You will know that homebirth is safe when THIS happens!

Newborn baby

Many women are confused about the safety of homebirth. On the one hand, homebirth midwives insist that it is as safe (or safer!) that hospital birth. On the other hand, obstetricians insist that it increases the risk of perinatal death; that’s why most refuse to attend them.

The situation is further complicated by dueling scientific studies. The last few weeks alone have seen the release of a Canadian study that showed that homebirth did not increase the risk of infant death and an American study that showed that it did increase the risk of death,  with an increase that dwarfs death rates from SIDS or auto accidents.

There is no doubt in my mind that further research is going to corroborate the fact that homebirth in the US, particularly homebirth with a non-nurse midwife (CPM, LM), is deadly. The real difference between deaths in the hospital and deaths at homebirth with CPMs is probably in the range of 1000%!

But you don’t have to take my word for whether or not homebirth is safe; I could be wrong. You will know that homebirth is safe when this happens:

You’ll know homebirth is safe when neonatologists recommend it.

Neonatologists are doctors who care for critically ill newborns. They have no personal stake in the home vs. hospital debate. If anything, they are more likely to profit from homebirth, which leads to transfers of critically ill newborns whose problems could have been prevented by lower intensity care in the hospital.

Yet, to my knowledge, with rare exceptions, neonatologists recommend AGAINST homebirth. Babies are their only patients and babies’ wellbeing their overriding interest.  And they believe that homebirth puts babies at risk and leads to the deaths of babies who did not have to die.

Mothers are free to opt for homebirth regardless of the risk to their newborns. They may judge that avoiding the risk of a C-section or other interventions is more important than avoiding the smaller risk of perinatal death. But that doesn’t mean they’re choosing homebirth because it is safe. Until neonatologists recommend homebirth as safe for babies, you can be sure that it isn’t.

  • lana

    This is sad : ( My hospital births lead to severe postpartum depression and left me and my first son with a high fever due to some negligence on the hospital’s part, I won’t go into it.
    My home birth was perfect and I could only dream that I could redo it with my first two at home </3 There's nothing like the magic of actually feeling a new soul being born into the world.
    It's weird because I had far less pain at home, I think it was because I was MUCH more relaxed. My first hospital birth especially was very very stressful and I was really scared. All kinds of people I didn't know where running around me, talking about me, I was just really uncomfortable with it. I remember yelling at everyone to leave. That got people to calm down for sure, I couldn't focus on my breathing through contractions with my ob and her nurses or whoever they were gagleing all around me, I also HATED being stuck in that stupid bed. The need to move around was overwhelming, you get so cramped up after a while, plus the campiness of the contractions don't help : /
    Idk, for myself home birth was the answer. I'm also a very healthy individual with virtually no risk. They'll call it "low risk".
    Maybe my body is just made exceptionally well for birth or something.

  • huh

    What would be the rare exceptions where a neonatologist would recommend homebirth?

  • Anna

    A bit OT. Two ladies I know personally became mothers this month. Both had baby-girls and both had c-sections. One is a first time mother with numerous health issues which resulted in her having had miscarriages at 20 weeks + before. This was the first pregnancy she carried to term. The other is a mother of three with a history of easy births but smth went wrong this time, don’t know many particulars. Both babies are healthy. Now guess who is celebrating the birth and who is bemoaning the c-section? And I was like that too. Shame. As if one has to experience the worst of emotional pain and grief to finally GET how trivial and unimportant these things (i. e. mode of delivery, surrounding in which it takes place) actually are.

    • Bugsy

      Really interesting…

      Along the same lines, having struggled with infertility, I can’t help but wonder what percentage of others who need fertility treatments opt for all-natural births at any cost. I’ve generally operated from the opposite perspective – that because my kids were created in the least romantic, most scientific way possible, I have no problem having their entrance be similarly medicalized and devoid of romance. I struggled so much to get pregnant, the idea of having anything but the safest birth possible seems odd to me.

      • Madtowngirl

        I also struggled with infertility, and have been pretty surprised at the number of women in my support group who opt for the all-natural route. My hypothesis is that it is an attempt to regain control/hope after their bodies spent years “failing” them. It would be interesting to see an actual percentage, though, as I suspect my observations are not the norm.

        • demodocus

          Certainly our sample group here is likely to be weighted in favor of medical intervention when our docs suggest it.
          My husband can’t the usual way, so the docs recommended IVF as the best method for us. I’d have been perfectly okay with a c-section. Like they say, it’s not the wedding, it’s the marriage that counts. (Unless your family is still into arranged marriages and male dominance, and then i could see why a girl cares more about the wedding.)

        • Bugsy

          I think you raise a really interesting point – I do remember hearing about a few women w/ infertility who also took that route. It would be fascinating to see actual statistics on this.

      • momofone

        Also having struggled with infertility, I have always had a hard time understanding the decision to trust that birth would go well “naturally” when nothing else had.

  • LindaRosaRN

    Here in Colorado, the DEMs are going to have their sunset bill come up soon, which will review their practice over the last five years (actually 2009-2014). It has been like pulling teeth, to get raw data about their practice out of the Dept of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), even with an open records request. DORA is required by state law to collect certain data from DEMs as a requisite for re-registration every years.

    Among that data, DORA is required by law to find out how many newborns are transferred for medical care “immediately” after a birth attended by a DEM. DORA has been asking DEMs about transfers the first 24 hours, from 24 hours to the 7th day, and the 8th day to 6 weeks of age.

    I found that there was no data for transfers the first 24 hours for the years 2013 and 2014. When I asked, DORA claimed they decided to stop asking that particular question, while continuing to collect data about transfers AFTER the first 24 hours. I ask for documentation on the policy change, which would need to explain why the first 24 hours is not “immediate.” There is none…

    What is DORA, a long-time enabler of Colorado DEMs, trying to hide?

    I hope Colorado’s pediatricians and neonatologists have something to say about this to legislators.

    • Gatita

      How are they able to get away with this? Can they be sanctioned by the state?

      • Linda Rosa

        This is going to take finding allies and working up the bureaucratic ladder to get DORA’s head on the block. Right now they think they are invincible.

  • EllenL

    Pediatricians and neonatologists in the UK aren’t sold on home birth. A study of attitudes of health professionals in the UK towards home birth, and the government’s recent efforts to promote it:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24035398

    “Paediatricians/neonatologists were generally negative about home birthing (median 4 [IQR 3-5]) and opposed to the government’s plan (median 3 [IQR 2-5]).”

    The authors of the study want to bring these pediatricians and neonatologists in line.

    “Negative and neutral opinions should be further explored and addressed as they may impact on the uptake of home birth by women.”

    We can’t have specialists putting the needs and safety of babies first! (And standing in the way of our cost-cutting home birth scheme!)

  • Tosca

    I’ll believe it’s safe when obstetricians frantically call an ambulance to transport a mother labouring in the hospital, back to her home.

  • She

    I really don’t understand this. Having a homebirth to avoid a csection? If you need a csection, you sure as hell should not be avoiding it! I had a failed epidural and obstructed labor and I could not get into that OR fast enough! The pain was beyond description. What sort of person would prefer to just ride that out and hope for the best? Mind-boggling.

