I wrote in the NYTimes that US homebirth is dangerous and no one could rebut my claim

Risks word on table

It’s been nearly two weeks since my Op-Ed, Why is American Home Birth So Dangerous?, was published in The New York Times in which I explained that American homebirth has higher death rates because of substandard self-proclaimed midwives known as CPMs (certified professional midwives). It seems to me that if anyone were going to rebut my claims, they would have done so by now. Yet no one in the homebirth industry has addressed them; that tells you something very important:

The American homebirth industry has no data to show it safe and even they can’t think of a reason why CPMs should fail to meet international midwifery standards.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Why no rebuttal from Ricki Lake? Gene DeClercq? Lamaze International? The Childbirth Connection? Because American homebirth IS dangerous.[/pullquote]

Where are its public champions?

Where is Ricki Lake, who has made a career of promoting homebirth?

Where is Melissa Cheyney? She didn’t even bother to defend her 2014 paper that purported to show that homebirth is safe but actually showed it has a mortality rate 450% higher than comparable risk hospital birth.

Where is Marian MacDorman, who in her role as a CDC statistician has published several papers extolling the rise of homebirth while never mentioning the death rate?

Where is Gene DeClercq? He has argued repeatedly, and in a variety of forums, that American homebirth is safe, but apparently he couldn’t step forward to provide any proof.

Where is Henci Goer?

Where is Lamaze International?

Where is the Childbirth Connection?

Not a single one could present even a single bit of data to rebut my claims.

How about my assertion that CPMs are essentially lay people who want to attend births but fail to meet international midwifery standards?

No one denied it.

What about my claim that American homebirth is more dangerous than homebirth elsewhere because of a woeful lack of regulation?

No one offered anything to rebut that either.

Which suggests:

Professional American homebirth advocates and organizations know that American homebirth has a high rate of preventable deaths, deaths that do not occur in homebirth in the Netherlands, the UK, Canada or Australia. They known and they haven’t done anything about it.

Why not?

The American homebirth industry thinks it’s more important to protect itself than to protect babies and mothers.

It’s just that simple.

When confronted with the evidence that American homebirth is dangerous, professional homebirth advocates and organizations couldn’t deny it.

They didn’t even bother.

  • graybeard

    I am a naturopath, and we had our first two children with a midwife. It was great, but I would never have done it at home. We chose the midwives who worked for and delivered at a major teaching hospital with all the things ready to go on the spot if needed. All the benefits of midwives with everything in wings in case things go south. OB ready for a complication. Almost the best of both worlds. Just a walk through an old cemetery is all it takes for me — seeing all the tomb stones for babies.

  • AA

    I can’t watch this right now, but this claims to be a rebuttal to Dr T’s NYTimes article

    https://www.facebook.com/202460393135979/videos/1006430169405660/

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Hilarious, two uneducated clowns babbling nonsense!

      • Anonymous

        They’re experts…75 births? How many does a resident OB do?

    • RudyTooty

      For crying out loud. This just makes me eternally glad that I escaped CPM-land when I did. I really found nothing to argue with in the NY Times piece. Midwifery, as practiced by CPMs, is an elaborate sham. And a shame.

      Signed,
      Former MEAC-accredited program midwifery student
      Former homebirther
      Former CPM apprentice.

  • Amazed

    Now, now, boys and girls, let’s all take out our Dr Grunebaum Number 1 Fan T-shirts! The man is amazing! Never letting go!

    http://www.medpagetoday.com/meetingcoverage/acog/57919

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      “Dr” Greenbaum is a well-known troll who has a bias against home birth. He just digs through the cdc wonderbase to try to make home birth look bad. He only publishes it in the journals to make it look legitimate.

      • Amazed

        Yes but we’re all “Dr” Amy’s socks. It makes sense that we’d support the “Dr” Grunebaum troll.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        And furthermore he hasn’t included me as a coauthor on any of his papers, even though I’ve trolled CDC Wonder as well. Which is particularly egregious since we’re all sock puppets for Dr. Greenbaum as well as Dr. Tuteur. There’s really only one very, very busy anti-home birth person out there, being paid by a mysterious entity to troll.

      • Daleth

        And furthermore he’s a real practicing doctor who uses publicly available nationwide statistics that include every birth in the US, which shows that he is hostile to homebirth. People who support homebirth are open to Different Ways of Knowing, such as using little tiny groups of carefully selected patients, with all the dead people left out.

