Yes, I’m judging you for choosing homebirth, but not for the reasons you think

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Another day, another homebirth narcissist!

Johanna Parker at Mommyish treats us to yet another boring, self-absorbed “Look at ME! Look at ME! grab for attention” that homebirth advocates love so dearly. The title is I Know You’re Judging Me For Having A Home Birth. Parker is both right and wrong. She’s right that I’m judging her, but she’s wrong about the reasons why.

Parker writes:

When my husband and I made the decision to have a planned home birth, I knew we would be met with some opinions and concerns, both from our loved ones and from any random stranger within an earshot of us talking about it. So after doing a ton of homework and arming myself with every fact and statistic I could find on the subject, I felt ready to take on the haters. I did a ton of research on midwives and bookmarked several websites on my phone that I would always have at the ready in case I needed some backup explaining why someone would choose this method of delivery. The problem is, many people just don’t know much about home births, nor do they want to. They’re happy picturing you burning sage while a woman in Birkenstocks chants over you and your naked family floating together in a giant inflatable tub in your living room (which, by the way, is totally cool if that’s your thing). One major thing I’ve realized is that most people who were upset with or concerned about our decision didn’t even know what a midwife was. Trying to argue the virtues of a home birth with them is like trying to talk politics with your parents – you just can’t.

Excuse me as I pick myself up off the floor for laughing so hard at the napalm grade stupidity and hubris that leads women like Parker to risk killing their own babies for bragging rights. How ignorant and how arrogant is Parker? Let me count the ways:

1. Parker is so ignorant that she actually thinks that she has done “research” by reading a bunch of websites. Research involves reading scientific papers and textbooks, not websites for laypeople.

2. Parker fails to understand that homebirth is a business and that the websites that promote it make their money by selling it. These websites are just extended advertisements. “Researching” the relative merits of homebirth and hospital birth using homebirth websites is the equivalent of researching the relative merits of Ford cars and GM cars by using the Ford website. Only a fool would think she had done research by reading the material from one side.

3. Parker is a walking, talking embodiment of the Dunning-Kruger effect. According to Wikipedia:

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias manifesting in unskilled individuals suffering from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their own ability much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude…

Dunning and Kruger proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

  • fail to recognize their own lack of skill;
  • fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
  • fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy …

4. In her overweening confidence in her own “research” abilities, Parker appears to think that she has armed herself with every fact and statistic she could fine. Really? She seems to have missed quite a few crucial statistics:

  • According to MANA’s (Midwives Alliance of North America) own data, homebirth increases the risk of death by 450%.
  • According to Judith Rooks, CNM MPH’s comprehensive analysis of Oregon’s homebirth data, PLANNED homebirth with a LICENSED homebirth midwife increases the risk of death by 800%.
  • In the Netherlands, the country with the higest rate of homebirth, midwives caring for low risk patients have a HIGHER perinatal mortality rate than obstetricians caring for high risk patients.
  • The risk of a 10 minute Apgar score of zero (stillbirth) is 1000% (yes, 3 zeros) higher at homebirth.

5. Parker believes that others do not know the truth about midwives, but it is likely Parker herself who is misinformed. American homebirth midwives are not really midwives. They are simply lay people who couldn’t be bothered getting real midwifery training and proclaimed themselves “midwives” anyway. The credential of American homebirth midwives is not recognized or accepted by any other country in the industrialized world. Women who hire a homebirth midwife are simply paying a lay birth junkie to amuse herself by ogling someone else’s labor. In the event of an emergency, American homebirth midwives are useless. That’s why the death rate at homebirth is so much higher than comparable risk hospital birth.

The arrogance of people like Parker never ceases to amaze me. Obstetricians, pediatrician, and neonatologists are all on record as noting that homebirth is NOT as safe as hospital birth, but Parker, with no medical education of any kind thinks she knows better and is willing to risk killing her own baby to prove it.

You’re right, Ms. Parker, I’m judging you. I’m judging you as a fool who, in the words of Wikipedia, is suffering from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating your own ability much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to your metacognitive inability to recognize your own ineptitude.

As Dame Edith Sitwell said:

I am patient with stupidity, but not those who are proud of it.

118 Responses to “Yes, I’m judging you for choosing homebirth, but not for the reasons you think”

  1. What happened to common sense
    November 3, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    I cannot speak on the safety of home birth from a medical, scientific or educated perspective but what I can say is that I struggle to understand how anyone can believe that homebirth could possibly be safer than hospital birth because it flies in the face of common sense. I don’t care what website you have bookmarked on your phone, I don’t care what study you claim proves home birth is the safer choice, I don’t care how “amazing” your midwives are and I don’t care how “educated” you think you are. No one with common sense would believe that giving birth at home is safer than giving birth in a hospital. Having a backup plan that includes a car ride to the hospital only five minutes from your house is NOT equivalent to giving birth on the same floor as an operating room on standby for emergency C-section. Having an “amazing” midwife who knows CPR is NOT the same as having doctors and nurses who are trained in emergency resuscitation and advanced cardiac life support. Having a cell phone at the ready to call 911 in case of emergency is NOT the same as having a crash cart down the hall and people who are trained to use it. I don’t need studies or any other proof that hospital birth is safer because common sense tells me it is.

