Saturday, June 7, 2014

Not Buried Twice




Babies are dying preventable deaths... because of a deeply flawed home birth system. The time has come for change. And if we want change – if we want home birth to be a truly safe option – then it will have to be a consumer driven change. Women don’t deserve lies. Women don’t deserve the censored, twisted version of the “facts” about home birth. Women don’t deserve pseudoscience and misinformation. We deserve the TRUTH. We deserve the REAL statistics. We deserve the best care, accountability, and ethically driven care providers who err on the side of caution, not personal philosophy.

The purpose of the video and the #notburiedtwice campaign is to raise awareness. Planned home birth for LOW RISK women in the USA increases the risk of intrapartum and neonatal death at least 3-5 times compared to low risk women giving birth in a hospital. These are preventable deaths.

We are here to let those families know they are not alone. We support them. Their stories matter. Their babies matter. Home birth advocates are trying to silence them and pretend that their babies never existed. They try to bury these babies twice: once in tiny coffins in the ground, and a second time by erasing them from the public consciousness. We aren't going to let that happen. They won't be buried twice.

Be your own advocate. Don’t be fooled by good bedside manner. Don’t be fooled by the misinformation and lies. Learn the truth about home birth in the USA, learn the truth about the studies and statistics, read more here: Home Birth in the USA


For a quick breakdown of the numbers, comparing the 2014 MANA study (Midwives Alliance of North America), the CPM 2000 study (by Johnson and Davis, published in the BMJ), the 2013 Birth Center study (select CABC-accredited birth centers, majority of which were run by CNMs) and USA hospitals using CDC data, the mortality rates are as follows...

For each mortality rate below, it is intrapartum mortality (death during labor and delivery) plus neonatal mortality. And these numbers represent low risk women.

MANA study = 1.62/1000

CPM 2000 study = 1.70/1000

Birth Center study = 0.87/1000

USA hospitals (includes some high risk births) = 0.35/1000 - 0.55/1000

What does this mean?

Planned home birth has a mortality rate at least 3-5 times higher than hospital birth and twice as high as birth center birth (select CABC-accredited centers, that is).

For a more in-depth breakdown of the numbers and references, please click here.

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The people in this video are real people, with real concerns, with real stories of loss, with a common goal to raise awareness and raise the standards for out-of-hospital birth. A big THANK YOU to everyone who volunteered to participate. A special thank you to the mothers of Gavin, Ligia, Brody, Magnus, Mary Beth and Clara for your continued bravery. I know it is not easy to speak up and share your stories – which is why many home birth loss mothers won’t speak up publicly. So thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

To all of you watching? Thank you for doing so. Please share this video to help prevent more preventable loss, to honor those that have died and the families that mourn those mothers and babies, and to take a stand for a change that is greatly needed.

The idea for this video came to me after watching my friend, Megan, shared her home birth story on YouTube. After many hours of writing, assigning, organizing the layout, gathering and editing individual clips of footage, I handed it over to my friend, Nick Murphy, to edit and put it all together. Thank you so much, Nick! The “#notburiedtwice” campaign was started by Dr. Amy Tuteur, MD in the aftermath of the death of Gavin Michael. If you’d like to read more about when and why this campaign was started, click here: Let's Hold Them Accountable.

Gavin's mother shared her son's story, an attempted home birth, on a Facebook page dedicated to her son. Gavin died at 42 weeks, 2 days due to meconium aspiration. His midwife went online, asking in a public forum about the risks and for advice, after it was discovered at 42 weeks, 1 day that Gavin's mother didn't have any amniotic fluid. Read Gavin's story here: In Light of Gavin Michael

Clara's mother shared her daughter's story, an attempted home birth, on her blog. After two days of hard labor at home, Clara's mother transferred to the hospital, where they discovered there was no longer a heartbeat. Clara died at 42 weeks, 3 days due to meconium aspiration. Read her story here: She Was Stillborn

