She trusted birth … and it killed her. Now her children will pay the price.

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Thinking about homebirth?

Have you considered the potential impact on your older children and the baby of leaving them motherless? Neither did the mothers of these 22 children who experienced the ultimate catastrophe, all because their mothers wanted a specific birth experience.

Florida woman Stephanie left 6 small children motherless, including her newborn, after choosing homebirth.

Australian woman Caroline Lovell left 2 small children, including her newborn, motherless after bleeding to death in front of her clueless homebirth midwives.

This young American woman left 4 small children motherless, including newborn twins after bleeding to death at homebirth.

This 24 year old American woman left her newborn motherless after bleeding to death at homebirth.

British woman Joanne Whale left her newborn motherless after bleeding to death from a uterine eversion at homebirth. Her midwife did not know how to start an IV that might have saved her life.

British woman Claire Teague left two children motherless, including her newborn, after bleeding to death from a retained placenta at homebirth. Her midwife claimed in her defense that Claire “had a really lovely spontaneous birth at home and I hope Simon [her husband] in time will remember that.”

Now comes word that Maria Zain, a prominent Malaysian-British advocate for unassisted homebirth, has left 6 children motherless, including her newborn, after her 4th unassisted homebirth.

From the Facebook page of ICAN of Malaysia (International Cesarean Awareness Network):

One of the Malaysian ICAN leaders, Maria Zain, passed away on 28th December.

A mother of 6 children, her first two births were cesarean births.

She was and still is through her writings one of the strongest voices in childbirth advocacy in Malaysia. She was extremely passionate in lending support to all mothers especially those with past multiple cesarean history…

Originally from Malaysia, Maria Zain was a freelance writer based in Nottingham, United Kindgom …

Maria was also a certified Childbirth Educator (AMANI Birth Institute), and a home-educating Muslim mother of five children, ages 9 and under – her sixth child, a son, birthed as she returned to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, on 28 December 2014.

Maria often found herself writing about natural birth and parenting, and had a passion for homeschooling and autonomous learning. “Unfortunately, there aren’t any images of strong and powerful women bringing their babies earth side in a calm and peaceful manner, surrounded by people who love and support her unconditionally.”

According to a colleague of hers at AMANI Birth Institute, Zain died at an unassisted homebirth:

Unasisted home birth. As were her previous three. No word yet on what happened. I’d imagine a postpartum haemorrhage, but don’t know…

No medical professional (no midwife, no doctor)…I assume just her husband and kids were there. I don’t have the details but most likely no one else.

Zain was a talented woman and loving mother, but when it came to the subject of homebirth, she airily ignored the risks. It is chilling reading her perspective in Is Home Birth Safe? Know The Pros And Cons, only a little more than a year ago. The article was written in response to the experience of a new mother who bled to death at a homebirth in Malaysia:

Certified childbirth educator from AMANI Birth Maria Zain said, mothers who decide on unassisted home birth vary in reasons. Some have been exposed to positive homebirth stories while others have had poor hospital experiences…

As a childbirth educator, we usually talk about the process of natural birth and how the female form has already been designed to birth. We do not shun medical intervention, but we encourage expectant parents to fully understand the benefits and risks of each intervention and encourage them to either give informed consent refusal. It’s their right, either way…

Maria, who had home birthed three children after two prior hospital births, said home birth is not new in Malaysia and was a norm before the advent of hospital birth-normalcy.

In Maria Zain on the The Birth-Faith Irony: Who Are We Really Relying On?, Zain wrote:

While for many, medicalised births seem the way to go. Why would anyone want to avoid medical interventions, when they are supposedly there to save lives? And why on earth would anyone have their babies at home when there are machines at hospitals that can gauge progress and complications? Contrary to this popular belief, there is plenty of statistical data that proves that even the minute intervention, including monitoring, causes the birth process to become jagged and disturbed, leading to a cascade of interventions that cause potential harm to both mothers and babies…

In private practice, where the underlying motive for the birth industry is profits, medical intervention is the cultural norm, with inductions being scheduled even weeks before the infamous EDD, regardless of the health of the mother and baby. Scare tactics also run high, as do non-emergency and elective Caesarean sections (c-sections).

In a piece for Hypnobirthing Malaysia,Zain explained her response at a birth where she served as doula:

… I needed to shed tears for mothers who didn’t know that it was that simple, who felt their births were torturous, dangerous, frightening and stressful, and that they needed to be in a place with interventions and drugs. I know there are cases where doctors save lives, but when they step back and be the emotional support that they should be, most mothers would flourish too, bringing their newborns into their arms like it was the most primal act of the female design. Birth can be empowering, natural, beautiful and a spiritual journey for a mother and I wanted to cry for those were short-changed of this experience.

Zain was shedding tears for women deprived of the “birth experience” she thought was their right. Now her 6 children will shed oceans of tears over her death, which was almost certainly preventable. Who will care for her 6 children now with the love and passion she brought to her mothering? Who will homeschool them now that she is gone? To whom will they run to confide their joys and fears, triumphs and disappointments? Their lives will never be the same.

Which was ultimately more important, her birth experience or their need for their mother?

Consider what your death would do to your children the next time you are considering homebirth.

  • Ronda Orcutt

    Savvy analysis ! Speaking of which , if anyone are interested in merging of PDF or PNG files , my secretary merged a service here https://goo.gl/S0spMw

  • Aishah Schwartz

    Yes, social media demands we must all be critical *sigh*, but for those who may have it in their hearts to offer support to the children everyone is lamenting for, feel free to visit this page to learn more. Thank-you. http://mwa-online.blogspot.com/2014/12/mwa-mourns-passing-of-member-maria-zain.html

    • KanniyaKumari

      What – no life insurance? Or perhaps the life insurance company thought that her decision was tantamount to suicide?

      • Khadija

        Internet anonymity sure gives people the ability to be cruel and terrible, huh? No life insurance because her faith prohibited it, not because her decision was suicide. Don’t be a douche.

  • Emily

    My friend nearly bled out the morning following her son’s natural, unmedicated birth. If she hadn’t been in a hospital, hadn’t opted for a ‘Medwife,’ if she had been at home where there were no IV’s, no transfusion blood, and no shock paddles to get her heart going again she wouldn’t be here. She would have left a widower and a new son behind.

    Usually things go well with birth. But when they don’t, they can go bad big and fast. It is just smart to be in a hospital at such a vulnerable time.

  • liveforchildren

    This explains things better now, don’t they? I had my suspicions they all thought like this because I used to.

    • Emily

      Oh gosh! This is Calvinism at its most devastating. Those destined to live will live, those destined to die will die!?! That makes me furious!

    • sdsures

      LOL

    • Somewhereinthemiddle

      You know, it seems pretty easy for someone who is 70 years old and closer to death than to her chilbearing years to think that we should “return childbirth to god” and that god should decide who should live or die.

    • Mitchell Lance

      God also gave you a mind to use and make things better,.

  • A C

    “I love childbirth education, but it’s awful to see mothers feeling like train wrecks and failures after a bad experience, and it’s time for society to step up, and provide the love and support they need, without the judgment, without the prejudice, without the superstition, and without the ignorance,” Maria Zain.
    Please let’s honour Maria without judgement, prejudice, superstition or ignorance. The writer of the article is strong yet respectful of Maria as well as her family. Comments should also be please.
    I have comments but I will wait until the mourning period is respectfully honoured before using the respected lady’s name in discussion. After which time a tone of respect needs to be adhered to.
    Latifa

    • MLE

      Who or what are you addressing?

  • lawyer jane

    This is awful. My mother died when I was young, leaving 6 kids. It is the ONE thing that I fear most for my own child! I would never take a risk I could prevent, because I know he needs me.

    • even

      If you want to prevent all the risks you should just stay at home all day, never take a plane or drive on the highway.

      • moto_librarian

        That’s right – because planning an unassisted HBA2C is exactly like driving a car or getting on a plane. The only way that your statement could be even remotely accurate would be if you decided to 1) drive a car or fly a plane with NO prior training or experience; 2) refuse to wear a seatbelt; 3) decide to ignore bad weather and head straight into a storm.

        Maria died a preventable death in the truest sense of the term.

      • Young CC Prof

        Everything in life has some risk, therefore all risks are equal? Someone who will accept the miniscule and necessary risk of driving to work but not the much larger and easily avoidable risk of unassisted childbirth is a hypocrite? Say what?

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        No, it’s not possible to avoid ALL risk. However, even in your examples, we still do all we can to MINIMIZE it. For example, we have laws against impaired driving. We require those riding in the car to wear their seatbelts and kids are in carseats. Those who give you rides in airplanes have stacks and stacks of safety requirements that they have to follow. Does it eliminate all risks? Of course not, but we minimize them.

        That, despite the fact that driving a car or riding in a plane is many, many times safer than giving birth.

        So how does the fact that we take something like driving or riding in planes come with extensive safety precautions to minimize the risk turn into an argument for homebirth again?

      • Anj Fabian

        Don’t drink the water! You might aspirate!

  • Dr Kitty

    I’ve just read the MBRACE report on maternal mortality in the UK.
    For all the “women die in the hospital too people”
    There were a TOTAL of 321 maternal deaths from direct AND indirect causes 2009-2012, giving a mortality rate of 10/100,000.

    The majority of deaths were in women who had underlying medical conditions. The majority of women had less than the minimum antenatal care, and a significant proportion had no antenatal care at all.

    For a healthy woman to die from a direct pregnancy related cause during childbirth is very, very rare.

  • staceyjw

    To our parachuting NCBers-
    HAVE YOU EVEN READ THIS POST?
    Actually read it, not just the title. Not just enough skimming, to get a few details, to add to the argument you came here specifically to make?

    I am baffled by those that come here, read this (or so they say), and then leave comments about how its mean or unfair, or whatever, to talk about it. WHAT ABOUT THE CONTENT? THE DEATH? Its like they are constitutionally incapable of addressing the actual topic.

    • scmak

      Yes, I read. With all the comments. And I have seen people think the opinions are unfair and mean and the response is “let us ignore all these negative people”. These are (mutual) friends MZ and I have on the hs/hb/bf circle in Malaysia.

      It’s tunnel vision, I suppose. I now understand the context of what these “people are so negative” posts are about and why they are seeking support among FB groups. It is not so much people are “negative” but they are CRITICAL.

      I am very neutral about HB, homeschooling, breastfeeding. But some of these parents are fanatical but don’t know it. They channel all their warrior, fighter, advocacy energy that was meant for a high-flying career into this side of the polarity, pretty much the same as what the rest of you are doing.

      Nothing has meaning except the meaning we give it – and for the NCB groups, that “death” has meaning, it is beautiful. It can be justified.

      I read one “confession” by one of the doula groups the late MZ “trained” in and is a part of – a confession regarding her role in the death of Amy Karmilla, another Malaysian HB avoidable death about a year ago. I was shocked that 3/4 of it was filled with religious justifications and disclaimers about how this is God’s will. I wanted to vommit at the arrogance and cowardice of hiding behind God’s name. Given, she is a birth attendant only and NOT expected to intervene.

      Yes, no one cares about the children. It’s all about them and their unconscious need for self-achievement and self-fulfillment. But if you guys would like to donate money and items towards the 6 orphans I am sure the NCB circles in Malaysia would appreciate the help and sympathy and know that you guys care as much and the criticisms are a way of showing that concern.

      • Stacy48918

        So…you think that deciding to risk your life for a philosophy of birth, leaving your 6 children without a mother and your husband without a wife deserves no critique? No criticism?

        Abhorrent decisions deserve criticism. In fact, ALL our decisions deserve to be critiqued – are they educated? Informed? Fair? etc etc etc. That’s called “critical thinking” – the ability to evaluate a situation and make a decision. Something that Zain obviously lacked – CRITICAL thinking skills.

        What she did was uneducated and wrong and her family will suffer for her decisions. And NO ONE from ICAN will ever admit that. Hiding in an echo chamber and refusing to critique yourself and your decisions is not a valid response.

  • yentavegan

    Do an online search for homebirth. Read the posts written by mothers documenting their homebirth experiences. Although the majority of the articles are vainglorious attempts to recreate the awesomeness and empowering experience, read between the lines. I hear the voices of mothers in pain for hours on end, pushing for hours and hours and then delivering babys floppy and not breathing on their own. Without fail…I get a feeling of sick rising in my throat. Birth does not have to be this barbaric life threatening ordeal. Mother wake up! Hospital birth with early low tech interventions can be without fear and without pain and without exhaustion for you and your infant!

    • yugaya

      There is a homebirth photo editorial that recently made rounds in NCB community written by a birth photographer. Photographer’s version of events is all unicorn magic and awesomeness, so much that the mother felt compelled to come out and comment on what really went on. You can find her both in the comments to this almost fictional account and around the web advocating against quack lay midwifery and for safer birth: http://www.popsugar.com/moms/Photographs-Home-Water-Birth-36203103#photo-36203103

      I am thankful for every single woman who is brave like that who can take a long, hard look at their own homebirth experience and say out loud that the homebirth emperor is naked.

      • Stacy48918

        Yea, that lady is pretty awesome. She’s spoken out very boldly and I’m proud of her. 🙂

        • Samantha06

          I read the comments… good grief! That poor mom… I’m glad she is courageous enough to speak out.. hopefully her experience will steer more women away from HB..your comments were fabulous, Stacy!

      • Dr Kitty

        “An Intense Homebirth That Left Everybody Breathless”
        Well, that’s some euphemism for a brow presentation with a severe Shoulder Dystocia that took 8 MINUTES to resolve and a baby that required resuscitation and a NICU stay, with unknown long term neurological sequaelae and which seems to have traumatised his mother.

        The birth photographer clearly either didn’t know enough about the situation while it was going on to realise what a disaster it was, or, because everything turned out “ok” is now choosing to view it as a positively as possible.

        If that birth had happened in a L&D ward there would be M&M and debriefing and serious questions being asked, no one would be clapping themselves on the shoulder for a job well done.

        • Kelly

          It sounds like the only person who was left breathless was the baby. Poor boy and I feel for the Mom having to deal with the consequences.

        • OBPI Mama

          The mom said she is trying to get her side of the birth published. She regrets having a homebirth. We are on the same shoulder dystocia facebook group.

          • Dr Kitty

            I’m glad she’s reaching out for support and hope that she is doing ok.
            It must be awful having a terrifying, traumatic experience that your regret minimised as “intense”, lauded as “gentle and natural” and used to convince other women to take risks you wish you hadn’t.

            She and her family are in my thoughts.

          • Amazed

            I am actually shocked that the person who told the story, the photographer, was her FRIEND. She should have KNOWN that the mother regretted her decision, that to her it wasn’t intense and breathless in a good way, yet she wrote all that drivel?

            I can’t even…

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yep, some “friend”, eh?

            Just like those “friends” who run and tell some loss mother about all the bad things we are saying about them here. I always like to imagine that conversation…

            “I know you are feeling bad because you lost your baby, but you should go and see all these bad things that people are saying about you over there.”

          • Bombshellrisa

            She is also on the Real Birth FB page that is run by Gavin Michael’s mom.

          • lawyer jane

            Is the baby ok, or does she not know yet?

          • Anj Fabian

            A year old and no known deficits. Amazing, really.
            She realizes that there might be problems in the future.

        • Life Tip

          Using the word “breathless” when the baby was actually deprived of oxygen. Are they that dense? Or was it supposed to be clever? I just don’t get it.

          Breathless. I can’t even.

          • birthbuddy

            Yes, they are that dense.

      • Poogles
        • yugaya

          And what a sobering juxtaposition it is.

  • please be more sensitive

    I feel this article is taking the opportunity to create scare amongst people who choose home birth. Also, it is playing on Maria’s (may she rest in peace) recent demise and putting her and her choice in a bad light. Condemning and blaming a deceased person in my opinion is just low. In this period of time, whatever our opinions are regarding her choice, just keep to ourselves and pray for her, her kids and family. Don’t need to write a public piece as an opportunity to rub it in.

    Also, what this article failed to mentioned, there are still many death during birth even in hospital. I personally know my friend in Seattle who died giving birth due to loss of blood in a hospital. She is not a rare case and there are many more out there. I feel these articles are always not mentioning that when they write about homebirths in a bad light. For me, if they want to claim to be making an informed choice article, then make sure all statistics are covered and not lopsided.

    I may not be one who would attempt or promote unassisted home births, but I am damn sure a person who call a spade a spade when I see articles that are unfair, unjust and just pure opportunist taking advantage in a lopsided article.

    • Dr Kitty

      PBMS- perhaps you haven’t considered that if everybody keeps their opinions to themselves these deaths get swept under the carpet, and then when people considering HB or IC try to research the risks they get a skewed view of safety.
      If they see articles like this it at least lets people know that maternal deaths at home happen, and that they happen even to women who are the most trusting of birth and the most educated about it.

      Or maybe you’re just tone trolling… Hard to tell.

      • yugaya

        Good intentions but too brainwashed to call a homebirth agenda driven spade a spade – this blog is “unfair” and “unjust” and needs to be “more sensitive”, while on the other hand a lay midwife saying that “at least she had a beautiful birth” is somehow appropriate.

    • Somewhereinthemiddle

      You know, I read several postings about how she died, including the one on ICAN. ICAN is an organization that is supposed to support women seeking information about child birth, specifically access to VBAC. I find it abhorrent that they neglected to mentions that she dies *during childbirth at home alone without medical care*. There was no mention that she died at home, with no medical professional there to attend her, after she had died shortly after giving birth to her child. How does that do anyone any favors? Why should her mode of death, especially since she was such a strong advocate for unattended birth/ home birth be left out? No one else is saying it, no one else is discussing it. Having this information here could help save the life of a woman who may be considering unassisted birth or homebirth. It may feel distasteful, but what is more distasteful, disclosing the truth that may save someone a similar fate or concealing the truth and letting it happen over and over again because events like this were hidden for fear of being offensive.

      • Samantha06

        Because discussing the real issues would involve being truthful. They don’t care about saving lives.. it’s all about control, pushing their agenda and making money.. they have no morals or ethics of any kind, and unfortunately, women don’t realize this until they have suffered a loss and these folks disappear or shun them.

        • scmak

          What money? The target market of NCB advocates are stay-at-home moms. If these SAHMs cared enough about money they wouldn’t be staying at home! You can’t make money from people who don’t care as much about money as they do about “experience”.

          I know these NCB practitioners as fb friends and fellow homeschoolers and from reading their posts I think they have tons of ethics and morals. I, on the other hand, have been accused of lacking in those areas.

          So, come on, please, it’s about passion and purpose, not money. Please don’t insult money that way. There are faster and better ways to make money than teaching few hundred ringgit workshops. You could make more money daily selling waffles and pancakes from a pushcart by the roadside than advocating NCB.

          • Samantha06

            And who do you think reads their garbage, believes it and buys their products? As for ethics and morals, anyone with a brain cell knows it’s highly unethical and immoral to promote dangerous practices that have been proven to kill mothers and babies, so don’t even go there. Good try.

          • Who?

            Passion and purpose can be misguided, and do terrible harm. Ignorant, passionate and purposeful is just plain dangerous, or even deadly.

          • Life Tip

            Selling pancakes from pushcarts requires more effort than sitting on your couch, pulling facts out of your ass and posting them on your blog. And no one pats you on the back and tells you what a fabulous mother you are.

          • MLE

            I always get a kick out of your user name 🙂

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Women should be scared of homebirth.

      It can and does kill women who could easily have survived in a hospital. You can’t make an informed decision about homebirth if you don’t understand that and aren’t aware of the many tragic examples of women dying because they trusted birth and it killed them..

