Why did Ruth Fowler Iorio sanitize her homebirth photos?


Ruth Fowler Iorio‘s 15 minutes of fame are winding down in classic homebirth narcissist fashion, with Ruth wailing about those mean people at Facebook who won’t host her exhibitionism:

Ruth Fowler tweet

But before she’s replaced by a new homebirth narcissist, I have some questions for her:

Ruth, why did you sanitize the photos are that are supposed to show the “messy reality” of homebirth?


Where is the photo of the postpartum hemorrhage with the blood pouring from between your legs?

Where is the photo of you deathly pale and slipping in and out of consciousness as you head toward hemorrhagic shock?

Where is the photo of your husband’s face, horrified and frightened, as it dawns on him that you may bleed to death and leave him as a widower with a new baby?

Where is the photo of the EMTs hustling you out the door, racing against time to save your life?

Where is the photo of you in the emergency room, with doctors and nurses struggling to start large bore IVs before you bleed to death?

Where is the photo of the obstetrician with his gloved arm in your vagina up to his elbow peeling off the remains of the placenta from your uterine wall, averting your certain death?

Where is the photo of you, not bonding with your newborn, but totally out of it from large doses of fentanyl?

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea: where are the photos of the REALITY of homebirth?

Did you refuse to include them because they didn’t tell the story as you wanted it told, allowing you to make it seem like your near death was just a minor moment in your piece of birth performance art?

Did you refuse to include them as part of the never ending effort of homebirth advocates to hide the dangers of homebirth?

Or did you fail to include them because they didn’t exist, because near death has a way of clarifying things for all participants, so that they finally drop the cameras? Even narcissists and the friends and family of narcissists tend to put the camera down when they are sliding on your blood pouring out on the floor.

It doesn’t really matter why you failed to include the pictures that tell the REAL story of your homebirth and near death experience, but it is critically important for everyone to understand that those pictures, the most important pictures, are missing.

The REAL story of homebirth is that childbirth is inherently dangerous, that death is always only moments away, that giving birth at home is taking a terrible risk, and homebirth can never be safe.

Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame while it lasts, but I wonder:

What does it say about you, homebirth and narcissism that you are spending the first weeks of your newborn’s life, not nurturing him, but giving interviews, accepting accolades and tweeting endlessly … in other words, nurturing your own self image?

How about thinking about him as a newborn for a moment, not merely as a prop in your endless efforts to publicize yourself?

717 Responses to “Why did Ruth Fowler Iorio sanitize her homebirth photos?”

  1. Les Boulder
    February 2, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

    Why is everyone saying she’s so brave? One can’t see anything in the photos.

  2. sj
    January 25, 2014 at 12:22 am #

    I agree – she was a complete moron and so is her husband. The two of them are attention whores
    plain and simple. They had no thought for the satety of their newborn and still don’t judging by some of their instagram pictures.

    • SD888
      June 25, 2017 at 8:27 pm #

      They are both Narcissistic drug addicts. Ruth is a monster, much worse than Jared, who is no prize.

  3. Dreah Louis
    January 12, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

    Home Birth will never be as safe as a hospital. That’s the truth. I was so FOR home birth at one point of my life but in all reality the essence of home birth safety is completely gone and these midwives are failing and babies are becoming injured and are dying because most women agree that they are taking a risk when choosing home birth and most women complying with home birth say that babies die in the hospitals also. BUT BABIES DON’T HAVE TO DIE AT HOME. As a mother that has lost a child to home birth I’m telling the home birth mother advocate that although you may have had a good home birth or this may be your first home birth either way you may not be so lucky. If as a mother you are ever in the situation where you or your baby might die because some issue has occurred your body had no way of signaling for help, I’m pretty sure you would rather be in a hospital and have tried everything rather then being at home with minimum tools and training and hope to god your midwife can save you and your baby.

    • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
      January 12, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Bless you for speaking out.

    • Trixie
      January 12, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

      Dreah, you’ve got a lot of courage to speak out about this.

      • Dreah Louis
        January 12, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

        I can’t believe women affected by grimy midwives are so quiet

  4. Karri Gonzalez Sensenig
    January 12, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    You all have fun. I’m moving on. Here’s my bottom line: Hospital births can be safe. Home births can be safe. Whichever you choose (and I don’t have a problem with either and have chosen both at different times myself) – choose the right provider because that is going to effect the safety of your birth experience far more than where you have your baby.

    • Siri
      January 12, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

      If you have another baby, please consider a hospital delivery. All of us here actually want women to be empowered as well as safe, and to have all the information they need to choose what’s right for them. But 11% is a really unacceptable risk!

    • Happy Sheep
      January 12, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

      Here is the bottom line: Care provider matters. A lot. But so does location. A carefully screened, low risk pregnancy done with a CNM with hospital privileges, less than 10 minutes from the hospital in a fully integrated system is the safEST type of homebirth, but it is not and never will be as safe as a hospital. Until there is a NICU, blood bank and surgical unit in your house, minutes will always matter and home will never be as safe.
      I don’t care about my birth experience, I care about having a healthy baby and mom, and an uninsured idiot with an online diploma is not going to give me that. when things go sideways, I don’t give a crap about my experience I care that the people who are caring for me can help me.

    • AlisonCummins
      January 12, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

      How do you know in advance which home birth is going to be safe?

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      January 12, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

      Hospital births can be safe. Home births can be safe.

      Drunk driving can be safe. Russian roulette CAN be safe. Heart attacks CAN be safe. Running across the street in heavy traffic CAN be safe. Etc.

      That’s a really dumb way to assess something, whether it CAN be safe or not.

      • araikwao
        January 13, 2014 at 1:32 am #

        I disagree with the terminology here: drunk driving is not safe. Just because an individual journey doesn’t end in a crash/injury/death doesn’t mean that episode of drunk driving was safe, only that the increased risk did not translate into disaster *this* time. All the factors that make drunk driving statistically more likely to lead to crash/injury/death (presumably delayed reaction times, etc?) were present on that journey, and therefore it was a less safe way to travel compared to the gold standard which is driving sober and alert/well-rested.
        I know what you mean though – none of those events lead to death 100% of the time, but to call them safe, I think, is misleading. More like, you may dodge a bullet *this* time, but the consequences are potentially disastrous.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 13, 2014 at 11:03 am #

          I know what you mean though – none of those events lead to death 100% of the time, but to call them safe, I think, is misleading.

          Take it up with Karri. She is the one that claimed that things “can be safe.”

          I was just pointing out that “can be safe” is a meaningless concept. Anything “can be safe,” the only question is how safe?

    • prolifefeminist
      January 14, 2014 at 12:28 am #

      “choose the right provider because that is going to effect the safety of your birth experience far more than where you have your baby.”

      One of the biggest problems with the CPM “credential” is that parents-to-be CAN’T reliably evaluate whether a CPM provider is safe or not. You can’t check to see if they’ve been sued for malpractice, because nobody bothers to sue midwives who don’t carry malpractice insurance. Looking to see if their license has been revoked is a joke, because assuming that their state even licenses lay midwives, it’s nearly impossible to lose your license when the decision to revoke it is up to your fellow midwife buddies. Checking to see what a CPMs death rate/transfer rate/complication rate is will lead you nowhere, because most (all?) states don’t require them to report those. And guess what – CPMs resist these common sense regulations because they don’t want to be told how to practice. Imagine!

      If I hire a CNM, I know she’s gone through nursing school, has clinical experience as an OB nurse, and has completed a master’s program in midwifery with all that entails. What do I know about a CPM? Nothing, except that she practices without oversight.

  5. Karri Gonzalez Sensenig
    January 12, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    cPosting this statement: “I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea: where are the photos of the REALITY of homebirth?” after a list of the complications one person experienced with their homebirth is misleading.

    You should have said “where are the photos of the REALITY of *your* homebirth?” Because homebirth isn’t always that particular reality. Just like the complications that happen in hospital births aren’t always the reality of every hospital birth. 😉

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      January 12, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

      Yes, sometimes homebirth reality is far worse: brain damaged baby, dead baby, dead mothers. Where are those photos of homebirth?

      • Karri Gonzalez Sensenig
        January 12, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

        Yes, and sometimes the homebirth reality is shoulder dystocia (as the reality of two of my homebirths was) and an umbilical chord that snaps while baby is being delivered (as in one of my homebirths). Both of which would have also happened in a hospital, and neither of which could have been resolved any differently in a hospital than it was here at home.

        And sometimes the homebirth reality is quite peaceful, has no complications, and goes off without a hitch. I’m betting you’re not interested in seeing those photos, though. Because that would be counter to your vitriol.

        The hospital birth reality also includes brain damaged babies, dead babies, dead mothers, just as it includes peaceful, complication-free realities where it goes off without a hitch.

        A homebirth has its place and time. A hospital birth has its place and time.

        And you are apparently not as educated as believe you are.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD
          January 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

          Demonstrating that you were not a candidate for homebirth, had an incompetent midwife, and were willing to risk the death of a baby from shoulder dsytocia since you were at risk for a second shoulder dystocia after the first.

          Talk about someone who isn’t as educated as she believes.

          • Karen in SC
            January 12, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

            Some home SDs are not resolved without injury to or death of the baby. Ms. Sensenig, you were lucky.

          • Karri Gonzalez Sensenig
            January 12, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

            Some shoulder dystocia aren’t resolved without injury to or death of the baby either. Any baby that survives SD without injury or death is a lucky one – home or hospital.

          • Siri
            January 12, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

            But by choosing homebirth with a known risk of SD, all you’re doing is reducing your baby’s odds of survival or freedom from permanent injury. How is that OK with you?

          • Karri Gonzalez Sensenig
            January 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

            A very *low* known risk of SD. I only had one risk factor for SD – none of the others. And I had two pregnancies with no SD before the one that had SD. An OB and my midwife concluded the SD was not a result of my pelvic anatomy and was instead a result of how the baby came down (face up, not face down). Then I had another baby that came down that way and another SD. Again, this would have happened in the hospital as well and it would have been treated in the hospital the exact same way it was handled here at home. So tell me again how I reduced my baby’s odds of survival or freedom from permanent injury by giving birth at home?

          • Siri
            January 12, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

            Because if they needed immediate resuscitation by a skilled team with access to all the necessary equipment, you’d made sure they wouldn’t get it!! You chose to have them far away from immediate help! That’s how.

          • Karri Gonzalez Sensenig
            January 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

            So your issue isn’t with encountering an unexpected (and impossible to predict) SD at home, it’s having a homebirth at all?

          • Siri
            January 12, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

            Not at all; I had a homebirth myself. But choosing to have a homebirth when you have a history of shoulder dystocia strikes me as incredibly irresponsible. And I am a qualified midwife.

          • KarenJJ
            January 13, 2014 at 2:29 am #

            The more someone keeps talking positively about homebirth and how safe it is the more they demonstrate that it is not… I find it amazing how much work they do for us in proving homebirth is not a great idea and that homebirth providers are either witless, gutless or sociopathic.

          • Daleth
            February 6, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

            Karri, how can you call your second SD “unexpected and impossible to predict” when (1) you were told well in advance that you had a 1 in 9 chance of having SD again, and (2) your second baby was in the same face-up position that caused your first baby’s SD?

          • Susan
            February 6, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

            Great points Daleth. One shoulder dystocia and malpresentation is definitely a risk for another. Also Karri, I agree, competent midwives can do much the same as we would do in the hospital to handle shoulder dystocia, but they can’t do cephalic replacement and C/S and they definitely can’t do all the steps in a neonatal resuscitation as well as a hospital. Only a few can intubate a newborn, very few homebirth midwives have this skill. I certainly never have heard of placing a UVC line at home and giving the meds. A neonatal resuscitation requires a team. More than just two midwives. I had a homebirth with two CNMs, they could intubate. Knowing what I know now about how a team works together in a resuscitation no matter how skilled they are two or three people just can’t do what a hospital can do. There is just no comparison. I would no longer have a homebirth at all. But any competent midwife, even if they do believe in homebirth, would NOT do a homebirth for a mom with a history of SD because of the limitations of resuscitation at home.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 12, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

            Can someone address the assertion that the outcomes would have been identical in the hospital and that therefore there would have been no benefit to delivering there?

          • Karri Gonzalez Sensenig
            January 12, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

            What would you like me to address? I am happy to. 🙂

            Is there a specific treatment for shoulder dystocia or a broken umbilical chord that hospitals can do that a CNM cannot?

            (You’ll notice the dear Dr. didn’t bother to address it – because there isn’t anything to address, it’s a fact.)

          • Medwife
            January 12, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

            At the onset of a shoulder dystocia, I call for the NICU team and for all available RNs. The team is ready to resuscitate that baby including quick, skillful intubation and umbilical vein catheter placement. I can have lab products ordered in minutes. I can save that mother the need FOR blood products. I can start running a bag of IV pit.

            In short, I have resources: people and equipment. And I’m humble enough to call for them as soon as I need them.

          • Karri Gonzalez Sensenig
            January 12, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

            And my CNM and her RN (it’s actually a practice of several CNMs and multiple RNs) are humble enough to make the call to transfer before they actually need to. In other words, if there are any indications there could be a problem developing, they make the call to transfer before the problem has developed because they don’t want a crisis in a home birth anymore than anyone else does.

          • Medwife
            January 12, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

            But they didn’t risk you out after your first shoulder dystocia. And yeah, they should have. You were not an appropriate candidate for a homebirth after that complication.

          • Birthbuddy
            January 12, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

            Risking out would be the sensible to do if they were that humble.

          • Siri
            January 13, 2014 at 2:53 am #

            That’s not humility; it’s hubris. Any practitioner worth their salt would have risked you out.

          • Siri
            January 12, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

            Have you ever seen a baby injured from a bad shoulder dystocia? I’ll bet you haven’t. If you had, you’d know why being in hospital makes a HUGE difference. Yes, the drill is the same – but hospital staff are regularly updated in their ‘drills and skills’. And when a baby needs immediate attention, by a team of highly skilled staff, you’d better not be stuck at home.

          • Siri
            January 12, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

            1) Immediate access to proper resuscitative measures and paediatrician; 2) Immediate access to help with any maternal complications, eg PPH, a bad tear etc.

          • Siri
            January 12, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

            And, of course, proper monitoring in labour. And access to an epidural if shoulder dystocia is on the cards. I wouldn’t want anyone maneuvring a giant baby out of me without adequate anaesthesia…

          • Karri Gonzalez Sensenig
            January 12, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

            Yes, after the first shoulder dystocia I was at risk for experiencing another. An 11-12% risk, to be specific.

            And why on earth would that disqualify me for a homebirth? There isn’t a single thing that can be done differently in a hospital for shoulder dystocia than can be done at home. (Unless, of course, you would be the OB who would advocate trying to shove the babies head back up in and doing a c-section – without anesthesia of course since there wouldn’t be time. *rolls eyes*)

            Oh, maybe you’re the kind of OB who would have told me to have a c-section after the first shoulder dystocia. Because, OF COURSE, it makes so much more sense to trade the 11-12% risk of shoulder dystocia for the risks of c-section.

            My state actually has very strict standards of who licensed midwives (CNM’s here) can do a homebirth with. I passed with flying colors and had none of the risk factors that would have disqualified me.

            Educate yourself some more. Or try and stump me with your vitriol. It won’t work, though.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 12, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

            How do you know what would or would not have happened in the hospital? Are you an obstetrician?

          • Karri Gonzalez Sensenig
            January 12, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

            No, I’m not an OB. So tell me, what does a hospital do for shoulder dystocia that a CNM cannot at home?

          • Birthbuddy
            January 12, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

            Preparation by “fire drills”, knowledge of risk, training, team approach, immediate availability of expertise.
            What do NCB nutjobs do? Knit, rationalise away the diagnosis, delay transfer until stillbirth or try the upside down McRoberts named after one of their goddesses.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 13, 2014 at 12:03 am #

            This post might be interesting. The comment thread too. (There are a couple of more comments along the lines of this one.)


          • MaineJen
            January 13, 2014 at 11:10 am #


          • Siri
            January 12, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

            Weren’t you worried that your baby might need more resuscitation than a homebirth midwife could perform? In hospital, a paediatrician could have been present.

          • Karri Gonzalez Sensenig
            January 12, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

            No, because my midwife brings resuscitation equipment.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 12, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

            It takes a team to run a true neonatal resuscitation. One midwife can’t do it all. And who’s taking care of you while she’s busy resuscitating the newborn?

          • Karri Gonzalez Sensenig
            January 12, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

            The RN she brings with her.

            Yes, a team is required for true neonatal resuscitation. My oldest son had that team when he had a meconium plug (which thankfully didn’t cause any issues other than some transient tachypnea and no lung infection).

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 12, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

            So that’s one CNM and one RN- still not enough to run a resuscitation and take care of mom, especially if there’s a PPH.

          • Box of Salt
            January 12, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

            Karri “my midwife brings resuscitation equipment.”
            How often does she use it, or practice with it?

          • Siri
            January 12, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

            How many babies has she successfully resuscitated? How often does she update her skills in a hospital setting?

          • Birthbuddy
            January 12, 2014 at 11:19 pm #

            Has she been trained to use it?