    • sdsures

      Someone in serious denial.

      • yentavegan

        Denial implies that the mother knows better but is ignoring reality. The mindset among women of privilege is that homebirth is a safe way to avoid unnecessary Cesarean sections. She is told this by her peers, by the celebrities she identifies with, by the women in her pre-natal yoga class and by the midwives who market themselves to this demographic.

        • She

          This is another thing I don’t get. Why is a csection the worst thing in the world? Worse, apparently, than a dead or injured baby or mother? I also wonder how many of these women actually know what a dysfunctional labor is like. It’s not a magical experience, in a hospital or at home with your favorite candles burning or whatever.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Why is a csection the worst thing in the world? Worse, apparently, than a dead or injured baby or mother?

            Not even that. There are many women (my wife among them) who not only don’t think a csection is “the worst thing in the world” but think it is far preferable to a vaginal delivery. My wife was thrilled at the fact that our first was breech, so that she could have a csection without any question then and for our second.

            In fact, I propose that the number of women who would rather have a csection than deliver vaginally is probably greater than the number of women who homebirth in the US (which is about 1.5%). I could be wrong, but hey, it doesn’t take much to get 1% (recall that the number of people in the US who think the moon landings were a hoax is 6%, 4x greater than the rate of homebirth, and that’s considered “fringe lunacy”).

            This whole csection boogeyman is such a huge strawman overall, I think. Most women just don’t buy it, and so the ones selling it need to create a major marketing campaign. Unfortunately, it is working, but not as well as they like to pretend. Most women don’t see csections as evil. They are concerned about their babies.

            In reading this site, it’s easy to get cynical, but sometimes it helps to remind ourselves that homebirthers in the US are fringe. Total, total fring. Like beyond moon landing hoax fring. Chemtrails fringe. It’s extreme.

          • LaMont

            But unfortunately, even on hardcore skeptic sites, and among normal people, you’ll get pity for the c-section. And general “too posh to push” bullshit. And “birthing on your back is just for doctors”. And “ugh I caved and got an epidural”. And “well it’s scary I guess but homebirth – according to those studies – is mostly just as safe, not that I’d try it necessarily”. And “c-sections increase risk of death”. And “of course breastfeeding is important”. All things I’ve seen from highly intelligent people who have just been misinformed by the overall woo culture out there. I do my best to gently steer them back, and most take some steering thank god, but it is exhausting. At least my medical student friend who has completed an OB rotation doesn’t go with any of it!

          • AA

            “Pitocin is the devil!” “There are way too many inductions” “Golf games!”

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            But remember, you only see the ones who bring that up (or refute it). The silent majority don’t buy it.

            It’s like when we talk about women getting crap for breastfeeding in public. If there are 99 people not bothering and 1 person who says something, what do you notice? The person who says something. It’s still only 1%

            Sure, the number of women who believe the csection boogeyman is more than 1%, so make it 30%. But even there, most women don’t.

            And despite all the talk about how homebirth is better, remember, it’s 1.5%. When money comes to brass tacks, no, it’s not popular.

          • LaMont

            That’s fair. And actually among the wonky set I hang with those comments might be *more* common because people want to feel educated and edgy. Still depressing, though. It does often feel like “too many c-sections” is “common knowledge” as opposed to “fringe lunacy”.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Careful – I never called too many csections fringe lunacy. I said most women don’t buy it, which I note could even be 30% or some other made up number. But just look at it – we have 20odd% of women who are giving birth are opting for c-sections, and doing them in cases where they would never have been done before. And they are yes getting backlash from some circles, but not enough to change all that much. So overwhelmingly, in real life, we are accepting of csections. Of course, that makes sense, because, as we’ve pointed out dozens of times, you can’t look at anyone who had a csection and really say it shouldn’t have been done. So yeah, even if there is a sentiment of “oh, there’s too many csections” people also know they can’t point to a csection that shouldn’t have been done.

            And Angharad, I never actually called homebirth “lunacy”. I called it fringe. And absolutely, Judaism is a fringe religion in the US. Sure, there are pockets where it is concentrated, but given that, it makes it even more fringe throughout the rest of the country. I never met anyone who was Jewish until I was … 22, maybe? Actually, there were some twins I knew in college from New Jersey who may have been Jewish, I don’t know. But outside of those high areas of concentration, you don’t meet many Jews.

          • Box of Salt

            Bofa on the Sofa “And absolutely, Judaism is a fringe religion in the US.”

            So the blog author here is a member of a fringe religion? Dude, I have lost so much respect for you based on this comment.

            “I never met anyone who was Jewish until I was … 22, maybe?”

            Really? How would you know?

            Sure, discount what I’m saying because I grew up in one those “pockets where it[Judaism] is concentrated” – greater NYC metropolitan area – but did it ever occur to you that unlike certain christian sects, most Jews don’t go around waving their religion in your face? There are reasons for that.

            Based on the Wikipedia breakdown of religious beliefs in the USA (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_religious_demographics_of_the_United_States), any religion other than christian is “fringe.”

            I expected better from you.

          • Box of Salt

            At least my wiki link screwed up .
            Try Pew instead:
            http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/

          • fiftyfifty1

            Bofa is not saying Judiasm is a weird religion, he’s saying that statistically it’s really rare in the US.

            I live in a state that has a low Jewish population. Some of my Jewish friends (the ones that aren’t transplants from NY or Israel etc.) grew up in towns where theirs was the only Jewish family. For example, a good friend of mine was the only Jew in her entire school district K-12. Nobody, including the teachers and principal, had ever heard of high holidays when it came time to have her miss school that first autumn. And yeah, this isolation made her feel very “fringe”. She has since moved to our major metropolitan area (millions) and is paying to send her kids to the one (tiny) Jewish school that the area supports. Even in the city, Judaism is still very rare, but she wants her kids to have a very different feeling growing up than she did.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Bofa is not saying Judiasm is a weird religion, he’s saying that statistically it’s really rare in the US.

            Moreover, given the fact that where it does occur, it often occurs in clusters, if you are outside of those clusters, it’s even more rare.

            Your example of a high school with one Jewish person in it is not uncommon. Heck, there are lots of schools in rural America without any Jews at all. Cities without a kosher deli. Why? Because there aren’t any Jews, or, at least, there aren’t enough around to bother accommodating.

            There’s no value judgement on it, it’s just the way it is.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “Based on the Wikipedia breakdown of religious beliefs in the USA (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…, any religion other than christian is “fringe.””

            Yep. And ask people of those religions how they feel. Many will tell you that it feels pretty lonely and fringe a lot of the time.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Based on the Wikipedia breakdown of religious beliefs in the USA (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…, any religion other than christian is “fringe.”

            Yes.

            I expected better from you.

            Better to not tell the truth?

          • Angharad

            I think most people believe breastfeeding is better and have some other woo-y ideas about birth, even if they’d never say anything rude to a stranger. I myself felt guilty about supplementing with formula, and second-guessed my decision to get an epidural, and every one of the people I’ve talked to about childbirth and babies (including very intelligent, science-minded people) has said one or more things indicating that natural birth and/or breastfeeding is better. The vast majority of them don’t choose homebirth for themselves, but they see it as a valid choice for other women, like a small but acceptable religion. Only 2% of the American population is Jewish, but (aside from some antisemitism that obviously shouldn’t exist) people don’t view it as extreme lunacy worse than the moon landing conspiracists.