    • Iqraq

      Michelle Koh or PBMS, do you know what happens when a woman dies giving birth or within 6 weeks of giving birth in Malaysia? There is a national level maternal mortality enquiry. Kementerian Kesihatan (the Health Ministry) will call up all the doctors who ever took care of the woman and we have to answer to the panel. If there was any evidence of negligence, the doctor will be in a lot of trouble. Maybe have their license revoked. Believe me, doctors all around the world talk about maternal death in hospital and crack our heads trying to prevent it from ever happening. We have the statistics and keep tabs on them all the time.

      On the other hand, what do you home birth advocates do? I have been part of your Facebook groups before, the Gentle Birthing Group of Malaysia closed FB group, the ICAN VBAC Malaysia group. I have seen what goes on in those groups. People who have NO BUSINESS dispensing medical advice are telling mothers not to go to hospital, not to tell their doctor that their water bag has broken, not to tell the doctor that the amniotic fluid is stained with meconium because the baby ‘breathes through the umbilical cord and not through the lungs’, and my personal favorite, drink young coconut water to replenish your amniotic fluid (gah!) and a whole host of shockingly dangerous recommendations. I have the screen shots to prove it as well which I probably should forward to the Health Ministry.

      So when your readers take this appalling advice and they die or their babies die, what happens? Do you all take responsibility? Did anyone take responsibility for the deaths of Amy Karmila and Ang Lay Chin? Both died at home from post-partum hemorrhage and Amy’s doula’s statement is in circulation on the Internet for all to read (it is written in Malay and sounds totally unrepentant). Did AMANI Birth take responsibility? Hypnobirth Malaysia? Gentle Birthing Group? NO. You all sweep it under the carpet and go on with your ‘doula services’ and ‘birth courses’ charging couples 800 ringgit a pop. Conning people into thinking that giving birth at home is safe so that you all can get your fix to feed your ‘birth junkie’ habit.

      So don’t tell me that ‘women die in hospital too’ and ‘babies die in hospital too’. You people don’t give two hoots about mamas and babies. You just want to get high watching other people risk their lives giving birth so you can get high on oxytocin or whatever and when things go wrong you run away and don’t take responsibility. You home birth advocates make me sick. Sick.

      • Guest

        NONE of these deaths should be either forgotten, nor swept under the rug.

      • Amazed

        Is the poster really associated with ICAN?

      • Samantha06

        ” I have the screen shots to prove it as well which I probably should forward to the Health Ministry.”

        That’s a great idea! Would they be able to do anything? I hope so.. it’s just mind-boggling that they think the baby “breathes through it’s umbilical cord.”

      • Guest

        Both Amy Karmila and Ang Lay Chin died a year ago (December and November of 2013, respectively). The tragic details of their deaths have been posted online and are easily found with google. I suggest we add their names to the sadly lengthening list of mothers who died a (likely) preventable death due to homebirth.

        • yugaya

          Ang Lay Chin was a 40 years old first time mother. She would have been risked out of a homebirth by any OB or a midwife practicing current ‘evidence-based’ medicine.

        • Trixie

          I’m having trouble finding Amy Karmila’s story in English.

          • Guest

            Via google translate:

            Salam..maaf remedy postkan sy d cn..sy very KCW with water birth sister who taught KPD sy..d sbbkan water birth ni la sister Mary Amy sy dated 12/19/13 gone forever ago … He was very confident with all ni until NGP go to class … but, what I’d teach XSM of what d … far received no bgtau spirit sy d uri xkan anak..tp crop after giving birth, why must cut uri n-drop so soon d flatulent … sdgkan yg jd monitoring the process of childbirth is one teacher who’d played seorg ni … please enlighten …. ”

            Ni statement of doula

            Muzaffar biological Amani Doula
            Currently,

            Regards,
            I ask permission to allow the admin GBG I made ​​the only official statement and explanation from me as a witness during childbirth spirit of the late Amy on Thursday, December 19, 2013.

            I extend condolences on the death of his family he faces re Creator.

            I have a brother Muslim charity Al Fatihah recitation also pray for the deceased and the family spirit.

            I shared the intent and purpose is:
            1) My responsibility as a servant of God in delivering the truth and avoid the sin of shirk in idolatry.

            I carry the message reminder for myself and the reading to always be aware and remember Allah Almighty Creator, Allah Almighty and Allah knows everything.

            Births and deaths we’ve written in Luh (pre-destiny) and God will leave us still living with asbab (reason of death) and for those who believe in Allah and the Last Day (Judgment Day) will understand and come to terms with Qada and Qadr Allah. Do not argue why and why because God knows and God had raised up late Amy will die a martyr for the faith and have the baby. During my time to accompany the timeless spirit of remembrance names of Allah until he breathed his last. God knows best.

            2) I want to avoid persecution because of your sin convey misinformation or inaccurate and may cause fitnah is worse. Please respect the spirits of the deceased and his family and please stop speculating and I just trees donated Fatihah and we all wish him placed among the believers and to his family, especially anak2nya get many blessings for their patience with God’s test. While I was at the scene pounds there are still things that I do not know. Allah is All-Knowing.

            3) For respect and want to preserve the dignity of the deceased and his family, especially her husband spirit of speculation and defamation.
            I do not allow anyone to share or copy paste this status in anywhere except with my permission.

            Chronology (not verified all the time because I turned the clock)

            He gave birth to her baby at 11.30am, the baby is born clean and remove lumps spirit lot of blood and mucus.

            Shortly after that, he can make kangaroo care (skin-to-skin) with a baby and eat some fruits and dates, and mentahnikkan baby and drinking warm water.

            He breastfeeding and chatting as usual and complained of fatigue, and vomiting.

            At the request of his own, the umbilical cord was not cut because the spirits want to perform Lotus Birth (this is the practice of letting the cord on the nature, natural and physiology between the baby and the placenta).

            He said that he still felt fracture (surges) as like having a baby and we think it is the process of delivery of the placenta.

            He asked me to massage as I did during the late feel surges.

            Until Noon Azan spirit still chanting and feel surges and soon a sudden spirit foaming mouth. We (me and my late husband) called his name but he did not react only mumble his mouth and his eyes chaotically recurrence.

            This time I ordered my late husband make an emergency call.

            Through a loud speaker gave instructions to make an emergency operator technique CPR and first aid until paramedics arrived I did about 30 minutes after we make a call.

            When I give CPR treatment spirit made ​​reflex reaction.

            Paramedics arrived and took over CPR treatment.

            Community nurse cut the umbilical cord and handed the baby to me.

            I once participated in and bring baby along in the ambulance that brought spirit to the hospital Sungai Buloh.

            While in the ambulance they still give artificial respiration.

            Shortly until the baby is handed over to the community nurse and admitted to NICU Unit.

            I wait in the Emergency (ER) until late confirmed dead and deified husband came up and told me to go home.

            During the time I was in the Emergency Ward and the family spirit are also common.

            Inna Lillah hi hi wa inna ilai rojiun.

            I’m still in a state of shock and trauma and hurt. I always wish the best for all couples who come to class with me and think well of God because God is fair and it gives us something that has the potential to cope. I still find wisdom and reminisce tanda2 who might have overlooked.

            Certainly husband of the late Amy and I have fulfilled the desire and spirit last request to give birth naturally at home. I was invited to come as a doula / companions birth / birth companion who gave moral support / spiritual at the very last minute and not as a medical officer and they are adults who understand and on the basis of respect and ethics come my doula provides support because I believe and trust God I choose to help the spirit to achieve its goals because Allah has simplified matters.

            Accordingly this weekend, tomorrow and after tomorrow (Saturday and Sunday 21 and 22 December) I still continue sharing session is free but I changed at the open pre girly spirit Amy and also as a forum for Q & A in order to provide an opportunity for anyone who wants to know about the class I run and attended classes late.

            Use common sense and God-given opportunity to obtain knowledge. Stop speculation and slander.

            I give the opportunity for anyone to see and hear from myself what it is AMANI Birth and so on.

            But I ask you to come with clean intentions, and a copy of Yassin to read for the late late. For participants who have sent email to sign up you can attend.

            I would only cooperate on the top and Hospital and will not make a statement or answer any calls from the media for reporting false experience or misrepresentation of facts.

            I also would not answer any PM about it again from individuals.

            I can not answer personal questions such as why the couple chose to give birth to her second child at home and not in hospital as their oldest child.

            But I want you to think about why there is an increasing number of couples who make the choice to give birth at home?

            What happens and happens to them so that they do not want to give birth in the hospital?

            And how the authorities and hospitals can improve the quality of services for pregnant and due to deliver consistent and in line with Respectful Maternity Care Global Charter of Rights 7 Maternal and will produce so there is no term birth trauma?

            I’m still learning and seeking wisdom why God chose me for budding spirit and husband when they were struggling to celebrate the birth of this baby.

            The rest I leave it to God to give guidance on the request. As I said earlier, God already determined the death of each of us before our birth lag

          • Dr Kitty

            That reads like COD was most likely eclamptic seizure, possibly AFE. It sounds awful.

          • Guesteleh

            Did she give birth in the UK or Malaysia? What are hospitals like in Malaysia–are they awful enough that avoiding them is actually a rational decision? For example, I could see where homebirth might be a better choice than the hospital in a place like Romania where the healthcare system is notoriously awful

          • Somewhereinthemiddle

            I I was wondering the same thing. What are hospitals like in Malaysia? Not that I think that hb is a fabulous alternative but there has been mention of 3(?) maternal deaths in Malaysia. At least I think they are all in Malaysia? What is the hospital environment like there that even after news of this many deaths and woen still think it is a good idea? Do these women know one another through the birth circles over there or no?

          • Ash

            I don’t know about the public system, but they certainly have some private hospitals aimed at the well off , including medical tourists. These hospitals offer 1st world technology and private maternity rooms.

          • Dr Kitty

            I went to medical school with a fair few Malaysians. For the most part they were non-muslim ethnic Chinese or Indians who couldn’t get into the medical schools in Malaysia and who were either able to pay for medical school abroad, or who got government scholarships in return for promising some years working in Malaysia after qualification.

            Very few have returned to Malaysia long term, most settling in the UK, Ireland or Australia and the majority left after the minimum amount of time required.

            As these were some of the best and brightest students in my class, and some of the nicest people, I think that possibly Malaysia’s health service suffers from a brain drain, exacerbated by admission policies which favour ethnic Malay students.

            But that is just my opinion.

          • Iqraq

            I went to a top medical school in the UK sponsored by the Malaysian government. I wouldn’t knock our affirmative action policies without understanding our country’s history and the demographic time bomb that the British left us. There is much more than meets the eye and we have done very well considering what we had to work with.

            Incidentally out of all the sponsored students in my medical school, only the ethnic Malays, who mind you are also bright and can hold their own, returned to serve the country. The rest as you pointed out, left despite the opportunities the government gave to them.

          • Dr Kitty

            I do understand why the policies are in place, however an unintended side effect of that policy is that the non-Malay students go to international medical schools, and realise that they would prefer to work in countries where government policies aren’t actively disadvantaging them and their children.

            Doctors, after all, will always be privileged by wealth and education, so they were choosing the culture they preferred to live in. Or at least, that is what my friends told me.

            If these guys had felt more accepted in Malaysia and had studied in Malaysia, they might have stayed in Malaysia.

          • Dr Kitty

            Oh, I forgot, apart from the gay guys, they couldn’t get out of Malaysia fast enough…

          • Adschumi

            Considering only the cream of the crop are given scholarships, to actually bail out when it’s been drummed into you that you are expected to serve upon return as an exchange for receiving a scholarship is low. Malaysia is not exactly wealthy where they give scholarships willy-nilly and then for you to use it as a stepping stone to escape to Australia or to the UK when there are plenty who would be willing to study and come back despite the discrimination. These medical scholarships are intended for you to come back to Malaysia to serve. IMy friends, the ones I keep talking about are non-Malay, they are scholars and they came back to serve despite the discrimination you are talking about.. And a friend of mine whose job is to chase down such scholars as pointed out that in her experience it’s less to do with race but more to do with character as it happens in every segment. Is it easier to live in Australia or the UK? Yeah, even for me as an ethnic Malay. Life here isn’t easy not even for an ethnic Malay. The “affirmative action” doesn’t translate well and discrimination against ethnic Malays is rife within the private sector , it’s a developing country with miles and miles to go in every aspect of social development. But if everyone leaves, especially the ones chosen to make difference in Malaysua, what hope do we have as a country?

          • SCMak

            Hospitals, even government, and OB/Gyn are world class but they treat mothers as “patients” and an emergency about to happen, not as human beings. The quality of medical facilities is good as any first world country except more affordable. Socialized healthcare, you don’t need insurance or pay a “deposit”. However, if you can afford $1,000 – $2,000 USD you can get a more comfy setting in a private hospital.

            The only homebirth junkies in Malaysia are over-educated, middle-class people where utility does not trump experience. The working class or rural poor trusts the authorities and healthcare system to take care of them.

            Government maternity and pediatric healthcare in Malaysia is “hyper vigilant”. Too fear-based, too quick to provide interventions and episiotamies are routine, C-section rates, elective or preventive, are high. You can’t sue to get a doctor’s license suspended. In the case of death, infant or mother, the courts may award compensation for negligence. But not license revoked.

            This hyper-vigilance is because our health ministry is racing to make us “first world standards” and to reduce the “mortality rate”.

            Yes, the women all know one another THROUGH FACEBOOK with varying degrees of separation. There have been at least 3 deaths in the last 12 months as of MZ’s death.

            In the Gentle Birthing Group the sole announcement reads something like, “Maria Zain has passed away. No discussion will be allowed to respect the dead.” or something like that.

            I was so appalled by the attitude and lack of discussion around MZ’s death. “No news, no one knows what happened. So we are not allowed to speculate. It would be disrespectful to her and her family” is the attitude.

          • SCMak

            There is a lot of shaming and insulting the mother in government hospitals like what you would expect in some backward African country. There is seldom respect for a woman and her body autonomy, blaming her for getting pregnant, judging her life and making things personal.

            I am not planning to go back to a government hospital even though they saved my life after my homebirth. I know what I would be expecting – judgment on my previous homebirth. You have to bring your entire birth history with you and I already know I will be met with the same prejudice. One doctor even told me that people who don’t want to be insulted should be able to afford private healthcare.

            Not ALL doctors and nurses in Malaysian maternal healthcare are bitches. But most are bitchy, careless with sutures and treat you like a piece of pork in how they cut and stitch you.

            One mother told me how she was still conscious and could feel the doctor digging inside her womb to get the baby out and it was extremely painful.

            In Malaysian maternal healthcare you will get UTILITY but an experience from hell.

          • Guesteleh

            One doctor even told me that people who don’t want to be insulted should be able to afford private healthcare.

            That’s terrible. So sorry you had to experience that and even sorrier that you don’t feel safe going to a government hospital even after your homebirth experience.

          • Adschumi

            Personally, I think that’s really unfair. I have a number of friends who work in government hospitals who would never do what you just said. There is a lot of hearsay with government hospitals in Malaysia, but everything you say is unfair to the medical professionals who do try their best to make things as comfortable for their patients as possible – especially in the government setting. They work long hours with little pay but you are suggesting they do not care and they are unprofessional. Which is not true. Our government hospitals are “savers” of last resort, they are the ones that get all the cases that private hospitals won’t take. They are not bitchy, careless with sutures – they are the ones who will work tirelessly to save your life.

            And before you accuse me of having an agenda (as with everything in Malaysia tends to be), my friends (non-Malays mind you) are the ones working in the government hospital setting, the ones who are on the receiving end of much abuse from patients. And please don’t forget that healthcare in government hospitals are absolutely free with a minimal fee. In a government hospital in Johor alone, they deliver nearly 20,000 babies a year. If you want something a little more romantic and a little less utilitarian, you really cannot get it at a government hospital. But you cannot forget that these people are really only interested in saving you and your baby’s life more than you having an idealised birth experience.

          • Samantha06

            20,000 births a year is a lot of babies! With that many, and I’m sure they are short-staffed and the staff is doing the best they can just to get by. scmak is regurgitating the typical HB advocate line about “horrible treatment” at hospitals.

          • Amazed

            While the things you listed merit a very serious reform, I fail to see how homebirth is the answer to any woman with 2 brain cells to rub together. I am stunned at how anyone can think that risking her life and her baby’s life, let alone brain cells, just because some bullies pushed their noses where they don’t belong – I don’t get it. I. Simply. Don’t. And I live in a post-communist country where, as I was growing up, bedside manners were… what was that, exactly? In the darkest period (financially speaking), my friends had to buy their own medicines for the pain after the birth because hospitals were either ruined or in the process of ruining thanks to management that had its head stuck in their you know what – from the directors to the bloody Ministers. I am not exactly a privileged white woman where healthcare is concerned. At least, not as your middle-class American woman is.

            I do have a friend whose mom still gushes praises for the OB who delivered her daughter. Such a quick decision-making, he saved her baby’s life… by doing a C-section WITHOUT ANALGESIA because it was an emergency and there simply was none available. Ah the joys of living Communism!

            The things you mention merit a fight. But at the end of it, when women run to homebirth, it won’t be the doctors who’ll end up with empty arms. It’ll be the mothers. Is it really worth it? As someone who almost lost a loved one – no, to me it isn’t. Not for the person themselves, not for the family. The answer can never be “run away from the chances to be saved” when someone is a moron. This isn’t a fight but a flight and the system won’t give a damn until someone actually fights it.

            At the end of it, someone’s glorious experience won’t come to bed with me to hold me and make love to me, Won’t fill my days with love, positive things and yes, anger. Won’t come to have its photos taken with me in all the cities I plan to visit. Those are things that only a living person can do.

            So not worth it.

          • Adschumi

            If you give birth in a government hospital in Malaysa, it’s social healthcare. If it’s uncomplicated birth – chances are you will be attended by a midwife. You can’t choose which doctor will attend to you, it depends who is on duty. Government hospitals also run like a semi-private hospital after hours i.e. you may select which OB will attend to you and if you’re willing to pay in a private hospital.

            Are government hospitals awful? No, they are not. They serve a purpose. Most insurers cover private hospitals but not all private hospitals will do severe emergencies in Malaysia. Birth emergencies will almost always be transferred to government hospitals and for instance, if insurance won’t cover a baby’s NICU stay, the baby will always be transferred to a government hospital. Government hospitals have a policy of never turning away a patient, so while they may not be the most friendliest and comfortable stay (no A/C, shared wards spartan, long queue for first class wards etc etc) they strive to care for you the best way they can.

            A decent private hospital stay can be quite expensive but it mostly depends on the hospital brand and the doctor you’re after. A normal birth in a private hospital setting can start around 600 USD. It may be more “luxurious” but it does not mean it is better than a government hospital.

            Most of these home birth junkies tend to be middle class educated women who are influenced by the things they read on the internet and the hearsay about the state of Malaysian OB (I would know, I’ve been subjected to a ton of misinformation while I was pregnant) Maria Zain while originally from Malaysia, died in the UK.

          • SporkParade

            None of the Romanians I know would think homebirth is a better choice than in the hospital (even going back 2-3 generations), but that may be because all of the Romanians I know gave birth in Bucharest. Romania also has a high rate of maternal request C-section.

          • Sloane C. mak

            You should read the “confession” by her NCB Amani Doula birth attendant. I wanted to vommit at how 2/3 of that “confession” were disclaimers blaming God with a “don’t you dare look at me, it was God’s will and her time was up.” For good measure, “Zuhr call for prayers were heard” before the victim frothed up, had a seizure and died.

            When the sister of the deceased ask for answers in the facebook group they hushed it up with, “We will not allow this discussion to maintain the positive energy.”

