Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Need more proof that homebirth is dangerous?

Welcome to those visiting from RH Reality Check.

Here's some circumstantial evidence that homebirth is dangerous: Homebirth advocates feel compelled to edit and censor information that shows that homebirth is dangerous.

In reponse to Amie Newman's screed excoriating the AMA for opposing homebirth with direct entry midwives, I posted the latest national statistics showing that homebirth with an American DEM increases the rate of neonatal mortality to double or triple that of hospital birth with an MD or a CNM.

First, in a delicious bit of irony, Newman deleted part of my comment because of "unnecessarily demeaning language". This is from the woman who started her piece with "In an unmistakably insecure and aggressive move, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a resolution ..."

Second, after 5 subsequent comments including several that accused the AMA of fearing economic competition, I submitted the following comment:
Homebirth is about money ... money for direct entry midwives ...

Fact: Doctors do not fear economic competition from direct entry midwives. There are more patients who need obstetric care than obstetricians can see.

Fact: Homebirth with a DEM is a fringe of a fringe movement. It represents less than one quarter of one percent (0.24%) of births in the US and the number has been stable for the last 25 years.

Fact: The average obstetrician experiences ZERO loss of income to homebirth, not even one penny.

Fact: The average direct entry midwives gets 100% of her income from homebirth.

Fact: Licensing DEMs is about improving their incomes. They are hoping that licensing will allow them access to insurance reimbursement...
Imagine my suprise when I found that comment moderation had been turned on (for me? how flattering!) and that my submission was not posted.

One of the hallmarks of homebirth advocacy is that professional homebirth advocates are well aware that their position is not based on facts. Therefore, it is imperative to censor and supress factual information about the dangers of homebirth. Homebirth advocates are afraid, and they ought to be afraid. Mounting scientific evidence already shows that homebirth increases the risk of neonatal death.

Ironically, the attempt to license direct entry midwives will probably destroy direct entry midwifery. Homebirth advocates will be unable to hide the mounting number of homebirth deaths. For example, MANA (the Midwives Alliance of North America) has collected safety data on homebirth since 2001. They have publically offered the data to those who can prove it will be used for the "advancement of midwifery". They have hidden the information from the public. However, the US government has begun collecting statistics on homebirth and direct entry midwives. The first set of statistics from 2003-2004 show that homebirth with a DEM is the most dangerous form of planned birth in the US. Homebirth with a DEM doubles or triples the risk of neonatal death.

So while homebirth advocates can enjoy the ability to suppress and censor the truth about homebirth for now, they are not going to be able to hide much longer behind the mistruths, half truths and outright deceptions that characterize homebirth advocacy.

Hmmm, what do you think the odds are that my original post will remain on the site much longer? I'd guess very low.

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