Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hospital Births, Not Home Births are Out of the Norm

Since the report of a 20 percent rise in home births, earlier this  year,  home births have been getting bad press.  Every bad home birth outcome has been high-lighted and dissected in the media.  The Wax study (which is debated) was a clear attack on the option of giving birth at home.  Studies prior to that have continually shown home births to be just as safe, or safer than hospital births.  Say what you will about home birth. There is one clear, undisputable fact  that no amount of Wax studies can refute. Women have been birthing outside of hospitals since the beginning of time. Proof of this is found in the clear existence of human kind. If anything, birthing in hospitals is out of the norm. It is a very recent phenomenon, in comparison to birthing at home in ages past.

A wholesome perspective is needed when looking at birth outcomes. If home births  makes up for less than one percent of total births, then we must focus on correcting the standards and practices of hospital births. The statistics of infant and maternal mortality in an industrialized country, where 99% of women give birth in hospitals are horrifying.



The statistics do not testify, compliment or evidence the safety of hospital births. Infant mortality is rising (worse for black moms). Maternal mortality is rising (worse for black moms). Preterm births are rising. Cesarean rates are rising. Lack of baby –friendly hospitals as campaigned by the first Lady, Michelle Obama. The standard practices of formula giveaways in hospitals. All of these things speak to societal changes resulting in taking births out of the home.
In the UK…
Professor Peter Brocklehurst of the University of Oxford and colleagues in the Birthplace in England Collaborative group found that adverse outcomes for the baby – including stillbirth, death soon after birth and oxygen deprivation which that could cause brain damage – were rare in women who had low-risk pregnancies. Overall, they happened in 4.3 births per 1,000 and there were no significant differences between hospital obstetric units and elsewhere.
Leading them to conclude that…
Giving birth at home or in a midwife-led birth centre is just as safe as going into hospital for women who already have a child, but there is a slight extra risk of problems for the babies of first-time mothers who opt to stay at home, according to a study of more than 64,500 births in England. Read the article.
The “slight extra risk of problems” for first-time mothers can be true for first-time moms in a hospital setting.  A good way to get more information about this “slight risk” for first time moms would be to compare the risk to those who birth in hospitals.

Sources:
Why Black Women Need Midwives
The Ever Rising Cesarean Rate
Pie Chart in the Sky, Home Birth Mortality in Perspective
Home Births Rising, Trend or Enlightment?
Michelle Obama Promotes Breastfeeding

1 comment:

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