Oooh, Ricki Lake is talking about me!

Ricki Lake tweeted her followers this morning:

152 comments on our site
@mybestbirth.com taking on Dr.
Amy,AKA ‘The Skeptical OB’Check
out the amazing dialogue taking place. add your 2ยข

Ms. Lake is referring to the post, Amy Tuteur, aka “The Skeptical OB,” Has a Blatant Issue With Home Birth, and the comment thread that extended for several weeks and 152 entries thusfar. I’m a bit surprised that Ms. Lake is proudly pointing to the discussion since I presented the scientific evidence on a number of aspects of homebirth and no one had an effective response. Here’s the latest comment I left on her site:

“I’m so glad that Ricki Lake tweeted her followers to check out this post. It gives me an opportunity to summarize what I have said and to point out the many inaccurate claims that Ms. Lake has made about homebirth.

I’d be happy to discuss with Ms. Lake any of the following facts that I presented (Ms. Epstein promptly disappeared from the comment thread when I offered to debate her):

1. Childbirth is INHERENTLY dangerous. It is and has always been one of the leading causes of death of both young women and babies.

2. The best study of American homebirth midwifery (Johnson and Daviss, BMJ 2005) actually shows that homebirth with a CPM has triple the neonatal death rate of hospital birth for comparable risk women. The authors hid this by failing to compare homebirth in 2000 with low risk hospital birth in 2000.

3. The CDC statistics for linked birth infant death show that homebirth with an American homebirth midwife is the MOST DANGEROUS form of planned birth in the US. Planned homebirth with a homebirth midwife has triple the neonatal death rate of low risk hospital birth.

4. The recent publication of the Dutch and Canadian studies is bad news for American homebirth. The studies shows that homebirth with an American direct entry midwife has more than triple the death rate of homebirth with a Canadian midwife or a Dutch midwife. The central lesson of both studies is that homebirth can only be safe when practiced by highly educated, highly trained midwives under rigorously controlled conditions, a position in direct opposition to the philosophy of American homebirth.

5. The Colorado Midwives Association reported its own mortality statistics. Colorado LICENSED midwives have an appalling rate of perinatal mortality of approximately 8/1000 (and rising), far exceeding the perinatal mortality rate for low risk births in Colorado.

6. Homebirth advocates like to quote US infant mortality statistics, but infant mortality is a measure of pediatric care. According to the World Health Organization, the correct measure of obstetric care is PERINATAL mortality and according to the World Health Organization, the US has one of the LOWEST perinatal mortality rates in the world, LOWER than Denmark, the UK and The Netherlands.

That’s just a few of the facts that I have presented. I would be happy to discuss them publicly with you any time Ms. Lake. A public discussion, in print or in person, would give all women the opportunity to evaluate your claims and my claims for themselves. If you are sure that you have made accurate claims you have nothing to fear.

I’d be happy to debate you in any neutral forum of your choice, Ms. Lake. How about it?”

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