Sunday, July 20, 2008

Revisting the MDC homebirth complications poll

In February I wrote about the homebirth complication poll on MDC. Since then it has been updated and the findings are still startling. They should be required reading for anyone claiming that homebirth with a DEM is safe. What is most suprising is not just the volume of disastrous complications, but the sheer magnitude of the disasters. Most of these complications are rarely seen outside of the third world.

For example, a case of eclampsia:
I tried a homebirth with #1 and my BP went out of control during labor. In fact at one point, I passed out and started seizing. The midwife called 911 and I woke up in the ambulance. I had to have an emergency C-section at the hospital since my BP was something like 240/200 right before I was put under.
Or massive neonatal brain damage:
Dd2 was supposed to be a HBAC with a CPM- we transferred after I stalled out (8cm for 5 hours) after nearly 48 hours of labor and her heart rate was getting concerning. I had another c/s, she had seizures and spent 2 weeks in the NICU. She had had a massive stroke at some point and suffered severe brain damage. She's doing well now, thankfully (as well as you can do with half your brain).
A tragic, preventable neonatal death:
My third babe also got stuck, but the midwife I had believed that everything would work its way out. I was at 9cm for almost 6 hours. She finally found her way out. She passed massive amounts of mec and had shoulder dystocia. She had to be transported to the hospital by ambulance where she died 22 hours after birth from severe mec aspiration syndrome.
These horrific complications all resulted from the inability of DEMs to accept reality. Birth is NOT trustworthy. Serious complications are NOT rare. Pre-eclampsia should NEVER be ignored. The Friedman curve is NOT an conspiracy to ruin birth "experiences"; falling off the curve is an indication of serious abnormalities. Unless, and until homebirth advocates can accept reality, homebirth will never be safe.

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