She’s PROUD of this attempted homebirth?

Letter dice spelling ego on a rustic wooden table

Nothing in my nearly 30 years as a mother equips me to understand this.

Baby is eight weeks old now and doing fine, but it was a traumatic time. Went into spontaneous labor at 42 weeks and continued with homebirth as planned for 12 hours. Plenty of dilatations [sic] and effective contractions but descent was lacking and I was struggling to cope with contractions on top of one another. Waaay different to last time. Anyway, to cut a long story short, hospital transfer, c-section, meconium aspiration syndrome, severe asphyxia, hypoxic ischemic encephalitis [sic], persistent pulmonary hypotension [sic] of the newborn, sepsis and pneumonia. Baby was taken to a a nicu 70 miles away for ventilation and cooling….

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Baby suffered meconium aspiration, severe asphyxia, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, persistent pulmonary hypertension, sepsis and pneumonia.[/pullquote]

The mother transferred to the hospital NOT because her baby was dying; no one had a clue about that. She transferred for her own comfort. It was a bonus that the baby was rescued from near death.

And it’s not over yet.

…[B]aby Seth will need checks up until the age of 2 because of the possibility of brain damage and cerebral palsy.


But she’s proud. Proud of what? Proud that she risked his life in the first place? Proud that she didn’t kill him? Proud that her narcissism resulted in his brain damage that might be permanent?

She ought to be ashamed, not proud.

I, like most mothers, would do anything to spare my children pain or injury. Who could possibly be proud of causing her child to suffer both?

189 Responses to “She’s PROUD of this attempted homebirth?”

  1. azurecharlie1810
    January 9, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

    Proud?! Are you kidding me??!!! The ONLY thing that this vile woman should be proud of is her incredibly strong baby boy!!!! He beat the odds and is alive despite his mother’s idiocy and selfishness. She seems to just mention casually that her son will have to be seen by a doctor continuously for 2 years of his life like it’s just a minor setback. That makes me more livid than I can express!!! Does she know what a child with CP may have to face for his entire life??!!! We’re talking the possibility of seizures, TONS of pain, medication, surgery, feeding tubes, muscle spasms……and the list can go ridiculously on and on forever. And this family better get used to seeing doctors…along with physical/occupational therapists, nurses, wheelchair technicians, social workers etc. I know this because I was born with cerebral palsy, and spent a very long time in the NICU, My parents and I saw/experienced almost all of those people and things I described. Raising a child with brain damage is not something to take lightly!! I was lucky my CP is not as severe as a lot of others I’ve seen. I would never want any child to experience what I have. I hope to God this precious boy won’t have to go through that. But I doubt he will come out of this completely healthy. Every time her son screams in pain or has to have a procedure done, I hope she remembers how PROUD she is of the way she brought him into the world! Disgusting!!!

  2. Ayr
    January 9, 2017 at 8:12 am #

    Ugh! Why are women proud of putting their children in danger for the sake of saying they gave birth at home as they wanted. A hospital birth even without meds is much safer than trying to give birth at home with no means of intervention should things go wrong.

  3. Birthsmidwife hospitalnodrugs
    January 4, 2017 at 10:23 pm #

    Do your research. The US and Canada have more hospital deaths for mothers and babies than the rest of the developed countries. Natural birth (in- or outside a hospital, no medication) is a safer options than an OBGYN in a hospital setting where drugs can be administered (for pregnancies presenting no abnormalities).

    Your thinking is extreme. And furthermore, Any woman can feel proud of their birth, no matter how it went. Just making it through (no matter how) is a feat one can be proud of. It didn’t go as planned for her, but same goes for women who give birth in a hospital setting, giving birth using epidurals that go wrong (which are riskier than a home birth).

    • Azuran
      January 4, 2017 at 10:39 pm #

      And if you’d had bothered to look deeper, you would realize that maternal mortality raised because of an increase in risks factors. Women have babies when they are older, obesity is up, more people have diabetes, heart condition etc.
      If you want to know which one is safer between homebirth and hospital birth, then you have to compare the death rate of homebirth and hospital birth, of women that have the same risk factors, within the same country. Not the maternal mortality of different countries, with different population and different kind of healthcare and even different midwifery system.

      As for Canada, it’s maternal death rate is about equal to that of the UK.

      • Reply
        January 5, 2017 at 7:21 am #

        I agree with you. I know this. Some of it I didn’t but in general I did. Please read my reply above..

        Bear in mind that the introduction of pain relief, such as epidurals, also had it’s lot of interventions that came with it. The inability to move during childbirth slows it down and can lead to complications. It’s a great tool when used appropriately. But when unnecessary (only for pain management purpose, for example, and I’m not talking here about overexhauted women with long labors), there are further complications and risk introduced, sometimes leading to csections that could have been avoided should natural birth have taken place.

        So natural, home childbirth has its advantages. Hospital too. I like to believe there’s a middle ground in there somewhere for both systems to work hand in hand.

        • Heidi
          January 5, 2017 at 7:36 am #

          Just no. So you think we should be telling women no to pain relief because of some bogeyman NCB myths?

          • Reply
            January 5, 2017 at 7:48 am #

            Not at all. I mention it’s a great tool. It does come with its own set of risks though, and as long as women using epidurals are made aware of them then it’s their decision to make. I’m not judging how to give birth here. As long as the risks of the intervention (epidural) are mentioned, then the patient has a right to an informed decision. No judgment.

          • Heidi
            January 5, 2017 at 8:21 am #

            No, what you want is to make up risks that haven’t been proven and to leave out any potential risks of not getting pain relief that also haven’t been proven. There are studies that show women with epidurals have babies with better Apgar scores. The thought is that pain relief might allow women to take in more oxygen. I was able to focus on pushing once I got my epidural. I never had any trouble dilating but for me the pain interfered. You would have wanted to bombard me with the epidural is going to stall labor and result in a (gasp!) C-section but it’s your decision – no judgement! There are so many factors that are involved when labor stalls and c sections are recommended.

          • Reply
            January 5, 2017 at 8:31 am #

            Risks are discussed in prenatal classes (or hospital visit, it other, again depending where you are on the planet). As for care, it lies between you and your doctor or care giver. Patient and doctor together work to decide what’s best in a given situation. It’s a great tool, the epidural, no denying it. Totally agree.

            There are risks associated that are less “on the line” as delayed labor vs accelerated labor (because you don’t know what you’re going to get with the epidural). For example, read above, a friend who’s reaction to the drug was slowed heart rate and loss of consciousness. All ended up well for both mother and baby, but additional interventions were necessary and added stress.

          • Heidi
            January 5, 2017 at 8:49 am #

            The real risks are given. Look at an epidural consent form. What happened to your friend is stated. It’s a rare complication, though, and being in the hospital she and baby are here today.

            Those other things you mention haven’t been proven to be real risks. Studies have been done and sometimes the results actually favor epidurals.

          • Reply
            January 5, 2017 at 10:02 am #

            Agreed. Sometimes they help, sometimes they don’t. Hence the notion of risk. You don’t always know which way it’s going to go. Then again, same goes for not taking it!

          • Heidi
            January 5, 2017 at 10:21 am #

            But we don’t know if any of these circumstances are a result of an epidural or lack of one. If we took the time to inform women of anything that has ever occurred, her baby would be born before she made what you consider “informed consent.” Believe it or not, that’s not what all women want. You can attend Google University and read up on all the NCB propaganda and be “informed” all you want. If you were my doctor or anesthesiologist and wanted to harp about unproven “risks” while I was writhing in pain, you’d probably end up with a few broken bones. On the other hand if I wanted to go drug free, I would expect the same respect and no fear mongering or exaggeration of risks.

          • Sarah
            January 5, 2017 at 10:43 am #

            Indeed. This sort of individual is never very receptive to the possibility that not having pain relief might come with risks for some women.

          • Heidi_storage
            January 7, 2017 at 5:40 pm #

            “You don’t always know which way it’s going to go” is disingenuous. In the vast majority of epidurals, “the way it’s going to go” is that the woman will experience effective, safe pain relief with no serious side effects.

            I say this, by the way, as a woman who had quite a severe blood pressure drop with her first epidural (didn’t quite pass out, but nearly so), and still chose the epidural for my second and third labors. And the consent form was quite clear about the various risks of an epidural.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 5, 2017 at 9:27 am #

            As for care, it lies between you and your doctor or care giver. Patient and doctor together work to decide what’s best in a given situation.

