. For you to assume you know anything about her or this situation is simply tactless.

        • attitude devant

          She’s only going on what Ericka posted herself, LM.

          • LMJFJames

            And that’s my point. Perhaps instead of exploiting things written out of emotion, she could contact the mother personally and try to go from there. I’d be less apt to say the things I’ve have if she took as much time to know all of the facts as she does trying to use theit stories for her personal benefit.

          • attitude devant

            So imagine what it’s like to be me. I see people being encouraged to do crazy stupid things by people like BWF and Naturally Born. They encouraged Ericka to do something really foolish. And then when she went waaay past her due date (by her own account) they told her babies don’t have due dates. And Ericka’s baby died. I am here to tell you that was a predictable and preventable death. I have dear friends who lost their children because fools on the internet encouraged them similarly. Those women’s lives have been DESTROYED by their loss. Years later they are torn up every damn day because the likes of BWF and her crew encouraged them in reckless behavior. And you want me to shut up? Fat chance.

          • LMJFJames

            My OB failed to accurately pinpoint my due date and when given a due date of August 4th, then adjusted to August 18th…I didn’t have my daughter until September 27th and she was stillborn. In a hospital. After I had TWO different OB’s involved. I don’t want anyone to shut up. I just believe that tragedy happens, regardless of where you give birth. It’s about respecting a mother’s right to grieve after the death of her child. Not to exploit her for the sake of “education”.

          • attitude devant

            So you think the kind thing would be for us to sit back and let more and more babies die because women get encouraged by idiots on the internet to do foolish things. Because G*d forbid we upset any one.

            How would YOU suggest we stop the killing? Because in my state a baby is EIGHT times more likely to die at a home birth than in a hospital, and there are midwives in Ohio that we know have killed many babies. How should we stop this? How should we prevent more mothers from what Ericka is feeling?

          • attitude devant

            LMJF James, aren’t you angry that people encouraged Ericka to follow a course that led to her son’s death?

          • Amazed

            We shouldn’t, clearly. But hey, we can be tactfully silent after the babies die. See? That’ll make it all ok.

          • Playing Possum

            But your tragedies occurred in the context of a scrutinized system. They were noted, recorded and were probably discussed at length by a huge team of people at morbidity/ mortality meetings. Your ob was probably sitting there red faced, ashamed and being berated by colleagues, patient quality advocates, legal teams, about their standard of care. Their insurance premiums will go up. They will get less referrals from other doctors. They may be liable for damages incurred by you. Negligence in such a system is available to be examined, “punished” (for want of a better word), and the system altered to prevent such tragedies again. The discussion of stillbirths and intrapartum deaths is not taken lightly at these meetings, and coronial investigations are even more rigorous.

            You are entitled to know the details of your tragedy, what discussions happened afterwards, what will be done better next time and what options you have for recourse.

            OOH birth, on the other hand, doesn’t have that scrutiny, the insurance safety net, the professional implications and the possibility of system change. Stillbirths don’t get investigated by a coroner, depending on your location. Those tragedies might not even be recorded as such, and are probably not scrutinised, picked apart, and then used to effect change. This is where I believe a lot of the power (and the horror of parachuters) comes from – the public notation and dissection of a death that might otherwise be swept aside. I feel it’s honoring the tragedy by giving it the scrutiny and examination it requires.

          • Mom2Many

            Oh my goodness, your last line! Sooooo true! Well written, thank you!

          • An Actual Attorney

            LMJFJames,

            I am so sorry for the loss of both of your children. I understand if you choose not to answer this question, and maybe you just mistyped, but are you saying you went 6 weeks post due date? That sounds horribly negligent on the part of the medical staff.

          • LMJames

            I have no problem answering your question. No, it wasn’t a typo. Yes. I went 6 weeks past my original due date. I have had problems with carrying pregnancies and then I had trouble conceiving again after my son was born stillborn in 2009. I was told I would likely never conceive again. So when I went for my annual exam in 2013, I was surprised to find I was pregnant. 19 weeks according to my OB. I was told my due date was August 4th after an ultrasound. I had appointments every two weeks after that and I never missed any of them. I was then told several times that my daughter was measuring very small and they believed they misjudged my due date. Several other factors came into play and I decided to get a second opinion. I was told by the new OB that reviewed my case, that I was not as far along as the original OB had determined and that she wanted to run some tests. It was September 27th when she was stillborn.

          • fiftyfifty1

            A first trimester ultrasound is accurate for due date within 5 days. If an OB obtains a standard first trimester ultrasound but later ignores this information when deciding when to induce you can sue this OB and win, protecting other mothers and babies. On the other hand, if a mother does not show up for prenatal care until well past the first trimester and/or refuses early dating ultrasound and/or refuses induction then there is nobody to blame but the mother.

          • hurricanewarningdc

            You almost had me at the previous post and lost me with this one. The mother posted her circumstances ON THE INTERNET. As this proves, despite best attempts by the fake midwifery industry to hide deaths and injuries like this one, they’re out there. Even anecdotally, the numbers are shocking and the circumstances – like this – are stomach-churning. I’m very sorry for your friend and her family, but I feel even worse for the BABY who didn’t have to die or who would have had a better chance of survival if medical training/supplies/equipment had been available. Even worse, apparently, your friend Ericka has not learned from one death; she has already declared that she’s loading the gun to play Russian Roulette with another child’s life. So no, I’m not agreeing with you that Dr Amy or anyone here is out of line; frankly, I’m offended that you are far more worked up over a blog post than you are over one (and possibly another) unecessary infant death. Where are your priorities? Where’s YOUR human decency?

          • Ericka

            I never said I was going to birth at home with my next child, I found a VBAC friendly obgyn

          • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC

            I think it would be much worse to contact a grieving mother to pry for details about her baby’s death. Dr. Amy is reporting on this to prevent future babies from dying or being injured at birth. This midwife has already had a baby die on her watch; future potential patients need to know that before they hire her.

    • Karen in SC

      I’m sorry for your losses. Were you unable to get any answers or take legal action?

      It’s true that babies die in the hospital too. Just at a much much lower rate. However the answer is not to change to a lower level of care. Not at all.

      Tragic that it happened to you twice.

      • LMJFJames

        I have taken great care to see that justice is served. Thank you for your condolences. I believe there are just as many unreported cases of infant death due to hospital or OB error as with any other choice. The difference is, hospitals have legal teams out the wazoo defending them, while private practitioners do not. I can tell yoi there are far more mother’s that I know have had far more traumatic experiencs with hospitals than homebirths. This is why many of them CHOOSE home birth after hospital births.

        • Karen in SC

          What is far more traumatic than a demise?

          Also, hospital deaths are not UNreported. The rate occurring is much less then at homebirth and can be checked by the CDC database.

          • LMJFJames

            I’m referring to demise as well as near-demise experiences.

        • attitude devant

          Ericka, there are more cases of infant death in hospitals only because hospital birth is so much more common than out-of-hospital birth. To make a fair comparison, you have to look at the RATE of death in both places. In some states the rate of death is 8 times higher at home than in the hospital. That is shocking to me. Did anyone explain to you that you were taking that kind of risk? Because many OOH birth providers are not honest about that. And many people egged you on in a very bad plan.

        • OBPI Mama

          Many of us, homebirthers with sad outcomes (either loss or lifelong injuries… both mental and physical) choose not to sue our midwives. There are many of us homebirth trauma mamas out there. Many of us choose to remain quiet (as did I for many years… as do many other women I know). We are made into outcasts by our once loved homebirth community when we voice what happened and when it’s full of friends and family, that is a scary thing, a hard thing, a sad thing So we stay quiet. But we are out there. More than you realize.

          I am so sorry for what happened to your babies. There are just no words.

    • Siri

      How unimaginably tragic to lose two babies; I’m so sorry. Are you able to give any more details to allow us to understand what happened, or would that be too painful? I do feel for you with all my heart.

    • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC

      I am so sorry for the loss of your children. It shouldn’t have happened, and I hope that whoever is at fault was punished to the fullest extent possible.

  • Emma

    As much as I enjoy your blog Dr. Amy, this was awfully distasteful. Too soon.

    • attitude devant

      When is the right time, Emma? This was two months ago. When we discuss older events we are accused of dredging up the past. Is there ever a right time for a baby to die a preventable death? When is the right time to discuss why preventable deaths happen and how they can be stopped?

      • Emma

        8 short weeks to grieve before a stranger tears her apart over it? I just think this was tactless. She could have told the story without linking the picture or the obit.

        • Amazed

          Out of question. She would have been accused of making it up. Anyway, since no one of us here contacted the mother, it stands to reason that her jokes of friends who lurk here would have alerted her to it anyway and we’d be right where we are.

          So far, we’ve heard that 2 months is too short a period. We’re still waiting for the period you tender hearts deem suitable. So, next month, next year, next life? Which one?

    • Amazed

      Just out of curiosity, when won’t it be too soon? Next month, next year, next life? Oh I forgot, then it will be, “You see? She had to dig so far behind to find a preventable death! Homebirth is safe, that proves it!”

      • attitude devant

        Emma enjoys the blog so much that she’s never commented before today.

        • Amazed

          Yeah. In fact, given the fact that the mother intends to help other women have providers like hers (and possibly achieve the same result), I’ll say Dr Amy’s post was well late.

          • Ericka

            His charity is more geared for doulas in a hospital setting by the way

        • Emma

          I don’t have to justify to you why I chose today to comment. Sorry I’m not a big enough fan for ya.

  • Ericka

    My baby just passed away not even 8 weeks ago , it is still very raw, like I said it your right to b passionate about whatever you want but please remove the obituary an the link to stillbirthday, still birth day is my main grief resource , I am asking you from woman to woman to please remove these things. You can post what ever you like about what decisions you believe I have made but please remove these things… Please

    • Ericka

      Please excuse my grammar errors

    • attitude devant

      Ericka, Heidi has already disabled the link to Stillbirthday. If you want and need privacy, you might wish to lock down your FB page, which right now is wide open. Your real name is there too and in multiple other places where you posted about your birth plans. I think that the people on those other pages where you posted did you a real disservice in encouraging you in such risky plans. I hope they hear about your son’s death and re-think their prior advice. It was bad advice. I am so sorry for your loss.

      Regarding Facebook: I do understand that you use that FB page for your business in pranic healing and massage, so you might want to have a business one and a friends one and keep your private world separate.

      I hope better days are ahead for you.

      • Wow

        She shouldn’t need to lock down her stuff so that people can be mature enough not to exploit photos and obituaries of her deceased child. It’s called being a compassionate human being.

        • Karen in SC

          I think that was just general advice since she was requesting privacy.

          • attitude devant

            Karen is correct. She was asking Dr. Amy to do what she could easily do herself. I am always amazed that young people (she is in her 20s) put so much of their private lives out on display for the whole world and then are surprised that everyone knows their private information.

          • Ericka

            I hope all will find peace… Atma namaste

      • Ericka

        You are correct my facebook is not private, and I will adjust those settings. I see that Heidi has took down the link which I am happy about. Like I have stated before I respect your right to be passionate about what you choose, however these are not my passions, and I don’t want my son tied to them, I can not force anyone to remove anything in this post, but in my option posting my child’s obituary is a little to far , everyone can get the point with out that bit of information, I was hoping out of respect for a bereaved mother the owner would remove it. My facebook does not have that photo off Lloyd and I keep it very positive, and also I did not share the obituary with my facebook

        • Siri

          ‘These are not my passions’ – what do you think our passions are? Getting every woman to have a section? Forcing everyone to give birth in hospital? Ericka, our passion is to never have any more babies dying needlessly and preventably. How is that not your passion? You don’t want other moms to lose their babies any more than we do. We are on the same side, Ericka. We all wish you healing and comfort.

    • anion

      Ericka, please believe that every single person here grieves for you and your beautiful baby. No one wants to hurt you. But most of us, I think, believe you were lied to misled, by people who you trusted to help you.

      Can I ask–and I absolutely don’t mean to sound harsh here, I swear–why you were so set on vaginal birth? Let me explain my reason: I personally have two children, both c-sections. I was never particularly interested in vaginal birth, and I don’t consider that there was or is anything remotely “wrong” with my c-sections. But it seems a lot of other women do, and there is so much pressure put on women to have the “right” kind of birth–“right” in this instance meaning “vaginal, preferably without pain medication.” As if there is something inherently wrong with me because I had surgical births. In some communities this pressure can be unbearably strong.

      I’m not accusing anyone you know of being unsupportive or cruel, but I do wonder if you felt this pressure as well. And if you did or do, I just wanted to say that there’s truly nothing wrong with having a section. You know it doesn’t lessen your bond with your children, because you already have two and are clearly a wonderful mother. There’s nothing inherently superior about vaginal birth. Not having one doesn’t make you any less a mother or a woman, and it doesn’t make you less strong or mean your body is “broken.” You didn’t miss out on some quintessential experience that makes you a woman. There’s no reason for you to try so hard to have a vaginal birth, and if anyone tells you there is, they’re wrong. I don’t mean to be snippy, but your midwife experience kind of tells you something about those who are so invested in the idea of vaginal birth above all, doesn’t it? Does she value and support you through this situation for which she is at least partly responsible, or were you another notch in her belt, and once things didn’t go according to her plan, she had no more use for you?

      I totally appreciate that it may simply be an experience you want to have. I sympathize; there are a lot of things I would have liked to have done which I never got to do. Just please, give yourself a break. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone by having a “natural” birth. You’re a woman and a mother no matter how your babies came out.

      I truly hope I haven’t hurt you. Again, I am so sorry for your loss. That shouldn’t have happened to you, and to be honest, I think your midwife should be ashamed of herself. You and your son deserved, and still deserve, better.

      • attitude devant

        what a lovely post.

        • anion

          Thanks. I hope Ericka thinks so. My heart just breaks for her.

    • Siri

      But Ericka, what we’re so passionate about INCLUDES the loss of your precious baby! Can’t you see we’re on your and your baby’s side? No one is attacking you; we simply want to reduce the risk of other babies dying. Don’t you share that wish? As a mother who has lost what was most precious to you of all? I know you do, Ericka.

  • Ericka

    Mrs tuteur, I respect your right to voice your opinion , however there where many factors to my birth , I respectfully ask you to please take down the obituary link, please mrs. Tuteur, I did not give permission for that to be shared and I’m well aware it was in my local newspaper but it my name and my husbands name and I would really appreciate if you would please remove it.

    Thank you

    • attitude devant

      I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Mom2Many

      I am so sorry that you and your partner lost a son and that your children lost a much anticipated sibling. So so sorry.

    • Amazed

      I am very sorry for your loss. I hope you and your family find healing.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      I am very, very sorry that your baby died. So sorry, in fact, that I want to make sure that it doesn’t happen to anyone else. It is deeply unfortunate that your story serves as an object lesson of the dangers of homebirth, but, in my judgment, the loss is compounded if we refuse to learn from these deaths, if we refuse to acknowledge just how common they are, and if we let substandard self-proclaimed “midwives” continue practicing.

      http://www.skepticalob.com/2012/10/response-to-loss-mothers.html

    • Trixie

      I’m very sorry for your loss.

  • Tana

    How is posting the mothers name, a photo of her child and then referring to it as ‘the dead baby’ anything but hurting a grieving mother? All without her permission I might add, you stalked her to vain the crap to further your agenda. Just remember karma is a bitch and I hope you get what you deserve.

