Monday, 18 January 2010

Birth at home Safer than at Hospital: eMJA: Planned home birth in Australia: politics or science?

Good news from the latest review of homebirth statistics. Despite the fact that the AMA can't read research, and then go on to make gooses out of themselves by quoting incorrect statistics to frighten people about birth, the news for women who want to have their babies at home is very good.

The correct information is this:

1. The rate of perinatal mortality for the period under examination (1991-2006) was 8.2 per 1000 births for planned hospital births; for infants born at home 2.5 per 1000 births.

According to the reviewers, one of the two infants who died after being born at home

"had congenital anomalies suspected on ultrasound; the parents declined further investigation, and the infant had palliative care and died from lethal anomalies. The other was a fresh stillbirth from a water birth. Although birth under water was thought not to have contributed to the death, closer monitoring during labour may have changed the outcome.

The evidence clearly shows that birth at home is safer than birth in hospital!

Image from Wikipedia

The reviewers said:

Although it is not anticipated that large numbers of women will opt for home birth, women’s autonomy in choosing reproductive behaviour is a fundamental human right enshrined in Australian law.4 Respecting their choices and achieving the best outcome for all concerned is likely to remain a challenge that will require more light and less heat than it has received thus far.

A pity that the AMA has chosen the route of "Lies, damned lies and statistics" to further their 'shroud waving' agenda to frighten women and their families about birth.

eMJA: Planned home birth in Australia: politics or science?

The really important point amidst all this stupid shroud waving and fear mongering on behalf of the AMA is that women do best where they feel safest. Our jobs as health professionals is to be supportive of women's choices and provide an environment where women feel supported and cared about and to intervene appropriately. That's it.

Sadly, the AMA has forgotten about the therapeutic use of self. Using fear to coerce women into submission to fit the 9-5 agenda is not kind, good or ethical.

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