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Wednesday, March 08, 2006Well, the pundits have spoken and thus far, they've all been in favor of the Lactivist branching out to include some information on home birth, so here we go! :)
One of the discussion forums that I frequent to talk about childbirth issues had a great thread recently about the issue of home birth verses hospital birth in regards to how mothers are viewed in the case of a poor outcome.
While every legitimate study ever done has shown that home birth with a qualified attendant for a low-risk mother is absolutely as safe as a hopsital birth (and in fact, safer in terms of morbidity), American culture still has an air of "danger" that it associates with home birth.
While I've been surprised at the support I've received from friends and family so far over our family's plan for a home birth, I've still heard the requisite "I just don't think I could be brave enough to do that..." and "I'd just worry that something would go wrong." We all know that both of these translate into "Do what you want, but sounds to me like you are taking risks with your baby's health."
Now in these cases, it doesn't matter what types of data or stats you throw at people, they still have a hard time realizing the reality of the safety of home birth. This is usually compiled by the stories of horrible things that can go wrong in birth. "My baby was born limp and not breathing" or "After they broke my water, the baby's heartrate dropped way off and I had to have an emergency c-section."
Now, I'll address the truth behing some of that in a future post and will explain the concept of iatrogenic problems then as well....what I want to hit right now is this...
Why is it that if a mom gives birth at home and something catastrophic DOES happen (let's say complete placental abruption) that results in the death of mom or baby, society is fairly quick to place the blame and guilt on the mother for her "poor choice." Let's not even consider the fact that complete placental abruption has a pretty hefty mortality rate even if you are in the hospital...
However, if a mom gives birth at the hospital and something happens (let's say failed induction and AROM resulting in prolapsed cord, deprivation of oxygen and ultimate brain damage despite an emergency c-section) it's either the fault of the Dr. or the fault of "no one."
Anyone know why that is? Anyone disagree with me? Do people find comfort in the hospital because they can "shift the blame" if something horrible does happen? Why are we so quick to blame a mom for her choices in a home birth but so quick to excuse the mom in the hospital that didn't take the time to educate herself about the risks associated with procedures. Is it because it's not supposed to be her job? It's supposed to be the Dr's job? That gives her an out?
Now let me state...the loss or injury of a child is tragic and horrible in either situation...I'm just trying to understand why society puts these different spins on the same outcome simply because of location.
Labels: Childbirth Issues