        😉

        • Karen in SC

          Or poetry!!! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17889971

          (thanks yugaya for this laugh today)

          • Daleth

            Does the author of that piece live in a state that has legalized recreational marijuana, by any chance? Or is she just breaking the law with her nightly bong? My personal “ways of knowing” tell me that psychedelics feature heavily in her work.

            Or perhaps she accidentally published the contents of her dream journal rather than her research notebook.

          • Daleth

            PS: Do you want to know more about the “research method” that she used in that article (namely, “hermeneutic phenomenology”)? Here ya go! I’ve got ten bucks for the first person who can explain (a) what the hell this means in the context of research methods and (b) how the hell it could possibly be of any use whatsoever in a medical discipline:

            https://iiqm.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/introduction-to-hermeneutic-phenomenology-a-research-methodology-best-learned-by-doing-it/

          • Karen in SC

            It doesn’t matter. It falls under the umbrella of “Different ways of knowing.” ahaha

          • Daleth

            “Different than the actual GOOD ways.”

    • AA

      Dr G says he’d like to see more OBGYNs discourage TOLAC at home. I don’t think many OBs promote it. That’s all coming from CPMs and other lay midwives.

  • PeggySue

    I think there is no rebuttal because all they could do is flounce, and to do that you have to come in and make yourself known first. And even the NCB advocates know they’d look silly if all they said was “Birth is groovy and Dr Amy is meen,” and then flounce out.

  • lawyer jane

    Pretty much the only way to defend CPMs is: 1) to argue that pregnant women have the right to chose substandard care for themselves (difficult argument); 2) argue that CPM results are just as good as OBs (easily contradicted by the facts, but some people still try to make this argument); 3) argue that by not allowing CPMs we drive NCB practitioner’s “further under ground” towards totally unlicensed care with even worse midwives, or unassisted birth (probably the only slightly good argument, but hard to advocate).

    • Sarah

      Number 1 isn’t anything close to a difficult argument. Pregnant women have the right to choose whatever care provider they like, or none. The reason they shouldn’t be able to choose CPMs is because those offering midwifery services should be appropriately licenced, as with all healthcare professionals: CPMs shouldn’t exist.

    • Daleth

      What Sarah said about #1, and what you said about #2. As for #3, very very VERY few women would choose totally unlicensed, illegal practitioners. Most women who choose home birth do so because they mistakenly believe that a licensed “professional” must by definition be providing reasonably safe care. The license is a huge part of the reason they believe that. Take it away and you’re left with CPMs saying, “I’m not licensed and I can’t legally attend your birth, but trust me anyway!” Probably 90% of the women who are interested in home birth would flee. And more lives are saved by them fleeing than are lost due to the remaining 10% choosing UC or illegal attendants.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      to argue that pregnant women have the right to chose substandard care for themselves (difficult argument)

      Well, is it actually? Other adults have the right to choose sub-standard care for themselves (or to refuse care) if they want to. Why should pregnant adults be different? Does the fetus have rights over the woman’s right to choose? Obviously, many answer “yes,” to this question but I don’t.

      No doubt there is a dark side here but I think being consistently pro-choice actually means that that we have to acknowledge that pregnant women do have the right to choose substandard care for themselves. The alternative is scary in its own way. I don’t want to live in a world in which women can be compelled to do or not do things because she is carrying a fetus. Women’s autonomy can’t be compromised by pregnancy, even if what some women choose to do with that autonomy horrifies me.

      Of course, affirming that pregnant women still have the right to the same level of choice about medical interventions as other people doesn’t mean that we have to act like sub-standard care isn’t sub-standard care. We don’t need to lend legitimacy to incompetent practitioners by granting them the trappings of real medical professionals. So, yeah, the CPM certification needs to go. It won’t stop some women from going completely “off-grid,” and using birth attendants that have no kind of certification at all and skirt the law–I mean, hell, some women, terrifyingly enough, opt to have completely unattended births! But it will help to strip undertrained and incompetent “midwives,” of some of their veneer of legitimacy. A “Certified Professional Midwife,” is not a professional anything, and shouldn’t be allowed to call herself such.

