Ruth responds … by recycling classic homebirth myths and adding her own ignorance

expression -  Ignorance is bliss - written on a school blackboar

Ruth Fowler Iorio is shocked, shocked that anyone could question the safety of her near-death homebirth experience. All she did was nearly exsanguinate. What’s the big deal?

Ruth is like the drunk driver who claims that drunk driving is perfectly safe because she survived her own spectacular crash with just a few blood transfusions and a 2 day hospital stay. She exhibits approximately the same level of insight of that drunk driver.

Ruth parachuted into an awesome homebirth discussion (hosted by Iola Kostrezewski) to offer typical homebirth nonsense and flounced off before she could be question on it. It instructive to look at what she wrote and address the myriad mistruths, half truths and lies she invoked.

Here’s what Ruth had to say:

Myth #1 Midwives in other countries have fantastic outcomes.

…There’s no studies on the safety of home birth in the US, nor can we compare the system here with Europe, disrupted by the medical industry and disabled by legislation and quackery which limits midwives from performing necessary procedures to the best of their ability.

Ruth is apparently unaware that the midwives in other parts of the world have nothing to brag about. Dutch midwives caring for low risk women (home or hospital) have a HIGHER rate of perinatal death than Dutch obstetricians caring for HIGH risk women.

UK midwives were recently chastised for putting the lives of babies and mothers at risk, and then attempting to cover up the resulting deaths.

Myth #2 Obstetricians are motivated by money but homebirth midwives work for free.

The system here is punitive and money based, and midwives are demonized by the medical industry because they do not earn money for insurance companies or hospitals, and they do not rush women into hospital for c sections in order to increase their profits. Women are profit here. Birth is profit. Not all obgyns work on this basis, but their training is geared towards limiting liability and earning money.

There is copious evidence that salaried obstetricians have intervention and C-section rates no different than those who are compensated on the basis of procedures. Moreover, homebirth represents a potential loss of obstetric income for obstetricians of 1/2% (and, of course, no threat to GYN income). On the other hand it represents 100% of the income homebirth midwives, who charge thousands of dollars to attend a birth. You tell me who has a greater financial motivation to lie about the death rates at homebirth.

Myth #3 High infant mortality is an indictment of obstetric practice.

Remove the profit motive from medicine and put midwifery care back into birthing, offering the same kind of care as Europe, and the US will see a marked improvement in its frankly shocking infant and maternal mortality rates, and the ridiculous rates of unnecessary medical interventions.

Typical of most homebirth advocates, Ruth is clueless that infant mortality (death from birth to one YEAR of age) is a measure of pediatric care, not obstetric care. The correct measure of obstetric care is perinatal mortality (late stillbirths + deaths to age one month). According to the World Health Organization, the US has one of the lowest perinatal mortality rates in the world.

Ruth also appears to be clueless about what happened to her.

And no, I didn’t nearly die. Placenta accreta is not detectable before birth and it’s a simple malfunctioning of ones body.

Sigh; so much misinformation, so few words! Ruth, you didn’t have a placenta accreta. You had a retained placenta. There’s a world of difference.

A retained placenta is just a placenta that doesn’t come away from the wall of the uterus. It often leads to postpartum hemorrhage because postpartum bleeding stops when uterine contractions close down the blood vessels, not by clotting. If the uterus can’t contract because the placenta is in the way, the bleeding can approach the flow of a faucet, resulting in the death of the mother. In 3rd world countries, this is a major cause of death.

The placenta is not a part of the mother’s body and has nothing to do with the mother’s body “malfunctioning.”

Placenta accreta, in contrast, is an obstetric disaster of the first order. Placenta accreta occurs when the placenta grows INTO the uterine lining, instead of remaining separate from the mother’s body. Placenta accreta CAN be detected before birth by ultrasound, although that does not always occur. Placenta accreta often results in an immediate C-section because that is the only way to stop the bleeding. Most accreta patients wind up in the ICU, and a few blood transfusions is the least of the interventions they experience. Women with placenta accreta can and do die.

But blood transfusions are nothing to scoff at, Ruth. They don’t give blood out to anyone who walks in the door, ONLY to people in danger of dying without it.

Ruth does nail the flounce, however.

Now i am off to bed. Amy, retrain. Your knowledge is from 1985 and you sound like Nestle sponsor you. Even my dad as a GP is more up to date with OBGYN practices and current medical studies than you.

If Ruth wants to advertise naked pictures across the internet to promote herself and her homebirth, that’s her business. But when she starts spreading misinformation about the safety of homebirth in general, and the “safety” of her own near-death experience in particular that’s my business.

Ruth nearly killed herself; those who try to copy her risk not only their own lives, but the lives of their babies, too. They DESERVE to know the truth, not the made up rationalizations of a narcissist desperate for social media celebrity.