Welcome to my new blog on this very bright and sunny Monday morning. I’ve been busy working on my new online course which will be out shortly – more information about that next week – and therefore haven’t been doing much blogging. I’m so happy, though, to be creating such an exciting course for pregnant women called Irresistible Birth – Six Secrets for a Pleasurable Pregnancy and Birth. I’ll be doing a FREE Webinar in April.
Naturally, I am always on the lookout for information, research, news articles on the subject of pregnancy and birth so I keep up with what is going on and my mother has taken it upon herself to be one of my researchers. She always finds the best articles from the major newspapers on pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and more and it was last night that she sent one along from last month with the title: ‘Babies born at home ‘risk’ being disabled’. Of course this made my blood temperature start to rise and I felt the need to blog about it!
The opening paragraph went like this: ‘The risk of a child being born disabled is far greater if parents opt for a home birth, researchers have warned… If there are any complications, it takes time to take a baby to hospital and there are fewer medical resources available at home. Researchers from Oxford University argue that the risk of a child’s long term disability should “weigh heavily” in decisions about home birth.’ (1)
This is SO misleading for prospective pregnant women who might desire to opt for a home birth. There has been much research into the safest place to give birth; home vs. hospital. Studies have put their emphasis on the risk of death, rather than disability, but this article is trying to attack the home birth option, once again, inciting fear that if you have your baby at home, then the potential complications may lead to disabilities in your baby let alone death! What a load of ****! Statistically, a home birth carries a much LOWER risk of complications, medical interventions, caesareans, intrapartum deaths, or early neonatal deaths etc than hospital. You just have to look at any of the NHS annual birth statistics to get a clear picture of the potential problem, i.e. that hospital carries the greatest risks in pretty much all the categories. It even states in the British Medical Journal:
‘Healthy women who plan to give birth at home or in a midwifery unit are more likely to have a vaginal birth with less intervention compared with women who plan to give birth in an obstetric unit.’ (2) There you are…
The question for me is really ‘why’ people always want to bang on about the so called ‘risks’ of having a Home Birth and never talk about the ‘risks’ of having a hospital birth where the real problems lie. Hospitals do amazing work when needed but a woman with a healthy pregnancy does not need to give birth in hospital to be less at risk than if she gave birth in the comfort of her own home. A pregnant woman is far more likely to have medical interventions IN hospital than at home and these interventions are often caused by the hospital that then come to save the day. Like anything in life and nature, there are always things that can go wrong but it is always good to make a judgement based on facts and one’s own intuitive feelings about where to give birth, than being swayed by these silly articles in silly newspapers!
I think that women who give birth at home perhaps think about the whole process in a different way. They are looking for a more natural, wholesome experience and probably have the right support around them who trust the home birth way. I think it takes a certain kind of preparation to opt for a birth at home and is not a whim but a conscious decision. Neither way is particularly right or wrong and a healthy baby is paramount. However, I do wish the medical profession would encourage women to EMPOWER themselves to deeply trust their body and inner wisdom to bring a baby into the world without the need to rely on medical interventions which incidentally carry a far greater risk of disability, than whether you decide to have your baby at home!
I hope this musing has been helpful. I try and keep abreast of the official statistics and sadly hospitals always come out at the bottom. The scare monger research has usually been conducted by ‘male’ professors or obstetricians, who don’t really know about the inner workings of women. If a birthing woman is encouraged and supported, she would be less likely to need any medical interventions, wherever she chose to give birth. It is just another way of controlling and suppressing women’s power. The message that a women can’t give birth normally without the assistance of the medical profession is just ludicrous (and who often traumatise her beyond belief). We forget that a woman’s body is designed to give birth with or without a hospital and we should all be supporting her to have the safest, most pleasurable experience by trusting her own ability and deep inner wisdom.
Wishing you a truly joyful week.
1. The Daily Telegraph: Babies born at home ‘risk’ being disabled. Thursday, 23rd January 14.
2. BMJ: http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d7400?tab=full