Sunday, March 1, 2009

Doctors take a stand against home births

Came across this article from USA TODAY. Thought it was interesting. I in no way agree with it. It's scary reading these articles and wondering if severe stands will be made and the push to out law home birth will actually happen and the job of Midwifery will be a job of an outlaw, delivering babies in secret away from the watchful eyes of the government and law makers. As scary as this all seemed to me at first, I then saw that amazingly there was a long list of mothers who replied to the article with nothing but great experiences of home births and the want to support midwifes who need it right now. The greatest tool the medical field uses today seems to be fear. Theirs nothing more powerful than totally freaking the holly you know what out of someone to make them do what you want. It's the power of intimidation.
Anywho off my soap box. Read the article and you can decide for yourself. Keep fighting for your freedom of choice!!

At its annual meeting a couple of years ago, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists distributed bumper stickers that featured a drawing of a stork dangling a sack of baby from its beak with the slogan: "Home Deliveries are for Pizza."
Last week, the American Medical Association's House of Delegates passed a resolution introduced by the ob/gyn group that says "the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period" is a hospital, a birthing center in a hospital complex or a properly accredited freestanding birthing center.
"The AMA supports a woman's right to make an informed decision regarding her delivery and to choose her health care provider, and stresses that the safest setting for delivering a baby is in the hospital or a birthing center within a hospital complex," AMA board member Steven Stack said in a statement. "Serious complications can arise with little or no warning even among women with low-risk pregnancies. The health and safety of the mother and baby are our top priority."
Home births represent a pretty small minority of total U.S. births. According to a 2005 study in the journal BMJ, about only 5,400 women in the U.S. and Canada planned to deliver at home in 2000 with the help of a certified professional midwife, or CPM. (I doubt anyone has reliable information about the number of women who deliver at home with a so-called "lay midwife" who has not received any formal training or gone through a certification process). I suspect the number of home births has gone up since 2000, at least slightly, because increasing numbers of hospitals and doctors are prohibiting women who've had a C-section to attempt a VBAC, or vaginal birth after C-section, spurring some women to attempt them at home.
The BMJ study found that among pregnant women whose risk for complications was low, those who delivered at home had lower rates of medical interventions, such as epidurals or forceps, than those who delivered at the hospital, and the two groups had similar death rates.
According to the American College of Nurse-Midwives, certified nurse-midwives attended (midwives prefer that word to "delivered") more than 300,000 U.S. births in 2002, only a tiny fraction of which were at home. This article on the website of the American College of Nurse Midwives outlines some of the other major differences between nurse-midwives, and CPMs (a third designation, certified midwife, or CM, applies to someone who receives training similar to a nurse-midwife's but has another health-care designation, such as physician's assistant or physical therapist, instead of nurse). The National Birth Policy Coalition, an advocacy group, has launched the "Big Push for Midwives Campaign" urging more states to license and regulate CPMs.
Not surprisingly, the new AMA policy has generated a lot of discussion in the blogosphere, in part by people concerned that the doctors' group is out to get states to ban home deliveries (of course, the AMA itself can only lobby for such a ban, not implement it). Check out this post by Rachel Walden, a Nashville medical librarian who writes the Women's Health News blog, and this one from "Health Law Prof" blogger S. Elizabeth Malloy of the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

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