You were once a homebirth advocate yourself. Can you describe what led you to change your mind?
It was a combination of factors. It started with being involved in an emergency home birth transfer as a doula. From there, it just took off into several different avenues, searching for answers to the mounting questions and concerns I had. The process and the aftermath have made me a much more skeptical person. In the end, I realized I was duped by all of the home birth propaganda. I realized I only had part of the story when we were hoping/planning for our home birth.
Using infant mortality [as a yardstick by which to measure the safety of home birth], for example, is a deliberate attempt to fool someone about our maternity care here, to scare women away from hospitals and obstetrics in the USA. You see, infant mortality is live birth through the entire first year of life. Perinatal mortality is a much more accurate measure for maternity care. It includes prematurity, antepartum mortality, intrapartum mortality and neonatal mortality. That is obstetrics. That is maternity care. So why don’t the leaders of the home birth movement discuss perinatal mortality? Because the United States does very well with perinatal mortality, tied with countries like France and Japan, and actually better than countries like the Netherlands and the UK. It doesn’t help the home birth agenda to share that information, though.
That is one example of many. Lies, cherry-picked information, misinformation, and happy anecdotes are really what home birth in America is built on.
We took into account every logical and emotional argument we could. The last piece was just me being brutally honest with myself, which was the hardest piece of all. But our bottom line was safety. I knew the hospital was the safest place. It’s a matter of fact, not opinion. It’s a greater risk of (potentially unnecessary) intervention in the hospital but a greater risk of death when not in a hospital. I felt my chances of avoiding unnecessary intervention in a hospital would be greater with a support system, having a good "birth team".
The process taught me so much about home birth in our country. I don’t have respect for the home birth movement here. I can’t support it because I feel I am trading in a piece of my integrity by doing so. I support a woman’s right to have a home birth. But I have lost so much respect for our home birth "system". It became clear that the home birth movement in our country isn’t based on empowering women. It is based on deceiving women. And I could not be a part of that.
Read the full piece here: http://www.steadyhealth.com/articles/doula-dani-homebirth-after-c-section-a-gamble-a3842.html