            But that is what is happening now. Patients are the ones who choose to have epidurals, in consultation with doctors. They (the patients) know what they are doing.

            I don’t get your point. You think women are being forced into having pain relief against their will?

          • Roadstergal
            January 5, 2017 at 10:55 am #

            What are the risks of lack of adequate pain relief in labor, Reply? If you were to give women a risk/benefit analysis of going ‘all natural,’ what would you tell them?

          • blargh
            January 7, 2017 at 4:12 pm #

            She won’t answer, but they have been finding that women who don’t get pain relief in labor have higher rates of post partum depression. Because of the higher stress hormone that women in pain have, this can affect babies that might be vulnerable during birth and make them struggle more when born. There’s a Daily Fail article on this that links to a better article that’s behind a paywall. So there are definite risks to having uncontrolled pain during labor when you don’t want the pain.

        • Sarah
          January 5, 2017 at 7:55 am #

          Could you perhaps clarify what you mean by unnecessarily?

          • Reply
            January 5, 2017 at 8:06 am #

            As you know, practice differs from person to person, hospital too hospital, etc.

            But I will say unnecessary when used as a pain relief tool in the pure sense. When labor is progressing well without any interventions necessary.

            Necessary would be to help a woman who’s been in labor long and is not progressing well. Relaxing the sphincters can help and permitting sleep and recuperation can help. (Just an example)

            Necessary for when interventions become essential (surgery, forceps, etc.)

            But where the line goes exactly is hard to tell, and I couldn’t say. Again, no judgment for anyone using epidurals, but they do come with their own set of risks. (My friend reacted badly to it, it slowed her heart down, she lost conciseness, a whole set of events unfolded, for example. That is an example of a risk associated to it. Story ends well I should add)

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 5, 2017 at 8:12 am #

            Pain relief is provided for PAIN that occurs, not just for intervention.

            I agree, if the labor is progressing along painlessly, then pain relief is unnecessary. But if it hurts? Who am I (or you) to tell someone they need to experience that pain?

          • Reply
            January 5, 2017 at 8:37 am #

            I’m not. Patient decides. I support mothers, whatever she decides is her decision.

            But, the added intervention adds risks. They need to be mentioned. Prenatal classes, hospital visits. Epidurals need to be discussed. For their benefits, and for any possible added risk. So the patients make informed decisions.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 5, 2017 at 9:25 am #

            They need to be mentioned. Prenatal classes, hospital visits. Epidurals need to be discussed. For their benefits, and for any possible added risk. So the patients make informed decisions.

            You don’t think this happens now? As Heidi says, REAL risks, not those you invent.

          • moto_librarian
            January 5, 2017 at 10:26 am #

            The anesthesiologist went through all of the risks with me. And they monitored me to make sure that my blood pressure didn’t get too low, which can make you pass out. Spinal headaches are also a risk, but they can be treated with a blood patch. Quit pretending that doctors don’t talk about both the risks and benefits of epidurals. That’s a lie.

          • maidmarian555
            January 5, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

            Mine did that too. Not that, if I’m completely honest, much of what she said actually went in. Largely because I was in enormous pain and huffing the gas and air like it was going out of fashion….but, you know, these people seem to think that being in so much pain that you’re delirious and incapable of thinking or talking or doing anything is perfectly acceptable. In fact, the only part of that conversation I properly remember was her telling me that she was going to be really careful and make sure she didn’t put the needle in my tattoo (I have a back piece) because it was really pretty. I was out of my mind in pain, I’ve never experienced anything like it before. If women need pain relief then pain relief *is* totally necessary. It’s outrageous to suggest that using pain relief for pain is ‘unnecessary’ or that doctors and indeed midwives in hospital won’t at least try to make you aware of the risks (in fairness they could have told me the epidural would leave me with an extra head and I’d have still begged for it).

          • Sarah
            January 5, 2017 at 10:42 am #

            You clearly don’t support mothers, when you’re saying epidurals for pain relief are unnecessary.

          • Erin
            January 5, 2017 at 7:43 pm #

            As informed choice is obviously so important to you, I hope you also discuss the risks of natural birth. I have friends and family members who are still suffering from the effects of their “natural” births and who really wish someone had been honest about the possible ill effects so they had at least been prepared for possibility of incontinence, severe pain and an inability to sit for a very long time, scarring, painful sex, inability to tolerate let alone enjoy sex anymore because of severe scar tissue and a whole host of other issues. One of my sister in laws still bemoans the fact that I could chase her kids across a carpark at less than 3 months post emergency section because 8 years and 3 months after her first “natural” birth she still can not run without wetting herself.

            I had an epidural at full dilation (my son was in an un-deliverable position at that point) and the anesthetist went over every possible side effect until I told him in no uncertain terms that I completely understood and was probably going to hurt him if he didn’t make the pain stop soon. It didn’t stall my labour, it was already exceedingly dysfunctional.

            Gas and air on the other hand made me see snakes… but because it was a midwife dispensing it, no one gave me any warning at all.

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
            January 5, 2017 at 8:43 am #

            First, the cervix is not a sphincter.
            Second, are you also in favor of people getting no pain relief for dental work, stitches, colonoscopies and other minor or outpatient surgery and procedures or is it just laboring women you think should have to deal with a lot of pain, with no pain relief? Any type of pain reliever or anesthesia comes with some risk, which is why the doctors who administer them have special training to recognize problems and head them off.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 5, 2017 at 9:24 am #

            What “sphincters” are you talking about?

          • Azuran
            January 5, 2017 at 9:42 am #

            It is a pain relief tool. Treating women’s pain is not unnecessary. If you think that’s the case, then you should never take any kind of pain relief for yourself. Because every single form of pain relief has risks, and their are used to treat pain. So from what you said, they are unnecessary.

          • Sarah
            January 5, 2017 at 10:42 am #

            Right. I was worried you were going to say that. I’m afraid I’m going to have to lay the smackdown now.

            You don’t get to decide whether an epidural is necessary or not. That is arrogance beyond belief. MYOB. Treating women’s pain is not unnecessary, and the fact that you could think that suggests there is something very wrong with either your understanding or you as a human being.

            The justifications you attempt to provide for your views are paltry and pathetic. Saying that sleep can help is wishy washy nothing. What of a woman who finds her pain too much to sleep, or does not wish to?

            In summary, you’re either pig ignorant or scum or maybe both.

          • Roadstergal
            January 5, 2017 at 1:21 pm #

            Hey, do you know what helps a lot with ‘permitting sleep’? Not being in pain.

          • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
            January 5, 2017 at 2:17 pm #

            Delivering at home also comes with risks that are not present in hospital: lack of access to transfusion, lack of quick access to C-section if it is necessary,

            lack of additional personnel if both mother and baby have difficulties postpartum(if the baby is having trouble breathing and the mom starts hemorrhaging who do you treat first? many CPMs in the US work alone),

            lack of knowledge and practice in neonatal resus, newborn lungs are”stiffer” than adult lungs for instance.

            Lack of experience with postpartum warning signs: one of my great aunts delivered her first baby at home, she developed a splitting headache, dizziness, puffy face and hands and nausea. She died of post partum eclampsia. Just like with the “risks” of epidurals, most of these probably won’t happen at most home births.

            Unlike epidurals (where you have a trained anesthesiologist right there), at a home birth most of the risks are not taken into account except to say “the hospitals only x number of miles away…”

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 5, 2017 at 2:44 pm #

            I heard on the radio this morning some guy said he delivered his wife’s baby at home in their bathtub.

            OK, makes for easy cleanup, I guess, but … in the bathtub? All the comforts of home, I guess…

          • swbarnes2
            January 5, 2017 at 5:32 pm #

            In what other area of the hospital do you think that “pure” pain relief should be avoided? Do children with broken bones really need pain relief? Do you want to tell us whether or not cancer patients need “pure” pain relief?

          • Who?
            January 5, 2017 at 6:22 pm #

            You lost me at ‘sphincters’…

          • SporkParade
            January 6, 2017 at 8:56 am #

            If I had been told I would only get an epidural if labor was progressing poorly, I would opt for a maternal request C-section. As it was, labor progressed too rapidly for an epidural last time, and it was so awful that whether or not I have more children depends in large part on what my OB tells me are the options for future births.

          • blargh
            January 7, 2017 at 4:03 pm #

            Relaxing the sphincters? Those wouldn’t be the ones Ina May talked about would they…

          • January 7, 2017 at 4:17 pm #

            The cervix is not a sphincter.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 5, 2017 at 9:29 am #

          It’s a great tool when used appropriately.

