[FoRK] Re: Re: (no subject)

Corinna schultz
Tue Oct 4 07:47:24 PDT 2005

(disclaimer: my information is about 8 years old...)
In a hospital (comparing similarly healthy mothers) you are more likely to 
tear, and more likely to tear badly, you are more likely to be cut 
(episiotomy) and so require stitches and take longer to heal. You are more 
likely to get a Cesearean. You are less likely to breastfeed, less likely to 
breastfeed past 6 months (this is partly self-selection bias, but also 
partly due to the support a new mother gets). You are more likely to get 
sick (everyone knows this!) The baby is more likely to be in distress.

In terms of complications:
Most complications rear their heads before labor. If there are no warning 
signs beforehand (like abnormal blood pressure, protein in the urine, edema, 
etc), it is very rare for there to be labor complications (see mine below). 
Even breech presentation is something people know about beforehand, because 
the baby is supposed to turn around before labor begins. Midwives have 
various techniques for handling breech, btw.  No midwife worth her salt will 
preside over a out-of-hospital labor that she thinks has signifcant risk. 
They usually have a MD partner who is on call, and available, in case of 
emergency.  Midwives give much better prenatal care than OBs generally do 
(this is comparing my experience with a friend's -- hardly a scientific 
survey) because the philosophy is quite different.  There are lots of 
midwives who work in hospitals, but they usually have to follow hospital 
rules, so it isn't as "good" as being with a midwife out of the hospital.

My experience was (no drugs either time, no stitches):
1 home birth in CA -- I was 23, baby was 9.5lbs, the placenta didn't 
separate properly, lots of bleeding, an IV with pitocin and fluid - 
saline? - was administered, midwives very competently handled the situation. 
She later said that it seemed as though the placenta was malformed so didn't 
implant normally - like the uterus was wrinkled.

1 water birth at birthing center (Andaluz in Tigard, OR - I highly recommend 
it) - I was 25, baby was 10lb, shoulder dystocia (sp), difficult delivery, 
no other problems.  I credit my relatively non-traumatic births to my prior 
education, my age, the midwives' attention, and the feeling of empowerment I 
had -- that I was responsible and in control os the experience.

When I attended a friend's two births (one premature, another normal), I was 
struck by the very different atmosphere in the hospital (one of hers was in 
the hospital right across the street from Andaluz). More impersonal, she was 
not encouraged to move around. She was on her back (very bad birthing 
position!). For the premie, of course she had to be in the hospital, and 
they let her feed him breastmilk, and spend time in the ICU touching him, 
and so forth. All things considered, that situation turned out really well.

But it's a difference in philosophy, and it had an impact on me, and my 
ability to adjust to being a mother, when I could sleep with my baby in my 
own bed right after birth (the first time), and when I could have anybody I 
wanted present with me, and I could eat during labor, and not have to be 
afraid because I was in a comfortable environment.

Just like my opinions on homeschooling -- not everybody can or should, but 
people who can, should.

Also, it depends on where you live. I wouldn't want to have a baby here in 
the Valley, period...


"Stephen D. Williams" <sdw at lig.net> wrote in message
> Sure, a reasonably large amount of time things will come out all right,
> but if it's even a few percent that require modern techniques, it's not
> worth the risk to be stuck without them.

The problem is when modern techniques increase your risks, and you don't 
need them in the first place (like vaccinating babies against rubella!) ...


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