    • LibrarianSarah

      “you stalked her to vain the crap”

      Okay, I read this sentence 5 times now and still have no idea what this means. I doubt any of us “stalked” her. She posted the linked information publicly and freely and Doctor Amy wrote about it on her own blog. Doctor Amy didn’t, as far as I can tell, and tell her she was a horrible person or call her names like you guys are doing to her here.

      She wrote a blog post using publicly available information. Nobody forced your friend (at least I hope she’s a friend because getting this up in arms for a stranger is kind of creepy) to read it.

      • Amazed

        I can tell you: everyone who says, “Poor you, you made what every mom would have done, it was absolutely the best decision ever and you should homebirth the next one too” is supportive and well-meaning.

        Everyone who issues a warning is stalking the mother. In other words – everyone who has something other than praise and affirmations.

        • attitude devant

          I suppose it IS rather blunt of us to say that this baby died needlessly. But it is true all the same.

          • Amazed

            That’s right. That’s why I would never, ever go to a mother’s blog and be blunt there. Now, that would be cruel.

            But I’ll be damned if I let a bunch of positive thinking bitchy jokes of women, jokes of mothers, jokes of friends (I do believe it’s one of those supposed friends who alerted the mother to this post) come here and act superior to us because, clearly, respecting the mother’s private space should encompass never uttering a word all over the broad internet.

    • Amazed

      Err, isn’t the baby dead? I would think that this is what would really hurt the mother. No one is saying her baby is stupid, ugly, and so on. Now, that would be insulting. But stating the only fact – that the baby is dead?

      I do so love karma wielding malicious “mother defending” trolls.

      • attitude devant

        I agree: the root of the problem is that baby is dead. If mothers were taking terrible chances with their own lives that would be one thing. But the babies are bearing the brunt of the push for ‘natural.’ They’re the ones with no choice, no voice.

        • Amazed

          I still remember what Sarah Kerr said – how she didn’t think her baby would be ‘the one’. I wonder whether most of those mothers really take terrible chances, or they are only talking out of their you know whats because the stats – they are for the others, not REALLY about them.

          At the same time, I am quite (darkly) impressed how all those women who are ready to trust Ina May over a MD always end up running to the MD when things go south. What I want to know is why they won’t phone Ina May to send them some affirmations over the phone.

          I was equally impressed with Sarah Kerr insisting that she was so knowledgeable and capable of assessing risk, yet repeating that she was not told (by the evil MD, of course, who else!) of the homebirth risks specific to twins. Why should it matter since she was so informed and detested MDs anyway?

          • Lisa the Raptor

            I don’t think that;s too far fetched. I do the “It’s not going to be me” thing every time I get on a plane.

          • Amazed

            Same here. Doesn’t stop me from putting my belt on. Every. Single. Time.

            You can bet that should I be expecting something that would happen to me not once a year, not once a month but 5 times in the course of my life (at most), I’ll be taking all precautions. Somehow, I find such an event more worthy of a prolonged consideration than whether to cross the street I end up crossing up twice a day anyway. By the way, even then I don’t do it running zigzag between the cars.

          • Trixie

            Airplane travel is incredibly safe, though. I do agree this kind of thought is a human characteristic.

    • DaisyGrrl

      I thought this post was quite mild and yet clearly hit a nerve with many natural birth/home birth advocates. Dr. Amy posted a couple of the mother’s early posts, full of hope and optimism and positivity. Then the death and the grief of having empty arms instead of the child that was meant to be there. It’s a powerful juxtaposition. All of these posts were already out there on the internet, so the mother’s permission wasn’t needed.

      The mother is grieving and no one here is anything but sympathetic to her loss. What makes the loss all the more devastating to us is that it might not have happened had she received proper medical attention from the outset of her pregnancy by a qualified OB. Having two previous c-sections with no vaginal births meant that she was a terrible candidate for homebirth. Had her midwife and her internet community helped her come to terms with the need for proper care and intervention (and yes, possibly a planned c-section), this post wouldn’t be here and the mother and her family would likely be getting to know the new baby.

      The cheerleading of the NCB community contributed to this tragedy. That midwife should be named, shamed, and prosecuted for encouraging the mother to undertake such a wildly dangerous birth plan. People who encourage this kind of stunt birth on the internet are also to blame. The Dr. Amys of the internet are not. They just shine the light on what can go wrong and the devastation left behind. Hopefully it will save other mothers from the pain of losing a child under such circumstances.

    • anion

      Just to clarify, Dr. Amy didn’t post the mother’s name. She did link to it, yes (because otherwise she would likely have been accused of making it up), but the mother’s name is not in her post. You’d have to follow the links to get that information.

  • Jess

    More babies die in hospital births. Shall we recall that piece of work that CRUSHED that baby girls skull? Yeah.. Or the countless dr’s who put their hands in women’s vaginas instead of trusting the natural process of labor. How about we discuss the fact that you’re sitting here berating a mother for choosing homebirth and ended up losing her child- WHic was NOT becAuse of the homebirth. Educate yourself and stop trying to fear monger people. You do nothing but continue to show educated Americas what idiots you “dr’s” are. A REAL dr would never post this and use a child’s death as “education”. You’re a horrible person

    • Dr Kitty

      You know it isn’t just Drs who do VEs during labour?
      Shameonbetterbirth and you should have a talk

      http://shameonbetterbirth.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/my-ordeal-part-one/

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Did you notice any obstetricians claiming:

      1. That baby wasn’t meant to be earthside.
      2. You can’t be sure that the fact that the baby had her head crushed by forceps was the cause of her death.
      3. You haven’t read the medical record so you can’t know that it was the forceps that killed the baby.
      4. Sure the baby’s head was crushed and then she died, but that was just a coincidence.
      5. Babies who don’t get their heads crushed die, too.

      See how stupid those rationalizations sound?

      • attitude devant

        And no OBs are saying that OB was awesome. What bugs the heck out of that case is that the OB was trying to avoid C/S. A timely C/S is a beautiful thing, as the case in this post shows

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          This is also an important point:
          even in a case where you can point to a death caused by an intervention, the lesson is not that he/she shouldn’t have intervened, but that the intervention wasn’t sufficient, and should been more extensive.

          I don’t think we can accept this as a death resulting from an “unnecessary intervention.” Intervention was needed.

          • Dr Kitty

            It was the wrong intervention, performed badly.
            Doesn’t mean the baby would have been dandy if he had done NOTHING and just waited it out though.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yep.

      • Ashley

        Just like you haven’t read this medical report so you can’t be sure that homebirth is the cause or led to the cause of death.

        So it’s cool to speculate as long as you’re the almighty Dr. A (hole)

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      More babies die in hospital births.

      More people die in car accidents that do not involve alcohol than those that die in drunk driving accidents.

      (it’s true – only about 40% of car accident fatalities happen in drunk driving accidents)

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      A REAL dr would never post this and use a child’s death as “education”.

      Wasn’t MADD started by a mother who lost a child in a drunk driving accident, who then used that death as “education” on the dangers of drinking and driving?

      • Karen in SC

        There’s currently a campaign against smoking featuring past smoker who now have trachs and look extremely ill. Cautionary tales may be a literary cliche, but they can be effective.

    • LibrarianSarah

      I’m sure that Americans who are actually educated (instead of just reading crap off google) are able to actually spell out “doctor” and don’t randomly capitalize stuff in the middle of sentences and words either.

    • Bombshellrisa

      Real doctors, especially ones who were clinical instructors, would indeed use real life examples to educate students, residents and fellows. It’s not like home birth midwives who tell non specific stories and use lots of unverifiable data to “educate” each other, their apprentices and the clients who are tricked into trusting them.

      • Stephanie

        actually home birth midwives generally go through 6 yrs of training and have to attend 500 births. They are very well educated

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Actually, you have no idea what you are talking about.

        • Amazed

          500 births in 6 years? Well educated? Ha-ha-ha!

          You know, it isn’t even funny. Please shut your incompetent mouth and stop lying to mothers like the poor subject of this post, convincing them to trust your fellow incompetents and lose or harm their babies in the process.

        • Karen in SC

          Perhaps you are thinking of CNMs, who are qualified to handle low-risk pregnancies and births. However, that would be 2 yrs pre-nursing, 2 yrs of nursing school then 2 yrs of CNM education. I don’t know how many births would be part of that. That is nowhere near how much training an OB receives. Also, most CNMs deliver in a hospital with all the back-up in place if needed.

          CPMS and lay midwives are not at all up to that certified nurse training standard.

        • Bombshellrisa

          Actually they don’t. Certified Nurse Midwives who attend home births do have six years of training (not sure about how many births they attend in those years) but the average non nurse midwife will have minimal if any formal training and will not have seen 500 births even with years of practice. Even with training from a school like Bastyr, the standard isn’t that high.

  • Rochelle

    Maybe you should also start posting the stories of babies who died in the hospital after unnecessary interventions. Or wait, maybe that wouldn’t support your point so well, would it?

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      You start.

    • Dr Kitty

      Why don’t you post some?
      Healthy, term babies of low risk mothers who were alive and well at the start of labour and died due to unnecessary interventions during labour, which means a normal labour, progressing without delay or signs of foetal distress and an OB intervened “just because”.

      I look forward to your posts.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Why not? Because those babies who die because of interventions are yet another lie fabricated by homebirth advocates. If you believe otherwise, please link to 10 separate incidents of babies dying because of interventions. I’m not holding my breath.

      • Disgusted

        You are a monster plain and simple and something horrible is going to happen to you because of your heartless actions. What kind of person would want to inflict that kind of pain on a grieving mother? You should be stripped of your medical licensure and sued for for linking their names to this post. YOU MAKE ME SICK

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          What kind of person would want to inflict that kind of pain on a grieving mother?

          Please explain how she is “inflicting pain on a grieving mother”?

          Note that she has written a commentary in her own blog. She has not, as far as I know, had any interaction with the mother, nor has asked anyone to do so. IF the mother sees what Dr Amy has written, it is because she has opened up Dr Amy’s blog to read it, or because someone else has shown it to her.

          The only one who has inflicted anything on the mother is the person who has informed the mother about what Dr Amy has said and at least did not advise her to steer clear.

          Why would any supposed “friends” be doing that to her? Who would tell a grieving mother “You should go see all the nasty things these people are saying about you”?

          • attitude devant

            I would add that people like BWF/January Harshe are inflicting pain on mothers by encouraging them to do stupid things. I know women who lost their babies to terrible midwives who were egged on by that ‘community’ of ill-informed NCB advocates.

        • Trixie

          I thought you hairflipped 3 hours ago.

        • hurricanewarningdc
        • anion

          What makes me sick are the people who encouraged this woman to try something for which she was not a good candidate, and who lied to her about the safety of same, and who pushed her into feeling that how she gave birth was so important, and who are now neglecting her when she needs them and trying to sweep her and her baby under the rug and pretend her loss didn’t occur because it doesn’t fit in with their “natural birth is the only way” mindset.

    • hurricanewarningdc

      If you have those stats for “unnecessary” interventions I’d love to see them. Then again, they might exist seeing as when a baby dies or is severely injured in a hospital, there is a required reporting nechanism, an investigation, there may be lawsuits, there is insurance that may pay for pain and suffering, etc. With an injury caused by the medical team, there may be an opportunity for the parents to get assistance with care for that child. With a homebirth quack midwife, there is no such recourse. Take away her license (if she even has one from the internet school from which she got her so-called training), and she’ll simply keep practicing without it. And the risk-taking moms, thinking that they’re smarter than the medical community, will continue to willfully buy into their lies.
      But back to those stats. Let’s have them. And then let’s compare what deaths and injuries in a hospital would not have occured if the birth had happened in the inflatable pool in your living room, attended by a layman who has less regulaton and training than my hair stylist. And then let’s look at the injuries and deaths that occured in homebirth with CPMs and the like… how many would have been prevented in a hospital setting? Yeah… that won’t go so well for you. But please do come back again to visit. We’d love to hear about your “experience” or the midwifery industry since that’s what really matters to you.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        there may be lawsuits

        Note that most lawsuits results from failure to intervene soon enough, as opposed to intervening unnecessarily

      • hurricanewarningdc

        sorry – i was mad. that didn’t make as much sense as intended. 🙂 Still less bs-y than rochelle’s whiny, unsupported, cliche-filled post…

    • Playing Possum

      Rochelle, I’m not trying to make fun, I’m being serious. As a scientifically curious person, all this talk of “babies dying of unnecessary interventions” is really starting to get weird. I’m now thinking about all the possible iatrogenic causes of death (beyond the criminal and simply egregious). And how one might diagnose them. I actually want to read the case reports and be educated more on this. But then I go looking and can’t find any, and then I start to worry that maybe there is some giant conspiracy that is covering up thousands of deaths that I haven’t noticed. And then I have a reality check and think about all the clinicians I know, and while they’re human, and subject to human error, they’re good and kind and gentle people not capable of this conspiracy to cover up all the deaths. This is what being an intellectually honest practitioner is about. Looking for evidence, assessing it, (or its absence), and making a rational decision based on that evidence.

  • attitude devant

    HEY ALL YOU TROLLS!!! NO ONE HERE IS BASHING THE MOTHER. WE ARE BASHING THE INTERNET MINDSET THAT ENCOURAGES WOMEN TO DO STUPID RECKLESS THINGS LIKE GO FOR A HBA2C!! AND I AM TALKING TO YOU, JANUARY HARSHE!

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    So, where are all the trolls coming in from?

    • Anj Fabian

      I’d put money on BWF.

      They hate when birth gets a bad reputation.

  • Athena

    You are entitled to your opinion. It’s your Constitutional right. But the moment you started using one mother’s loss, your credibility as a doctor and healer was shot to hell. Your words are ugly. Your attitude toward grieving parents is ugly. And the fact that you have no compassion speaks to the type of physician you are. Shame on you.

    • attitude devant

      Shame on all of you who encourage women to take such terrible risks with their lives and their babies’ lives and then try to wave it all away with platitudes.

  • A.T.

    Your message is lost when you use a mother’s loss for your own benefit. It makes you look like a horrible person and maybe it does speak about your character.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Actually, I would prefer it were otherwise, but nothing amplifies the message that homebirth is dangerous than the stories of babies who died at homebirth. They are always the most heavily trafficked and the most influential.

      I don’t benefit from this website; babies benefit from this website.

      • Curious

        How many hours of the moms labor was at the hospital? Was the baby born at the hospital? What did the moms OB say happened? What was the cause of death?

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Your message is lost when you use a mother’s loss for your own benefit.

      How is Dr Tuteur benefiting from this?

      If your answer is “Increased blog traffic” you might want to stop and think a little bit about the implications of that (hint: you came here and posted)

  • Tammie

    You know what I find absolutely disgusting? That someone could turn someone else’s grief into a debate or discussion. You are a disgusting human being who is a disgrace to the human race.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      • Tammie

        I’m not reading your bullcrap blog anymore. You are a waste of my time and you should be ashamed of yourself.

        • attitude devant

          Another troll puts her fingers in her ears and says ‘Lalalalal!’

          • Tammie

            I’m not a troll. If I were, I would be hiding behind a fake name. I don’t need to read a blog from a “doctor” who has no clue what’s she’s talking about in it. Follow along in your little cult. You people are disgusting. You are the reason that bullying is at an all time high. I feel sorry that your children have to grow up knowing such hatred and lack of empathy.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I’m not a troll.

            If you say so, but you are clearly a LIAR

            I’m not reading your bullcrap blog anymore.

