It’s not Feminism Just Because it Claims to Empower Women

I know of a specific form of quackery aimed solely at women, by women.

Home Births. We aren’t discussing “Natural Birth” which often takes place in a hospital which is also a very quacktastic woo laden field of idiocy masquerading as feminism but at least occurs in a hospital setting so if anything goes wrong help is available. We are talking about home birth which is a more extreme form of that. This is a serious group of people who think your Ob/Gyn is a plot to take away your freedom and that the only option is the ancient methods of birthing as practiced by our ancestors. Which is like suggesting that your dentists is earning money from pulling your teeth and the only way to deny him that is to pull your own teeth out with a door and some string.

Straight up before anyone starts jumping up and down saying “But it’s a woman’s choice”, you have to realise this important thing. Just because you have a stomach doesn’t mean you can make medical decisions about a stomach ulcer. Just because you have a uterus doesn’t make your opinions on childbirth valid. You can have some frankly insane opinions. Home Birth without the support of trained medical professionals (Even Nurse Practitioners operate under the umbrella of a Obstetrician, Paediatrician and an Anaesthesiologist so if things go wrong they can save the baby.) is dangerous. And it shows. You are between three to four times more likely to lose a child in birth with a home delivery.

A lot of people I know defend them. A famous natural birther midwife was Mayer Eisenstein. A lot of antivax love him. The average malpractice suits faced by an Obs/Gynae over their lifetime in the USA is between 2 to 3. Obs/Gynae has a high rate of malpractice suits due to the nature of the event. A lot of it is on the fly and sometimes the child is hurt during the birth. Mayer had 15. Including two cases that I know of where the direct responsibility for mortality and morbidity was his actions. He refused to test for Rh incompatibility which resulted in one dead baby and another suffering from cerebral palsy and mental retardation. This man is treated as a hero. Other midwives proudly tell of “difficult” deliveries they have managed which often ended in the deaths of the child. Mothers who lost kids treat it as an experience akin to fighting a war rather than a serious error in judgement that cost the life of their child.

A lot of people straight up don’t believe me when I say this. I have been accused of misogyny for actually pointing out how mad this is as a practice because I impinge on a woman’s sovereign right to make decisions regarding her genitals. I have even been accused of “rape” because I don’t think these midwives should be allowed to carry on their quackery. It’s a lovely group for classy arguments. But I know you won’t believe me. This is a skeptical place, skeptics demand proof. You want to see the bullshit for yourselves.

Footling Breech Birth has a 10 to 15% mortality rate if done vaginally. Here are people actively defending breech delivery by vagina, mentioning that there are midwives who do it (and therefore encourage it) and actively telling people that they can do it too. In addition breech has a high rate of complication resulting in permanent sequelae for the child.

I can go into the umpteen moronic things these women believe, but I think “Breech Birth is perfectly Safe” is enough for now. Not just breech birth, breech birth done by a bunch of quack midwives with little to no medical equipment at home…

If you want to read more about this. Check out the Skeptical Ob and Skeptoid.

(Fixed bad grammar and Linked to the Skeptical Ob)
(Added link to Skeptoid)


  1. dianne says

    I believe that there’s no such thing as pandas, that they are humans in suits.

    Curses! How did you find ou…I mean, what a silly belief.

  2. Stevarious, Public Health Problem says

    I believe that there’s no such thing as pandas, that they are humans in suits.

    Nah, if there’s one thing we can tell from the collected knowledge of the human race (aka the interwebs), it’s that humans are really good at mating while on camera. Pandas, on the other hand, are terrible at it.

  3. dianne says

    @steverious: And that about wraps it up for this thread as everyone tries desperately to NOT think too much about pandas, humans, and sex on the internet. Brain bleach, please.

  4. Becky says

    For what it’s worth, you can find the Colorado stats up through 2009 on their website. For instance, their 2010 newsletter lists the stats for 2009:

    There were 9 perinatal deaths in 936 women who began prenatal care with the direct entry midwives.


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