          In what respect is pain relief not being used appropriately?

        • Azuran
          January 5, 2017 at 9:39 am #

          I disagree with you stating that using pain relief for pain management is unnecessary. That’s basically what pain relief IS for.
          In what other sphere of medicine would you consider treating pain to not be necessary? The local aesthetic I received for my wisdom tooth extraction had risks, was it unnecessary?
          It’s all up to informed consent. You want to be in pain? Go for it. I don’t and I’m getting an epidural as soon as I possibly can.
          And in Canada, there is still a good system. You have have qualified midwives. I chose an OB/Gyn. No one is forcing you to have an epidural, it’s your choice. My OB/Gyn clinic does VBAC (If you are relatively low risks) for those who are interested in it (and those who aren’t can chose c-section)

        • moto_librarian
          January 5, 2017 at 10:25 am #

          There is no proof that movement during labor hastens dilation. I was told this repeatedly, but there is no evidence demonstrating that it does anything. It’s really none of your fucking business to judge whether or not another woman should get an epidural. They are designed to relieve pain, so all of your talk about it being unnecessary is disgusting.

        • MaineJen
          January 5, 2017 at 10:51 am #

          How is pain management “unnecessary?”

          • Empress of the Iguana People
            January 5, 2017 at 11:36 am #

            IKR? We should just tough out everything. No acetometaphin for anything from a hang nail to amputation!

        • January 5, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

          Pain management is “unnecessary”? Really? Are you going to tell a man with a broken leg the same thing?

        • Chi
          January 5, 2017 at 6:59 pm #

          Just because a woman is ‘low-risk’ does NOT mean that she will have an uncomplicated delivery.

          I was a textbook pregnancy and probably would have been considered ‘low-risk’. However during my labor, there were at least 3 instances where my baby’s heart rate plummeted dangerously – a sure sign of distress.

          In a home birth situation, would those decels have been noticed and acted upon? Probably not because midwives don’t do continuous monitoring.

          My daughter got stuck because my cervix didn’t efface properly (my PCP had to physically lift part of the cervix over her head – ow!) and then near the end. The natural crunchy crowd will consider me ‘fortunate’ because I managed to avoid a c-section by having an episiotomy.

          Once my daughter was out we could see that the reason she had trouble descending was because I had a short umbilical cord. Would a home birth midwife have picked that up? I doubt it. I’m also bloody lucky I didn’t get placental abruption and subsequent hemorrhaging.

          The point I am making here is that you cannot TRULY call any woman ‘low-risk’ in labor because when shit hits the fan during delivery it usually happens quickly and it can mean the difference between life and death for either the baby or mother (or both) is measured in minutes. Which is why it’s better and safer to birth in a hospital setting with blood banks and operating rooms moments away.

          Home birth is NOT ‘as safe’ as hospital birth and the lack of support and equipment makes it that way. Anyone who believes it is is misguided and contributes to all the babies needlessly killed by their mothers trying to follow a foolish ideology that should be left in the past where it belongs.

        • blargh
          January 7, 2017 at 2:02 pm #

          There’s a study out that shows the more pain a woman has during childbirth, the worst post partum depression is. Pain also increases the amount of work the body has to do during birth, making the entire birth harder on the mother, and increases the amount of stress hormone that the baby picks up on. If the baby is vulnerable, the stress hormone can make it harder on the baby.

          So saying that pain medication (particularly an epidural) is unnecessary simply because it’s for pain management is really shortsighted.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      January 4, 2017 at 10:47 pm #

      Wrong. You’re just repeating natural childbirth propaganda.

      • Reply
        January 5, 2017 at 7:11 am #

        Please read my reply above.

        Natural childbirth is a great tool when used appropriately. So are the OBGYN. I believe in both. And I wish for a system where both could work better together as a unit.

        For women with no risk factors, midwives and natural births help unload the health system to a degree. Which gives more time for OBGYN to work their magic and use their specialised skills better. OBGYN are VERY IMPORTANT. That goes without saying, thank you for your work and what you do. But there has to be a way they can work with midwives better. Like the UK. Or like my example above, in Quebec, Canada. Because midwives are essential for no/low risk pregnancies. Highly trained individuals who know when natural birthing becomes a risk and when transfer of care is necessary.

        But please don’t completely dismiss natural childbirth because of a case gone wrong. There are many factors at play here. And bad stories can be written about hospital births too. But there’s great things about both and practices should be better at combining the two.

        (Pardon my English it’s my second language)

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 5, 2017 at 7:38 am #

          This woman was 42 weeks. So much for “women with no risk factors.”

          So even if what you say is true (under the right circumstances, home birth is just as safe), it doesn’t apply to this case.

          Although I’d like to hear about the literature that “proves” It’s safe.

          ETA: Btw, another requirement for safety is to have a qualified attendant. Any midwife that allows some at 42 weeks to deliver at home is incompetent, and so not qualified to deliver babies at any time.

          • Reply
            January 5, 2017 at 7:44 am #

            My mistake. Wrong language. It doesn’t prove, that’s extreme. I apologize.

            As for 42 weeks, it’s hard to say. 41 weeks is considered full term most everywhere (not 40). I agree, personally I think that factor was a risk. I like to think it was evaluated though. But the article doesn’t say.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa
            January 5, 2017 at 9:23 am #

            41 weeks is considered full term most everywhere (not 40).

            Babies and systems are fully developed by about 37 weeks. Nothing good happens after 40 weeks. IIRC, the risk of still birth hits a minimum at 37 – 38 weeks, and then starts creeping up and takes off again by 41.

            41 weeks is the END of full term. After 41 weeks, it is post-term.

            42 weeks is elevated RISK by definition.

            The probability of an adverse event at 42 weeks is much higher than at 40 or 38. That’s what “elevated risk” means.

          • FallsAngel
            January 5, 2017 at 3:28 pm #

            The ACOG calls “early term” 37 weeks through 38 wk, 6 days; “term” 39 wk through 40 wk, 6 days, “late term” 41 wk through 41 wk, 6 days, and postterm as 42 weeks and beyond.

          • Roadstergal
            January 5, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

            “As for 42 weeks, it’s hard to say”

            Why is it hard to say? Usually around 37-39 weeks, the baby is good to go to live outside of the mom. After that point, only two things can happen – the placenta can start to fail, which decreases the ability of the baby to tolerate a vaginal birth, or the placenta doesn’t fail and the baby gets bigger, making it harder to successfully deliver vaginally. Why would you classify 42 weeks as ‘hard to say’ as a risk factor?

        • Sarah
          January 5, 2017 at 7:56 am #

          What does unload the health system mean? I wonder if you’re talking about better use of resources. With that in mind, and since you mention the UK (and be aware that there are many UK commentators here) were you aware that NICE has stated ELCS would be cheaper if it were offered to all women who want it?

          • Reply
            January 5, 2017 at 8:13 am #

            Yes. For Canada unloading health system mean better use of resources. Note that the public health system cannot pay doctors in Canada as great a salary as they can get in the States. So there’s a lack of doctors, OBGYN included, in the system. They simply cross the border for better conditions, who can blame them?

            As for the UK I’ll not get involved, I don’t know enough. And what I know pertains mostly to Northern Ireland. And one friend in Bath, but not enough to sustain that kind of conversation.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 5, 2017 at 9:20 am #

            Speaking of Northern Ireland…
            Talk to me about the Downe Freestanding MLU, and how effective a use of resources it is.

            As for midwives being essential… I’ve had one woman request midwives not be involved in her antenatal care at all, so poor was her previous experience (we’re talking lawsuit, NMC referrals etc- she was terrified someone involved in her care previously would care for her again).

            All her antenatal appointments were with a consultant or GP, all scans by radiographers or doctors, elective CS at 38 weeks, midwives literally did her post op obs and dispensed her medication, that was it.

            The UK is spending £500 per delivery on medical indemnity. Making maternity care safer by reducing avoidable harms would be the single best way to “unload” the health system.

          • Sarah
            January 5, 2017 at 11:09 am #

            Indeed, poorly used freestanding MLUs are a feature in the UK. The one in Salford (for those not local, it’s the provision in Greater Manchester, one of the UK’s larger conurbations) is also underused, though less severely. As far as I’m aware, this isn’t taken into account when calculating which type of birth costs the NHS more…

          • Dr Kitty
            January 5, 2017 at 1:00 pm #


            This is the unit I meant.
            It delivers fewer than one baby a week.

