Thursday, April 16, 2009

Newspaper columnist calls home birthing mothers "spoiled" and "complacent"

Melanie Reid prefers to have her babies in the hospital, so she's written a (UK) Times Online column about why everyone else should too. It's a bizarre argument, though, because while it's prompted by the new Dutch home birth safety study, and while she discusses and never challenges its premise that home births were, statistically, as safe as hospital, she then goes on to slam home births for their lack of medical care:

...the only intelligent, progressive, logical place to give birth is within shouting distance of the benefits of 21st-century medicine... this is about quashing the entirely whimsical, perverse idea that we should turn our backs on modern medicine's starring role in safe childbirth.

She accuses the Dutch of "evangelizing" because lots of them give birth at home (unlike "other sensible parts of the developed world"). So if you have evidence to show that what your country does is safe, even if it's different from everyone else, it's evangelizing? I can't really make sense of this argument. But I suspect we'll see a lot more of it in response to this study. "Right, yes, home birth has been statistically shown to be as safe. But why would you give birth away from the hospital? What if something happened?" Around and around the arguments go...

1 comment:

Joy said...

I personally like birthing in hospitals as well... BUT I admire women who birth at home! And I'd never push my beliefs on someone else, especially in the media like that.

It's a shame! There's so many wonderful ways to give birth and it makes me sad when someone believes their way is the only way.