            Do you have to be positive when it comes to birthing? No!! I planned for my death when I took the homebirthing death sentence. I told all my friends, clients, family – this will be it and I hoped they had enjoyed my company.

            Oh, and by “God’s will” my time is not up yet. Maybe I was meant to bring a spear through that “positive bubble” the NCB group in Malaysia is so trying to maintain. God’s will, right, folks?

      • Sloane Mak

        Whoever this Please Be More Sensitive is – if you are very young, I forgive you. If you are older than 30 and have children or married, I am afraid for Malaysian society if the maturity level is so low.

    • Amazed

      While I am sorry for her death, Maria and her choice SHOULD be put in a bad light. She might have been a talented woman, a loving mother and ten times awesome but she was DANGEROUS. She actively encouraged women to pursue the choice that ultimately killed her.

      She was the one sprouting untruths. She was the one writing pearls of wisdom that might have robbed women of their lives as she robbed herself. While I have no doubt that this was not all there was to her, it’s a side people prefer to tactfully tread around because it isn’t cool to say that someone who died was less than awesome. Well, I will: she was misguided, she was dangerous, she might have killed other women with her deadly advices before she killed herself.

      You homebirth advocates won’t know a spade if it hits you in the head. I’m starting to think it’s just your genetical makeup. The wrong choices Maria Zain promoted and followed should be put in a bad light to prevent another tragedy of this kind. But then, tragedies don’t matter to homebirth advocates, do they? Only homebirth does.

      I won’t even discuss the tired line of defense that is the hysterical howling of women dying often in hospitals.

      You’re pathetic.

      • Sloane Mak

        *clap* –

    • Guest

      If not here, if not now, where and when? Create scare amongst people? The internet is bursting with homebirth advocates, boasting the misaligned view of safety in homebirth stories that do nothing to acknowledge the risks. HBAC, HBAMC, DM, HTN, Multiples, Breech, Obesity, Postdates. A brief perusal of most births pages will list story after story of homebirths with risk factors. Commentors will exclaim the exuberance of the mother for defeating the odds, for having a homebirth with risk factors and creating a culture of denial of what the actual identification and acknowledgement of risk factors actually meant. You know what they won’t find? They won’t find Maria Zain’s story. They won’t find a discussion of the risk factors inherent to her son’s birth and her death. If her story isn’t told here, if her death isn’t acknowledged now, where and when will it be? It won’t. It will fall gracelessly in hushed whispers to the forgotten depths of social media, hidden far below birth journals that deny the risks and celebrate the ability to defy the odds. Except here. Except now.

      • staceyjw

        Um, the time to mention this is NEVER. If you MUST, then you should ONLY get to say that it was a beautiful birth and this would have been worse in the hospital.
        They are not logical.

    • Samantha06

      Quite the screen name… considering you haven’t mentioned her children or husband and how her death is affecting them.. oh I forgot, it’s not about them, or a preventable death. It’s really about defending the home birth agenda, regardless of who dies, isn’t it?

    • Montserrat Blanco

      I do not know what happened to your friend in Seattle and I am sorry for your loss. As someone with too much experience on an A&E Department I can tell you death from haemorrague is really uncommon at a hospital. If you get an IV going and you have a blood bank it should not happen. It happened to some of my patients with advanced cancer, but only in the rare event the cancer erodes an artery that you will not be able to stop in any way and that has a massive blood flow (I just remember a gentleman with a neck tumor that invaded the carothid artery) and most likely it was reviewed before with their doctors before the event happened and it would have been decided that only palliative care was appropiate in that scenario. Even on a busy ward like ours it happens once every five years.

      Some of the natural birth advocates in my country would not agree to an IV even without medication when they are admitted to give birth. Well, that is dangerous, because once you start loosing blood and your blood pressure goes down it is extremely difficult to get an IV going. For my own C-section the anesthesiologist insisted I got two good venous lines canalized and the blood bank had three blood units prepared for me just in case. It is not imposible that something happens to you even with those precautions, but it is far less frequent. None of the blood units were necessary and only one IV line was used, but I am grateful they were prepared.

    • Medwife

      It’s very very rare to die of PPH in a Western country’s hospital. This is embarrassingly basic, but look up the difference between “absolute numbers” vs “rate”. Home birth has a low total number, and are more predominantly low risk. They have a higher rate of postpartum hemorrhage deaths. Even so, a larger absolute number of PPH deaths happen in hospitals. If you have a condition that makes you more likely to hemorrhage, like, for instance, history of cesarean delivery, do you think you would be more likely or less likely to die without access to an OR, a team, and a blood bank? Hm?

      When someone dies of preventable causes like this, it is the responsible thing to talk about why it happened. Maybe someone else will be spared the same fate. She publicized her successes and led people down that path. Now we should publicize her tragedy and hopefully reverse that trend.

      • Stacy48918

        “Home birth has a low total number, and are more predominantly low risk.”
        Actually, the whole “low risk” thing isn’t exactly true either….

        “At least 30% of midwife-attended planned home births are not low risk and not within clinical criteria set by ACOG and AAP.”
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25446661

        “A significant number of high-risk pregnancies was delivered at home across all analyzed risk factors. Six high-risk pregnancy conditions associated with increased adverse outcomes had a higher prevalence in planned home births than in hospital births (advanced maternal age, postdates, macrosomia, premature rupture of membranes, and precipitous and prolonged labor), whereas three others (prior cesarean delivery,
        nullipara, preterm births) had a high prevalence.”
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24770193

        • Amazed

          As I often say, midwives are either intentionally taking on high risk women and breaching ethics and are therefore not to be trusted, or they are not trained adequately enough to recognize high risk and are therefore incompetent and not to be trusted.

          No matter how you slice it, they are not looking good.

        • Medwife

          Well, MANA did find a higher rate of postpartum hemorrhage in their population. I don’t recall if they controlled for women with high risk conditions. Maybe the postdates, grand multip, etc etc births explain the hemorrhage rate, not just expectant management of the 3rd stage. I still think you’re better off hemorrhaging in a hospital, even though the mana paper didn’t find a significant increase in maternal mortality.

          • Young CC Prof

            They didn’t control for risk factors, and they didn’t really “connect” most of their variables.

            Most of them were multips, but the number of grand multips was not recorded.

            There were only 17,000 births in the study. It would be truly hideous if they found a significant increase in maternal mortality. (Especially since the outcomes of women who transferred care prior to the onset of labor were not recorded.)

      • I had PPH… in a hospital.
        I barely noticed. They gave me a shot of pitocin.

    • birthbuddy

      PBMS.
      Let’s say 100 women give birth at home and 1 dies, and 100 000 women give birth in hospital and 100 die.
      Does this mean that the Hospital is more dangerous because 100 (Hospital deaths) is bigger than 1 (Homebirth deaths)?
      NO, the numbers show that 1/100 homebirth mothers died and 1/1000 hospital mothers died.
      10X more died at homebirth.
      A good way to be more sensitive (and respectful) is to not lie to people?

    • demodocus’ spouse

      I’m sorry for your friend’s loved ones.
      I do feel bad for Ms. Zain, and like Dr T said above, I’m sure she was a loving mother and was trying to be a decent person. Its just that she was playing Russian Roulette using a pistol with far fewer chambers than those of us who give birth in a hospital.

    • Life Tip

      If someone was a prolific writer defending their right to drive drunk (even claiming that drunk driving was less dangerous than sober driving) and then later died in an accident while driving drunk, is it insensitive to point out that they were engaging in and promoting dangerous behavior? And that their own misguided choices led to their death? Or would you just shrug and say, hey people die in taxis too ya know!

      • Cobalt

        “people die in taxis too ya know!”

        Excellent metaphor

        • scmak

          And plane crashes! Two airlines from Malaysia suffered 3 deadly crashes this year!

    • staceyjw

      LOL, unfair and UNJUST? Unjust? Really? Wow, holy hyperbole anyone?

      When you say “This can happen in a hospital to” you make an excellent point, just not the one you think you are making: if you can die in a place with all of the needed resources, it should be painfully obvious how much deadlier these complications would be at home. In a no resource location, it’s a death sentence. In a hospital its a RARE tragedy.

      If this doesn’t scare someone, then they are not thinking it through.

      There is nothing wrong with taking an opportunity to show the danger in an action. Most people relate to individual accounts, and personal stories, much better than they do stats, which is why many writers create stories this way.

      But to people like you, I guess we should NEVER use deaths from drunk drivers to mention the risk of drunk driving? Or warn others? Or call for better rules?

      And when reporting on a story about yet another pit bull fatality (28 just this year!), I guess its just wrong to talk about how to prevent this with regulation (BSL), about the extra risk in owning these animals, etc?

      I know- we should talk about the positives of drunk driving and owning fighting dogs, that would be FAIR. LOL.

      Get a clue.

    • CanDoc

      I have delivered over 3000 babies, in a HIGH RISK tertiary care centre, and not once, NOT ONCE in 15 years have I, or one of my colleagues who all do a similar volume of deliveries, had a mother die. I’ve pulled numerous back from the brink, from catastrophic hemorrhages, uterine inversions, invasive placentas, from unstable cardiac disease, from a handful of other things that most people have never heard of.
      It’s NOT that I’M that good. It’s that the WHOLE SYSTEM, TOGETHER is that good. It has evolved to be that good, with lessons learned from every single tragedy along the way. There are lessons in preventable maternal deaths, that we need to learn lest women and their families suffered in vain. My deepest sympathies are with Maria, her family, and all of the children of the world who have lost a precious mother.

    • “I feel this article is taking the opportunity to create scare amongst people who choose home birth.”

      I sure hope it does.

  • namaste863

    Queen Jane Seymour. Queen Catherine Parr. Mary Woolenscraft. Alice Roosavelt. Caroline Lovell. Fellow citizens of the World Wide Web, these are the names of but five of the legions of women who have died in or as a result of childbirth, and these wack jobs want us to believe that birth is safe?! I would just LOVE to hear these NCB folks try to explain their deaths as anything besides “She had a kid, and it killed her.” If they want to ignore science, than fine. Too many folks are scientifically illiterate. But how exactly does one ignore History? Can one of you lovely folks offer me some insight into what these people are thinking? I don’t get it.

    • Stacy48918

      They say that “women died before because we didn’t know about germs”. Seriously. They will acknowledge infectious causes, but other things? Nope.

      “Can one of you lovely folks offer me some insight into what these people are thinking?”
      They’re not.

      • yugaya

        In late XIX and early XX century death records the cause of death due to childbirth is most commonly noted as difficult labour and most maternal deaths occurred on the same day that they gave birth.

        Here is one example from my region: small mountain parish made up of six villages, population 2800 people in 1900 census, central Europe. For the period 1900-1910. there is at least one maternal death per year accompanied by either stillbirth or a child dying soon after birth listed with cause of death: difficult labor, of a first time mother, average age 20.

        Also during the same period of ten years: six sets of twins and one set of triplets died, all were either stillbirths or death immediately after the birth, causes of death: difficult labor/ weakness.

        The death records for the (quite average) year 1902. have among the total of 95 recorded deaths in the parish for that year :

        -one death of a baby during labor
        -three stillbirths
        -one stillbirth of twins
        -one set of twins who died 21 and 28 days after birth
        -three deaths of babies less than a day old
        -eight babies who died between 1 and 28 days old.

        • DaisyGrrl

          Wow. 20% of deaths that year were perinatal deaths. That’s mind boggling. I looked up leading causes of death today, and a WHO fact sheet noted that 1% of deaths in high-income countries involve children under 15. Death of a child or infant is now reasonably rare in the developed world (although 40% of deaths involve children under 15 in the poorest countries). We’ve come so far!

          • yugaya

            That is the reality of the good old times and doing it like our ancestors did. I only noted down specifically first time moms who died and twins as “a variation of normal”, there were three or more women who died each year in childbirth between 1900 and 1910.

            No cascade of interventions.
            No hospital germs.
            No vaccines.
            No air pollution.
            No chemtrail toxins.
            Freerange meat and organic veggies only.

            I’d sure as hell want to hear from Jennifer Margulis and her ilk what was it exactly that these women were doing wrong, because despite 100% natural lifestyles, diets, pregnancies and homebirths, they and their babies died at an appalling rate.

    • Stacy48918

      Here you go:

      http://www.jennifermargulis.net/blog/2014/09/why-doctors-nurses-and-other-medical-professionals-are-choosing-to-birth-at-home

      Jennifer Margulis, September 2014:
      “I have been searching for a study to support your opinion. All
      I can find is infection as the number one cause of death in women and
      men until the middle of the 20th century.”

      Another commenter (stacy hancock)
      “Yes, infection from DOCTORS not washing their hands, was a big cause of death.”

      One more (gwen)
      “If you read actual history, women did not die frequently due to
      childbirth until it was starting to be handled in hospitals–mostly due
      to infection.”

      • Samantha06

        Such a disgusting article.. I bet most of the comments from supposed doctors and nurses having home births are fake.. Margulis makes me sick..

        • Anj Fabian

          When people are surprised at something, I like to remind them that there are 300 million people in the United States. With a sample size that large, it’s likely that you can find someone, somewhere that did whatever you are interested in.

          • Samantha06

            I do wonder about those supposed health care professionals having home births. None that I have ever worked with would have considered it. Of course, who knows what people are thinking? One of the CNM’s I used to work with is deep into the woo, and I don’t think she even realizes it.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            In the US, if you can get 90% of the population in agreement, it’s pretty amazing. In politics, a 60/40 win is considered a “landslide.” Best estimates are that something like 6% of the US population thinks the Apollo moon landings were faked.

            If you set your limit down at 1%, just imagine the types of craziness you could find?

            Now, I don’t know absolute numbers of many things, but I heard the other day that there are 40000 CNMs in the US. If only 1% of them have a homebirth, that would be 400 of them, or an AVERAGE of 8 per state. In the age of the internet, how hard is it to hear about one of them? Next thing you know, you have a meme of knowing about a CNM who has a homebirth?

      • namaste863

        Thanks, Stacy. I’ll read these and get back to ya!

      • staceyjw sick of NCBers today

        What a privileged load of crap.
        You don’t even have to reference history to see how birth KILLS women, all by itself. Check out some of the stats from around the world. Afghanistan for example, your lifetime risk of dying in labor is around 1 in 30. That mean of every 30 women, one will die of something childbirth related, and this is not an uncommon number where nature rules. Even in areas where they have traditional birth attendants, but no OB care, the death rates are very, very, high.
        You have to be totally ignorant of history, nature, and how women live across the world. If you think maternal death is rare in “nature”, you really need to do more reading from credible sources (aka, not Margulis).

        • Samantha06

          This post has drawn several freaks out from under their rocks, that’s for sure…

  • An excellent case for not pathologizing normal healthy hospital births, so that a woman can go to the hospital without fear of her baby or herself being needlessly traumatized or separated.(or circumcised or hypervaccinated or formula fed or drugged or induced). Try having the humility of getting out of the way when things go well. The economic and psychological conflicts of interest involved in obstetrical medicine seem to be too tempting for many.

    • Samantha06

      It’s too bad more women don’t fear the *real* quackery you promote. More of them and their babies might be alive today.

      • None of this would be an issue if there weren’t needless interventions going on in ob wards. Why don’t people have home bone-fracture-setting or home car accident emergency care? OB medicine has a credibility problem, with good reason.

        • Kq

          Oh please, do list the unnecessary interventions and their alleged consequences! I’d love to get BINGO, and I’d wager you’re the type to fill up a card.

          • You can’t be serious. I would bet (or hope) that Amy has some idea of what I’m talking about. Otherwise you should all find another profession.

          • Samantha06

            We want to hear it from YOU. You are the one accusing OBs of having a credibility problem and performing “unnecessary interventions.” You can’t back up your statements so you try to turn it back on us. Typical NCBer response.

          • I’ll respond, but first I want to hear a note of humility from at least one of you. Even casting it as a now-irrelevant historical problem would be acceptable to me. Just one example of obstetrical quackery please. Otherwise you should think about the possibility that your own psychological issues are endangering women and children.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I’ll respond, but first I want to hear a note of humility from at least one of you.

            Why don’t you just answer the goddamn question?

            You want some humility? OK, here’s some: I don’t know near as much about obstetrics as OBs do.

            Now bring it on.

          • Samantha06

            Yes, please answer the question: WHAT ARE UNNECESSARY INTERVENTIONS?

          • yugaya

            IOW, it’s all in our heads. Ő_ö.

            Well had she gathered her birth inspirations on this blog instead of in NCB world she would have lived and our “psychological” issues would have sure served a good purpose.

          • moto_librarian

            Fuck you. I wouldn’t be alive if I hadn’t given birth in a hospital. I had a massive pph (which is apparently what killed Maria Zain) caused by a cervical laceration after a completely natural birth with a midwife. That birth taught me humility quite well. It was proof that no matter how well you “prepare” for birth, it is still a crapshoot. I am indebted to the CNM, nurses, attending OB, and anesthesiologist who saved my life that day, and I lost any naivete about childbirth in a matter of minutes.

            No one is going to kiss your ass, so just leave if you can’t answer our questions.

          • Keep digging your holes. You people are exhibiting the problem I raised.
            Just one example of obstetrical quackery. I’m still waiting.

          • moto_librarian

            So I should have just let nature take its course and die? In your warped mind, obstetrical quackery = saving a mother’s life.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Discus seems to be messing up, because this comment attributed to rwinkel makes no sense in any way.

            rwinkel: “there are lots of unnecessary interventions”
            reponse: “name some”
            rwinkel?: “I won’t until you do”

            How does that follow? We are supposed to provide examples of things we don’t believe exist?

            “There is lots of evidence for UFOs”
            “Really? What is it?”
            “You provide some first”

          • anotheramy

            I wish I could up vote this more than once 🙂

          • Stacy48918

            “I’m still waiting.”
            So are we. YOU started this conversation, parachuting in, claiming to know everything.

            Seems the initial burden of proof is YOURS.

          • Samantha06

            Still waiting for your response.. oh, I forgot, you can’t respond.. at least not intelligently..

          • Medwife

            There was a post dedicated to many providers and former patients thinking of cases in which obstetrics caused harm. We think about it ALL THE TIME. I will never be good enough to feel there is nothing more for me to learn or to do better. How many homebirth midwives attend a real M&M where everybody sits down after a bad outcome and discusses what went right, what went wrong, and what they’ve learned from the case to improve future care? You probably have no idea. But that is what doctors and nurse practitioners do as a matter of course.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            Their M&M is crowdsourcing on Facebook.

          • Bombshellrisa

            Castor oil induction, Brewer diet, aromatherapy for pain relief, affirmations, raspberry leaf tea, blue cohosh, black cohosh and evening primrose oil. There is your list of quackery. Only practiced by midwives who believe interventions cause problems, which is ironic as these things they suggest to clients are still interventions albeit ones that have no credibility.

        • Samantha06

          Exactly what are the “needless interventions” you speak of? Would you be more specific? This is a common phrase, but I have yet to hear anyone give an accurate definition of a needless intervention.

        • yugaya

          She needed interventions to survive childbirth. She got lucky as hell a couple of times, and thought she did not need any interventions at all. She was wrong every time she thought she could trust her own body or birth and disregard medicine. As for your question why is it that only inadequate care during childbirth is on offer, that is down to an entire NCB industry promoting it as a supposed alternative for its own financial gains. Homebirth is NEVER as safe or a safer alternative than a hospital birth and luckily there are not enough crazy, gullible or vulnerable and more easily manipulated individuals to garner a movement that would start offering natural ways to treat “normal” car accident injury problems in the comfort of one’s own home.

