Would you take obstetrics advice from an attorney? Me, neither.


A friend sent me a link to a new blog post on Fearless Parenting.

Once I stopped laughing after reading it, I was struck by the fact that, as is often the case, no sooner do I write a post then a homebirth advocate rushes to illustrate it. Yesterday I wrote about 10 things that homebirth and anti-vaccine advocacy have in common and immediately Attorney Valerie Borek steps up to prove my points. It’s almost as if she read my piece!

Borek, a member of the Birth Rights Bar, would like you to know why she chose homebirth (Top Ten Reasons Why This Attorney Chose a Home Birth).

What are Borek’s qualifications to write this piece? According to her LinkedIn profile, her skills include:

  • Wills
  • Legal Writing
  • Legal Research
  • Litigation
  • Research
  • Trials
  • Estate Planning
  • Bankruptcy
  • Personal Injury

Do you see obstetrics anywhere in there? Me, neither.

But homebirth advocates imagine that having a baby makes them experts on childbirth … kind of like the fact that I filed a lawsuit makes me qualified to be a lawyer. Oh, wait, it doesn’t.

Borek disingenuously claims:

So this post isn’t a debate about safety. It’s a declaration of liberty and freedom of choice. (links and strike-through in the original)

Borek sprinkles her piece with citations, proving that homebirth advocates love bibliography salad of cherry picked and misleading citations. (it’s almost as if she read my piece!!) Moreover, she cites Midwifery Today, an immediate signal of extreme gullibility.

What are her reasons?

1. She wanted to be sure she would know who would be at the baby’s birth.

So did lots of homebirth mothers whose midwives didn’t show up in time or didn’t show up at all. The idea that your homebirth midwives will be there to catch your baby is one of the many myths of homebirth advocacy.

2. Pregnancy is not a disease.

Neither is a gunshot wound but that’s cared for in a hospital, too, Ms. Borek. What’s your point?

3. She is capable of maximizing the health of her baby!

That would be the magical thinking I noted yesterday. (It’s almost as if she read my piece!!)

4. Money

Ms. Borek, having a homebirth to save money is like defending your capital murder charge pro se. It is foolish in the extreme and dramatically increases the risk that someone is going to end up dead.

5. “My Man Doesn’t Belong in the Waiting Room… It was such a joy to have him attend appointments with the midwife.”

Maybe you should have a seat, Ms. Borek, because I have news that will leave you stupified: husbands attend obstetricians appointments, too.

6. She wanted to be heard.

An obstetrician would have heard her loud and clear, so that was not the problem. She wanted to be validated and petted, told that she was educated, empowered and a warrior mama. Only a homebirth midwife would do that.

7. She wanted to feel the pain because she credulously believed the made up crap about hormones, pain relief and bonding.

Clearly she received her information from echo chamber websites that delete non-conforming scientific data and ban commentors with actual expertise.

8. “I Assume My Baby Wouldn’t Like the Polar Plunge.”

I bet her baby wouldn’t have liked suffocating to death, either, but she seems to have had no problem exposing her/him to that much more serious risk. In addition, Borek believes that peace on earth begins with birth. Certainly worked that way for Hitler, Torquemada, Henry VIII, and Attila the Hun, right?

9. “A Momma Is Being Born Too.”

And that doesn’t happen in the hospital?

10. “Because I Can.”

That would be the libertarian streak that invokes rights and ignores responsibilities that I wrote about yesterday. (It’s almost as if she read my piece!!)

All that to say that Ms. Borek chose homebirth for the same reasons that most homebirth advocates do so; she knows nothing about obstetrics, believes nonsense made up by homebirth midwives and other laypeople, is impressed by the sloganeering that manages to be simultaneously inane and meaningless (“Pregnancy is not a disease.”), and was clueless that she was putting her baby at substantially increased risk of death.

She had every right to do so, but that doesn’t change the fact that she risked her baby’s life even more than if she had driven around with her baby unbuckled in the back seatof her car. The fact that the baby survived is due to luck, not magical thinking, and certainly not an accurate assessment of the risks.

Let me see if I can come up with an analogy that Ms. Borek might understand:

Ms. Borek, would you take legal advice (sprinkled with citations from outdated, irrelevant and reversed legal cases) from an obstetrician?

Me, neither