Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Before MDC locks the thread to "review" it

It is just a matter of time before the moderators of MDC lock this thread to "review" it and never unlock it again. Therefore, I am writing about it before it disappears.

A member of MDC just posted a thread specifically about the two homebirth deaths I reported today:
I just read the link someone posted in the last thread to Dr. Amy's homebirth debate. There are some scary stories on there and I am TOTALLY freaked out about my upcoming homebirth. Up until now, I have felt a little shaky regarding HB, but I made up my mind to go through with it because its what I really want...

I am so freaked out, Im thinking about going to the hospital. I guess I will have to give up my dream of a natural home birth, and this makes me depressed. I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place....
The replies are studies in denial compounded by lack of basic knowledge about birth:
Hon, that blog is a lot of scaremongering and I wouldn't let it worry you one bit... Please don't give up on homebirth just because of that awful blog. That is her intention - to shake people up.
Please ignore that site. Those stories are anecdotal (if real at all) and *not* proper research. That woman is a fraud...pure and simple. Research does show that homebirth IS safe! (No, the research does not show that homebirth is safe. That's what homebirth advocates tell each other, but most have never even read the studies, let alone analyzed them. The fact is that all the existing scientific evidence to date shows that homebirth has an increased risk of preventable neonatal death in the range of 1-2/1000.)
Oh mama, don't you let her get to you Yes, there are risks you assume, but you assume them plus more at the hospital. (No, that is also factually false. The risks of homebirth are GREATER than the risks of hospital birth. Even when you include iatrogenic complications in the hospital group and even when you include malpractice in the hospital group, the risk of preventable neonatal death at homebirth is HIGHER.)
And my personal favorite, since it is a fabricated smear:
iirc, it came out a few months ago that "Dr Amy" is on the payroll of ACOG (That's a lie made up by Jenny Hatch. Of course, if anyone would like to pay me to write what I am going to write anyway, I'd be happy to accept it. Maybe someone can call ACOG and tell them I deserve to be paid.)
Ironically, the thread about the two homebirth deaths is currently posted immediately above another thread about a preventable death at homebirth that I have quoted in the past (The most pernicious lie). The woman whose baby died at a homebirth several years ago makes these comments:
I was doing some research last night and couldn't believe when I found the above blog. At first reading I was infuriated. I certainly don't agree with this woman's attitude BUT she does make some points that I can't ignore. This thread was discussed in her post of Monday, February 25, 2008 titled The most pernicious lie.

She also posts a seemingly good critique of the BMJ homebirth study which I know is the one of the main basis for the proven safety of homebirth. of course, I have also read critiques of several studies "proving" the danger of homebirth as they included unplanned home-birth and even miscarriages in one case.


What about the risk of something happening that can't be handled at home? i.e. need for better resuscitation equipment for newborn, severe maternal hemorrhage, or uterine rupture.

I would guess that the main risks of home-birth, assuming competant attendants and close proximity to a hospital for most emergencies, involve lack of access to immediate life-saving technology in those rare but dangerous situations.

I would guess that the main risks of hospital birth (besides unnecessary interventions which are shameful but do NOT usually result in death) would be be infections and malpractice...


I acknowledge that the risks for low-risk women is extrememly low however:
I was low risk all around as you say when my first daughter died unexpectedly. I wouldn't call that no fear of these risks. I know several other people who've had similar situations and lost babies unexpectedly at delivery at home. The fact is that my dd might have been saved by better fetal monitoring or better and more immediate resuscitation efforts. It does seem that unexpected intrapartum death has a higher incidence among homebirths or at a minimum that there is NO good research to suggest that it doesn't.
Addendum: That didn't take long; they locked the thread. Their fear is almost palpable. They can't trust women to read the information and make decisions for themselves. After all, if women learn the truth, they might not believe the gobbledy-gook that passes for "evidence" on MDC.

Evidently, belief in homebirth requires a protective bubble. Exposure to the scientific evidence must be prevented. Exposure to alternative points of view must be prevented. Exposure to anyone who encourages women to read and learn for themselves must be prevented. How strong could the evidence for the safety of homebirth be if believers must be prevented from seeing what the evidence actually is? Obviously not very strong at all.

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