          • What no one seems to factor into the equation is the psychological impact of interrupting normal hormones and processes, on both the mother and baby but especially the baby. These things have life-long impacts. Do they offer courses in birth psychology in obstetrical education? Probably not.
            In exchange for a higher physical survival rate, we have a society of fractured families, depression, violence, reduced intelligence and drug addiction. It’s not always obvious which gamble to take.

          • yugaya

            Did you just blame the decline of traditional family and various socioeconomic problems on the succesfulness of modern obstetrics and medicine? LOL

            Death has lifelong consequences that no amount of rehab or interventions or therapy will ever fix. Your statement also implies that not only “some babies are meant to die”, but that some babies (who grow up in broken homes or become drug addicts or mental patients or children with learning disabilities) would be better off killed by natural childbirth.

            Your beliefs are sick to the core.

          • moto_librarian

            Exactly! Just what sort of psychological impact will Maria Zain’s death have on her six children?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Reduced intelligence? Seriously? What complete bullshit.

            And you apparently don’t realize that the levels of violence have been dropping pretty much constantly through history.

            Your other supposed consequences are also very questionable, because it is an issue of awareness and acceptance. Sure, there may be more “fractured families” now, but that is because we are no longer in a society where women are subservient to men, or vice versa, and have the ability to get out of bad situations. Similarly, you don’t think people have always been depressed? The difference is that now we have the ability to help people deal with it, and so they are more able to admit it. But you’d just prefer they bottle it in, I’m sure.

          • moto_librarian

            So you’re positing that hospital birth is responsible for “a society of fractured families, depression, violence, reduced intelligence and drug addiction.” Because we all know that life was fantastic prior to the rise of epidurals and c-sections.

          • I would tend to suppose that growing up without a mother would not be all that conducive to a stable family life…and this blog post is not so much about the death of a mother, horrible as that is, but about the terrible effect on the children she needlessly deprived of a parent by dying. I wonder how fearful her daughters will be when it’s their turn to give birth, remembering their mother’s death.

          • demodocus’ spouse

            Totally explains my grandmother (born in 1911, so au natural) Violent, abusive, petty, genuinely psychotic (certified) bitch. Grandpa would have divorced her except society would have made him pay too high a price, he’d have lost his chances of promotion or even his job in upper management. They never had a kid that lived. (my parent is adopted.)
            Nor does it explain the alchoholism of previous generations that got so many people fired up enough to put in the 18th amendment.

          • Life Tip

            So true! None of those things existed before modern obstetrics! The world was such a happy peaceful place!

            Which has a greater negative life long impact? Being born via c-section (which no baby ever has had any memory of) or living life without your mother, knowing she died a senseless, needless death?

            Quite ballsy of you to even include “fractured families” in that list, considering the result of this nonsense is a family that has been permanently splintered apart via the death of the mother.

          • Dr Kitty

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_Street_and_Gin_Lane

            The societal ills you blame on modern obstetrics used to be blamed on Gin, well before the advent of modern obstetrics and when infant mortality rates were in double figures.

            But sure, you go ahead and believe, CS and epidurals are making us sad, bad and mad.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            The societal ills you blame on modern obstetrics used to be blamed on Gin,

            Huh. I thought it was the champagne

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Fledermaus

          • Dr Kitty

            Rwinkel didn’t mention dressing up as a bat in the list of societal ills caused by birth interventions, but you’re right, I’m sure that was a simple oversight on their part.

          • Stacy48918

            ” These things have life-long impacts.”
            “birth psychology”

            Care to provide even one SINGLE reputable article documenting your opinion?

          • Stacy48918

            “society of fractured families”
            Oh I get it now! The reason I was compelled to move out and file for divorce from my husband was my epidural!

            Oh, wait. I had 2 natural, vaginal births (1 homebirth, 1 transfer). Oops. Silly me.

            Guess it really was just the domestic abuse.

            Idiot.

          • birthbuddy

            A dead mother is a fractured family in my book.

          • Elizabeth A

            Given your apparent beliefs about the effect that interrupting normal hormones and processes of birth has had on the world, please explain Henry VIII.

        • Bombshellrisa

          Setting bones is an intervention. How did people deal with broken bones before there were ERs everywhere to fix them? Sometimes all someone needs after a car accident is to be looked over by a doctor to make sure nothing is wrong. If nothing is wrong, one could argue that it was an unnecessary doctor/ER/urgent care visit. Like most c-sections, the only way to know if you something wasn’t needed is to find out the hard way afterward that it was.

        • Mel Hassan

          Needless intervention? My baby and I would have suffered serious complications had my womb ruptured during a VBAC (both my ObG and I agreed to do it after lengthy discussion) because my baby’s head wasn’t fully engaged if my OB didn’t intervene. My pregnancy was smooth sailing went into natural labour at 39wks.

        • Cobalt

          There are in fact plenty of people that pursue alternative treatments like homeopathy for all kinds of potentially very dangerous ailments, delaying actual medical treatment until they are in crisis.

          Like last minute homebirth transfers, their outcomes are much poorer than people who see actual professionals from the start.

        • Get a clue already

          98% of babies are born in the hospital, and 90% of moms are happy with their care. This is from Lamazes own study.
          Again, get a clue. The only OB haters are the NCB cult. Most of the worlds women would do anything to get the care we are fortunate enough to have access too. They HB and die, you know, how nature intends.

          (I know this is a different user name, but I am so frustrated I thought it was worth a change)

          • Young CC Prof

            And when things DO go wrong in a hospital, the hospital asks, “How did this happen? How do we prevent it from happening again?”

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      That’s funny. I view it as an excellent case for acknowledging the reality that birth routinely kills babies and women and that fear of childbirth saves lives.

      • Fear impedes birth. It sets the stage for problems. Try having a bowel movement in such a setting. It doesn’t work.

        • Samantha06

          Ah, another NCBer comparing babies to poop.. such a telling statement.

        • Sarah

          I dunno, I was as scared as anything of giving birth, but I still managed to accomplish two of the biggest, most comprehensive dumps of my life whilst in the hospital in slow labour. I think I just about crapped out half my intestines actually.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            I actually think I was more scared of that first post-partum poop than I was of the birth.

            I mean, having the baby was nice and all, but Hallmark really ought to make a card for that first bowel movement after giving birth.

          • Sarah

            I didn’t find it so bad! Probably because I trusted poo, and had no interventions.

          • PrimaryCareDoc

            That’s our new mantra! Trust poo!

        • Haelmoon

          If fear impedes birth, how did I have a 29 weeker deliver vaginally? I was scared out of my mind – I had a previous c-section, I have delivered preemie breeches and they do not all go well. I would have done anything to keep her in. Was I not frightened enough? Or did I not trust my uterus to keep the baby in long enough?

          • Samantha06

            Not enough self-affirmations, aromatherapy, meditation, chanting, trusting birth, yoga, fairy dust, belief in unicorns, etc, etc, etc…….

          • Haelmoon

            Crap, I am not good at any of those things. I did believe in unicorns until I was 9. My favourite book is still the Last Unicorn – maybe i should have been reading that on Antepartum as an inpatient instead of studying for my Royal College Exams (Canadian equivalent of the Boards).

          • Samantha06

            For sure.. and really, who needs that silly old certification anyway when you have fairy dust and unicorns?

          • Amy M

            Or the reverse—while I was a little nervous when I went into labor with my twins at 36wks, I was so confident that the OB and the hospital would get all 3 of us through it alive and in one piece that I was fairly relaxed all through L&D. All 22hrs of it, which included pitocin and a vacuum extraction because things weren’t moving along naturally. According to the fear=pain/stalled-prolonged labor theory, my boys should have just shot right out.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Actually, it doesn’t. That claim was made up by Grantly Dick-Read, the father of natural childbirth philosophy.

          Dick-Read was a eugenicist who was concerned that white women of the “better classes” weren’t having as many children as “primitive” women because those white women were afraid of childbirth. Therefore, he claimed (in keeping with many eugenicists who believed that black women were hypersexualized) that primitive women were not afraid of childbirth and had no pain as a result.

          He lied. He just made it up. There is no scientific evidence that race as any impact on childbirth pain. So you need to ask yourself why you are regurgitating the racist, sexist claptrap of a eugenicist who fabricated his claims.

          • I didn’t say anything about race or eugenics. I’m not regurgitating dick-read. I’m reporting what many women are saying, which is consistent with known physiological principles.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD

            Really? Please show me any of the “many women” who are saying it who haven’t read the natural childbirth literature.

            It doesn’t matter what “many women” say. It only matters what the scientific evidence shows and there’s no scientific evidence to support that claim. Dick-Read simply made it up. He’d be thrilled to know that you are still repeating it.

          • Guest

            Great point. Somewhat related: I asked my mom about her all-natural childbirth experience during my birth 35 years ago, specifically about the “wave of emotions” moms supposedly feel during an all-natural L&D. Her response? “WTH? The only emotion I felt was a hell of a lot of relief that the pain was gone.”

            I take everything from NCB with a grain of salt.

          • Samantha06

            What “known physiological principles” are you referring to?

        • Bugsy

          Thanks for equating a child’s birth to a bowel movement. I’m sure my son would appreciate that one.

          • Thanks for reiterating that tired cliche. I’m sure none of us have anything better to do.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          Are you serious?

          The fight or flight response to fear causes INCREASED defecation.

          Ever heard of the expression “soiled my britches”? That’s refers to what happens in response to fear.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Ha ha ha ha! Good point!

          • An Actual Attorney

            As my cousin, an Army Ranger says: first you say it, then you do it. That’s why Army underwear isn’t white.

          • Medwife

            My hospitals scrubs are dark blue. A very forgiving color.

            Also: http://www.gomerblog.com/2014/12/anesthesiologists-tone/

        • Stacy48918

          I was utterly terrified during my daughter’s birth when her heartrate dropped into the 80s and I was in my living room and not in a hospital. Somehow I still managed to BOTH have a bowel movement AND push out a baby. Amazing!

        • birthbuddy

          Ah, the famous ‘mixuptheanalandnonexistentcevicalspinctersympathetic andparasympatheticnervoussysteminteraction” hypothesis.
          Of course!

        • Cobalt

          Is that why women don’t have bowel movements during labor in the hospital?

        • Please go get a clue

          BWAHAHAHAHA IGNORANT FOOL.
          Just opening your eyes and looking at reality will show no correlation between moms emotional states and how birth goes. You would have to be blind to miss all the NCBers that did everything “right” and still had babies killed, or at minimum, had horrific labors. And all the scared, fearful moms that ended up with easy, happy labors and healthy babies.
          Heres a great example for you-
          I almost lost my DD at 19 weeks. Long story short, I was terrified after this, scared that she would be stillborn near term, or a micro preemie. But FEAR did not keep her in.
          My water broke at 33 weeks, on a train FFS. Again, like most moms, I feared the worst. I was also out of town, in an area where I did not have friends, family and did not know ANY of the docs. I was all alone, hours from home.
          But I ended up sleeping through a short labor, and pushing out my DD with zero pain. And she was a VBAC, which I did not want to have (baby came before I could get the CS). Perfectly healthy, even for being so early.

          So, Why did I get such an easy birth, a VBAC at that? I was so scared, even angry, and didn’t want anything to do with a vaginal birth, esp after CS. But DD was a dream birth, so easy, everyone happy and laughing afterwards.

          This is because emotional states do not control your birth. I wish it were true, we would never have deaths if this was true. I guess moms that died just weren’t positive?

          WHAT A CROCK OF CRAP. I have lost any ability to be patient with this twaddle, on a post covering such a tragedy.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Try having the humility of getting out of the way when things go well.

      Aside from the fact that this is basically the way birth is handled currently, at least in most countries (including the US and England), her problem was NOT that she didn’t want “needless interventions”. She was a UCer, which means she insisted on no one else being there even to assist. So no amount of non-intervention was going to make a difference for someone like here, unless it was no one there at all. Is that what the hospital should do? Put her in a room and then never check on her? Because that’s what she wanted.

      • It was not a good idea. You can’t remedy individual mistakes. But you can remedy institutional problems.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          It was not a good idea. You can’t remedy individual mistakes.

          No, you prevent them. Which is what you do by having birth in hospitals, for example.

          But you can remedy institutional problems.

          You apparently missed the whole point of my comment. This had NOTHING to do with any supposed “institutional problems.” This was completely an issue of a mindset that birth is safe and doesn’t need any help at all.

          Although we are still waiting for you to describe these supposed problems.

        • moto_librarian

          The problem is uneducated “advocates” for dangerous practices. Do you not understand that ICAN and other NCB organizations actively promote outright lies about hospital birth and thus encourage idiotic stunts like the one that killed this woman?

          Given that you think that episiotomies, induction, and anesthesia are given to women in assembly-line fashion in the hospital, I guess I’ve answered my own question. You are an idiot.

          • Samantha06

            Yes, His other posts on his profile are interesting to say the least. Lots of conspiracy theory stuff..

    • Sarah

      Given that the deceased was a Muslim, it’s extremely tasteless of you to mention fear of circumcision as a reason why a woman might choose not to go to hospital to give birth. It’s also shockingly ignorant, since it isn’t the cultural norm in the country where she gave birth. For the record, I am opposed to circumcision of children for non-medical reasons, but there is a time and place to discuss that. This is not it.

      • And imposing religious practices on non-consenting children under the guise of medical science is shockingly criminal.

        • moto_librarian

          Do you think that infant circumcision is routine? You have to ask for it to be done, and then sign copious amounts of paperwork.

          • Sarah

            It sure as hell isn’t routine on the NHS anyway. As well as requesting and filling in paperwork, you’ll also have to pay to have it done privately if you can’t convince a medical professional of a clinical need. This is simply not a case where a woman stayed away from hospital because she was afraid of her child being circumcised.

          • Bugsy

            From my experience, it’s not in the U.S. or Canada, either. You have to find a doctor who will do it and set it up independently; it may or may not be covered by insurance. (It was covered by our private insurer in the U.S., but it’s not covered by provincial insurance up here in B.C.)

        • Sarah

          What do you imagine this has to do with Maria Zain?

        • demodocus’ spouse

          because religious parents consider it as necessary as food is to life to secure their beloved child’s place in the afterlife. Shall we also not teach them the rest of our particular culture? Nonconsenting child indeed! If my little guy decides he’s an atheist or a Buddhist, then that’s okay, but understanding the family culture is important.

          • Sarah

            Let’s not indulge rwinkel by having this discussion here and now. Circumcision had nothing to do with this death and it was tasteless and ignorant of him/her to raise it here in the first place.

      • Samantha06

        An example of this guy’s mentality:

        His comment from:

        Lab-Grown Vaginas Implanted Successfully In 4 Teenagers:

        “It’s a no brainer that there will be virtually no erogenous sensory input from such transplants. But it’s also a no-brainer that our fascist overlords don’t think we have any business having fun during sex.”

        Interesting to say the least..

        • Medwife

          What?? Oh that’s hilarious!

          • yugaya

            Because people with artificial limbs or heart valves don’t get the full experience or to have fun using them either. Nice example of body ableism at its finest, the insistence that only natural is good enough.

          • Sarah

            Oh yes. The ableism usually shows sooner or later, with NCB crack-heads.

          • Samantha06

            It certainly is head-shaking isn’t it? Makes me think, why did I try to even engage in a dialogue with this nut-case?

        • Dr Kitty

          I assume that rwinkel hasn’t figured out that the reason the teenagers required lab grown vagins was because they didn’t have any (MRKH syndrome) and that it was either these lab grown vaginas or neovaginas fashioned from colon or skin, or no vaginas.

          Presumably, considering all their options, and realising that an anatomically and neurologically bio-identical vagina isn’t currently on the table as a treatment option, they choose what they felt was an acceptable treatment, while fully aware that having no treatment at all was also an option.

          Rwinkel seems not to have considered that there are people working very, very hard at making the treatment of MRKH syndrome as close as possible, in every way, to a non surgically created vagina, but that there might be technical limitations hampering progress.

          • Samantha06

            I think rwinkle is ignorant about a lot of things…

    • Haelmoon

      “a woman can go to the hospital without fear of her baby or herself being needlessly traumatized or separated.(or circumcised or episiotomied or hypervaccinated or formula fed or drugged or induced or asphyxiated ).”
      – We don’t intentially traumatize anyone – birth can be traumitizing, no matter how it is achieved. Hospital teams try to reduce this whenever possible
      – We don’t separate moms and babies unless there is a medical need. At my centre, all babies at vaginal delivery are placed on mom’s abdomen (unless she requests us not too). Only if there is a concern, is the baby quickly handed to paeds for an assessment and treatment. Babies are not taken to the nursery unless they need treatment. Even our isoimmunized babies or babies at risk for hypoglycemia get to cuddle with mom before they go to the the nursery. Labs are often done on the baby while mom is holding them.
      – Circumcision is never routinely performed – it is only at the request of parents (and in rare cases on the recommendation from urology for male infants with complex renal anomalies, especially if associated with hypospadias)
      – Episiotomies are not routine. They are used sparingly in cases were we are concerned about more severe tearing or to speed a birth when their is convincing evidence of fetal concern.
      – Not sure give vaccines are given to newborns. Most are not given until 2 months of age. The HepB vaccine given to babies is a passive vaccine like RhIg (hence Hep B Ig), and it is just the antibodies, these babies still need the actual hep B vaccine later when their immune system can actually respond to the antigen.
      – Formula feeding does happen, but should not be without parental permission. Who do you suspose we should treat a baby with hypoglycemia (low blood surger) if mom doesn’t have enough milk or colostrum to give the baby? Hungery babies need to be fed. Better than an IV with glucose in my opinion.
      – Labour can lead to fetal asphyxiation, there is not much that can be done at home to identify or rectify this situation. It is not like we go around strangling babies.
      Women who choose to deliver at home don’t do it because we do things wrong at the hospital. They have many reasons, but many of the are based on lies and half-truths. This site is not opposed to women choosing an out of hospital birth, but just to make sure women know exactly what they are choosing. Homebirth cannot be as safe as hospital birth, even if just because of the the rare 1/100-1/10,000 things that can occur. Furthermore, it should be limited to low risk women, but that triage of risk is generally misunderstood and not relied upon. They reality is, if you have a healthy homebirth you are lucky – not because I hope that something does wrong, but you are lucky because you actually had a low risk pregnancy. I have a clinic full of high risk patients that would trade anything to be in your position (although I suspect most would still choose to delivery in hospital). It is not because you are better then all of the other women, just luckier.

    • demodocus’ spouse

      14 months ago I gave birth in a hospital (my own birth also occurred in one). He was only taken away for a short while in which he was bathed, whether to circumsize was always our decision (very clear they were about that too), The doc didn’t cut me, my kid’s big head ripped me up (and I can’t even show off my first battle scar!), I wouldn’t call 1 vaccine *in* his parents’ and aunt’s presence hypervaccination, all food was delivered by yours truly and it’s none of your business whether it was milk or formula, *I* was the only one on any medication (bp meds since it got to 200), and he certainly wasn’t strangled. (Though I may enjoy the thought when he’s bugging me as a teen!) Where are you hearing these horror stories from?

      • Bugsy

        “all food was delivered by yours truly and it’s none of your business whether it was milk or formula”

        Beautiful.

        • Why is formula not a good substitute for breast milk?

          • demodocus’ spouse

            It’s a perfectly reasonable substitute. and you cannot tell by looking at my nephew and my son which had which.

          • Bombshellrisa

            It’s true! Although I had a friend who has breastfed both her sons and is still at it with her toddler and she answered the question about formula vs breast milk with “How do we know formula isn’t the better option?”. She pointed out that breast milk doesn’t provide enough vitamin D and while she started down a path with her comments that formula is more consistent while anything mom eats changes breast milk and therefore has more of a chance to expose baby to toxins (I knew it would end up at that), her point was still made.