          • Medwife
            January 12, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

            Are… are you kidding? Shoulder dystocias are often followed by hemorrhage on the mom’s part, and need for resuscitation on the baby’s part. One of those things on their own at a home birth is daunting. Simultaneously they can be a monumental disaster.

          • Karri Gonzalez Sensenig
            January 12, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

            Since when is around 11% (the risk of hemorrhage associated with shoulder dystocia) “often”?

          • Siri
            January 12, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

            Would you send your child on a class trip where 11% of the children would sustain life-threatening injuries? 11% is a terrible risk! Oh, forget it – nothing anyone here can say will convince you that what you did was gamble with your own life AND that of your child. I like a good debate, but some things are just beyond disgusting.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 12, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

            Would you get on an amusement part ride where 11% of the time there is a fatal accident?

            Thought not.

          • Siri
            January 12, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

            No, but she’d put her child on it. Because 11% is really low risk.

          • theNormalDistribution
            January 12, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

            Oh dear, I lolled when I read this.

          • Karri Gonzalez Sensenig
            January 12, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

            Hemorrhages are not fatal 100% of the time. Your logic is unsound.

            Not to mention that my CNM did all the same things here at home to prevent hemorrhage that would have been done at the hospital and would have been watching for the same signs they would watch for in the hospital. The one big difference would be that she would have reacted earlier than they would have in a hospital because we would have needed 5 minutes for the Medic to get here and another 10 to get to the hospital. So she would have made the call to transfer at a point well before it became life-threatening. And while making that transfer she would have given me a shot, massaged my uterus (which she does as standard course after any birth), applied pressure with packing, etc.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 12, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

            You’re living in a fantasy world. Seriously. Wake up.

          • Birthbuddy
            January 12, 2014 at 11:18 pm #

            One by one your delusions will unravel Karri. Keep reading.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 13, 2014 at 10:59 am #

            Since always. One in nine is a common enough occurrence that you should act as if it will happen to you and act accordingingly.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 13, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

            Isn’t 1/9 about the fatality rate of people who die trying to climb Mt Everest? (Actually, the overall rate is below 10%, and since 1990, it has been 4.4%)

            At least those people can say they’v done something that only 3500 others have done. As opposed to the achievement of a HB, which, until the 1900s, was pretty much the default outcome.

          • MaineJen
            January 13, 2014 at 11:08 am #

            Since…always. You realize that’s like, 1 out of 10, right?

          • theNormalDistribution
            January 12, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

            Um. So c-sections are really safe. Quite possibly safer safer for you than spontaneous “uncomplicated” vaginal birth, and most certainly safer for your baby. You sound pretty ridiculous simultaneously chastising OB’s who would suggest a section because OMG THE RISKS OF C SECTIONS and in the other hand brush off the risks of shoulder dystocia. Those risks are orders of magnitudes apart.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 12, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

            Yeah, if I had an 11% risk of dystocia, I’d just go for the section. Consider, the probability of serious harm to the baby from a non-emergency section is essentially zero. The probability of serious harm to the mother is less than 0.1%.

            Dystocia? All bets are off.

          • Siri
            January 12, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

            I think the vast majority of women would take one look at the 11% risk and opt for a c/s – and be horrified if anyone suggested they ignore that risk and give birth far away from immediate help.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 12, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

            Well, some people just don’t understand probability. They think <50% means not going to happen.

            My thumbnail rule is that, if it involves a 1% or greater chance of someone dying, don't freaking do it.

          • Box of Salt
            January 12, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

            “Well, some people just don’t understand probability. They think <50% means not going to happen."

            Actually, I think most folks think that <99% = not going to happen to me.

            Most folks don't get this until they happen to be the 1.

            Most people doing risk assessment also seem to forget to consider the consequence – a 1% risk of stubbing my toe is different from a 1% risk of death, but they look at the odds and weigh them the same way.

            This comment is based on conversations I've had here in the comments section of this blog and other sites online.

          • Trixie
            January 12, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

            With your last name and description of your state regulations, I’m about 99% sure you’re in Central PA. I’m curious which CNM did your home birth and what the OB she has a practice agreement with thought about you having another home birth after dystocia.

          • An Actual Attorney
            January 12, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

            According to this site, http://www.shoulderdystociainfo.com/fetalinjuries.htm, which I can’t vouch for, SD results in a brachial plexis injury about 10% of the time. So for a 1% of injury to your baby, you don’t think a CS is reasonable?

            The website goes on to say that about 10% of those injuries are permanent.0.1% is pretty huge when you are talking about permenant injury to a baby and there’s very little downside to a CS.

            Wow. Math is hard for some people.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 12, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

            That’s a 1% chance of brachial plexis injury PLUS the risk of hypoxia-related brain injury from a dystocia that’s resolved too slowly. Yeah, I’ll take the surgery.

          • Lisa from NY
            January 13, 2014 at 10:50 am #

            ” There are multiple reports in the literature of brachial plexus injuries following vaginal deliveries without shoulder dystocia, subsequent to breech deliveries, and even after otherwise uncomplicated cesarean sections.”

            Breech babies are also at risk.

          • Lisa from NY
            January 13, 2014 at 10:52 am #

            “The second most common injury suffered by infants following shoulder dystocia deliveries is a fractured clavicle. The incidence of this injury following shoulder dystocia is 10%.”

          • KarenJJ
            January 13, 2014 at 2:23 am #

            Good grief, it would risk you out of a homebirth where I live. What’s the point of saying “homebirth is safe” if you don’t risk anyone out of it? The only reason it is safe is because anyone with a risk factor changes provider to an obgyn and gets delivered in a hospital. That’s what would have happened to you where I live. A midwife wouldn’t take you on (unless you wanted to pay for Lisa Barret “non-midwife” to fly over) and you would be referred to the maternity hospital.

            This type of thinking is what makes homebirth safer in the UK, Australia, Canada etc. Taking gung-ho risks like you did is what makes homebirth so unsafe in the US.

          • OBPI Mama
            January 13, 2014 at 10:55 am #

            Wow. I had a severe shoulder dystocia at home and an injured child because of it… so yes, I chose a c-section with my other children so I wouldn’t have to risk another one of my babies’ life. My son almost died. Instead he spends his life in children’s hospitals, having to work hard to maintain the movement he has, having surgeries and 3 therapies a week. So yep, I risked 6-8 weeks of MY recovery from c-sections so my other children wouldn’t have to go through what my first son goes through…

            I can not believe you had another homebirth. You are very lucky to have healthy babies.

          • MaineJen
            January 13, 2014 at 11:04 am #

            “Yes, after the first shoulder dystocia I was at risk for experiencing another. An 11-12% risk, to be specific.

            And why on earth would that disqualify me for a homebirth?”

            Oh…I don’t know. If someone told me I had a 11-12% risk of something seriously awful happening to my baby or me if I tried to give birth at home, that *might* give me pause. But you know, that’s just me.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 13, 2014 at 11:22 am #

            Currently, the chance of dying if you have a heart attack is about 16%. I’m waiting for Karri to tell us that we shouldn’t bother avoiding heart attacks.

          • prolifefeminist
            January 14, 2014 at 12:39 am #

            Wait a second – “Unless, of course, you would be the OB who would advocate trying to shove the babies head back up in and doing a c-section – without anesthesia of course since there wouldn’t be time.”

            Can someone here with medical knowledge address this statement? I always thought that if a crash c-section is called for, mom quickly gets general anesthesia. I’ve never, ever, ever heard of a c-section in the US being started without anesthesia.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 14, 2014 at 10:25 am #

            Yes, you’re right. Karri is full of it.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 14, 2014 at 10:39 am #

            I have. The OB needed to do an emergent c-section and wasn’t able to get the anesthesiologist to show up. She did the whole thing without anesthesia. The baby was fine.

            The OB, however, has nightmares. (Probably the mother too but I only know the story from the OB’s side.) The family sued the hospital and while they don’t blame her she was still named in the suit along with the anesthesiologist.

            She had a really nice little blog including a good post about forceps. After this incident she had a major depressive episode and closed down the blog. I don’t know what she’s doing now.

            So yes, it happens. It’s truly horrible and everyone regards it as a terrible failure, but it happens.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 14, 2014 at 11:38 am #

            I find that unbelievable, Alison. Where did you see an obstetrician do an entire C-section without anesthesia?

          • AlisonCummins
            January 14, 2014 at 11:42 am #

            I didn’t see it. The OB used to blog under Midwife With a Knife but took down her blog. The story was one of her last posts.

            This would have happened three or four years ago, maybe more, in the Pacific Northwest. I don’t know if you have the means to look up to see if a suit alleging anything like this ever went to court?

          • AlisonCummins
            January 14, 2014 at 11:53 am #

            Her forceps post was included in a 2007 carnival by a surgeon: http://rlbatesmd.blogspot.ca/2007/09/surgexperiences-105.html
            This OB still has her on her blogroll:

            This is her debut post on an older site:

          • auntbea
            January 14, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

            Wouldn’t this have to happen occasionally, if a baby were dying and they didn’t have 20 minutes to wait for an on-call anesthesiologist to get there? This is one of my biggest fears about delivering in the rural hospital where we now live.

          • prolifefeminist
            January 14, 2014 at 12:44 am #

            Oh, and 11-12% risk of SD reoccurring? I’d take a c-section over that. I was willing to trade the slight risk of rupture (1%, my OB estimated) to try for a VBA2C in a tertiary care center. But 11% of a serious complication like SD? Way, way too high in my opinion…I can’t even imagine taking on that high of a risk to my baby. Not to mention doing it away from immediate medical help (blood bank, actual peds resuscitation team, more than one RN to assist with maneuvers, etc etc etc).

        • Siri
          January 12, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

          You had shoulder dystocia at home, and then chose to have another homebirth? Your midwife didn’t risk you out?

          • Karri Gonzalez Sensenig
            January 12, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

            There was no reason to. And our state has very strict standards on who qualifies for a homebirth with a CNM. (Obviously the midwives operating without registration and licensing probably don’t bother to go by those guidelines. We use a licensed CNM who does.)

        • theNormalDistribution
          January 12, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

          That’s lovely rhetoric. One problem**; Dr. Amy has never said that homebirth should not exist. She advocates for truth about the safety of homebirth and the qualifications of homebirth attendants. The problem with the coverage of this homebirth is that it paints a beautiful story of a safe birth, when the reality was quite the opposite. It’s just another homebirth lie.

          Maybe you have an accurate understanding of the risks and would still choose homebirth. Maybe many women would. But because of stories like this, because of all the lies, there are a great many women attempting home births who don’t understand the risks, and would never have considered it if they did. If you think that’s okay, then apparently you’re not as moral as you believe you are.

          **(well, not one, but I’m tired of explaining logical fallacies.)

          • Karri Gonzalez Sensenig
            January 12, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

            Oh I want to be clear that I am NOT advocating this woman should have had a home birth. I actually don’t know anything about this woman Dr. Amy is talking about and only took issue with some of Dr. Amy vitriolic rhetoric.

            I agree there are people attempting home births that don’t understand the risks of childbirth and don’t know how to pick a qualified midwife.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 12, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

            You seem to be one of those people (that don’t understand the risks).

        • Box of Salt
          January 12, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

          Karri “A homebirth has its place and time.”

          Yes. That was the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.

          ” A hospital birth has its place and time.”
          It’s now 2014. Why do you want to go backwards in time?

    • Anj Fabian
      January 12, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

      I see the covers of magazines in the stores and I know they’ve been photoshopped and air brushed because that’s what sells. I can usually spot the usual smoothing in the face, the additional shading on the bust and so on. Once you know the tricks, they are easy to spot.

      I’m used to people writing their home birth stories in a way that “sells” home birth. I’m used to the common narratives, the messy and unpleasant parts being edited out or given as little mention as possible. I’ve even watched stories go through multiple versions, getting cleaner and more pleasant and almost always more inspirational with every retelling.

      I’ve read so many home birth stories that I can spot gaps, omissions, the sudden surge of positive adjectives when talking about a midwife, the careful, neutral tone when describing a problem, crisis or emergency.

      This story is no different. Hours of labor documented. The birth lovingly photographed, the posed shot in hospital. Missing are the photos of the spreading puddle of blood, the EMTs crowding the rooms, the bags of IV fluids, the units of blood, the label STAT put on every lab order, every blood order.

      STAT isn’t just a word tossed around casually at a hospital. It means that those orders get given top priority, pushed to the front of the line, all the other work, the orders, the lab tests, the patients have to wait so the STAT orders can be processed as quickly as possible.

      Why? Because those other patients aren’t in danger of dying while the seconds tick by.

  6. Trixie
    January 11, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    I’m just throwing something out here, having read more of this woman’s writing, and her history of alcohol and substance abuse, plus the fact that she’s written about drinking during pregnancy and delivery — is it just barely possible that some or all of the motivation for a home birth was to avoid drug testing in the hospital?

    • Trixie
      January 11, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

      More talk about whiskey sours.http://www.drinkingdiaries.com/2011/09/21/interview-with-ruth-fowler/

    • Susan
      January 11, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

      Trixie I can’t tell you how many times I have wondered if some women home birth for that reason. Hospitals have protocols about who to drug tests and drug tests on babies are not something parents can legally refuse. Drug use is so incredibl y common and parents do become aware of what the triggers for testing are. They change doctors to avoid follow up all the time, sometimes they go to a hospital that doesn’t know the history, why wouldn’t they cloak the motivation for choosing a setting without access to drug testing as wanting ahomebirth?

      • Guest
        January 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

        I wasn’t drug tested when I gave birth. It never even came up.

        • Susan
          January 11, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

          Usually it doesn’t. There are criteria for who should be tested built-in to most hospital policies. Unfortunately, drug use and abuse is not the least bit rare in pregnancy

        • Trixie
          January 11, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

          Neither was I, but I have no risk factors.

      • Trixie
        January 11, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

        She did change doctors at least once according to her husband.

      • January 12, 2014 at 12:21 am #

        I know several that fit that mold. When I was at the hospital I heard enough to piece together that cps was visiting the room next to us because mom and baby had tested positive. It was pretty scary, but I can’t remember much, what with the newborn and the hallucinating from sleep deprivation. I know it sticks out in my memory, and I didn’t have anything to worry about. I can only imagine if I was hiding drug use.

        • Susan
          January 12, 2014 at 12:50 am #

          Lots of methamphetamine and THC in California. Seems like an increase in moms on Methadone too. Also it seems common to think pot is natural and not that bad. There is some evidence of neurologic changes an it shows up in high concentrations in breast milk. However, the evidence about alcohol is so powerful and scary that the dose doesn’t have to me huge to cause harm. It is increbible that the same person tweeting her whisky sours is patting herself on the back for avoiding an epidural.

          • Trixie
            January 12, 2014 at 8:26 am #

            I have a relative who’s been institutionalized his whole life because he was born with FAS. Now again, I realize that relative’s mom was drinking like a fifth of vodka every day, and one whiskey sour isn’t the same. There are responsible mothers who have very, very small amounts of alcohol occasionally during pregnancy. But for someone who’s an alcoholic, there is no “safe” or “moderate” amount of alcohol that you can have.

          • Mom2Many
            January 12, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

            As a foster mom to infants that are almost always going through substance withdrawal, as well as being in the lives of many, many FASD children, the effects of maternal alcohol and drug use while pregnant are not pretty. In fact, from everything I have studied/learned, if you are going to be stupid while pregnant, in most cases doing drugs has less long term impact on your child than alcohol. (though the initial withdrawal is generally worse with drugs such as Oxy, and Cocaine)
            9 months without alcohol really is a lifelong gift to your child.

          • Medwife
            January 12, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

            Meth, heroin and alcohol are such staggering problems in the pregnant population where I work that a UDS + for THC is almost not worth noting. Small potatoes, unfortunately.

    • attitude devant
      January 11, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

      Been reading her blog quite a bit. She has quite the history.

        • attitude devant
          January 11, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

          Exactly. Poor kid. His parents seem served up from someplace I wouldn’t send my worst enemy to. OTOH they have managed to keep the chihuahua alive…

          • SD888
            June 24, 2017 at 9:58 pm #

            Ruth FOUL-er Iorio is a HORRIBLE person. She is a Narcissist, a drug addict, and a monster. She verbally abuses anyone who dares question her continuous abuse of others and her hatefulness towards her own child. She is an evil ‘human being.’

          • attitude devant
            June 25, 2017 at 8:14 am #

            I’m wondering what happened to compel you to comment on such an ancient post. She certainly seems to be everything you say….

          • SD888
            June 25, 2017 at 11:48 am #

            I have known her personally for man years. She’s absolutely evil to the core. I feel so sorry for her child, whom she abuses. She’s continually e-begging online for her crappy photography and ‘writing’ projects (mostly railing about how much she hates Whitey, how ironic). Ruth has had so many run-ins with so many people, yet she STILL projects. The world is full of horrible people who try to make her life harder, because they aren’t as smart and thin and cool as she is. Endless rants. She got into a physical scuffle with cops because she’s so arrogant she thought she can put her hideous, yapping chihuahuas in a wagon and when they inevitably jump out, she doesn’t have to obey leash laws. She traumatized her son there in a public park when she began screaming profanities at the cops and they pushed her to a fence and handcuffed her. She wrote quite a bit about that on her Facebook. She’s a Narcissistic Sociopath. Rules don’t apply to her. Only the little people. (Anyone who isn’t richer, younger, more beautiful (EASY!) and more ‘educated.’