      • Azuran

        Oh but any women absolutely have the right to chose substandard care if she want.
        The only problem is that she has to be aware that she is choosing substandard care. And with the current CPM system, it is often not the case.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      With respect to #3, I would argue that unless CPMs are require to practice to minimum safe standards and held accountable for their malpractice, if they commit malpractice, then there is no particular advantage to their not being driven further underground. I’d say demand that CPMs earn the “professional” part of their name by requiring adequate education and scope of practice. Some will not be able to and will, indeed, go “underground”, but at least any woman who hires one will know that they are hiring an unqualified individual and will not be deceived by the appearance of competence that allowing CPMs to practice legally (without reforming their education and professional standards) gives.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Some will not be able to and will, indeed, go “underground”, but at least any woman who hires one will know that they are hiring an unqualified individual and will not be deceived by the appearance of competence that allowing CPMs to practice legally (without reforming their education and professional standards) gives.

        Exactly.

        End the pretense that these are just complimentary practitioners. Make it clear that they are completely shunned by the establishment.

        Yes, some people will still go with them, but you know, if people are really into the anti-doctor and anti-medicine conspiracy, what more can you do? A rational argument doesn’t work.

  • Paloma

    OT I was just at a convention last week and one of the topics discussed was waterbirth. One of the midwives at the hospital (Spain, so RN midwife) was explaining the protocol followed at their hospital for a waterbirth. I was so surprised to hear all the regulations they put in place for it to be as safe as possible, nothing like what is usually described on american home waterbirth. Exclusion criteria were very strict, as was the sanitation on the pool, and the thing that really made me consider it could be an acceptable choice, the fact that the pool can be drained in less than 60 seconds. 3rd stage of labor was always done without water and they also said most women used the pool during1st stage and very few actually gave birth in the water.
    I’m still extremely skeptical of this type of birth but I guess if safety criteria are so strict it could eventually become a safe choice (hospital setting, exclusion criteria, etc.). Does anyone else know of hospitals that are doing similar things?

    • MaineJen

      My hospital let me labor in the tub for as long as I wanted, but I couldn’t actually deliver in the water. (I ended up wanting to get out after an hour or so anyway) And if your water was broken you could not have the jets on. For my second birth I never had time to get in the tub 🙂

    • prudentplanner

      For my first (in-hospital CNM) i was allowed to use the tub for many hours while laboring. I thought it was great. [please forgive me for the woo I am about to commit] but I am a person who feels very ‘grounded’ in water. A deep bath is my #1 pain relief technique: sore back? BATH, Migraine? BATH, gallbladder? BATH, Cramps? BATH, Poison ivy? BATH.

      • moto_librarian

        Nothing wrong with that! I loved soaking in the tub while heavily pregnant, and I still view a hot bubble bath as self-care. I personally did not find laboring in the shower comforting once I was in hard labor, but I’ve heard that it works very well for other people.

  • Kelly

    OT: My husband has noticed edema in one of my 8-month old legs. She also does not like to stand on her legs much at all and is behind in that regard. I will be taking her to the doctor on Monday but I wanted to know if anyone else knew anything about this kind of thing? He just noticed it today but I have felt tightness in her leg for awhile and just did not think it was something wrong.

    • PeggySue

      Absolutely no idea; not a medical person. Hope it is not serious; keep us posted if you wish. Good luck. I imagine this is scary!

      • Kelly

        Went to the doctor today and her leg was still swollen. They took measurements and then sent us to get an x-ray. They just called back and told me she did not have a broken leg and so they are sending me to an orthopedic doctor. They are supposed to call me back to schedule the appointment. We will see how it goes.

    • Mrs.Katt the Cat

      Yes take baby to Dr.
      Also, I recommend doing some reading on ‘primary lymphedema’ – essentially a problem in the lymphatic system that does not drain a limb properly.
      If that is what it ends up being you will likely be sent to a decongestive therapist for treatment.

      • Kelly

        Thank you so much for responding. That seems to fit with what is going on from everything I have read online. (I have done my research and I am going to be schooling the doctor. J/k. I can’t wait to go to the doctor and get this taken care of by a professional and not google). Your response has calmed me a bit because I am always afraid that I will be the over anxious parent bringing my kid in for a dumb reason. I will be calling tomorrow and getting her in as soon as possible. I even have someone who will be willing to take care of my other child so I can form a coherent sentence with the doctor.

        • Mrs.Katt the Cat

          You’re welcome. Hope it gets worked out for you.

        • Madtowngirl

          Better to be the over anxious parent than let something potentially bad get worse. 🙂 Doctors are used to it, don’t worry about being too cautious.

