Birth Right

You already know how I feel about vaccines and the trend of parents who feel they cause autism. (I will never fail to follow this up with the fact that it does NOT cause autism and there is no evidence that it does.)

Lately, I’ve come across two stories about home births here and here.

I know that I’m not a woman and there are things about pregnancy and birth I will never get. But, honestly, why does any woman think it’s a good thing to give birth to a child in a home?

I keep hearing that it’s about the “birthing experience.” Some women feel that hospitals are too impersonal and the staff is too much on auto pilot.

Not having ever been pregnant or in the throes of birth, I will still venture to say that there’s nothing pleasant about pushing a child out of your body, no matter where you do it. I will also stick my neck out there and say that given all of the pushing, tearing and such, it creates quite a medical situation that needs addressing by a professional.

My wife went through 23 hours of labor before the doctor finally decided that the baby was not turned properly. An emergency C-section was ordered. An hour later my daughter was born. Two hours after that, a doctor told us that my wife’s kidneys were not functioning properly. A few more hours after that, they said her liver was starting to shut down.

She had developed postpartum preeclampsia. Luckily, thanks to medicine, my wife recovered. Had she been at home, she may not have been so fortunate.

I understand wanting to be in a place that’s comfortable, but I’m sorry, there’s no reason to have a child in a home. It’s certainly not good enough to have it at your house because it makes it a more pleasant experience. A child’s well-being is more important than a mother’s ambience.

Is that a little sexist? Yeah. I’m sorry but it’s true. There’s a reason why births are done at hospitals, because it’s safer and when things go wrong, there’s a whole army of surgeons waiting to take over. What happens if you hemorrhage? What if you need an emergency C-section? There are too many scenarios where a midwife won’t cut it, no pun intended.

Do things go wrong at hospitals? Yes they do. People are imperfect and things get missed. But the odds are with the hospitals here. There’s not enough anecdotal evidence that proves home births are anywhere near safer than a hospital.

My underlying reason for talking about this is the reason for choosing a home birth. Why do people choose to do something because it’s “natural?” I think it’s a form of selfishness. It’s one thing to go against conventional wisdom but it’s another to refute sound medical science on the grounds that it makes you uncomfortable.

There’s also those who choose the “natural” way of doing things simply because society implores them to do what everyone else does.

But natural does not imply safer or better for that matter. Antibiotics, antiseptics and surgical tools are not natural, but they’ve saved millions of lives.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with doing research and making your own decision. In fact, I applaud that. But when you jeopardize your life and your child’s life because you want a more satisfying “experience,” then you’re being selfish.

And your child doesn’t deserve that.

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