            Yet here you are…

            Actually, that pretty much does make you a troll…

          • Monica

            Oooh I love it, the whole your kids must be bullies argument. You come here and start calling names and hurling insults, but it’s our kids who are bullies. Mmm-k. My kids are doing just fine, thank you for your concern. They are well liked by their peers and their teachers. All of that despite the fact that their mother believes in truly scientific researched evidence when it comes to her medical care and that of her children. Why don’t you go ask midwifes like Lisa Barret how many preventable deaths have come under her watch, then you ask any doctor. Then go ahead and see if you can find any information that backs up the midwife’s claims of her success rate. You won’t find it because those cases are buried and only heard about when someone tells their story. This is a public service, you know like product recalls. Do you get this upset when the news reports about a baby who died due to a faulty product and that there was a product recall on it, or do you just harbor this much resentment for someone who has the word doctor in her title?

          • anion

            You know, it’s interesting…most parents who lose a child in an accident or whatever want to publicize the cause, to keep it from happening to others. It seems to be only in the NCB community that preventable deaths are hidden and those who try to talk about them are scolded and shamed. (That is not, btw, intended as any sort of comment against Ericka or her posts here; her objections seem to me to be about something different.)

          • LibrarianSarah

            Is bullying really at an all time high or are we just more aware of it? And how are we single highhandedly responsible for it? You seem more like the bully here. You called Dr. Amy and the rest of us “disgusting human beings” “a disgrace to the human race” and said we are all in “a little cult.”

            If you really hated “bullies” so much you wouldn’t be acting like one. Your first tactic was to insult other instead of engage. To hurt and insult people because you are upset. That is the hallmark of a bully is it not?

          • attitude devant

            GMAFB, Tammie. You come here, start hurling accusations, and when Amy Tuteur points you to a blog post that she wrote in reply to this (oh so common!) accusation, you flounce and say you’re not gonna read anything here. If that’s not troll behavior, what is?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            You are the reason that bullying is at an all time high.

            Oooo, I missed this part.**

            Can you please support your contention that “bullying is at an all-time high”?

            I agree that the awareness of bullying is at an all-time high, but actual bullying itself? Goodness, bullying has been going on for pretty much as long as we have recorded history of kids interacting with each other (it’s described a lot in Little House on the Prairie***). Now, that doesn’t mean it was more common then, but it doesn’t rule it out, either.

            **See, friends, this is how you get to lead the pack in comments; just split them up

            ***We have been in a Little House mood lately….

          • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC

            I just re-read the Little House books to my 7yo. I think Ma, Laura, and Laura’s daughter Rose would have given anything for modern medicine, since they all had babies that died. Vaccinations could also have saved Mary from blindness and Almanzo from partial paralysis.

    • Captain Obvious

      If this persuades one other person from making a bad choice, then it has served it’s purpose. And there already are testimonials on here of people who have changed their risky choices and have gone on to have living babies!

    • deafgimp

      Yet you joined in the discussion that you find absolutely disgusting.

  • Realistic

    It’s sick that these women are judged when really you have no idea about their birth stories. If you did, you would know woman 1s OB told her that her baby had issues and would not have survived regardless.

    • Anj Fabian

      Got a link for us? I’m always interested in having more information.

      • Realistic

        A link to what the mothers birth records and conversation with her OB? No. That’s the mothers business and the business of those who have been there for her and heard it first hand (myself included). This mom is a wonderful person. She doesn’t deserve to be belittled in a blog.

        • Anj Fabian

          I’m sure she’s a wonderful person.

          Her baby is still dead. She still chose to have a birth out of hospital, after two c-sections, without having a single successful vaginal birth which makes her a poor candidate.

          Such a poor candidate that she apparently delivered her baby surgically in the end.

          WHO is supporting her desire to try for another vaginal birth? If you can’t answer any other questions, you could answer that one. WHO supported her desire to have an out of hospital birth this time?

          …because there are very few of these stories that don’t involve many people encouraging, supporting and profiting from the family’s decision to birth outside of the hospital.

          Silence implies consent. So if you refuse to name names, I’ll assume that you are one of those people.

          • Realistic

            I’m not sure what you are asking? Supported her home birth? Her friends and family…..

            Who’s supporting her vbac next time? Her OB.

            What does it matter?! Yes her baby was born in a hospital. Guess what she also labored in the hospital! 90% of her labor was in the hospital for god sake! Leave the poor woman alone!!!

            The cause of death had NOTHING to do with the fact that she vbac or even that she home birthed actually!

          • Realistic

            ^correction planned a home birth

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            The cause of death had NOTHING to do with the fact that she vbac or even that she home birthed actually!

            That’s what they all say.

            But, amazingly, it just happens so much more often with home births…

          • attitude devant

            Yep. Once the baby dies they come to the hospital. Why is that? It’s like they’re expecting us to undo it or something.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      It’s sick that babies are dead and all you care about is defending homebirth.

      • Realistic

        Did I defend home birth? This blog does nothing but hurt a grieving mother! Do you not think she feels horrible that her baby passed away? It’s awful that you’re doing this to her. Disagreeing about birth is one thing. Harming human beings for the sake of a blog is horrible. Whether the mom made a bad decision or the baby was just not meant to be earth side is irrelevant. What is relevant is the feelings of the mom. How dare you.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          How about letting a baby die for the sake of a birth experience? Isn’t that horrible?

          • Realistic

            So you’re justifying being a horrible person because you don’t agree with a mothers birth? Which again, you know nothing about. Does it help you sleep better by telling yourself that the death is horrible while you’re making a mockery of a grieving mother and her loss ? Seriously woman what is wrong with you! Not only does this mom have horrible PPD, PTSD, and is grieving the loss of her baby, but now she has some crazy doctor who’s never seen her medical records bashing her on the internet.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            How does a dead baby heal from a failed homebirth?

          • Realistic

            Again proving you know nothing about what you’re talking about.

          • Expat

            You are standing up for the first mother described whom you claim lost the baby due to congenital abnormalities and not due to homebirth. The mom went to 43 weeks. You don’t need to see medical records to know that whoever told her that was okay if she wanted her baby to have any chance at life is a criminal and Amy is merely pointing out the mother’s continued faith in that criminal. It isn’t only homebirth that kills, but also terrible medical advice from poorly educated homebirth midwives.

          • Annoyed

            The mother talked about vba3c. It didn’t say she is having another homebirth. And the mother is also speaking out against HER midwife. STOP THE GUESSING OF WHAT YOU THINK IS HAPPENING.

          • JC

            I don’t know where you live but there isn’t an OB in my city that would touch a vbac3c. Plenty of homebirth midwives, but no doctors.

          • Realistic

            Well I live where the mama lives obviously. And we have a great OB with a great track record who will gladly vbac her.

            Thank god for these kinds of doctors

          • Anj Fabian

            In that case, I hope she goes straight to that OB if she becomes pregnant again.

          • attitude devant

            So if that OB is so awesome, and will vbac her after multiple sections, why was she trying this at home? Why did she go so far past her due date? No OB would be comfortable with that….

          • Dr Kitty

            Shame she didn’t go with that OB then, isn’t it?

          • Anj Fabian

            She is? Link?

          • Tammie

            So babies don’t die in the hospital? Is that what you’re saying? You are an idiot.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
        • attitude devant

          ‘the baby was just not meant to be earth side’

          Do you hear yourself? Do you hear how horrible, and stupid, and self-serving you sound?

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Not meant to be earthside? Or maybe homebirth kills babies?

          Just ou of curiosity: Where was this baby before birth? On the moon?

        • Amazed

          Right. The baby doesn’t matter. Only the mother matters.

          You know what? The women who will read the story and take it into account and maybe will have their babies’ lives or health salvaged (we have had those, to your great regret) might not agree. You know, the women who actually think their babies matter.

          Between potentially saving a baby’s life and sparing the feelings of a mother who made the worst decision possible, I know which one I’ll choose.

          By the way, how did the mother get to know about this post? How do you know she knows? Maybe you were the joke of a ‘friend’ who decided that she needs just a little more misery in her life and said, “Hey! Look what they are writing about you!”?

          Do tell.

      • Tammie

        It’s sick that you pick apart experiences you know nothing about. NOTHING.

      • Naturalmamasrock

        Amy it is sick that a baby is dead and all you care about is exploiting the story to advance your agenda.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Given that her “agenda” is to put an end to preventable baby deaths, it is not at all “sick” it is pretty much the WHOLE POINT.

    • Karen in SC

      Yes, many things might have happened. The baby may have already been dead or near death from going post-dates. Or, the OB may have been compassionate and said that so the mother didn’t feel guilty and become depressed.

      • Realistic

        Not that it’s anyone’s business but the gestational age was 40 weeks. She never knew her due date. So no… Post dates was not an issue. This is exactly why we shouldn’t discuss births we don’t know anything about.

        • Dr Kitty

          How can you know the gestational age was 40 weeks if she never knew her due date?

          Do you not see how that statement makes no sense?

          • Realistic

            So when the OB told her based on the u/s and babies appearance at birth the doctor in fact has no means of knowing these things? So when doctors say babies are a certain gestational age and should be induced they don’t actually know?

          • attitude devant
        • Karen in SC

          The mother’s own words stated 43 weeks.

  • LMS1953

    http://myobsaidwhat.com/2014/01/28/its-not-possible-to-labor-for-more-than-a-day-or-two/

    Endless bantering about who labored longer – I could not tell whether they wanted a two week hospital admission, sympathy or praise.

    But what stunned me was that the OP (a DEM student who was with her pregnant sister) explained the context: Her sister was carrying twins in a single sac. Predictably, one twin died of twin-twin transfusion syndrome = TTTS at “7 months”. She was insistent she was in labor for 2 days. She eventually gave birth to a 10 lb+ baby girl vaginally at home. No mention of her DEM monitoring for DIC, cord entanglement, administration of Betamethasone to rescue the surviving twin prematurely before she too succumbed to complications. Nope, everything is simply a variation of normal and doctors are too stupid to know their a$$ from a hole in the ground, much less to dispute a sanctimommy’s notion of when she is in labor.

    And they will bray, “Studies show homebirth is as safe as hospital birth” – leaving out the part about selection of LOW RISK patients, under the care of WELL-TRAINED midwives. The patient above would have been PROHIBITED from attempting a homebirth in the UK.

    • Dr Kitty

      That patient would have been under OB care with a scheduled CS shortly after the demise of the first twin had she been in the UK.

      Monoamniotic twins are bad juju,

      • Siri

        So you wouldn’t recommend leaving the surviving baby in the sac with her decomposing twin for two months then having a home birth of a grossly macrosomic infant? You’re no fun at all, at all!

    • attitude devant

      Oh my god. Completely indefensible.

  • Defender

    I think the Slate article pretty much sums it up.

  • Steff

    Ugh! And how about birth without marinating TWO of your children in nasty contaminated birth pool water ? (31st photo down. They’re all bad though). http://www.earthsidephotography.com/birth/

    • Naturalmamasrock

      Those photos pay beautiful homage to the bonds being formed between couples, extended family members, parents, and their children. The only thing nasty and contaminated about it is your shitty, uneducated point of view on an experience you have obviously never had yourself.

  • attitude devant

    I see that Heidi has disabled the link to the obit on Stillbirthday. Why, Heidi? After all, you’re the one who argues all the time that stillborn babies were still born. Did you break the link because you don’t like Dr. Amy pointing out that risky births can end so badly? You used to advocate against unnecessary death at birth, but you don’t any more. What’s THAT all about?

    • anion

      That’s horrible. No one here blames the mother for following/believing the obviously horrible advice given to her, and isn’t the point of the online obit so people can see it? Isn’t it possible that other loss mothers are seeing the link here, and it’s helping them?

      • AT

        Well the fact that the obit is being linked for hundreds of people who only want to bash the mother is reason enough to remove it. It isn’t healing for anyone.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Classic homebirth maneuver, bury the baby twice. The first time in the ground, the second time by erasing the existence of the baby so no one will find out the truth about the deaths at homebirth.

          • attitude devant

            Which is why I’m particularly disappointed that Heidi would do this. She of all people has advocated that babies stillborn should be memorialized.

  • anion

    That poor first mother. She’s posted elsewhere how she is now feeling neglected by her midwife. Sadly not a surprise.

    • Anj Fabian

      Standard operating procedure. It’s either a major charm offensive “We are still friends, right? Best buddies? We are in this together!”
      or
      Complete silence, messages unanswered, calls ignored.

  • hurricanewarningdc

    Name and shame? How about criminal prosecution? Neither the MW nor the mothers should be immune. At a minimum, investigations when this happens in someone’s living room should be warranted.

    • staceyjw

      I would LOVE criminal prosecution and think they richly deserve it for being a public health menace.

      However, that is not happening, so at least we can know her name and get the word out so it shows up on Google, in hopes of convincing at least one person not to hire this killer.

  • staceyjw

    Who has the MW?
    NAME AND SHAME.

    • I want to know, too. On my ex-NCB website I have a ‘midwife blacklist” tag specifically for this kind of situation.

    • Karen in SC

      I’d like to point out that one way to stop these midwives would be reporting them to the IRS if you suspect they are not claiming the cash payments as income.

      It’s anonymous. Here’s the form: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/How-Do-You-Report-Suspected-Tax-Fraud-Activity%3F

    • Concerned

      Felicia Beers was the midwife in story 1

      • Anon

        She’s not practicing anymore. All of her clients dropped her and she has pretty much been blacklisted by the community.

        • Lindy

          Not true. She was at a birth this week and she has 4 moms due in Feb.

          • Anon

            She has also had another any death since the one above. I am a homebirther and safe homebirth and midwifery proponent, but Felicia is unsafe. Mothers need to know.

          • Anon

            *baby death, not “any” death

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I am a homebirther and safe homebirth and midwifery proponent,

            Great, then we are all on the same page.

          • Realistic

            No one knows that for a fact. It’s speculation because there is no moms name out there.

          • Anj Fabian

            Who is her back up? One birth a week means she is overbooked.

            Her clients would be well advised to head for the hospital if she appears to be delayed for any reason.

          • Anon

            She has no backup. Neither doctors, nor even homebirth midwives here will back her up, and she is overbooked, which is she sometimes misses births and leaves ladies laboring alone and unattended.

      • Anonymous

        Felicia Beers is still calling herself a midwife, still practicing, still attending births. She has no discernible education, training, or skills, no partner, no backup, no assistant, no neonatal resuscitation certification. She has missed births and left ladies alone in labor. She has walked out on first time parents (to go to another birth, since she used to be overbooked, before people realized the truth), leaving nothing but a shoestring and a tincture for hemorrhage (true story). She let a mother who literally tore through her cervix and vagina languish at home for hours without acknowledging the severity of her injuries or calling an ambulance; the mother was hemorrhaging from her tears and required extensive reconstructive surgery, when she finally got to the hospital. She has failed to transfer with moms or visit them in the hospital or at all postpartum and shamed mothers who have bravely shared their birth stories. She has damaged mothers and babies. The stories coming to light on our review page are horrifying and terrifying. She needs to be stopped, but how?

  • Nicole Barnes

    This will be the first time that I have posted on this site and a rant of this nature is actually out of character for me and I therefore ask for your indulgence. I have spent the past few weeks engrossed with the content of this blog and my incredulity has reached a point where I really feel the need to share a piece of my mind.

    I currently live and work in the health care sector in South Africa and am completely horrified at this so called ‘Crunchy’ trend (I have only just discovered this bazaar term) which seems to be developing in both the US and UK. I would like to take a moment to present a more global perspective for our dear ‘earth mothers’:

    There is nothing more ‘natural’ than a woman having an unassisted vaginal delivery in an isolated field an hour or more away from any medical facilities in the middle of the African Savannah, right? There is nothing more ‘natural’ than the greater than 30% chance that she could pass the HIV virus onto her new-born during birth or breast feeding because she does not take ‘evil chemical drugs developed by unscrupulous drug companies’, even though ARV treatment is more than 90% effective in preventing mother to child transmission in the developed countries where woman enjoy the luxury of being able to access these ‘harmful poisons’.