          • Bugsy

            It’s no one’s business – not yours or mine – how the commenter chooses to feed her son. End of story.

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      Do you realize that this death was in the UK? Very little change of the baby being circumcised there (although given the parents seem to be devout Muslims, I would guess he would be circumcised anyway.

    • Sarah

      Speaking of other things that aren’t routinely offered when giving birth in hospitals in the UK, what vaccinations do you think the baby would have been exposed to? I can attest from personal experience that getting the NHS to provide any immunisations earlier than the usual schedule is a ballache, to say the least. You might usefully consult said schedule, if this is an area of interest of yours. It’s all online…

    • anotheramy

      “Try having the humility to get out of the way when things go well”.
      They do. I know a number of women who had natural childbirths in the hospital (including myself) and I’ve read many stories online of other women who’ve done the same.
      What makes you think OBs are giving women meds or surgeries when things are going well? Other Docs don’t do that and neither do OBs. When I realized that, I started to realize a lot of the NCB rhetoric is false. Complications that require interventions are more common than ppl want to admit.

    • DaisyGrrl

      Asphyxiated? By medical intervention? I haven’t heard that one before. Care to explain?

    • Stacy48918

      Ooooohhh, so it’s the evil doctors’ fault that this woman died?

      “But I know denial is a big factor in all of this.”
      Yup.

    • stacejw

      “The economic and psychological conflicts of interest involved in obstetrical medicine seem to be too tempting for many.”

      Well, there is also LIVING through childbirth, having a LIVING baby, and not having to suffer the pain, but hey, who cares about that stuff when NCB ideology is there to tell you whats important.

      • Stacy48918

        “Economic conflicts of interest” is especially laughable since homebirth midwives CAN’T practice in a hospital and many collect their fees up front, in cash and don’t provide refunds if the mother transfers. That’s the real “Business of Being Born”.

        • Samantha06

          “many ollect their fees up front, in cash and don’t provide refunds if the mother transfers.”

          Or if the baby dies.. they still get paid.. it sure as hell is the real Business of Being Born.. and very lucrative for someone with piss-poor education and training.

          • Amazed

            Indeed. Just ask Danielle Yeager who paid her midwife more to kill her baby than the doctor who tried to save him. As she said, he was worth it and she was not.

            If someone thinks Christy Collins offered to refund even a single cent… oh wait. None of us here is as stupid as to believe it, so it’s a moot point.

        • Trixie

          I recently read a post by a CPM on an NCB board. She was upset because the mother never paid her for the delivery. The mother had to have an emergency c-section at 36 weeks and the midwife did nothing to deliver the baby. But she still feels she should be paid. Did I mention she’s in an illegal state, and can’t enforce her contract in any way?

          • Stacy48918

            I still had to pay my midwife’s assistant who showed up minutes before our transfer and did NOTHING during the labor/transfer/delivery.

            I was ok still paying my midwife because she actually still delivered the baby at the hospital (very cool OB). Peeved to have to pay for the assistant…

          • Dr Kitty

            Why on earth does she think she was owed money?
            OBs don’t claim for delivery if you transfer care antepartum to a ME and deliver at home, why should a CPM claim for intrapartum care they didn’t provide?

          • Trixie

            Yeah, all the commenters were like, “you should take her to small claims court and make an example of her!” Yeah, that’s going to go well. Your honor, my client did not pay me for a service I did not perform, which if I had performed it, would have been illegal….”

    • CanDoc

      Who ARE you and what do you know of childbirth?
      I’ve mentioned my credentials already: I’ve delivered over 3000 babies, from low to high risk, including 3 in the last week without IVs or pain medication… working at a high-risk tertiary care centre. We keep our hands off whenever we can… when it is SAFE to do so. When women WANT us to do so. There are no “psychological or economic” conflicts. Priorities (in order of importance): 1) Healthy mother, healthy baby. 2) Birth process (from unmedicated to epidural to elective CS) according to mothers preference. 3) Birth process that is in any way convenient for health care providers. Yes, the nurses and I WILL stay up all night to try to get you the VBAC/unmedicated/vaginal twin/whatever you want that is safe birth you want.
      You are completely out of touch with modern obstetrical medicine. Shame on you.
      I normally don’t get riled up over posts by trolls on here, but you are simply insulting.

  • Medwife

    Kind of but not really OT:

    https://doulamomma.wordpress.com/birth-stories/

    She could so easily have been another statistic. Read all the way through. Such a strong example of someone trying for a Darwin Award.

    • Dr Kitty

      Oh…
      That sounds just all kinds of wrong.
      What kind of OB prefers to just leave placentas alone when they don’t detach?
      Or leave women at 10cm for almost a day?
      Or advise HBAC and waterbirth in a GBS + woman with an inverted T incision?

      She was so lucky.

      • yugaya

        The kind of a doctor who practices in places where medical malpractice lawsuits usually do not result in them losing their license. Had she or her baby been injured because of this doctor’s “comfortable” and “intuitive” lack of actions, she would have had hard time proving in a court that he was responsible: http://www.med.or.jp/english/pdf/2008_04/267_271.pdf

  • umm ayesha

    If you only knew Maria Zain.. She was a person a a highly intelligent responsible loving and caring mother & friend. She touched so many people’s lives with her wisdom. She was inspirational in her writings and thoughts. And mostly she was spiritual and close to her Creator. She had no fear of death. She worked just as hard for Eternity as she did this fleeting life – something I expect none of you here would understand. She had no trouble accepting the Creator’s decree..that’s much more than I can say for the people here. I would rather live a life of passion and love like hers than to live a life filled with fear of not knowing or wanting to meet the Creator.

    • DiomedesV

      I’m sure her children will find that all very comforting.

    • Dr Kitty

      I hope her faith was a comfort to her in her final minutes.
      I hope it is a comfort to her family in their grief, but I’m afraid I still think it would have been better for them to have a living mother whose faith wavered and sought medical help than a mother who martyred herself for her beliefs.

      Many of us here have strong religious beliefs that we are commanded to take all measures necessary to save our lives. Not out of fear, but because our lives on earth matter so much to G-d that we should not waste the gift He has given us.

    • Samantha06

      How could you be afraid of death, knowingly putting yourself in harms way as she did? Unfortunately, her children are now motherless because of her choice to take a huge, unnecessary risk. True courage is being willing to do what you have to do for your children to protect them, not risking your life for an experience..

    • Trixie

      I’m sure she was a very nice person who loved her children…but are you saying she intentionally took greater risks than necessary during birth so that she could meet her Creator sooner?
      Doesn’t Islam teach that one should use reason and logic, which are gifts from the Creator, in order to protect and enrich life?

    • Amazed

      While she might have very well have been the very nice person you describe, that doesn’t change the fact that she took risks that finally claimed her life, leaving her children motherless. I don’t find such a decision justified by any means. And I actually have a great problem with your claim that the Creator’s decree was that she died. Was she also a prophetess who knew that she had to decline every chance of help the Creator offered her by placing her in the place and time of the highest level of medicine we have because His will was that she died?

      Are you one?

    • Mishimoo

      I feel deeply for her children and her husband. I hope that their faith is a comfort now and into the future. Having said that, things like this often cause people to feel despair and turn away from their religion or question their faith, which (one would hope) isn’t the aim of a person of faith trusting in their deity. We were given brains and free will for a reason; we should use them!

    • Renee

      As loving and devoted mother, I cannot imagine that she would have wanted to die like this. No matter how spiritual she was, no mother wants to leave their beloved family.

      It is really easy for you to sit here and say how she had no fears, and no trouble accepting the creators decree (aka: death), because you are still alive to muse about it. YOU did not leave your babies alone, your husband alone. She did. And I would bet anything that as accepting of Allah’s will as she was, if she could do it again, she would choose to live.

      I do not know whether she thought what she was doing was safe, but rare is the person that feels that death in childbirth is a sanctified, and glorified, way to die, so all risks are worth it to show your faith (see: Vyckie Garrison of “No Longer Qivering”). Maybe she was that rare type of person? IDK. Judging by her writings, she fully believed that UC was best way to birth, so maybe she saw no risk in UC at all. I cannot imagine she would have accepted the risk had she truly understood it, but I don’t know her personally, so I could be wrong.

      Also-
      You can live a life full of passion and love, and not want to die in childbirth. You have no idea what people here believe as far as their religious views, or their acceptance of death, so don’t be so presumptuous. Not wanting to leave your whole family without you is NOT the same thing as not wanting to meet or know your creator! You do not have to fear death to want to live for your family.
      I do think its only natural to fear death and to try to prolong the inevitable, regardless of your faith or lack thereof. There is no reason to think this makes someone less than.

      I hope she had other writings, on other topics. I cannot for one minute accept any writings that promote UC as inspirational in a good way. There is nothing positive about inspiring more tragedies like this one.

      • SC Mak

        I had an abortion because my ex-bf convinced me I needed to live for my newborn baby boy. I was fully bf-ing, it was 1 time, I have no idea how I could get pregnant except it was god’s fucking “decree”. He told me I needed to live for the children I already have not slug it out for the ones I don’t yet have. He’s a Christian, I’m Atheist. When it comes to valuing life it has nothing to do with religion.

        He asked me what would happen to me and the children when he and then current BF were no longer around to support me (emotionally) and be around for the children.

        Even though I think he’s a freaking avoidant religious hypocrite the words “for the children that are already here” rang in for me. In spite of the fact that I don’t respect him nor his opinions – that he offered a perspective that didn’t occur to me before woke me for a moment.

        Maybe he was sensitized to this because he had just lost his mother. Even as a grown man he wished there was more he could do to keep his mother alive.

    • Stacy48918

      Do her children and husband share the acceptance of the “Creator’s decree”? Lovely Creator to leave so many children motherless and a husband a widower all for some “plan”.

      I have no fear of meeting someone that doesn’t exist.

      • Mishimoo

        I’m not sure how to word this, but my heart breaks for the pain and hurt that you are experiencing. Not from a faith-based perspective but from empathy because you are dealing with so much and seeing people espousing this belief would have been like salt in the wound for you. I am so sorry.

        • Stacy48918

          Thank you Mishimoo. Tonight’s a rather blue night so I really appreciate your kind thoughts. Having someone out there somewhere that cares, even just in cyberspace, means a lot. 🙂

          Mostly I’m sad and angry for the children being taught to LOVE someone that would (supposedly) purposefully take their mother from them. That’s a horrific belief system to impose on a child, in my opinion. To be encouraged to love someone that willfully inflicted such pain on your family. But then, I stayed in an abusive marriage for years, so I get it….

          • Mishimoo

            Any time! It is incredibly hard to come out of that lifestyle and you are doing really well, especially since you’re also coming out of an abusive marriage.

            I agree, it is horrific to teach children those things. The kids are actually the main thing that made me explore my own faith and beliefs, and to change. Luckily, my husband was examining and changing his own beliefs as well. I hated growing up in a paranoid, home-schooling, anti-vax, fundamentalist christian home, and I never want them to feel the way that I did/do.

          • Dr Kitty

            I debated whether or not to post this, as this is not my business.

            I know how terribly you have been hurt by the religious beliefs of others, and that you have become Atheist as a result, which I can totally understand.

            There are people of faith who don’t ascribe to the beliefs and systems which hurt you so badly. Other people construct their own belief system with a benevolent higher power without the structure and baggage of organised religion.

            It isn’t necessarily a binary choice between your former belief system and nothing at all.

            Wherever you find yourself, with a faith or without, I hope you are able to take comfort in your beliefs and that it makes sense to you, and that you are surrounded by people who support you. Stacey, I hope this new year brings only good things to you and your children.

          • Stacy48918

            Dr Kitty, thank you for your thoughts. No worries on it not being “your business”…I posted it online, it invites commentary. And there is no offense taken. 🙂

            If someone finds comfort in their *chosen* belief system, whatever it is, that’s great. It’s where children with no choice are concerned that I take issue.

            I just think that some religious people need to think through this whole “God has a plan” thing. When there are 6 motherless children…that’s not really such a great advertisement….If it helps you, so be it…but recognize that others may look at you a bit sideways…

            For my part, I believe that yes, crappy things happen. That’s chance and life and just the way the world works. There’s no plan. I can’t change it. What I can do is make the best of it and try to be true to *me* and kind and good to the people around me. That brings me great comfort in this one life we each get. 🙂

          • Dr Kitty

            You’re gracious and lovely as always Stacey and I think you’re doing exactly what you set out to do.

          • Kq

            Good for you! I am also rooting for you out here in cyberspace

          • Mishimoo

            “If someone finds comfort in their *chosen* belief system, whatever it is, that’s great. It’s where children with no choice are concerned that I take issue”

            Yes, this exactly. Choice is a huge deal for me, so every time other religions/beliefs (or lack thereof) come up we talk about them at an age-appropriate level. Hopefully, they’ll never feel like they were forced into being religious.

          • Stacy48918

            I’m treading this territory carefully right now. Ex obviously is still Christian (of the crazy fundy variety) and so the kids are still exposed to it. If my son asks to watch Veggie Tales or talks about the Bible I don’t deny his request or flat out tell him that such-and-such is wrong…but I do try hard to provide him OTHER viewing opportunities (he LOVES Magic School Bus just now!) and I ask him questions about the stories to help him *think* about them, not just believe without questioning because he was told to.

          • Mishimoo

            That is a great way of handling things without becoming the bad guy. It’s also important to me to do those things, because learning is awesome and fun. Like you, I want them to be able to think about and question things.

          • yugaya

            I am quite disillusioned when it comes to religions I was born into, having first hand experienced the bloodshed and hatred that they inspire, but I do have a deeply religious child who often makes me think long and hard before I express my views. I guess I am learning to appreciate the way she finds comfort and strength in believing, in singing during liturgies, in attending the church. When it gets too much for my taste, I compensate though exchanging points of view with another child of mine who is a staunch atheist. I guess that the fact that I managed to help raise them both into such opposite individuals in terms of religious feelings is some kind of proof that tolerance on both sides is what works (at least in our case).

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            What I can do is make the best of it and try to be true to *me* and kind and good to the people around me.

            Quoted just because it deserves to be.

      • Bombshellrisa

        Stacy-I just had a run in with two religious missionaries who stopped me while I walked back from the post office and in front of my children wanted to talk about “God’s plan” (their rendition of it) and how my children and I fit into it. If I choose not to want to get into it and just take a walk in my own neighborhood, don’t block the sidewalk and walk beside us and keep trying to convince and convert, especially when your take on what that plan is happens to be twisted. I was so mad they were trying to bring my kids (well, the one who can talk) into the discussion I wanted to scream.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      “Some mothers just aren’t meant to live” I guess…

      BARF

      I have a LOT of trouble “accepting the Creator’s decree” if it means leaving my kids without their mother. In fact, I would do everything I could to avoid such a decree from said Creator.

      I have to say, personally, I don’t fear death. I won’t be around to care about it. HOWEVER…my wife and kids WILL have to deal with it, as will all my other loved ones. It is for them that I have a will to live. To be with them, and to prevent them that having to deal with my loss.

      I see in your comment, it’s all about Maria Zain. Nothing about her husband, her other family, and her kids. You think they are having no trouble accepting her death? She didn’t care whether she lived or died, leaving her family motherless? How selfish of her.

      • Samantha06

        Exactly. Well said.

      • Amy

        So well said. I’ve dealt with clinical depression almost my entire life, and while I don’t like the side effects of the drugs I have to take to remain functional, I take them because I need to be there for my family. My children are what keep me going.

    • Mac Sherbert

      I have no doubt that the people who knew her loved and admired her. It’s clear she was a devoted mother and passionate about the very thing the ultimately killed her.

      Are you saying that the Creator’s decree was that she die a completely preventable death? Is it the Creator’s decree that women have unassisted births?

      • AmyP

        The more amazing a person she was, the bigger a loss her death is to her children and the world at large.

    • Kq

      I think any “Creator” would want us to use the brains we were “given.” Whatever happened to god helps those who help themselves?

    • Iqraq

      I have no doubt she was a wonderful and kind person, a fantastic mother.
      Unfortunately she believed in a propaganda which ultimately took her life.

      Yes, life and death is decreed by Allah, not a second later and not a second earlier.
      We are taught this. Taught to redha in Allah’s decree. But we are also taught to tie our camels. To preserve life as much as possible and not gamble with it. Wear a seatbelt. Wait for a red light before crossing the street.

      There is nothing in Islam which teaches us to give birth at home. Islam teaches us to refer to the experts in matters which we have no knowledge. No, the AMANI Birth institute are NOT experts. Obstetricians are experts.

      We are also NOT Maryam the mother of Jesus (peace and blessings be upon them both). We are ordinary women. Maryam was a woman chosen by Allah above the women of all nations. We are NOT Maryam.

      You can still love Allah, be spiritual and want to meet Him and accept His decree WITHOUT gambling with your life for the sake of an idealized “birth experience”.

      I pray Allah grants Maria the highest levels of Jannah, may Allah bless her with His mercy and rahmah. I pray Allah eases the suffering of her family and that this trial will bring them closer to Him. I pray Allah forgives us all if we are wronging her by discussing this issue. Most importantly, I pray we learn from this tragedy and women who are thinking of giving birth at home will reconsider. I pray that home birth advocates will stop advancing this propaganda before more mamas and babies die preventable deaths. Ameen.

      • Anon

        Why do people always highlight about a mother whom died when gave homebirth? Why dont people talk about a mother whom died during hospital birth? why dont people compare the statistic? it’s just not fair to just point & put the blame to those who opt not to give birth at hospital.

        • Amazed

          Statistics show that Maria Zain should not have tried to give birth at home because she was not low risk.

          Statistics, your ilk howls. Statistics. Well, now we have a face and a number more to attach to statistics. Maria Zain IS the statistics now, moron.

          Crawl back to your ICAN pages and snivel at how unfair we’re being. But for God’s sake, don’t expose Maria Zain’s example as bright and worth emulating, lest another woman who read the crap Maria Zain believed and preached falls for it and becomes the next statistics.

          Fuck you. How dare you come here in the wake of a preventable death following homebirth that was absolutely contra-indicated and talk about statistics? Fuck you.

          • No grand multip should have a homebirth. The risk of uterine atony and hemorrhage are much greater than for second, third, and fourth pregnancies.

          • Amazed

            Especially a grand multip with not one but two c-sections under her belt.

          • A-men.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD

          We DO talk about women who die during hospital birth. In my state, not only does the hospital investigate the death, try to learn from it, and try to prevent it from happening to others, but the state itself investigates it.

          There are countless papers, workshops and conferences discussing maternal deaths and how to decrease them. Everyone who works in obstetrics works tirelessly to prevent maternal deaths, and, indeed, in the past 100 years, maternal mortality dropped by 99%.

          Obstetricians talk about maternal deaths constantly. Homebirth advocates, on the other hand, try to sweep them under the rug. Why?

          • Squillo

            Moreover, OBs, pediatricians, anesthesiologists, women’s health nurses and other legitimate healthcare providers have nationwide organizations that spend considerable time and resources investigating and promoting ever-safer clinical care among their memberships.

            How much time and money do homebirth midwifery and advocacy organization spend on improving care?

            Compare and contrast the websites of ACOG and MANA and you’ll get a sense of just how important clinical excellence is to each group.

          • scmak

            A question that makes sense. Under the rug.

            I thought I was the only one that had a sense of it when I received an SMS about the news. I logged on to FB a few days later and was surprised why there’s no discussion. Which led me to this blog eventually. I owed my daughter an explanation for putting her through what I did, which is why I’m here.