          • attitude devant
            June 25, 2017 at 3:45 pm #

            She does display all the classic features of sociopathy and narcissism…. Do you know what she’s up to these days? I haven’t seen anything of hers published in a long time….and last I see she was going to have a web presence on http://www.theworldbreakseveryone.com but she seems to have lost control of that domain name. Sounds like a total mess.

          • SD888
            June 25, 2017 at 8:25 pm #

            Yes, it’s pretty hilarious that she couldn’t even afford to keep the domain name. She probably spent that money on some lark. She travels all the time, yet claims she is ‘broke.’ She’s up to being a Toxic, Sociopathic Narcissist. Same old crap as usual. Manipulating and lying to get public sympathy. In one breath she says she is DEAD BROKE. Next, she’s E-Begging for ‘donations’ because her egoistic Narcissism ‘forced’ her to spend $40,000 on lawyers fees to keep her son away from his father (Who is no prize himself, being a Meth using druggie, but whom I admit is a talented photographer…which are a dime a dozen in LA). Mostly she talks about going back to the UK but CAN’T because the baby’s father lives here. She is moving on from her FAILED ‘career’ as a writer and is trying to be a photographer. Mostly she posts full frontal nudity shots of her son, which is totally immoral considering all the pedophiles in LA and who lurk online. Her photography is absolute shite. She is a spoiled and monstrous woman. She admits that due to her anorexia (and extreme venom toward any woman with even a pot belly) she spends tons of money obsessively exercising on expensive ballet classes, yoga courses, skin treatments, plastic surgery, and says that she is broke…could someone please ‘GIFT’ her a week or two of Blue Apron, please? She was renting out her dog shit filled guest house she rents, but kept getting into nasty attacks on the beautiful young French woman who rented a room from her for a month. Ruth cannot get alone with ANYONE. It says a lot that her own twin sister despises her and has cut off all contact. She also keeps trying to add to her menagerie of hideous mutts, asking people to ‘donate’ $400 so she can buy cat toys and adopt MORE pets (When she also says she doesn’t even have the money to pay vet bills for the two shitty, unhouse-trained dogs she has now, plus an obese cat that she has oh-so wittily named ‘Chairman Meow.’ Communism is so clever! Stupid woman. Greedy and money-oriented snob. She is a black hole. She is a lonely void. She has no real friends because other people are just for her Narcissistic Supply to use and discard. She praises them with one breath then spreads hideous lies and rumors about them with the next.

        • GiddyUpGo123
          January 11, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

          Oh my, very first entry: out until 3am, drunk driving, strange people showing up at her house looking for crack, big whiny temper tantrum during which she throws food and breaks plates … It’s fiction right? These two new parents don’t actually behave that way do they?

          • theNormalDistribution
            January 11, 2014 at 11:19 pm #

            Oh wow. Now I see why Bofa comparing homebirth with drunk driving wasn’t hitting home with Jared.

          • wookie130
            January 12, 2014 at 10:38 am #

            Sadly, I think it may be true, GiddyUp. Perhaps it’s embellished to a degree, or fabricated on some level for the dramatic effect, but one can truly sense the instability in these parents through reading the blog. Ruth may be a gifted writer, but her lifestyle is nearly that of a drunken transient, if you take her blog at face-value.

          • SD888
            June 27, 2017 at 3:02 pm #

            No, none of it is embellished. She brags constantly about having earned a degree from Cambridge. She is an elitist, capitalistic snob wrapped in an ‘anarchist’ Communist facade. A complete phony and a horrible, horrible, abusive mother.

          • Burgundy
            January 12, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

            Hope not, otherwise the baby will have breast milk full with alcohol and drugs…. Brest is the best, oh-ya.

      • Mishimoo
        January 11, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

        I tried to read it, I really did. To me, it came across as the mind of an enraged, melodramatic, rebellious teenager splashed out for all the world to see.

    • Lynnie
      January 11, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

      Just spent a few minutes reading her blog. That is definitely a possibility.

    • Dreah Louis
      January 11, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

      Is that a FACT?

      • Trixie
        January 11, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

        I don’t know her at all, so I can’t really say what’s a fact or not. But she does talk a lot about her alcoholism and drug abuse, as well as posting about drinking during pregnancy and labor. And, I hope I’m wrong. And I hope that, offline, people are helping her seek treatment, if she needs it, to remain sober and stable for her baby’s sake.

        • Dreah Louis
          January 11, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

          I don’t know about the alcohol or drugs but she writes very well.

          • Susan
            January 11, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

            I agree she does seem to be a gifted writer. I don’t respect a lot of her choices but does write about said lousy choices in a fascinating way. Hope the baby can get the brains without the oppositional defiant disorder.

          • Trixie
            January 12, 2014 at 8:17 am #

            Her writing style is pretty derivative of the writers she lists as inspirations. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I wouldn’t say she has an original voice. Instead she writes about shocking things to keep you reading.
            I find it interesting in one of her essays that she says she keeps people around that she’s broken up with in vase they might be useful to her.

          • GiddyUpGo123
            January 12, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

            Ugh. I think she *could* be a gifted writer, but everything I’ve seen from her is completely over-written. It’s all really horribly pretentious and difficult to muddle through. I think it’s very possible to be a good writer who writes completely unreadable stuff. Yeah, she can put a sentence together–one that reads very well and flows very nicely, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good sentence. There’s a lot to be said for simplicity in writing.

          • Dreah Louis
            January 12, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

            Everyone can’t relate to a troubled life so I can see if her writing isn’t of interest. I was basically bringing up the idea that regardless of the drug or alcohol use that all the women were talking about didn’t obviously have an affect on her ability to paint pictures with her words. That is a gift is all that I was saying regardless of how or what she talks about. I’m pretty sure you read a lot of her blog.


          • Mishimoo
            January 12, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

            I can relate, but seeing as her writing style is similar to way I used to think when I was 15 and is part of some of the muck I discarded when I was 20, I have no interest in muddling through it again. 🙂

          • yentavegan
            January 12, 2014 at 8:18 am #

            You write well too. I read your blog.

          • Trixie
            January 12, 2014 at 8:29 am #

            I agree

          • Dreah Louis
            January 12, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

            thank u

  7. Dr Kitty
    January 11, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    At home:
    IM oxytocin
    Uterine massage (I hope)
    911 called
    EMTs arrive after a few minutes
    Still no IV access
    Arrive at ED
    IV access-fluids running
    Placenta removed
    IV uterotonics, antibiotics, analgesia
    Blood transfusions
    48hrs of observation

    In a Hospital:
    Uterine massage, IV fluids
    Placenta removed
    IV uterotonics, analgesia
    Home within 24hrs.
    The end.

    • Martina
      January 11, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

      Americans created scams to let them supervise labour and childbirth and now you are fighting for home birth to be banned…..i am speechless. That is how doctors try to steal the job to real midwives!
      In Italy they are promoting home birth because when women go to deliver at hospital many of them will get unnecessary c-sections and because hospitals are over crowded(especially midwifery ward ). I will go on the home birth blog and ask italian women if they had bad experiences with their home births. Will keep you updated!

      • January 11, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

        Nobody here, not even Dr. Amy, want to ban homebirth. ALL OF US are against LYING LIARS WHO LIE to women and families about the safety of Home birth and the midwives that attend them.

        • Guest
          January 12, 2014 at 11:09 am #

          I’ve seen Dr. Tuteur’s video, which was enlightening about midwifery care in the US and I realize from that she’s against the lay midwives.
          The problem is, in reading this blog and the comments of a lot of the regulars, everyone sounds like they’re completely against homebirth, anywhere, anytime, in any situation. So that’s the perception when you first come to this blog and start reading. I know I had that idea until I read for a few weeks and went back, reading a few past posts. I now have a different view, but when some of the comments are very angry and/or scathing towards parents of a failed homebirth, it’s hard to remember that. I just keep having to remind myself.

          • Siri
            January 12, 2014 at 11:27 am #

            Like several other commenters, I HAD a homebirth, in the UK, attended by two highly knowledgeable and experienced community midwives. I felt safe and cared for throughout, the local Labour Ward was aware I was in labour, and my midwives would have called for an ambulance, nil delay, if anything started to look iffy. I wouldn’t have another homebirth (I’d be a grand multip for starters), and I’m appalled at the idea of CPMs attending high-risk deliveries in the US (and even low risk births can go drastically wrong, as in the case of Ruth Iorio).

            Amy’s aim isn’t to remove women’s choice, it’s to abolish the title of CPM and ensure women are told the truth about the risks they face.

          • Guest
            January 12, 2014 at 11:45 am #

            Like I said, that’s what it FEELS like though. It’s sometimes hard to keep in mind that it’s the lack of training that’s the issue when comments feel very much like “I told you so’s”.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 12, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

            Yes, many of the commenters are professional and insightful while others like to point fingers and call people names. This is true.

            It’s also a little more complex. The lack of training and accountability of American midwives is an issue in many aspects of homebirth but one of the biggest is the refusal to “risk out” women who simply should not be giving birth at home under any circumstances, or to transfer women quickly as soon as things seem to be looking a little difficult. (Someone quoted a transfer rate of 40% I think? Referring to England I think?) Risking out and transferring is part of what makes home birth in other countries safer than it is in the US.

            When people think that home birth is safe then they will take inappropriate risks.

      • attitude devant
        January 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

        Martina, you can’t compare homebirth midwives in Italy to homebirth midwives in America. Italian midwives are very well trained and follow good guidelines. That’s not the case in America.

        • Guest
          January 11, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

          I think she can here. There have been a few studies done in Canada that conclude that homebirth here is as safe as a low risk birth in a hospital. Dr. Tuteur has said in the past that at least one of them is flawed and that homebirth is always more risky than hospital birth.

        • Martina
          January 11, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

          Why don’t you fight to change that,the cause is that butchers one day decide to self teach midwifery and they are allowed to go assess home birth. Simple eliminate these improvised midwives….i wonder who created that. I have to do a little research

          • attitude devant
            January 11, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

            Martina, what do you think we are trying to do here? That is exactly what this blog is about!

          • Deena Chamlee
            January 11, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

            Martina in America the current issue at hand is about mortality and morbidity of innocent babies in the homebirth setting.
            There should not be HOMEBIRTH MIDWIFE as a title. There should be MIDWIFE and that title should be protected and regulated by ONE National Organization; The American College of Midwives. All midwives should be regulated by a national board that is appointed based on MERIT. This board should oversee the practice of all midwives who should be graduate prepared and practice by set standards /guidelines across all three settings: home, birth center and in hospital.
            Because one needs a graduate degree to admit to in hospital status any other type of midwife is not warranted
            Instead we have HOMEBIRTH ATTENDANTS calling themselves MIDWIFE and spreading carnage across the country without impunity. Harming the public and leaving them without any recourse. Many suffer from PTSD.
            INA MAY is an ENGLISH MAJOR who wanted to be a midwife. So she watched one birth in her commune on the FARM in Tennessee and others in her COMMUNE knew she wanted to be a MIDWIFE so they began to call her ONE.
            It is the biggest SCAM ever to exist, in my opinion, in the United States and Globally within the profession of MIDWIFERY.
            So in order to protect the public MIDWIFERY in The United States must STAND WITH HARMED FAMILIES and put a stop to such a practice.
            On the Texas border individuals calling themselves MIDWIFE are falsifying birth certificates for Mexican IMMIGRANTS. Seventy five of such individuals have been arrested. Anti-Social behavior has infiltrated the homebirth movement nationally and globally.
            I almost wonder if we all should take the data acquired and get the FBI involved if it cannot change without police involvement.

          • Susan
            January 12, 2014 at 3:11 am #

            Is there a link about the Texas midwives somewhere? That sounds interesting.

          • Trixie
            January 11, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

            That’s exactly what Dr Amy is trying to do. It’s complicated here, because each of the 50 states has different regulations.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa
        January 11, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

        Speaking of creating scams…Are you familiar with the story of Ina May Gaskin and the CPM? She INVENTED a separate type of midwife and granted herself the title, so to avoid the requirements that are applied to real midwives.

        And you accuse doctors of creating a scam? HA

      • Trixie
        January 11, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

        Doctors did not create the fake midwives. They created themselves. REAL midwives and obstetricians work together just fine, for the most part.

      • Dr Kitty
        January 12, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

        Martina, I’m a GP in the UK.
        I don’t have a dog in the fight as far as making money is concerned because I don’t attend births.

        In the UK, 2 fully trained graduate midwives would have attended the Homebirth.
        They would have been able to start an IV and run fluids.
        They would have been able to deliver the placenta.

        But, and I think this is important, it probably wouldn’t have come to that because Ruth’s personal history and several issues during the labour would have risked her out and made the MWs transfer her to a hospital well before the PPH occurred.

        • no longer drinking the koolaid
          January 12, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

          My point precisely. I’m a home birth midwife (CNM) and as I read her story, I kept thinking “Time to transfer.”. Okay, “Now it’s really time to transfer.” Finally OMFG, “Please transfer this woman!”
          The midwives missed a several points where this was no longer an uncomplicated labor/birth.

  8. fiftyfifty1
    January 11, 2014 at 11:11 am #

    I would like to give a big thanks to one group of people who saved Ruth Fowler Iorio’s life. And they did it for absolutely free (unlike her midwife who got paid $4500 cash to do nothing more than call 911): The anonymous blood donors. Thank you very much blood donors! Ruth will not likely be sending any thanks your way, so I’ll do it for her. In a world without blood donors, her rash decision to homebirth would have bought her a very different outcome: Death or months of living with the disability of profound anemia, unable to care for her baby. So thanks for what you do!!!

    • Box of Salt
      January 11, 2014 at 11:59 am #

      I keep wondering what her blood type is. I’m hoping O+ or A+ since they’re the more common ones.

      • guest
        January 11, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

        AB+ is the universal receiver

        • Box of Salt
          January 11, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

          Yes, and O- is the universal donor, and also very rare.

          • Trixie
            January 11, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

            I’m O-, I really ought to donate more.

          • amazonmom
            January 11, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

            I’m B neg. Puget Sound Blood Center calls me several times a month to donate if I let it go too long between donations. They did mark down my pregnancy and C/S date so they wouldn’t bother me until I was potentially eligible again.

          • Sullivan ThePoop
            January 11, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

            I am also B- and all of my children have different blood types.
            As far as rarity from the most common, to the least common O+, A+, O-, B+, A-, AB+, B-, AB-

          • amazonmom
            January 11, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

            Both of my babies are O pos. Rhogam is awesome!

          • Trixie
            January 11, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

            You pharma shill. Don’t you realize you can change your blood type through special teas and enemas?

          • amazonmom
            January 11, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

            Yeah but I’m a lazy parent who just goes the OB/hospital route for everything ya know? Oh and I make money off of fooling people because I work for a hospital.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 12, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

            I can’t donate because my weight is below the minimum, but I’m on an annual deferral, just in case I ever get fat enough.

          • KarenJJ
            January 13, 2014 at 2:39 am #

            I can’t donate either due to a chronic condition and immunosuppressant medication. Very glad there are people out there that can. My husband has given blood – he’s needle phobic (although that’s changed now that one of the kids needs daily needles) and the nurses give him a small local anaesthetic so that he doesn’t feel the rest and can just look away.

          • Box of Salt
            January 12, 2014 at 12:06 am #

            I changed my blood type once via clerical error. Then we had to change it back.

          • Sullivan ThePoop
            January 14, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

            Mine are O+,O-, and B+

          • Mishimoo
            January 11, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

            So is my husband, but he’s terrified of needles. He’s working on it, slowly.

          • guest
            January 11, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

            Yup, meant that to mean that she would be better off being A+ instead of O+ if it came down to it.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 11, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

            Not rare, like 20% of the population is O-, and 40% is O+. AB is rare.

          • Box of Salt
            January 11, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

            No. Where did you get your numbers? Mine came from the Red Cross link above.

            While it’s true that AB (+ and – each) is more rare than O-, it’s still fairly rare.

            This wikipedia article also puts O- at less than 10% of the population for every country listed:


            We can quibble about my use of the adjective “very,” especially in contrast to the ABs, but iO- is still not a big proportion of any population.

      • June 27, 2017 at 5:18 pm #

        I’m B+, and I give 2-3 times a year. I’m close on the weight limit, so I can’t drive myself afterwards and always have to lie down with my feet over my head when I give. I have to pick a weekend where I’m okay feeling like crap for the rest of Saturday and first half of Sunday to go in and donate, plus my husband has to be available to drive me. It’s still worth it, though.

    • Karen in SC
      January 12, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

      Since she has a blog, she should be appealing for blood donations to shore up the local supply that she depleted. Is she?

      Many folks after a car accident or serious surgery will ask family, friends, neighbors, etc. to give blood as a sign of appreciation.

  9. PrimaryCareDoc
    January 11, 2014 at 10:27 am #

    Ugh. Now she’s on Twitter complaining about cost of her hospitalization. So, it’s OK to pay $4500 cash for a homebirth, but not OK to pay $23,000 for having your life saved. Personally, I think that an emergency room evaluation and emergency stabilization, manual placenta removal, multiple transfusions, 2 day hospitalization, not to mention the “ton” of fentanyl, plus the bonus of not bleeding to death… she got a bargain! Priorities, priorities.