    She will exclusively breast feed her baby (just like your Alpha-Parents) but not because it is ‘hip’ but rather because she has no access to clean water, bottles or the formula which could prevent mother to child transmission of HIV and TB should mom become infected after the birth of her child (she has a greater than 33% chance of this happening if she is between the ages of 15 – 25 and living in rural sub-Saharan Africa). She will also eat only organic food because she is solely reliant on subsistence farming to support her and her family’s nutritional needs. When there is a drought she and her children will suffer from malnutrition as a result of the food insecurity which has been irradiated in the US with thanks to the commercial farming which your ‘Crunchy mamas’ shun.

    Our African woman will use the rhythm method for contraception as she has no access to a health care facility that may provide her with other options. She will as a result have multiple consecutive pregnancies, placing an ever growing demand on precarious resources to provide for the family’s growing needs. She will home school her children because there is not enough money to have them all go to school, and a girl child in class is one less pair of hands in the constant struggle to fetch water, gather fire wood, tend crops, prepare food so on and so forth.

    And when mom dies a completely ‘natural’ death from untreated HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria, Cholera (the list goes on and on) the older children will have to start looking after the younger children resulting in thousands of child headed households. Cycles of poverty, illiteracy, and helplessness are perpetuated in the next generation, ‘naturally’.

    Your ‘Crunchy Mamas’ may idealise the concept of living at the mercy of nature, but those of us who occupy the Real World recognise this situation is a gross human rights abuse and a condition that we should all be working together to eradicate rather than emulate. It is easy to ‘worship birth’ with an emergency room 15 minutes car ride away. It is easy to have a veggy patch in the backyard when you know that there is a fully stocked grocery store 5 minutes down the road.
    It is disgustingly naive to believe that this constitutes ‘natural living’. The gut retching reality of life and death in your average African village with no clean water, electricity, gas, medical facilities or hope for change is ‘natural living’. Anybody who can avoid these desperate conditions but chooses not to is a traitor to their own humanity in my view and should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. Rant over…

    • AlisonCummins

      Beautiful, Nicole. Thank you.

      I think for many women attracted to home birth, giving birth is the most difficult and dangerous thing they will ever have the opportunity to do and they are attracted to it for that reason. It’s actually quite healthy to seek out challenges; what is sad is the constrained lives within which giving birth is the hardest challenge a person will face.

      RE “crunchy”: it’s short for “crunchy granola,” a breakfast cereal that became popular to make at home in the sixties or seventies. My mother made it for a while, along with bread, yoghurt and long skirts.

      • LMS1953

        See also: woo or the woo and unicorn sprinkles (or flatus).
        I don’t mean to sound facetious, but whereas US crunchies worry about whether to encapsulate their placentas or serve them au jus, in sub-Saharan Africa the main concern is probably how best to dispose of it to avoid attracting hyenas and baboons who may cast a lean and hungry look at the newborn as well.

        • AlisonCummins

          No, woo is different from crunchy.

          “Woooo!” is what people say when they are impressed by something mysterious and don’t understand. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Woo

          There’s nothing mysterious about granola.

          • LMS1953

            http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Woo
            My experience with woo is precisely this definition. It is the trough where the crunchy stock of Birkens feed.

          • AlisonCummins

            I wear birkenstocks, my mother made granola. We are both fiercely rational. There may be overlap but they aren’t the same.

      • anion

        One of the NCB Facebook pages followed by the first mother posted, a while ago, one of those text-image things that said something like, “Imagine a world where giving birth was considered the most important and amazing thing a woman would ever do,” and wouldn’t that be a wonderful, incredible world?

        Yeah…we don’t have to imagine that, because that was pretty much how the world was before feminism.

    • staceyjw

      Dr Amy ought to post this rant, it is exactly what people need to hear.

      Nature is cruel as f*** and cares nothing for humans over bacteria, viruses, or pests. Only our human efforts have improved the lives of some people, in some parts of the world. Why we consider this a bad thing I have no idea.

    • LMS1953

      Thank you Nicole, that was terrific. Tell me, the WHO has designed a “partogram” – sort of a modified Friedman Curve that gives a crude management protocol to “do something” if there is no change in a four hour interval. Has that concept made any inroads yet? Also, I do not know if you had a chance to read my idea about a blue tooth fetal heart monitor that, via a smart phone app, could be sent by Internet telemetry to whatever higher level medical center might be available for consultation or transfer. My question is this: what kind of cell phone coverage is there in sub-Saharan Africa where such a concept would even be feasible?

      • AlisonCummins

        Cell-phone networks are quite developed in subsaharan Africa. http://www.gsma.com/publicpolicy/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/gsma_ssamo_full_web_11_12-1.pdf

        Africans are very good at extracting all the utility out of cell phones there is to be had. They are even used for money transfers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-Pesa

        • LMS1953

          Well, maybe they could use OB providers in the US/UK/Aussie as the sun sets like we use India ITs for computer support.

          • AlisonCummins

            “blue tooth fetal heart monitor that, via a smart phone app, could be sent by Internet telemetry to whatever higher level medical center might be available for consultation or transfer.”

            The consultation could be done internally. It might be a highly-efficient use of clinical skills if it meant that only women having problems showed up at the hospital, and there were ORs near every labouring woman. The infrastructure for transferring (hospital with OR and transportation thereto) is less uniformly available and can’t be outsourced.

            When I lived in a small african city in the 1970s even urban women preferred to be actually in the hospital to give birth. Pain relief was not a thing at that time and in that place, just a chance to save a life. Rural women with transportation issues would have an even greater preference for already being in or near the hospital before pushing started.

          • staceyjw

            I have heard that there are some hospitals that have dorms do expecting moms that live really far can come and stay for a few weeks to be near a hospital. I think this could be a lower cost solution, if any hospital services are available.

          • AlisonCummins

            Yes, many canadian hospitals who serve northern communities have hostels for families of hospitalized patients and for expectant mothers.

          • Nicole Barnes

            It would be wonderful if this system of ‘dorms’ could be implemented in some of our hospitals in South Africa, unfortunately this is a bit of a first world solution to a third world problem. Mothers are only kept over night at most hospitals postpartum as beds are such a scarce resource. If we don’t have the resources to have sufficient beds in labor wards there is no way we could fund ‘dorms’.

    • hurricanewarningdc

      If not a guest post here, then I would hope that you could publish that somewhere else. It’s well-said. Maybe if you add some soures for your numbers, you could get Huffington Post or another blog-type outlet to carry it. To be clear, you’ll get slammed by the NCB advocates. Be sure that you have the thick skin (and won’t be tangibly hurt by the inevitable attacks). Either way, though, i thank you for sharing yor perspective.

  • Nicole Barnes

    This will be the first time that I have posted on this site and a rant of this nature is actually out of character for me and I therefore ask for your indulgence. I have spent the past few weeks engrossed with the
    content of this blog and my incredulity has reached a point where I really feel the need to share a piece of my mind.

    I currently live and work in the health care sector in South Africa and am
    completely horrified at this so called ‘Crunchy’ trend (I have only just
    discovered this bazaar term) which seems to be developing in both the US and UK. I would like to take a moment to present a more global perspective for our dear ‘earth mothers’:

    There is nothing more ‘natural’ than a woman having an unassisted vaginal delivery in an isolated field an hour or more away from any medical facilities in the middle of the African Savannah, right? There is nothing more ‘natural’ than the greater than 30% chance that she could pass the HIV virus onto her new-born during birth or breast feeding because she does not take ‘evil chemical drugs developed by unscrupulous drug companies’, even though ARV treatment is more than 90% effective in preventing mother to child transmission in the developed countries where woman enjoy the luxury of being able to access these ‘harmful poisons’.

    She will exclusively breast feed her baby (just like your Alpha-Parents) but not because it is ‘hip’ but rather because she has no access to clean water, bottles or the formula which could prevent mother to child transmission of HIV and TB should mom become infected after the birth of her child (she has a greater than 33% chance of this happening if she is between the ages of 15 – 25 and living in rural sub-Saharan Africa). She will
    also eat only organic food because she is solely reliant on subsistence farming to support her and her family’s nutritional needs. When there is a drought she and her children will suffer from malnutrition as a result of the food insecurity which has been irradiated in the US with thanks to the commercial farming which your ‘Crunchy mamas’ shun.

    Our African woman will use the rhythm method for contraception as she has no access to a health care facility that may provide her with other options. She will as a result have multiple consecutive pregnancies, placing an ever growing demand on precarious resources to provide for the family’s growing needs. She will homeschool her children because there is not enough money to have them all go to school, and a girl child in class is one less pair of hands in the constant
    struggle to fetch water, gather fire wood, tend crops, prepare food so on and so forth.

    And when mom dies a completely ‘natural’ death from untreated HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria, Cholera (the list goes on and on) the older children will have to start looking after the younger children resulting in thousands of child headed households. Cycles of poverty, illiteracy, and helplessness are perpetuated in the next generation, ‘naturally’.

    Your ‘Crunchy Mamas’ may idealise the concept of living at the mercy of nature, but those of us who occupy the Real World recognise this situation is a gross human rights abuse and a condition that we should all be working together to eradicate rather than emulate. It is easy to ‘worship birth’ with an emergency room 15 minutes car ride away. It is easy to have a veggy patch in the backyard when you know that there is a fully stocked grocery store 5 minutes down the road.
    It is disgustingly naive to believe that this constitutes ‘natural living’. The
    gut retching reality of life and death in your average African village with no clean water, electricity, gas, medical facilities or hope for change is ‘natural
    living’. Anybody who can avoid these desperate conditions but chooses not to is a traitor to their own humanity in my view and should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. Rant over…

  • ngozi

    “Losing my son (3rd child) at 43 weeks during labor , was attempting a home birth vba2c…”
    Forty-three weeks? Well, that kind of explains it for me right there. I had my first two sons early, so after that I always wanted to get to 40 weeks. I can understand not wanting to deliver early unless absolutely necessary. But 43 weeks is just insane.

    • Young CC Prof

      Oh, yes, the numbers are quite clear. Bad outcomes start to go up just a few days past the due date, and climb faster the farther past it things go. No one should ever let a pregnancy go past 42 weeks. Just too dangerous.

      • JC

        I can’t imagine going past 40 weeks. I went into labor at 38 weeks with my first and was induced on my due date with my second. Absolutely no problems with either delivery. I breathed a sigh of relief each time I got to the hospital and they put the fetal monitor around my stomach. I just felt this sense of “I made it, everything is going to be fine.”

        I clicked on the link and saw the photo of this poor dead baby and just felt angry. I completely respect Dr. Amy for what she does. That baby did NOT have to die. Period. My son is 3 and a half. I absolutely could not live with myself if I had made a decision that led to his death. And she going for her VBAC again when she has number 4. It just makes me sick. Her son is dead and she learned nothing.

      • LMS1953

        There is a discernible uptick in the rate of intrauterine fetal demise beginning in the 38th week and it becomes almost parabolic as one goes from 41 to 42 weeks and beyond. Since most everybody in a conventional practice gets a transvaginal sonogram at 7-9 weeks at the confirmatory initial visit which is accurate to within 3 days, there is little need to worry about iatrogenic prematurity if you induce shortly after the EDC. Which brings up the point. How often do DEMs/CPMs make use of early dating sonograms, and fetal anatomical sonograms? How do they know if a placenta previa is present? Do they spin a ring over the abdomen or burn hogwart or see which way the evening primrose blooms? Just wondering. If they do get sonograms, under what authority do they order it?

        • Young CC Prof

          I have seen those parabolic curves for post-date babies.

          I think a lot of NCB-leaning people are afraid of sonograms because they think that, if they get bad news, it’ll be the kind of bad news that can’t be fixed, and then they’ll be stuck with a moral dilemma on whether or not to abort. Or they think they won’t abort in any case (a legitimate ethical position), so there’s no reason to bother (an unsupported conclusion.)

          In fact, placenta/cord issues are one area where sonograms absolutely shine, along with birth defects that can be corrected by prenatal or neonatal surgery. Can turn a tragedy into a complete healthy family.

          I wonder if people don’t know about that sort of thing, and whether it might change some folks’ attitude towards screening.

  • MLE too lazy to log in

    OT and this is a few days old so it’s probably been discussed but…
    http://www.courthousenews.com/2014/01/20/64668.htm

    • MLE

      Yep, should have read all the comments first.

  • JC

    The BWF story that just haunts me is the first time mom who had NO prenatal care who gave birth in a log cabin with no electricity, no running water, out in the middle of the woods with snow coving the ground. Talk about dodging a bullet. I know Dr. Amy mentioned her in a post because of the huge, rambling name she chose for her child. I had read the woman’s story before reading Dr. Amy’s post. And the kicker to the whole story: they had trouble getting breastfeeding going the first few days, but the baby finally got the hang of it. Good thing she did because she obviously would have starved to death otherwise.

    And the commenters who cheered her on were just disgusting. The whole “what a beautiful Little House on the Prairie birth” comments were disturbing. Even if you support home birth, how could you possibly think this mother made smart decisions? If I were going to use the no seat belt analogy, I would take it a step further. This woman drove drunk at excessive speeds with no seat belt on her, no seatbelt on her baby, in a car with bad brakes. But, hey, it worked out for her so let’s all pat her on the back!

    • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC

      In Little House on the Prairie, Laura had a doctor and used ether for the pain. Also her second child died in the first two weeks. Both her mother and her daughter had babies die. Laura’s husband was partially paralyzed from diphtheria, and her sister was blinded as a teen from bacterial meningitis. I have a feeling they would have done anything to have vaccines and modern obstetrics.

      • Young CC Prof

        In retrospect, Little House on the Prairie has a lot in common with my late grandmother’s stories about life in prewar and occupied China. Both were somewhat sanitized for children, (Laura didn’t mention her dead baby brother at all) but, viewed with an adult’s knowledge, things were really dangerous and often pretty awful.

      • OBPI Mama

        A friend and I are having a Little House on the Prairie Day today with our kids. We’ll churn cream using our paddle churner, bake bread, sew pillows, and build lincoln log log cabins (too cold to take little ones outside to mess with the animals). I love that living on a farm can provide us with some perks that of that lifestyle and living now provides the perks of modern obstetrics that have given me children to pass it on with (3 of them being c/s and one helped with modern medicine). Yes, I think the pioneers before us would have given their left foot for more safety!

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        IIRC, Charles and Caroline Ingalls had no surviving, genetically related great-grandchildren. Mary never married, Grace didn’t have children, Carrie raised her husband’s two children from a previous marriage but had none of her own, Laura had Rose as her only surviving child and Rose had no surviving children. Not a great advertisement for the wonders of frontier life.

  • Amy Tuteur, MD

    The midwife who presided over the second death appears to be the same midwife who presided over another death that I wrote about:

    http://www.skepticalob.com/2013/01/yes-the-baby-died-but-my-homebirth-midwife-was-awesome.html

    • Certified Hamster Midwife

      That’s two babies who died with absolutely no warning within a single calendar year for that midwife. Who is a CNM who worked in hospitals and decided that “normal physiological birth” leads to better outcomes. Except when that outcome is a dead baby.