            I told her “birth is safe” and gave her the Dr Sears Birth Book to read with me and we watched the dance and birth videos and prepped the journey together. Then someone she knows of suffers this fate and she asks, “Well, we have to know why so it can be preventable. We have to study it for anomalies or what factors were unique or correlated….” My DD thinks like a scientist, all the time.

            I’m a recent UCB/HB that got my advice from these little groups. But (in retrospect) I was on a suicide mission – not by intent, but through my own ignorance of my hidden, unconscious shadows which led to my action that day.

            As mentioned in one comment above, no one can know another person’s intent. My intent is not the same as MZ’s even if we took the same action.

            I remembered saying to myself, when things got really bad and had I been in a hospital I would chicken out and ask for a C-section, “I am willing to take 100% responsibility for what I believe in and if that means to die for what I believe in, then at least my life has been worth living this far.” I got to finish what I started – which was to commit to a UCB. I’ve since found other ways to channel that “finish what you started” warrior mentality. I have 3 children now to think about.

            In retrospect I think sound like an IS suicide bomber.

            But I had a plan and a timeline in case something went “off” and it did – and the hospital was 2 minutes away – but still…….I knew I was awfully lucky. My DD just said after the fact, “Just don’t get me involved with watching your death the next time. It’s too stressful for me.”

            When I got to the hospital she was out there in the waiting area for two hours and thought I was dying and being given a transfusion in the ER but I was happily drinking Milo. The reason she wasn’t informed that I was alright and did not need a transfusion was because the nurses were having a change of shift and one nurse told the other nurse who forgot!

            She called Baby Father who – even months later – thought I was in the ICU!!!

            I realized how irresponsible it was of me to do this to my family. Not saying my case is the same as MZ’s. I’m SPEAKING ONLY FOR MYSELF AND WRITING THIS IN CAPS FOR THOSE WHO CAN’T READ. I’M SPEAKING FOR MYSELF AND CONTRIBUTING MY EXPERIENCE TO DO MY PART IN GETTING ANSWERS OR SWEEP IT BACK UP ON THE RUG AGAIN.

            But then again I had hidden issues from my first birth and I worked those out during and post birth with EFT. After my UCB /HB I remain neutral. I am pro-choice, which includes elective C-sec or UCb.

            Oh, I was glorified for making it alive! But I repeatedly wrote that I would not recommend it to anyone not even my worst enemy. Maybe I’d wish the experience for the guy that got me pregnant, lol. I really wanted to kill him when the contractions got really bad. I was out of my mind and all rational thought flew out the window.

            I don’t know why I can’t sign in with FB and have to use Disqus instead.

          • Medwife

            I’m really glad you and baby were ok. I am pro-choice too, on abortion, c/s on maternal request, homebirth, UC. But I’m not neutral. I have to advocate for positive outcomes. The key positive outcome is a living mom and baby. If I tell you you or your baby have an increased risk of death or disability and you go ahead and proceed with your plan, so be it. I just document the heck out of the conversation and cross my fingers for you,

          • Stacy48918

            “I’m really glad you and baby were ok. I am pro-choice too, on abortion, c/s on maternal request, homebirth, UC. But I’m not neutral. I have to advocate for positive outcomes.”

            This is a really great way to put it.

          • Somewhereinthemiddle

            That is what I simply cannot stand about these circles where death happens and no one even talks about it. It gets ignored and hidden and NO ONE wants to take responsibility. I have witnessed this two times where death or serious injury occurred because of a poorly handled birth situation and it is so frustrating when people don’t want to point out when wrong has been done. NO one talks about the ugly side of birthing but especially home birthing. I used to feel like people were being too hard on these people and now I realize that we are not being NEARLY hard enough. At some point, people need to be held responsible.

          • Samantha06

            And how do you hold them responsible? It’s sad that in a country like the US, home birth midwifery is basically self-regulated and women are at the hands of reckless, uneducated, untrained birth junkies.Until women demand better, I don’t see how that is going to change.

          • Somewhereinthemiddle

            I don’t either, unless there is some regulation at the federal level to criminalize practicing medicine without a minimum educational requirement. And for there to be a push to prosecute the people who attend births without meeting the federal requirement.

          • Somewhereinthemiddle

            And I’m not sure how to go about handling those who are doling out what equates to medical advice without any qualifications to do so. The only way I see is for people to continue to speak up and point of the irresponsibilty of folks promoting hb with an unqualified birth attendant. I am stuck in a place where I have a great number of friends who plan homebirths and stand to ostracize myself if I mention my feelings on the topic. These are intelligent, educated woman, much like Maria Zain, who make these choices. I am baffled, BAFFLED by the choices being made by these women who are *convinced* that it is safe.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            And I’m not sure how to go about handling those who are doling out what
            equates to medical advice without any qualifications to do so. The only
            way I see is for people to continue to speak up and point of the
            irresponsibilty of folks promoting hb with an unqualified birth
            attendant.

            Hence, Dr Amy’s blog.

            That’s exactly what this is all about.

          • Somewhereinthemiddle

            I’m more talking about getting directly to the source, people within those groups speaking out. Like I said, I have the opportunity to do this but will lose friends and stand to become a pariah. Sadly, that is the state of things for many of us who come here, realize what is happening and see the truth, but are such the minority that our voices are drown out. Whenever yet another of the women I know announces her desire to hb, I hold my breath for her and her baby until it’s over. Things have not ended well twice.

          • Samantha06

            I understand how you feel. It’s difficult to speak up when your friends are making bad decisions and you see it and they don’t have a clue. I was in the same situation with one of my closest friends from childhood. When she told me her daughter was going to have a home birth, I didn’t know what to say. They are educated people too and when she asked me my opinion, I was honest, but it wasn’t what she wanted to hear. She didn’t speak to me for over six months. So it’s a tough call when they are your friends.

          • DaisyGrrl

            I think you’re being too kind by calling American midwives self-regulated. The term self-regulated implies that they have self-imposed standards that they maintain and enforce. We have seen time and time again that they are more about protecting their own asses than they are about protecting patient safety.

          • Samantha06

            You are right. Non-regulated would be a better term. I meant for self-regulated to mean they make up their own rules to benefit themselves.. their “standards” are the unethical, dangerous kind that hurt moms and babies..

        • Iqraq

          I am guessing you are not a medical professional. Do you have any idea what happens when a mother dies during or within 6 weeks of childbirth in Malaysia? There is a NATIONAL LEVEL MORTALITY ENQUIRY. Every single doctor and medical staff who ever laid eyes on the deceased will be called up and interrogated, even if it was for an ingrown toenail.

          Tell me what your precious AMANI Birth, ICAN VBAC, Hypnobirth Malaysia, Gentle Birthing Group of Malaysia etc etc do when one of their fans who takes advice from your ‘private’ Facebook groups dies? When their baby dies? Because they listened to stupid advice from your Facebook groups? Do they take responsibility? Do they answer? Did anyone answer for the late Ang Lay Chin? The late Amy Karmila? Did you all visit their family? See how their motherless children are doing? I hope the Health Ministry and powers that be go after the home birth advocates and shut you all down. As far as I am concerned, home birth advocates are as guilty as sin.

          • Trixie

            Is there somewhere we could read about those two mothers’ stories? Are you saying she wasn’t even the first maternal death in her little Facebook group?

          • scmak

            I understand your anger comes from your compassion. My daughter is also angry at Maria Zain and felt lucky her mom did not take the “medical advice” the late MZ had given her mom while her mom was pregnant with no. 2. My daughter, so projecting her fears about my UCB experience, thinks that the late MZ is stupid for not getting help as a way of life. My daughter is just afraid that could’ve been me. I totally understand.

            But you have to stand back and respect CHOICE.

            I regretted my choice BUT I made that choice.

            After a month went by I look at my baby and my daughter and I was like – how could I even wish I died just to get it over with, just because I felt it was too late and I had to finish what I started? Why was I so stubborn about CHOICE and EXPERIENCE?

            And I started processing that.

            When I told my new family planning doctor about my HB experience he was not judgmental. Because the basis of his belief is we need to respect women’s choices and not be this patriarchal society which tries to control women’s body. Women are fighting for CHOICE because men and the masculine industrial hospital birth are still trying to tell us what to do with our bodies.

            From a utilitarian cost-risk-benefit point of view it is STUPID to homebirth. The divide on UCB /HB vs industrial birth is going to go down the same trajectory as pro-life / pro-choice.

            So, don’t. Don’t polarize OB/GYN vs women. Don’t ask for the criminalization of HB the way abortions are criminalized in immature, self-righteous, poorer countries like ours (Malaysia).

            I believe, though I don’t know her personally apart from FB message exchanges, that what she was fighting for was “CHOICE”, choices for women, voices for women. That is why so many of these younger up and coming mommies look up to her as “big sister”. She was carrying their cross -carrying it for faceless women reading all these comments and refusing to respond here – she was carrying the cross of “Please give women a choice what they want to do with their body.”

            Alright, I’m projecting – I’m no ghost whisperer.

            Was it worth dying for? Of course not. If this were a Ghost movie she’d probably undo the last birth.

            From my perspective (who else could be writing this? MZ’s ghost? Not funny, but just driving a point here….) – MZ didn’t die because of her belief in HB. She died because there is a prevailing collective of women’s wounds, wounds of being unseen, unheard. And the masculine industrial hospital birth model is as culpable in the first degree as HB advocates.

            Had our world been more respectful of women and a collective acknowledgment exists that women must be empowered to make choices including HBs, C-secs and abortions – the persona that was MZ did not need to manifest as a “pillar of strength”.

            A HB mom who informed me of the demise told me that it could’ve been her.

            Not just her. It could’ve been me too.

            I am also guilty for not calling it out much earlier after my HB. I am guilty for not wanting to burst the bubbles of other wannabe HBs and for not calling it out when I realized MZ gave suspect birthing advice which got me so worried that people are taking it as a medical equivalent. Who the fuck am I, right, to say anything? I’m just another statistic that got lucky.

          • MLE

            Your idea of the “industrial” birth world (modern? hospital?) is severely out of date. Most OBs are women, as is mine. And she holds exactly the same opinions as my male OB that I had for my first baby’s birth. She used her mind to come to those conclusions, and it’s an insult to her very high intelligence to imply that her decisions are based on something a man is telling her to believe.

          • Amazed

            Oh please. You were all about respecting choice but it looks to me that you want to push the responsibility for that choice to the hospital. The industrial hospital birth model? That’s bullshit. What the hell is sooo wrong with an industrial hospital birth model that usually gives you a healthy baby and a healthy you so healthy you can later lament that your induviduality was not appreciated by those mean male OBs that it pushes a woman to deadly decisions for themselves and their babies just because they can feel empowered?

            Not judgmental? Good for you that you praise your doctor for not calling you out on your stupid choice by explaining just how stupid it was. Does that hold true for other doctors, or just OBs? Because I sure as hell will never praise the doctor who gave me clean bill of health to leave town immediately after taking the plaster off my newly healed broken foot. “Do I need additional rehabilitaion?” I asked. “It’ll be really inconvenient for me, moving away, starting my first years at the university in two days…” “Do you have any pain?” he asked. I didn’t, so he told me that I could just go on. Two months later, I cursed this advise when I became the 18 yo with complaints more suited to a sweet old lady with fragile bones. But hey, he respected my individual circumstances! Asshole. He owed me the truth – that I needed the goddamn treatment. Instead, he opted to make me happy and probably hoped for the best. Asshole.

            The word “empowered” should rank very, very low beneath safety when two lives are concerned. There is the time and place to feel empowered. Childbirth isn’t it. And since the vast majority of women sensibly place safety over their hurt feelings, sorry. There’s no way I can be convinced that the hospital birth model is equally to blame for women making deadly choices as the HB propaganda. If it was so, we’d have much more homebirthers than the tiny minority we have.

          • Anj Fabian

            I just got word of another HB baby that died.

            The region is has a wealth of health care and maternity services. There is a popular birth center and home birth options for women who qualify.

            It would appear that there are choices there. So why have a home birth? Because not all choices are supported. All choices will never be supported for two reasons. The first reason is safety. The second reason is logistics.

            The natural childbirth culture insists those aren’t the real reasons. The reasons are that women are being deprived of their choices by people who want to take away their power and their voice and so on….

            That plays well to certain women. On one hand doctors are saying “We don’t want you or your baby to be a statistic. We’ll do our best to keep both of you alive and healthy.”

            On the other hand, the NCB culture talks about empowerment and strong women and healing and spirituality and minimizes pain, mess, risk. Plus the awesome pictures and uplifting stories!

            I can see the attraction – and the instinct to protect the fantasy by suppressing the reality of loss, of a woman bleeding out at home while surrounded by people unable to help her. “Died at home surrounded by family.” should be a description of a person who had a terminal illness, not a woman in the prime of her life.

          • Guest

            Crap crap crap. That poor family.

          • Medwife

            Oh no. Fucking horrible.

          • Amazed

            Poor baby.

            Don’t all those studies coming out MEAN something, for fuck’s sake? The truth is coming out more and more powerfully… and women still go and stuff their fingers in their ear while midwives insist that birth with them is safer.

          • Medwife

            I respect women. I give them information they need because they come to me trusting that my care will be competent. Disrespect would be thinking that they are such delicate flowers that if I told them facts not supportive of the safety of their plans, it would shatter them. Women are strong and they deserve the truth.

        • Stacy48918

          Because the women that die at homebirth are almost always high risk (grand-multip VBAC)…or otherwise completely healthy.

          In either case, obstetrical interventions in a hospital would almost always save their life. Women that die in hospital births are often unpredictable (amniotic fluid embolism) or women with serious comorbidities making them high risk patients. Rarely are they completely healthy and die of preventable causes.

        • birthbuddy

          Why don’t you enlighten us?
          How many women give birth in hospital and how many of them die?
          How many women give birth at home and how many of them die?
          Now compare the RATES for us please.

          • yugaya

            And causes of death too.During an unassisted homebirth, you can peacefully bleed to death because there is nothing that can be done, in a hospital dozens of people with all that modern medicine has to offer would be fighting to keep you alive and would in most cases succeed. Women and babies die preventable, needless deaths during homebirth, that is the key difference.

      • Pray also that Allah provides succor for Maria’s children. Or is it all about Maria and her children are irrelevant? That, I believe, is the point of Dr. T’s post.

      • Amy M

        This is a real question, not meant to be facetious—what does Islam say about suicide?
        I don’t believe that Maria committed suicide of course, but knowingly taking such a huge risk is close. Is it ok in Islam to play chicken with trains? If someone dies doing that, is he or she just accepting that its time to meet the Creator?

        I was raised Jewish. I am not religious and I can’t even pretend to know all the in-and-outs of Judaism. However, I do know that Jews hold life in the highest esteem. It is the most important thing and it is ok to break various rules to preserve life. Sick people and pregnant women are not held to fasting on fast days. If carrying a pregnancy to term will kill a woman, abortion is ok—better that the woman should live and raise her living children. In the same vein, having trained birth attendants and giving birth in the hospital is most certainly approved of.

        I don’t know where the rules of Islam and Judaism diverge when it comes to valuing life, but I imagine (and hope) that Muslims value life the ways Jews do. If that is so, then Maria wasn’t doing her family any favors and she did not seem to value her own life. If she did recognize she was at risk (and how could she not?), that’s some hubris to go ahead and assume that you know God/Allah’s plan for you is to do (risky thing) and accept whatever happens.

        • Iqraq

          That’s a great question and very relevant. I don’t think it’s facetious at all.

          As Islam and Judaism come from a common source, it is no surprise that our stands on suicide are similar. There are numerous Hadeeth (narrations of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him) on the subject. Suicide is a major sin in Islam, one narration states that Paradise is forbidden to those who knowingly commit suicide. As such, suicide is not really a problem in Muslim communities, very rare.

          Whether Maria’s actions could be construed as containing suicidal elements, only Allah knows. In Islam, intention is a big thing. Only Allah will know what her intention was. I am confident she would not have knowingly committed suicide. How much she understood about the risk she was taking, again Allah knows best. It is not possible to comment on her intention.

    • I’m sure that attitude is a great help to her orphaned children, especially if they are small.

    • yugaya

      ” She touched so many people’s lives with her wisdom.”

      How many women needlessly lost their babies because her wisdom inspired them towards homebirth or unassisted childbirth?

      How many other women died during such a “beautiful birth” that she advocated for that would have survived in a hospital, women who may not have necessarily shared her religious zeal and fearlessness and wanted to live to see their children grow up ?

      That is the tragic price of her passion and beliefs that must be taken into account when we evaluate her public work. Not everyone, in fact most women who choose homebirth are not ok with paying a price that high.

    • Life Tip

      Your words have meaning, whether you intend them to or not. And I sincerely hope you never say such awful things to this woman’s poor children. To imply that her God wanted her to die for NO REASON whatsoever is deplorable.

  • Somewhereinthemiddle

    Funny how those defenders of homebirth are remarkably quiet on this post.

    • scmak

      I’m not a defender. I’m neutral on this. I was pro-life until my recent 2nd pregnancy. I realized how much we have to give up to have a child. I realize how much we must really commit and value the child so we would do whatever it takes to bring that child here and mother them for an eternity. Because I wanted my 2nd child so much I turned from pro-life to pro-choice. I finally understood that not everyone can commit and it was more honest to abort than dump a live baby or injure one’s anatomy which is a frequent occurence in this country.

      So when I got pregnant with no. 3 two months after no. 2 was born I realized I couldn’t go through with the same level of commitment after almost dying from my stubborn UCB choice. My living children deserve more than a mother who can’t commit to being there for them in more ways than one.

      By that time I was giving the middle finger to the guy up there and all that talk about fully bf reduces chances of getting pregnant. My ass. It took me 16 years to get no.2 and 2 months to get no.3 fully bf?

      I’m a HB but never a defender. I hope more defenders from Malaysia will speak up since I’m being open and candid and willing to be judged.

  • Sue

    Ironically, perhaps maternal death in childbirth is ”the most primal act of the female design”. So sad.

  • birthbuddy

    I wonder whether Rob C will provide us with the benefit of his wisdom.
    Are any of the NCB websites commenting?

  • Kq

    If it happened to such a vocal advocate, who obviously trusted birth to the nth degree…

    Why would you think it won’t happen to you, because you “trust birth” and “babies know how to be born?”

    If HER positive thinking wasn’t good enough, why is yours?

    • Amazed

      Same with Caroline Lovell. So sad.

      • Dr Kitty

        In the developed world maternal mortality approaches 1/10,000 for healthy young women.
        It is becoming clear that Homebirth doesn’t have the same level of risk.

        • Ash

          I’m actually surprised it’s that high (1/10,000) as I would expect 1/10,000 to be for women who have conditions such as cardiovascular disorders.

          • Haelmoon

            That number seems about right. I live in a region with about 6000 deliveries a year. We have enough high risk pregnancies to support a tertiary care centre and two perinatologists. We have about 10-15 ICU admissions a year due to pregnancy complications and we have had two maternal deaths in the last three years (both previously low risk women). We have had some very high risk women do quite well in pregnancy with the right supports. We do transfer out our complicated cardiac moms though, but those that have delivered elsewhere have all done well in the last three years. It is the rare, unexpected complications that have the bad outcomes. The high risk moms do remarkably well, because there is a lot of planning, good team work and lots of planned interventions. And they mostly have gotten healthy, term or near term babies too!!

          • Ash

            The complicated cardiac women–how far do they have to go to obtain care from at the other hosptial if you are already a tertiary care center? No blame on your facility, of course, everyone must work within their limits and refer out for the patient’s benefits. IMHO one of the worst things about living in a rural area is travelling for healthcare.