    • Trixie
      January 11, 2014 at 10:46 am #

      What she’s doing is trying to drum up donations.

    • fiftyfifty1
      January 11, 2014 at 11:03 am #

      She paid her midwife $4500 to do nothing more than dial 911.

      • Trixie
        January 11, 2014 at 11:09 am #

        No, the husband said below that he dialed 911.
        I hope that midwife is one hell of a knitter.

        • KarenJJ
          January 13, 2014 at 2:42 am #

          Hopefully the baby gets a hat out of it.

    • Guest
      January 11, 2014 at 11:46 am #

      Wow. I couldn’t afford to have a baby in the US. I paid less for my car than she has to pay for her hospital stay!

      • Martina
        January 11, 2014 at 11:58 am #

        How can someone ask a patient to pay that much……

        • Meerkat
          January 11, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

          Majority of people in the US have health insurance from their work. I paid a total of $500 for my C-section and maternity care. The rest was covered by health insurance. I can’t speak for all states, but I know that Massachusetts provides state sponsored health insurance for uninsured pregnant women. My friend had no health insurance, and the state covered the cost of all her prenatal care and delivery.
          From what I understand, Ruth did have health insurance that covered her hospital stay. CPM midwife services aren’t covered by health insurance.
          I do agree that the the whole insurance system is a problem, but going to charlatans instead of doctors is not an answer…

          • Trixie
            January 11, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

            Massachusetts has better health insurance than most states.

          • Elizabeth A
            January 11, 2014 at 11:53 pm #

            Yes. My total out of pocket cost for each pregnancy was $20. For everything from routine prenatals to ER visits for bleeding, ante-partum admission, ambulance rides, c-section, 32 day NICU stay… everything.

            I have really good insurance, even for Massachusetts, but I do not understand why the public interest in providing appropriate care to pregnant women isn’t obvious enough to make this kind of coverage standard.

          • Meerkat
            January 12, 2014 at 10:37 am #

            I didn’t realize how good Massachusetts insurance was until I moved to New York. I never had any problems with insurance when I lived in Boston. Doctors’ offices billed correctly and resolved any issues with insurance themselves, the insurance never made mistakes.
            I hate dealing with all of this in NY. Hate it. The insurance is in my speed dial. At least I can yell at them when them make mistakes, and they make many. But you know whom I hate even more? Doctors’ billing offices. Doctors here hate insurance and don’t want to make any effort to help a patient to resolve a matter with insurance, even if the problem is their own billing office. Resolving problems with billing offices is like pulling teeth.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 11, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

            I would have paid $10 for all my maternity care, but I did require a few consultations with Maternal/Fetal Medicine. So I think it was $70 or so? My friend in Utah was uninsured when she got pregnant, but was able to sign up for Medicaid, and they took care of her.

            Now, there are some mothers who have no private insurance and, for one reason or another, can’t get care through the state. A study in New York City found that uninsured mothers were SEVEN TIMES more likely to die than insured mothers. (The death rate among Medicaid mothers was only slightly higher than private insurance.) The absolute risk was low for all groups, but that kind of relative risk is remarkable.

          • Meerkat
            January 12, 2014 at 9:55 am #

            I am surprised the risk isn’t even bigger than that. Having no health insurance is awful.

      • PrimaryCareDoc
        January 11, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

        That’s not what she paid to have the baby- that’s what she paid to get her life saved after she almost bled out.

        Also note- she didn’t get health insurance until 2 weeks before the birth. She got a plan under the ACA and apparently UCLA is not in network for it. That’s why she’s getting the bill. If she had planned in advance and had a hospital birth in network, everything would have been covered.

        • Guest
          January 11, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

          Well that’s a relief. With the cost of raising a kid, if it cost you $20,000 to have it no one could afford it! We’ve all heard horror stories of people being turned away at US hospitals because they have no insurance. It’s a relief to find out that some states cover it on their own.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 11, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

            It’s illegal for a hospital to turn away someone in labor. It’s a law called EMTALA.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

            EMTALA means they don’t turn anyone away. It’s an unfunded mandate, which is one reason hospitals are so keen on charging as much as they can for other services, so they can cover the ER.

            I imagine some of these dynamics will change with the ACA.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

            Actually, EMTALA isn’t entirely unfunded. There’s something called “disproportionate share” money for hospitals that serve particularly large uninsured populations.

            Unfortunately, the ACA has cut disproportionate share funding on the theory that almost everyone will have insurance now, which is creating a big problem in states that didn’t expand Medicaid.

            It’s complicated. I don’t entirely understand it myself.

          • Sullivan ThePoop
            January 11, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

            My SIL last year paid $6,200 out of pocket for a twin C-section. The boys spent 3 days in NICU. I don’t think that’s bad. Oh and her insurance paid for her to stay after she was discharged.

          • Guest
            January 11, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

            Ya…I tend to think our government should look after our health care. I’m a fan of universal health care as it is here in Canada. There are flaws, but I don’t think with the amount of taxes I pay that I should have to pay out of pocket for things like that.

        • Elizabeth A
          January 11, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

          I think she has a perfect right to complain about her insurance – the ambulance probably took her to the closest appropriate facility. Health insurance with network limitations really needs exemptions for life threatening emergencies.

          • An Actual Attorney
            January 12, 2014 at 9:20 am #

            Generally, I would agree with you. But you know, maybe that would be something you should consider in “doing your research” about that hospital “just 5 minutes away.”

        • drsquid
          January 14, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

          she later says she only has to cover $3000

          • Young CC Prof
            January 14, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

            That sounds like a plausible uninsured bill after negotiation. My friend just got 80% off the “list price” of her surgery because she was uninsured and unemployed.

            Essentially, the hospital will usually ask for a sum they think the patient might actually be able to pay. Asking for the impossible and sending the patient into bankruptcy doesn’t serve anyone.

    • Meerkat
      January 11, 2014 at 11:51 am #

      I wonder what her insurance company is thinking about it.

  10. Martina
    January 11, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    Live and let live! Leave this woman do what she wants to do! Are you all perfect? People full of judgements. Judge your own lives!

    • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
      January 11, 2014 at 10:14 am #

      Right on! How dare people judge me for drunk drunk driving, giving my baby mountain dew in a bottle and letting my toddler play in traffic?! /s

      • Martina
        January 11, 2014 at 10:37 am #

        What a silly comparisons…….what in Italy we call “americanate”

        • Trixie
          January 11, 2014 at 10:46 am #

          Not silly — considering drunk driving is safer than home birth.

        • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
          January 11, 2014 at 11:05 am #

          Seriously though, what is the difference? Feeding a baby mountain dew is not healthy, but has never caused injury or death, whereas homebirth clearly has.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 11, 2014 at 11:15 am #

            Um, if you fed a little baby significant quantities of Mountain Dew, he WOULD get quite sick and possibly die.

          • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
            January 11, 2014 at 11:20 am #

            Well yeah, and the same is true for water (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_intoxication); I was mainly referring to the occasional older baby or toddler you see around Walmart clutching a bottle of soda. Gross, but still safer than homebirth.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 11, 2014 at 11:21 am #

            Ah, yes, that’s different.

          • AmyP
            January 12, 2014 at 7:06 am #

            My mom used to feed my baby brother bottles of liquid jello. (I think it was mainly because he was underweight and couldn’t have cow’s milk.)

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 11, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

          Bring it on. Why is it a silly comparison? Show us how much you know about the safety of homebirth…

    • fiftyfifty1
      January 11, 2014 at 11:25 am #

      No one is trying to keep this woman from doing what she wants. She’s her own boss. In the United States you can give birth in a cornfield surrounded by gibbons if you want. But what you *can’t* do here is force people to agree with your choices and praise you for them. We call if “Freedom of Speech” and it’s actually written into our constitution!

      • Antigonos CNM
        January 11, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

        Well…finding a cornfield full of gibbons might be a tad difficult…

        • Mel
          January 11, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

          It’s the sequel to “Field of Dreams!”

  11. Guest
    January 11, 2014 at 9:21 am #

    I just have to say: welcome to life in the 21st Century! I wouldn’t tweet or post on Facebook during my labor (I don’t really use a lot of social media anyway), but everyone tweets about everything these days. So really, everyone who posts endlessly on Facebook and Twitter are narcissistic. They want everyone to know what they’re doing at any given time. I don’t agree with it and I wouldn’t do it, but…herd mentality and the fact that celebs do it is hard to bypass.

    I know someone who posted a picture of their baby’s ultrasound on Facebook with a big arrow pointing to the crotch saying, “It’s a boy!” I didn’t think that was appropriate. I would also never post pictures of my daughter on the potty because I don’t think they’re appropriate. I don’t have a problem with photos of nursing, because that’s not sexual, but any pictures of genitalia…there’s too many crazies out there.

    • Meerkat
      January 11, 2014 at 10:08 am #

      You know, if it wasn’t posted on FB, it might as well not have happened, he he! Social media has become a real addiction for some people!

    • AlisonCummins
      January 11, 2014 at 10:50 am #

      Just to clarify… You think there are people who would be sexually attracted to an ultrasound?

      • Guest
        January 11, 2014 at 11:32 am #

        Maybe not, but it’s subjective. How will that kid feel when he gets older and sees that?

    • Antigonos CNM
      January 11, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

      I knew there was a reason I don’t use Facebook or Twitter…

  12. Siri
    January 11, 2014 at 8:47 am #

    Ruth’s post ‘The Unethical Pregnancy’ (from her blog) makes for interesting reading, and offers insight into her attitudes to pain relief in labour and to the women who opt for epidurals… her online fight with/attack on singer Sinead O’Connor has also attracted much controversy.

    • Trixie
      January 11, 2014 at 9:36 am #

      It’s also interesting that she describes herself as a narcissist in the about me section.

      • Siri
        January 11, 2014 at 10:00 am #

        Just as well – we’d never have guessed! :-b

      • drsquid
        January 14, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

        sociopathic narcissist

    • attitude devant
      January 11, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

      Her blog makes Jared and herself sound like real peaches. Glad I don’t know them.

    • January 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

      I thought they only had a (couple?) Hundred or so followers before the messy, beautiful near exsanguination?

    • emkay
      January 11, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

      Ugh… its PAINFUL reading

  13. Dreah Louis
    January 11, 2014 at 4:36 am #

    There is so much that is missing that its disgusting. Why keep lying to pregnant women about home birth. I had to clean up my own blood all over my house, the walls, the floors the steps, the shower the bath tub while I had a brain dead daughter in NICU and a live twin at home with 3 other children.
    Midwives f****** up and ran never visited a day in the hospital. NOT 1 DAY. I had one TWIN baby that stayed at home and one baby transferred the midwife never showed up at all.
    The truth and reality is that you cant debate about a bad experience or even agree with a someone talking about a bad experience if you haven’t encountered OR had to deal with the results of a bad home birth experience. I HAVE.
    People disagree with the home birth truth setters because the argument has no merit to the home birth advocates.
    That hospital saved her life!
    That is why doctors hate midwives, they have to clean up their nasty mess.

    • Martina
      January 11, 2014 at 4:47 am #

      There is too much ignorance about home birth! I am sorry that many midwives are so incompetents in USA.

    • moto_librarian
      January 11, 2014 at 8:34 am #

      I am so very sorry.

    • Medwife
      January 11, 2014 at 11:52 am #

      I’m so sorry for that terrifying experience and the loss of your daughter. The behavior of your midwife is beyond words.

    • Dr Kitty
      January 11, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

      I’m so very sorry for your loss.

    • Amazed
      January 11, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

      I am so sorry for the pain your family is suffering.

    • Mel
      January 11, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

      I am so very sorry.

  14. Lena
    January 11, 2014 at 3:46 am #

    Well that’s a bit harsh and likely reflects your own beliefs rather than having anything to do with Ruth’s experience.

    • wookie130
      January 11, 2014 at 8:19 am #

      Or not, Lena. It is not about Dr. Amy’s “beliefs” vs. Ruth’s “experience.” It’s about glorifying something that was disastrous in reality, and could have ended up tragedy for both Ruth and her baby. A lot of the disaster could have EASILY been averted by her choosing to deliver her child in the hospital, with a competent medical team available. Instead, Ruth is using her “experience” to gain attention and brownie points from the home birth crowd, when she should be focusing on the newborn baby that could have been lost in the name of her “ideal birth.” It’s disgusting, and I for one am thankful that Dr. Amy has shed light on all that is wrong with this gruesome scenario.

    • AlisonCummins
      January 11, 2014 at 10:52 am #

      What do you mean by “beliefs,” Lena?

  15. Martina
    January 11, 2014 at 3:28 am #

    Dear Ruth,dangerous people are you and people like you! Homebirth is safe! Why hemorragie post delivery happen at hospital too? Why many fatalities happen at hospital too? Maybe because medicalized delivery is dangerous? There are many doctors making huge mistakes at hospital i know it for experience. Please STOP blaming it on home birth!!! You are ridiculous!

    • Martina
      January 11, 2014 at 3:41 am #

      This message was for Amy Tuteur and not Ruth!

    • Birthbuddy
      January 11, 2014 at 4:25 am #

      Troll alert!

    • Meerkat
      January 11, 2014 at 9:45 am #

      Why do NCB advocates have such poor spelling and grammar? Why don’t they use capital letters appropriately?

      • Trixie
        January 11, 2014 at 9:47 am #

        She’s from Italy

        • Meerkat
          January 11, 2014 at 11:47 am #

          All right, that’s a fair excuse. But it’s not only Martina. Every time an NCB proponent stops by to argue they write these really poorly spelled rants. And I am sure that unlike Martina, those people are native speakers!

  16. Martina
    January 11, 2014 at 2:43 am #

    My boss delivered at hospital and she lost loads of blood without anyone realizing it.If it wasn’t for her husband visiting her at that moment she would be dead now! So please,do not blame this family because they chose homebirth and because they wanted to document it!
    FB called this documentary PORNOGRAPHY!!! I would make a complaint about that (crazyness!) instead!
    I do not understand why the porno videos are so considered normal and a constructive video about labour and delivery is considered a SHAME!
    Jared and Ruth you made the best choice to choose a non medicalized,natural way of giving birth. Remember that labour and delivery are unpredictable and a fatality can happen at home or at hospital (i have enough experience to say that!).
    Do not listen to these insane people! Only you and your wife know what is best for you two(and now you three). Do not allow anyone to tell you that you are not doing it right!!
    Congratulations on the beautiful birth of your gorgeous boy xxxxxx

    • Birthbuddy
      January 11, 2014 at 2:47 am #

      Martina, you do understand the concept of RATE, don’t you?
      Your argument that bad things happen hospitals too is stupid.
      Bad things happen 3-10 times more often at homebirth.

      • Martina
        January 11, 2014 at 3:30 am #

        Stop blaming this couple. Learn not to judge! i do not rate i see the reality of things!!

        • Birthbuddy
          January 11, 2014 at 4:23 am #

          No Martina, the RATE of bad things happening in hospitals vs. the RATE of bad things happening at homebirth.
          Oh my word!

          • Martina
            January 11, 2014 at 5:05 am #

            If there is a bigger rate of bad things happening at homebirth maybe because of incompetence of the midwife. I never heard these things in Italy,really. Anyway i wouldn’t sponsor a labour and birth at hospital because it is too medicalized.Women’s body know exactly what to do while laboring. There is no need of anything if not a good observation from the midwife. I am just sorry to hear many midwives are so incompetent. Saying that home birth is not safe it is crazy! You should put it other words maybe.

            Personally i don’t believe in rates…they are usually wrong they do not reflect what i see in the reality. I just observe things and treat them as individuals.

          • Birthbuddy
            January 11, 2014 at 5:12 am #

            Keep reading Martina.

          • Martina
            January 11, 2014 at 5:32 am #

            I just watched the video truth about home birth and i am shocked to see that in USA homebirth midwives don’t have a degree and they don’t train at hospital!!!
            No way! How can that be legal? Do parents to be know who is going to monitor them during labor?

          • attitude devant
            January 11, 2014 at 5:42 am #

            Ah! The nickel drops.

          • Martina
            January 11, 2014 at 5:56 am #

            But why saying homebirth is dangerous? These “professional figures” are dangerous…mind what you write Amy Tuteur! I wouldn’t be angry with the couples choosing homebirth because they may think those midwives are experienced and safe professionals to rely on

          • Birthbuddy
            January 11, 2014 at 6:00 am #

            Keep reading Martina.

          • Trixie
            January 11, 2014 at 8:59 am #

            Hence, the reason she writes this blog.

          • Trixie
            January 11, 2014 at 6:58 am #

            These fake midwives are exactly the kind Ruth delivered with. They have NO medical training, no education, and almost killed her.

          • Antigonos CNM
            January 11, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

            There is virtually no regulation of midwifery education, licensure or insurance, standards of practice or requirements for legal documentation of births, continuing education — in short, depending on the state one is in, no supervision at all, in the US. Certified nurse midwives are in something of a different category, and are integrated into the medical system to a greater degree, but it isn’t because they are legally required to be but because they choose to be, in most cases. There is no national certifying body like the Central Midwives Board [has a different name now, I think] in the UK.