    • Trish Sweat
      February 4, 2015 at 8:03 am #

      They think homebirth or birth center birthing is safer because

      1) They are given information that hospitals “abuse” maternity patients – I’m totally serious. They are told the staff will ignore you or your baby. They are told they will be forced to have all kinds of medical procedures done to them or their baby without their consent. They are told they will be tied down and not allowed to walk. They are told babies and women die in hospitals and the hospitals keep it secret. They are given links like this

      2) They are told that midwives have more knowledge and training than doctors. They are told doctors have no compassion for women.

      3) They are told that hospitals are full of infectious diseases that will infect and kill both the mother and the baby.

      4) They are encouraged to uphold their “birth plan” higher than any other threshold when giving birth. That is the ultimate goal – following the birth plan and whatever needs to be manipulated to get the baby to follow the birth plan must be done.

      5) They are told of course their midwife will transfer them to the hospital if things start going down hill! The midwife knows how to do this and never ever lets things get bad. Meanwhile, the midwife is sending links for articles written by Ina Mae Gaskins on not losing control during labor and how contractions aren’t painful.

      By the way, sadly, it isn’t just lay midwives who do this. Some CNM’s are involved in this as well. I’m pretty leery of any midwife who refuses to practice without any oversight and has no other CNM’s with which to partner.

  2. October 31, 2014 at 1:23 am #


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  3. Leara
    October 24, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

    Homebirth is completely ‘safe’ so long as nothing goes wrong and there is no emergency or any complications… then the difference is between a baby (or mother) who survives and one who is dead. Big risk to take. Think I’ll stick with the medical profession.

  4. HomebirtherinJackson
    October 21, 2014 at 12:13 am #

    January 2014: MANA study finds that homebirth is just as safe if not safer than hospital birth for low-risk mothers. Does that mean, Dr. Tuteur, that you’ll eat your words now because research is showing you’re wrong? And, further, what professional scholar cites Wikipedia for anything? My high school students know better than that. Shame on you for your fear-mongering and vehement ravings. Furthermore, as a homebirther who has done research – you’re completely out of line to suggest I did my research on ‘websites for laypeople’. As a scholar, I know where to do research and how to have a critical eye; your ravings are nonsensical and outdated.

  5. October 17, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    As someone who graduated high school, doesn’t have a communicable disease, and was in the delivery room with a couple friends and relatives who gave birth, I am *qualified to be a baby catcher and am therefore offended by this article.


  6. LIs
    October 14, 2014 at 11:23 am #
    Great article on epidurals

  7. Margo
    October 14, 2014 at 12:24 am #

    Not all professionals hold the view that home birth is unsafe. I find your sweeping statements re Homebirth frustrating and one sided.

    • Bombshellrisa
      October 14, 2014 at 2:15 am #

      Which professionals-we are talking about US homebirth midwives, not educated and well trained ones in Australia, Canada, the UK, Netherlands and New Zealand.

    • Guest
      October 14, 2014 at 6:53 am #

      The professionals who think homebirth is much less safe than a hospital birth (especially in the US) have facts on their side.
      I’m sure I can easily find a “professional” keen to handwave the research away, especially if their income depends on it, but they are wrong and they are a danger to babies and women.

    • Guest
      October 14, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

      Not all mothers hold the view that beating a child is abuse.

    • LGA
      October 17, 2014 at 11:31 pm #

      Don’t wast your time, Margo. Most folk on this blog “know” that homebirth is unsafe. There is no genuine effort to find truth, quite the contrary. The originator of this blog appears to have a serious chip on her shoulder. The same for baby posters here.

      Here is one of a few letters to AJOG regarding one of the frequently cited studies on homebirth safety.:

      • Bombshellrisa
        October 18, 2014 at 12:05 am #

        “The same for baby posters here”
        Especially those pesky loss mothers who homebirth midwives and advocates would like to sweep under the rug, and bury their babies twice.

    • October 21, 2014 at 10:51 pm #

      Define professional.

  8. Guesteleh
    October 13, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

    Amy posted this on the Fed Up With Natural Childbirth page: Why I don’t breastfeed, if you must know

    “You really should breast-feed,” the hospital’s lactation consultants, a.k.a. “lactivists,” said.

    When I simply said, “I’m going to do formula,” they didn’t want to leave it at that.

    So holding my day-old newborn on what was one of the most blissful days of my life, I had to tell the aggressive band of well-intentioned strangers my whole cancer saga.

    It felt particularly exhausting because this was the first time in nearly a decade that I could forget about cancer and enjoy having had a fairly easy pregnancy and giving birth to a healthy child.

    “I can’t. I had breast cancer,” I said, looking down at Lincoln and stating proudly: “But I’m just so happy to be alive and be a mother after cancer.”


    “Just try,” they advised. “Let’s hope you get some milk.”

    “It may come out anyway, or through your armpits,” another advised later when I was doing the usual post-labor, slow-recovery walk through the hospital halls.

    After that, when I saw those lactivists coming, I picked up my pace.

