A friend of mine emailed me last week a query for HARO-Help A Reporter Out. The reporter was writing a story on home birth and looking for people to interview. I responded and said I would be happy to share my story. Today the article ran in the New York Times! "Demand Growing for Giving Birth at Home" by Roni Caryn Rabin ran in the Health section.
I spoke to the reporter for about forty minutes last week. Overall I'm pleased with her story but it is interesting rereading it how little details stray a bit from their intention. For example "she narrowly avoided getting a Cesarean section" isn't exactly true. I said that had I had one of the other two doctors in the practice I probably would have ended up with a C-Section because I don't think they would have let me labor as long as the OB that was on call that day did. The OB on call was very aware of my intentions for natural, vaginal, childbirth. We got along very well and she understood my stance on childbirth. The other doctors were not as understanding.
I find the statistic published by The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology that "babies born at home are three times as likely as those born in a hospital to die before they are four weeks old" astounding.
While I agree that some factors should be taken into consideration before deciding on a home birth or hospital birth I don't think women who are pregnant with twins, have a breech baby, or want to attempt VBAC should be deterred from using a midwife. Midwives are trained to assist women in these situations and many women who have these "risk" can have a successful home birth. As a side note, many women who want to attempt VBAC are discouraged by their OBGYNs to do so and it is the midwife who opens her arms to these women.
The one thing I wish the reporter would have shared in her article is the simple need for women to better educate ourselves on pregnancy and labor options. I don't care which route you go- hospital or home birth- epidural or natural- vaginal or c-section we just need to be more responsible for EDUCATING ourselves on the process. We will research a product we want to purchase or a location for a vacation we want to take until we are blue in the face but when in comes to OUR BODIES, OUR CHILDREN we assume that doctor knows best and don't take this journey into our own hands! We need to steer this ship, not be mere passengers aboard for the ride.