          • Dr Kitty

            If they’re very complicated cardiac cases (such as Eisenmenger’s syndrome, where maternal mortality is 30-45%) I think travelling a few hours is the least of their worries.

            If Haelmoon’s facility transfers, I bet it is for very good reason, not all hospitals can do everything, and nor should they try to.

          • Haelmoon

            We prefer to “relocate” women as opposed to “transferring”. A medical transfer can be very expensive to the system. Furthermore, it means something is actively happening, not at all as safe as having the women close to where their most appropriate level of care it. We have housing (afforable) at each of our level three hospitals for women who need to be away from home to access medical care. We try to promote delivery as close to home as safely possible. If you live remotely, you may have to travel for health care – but you probably travel for a lot of other reasons as well. It is a big deal when we send patients away, but we have a system and a foundation to support them. We don’t have paeds cardiac surgery either, so the surgical babes go to Vancouver too. We have some donated funds to reduce the financial impact on families. In most smaller centres, the physicians and nurses are trained to handle much more than the resources they have available to them to care for more complex patients. I am lucky to work in a provincial system that is actually not bad in term so f moving patients to the right level of care. It is not territorial or competitive. In fact, medical transfer requests are centralized to optimize use of resources – preterm birth at 32 weeks will get sent to a level two centre (often closer to home) and save the level three beds for more acute cases. Much more cohesive than other provinces I have worked in. Still, I feel bad when we send patients out.

          • Ash

            Transferring to a higher level of care when it’s necessary is important, and I definitely understand that 1 hospital cannot do everything. I don’t think badly of hospitals that transfer care at all. Just that in the US , the big hospital may be out of their insurance network for some patients. The patients w/o Medicaid or Medicare from the northern part of my state are usually financially screwed if they have to go to an academic medical center, as that’s can be out of their insurance network if they live far away.

            Around here, the only funding I’ve heard of for patients to stay close to the hospital is for transplant or some programs through the children’s hospital (Ie–baby is already born and in the hospital).

          • Haelmoon

            To Vancouver (I am on the Vancouver Island). We don’t have cardiologists, heart surgeons or vascular surgeons in the same hospital as OB – there two hospitals in Victoria. OB is in the hospital with trauma, paeds and women’s care. The other site is much bigger. There is a dedicated hospital in Vancouver for all complicated cardiac moms. Even the big fetal/children’s hospital doesn’t have care for complex maternal care. There are officially three tertiary hospitals in the province for maternal and fetal care. Plus the hospital for cardiac moms (but only level two for babies). Only two of the three have ICU in the same hospital. Its not a perfect system, but if you wanted everything in every hospital it would get expensive – we have a reasonably good system to get women where they are supposed to deliver.

          • Young CC Prof

            Remember, that’s all pregnancy-related deaths, including ectopic pregnancy, pregnancy complicated by H1N1, preeclampsia, even stuff like suicide from perinatal mental health disorders.

            Deaths from direct labor and delivery complications in women who are in basically decent health when they go into labor are a whole lot rarer.

        • Amazed

          At least we know we’re comparing apples to apples here – all the maternal deaths we know about this far (I think) were VBACs, preceded by a PPH in a previous birth, or some other complication that made the mothers NOT high risk and so – having no business giving birth at home.

          Low risk profile, huh? I wish!

        • Stacy48918

          Amos Grunebaum had 2 papers last year on exactly this idea – the high risk profile of women who home birth.

  • FrequentFlyer

    Before Oldest Son was born, I joked that my firefighter/paramedic husband should just deliver the baby at home since he had traing and experience. He did not think that was funny at all. Back then, I didn’t know the full stories of the disasters he had dealt with. He would just say that if he had a pregnant woman in the ambulance, then very bad things were happening very fast. I can’t understand taking such a huge risk if you don’t have to. I feel horrible for this woman’s husband and children.

    • Mel

      My husband and I live on a dairy farm. I’ve seen cows die during calvings that have gone wrong and it is fucking horrible every time to have to watch an animal die.

      I’ve seen how torn up my husband is after a cow dies. He knows that he did everything he could…but he still feels like he failed the cow.

      Humans are so very much more important than cows.

      My husband loves me far more than he loves the cows. Watching me die in a homebirth would traumatize him in a way I can’t bear to think about. I love him too much to hurt him like that.

      • MLE

        It must have been like a horror movie.

      • KarenJJ

        My uncles are all farmers and one of them said to me once that it is tough being an animal lover and a farmer.

    • Cobalt

      I feel for them all, but much more so the kids. The husband could have tried to get her to the hospital, or called paramedics once labor was underway. He let his/her/their ideology stop him from seeking medical attention to prevent this from happening. The price he’s paying for that is too damn high, but it’s a known risk.

  • Alenushka

    I rememebr that my bigges fear with my first childbirth was that the baby would die. In my second, the fear of drying myself was stronger. It was not because I did not love my second baby as much but because over the course of 4 years I relized who I was to my first son and I lost my mother at that time too. I was jsut terrified that I would die and my poor little kids would have to expreince the loss of their mother even earlier than I did. I keps reminding myself that the stats were on my side because I was in US and in a very good hospital.

    • MichLaw

      Thank you for saying this. With my first pregnancy, I told my husband that if he had to choose, the unborn baby came first no matter what. He cried when I made him promise to put the baby first if for any reason I couldn’t explain my choice during a birth emergency. Four years later, I felt terrible telling my husband to put my well being ahead of the baby when I was pregnant with my second child. I just couldn’t imagine leaving my son. I was terrified at the thought of the pain both my son and husband would suffer if something went wrong and I didn’t survive the birth.

      These women’s stories are so tragic. I feel for their children (and their spouses) who are suffering now because their parents were lied to about the relative dangers and advantages of a home birth versus a hospital birth.

  • wookie130

    Such a needless, senseless waste of a life. And for what? And now…her poor children. My deepest sympathies for their loss, and to her entire family.

  • Lisa C

    Dr. Amy,

    I hope that in your upcoming book you help dispel this idea that “the female form has…been designed to birth”. Nothing could be further from the truth. We walk an evolutionary fine line between the ability to walk upright effectively which requires a narrower pelvis than that of our primate cousins and allowing a baby’s head to transit the birth canal. Author Chip Walter provides a lot of detail about this in his book “Last Ape Standing”

    • jdcamerone

      And from an evolutionary standpoint, childbirth is a selection process–you can’t give birth, you die. It has always been that simple until modern medicine stepped in. Not sure if that’s good or bad for the human race in the long run, but it has made an inarguable difference.

      • Cobalt

        Natural selection isn’t perfect either. Sometimes it just plain bad luck, not a heritable trait that interferes with birth. Or in the case of infection, the germs just evolve right along with you.

        • Young CC Prof

          It’s a really common misconception about evolution, that it makes perfectly designed organisms. It doesn’t, it makes usually good enough organisms.

        • SporkParade

          The problem with natural selection is that “selection” is a euphemism for “death,” not “perfection.”

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        From an evolutionary standpoint, your ability or inability to give birth “naturally” only matters in a society where there is no technology to help you if you can’t. In a modern society, being unable to give birth naturally is not an evolutionarily bad trait because, thanks to c-sections and other interventions, it doesn’t harm your chances of surviving and producing viable offspring.

        And that’s only a bad thing if we can’t or won’t continue to use technology to aid birth. If the future is technological collapse and back to the caves, it’s a bad thing. If the future is hoverboards and teleportation, it’s a neutral thing…or maybe a good thing. Maybe our many times great grandchildren will be smarter because their able to be born with larger brains thanks to universal use of c-sections.

    • john

      Okay of all the comments here
      yours was the dumbest!
      Did you knock your head on the floor when your mama delivered you?

      • Stacy48918

        Care to elaborate on such an articulate post?

      • Lisa C

        John, thanks for taking the time to respond to my post. I would love some clarification on what you think is so dumb about my post.

  • Anna T

    Posts like this one, and like the recent post on “medicalized” birth, are an important wake-up call to help people put things in proportion. Why? Why take such terrible risks? If you want a natural birth, you can have it in a hospital. Nobody can force you to consent to any procedure, you have your rights as a patient. If you don’t want an epidural, don’t have one. If you want to eat, drink, shower and do the belly dance during labor, who can legally stop you? If you doubt the necessity of a certain procedure, ask questions. But please, please be in a place where emergencies can be quickly and effectively treated. Please be in a place where your well-being, and the baby’s, can be effectively monitored. It’s mind-boggling to think mothers in developed countries just *bled to death* when blood transfusion could have been so easily accessible in a hospital “only ten minutes away”.

    I do believe birth experience does matter. On a lesser scale, but it does matter. It’s no use saying to a woman, “the doctor was rude to you? Don’t be so ungrateful, a hundred years ago you would have died for lack of treatment, just be thankful you’re alive.” Imagine someone telling that to a cancer patient. Hospitals do have room for improvement, and I think it’s great when the wishes of patients, in this case birthing mothers, are accommodated *as much as safely possible*. For example, I asked to sit on a birthing ball while being monitored, because contractions were a lot more tolerable that way (as opposed to lying down). It took more effort on the midwife’s part to do that, but she did, because it made me more comfortable and posed no harm.

    I believe the whole point of medical interventions during birth is making them available, not *mandatory* (unless truly needed). Want to birth naturally on all fours in a dimly lit room with whale music? Why would anyone be opposed to that, if there is no genuine risk??

    I don’t *want* an epidural, but I want it to be available in case it’s needed;

    I’m planning to deliver naturally, but I want the OR to be easily available;

    I’m certainly not planning to hemorrhage, but just in case, I want to know I can quickly have a blood transfusion;

    I want to have a healthy baby, but just in case I’m grateful that the NICU is there.

    And so on and so forth.

    I could go on, but I’m rambling a bit. Being 39 weeks pregnant will do that…

    • SporkParade

      Have an easy birth!

    • Hugs — happy birthing!! soon I think 🙂

      • Anna T

        I sure think so, I already feel sporadic contractions!!

        • Mishimoo

          Ooh yay! Hope everything goes well.

    • Amazed

      I wish you a safe and easy birth!

  • GiddyUpGo123

    Maria Zain is not the first person to have died during an unassisted birth, and surely she must have known that. So knowing that other women have tried and failed to do what she was doing, how did she continue to rationalize her choices? Were those other women somehow different than her? Her body knows how to give birth, but those other women, well, their bodies must not have known as much as hers does. When you look at it that way, it’s impossible to rationalize because there is no way to know whose body “knows” how to give birth and whose body doesn’t. You can’t use logic and then arrive at the conclusion that for you, unassisted birth will be safe.

    This reminds me of a blog I read once–it was a really awful and tragic story of a little boy who was dying of leukemia. The blog was maintained by his father, who was sure, absolutely certain, that God would not take his son because he *believed* that God would not take his son, and because he was good and faithful and he prayed all the time for his son to be healed, he would be … it was only a matter of time. And he believed that right up until the day his son died.

    It’s religion, this belief that you are different than all those others who didn’t survive, because you have belief in what God can do or what your body can do, and really the body worship that is rampant in NCB is exactly the same thing as religion. “My body is perfect, because nature designed it that way, and if I just believe hard enough …”

    I don’t think Maria Zain ever thought for a second that she might leave her children alone, and that’s part of the tragedy. If she didn’t believe so strongly in her body’s infallibility, she would likely still be here to love and raise her new baby and all the other children she’s left behind.

    • SporkParade

      As a vaguely religious person, I think you are right about woo being a religion. The difference is that most religious people are willing to admit that they are operating on faith, not evidence. I’ve even heard it said that looking for a connection between vaccines and autism using research studies is like looking for God under a microscope.

      • yugaya

        It is as religious as any other cult – religion is just an excuse for ideological indoctrination which interferes with a person’s ability to grasp reality so much that they are no longer able to understand that what they believe is safe is just an illusion of safety.

      • Therese

        I don’t get the analogy. Using research studies to look for a connection between vaccines and autism would be the valid way of going about seeing if there was actually a connection or not. I mean, that’s why we know there is no connection, because scientists have done research studies. Looking for God under a microscope would not be a valid way of trying to find God though. What am I not understanding?

        • Young CC Prof

          I think SporkParade is saying that to some, the idea of vaccine danger is an article of faith, and no amount of contradictory evidence will make a difference to their beliefs.

        • SporkParade

          I guess they think vaccines cause autism using supernatural or paranormal means?

    • scmak

      “I don’t think Maria Zain ever thought for a second that she might leave her children alone, and that’s part of the tragedy. If she didn’t believe so strongly in her body’s infallibility, she would likely still be here to love and raise her new baby and all the other children she’s left behind.” – Thank you for a fair insight.

  • Staceyjw

    I’m sure she was a true believer because she had managed to have 3 successful HBA2Cs. I’m sure this showed her that hospitals were unneeded and that she was proof. I wonder how many other tragedies her writing supported?

    I can’t even imagine how awful her last few minutes must have been.

    • Trixie

      UBA2Cs, even. I couldn’t sleep at all last night thinking about her 6 motherless children.

    • Samantha06

      She played the odds and lost.. very sad. And selfish to boot. That might sound cold, but it’s no colder than unnecessarily risking your life for an experience and making your children pay for it.

  • Bugsy

    I’m sure this has been tackled before, but a question I’ve been pondering is what percentage of U.S. women who attempt home birth (or midwife-assisted birth) are ones with no/inadequate maternity health insurance? Are these women who desperately want to believe that home birth is as safe as hospital birth, and are duped into believing such because of the lies propagated by the NCB movement?

    The freestanding birth centre in my hometown charges $5200 for pregnancy/L&D costs, and lists it clearly on its website. This would be a bargain compared to the $36,000 my son’s (uncomplicated) hospital delivery cost our insurance company. Wouldn’t the clearly stated & low costs of midwifery seem to be the “logical” solution for women with inadequate insurance coverage…especially if we can be led to believe that it’s just as safe – if not safer – than hospital birth?

    • Karen in SC

      I do know of a family that chose a midwife led birth center due to price. The mother was not covered by her husband’s insurance plan at the time and they made too much money for Medicaid. The center was more than an hour away and even the OB back up was not close. Ended up with pre-eclampsia and an emergency c-section at 29 weeks and a long NICU stay. Of course, the bill is staggering and was probably written off by the hospital.

      I really don’t know what alternatives exist. Years ago, my nephew was born in a clinic for low income families run by a major hospital, but I don’t hear of those anymore. Very sad state of affairs in the US.

      • Guesteleh

        Maybe it’s because I’m in a major metro area with world-class hospitals but I don’t know of any women who can’t get prenatal care regardless of income. It’s just unheard of here. There are federal, state and county programs that insure pregnant women, including programs aimed at women who make too much to qualify for Medicare. And under Obamacare all health plans now must offer pregnancy coverage.

        • Karen in SC

          I don’t know her that well. It could have been our smaller city size, or she may have wanted the experience with a midwife. If I hear of similar cases I will definitely encourage them to pursue all avenues to get care.

    • Ash

      Given the number of people that are uninsured in the US and the still low percentage of women who have planned out of hospital births, I don’t think it’s a significant factor. Sure, clinics&hospitals will send you to collections, but they rarely put a financial hold on patients (financial hold means “We are going to not going to schedule you for any appointments until you pay your outstanding bill”). I know an OBGYN that made it a stipulation of her contract that she could waive up to 20% of her total fees in a year (ie–she could have the option to not charge some patients, or charge them partially). Some CPMs say that no one will be turned away due to lack of financial resources, not sure how many. And certainly EMTALA prevents hospitals from refusing to admit patients in labor.

      About 17% of women 19-64 do not have health insurance in the USA yet homebirth is more fringe. About 40% of births in the USA are covered by Medicaid and only a few states allow CPMs to bill Medicaid. This is a case study about women not having maternity coverage–you can see that yes, prices were high, but there is no mention of any providers refusing to see the patient due to no insurance or outstanding bills.

      If I were uninsured, I would have a much more difficult time to come up with the $3000-$5000 straight up cash to pay for a homebirth (MANAstats indicated from their limited sample, the majority of clients paid with cash, not insurance). That usually doesn’t include lab testing, ultrasound, etc.

      Here’s a little article about lack of maternity coverage

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/01/health/american-way-of-birth-costliest-in-the-world.html?pagewanted=all

      None were refused care due to lack of up front payment. There is a link to an article about lack of coverage for midwifery services, but the article doesn’t divvy up the differences between lay midwives, CPMs, DEMs, CMs, and CNMS, as well as the differences between a non affiliated hospital birthing center and an L&D unit which happens to be called “birthing center’

      • Cobalt

        I was turned away from an appointment while pregnant twice. Once was a Medicaid snafu that left me without insurance for that month, even though the coverage was expected be (and was) retroactively reinstated. The other was because I didn’t have my $20 copay for my private insurance.

        I also couldn’t make any appointments while pregnant with my oldest until I had all my insurance cards in hand. I was 15 weeks before that happened.

        • Ash

          Ugh. The system is terrible.

          • Cobalt

            It’s improved a lot since my first baby, but there are still gaps. Smaller gaps, but big enough that some women in the U.S. still struggle to get standard prenatal care.

    • Trixie

      Maria Zain was based in the UK so presumably cost was not a factor in her decision.

      • Sarah

        Indeed. And she could even have had a homebirth if she wanted: although a VBAC would be against guidelines and she’d have been ‘risked out’, had she just refused to come into the hospital when in labour, someone would have been sent to attend her. A skilled midwife could well have saved her, even a paramedic could have done something. A tragedy.

        • Trixie

          Yes, at the very least detected the problem earlier and summoned help more quickly, I imagine.

      • Bugsy

        My bad – I wasn’t clear in my original comment that I was referring more generally to home birth, not specifically to Maria Zain. I agree that cost was completely irrelevant to her home birth decision.

        (I’ve edited my original comment accordingly.)

    • SporkParade

      Based on the What to Expect forums, I would say that it mostly isn’t a question of income. Pregnant women can get coverage through the government now, and they also can’t be denied insurance because they are already pregnant. I also think they can’t be denied Medicaid anymore, but I might be wrong. In any event, I only saw one question about whether or not it would be cheaper to give birth at a birth center, and the answers on the thread included, “If you need to transfer, you may very well be stuck with both the birth center bill AND a hospital bill” and, “Most hospitals are willing to reduce the price for uninsured patients.”

    • Melissa

      I think that costs are some of the issues although they will not be expressed in public (because there is such a taboo about talking about money in society). I know of at least two women in my life who were talking up homebirth because they didn’t think they could afford hospital birth but both dropped homebirth when they discovered they qualified for care under state insurance programs. But in both cases these were women close to me. If I hadn’t been in the family they wouldn’t have mentioned the money issues, only the other benefits of home birth (avoiding interventions, breastfeeding, all the other bs).

      I think it will be rare for someone to express in public that their reason for hb is purely financial because it is admitting that they are trading safety for money. Instead they will use the language of NCB. But I think that some of the former Quiverfull women (who used homebirth) talk about how finances is part of the reason (along with showing faith in God and avoiding c-sections).

      • Bugsy

        Melissa, you’ve described exactly what I’ve been pondering, just a bit more eloquently. The girl I know who has opted for midwife centre births (not home births, but still relevant) and since become an extreme NCB proponent is someone who, in the year immediately prior to her child’s birth, lost her job and health insurance and then needed a new car to boot. As far as I know, they wouldn’t have qualified for state insurance but wouldn’t have wanted to or been able to pay for maternity coverage on private health plans. That being said, finances were tight, and being close to this family at the time, the impression I had was that she may have chosen the midwife birth because it was a low-cost alternative to the hospital birth she couldn’t afford. I think you’re absolutely correct that NCB rationale becomes a convenient cover when there may also be less socially-accepted socio-political reasons at stake.