    Their idea seemed so wild that I actually asked Shawna C. Willey, my breast surgeon at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, who said, “The goal of risk-reducing surgery is to remove as much breast tissue as possible,” adding, “There should be no milk production.”

    I’ve been railing about this for years, but what kind of fucking training are these lactation consultants getting? Apparently they don’t spend any time learning anatomy. The whole profession is sounding more and more like a giant scam.

    • MaineJen
      October 14, 2014 at 12:12 am #

      WTF?? No explanation should be necessary. “I’m going to do formula.” The correct response is: “Oh okay. Here’s some information on feeding, and some coupons/free samples of formula. Congratulations on your new baby!”

    • T.
      October 14, 2014 at 7:41 am #

      Or through your armpits.
      Or throught your ARMPTIS.
      No. Just no.

      • Certified Hamster Midwife
        October 14, 2014 at 11:52 am #


        I should look into becoming a Certified Echidna Lactation Consultant.

      • Poogles
        October 14, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

        Right?? I had to re-read it 4 times because I was sure that someone could not possibly be that stupid, especially someone in a position to advise women on breastfeeding.

    • Dr Kitty
      October 14, 2014 at 8:58 am #

      How about this.
      Before delivery you sit with your team and discuss your infant feeding goals.
      Then, I suggest a simple form.
      “Having been advised of the different options regarding infant feeding, and after discussion with my medical team regarding my own unique circumstances :

      I plan to breastfeed, or I am open to discussing it as an option and would like to speak to lactation consultants


      I do not plan to breastfeed and do not wish to speak to lactation consultants”.

      There. Job done.
      Then maybe a colour coded sticker on the chart or a hanger on your bed or door- green for LC welcome, red for no thanks.
      You don’t have to explain your medical or personal history to people who are not qualified to evaluate it, they don’t waste time with people who don’t want their services and everybody wins.

      LCs should help women who want to breast feed to feed their babies, or who aren’t sure of their options and want advice about breast feeding if they don’t know much about it.
      They shouldn’t be judging whether or not your reason to formula feed is “good enough” or to trying talk you out of your decision.

      You shouldn’t have to regurgitate your entire medical history or your history of sexual trauma just so they can be satisfied your decision is acceptable, and they shouldn’t be pressuring you to change your mind or giving you advice that contradicts that of the doctors or therapists who know you best.

      It should not be your job in the immediate past-partum period to chase these people away and stand up for yourself, it should be their job to work out if their advice is desired and “I’m formula feeding” is a strong indicator that it isn’t.

      • D/
        October 14, 2014 at 10:33 am #

        I don’t have remotely enough time (or evidently the necessary belief system) to harass any mother into breastfeeding who doesn’t want to … for ANY reason. I regularly end up FF families rooms though since several of the docs at my hospital have loaded “Lactation consultation if breastfeeding” as a favorite in their computerized routine orders and leave it to someone else to sort out if the consult is actually needed.

        It’s immediately apparent when this happens at which point my 30 second consult involves … Congratulations! … Beautiful baby! … Can I get anybody anything while I’m here? (meaning formula, adult beverages, a blanket/ pillow, take out your trash, relay a message to your nurse sort-of-anythings) … Be safe getting home, and enjoy your baby!

        Dr Kitty, I would love your red light-green light system. It would be a perfect solution for me, but I’m afraid it would take much more than stickers to deter the zealots described here.

        • Dr Kitty
          October 14, 2014 at 10:55 am #

          You’re one of the the nice people.

          At least if there was a red/green system women might feel able to say “I said I didn’t want to talk to you and I have no obligation to speak to you, you need to leave now”, and for it to be obvious who IS overstepping.

      • Bombshellrisa
        October 14, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

        This was part of my 34 week appointment with my OB. She asked, I mentioned I wanted to, the lactation consultants would come by at various times and help me after ds was born. I feel very fortunate that these LCs thought nipple shields were awesome and that some formula feeding in the beginning can actually make the breastfeeding easier long term. It was a good experience in a hospital that is trying for Baby friendly status (nurse to nurse, the LC rolled her eyes when she told me this. She isn’t down with locking up formula and she is not a boob Nazi)

      • Kathleen
        October 15, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

        That’s actually what happened to me at the hospital both times. Maybe I was just lucky? Of course, even with my interest in breastfeeding (I was able to nurse my daughter to 15 months and am now breastfeeding my son, who is at 6 months and just starting purees) my lactation consultant the first time around was no help at all! She came in, rather brusquely pulled my newborn away from me, and then smashed her face up against my breast (she began to squirm and scream). I ended up telling her that I was tired and could she come up another time (I never called again. I DID call when I got home and talked to someone far nicer but my daughter latched perfectly – yes, I know I was lucky, so I never really had problems) Perhaps it was her style but I basically figured out how to nurse by reading books, looking at videos, and talking with friends who had nursed.

        • SisterMorphine
          October 17, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

          That sounds less like “consulting” and more like “assault!”

      • SisterMorphine
        October 17, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

        My lord, would I have loved that option. I’ve posted before that although I had said in advance that I would be formula feeding due to meds for epilepsy (after asking my neurologist if they were any meds that WOULD be safe; at least in 1998 the answer was no, not sure about today) I STILL had to talk to a LC. At one point she suggested switching drugs, and then asked why I couldn’t go off my meds for awhile b/c “every bit helps.” Was she nuts??? I just really didn’t think I would be much good to my baby if I dropped him in the middle of a seizure.