    • staceyjw

      I wonder if anyone will do anything about her now? 2 deaths is a LOT for a CNM. And is really bad in such a short time span. I wonder how many HIE babies she also has created with her negligence?

    • anion

      The Facebook page of that particular birthing center is filled with stillbirths and losses. It’s horrifying and tremendously sad.

  • Amy M
    • GiddyUpGo123

      Haha! Thanks for my best laugh of the day.

    • Young CC Prof

      Why do I love my birth month club? That got posted at my birth month club. Everyone thought it was hilarious.

      By the end of our first trimester, we’d pretty much developed a consensus that, while legitimate vaccine discussion was fine, anti-vaxxer idiocy would be laughed out of the board.

    • Nashira

      That was the highlight of my day yesterday. I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe.

    • araikwao

      Sister site to howhomeopathyworks.com perhaps?

  • Amy M

    I skimmed through the comment thread…at least 12 mentions of stillbirth or baby dying within days of the birth. I guess it’s a self-selecting group, but there were about 160 or so comments there when I looked, I think, and that’s a pretty high rate of dead babies, no?

    • jenny

      Stillbirth and neonatal death is more common than people think. I am one of the people on the thread who mentioned a baby dying within days of birth. She had a cord accident and as it happened out of hospital (precip birth, not planned HB) her not breathing was totally unexpected – who expects that? Despite the paramedics present, our distance from the hospital contributed to her death. I don’t know about others but I do bring up her death frequently in conversations like that to combat the idea that birth is safe. Because it most definitely is not.

      • FormerPhysicist

        My condolences.

        • jenny

          Thank you, FP.

      • Terribly sorry for your loss.

      • attitude devant

        Oh I am so sorry.

      • Amy M

        Excellent point and I am sorry for your loss. I know you’ve mentioned your story here before, and it breaks my heart every time.

        • jenny

          It does seem alarmingly common, though, sometimes, doesn’t it? I don’t know if it’s because it’s a thread titled “what do you want to heal from” and losing a child is such a great wound, or because people like me feel compelled to speak up, or because there is a higher instance of stillbirth and neonatal death in populations that are more likely to be wary of interventions. 🙁 I’m the only person I know in real life whose baby died because of an OOH birth injury. But online, it seems to be a different story.

          • staceyjw

            I know 3 HB loss moms IRL, 2 are friends that live here, 1 I am acquaintances with, another one with a son with severe CP, and one more that was treated to a full genital/anal reconstructive surgery (complete with bladder slings and such) and loss of her uterus due to a MWs dangerous actions.

            Oregon has the highest OOH birth rate in the USA, so this isn’t all that shocking. I know many other loss moms from online, but the ones above are friends that live in the same city, or area, that I do.

            It is SUPER SAD, and especially galling since all but one of the MWs kept on working, and had zero penalties. One MW quit, but only after publicly blaming the loss mom. (I don’t think she quit over the death, but for other reasons).

          • jenny

            Oregon scares me. 🙁

          • GuestM

            Jenny, I’m sorry for your loss. I just lost my third daughter to a stillbirth at 26 weeks so I understand somewhat how you feel. It was absolutely awful, and I had no idea how common it was. Going through it makes me even angrier at these women who take such chances with the lives of their babies. And although my situation is unexplained and had nothing to do with the method of birth, I’d still be happy to tell these people just how fragile the life of a baby is.

          • araikwao

            So sorry..

          • jenny

            I’m sorry to hear about your baby. 🙁 Life is so fragile.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        I’m very sorry for your loss!

  • GiddyUpGo123

    You hear so much about “strength” in these posts. These women must be missing something in the rest of their lives; why else would they think they need this one event to prove that they have strength and courage? If you want to prove your strength and courage, why not attempt something that *actually* makes you seem strong and courageous? I don’t know, join the Peace Corps or climb a mountain or become a firefighter.

    I know that for a lot of people birth seems like this magical process (or at least seems like it ought to be) but all these people are losing sight of the fact that it’s really a very ordinary thing. I read somewhere that 81% of the world’s female population will give birth at least once by age 44. So the fact that you did it doesn’t make you special or unique. Unless, I suppose, you had a VBA10C. Then I guess if you and your baby survive you get to be special, and maybe I’ve just answered my own question.

    It’s probably not totally fair for me to make this comment because I did think there was some magic to having babies, certainly to the aftermath when you get to hold this amazing little person that you brought into the world. I mean, that’s cool but there’s no reason why it can’t be cool *and* safe. I never felt cheated because I gave birth in a hospital, and two of mine were c-sections.

    • Eddie Sparks

      Why not do something that really takes strength and courage? Like sacrificing your own preferences and desires for the sake of someone else’s health and safety. I don’t know, like, maybe, giving birth in a hospital?

  • attitude devant

    Good old BFW. One of the more vocal homebirth loss moms tried (obviously with minimal success) to get her to stop sugarcoating the risks of homebirth and glorifying the more extreme stunts her readers were reporting. She simply does not get it. Or if she does, she doesn’t care.

    • Anj Fabian

      I’m glad someone is trying.

      • attitude devant

        One of the other loss moms always refers to her as “Birth Without Brains.” Always makes me snort.

    • staceyjw

      She does NOT CARE.

      The result of months of intimate conversations between this loss mom and BWF led to her adding warnings to risky posts for maybe a month, as well as posting the moms story on the anniversary of her DD’s death. That’s it. Once she had all of us “haters” deleted and banned, even the weak warnings ceased.

      Hearing the pain from this mom, and several others, and learning the stats did not change the way she does things one bit. She is promoting the very same dangerous stuff, but now has been told how it effects people, which makes it super callous.

  • Maria

    Slightly OT, but I am in my last month of pregnancy #2 and have been lurking on Baby Center more this time around. I swear the lack of knowledge and the myths that are perpetuated on there is astounding and I find I have to come here to get a bit of relief and read some common sense in regards to pregnancy and birth. Thank you to Dr. Amy and the commenters for keeping things smart, informed, and interesting!

    • Jessica

      I hear you, and am right there with you, except I’m not as far along as you. One thing I’ve enjoyed so far about #2 is I already have an idea of what’s ahead, so I don’t feel like I need to read and such as much. Never mind having another one to chase around. All you mothers out there who have done this a bunch of times, you deserve medals. 🙂

    • meglo91

      Leave BabyCenter and don’t look back. Those people are nearly all idiots. Seriously, the IQ level there MUST be below average. The amount of horrible snark and ignorance you will see on those groups is breathtaking. I left my group after the folks in my birth month went nuts attacking a girl who posted that she was too poor to afford to buy food so her boyfriend sneaked her sandwiches from Burger King that he had saved from his shift so she’d have something to eat. They called her a thief and a drain on taxpayers. That was it for me.

      • Trixie

        Oh, but there’s so much dramas on DWIL!

      • JC

        I’ve noticed there’s very little sympathy for low-income moms. And there are so many teenagers on there who have little to no support. It’s really depressing.

        And one woman the other day posted that in her anatomy scan there were numerous birth defects discovered. She had an amnio and got an diagnosis of Trisomy 13. She said she was terminating and one commenter told her that she “thought” the doctors were wrong. Why not carry to term and see if the baby lives? I will say that commenter just got destroyed by the other moms. The idea that your “intuition” is better evidence than a level 2 ultrasound and an amniocentesis, is just disgusting,

        • Jessica S.

          Glad to hear they took her to task. That’s despicable. The main thing a woman needs in that scenario is support and love. Ugh. Maddening.

        • rh1985

          That happened a few months back with a fatal diagnosis on my birth club on BBC. A moderator had to lock the thread because people were being so cruel. If I remember right the diagnosis was anencephaly. 🙁

          • Young CC Prof

            Wow, that’s awful. One of the ladies on my birth month club got a diagnosis of Trisomy 13 at seven months. She opted for early delivery, and brought her extended family and a professional photographer to the birth of a daughter who lived for two hours.

            It was a dreadful tragedy and the latest loss on the board, but at least no one said anything horrible and judgey, as I recall.

            My version of the golden rule: If someone says that something bad happened to them, and you don’t know what to say, try, “I’m sorry to hear that.” And then shut up. It’s never the wrong move.

          • JC

            7 months. That’s heartbreaking. I have my anatomy scan and find out the sex of the baby on Thursday. I am just sort of holding my breath waiting to make sure everything is okay. I didn’t do the early testing. Not because I am against it, but I am already going to be out thousands of dollars and I just couldn’t stomach another bill.

          • Young CC Prof

            Well, they’d known since the anatomy scan that there were problems, and they were just doing various other tests to find out how bad things were and whether it might possibly be treatable.

            Good luck with your anatomy scan. The best part of mine was watching the heart pump, perfect in shape and rhythm.

          • Jessica S.

            Good luck with your scan! I’m 16 weeks along and am due for the second part, blood draw, for the integrated screening. My doc recommended it since I’ll be 37 when I deliver. It’s nerve-wracking, but I keep reminding myself, as I did with my son four years ago, the odds are still overwhelmingly in favor of normal and healthy. It helps, for the most part. 🙂

      • Guest

        This will reveal me to be the horrible person I am: just glancing at groups like that makes me seethe that these women get to become mothers and I don’t. Most of them even have partners, and I can’t manage to accomplish that either.

        • araikwao

          If life partnership and parenthood were allocated based on the basis of deservedness, there would be a far smaller global population, and a whole lot more single people..I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have made the cut, when I look around at some of my (amazing and very lovable) single friends.

      • ngozi

        Not to be off subject, but I have worked fast food. They were probably burgers that were going to be thrown away anyway.

      • anion

        I will never forget the woman on Babycenter–in one of the forums where I posted during my second pregnancy–talking about her (already born) son’s name. She wanted to name him Orion, because of the Greek myth and the constellation etc. etc. That wasn’t the bad part.

        The bad part was she did not know how to spell Orion, so spelled it semi-phonetically, I guess, like “a Ryan.” She had named her child “Aryan.”

        I’m still not sure if she was a troll, but either way, the days-long silence after she posted that was pretty funny.

        • Dr Kitty

          An Irish friend volunteered as a camp counselor for Camp America one year.

          There were twins- Shaun and Sean (pronounced See-an by them).

          Apparently “Shaun” was a family name, and the parents, while looking for another S name, had fallen in love with the traditional Irish name Sean…without bothering to find out that it is, in fact, pronounced “SHAUN”.

          Yep…research your baby names.

    • JC

      I’m in my second trimester with #3 and I’ve been on Baby Center much more this time. I agree that the lack of knowledge is astounding. Very few women can spell or write a grammatically correct sentence with correct punctuation. Some of the posts I can’t even read. And the misinformation about vaccines is just disgusting. On one vaccination thread a woman said “I thought very few women chose not to vaccinate and I am shocked at the amount of women here saying they will not vaccinate.”

      And on one thread where a woman was asking where she could get “unbiased” information about home birth, the HB advocates were telling her to contact a local midwife and have a meeting with her. Because, yes, the perfect source of unbiased information is your local CPM! And of course your local OB will just fill your head with biased lies.

    • Kelly

      I agree. I am about to give birth any day and this blog has given me a better understanding of all the debates and how so many people are educated with a lay mans understanding of medicine and how much more complicated it is. It gives me so much more confidence in my doctors and nurses who have taken care of me and the reasons behind their suggestions and care. It has also given me a realistic perspective of the bad things that can happen but as I am giving birth in a hospital, I feel as if I am giving my baby the best chance. It has made me feel so much better and more confident about all the decisions I made with my first.

      • Karen in SC

        Congrats and keep us posted!

  • Ennis Demeter

    Off- topic. There is a tasteless post in Gawker about an opera singer fired because she is suffering from a fistula after an episiotomy. The comment section is full of the usual wisdom about unnecessary c sections and interventions
    http://gawker.com/opera-singer-cant-stop-farting-after-surgery-loses-jo-1509793293

    • Siri

      That’s horrible; the poor woman. And the comments are revolting. I hope she is able to have surgery to improve her condition.

    • LMS1953

      Perhaps her story will circulate in the industry and make C/S on demand an appropriate alternative to prevent this complication should the singer feel the benefit would outweigh the risk.

      • MLE

        She says a CS would have hurt her career as well, which I can believe given the breathing and strength required. Apparently only a complication-free vaginal birth would work which is a risky position to be in.

        • thepragmatist

          Not so! It’s a total myth that c-sections destroy your abdominal wall/strength. I could bounce a dime off mine. I worked for it. I was a dancer previous to having a c-section and one of my biggest fears was not being able to use my abdominal muscles. I resumed exercise very, very slowly, working my obliques first, and avoiding the tranverse abs. That’s one of the biggest mistakes women make, is starting out with sit ups. Unfortunately, I had some other issues unrelated to the c-section (pubic symphsis dysfunction) that crippled me for awhile. I THINK I am starting to get better, but I needed physical therapy to get me there. But regardless, my abs are as strong as ever, I even get back the definition. I know professional dancers who have sections without issue. And I sing too. I didn’t notice a difference at all. I DID notice a HUGE difference when I was immediately post-partum because my rib-cage had expanded 4 inches. That was pretty cool, because I had more room. But it didn’t stayed flared like that for very long. Forget the c-section, having a baby messes with your body, period. I hope she can have her fistula repaired, but I definitely think she shouldn’t spread misinformation about sections.

          • Young CC Prof

            I’m less than 4 weeks out, and I sure don’t feel like my abs are wrecked. Heck, I feel like I could start Pilates again tomorrow. Sure, I’ll wait the 8 weeks like I’m supposed to, just in case something’s still fragile in there, but I have NO difficulty with moving around right now and haven’t for days.

          • Courtney84

            I haven’t noticed trouble with my abs either! And I’ve been pain free for about a week. We must have delivered around the same time. Mine was a month old yesterday.

          • Young CC Prof

            I unloaded the dishwasher a few days ago. All of it, no pain. It hurt to reach that low for months BEFORE my son came, so it was a major win moment.

          • MLE

            Good to know, and I think I remember learning about that before on this blog. However, I was thrown by the following quote from this article:
            http://www.courthousenews.com/2014/01/20/64668.htm

            “Plaintiff Amy Herbst was also advised that once the repair was performed all future pregnancies would require delivery by Cesarean section. When the plaintiff expressed her concern regarding the risk to her singing career posed by Cesarean section, health care providers ‘encouraged her to consider potentially delaying the procedure until she (had) completed all of her reproduction.’ Accordingly, plaintiff Amy Herbst elected to postpone the repair of her perineum and anal sphincter.”
            So to me, it sounds like “health care providers,” whoever they are, were not reassuring her that her talents would not be adversely affected by having a c-section.

          • staceyjw

            WHY would you even want more kids in this situation? No pregnancy is without risk, and if she is already anatomically damaged I cannot see wanting to do it again. She may STILL end up with a CS, then have both problems to contend with.

            I realize the desire for more kids is strong. I would love to have another. But it is not always possible, and may not end well.

          • moto_librarian

            I work with a lot of professional singers and aspiring singers. I can tell you that they are loathe to do anything that might change their bodies in any way. A singer’s body is her instrument, and any changes in the body impact the voice. I do think that a c-section is unlikely to truly damage a singer’s abdominal muscles, but the fear that it might is almost certainly a driving factor for this woman.

    • That poor woman. I wonder if she was informed of the risk of incontinance when making her delivery plans…

  • IDHACN

    OT – Just read on babycenter about someone saying their homebirth was not the reason their daughter was stillborn, it was because of a small deteriorating placenta which was full of infection, which doctors should’ve picked up on on ultrasounds weeks before. (sigh) She wasn’t even in a hospital and it was STILL the doctor’s fault the baby died, while the homebirth midwife was blameless.

    *headdesk*x100000000

    • Young CC Prof

      Right. Because the infection and deterioration were there weeks before when the ultrasound was performed.

      In the hospital, even with intermittent monitoring, they generally like at least 20 minutes of continuous when you first get in there. 20 minutes of FHR absolutely would have detected placental failure, that’s what it’s freaking FOR.

    • attitude devant

      If you believe that birth is inherently safe, and that your midwife can handle anything, and that even if she can’t the hospital is only five minutes away, then having a stillbirth presents a special cognitive challenge. Somebody must be to blame! But it can’t be Birth, or the midwife….so it must be the OBs. Right?

  • Joe Kano

    Excuse me… but there seems to have been a line crossed between a ‘mothers choice’ and criminal endangerment / disregard of the rights of the fetus / baby.
    At the state level, for a midwife to attend a birth, knowing that is it post 40 weeks, may also be actionable. If anyone knows what state this woman and her treasured midwife resides in, they may be able to contact the state attorney and ask for a grand jury hearing.
    What good is it to have ‘standards’ when there is no reason to follow those standards?

    • Doubtful. Dr. Amy has written about the lack of accountability/recourse. Search “babyslaughter”

    • staceyjw

      There SHOULD be accountability. But there is NONE.
      I am not sure how to fix this.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      The US approach for recourse in the case of “violating standard of care” is the civil lawsuit. Midwives avoid this by not carrying insurance, and therefore no benefits of a lawsuit.

      It’s a complete scam.

    • Trixie

      An underground CPM in my state, where they aren’t licensed, was brought before a grand jury on several counts of negligence including ignoring GBS test results and/or misleading people about them. The grand jury wasn’t able to do anything to her because of the way the state law is written.

      • staceyjw

        The problem is that many states allow lay MWs, or CPMs, and this makes them virtually immune from prosecution. <any states just don't care, or are pressured two do nothing, just like many ignore faith healing deaths.

        If your state allowed them, said MW would be fine, and out there lying and killing. FEW MWs that are negligent or kill ever see any legal or civil ramifications. I am glad that one did. Wish it was more common.

        • stacey

          WOAH, what happened to my comment? CAn it be deleted or something?

          • GiddyUpGo123

            Haha, I actually spent a minute wondering if you were trying to make your point in code. Hehe

          • fiftyfifty1

            It’s like a poem.

        • MLE

          It’s like a Faulknerian description of a home birth gone wrong from the seed of the idea (“allowed” to birth) to the inevitable conclusion (“state” licensing requirements, “wish” things had gone differently).

  • Guest

    I actually think the Birth Without Fear blog is quite good, at least when it comes to the birth stories. They the complete gamut of births from freebirthing, homebirthing, hospital to elective c-sections. The point of the stories is to own the choices you’ve made in your birth, feel good about them and don’t go into it with a ton of fear, no matter what your choice is.
    The informational posts do have a homebirth slant to them, but it really depends on what you go to the blog for. I love reading birth stories of women who not only got their healthy baby, but had an experience that they don’t regret because they own it and the choices they make. They don’t all enjoy giving birth, but they find the miracle and beauty of it (even in a c-section, you can find the miracle and beauty) and to me that’s that’s really the important way to get what you want out of your child’s birth, along with a healthy baby of course!

    • Lisa Murakami

      I don’t really understand the point of this comment. Home birth is not a situation where you can blindly celebrate all “choices.” Neither are vaccines or seatbelts. It’s fantastic that we now celebrate choice with regard to working or staying home. It is not fantastic to celebrate dangerous choices.

      • Guest

        I was kind of speaking to the fact that women have so many regrets these days that really traumatize them when it comes to birth. I think if you own can those choices that you’ve made, you may not have that trauma. It may also help to lessen the chance that some women who should never be a candidate for homebirth will attempt one after having what they perceive to be a traumatic hospital experience. I was traumatized by my epidural and so will never get one again, but it hasn’t turned me off birthing in a hospital. Not everyone deals with emotions the same way. I can’t however have a male OBGYN, too many issues with past sexual abuse. And I do mean can’t. I will run the other way.

        • Lisa Murakami

          Okay I can see that. That’s why knowledge and facts are so important to me – so that women can make the best decision and know the implications. I spent a lot of time feeling guilty that my 9 lb 10 oz son, whose head is 99th/100th percentile, required forceps assistance to get his head out. I felt that way because of the completely false NCB-propagated notion that “size doesn’t matter.” In fact, macrosomia (a baby 8 lbs 13 oz +) doubles your chance of a c-section. My honest impression of NCB is that it’s a bunch of women who have found it easier to rest their parenting definition in their method of birth than in anything having to do with their actual parenting.

          • Jessica

            My son was 10lb 10oz with a big head, too although not as big! He came out the “emergency exit”, so to speak, although it wasn’t an emergency thank goodness. 🙂 It’s no wonder they needed forceps for your LO! And sad that is viewed as a failure to some. I see it more like the sorting/stacking blocks – sometimes the block and the hole aren’t a great match. Ha!

          • Houston Mom

            We say our son came out the “emergency escape hatch.” 🙂

        • Kristen

          My concern is that too many people ‘decide’ their choices ahead of time and put way too much pressure on birth. If any little thing goes wrong, the day is ‘ruined.’ I agree with finding peace with your choices in life in general, but I don’t extend that to this situation.

        • stenvenywrites

          Sorry, but there are choices that you shouldn’t feel good about. If you make a reckless, dangerous decision and survive it, you should feel lucky and grateful, not proud and “empowered.”

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            When I was in high school, my classmates used to brag about how drunk they were when they drove home the weekend before.

            They made it home safely.

            Now that we are grown up, such an “achievement” wouldn’t be considered quite so impressive.

          • Certified Hamster Midwife

            Shouldn’t be.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            No, it shouldn’t be, but that’s the way that high schoolers think.

            Some people, apparently, never grow out of it.

        • fiftyfifty1

          “I think if you own can those choices that you’ve made, you may not have that trauma.”

          But what if you chose to homebirth and the baby dies? Can you “own that choice” and erase the trauma of that?

          Or what if you choose to birth “naturally and peacefully” and are all gung-ho about owning that choice but you have a huge malpositioned baby and an agonizing labor and end up having to have every intervention in the book? Won’t the “own your choices” movement set you up to feel failure?

          • Guest

            We all have expectations for everything we do, no matter what it is. Birth is something the woman goes through too, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable for women to have expectations about how things will happen. Owning your own choices is also about changes you make during labor. I hadn’t originally wanted pain relief (don’t like what the drugs do to me), tried the epidural and it was an epic failure. It took a while for me to get over that. Not that I had chosen the epidural, but that after choosing it, it was an epic failure!
            If you can be one of those people who plans for the worst and not completely lose your mind through the whole pregnancy about the things that could go wrong, maybe that would be the best, but that’s tough to do. No matter who you are, I think you have hopes for the labor and birth, even if it’s as simple as “healthy baby”. Maybe counselling after births should be mandatory to see if women were traumatized (for whatever reason) by their baby’s birth, then treatment from there. Maybe it would help some of the women who make unhealthy choices with subsequent pregnancies.

          • jenny

            I think it’s good for women to have power and autonomy. Choice isn’t everything, though. Not all choices are good. And, there is so much we don’t get to choose, and that’s just life. I think getting help to cope with the fact that we don’t always have choices (or the choices at hand are all completely shitty) *is* very helpful. Being treated with compassion is helpful.

            Owning choices is not a key to avoiding trauma when something truly traumatic happens, like serious injury or threat of serious injury to mom or baby, death, etc. Some things are really scary and may or may not be avoidable by choice. Birth can be really fucking scary.

            The whole “choice = autonomy” model is flawed.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Birth is something that every woman goes through too, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable for women to have expectations about how things will happen. ”

            Just because something is a common experience, doesn’t make it more reasonable that you have expectations. There is no experience more universal than death, and yet we would see someone as being very unreasonable if they said ” I’m planning not to die of cancer because cancer is not something I want” or “I’ve decided that dying in middle age is not the experience I want, so I’m planning to die in old age”. If someone said this we would take it as a joke because everybody knows we have little or no control over death. But NCB encourages women to see birth as something that they *do* have control over. Thus the “own your choices” rhetoric.

            Some women within NCB circles get the birth they hope for: a straightforward and relatively easy birth. Then they preen themselves over their “brave choice” and how they “owned” it. But women who have a difficult birth that ends up with interventions need to expend mental effort reframing the experience as somehow still under their own control but with a midstream change in choices that they also “own”. What a bunch of silly mental gymnastics!

            In reality birthing is actually a big damn crap shoot. Women wouldn’t need mandatory post birth counseling (which by the way I find a very infantilizing idea) if they went into it without the illusion that it is like choosing whether to order you steak Rare vs Medium Rare in a restaurant.

          • Young CC Prof

            Well, to be fair, when it comes to children, modern women do have a great deal of control over When, How Many and With Whom. Our ancestors often had no choice about any of those! This may be part of the reason that so many women believe they can control the How.

    • staceyjw

      Are you high? That site and the community constantly encourage dangerous choices that often end in death.

      My best buddy lost her son when that community convinced her an OB wasn’t as good, and HB was gar superior. Look him.up, his name was Shazhsd Sheik, and he didn’t have to die.

      BWF used to refuse to even mention any bad outcomes, until she was delugedwith criticism from loss.moms. Every so often she will tell of a death, but that’s far outweighed by the oh so beautiful stories of dangerous stuff.and near misses.

      • Guest

        Can’t get high. I’m 7 months pregnant 😉 I’m doing a ton more random reading with this pregnancy than I did with my first one and I enjoy reading happy birth stories. I haven’t seen anything that would sway me to any particular side, but maybe I haven’t read that deeply into some of the posts, or haven’t seen the posts that are hard core into convincing people that hospitals are bad. All of the comments to posts about hospital or c-section births are very supportive to the moms and I like that.
        When I see a blog that’s called Birthing Without Fear, I don’t assume I’ll read about bad outcomes and in fact don’t really want to. I don’t go there for information, just feel good reading.

        • staceyjw

          If everyone read it like that maybe it wouldn’t be so deadly. Sadly, that is not the case, and moms go there to have their bad choices mirrored back to them, and to see examples of things they want to try.

          All the nice stories are sweet, but when you show things romantically that DO lead to preventable death, and have a community and FB page that pushes all the standard dangerous nonsense, you become morally responsible.

          Can you imagine a site extolling the romantic versions of driving without a seat belt, complete with a bunch of people saying how wonderful their experience was and how you too should disregard the haters and do the same? Who would tolerate this?

          Other risky sports have websites that show how great said sport is, but the difference is that they aren’t also saying that bouldering, stunt biking, or base jumping are normal and safe as staying home. And the general public isn’t being told that anyone can do those things with zero risk. But HB culture does this with birth, something most women find important and life changing, and BWF is a big part of that.

          Yes, moms are also responsible for their choices. But when you see tons of stories about high risk HB presented as normal, it gets easier to believe this is true. Then you hop onto the forum and share that you are having a hospital NCB with a nice OB and everyone says you will just get a CS and you cannot have a real NCB anywhere but home. Gradually, some minds are changed.

          How do I know? LIke I said, one of my BFF’s did exactly this. First she watched BOBB, then she went on BWF and got involved in the community, then she dropped her OB and hired a local MW she felt connected too. Then she had a HB where said MW trapped her in her house until her baby died. Then she was destroyed. Then the MW blamed her, and went on to get a CPM and practice like nothing ever happened.

          The involvement with BWF was KEY in her choice, and her belief that HB was SAFE> There was also few stats out there at that time, so she didn’t see contradictory info either.

        • fiftyfifty1

          “When I see a blog that’s called Birthing Without Fear, I don’t assume I’ll read about bad outcomes and in fact don’t really want to. I don’t go there for information, just feel good reading.”

          And when I go to watch a movie called Pretty Woman I don’t assume I’ll see anything bad and in fact I don’t really want to. I don’t go to the movies to hear about pimps and drug addiction and violence and women with a history of childhood sexual abuse, just a feel-good movie.

  • Amy Tuteur, MD

    Addendum:

    If that were not horrifying enough, the “healing” thread from Birth Without Fear contains yet another homebirth death that occurred only a few weeks before. His mother wrote:

    I would like to heal from (emotionally/physically) _____________ (regarding pregnancy/birth/motherhood).

    Emotionally from the death of my son at two days old (7 weeks ago). After a perfect pregnancy and labor, my son was born and didn’t breathe unexpectedly. He lived two days on life support, and then died in my arms when we let him go…

    Apparently this was just another casualty of midwives’ efforts to bring third world causes of death to the first world. Just another homebirth baby who was “fine” right up until it dropped nearly dead into the hands of the clueless midwife. Just like the other 18 homebirth babies I have written about in the past 3 years who died in the same way.

    According to the midwife’s website:

    Perfect pregnancy
    Perfect parents
    Perfectly loved
    Perfectly wrong that you are gone so soon

    And
    perfectly unnecessary. When will these women stop worrying about their
    “experience” and start worrying about whether their babies will live or
    die?

    • When midwives are obliged to provide prospective homebirth parents with informed consent and to tell them that their choice increases the risk of death and/or disability to their child. But until then homebirth advocates are saying “homebirth is as safe or safer than hospital birth”. No mother goes into pregnancy and childbirth hoping that her child will suffer the ultimate perils of the process – these women are not worrying more about their expeirence than the outcome, they’ve been told that they can expect the same outcome and therefor should worry about their experience.

      • exactly. These midwives are a public health menace. Could you imagine if a hospital totally misrepresented risk on an informed consent form? They would get in so much trouble for it. These women can just lie and lie with impunity, and prey on people who are vulnerable.

      • OBPI Mama

        My informed consent didn’t state my choice increased any risk. It did say that I take responsibility for any outcome and that she had no liability. To which I signed… stupidly. Like a sheep.

        • OBPI Mama

          I wonder if I had decided to sue my midwife, if that form would have held up in court…

          • The problem being, that you’d have a hard time finding a lawyer to pursue as without insurance coverage, the likelihood of recovering damages (and as a result the legal fees) would be fairly minimal. In contrast, OB’s are required to carry insurance and as a result, most lawyers will take on a malpractice case if the damages are likely to be adequate to cover the cost of pursuing it.

          • OBPI Mama

            We chose not to sue (and thus didn’t look into a lawyer) because we were brainwashed and lied to. Well, I was at least. Tens of Thousands upon tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of dollars later (and a heck of an insurance premium due to my sons injury) I kind of wish I just would have talked to someone to see if it would have been an option. Hindsight and all that.

          • I’m sorry your son has to live with the consequence of a midwife’s incompetance. I wish recourse would be more available for people in that situation. It seems as though absent significant regulation, that the status quo will continue.

          • staceyjw

            It seems that the US has a problem with regulating the truly dangerous things. HB MW, dangerous dogs, guns. None of those things require insurance, though they ALL SHOULD, because there are lots of death and disabilities attributed to them.

            But the rules to do hair, or be an interior designer? STRICT. Sigh.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Can I add unproven “natural” treatments to the list? Because there’s a huge loophole in FDA regulation that allows companies to sell completely unproven “supplements” to desperate people without restriction. Not even to mention the lack of enforcement that allows people like Burzinski to continue operating…

          • Trixie

            Amen

          • Young CC Prof

            Oh, the unregulated supplements are terrible. The companies don’t have to prove they work, they don’t have to prove they’re safe, and a large percentage of the time, the contents of the bottle don’t even match what’s written on the label!

            So, “do your own research” find the best herb for you, buy it, oh, wait, it’s sawdust in those capsules. Or actual drugs in disguise.

          • Trixie

            At my local independent drug store, where they really do have the best prices, there’s a naturopathic “doctor” who walks the supplement aisles advising you on which snake oil you should buy. It’s just amazing the things you overhear.

          • Trixie

            I saw this there the other day. I just started laughing but then I googled it and apparently it’s a new Dr Oz thing. http://www.amazon.com/Original-Himalayan-Crystal-Salt-Inhaler/dp/B000GJQQ9O

          • InvisibleDragon

            Ha. It’s got the quack miranda warning, too, always a good sign that it’s full of fairy dust.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            Scary.

          • KarenJJ

            I’ve seen the same thing in Australia. A naturopath wondering around the aisles of a pharmacy to give advice on supplements etc. I grabbed what I needed and made a mental note to not shop there again.

          • araikwao

            Ooh,yes, I know which chain you’re referring to!I was horrified to see the big “Naturopathic Dispensary” sign up next to the real one. I asked the pharmacist who was helping us quietly what he thought about expensive placebos being sold right there, and he looked a bit embarrassed, and stammered something about “well, the demand…some people find them helpful…”

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            I heard an amusing–well, ok, terrifying–one about this recently: The one regulation on “supplements” is that they can’t claim to cure or treat a specific illness unless they can back their claim with evidence. So a supplement can say, “Naturotest–for all your manly needs” but not “Naturotest cures ED”. A company apparently was claiming that their “natural” treatment did cure erectile dysfunction. They eventually got caught and had to stop. But they still had all these placebo tablets…So they removed them from the original bottles and placed them in new bottles now proporting to be a natural weight loss remedy. Unfortunately for them they got caught doing so…

          • Young CC Prof

            Should have just made it homeopathic in the first place. Then no one would have ever caught them.

          • Jessica

            There’s a common thread between those two groups – those with lack of regulation and those with, IMO, or certainly by comparison to the former, superfluous regulation. That common thread is a healthy lobby. One eschews restrictions while the other fears competition – I’m way over-simplifying, in order to be sort of brief. Unfortunately, my observation is that facts don’t trump the squeakiest wheel when it comes to law making. Many (most?) politicians are happy to be swayed, if it means support. Somehow, we have to combat that. And it feels, often times, overwhelming. The truth isn’t as straight forward and cozy-schmozy and most certainly doesn’t not have all the answers. It’s much easier to pedal something where you can just make stuff up.

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            No. You can’t sign away your right to sue. Those types of forms are strictly intimidation. (I investigated them in a completely different context, a similar waiver for dangerous sports. They don’t hold up in court.)

      • staceyjw

        This might be the easiest way to get the info into moms hands. It might not be so hard to get an informed consent paper mandated, as opposed to changing all the MW rules.

        In TX, HB MWs have to give all moms a sheet that shows their # of births, their status for CPR and such, and how to complain. Worthless. But if it also had required some stats to be added, at least moms couldn’t feel they didn’t know.

        • Karen in SC

          IIRC, aren’t you working on a business plan for OB education? If so, how is that going?

          • staceyjw

            Yes I am. It is slow going, but it will get done this year.
            Thanks for asking!

  • I want to feel so sad for other deadbabymamas out there, but when I read about stuff like this – hey, let’s risk the life of another baby that doesn’t have to die! – I lose sympathy. True, we risked losing our second, but I ours was a 50/50 genetic coin toss that w puke apply to A EVERY baby I ever conceive. Which is why we stopped at one healthy kid. This is so stupidly wasteful and dangerous!

  • Are you nuts

    Here’s another one from that same FB thread:

    “I would like to heal emotionally from the fact I had an epidural when giving birth to my son. He is 2 and a half, and I still feel guilty for having that much pain relief. I am working on explaining to myself that I had to do what was necessary for the safe birth of my little man, but I struggle with it. Im also terrified of future births at this point as my son was only just over 6pounds at birth and he needed forceps to be delivered as he was stuck. It scares me that future babies could be a lot bigger, and that their births could be even more difficult. Following this page has really helped me begin to move past some of my fears by removing some of the secrecy around births.”

    The people who make perfectly healthy women who have perfectly healthy babies feel bad for having pain relief during labor SUCK. Birth without fear? Yeah right. I would settle for Birth with a live baby and live mother without oppresive guilt imposed by strangers who need to mind their own business.

    • midwife

      Feel guilty for getting pain relief? I wonder if she feels guilty for taking an OTC painkiller when she had a headache. Or taking cold meds when she’s stuffed up (allergies are gods way of telling us to stay inside!). But because this is birth, and is treated as some sacred calling that must be handled without any technology invented after 1880, she feels guilty. Ugh. Enjoy the perks of modern technology- pain relief during birth and cars instead of horse and buggy. Don’t feel guilty.

      • Are you nuts

        Exactly. And I’m not questioning my use of percocet after I had my wisdom teeth pulled either. If I had become addicted, maybe that would be a different story, but I didn’t, so all’s well that ends well. This poor woman – you had pain relief and a healthy baby! Pat yourself on the back!!

  • Are you nuts

    43 weeks? Not a “variation of normal.” Shame on the scum bags who have manipulated this woman into believing she did the right thing by her child. If she had had a scheduled CS at 40 weeks this baby would be alive. She’d be bitching about an unneccessarean, but she would have a live baby.

    • OBPI Mama

      Sadly, I know another homebirth mama who went to 43 week. Fortunately, she had a healthy baby. Unfortunately, everyone views it as a “See, women can go that long! Look at so and so!”

      I wonder how long the mom in the post was in labor. My old midwife took on a 2 c/s mom and let her labor for 3 day before they went into the hospital to have her 3rd c/s.

      • Jessica

        (Another Jessica here.) As I have often shared on this blog, my mother and her sister both had 43 week pregnancies. Both ended in stillbirths.

        Not. worth. the. risk.

        • Jessica S.

          So sad. And not worth it, you’re right. (Also, adding my initial for clarity! ;))

    • MaineJen

      I had thought this last one was a c section too, as she mentions that she “attempted” a vag birth, and that her next birth will be a VBA3C. (She hopes.) It sounded to me, from the little bit Amy posted, like they lost the heart tones during labor? So, a VBA3C after a failed TOL on #3. Sounds legit, right? SMH

      • Are you nuts

        You’re right. Good thing all midwifes properly assess the risks of these births and refer them to physicians… oh wait….

  • Needless. None of this had to happen.

  • OBPI Mama

    My stomach did turns as I was reading this. So sorry for the baby and for the mama. Maybe in time she’ll come to a different perspective as so many of us have… and hopefully she’ll do things different. Sigh.

    My friend just had her hospital vbac after 2 c-sections. Monitored and all that and a healthy baby was born to a healthy mama. Some hospitals will allow them after 2 c/s…

  • There is so much work to do – how can we move to a place where having a cesarean is not seen as being a failure that needs to be remedied by having a HBAC? How can we better support women during birth so that they are not left traumatized by the experience? How can we get to a place where every woman and baby can access the care they need, when they need it?
    Mothers and babies are dying – not because they need to, not because they want to but because of a very sick culture right now that places process ahead of outcome and fails to adequately prepare and assist mothers through the process.

    The trouble is that instead of those best skilled to take on this work – (you know those who may have actually gone to university, took a degree and had to be certified in some way) – there’s a battalion of amatuers filling the void and doing a tonne of damage.

    • Anj Fabian

      “there’s a battalion of amatuers filling the void and doing a tonne of damage.”

      Yes, there is. Sometimes there isn’t even a void to fill, but someone will persuade a woman that she is missing out on some essential experience.

      • Jessica

        “Essential experience”, great way of putting it, how it’s portrayed and perceived by some. Not me. I see it as a necessary evil, like being held hostage. So flowery, I know!

        • Jessica

          Rereading that, it sounds like I’m saying being held hostage is a necessary evil. Ha! Those were two separate thoughts. (My mind is currently held hostage by ADHD, a lively three year old and a current pregnancy. :D)

    • Captain Obvious

      Well, Massachusetts just had two maternal deaths since December and Illinois just had a maternal death last week. So hospital fear is manipulatable (sic).

      • Funny when I compare fear of hospital to fear of death or serious disability – I know which fear wins out hands down. It seems those who love to accuse OB’s of “fear-mongering” do more than their own fair share of it.

        • Anj Fabian

          Every time I find women who seem utterly sincere about their fear of hospitals, their writings on other topics always to convey constant anxiety.

          Sometimes I see them swing between anxiety and euphoria, tension and release. It reminds me of how cutters explain their practice, that they have so much emotion bottled up inside that the pain serves as sort of combination focus and catharsis.

          One blogger (well known to this audience) claimed that being “trapped” in a hospital would cause her to have a break down.

          So I suspect that people who have some type of anxiety disorder who have their own ways of dealing with that problem reject hospitals not just because they cause them to be anxious, but because they wouldn’t be able to access their preferred methods of dealing with the anxiety.

          IOW, it’s not what is in the hospitals that is the problem for some people. It’s what is inside those individuals that is the problem.

          • Too bad there’s such a stigma attached to accessing help for mental health issues – there seems to be a real reluctance to admit that there’s a problem in the first place.

          • Anj Fabian

            I’m with you on that. Even in the NHS countries, accessing mental health services is often difficult and slow.

          • It’s funny the bias in it though – if you’re requesting services that are likely to cost slightly more, they’ll pull out most of the bells and whistles (maternal request CS – offer her counselling! , and same goes probably for a few other things) – but when it comes to foregoing care, they bloody well enable it – want to push a baby out in a kiddie pool in your livingroom? – here’s a midwife!, no questions asked.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            IOW, it’s not what is in the hospitals that is the problem for some
            people. It’s what is inside those individuals that is the problem.

            Yes, there is going to be some part of the population for which this will always be true. The question is, how many? If we are talking about a subset of the approximately 1% of the population that are doing HB, we are talking about a very small percentage.

            Now, given the population of the USA, a small percentage can still refer to a lot of people (say, 10s of thousands or more), so that can still be an issue, and while it is true that we should hope that hospitals will do as much as they can to accommodate as many of these as they can, there are always going to be a set of people for whom they can’t do anything.

            Remember, someone is 10 times more likely to believe that the Apollo moon landings were a hoax than to do a HB. That’s how much of a fringe element we are talking about.

          • Anj Fabian

            Doing community outreach is difficult if you can’t pinpoint the population in need.

      • Gene

        CO, can you post links for those?

    • mimieliza

      I think a big part of it is helping women acknowledge the very real likelihood that their child’s birth may be very painful, may require significant recovery time, and may be frightening. That is how birth is, and has been, for all of human history. The difference now is that we have a reasonable expectation that we, and our babies, will survive the experience.
      Homebirth advocates try to convince women that it is hospitals and OBs who make birth painful and frightening, when really it is just the brutal nature of birth itself.

      • And failing to tell women that, does not spare them. There’s this idea out there that just thinking good thoughts will yield a good outcome. Unfortunately there’s a significant portion of women who won’t fare well under that paradigm and I can’t help but think that the NCB approach exacerbates the potential for trauma.

      • CognitiveDissonaceHurts

        I remember when I was pregnant with my first child and I went to visit my best friend, whose mom had given birth to 5 kids. I asked her, “So, is labour as bad as they say?” fully expecting her to say, “There, there, dear. No, of course not.” Instead, she said, “No, it’s much WORSE!” I was shocked and determined at that time to find out what I could do to make it easier. Thus, I was easy prey for NCB dogma and the promise of potential pain-free deliveries. It didn’t take long – about one active contraction – to find out that Bradley was a liar and that this was going to hurt like crazy. My other homebirths were an attempt to deal with the brutal nature of birth without resorting to medication that might harm me or the baby.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Maybe we could start with making it possible for women to not be blamed for every damn thing they (we) ever do. Then we might be less easily manipulated by snake oil salespeople who claim to make it possible to “reclaim” what you never lost.

      • I’d sign on for that. The really sad thing is that there is no “reclaiming” the loss for those who lose the most. There’s no cure for death. There’s no cure for brain damage.

    • Trixie

      I think many women who desire VBAC aren’t able to access doctors or hospitals who want to support them (of course not all women are good VBAC candidates). In my time reading VBAC boards, there was a recurring theme of women being told their OBs didn’t want to do VBACs, after which they got sucked into the woo just because they were desperate for a birth attendant to tell them VBAC was an option. I realize this is a complex issue, but I do wish that low risk women who desired a TOLAC had better access to doing so in a hospital in some areas of the country. Especially for women who desire large families and had a c-section early on in their reproductive lives, VBAC becomes important.

      • Karen in SC

        I get that but life isn’t fair. I wish I lived in a city with better schools and cultural happenings but for now, that isn’t possible.

        • Trixie

          Yeah, but I’m saying it pushes people into risky HBACs who would probably stay in the hospital system otherwise.

          • Karen in SC

            I had to use reproductive technology to conceive. After my first one, we had an insurance change and it was no longer covered. So, we decided to stop since we couldn’t afford it otherwise.

            A few years later, the was a change in the plan and we went back to the RE and had another child.

            With more years, more money, more insurance…we may have had more kids. Is that fair?

          • No its not fair. I’m sorry you didn’t have the reproductive freedom that many people take for granted.

          • Trixie

            I’m not making an argument about fairness for fairness’ sake. Just describing a thing that happens.

        • So what are you doing to move? What are you doing to improve the schools and the cultural happenings? And if you aren’t doing those things, do these things really matter to you?
          Maybe helping women access choices (ie. maybe even facilitating travel) is the better option from a health and safety perspective.

          • Karen in SC

            I very much support our local theatre and contribute to our downtown revitalization by patronizing businesses and donating. The school situation is mainly a symptom of the high poverty rate. I am content here for now but we will retire elsewhere.

          • Sorry for being a bit flippant. The problem with social problems, is that they are beyond the means of any individual, and collective action is (and always has been) difficult to harness.

        • Siri

          Saying life isn’t fair is too glib for my liking; ‘cultural happenings’ are fairly trivial compared with a service (VBAC) that enables many women to avoid further surgery and have more children. You could establish an amateur dramatic society, hire a hall and screen old movies, or host musical events at your home; arranging your own VBAC is rather more difficult.

          • staceyjw

            Sometimes things really are unfair and really can’t be changed, at least in the time frame you need them to be.
            Telling people that its only unfair because they need to do more is pretty shitty. You have no idea what that persons capacities are.

            I would love to see single payer healthcare. I can do what I can do about it, but it is still unfair that I cannot make it happen tomorrow.

      • I agree that VBAC is an option that should be discussed and facilitated in appropriate cases. Just as MRCS is an option that should be discussed and facilitated in appropriate cases. I also think these things need to be undertaken in safe environments, and fully believe that we need to stop romantacizing vaginal delivery and demonizing cesareans…

        • Trixie

          Yeah, but individual experience does matter to some extent. I’m grateful for my c-section but I didn’t want another one if I could safely avoid it. It was not a pleasant experience to recover from (and again, not complaining, I feel privileged to live in a time and place where my baby could be safely delivered), and I don’t romanticize vaginal delivery, but for me, my hospital VBAC was much, easier. I realize others have different experiences.

