Fact: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 30 percent of American women who gave birth in 2005 had a cesarean delivery, up from 6 percent in 1970, 17 percent in 1980, and 23 percent in 1990. My Cesarean was only one of them.
After only two hours of laboring at the hospital 24 hours after labor started, I was tagged as “failure to progress” and was told I needed a C-Section. Baby showed no distress, I had no issues either. No alternatives were offered. No risks were discussed.
This was the first look I got of my son. This is also the view I had of his birth.
After birth ,he laid there alone, naked and crying.
My son didn’t feel skin or security until over an hour after birth.
He didn’t get to eat after birth for almost two hours.
He was traumatized, I was miserable, and could barely move. Not at all the birth I had envisioned.
Meet Amy.She was able to touch her baby and see him delivered, at home with the assistance of her midwife.
Daddy and Big brother were able to admire and hold baby shortly after.
“It was a wonderful experience and a beautiful way to welcome our newest family member into our lives.”-Amy
This is my HBAC baby. Just seconds after her delivery, I got to hold her and feed her.
Two hours after birth, tummy full, and sleeping peacefully.
Fact: “U.S. fell to an all-time low 29th in the world in infant mortality in 2004, according to the report Recent Trends in Infant Mortality in the United States from the Centers for Disease Control .”
The U.S. has one of the highest maternity death rates in the world and has the 2nd worse death rate for newborns in the world .
The countries with the lowest infant mortality rates were: 1. Singapore 2. Hong Kong 3. Japan
So what's their secret?
Midwives! Ina May Gaskin-Famous midwife
In Europe and Japan, midwives deliver 70 percent of all births; in the U.S. midwives deliver a mere 8 percent of births .Japan is ranked 3rd in place for infant mortality.
With that said, how can anyone ignore the correlation between who our primary caregivers are during pregnancy and labor, and infant and maternal morbidity in the U.S.?
FACT: Recent studies have shown mothers that give birth at home with the care of a midwife have lower percentages of postpartum depression than those that rely on an OB-GYN and have a hospital birth.
In retrospect, The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reiterates its long-standing opposition to home births.
“Advocates cite the high US cesarean rate as one justification for promoting home births. The cesarean delivery rate has concerned ACOG for the past several decades and ACOG remains committed to reducing it, but there is no scientific way to recommend an 'ideal' national cesarean rate as a target goal.”-ACOG
In other words, we know we’re doing something wrong, but its not our fault, and we don’t know how to fix it.
“ACOG encourages all pregnant women to get prenatal care and to make a birth plan. The main goal should be a healthy and safe outcome for both mother and baby. Choosing to deliver a baby at home, however, is to place the process of giving birth over the goal of having a healthy baby “-ACOG
If home birth is so unsafe, then why did A six-year study done by the Texas Department of Health for the years 1983-1989 reveal that the infant mortality rate for non-nurse midwives attending homebirths was 1.9 per 1,000 compared with the doctors' rate of 5.7 per 1,000.Certified nurse midwives' mortality rate was 1 per 1,000 and "other" attendants accounted for 10.2 deaths per 1,000 live births.?
So, what do other countries say about the U.S and birth? In testimony before the U.S. Commission to Prevent Infant Mortality, Marsden Wagner MD, European Director of the World Health Organization, suggested the need in the U.S. for a "strong independent midwifery profession as a counterbalance to the obstetrical profession in preventing excessive interventions in the normal birth process."
Wagner states that in Europe midwives far outnumber physicians: "In no European country do obstetricians provide the primary health care for most women with normal pregnancy and birth." He states that the U.S. has the highest obstetrical intervention rates as well as a serious problem with malpractice suits and concludes that a strong, independent midwifery service in the U.S. would be a most important counterbalance to the present situation
Since the 1970s, research done in northern California, Arizona, England and Tennessee all point to the relative safety of homebirth. The only matched population study comparing 1,046 homebirths with 1,046 hospital births, was published in 1977 by Dr. Lewis Mehl, a family physician and medical statistician.
In Mehl's report, morbidity was higher in the hospital group: 3.7 times as many babies born in the hospital required resuscitation. Infection rates of newborns were four times higher in the hospital, and the incidence of respiratory distress among newborns was 17 times higher in the hospital than in the home.
Yet,ACOG still insists home birth is not safe, and the hospital is the safest place to have your baby.
So, what can you do about this? When choosing a provider, ask questions such as: What is your Cesarean section rate? Will you respect my wishes for pregnancy, labor, and birth? How safe are the medications you are giving me? What are their side effects? What are the benefits and risks of what your doing?
If your pregnancy is considered low risk find a midwife who takes your insurance. Explore your options for birth: Home Birth, Birth Center, and Hospital Hire a Doula Read books such as A Thinking Woman's Guide To A Better Birth to widen your knowledge of routine tests and procedures performed during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, as well as post partum .