I hear/see a lot of reasons why home birth advocates try to convince people not read my blog. And it's not just me, it's anyone who brings up issues or concerns with home birth. We all pretty much hear the same things to deflect and/or discredit those of us who vocalize our concerns. If I take part in these conversations, I ask "what have I written that is not accurate?" But instead of answering that question (or any of my questions), they either delete my comments or they avoid my questions or they try to attack me personally (in hopes of hurting my credibility). What are the typical excuses home birth advocates use? Let's discuss them.
1. She is a "minion of Dr. Amy."
I don't keep it a secret that I read The Skeptical OB's website. Am I her minion? No. I am not the minion of anyone. Do I agree with everything she writes and how she writes it? No. But I think she brings up a lot of excellent points and I understand what her bottom line is regarding home birth: to help prevent more preventable loss.
I have come to the place that I have and have developed my opinions and my own stance about home birth because of my own personal experiences and from reading and looking up information myself. I have references to everything on my blog so people can look up information themselves. If you don't want to believe me or what I have written, I completely understand! I provide all of the studies and resources so you can check for yourselves... and I think you should check for yourself. If you think I have information missing or think I have cherry picked anything at all, PLEASE share your thoughts in the comments. Have I made a mistake? Let me know. I am not here to make a point by deceiving anyone. I want you to have truthful, accurate information so you can make your own informed decision. My blog may not offer up anything you didn't already know. Or it may bring up some things you hadn't considered or weren't yet aware of. Regardless, I want to offer up truthful information and if I have made any errors in information I have presented, I want to fix it.
2. She has an agenda.
My agenda? To help women understand that there is another side to the home birth propaganda. To help women make informed decisions. Home birth forums/websites/pages/blogs consistently censor and delete information that does not support their point-of-view. They do not allow open conversation. They maintain echo chambers. So it's hard for women to see that there is another side to home birth because of all of the censorship. I started my blog to help share that "other side" coming from the perspective of someone who truly understands the value and appeal of home birth, someone who initially wanted home births for my own children. Just as I would hate for a woman to choose an elective cesarean section without true informed consent, I'd hate for a woman to choose home birth without true informed consent.
3. She wants hits on her blog.
Why? What would gaining "hits" do for me? I don't earn money from my blog. I purposely keep it ad-free just so readers can be 100% certain that gaining hits does not benefit me in any way. Quite a while ago, I removed the site traffic counter from my blog. I really have no incentive at all to try and gain hits.
4. She wants everyone to draw the same conclusion that she did.
It is none of my business where you choose to give birth and with whom you choose as your care provider. It does not make a difference at all to me - no difference whatsoever. Your choices do not validate nor invalidate my choices. I am not campaigning to make home birth illegal. I do not want home birth to be illegal. I simply want women to understand what they are choosing when they choose to have a home birth in our country.
5. She's biased, angry, and extremely anti-home birth.
I'm not against home birth. In fact, I think it is an important option for women. I understand the benefits of home birth. My issue is not with the option to have a home birth and it is certainly not with the women/families who choose home birth.
My issue is with how home birth is promoted with misinformation.
My issue is with NARM and their lack accountability and their low standards.
My issue is with the higher mortality rates at home births in our country and how these deaths are not dealt with, they are swept under the rug, nothing is being done to make improvements.
My issue is that the focus of MANA and those at the forefront of the home birth movement should be "what can we do to improve outcomes for home birth." But instead their focus is and has been "what can we do to fool women into believing these outcomes are good."
Yes, this stuff makes me angry: misinformation, misleading women, censorship, preventable loss.... to me these are good reasons to feel angry. I try to keep my tone as kind as possible. It was easier for me at first when discussing these issues... but over time, after being censored and called names and seeing how loss moms are treated (horribly) and having people dodge my questions over and over and over again, it takes its toll. It is hurtful, frustrating, angering.... and sometimes I have a hard time not writing out those frustrations. But I truly try to keep my tone and blog to reflect my true feelings: that home birth is an important option that I do not want to see go away but that our home birth system needs an overhaul so that it is a truly safe option. Is it bad to be angry at times? Is one supposed to walk through life without ever experiencing that emotion? Of course not. I deal with my anger in the same way that I teach my children to deal with anger and frustration: with my words.
So why else should you ignore me? Have I missed anything?