Mary Beth's mother shared her daughter's story, a home birth, on the website "Hurt by Homebirth." Mary Beth was born at 36 weeks, 5 days. She died approximately 7 hours later, due to prematurity. Her midwife failed to recognize clear signs that Mary Beth was not receiving enough oxygen and ignored the concerns by Mary Beth's parents. Read Mary Beth's story here: Mary Beth's Story


Brody’s mother shared her son's story, an attempted home birth after cesarean, as a guest post on the blog “TheNavelgazing Midwife.” Brody died during labor, while his mother was being transporting to the hospital, due to uterine rupture. Read Brody’s story here: Anna's Uterine Rupture Story

Magnus’ mother shared her son's story, an attempted planned breech birth at a freestanding birth center, on the website “Hurt by Homebirth.” She also created the website “Safer Midwifery forMichigan” as an educational resource for anyone considering the care of a midwife in Michigan, or anyone who has experienced negligent midwifery. Magnus died 13 days after he was born due to complications during birth when his head became entrapped and he was deprived of oxygen. Read Magnus’ story here: Magnus's Story

At this time, Ligia's parents would like the details of their daughter's home birth and death to remain private.

Do you trust birth? Do you believe what home birth advocates tell you about home birth safety? Do you trust your midwife? Do you believe your midwife is incredibly capable, experienced, amazing, ethical, trustworthy?

These women did. 


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Not Buried Twice
By Danielle Repp

We won’t let them bury you twice.

We aren’t going to let them forget.

Because you are profoundly loved.

And deeply mourned.

Because you mattered from the moment your mother found out about you.

And you will always matter.

More and more mothers, fathers and families are falling for the lies and misinformation.

More and more babies are dying preventable deaths.

More and more families are left with empty arms,

Broken hearts,

And wondering what just happened…

how did that happen?

Because they chose home birth.

Because people don't know the truth.

People don’t know how broken our home birth midwifery system is here in the United States.

Midwifery Today wants you to forget about Gavin Michael,

Deleting comments and banning anyone who asks about him.

But we aren’t going to let them forget.

We aren’t going to let them forget about my son, Gavin.

Or my daughter, Clara Edith.

Or my son, Brody.

Or my son, Magnus.

Or my daughter, Ligia.

Or any of the many other babies that didn’t need to die or who were needlessly injured during birth.

The Midwives Alliance of North America wants you to believe that home birth is just as safe as hospital birth.

But their own data shows that it is far from being “just as safe” as hospital birth,

Along with the data from every other study we have on home birth in the USA.

Out-of-hospital birth, especially with a non-nurse midwife, isn’t just as safe as hospital birth.

Not here in the USA.

Not even for low risk women.

It’s far riskier.

And people deserve to know that.

But they don't want you to know that.

They don’t want you to know how risky it is.

They don’t want people to know about the loss.

The preventable loss.

They don’t want you to know about our heartbreak.

Your precious, perfect little bodies have already been buried once.

And they are trying to bury you a second time,

by erasing your very existence.

But we aren’t going to let them.

You will not be buried twice.


Please share this video to help raise awareness, using the hashtag #notburiedtwice
Here is the video link: http://youtu.be/CRhkZKUNyMY







26 comments:

  1. Powerful, Dani. Thank you for doing this.

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  2. Wow. This is deep. I hope this reaches a lot of people, <3

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  3. Shared on reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/BabyBumps/comments/27ng6v/make_homebirth_safer_now/

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  4. Amazing. I hope this makes some people think.

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  5. Thank you for your amazing video. It needs to be shared around the USA and the world. I hope and pray that people will take 2 minutes and 51 seconds out of their busy lives and have a look/listen and share the message. Together we can speak loud and cleanly that no more babies should die and help stop the madness. Gavin Michaels' Grandfather

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  6. Do you advocate that pregnant women stop driving and riding in cars? NO? WHY? Do you know that motor vehicle collisions result in fetus/neonate mortality rate of least 3.7 per 100,000 pregnancies according to NIH (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18720034)? Think of all the babies that would be saved if pregnant women didn't get into cars!

