RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
I'm so glad that you are talking about this as well! I agree with our first commenter that birth outside of a hospita,l and birth in general, is not nearly as dangerous as people imagine. That said ALL of the good-quality studies on the risks/benefits of out of hospital birth include only women experiencing low risk pregnancies- excluding breech presentation, twins, and VBAC. I am totally in support of a woman being able to make her own decisions about where and how to birth, but I am only in support of this if the woman has received evidence-based and thoughtful counseling about the risks and benfits of all her options. Certain homebirth and birth center practices in Portland cite the research on homebirth's safety on their websites and trumpet these studies to support their practices but fail to clarify to the women they care for that these studies only include low risk pregnancies. It would be far more honest to share with women that we have little good data regarding the risks and benefits of birthing out of hospital with breech, twins, or VBAC. The American College of Nurse Midwives has a statement on homebirth that I agree with: http://www.midwife.org/siteFiles/position/homeBirth.pdf
I think the key to this discussion lies in the question regarding what the line is between low risk and high risk pregnancies and labors. Midwives around the world agree that twins, breech, and VBAC present higher risk situations. I am very concerned that some midwives in our community seem to be pushing to minimize these risks. And in the controversy over this subject, this lawsuit as an example, we all fail to move toward the Scandinavian model: the 90% of healthy low risk women birthing out of hospital and the 10% of ill or higher risk women birthing in hospital. Portland can achieve this model but only if we can all move beyond the current argument.
posted 2 years, 10 months ago
view in context