            It has still had more than one intrapartum stillbirth, several babies requiring NICU and at least one woman transferred for a postpartum complication that could not be managed in the unit. Transfer, BTW, involves a 23 mile journey (45minutes) via ambulance over not exactly stellar Irish roads, once the ambulance arrives.

            Effective use of resources, it is not, and it can’t even be said to be a popular choice with local women, given the hospital it transfers to delivers about 4000 babies a year.

          • Sarah
            January 5, 2017 at 2:59 pm #

            That is pretty horrifying. It puts Salford in the shade, really.

          • Dr Kitty
            January 5, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

            Northern Ireland has 24000 births in 2014, of which 67 were planned home births and fewer than 1000 were in free standing MLUs.

            To be clear- low risk Northern Irish women are free to choose FMLU and home birth if they wish. Legally, they can give birth wherever they choose.

            I don’t think women in NI are as interested in out of hospital birth as they are supposed to be…


          • Sarah
            January 5, 2017 at 4:33 pm #

            I wonder how much roads and geography play a part there too. It’s one of the less densely populated areas of the UK. There are twice as many people in the conurbation I live in, in an area that’s only about a tenth of the size. I’m not interested in an FMLU or homebirth and wouldn’t be even if my prior section wouldn’t risk me out. But I reckon I’d be more likely to attempt one living where I do (the proverbial 5 minutes from a hospital, in a city) than I would if I lived in rural Tyrone. The thought of a transfer on some of those roads doesn’t bear thinking about!

          • Dr Kitty
            January 5, 2017 at 4:49 pm #


            This is the Glenshane pass on the main Derry to Belfast Road.

            It is not unheard of for women to be transferred antepartum or ontrapatrum from Derry to Belfast or Belfast to Newry in order to access NICU beds.

          • Sarah
            January 6, 2017 at 3:05 am #

            Least that’s paved!

          • Roadstergal
            January 5, 2017 at 1:19 pm #

            I’m not surprised freestanding MLUs are not popular. They sound like all of the disadvantages of a hospital without any of the advantages. (Except maybe someone else to do the clean up?)

          • Sarah
            January 5, 2017 at 2:58 pm #

            Me neither. They do have pretty good safety stats, as they should since they rightly pursue strict risking out policies and are well staffed, but most women who would prefer midwife led care seem to take the view that a hospital MLU offers them the best of both worlds.

          • Sarah
            January 5, 2017 at 11:03 am #

            Then don’t mention the UK. If you don’t know enough, you shouldn’t have done so in the first place.

        • Azuran
          January 5, 2017 at 9:32 am #

          Indeed, properly done home birth, in a well integrated system with qualified people and well determined guidelines can lead to a safe enough practice of home birth.
          But that’s not what happened there. That’s not a random case that went wrong. It’s a case where improper case was given under the guise of ‘natural is better’ and ‘trust birth’ that resulted in probable brain damage for the baby.
          This blog mostly focus on the state of home birth in the USA. Where uneducated people lie and hide risks, preventing women (and often high risk women) of making informed decision.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa
          January 5, 2017 at 9:34 am #

          But there has to be a way they can work with midwives better.

          In the US, doctors work well with midwives. Actual NURSE midwives, that is.

          The problem is that the midwives doing homebirth in the US are generally NOT qualified. They are CPMs, which is a made-up credential of wanna-be birth hobbiests. They would not be anywhere near qualified to be midwives in any other country, including Canada or the UK.

          Nurse midwives, the CNMs, the ones with actual medical training and the equivalent of midwives in the UK and Canada, far and away do NOT do homebirths in the US.

          Amazingly, OBs do not have any interest in “working with” incompetent clowns pretending to be midwives. The CPM is the problem, not the OBs. If the CPMs would actually go and get some actual legitimate training, OBs would gladly utilize them. Of course, if they did that, they’d be CNMs.

        • moto_librarian
          January 5, 2017 at 10:22 am #

          Most women do not want to have natural births. Access to pain relief during childbirth was a major tenet of early feminism. I am still angry that so many people lied to me about natural childbirth – lied about how painful it actually is, lied about the risks of epidurals (no, they do NOT increase your risk for a c-section), lied about the potential complications. I had a natural birth, and I will never believe that it was an accomplishment. It was something that I endured because I arrived at the hospital dilated to 9 cm., and didn’t think that I could have any pain relief. As a result of my inability to control my pushing, I tore my cervix, resulting in a serious pph and emergency surgery to repair the laceration. I was perfectly low-risk, and my CNM described my birth as “textbook” up to the point where I began bleeding out. Had I not been in a hospital, I would have died. So please spare me the bullshit about natural birth. It’s equating bodily function with achievement. That’s about as anti-feminist as you can get.

          • carovee
            January 6, 2017 at 4:31 pm #

            Thank you moto_librarian. I tell every pregnant woman I know to ignore the fake stats and just get the epidural. I wish I had. I probably would not have spent the first week (month?) of my kiddo’s life in a fog of exhaustion.

        • Amazed
          January 5, 2017 at 5:03 pm #

          Err, did you just say that natural birth and homebirth are basically one and the same? Way to go!

          “Thank you for your work and what you do” while at the same time shitting on epidurals? Prime lip service here.

          So, an OBGYN and a natural birth are mutually exclusive. How… interesting.

          Midwives and natural birth unload the health system? Yes, if you take all the subsequent treatment in the aftermath of homebirth complications (sometimes longtime ones) out of the equation. And please explain it to me why any woman should suffer immense pain just because she got unlucky enough to be in the low risk group. Who died and made you the boss of refusing pain relief?

        • Cartman36
          January 6, 2017 at 4:32 am #

          It’s funny that we don’t see people advocating for men to refuse pain medication or see lay medical professionals in order to “help unload the health system to a degree”.

          If men had babies, I’m quite certain they would be offered a walking epidural at 37 weeks until delivery. #sarcasm. (My apologies in advance to any male readers 🙂

    • Sue
      January 4, 2017 at 11:35 pm #

      Message to anyone who suggests to Dr Amy to “do your research”:

      Amy Tuteur trained as a specialist obstetrician. Since starting this blog, she has reviewed and discussed an enormous amount of scientific research – likely much more than most practicing OBs.

      Suggesting that she do what YOU think is ‘research’ is like asking an architect to play with Leggo. It only makes you look silly.

      • Reply
        January 5, 2017 at 6:59 am #

        I don’t question her credentials. Nor her skills. I read her too. But this one article I believe is an odd case out. Not the rule. She can’t dismiss home birth as unsafe when literature proves otherwise. She specialises in hospital births and thank God we have specialists like her. But others are trained for less intervention deliveries and help take the unnecessary load off of the OBGYN so that they can focus on what they do best : save lives that couldn’t have survived a natural birth (amongst many other great things they do).

        But OBGYN have to learn to work hand in hand with midwives and value their work too. Where I’m from (Quebec Canada), midwives are trained for 4 years in university exclusively in natural birth, no drugs, and work hand in hand with the doctors. They will transfer care of at risk pregnancies to the doctor (so no home birth). They are highly trained professionals who know when interventions from OBGYN is necessary and they transfer care. I gave birth with a midwife in a hospital setting (because personally I prefer that to home births, but I prefer a no drug approach and overall pregnancy care of midwives better to that of an OBGYN). Maybe the way things are done here differs from where you’re from and thus I encourage reading benefits and looking into the system here, because I believe in it. And I should not have generalized the way I did, you’re right. Practices differ worldwide.

        I should do my homework and research too, you are right. We never know enough. But we have to be careful of the few cases versus the rule. You can’t dismiss home birth and it’s advantages for certain women because of one story gone wrong. The same happens in hospital settings too. Especially with the use of pain relief drugs which lead to complications during delivery. They are an amazing tool, but they have their own set of risks too.

        • moto_librarian
          January 5, 2017 at 10:17 am #

          I think that you have no idea of just how incompetent the vast majority of American home birth midwives are. The only midwives that match the credentials required in Canada are CNMs, and most of them deliver in hospitals. CPMs, DEMs, and LMs are all pale imitations with notoriously poor education and training requirements.

        • January 5, 2017 at 12:15 pm #

          Home birth will always be less safe than hospital birth. It can be only a little less safe for pregnancies that present no complications, but it’s still less safe. Furthermore, I think you really need to realize, as moto_librarian pointed out, that midwives in the US are not trained medical professionals. The requirements for a CPM or DEM license are: a high school education, an ‘apprenticeship’ with an existing midwife of under 100 births, and a test so easy I could study for it and pass it in less than a week (and I am not a medical professional in any way, shape, or form).

