Home sweet home…or is it?

I’ve been reading a lot about home births.  Women have been delivering babies at home for millions of years, right?  What could be more natural?

Women and babies have also been dying during home births for millions of years.

I read a blog post by a doula, Lisa Flato, where she describes her perfect home birth. Despite the fact that it ended with the death of her baby.  She justifies this as, “it was her path”.  How is it her path to die when she almost certainly would not have died had she been born in the hospital?  Ms. Flato also encourages women to eat their placenta after delivery!

At the opposite end of the spectrum is Ashley Martin’s story.  Again, the delivery is described by others as the “perfect birth experience”. This is mostly per the photographer who took pictures of a nearly dead baby.  Luckily, Ms. Martin lived just minutes from the hospital.  Her baby was able to be resuscitated and he is doing fine now.  She does NOT describe this as a perfect home delivery.  She is beating herself up over what the outcome could have been, and for following all the advice she was given that home births are perfectly safe and natural.

As a pediatrician, I have the utmost respect for women who can have natural childbirth.  I also have the utmost respect for my Neonatology and OB/GYN colleagues.  You can have it “both ways”. There are hospitals that allow water births, minimal intervention births, etc.  But you still have the back up of the hospital personnel, if, by chance, something were to go wrong.

Think about it.

Peace out.

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