            Anyone coming from Europe is usually appalled at what passes for “professional” midwifery, and the bottom line is that the majority of American midwives do NOT want any supervision so they can do whatever their ideology tells them to do. Americans do the stupidest things in the name of “personal freedom”.

          • Deena Chamlee
            January 11, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

            One Midwifery Organization, one national midwifery board that oversees practice of graduate prepared midwives in all three settings. MANA AND NACPM BARRED FROM THE US FOR ALL THE DEATHS AND FOR BLATANT LACK OF ETHICAL CODES IN THEIR STANDARDS.

            Then midwifery services can be brought into the greater healthcare system offering graduate prepared midwifery services across all three sttings: home, birtj center and in hospital. The setting for birth is dtiven by clients needs and desires..INFORMED CHOICE SHARED DECISION MAKING SHOULD BE CENTRAL THEME FOR OBSTETRICS.


          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 11, 2014 at 9:52 am #

            Rate is not the Tooth Fairy or Santa Clause. You don’t have to believe it it. It represents reality, unlike our perceptions.

          • Alicia
            January 13, 2014 at 12:19 am #

            Martina, if women’s bodies “know how to birth”, then why was childbirth the #1 killer of women for the last several millennia? For thousands and thousands of years women and babies suffered and died until finally *medical* advances started to change that. It is a *scientific fact* that when humanoids started to walk exclusively upright the ability to give birth became more difficult due to the change in the pelvic opening. Apes, who have a differently shaped pelvis, can more easily give birth than humans can.

            Also, stop comparing what’s happening in the US to what happens in Italy. Two completely different countries. Having lived in both places, I know this for a fact.

      • Guest
        January 11, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

        Lots of statistics can be interpreted in lots of different ways, depending on your bias towards the subject. Homebirthers will look at a study/statistical info and see one thing, while anti-homebirthers can look at the same study and see the opposite. Iv’e seen it in the comments of this blog.

        • Martina
          January 11, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

          I feel you Guest.

        • Amy Tuteur, MD
          January 11, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

          No, that’s not true. Statistics can be MISinterpreted in a variety of ways by people who don’t know much about statistics, i.e. homebirth advocates.

          • Guest
            January 11, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

            So only homebirth advocates misinterpret the numbers? A GP or an OB would not be biased or misinterpret the numbers in a particular study/statistical paper?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 11, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

            Please explain how Dr Tuteur has misinterpreted the numbers?

            All I have heard is an accusation that “statistics can be interpreted in different ways.” Yet, you have not shown that this has happened.

            Dr Tuteur does explain why the HB advocates’ interpretation of the outcomes are wrong (actually, most of the time it’s not about misinterpretation, it’s about completely ignoring them (see MANA’s refusal to even report the statistics on homebirth death rates).. If you think she is wrong, you are welcome to present what you got.

            Of course, the answer is, the statistics are so undeniable that homebirth advocates don’t even deny them. They just brush them off as insignificant. Now, you may claim that HB is “safe enough” for you, and I can’t argue. However, if you claim that the absolute numbers are trivial, or that “birth is as safe as it gets” then I will dispute it, because by any measure of risk in our lives, this is nonsense.

          • Guest
            January 11, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

            Not speaking of homebirth at the moment. There were some discussions on past posts that have been read differently by the people who based the conclusions and Dr. Tuteur. I’d have to go back through all the posts from the last little while to find you specific examples.
            What it seems like is that everyone who posts here is all about informed consent, as long as that agrees with the recommendations on this site. If my GP tells me something different than Dr. Tuteur does, should I ignore her for what has been said on this blog? Because my GP would disagree with some of the things that Dr. Tuteur says.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

            Really? What did your GP say? Let’s see if we can get to the bottom of it.

          • Guest
            January 11, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

            She disagrees with the use of formula and c-sections unless medically necessary and also has told me that homebirth is safe (here in Canada). So I guess she’s checking out those studies that you disagree with.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 11, 2014 at 3:20 pm #

            Her views on formula and C-sections are personal opinions. She’s entitled to them, but they have nothing to do with the interpretation of scientific evidence. Homebirth in Canada is much safer than in the US; that’s because midwives are appropriately trained (Canada banned the CPM) and transfer rates are high.

            So it looks like there’s no disagreement.

          • Guest
            January 11, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

            So the posts you make are your opinions too? I thought they were facts that you would base a practice on? I must be misreading the posts. Or they are all facts based on scientific evidence. You’ve said in the past that the BC study was faulty (sorry I can’t remember why), so there is disagreement.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 11, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

            Fact: Home birth increases the risk of death or brain injury to the baby.

            Opinion: Pregnant women should not be encouraged to birth at home.

            Blogs can have both facts and opinions.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 11, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

            I want to get more to the bottom of it.

            Exactly WHAT is her position on the use of formula, and how does it differ from Dr Amy’s? Are you saying that she thinks mothers should be shamed for choosing formula or something?

            And “c-sections unless medically necessary” is a difference of degree, as opposed to kind. Every doctor will have a different opinion at what level the c-section will become an acceptable trade-off.

          • Guest
            January 11, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

            If every doctor has a different opinion, then who do we listen to? This is where it gets murky. One doc may let a woman push for much longer than another one does, because they believe it’s the right thing to do. Some docs push for c-sections. Some docs are known as “pill pushers” who hand out prescriptions at the drop of a hat.

            And no, my GP wouldn’t shame a woman for the use of formula. But she agrees with the information that’s out there about the benefits of nursing and doesn’t think that women should use formula unless they can’t nurse for medical reasons. Example: a friend of mine had a breast reduction 10 years ago. Was unable to get her daughter to latch 3 years ago, pumped for 2 months to get her at least some breast milk, then went completely to formula. Medically necessary and totally reasonable.
            My cousin who chose to formula feed from birth because she wouldn’t be able to go out and get drunk while nursing. Not medically necessary, just selfish.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 11, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

            Some c-sections do fall into a grey area. Sometimes, as with some VBACs, it’s grey enough that, time permitting, the doctor will explain the pluses and minuses and let the patient decide.

            However, for most deliveries, the majority of OBs would make the same call.

          • AmyP
            January 12, 2014 at 7:18 am #

            Would the baby have been better off if the cousin had been drinking and breastfeeding? It was actually somewhat conscientious of the cousin to not breastfeed if she was going to be drinking heavily. It would be terrible to pressure her into breastfeeding and for her to keep drinking hard. Consider how many women are heavy drinkers and/or drug addicts–it is not a good idea to shame them into breastfeeding.

            Also, we don’t even know if the cousin would have been successful with breastfeeding. A lot of women aren’t.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 12, 2014 at 7:57 am #

            It was actually VERY conscientious not to breastfeed. Kudos!

            If you’re selfish and you know it, make sure your children still have their needs met. That’s good parenting.

          • Guest
            January 12, 2014 at 11:37 am #

            She could have at least tried. If she went the whole pregnancy without drinking (none of the kids are FAS, so I assume she did, or got lucky), what’s a couple more months?

          • AlisonCummins
            January 12, 2014 at 7:53 am #

            There are lots of reasons to formula feed, most of them good. There are lots of reasons to promote breastfeeding and those are a mixed bag. (I’m not saying that women shouldn’t breastfeed: you don’t need lots of reasons to do something, you only need one.)

            What “only if medically necessary” means is that formula is available by prescription only. If your GP had had a baby during her residency, what would she have done? Gotten a fake prescription, dropped out of medicine or hired a wetnurse?

          • Young CC Prof
            January 12, 2014 at 8:51 am #

            And of course, who’s the arbiter of medically necessary? How about one bottle of formula every couple of days so Mom can get the occasional solid block of sleep, is that medically necessary? It might be!

          • Guest
            January 12, 2014 at 11:36 am #

            How about pumping if you can? I know not all women can, but that’s what I did.

          • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
            January 12, 2014 at 11:42 am #

            Good for you…but maybe she doesn’t want to? Unless there is some kind of medical situation, one bottle of formula a day is not going to have any consequences for the baby.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 12, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

            I’m actually exclusive pumping right now. It’s kind of awful, but it’s working for the moment. Again, works for some people, doesn’t work for everyone. And it’s important to keep formula readily available as a second choice, otherwise people start using various makeshifts which are not at all nutritionally appropriate.

          • AlisonCummins
            January 12, 2014 at 7:59 am #

            What does your GP mean by breastfeed exactly?

            For the first three weeks?

            Exclusively for eight months and then supplemented with water, juice and solids for another year?

          • AlisonCummins
            January 11, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

            If you’re pregnant I would listen to your OB who is more likely to be up on the latest recommendations than your GP.

            I would much rather take advice from someone who attends hundreds of deliveries a year in collaboration with other experts than from someone who just reads about them or who only attends a few.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 11, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

            What is your OB telling you that is different from what Dr Tuteur does?

            Her views are consistent with the mainstream perspective ot the ACOG. This isn’t Joe Mercola or Bob Sears here.

          • Guest
            January 11, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

            If I wasn’t using a midwife, I wouldn’t see an OB until my third trimester unless I was high risk. My GP is qualified to attend me for prenatal appointments, but she doesn’t attend births. Another reason why I chose a midwife. Same care giver from start to finish and for 6 weeks after. Always available by phone, 24 hours a day. The way it should be. I can’t speak to OB care here in Canada except for what I’ve heard from other people. So I can’t speak to the availability or level of care provided. I do know I was less than impressed with the OB on call with my first child…

          • Guestll
            January 14, 2014 at 12:56 am #

            No, it is *not* the same caregiver in Canada, from start to finish. You have a primary RM and a secondary RM. You are also supposed to rotate through the practice at least once during antenatal care, with the objective of seeing most if not all of the clinic’s RMs. This is so that RM and Mom can become familiar in the event (and it happens way more often than you’d think) that your primary or secondary RM cannot deliver your baby.

            This is not markedly different from seeing an OB in practice with several other OBs. The notion that you are assigned one RM who becomes your BFF from start to finish and beyond is a myth.

          • Alexandra
            January 14, 2014 at 9:38 am #

            I’m from Canada, and this just isn’t true. With my eldest daughter, I saw my OB after the first ultrasound confirmed pregnancy (at the end of the first trimester) and then saw her for the rest of the pregnancy, with increasing frequency towards the end.

            For my second daughter, I started off using a midwife, and saw her at the end of the first trimester, and then cycled through four midwives for the rest of my time with that mode of care until I fired them and switched back to an OB in my third trimester. From then on, I saw only my OB for the rest of my care.

            Whether you choose a midwife or an OB/GYN, you get prenatal care throughout your pregnancy. The model of care does not change.

          • Carolyn the Red
            January 14, 2014 at 10:46 am #

            Same here (in Ontario). Now, if my chosen OB had not been able to see me by then, my GP would have done the first trimester screening, and the usual every four weeks checks until my appointment.

    • Monica
      January 11, 2014 at 9:44 am #

      These parents put everything out there and they are dangerous. Dangerous for glorifying what happened because everyone lived and is healthy now. Yes, bad stuff happens in hospitals too, mistakes are made in hospitals, but what happened to this woman was completely avoidable in the hospital because the time it took for them to get her to that life saving care she received IN THE HOSPITAL was delayed by being only 7 minutes from the hospital. No you need to understand it was more than 7 minutes from the time of the retained placenta until she was in a doctor’s care. Other people had to be pushed aside to deal with this emergent situation in the hospital emergency room when those resources would not have had to be used if she had been up in labor and delivery to begin with. This is irresponsibility is what it is. Hospitals and doctors are awful, but it was doctors and hospitals that were needed to save this woman and they are the ones who did. Not her black midwife, not her black midwifes assistant, and not her doula. They did what any one of us could have done, tried to slow the bleeding and called 911. Even the EMT’s did more by starting an IV which apparently Ruth was so against having, but ended up on. So don’t go telling us to stop blaming this couple and not judge while also making judgments yourself. This was not some beautiful perfect event, this woman almost died because of homebirth.

      • Martina
        January 11, 2014 at 10:28 am #

        You never judge that’s it! The woman who was supposed to be there to monitor her was not the ideal person to be there. Blame who allows these fake midwives,doulas etc. to assist women in labour. It is surely not homebirth itself being dangerous but these not trained figures .
        You say it was at the hospital doctors saved her ,ok,in fact you go to the doctor when you have a health issue don’t you?

        • Trixie
          January 11, 2014 at 10:44 am #

          They did lots of stuff wrong. They should have transfered her as soon as they noticed meconium.
          Yes, the fake midwives are part of the problem. But even a properly trained midwife (CNM) can’t handle every event that happens in a home birth in time to save every life. Home birth with a CNM is still about twice as risky as hospital birth.

          • Martina
            January 11, 2014 at 11:18 am #

            I disagree.i know the opposite: the outcome of home birth is much better than at hospital.Midwives i know have ages of happy home births. I never heard about catastrophes. Not every woman is eligible for home birth.Even if a woman is eligible for home births a good midwife will know when it is time to move on if things are not going well.
            If now she decided to have the baby at hospital and the same thing happened to her you wouldn’t be here saying giving birth at hospital is not good or that some doctors have been negligent,i am quite sure.
            My boss bled to death because the midwifery staff was too busy to check on her! Nobody says anything about this kind of negligence. Women in Europe are opting for home birth because of non caring of the medical staff of busy midwifery wards(i know something about it) and to have more peaceful labour.
            I would choose home birth if i could i can’t see any problem. Everyone can choose what they feel it is the best way to have their babies

          • Amazed
            January 11, 2014 at 11:26 am #

            Your boss bled to death? I thought she lost lots of blood?

            Same thing happened to my mother. She haemorraged a few hours after birth. An uncomplicated, unmedicated one. A big baby battering his way out – just the type of birth homebirth advocates sing praises to. If a cleaning woman hadn’t entered the room, my mother would have died.

            Do you know what made the difference? The fact that she was already in the hospital. Same with your boss. It really doesn’t matter why no one noticed the haemorrage starting because a woman can bleed to death after 10 minutes. If she’s discovered before losing too much blood, they save her at the hospital, just like your boss and my mum. If she’s discovered before losing too much blood at home, she dies because even 5 minutes of haemorraging followed by calling an ambulance and getting to the hospital mean those 10 minutes are over.

            At home, it takes a trip to the bathroom and making a glass of coffee to have your wife/mother/daughter/sister bleed to death before even being brought to the hospital.

            Not the same risk, especially with haemorrage.

          • Martina
            January 11, 2014 at 11:30 am #

            Ah so at hospital it doesn’t matter if they didn’t realized it…… Please invent some other stories !!! Women after delivery must be checked regularly. What made the difference is that the husband was there and saw the bed full of blood!

          • Amazed
            January 11, 2014 at 11:32 am #

            So had he seen the bed full of blood at home, he would have done what? Please tell us what woo magic you have in mind that would have stopped the bleeding?

          • Martina
            January 11, 2014 at 11:36 am #

            At home you are supposed to have someone competent monitoring you and checking on you. It is not possible to get things unnoticed when you have someone available all the time.

          • Amazed
            January 11, 2014 at 11:39 am #

            Did you read what I wrote? In the hardest of cases, postpartum haemorrage might lead to death in less than 10 minutes if not managed aggressively. It doesn’t matter who noticed it. What matters is the skills and MEANS for aggressive managements.

            Do midwives carry blood products?

            I am also quite curious what you mean by saying that I “invented” stories. What did I invent?

          • Martina
            January 11, 2014 at 11:49 am #

            The story you invent is the one that it doesn’t matter if the staff didn’t go to check my boss after birth. You said what made the difference was that she was at hospital….totally untrue!

          • Amazed
            January 11, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

            Oh, so I said it didn’t matter? I said that they shouldn’t have checked her?

            I suppose I shouldn’t expect more understanding of someone who thinks the midwives she knows would totally tell her if they botch something and abhores the idea of a rate.

            I expect an answer, though: since she would have bled at home, too, and it was not a minor bleeding but a major one, what would have the husband and midwives done at home without the blood products she clearly needed? She would have died on her way to the hospital.

          • Martina
            January 11, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

            Darling,she was not supposed to arrive at that point you know? I already wrote that when you have an alarming sign you just don’t keep a woman at home. Hospital is there when you have a problem. Do you undergo surgery or go to A&E if you are healthy? I don’t really understand why home births are not supervised by more than one professional but it is the doula and other unprovable people to manage labour and delivery.Why don’t you fight for this. It is unacceptable!

          • Amazed
            January 11, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

            I clearly wrote that sometimes, the time between the first alarming sign and death is 10 minutes. One of the regular posters here experienced it firsthand. How does one survive that without aggressive management that midwives are not trained to do and have no means to do it?

            I wouldn’t fight for homebirths because even in countries where midwives are experienced and integrated into the healthcare system (aka Netherlands) ,low-risk babies tend to die more regularly under their care than high-risk babies whose mothers had OBs. I support the right of every woman to give birth at home if she’s fully informed of the risks but asking me to fight for something that places babies in elevated danger is too much.