          • Daleth

            Here’s something fun. Explain to the “c-sections ‘r’ bad” crowd that in the US, hospitals don’t break out emergency c-section data from planned c-section data, so we don’t actually know how safe or dangerous c-sections are in and of themselves (when there are no complications going on).

            But in the UK, they do break that data out separately. And a study that looked at EVERY BIRTH IN THE UK over a three-year period–so more than 2 million births–found that planned c-sections are significantly LESS likely to kill the mother an attempting a vaginal delivery is! To be exact, 20.62% less likely.

            Here’s a major newspaper article on the study:
            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1584671/Women-choosing-caesarean-have-low-death-rate.html

            And here’s a link to the study in the BMJ:
            http://www.bmj.com/rapid-response/2011/11/02/new-research-finds-lowest-maternal-mortality-rate-elective-cesarean-delive

          • Roadstergal

            I know I’m hardly a good n because I didn’t go on to have kids, but I remember hearing about C-sections when I was fairly young and still open to the ‘kids’ thing, and thinking it was just the most awesome idea. The surgeries I’ve had since then have only reinforced that notion.

          • LindaRosaRN

            When I worked in a large postpartum department we used to get the occasional call from women out of the blue asking if they could have a “C-section now, please.” Pregnancy (not labor) had gotten too unbearable.

          • Gatita

            Depends on the part of the country you’re in. It’s not fringe where I live.

          • Daleth

            I’m with your wife. I was all about the natural birth (I was born at home, and never had any interest in that but was going to birth with CNMs at my local maternity hospital). But then I got risked out of that due to mono-di twins, and the more I read about labor, delivery and the possible complications thereof, the more I was interested in c-sections. I got one–had to fight my doctors for it, which is ridiculous–and am so glad.

          • SporkParade

            The woman who runs the local hypnobirthing classes, which I only took because I was at risk of not being able to have an epidural, tried to prove that hypnobirthing works because women who use it have lower C-section rates.

          • Daleth

            Omfg. Self-selecting sample, much?!

          • SporkParade

            I may have said that C-sections aren’t an adverse outcome, nor are they proof that hypnobirthing provides effective pain relief.

          • fiftyfifty1

            “sometimes it helps to remind ourselves that homebirthers in the US are fringe”

            I agree there are probably more women who would want a maternal request CS than would want a homebirth. But I disagree that remembering this somehow “helps”.

            Groups that we might call fringe based on their numbers, may still have a huge voice in the common discourse (including a strong influence on science and policy). You have told us yourself that your wife, delighted though she may have been by her CSs, still felt the need to explain to everyone that they were not elective.

            When a person is being bullied, it’s cold comfort to remind them that “not all people” are bullies.

          • Megan

            Plus, I find it concerning that the media further romanticizes home birth and downplays the risks to the general public. It’s only going to do to us to become more popular because of this.

          • Megan

            Wow, not sure what my phone did there. That should say: “It’s only going to become more popular because of this.”

          • crazy grad mama

            It may be fringe in real life, but I would argue that it’s very much not fringe online. The online resources for pregnant women and new parents lean very heavily in the “natural” direction, and then when you add in comments and forums…

            If you do a Google search for “moon landing,” a handful of crazies might show up among the results, but the top stuff is likely going to be dominated by real historical information. If you search for “breech baby,” on the other hand, Spinning Babies is going to come up on the very first page.

          • Megan

            Yes and all the mainstream resources for first time moms (BabyCenter, The Bump), push natural birth. For instance, I repeatedly see articles from both saying how unsafe CSections are and encouraging women to VBAC without really discussing that the issue is very nuanced and that it really should be a decision made after weighing the risks and benefits in each particular situation with one’s doctor.

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

            I would have loved a C-section for my first and only baby. Recovering from an emergent vacuum extraction and episiotomy and 2 serious tears was crappy. In adequate post partum pain relief was also no fun…

          • LindaRosaRN

            There must be a certain portion of the population that has a phobia of hospitals or some part of hospital care. I wonder how this might contribute to the business of home birthing?

          • Erin

            I’m a member of a Birth Trauma support group. My Psychologist suggested it might help following the interesting experience which was my son’s arrival and I’d say Maternity Hospitals certainly seem to contribute to hospital phobias with subsequent children. I’m the only person in said support group who has zero interest in a vbac (and that’s not just because my pelvis clearly isn’t designed for it) and am in a tiny minority in that I have no desire to birth at home. Partly I suspect because I believe that it goes like:

            Problems in labour -> interventions
            not
            Amazing empowering functional labour -> Interventions because OBs get bored if left alone for five minutes -> c-sections

            Unfortunately every one else in the group seems to think that the latter example is correct and those who are currently pregnant are making some highly frightening choices in my opinion, especially given what happened to them previously.

          • CSN0116

            I had two elective cesareans – (1) for mo/di twins for which the risks of vaginal birthing seemed far too unnecessary and unappealing, and (2) after a “let’s try for a VBAC,” but at 9 days past due I was no longer comfortable waiting for her and elected a repeat cesarean. These two births were followed by two VBA2Cs. All of my births occurred in a hospital with the same (male?!) OB/GYN.
            After my first VBA2C I was ignorantly intrigued by ICAN. I never looked at any of their literature prior to, but visited some sites postpartum. Holyyyyyy shit. These people are scary. Everything is “me, my, I”. It’s all about the mother – what she wants, how she feels, what she wants to overcome, and what she has to prove to herself and society. It is the most self-centered collection of privilege that I’ve ever had the “pleasure” of reading. And if something is mentioned about babies dying in huts in third world countries, or fistula rates, that person is told to shut up and that “Those facts don’t negate the feelings of these moms. You can’t tell them how to feel about their births and their feelings are legitimate.”
            I ran after mere minutes of browsing. I thought it was satire but it was totally real.
            All of my births hurt like hell and nothing about them was empowering or pleasant. There were no “feelings” present, just gratefulness. A nurse asked me my birth plan with my fifth. I told her, “For us both to leave alive. Thanks.”

  • Brooke

    CPMs and lay midwives are not even legal in all 50 states so women are not really free to choose to have “riskier” homebirths.

    • Megan

      Who’s going to stop them? All their birth attendant has to do is call themselves a doula and/or mom claims she was birthing unassisted.

      • This is why I think that there should be laws that make a homebirthing woman subject to indictment for manslaughter should she use any but a CNM attendant and her baby die. And I think it needs to be a Federal statute, well-publicized, and anyone acting as a birth attendant be mandated to get a signed statement from the mother that she understands this. If no statement can be produced, let’s have the non-CNM “midwife” up on charges, too.

        You’re free to smoke, but you can’t claim you didn’t see the health warnings, so when you get sick you can’t use ignorance of the risks as an excuse.