          • MI Dawn

            Definitely better to be over-anxious parent then miss something important. That’s out of my knowledge base, so I won’t even guess. Glad you are gettng her in ASAP.

          • Kelly

            I know. I am always afraid that I wait too long. Thankfully, googling this helped me get my butt in the door.

  • Megan

    Sort of OT: My SIL sent this to me today and I had to share with all the other #shitmoms.

  • BeatriceC

    OT: Update on middle kid and other stuff:

    Middle kid isn’t getting any better, but isn’t getting any worse either. An outpatient workup is maddeningly slow. He’s doing okay drinking Boost/Ensure type drinks, but those things are insanely expensive. The office manager at his pediatrician’s office is working on getting insurance to cover it.

    I think I posted about getting up the courage to find and contact my ex-husband, and found out that things weren’t all that they seemed regarding my divorce, and that my parents meddled in that. Since that initial conversation, we’ve talked several times, and more detail has come out. What my parents did was unforgivable.

    But there is some good stuff that has come out of this. Realizing that he was just as much a victim of my parents shenanigans as the kids and I were opened up the door to forgiveness. He certainly could have made different decisions, but I fully understand being afraid of my parents. They lied to him about me and to me about him. He had no idea why the youngest was born so early, nor did he have any idea that I was so sick and incapable of saying the things that they claimed I was saying. They threatened him with legal action and a restraining order should he attempt to contact me.

    For a while, I think my parents were happy. Because I was so sick at first, then trying to manage two jobs, a Ph.D program and be a single mother of three very small children, I leaned on them for a few years. They got to pretend to be the parents. I didn’t know until a couple years ago (after I made this last move and cut off contact), that they would regularly prime my kids to disrespect me, saying things like “your mother doesn’t really love you, and she’s a bad mother, so don’t listen to her, just listen to us.” What they did is called parental alienation, and we’ve been working through that in therapy. Anyway, back to the point. I tried to escape their clutches a few times. Each time they would escalate their behavior. Once they sent the cops after me when I took my kids and stayed with a friend in another city about 30 minutes away. They claimed I was making threats against myself and my children (not true) and the friend I was staying with had her house full of drugs and porn (also not true, and since she worked for CPS, the accusation was enough for her to lose her job). Every time I tried to leave, I got sucked back in. Meanwhile, I held onto some of the anger I had towards my ex, latching on to one specific statement I’d overheard when he was on the phone with my father. Turns out it was a sarcastic comment that was essentially parroting my father’s own words back to him. I’ve been wrong all these years and I feel terrible. Meanwhile, my ex has stayed away because he thought that it was the best way to protect the kids from my parents, by making sure nothing happened for me to lose custody, as he completely believed their threats.

    So this week I set up a FaceTime conversation between the kids and their father. It went even better than I expected. I set some rules, some of which might have been unreasonable, but he followed them to the letter. Middle kid only lasted about 5 minutes then bolted, but the other two talked for about a half hour. Since he followed all my rules, even the unreasonable ones, I offered to make this a weekly thing for a while, for them to get to know each other. If all goes well, then we’ll talk about slowly expanding contact. I’m even toying with the idea of helping him pay for a flight and hotel to come visit if things stay good over the next 6 months or so.

    It’s really extraordinary to me, and I don’t know how to explain it, but I’m really, really happy. Looking back, we did have some problems, and chances are good we would have wound up divorced anyway, but it would have been on our terms. Now that I don’t have my parents’ evil influence, I can start laying the groundwork to attempt to make things right. What started out as hugely stressful and upsetting has really turned into a very good thing.

    • FormerPhysicist

      I hope the happy ending soon extends to middle child’s health.

    • Irène Delse

      That’s awesome, I’m really glad for you and the kids. Fingers crossed for the medical situation!

    • PeggySue

      So glad for the potential for healing. Hope more information is available on the health front as well. You may have to nudge the system some.

    • Daleth

      How wonderful. I wish you all the best possible luck with everything.

    • Mrs.Katt the Cat

      I am happy for you that this is turning out well. Continued well wishes for middle kid.