          Does that sound like someone you want dealing with a breech twin birth at home? Because, oh yeah, they don’t risk out people either.

        • RudyTooty
          January 5, 2017 at 3:48 pm #

          Please don’t assume that trained Canadian Registered Midwives are trained the same way as most of the midwives in the US (CPMs and lay midwives) who attend homebirths.

          I believe there is one study out of Canada that demonstrates pretty good outcomes with trained RMs in the homebirth setting. These midwives also practice within and in accordance with a healthcare system. There is virtually nothing like this in the US in regard to home birth.

          CNMs are trained and licensed to practice in all 50 US states, an overwhelming majority of the births attended by CNMs occur in the hospital setting.

        • fiftyfifty1
          January 8, 2017 at 4:41 pm #

          “But others are trained for less intervention deliveries and help take the unnecessary load off of the OBGYN so that they can focus on what they do best ”

          Kind of like in the Netherlands, no? A study there showed that LOW risk women in the care of midwives had WORSE outcomes than HIGH risk women cared for by OBs. If I lived there, I guess I would have to hope to be unhealthy so I could get an OB so I could have a better outcome. Pretty sad when a person has to hope to be unhealthy….

      • Empress of the Iguana People
        January 5, 2017 at 10:26 am #

        or the architect’s favorite little kid

    • Sarah
      January 5, 2017 at 7:57 am #

      Prove your claims.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      January 5, 2017 at 9:17 am #

      Any woman can feel proud of their birth, no matter how it went.

      They can, but at some point, it gets to the level of being sociopathic.

      Like, when you choose a path that nearly kills someone, only a sociopath would be proud of doing that. Most people would regret it and just be thankful that their mistake didn’t cause more damage than it did.

    • Empress of the Iguana People
      January 5, 2017 at 10:26 am #

      A) epidurals are *not* riskier than home birth
      B) Pride is fine, but there’s a limit. Would you be proud of swimming 100 laps across your pool with your baby on your back if your baby has to go to the ER because she was that close to drowning?

    • Gene
      January 5, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

      I’m very proud of my children. My daughter when she conquered her fears and passed her swim test. My son on his first day of kindergarten. My youngest the first time she peed on the potty (something all kids eventually do, but whatever).

      But it never really occurred to me to be proud of how they arrived.

    • Cartman36
      January 5, 2017 at 1:02 pm #

      Nope, unmedicated birth outside the hospital is NOT safer. I’m not trying to be rude but you have to be pretty dense to believe that. I, and most people, don’t need studies to tell them that hospital birth with immediate access to an operating room, a NICU, and trained medical professionals is safer than anywhere else. Common sense tells us this. That’s why the risk of dying in childbirth in undeveloped nations is like 1 in 41 and in developed nations its somewhere around 1 in 3300.

    • Roadstergal
      January 5, 2017 at 1:02 pm #

      “Any woman can feel proud of their birth, no matter how it went.”

      Not true – you can’t feel proud of your birth if you died during it. And brain damage would certainly make it more difficult.

      I wasn’t proud of my birth – my mom had already had three uneventful VBs, so I popped out readily at term at a civilized hour in the afternoon, as expected. She had me in the hospital, though, just in case, and never failed to point out the hospital to me with a little conspiratorial _this is where you came into the world_. She later worked there, in breast cancer research, getting her PhD after having four kids. I was proud of my mom for that, not so much for what part of her I came out of.

      (Sorry, the birth of your kid is your kid’s birth, not yours.)

    • Cartman36
      January 5, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

      yes, women can feel proud of their births, no one here says they can’t but we, the other commenters and I many of whom are mothers ourselves, are equally entitled to believe that any woman who priotizes a birth expierence over their child’s safety is selfish and misguided.

    • Dr Kitty
      January 5, 2017 at 4:27 pm #

      Hey, I’m really proud of my elective CS births- they were awesome.

      But I’m most proud of kicking up an unholy fuss and refusing to be discharged without opioids with my second though.

      They tried to send me home day 2 post CS with just paracetamol and diclofenac, because I was breastfeeding and the MHRA has said breastfeeding women should not be prescribed codeine. I had very little wound pain, but hellacious afterpains.

      I laid out the options:

      1) Accept I am a competent adult who has weighed up the risks and benefits and decided that breastfeeding while taking opioid analgesia for 3-5 days is acceptable to me and send me home with a week of opioids.

      2) Document that I am bottle feeding due to inadequate analgesic options, send me home with opioids and I’ll complain formally to the Trust and publicly on social media about my breastfeeding plan being sabotaged by the Trust’s analgesic policy.

      3) Send me home without opioids and I make formal complaints to the Trust, NMC and GMC for medical negligence for inadequate treatment of acute severe postoperative pain.

      4) I refuse to be discharged and stay on the ward where you can administer opioids and monitor the baby and I until my pain had diminished enough to no longer require opioids- blocking a bed for 3-5 days.

      I do not play nice when in a hormonal, sleep deprived state.

      They went with option 1.

      • PeggySue
        January 5, 2017 at 7:40 pm #

        I think you played very nice. You did not mention rolling the analgesic policy into a bullet-shaped projectile.

      • blargh
        January 6, 2017 at 2:20 pm #

        why did they think it was ok to discharge you without opioids? In the US they are going nuts over this, even though the research shows that those who are overdosing are not those who have properly prescribed opioids. They are the ones without prescriptions who are overdosing on it.

        • Dr Kitty
          January 6, 2017 at 2:51 pm #

          Because the MHRA advice is not to use codeine, and codeine is the one opioid that isn’t a controlled drug (CDs need separate prescriptions and extra steps).

          So, they won’t prescribe codeine and they won’t prescribe other opioids, even though in hospital I was getting four hourly
          Sevredol (morphine).

          It makes NO SENSE.

          The advice about codeine is specifically related to neonatal opioid toxicity in ultra rapid metabolisers. I am not an ultra rapid metaboliser, if anything I’m a damn slow metaboliser.

          I weigh 45kg and needed a bolus of 24mg of IV morphine to get my pain under control when I had a ruptured ovarian cyst…this would suggest that I am not the at-risk population for neonatal toxicity. When people keep expecting you to stop breathing from the morphine dose and you’re perfectly coherent and complaining that your pain is still at an 8, they are a bit surprised.

          Trying to explain this in a way that doesn’t make you look like a drug seeking harpy is not easy though.

    • Amazed
      January 5, 2017 at 4:57 pm #

      Epidurals more riskier than a homebirth? Wow! That’s news to me. Would you care to support tje claim with some stats?

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild
      January 5, 2017 at 11:46 pm #

      Two things: You stats are BS. And no one should be proud of this idiotic preventable trainwreck.

    • January 7, 2017 at 4:12 pm #

      Any comment on this site that starts with “do your research” invariably includes nothing but NCB and HB rhetoric and pseudoscientific BS

  4. Squillo
    January 4, 2017 at 2:28 pm #

    It’d be great if we all could stop assigning moral values to health and physical abilities. Maybe women would stop feeling like they had to prove something with their waist size/bust size/childbirth choices and we’d stop hearing so many terrible stories like this.

    • Sean Jungian
      January 4, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

      Pfft, that would require thinking of women as actual people instead of as objects.

      • January 7, 2017 at 4:41 pm #

        That’s crazy talk! At least, that’s what my husband says…

    • Birthsmidwife hospitalnodrugs
      January 4, 2017 at 10:25 pm #

      Well said

  5. New Mom
    January 4, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

    Very OT: I think i might have Asperger’s Syndrome. I googled for tests and found these. Does anyone know how legitimate these online tests are? In both of these tests I scored in the low 40s. Thanks

    • Sean Jungian
      January 4, 2017 at 2:06 pm #

      I don’t know much about the AS but I know enough about the internet to not trust any sort of assessment or test it publishes.

      I recommend you go see your doctor and get a referral to an expert in the spectrum. It can’t hurt, and may benefit you greatly.

      • New Mom
        January 4, 2017 at 2:22 pm #

        Yeah, I’ll definitely talk to my doctor.

        I just wasn’t sure if a psychology related site would be more legit than, say, Buzzfeed where I could probably take a a quiz on which Hogwarts house I belong in.