        • Mattie

          In the UK it is illegal for anyone but a midwife or doctor to attend a birth and provide labour care. A woman is allowed to birth unassisted if she chooses, but legally she must labour alone. AFAIK that includes doulas and partners too…but maybe I’m wrong. Obviously this doesn’t include unplanned home births/BBAs where the partner has to deliver the baby on the bathroom floor while on the phone to emergency services. Just planned births.

          I think prosecuting women for making decisions that factor into the deaths or damages to their babies is wrong, they should always be free to choose what they want for themselves…and if that ends badly then it’s tragic and awful but they shouldn’t be prosecuted, that’s all kinds of messed up when you look at their bodily rights. I do think CPMs should be regulated and mandatory standards should be brought in/CPM qualification got rid of, and if anyone but a CNM acts as a midwife then they should face charges.

          Side note, ignorance in this case CAN be argued, many women don’t know that CPM isn’t as good as CNM, or what the real differences are.

          • SporkParade

            CPMs who move to Israel continue to practice despite being ineligible for licensing by finding women who are still willing to give birth at home despite being risked out and instructing them to tell the interior ministry that the birth was unattended.

          • Mattie

            That’s awful 🙁 I mean, there’s nothing really stopping that happening, any more than laws stop people committing any crimes. But at least with laws there’s the potential for prosecution =/

          • Charybdis

            There’s a lovely quote in Black Beauty that I think sums this up very well:

            Only ignorance! only ignorance! how can you talk about only ignorance? Don’t you know that it is the worst thing in the world, next to wickedness? — and which does the most mischief heaven only knows. If people can say, `Oh! I did not know, I did not mean any harm,’ they think it is all right. ”

            Ignorance of the laws is not a defense.

        • Medwife

          Maybe it’s because of the misogynistic legislation trend here in the US, but any further laws restricting what a woman can do with her body make me queasy. No. Just, no.

        • Sarah

          Hell no.

        • Busbus

          I absolutely disagree. Just like women shouldn’t be indicted for smoking during pregnancy etc. It’s a small step for a prosecutor to take such a law and indict women for anything unsafe they might have done during pregnancy if there is a bad outcome, or even women who might not have known they were pregnant at the time. Which would mean every woman would be under threat of the law at any time between, say, 12 and 49, since everyone can have an unplanned pregnancy. It would effectively make women second-class citizens for the entirety of their reproductive lives.

          In addition, whatever stupid choices a woman might have made during pregnancy, no one is helped if that woman is sent to jail, and so many other people would be victimized by doing that – first of all her other kids, if she has any. And for most women I think it’s safe to say that they’ve already been punished more harshly than I’d wish on anyone.

          Remember, if such a law went into effect, every single one of the women who have lost babies and who have posted here would have been indicted and would be facing years of legal struggle in the best case and years in jail in the worst case. Who would be helped by that? Exactly no one.

          • Amazed

            A law doesn’t go retrospectively. And while the sight of mothers who were on bedrest in a hospital sneaking out to smoke their lungs out, monitors still attached and mothers knowing that they were sabotaging the effort to save their babies but the urge was too great, was repulsive to me but not something I’d like to see legally punished, I see no problem with women being made aware that it’s either a CNM or unassisted homebirth if hospital is so very scary. All else should be illegal.

            Not quite what Antigonos says but not this different either. We’re all against prostitutes being punished while the men buying their services go on their merry way but when it’s birth, we’re suddenly so very understanding and poor mommies should be protected by the consequences of their unsafe choice.

            Make it a law that homebirth can only be assisted by a CNM or a MD, that your neighbour can act as your doula. hold your hand and rub your back but should she overstep, she’s engaging in illegally offering medical service, and punish both sides. It isn’t about what a woman does to her body and her child, it’s emulating medical help when one isn’t given.

            It isn’t about punishing women. Having a bad outcome in a homebirth isn’t a punishment either way, so we can say, “Poor dears have already paid their due.” It’s just a bad draw of luck. No divine justice has been doled out. The atheist that I am, I can’t really see Him as a malicious old man who stares from His lofty throne in search of people who made bad decision to punish them with the consequences of it.

            It’s about protecting babies and yes, mothers from a fraud that resembles a medical situation but is served by pretenders.

          • Busbus

            Amazed, I just edited my post to make it more clear what I was referring to. Antigonos wrote that she thought homebirthing mothers should be indicted for manslaughter if they used illegal providers and their baby died. I am absolutely against that for a variety of reasons. Of course a law doesn’t go into effect retroactively, but if you support such a law, you would have to morally support all the loss mothers on this board going to jail since that’s what would have happened to the majority of them if that law had been in effect. Had my baby died at my CPM-attended homebirth, I would have gone to jail. Who’s helped by that? And how scary for the possible implications for women’s rights.

            That’s light years away from punishing midwives (or, rather, lay people calling themselves midwives) for offering unsafe services and pretending they are qualified providers. I don’t know if that’s the right way to go, but I definitely think people need to be punished for mis-representing their education and skills, just like doctors are punished for practicing without a license.

            Most people are in agreement that the US sends too many people to jail. What is it now, 10x more than any comparable democratic, industrialized nation? Still, many people are too happy to call for new prison sentences to be introduced against behavior they think should be stopped. That is insane. There are very few super-crazy hombirthing mothers out there (probably less than 5% of all homebirthers I would say, given my own experience in homebirth circles). Most women truly (if mistakenly) believe that they are making a safe and reasonable choice for their baby. Who is helped by sending people to jail who for the most part did not understand how unsafe their decision was and have just gone through a terrible, life-shattering experience? Who is helped by ruining their lives and tearing their families apart as a result? Apart from the fact that it would be heartless, it is also pointless. So, yes, I am absolutely against criminalizing homebirth for the mothers under any circumstances whatsoever. Midwives who promote unsafe behavior in a professional capacity, different story – but criminalizing mothers, no.

          • Amazed

            Oh I have no problem with morally supporting all the women who went against such law if it had existed at the time being held responsible. The question is: would YOU have hired a CPM if such a law had been into effect when you had your homebirth? I am not talking about difference between laws in various states where homebirth advocate can cite technicalities and claim that it isn’t dangerous because Mr Jones next door does it as well. I am talking about a country-valid law: “No homebirth can be assisted by anyone else but a doctor or a CPM”. Would you have sought a CPM, or would you have tried to find out WHY it was illegal to have one?

            I’ll go futher than Antigonos: I support every woman who had a loon-assisted homebirth being held liable for it. No matter the outcome. It doesn’t even have to mean jail time. There are other sanctions. I really can’t see how it’s different than prostitutes and their clients. You can’t stop loons mispresenting themselves and their competence while saying that there should be no law forbidding you from hiring me and paying me as if I knew what I was talking about. Just a law that should punish ME. It doesn’t work this way. It should be two-sided.

            The very fact that there is such a law (if one is ever made) should be enough to make people aware that such a thing as a loon-assisted homebirth is unacceptable. It doesn’t even matter if mothers understand that. No country can send people to sit with every expectant mother and explain patiently why it’s a bad idea, just in case she wants this “safe” decision. The fact that something is illegal makes most people think twice and delve more deeply. Homebirth means endangering your child, after all.

