Monday, January 4, 2010

Delivering a baby by yourself

I understand the concept of having a home birth and why some women prefer it to the hospital. I do not understand why someone would have a home birth without a medical professional there. I was born at home. The doctor came to my parent's house. Everything went smoothly. I probably would have considered doing the same thing if I knew a doctor who delivered babies at home and if I could have talked my husband into it!

However, I had my kids at a hospital. I had an internal hematoma with the first child and almost bled to death. I had preterm labor and had to be put on magnesium sulfate to stop the second baby from coming early. The third birth was an emergency c-section and the baby needed oxygen right after he was born. I am healthy, average weight, with no known health concerns-like diabetes. Maybe I am just unlucky, but I needed medical help with all of my births.

FROM NBC: Jennifer Margulis thinks birth should be a private party — no doctors or midwives invited. So when her daughter Leone Francesca was born at home last month, only Margulis and her husband, James, were in attendance.

“My husband and I were the only ones there when she was conceived,” says the 40-year-old writer from Ashland, Ore. “I thought we should be the only ones there when she was born.”

Margulis is part of a very small but growing number of women who are choosing to deliver their babies at home without the presence of health professionals. Some choose to have a husband or another family member help, while others opt to deliver their babies completely on their own.

The number of home births unattended by either a doctor or a midwife jumped by nearly 10 percent between 2004 and 2006, climbing from 7,607 unassisted births to 8,347 births, according to most recent figures from the National Center for Health Statistics. About 60 percent of the nearly 25,000 home births logged in 2006 were attended by midwives, a figure that experts expect will also rise.

While do-it-yourself deliveries are still uncommon, many doctors and midwives consider them dangerous. Risks can range from hemorrhage in the mother to problems with the baby’s oxygen supply during delivery.

“Most births are not complicated but when something goes wrong, everything happens very quickly and things can go downhill very fast,” says Donna Strobino, a professor and deputy chair in the department of maternal and child health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

“If you look at data from developing countries where unattended births are more common, you see a higher rate of infant and maternal mortality with unattended births than with hospital births.”

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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