          • Guest
            January 11, 2014 at 11:43 am #

            Hospital birth with a midwife for my first. After she was out and we were hanging out, I felt like I was bleeding a lot. My midwife was out of the room at the time, getting our paperwork in order I think, so I asked my husband to grab a nurse to see if it was a lot or just felt like a lot. She came into the room, asked if this was my first and when I said yes, she rolled her eyes at me and said, “You’re supposed to bleed”, then left the room without checking to see how much blood there was. I was shocked. I know you bleed after birth, but I wanted to know if it was a normal amount of blood. When my midwife came back, I asked her to check. She reassured me that I wasn’t hemorrhaging, but it felt like a lot of blood to me. Had I been hemorrhaging, I could be a statistic just because the nurse assumed I was a scared/stupid first time mom? Maybe she was busy? I’m not sure. Either way, it’s her job to check and make sure it’s normal and reassure me if it is.

          • Amazed
            January 11, 2014 at 11:47 am #

            Were you checked after giving birth? I mean, it’s bad enough to not address a patient’s concern but if she thought you hadn’t been assessed beforehand, it’s downright criminal. This “I know better so you’d better shut up” really isn’t the way to go but it’s never less the way to go than when the provider doesn’t really know because no one bothered to check.

          • Guest
            January 11, 2014 at 11:57 am #

            I was checked after birth and reminded that there would be bleeding (which I knew), but like I said, I just wanted to know if it was too much because it felt like a lot. I didn’t assume I was hemorrhaging, I just wanted to know for sure.
            Hasn’t turned me against hospitals because we did have a couple of great nurses that night, but I just loved my midwife and am using a midwife again with this baby. She always had time to explain whether it was normal or not.

          • Martina
            January 11, 2014 at 11:53 am #

            Exactly! Of nurses like that is full in here in England…..they are always annoyed by everything

          • Antigonos CNM
            January 11, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

            Well, Martina, here is one Certified Nurse Midwife who HAS seen catastrophes and near-catastrophes. May I ask how many births you have attended in total? How many at home and how many in hospital?

            The fact is that EVERY woman who chooses to give birth at home KNOWS that there is a safety net in the form of hospital transfer. The assumption therefore is that homebirth is safe because someone will pick up the pieces if it all goes wrong–and that means that, despite assertions to the contrary [“homebirth is safe”] homebirth actually can be dangerous indeed.

            It’s not about beliefs, it’s about facts. And there are levels of seriousness regarding the consequences. You want to play Russian Roulette? One bullet in a gun that holds 6. Therefore your chances of shooting yourself in the head are “ONLY” 1 in 6, or 5 out of 6 times you will be OK. But you are very dead if you have bad luck and are the 1 in 6 who gets the bullet. It isn’t the same as, say, breaking a nail or even breaking a leg. Death has a way of being very final.

            What I read from this woman’s insane actions is that she doesn’t learn from her mistakes, and she will probably think she can do it again without any consequences. Her husband certainly thinks that nothing unusual happened. Both of them seem incapable of understanding what really happened. That’s sad.

          • fiftyfifty1
            January 11, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

            “My boss bled to death because the midwifery staff was too busy to check on her!”

            “My boss delivered at hospital and she lost loads of blood without anyone realizing it.If it wasn’t for her husband visiting her at that moment she would be dead now!”

            My goodness Martina do women who hire you have bad luck with postpartum bleeds-one boss bled to death and the other nearly so! I suggest you seek out male employers in the future (or cross check you stories more carefully)!

        • Monica
          January 11, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

          Yes, and guess what, pregnancy is a health issue. My body does not act at all like it does when I’m pregnant as it does when I’m not pregnant. So I go to a doctor for pregnancy because my body is not acting like it normally does.

      • Martina
        January 11, 2014 at 10:53 am #

        And then there are many emergencies because someone’s irresponsibility but when there is any emergency everyone else is pushed aside. No matter if it was an irresponsible person doctors MUST cure/save the patient without judging him/her. This is the abc of medical staff behavior!!!

        • Monica
          January 11, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

          I’m aware of that Martina and that’s exactly my point. There are no props for the people who did their job and saved her life, it’s all about her midwife who did nothing but tell her to drink alcohol while in labor and catch a baby and maybe call 911. These people put this out there for the public and couldn’t expect it to not be criticized and judged. They are dangerous because they are not showing what really happened, what it really looked like when she lost all of that blood and the neighbors standing outside watching as the ambulance took them away. She’s blowing off the seriousness of what her condition was and is acting like she did it, anyone can. This is being glorified by ever homebirth advocate out there as a picture perfect birth and it was anything but. And it was far from being the true story of what happened. That’s the judgement, that’s the criticizing, that’s the points being made here. She is irresponsible for putting this out there is something to strive for. Just as irresponsible as the drunk driver who says I drove drunk and I’m fine. Irresponsible and judgment is well deserved! Because hopefully this will prevent another woman from trying it. At least we hope. Because the next woman might not be so lucky. The blood bank might be out of her blood type or the 7 minutes from the hospital might prove to be too far for her.

      • AlisonCummins
        January 11, 2014 at 10:56 am #

        Black? Where does that come into anything?

        • Medwife
          January 11, 2014 at 11:20 am #

          For some reason the author made a big deal about having a rare midwife of color attending her. Odd detail. However it may well have been doctors and nurses at the hospital saving her life who were black, too, of course. Perhaps Ruth did not understand that health care providers of many types can be black, white, Asian, Hispanic? This whole fiasco could have been avoided!

        • Monica
          January 11, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

          I don’t know ask Ruth, it’s mentioned several times in her live tweets about her homebirth.

  17. Dandee
    January 10, 2014 at 11:58 pm #

    Who cares

    • Captain Obvious
      January 11, 2014 at 11:59 am #

      Apparently Ruth was a stripper and in AA. And she drank a whiskey sour while in labor. Is that one of the CAGE questions?

      “Ruth Fowler is a writer, former stripper, screenwriter, anarchist, and radical activist. She has written for the Village Voice, the Guardian, The Fix, and others. Her memoir, No Man’s Land, was published by Viking in 2008.”

      “I don’t judge my rich friends for not having to work if they are good, kind people making the most of their time on this earth in productive ways, or if they are good, kind people suffering in other ways. I judge them if they’re rich assholes.

      4. I am white, and therefore have white privilege. This has nothing to do with suffering from what I suffer from – which is severe reactive depression and self abuse, usually due to the stress and strain of being extremely poor and having no safety net in life. When I am working and able to pay my rent, I’m not depressed and I find it easier to stay sober.”

    • Guest
      January 11, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

      Here’s another “over sharing” post from that website:


      No pictures granted, but it’s everyone’s splitting hairs over this woman’s tweeting. There have been some fairly personal and graphic birth stories told on this blog, but no one seems to think it’s inappropriate. Is it the issue of the pictures? Or is it because she had a homebirth that required transfer to the hospital post-pardem, (obviously) proving the point of this blog? If she had tweeted/Facebooked her birth from the hospital, would that have been okay?

  18. hurricanewarningdc
    January 10, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

    Did she sanitize her photos? Of course she did. Birth is performance art – not this nonsense about health or safety! How dare you confuse the two or put this woman in that narrow, limiting box called “caring, concerned motherhood.” Birth is about the WOMAN not about some squirming prop, I mean, baby.

    • SD888
      June 27, 2017 at 3:03 pm #

      She referred to her baby whilst pregnant as ‘The Beast’ and spoke openly about how she loved her nasty, biting, unhousetrained Chihuahua better. Sick woman.

  19. attitude devant
    January 10, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

    So here we have a man whose wife lost TWO-THIRDS of her blood volume at delivery, a low-risk delivery too, and he insists it was all just peachy and that Amy Tuteur is a fearmongerer. Wow. Way to not see what’s right in front of you.

    • almostfearless
      January 10, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

      You know what though? In a year from now, when they finally process this and consider, maybe, for just a second, this wasn’t really safe, and that maybe, midwives with their lack of training, standards or accountability they are not as safe as those very midwives claimed… we will still be here. Hey Jared, a personal message: it took me two years. It takes others less time, some more. But don’t stop reading, looking and trying to understand what happened.

      • Maria
        January 10, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

        Agreed. This just happened to their family. I do hope they have a chance to process it and seek out better information than they had before.

      • OBPI Mama
        January 10, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

        Great words. It took me 3-1/2 years, almost fearless and Jared. It took a couple other homebirth trauma friends I know around that same time too. Humbling.

    • January 10, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

      Wait so I already corrected you that it wasn’t even half her blood that was lost and you’re lying in a new post. Very ethical.

      • almostfearless
        January 10, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

        You wrote Jared: “3 liters, roughly, 1500 weighed at the hospital and 1000-1500 at home.” and Attitude Devant here informed you, since you seem to think that’s not a lot, that 3 liters of blood is about 2/3 of her supply of 4.5 liters. You can google it. Even rounded up, 3 divided by 5 liters is .6 — she lost about two thirds.

        • January 10, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

          That’s a not pregnant female. A full-term pregnant female averages 6-7 liters. You can Google it.

          • almostfearless
            January 10, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

            Uh, google says 4-6 liters. Let’s say it’s 10 liters. Your wife lost 3. She had a blood transfusion. I am sorry that happened to her, but I don’t think you should be mad at the people here for pointing out that it’s not a good thing.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 10, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

            Google just gave me a range of 3.8 to 4.5L.

          • mtbakergirl
            January 10, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

            We can all google! We are all experts!
            Now, who wants me to attend their homebirth?

          • Trixie
            January 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

            Reminds me of that one awful twin birth story in Australia where the midwife was googling how long it should take the second twin to deliver.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 10, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

            Right! And didn’t she come up with some answer of like, 2 weeks???

          • Trixie
            January 10, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

            I feel like it was more than a month. Then she advised the couple to go have intercourse to bring on the baby while the first umbilical cord was still hanging out.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 10, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

            Here it is- http://www.homebirth.net.au/2011/01/twins-the-story-continues.html

            She told parents it was 47 days.

          • Trixie
            January 10, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

            Man, that would make it confusing when it came to kindergarten cutoffs, wouldn’t it? What if one was born in August and the other in October?

          • mtbakergirl
            January 10, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

            Apologies everyone for the joking above, this is really a horrifying topic, which I treat with the utmost seriousness 99% of the time. But I find a little black humor keeps me from going insane when I contemplate the complete lack of respect for life and health (not to mention the scientific process) that is so common in these stories.

          • areawomanpdx
            January 10, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

            Ya, that “midwife” was Lisa Barrett.

          • Birthbuddy
            January 11, 2014 at 2:56 am #

            Ah yes Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, what a wonderful example she set for midwifery standards and homebirth safety. A true role model.

          • Bombshellrisa
            January 10, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

            Only if you can knit! I don’t want some person holding the space and not knowing how to knit!

          • moto_librarian
            January 10, 2014 at 8:53 pm #

            In other words, the actual OB is right, but we shouldn’t expect Mister “I did my research” to admit that he’s wrong.

          • Captain Obvious
            January 10, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

            I bet his midwife told him that so that her blood loss didn’t sound that bad.

          • January 10, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

            No, she called the EMT’s dummy, Can you read?

          • toni
            January 10, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

            Do you understand that your wife was dying, Jared? People die from losing less blood than that. You almost lost her.

          • Box of Salt
            January 10, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

            jarediorio “No, she called the EMT’s dummy, Can you read?”

            I can read. In your introductory post here your wrote: “I was actually taking all the pictures Amy, and I was concerned. I called the EMT’s as directed by our very professional midwife,”

            Now you say the midwife the midwife did it.

            Which is it?

            Finally, Jared: well wishes for your family. But I do hope that in the upcoming weeks and months you will come to understand just how lucky you all are.

          • January 10, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

            A full-term pregnant female had 4 liters Doc?

            You sure?

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 10, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

            No. I’m just saying what Google told me. You said to google it. 🙂 I’m not an OB. Haven’t dealt with that type of question in many years. Here’s the source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4075604

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 10, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

            Oh, here’s one that says 5L.


            Interestingly, the only things I find that say 6 L are midwifery sites. And one ridiculous midwifery site that says 10L!

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 10, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

            And here’s a great calculator: http://www.manuelsweb.com/blood_loss.htm

          • theadequatemother
            January 11, 2014 at 12:59 am #

            Adults generally have 70 ml per kg of blood. That increases about 30% by term in pregnant women. Hence the range that is reported.

          • Birthbuddy
            January 11, 2014 at 2:52 am #

            You are suddenly an expert Jared?

          • Birthbuddy
            January 11, 2014 at 2:52 am #

            That bloody Dr Google, he just won’t be specific.

          • Captain Obvious
            January 10, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

            Ok, Jared. You convinced me. You sold me. I was wrong. She may not have lost 2/3 of her blood. It was just f—ing 3 liters. I haven’t had a pregnant woman lose 3 liters in 21 years of practice.

          • attitude devant
            January 10, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

            Jared is correct that I forgot to include the gestational expansion in blood volume in my calculations. But his argument basically boils down to: “You dummy, my wife was only half-dead, not two-thirds dead.” It is, one would think, a distinction without a difference.

      • Susan
        January 10, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

        Really? Your hanging your hat on ONLY losing 3 liters? Getting blood is very rare in the hospital. We can almost always prevent the disaster from happening. This discussion reminds me of the McGlade midwife case in Florida where the mom did die and the dingbats on Mothering were saying that since she got to the hospital alive it was the hospitals fault. This was after the midwives were giving an unconcious woman gatorade enemas at home….
        (point being that hospitals are expected to be able to fix almost any homebirth trainwreck)

      • Captain Obvious
        January 10, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

        She was transfused.

  20. sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com
    January 10, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

    Despite being personally appalled (although before knowledge and experience I was enthralled) by the idea of giving birth outside of a hospital in a country where there is access to sanitary medical facilities capable of providing emergency surgery, complex life support, blood transfusion etc.if things go awry, I support a woman’s right to attempt childbirth at home. However, I don’t fully understand the logic of the repeated statements pertaining to this story (and every other such horror story) that ” birth is usually safe and uncomplicated.” Complications in childbirth are very common at any risk level. If you were to apply the rate at which women experience postpartum hemorrhage to winning the lottery, I would be buying a ticket for every drawing because I would think those were excellent odds. It seems to a very perception of the math to say “it almost never happens”. It happens all the time. It happened to me. I don’t think it would be a statistically acceptable risk for most women if they had accurate information.
    OT, I went for my 6 week postpartum appt. this morning. After my son was born the attending suggested scheduled c-section if I planned to have more children, but today the CNM recommended that I “plan” a third vaginal birth with the certainty of rotational forceps being needed for the baby to descend (this would mean a third such delivery and all that entails- assuming that it was successful). Her thinking is that this would be preferable in terms of risk to a c-section … and I am very confused. What I was told was a necessity (c-section) is being framed as “riskier” and a “personal choice”. Am I under a mistaken impression that c-section is medically preferable,or is she a birth-nut- or some grey area in between? My first internal (and always sarcastic) thought was to ask “Because who needs avagina AND a****le, right? Seems superfluous!” but I am wondering if there is validity to what she says.

    • moto_librarian
      January 10, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

      I think she is infected with woo. Forceps cause a lot of pelvic floor damage, and not all of us want “the body of a mother.” I would find someone else if you have a third.

    • PrimaryCareDoc
      January 10, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

      I’d schedule a section in a NY minute.

    • attitude devant
      January 10, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

      I do pelvic floor repairs. The consequences of this type of injury are miserable. Stop adding further injury to your pelvic floor. Get that c/s.

      • Siri
        January 11, 2014 at 7:57 am #

        This sounds like good advice, from someone with long experience in this field.

    • Medwife
      January 10, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

      That sounds crazy to me. She thinks it’s a great idea to add a third forceps delivery? Yeah I wouldn’t see that CNM again.

      • fiftyfifty1
        January 11, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

        Yeah, in my opinion planning for a rotational forceps delivery only makes sense if there is some contraindication to C-section. The one that comes to mind is a woman who expresses a desire to have a *very* large family. Doesn’t sound like the case at all with the poster.

    • Susan
      January 10, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

      There may be some hospital/doctor that still does forceps rotations but my understanding is that those types of forceps deliveries are no longer recommended. I am not myself one of the anti forceps people… I think they have their place and have seen them used well. But that’s outlet forceps. Classes I have been to say that forceps rotations should be a thing of the past. I’d go with what the OB advised myself.

      • sarahh.rosanne@gmail.com
        January 10, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

        `Thankyou to everyone who responded. I gave birth in a university hospital where forceps use is still routinely taught. Both of my children were delivered by faculty using Kielland’s forceps. My understanding is also that it is not usually recommended or even available and when we made the decision to allow it both times it was in the last moments of labor,faced with emergency c-section and general anesthesia. My babies came through fantastically but the recoveries have been barbaric.If we choose to have another child, I would like an easier birth, if at all possible. My feeling at this time is that I don’t think I can physically tolerate another pregnancy much less the birth. Then in the back of my mind, I would like a third child.

        • Elizabeth A
          January 10, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

          My understanding is that the ease of recovery (from easiest to hardest) is:
          – Uncomplicated vaginal delivery
          – Uncomplicated c-section
          Other options here in the middle (maybe someone who knows more then me can comment on the relative ranking of instrumental vaginal deliveries vs. c-section with complications) and down at the bottom:
          – Dysfunctional labor followed by emergent c/s.

          There’s unfortunately no way to guarantee an uncomplicated vaginal delivery. There’s more you can do to increase the odds of uncomplicated c/s (like schedule it for pre-labor), but it’s still far from perfect.

          You’re only six weeks post-partum. You do not have to make decisions about more babies or not right now. And if you do make them, you can change your mind.