            Again, I am not talking about homebirth. I am talking about the pretense that is a loon-assisted homebirth.

            While I’m not in the USA and cannot say anything about too many people being sent to jail, I can say that from where I stand, this argument falls flat on me. We currently have the law changed because of that specific reason. Now, anyone can relieve me of my wallet without engaging in a criminal action as long as the sum there doesn’t exceed a certain amount. It used to be that a thief was tried because of the fact of a theft. Not so now. Our pensions are a joke. I can walk out and rob an old fellow like, now, without committing a crime, at the same way leaving him without food for quite a while. Because, you see, the jails are overcrowded already. I don’t care. You don’t get to rob people and fly away like a blue bird. Oh but you can. As long as the sum is small enough! Doesn’t matter that it can be a HUGE one for many people.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Yeah, how DARE the government insist that people who are presenting themselves as healthcare providers actually be qualified to do so?

      Anyone should just be able to call themselves an expert in normal birth and charge people money to attend their delivery.

      Oddly, we don’t allow that in any other medical area, but when it comes to childbirth, all of a sudden…

    • moto_librarian

      Time to go work on your passage-based reading.

    • Deborah

      Thank God.

    • lilin

      Actually, it’s the midwives who would be locked up for that–for the exact reason that woman who was shooting hydrogel into people’s asses and then sealing it with superglue. They are unqualified amateurs who like to pretend to practice medicine.

      • araikwao

        o.O

    • Amy

      The women can do whatever they want. There’s no law forcing a woman to have a qualified birth attendant. What the law prohibits is lay midwives calling themselves professionals and charging for it.

    • mostlyclueless

      Is that…are you saying they should be…? What’s your point?

    • yentavegan

      and yet they ply their wares to an unsuspecting public. Their obfuscate their non-legal status, they smudge the truth about hospital affiliation, about their education about their transfer of care protocol.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      And furthermore there are women in other places in the world besides the US so the 50 states don’t cover all contingencies. In some places, home birth is legal with a well trained midwife and in those places home birth is marginally safer (though still less safe than hospital birth.)

  • moto_librarian

    I really do think that midwifery advocates have been really good at convincing the general public that homebirth is as safe as, if not safer than, hospital birth. I had no idea that there were multiple credentials for midwives until I started reading this blog. I had no idea that anything other than the CNM existed. The lay public doesn’t understand that the homebirth outcomes from other developed nations can’t be extrapolated to the United States. And how often do we see yet another article bemoaning the c-section rate?

    I think it’s getting harder to hide the truth, but we’re still a long ways from the realization that the emperor has no clothes.

    • Zornorph

      I keep hoping for a Dateline NBC reporter or somebody to get a hold of it and do a big story.

      • fiftyfifty1

        I imagine this will happen only if there is a celebrity death.

        • demodocus

          or 6.

    • sdsures

      How many more dead babies do we need?

  • psuedoscience sucks

    My husband is a board certified neonatologist. He’s not a homebirth fan, and all of our kids were born in a hospital.

    He is very pro-breastfeeding, however, as the research has been clear that breastfeeding reduces the risk of NEC in preemies. His NICU has a 99% breastfeeding rate. Once they go home, who knows.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      He is very pro-breastfeeding, however, as the research has been clear that breastfeeding reduces the risk of NEC in preemies.

      Sure, and I don’t know anyone who feels otherwise. I guess that means that everyone here is just as “very pro-breasteeding.”

      All of the discussions about breastfeeding that go on here refer to term infants in 1st world areas.

      • Roadstergal

        If you have a preemie, don’t they feed them a lot of women’s milk, because of the great variance in protectivness of milk across women?

        • Elizabeth A

          ???

          Preemies get their own mother’s milk, generally, and sometimes donor milk if necessary. Donor milk comes from tons of sources, but most preemies are getting by on their own moms, end of story.

        • guest

          What?

          • Roadstergal

            Sorry, I obviously misunderstood what I was told.

        • Poogles

          I think I get what you’re saying – not every woman’s milk gives the same level of protection against NEC (some offer no protection). However, there is no, afaik, policy to feed all preemies donor milk (which is a combination of milk from many donors), unless the mother is not breastfeeding (for whatever reason).

        • psuedoscience sucks

          No, they get their own mother’s milk. Well, as long as the nurses don’t make a mistake, which does happen. They will sometimes fortify the milk, and the preference is for human milk fortifiers, although not all hospitals/insurances will pay for it because it is very expensive.

    • Sue

      That’s spectrum bias. Breast milk does have a significant outcome benefit for premmies. For full-term babies, iin wealthy societies, not so much.

      • psuedoscience sucks

        This page tends to downplay any breastfeeding benefits, however, there are very real benefits of breastmilk for preemies.

        He was pretty picky about our babies being breastfed (as was I), and, thankfully, is the best lactation help I could ever ask for. The lactation nurses I ran into were generally crazy cakes. However, when our 4th needed supplementation with formula, he was the first going to bat for it, and had to fight our “baby friendly” hospital for it. Our 4th is every bit as healthy/smart/happy as the other 3.

        There is a place for being pro-breastfeeding, without being a lactivist nutjob. There’s a middle ground.

  • Carolina

    My brother in law is a pediatric neurologist in Oregon, land of the crunchies (he’s a huge hippie himself). His black humor joke is that he loves homebirth because it gives him so many interesting cases and some will be life-long patients :/

    • Gene

      Well, technically. Sick kids need more care. A neurologically devastated child will be in the ED a bunch more times than a normal healthy kid. I guess peds ed docs should be cheering homebirth as well!

      • Sue

        Yep. All those seizures, aspiration pneumonia – it;s not an easy life.

    • lilin

      God, I would never have the emotional fortitude to do that. I see why your brother would want to deal with the whole thing using humor.

    • Sue

      And yet which studies of HB outcomes even measure, let alone report, avoidable disability and injury (apart from death)?

      In the hospital system death is certainly not the only outcome considered to be an adverse event. Even near-misses are investigated.

      • sdsures

        Yep. As a preemie, I was evaluated for cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, the works – whenever a preemie suffers a brain bleed – which probably a lot of them do, you and your parents become VERY well acquainted with the various specialties of pediatrics: ortho, neuro, what have you.

        • SporkParade

          You know, I never thought to ask how they knew that my husband the preemie suffered a brain bleed. As far as I know, he wasn’t referred to any specialists, but it also didn’t do too much damage.

        • Medwife

          How many of those brain injuries might be totally unnoticed by the parents until they reach school age? Who knows? If you don’t take a temp, you can’t find a fever. That’s a key thing for unethical birth attendants.

  • namaste863

    A gem I pulled off of My Midwife Said What?!

    “I’ll be honest, I’m not really emotionally that into the baby. In fact, there are a lot of nurses and midwives who feel the same way that I do. It is the process, the journey and watching a mom did deep into the depths of her soul that touches my tears… and that can happen at any time during the labor and can even happen if there is a transport.”

    Problem, much?

    • DelphiniumFalcon

      I read that one too and just felt sick. Hey, that’s great you get your kicks off vicariously living through that “empowering” experience. Except not because you’re not the one in pain, surging with hormones, and worried about a new life. I can’t even…

      And they say OBs and CNMs have no compassion and don’t care.