    • Deborah

      That’s really lovely BeatriceC about your ex reconnecting with his boys, really heartwarming. I can’t begin to understand what you must have suffered at the hands of your parents. Usually I can find something positive like “they meant well” but in your case, it really does sound as though they wanted to undermine you completely and destroy your life. That style of parenting reminds me of the time when parents used to put their children into corrective facilities or mental institutions for things like smoking and shop lifting or for getting pregnant. You are an incredibly strong person to deal with the situation and I admire you for the way you are handling the current situation with your ex and ongoing health issue with your son. (Hugs from internet stranger x)

      • BeatriceC

        Looking back, I think I know what it is, if it’s at all possible to understand the convoluted mindset. My parents had desperately wanted sons. At the time my boys were born, they had four daughters, but no sons (they adopted two more kids, including a boy after my youngest was born). As soon as I knew my oldest would be a boy, my mother just went on and on and on about how she would “finally be getting *her* boy”. Um, no. He was mine. After he was transported to a NICU an hour away from where I was a patient, and before I was discharged, she drove down there and sweet talked her way into the NICU and convinced a nurse to let her hold him. I hadn’t even *seen* him at that point, let alone held him. She never stopped talking about how wonderful it was that she “got to be the first one to hold her first boy”. Again, no, he was mine, not hers. I honestly think this was all about destabilizing me to the point where they could take custody of my kids.

        • Deborah

          Good grief – that’s appalling. If you don’t mind my asking – what has she been like with the other children? Were you the “scapegoat” of the family? It just sounds so bizarre and totally dysfunctional on her part. Were others encouraging her in all this (church, family members, peers, social workers)? Did anyone else notice or discern how off base her behaviour? You have done extraordinarily well to escape her lunacy.

          • BeatriceC

            They were always better to my sisters. My nex-youngest sister is the “golden child”. My older sister was always “too dumb and needed to be pitied”. She’s not dumb, by the way. Number 4 is 12 years younger than number 3 and another golden child. Number 5 is only 14 now and is another scapegoat and number 6, age 13 and a boy can do absolutely no wrong and is truthfully the most awful person I’ve ever met as a result. Only myself and number 3 (I’m 2) are biological, though number 1 and number 4 are adopted from family members. As for our children, number 1 only had girls, and number three had boys but as the golden child didn’t get as much crap. She’s also better at setting boundaries with our parents and are on par with them financially, so can’t be bullied with money. Number 4 has no kids (last I knew), and the youngest two are still kids themselves. I caught 90%of my parents bs growing up, and it continued into adulthood. My only regret is not doing what I did sooner.

        • demodocus

          jaysus. there is just so much wrong with that. Its one thing for my MIL to dote over her new granddaughter ’cause we’re seriously outnumbered in the family. That’s something else entirely.

          (My baby’ll make #3, to the 4 guys, not counting the male dog. Gramma really dotes on her grandson, too, and she’s really good about letting us be the parents)

        • PeggySue

          You know, this sounds kind of psychotic to me. Or at least, “seriously crazy in the way that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.” Growing up with crazy, lots of therapy, and years in chaplaincy have schooled those hairs well, let me just say. SO very glad you got yourself and your family out.

    • demodocus

      Oh, that’s wonderful about the kids’ father and I’m glad MK is at least holding steady right now.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      Glad you’re able to reconcile a little with your ex and that he is behaving reasonably! I wish you all the best!

      I’m sorry middle kid’s workup is taking so long. It is maddening! If the office manager gets the ensure covered, see if they’ll make the coverage retrospective–they sometimes will–and keep your receipts for the purchases, just in case.

    • MI Dawn

      So glad to read the update! Hope middle son’s issues are worked out soon, and he is back to his normal self.

      I’m fortunate I don’t have the parent drama, but I have several friends who do. More than one has either cut off contact entirely or made it very minimal (through lawyers or letters/emails only). I’m glad that you and your ex are starting to work out the imposed problems.

    • prudentplanner

      Do you have the time/talent to DIY a Boost/Ensure substitute? Would homemade milkshakes+ a supplement be cheaper?

      I am glad he is stable.

  • T.
    • PeggySue

      Disgusting. How do these quacks SLEEP?

      • Charybdis

        Very well, apparently. Because they weren’t prescribing/advocating for *any* sort of treatment, they were just offering their opinion on what MIGHT work, seeing as how the conventional medical answers weren’t “curing” the eczema. /eyeroll.

        • PeggySue

          Yes, RIGHT. You know, I get asked “medical” questions lots of times because I work in hospice. You have no idea how gently and quickly I can say, “What a great question to ask the doctor! ” What part of “out of scope of practice” did this naturopath fail to understand? Hell, she started out giving massage to the MOTHER; the child was not even her patient! Even if she was only giving advice, she should not have been!

