Homebirth safety

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Mom2ThreeKiddos's picture
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Homebirth safety

So I read an interesting artcle the other day:

http://www.vbac.com/2011/01/home-birth-is-safe-despite-medical-opinions/

Of course I agree that homebirth is safe. But... how do you deal with the nay sayers (IRL or online) who say that it isn't safe. I really struggle with this. I don't want to come off as rude or mean or anything. So... what do you do?

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I love how one of the comments refers to the ACOG as a trade union, which it totally is! Taking care of their own.

I'm very proud of my previous home birth. I don't wear it on my sleeve, but when people ask, I tell them. And 9 times out of 10 their eyes bug out of their heads and they say, "what if something had gone wrong"? Rather than spouting off facts and figures and trying to convince them that it's perfectly safe, I just have to let it go. Live and let live.

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I agree with Amy. I could always tell the ones that I could make an impression on and the ones who wouldn't be willing to consider my perspective. I was open to dialogue with the ones who genuinely were interested. I always just reminded myself that at one point in time I was one of "them" as well. It wasn't until it became extremely important to me that I wanted to do the research for myself.

If anyone gave me too hard a time, I just told them that until they walked in my shoes and considered all the vasts amounts of things that I considered, then they wouldn't understand why I wanted to do things that way, but that the decision had come with a lot of research and soul-searching. And if they kept on, then I just said simply that I wouldn't discuss it any futher.

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Also, just wanted to add... I ended up being a transfer and repeat c/s after a planned HBAC. You would have been surprised to see all the nurses that would sneak into my room to ask me questions, and my opinions on home-birthing vs hospital-birthing. And then when they found out I was encapsulating my placenta!!! IT WAS ON!! I probably spent a couple hours a day during my hospital stay educating the nurses and LCs on home-birth, vbac, and placentas ROFL

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It's kind of funny, but I haven't really dealt with many naysayers. My family is totally on board. Mom's bringing her swimsuit because she wants to get in the birth pool and catch. Lol I'm not sure DH's family knows we planning a home birth, so I haven't had to deal with them yet. The only frustrating thing for me is some of the comments from people at work, like "That's brave." Lol Um, not really. Mostly it's just curiosity. Plus, I always throw in that my midwife has an awesome doc backing her up, and I live 5 minutes from the hospital.

I think though, that if I came up against someone who was really adamant that it was unsafe, I'd have to tell them that all of my research disagrees with that and unless and until they were willing to put in the same effort to come to an informed opinion, I don't want to hear anything they have to say on the matter.

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I don't try to convice anyone of anything. The hospital is there if we need it, and if we don't then home is the best place for us Smile

DH's extended family thought I was nuts for trying to home birth. I think that labour at home for as long as I did actually helped me get my vaginal birth. If I had been in a hospital for my whole labour they probaby would have deemed me "failure to progress" after being stalled at 9cm for 4 hours and I would have ended up with a c-section.

For the most part I just brush it off and say "to each their own". I know what's right for me and my body, and you know what's right for you and yours.

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I think much of the negative attitude comes from people being uninformed, and the fact that the cultural norm has been hospital birth for many years. It seems scary to people, and fear makes people react strongly. Some people are willing to listen and be open to new ideas (or in this case, and old idea making a comeback), and some people just aren't going to be. I haven't had a home birth myself, and unfortunately we don't have good resources in my area for people wanting to home birth (although midwife care in hospitals has been growing here lately). While I am having to figure out my next best option, I love to hear stories of people who have home births, and I think it's great that more and more people are going back to this way of doing things. I think it will take a gradual education of people, and basically a cultural change before it is widely accepted once again. But I think things are definitely moving in that direction.

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Some people are more nervous about birthing in hospitals, others more frightened of birthing at home. To each her own.... Biggrin Others aren't nervous or frightened - and are well informed and do as makes their family most comfortable and safe.

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I generally don't talk about it unless others bring it up, and usually if they do, it's because they genuinely want to know more about it. For example, I'm a college prof... a group of my students asked me if I was planning to birth in our new hospital or our old hospital, and I said 'neither'. Then I had to explain what homebirth was, what the research says about it, and why it was my choice. Most of them didn't even know it was an option anymore - I definitely opened a few eyes that day. Smile

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I'm with Manda and didn't talk about it unless someone brought it up. If I thought they'd be negative about it I just talked around the direct question and rattled off that we live 2 minutes away from xyz hospital. If I knew the person would fight my personal opinion I just didn't even get into the conversation with them, not worth my energy or frustration.