      • namaste863

        Someone who obviously couldn’t give a shit about doing her job, I.E. getting the baby out safely, has no business providing any sort of healthcare.

        • Amazed

          In truth, I am not sure I want a healthcare provider who is so easily touched. Compassion is one thing. Being so invested emotionally is quite another. There is a reason why doctors generally don’t treat their families. In fact, I am quite sure that neither Dr Amy nor Addi or any of the female OBs here – and HM CrownedMedwife, Antigonos, Medwife and the rest of them – didn’t do their own prenatal care. This level of emotional investment is troubling.

          Of course, what is mote troubling is this indifference to the baby and the huge importance given to the Certified Pretend Midwife’s feelings. She sounds so proud of her own magnanimity. Even if there is a transport, can you imagine this? A heart of gold here!

          • namaste863

            Let’s just say it’s unprofessional behavior from a lot of angles.

          • Amazed

            Word!

          • moto_librarian

            I agree that there has to be a healthy level of detachment from the provider. The problem that I see with many “midwives” is that they relish in the emotional investment that they have with the mother to he expense of the baby. When you have them admitting that they don’t really have any feelings about the baby, it convinces me that, to them, the baby is merely a prop and not a patient. When they have no investment in the outcome for the baby, that’s a real problem.

          • Amazed

            Oh yes. I don’t want anyone invested in their feelings of the process. I want them very much invested in the outcome. That’s why for things that are important, I try to go to people who’ll shit on their own life by shitting on my outcome.

          • PickAUserNameForDisqus

            Totally agree, it’s like those friends in high school that would listen to all your drama and then say, “I should be a therapist.”. Well, no, I want my therapists to have a professional remove from the drama, not feed in it and enjoy the gossip.

          • DelphiniumFalcon

            Plus there’s a difference between kind and compassionate care and overly invested in the patient. We don’t need to go for drinks after appointments.

            And the thing is one method keeps a patient calm and trusting enough to actually say what’s wrong so they can get better. The other clouds judgement on even easy choices.

          • Christy

            Heck, even as a veterinary technician I can’t treat my own animals. Hold them for shots, sure. But if they’re really sick or in pain forget about it. Everything I ever learned in school or the 15 years since goes right out the window. I need someone who a) is smart and b) isn’t in love with them to figure it out for me.

          • ElaineF

            I’m a pharmacist and I freaked out the first time I had to calculate a dose of Tylenol for my own baby. I kind of wanted to get another pharmacist to double-check me, just for my own peace of mind. I’m a little better about it now, but I still wouldn’t want to be making big decisions for them with my provider hat on.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            In truth, I am not sure I want a healthcare provider who is so easily touched. Compassion is one thing. Being so invested emotionally is quite another.

            I agree. As I have gotten older, I have come to appreciate more and more how important it is for doctors to be almost dispassionate. I don’t want them to see me as their friend.

            I’ve asked this before, do you really want to talk to your friends about the intimate details of your private parts? Do you want a friend to give you a rectal exam? Or a breast exam? I don’t. I want it to be a complete stranger, someone who wouldn’t recognize me on the street the next time they saw me, even.

            I remember when my FIL broke his arm. He said, you know it’s real love when your wife will wipe your butt for you. True, you wife would do that. But then again, so will a nurse. And it’s not because of love. And for me, when it comes to someone wiping my butt when I can’t, I can handle an act of true love, or a nurse, but I really, really, REALLY don’t think that I’d want to ask someone in-between.

            After my wife’s first c-section, the nurse gave her an enema. Again, not something I’d ask a friend to do. But a medical professional? Sure.

          • Amazed

            That’s it. Different people have different roles in our lives. I can handle someone changing role out of love. But those are the exceptions. I don’t want my healthcare providers to try and please me. I want them to give me, objectively, the care that is best for me.

            I’ve said it before: I know very few teachers who teach their own children on more than a fun basis. Like, the entire family was invested in teaching me and the Intruder to read and write before we started attending school – and our grandma is a retired elementary teacher. Sure, my mom was always ready to help me later. But if I needed more than an hour per week, she’d have sent me to a colleague. Just like her colleagues sent their kids to her.

            It’s very hard not to carry boundaries, or the lackthereof, from one kind of relationship to another. And it should NEVER happen in healthcare.

    • Madtowngirl

      Holy shit! That’s disgusting.

      • namaste863

        Amirite? Holy shit was exactly what I said.

    • Zornorph

      Pan Am Airlines used to advertise that ‘getting there is half the fun’. Well, Pan Am doesn’t exist anymore and very few people today would argue that the travel part of the trip is half the fun (I’m actually an exception, but I’m weird – I see traveling with a 2yo as a fun challenge and adventure). But I seriously don’t get this focus on the birth itself as this huge ceremony. How did the focus go from the baby onto ‘mama warriors’? After all, we celebrate the baby’s birthday – are these birth warriors now going to start demanding a joint celebration with their children to acknowledge ‘I gave birth day’ on the same day as their kid’s birthday? The whole concept of birth is that it’s a beginning, not an end in and of itself. I just don’t get how these midwife birth junkies can enjoy watching some baby come ‘earthside’ and then see things go so wrong.

      • namaste863

        I challenge anyone who has sat through a 15 hour flight from San Francisco to Dubai and then an additional 10 hour flight from Dubai to Cape Town to say “Getting there is half the fun.”

        • Megan

          Or an 18.5 hour flight from Dallas to Brisbane…

          • Amazed

            Try the 1 hour 40 minutes travel by train in a post Communist country. Every weekend. For three years. When you’re 10. If I didn’t know that I was going to a fun place, I’d have never boarded it.

            People say it’s much better now, more comfortable and not crowded at all. I don’t know. When I can have the bus straight away, I take it. If I have to wait, I do. Never, ever in a train again if I can avoid it. (One memorable exception was when I had to travel unexpectedly for my grandmother’s funeral. That’s it. I just hate everything to do with trains.)

          • The Computer Ate My Nym

            3 hour flight from Omaha to Los Angeles. 16 or so hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney. Another 4 hour or so flight from Sydney to Perth. Getting there was definitely not half the fun. Perth is worth it, though. Beautiful.

          • Dr Kitty

            I’ve had some “fun” trips.
            Travelling alone from Belfast to Sydney via London, LA and Auckland.
            Overnight train from Budapest to Thessaloniki via Sarajevo and border guards trying to extort money from us.
            Overnight train from Fez to Marrakech sharing a compartment with goats, chickens and a man listening to a very loud radio.

            And some FUN trips.
            Melbourne to New Delhi via Singapore, when I had enough time for a massage and a Singapore Sling in Chaangi airport.
            24hrs on a train from Delhi to rural Maharashtra with my friends, a pack of cards and a hip flask.
            Overnight on a ferry from Patras to Corfu, sitting in a sleeping bag on the deck with my friends, playing poker and drinking ouzo.

            Sometimes getting there is half the fun. Sometimes getting there is no fun at all.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Family trips can sometimes be fun, at least in principle. Although they don’t always turn out that way.