    No, you'd rather them be forced to go to a hospital, where in the vast majority of cases, they're essentially tied down to a bed, where they're at great risk of their providers overriding their desires on the way they want to birth, where just by entering the hospital greatly increases their chance for a cesarean (homebirths result in 5-10% cesareans, whereas low-risk mothers face at least a 20% chance of cesarean in hospital) and all the possible complications with that, including death of the mother and the infant.

    These women have suffered a loss, and they should get the help they need to process it. Some neonatal deaths are no doubt due to the errors of homebirth midwives, but the same can be said of any providers in any setting.

    Women's choice of birth place should not be revoked because of it. If you're not comfortable with the numbers, you should go to the hospital. But you should not ever presume you know what's best for another woman's birth. That's none of your business.

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    1. No. I don't want anyone to be forced to do anything. You are completely missing the point. It's about women making informed decisions. It's about those organizations that are supposed to help women but who are actually hurting women because they are hiding women from the truth.

      If a care provider's negligence results in the death, then the family should have some justice in the form of accountability. Do you know what happens in a hospital setting if negligence causes death? Do you know what happens at a home birth?

      If you want to compare cesarean sections, you need to not only look at low risk women but also women who have had a previous vaginal birth. Majority of the births from the MANA study were multiparas.

      Where on earth did you come up with the idea that we are trying to revoke anyone's choice?

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    2. Because you're making blanket statements about homebirths and homebirth midwives. Your message is reading: "no one should have a homebirth because they're not safe, because midwives are negligent." If that's not your intention, you need to make some changes.

      I know how to compare data. I know that the negligence process is similar both in hospital and with a homebirth midwife (granted that the midwife is licensed or certified in her state--if she's not, then usually an arrest is made.)

      There are many women who blame their midwives because of their homebirths had adverse outcomes. Yet when they file complaints, the midwives aren't found negligent. A lot of these women think there's something broken in the system because of it, when the truth actually is, what happened is they had bad luck. They are unable to accept this, however, because they're not receiving the appropriate psychological help or counseling to deal with their babies' deaths, and they continue to blame the midwives. And you're exploiting that with this website. Stop doing that. Encourage these women to instead get the help they need, whether their midwife was negligent or not. Women who process their grief do not engage in this manner.

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    3. Most midwives are not found "negligent" because lawyers won't take civil cases to fight for families when the midwives carry no insurance. There is no fair trial. Families are frustrated because there is no accountability what so ever.

      What would you say to a family who received negligent care in a hospital with a doctor under negligent circumstances? Are they too just not "processing their grief"? Excuse my language but how the Hell do you have any right to say who is and isn't processing grief when you haven't walked a day in the shoes of any of these families?

      How about a lawyer who did stand up for right, and a judge who found midwives 5 Million dollars worth of negligent? Unfortunately we were only one of many families, yet I can't name another who could find a lawyer to take their case because there was no pay day. It's not blaming midwives because we can't deal with grief, it's seeking accountability for extremely negligent care and trying desperately to prevent this to happening to other families. It sounds more to me like you can't handle the truth of the matter and recognize the problem.

      This is not exploitation. Doula Dani is standing up for good people who have walked in the shoes of grief. These are real families who want to make home birth safer for other families. These were preventable deaths and extremely negligent circumstances, like it or not.

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    4. This comment really doesn't even deserve a reply with fear mongering garbage like this, "No, you'd rather them be forced to go to a hospital, where in the vast majority of cases, they're essentially tied down to a bed, where they're at great risk of their providers overriding their desires on the way they want to birth, where just by entering the hospital greatly increases their chance for a cesarean".

      No one is telling women where or how to birth. We are however sharing real life experiences, and the truth about OOH birth. You can't argue with the truth and women deserve to know it so they can then make true choices for themselves.

      And PS, a live, healthy baby, interventions and all if necessary, trumps any "desire" for birth I ever had. And if best birth experience I could imagine turns out to mean my baby dies in the end, isn't worth the candles and orgasm.