    • Certified Hamster Midwife
      October 14, 2014 at 11:50 am #

      “or through your armpits”

      Are we echidnas now? I don’t think newborns are able to lap up milk from our armpits.

    • D/
      October 14, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

      Ok, so as a representative LC in defense of the discussion here.

      Yes, there could possibly be remnants of breast tissue in the axilla (or even upper arm) post-mastectomy that can respond and actually produce milk and with a nipple-sparing procedure the baby could even latch on. He could then suck til the cows come home and not transfer even enough milk fumes to prevent unrelievable engorgement in his mother’s armpit/ upper arm that will predispose her to the possibility of mastitis until that production is shut down and ultimately require supplementation which could of course be done at the breast through an SNS with even donor milk.

      Of course even without a nipple-sparing procedure a nipple shield could allow attachment and use of an SNS … Or maybe needle aspiration of breastmilk from her axilla could be a possibility and syringe feedings … Or …

      All for a mother who clearly communicated … I am going to do formula.

      Nope, no defense. But (head-hanging-with-shame) apologies would be a start.

  9. RSM
    October 13, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    This is a GREAT round up of info.

    If you want a HB knowing the risks, that is fine with me. Do not pretend it is equal though.

  10. MichelleJo
    October 13, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    I clicked into the original article quoted in this post and most of the commentators think she’s slightly nuts. There was a link to an article that was a breath of fresh air. And no-one can say she was brainwashed by Dr Amy; she’s just a normal lady with some common sense.

  11. Sara
    October 13, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    When people tell me that they have done a “ton of research” I usually stop listening. If you have to emphasize the quantity of your research in terms of hyperbolic weight, then I’m not sure it really matters what you concluded.

    “Mega amounts of research” is also not impressive. You’re still wrong.

    • RSM
      October 13, 2014 at 4:57 pm #

      If that was true, they would NEVER have come to the conclusion that HB is safe! THATS how I know they are misinformed.

      • Sara
        October 13, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

        I like when they say their research was unbiased. They read from all sources.

        Uh huh, and how did you end up with the exact opposite conclusion of the majority of the credible literature?

      • Bombshellrisa
        October 14, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

        See below-if they were reading the contract of care their midwives made them sign, even the midwives allude to the fact that homebirth is not safe.

  12. Guesteleh
    October 13, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    What gets to me is how disingenuous she is. She wants people to judge her so she can smugly whip out her “research” and revel in how edgy she is. If everyone were having homebirths she’d be running to the hospital and humble-bragging over her superior choice. Have your homebirth but for God’s sake, stfu about it.

  13. DaisyGrrl
    October 13, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    My absolute favorite sentence: “Also, let’s please not compare my planned home birth in 2014 to a BBC series about nuns helping women in post-World War II London.”

    I wouldn’t dream of comparing the two. First, the NURSE-midwives (some of whom happened to be nuns), would transfer care at the drop of a hat. They would call the doctor and/or ambulance and hand off care to an appropriate level.

    They knew how to recognize obstetric emergencies and respond accordingly. And when a baby died unexpectedly, they unreservedly handed over their notes and participated in a meaningful inquiry into the circumstances.

    So, the author is right. It is not appropriate to compare homebirth in America to the circumstances in Call the Midwife. Because CPMs can’t be trusted to do any of the above.

    • lilin
      October 13, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

      Also, I’m pretty sure that all of the people in the BBC series were required to be licensed in order to do their job. In many modern states, licensure is voluntary. You literally need no qualifications to deliver a baby.

    • me
      October 14, 2014 at 9:05 am #

      Not to mention they bemoaned the fact that there were conditions that they couldn’t treat and things they couldn’t diagnose until it was too late. And embraced the technologies that allowed them to provide better care for their patients, even it it meant transfer.

      • Young CC Prof
        October 14, 2014 at 9:07 am #

        I venture to guess that most midwives through history felt that way. Pity the mantle has been stolen by people who embrace ignorance instead.

        • Bombshellrisa
          October 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

          Yes! It’s the women now like Val El Hata and others who claim they are like granny midwives that make me so angry. Homebirth back in the day was often the only option. I read a book (written by a local CCRN whose husband is a family practice doctor) entitled “My Name is Mary Sutter” and it talks about a young midwife who wanted to have a more formal education for women’s health and obstetrics. It takes place around the Civil War. Reading about what choices women had back then and what child birth really was at home with untrained attendants made me grateful for the technology we have now. I wish more of Those Bastyr types who wax poetic about “giving birth like our grandmothers and great grandmothers did” would read this book

    • Certified Hamster Midwife
      October 14, 2014 at 11:54 am #

      In the most recent season, they veered into pro-homebirth propaganda, including a storyline where one of the midwives was doing a rotation in a hospital and violated the rules to bring a c-section mom her newborn for a visit when the hospital rules forbade it.

