Home birth vs. hospital - page 3

I belong to another parenting board & one of the debates that surfaces every so often is home birth vs. hospital birth. There are so many pro-home birthers that talk about how natural home birth is.... Read More

  1. by   keeper
    ktwlpn,

    I choose to keep my comments on this board as civil as possible because I know I don't really belong as an aspiring midwife and not a nurse. Suffice it to say, your remarks painting me as selfish were uncalled for and rude. I have read enough from the nurses here to know that in birthing at home, I am protecting my child from practices which I believe are not based in science and often unnecessary.


    Sarah
  2. by   roxannekkb
    I don't want to get into any personal arguments either, but I have to agree with Keeper. It is not selfish to choose a homebirth, considering that despite our technology and almost 100% hospital birth rate, we have the highest incidence of neonatal mortality/morbidity of developed nations. That is something to consider.

    Yes, sometimes disasters happen and it helps to have a NICU a few seconds away. But provided a mom is low risk, most unexpected events can be attended to by an experienced midwife. And oftentimes the birth process goes easier and is less stressful when the mother is at home, and away from all of the intervention and discomfort of the hospital.

    Another example is the Amish is the US, who also have very good outcomes, have their babies for the most part at home, and have a far lower C-section rate than the population at large.

    Again, homebirth vs. hospital--one is not better than the other when there are no extenuating circumstances. It really is a matter of choice. And we cannot compare maternal mortality/morbidity in third world home births to our society, nor can we look at the rates from 100 years ago when most births took place at home.
  3. by   ktwlpn
    Originally posted by keeper
    ktwlpn,

    I choose to keep my comments on this board as civil as possible because I know I don't really belong as an aspiring midwife and not a nurse. Suffice it to say, your remarks painting me as selfish were uncalled for and rude. I have read enough from the nurses here to know that in birthing at home, I am protecting my child from practices which I believe are not based in science and often unnecessary.


    Sarah
    Dood! sorry for the misunderstanding but I was not specifically referring to you-you have spilled paint on yourself.........JUst voicing my opinion to all in general-and I feel very strongly that women often set themselves up for disappointment when they have a birth plan and try to strictly adhere to it without realizing that the baby can not be controlled...Then they feel like they have "failed" And ruin a happy time with all of their angst.Birthing centers and hospitals contain the best medical equipment and it is immediately available should I or my baby need it-and I would settle for nothing less...But you are certainly entitled to your opinion,too...Home birthing,home schooling-what is next?I did not call YOU selfish in particular-but I feel that often these decisions are made for selfish and foolish reasons-just like I said...I happen to believe in and trust doctors,nurses,midwives,etc...and believe that hospitals are the best place to begin life....And the point has been made that one can protect their birthing process from what they feel is unneccasary interference(spell check-I know THAT is not right) in the hospital...so-in closing-I did not say that anyone in particular was a selfish fool-but I do believe that anyone taking that chance is. (posted in as civil a manner as possible-but I calls them as I sees them) This is a public forum-anyone with an interest is welcome to post..:kiss
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    OH please let's don't let this discussion go the ugly way of BREASTFEEDING and other hot debates. Both sides have merit so let's agree to disagree w/o getting militant on either side!
  5. by   ktwlpn
    Originally posted by SmilingBluEyes
    OH please let's don't let this discussion go the ugly way of BREASTFEEDING and other hot debates. Both sides have merit so let's agree to disagree w/o getting militant on either side!
    True-and the reason why we often can't have a good debate is because many of us tend to take anothers disagreement personally.....and that clouds the issue.Let's list the pros and cons...Give me some good reasons to choose home birth over hospital-convince me...
  6. by   keeper
    Okay, sorry for the mix up. Call me hormonal, but this is an issue I can't debate without emotion, because this is a huge part of me, and to hear that anyone thinks it is a selfish decision is very hurtful.

    I don't think I can convince anyone that I feel homebirth is better. I agree with Roxanne....in a low risk pregnancy, it really is about personal choice.

    It was mentioned that there are ways for women to avoid the unnecessary interventions that occur in the hospital. One of those ways is through a birth plan, but I see how many are received. They can be perceived as confrontational or the mom can be called a "control freak" and there are nurses hell bent on proving that labor will not follow the plan, to the point that the C section paperwork is put on the chart the moment the mother walks in the door.