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    5. These women did not have bad luck, they had incompetent healthcare providers. The midwives are not being found negligent because the people in charge of overseeing them are buddies with the midwives and don't discipline their friends. You can't sure because they have no malpractice insurance. How can the women truly move on when the women that murdered their children are getting off scott free?

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    6. i never knew grief followed a textbook format. never have i seen a woman tied to a bed forcibly to give birth. bold hyperbole intended to distract from increasing death rates by unskilled & undereducated "midwives". no one is trying to remove choice. they are trying to increase transparency & make this hobby a legitimate profession.

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    7. The fetal/neonatal death rate for car accidents is 3.7 out of 100,000? Do you realize that MANA's death rate is 162 out of 100,000? So homebirth is almost 44 times more dangerous than riding in a car.

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    8. Whoever said anything about revoking women's choice? Requiring care providers to know their profession does not infringe on anyone's rights, no care provider has the right to practice outside of their scope. It's very simple, if a midwife can't practice without hurting people then she shouldn't be allowed to practice.

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  7. If I didn't know any better, I'd think you're name is Jeremy Cotterell.

    You know how to compare data? Then tell me. What is the cesarean section rate for a low risk mother who has had a previous vaginal birth who gives birth in the hospital.

    The process is not similar at all!! Negligence at a home birth goes basically unnoticed. A mother trusts her midwife - her hired "professional," the midwife takes dangerous chances, baby dies.... and shocker, the home birth community defends the midwife and tells the mother she should have known better.

    You have absolutely no idea what any of these women have been through. You don't know the details of their stories. You have no idea who was found to be negligent, who wasn't and by which governing body. You don't know what, if any, consequences there were. Bad luck? That's what you'd like to think. No doubt there are cases of shoulder dystocia, cord prolapse, hypoxia, etc that have lead to death at home births b/c of "bad luck" because the mother was at home, not in a hospital. There are times when full term babies die in hospitals, too (though not nearly as often as at home births. Fact.) So, yes, "bad luck" can happen. But there are also many cases of clear negligence that resulted in deaths. And the midwives faced no consequences. You are in denial. And ignorant. You don't understand the pitfalls of our system and yet you are defending it.

    I can make blanket statements because it is the home birth "system" to blame. The standards are not high enough to become a CPM. No other first world country allows an apprenticeship-only process. A high school diploma is the only educational requirement (and that wasn't even required until 2012!), she attends 50 births, takes ONE exam and BOOM! CPM earned.

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    1. Midwives who are actually negligent do face consequences. There are a few that fall through the cracks (just like OBs), but that doesn't justify erasing the entire homebirth system, just like current practices that could be improved in hospitals doesn't mean hospital L&Ds should be shut down. It could all be improved. And furthermore, it all varies a lot from state to state. A high school diploma is not the only education required in many states for CPMs. Many require college level classes in anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry, etc. So again, you are the one who doesn't know what they're talking about.

      I'm very qualified to speak on these matters. You, on the other hand, just have an ax to grind, with nothing but vitriol to support your point of view.

      Again, I suggest you to put your efforts into assisting these mothers get the help they greatly need, instead of exploiting their grief for your own ends.

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    2. You're talking about licensing midwives. I'm talking about becoming a CPM. Anyone who passes the PEP process through NARM (as I listed above) can become a CPM.... but she may not be LEGAL in her state. Certain states, however, have different requirements. Which states require actual college courses and not MEAC courses?

      It's not just college courses. It's clinical practice. It's having experience in a hospital b/c of volume and diversity and seeing/using skills needed to save lives. It's not just learning neonatal resuscitation in a class and practicing on a dummy, it's seeing it happen in real life. Or using skills in real life.

      What consequences do midwives face? Tell me.

      Again, stop with the strawman arguments. No one is trying to erase home birth here.

      I have an axe to grind indeed. I felt betrayed when I realized I was lied to by MANA and the home birth movement as a whole. I felt disgusted when I realized there is no accountability, no real standards. I felt heartbroken when I read stories and met women who lost their babies and who had their community turn on them.... how dare they expect accountability? How dare they share their stories at all? Don't they know they just did it wrong? They didn't research enough. They didn't hire the right midwife. They didn't do this or that or the other thing like the rest of us who got it right and had happy, wonderful home births. Just like you, Jeremy Cotterell, mother-blamer extraordinaire!

