Dr. Amy’ 5 reasons NOT to have a homebirth

5 reasons not to choose homebirth

Wow, it happened again!

No sooner did I write a post about confident idiots than one of them stepped forward to offer a perfect example of why, despite their certainty, they cannot be trusted. Thank you Jennifer Margulis for your new post 45 Reasons NOT to Have a Home Birth. It is a delightful amalgamation of the mistruths, half truths and outright lies tossed back and forth between clueless homebirth advocates, who actually think it is knowledge.

As Dr. Dunning of the Dunning-Kruger effect has noted:

What’s curious is that, in many cases, incompetence does not leave people disoriented, perplexed, or cautious. Instead, the incompetent are often blessed with an inappropriate confidence, buoyed by something that feels to them like knowledge.

Jennifer Margulis has ZERO qualifications to offer medical information on homebirth. She’s not an obstetrician, not a midwife, not a medical professional of any kind. She hasn’t delivered any babies, cared for any pregnant women, or managed any pregnancy complications. Her degrees are in English Literature, so she lacks the fundamental knowledge of science and statistics needed to read and analyze scientific papers. She appears to have no idea what the scientific literature says about anything, and swallows every lie that the Midwives Alliance of North America chooses to spoon-feed her.

What’s curious is that her utter incompetence when it comes to the field of obstetrics does not leave her disoriented, perplexed, or cautious. Instead, she is blessed with entirely inappropriate confidence in her conclusions, buoyed by something that feels to her like knowledge, but is actually unbounded ignorance, with a heaping helping of arrogance. She, a travel journalist with a PhD in English literature, actually fantasizes that she has more knowledge about the risks of homebirth than the tens of thousands of obstetricians, pediatricians, and neonatalogists who have done the research that shows that homebirth dramatically increases the risk of perinatal death.

Of course, you can’t expect much from someone who offered what has to be the single stupidest excuse ever when presented with evidence that homebirth leads to preventable perinatal deaths. When I asked her about Judith Rooks, CNM MPH analysis of 2012 Oregon homebirth statistics that showed that planned homebirth with a licensed Oregon homebirth midwife has a death rate 800% HIGHER than comparable risk birth, Margulis responded:

Amy, Oregon has some of the safest best homebirth stats in the country IF YOU DON’T COUNT PORTLAND…

Yes, she really wrote that.

I’m not going to bore you with the latest nonsense that Margulis recycles in her post; you are free to read it if you can stomach it. However, I will offer MY 5 reasons not to have a homebirth. It’s a much shorter list because it gets to the point immediately.

Dr. Amy’s 5 reasons NOT to choose homebirth:

1. A healthy live baby is your first priority.
2. You don’t want to take even the tiniest risk to your baby’s brain function.
3. You don’t need to impress other privileged Western white women with faux achievements.
4. You actually read the scientific literature.
5. You take medical advice from medical professionals, not confident idiots.

My 5 reasons are not particularly startling. They reflect the findings of ALL the scientific literature on homebirth, as well as state, national and international statistics. They reflect the mainstream views of ACOG and the AAP, as well as the overwhelming majority of obstetricians, pediatricians and neonatologists.

But, of course, Jennifer Margulis is confident, oh so very confident, that she knows better than tens of thousands of medical professionals. The only question for women contemplating homebirth is this:

Who are you going to trust for medical advice on childbirth, medical professionals or a travel writer who is inexplicably confident in her utter ignorance?