Sunday, May 14, 2006

Looks like I'm not alone

Doctor Crippen posts about homebirth on his blog NHS Blog Doctor: Home delivery lunacy.

Here is an excerpt:

Dr Crippen would love to have a system of home deliveries but home deliveries are only safe if there is a fully equipped obstetric flying squad which can respond and arrive in a matter of minutes. An obstetric flying squad needs two doctors, one for the mother and one for the baby, an incubator and lots of other kit.

There are no obstetric flying squads where Dr Crippen works. There are very few in the country.

Home deliveries will be supervised by madwives, often the so called “independent” madwives. "Independent" madwives have "chosen to work outside the NHS" primarily because the NHS does not support their practices.

Some of the militant home-delivery brigade of madwives are the most arrogant and dangerous health care workers in the NHS. They do not understand that a catastrophic post-partum haemorrhage can result in the death of a mother within minutes, and that it cannot be predicted. They are not trained to resuscitate flat babies; they have neither the competence nor the equipment. And, as so often with specialist nurses, they do not know their own limitations, they do not know what they do not know, and they resent any attempt by the medical profession to try to educate them.

They want to jump into the birthing pool with the pregnant mother, the husband and the vicar, sing ten green bottles and then eat the placenta. They ignore the risks. And when disaster strikes, as it surely will, it will be Tom Reynolds [an EMT] who has to try to pick up the pieces.

Dr Crippen is a bit more biting than I, but I am in sympathy with the essence of his post.

3 Old Comments:

Dr. Crippen also writes:

Unlike the USA, we have large number of welll established midwives who purport to be able to practice without supervision by a doctor.

Thanks for the kudos Dr. Crippen.

No one is arguing the 'safety' of an unsafe midwife without an appropriate referral system or appropriate clinical judgement.

Let's be clear: are you calling ALL homebirth midwives unsafe, Amy?

The incubator part was just plain funny. What's the incubator for?!

By Anonymous maribeth, CNM, at 12:45 AM  

This just made me giggle. Gasp, shock.... you found a doctor who doesn't approve of homebirth!!!!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:22 AM  

Dr. Crippen has published another article on his blog. It appears at

It is in response to an article in the UK paper The Telegraph, written by a homebirth midwife whose own child died after a cord prolapse at a homebirth.
It is hard to read.

By Anonymous Joanna, at 11:19 AM