      I am not exploiting anyone. I support these women and I am helping them have their voice. I am honoring their babies... not sweeping them under the rug. You'd rather they just shut up and stop raining on your parade. Poor you!! Someone woman WHOSE BABY DIED is making you feel bad about your birth choices!!! Poor, poor you.

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    3. I want to empower women with the TRUTH about home birth since the whole movement is founded on lies and misinformation. I want women to see how incredibly DESPERATE the home birth movement is for their business that they will do anything... anything... to protect it. Including mother blaming. And using strawman arguments. And dodging questions. And presenting false dichotomies.

      You are proving my point so perfectly.

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    4. No, actually, they rarely do. Midwives in Oregon have had their license suspended for utterly egregious behavior but are still allowed to practice, since licensing is voluntary. But most of the time, they don't even get that slap on the wrist. Liz Paparella's midwife, Faith Beltz, was given a $100 fine by her buddies on the Texas Board of Midwifery for failing to recognize that a fever of 104 and techtonic contractions were a serious problem, and then not having any resuscitation equipment available after the resulting placental abruption. In the hearing, one of the board members actually said, "No one is saying you're a bad midwife, Faith." Magnus's parents won a $5 million dollar settlement but will never see a penny because her midwives declared bankruptcy and changed the name of their birth center. The midwives who, as unlicensed providers, refused to allow Shahzad's mother to go to the hospital after she was in active labor for 8 days with thick meconium, and were unable to figure out how to perform a neonatal resuscitation, as evidenced by their bumbling idiocy in the 911 recording, are now licensed midwives in the state of Oregon. Brenda Scarpino-Newport has been involved in eight infant deaths, most after the death of Bambi's daughter Mary Beth and she continues to practice. No lawyer will take on these parents cases unless they are willing and able to put up their own money to fund the lawsuit because none of these midwives carry malpractice insurance.

      Please, anonymous, tell us your great qualifications to speak on these matters. You are the one supporting a broken system that is killing babies and harming families. You are so brainwashed by the NCB movement that you can't even see what is happening in front of you.

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  8. Christy Collins faced some sanctions in California; she just moved to Nevada and killed another baby. This is what they do. Arrests are few and far between. Read the ebook From Calling to Courtroom and see how midwives advise each other to lie, falsify records, declare bankruptcy and of course, hire an experienced and licensed lawyer!! (no "lay lawyers" for lay midwives don't you know)

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  9. Forgive me if this is a double post, as the other one disappeared. So Jeremy, I wonder if the Phoenix FD knows what a sweet, kind, empathetic crisis counselor they have in you? I would love to write them a note and let them know. I'm sure they'd adore to see screen shots showing you berating women who have lost babies, and behaving like a complete jerk across many websites. The Masons would probably love it too. A chaplain for them, aren't you? Perhaps you'd like to change your behavior, and remember that we are all people, we all have feelings, and a little kindness and empathy can make your opinion welcome.

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  10. I started safer midwifery utah to deal w/the home birth deaths in my state, including the recent death caused by Vickie Sorensen. Please visit my site if you are interested in an activism opportunity. http://safermidwiferyutah.wordpress.com/

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  11. Just so you know...this campaign is scaring the crap out of natural child birth people on facebook. they are making a huge effort to tell everyone to ignore it, calling it trolls and other nonsense. You're being effective for them to respond that way. Keep it up.

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    1. Is the goal to scare people away from natural birth?? Or rather inform them about the dangers of inadequate care? I'm confused by your comment.

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    2. The goal of the video is to raise awareness about the dangerously misleading information about home birth.

      The goal is not to scare anyone away from natural birth -- I've had two unmedicated births myself, both great experiences. I think that comment is just referring to people in the natural birth and home birth circles (since they are very closely entwined) being scared by the video and not wanting anyone to watch it.

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