Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Say NO to home births

The Atlantic and Huffington Post are arguing the merits and demerits of home birth. The Atlantic says they are (often) dangerous, and dumb. Huff says so what: Some women find them less stressful and more comfortable, plus doctors are morons who just want to cut our stomachs open.

I know I don't have a uterus, but can I speak bluntly?  The Atlantic wins this one. 

I agree that many deliveries are not complicated, and can be performed safely at home. I also agree that some doctors are bullies who prefer procedures to sensitive sitting around while they wait for something to develop. However, none of this justifies the risk you take when you choose to deliver your baby at home. 

Most deliveries go smoothly, but should complications arise you might have only a few minutes to act. If you deliver in a hospital everything needed is at hand, and a doctor can act immediately. But if you are delivering at home, and something goes wrong, the drugs and surgical expertise are not nearby, but at the nearest hospital, and you may not have enough time to get there. 

My own wife fell under the spell of some voodoo faith healer, and opted to deliver our first child without the benefit of pain killers. It all went well, but by the time she delivered again, we were both much smarter. She delivered our next child under the influence of that heavy pain killer that knocks out your lower body.Do you know why? It wasn't because she couldn't handle the pain, but because she knew the doctor might have seconds to act if an emergency C-Section was required. Pain killers work quickly, but she didn't want our unborn child's life to be at risk for an extra moment or two while the doctor waited for the anesthetics to kick in.

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