            This one time, we decided to drive out to California to the big amusement park. Had to stop in Kansas to see my wife’s cousin, and then she dumps my wife’s aunt on us, and expected us to take her to Phoenix. Oh, and her dog, too, who was a nasty piece of work. Then, my wife’s aunt up and dies in the car! We get to Phoenix to my wife’s cousin’s house, and NO ONE IS HOME!!! What to do? We just left her body on the porch with a note (fortunately (or unfortunately for him, as it were), we lost the dog earlier in Colorado after I forgot I had tied him to the bumper of the car – eek!)

            Well, to make a long story short, after two weeks we finally got to California and the amusement park was CLOSED! Can you believe that, closed? (I really should have checked the schedule, but who closes the amusement part?). After the ordeal we went through, I wasn’t going to put up with it, and fortunately, an overpaid security guard helped us out, and, in the end, we got to ride all the rides by ourselves.

            We thought it was going to be a great trip. In the words of my son, the trip was really a drag, but hey, the park was fun. And thank Lindsey Buckingham, we didn’t all end up in jail.

          • seekingbalance

            you forgot to mention the part where you strapped the aunt to the roof, if memory from the 80s serves me. 😉

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Well, we got her to Phoenix. I realize there are lots of details I left out, like the part where I almost hooked up with the super model in the convertible, but I don’t want to brag…

          • Toni35

            What happened to the dog? 😉

          • yentavegan

            please don’t make me think about that again…..so cringe worthy

        • Roadstergal

          To be fair, if you do enough time in cattle class to get an upgrade to Business for a trans-continental flight, getting there is pretty damn sweet. An n of 1 across my life, though.

          • namaste863

            I did Business class between LA and London. 10 hrs. It still sucked. I’ve taken to stopping in NYC for a few days on either end of the trip to break up the boredom of trans-Atlantic flights and indulge in my Broadway addiction.

          • Roadstergal

            I did it from SF to Amsterdam, and I had movies and they _kept bringing me booze_. There was no way I was not going to enjoy that flight.

            Coming back, we ate space cake in Amsterdam, and that took care of the first half of the flight.

          • namaste863

            Booze definitely helps. What exactly is space cake?

          • Roadstergal

            Marijuana edibles. Legal in Amsterdam!

          • namaste863

            Sweeeeeeeeet! Next stop, Amsterdam! KLM?

          • Roadstergal

            All of our miles were on United. :p But we’re the oddballs who have generally been very happy with United…

          • namaste863

            Last time I flew with them, it was to Beijing about 10 years ago. The movie system was one projector screen for the whole cabin. And they chose Million Dollar Baby. Fortunately on the way back, I polished off an entire Harry Potter book.

          • Inmara

            Good that you didn’t miss the flight home! An old friend of mine is travel agent and while booking my first flight to U.S. (via Amsterdam) he confessed that more than few of his clients have missed their connections because they tried some Amsterdam specialties and totally lost the grasp of time and place.

          • Roadstergal

            Yeah, you don’t want that to be the first time you indulge…!

            We ate them right before Security, and went right to the gate. The nice thing about edibles is that the PK is less peaky than smoking, so you don’t get massively high and it lasts a while.

        • Liz Leyden

          Or 24 hours from Newcastle to London to Dubai (5-hour layover) to Sydney.

          • BeatriceC

            Driving. Two separate trips:

            1. Honda Civic: me, three pre-teen kids. Seattle-San Diego (stayed overnight), San Diego-Ft. Worth, TX (stayed two nights), Ft. Worth-Houston-Atlanta (3 hour visit with a friend in Houston, pulled over at a rest stop for a two hour nap, then visited with a sister for two days), then finally Atlanta-Miami.

            2. Same Honda Civic, three kids, now all a year older and an adult, male Mastiff. Miami-Ft. Worth (stayed a month), then Ft. Worth to San Diego. Did the first leg in one marathon driving session. The car was dying as I was nursing it into San Diego, so I had to stop overnight twice for repairs (I do my own work), and rigged it just a few hours out to it could limp in the rest of the way. It died for good almost one mile exactly from my destination in San Diego. I have a mini van now.

      • AirPlant

        To be fair, my mom leave me a voice message every year reminding me that I am the only child that she went through labor with, and my dad reminds me that he rocked me for hours and hours while they stitched my mother up and I cried the entire damn time.

      • Amy M

        Well, I basically agree with you, but there are/have been a lot of cultures (maybe even Western culture–we have baby showers), that view a woman having her first child as a rite of passage. Not that it was the main point, of course, the baby was, but it was still a pretty big life event. Since up until recently in developed countries, there was no guarantee of survival, I can understand why religious and cultural traditions would spring up around birth.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          “Having a baby” is a HUGE event. Especially the first baby, where you are transformed from an individual into a parent.

          That transformation is real, but it comes with having a baby, not with how the baby is born. It is just as transformative with a c-section as without.

          Imagine, one moment, you are a mother with a baby inside you. The next, there is a whole new person living in the world (and you are responsible). It’s huge. It’s awesome. And it doesn’t depend one lick on whether it popped it of your vag.

          Having a baby can absolutely be viewed as a “rite of passage” – into parenthood. I share in the idea that it should be celebrated. But it’s not the process that is celebrated, it is the concept.

          • Megan

            Exactly. It’s becoming a mother itself, not the process by how that happened. And that should extend to fathers and adoptive parents (like mine) too.

          • Amy M

            That’s true–that’s what I was trying to get at, but I see that these homebirth people are not. They are focusing on the process. Not “it was the day I became a mother” but “the day I had a homebirth.” Important distinction.

        • Roadstergal

          I can imagine that in the absence of proper obstetric care, having that ‘proven pelvis’ moment is rather a big deal, as it means you might just survive through a few more babies.

      • Poogles

        “After all, we celebrate the baby’s birthday – are these birth warriors now going to start demanding a joint celebration with their children to acknowledge ‘I gave birth day’ on the same day as their kid’s birthday?”

        Too late:
        “our house is celebrating my younger daughter’s third birthday, which also happens to be the third anniversary of our home birth!”

        http://realfoodfamily.com/health/my-3-year-home-birth-anniversary-and-lots-of-birth-stories-and-home-birth-links-to-celebrate/

        “As I celebrate the birth of my youngest son I am also remembering the
        anniversary of my first completely normal birth.”

        http://birthingnirvana.blogspot.com/2013/04/homebirth-anniversary.html

        “But we tend to take the role that women play in the survival of our species totally for granted. So I would like to suggest that in addition to celebrating the child, we should also take time to recognize and honour the great effort (and sacrifice) that the child’s mother made on that day. ”

        http://www.xyonline.net/content/happy-giving-birth-day-celebration-mothers

        • Azuran

          Wow, those kids are going to need all the shrinks in the world when they grow up. They can’t even have their own birthday…

          • Zornorph

            I’m aware of the day that I learned that my surrogate was pregnant (Pearl Harbour Day, of all things) and I tend to think about it on that day, but I’d never try to make a celebration out of it. And I certainly don’t think about it in terms of the sacrifices and challenges I made to get to that point – I was just focused on wanting a baby.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I remember the day our oldest was conceived. It was St Patrick’s Day (and there was a lot of other stuff that went down in our lives that day that make it notable).