        • fiftyfifty1
          January 11, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

          This is the question I would ask yourself: If I choose another forceps birth, who will be doing the forceps, the OB or the CNM? The answer of course is the OB. So the OB is the one who has done it before and who would actually have to do it again and s/he is telling you not to do it again. I would value that opinion very highly myself…..

    • antigone23
      January 10, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

      It sounds like birth woo to me. I’m not an expert, but an instrumental vaginal delivery seems riskier for both the mother and the baby than a c-section. Which is why most doctors no longer do them. Personally my first birth involved extensive tearing and pelvic floor damage, and my second was an elective c-section. I will take the c-section any day of the year. I wish I could go back in time and have an elective c-section with my first as well because my pelvic floor is just never going to be the same.

    • Siri
      January 11, 2014 at 6:59 am #

      Anecdotally, I have seen women skipping ecstatically down the post-natal ward after a Kiellands rotational forceps, shouting how unbelievably much easier this recovery was than recovering from their c/s last time. (There were 2 em c/s needed simultaneously, and while the obstetric registrar took one to theatre, one of the consultants (rarely seen on the ward, ever) came in and did his magic on the 2nd one. Made me wonder why consultants don’t do more teaching, esp of skills that are vanishing).

      Anecdotally, I have seen women opt for el c/s after two vaginal deliveries, both with bad tearing. Some are glad they chose it (still painful, but more controllable), some regret it (just as painful or worse, for much longer).

      For many women, of course, planning an el c/s is very comforting and enables them to enjoy their pregnancy free from fear, anxiety or uncertainty. And there is always the possibility that their labour will start and go like the clappers, meaning the baby is out and the point is moot!

      I agree it’s early days to talk about your potential next pregnancy while your last one is so fresh i your min

      • Siri
        January 11, 2014 at 7:05 am #

        Mind (sorry). And I’d be wary of anyone who seems determined to persuade you to do one thing or another – your case IS highly unusual, very few women need forceps more than once in their lives, and only you can do the kind of risk/benefit analysis that’s needed here. Give yourself plenty of time, seek out information from professionals, friends and family, and remember there isn’t always ‘right’ answer; sometimes we just have to take the plunge and hope for the best.

        Good luck! And use us here as much as you like.

    • batmom
      January 11, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

      Anecdotal, of course, but my forceps delivery was eight months ago and I have had to work my butt off (uh, literally) to rehab my pelvic floor. It’s still not all the way back but I can go running now. My sister had a C-section, and six weeks later she’s talking excitedly about getting back to exercising. I wouldn’t make any decisions now, were I you, but at least in our pair of cases, the C-section recovery was easier.

  21. attitude devant
    January 10, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

    Good Lord Jared, what are you complaining about? Your wife shared her birth for all to see and people are DISCUSSING it!!! What the heck did you THINK would happen, that we would all politely look away and discuss the weather?

    • almostfearless
      January 10, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

      Yet, how disappointed she would have been if no one noticed her tweets. Not a single person. Sad. Apparently the expectation was “Praise me or else!”

      • January 10, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

        Actually we only had a couple hundred followers each, mostly friends and family, people we know. That was our original audience, thanks for extending it though.

        • almostfearless
          January 10, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

          To 2,000 followers? I can buy that for you on fiverr for $5. Don’t flatter yourself to think this is building your brand, exposure or your wife’s blog about living in a van and your rocky marriage.

        • Monica
          January 10, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

          Twitter is not private and don’t act like you didn’t know that. You were tweeting with hash tags, you wanted the world to see, the world has seen after an article in huff post. Your baby is what 2 or 3 weeks old? You think Dr. Amy sat on this for all this time waiting for huff post to write an article about it? Dr. Amy didn’t extend this, you did. Your wife did. She is the one busy taking interviews with news sources instead of caring for and enjoying her new baby. But go ahead, blame Dr. Amy for this getting out to so many people. She’s used to it. But guess what? She’s right. These were carefully vetted pictures meant to show homebirth as a beautiful thing even when something goes wrong. You did not show the moments of pure panic and what your wife looked like when she was very very sick. This was a carefully chosen ad to promote homebirth as a safe and beautiful thing and what happened in her homebirth was anything but safe or beautiful.

      • emkay
        January 10, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

        She’s now asking repeatedly on twitter for a book deal… LOL…

        • almostfearless
          January 11, 2014 at 12:00 am #

          Yeah because literary agents love to hire writers who have no book proposal and have polarized a large population of potential readers.

      • Captain Obvious
        January 11, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

        Apparently, if you don’t praise her articles that she had wrote, you will get some backlash from her as well.


    • January 10, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

      Where did i complain about the discussion? Right, nowhere.

      I complained about the nonsensical fear-mongering from the Doctor here.

      • almostfearless
        January 10, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

        In other words, Dr. Amy failed to praise you. You don’t mind discussion as long as it’s positive. “Fear-mongering” you say… you really expect us to believe this is you, out to save the world from Dr.Amy? Weird that it happens to be the day she talks about your child’s birth. This is 100% about you, defending your choices and shutting down discussion that doesn’t directly praise you and your wife for having a home birth and sharing it with the internet.

        • January 10, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

          There is nothing to praise. It just is. Millions of women do it all the time. But conjuring images of a full hand vaginal violation as a reason not have a home birth is disingenuous in the extreme.

          • attitude devant
            January 10, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

            As disingenuous as splashing your private event all over social media but leaving the bloody parts out?

          • BeatlesFan
            January 10, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

            As is conjuring images of women being forced to have pain meds which result in drugged-up babies as a reason not to have a hospital birth.

          • Birthbuddy
            January 11, 2014 at 2:28 am #

            “full hand vaginal violation”? That sounds strangely similar to ” birth rape” . Clearly not effected by NCB rhetoric at all.

          • KarenJJ
            January 11, 2014 at 6:12 am #

            Most of us that have had vaginal exams have never called it a violation. Why do you think so differently about getting exams?

          • Mishimoo
            January 11, 2014 at 2:59 am #

            I wouldn’t call my CNM manually helping to reduce a cervical lip and helping my son’s head down from where it was hung-up in my pelvis to be a ‘full hand vaginal violation’, but then, I don’t define my worth by my genitalia.

          • Birthbuddy
            January 11, 2014 at 5:00 am #

            Millions of women, really?

          • Captain Obvious
            January 11, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

            A medical procedure to stop hemorrhaging because of a retained placenta is labelled by you as a full hand vaginal violation? Yet Ruth readily proclaims over the Internet that she is a former stripper and went to AA? My priorities are so messed up.

          • Karen in SC
            January 11, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

            What would he label a colonscopy or sigmoidoscopy? or a heart surgery? All medical procedures necessitating a gloved experienced hand inside a body.

      • Captain Obvious
        January 10, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

        Your wife’s birth gave me fear of her almost not surviving.

        • attitude devant
          January 10, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

          Captain, it is soooooo uncommon to give transfusions on the OB floor. When I think how low your hct has to be or how unstable your vital signs have to be for us to transfuse, I surmise that Ruth must have lost more than one half of her blood volume.

          • January 10, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

            3 liters, roughly, 1500 weighed at the hospital and 1000-1500 at home.

          • attitude devant
            January 10, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

            Bingo! Average blood volume in an adult female is around 4.5 liters. So she lost TWO-THIRDS of her blood volume and it was no big deal to you. Holy crap. And you think this is better than c-section. What. A. Fool.

          • January 10, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

            Except BINGO, pregnant woman have more blood than that!

            You’re so bright, you.

            Doc estimated nearly half her blood at 3 liters.

          • attitude devant
            January 10, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

            So you know she lost half her blood volume and you think that’s fine. My assessment of your intelligence stands.

          • January 10, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

            And you work in medicine and have no idea of the blood volume of the average full-term pregnant female. My assessment of your bullshit stands.

          • Karen in SC
            January 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

            And you have no idea about the effects of an epidural on the baby.

          • mtbakergirl
            January 10, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

            I cannot imagine my husband describing any situation in which I lost 1/2 my blood volume as “low risk”.

          • January 10, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

            The pregnancy was low risk, not the blood loss.

          • mtbakergirl
            January 10, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

            Too bad you decided to have a home birth, not a home pregnancy.

          • attitude devant
            January 10, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

            Don’t you get it, Jared? That’s exactly why homebirth is not safe! Low-risk is fine, but birth can turn on a dime! Have you ever seen the fetal heart rate look great and then suddenly tank and stay low? Have you ever seen a healthy woman suddenly suffer from almost complete cardiovascular collapse from an amniotic fluid embolus and require 100 units of blood? Have you ever seen a healthy woman sudden suffer a complete abruption? I have! These things happen, and they are happen without warning!

          • January 10, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

            We were willing to take that slight risk instead of risking a drugged up baby and unnecessary major abdominal surgery. We were one of the few home births with major complications afterwards. and the birth team did their job perfectly and all is well. So inherently unpredictable, yes. Dangerous, not so much.

          • mtbakergirl
            January 10, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

            To paraphrase my earlier comment, I cannot imagine a situation in which my husband would describe me losing 1/2 my blood volume as “unpredictable, not dangerous”.

          • Mishimoo
            January 11, 2014 at 2:38 am #

            To be honest, if my husband did that and stuck to it despite being given information to the contrary, I’d probably leave him. If he didn’t care about me nearly bleeding to death, then he probably doesn’t care about a lot of other things.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 10, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

            Drugged up baby from what? Meds from an epidural don’t pass on to the baby at all. Whereas the whiskey sour that is drunk during labor…not so much.

          • January 10, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

            That’s not exactky accurate Doc.

            Oh, and please tell me that you’re saying that a single whiskey sour hurt the baby in any way.

            Thought not.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 10, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

            Nah, it’s pretty much exactly accurate. And I doubt the whiskey sour hurt, although I can’t tell you for sure, since there is no good research about it. Unlike the research available regarding the safety of epidurals.

          • January 10, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

            Except I already stated she didn’t want an epidural, which would have meant IV drugs which would have meant IV drugs, and drugged up baby. But keep arguing for something you think I meant.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 10, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

            OK. But why would she have had meds at all? If she wanted a natural birth in the hospital, she certainly could have had one. No one forces pain meds on people.

          • BeatlesFan
            January 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

            You realize she could decline an epidural, right? Contrary to popular NCB rhetoric, OBs don’t tie laboring women to beds on their backs and shove epidurals and IVs into them while cackling evilly and counting their money.

          • moto_librarian
            January 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

            Do you think that people just roam around L&D clamping women down and forcing them to have epidurals? You are nuts. I cannot believe that UCLA doesn’t pull out all of the stops to aid women desiring “natural” births. It is a tertiary care center. Hell, even in the South I was able to have an unmedicated birth with CNMs in the hospital. No one pressured me to have pain meds, and they took me through all of the plays to achieve a natural birth (different positions for pushing, allowed to drink fluids, no I.V., intermittent EFM, etc,). Was your wife just afraid she would cave and ask for drugs if the pain was too bad? If so, that sucks. Why does it have to be a fucking contest?

          • Susan
            January 10, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

            UCLA is an awesome hospital and I bet the staff is thouroughly enjoying this blog. Nice save guys!

          • Trixie
            January 10, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

            It’s easy to avoid epidurals in the hospital. You just say no and then they leave you alone unless you ask for it. I did it. It was fine. Also an epidural means you need an IV for fluids, not that they give you drugs in the IV.

          • Young CC Prof
            January 10, 2014 at 10:30 pm #

            An epidural is drugs placed specifically in the space next to the spine, with very little winding up in the bloodstream. IV is drugs placed directly into the bloodstream. Either way, women are free to say no. Women deliver drug-free in hospitals every day of the year.

          • emkay
            January 10, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

            She is BRAGGING about how much bloody fentanyl she got! she’s giving it to the baby in her breastmilk… avoiding a drugged up kid there alright… congrats

          • Birthbuddy
            January 11, 2014 at 4:57 am #

            IV drugs are not the only alternative to (evil) epidurals

          • January 12, 2014 at 1:47 am #

            Why is it one or the other? I had neither an epidural nor booze for my two hospital births. I have seen many women do the same. No one can force a mother to have an epidural. It’s a choice and a lovely one for those seeking pain relief.

            She didn’t want a “drugged up baby” but she wanted a drunk one? The blood alcohol level of a baby in the womb is higher than the drinking mother who is carrying him or her, and it stays in the baby’s system longer.

          • BeatlesFan
            January 10, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

            So an epidural which won’t touch the baby = bad.
            Alcohol, which does reach the baby = good.


          • Maria
            January 10, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

            Drugged up babies only happen with IV pain meds, not with epidurals (the meds from the epidural pass through the placenta in insignificant amounts) and as has been said before, there is a very good chance that your wife would not have needed a c-section. But this is all hindsight and you can’t know how things will turn out before hand. Labor and birth are different for every woman and each labor a birth that a woman experiences can be very different than the last. The common denominator is that labor and birth are unpredictable and can go from normal to high risk in the blink of an eye. Some may see that as risky/dangerous, but others may not. I see it as a risk I am not willing to take with my own health and well being and that of my baby.

          • BeatlesFan
            January 10, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

            Well, you avoided the drugged up baby, almost at the cost of your wife’s life. I sincerely hope you think it was worth it.

          • Captain Obvious
            January 10, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

            Whiskey sours. Blood transfusion contamination risk. Fentanyl risks. Cost for ambulance, hospital, transfusions. Did your midwife give you a refund? She didn’t finish the delivery.

          • Susan
            January 10, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

            Jared, do you know how strongly we caution pregnant women not to drink? Drugged up baby and she’s drinking in labor? A long time ago alchohol was used to treat preterm labor. Sometimes the benefits of a drug outweigh the risks. But we KNOW alcohol is one of the drugs that is proven to be bad for the fetus now and we don’t give it. So it’s just crazy to be saying you risked not being where they can treat life threatening complications to avoid a drugged up baby… ( no one forces drugs in the hospital it’s always your choice… always ) and then tweet photos of your wife drinking in labor. Can’t you see that? DId they get social services to see you in the hospital? Drinking in pregnancy…not cool.

          • LynnetteHafkenIBCLC
            January 11, 2014 at 8:43 am #

            So what I’m wondering is…would you do this again with the next child? Knowing that your low-risk wife came this close to death? Why are you fine with letting a hospital throw massive interventions at her to save her life, but completely against letting them prevent the catastrophe in the first place?

          • me
            January 11, 2014 at 10:54 am #

            She could have had an unmedicated delivery, vaginal even, in the hospital. Lots of women do. I did twice. And no PPH, separation from my baby, or fentanyl either.

            Than again, I’m not a drama queen, nor am I a narcissist, and felt no need to tweet/facebook/podcast my L&D for the world to see. It was enough to have my husband there with me. I get the impression that your wife is reveling in her complicated delivery. She’s certainly getting a lot more attention than if it were truly straightforward (yawn).

          • Sullivan ThePoop
            January 11, 2014 at 11:28 am #

            No, Jared, you are not one of the few home births with major complications. You are one of the many.

            Also, your wife could have had a much less medicalized birth if she had been at the hospital in the first place.

          • theNormalDistribution
            January 10, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

            What you don’t seem to understand is that “low risk” is a relative term. It was a low risk pregnancy, compared to high risk pregancy, not compared to having a slice of cake. All pregancies are risky. One would assume you might have realized this when your wife was almost exsanguinated. Apparently not.

          • Captain Obvious
            January 10, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

            The pregnancy starts at conception and ends 6 weeks post partum. Ruth had a high risk pregnancy/delivery. There is an increased recurrence risk next pregnancy.

          • Susan
            January 10, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

            Jared I think it’s just dumb. I agree with your OB that average is 6 liters at term… but I bet when her doc was saying half her blood loss she wasn’t saying that as a comforting fact. Losing half your blood is a positive?

          • theNormalDistribution
            January 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

            You do understand that losing as little as half your blood can kill you, right?

          • wookie130
            January 11, 2014 at 8:45 am #

            Right. So no big deal.


            Do you HATE your wife? You honestly believe that this level of blood loss was part of the “beauty” of your son’s birth?

          • January 10, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

            8 idiots upvote a demonstrably wrong “fact”. Great site here, gotta go now.

          • Siri
            January 11, 2014 at 8:38 am #

            Today’s Special Offer: 100% Egyptian cotton kingsize fitted sheet with BIG FLOUNCE!! Paypal or credit card only.

      • moto_librarian
        January 10, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

        I guess a little humility is asking too much. Many of the commenters on here have had normal births go very badly. Those of us delivering in the hospital had the problems resolved much more quickly because we didn’t have to transfer. The fact that your son passed mec should have been reason enough for a transfer; what would have happened had he and your wife both been in trouble? Have you given any thought to that? Having a blood transfusion does happen with hospital births, but not as often because things can be managed better. I myself did not need blood (barely) after a cervical laceration and pph that would have killed me at home. I also had a “textbook” natural birth up until that point. Stories like yours only prove the inherent lack of safety associated with homebirth.

        • January 10, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

          Mine went a bit awry too, and my wife is till recovering, so I expect a bit of decorum but found none. Ah, well —

          Nothing bad ever happens in hospital.


          • attitude devant
            January 10, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

            You expect decorum??!?!?! Your wife used the F word every other tweet and even the C word and flashed her genitals and her son’s genitals to the entire world and you expect decorum. That’s hilarious.

