Wednesday, May 24, 2006

What would the baby think?

I am starting to notice a new fallback position: Well, there may be an increased risk of neonatal mortality at homebirth, but mortality isn't the only standard.

I agree that neonatal mortality is not the only maternal standard, but what would the baby think?

If the baby were able to think about this and convey its thoughts, would it really care about anything beyond its life and health? There are all sorts of experiential factors like epidural and episiotomy and C-section, but wouldn't the baby rate those a very distant second behind the possibility that it might be asphyxiated to death during labor or that it might be born with a medical problem and no expert medical help available?


9 Old Comments:

This is an accusation (veiled as it may be) then gets me completely spun up. Don't you ever think for a MINUTE that YOU care more about a particular baby than his mother. You are a smart lady, Amy. Surely you can understand why a mother would be concerned about factors that extend beyond the neonatal period.

By Blogger Mama Liberty, at 9:24 PM  

Mama Liberty, I don't assume anything about anybody. If I've learned anything from practicing medicine, it is that different people have different values and value systems than I do. I don't believe that my values are privileged over theirs, either.

I ask questions because I don't want to assume I know what people will answer. Often, I learn something new and unexpected.

By Blogger Amy Tuteur, MD, at 9:36 PM  

Seriously, you must be joking. I have read the posts here (your posts here) regarding what home birth advocates think and believe for weeks. You don't think you have drawn large assumptions about what people who are advocates for home birth believe? If American Idol wasn't on I would start cutting and pasting, maybe later.
As far as what the baby thinks, that is a great question. While we are at it how about we ask what the baby thinks about an elective induction in the absence of any medical indication, or elective cesarean for that matter? If OB's can support a woman's choice for these types of intervention with the argument that patient's are truly entitled to autonomy in decision making then I suspect there may just be some room here for you to begin to respect the values and value systems of people who choose home birth because you, "don't believe that my values are privileged over theirs"
I feel you address the people here who have values that differ from your own with a patronizing tone.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:54 AM  

maybe the baby would think because of me I will have no siblings

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:14 AM  

Ummmmm, maybe in a few years I will ask my DD1 how she feels about her birth, unnecessary induction, unnecessary ventouse followed by unnecessary infection and unnecessarily traumatised mum (the health care providers sure can the ear off of you, they don't seem capable of listening though) and then I shall ask DD2 how she feels about her both, beautiful, at home in a pool, no trauma, no drugs etc etc etc.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:47 AM  

Well, I wonder what my baby would think if it died due to medical malpractice. What if I were to take elective meds that led to more intervention and severe injury or perhaps even death..... in the hospital. It happens. Again, this goes back to us all weighing out the risks and benefits. You believe only the studies that show hospital birth is safer and I believe the studies that show homebirth is safer. Guess we will never understand one another.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:08 PM  

"You believe only the studies that show hospital birth is safer and I believe the studies that show homebirth is safer."

Yes, but only one of us is correct.

By Blogger Amy Tuteur, MD, at 3:14 PM  

"Yes, but only one of us is correct."

And it appears that we will just go round and round on which one of us it is. You have failed to convince me and I have failed to convince you, guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:18 PM  

Amy Tuteur, MD said...

"You believe only the studies that show hospital birth is safer and I believe the studies that show homebirth is safer."

Yes, but only one of us is correct.

True, only one of you is correct at any moment in time. What you may have forgotten is that the issue may flip back and forth moment to moment across the point of equilibrium. The world is dynamic.

-- MM, philosopher

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:31 PM