      • DaisyGrrl
        October 14, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

        That’s disappointing. I’ve only seen the first two seasons (that’s all I have on Netflix) and they were pretty good.
        Still, I stand by the TV midwives being better than American CPMs.

  14. amazonmom
    October 13, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    It’s so emotionally draining for me to care for the babies and families that were fooled into believing the homebirth drivel. Today another one, and I see this on the blog as I get a break. Keep on spreading the truth Amy!

    • guest
      October 13, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

      I totally hear you! In a hospital I worked in last year, a woman came in who was so brainwashed by her midwife and the HB/NCB crowd, she actually told one of my colleagues she was “totally surprised at how nice everyone in the hospital was to her.” It’s so tiring..

      • Anj Fabian
        October 13, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

        What do people expect? I can’t imagine anyone wants to go into work and spend their shift giving their patients/client/customers a hard time and shitty service.

        Even professional interrogators know that you can get far more information out of a prisoner if you get them calm and relaxed and allow them to feel that you are their friend.

        • guest
          October 13, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

          I know. It’s unbelievable how these people think and how totally brainwashed they are. Most of them have no trust whatsoever and question everything no matter how nice we are or how much time we spend trying to explain everything.. sometimes I am tempted to ask them why they came to the hospital in the first place if they’re not going to let us treat them..

          • Sara
            October 13, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

            There was a story going around not that long ago about a mother who had an unassisted birth at home and brought her baby to the hospital 6 days later for a newborn checkup. The ER was not equipped and wanted to send the baby to the nearest children’s hospital.

            Mother became belligerent and aggressive. Predictably, hospital staff was mean and “threatened” her by calling CPS to make sure the child could have some care… which I can only imagine they assumed the mother wanted, since she voluntarily brought the baby in and signed all the requisite papers. At the end of it all, they had the audacity to send her a bill.

            The story spread all over the typical conspiracy and NCB websites.

          • guest
            October 13, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

            These people never cease to amaze me. They seek care, are nasty and complain when it’s offered and think it’s acceptable to treat health care workers like dirt. I bet the baby was ill and that’s why they wanted to send it to the Children’s hospital. You would think the idiot mother would be glad. Talk about ungrateful and entitled. I’m glad someone called CPS, the bitch deserved it!

      • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
        October 13, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

        she actually told one of my colleagues she was “totally surprised at how nice everyone in the hospital was to her.”

        No offense, of course…

      • Guest
        October 13, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

        And I hate that when women say that they had a wonderful hospital birth, with awesome nurses, the home birth community comes in with…”well you were lucky”…”that’s not what hospital birth is really like now”…ummm, how the crap do they know??? I’ve had three hospital births (one was actually an accidental, unassisted homebirth with a transfer to the hospital, so I technically wasn’t there for the birth, but I was there for the postpartum stay) at three different hospitals and they’ve all been great. Have little things not gone exactly as I would have liked? Of course…but that’s the nature of birth…I’m sure many home births don’t go exactly as planned either. But overall, the staff was nice and accommodating and took wonderful care of me and my babies.

      • RSM
        October 13, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

        In my experience personally, and among people I know, the only ones with bad experiences were ones that were forced or pressured into NCB or AP practices! Moms that were delayed or denied pain relief, denied CS or inductions, or in places with no nurseries and lots of BF pressure.

        • guest
          October 13, 2014 at 6:01 pm #

          Wow. I’ve worked in 5 different hospitals over more than 20 years, and I’ve never seen anyone denied or delayed care unless there was either a sound medical reason, or a really good reason for a delay. ie- if a woman requests an epidural and the anesthesiologist is with another patient, but even then, the delay is minimal. The only time I’ve ever seen a C/S or induction denied was when it just was not medically indicated and/or would not have been in the patient’s best interests. I’ve seen women who were simply tired of being pregnant *demand* to be induced and denied, and women who were having a difficult labor but progressing well, *demand* to be sectioned, and denied for lack of a medical reason. But denied pain relief? I have never seen that. Patients sue for that! Unfortunately, there is BF pressure in so-called “baby-friendly” hospitals where there is no nursery, and that is a matter of “policy.”

      • anonymous
        October 14, 2014 at 8:16 am #

        We have them come into the ER a lot where I am. Every once in awhile the midwife actually shows up, best case she has handwritten notes that are mostly unusable for anything, normally the midwife realizes she’s probably culpable for something and bolts just as soon as the mother’s back is turned. Worst case, which we see now and then, the midwife shows up, tries to take control of the birth in the hospital, and then threatens everyone with lawsuits if we attempt to save “her patient.”

        • guest
          October 14, 2014 at 10:58 am #

          Pathetic. Do you kick them out when they start overstepping?

    • Bombshellrisa
      October 13, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

      Sick. It’s disgusting. Still reeling from the call last week from the friend who was in labor 40 hours and pushed for 8 and still said that she was “threatened with a c-section” when she finally transferred to the hospital. Her baby is ok, but she is currently still sitting on an ice pack when she can sit up at all. I will give you three guesses who the midwives were and if you guess they have a birth center up the street from where you work, you win!

      • Guest
        October 13, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

        She pushed for 8 hours????? I just don’t even understand that. I don’t care how uneducated your midwives are, who thinks that’s normal and safe?