          • January 10, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

            OMG genitals. Jesus, a bit prude no? The birth of my son was beautiful, nothing disgusting about it.

          • attitude devant
            January 10, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

            I’m not the one complaining about the lack of decorum, dear.

          • Susan
            January 10, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

            We who work in OB are fairly blind to genitals … and even cursing in the heat of the moment. But in 25 years of nursing I have never seen a woman in labor use the C word. If you have it together enough to tweet your labor you are making a decision to subject other people to your foul language. That choice illustrates her values and character.

          • January 10, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

            Or it illustrates her upbringing in the UK where I’m sure every single OB in the country would assure is not an uncommon expression there.

          • Susan
            January 10, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

            Not sure I buy that I have some prone to foul words UK friends but the C word I still have never heard from them. I know there are some big differences in though in what’s a swear word (.. the F bomb though is pretty much the same)

          • Comrade X
            January 12, 2014 at 10:36 am #

            The C-word IS much more common in the UK than in America – it is considered very rude by a lot of people, but it definitely lacks the misogynistic bite that I believe it still holds in the US. It is certainly not a word that is only spat at women. Although I do have a problem with the idea that parts of the female anatomy are used as insults and curses (but then, I suppose, so are words for male genitalia…) it does have a harsh, guttural, anglo-saxon sound to it that makes it onomatopoeically attractive as an expression of frustration or disgust. Neither male nor female genitalia are in fact disgusting or dirty, though, so I do still feel some residual guilt from a sex-positive and feminist perspective.

          • Siri
            January 11, 2014 at 8:10 am #

            No, even in the UK your wife’s chosen mode of expression comes across as foul-mouthed and unnecessarily rude; it’s very off-putting.

          • Trixie
            January 10, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

            I gotta say, criticizing them based on their language choices is not particularly relevant. Who cares? There’s plenty to criticize regardless of whether she uses a swear word people don’t like.

          • Susan
            January 10, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

            I really take offense to the C word… it’s ugly. And I read through her sweets and the swearing was gratuitous. But point taken.

          • Trixie
            January 10, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

            Meh, it’s still just a word. Who cares. If a pregnant woman came in screaming the C word because it helped her get through the pain, would you treat her differently?

          • Susan
            January 11, 2014 at 12:39 am #

            No of course not. But, I could imagine politely asking a mom who wasn’t in a lot of pain but was just swearing a lot if she could limit it. I have a colleague who did that once. On the other hand, that’s exactly the sort of person most likely to get prickly so I probably wouldn’t. I associate that word with sexual violence and abusive men. I’ve heard a few women use it but they were not exactly nice people. On the other hand I agree with you that it really isn’t her character more just manners and courtesy. Mine weren’t so hot either with what I said so I am glad you said something.

          • Trixie
            January 11, 2014 at 7:10 am #

            I’m sympathetic to that word being triggering. I don’t use it myself. But, I think it is one of those things where language changes over time and that one might be gradually losing some of its bite.

          • wookie130
            January 11, 2014 at 8:41 am #

            Yes, yes, and YES. Thank you.

          • Monica
            January 10, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

            And I’m sure your son will love when he is googled years from now all of the pictures of his mom giving birth to him. Why does no one ever think of what the child might want in the future? You want to see pictures of your mother giving birth to you? You want your genitals as a baby flashed all over the internet? This isn’t about being a prude, this is about doing our due diligence to think about what is in our child’s best interest. But you’re a new parent, I know you have all the answers and you know just how your son is going to feel about this 13 years from now. Please do come back in 13 years and tell us how he feels about his exhibitionist mother and her near death experience in his birth. But just so you know, what your wife had was not a perfect birth and what was shared was not everything that happened in the birth or immediately following. Just because you all lucked out and everything was fine doesn’t mean homebirth is ideal. And lets not forget that your wife would not be here today without the quick work of those hospital workers that you seem to think are so terrible because bad things happen in hospitals too. Where was the thanks to all of them? Nope, instead all we heard about was how your black midwife and assistant and doula were heroes. Thanks for letting us know the color of your midwife’s skin by the way, I know that’s very important information when it comes to a birth attendant.

          • January 10, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

            I surely hope I never raise a kid who gives a fuck what pictures exist on the internet.

          • January 10, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

            What an ignorant and disingenuous comment! This generation of children is growing up more tech savvy than ever. It’s a huge part of kids lives, and with major universities putting all their coursework online, it will only increase in importance. But your kid will not give a fuck.

            How will he “research”?

          • January 10, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

            He won’t care what idiots say about his baby pictures. He’ll only listen to people who care about him, and show that, not deranged internet bullies.

          • Box of Salt
            January 10, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

            jarediorio, “He’ll only listen to people who care about him”

            I hope for your son’s sake you’re right. You may be. After all, bullying is a big deal in the schools these days, and a lot of behavior that many kids had to put up with is no longer tolerated.

            Best of luck as you proceed through parenthood.

          • Susan
            January 10, 2014 at 11:21 pm #

            Jared heads up, you can predict who your teenager will listen much less well than you can predict birth.

          • theNormalDistribution
            January 10, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

            Right. Because children are never affected by the opinions of their peers.

          • Monica
            January 10, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

            Oh look everyone, he can predict the future as well. Jared, even the best of parents can rarely make a teenager not feel insecure about things. Seriously, come back in 13 years, we’ll talk then. Because clearly right now you have all the answers on teenagers in all your weeks of parenting. You know it all. So I get it I’m just a seasoned mother of 4 ranging in age from preschool to teen so I know nothing. Clearly I must defer to your expertise in parenting teens.

          • wookie130
            January 11, 2014 at 8:39 am #

            Just how much control do you think you’re going to have over your son’s feelings? Would he be WRONG to feel humiliated, and shamed by the potential bullying that you may be setting him up for? Or perhaps could he be having a natural reaction to people making fun of him, and torturing him for the stupid choices of his attention-seeking parents?

          • Captain Obvious
            January 11, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

            Your son will grow up and behave like you have, right. An adult who only cares about people who cares about you. Because you have been on this site for the last 24 hours not caring about what idiots are saying about Ruth on the Internet.

          • BeatlesFan
            January 11, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

            Ooh, I want to play!

            My children are both going to be wonderful, beautiful people. My son will be a doctor and my daughter will be a lawyer. Neither of them will do drugs or drink or stay out past curfew.

          • Monica
            January 10, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

            Talk to me in 13 years. I assure you that your kid is going to give a f**k about every little thing. But yup, you’re the expert. This was your first child? Well, that doesn’t even matter, when you have a teenager, then we’ll talk sweetie. Until then I assure you, you know absolutely NOTHING.

          • January 10, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

            Teenagers are often known to give a fuck about the wrong things Monica.

          • Box of Salt
            January 10, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

            jarediorio “Teenagers are often known to give a fuck about the wrong things”,

            You just shot your own argument in the foot.

          • Monica
            January 10, 2014 at 11:31 pm #

            Exactly, but that’s the point. And he’s going to give a f**k about it because his friends are going to be teasing him about it. But hey what’s a little razzing from the guys, right? It’s all good and it’s not like kids are shooting up schools over less or anything here.

          • Birthbuddy
            January 11, 2014 at 2:13 am #

            You do like the old F word, don’t you.

          • LovleAnjel
            January 11, 2014 at 7:39 am #

            So being upset when junior high bullies find the picture of his teeny weeny baby peeny and post zoomed in versions of it everywhere to humiliate him? And constantly bring it up, hounding him at every chance about having a small dick, is giving a fuck about the wrong thing? Good to know.

            I think you have suppressed your memories of junior high school.

          • Trixie
            January 11, 2014 at 9:41 am #

            It makes it so easy to invite your 13 year old friends over, when they’ve just googled your mom’s pubes.

          • Captain Obvious
            January 11, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

            Mom who used to be a stripper.

            “Ruth Fowler is a writer, former stripper, screenwriter, anarchist, and radical activist. She has written for the Village Voice, the Guardian, The Fix, and others. Her memoir, No Man’s Land, was published by Viking in 2008.”

          • wookie130
            January 11, 2014 at 8:37 am #

            I assure you…his seeing the gory details of his own birth on the web will not be the “wrong thing”, Jared.

          • GiddyUpGo123
            January 11, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

            Oh my god seriously? Have you ever met any kids? Do you honestly think a 13 year old kid is going to just be able to shrug off all the cruel things his peers say to him when they see all those pictures of him all over the internet? You’re really just going to tell him to buck it up and deal with it, because it’s something you and your wife had to do in the interests of, you know, whatever it was in the interests of, and his future reputation and self esteem was just a necessary casualty in that worthy cause? You do know that children are very easy to hurt and cannot be expected to handle attacks from their peers with the same maturity as an adult, regardless of whether or not you as a parent think they ought to “give a fuck” or not.

          • Squillo
            January 11, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

            Actually, I think having had his infant genitals on display will be the least of his problems, given that his parents started using him as a publicity stunt the day he was born.

            At least Balloon Boy’s parents waited until he was six.

          • well ok then
            January 10, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

            Your wife almost bleeding to death live on twitter was “beautiful”?

            Do you not like her or something?

          • wookie130
            January 11, 2014 at 8:34 am #

            But the “F” and “C” words? Is this the language of people who just welcomed a new child into the world? And attitude devant is right…for you to expect decorum is ridiculous. Which part of your son’s birth was “beautiful”? The PPH? Or the retained placenta? Or all of that fentanyl? Seems fairly disgusting to me, seeing as all of that horror was highly avoidable in a medical setting with competent medical staff.

          • moto_librarian
            January 10, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

            Oh, so you’re going to complain about tone?! How about answering my questions instead? What would have happened if both mother and child were in trouble? It happens. When my second was born, the NICU team was on hand because my son had passed light mec, and he got in trouble very fast while crowning. He needed some help, but because it was on hand, he was in my arms within 20 minutes. During my first awful delivery, my older son ended up in the NiCU for TTTN. There were lots of people around to take care of all of us. That is NOT the case during a homebirth. Acting like this was a “good” example of a homebirth only encourages other people to take stupid risks. I am not going to laud you for that.

          • BeatlesFan
            January 10, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

            Nobody here said, nor to my knowledge has EVER said, that “nothing bad ever happens in the hospital”. Nobody. What IS said here, frequently, is that complications are managed much more quickly, thoroughly, and professionally in the hospital when bad things DO happen.

          • mtbakergirl
            January 10, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

            To that I would add- when bad things happen, there are avenues for accountability and recourse.

          • BeatlesFan
            January 10, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

            Yes, I was going to include that as well, but as Jared strikes me as the type who wouldn’t blame the midwife even if she sat on her ass knitting while his wife bled to death, I didn’t see the point.

          • Birthbuddy
            January 11, 2014 at 2:09 am #

            Also, bad things happen in hospital at a rate 3-10 lower than in homebirth.

          • Box of Salt
            January 11, 2014 at 12:32 am #

            jarediorio “Nothing bad ever happens in hospital.”

            That family in your link is publicly calling for a ban of forceps to prevent a similar tragedy happening again.

            You and your wife, on the other hand, are publicly claiming your wife had a successful low risk home delivery in spite of the fact she ended up admitted to the hospital for two days for massive blood loss, encouraging others to make the same risky choice you did.

          • Birthbuddy
            January 11, 2014 at 4:52 am #

            No Jared, it just happens more often at homebirth. One by one the delusions unravel.

          • Amy M
            January 11, 2014 at 8:54 am #

            I had a PPH in a hospital…but I didn’t need a transfusion because I was already in the hospital, so I got care literally in minutes and the staff prevented me from losing so much blood that I needed to be transfused. Why did I have a PPH? Because I had a long labor with twins….(which were vaginally delivered, no forced Csections here.) Hemorrhages happen….it is one of the most common complications of delivery in fact, so best to be where help can be had asap, is all we are saying.

    • Captain Obvious
      January 10, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

      The whether or not Jared and Ruth should have tweeted her train wreck near death experience delivery.
      I performed a manual extraction of a retained placenta in the delivery room the other day. One dose of mefoxin, some uterotonics, and no transfusion. Baby stayed with the momma and left in one day. Yeah for hospitals.

      • attitude devant
        January 10, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

        I attended a completely unhindered labor today. When mom had a brief period of uterine atony after delivery of the placenta, we used the saline lock we had in place to give her some uterotonics. Yay, indeed!

    January 10, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

    from large doses of fentanyl?

    The portrait of Ruth on “large doses” (100ml I believe, which is actually a mild dose) of Fentanyl with Nye is in most of the online stories, she bonded just fine with him.

    I find it pretty ridiculous that you think death is just minutes away during birth in every single birth. Most births are uncomplicated, and perfectly safe to have

    You are confusing ‘amount’ and ‘dosage’. ML vs MG or in this case with Fentanyl, MCG is more appropriate. Unless you do want to kill the patient.
    As for ‘death is just minutes away’. Have you ever gone swimming? Think about it. Everything is just great, peachy ken… UNTIL, something happens then death literally may be minutes away.

    • Bethany Barry
      January 10, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

      I hesitate to reply to a comment that makes such limited sense, but since you made it easy–Swimming is a risky activity, which is why you should only jump in the lake if you are an experienced swimmer, in the presence of other experienced swimmers, and a life guard is on duty. You should’t swim in an unattended pool by yourself, unless you are an expert swimmer (and even then you are taking a risk). Non-aquatic mammals frolicking in water is inherently dangerous, so all reasonable precautions should be taken. I find it more relaxing to know that I am swimming in the presence of a well trained lifeguard. Just as I found it easier to have a “positive birth experience” in the presence of a trained medical practitioner.

      • January 10, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

        So a midwife with a couple thousand births under her belt and 2 OBGYN’s throughout isn’t enough? We weren’t alone in the woods leaving it to chance. Stop the hyperbole, you sound idiotic.

        • theNormalDistribution
          January 10, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

          What now? There were two OBGYNs at the homebirth? Why doesn’t it mention that in the article?

          • January 10, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

            No two OBGYNS providing care throughout. Sorry, typing fast.

            No I just mispoke. 600-700 sounds right for her.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 10, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

            And do you really think that’s more than most OBs?

          • January 10, 2014 at 7:48 pm #

            No, but plenty experienced for us. If we were high risk I’d have an OBGYN in a second.

          • PrimaryCareDoc
            January 10, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

            See, but you’re proving our point here! First of all, her experience is equal to that of a 3rd year OB/GYN resident (who would not be allowed to attend a birth without supervision). Second, your wife was, as you say, low risk. However, she almost bled to death. Birth is a bitch. It doesn’t care how low-risk you are.

          • Trixie
            January 10, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

            The difference, I imagine, is that the OB/GYN resident has actual training in the relevant science, and would probably be a bit scared to contemplate delivering a woman on her own because that OB resident would know the risks.

          • Amy Tuteur, MD
            January 10, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

            You seem to be missing the point, Jared. Your wife was low risk but she experienced a life threatening complication ANYWAY. That’s because childbirth is inherently dangerous.

            By the way, here’s a story of another homebirth baby that the folks at Santa Monica hospital tried to save. Unfortunately, they couldn’t save him because “close to the hospital” isn’t close enough.


          • Birthbuddy
            January 11, 2014 at 3:10 am #

            It was only 7 minutes away, don’t you know…

          • Mom2Many
            January 10, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

            Notice how your wife was low risk going into labour, but with the benefit of hindsight, she was obviously high risk?
            As in, should you get a do-over, knowing that she would have all of the complications she had, would you really choose homebirth?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 10, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

            Why did you even have “a couple thousand” in your head?

          • theNormalDistribution
            January 10, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

            I was being facetious. It doesn’t matter how may OBGYNs you had “providing care throughout”, they’re no good to you during labour if they’re not actually at the birth.

          • Bethany Barry
            January 10, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

            He says elsewhere that they saw 2 OBGYNs throughout for, I presume, prenatal care, which is odd. Why two? And why didn’t you trust them to attend your child’s birth?

          • January 10, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

            They don’t do house calls. One misinformed us of the odds our child had Down’s leaving a message that it was a 1 in 40 chance when the paperwork said 1/140 which is entirely different.

            The other was our backup, but we decided on the closer hospital with the blood loss.

          • Birthbuddy
            January 11, 2014 at 3:08 am #

            Why didn’t you just use Dr Google?

          • Birthbuddy
            January 11, 2014 at 3:07 am #

            That would be a fully medicated homebirth. It’s just not the same.

        • PrimaryCareDoc
          January 10, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

          Even your midwife’s own webpage says she has attended only 600 births. And if you think that’s more than most OB/GYNs, you’re mistaken. Most OBs see that many in residency.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 10, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

            Hey Jared, so where did you get the idea that she had “a couple thousand births under her belt”? Did she tell you that?

        • Captain Obvious
          January 10, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

          Couple thousand? Wow!

        • Bethany Barry
          January 10, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

          Every day in the US, about ten people die of unintentional drowning. 2 children under 14 years of age drown everyday. I think promoting swim safety is very important, because each year hundreds of mothers lose their children to accidental drowning. I am active in promoting “waterproofing” your children, and using safe practices in pool ownership. I care that being flippant about water safety costs people their lives. Being flippant about the risks of childbirth has also costs people their lives.