Are you considering a homebirth? Have you heard any of these?
Or your friends and family might ask, “What are you crazy?”
Let’s debunk the myths one by one.
Myth #1 Homebirth is dangerous.
This is a very broad statement. Dangerous compared to what? Dangerous for who? Dangerous in what way?
In this landmark study on planned homebirth you will discover that among the low risk population who plan for homebirth, there are fewer interventions and no increased risk for mother or baby.
ACOG , American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, has their own opinion on the matter. Henci Goer does a great job as deciphering and comparing the 2011 and 2016 ACOG opinions.
Women who are healthy and at low risk for complications are great candidates for homebirth. To say it is dangerous for all women is simply not true.
Myth #2 Your baby is in harms’ way.
If you do your research on homebirth safety and you feel confident and safe giving birth in your home then how are you putting your baby in harms’ way?
Midwives are trained to deal with circumstances that arise when it would be best to transport to a hospital. Most of the time the reason for transport is a non-emergency reason, such as failure to progress, or maternal exhaustion.
You still get to choose a provider who is clinically skilled, trained, and has a good reputation in the community, just as in other health care decisions.
You are the one that knows your baby, and what you want.
Myth #3 Giving birth at home is illegal.
In some states it is, but not everywhere. In many states homebirth is a legal, viable option. You get to find out the laws in the state that you live in, and what your options are. It’s a shame that in today’s society in the United States, not all women have access to all options. This is not only dictated by state laws governing midwives, but also by insurance, and access to care. Sadly, it’s not an equal opportunity for all.
Here are the top ten lies you’ve been sold about childbirth.
1) Pregnancy is an illness.
Most women (in the U.S.) give birth in the hospital. Hospitals are for sick people. People with disease and illness, emergencies, and for tests, and procedures. Because this is what hospitals were designed for, pregnant women will be treated as such.
You may not have been told you are ill when you are pregnant, but the messages you receive and the treatment and care within the medical establishment create this experience, by design.
2) Birth requires intervention and management.
The majority of women use epidural for pain relief. This requires lots of other interventions; I.V., Electronic Fetal Monitoring, blood pressure checks, etc.. Induction is rampant. The use of artificial oxytocin, Pitocin, also requires many interventions and a lot of times leads to a woman’s request for epidural. What about the risk of all the other interventions that come with the epidural or the induction or both?
3) The hospital is the safest place to give birth.
It is all really relative to the particular hospital you choose to give birth in. The Leap Frog group has graded hospitals. Where does your land? In addition, there are many germs to be found in a hospital, and the management of labor in this setting often leads to the interventions that slow, or stop labor. Or create the scenario whereby the baby’s heart rate drops, Mom’s blood pressure drops, or both. This then could lead to a cesarean section; major abdominal surgery. There are risks associated with surgery; your body cavity is open and anything is possible. The hospital can be a safe place but I would question whether it is “the safest” place. Where do you feel safe?
4) You require many tests and procedures during pregnancy.
Glucose test, GBS test, blood tests, pee test, non-stress test, vaginal exams. There are more. Do you require all of these to be safe and healthy? I’m not saying yes or no. I’m saying that not everyone needs everything. You may have your unique set of risk factors. And it is not necessarily the same as it is for your friend. My point is that you get be educated on what these are and you get to choose. There is no one size fits all, as you may have experienced, or are about to.
5) Birth is an event to fear.
This is the perception that seems to have taken over in childbirth. Fear will stop, stall, or prevent your labor. What you believe will show up in your experience. I know hundreds of women who had the most amazing birth experience you can imagine. It is normal to have a fear of the unknown. You hear horror stories, maybe you watch some crazy T.V. show that gives you a horrible image. Birth is a rite of passage, a transformational event in a woman’s life that will help you find your power, if you believe it will. Birth can be joyful, and even orgasmic for some women. It is not separate from your life and how you live it. Do want to fear birth or learn about it, and trust the process?
There is breastmilk and there is formula. These are the two substances to choose from when feeding a baby. There are some very distinct differences between the two. In fact, there really is no comparison. Breastmilk has the perfect composition for your baby to digest at whatever stage of development they are at.
Most of the discussion about breastfeeding speaks into the benefits for mother and for baby. Those are numerous. Babies have less respiratory infections, and ear infections. Mothers have lower risk of ovarian and breast cancer. These are just a few.
While these benefits are great to discuss and share with parents, there doesn’t seem to be as much discussion on the hazards or the risks of formula. It is imperative that parents be fully informed of their options so the choice they make is based on all of the facts. It is the responsibility of the parents to be informed. All medical and non-medical birth workers such as doulas and childbirth educators that serve these parents will ideally be able to share this information.
“For infants, not being breastfed is associated with an increased incidence of infectious morbidity, as well as elevated risks of childhood obesity, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, leukemia, and sudden infant death syndrome. For mothers, failure to breastfeed is associated with an increased incidence of premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, retained gestational weight gain, type 2 diabetes, myocardial infarction, and the metabolic syndrome.” -https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2812877/ .