300 doctors in a room = polite applause (and a few shouts of “Bravo! Bravo!” Okay, I made that last bit up.)
1 post where I question why anyone would choose a home birth over a hospital = reader RAGE
Admittedly, I don’t get it. It seems far too risky to me, during a very risky event: birth. If your toddler stopped breathing, where would you choose to be located: in your living room or in a hospital? Every single parent, in the entire world, would choose the hospital.
I can’t imagine putting myself or my baby at risk, even if it was only a 15 minute ambulance journey to the hospital from my home. 15 minutes is a long time when your baby has stopped breathing, or you won’t stop bleeding.
Having said that, I’m still reading the research to discover if my opinions have any basis in fact. And – let me tell you – it is hard to find research that is conclusive or unbiased about this issue.
Of course, because of what happened to May, midwife-led births make me nervous. Not the midwives themselves, but the fact that there is no team to consult, no life-saving equipment, no hospital and all the resources there. I continue to believe that in a hospital, my infection would have been treated sooner. That, in and of itself, may have saved May.
If you want to throw tomatoes at me about it, here’s what I said:
Clearly, not all midwives are bad; all doctors aren’t necessarily good. But medical science has come a long way, and the drive away from doctors and the safety mechanisms of a hospital, by many soon-to-be-parents, is one I find completely baffling.
I agree with Carol Sarler, writing in The Daily Mail this week, that doctor-led births are not promoted and the reasons why are pretty shocking. As she says, “for the NHS, it’s cheaper, on its current costings: a home birth averages £1,066, a midwife-led unit birth £1,450 and a hospital birth £1,631. So, seemingly for the sake of a measly few hundred quid, misinformation is routinely delivered and anti-obstetric philosophy deliberately spread.”
The phrase birth choice is batted around, with many mothers feeling their choice is stigmatised or refused. For me, there didn’t seem to be a birth choice. I arrived at my local GP’s surgery, pregnant, and they referred me on to their attached midwife clinic.
I was a nervous first time mother, but the midwife leading their birthing classes shrugged off my worries as silly. She was as stereotypical as you can get: a hippy who spoke lowly of pain relief and, while she kept insisting that we could have the birth we wanted, promoted heavily their home birth service, calling contractions a “bit of discomfort”.
“You may feel like you are about to die,” she once said, “but pain never killed anyone.”
Maybe not, but birth can. Romantising it, or glamoursing it, or even shrugging it off as a natural process can not escape the fact that until very recently, birth killed. It still is the biggest killer of teenage girls worldwide. Why isn’t it in the UK? Hospitals.
There’s more. You can read the full article on the BabyCentre Blog.