        • Bombshellrisa
          October 13, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

          Yes 8 at home and then pushing again at the hospital. These midwives are instructors at Bastyr university, sometimes you see outraged comments here from students in the “Masters in Midwifery” program (what a joke) and they are being taught some of what they learn from these midwives who think pushing that long is ok. These women actually have college education, but not sure what degrees in religious studies and studio art would do to help you as a midwife. One did graduate pre med, but it’s not like she had any medical training.

          • Trixie
            October 13, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

            Hey, I have a degree in religious studies, and I know pushing for 8 hours is wrong! Where’s my certificate, MEAC?

          • Bombshellrisa
            October 13, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

            Make one up! Can’t just about anyone qualify to be a CPM?

      • guest
        October 13, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

        You know, if she ends up having pelvic floor and incontinence issues, she might just start looking at that “threatened C/Section” in a new light..

      • amazonmom
        October 13, 2014 at 11:50 pm #

        That poor woman’s pelvic floor. I’m pretty sure my 2 sections put together were better than THAT. Im just horrified what “midwives” locally have done recently.

        • Bombshellrisa
          October 14, 2014 at 12:16 am #

          Her baby was almost 10 pounds. She is 24 years old, and a doula and wanted to have as natural a birth as possible.
          Washington is a state that pays CPMs and home births and while I don’t believe there are a lot of their clients who qualify for that, it’s horrifying to think that there are poor women who are getting care from them and they are getting some of the worst care possible when they could be getting stellar care at hospitals like Swedish or University of Washington medical center.

          • amazonmom
            October 14, 2014 at 12:38 am #

            Did they transfer to the hospital close by or somewhere else? Threatened with a c section? It’s not like they would do it without consent. I really hope your friend is continent after that awful delivery.

          • Bombshellrisa
            October 14, 2014 at 12:44 am #

            It was a home birth, transferred to Valley. And yes, those doctors probably did bring up a C-section after finding out that labor was 40 hours long and how long she pushed. She did end up with an epidural. My guess is she was never fully dilated. She was almost 2 weeks post dates too.
            She is so glad her midwives stayed as her doulas. How much you want to bet they helped her fight with the medical staff. She is “happy” she avoided a c-section, as her birthing class (Baby Zone with Liz Chalmers) taught her it’s natural to tear during birth, but c-sections are horrendous!

          • amazonmom
            October 14, 2014 at 12:55 am #

            I don’t understand preferring mutilating your pelvic floor to a c section but I guess I’m weird that way!

          • Bombshellrisa
            October 14, 2014 at 1:15 am #

            I had a tiny tear with DS but I can’t imagine what a tear would be like after a labor that lasted almost two days.
            I don’t think these women understand pelvic floor injuries. If it’s not about pretty pregnancy pics, pretty birthing suites or babymoons, they don’t pay attention. There were no candles at my ds’s birth, but a sweet nurse from NICU whispered to me not to worry, everything that they would need for me or baby was in the room or right outside the door. It was comforting in a way I can’t begin to describe.

          • moto_librarian
            October 14, 2014 at 10:36 am #

            If she does not have pelvic floor damage, I will be shocked. I truly hope that she does not end up with bowel incontinence at age 24 – it’s bad enough at 36!

      • MaineJen
        October 14, 2014 at 12:17 am #

        8…hours…no pain relief…*passes out at the mere thought*

    • Bombshellrisa
      October 13, 2014 at 10:37 pm #
      It’s Puget Sound Birth Center’s contract with guidelines for transfer and where they will transfer to. I noticed Valley Medical is on the list, but by private automobile. Nothing in this world could make rush hour 405 traffic worse than being in labor and having to drive at a snails pace from Kirkland to Renton. Ditto for Swedish First Hill or Overlake. Looks like they still call every hospital and see where they can dump, err, transfer the woman.

      • guest
        October 13, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

        I cannot believe this crap. Check out the last line:

        “. I/We understand that birth is not without risk and that there is no guarantee of the outcome of birth in any setting,
        in or out of the hospital.

         I/We understand the potential risks, benefits, and responsibilities involved in choosing an out-of-hospital birth at
        PSBC and am/are willing to accept these.

         I/We understand that PSBC cannot be held responsible for the clinical care provided by my midwife.”

        And the standards of practice dictated by Midwives Association of Washington State, aka “MAWS”.. how appropriate..

        • Bombshellrisa
          October 13, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

          And one of the midwives IS the MAWS president.
          This is a relatively new form, at least how it is written, for this facility and it’s birth attendants. The reason I couldn’t believe what I was reading was that the only hospital even close to them on the list is Evergreen, the others are some distance away and all require freeway travel.

          • guest
            October 14, 2014 at 12:34 am #

            Unbelievable. So basically they are saying, (especially judging by that last line) “we don’t take any responsibility for we do to kill or maim you or your baby, and if you need a hospital, good luck getting there”. Gross.

          • guest
            October 14, 2014 at 12:35 am #

            typo- for what we do

          • Bombshellrisa
            October 14, 2014 at 1:08 am #

            That is the gist-and while these midwives have close calls where nothing happens, believe me there is a reason they need to make these women believe there is no recourse if something happens.