    I have a hard time with anyone who thinks that a mother thinking of her end of the experience and what she wants from it is selfish. I choose to birth where I am most comfortable, where labor can progress at a natural pace. I do that because I need to be relaxed and focused to succeed at natural childbirth. I do that for my baby, but also for me. I see birth as a rite of passage, a momentous and empowering experience. But some feel I am selfish for considering the experience of it at all.......and yet, I don't think anyone would call a mother who chooses an epidural selfish, when she's doing the exact same thing.

    With my hospital births, I dealt with substandard prenatal care (uh you're anemic, just keep taking those vitamins......), hostile nurses, repeated offers of medication though I asked not to be offered, impossible pushing positions, third stage pitocin, and separation from my babies.

    With my home births, I had excellent prenatal care with a firm basis in proper nutrition. I have chronic anemia which puts me at risk for pph, so my midwives were always very strict about my getting my levels up. I was threatened with hospital birth more than a few times. During the birth, I experience calm and relaxed faces and voices. Everyone is very reverant and in tune to me and what I need. I am never left alone, and no one is watching a monitor strip instead of me. I am able to push in any position I choose (all fours is absolutely wonderful!) and I push when I'm ready without any coaching (read YELLING! and counting to ten). My baby is born in love and placed in my arms to stay for at least an hour before checks are done. I am able to sleep in my own bed....with no one waking me up at six am to check vitals, and at no time is baby separated from me.

    I also want to say that women need to be allowed to feel disappointment, and yes angst, over disappointing birth experiences. I know of no more hurtful and unsupportive phrase than, "At least you have a healthy baby." That is everyone's goal, but most women do also have other preferrences for their births (like an intact perineum or drug free labor) and when things don't go their way, there is a grieving that needs to occur.

    Birth is something nurses see everyday, but to the families involved, this is huge.

    Sarah
  7. by   Dayray
    I won't get to far into it but it always surprises me that most the ugliness is started by people who don't even work in L&D. Yes I know you have had a baby but that doesn't make you an expert or entitle you come here and tell people who work the area on a daily basis that they are fools. My aunt is currently living in a LTC facility but I don't go to that forum and call you names ktwlpn.


    Pros and cons: (I won't call them reasons to have a home birth over a hospital birth because that boils down to choice)

    1. The data shows that births at home even here in the US actually have better outcomes for both mom and baby. I tired to find a link for this but got bored =P someone plz post one.

    2. Mother is in control, Most patients experience fear, and loss of dignity and privacy in the hospital. It's just the nature of hospitals. No matter how many people I chew out I still get people walking in the delivery room, looking for the patient that was there the day before and walking in on mom in stur ups (really ticks me off)

    3. Comfort, It makes things so much easier, delivery is faster and less painful if the patient is at ease.

    4. You know who will be at your birth, you pick your midwife and meet there assistant and they are it, no on call doc, no shift change right as you transition. Very nice

    5. Don't have to worry about interventions aimed at the docs convenience no failure to progress (what I call failure to wait for the baby to come out) C/S.

    6. The biggest reason (and most unselfish) is that the outcomes tend to be better.

    Cons

    1. There are some wackos out there that take natural child birth way out into new age lala land and convince patients to take some scary risks (choose your midwife carefully)

    2. There isn't a NICU in your closet. (I think 2 things offset this risk)
    a. The numbers show that home birth is safer and less stressful on the baby so you are less likely to need a NICU.

    b. 3 things kill babes They can't breath (make sure the midwife has a BVM and o2) they are cold, (warm blankets and moms belly put radiant warmers to shame) and finally congenital abnormalities cause infant death but this really goes back to 1 and 2.
    To sum up the NICU argument, there isn't much more that can be done to stabilize a neonate in a NICU that a sharp midwife can't handle.. Generally if a baby has to go to NICU its to go on a vent, but there is no reason that baby couldn't be supported with bag valve mask until they got to the hospital.

    You have to realize that in the hospital we hear the horror stories and not the good stuff. Next time you hear one of those scary tales of a home birth gone bad, find out how long ago it happened, my experience has been that they are so few and far between that people cant remember when it actually last happened.

    Another point Id like to make is that having not worked in L&D you wouldn't know how really easy babes are to recess. 2 days ago I had a baby with apgars of 4 at 1 min and 9 at 5 min. a little o2 some stimulation maybe bag them a little and give narcan (which wouldn't be needed at a home birth) and they perk right up. If they don't then we ship them 30 miles to a NICU to be put on a vent. No reason that can't be done from home.

    Adults have a much higher rate of survival if they can get to the hospital within 5 min but thats becuase of defibulation and you dont defibb babyies anyway.