    • AA

      I bet that the naturopath will go free with no restrictions to practice? Unfortunate as that is.

      • T.

        Apparently, yes. The mother had been charged, and not the naturopath which is frankly disgusting.

    • Mrs.Katt the Cat

      This started during a massage

      UUUUURRGGHHHH, get out of my profession! Stop using it as a gateway to wooville

    • Who?

      This is why people need communities. Where was the baby’s father? The mother’s family and friends? How did this naturopath get so far into this woman’s head.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Hey, she was just following her instincts. They are usually right, right?

        • Who?

          This may be more to the point. I’ve no doubt the naturopath’s intervention was unhelpful, but mother may well be looking for things to deflect blame from herself. I wonder if the naturopath will end up telling her side of the story, or just cop the fine/whatever and move on.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          But she wasn’t. According to the article, she thought the diet was too strict and resisted the naturopath’s suggestions for some time. The question is how did the naturopath get so much power over her that the mother ignored her instincts, intelligence, and advice from professionals? Why did she keep going back to this quack?

          • T.

            I think it was because the Naturopah had Answer. These quacks seems terribly sure of themselves and never, never admit error.

            If you are in a vulnerable state of mind, like a new mother whose baby has some problem, that is powerful.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Someone needs to send th8s to Britt Hermes.

      Of course, it won’t surprise her

    • demodocus

      Because starvation is a well-known curative, if only we didn’t have this foolish insistence on modern medicine? Dang. Some people need to check out old issues of National Geographic.

  • Margo

    Can we include NZ in here along with Netherlands Canada Australia, UK? Our regulations and guidelines are pretty robust. I am more and more inclined towards hospital birth, that incorporates as much as possible those things that women say they want around them when birthing….ie partners able to stay overnight, the choice to rooming in or baby going to nurseries, no advertising on the walls, acceptance of formula feeding, longer stays in hospital, with good food and plenty of staff on hand to mother the mothers…..oh, hang on….that’s what we used to offer, in the sixties and seventies and eighties…..those were the good old days!

  • Zornorph

    I suppose their argument is that ‘Dr.’ Amy doesn’t matter, she’s just a fly beneath their notice, blah, blah, blah. It’s not a GOOD argument, of course, but really, it’s the only one they could respond with. I would really like to see a show like Dateline or 60 Minutes do a story on homebirth and really raise the profile of the issue.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      They think I matter a very great deal. They don’t have anything with which to rebut me.

      • crazy grad mama

        Yes, it’s very telling that they immediately jump to ad hominem attacks—it tells me that they have no facts with which to argue.

        • nomofear

          I love posting these links around the Internet. The responses vary from “she’s a KNOWN troll” to “she doesn’t even have a medical license.” All of which I rebut, calmly and civilly, without the use of all caps, and then I’ll drop a line about how I don’t have any hope of convincing other posters in that conversation, but that my real goal is to alert other women quietly reading who are in danger of falling for the NCB lies, like I did, and I’ll include a link to hurt by homebirth. Oh, sweet, sweet NCB rage.

          • AirPlant

            I am not brave enough to even comment on those things where people that I know can see. Hell, just yesterday a new mother in my life posted some self congratulatory bullshit about how proud she was to be a breastfeeding mother and how her feeding choices meant that she deserved extra love and support from the community and blah blah blah and I couldn’t even get up the nerve to respond with “My love and support for the mothers in my life is not conditional on how they choose to feed their babies.”
            .
            I have literally no idea how people like Brooke do it. I do not think I could emotionally handle so many people regularly telling me that I am an idiot.

          • BeatriceC

            You pretty much describes me. All I can say is I’m really glad Dr. Amy and others like her are around, because I certainly can’t do it.

          • tariqata

            I can never wrap my head around that sort of attitude and behaviour. Thinking of a couple of good friends who’ve also had babies recently, and in one case was aiming for exclusive breastfeeding but ultimately needed to combo feed, while the other hoped for a natural birth (in hospital, though) but who ended up with a stalled induction and a c-section. These are people I love – even IF I believed that their choices were somehow wrong (which I definitely do not), I can’t imagine wanting to rub it in further by bragging about the fact that I did have an unmedicated delivery or that I have enough milk. And why should I get extra recognition over and above what all mothers/parents should get just because those two things came easily for me, unlike my friends who had to cope with bigger challenges.