          • Zornorph

            Did you remember that when your child came out with green hair?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Well, it’s not like either of us were wearing green at the time he was conceived…

          • Charybdis

            I’m fairly sure DS was conceived the day the Space
            Shuttle broke up over Texas when trying to land…

          • ElaineF

            LOL, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter on my own birthday, and my husband joked that he got me what I wanted for my birthday after all. Each year on my own birthday, if I choose, I can celebrate that as well.

        • Kelly

          I know of kids who send their moms flowers on the day they were born to thank them but that was something that was started by the kids and is a sweet sentiment. I am sure they are glad that their mom also went the safest route for them to be born without problems,

          • Amazed

            My dad always buys Mom a present for our birthdays but she’s never the star of the show. That’s something between the two of them. The rest of it was always for the birthday girl/boy.

          • Kelly

            Same for these kids. I should have put that they are adults doing this for their mom.

          • Amazed

            On my mom’s first birthday, my grandmother actually received a greeing card for her birthday girl and herself from the head doctor at the unit she had given birth to. He was just so awed by the way things went down that he wanted to thank his eclampsia patient for getting through it alive and with a healthy baby. The last such patient they had before her died, along with the baby. He was just so encouraged by having a different outcome this time.

          • Inmara

            In my culture, we always give flowers in celebrations (either birthdays, graduations, weddings, you name it). For birthdays, it’s customary to greet with flowers not only the person who has birthday but his/her mother too, even if it’s like 30th, 40th or 50th birthday. But I haven’t heard anyone expressing interest how exactly mother gave birth and whether she was ‘mama warrior’ or had maternal request C-section; all that matters is that she had the baby and cared for him/her enough that we’re able to celebrate this birthday together.

          • Amazed

            Same here. Plus, we congratulate the father as well. But nothing of it has anything to do with mama warriors.

          • Kelly

            I agree. The only ones I have seen that from are those who are home birthers. I don’t need to have a play by play on when and how your baby was born every year on their birthday.

          • sdsures

            It would make me homicidal if I had to endure that every year.

          • Eater of Worlds

            That’s interesting. Which culture is that?

          • Inmara

            Latvian; the same goes on in neighboring countries too (all Baltic countries, Russia, I suspect that other Eastern European countries too). Foreigners are quite amused if they happen to vitness it, especially in big celebrations like weddings.

          • Eater of Worlds

            I was wondering if you were Lithuanian, as I am. American, but 97% of my family is in Lithuania. Last time I was there they were super thrilled to see how Lithuanian I was, that I still haven’t lost it to being American. Which is funny, given that I wasn’t born in Lithuania.

          • Inmara

            Oh, given our history (during WWII many fled from Soviet repressions and large Latvian and Lithuanian diasporas formed in US and Canada) we are happy about anyone who is still identifying as Latvian or Lithuanian even if born abroad. Many lived with intent to return to their home (there was a strong belief that Allies will not let Soviet Union keep Baltic countries annexed) and thus preserved their language and culture and passed it to their children (which seems to be your case).

          • BeatriceC

            I gave my MIL a nice bouquet of flowers and a nice, handwritten card on MrC’s last birthday. The note said something along the lines of “Thank you for raising such a wonderful man”. But that wasn’t something she demanded. She was actually confused when I handed her the card. MrC is 60-something, for the record.

        • Zornorph

          Geez, Narcissus, reflect much? I shouldn’t be surprised, but i still am. But that gives me an idea – we should start selling Homebirth anniversary cards. Anybody got some photos of your placenta that we can use for the artwork?

          • Poogles
          • Zornorph

            “Celebrate the woman that went through the pain, pride, wonder and happiness of having a child. Happy Giving Birthday is your way to recognize Mothers on this most precious day, and show your gratitude and
            love for everything they do.”
            Blistering Barnacles, isn’t that was Mothers Day is for?

          • Valerie

            No. Adoptive mothers and mothers who had epidurals or CS can be honored on Mothers Day. Happy Giving Birthday is only for the first-class mothers who felt the pain of a natural, vaginal birth.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            I know you are joking, but it almost seems like that is the point.

          • Sarah

            How about if I wasn’t allowed an epidural but had an instrumental delivery with syntocin? That was painful alright.

          • Valerie

            I’m not sure if the founder would agree that syntocin meets her criteria for bringing your child into this world in a healthy and loving way, but it sounds to me like a suitable bodily sacrifice deserving the life-long commemoration and veneration that “Happy Birthgiving Day” was invented to provide.

          • sdsures

            The vagina one, for obvious reasons. http://theoatmeal.com/horrible_birthday

          • sdsures

            What about the dads who patiently endured, silently suffering the nine months of bitching and flower-spreading, kittens-and-rainbows preparation for the HB?

          • Azuran

            Father’s day?

        • moto_librarian

          I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit…

        • fiftyfifty1

          “real food family”?!

          Sheesh, not me! I feed my kids plastic fruits that I found at a home decoration store.

          • sdsures

            My grandma had those! I was particularly fond of the two different types of grapes.

        • Roadstergal

          “our house is celebrating my younger daughter’s third birthday, which also happens to be the third anniversary of our home birth!”

          What are the odds??

        • FrequentFlyer

          So I would like to suggest that in addition to celebrating the child, we take the time to recognize and honor ME ME MEEEEEE!!!
          There. Fixed it for her.

          • sdsures

            “…MY first completely normal birth”

            Duh, that’s when YOU were born, you utter and complete moron.

        • SporkParade

          I was completely honest that my baby’s first birthday party wasn’t for him, but was instead a celebration of us surviving the first year of parenthood. On the other hand, I did prepare a dang MSPI-friendly chocolate cake for his daycare party, so make of that what you will.

          • Mishimoo

            My best friend’s family has a tradition of giving a good box of chocolates to the parents on each child’s first birthday as acknowledgement of surviving the first year, which I think is pretty cool.

          • demodocus

            Is a 1st birthday party ever really for the baby? *they* certainly don’t care, except enjoying a bit of cake and a new toy or two.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            My favorite was a little girl who had a Minnie Mouse theme, and she had a Minnie Mouse cupcake with a bunch of frosting on it. She was sitting in the high chair, with the cupcake in front of her, and just took her head and bam, smashed her whole face right into it.

            Yeah, I know that every 1st birthday party comes with cake all over their face, but this was absolutely a time when the process was funnier the result. I’ll never forget her, just Bam! It was a hoot.

      • FrequentFlyer

        I was only kidding when I told my boys they should give me presents on their birthdays. These warrior mama types would procably be serious about it.

        • yentavegan

          Yes. The practice of bestowing upon a mother a push-present is a thing here in Wealthlandia. Moms get gifts for giving birth. It started with the idea of rewarding a mother for pushing the babe out but thankfully the practice has caught on for c/sec moms too. It is still called a push present.

          • Medwife

            Ha, they should call it a “pull present” for c/s and instrumental deliveries.

      • No, “mama warriors” would have celebrations for “the day I birthed”. “Giving birth” or “delivering” is for sheeple, not “warriors “.