7 responses to “Homebirth Debate”

  1. Tania

    Wise words indeed…

  2. Gabriella

    Thank you for this well written piece, which explains the issues at heart so clearly.

  3. Nuraini

    Well said!!

  4. Fig Tree Cottage

    Very well written. I see the growing popularity (if not understanding!!) of homebirth back in the UK and as a pregnant woman myself, cannot conceive of a suppoed 'civilised' country where this can actually be happening. Such a hugely sad day for Australian society.

  5. Rose

    well said Mim!!!!

  6. Anonymous

    See I too see it as a human rights issue – but I totally disagree with you and the other comments. I see it as a human rights issue for the baby. The baby has a right to have access to every emergency medical care possible. The baby is the most vulnerable person in this thing – not the Dr certainly, not the midwife, and not even the mother, they all have SOME semblance of control over their safety and actions. I would want every kid to have their right to immediate medical care and expertise fulfilled. That just can't happen if they're born at home. Its one thing when its an accident (the birth in a car on the way to the hospital) but I don't think we should be encouraging deliberately naysaying our babies' access to Drs.

    Sorry but I think there's too much talk about "birth experience" and not enough about the rights of babies to care by specialists.

    In making this comment before I've found the implication that is controversial in my view isn't really that the mother's "experience" isn't that important. The controversy is my assertion that midwives are not as good as Drs at medical care. You'd be amazed how defensive midwives are about their role. But I stand by it. Drs are trained in the science not just of obstetrics but the human body as a whole. Midwives may have seen a lot of births but they are still just nurses. Their role has never been to provide medical care.

    Now maybe it isn't dangerous to the mother to have a non-Dr attend the birth alone. But if it were my child I wouldn't want there to be no Dr around if my baby needed one upon birth. And I wouldn't want anything less for any child. I feel we are all responsible for all children.

    That is why I feel compelled to applaud the end of homebirths. Not to be mean to other women, but to protect their children.

  7. lewis_gourdie

    Dear Anonymous,

    May I remind you that the leading cause of maternal mortality is suicide? Actually a mother’s experience IS important. Mothers are important too!

    If you understood the role of a midiwfe, certainly in New Zealand and the UK where I was born/had my babies, you’d understand they are the experts in normal birth. We’re not talking about homebirth as the only choice, or homebirth at all costs, we’re talking about women having the RIGHT to CHOSE care for their body and their baby. Many planned homebirthers transfer to the hospital for medical care if the midwife is concerned. Isn’t that great! Maternity services working holisitcally! Many more women and their families go on to have a fulfilling, safe and joyous birth in the comfort and privacy of their home.

    We’re not trying to force YOU to have a homebirth, by all means, have a hospital birth if that is where you are comfortable. BUT please take your hands off my body and my baby and trust me to make the right decision for my family…unless you’re suggesting an Orwellian society is admirable?

    BTW You may be interested to know research over the last couple of decades in the UK has found that planned home birth is at least as safe as hospital birth for healthy women with normal pregnancies. In addition, home birthers are half as likely to have a caesarean section, half as likely to have an assisted delivery and have a lower risk of haemorrhage. Babies born at home are less likely to have birth injuries and less likely to need resuscitation. (Chamberlain, G, Wraight A, Crowley P. Home Births The report of the 1994 confidential enquiry. National Birthday Trust Fund. Parthenon Publishing).

    Kind regards
    Georgina Lewis