I'm just wondering why many young moms are opting to have babies at home versus at the hospital? The hospital is safe and there are trained medical staff and life saving instruments.
This just seems like an interesting decision to me, and so I'm trying to understand the rationality of it?
Many women plan to birth at home because the environment is more comfortable, clean and she will be assisted by trained midwives and perhaps a doula. One big consideration is that midwives tend to have low rates of intervention, so women who don't want drugs or surgery may opt to birth at home.
A home birth is a very safe option. In fact, for low-risk pregnancies (which are the only women midwives deem eligible for a home birth), a home birth is a safer option than a hospital. The midwives that attend a home birth are medically trained and they bring with them the same equipment that you would find in a small hospital. Also, if you want a water birth in Victoria, your only option is for a home birth as the hospital does not have the necessary equipment for a water birth.
I had a midwife and took a pre natal class specifically for clients of midwives. Half of our class was couples planning a home birth. Apparently that was a large percentage - but the childbirth educator said that there is at least one or two couples in each session of the class she teaches that are planning a home birth. So I think the numbers of home births in Victoria is pretty high. I do not know if it is higher than other places or not. I opted for a hospital birth but in hindsight I could have very easily and safely had a home birth. As mentioned a home birth can be safer for both Mom and Baby. Each expectant mother is screened and considered carefully before her midwife would ever consent to a home birth. We are also lucky to live in a relatively small city and a labouring Mom could be quickly transported to a hospital should the need arise. Also, it is important to knwo that midwives are highly trained medical professionals - they are pregnancy, birth and baby experts - completing an entire 4 year program to be registered in BC.
Life Section of the Times Colonist has a feature on midwifery. It includes this article about home births.
Encouragement and support of home birthing from the Health Minister is HUGE, fantastic news. Of course it saves the province quite a bit of money for women to birth at home, but that aside, this is a big step forward for health care in this province.
Just because something costs more doesn't mean it's better. just because it's intantgible doesn't mean it isn't real. Just because medical people tell you to trust the newest technology doesn't mean it supportswomens' health(even to the best of their knowledge). Just because women are "expected" to be happy new mamas doesn't mean that it's an impossible thing to attain. And just because all the books talk about post-partum depression doesn't mean that's your only option.
Also, how can you call it a trend? in this country especially where the pendulum is more toward "too posh to push" than natural birth. (referring to the 30 percent cesserian rate that continues to rise annually avg. cost 30K per). the last birthing center in san francisco recently forcibly closed due to increased insurance rates, rent costs and so on. the avg. home birth only 300 dollars. does that make any sense? it's capitalistic propaganda
Midwives are paid a lot more than $300 for a home birth, it's about $1000 plus now the govn't is coughing up to pay the second midwife or doula that needs to be in attendance, which is an additional $350. Then there's also the personal costs of the family for supplies, which I believe should be covered by the medical system. Still a darn sight less than a hospital birth.
Interestingly it really is a trend, in Victoria that is, versus the rest of the country. In Victoria I think it's 18% of births are at home, whereas the country average is about 2%.
And referring to the 30% of women who have caesarians as "too posh too push" is grossly unfair. I agree that the rate in this country is too high, and we should be working together to decrease the rate of surgery and helping to educate on natural birth and breastfeeding, but lumping that 30% together and referring to them as "too posh" is a gross generalization. Birthing is such a personal and individual thing, it's totally subjective and should not be judged.
I have every right to judge what is right for myself and if you hate me for it that is your problem, not mine. Define "fair"? Also, that was a generous statement, the statistics have risen since then and are closer to 33 percent. We have the WORST cessarian rate of any industrialized nation. You are wrong, WRONG!
Shame that you think that you know more than me and you don't. What is so "fair" about that? I would add thyat midwifery is commonplace and accepted in european, mideastern and asian countries. it was here up until the 50s. its "too posh to push" that is on trend. but i refer only to scheduled c-sections and am obviously in the MINORITY
I think its important to underline here that we all agree. Women's and baby's health should be first and foremost in everyone's minds when it comes to decisions reagrding labour and delivery and post partum care - and I think it is safe to say that you both believe the best care is too avoid unneccessary surgeries. Chenoa - I think Julita was just trying to highlight that not all C-sections are elective or given to women who would simply prefer not to "push". As you said - you were only referring to elective C-sections. Unfortunately, some C sections are 'aggressively suggested' to women who are scared and in an emotionally charged state of mind - that is not okay. But many women who have them, legitimately feel at the time that it is necessary - they trust the health care professionals by their side. I wish the medical profession would change its perspective, that more women knew when to take control of their care and the rate would go down but it is not simply a matter of a woman deciding to have surgery or not. The issues are complex and many faceted and there are so many factors to look at wholistically when assessing the problem of our C section rate. Assigning a label of "too posh to push" to women who have a C section isn't empowering women in birth and their decisions about their bodies. I totally understand where you are coming from Chenoa - elective C sections are becoming more popular the world over (I have a Brazilian friend who thought I was CRAZY to even consider vaginal birth - she said she doesn't know a single woman her age in a big city in Brazil who has done that). But I think it is more important to keep the conversations positive in order to change the system.
Well said Katie O.
So many variants and emotions involved in planning a birth, and then we're often thrown for a loop during the actual event if things go sideways or not as "planned".
Being judged during, after or even in discussion of such a topic isn't helpful. It will only create more divide and close minds, minds that perhaps could be persuaded to see a new (or rather more traditional) way of looking at birth.
It appears that if you want a vaginal birth in Brazil then you're better off in a pubic, government-funded hospital (37% rate of c-section) than a private hospital (80% rate of c-section). There is an interesting article about it here:
Looking at BC's c-section rate, it appears that recent increases in c-section rates is not due to maternal preferences. This statement by UBC says that the greatest cause of c-sections is difficult or abnormal childbirths:
This is further backed up by a more recent article from the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement.