In the world of homebirth, stupid is the new black.
Homebirth advocates proudly flaunt their stupidity and the saddest part about it is that most of that stupidity is willful. They are so sure that their ignorance and transgressiveness are attractive that they willingly suspend disbelief to accept the most outrageous claims and ridiculous lies from professional homebirth advocates and other laypeople.
As any fashion aficionado can tell you, the key to a great look is the foundation garments. Any fabulous dress requires a great bra and shape-wear to accompany it. Whereas a fashion forward woman might start with a properly fitted bra and Spanx, the homebirth advocate starts with ignorance of obstetrics, childbirth and history. The foundational garment of homebirth advocacy is the bizarre belief in the safety of childbirth, despite massive historical and contemporary evidence that childbirth is one of the leading killers of young women and the leading killer of children.
That ignorance allows the homebirth advocate to layer any amount of stupid claims and bizarre denials over it to complete the look.
Obstetricians, pediatricians, neonatologists, anesthesiologists, epidemiologists and ethicists rarely support homebirth and that’s because they start out with knowledge of the fundamentals of childbirth and the history of perinatal and maternal mortality. You might think that the fact that homebirth is opposed as unsafe by the people who know the most about the wellbeing of babies and mothers would cause homebirth advocates to rethink their position, but you’d be wrong. Just as a fashion model wears a slip over her foundation garments, homebirth advocates wear a profound anti-elitism over theirs. Apparently the superior education and training of doctors make many homebirth advocates feel small; the only way for them to feel better about themselves is to deny that experts know anything.
Now for the actual outfit.
Just like there are many shades of black, there are many shades of stupid among homebirth advocates.
Henci Goer says that homebirth is safe and hospitals kill babies. That’s stupid.
Melissa Cheyney, CPM lobbies for laws in Oregon that stipulate any person call legally call herself a homebirth midwife regardless of education or training. That’s stupid.
Judy Slome Cohain, CNM insists that neonatal group B streptococcal sepsis can be prevented by putting cloves of garlic in a woman’s vagina. That’s stupid.
Marian MacDorman claims that the CDC data on which she she based her own published research “aren’t designed for research.” That’s stupid.
Aviva Romm claims that homebirth is safe but when ask to analyze the MANA homebirth paper says:
I’ll tell ya, ladies, I’ve taking medical statistics ad nauseum in my training and still do not consider myself a skilled statistician by any means. Statistics are generally a lot more than meets the eye — there are issues of power, inclusion and exclusion biases, data collection methodology, and even what questions were being asked. So I will be sitting down with someone who can help me to meaningfully review the stats. Not until then can I give a scientifically meaningful response rather than merely my interpretation (another problem with statistics reporting – who’s doing the interpreting!). This is not going to happen fast, but rest assured, when I am confident in an assessment, I will report on this.
That’s stupid and it’s a load of bullshit.
With the exception of Judy Slome Cohain, who appears to have serious problems with logical thought, I would be willing to bet that the others actually realize that their claims are stupid, but they are so confident in the gullibility of their followers whom they figure will believe any garbage they choose to spew.
And all of this would be fine if wearing the wrong color were all that was at stake. Who cares if women who look terrible in black insist that they look fabulous in black? But when it comes to homebirth safety, the lives of innocent infants are at stake. When women dress themselves i ignorance of childbirth, the anti-elitism of the uneducated, and the stupidity of whatever flavor of nonsense their leaders are currently spouting, babies die.
I realize that for homebirth advocates, stupid is the new black … but that doesn’t mean I have to accept it.