Homebirth midwives treat deadly coronavirus as a marketing opportunity

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The deadly coronavirus pandemic is a disaster for individuals, a disaster for public health and a disaster for the economy.

But one group is positively excited about the calamity: homebirth midwives.

Why? They view the tragedy as an awesome marketing opportunity.

One group is positively excited by the coronavirus calamity.

The Midwives Alliance of North America is all over it. Their latest blog post is The Impact of Coronavirus on Community Birth. MANA Vice President Sarita Bennett is positively gleeful about the deaths and economic havoc:

While thinking I’d much rather spend my time planning how to spread community midwifery, I realized how the two – virus and midwifery – may impact each other… It only makes sense for out of hospital birth to become the safer choice for the majority of people in a crisis like this.(emphasis in original)

To my knowledge, coronavirus has spread around the world so quickly because it is COMMUNITY acquired, NOT hospital acquired. Therefore, people face the greatest threat of getting coronavirus in routine interactions in daily life.

…[T]he best way for people to protect themselves and others is stay home and out of public places, making quarantine an important strategy to limit exposure. Is our best advice to pregnant/laboring people to travel out into the public, to a hospital full of those very people they need to stay away from? With medical facilities full of the sick and those caring for the sick, the benefits of staying home for physiologic childbirth and successful lactation become even more obvious.(emphasis in original)

Can you get coronavirus in a hospital? Healthcare workers have gotten it that way, but they spend their days dealing with the secretions of the very ill. As of yet, there have been no reports of individuals contracting coronavirus by visiting the hospital for some other condition.

So there’s NO REASON to think that hospital birth would put women at greater risk of getting coronavirus than riding the subway to get there. No matter, it’s a marketing bonanza.

What’s going on here?

Homebirth midwives adore homebirth. Very few women feel the same way.

Except in the Netherlands, homebirth is (and has been for decades) a fringe practice. Anything that engages 2% of the population or less is almost by definition a fringe practice. But maybe a deadly disease could spark increased interest!

Midwives are obsessed with homebirth for a number of reasons:

1. It is the natural end point of their obsession with promoting what they can do and demonizing what they cannot. They’ve gone from favoring the employment of midwives in maternity units, to midwife led units and birth centers. Homebirth is the logical next step, freeing them from any scrutiny by other health professionals.

2. It reflects the intellectually and moral bankrupt philosophy that the “best” birth is NOT the safest birth, but the birth with the least interventions.

3. It ensures that women cannot get effective pain relief.

4. It is a midwife full-employment plan. In contrast to a hospital based unit where one midwife can care for multiple women at a time, homebirth (in many countries) requires two midwives to care for one woman.

Lest you think that it is only American homebirth midwives who view coronavirus as a marketing opportunity, consider this tweet from British physician and homebirth advocate Susan Bewley who decorates her Twitter profile with her conceit that she is “speaking truth to power.”

Bewley is commenting on a Guardian article about midwives’ refusal to honor patient requests for epidurals.


I’m waiting for someone to write an article on the implications of coronovirus for birth & rediscover the place of birth recommendations…

Midwife Leah Hazard responds:

It would be so amazing if the pandemic encouraged more women to birth safely at home…


No doubt corona virus is a marketing bonanza for coffin makers, too, but at least they have the good sense to keep quiet about hoping to profit from deadly disease.