        • scmak

          I had wanted to go Robin Lim’s birth center in Bali but it would mean spending weeks there away from my family as I would not be allowed on a flight too close to due date. It would cost me more to have done that than to use the socialized healthcare system here. Although cost may explain things in the West, in Malaysia those who HB are typically families that are financially average or above average.

      • scmakpenang

        In Malaysia it’s free – even if you have 9 months of bedrest, 3 meals in a hospital bed. Prenatal care is also FOC. (I think MZ would’ve opted for the same choice had she been in Malaysia at the time.) And yet many educated middle-class (speaking for myself) opt to HB because it’s the middle-class thing to do along with homeschooling, babywearing, co-sleeping.

  • Bugsy

    The year before my son was born, I had three cousins who all gave birth. The first was a planned and uneventful repeat C-section, and the other two were young, healthy first-time moms who had full-term hospital deliveries. Of these, both had complicated deliveries: one began hemorrhaging after birth, and the son of the second lost oxygen prior to delivery and ended up having a stroke.

    Nearly four years later, I’m happy to report that both moms and their sons are doing well. The latter of the two boys was just discharged from his neurologist with a normal prognosis. Yay!

    This article is a sobering and infuriating reminder as to what very well could have happened if my cousins had been led to believe that home birth was as safe of a route for them. We are all thankful that they opted for hospital births.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    Her midwife claimed in her defense that Claire “had a really lovely spontaneous birth at home and I hope Simon [her husband] in time will remember that.”

    I know that this is aside from the main topic of this post, but wow, from a guy perspective, that is an evil woman.

    • Cobalt

      It’s truly mind blowing how completely off point the midwife’s priorities are.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        I don’t even consider it off point. It’s insulting. The “lovely spontaneous birth”? Right up until she died, I guess?

        Lovely? Lovely!!!????

        How can ANYONE suggest to a loved one that a birth that kills the mother is “lovely”? As if that is a consolation…

        This takes, “Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln” to a whole new level. It’s absolutely wicked.

        • Pink

          The lovely spontaneous death.. 🙁

          • Sue

            Yep. And NATURAL.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            …at home. That makes it all that much better.

          • Amy M

            I don’t know why, unless you already have family there. I mean, if I die in my sleep, even if I am 85yrs old and have lived a good life and my heart just stops—that’s still pretty awful for whoever finds me. What if my husband is still alive and sleeping next to me? Or if one of my sons, friends or grandchildren come to visit and find me dead? Or worst–what if I have dogs or cats, and no one thinks to come over or call for several days?!

            And this one’s for you Bofa: at least, it would make headlines if we were eaten by wolves, like Gerald Ford. (at the senseless age of 83)

        • Kesiana

          Another joke that’s funny until it’s TRUE: “I want to die peacefully, in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming like the other people in his car.”

          • Stacy48918

            Even more so since “dying peacefully in your sleep” is kind of a myth too…

          • toni

            how so?

          • Stacy48918

            Well most people tend to over look the days/weeks/months/years of crapping your pants and peeing the bed, hours/days/weeks of pain or difficulty breathing, tubes and machines…

            We have these idealized images in our minds from movies of people in relatively good shape saying their last goodbyes, then closing their eyes, taking 3 or 4 more breaths and going peacefully to sleep in their own bed at home surrounded by their family.

            I get that all the time from pet owners, especially cat owners. “I just want her to die in her sleep at home.” No, you want her to slowly starve and dehydrate to death until she slips into unconsciousness after several days to 2 weeks because all her organs are shutting down and you can’t be bothered to just euthanize her.

            Death is not pretty.

          • Dr Kitty

            It is possible for people to die peacefully at home surrounded by family.
            But it usually requires a syringe driver with some combination of morphine/Midazolam/levomepromazine/ ketamine and hysocine, and some compromise of lucidity for comfort.
            I have a few palliative care patients at any time, and we really try to avoid hospitals, machines and uncontrolled symptoms. We’re pretty good at it.

          • Lisa Cybergirl

            I’m very grateful that, when the time came, my vet made a house call to put my very elderly, diabetic cat down. It was heartbreaking to lose him, but I was glad to spare him a last traumatic car ride.

          • Mishimoo

            My morfar’s friend of nearly 60 years passed away while sleeping recently, which is the first time I’ve heard of happening to someone I know. Usually it’s messy and drawn-out, and I am very grateful to have the option of Lethabarb for my pets.

    • Comrade X

      Not just from a “guy perspective”, trust me. That’s fucked up and sociopathic to any normal person, no matter what equipment they have between their legs.

    • Amazed

      I am also known to quote this claim repeatedly, Bofa. Really, it isn’t aside *at all* from the main topic of any post having to do with homebirth since it gives a chilling perspective of midwife priorities.

  • 2boyz

    OT but somewhat related: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2014/12/dear_prudence_i_m_pregnant_and_my_family_wants_to_cancel_our_remote_vacation.html
    It’s not necessarily about NCB, but it is the fact that she’s making some shaky assumptions in her assessment of the risk and failing to account for some unexpected, yet totally common things that could come up in minutes.

    • Young CC Prof

      I love Prudence’s answer to that one. I get to decide? Then no, you aren’t going.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        I was half-expecting her to close with, “….you moron.”

      • FormerPhysicist

        And “I think you should thank your sister for speaking up; I’m thanking her for allowing me to play doctor without having to waste all that time in medical school.”

        Prudie is *much* better than those CPMs playing doctor.

    • Bugsy

      My answer: NO, you sure as heck shouldn’t go. A healthy pregnancy can turn sour at the drop of a hat, and 36 weeks is too far along to be planning a trip to a remote locations. Sure, things might not go wrong. But if they do, do you really want to be that statistic?

      (Signed: another young mom who had a healthy pregnancy until pre-term bleeding landed her on bed rest at 28 weeks.)

      • Liz Leyden

        How does she know she won’t go into labor before 36 weeks?

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          Apparently she is assuming since her first pregnancy and delivery were problem free that this one will be also. And while yes, having had one successful vaginal delivery makes the possibility of SOME problems less likely it hardly means they are impossible. My mom had 2 textbook easy pregnancies and deliveries, then about halfway through her third pregnancy everything that could go wrong did…eventually ending in an emergency C/S and hysterectomy. I am thankful for OBs and modern medicine(circa 1966) because of them my mom (85), and my brother are alive and healthy.

        • Bugsy

          …because as long as you _believe_ in the power of your body to birth naturally at full-term, then your body will kindly wait until the time you request it to birth your child. No interventions or pre-term births necessary, of course!

    • Liz Leyden

      I agree with Prudie. However, if her husband is a doctor, what does he think?

    • GiddyUpGo123

      Reminds me of that woman who wanted to go on a cruise in the last weeks of her pregnancy and just did not understand why it would be a big deal to stop the ship and have a helicopter come pick her up if she went into early labor.

      • Samantha06

        I remember reading that.. that woman was crazy.. someone called her out and from what I remember she got quite nasty. I think she ended up going anyway and thank goodness everything was OK. What a crazy fool.

    • Dr Kitty

      I was trying to think of where they would be going that would be culturally important , physically possible for someone 36w pregnant but a helicopter ride away from medical help.

      I’m struggling to come up with anywhere.

      All of the major pilgrimage sites I can think of that are that remote wouldn’t expect heavily pregnant women to participate.

    • Bugsy
  • OBPI Mama

    How awful. I have a friend that is an EMT and she said that every hemorrhage homebirth call they’ve gotten, the mother has died (one a very recent case). We live in a rural area. I shared this info when at a mom’s night out where there were a ton of homebirthers after being told it probably only happens in 3rd world countries. I was not popular that night and am kicked out of that circle now. Then at the end of the evening, we were saying a prayer and someone prayed for me “bless her EVEN THOUGH she goes to a hospital and sometimes we don’t always do things that make sense.” yep… I’m finding it harder and harder to keep friends from my homebirth circle.
    They would probably say this woman died because she was in a different country…

    • OBPI Mama

      And for the record, I usually welcome any prayers of safety over my births (my 4th c/s-5th baby is in April)! But I was also told that night (after sharing the peace I felt over having C-sections after a severe shoulder dystocia at home) that, “It’s so great that God can meet you where you’re at (faith wise) no matter what.” Yep, it was lack of faith that led to my son’s shoulders not fitting through my crappy pelvis and me then needing C-sections to have healthy babies. They just can’t figure out that God has blessed me by having C-sections!
      Sigh.

      • Young CC Prof

        Yeah, praying for people is one thing. Insult-praying is another.

        “God, please help our sister, because we think she’s hopeless…”

        • OBPI Mama

          haha! Insult praying… I never knew what it felt like until that night and I came home soooo mad. They would honestly wonder if this mom who passed away didn’t have enough faith she’d be okay and didn’t pray hard enough to live….
          And this is from women who go to a pretty fancy “wealth and health” church (it’s a huge one in our state)… I’m pretty surprised and I just can not go to another mom’s night out with them again… Can’t. handle. it. anymore.

          • Samantha06

            Or they will say what happened was “God’s will.” Like the “some babies are not meant to live” excuse to avoid personal responsibility. I think that’s as bad as insult praying.

          • OBPI Mama

            You wouldn’t believe what I’ve heard one mom say about a friend’s baby who died during a homebirth transfer. We were discussing what happened and she said, “Well, that family has a curse of baby deaths throughout a few generations and so maybe it was just going to happen anyway.” (referring to generational curses and so that particular death couldn’t have been prevented, which it could have…. heart decel, transfer, quick C-section but it was too late for baby). I wanted to slap her. That baby would have lived. It was not a generational curse, but that’s what that mom had to believe so she could keep on feeling good about her homebirths…

          • Samantha06

            How horrible.. me and my big mouth, I’m afraid of what I would have said to that moron.. denial and ignorance is so powerful. I don’t blame you for distancing yourself from that crowd..

          • Amazed

            I am sure that the moron’s family had a curse of being oily-skinned or dry-haired throughout a few generations but the moron didn’t want the curse to get her, so she prays to the Big Pharma or the Big Vitamin and gets Communion Bread in the form of beauty products that her family didn’t get access to throughout all those generations.

          • Dr Kitty

            The other way to look at it is that there was a strong family history of neonatal deaths or babies unable to tolerate labour, and that HB was therefore a bad idea for this lady.

            From what I recall, G-d is not big on being tested.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yah, it seems to me that this is an argument for a c-section at 37 wks more than anything else. Go in at 37 wks and if the baby is still ok, get it out. NOW!

            That’s my approach to dealing with the “generational curse”

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Remember in MASH (the movie) where Duke and Hawkeye go to Henry and complain about Frank. “Frank Burns is a menace! Everytime someone croaks on him, he says it’s ‘God’s will’ or blames someone else. This time, he blamed a kid who was foolish enough to believe him.”

            OK, it sounds a lot better in Tom Skerrit’s voice, but to me, that is the perfect description of midwives. Right down the the “menace” part.

          • Samantha06

            God, that’s the damn truth isn’t it?

        • Finally. A name for it! Yes.

      • Amy Tuteur, MD

        Why do people imagine when it comes to birth that God is a genie who grants wishes if you just believe enough?

        Does anyone stand outside in the winter with faith that God will make it warmer if she just trusts Him enough or does she go into her thoroughly unnatural home and avail herself of the technology of central heating? Why would He feel any differently about birth interventions than He feels about central heating?

        • me

          That always drives me nuts about professional sports. They always ask for help from God, and thank God. When they win. If they lose, you never hear anyone say that they just didn’t pray hard enough, or God liked the other team better, or somehow God forsook them. Funny that.

          • attitude devant

            I always see the sports thing as a statement of humility. Which is fine considering what huge egos some (most) sports stars have.

          • Cobalt

            For me, the sticking point is the implication that God cares more about sports outcomes than drought in Somalia.

          • GiddyUpGo123

            What’s most hilarious about that is why God would give a crap about who wins a football game.

          • Kq

            This atheist almost yelled, “GOD roots for the DUCKS!” Living in Eugene will do this to you. It’s in the water here (but not fluoride)

        • OBPI Mama

          I wish I knew… When I first started to realize the dangers of homebirth (remember it took years after my brave boy’s birth), I thought maybe I could give some of my homebirthing friends food to chew on, share my story so there could be a face they knew with a bad statistic, etc. But I’m just finding it harder and harder to be around them because of this mentality of trusting enough and all will go well and the willing, arrogant blindness that comes with that. Maybe because it feels like such an insult to me or maybe because my old midwife is having more and disturbing homebirths or it just seems more and more crazy to me? Or do we just get more fed up with b.s. as we get older?
          When I mentioned Paul (in the Bible) who talked about forever having a “thorn” in his side (scholars think it was blindness due to many reasons) and God not intervening in that and yet Paul was such a strong man of faith, they have nothing to say to it. If Paul were alive today, they would expect him to get glasses and yet, the same rule doesn’t go with birth…
          Too much for this brain to wrap her head around. I’m just learning I can’t be around many of these friends right now because I just feel my blood pressure rise and I know that is not good for me or baby.

          • MLE

            Although some may disagree, the Bible is not a fairy tale where they all birthed happily ever after, or even had perfect health in general. I don’t know where that is promised.

          • SporkParade

            True story. I expressed concern to my OB/GYN that, based on my medical history, my platelet levels would drop too far to have an epidural. “If that happens, we’ll put you on steroids.” “What if I’d rather just skip the epidural?” “YOU MEAN LIKE IN THE DAYS OF OUR MOTHER RACHEL???”
            Israel: Where the doctors have no problem reminding pregnant women of their Biblical ancestors who died in childbirth.

        • Alenushka

          A few years ago one of my
          dhrama sibling suffered severe stroke. The person believe that meditation and
          acupuncture would be enough and there was no need for blood pressure meds. It
          was horrific. The stroke happened in the middle of driving. It was pure luck
          that no one was killed. My zen teacher had to coordinate care because there
          were no relatives. The recovery was long but all ended well thanks to the
          amazing doctors and nurses. I will never forget my teacher’s dharma talk about importance
          of medications and doctors. The talk went on to explore an idea that blind faith
          and simply believing something you want to believe is magical thinking.

        • Sarah

          I feel like God might have given us the gifts of intelligence and science to allow us to help each other. Just a thought…

        • yugaya

          My daughter told me that if she prays hard enough it will snow tomorrow (we only had snow for one day so far this winter, and she was utterly disappointed that it was not enough snow for the sleighs, her most favourite winter fun of all).

          She is six years old

        • disqus_oGhHDMHsOv

          I love the saying, “Trust the God but lock your car”. God is to provide the faith in you but you are the one to take control of your action.

      • An Actual Attorney

        Sometimes G-d sends a row boat, sometimes a doctor.

      • Dr Kitty

        Best wishes for the remainder of your pregnancy to be uneventful, and for a straightforward CS in April!

    • Young CC Prof

      Wasn’t she in Britain? I mean, I know that’s a different country, but I actually think they have grocery stores there!

      • OBPI mama

        British people are made totally different than Americans, so any British homebirth deaths don’t mean anything about American homebirth and women. You are only allowed to bring up other countries when talking about our horrible stats of “infant mortality” (never perinatal mortality because that is the correct thing to compare). Don’t you know all this??? Sigh. (and I did correct them on that as well because it was brought up… I’ve learned SOOO much since hating Dr. Amy and not being to stop reading her posts and the comments).

      • scmak

        LoL.

    • Trixie

      Wow, how very…Christian of that person to say such a prayer.

      • araikwao

        It doesn’t take an all-knowing God to spot the passive-aggressive there..

        • MLE

          You can almost sense a divine eye roll.

    • Amazed

      I wish you a Happy New Year and meeting new friends. Look like you could use some. Not a tone – just as many as you need. Because, frankly, these homebirthing bitches don’t sound like a company that’s good for you right now.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        I agree with Amazed. I realize that it is tough to step away from people who constitute your social group, but life is too short to put up with that nonsense.

        And I hope, some day, when they notice that you are avoiding them and someone asks you why they haven’t seen you around, that enough time has passed that you are able to say, “Because you are all a bunch of assholes”

        • Samantha06

          Or a bunch of stupid, selt-righteous bitches…

    • Dr Kitty

      I’m afraid I would have responded with a prayer that G-d help Susie and her problem with passive aggression and open her heart to understand when people are trying to share information that might save her life, then storming out.

      Of course, you’re a much better person than me.

  • Young CC Prof

    I know how insane some of the unassisted childbirth advocates or lay midwives are. When they manage to kill babies, I’m horrified but not surprised. When they kill mothers, no matter how great the risks they were taking, it’s just especially shocking.

    I wonder what she thought, as she lost consciousness. I wonder if she understood what was happening.

    • moto_librarian

      She probably was at least dimly aware. I weep for her children.

    • CrownedMedwife

      I’m trying to go about the normalcy of the day, but keep getting distracted by the thoughts reflected in your final statement. My heart is heavy and my stomach turns as I ponder what her thoughts may have been as she lost consciousness, whether she understood what was happening. Were her thoughts centered on the mantras of ‘trust birth’, ‘the hospital is only five minutes away’, ‘interventions disturb the process’ and ‘my baby knows how to be born and my body knows how to birth’? Or were her thoughts of whether she’d hugged her children enough to last their lifetimes and showed per husband how dearly she loved him; perhaps whether or not someone knew what time soccer practice ended or what bedtime rituals the children treasured most? I would never presume to know what a dying woman’s last thoughts would be, nevertheless, I can’t help but wonder if the magnitude of process versus outcome crossed her thoughts. To have held the hand of a woman as the blood of life drained from her, to have looked into her eyes as she asked whether she was going to die and truly not knowing the answer and all that with every resource at my fingertips, I simply cannot fathom, nor would I presume, to know what thoughts would’ve crossed this woman’s mind as she slipped away from consciousness. As I carry on with the mundane, but cherished, moments that compromise my life today, I imagine eager bright eyes awaiting the reuniting with their mother and brother, distanced by a door frame with the muffled sounds of a wailing motherless newborn in the distance. Like so many others here, I weep for this woman, her husband and her children with a loss that may never have need be happened. They will be in my thoughts and prayers.

      • attitude devant

        I remember when we invaded Afghanistan there were some horrifying news stories about the sorry state of maternity care there. Some outrageous maternal mortality stats (so bad I sort of blocked them from memory), but the thing I REALLY remember was the linked infant mortality data: an Afghani infant whose mom died in childbirth had a one in four chance of dying in the first year. One in four. Because in that culture, if your mom died, there was no tradition or system of fostering or caring for the infant of a dead mother the way there is in the US. If the infant was lucky enough to have an aunt or a grandmother who loved that dead mom enough to take an interest in her infant, he/she might survive. Otherwise, not so much. I hope and pray the beautiful kids in this mom’s photos have a relative to step in for them.

    • soggy granola

      I had a massive hemorrhage after my son’s birth and all I could think about were the sensations in my body. I won’t go into details, but if that is indeed what happened to her, then she would have been very aware of what was happening to her. Maybe she had hope that help would come in time. I was surrounded by medical professionals but I didn’t think that they could stop it until one of the doctors finally told me that I wouldn’t die but that they weren’t sure if they could save my uterus. After that, I felt a little bit better, but the bleeding was so intense and I was feeling short of breath so it was still terrifying. Damn, I hope she had more faith and hope than I did. At least I got to wake up alive afterward. I can’t even begin to imagine what her husband and children are going through. My husband was there but doesn’t talk about it much, and my older daughter was away with our parents. It breaks my heart to think about what her family now. :,(

    • Medwife

      I have seen women during very heavy blood loss and other critical situations.There is anxiety, air hunger, disorientation. I am heartsick at what this woman probably went through. And her husband who was at her side at the time. Words fail me.