        • Anne
          January 4, 2017 at 4:30 pm #

          The second one seems to have symptoms on it that are certainly related to ASD; however, they are also related to other things, such as anxiety, especially social anxiety. Higher numbers could mean ASD, but what they definitely mean is that there are symptoms that are distressing to you that should be explored further by a neuropsychologist or a psychologist trained in assessment. The gold standard for ASD diagnoses is the ADOS-2 (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Second Edition), Module 4 for most adults.

          • New Mom
            January 4, 2017 at 7:34 pm #

            I have been diagnosed with PTSD from sexual abuse and from a house fire. I’ve been seeing a therapist and it’s getting better.

            I’ll mention it to my therapist at my next appointment. Thanks:)

    • New Mom
      January 4, 2017 at 2:19 pm #

      Higher than 32 is supposed to indicate Aspergers.

    • Squillo
      January 4, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

      The Autism Quotient Test is a legitimate test that’s used for screening purposes–I don’t think it’s meant to be diagnostic. And I don’t know if those websites use the whole test. If you see a specialist, they’ll use several tests and measurement tools to rule in or out a diagnosis. I don’t know what they use for adults, but my son went through a long battery of assessments before he was diagnosed with autism.

  6. Oflogotop
    January 4, 2017 at 1:37 pm #

    It’s ok to kill babies through abortion but it’s not ok to choose how you want to give birth to your child???do you see double standards here?

    • mythsayer
      January 4, 2017 at 1:44 pm #

      They are so totally not related issues. And no one is saying choice is bad…her point is simply that being proud of making a choice that may have resulted in a brain damaged baby is absurd.

    • Sarah
      January 4, 2017 at 2:08 pm #


    • Roadstergal
      January 4, 2017 at 2:09 pm #

      Nope, it’s not okay to kill babies. It’s fine to abort a clump of cells before it has time to develop into a baby, however. And to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place by easy access to free birth control, so all babies are wanted and given the best chance at life.

      Unless you support free birth control for all women, and easy access to early-term abortions, I’m calling BS on you braying about ‘killing babies.’

      • January 7, 2017 at 4:51 pm #

        Roadstergal, I admire and respect you a great deal. But you tend to cast late term abortion completely aside in your arguments. As someone who has had one (but who generally agrees with you on most topics, including other aspects of abortion, and who as stated respects you tremendously) it genuinely hurts.

        • Roadstergal
          January 8, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

          I really feel bad and unhappy about that, because I admire you so much from so many angles, among which is your courage and eloquence in telling your painful stories.

          I suppose the disconnect might be that I consider the early-term abortion of an unwanted fetus to be such a different thing in every possible way from the late-term abortion of a wanted baby that I don’t think they should even have the same name? The latter is something I feel I have no right to talk avout, while the former is. Please help me to understand, because there’s a Venn diagram of things I feel very strongly about and things that are upsetting you that are overlapping at the moment, and I want to change that.

          • January 8, 2017 at 2:20 pm #

            Actually, you saying that you really consider the two things (early and late term) so different that they shouldn’t have the same name at all really makes sense to me. I agree that they are fundamentally different and *shouldn’t* both be called abortion. Certainly I have never felt that we aborted our son. We terminated the pregnancy.

            We are in a political climate that paints the two procedures as the same thing, so I do feel it’s important to use the unpleasant phrase late term abortion, if only so it isn’t stripped as a choice (more than it has been) to counter the completely different (and borderline unrelated) issue of early abortion. But I often use”terminated” instead as it’s more accurate.

            Thank you for your thoughtful reply – I dearly love being part of a community where we can all just talk about things like adults* And I’m not hurt now – I feel like I see where you’re coming from in the way you phrase it 🙂

            *Not including parachuters, trolls and Brooke.

    • Sean Jungian
      January 4, 2017 at 2:10 pm #

      You are just precious. Literally not one single person said anything even in the same neighborhood as what you are claiming.

      Go play with your strawman somewhere else.

    • Azuran
      January 4, 2017 at 2:10 pm #

      That’s absolutely not a double standard. Abortion and birth injury are two totally different things. That’s as stupid as saying that since abortion is legal, we shouldn’t treat cancer.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD
      January 4, 2017 at 3:09 pm #

      I see your double standard. You apparently think abortion is immoral but letting a full term baby sustain brain damage in exchange for bragging rights is just fine. What’s up with that?

    • Sue
      January 4, 2017 at 4:51 pm #

      Thanks for dropping in, “Oflogotop”. It’s always useful to be able to re-visit, and de-bunk – the old tired arguments.

    • MaineJen
      January 5, 2017 at 10:56 am #

      “It’s fine to tell a woman what she should and shouldn’t do with her own body in early pregnancy, but during birth, don’t you dare tell a woman what she should or shouldn’t do with her own body.”
      Fixed that for you.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild
      January 5, 2017 at 11:47 pm #


  7. Spamamander, pro fun ruiner
    January 4, 2017 at 12:26 pm #

    I still have guilt, 21 years later, for my daughter being born with DS- which is something that is absolutely NOT my (or anyone else’s) fault. I can’t fucking imagine being “proud” of doing this to my child, completely preventable. (Pardon my French but… fuck!)

  8. no longer drinking the koolaid
    January 4, 2017 at 12:24 pm #

    Someone needs to read just a bit of the literature involving neonatal pain from all those procedures that baby was just put through unnecessarily because of his mother.
    This was extremely traumatic for the baby and the potential for CP may be only part of this child’s problems.

    • StephanieJR
      January 5, 2017 at 10:35 am #

      It hurts my heart to think of a hamster suffering, let alone this poor baby. What callous person would do this?

      • RudyTooty
        January 5, 2017 at 4:02 pm #

        The NCB movement pathologically promotes the ideal of unmedicated childbirth. It is cultish. The mother is trying to make sense of what happened to her baby. She put her faith in her midwives who undoubtedly told her it was safe and preferable to a hospital birth. They told her she would be empowered. They told her she was doing the right thing. They told her nothing bad would have happened that wouldn’t have happened in the hospital.

        This woman has to sort through all the brainwashing she was subject to before she can understand what happened to her.

        Women are sold this type of thinking. They are preyed upon. And they are the ones who are harmed from it. I have no doubt that this mother is hurting. She is still in denial. I will not judge her for that.

        What about her midwives? Are they still practicing? Are they still spewing their nonsense about safe, peaceful empowering homebirth? No doubt they are. The midwives are the ones who should 1) know better, 2) feel deeply ashamed.

        This mother will find her way around, likely, as she sorts through her grief. This could take years.

        Can we ask if the midwives feel shame for harming this woman and this baby? Can we ask that question? Is MANA addressing this? Is NARM addressing this? Can we hold these midwives accountable for the utter lack of professionalism and propagation of harm?

  9. Daleth
    January 4, 2017 at 11:48 am #

    OT: Michigan people, here’s a call to make: Today is the last day the governor can sign a bill that would legalize home birth midwifery in Michigan and license people, including CPMs, to practice. (Currently home birth midwifery in Michigan is not clearly legal or illegal.) You can call the governor’s office to ask him to VETO it at 517-335-7858.

    The problems with the bill are:

    – It lets CPMs get licensed to practice (sec. 17115);

    – It does NOT require HB midwives to carry liability insurance (though it does require them to disclose in writing whether they carry it and what the limit is if they do) (Sec. 17117(1)(d)(ii);

    – It seems to have a lot of good intentions in terms of requiring transfer protocols, prohibiting midwives from using forceps, etc., but it places half the responsibility for making the actual rules in the hands of what is likely to be a heavily pro-NCB board (Sec. 17117: the department in consultation with the board will make the rules; Sec. 17113, the board will include 7 midwives, only one of whom needs to be an actual CNM (a.k.a. real midwife), as well as two members of the general public, one of whom is a consumer of midwifery care; the other 2 members are doctors but they will clearly be outvoted).

    With those weaknesses, the problem is that licensing midwives in Michigan to do home births will make it seem legit and safe, so more women will choose that option and thus more babies will die or be permanently injured. But with the law written as it is, it WON’T be safe.

    I’m told by the governor’s office that Michigan HB midwives have been calling to oppose the bill, for the obvious reason that they don’t want to be regulated at all, and normally I would be for anything that illegal HB are against. But a few decent regulations are not worth making unqualified midwives seem legitimate and safe, and thus desirable, covered by health insurance, and much more popular among Michigan women than they already are. That is a recipe for killing and injuring far more babies. Leaving it in a legal gray area–unlicensed, not covered by insurance, etc.–will make most women think twice.

    You can read the bill here:
    (read the House Enrolled Bill towards the bottom–that’s the version the governor is evaluating today). If that link doesn’t work, google Michigan hb 4598 midwife.