          • Guest
            October 14, 2014 at 1:51 am #

            Just unbelievable! I think that last line would be good fodder for all of us or Dr. Amy for that matter to use for a post.. undeniable PROOF that CPM’s take absolutely no responsibility for anything they do and make you sign a contract acknowledging it! Good God, maybe it’s time for me to get out of Obstetrics, I don’t think I can’t take this anymore!

          • Bombshellrisa
            October 14, 2014 at 3:51 am #

            It is what Dr Amy always says about them, and it turns out she is only repeating their very words!

          • guest
            October 14, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

            So, so true…

        • amazonmom
          October 14, 2014 at 12:46 am #

          “If we kill or maim you or the baby we aren’t responsible” how disgusting.

          • guest
            October 14, 2014 at 1:43 am #

            I know, and that is basically what they are saying with that garbage! How gross is that?

        • toofargone
          October 14, 2014 at 1:23 am #

          OMG cannot be held responsible for clinical care provided. WTF?! Imagine meeting your doctor. “Hi. I am your new doctor and I can’t be held responsible for anything I do.”

          • guest
            October 14, 2014 at 1:54 am #

            I know, isn’t that just unreal?? Just when you thought HB midwives were at the bottom of the barrel, these have stooped even lower..

          • Bombshellrisa
            October 14, 2014 at 3:50 am #

            English to English translation: if we didn’t provide adequate prenatal care, you were the one who chose US.
            The midwives are “ok” with women refusing to be tested for GD and let them refuse being weighed. Urine dipstick testing and GBS swabbing is done by the woman, a lot of the clients like that they don’t have to take their pants off to be examined until they are in labor. The midwives don’t explain that those little things can catch problems before they get out of control, but then they would have to transfer care anyway so I guess that is why they have that contract.

        • Dr Kitty
          October 14, 2014 at 9:06 am #

          You can’t sign away your child’s right to sue for damages, can you?
          If the child is the injured party, it is the child who is the plaintiff, not the parents.

          That “disclaimer” is nothing but a piece of paper that makes parents think they have no right to recourse, when they might (yes, suing people without insurance won’t get you big bucks, but it might get you something).

          • Bombshellrisa
            October 14, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

            Exactly. And they should know this because it’s public knowledge these midwives were responsible for the largest malpractice suit in the state, and a lot of the laws about capping how much a family can claim and collect for damages came from that case. And these midwives have malpractice insurance-but it’s almost reading like they are trying to hide that from the parents.

        • lawyer jane
          October 14, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

          I think that last clause about the birth center not being liable has to do with the midwives technically being independent contractors, the same way you can’t always sue a hospital for the malpractice of a doctor. More info: That said, I think the worst part is that they are trying to make it seem like they can make you waive the risk of out of hospital birth, when the risks are almost certainly not fully disclosed to the patient.

      • amazonmom
        October 14, 2014 at 12:44 am #

        Dump and run was the plan for a long time. Guess where all the dumps used to be…

        • guest
          October 14, 2014 at 1:46 am #

          I just don’t understand why a woman would not drop everything and run after reading that contract..

          • Bombshellrisa
            October 14, 2014 at 2:17 am #

            They have a low c-section rate and they don’t see birth as a disease! Anyway, they have pretty birthing rooms-apparently they have quoted a study done that proves patients do better in pretty spaces as opposed to ugly hospitals. I don’t know if that is a real study, but it makes the clients want to give birth there

          • Trixie
            October 14, 2014 at 7:31 am #

            That sounds like a Deb Puterbaugh study.

          • Young CC Prof
            October 14, 2014 at 9:04 am #

            They don’t recognize the red flags. That, or they didn’t really read the contract.

  15. The Computer Ate My Nym
    October 13, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    bookmarked several websites on my phone that I would always have at the
    ready in case I needed some backup explaining why someone would choose
    this method of delivery.

    Why do I have the feeling that one of those web sites was not Pubmed and another was not CDC Wonder?

    • Young CC Prof
      October 13, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

      Science and Sensibility, perhaps. Although, aren’t some of their fake journals indexed in pubmed?

  16. mythsayer
    October 13, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    Yes…. homebirth is so safe that you need to make sure you’re close enough to a good hospital just in case you end up being one of those “rare” transfers. Because hospitals aren’t good enough to labor in, but they are good enough for emergencies!

    • guest
      October 13, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

      And if they have an emergency, by God the hospital had better “fix it” or risk being sued by these idiots. They have to have SOMEONE to blame, and it sure won’t be their midwife, and God forbid that they would take any personal responsibility..

  17. Karen in SC
    October 13, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    I usually don’t click on the homebirth loss links, as I don’t want the family to have any more stress. But I am planning to click on this one multiple times so this smug Ms. Parker shows up over here, where she doesn’t control the conversation.

    No doubt she also read the Hurt by Homebirth site, right?

  18. atmtx
    October 13, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

    I got drawn into this on Friday when I really had better things to do. 3 or so posts in and I was labeled a troll. The ignorance was so staggering that I just said “fudge” (Christmas Story-style) and flounced without announcement. These people really are so dense and self-congratulatory for not killing themselves/children. It kinda gave me the sads for their kids.

