I have been asked to write about the dangers of homebirth, however, I choose to write about the safety of homebirth and the dangers of hospital birth. Basically there is a ton of research all showing without a doubt that planned homebirth is a safe option for low-risk women with a qualified midwife in close proximity to a hospital emergency services. All these studies comparing thousands of homebirth women with matched hospital births show that there were either the same amount of complications or less with homebirths. In other words, more babies and mothers did not die, were not brain damaged , or suffered illness as a result of a homebirth, In fact, some of the studies showed better outcomes for Ihomebirthers It seems that hospital births are more dangerous for low-risk women because of the common routine interventions that can cause complications leading to unnecessary Cesarians or instrumental delivery, (vacuum and forceps), and the liberal use of pain medication which can have serious side effects for mother and baby. The rare complications of childbirth in low-risk woman would be fetal distress or hemorrhage. This is why a qualified midwife must know the limitations of staying at home and when it is time to transfer to a nearby hospital . She must have necessary equipment such as oxygen, drugs to stop bleeding, and the skill to insert an intravenous line., and be knowledgeable in resuscitation skills. The advantages of homebirth is that there is less interference with the normal physiological birth and there is one-to-one care. The woman is relaxed in her own natural environment and territory, and when a women feels safe and cared for her hormones work better and birth is speedier and more satisfying. The bottom line is however, that a woman must give birth where she feels safe and secure. If this means a hospital then she should birth there. Birth is a very culture- oriented affair, and all the evidence of safety of homebirth will not matter if deep- down a woman really is fearful on an emotional level of homebirth, as she has been influenced and indoctrinated in this belief. However, likewise for the woman who is mistrustful of hospital and afraid of interventions and views birth as a normal physiological process . She needs to have the option of homebirth available to her so that she can birth feeling safe and secure at home with her midwife. All births have potential for complications, and neither home nor hospital can guarantee l00% success for mother and baby. We do know that most complications do not happen within minutes and there is a sequence of suspicious events that will allow the homebirth client to transfer in time to hospital. Although most people in Israel view homebirth as dangerous, one only has to study the excellent outcomes of birth in Holland, where about 40%of woman birth at home with midwives , to see that it is obviously untrue that homebirth is more dangerous. More babies and mothers are ill or die from childbirth in Israel where 99% of births are in hospitals, compared to Holland The same is true of birth statistics in the United States and other Western countries that have mainly hospital births . Their statistics are much worse than .Holland where so many births are at home. The National Health System in England, after completing an in-depth study on the safety of homebirth versus hospital birth for low-risk women, decided that homebirth is a safe option and is now offered to women by the NHS maternity services . Just as hospital birth is an option, so should homebirth be an available option in Israel too. It should be a matter of choice, and it is time for women to be informed as to the safety of homebirth. Here are some excellent resources for researching and further studying the subject of homebirth.
www.midwiferytoday.com ask for their Homebirth Pack
Safer Childbirth, Marjorie Tew, Chapman and Hall
Where to be Born, the debate and the evidence, Rona Campbell and Alison Macfarlane,National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, Oxford
Childbirth at Home, Marion Sousa,Prentice-Hall
Home Birth, Alice Gilgoff, Bergin and Garvey Publishers, Inc.
Homebirth, Sheila Kitzinger, Dorling Kindersley, Inc.
I have a wealth of information and articles and statistical studies at my home, as I have been personally researching homebirth for the past l2 years. Anyone requesting an info packet, in English, can call me at 08-9231719, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make copies and send you by mail. Please
.include 20 shekel for covering expenses. Ilana Shemesh
more in english