    As I said before I need more experience before I can make a solid decision on my opinon of home birth but the more I read the more I like it. Think Ill look up a midwife and see if I can tail them at a home birth.
  8. by   Spidey's mom
    I think homebirths should be an option with all the above considerations for safety. However, those who are upset at the characterizations of homebirths need to not stereotype hospital births. IE . . Nurses "hell-bent" on proving a birth plan is unrealistic, forceps-happy docs, epidural pushing CRNA's, surgery crews trying to sniff out cesareans, hospital employees walking in while a woman is in stirrups . . . geez.

    Our birthing room is set up to be comfortable like your own bedroom, I've never seen a forceps delivery, we let women push using their own rhythm, we don't force epidurals on anyone and cesareans are not done for "too posh to push" reasons or for docs convenience. Hospital and OB nurses are not evil.

    Thanks.

    steph
  9. by   Dayray
    stevielynn
    I agree, I dont want to vilify hospitals or staff. I like working in L&D. I just wonder if things couldent be done better.

    Btw I was talking about visitors walking into rooms not staff. happens offten but was only mentioned to demonstrait how the hospital experance compromizes patient privacy. I should also mention this happens on any hospital floor not just L&D
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    ok . . .thanks.
  11. by   rnmi2004
    Thank you so much, everyone, for your replies.

    I completely understand why a woman would want to choose home birth.

    However, I have visited many "natural birthing sites" and it seems to me that a common thread in them seems to be the "natural birth" part and the baby seems to get left out. The anecdotes focus so much on the method of birth (Bradley, Lamaze, Leboyer, even unassisted ). I even read one site (I think it pushed Lotus births, do you know what that is?) that said "Yes, some babies die but that is nature's way." It makes me think that there is no way to accurately compare home births and hospital births--if some homebirthers have such a flippant attitude toward neonatal deaths, are they all being reported to the authorities? Please, don't think that I am against home birth. I am just saying that I don't believe that we can look at home birth stats vs. hospital birth stats and get an accurate picture.

    I think that the medical profession has only itself to blame for the fact that so many women don't want to give birth in a hospital. However, from what I've read and heard and seen, although there are many women who give birth at home because they truly believe it is best for the baby, there are also many women who give birth at home because of what they are interested in.

    I would love to see more truly informed consent in the US. I wish we had more freestanding birth centers available. I loved my CNM and hated the OB/GYN I saw with my first child. I have seen three deliveries besides giving birth to three of my own (one since becoming a student) and it was amazing. I could do L&D for a living. But the one thing that would hold me back is the fact that I strongly disagree with the standard interventions that are in place at so many hospitals.
  12. by   ktwlpn
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Dayray
    [B]I won't get to far into it but it always surprises me that most the ugliness is started by people who don't even work in L&D. Yes I know you have had a baby but that doesn't make you an expert or entitle you come here and tell people who work the area on a daily basis that they are fools. My aunt is currently living in a LTC facility but I don't go to that forum and call you names ktwlpn.
    >>>>>>>>Dayray-I pm'd you due to what I perceive to be a personal attack...You presume too much about my nursing experiences and my life....Let's keep this factual and civil-not emotional>>>>> I am so sorry that many of you have had bad experiences with your children..My experiences were not-I had great OB-GYN's-I felt that I was well supported through every aspect of my pregnancies.I felt safe and comfortable there also-if visitors are walking into pt care areas ad lib in such a way as to be a major problem then something needs to be done in the facility for the safety of all involved-I have NOT seen a mother-baby unit so freely accessible in this day and age....It is not un-realistic to hope for a calm and natural birth experience-but it is sad when things do not go completely according to plan and the new mother can not relax and enjoy her health baby but instead focuses on "her failure" That's my point and we moms are more then willing to take on guilt for feeling that we have failed when we have not met someone's ideals through every phase of our children's lives....That's what I'm talking about-Enjoy the thread-I seem to be triggering emotional responses and that is taking away from the debate...and it really does not matter to me any longer as I am no longer capable of child bearing...it's a moot point now....
  13. by   Dayray
    I have responded to your PM ktwlpn.

    Im sorry you got offended but I really dident do anything other then voice my opinion as you claim you have. I dident call you any names I simply posted some info to back my opionin (which you asked us to do).

    I could go on talking about homebirth and L&D all I day (thought that was what this site was for) but I won't being that I don't want to attack anyone.

    GL in LTC I wish you well.

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