On HomeBirthers

December 7, 2010

dying of a compound fractured leg- totes natural

assorted infections and pathogens- the human species has survived them for millenia, they are TOTES natural!

Black Plague death of millyuns- NATURAL!

Myopia is motherfucking NATURE talking to your ass!

I am not truly ALIVE as a motherfucking MAN of the Homo sapiens (hear me fucking ROAR) unless I make it without any fucking sissy ass trappings of modern life that make it less risky to be…ALIVE!!!!!!

YES! Natural F. T. M. H. W!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Oh, and if you need a motherfucking “doula” to assist with the birth you’ve crossed that bescumbered rubicon of the uNnatUral already—-GET THEE TO YON THICKET, O GRAVID-PERSON!!!!)

the current argument seems to be that if you get some perfectly manicured “low risk” pregnancy and you have a “birth center” (with well trained staff*) right across the street from an emergency room than everything comes up roses in the data. And nevermind at all that this carefully constructed argument is going to be used to extend to homebirthing and high-risk or medium-risk pregnancies. nevermind low incidence “we didn’t see THAT one coming” emergencies, etc. and then they have the the chutzpah to compare to average or worst-case in-hospital situations as far as I can tell. Or point to anecdotes about fuckups as a triumphant argument.

You have to be kidding me.

*and I am certainly more about the specific training then I am about a MD.

Update 2:

Go Read The Tragic Deathtoll of Homebirth.

14 Responses to “On HomeBirthers”

  1. Genomic Repairman Says:

    Is a doula the birthing equivalent of a sherpa mountain guide?


  2. drugmonkey Says:

    You know, I was just having this revelation a few minutes ago that the impulse for “delivering naturally” taps into the same sort of personal challenge that we associate with climbing Everest, running marathons, etc. except in this case, there’s another life being put at risk involuntarily of course.


  3. Genomic Repairman Says:

    So are we imply selfishness masked in the form of selflessness?


  4. becca Says:

    @Genomic Repairman- yes, indeed.

    #drugmonkey Lots of things put another life at risk. Drinking a glass of wine. Running a marathon. Eating sushi. But only if you’re pregnant. Policing women’s behaviors on those grounds is 1) patronizing 2) sexist 3) setting a horrible precedent

    womanistic equivalent of machismo to follow

    Look, I didn’t need doctors for delivery. I labored at home until I was 6cm, then came in, refused the epidural, popped my water by squirming around when I couldn’t get comfortable, waited for Carebear to arrive, and pushed three times. Boom. APGAR score at 9 when first taken, 10 a few minutes later. It’s not rocket surgery. I’m even pretty sure it was easier than running a marathon (albeit more painful). So I’m pretty sure there are births you don’t need doctors at for the baby’s sake. I am woman, here me roar.

    BUT I tore myself doing it. Badly, in usual and unusual places. So I could have (in theory) died from that if there hadn’t been medical professionals. So I’m pretty grateful I was in a place that had them.

    BUT they screwed up the surgery, it took me a great deal of time to heal, and my ladyparts will never be the same (exterior ladybits- not the interior stuff that changes intrinsically as a function of childbirth- I’m talking damage specific to the lacerations).

    Shockingly, given these experiences, I can see both sides of this issue.


  5. Genomic Repairman Says:

    I agree there are some births where folks may not need a Dr., but I think its a good consensus and the data supports it, that it is probably better to have your baby in a hospital with an attending than at home or in a birthing center.


  6. becca Says:

    It’s ‘better’ as in ‘less likely to lead to X Y and Z poor health outcomes’. But there is also the issue of the experience itself. Hospitals are scary, expensive, and the recovery period in them can be extraordinarily miserable. It’s really not that different from eating sushi or drinking wine. Are the data supportive of the notion they aren’t the ‘best’ (i.e. healthiest in terms of X Y or Z) choices for pregnant woman? Sure. Is that enough of a reason to avoid them? Not to the point where I’d judge the women who do.


  7. Isis the Scientist Says:

    I now know things about Becca’s cooter that I can never, ever unknow.


  8. Genomic Repairman Says:

    Death is also scary, expensive (hey funerals cost money), and miserable depending upon who/what you might possibly proscribe or not proscribe to.


  9. sciliz Says:

    @Isis- Yes. Yes you do. There aren’t many opportunities to talk about these things legitimately. But DM seems to understand the machismo-parallel motivation- it was too good a context to pass up.

    @Genomic Repairment- you’re still weighing *definite* costs against *statistical* benefits. Same as everytime you drive, or do anything else commonplace with any risk of death. And, for that matter, you’re ignoring nosocomial infections and misadministered drugs. Everything has risks, blahblah.


  10. Genomic Repairman Says:

    I concede your point becca


  11. drugmonkey Says:

    hahaha, sure you concede GR, sure you do..


  12. Discussion here was so stimulating, I had to call mom and make a video.


  13. neurowoman Says:

    As someone who works with neurotoxins, I laugh about the “natural = good” falacy, and hurray for evidence-based medicine. But DM, you’re overlooking the fact that OB needs to turn that evidence based approach on itself, and start reducing the highly interventionist approach, which in my opinion is a lot of MD ass-covering, and get back to basics like helping women with the natural approaches that work, like labor assistance, birth position, etc. My OB started talking about inducing me before we even hit my ‘due date’ and everyone knows first babies are late. Unlike Becca, my labor progressed nicely until I took that epidural, then stalled (especially since the IV meant lying on my back), then they start talking cesarean. I suggested I get up & start moving, my OB poo-poo’d me (like I was suggesting something radical). My doula (a simple labor assistant, nothing radical there either) probably saved me from a CS by helping me reposition so labor got going again. Pushed for 3 hours, declined an episiotomy. Was I glad I was in a hospital in case things went wrong? Yes. Do I think things could have been better and less pressure for medicalized intervention? Hell yes. Surely there has to be a middle way. Either idolizing or demonizing the ‘natural’ in childbirth is counterproductive.


  14. DrugMonkey Says:

    criticizing the lack of evidence base in traditional medicine does not require a lot of hippy dippy mumbo jumbo about the superiority of extra-medical birthing approaches. what I am “demonizing” here is the mindset that lets someone equate the presence of an OB at birthing with the presence of a pediatrician when nonparents are looking after children.


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