Are the folks at MANA’s Division of Research liars or fools?

Never say that I don’t give credit where credit is due: When it comes to sheer unadulterated brazenness, the folks at the Midwives Alliance of North America’s (MANA) Division of Research have no equal. The only question that remains unanswered is whether they are liars or fools.

Case in point, Thursday’s post on the Lamaze blog Science and Sensibility entitled Obstetricians Claim Homebirth is Unsafe…Again. Where’s The Evidence? by by Wendy Gordon, LM, CPM, MPH, Midwives Alliance Division of Research.

The post is about the recent AJOG opinion piece condemning homebirth. I am already on record excoriating that opinion piece. So why is Gordon’s piece an example of breathtaking audacity?

Because Wendy knows exactly where the evidence is: she’s hiding it!

As I’ve written about many times, MANA has collected extensive safety statistics on nearly 27,000 homebirths presided over by their members.

MANA has released copious data on many of those births. You can find out:

  • the prematurity rate
  • the spontaneous vaginal vertex birth rate
  • the forceps rate
  • the vacuum extraction rate
  • the C-section rate

How about safety data? You can also find out:

  • the rate of low 5 minute Apgar scores
  • low birth weight infants
  • intrapartum transports
  • neonatal transports
  • postpartum transports

Wendy Gordon and MANA released every bit of data they had on these homebirths EXCEPT THE DEATH RATE. They’re hiding that.


Because MANA’s own death rates show that homebirth with an American homebirth midwife has a death rate so appallingly high (particularly in regard to postdates pregnancies) that they don’t dare release it!

So the only question remains: are Wendy Gordon, Melissa Cheyney and others at MANA’s Division of Research liars or fools when they publicly ask where the data is that shows homebirth is dangerous?

They KNOW where the data is. They own it and they are doing everything humanly possible to make sure that no one finds out just how many babies died at the hands of homebirth  midwives.