  19. Mel
    October 13, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    Page 2 brings out the “the OBs’ will save me!” rhetoric “We’re lucky that we have access to some amazing midwives whom we trust implicitly, and there is a hospital where we have a backup doctor five minutes from our house.”

    Even though she points out the obvious flaw previously in the same paragraph, “But I waited at home a little too long before going to the hospital, so when I did show up, I was fully dilated and ready to push. My daughter was born in less than 30 minutes of walking through the door, which is less time than it takes a pizza to show up at my house and exactly the reason we decided to do the whole thing at home for the second baby.”

    So, she knows – although may not want to admit it – that it can take 30 minutes at the hospital for a baby to be born even when mom comes in at 10cm and pushing…not 5 minutes.

    I live in the middle of freaking nowhere. We can get pizza in 15 minutes. A hospital is 30 minutes away in good weather. What is the freaking point? The two are not related. AT ALL.

    • TsuDhoNimh
      October 13, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

      ” “We’re lucky that we have access to some amazing midwives whom we trust implicitly, and there is a hospital where we have a backup doctor five
      minutes from our house.””

      Great … does her midwife have the brains to know to call for a transfer before things are totally in the toilet?

      Hint: It’s at least 15 minutes for a transfer to a hospital that is “only 5 minutes” from the house because the ambulance has to get to her house, evaluate the situation, load her and then return and off load her to the ER. More if traffic is bad.

      And how does she know that any problem won’t be of the “dead in less than 10 minutes” kind? You know, like cardiac arrest, baby needing resuscitation and intubation and O2, placental separation, uterus rupturing … those things for which getting bundled into the back of the midwife’s van and shoved out the door into the ER entrance is not sufficient.

      • guest
        October 13, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

        Come on now, she said she “did her research”.. and don’t you know she hired a highly edumacated CPM?

        • Sara
          October 13, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

          If she “trust[s] implicitly” then facts don’t really matter.

    • Melissa
      October 13, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

      Her argument seems to be that because the first birth went so well that she didn’t need the doctors, that she should just avoid them for this one.

      I didn’t need that seat belt last time I drove to the store. Why should I bother with it this time?

      Besides she wants to eat muffins she made and watch reality television, which apparently she wouldn’t be able to do in the hospital?

      • Liz Leyden
        October 14, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

        I wonder if her research led her to this article, from the same site.

        • Ash
          October 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

          Isn’t it cute how a lay midwife does an episiotomy without anything near inadequte training, and then lay midwife groups rail against the overmedicalization of childbirth?

          • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa
            October 14, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

            Improper foundation, your honor. Remember, Ash, that if midwives can do it, it is not considered medicalization.

            By definition.

    • Bombshellrisa
      October 13, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

      Same here, there is a pizza place up the road but it’s 30 minutes to a hospital that could handle a birth crisis.
      I agree with Melissa posting below, I didn’t need my seatbelt the last time I went to the store (or any of the times I went this past 10 years we have lived here) but I still buckle up. Because no matter how careful and good I am behind the wheel, I am not in control of the road or anyone else on it

  20. Young CC Prof
    October 13, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

    “like trying to talk politics with your parents – you just can’t.”

    How old is this woman? Teenagers have parents who are too stupid to be worth speaking to, but, strangely enough, most parents are pretty darned smart by the time their children are grown. And once they become grandparents? Geniuses.

    • Mel
      October 13, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

      Plus, the vast majority of adults can manage conversations on tricky topics with families. I’m a life-long union member descended from generations of union members…who married into an anti-union small-farm that grew into a large business family.

      Do we talk about politics? Yup. Do we agree? Nearly never. The important bit is that neither side is hell-bent of getting the other side to capitulate.

    • lilin
      October 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

      Yeah. I can only hope that her baby is born strong and healthy and lives a long, happy life using her as an example of people who are too stupid to even engage with in arguments.

  21. Mel
    October 13, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    “So after doing a ton of homework and arming myself with every fact and statistic I could find on the subject, I felt ready to take on the haters.”

    Note to self:
    If I ever use the word “haters” to describe family and friends who are afraid for my life and/or a child’s life, I’m in a cult.

    • LibrarianSarah
      October 13, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

      One of my greatest disappointments with modern life is that anyone who fails to appropriately fawn over someone’s choices is dismissed as a “hater.” Criticism isn’t hate. Strongly worded criticism isn’t hate. Apathy isn’t hate. Judgement isn’t hate.

      Jews and Roma experienced hate at the hands of the Nazi. Black people experienced hate at the hands of lynch mobs and the klan. That is what hate looks like. Not a friend or family member who is afraid you might hurt your child by failing to vaccinate or by having a homebirth. Not someone disagreeing with your politics or religious views or life choices. If you feel like calling someone a “hater” for disagreeing with you might I suggest getting the fuck over yourself.

      • Amy M
        October 14, 2014 at 11:59 am #

        Exactly. You have the right to free speech…you do not have the right to remain un-offended (by silencing others.)

        • Liz Leyden
          October 14, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

          Free Speech, at least in the US, means the government can’t punish you for what you say.

    • October 13, 2014 at 10:48 pm #


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