    • Anne Catherine
      January 4, 2017 at 1:14 pm #

      Thanks, I am from Michigan and was unaware of this—

    • no longer drinking the koolaid
      January 4, 2017 at 5:50 pm #

      Very sad to report that Michigan’s governor signed the bill. Michigan will have licensed CPM midwives in 2 years, but no greater protections for moms or babies from these unskilled, under educated lay people.

      There were some amendments added such as the board of midwifery needs to have a pediatrician and an OB on it rather than all lay midwives. However, the midwives are not required to carry liability insurance.

  10. Gatita
    January 4, 2017 at 11:41 am #

    Baby is eight weeks old now and doing fine…Baby suffered meconium aspiration, severe asphyxia, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, persistent pulmonary hypertension, sepsis and pneumonia.

    I really hope this is a Poe…

    • Daleth
      January 4, 2017 at 11:50 am #

      “Fine apart from the brain damage…”

      • MaineJen
        January 5, 2017 at 10:58 am #

        Yeah, this woman’s “doing fine” closely resembles cia’s “healthy as a horse.”

        • January 7, 2017 at 4:52 pm #

          It’s fine if you don’t count Portland…

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild
      January 5, 2017 at 11:49 pm #

      …[B]aby Seth will need checks up until the age of 2 because of the possibility of brain damage and cerebral palsy.

      Their definition of “fine” is much different than mine.

  11. Empress of the Iguana People
    January 4, 2017 at 7:35 am #

    Obstetrics is all about better safe than sorry, and I fail to understand why they think doing it at home or without pain relief is somehow safer.

  12. Dr Kitty
    January 4, 2017 at 5:22 am #

    This is the inquest for Frances Cappucini.
    She ended up in labour 48hrs before her ERCS, forced into a TOL and attempted VBAC she didn’t want, ending in an emergency CS and retained placenta, leading to death after massive haemorrhage.

    Her husband and his legal team are arguing, with some merit, that her death could have been prevented by a less emergent CS on arrival.

    The Trust has already had corporate manslaughter charges against it dismissed.

    Terribly, terribly sad and no one seems to want to take responsibility.

    A midwife is quoted as telling the inquest that Frances had an impending sense of doom, but was a lovely lady to care for in labour.

    Which, the way I read it, is some sort of “some mothers aren’t meant to live, and their institution tells them, but at least I had a nice time as their midwife until it went pear-shaped”.

    • Who?
      January 4, 2017 at 6:18 am #

      Poor woman how senseless and wasteful. Poor family.

    • moto_librarian
      January 4, 2017 at 10:19 am #

      I’ve been following James Titcombe’s tweets about this. It’s beyond horrifying. The fact that no one may be held responsible is unbearable.

      • Dr Kitty
        January 4, 2017 at 4:33 pm #

        No joke- the Trust’s position, while admitting liability, is that placenta would still have been incompletely removed if the CS has been done on arrival, instead of 12 hours later, even saying that THE SAME STAFF were involved.

        Because medical errors aren’t more likely to occur after a 13 hour shift on a busy labour word or anything…

        • Mattie
          January 5, 2017 at 3:12 am #

          But surely that’s saying that the staff are crap, because it was a mistake and if your staff make the same (obvious?) mistake repeatedly then that’s like really bad??

    • Roadstergal
      January 4, 2017 at 11:57 am #

      Waiting for the midwifery leadership to reassure us there isn’t a systemic problem of NCB bias. :

      • RudyTooty
        January 5, 2017 at 4:04 pm #

        We might be waiting a while.

    • Sarah
      January 4, 2017 at 12:31 pm #

      I was just coming here to post this! Hopefully Dr Amy is keeping an eye and we will see a post about it.

    • Sue
      January 4, 2017 at 11:38 pm #

      In my medical training, it was emphasised that a patient who expressed an “impending sense of doom” was likely to head towards that doom unless you acted FAST!

      • Roadstergal
        January 5, 2017 at 9:24 am #

        Wasn’t that what one of the midwives noted at the home birth of the home birth activists who bled out?

        • MaineJen
          January 5, 2017 at 11:00 am #

          Yeah, one strong indicator that your patient is dying is when your patient actually tells you “I think I’m dying.”

  13. Kelly
    January 4, 2017 at 12:44 am #

    I am not proud of any of my births. I have nothing to be proud of. I am just lucky that my babies and body did what it was supposed to do in order to have a healthy child. I am grateful that I am able to get pregnant easily and have easy deliveries but I am not proud of that. I am proud of many things in my life but that always has to do with working hard to reach a goal or dealing with a difficult situation. I know that they are proud because they believe that giving birth is something that they can control when in reality, it is something that just happens. The only thing you can control is putting yourself in the best position to have people who know how to help when it all goes sour.

    • Empress of the Iguana People
      January 4, 2017 at 7:52 am #

      i am rather proud of that belch i just had 😉

      • Sean Jungian
        January 4, 2017 at 11:39 am #

        Ha! That’s nothing compared to my I-love-beans farts today!

        • Sean Jungian
          January 4, 2017 at 2:21 pm #

          Hard to believe I’m single, eh?

      • Roadstergal
        January 4, 2017 at 11:58 am #

        Dude, when I manage a proper lip-fluttering resonant Phillip J Fry belch, it makes my day.

        And makes my husband look up divorce attorneys.

        • Empress of the Iguana People
          January 4, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

          Demodocus giggles with schoolboy delight

  14. Thankfulmom
    January 4, 2017 at 12:16 am #

    How does a baby with all that get out of NICU after two months? This sounds so unreal…is Dr. Amy being spoofed?! It seems so unbelievable.

  15. January 3, 2017 at 11:51 pm #


    I’ve only seen Spawn that limp once. At 10 days, Spawn extubated himself before he was able to breathe on his own and he crashed hard. I had been getting ready to do skin-to-skin with him and watched him change from pink-red to purple-bluish. When his primary nurse scooped him out of my arms and back into his isolette, he had gone completely limp.

    In that moment, I would have done anything to get Spawn back to the pink, wiggly little boy he had been a few seconds before. If a medical staff member told me that Spawn needed a blood sacrifice from a parent, I’d have opened my arm with the nearest sharp object.

    Spawn was pinkish and reasonably oxygenated within 2 minutes because he was in a hospital where four highly trained RN’s and one respiratory tech had swooped in as soon as his primary thought he might have extubated himself. There were 20 or more highly trained people who flooded the room when his primary nurse called a code – two neonatologists, at least five respiratory techs and more nurses than I could count.

    Seth didn’t have to go through all that shit.

    • Montserrat Blanco
      January 4, 2017 at 5:23 am #

      I read Spawn’s update on the other post. I am glad he is doing better with NIPPV. It sounds like he will be leaving the isolette soon! Having the lid top off is like being in a normal crib!

      You have a neurologically normal baby, a baby that did not suffer lack of oxygen at any point and will do great after his breathing problems are over.

      Right now my son is still on neurologist follow ups. The last appointment (two years old) was:
      – he is walking! Great!!!
      – is he able to pick up little things? Yes? Great!
      – does he say anything? Mummy? Daddy? Over 50 words? Amazing! He is doing really good!
      – is he able to hold a pen? He paints! Great! Absolutely great!
      – see you in one year!

      I love his neurologist. She deals with neurologically impaired babies on a daily basis and she does not fret about small individual differences on child development, but the fact that she thinks everything is great with a really small preemie does leave me assured and calm. She did say that she did not expected any problems in the future due to prematurity, because he did not have any hypoxia. It is far more dangerous to go over a lack of oxygen intrañartum than prematurity this days regarding cerebral palsy.

      • BeatriceC
        January 4, 2017 at 10:58 am #

        YK saw a neuro regularly for four years, but the last two were every six months. It’s so exciting the first time they tell you “see you in six months!”, or three months, or whatever interval that’s longer than what you’ve been doing.

      • January 4, 2017 at 5:21 pm #

        We live in a society where doctors can save many, many teeny, tiny babies with few or no disabilities – including my son.

        Seeing how hard the medical staff work on their tiny baby patients every day is amazing and heart-warming.

    • Box of Salt
      January 4, 2017 at 6:19 am #

      It’s a heck of a ride, Mel.

      My best wishes for all of you.

