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Nov 24 2012

Home birth Anecdotes

The following material pertains to this thread.

I wasn’t expecting the kind of backlash against a genuine problem that women face. Not just the denunciation of women who utilise real medicine but the spread of anti-obstetrician rumours. The idea that somehow a woman entering the hospital enters a hell hole of IV lines, things that go “BING” and doctors who claim they know more than women about the physiology…

Jokes aside. The link has stories and photos of babies and families who have suffered through home births. These are the casualties of this hidden quackery. A trigger warning therefore applies. As is a not safe for children without adults warning.

All the articles are provided by the families who suffered. Not by a third party. These are people who want their story to be heard. These are people who bought into the same comments on the original thread. These are people who looking for answers from the Midwives were ostracised and shunned and censored.

http://hurtbyhomebirth.blogspot.in/

There is a human cost to quackery. Buying into the bullshit that a home birth is feminist or empowering kills. Buying into the notion that it is safer or as safe as a hospital kills. Buying into the notion that hospitals are in it for some magic money kills.

I kept these stories out of the previous discussion because anecdotes do tarnish the discussion. We were discussing statistics there. Statistics are people but when you decide whether something is good or bad you have to look at statistics rather than individuals. Once we determined what is so bad about home births (The triple to quadruple mortality rate) you can start to see what really happened.

57 comments

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  1. 51
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    The article is universal, not America centric. I mentioned stats in the original article from across the globe.

    I noticed.

    The price argument does not work in NZ or Netherlands. Both have free healthcare.

    True. So the people deciding based on price don’t exist in NZ and the Netherlands. They do exist in the US. The presence of an additional population in one segment of the world does not invalidate the entire study: it simply points to a difference, a difference that needs addressing. The quality of top-notch healthcare in the US is amongst the best in the world. But the proportion of the US population that actually has access to said top-notch healthcare is in the basement. That is an indictment of how the US system is structured, not of the skill of the healthcare providers.

    A lot of the arguments made are fielded its just that midwives are actually guiltier of being bullies and more controlling than doctors. Read the complaints from injured women. All are pushier than doctors.

    Not disagreeing. But like it or not, homebirth midwives have a better reputation for treating patients well. This reputation is not deserved, but it is there.

    Explain why I should treat homebirthers with care while running roughshod over homeopaths or chiropractic?

    Because homeopaths and chiropractors don’t have a leg to stand on when they accuse medicine of malfeasance, but the homebirthers do have some valid criticisms? The women who have gone to woo because of exposure to an abusive medical person can be reached, and brought back. And addressing the concerns of people who complain of abusive and rude medical staff should be an imperative anyway.

    As I said in my previous, like it or not, many women lump hospital-birth practices in with anti-woman bullshit like the moves to curtail contraception and abortion access. No, this is not a correct lumping (at least, not most of the time – OB-GYNs with horrifying retrograde views of women do exist), but it is one that is common enough that it bears addressing directly. And shouting “NO YOU’RE WRONG. HOMEBIRTH IS DANGEROUS AND BAD.” is not going to work for all that it is an objectively true statement. It will be taken as a propagandistic paternalistic rant about those women who aren’t obeying. The woomeisters have done a great job of convincing women that hospitals, medicine, and OB-GYNs don’t care about them and only care about their obedience. Demanding obedience is not going to help.

    Its [sic] Woo.

    Totally agree. It is fucking woo. And the way to combat woo is to destroy its power base.

  2. 52
    Avicenna

    I think I mentioned why there is no dissent. Midwifery and Natural Birthing Forums ruthlessly censor naysayers and people with bad stories about their births. It’s very distressing for a parent who just had a bad story and wants to warn people about the truth to suddenly face down this kind of attack.

    Ultimately there isn’t much knowledge about this issue out there. There are few skeptics willing to deal with it and there are many issues that are simply not thought about. Added to which the language they use scares of skeptics since no one likes to be called “sexist”.

    It’s a relatively poorly campaigned for issue amongst skeptics.

  3. 53
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Midwifery and Natural Birthing Forums ruthlessly censor naysayers and people with bad stories about their births. It’s very distressing for a parent who just had a bad story and wants to warn people about the truth to suddenly face down this kind of attack.

    Yes. True.

    Ultimately there isn’t much knowledge about this issue out there. There are few skeptics willing to deal with it and there are many issues that are simply not thought about.

    Yes. True.

    It’s a relatively poorly campaigned for issue amongst skeptics.

    Yes. True.

    Added to which the language they use scares of[f] skeptics since no one likes to be called “sexist.”

    Yes. True.

    The woo-peddlers are a relatively small core of true believers, who likely are unreachable. But they get followers largely one of three ways:
    1. Preying on the desperate by offering hope and certainty that scientific medicine cannot.
    2. Harping on mistakes made by scientific medicine.
    3. Appealing to people’s “common sense” and lack of knowledge of what the science actually says.

    The first and third sets are best reached by education. Deprive the woo-peddlers of their ability to persuade people by increasing the number of people who can see through it.

    The second set will largely be immune to this. The way to reach people who have been wronged is to right the wrong and be proactive against allowing it to happen again.

    This is true for all woo, not just the homebirth subset.

  4. 54
    Suzi

    http://www.blogher.com/real-danger-america-hospital-birth

    Read that. She says it better than I could and has more experience with this argument. You could learn a lot from her.

  5. 55
    dianne

    Suzi, sorry, but no. The article didn’t really give much useful information and anyone who cites Dr. Fischbein as an authority needs to think more carefully about their sources.

    The US has a high maternal mortality because women in the US don’t get good prenatal care and because more high risk women give birth. Also because-dirty little secret-the records in the US are more complete than elsewhere in the world. Compare the US to, say, Ireland, and it looks like the US is doing far worse-a rate of around 14 deaths per 100,000 as compared to 7 per 100,000. Except that the Irish are, possibly deliberately, undercounting and not including a number of deaths. Halappanavar, for example, may not be considered a case of maternal mortality because she officially died of sepsis.

    There’s a lot to criticize about medical care in the US and other parts of the “developed world”, especially obstetrics. But pretending that it’s safe to deliver a baby in a setting where you have little medical equipment and less backup is not the way to go. Birth is dangerous and anyone who tells you differently is likely trying to sell you something.

  6. 56
    oursally

    Dianne: and not forgetting, Irish women with gyn problems just pop over to England on the ferry. It would be useful if Irish women treated in the UK were included in the statistics.

  7. 57
    Bill Z Walton

    Keep on writing, great job!|

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