      • OBPI Mama

        If I had been a good candidate for vbacs, I probably would have attempted one. I wanted 7 children, but am not going to risk having 6 c/s. We may have one more kiddo (it’d be our 5th, but 4th c/s), but even that many makes me nervous. Anyway, it’s a bummer when good candidates (who want one) can’t have a TOL in a hospital. I think more big city hospitals do them though (that’s the way it is around our state). I travel 1-1/2 hours to get to my hospital of choice, but I know some women just don’t want to go that far away.

      • staceyjw

        Why do women think they are entitled to have half a dozen kids or more? Sometimes you simply cannot. While I agree its frustrating not everyone can access a VBAC, let’s accept there are many occasions and places where its simply not as safe. Thinking you deserve 10 kids, so its smart.to have a HBAC, is a horrible idea.
        This is another problem that arises because we are so use to having pregnancies that end in healthy babies, we forget that maybe we just can’t have everything we want safely.

        • Young CC Prof

          True, but some women actually can VBAC reasonably safely. (In a hospital, under monitoring, with an operating room down the hall of course.) My OB told me when we first mentioned planned c-section (for breech baby) that I’d be a good candidate for VBAC with a second pregnancy.

          (I don’t know if I would or I wouldn’t. But if I was 10 years younger and actually wanted 6 kids, I’d totally go for the VBAC, assuming conditions at the end of pregnancy #2 were favorable.)

          Now, some women probably should NOT try to VBAC, especially if the first section was due to baby not fitting.

          • Trixie

            My baby didn’t fit, but due to position, not size. He was an average size baby, and I’m tall with a nice wide pelvis. I don’t know that I want any more children, but I’m still glad I did it, and grateful to the hospital and doctors who supported it.

          • AlisonCummins

            The point is that not all hospitals can meet the ACOG conditions for a ToL for VBAC. You might be a lovely candidate to have one but if your hospital doesn’t have an open OR and anesthesiologist then they are not a lovely candidate for offering one to you.

        • Siri

          You could say that about any number of children. Why do women think they’re entitled to have any kids? They should just accept that some states don’t offer fertility treatment. Life isn’t fair. Or how about we turn the matter on its head and say every woman can have one cesarean, but that’s it. You want more kids, you have VBACS. Would that be fairer?

          • staceujw

            I am not sure how this relates to what I said.

            We have this belief that once a pregnancy passes about 13 weeks, you are likely to get a healthy baby. We believe that once you get to LnD, you will get a healthy baby. This is due to modern medical advances.

            The side effect is that when we end up with a CS, likely a needed one, we then cry how this is unfair because it might mean we cannot have X# more kids. But we were never guaranteed that many anyway. This has little to do with VBAC availability, and more to do with the cultural belief that we can have whatever we want, nature/body be damned.

            This belief makes people seen out alternative methods to get what they want. In some cases, this is a good thing, and is the driver for new technologies and rule changes. The flip side is that it also means people seek out what they shouldn’t, and unscrupulous providers take advantage of this.

            If you cannot get a hospital VBAC near you, maybe you aren’t a good candidate. If its just an issue of hospital rules or resources, then drive further or travel. If that isn’t an option, you don’t just stay home, or find a provider that will do what you want. You either try to change the rules (assuming that they are not for your safety), or you accept that maybe its not in the cards to have that many kids.

        • Trixie

          I realize HBAC is a horrible idea. But VBAC in a hospital is a safe option for many women and supported by the ACOG. It shouldn’t be a choice between HBAC and RCS if the only impediment to VBAC is hospital policy.

          • staceyjw

            Hospitals aren’t doing this because they are mean. They do it because not all of them are staffed to handle them, etc. Maybe a few have had huge lawsuits, but who can say this is a bad idea for them to refuse what has cost millions and caused death/disability?

          • Trixie

            I understand it’s a complex issue with more than one side. I understand the liability concerns are not going away. I’m just lamenting the situation.

    • staceyjw

      There is a solution, and we have talked about it- accurate education and community without the woo. The issue is simply that it will take an enormous amount of work, with some money needed too. It is a huge project, and harder because the fools that push NCB are so zealous they will work for free.

    • TwinMom

      Since we are such a celebrity-worshipping society, I think one of the answers would be the making of an anti-BOBB film with a Hollywood name attached to it. One that shows the reality of the risks of home birth, the truth about lay midwives, and exposes all of the lies and damage perpetrated by Ricki Lake.

    • Amy

      The problem is even in the mainstream pregnancy culture. Virtually every single publication out there acts as though the cesarean rate is a problem, and worse, a problem that an individual pregnant woman has some control over. Pregnancy books often include tips on how to lower your “risk” of needing a cesarean, and then tout all the “benefits” of a vaginal birth. They routinely conflate correlation with causation. No kidding c-sections are associated with worse outcomes– it’s a higher risk pool of mothers to begin with!

      To me this is really no different than NCB advocates touting garlic up the vagina, the Brewer diet, Webster chiropractic, cohosh and evening primrose supplements, and any other manner of quackery– the only difference is in degree of woo.

      • Young CC Prof

        You’ve hit the nail on the head. At the beginning of my pregnancy, I was already about as anti-woo as they come, but I did believe there are “too many” c-sections, and that I could somehow prevent myself from needing one.

  • Captain Obvious

    I just performed a repeat cesarean this am with a healthy 9#13 baby. No regrets.

    For those to get or perform a cesarean, consider getting Exparel injected into the parietal peritoneum, fascia, and skin. I dilute 80 ml of saline into the Exparel for volume expansion and copiously inject into those layers upon closure. This bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension provides incision pain relief for up to 4 days! Patients are up and moving early and many go home in just 2 days.
    Also use Seprafilm over the uterus & under and over the rectus closure to prevent adhesions. And of course reapproxiamate the rectus with suture in a girdle/shoelace fashion closure to prevent a diastasis rectus.

    • Anj Fabian

      You can PREVENT diastasis rectus?

      Tell us more…

    • OBPI Mama

      No, no! We want to stay in the hospital 4 days… heck, I wanted to stay a week after my c/s with baby #4. Ah, vacation…

      • Josephine

        I was just going to say this. “But do I HAVE to go home after 2 days? What if I want to stay in the relative peace of the postnatal ward?”

        • OBPI Mama

          A peace I haven’t had since leaving… maybe it’s time for Baby #5.

        • Awesomemom

          I actually left early with my youngest. They made a huge deal of the fact that I was getting one of the new tempurpedic hospital beds that was supposed to be so much better than the old ones. Well by the end my back was hurting from the bed (it was not a spinal head ache because I know the diff between that and back pain) that I was ready to be gone even if it meant facing my three older kids.

          • Josephine

            Ouch! That stinks. The first bed they had me in was so bad that my tailbone was tender for several days after, but the second one was much better, thank goodness.

            So I can’t say I blame you!

    • Jessica

      My second baby is due in July and the plan is a repeat CS. I really haven’t questioned the logic b/c frankly, I’m fine with a CS and the experience with my first was great. I’m a patient with University of Washington Medicine network and they are phenomenal in every aspect and I really trust their practices. With my first, I was induced at 40 wk 1 day b/c of pre-eclampsia concerns. It seemed like a painstakingly long process, b/c for the first day, they just wanted to see if they could nudge my cervix in the right direction with a “ripener” (I can’t remember the name of it.) The first day, they cautioned they might even send me home if nothing happened after a series of tries. Long story short, it worked well enough for my water to break late that evening but I guess my contractions were never productive enough to move the bub down (he was happy as a clam in there apparently) plus he was a big bub: 10lbs 10oz. I have no interest in trying for a vaginal birth. I guess if I were to go into labor before the scheduled CS, I’d do whatever they suggest. Maybe I’m too laid back. 😉 The doctors and nurses kept telling me I was so easy to work with and I was like, “I’m not the one with the degrees and experience! So let’s go with you’re idea.” The only thing on my “birth plan” sheet thingy was a request to give it to me straight and if at any point they felt like I needed a CS, I WAS FINE WITH IT so get the party started. 🙂 My focus was the END, not the means.

      And that goes back to the larger point, shifting the mindset of successful birth. It seems so obvious to me that the delivery method is simply a necessary step in the point of reproduction (point = baby). So how does one overcome the over-identification with the delivery method itself? I don’t have the answers.

      • FormerPhysicist

        I think you are me. 🙂

    • I left 2 days after my CS with my son – it really was a wonderful experience! I’d take it any day of the week over planned vaginal delivery – but I accept I am weird that way.

      • Karen in SC

        Not weird; I’ve read several accounts where the mothers prefer planned c-sections. Dozens even.

      • antigone23

        You and me both! I wish I could go back in time and have a c-section with my first.

    • ersmom

      It seems to be a cultural thing regarding hospital stay post section. In my previous town, EVERYONE stayed 3 days and some stayed 4 despite me encouraging them to leave on POD #2. Made for a lot of extra rounding. 🙁

      Here, almost everyone leaves POD #2. Most of those who stay until POD #3 are either pre-eclamptic or have babies have bili issues. Our practice sees all section patients ~1 week post discharge for a wound check.

      My technique hasn’t changed, just the culture surrounding delivery. I don’t do local. I close peritoneum, I’ve found that it reduces scarring in my repeats. Duramorph in spinal, IV Toradol Q6 x 4 doses. ATC motrin after that with percocets prn.

      New town is about 100 miles from previous town, both rural.

      • Dr Kitty

        I had my baby on the Thursday and was discharged on the Sunday. That was because everyone was being super careful about my neuropathic bladder, and because I was BF and drinking lots of fluids they wanted to check I was able to handle it.

        Much as I enjoyed being catheterised for 24 hrs and then passing urine into measuring jugs for two days, I’m really hoping we can avoid that if there is a next time (nobody appreciated my suggestion of bladder scans for residual and sending me home with a packet of catheters).

  • Tiff

    A little OT but I stumbled across this on FB (in a group that I’m part of; not as an active member, just a lurker).

    “I am wondering how long it took from the time you got to the hospital
    until the time you were in surgery. That’s what should’ve happened to
    us, but instead we waited almost 2 hours before a doctor came and
    assisted delivery, and when my son was born, he had died from an
    infection (that was previously undetected–we transferred for
    exhaustion, and we were both healthy at the time we left. We live 15
    minutes from the hospital and my midwife
    called ahead). Even though it would’ve meant a cesarean under general
    anesthesia, it also would’ve meant a live baby.

    The doctor who
    was on call later told me that it was her first loss, and I hope that
    next time she acts more quickly to attend to moms who transfer. I am
    torn because I do truly believe that hands off is best for birth,
    however, hands on would’ve saved my baby boy.”

    I’m not a medical professional but from what I’ve gathered, she got her care from a CPM and was going to have a homebirth but ended up in a transfer. She now blames the doctor for her son’s death (even though it appears he died from an infection?). Any way, terribly sad for the baby. I cannot wrap my mind around this woman’s though process. Blame the doctor? Why does the midwife hold absolutely no blame?

    • Karen in SC

      Why should doctors attend more quickly to transfers? I believe doctors work via triage and apparently there were no alarm bells when she arrived.

      There are too many missing details – had she been screened for GBS? did she refuse EFM once at the hospital? What did they expect would happen from “calling ahead”? Which generally means nothing unless a system is in place.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

        I am guessing they expected there to be an OB and operating room ready and waiting. Not sure why they might expect that especially if she transferred for exhaustion. If she wasn t registered with that hospitals L&D they would not have her blood type and crossmatch. There may have been other patients in delivery who were having issues, and I can think of a dozen other reasons she had to wait. So doctors are evil surgeons except when they are needed and then they need to do my surgery NOW. I am very sorry for her loss but I think her midwife needs to take a lot of the responsibility for the situation.

        • Anj Fabian

          Tell me about this “exhaustion” again.

    • Anj Fabian

      Coming in as a Jane Doe with no patient information?

      Assuming her reporting is correct, that her son died from a previously undetected infection :headdesk.headdesk.headdesk: – what is the reasoning that a speedier surgery would have saved her son’s life?

      As opposed to ALL THE OTHER THINGS that would have saved her son’s life? Infections that result in death are rarely subtle things. The only reason given for the transfer is “exhaustion”. How long did she labor? What were the midwife’s observations: maternal heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, fetal heart rate, responsiveness?

      …but it was the OB’s fault for not moving fast enough.

    • Captain Obvious

      Ambulances bring women to labor and delivery all the time, many women are screaming they have to push or are bleeding only to find them in early labor and only dilated to 1 cm. if I had to come to L&D every time an ambulance brought a patient up there…
      The infection must have already been there. Babies don’t die from a fever/infection worsening in the last hour. It takes a while before an infection really affects the baby. Wonder if she had GBS that she used hibiclens or garlic for? What was her WBC at the onset of labor? I am sure we will never know, because the CPM doesn’t obtain one. How long where the membranes ruptured? Any maternal or fetal tachycardia? I would love to review those CPMs labor notes.

    • Beth

      1. “those scalpel-happy OBs just can’t wait to cut you open!”
      2. “they didn’t cut me open soon enough!”

      Sigh.

    • MaineJen

      “I am
      torn because I do truly believe that hands off is best for birth,
      however, hands on would’ve saved my baby boy.”

      The disconnect here is staggering. So she thinks that just because her midwife “called ahead,” the hospital will have an operating suite ready to wheel her in as soon as she arrives? With no medical history, probably no chart or medication info, etc. I don’t think so. She hopes that next time the doctor will act more quickly? I hope that next time she will go to a hospital.

      • Anj Fabian

        I’m being a bit slow on the uptake today. How many times did I read that the midwife “called ahead” for nothing more pressing than “maternal exhaustion”?

        Those two things do NOT make sense. Oh, sure it’s good form for the midwife to call ahead but maternal exhaustion isn’t an urgent situation. What good is calling ahead going to do unless the patient’s records (complete and current) are able to be pulled up?

      • CognitiveDissonaceHurts

        “So she thinks that just because her midwife “called ahead,” the hospital will have an operating suite ready to wheel her in as soon as she arrives? ”

        Yes, that is exactly what we believe when we talk to our midwives about the worst possible scenarios. The midwife would call the hospital, the surgical team would gather and by the time we arrived, it would be all stations go. We believed that if we were in the hospital, it would take the same amount of time for them to get ready as if we were transferring from home.

      • AlisonCummins

        Yes of course she thinks that. The midwife said she works with X hospital and she assumed the midwife meant something that made sense.

        The midwife is the one who should know perfectly well that she has no connection with the hospital at all. How would a layperson understand that wasn’t possible?

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      This infuriates me.

    • jenny

      There’s no way the baby was healthy when they left and then dead of infection two hours and fifteen minutes later. Just because the infection was “undetected” does not mean everything was dandy.

  • slandy09

    I have a facebook friend who is a die-hard fan of Birth Without Fear. It scares me.

  • Lisa

    Beautiful boy – what an awful and unnecessary loss. Maybe as the mother works through the stages of grief, she’ll change her mind.

    • Anj Fabian

      What do we say again?

      The loss of a healthy, term infant is incredibly rare in hospitals and yet, at home births, it is not rare at all.

      What little is said about the circumstances imply the baby passed during labor at home and was delivered via c-section at the hospital.

      In her case, it’s hospital c-section 2, home birth and midwife 0. With that track record, who would opt for another vbac attempt at home?

      Now…
      She might have meant she would attempt a vbac in hospital. She lives in a major metro area and should be able to find an OB to take on her high risk TOL with all the precautions that modern medicine has to offer. If that’s what she intends, she should be okay and the baby should be okay.

      • Trixie

        Is there anyone who will do a TOLA3C? That sounds like something most providers would not be comfortable with.

        • Anj Fabian

          Hard to tell. She’s obviously high risk, so that would shrink the pool of OBs down considerably.