    • January 7, 2017 at 4:55 pm #

      Mel, every time you call him.spawn, I picture this but as a chubby and precious baby…

      • Dr Kitty
        January 7, 2017 at 5:17 pm #

        Me too.
        Mel, if you’re crafty, I see a customised black onesie in his future…and even if you aren’t iron-on bonding and white felt would work!

      • January 7, 2017 at 9:42 pm #

        Pretty sure Spawn sees himself that way too!

  16. Cartman36
    January 3, 2017 at 11:51 pm #

    The picture of the baby in the hospital breaks my heart. My littlest is 5 weeks and I can’t even imagine him suffering all those needles and tubes. I am glad that the baby in this story seems to be OK and is home.

    • Sean Jungian
      January 4, 2017 at 11:36 am #

      I was reading along, relatively unaffected, until I got to that picture. Lady! How could you see your baby in that condition and still blather on about how proud you are for attempting to give birth to him at home? HOW???

      • Heidi
        January 4, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

        When I read that she was “weirdly” proud of her birth, I got the feeling she wasn’t even referring to the fact her baby is so profoundly affected for the worse but instead referring to the fact she’s proud in spite of having a c-section.

        • Sean Jungian
          January 4, 2017 at 12:28 pm #

          That’s how I read it, too – as an apology of sorts to the NCB crowd. “I’m weirdly proud of my attempted homebirth even though I failed at it”.

    • Montserrat Blanco
      January 4, 2017 at 11:56 am #

      I had a 28 weeks baby. He never ever looked that bad or with so many tubes. He is absolutely normal right now.

  17. fiftyfifty1
    January 3, 2017 at 8:20 pm #

    She says she feels proud of the birth because “feeling proud of the birth” is part of the NCB script. Just like how talking about successful breastfeeding is part of the script.

  18. Thankfulmom
    January 3, 2017 at 8:12 pm #

    What is the possibility this baby will have no brain damage? I’m surprised he is home and able to nurse. It sounds like reality has not sunk in for this mother.

  19. Heidi
    January 3, 2017 at 8:11 pm #

    I don’t understand trading a slightly medicalized birth in the L&D for a baby that now had to be flown 70 miles away for a NICU that could treat him and will need special checkups and the mother was in ICU. And if he does have permanent brain damage, his whole life is going to involve a lot of doctors.

  20. Amazed
    January 3, 2017 at 8:08 pm #

    At least she recognizes it’s weird that she’s proud. Still… proud? A few days ago, I was entertaining Auntie’s Not So Little Treasure. She’s learning to walk (assisted). Well, right then she changed her mind about rising and walking in the moment she should have stood on her feet. She lunged backward, fell out of my arms and hit her head on the floor. She’s totally fine, she cried for a minute and then we started playing “There are my two little hands! They wash me so well” as I sang along (that’s a popular song here) and washing our hands. (She keeps “washing” her hands all day long now, just not before eating. She’s the girl with the cleanest hands in town, surely. Still hasn’t gotten to enact the next verse which is about hands washing face.)

    I didn’t feel proud, weirdly or not, for entertaining her so well before her fall. I felt terrible. And that was just about fifteen minutes before I knew for sure that she was totally fine. Waiting for two years before knowing if you have permanently damaged your baby and still feeling proud? What the actual fuck?

    Poor little guy. I hope he’s undamaged. I also hope he survives his loon of a mother.

    And what’s going on with these “proud homebirthers” on Dr Amy’s Facebook page? Looks like it is about mamas’ precious egos, after all. This far, I’ve never seen a woman claim that she’s a proud hospital birther.

    • Madtowngirl
      January 3, 2017 at 8:43 pm #

      Because they’re sticking it to the medical establishment! Or something………..

    • Heidi_storage
      January 4, 2017 at 1:00 am #

      Me! Me! I’m a proud hospital birther! Because, you know, I didn’t unnecessarily risk my babies’ lives and brains by delivering them at home.

      • Amazed
        January 4, 2017 at 3:59 am #

        Ah! OK. Makes sense, in fact. Before I knew there was such a thing as homebirth and not, you know, wow, I didn’t make it to the hospital, I thought not risking lives and brains was just a given but what do I know.

    • Mad Hatter
      January 4, 2017 at 10:49 am #

      I’m a proud hospital birther! I started out my first pregnancy wanting a home birth. After randomly googling the name of my midwife and reading a horrifying post about her here, I changed my mind. Thanks to Dr Amy, I have two healthy babies that were born in the hospital.

    • Mariana
      January 4, 2017 at 12:24 pm #

      I’m a proud hospital birther! I am proud of my two csections, I’m proud of all the formula I mixed for my kids, and I’m proud I took clomid to conceive the first one (the second was a surprise baby… After struggling with infertility, I’m very proud of my birth control failure!). I don’t care what anyone says, I love my kids to pieces and I would do anything in my power to keep them safe.

      • momofone
        January 4, 2017 at 10:47 pm #

        Proud c-section-haver here too! I also struggled with infertility, and can’t imagine doing something intentionally that could have jeopardized the safety of the very person we so wanted.

  21. Sue
    January 3, 2017 at 7:32 pm #

    This poor baby was saved from dying – but how much of his or her potential has been compromised by this hypoxic injury?

  22. Sue
    January 3, 2017 at 7:31 pm #

    The “Plenty of dilatations [sic] and effective contractions but descent was lacking” just goes to show how little this woman understands about the mechanics of birth. How can you have ”effective contractions” without descent? Which part was ”effective”?

    How can you imagine it’s OK to do a post-dates birth at home when you have so little understanding of the process?

    • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
      January 4, 2017 at 8:22 am #

      Because so many people don’t understand the possibility and increased likelihood of placental problems and stillbirth, post dates. My mother was never totally sure of her due dates but she was convinced in my case that I was at least a week late, maybe 2. When I was born I weighed just over 5 lbs and had dry skin and long nails. Who knows what would have happened if she had gone a few more days…

    • January 4, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

      She’s just throwing around medical jargon as if she understands what she’s writing about — and she doesn’t. For a very long time, the standard answer to maternal questions by doctors was “don’t worry your pretty little head about it, dear” and then the lay public got its knowledge from TV shows (from Drs Zorba and Kildare right through ER and House) and now there’s the internet, which is a very double-edged tool. When I taught a “preparation for childbirth” class to supposedly well-educated middle class women, I was often amazed at the degree of ignorance of the way their own bodies functioned. They are vulnerable to any sort of woo. In my fertility clinic work, just explaining how the menstrual cycle worked and getting them to understand it could take several sessions. And these are women who believe they are “empowered” and have total control over their own bodies and physiology.

    • Sean Jungian
      January 4, 2017 at 2:08 pm #

      “How can you have ”effective contractions” without descent?”

      That was my first thought, too, and I know practically NOTHING about childbirth other than what I experienced.

    • MaineJen
      January 5, 2017 at 11:03 am #

      Oh but she’s “done her research”

  23. Karen in SC
    January 3, 2017 at 7:24 pm #

    An identical birth story that began at the hospital with an OB would be under review and more than likely result in a lawsuit for “failure to perform a timely c-section.”

  24. Madtowngirl
    January 3, 2017 at 7:07 pm #

    Anytime someone starts out saying they are two weeks overdue, I cringe. Stories like this seem to be all too common with that beginning.

    • Anj Fabian
      January 3, 2017 at 8:18 pm #

      Postdates is one of the most deadly home birth complications. Sometimes they comply with NSTs but most often they stay at home and trust birth.

      There are stories of women who have used OBs for prenatal care and then refused to have labor induced and go from a healthy pregnancy and a full term baby to a stillbirth, perinatal loss or a baby born seriously compromised.

  25. CSN0116
    January 3, 2017 at 7:02 pm #

    Awwww, so glad she’s breast feeding. That makes me feel better. And so glad that she thought it a vital enough detail to warrant inclusion for this twisted tale.

    • Cartman36
      January 3, 2017 at 7:49 pm #

      Because only the best for her special snowflake. Oh wait…

  26. Adrienne
    January 3, 2017 at 6:58 pm #

    I have no idea how any mother can make decisions that put her child in that situation and still feel proud about it.

  27. attitude devant
    January 3, 2017 at 6:57 pm #

    My G*d who can look at the kid they put in the nursery and feel anything but remorse and shame?

    • CSN0116
      January 3, 2017 at 7:06 pm #

      Quick, somebody make sure to tell her that she’s a failure for having the C-section.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa
      January 4, 2017 at 11:40 am #

      Shit, I can’t do anything involving the kids that I am not second guessing, and that includes situations where things turn out ok. Maybe I could have done it better?

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