          • nomofear

            Oh, it’s never directly at friends. I have a fb friend (irl, love her, but she’s really a friend-of-a-friend) who recently had a baby and someone posted a link to a crazypants diatribe blog post about traumatic births, and tagged her in it, and I couldn’t get up the nerve to even message her to ask if she was ok in reference to it. I’m not close enough to feel comfortable. Of course, fb friends may see some of my comments on other things, like local news pieces excitedly promoting the pending BFHI status of our big hospital, but it’s not directed at them.

            In person, I’m insistent about breast vs bottle, cs vs vag not mattering long term for the child, bc I’ve had two vag births and nursed both babies, and people will occasionally try to be congratulatory, which I feel the need to reject. We are not our bodies, we just use them temporarily, and thank goodness we live in modern times with lifesaving formula and medical tech, is pretty much what I say.

          • AirPlant

            Oh, I can’t even comment on news articles. I don’t even like to “like” the ones that I agree with. Knowing that it shows up in other peoples timelines is enough to shut me up! The only time I am really and truly tempted is when people that I actually know start spewing nonsense. The personal gets political awful fast with me and shutting up is hard!

          • MI Dawn

            I comment sometimes. Depends. But my usual comment is that it doesn’t matter if a baby in the US (where I am) gets a breast or a bottle, as long as the person feeding the baby does it with love.

            I get some pushback, but if I need to I pull out my CNM credentials and for some reason they shut up. (innocent blinks)

          • BeatriceC

            “We are not our bodies, we just use them temporarily”

            I’ve responded to these “congratulatory” remarks by saying “Yay. My boobs worked. How does that make me special?”

          • demodocus

            I answered them with a matter-of-fact “I hate it”. Tended to stop them cold.

          • Gatita

            Being completely impervious to the fact you sound like a fool is a required quality you thankfully lack.

          • AirPlant

            Just so you know, I read the first line, got terrified that I had said something wrong and made you think I was a fool, my eyes started tearing up and then I read the second line.
            .
            Nope! No career in trolling for me!

          • Gatita

            Lololol!!

          • Rose Magdalene

            When I was preggo with no. 2 I posted on FB that the baby was still in breech position late into the pregnancy, and that a scheduled c-section was a possibility. I also mentioned that I really didn’t care if I ended up with a c-section, and i dared to say that c-section aren’t the tragedy people make them out to be. Two of my fb friends felt the need to lecture me about the downsides of the big C. One lady even went on a big pharma Drs and their golfing type rant. This was all in the contexts of a potential breeched baby. On the plus side I got a lot more supportive comments, lots of people sharing their c- section stories, etc.

            Anyways I was expecting some negative reactions. It’s the circle I run in. I know a lot of far left people, and I’m a neopagan, so obviously I know lots of crunchy folks from that community too. I actually hate confrontation IRL, but I have a habit of getting into fights with people online.

          • I feel the same way. Life is hard enough — why should I go looking for heartache? But on the other hand, sometimes I feel guilty not speaking up because the woo is so strong and it’s easy to get sucked in when there are no other perspectives being stated.

      • BeatriceC

        You matter because you’re not afraid to speak out and speak the truth. You have airtight credentials both medically and in the “mommy wars”. That makes you dangerous to them. And as I said below, I’m extremely glad you do so, because I wouldn’t have the guts to do it even if I did have the academic credentials.

        • Margo

          But , we should have the guts as mothers and women to speak out and speak the truth, they are our credentials, might not be medically based, but does that matter? Our credentials are unique to us and for things to change we have to speak out collectively and individually. Our voices are important.

          • BeatriceC

            But I’m a chicken shit who gets physically ill a the thought of confrontation.

      • Who?

        Them answering you would give you oxygen in their world. Much better for them if they ignore you completely.

        And, as we know, their view, whether or not they are game enough to say it in so many words, is: ‘what’s a few dead babies’.

    • AA

      Their only defense is the move the goalposts–ignore the death rate, focus on C-sections and inductions. Lack of education of CPMs? “Hospitals need to provide midwife-led birthing center.”

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Remember the “if doctors would only view midwives as colleagues…” line.

        • Amazed

          But babies die in hospitals, too! And there are many more babies dead from hospital birth than homebirth!

    • Gatita

      Navelgazing Midwife pointed out there’s been very little response from the community and the few responses have been weaksauce.