Saturday, April 18, 2009

Did You Cry When They Dragged You Home?

Have finally got round to sitting down and blogging about an article which I read in the Times the other day:

The author seems to be suggesting that while we should all have a choice for our delivery, those of us who have home births are big fat-headed idiots, while she is practically perfect in every way...

She starts with a very lazy bit of journalism - pick a cliche and go with it.

"Disgraceful stereotyping it may be, but it is impossible to deny that home births are the preserve of homely, principled types who may then go on to breastfeed their child until it goes to secondary school..."

Why is it impossible to deny? Although I am partial to wearing flipflops for 6 months of the year I also have a pair of killer Gucci heels so high they are like wearing stilts.

"Frankly, it doesn't matter how safe home deliveries are proven to be...
...this is about quashing the entirely whimsical, perverse idea that we should turn our backs on modern medicine's starring role in safe childbirth...."

Modern medicine... hmmmmmmm. MRSA, under resourcing and understaffing are also features of the 'modern' NHS which the author choses to neglect. It also ignores the fact that there are lots of brilliant, modern, highly trained and expert midwives out there. All carry the essentials of childbirth such as recusitation equipment but some are also able to administer antibiotics during labour, Pethedin, perform neonatal checks, deliver breach and VBAC babies etc. Modern medicine can be brought in to the home and is not the preserve of the hospital and this attitude does a disservice to all the community and indepentent midwives out there working hard to give women a choice.

What I particularly don't understand is that the author admits that "researchers have revealed that women in the “low-risk” category who gave birth at home were just as safe as those who did so in hospital." and that "home delivery - if we may steal the expression back from the age of internet shopping - is as lacking in danger for the large majority as giving birth in hospital is" but yet then goes on to suggest,

...How utterly spoilt some women are, how complacent, that they think they can manage without wonderful things like blood transfusions, anaesthetic, surgery, antiseptic techniques and obstetric technology, which, in a century, a blink of an eye for womankind, reduced maternal and infant mortality almost to zero."

This seems to be entirely at odd with her earlier statement that "This is not about encouraging the unnecessary medicalisation of a perfectly natural condition". The above is EXACTLY about the unnecessary medicalisation of a perfectly natural condition! Many women, whether in hospital or at home manage perfectly well without transfusions, anaesthetic and surgery. Why is antiseptic the preserve of hospitals? My midwife washed her hands and used gloves, which come to think if it is more that some hospital staff do!

My rant must come to a premature end there I'm afraid as I currently have a toddler trying to stuff a pair of fairy wings in the DVD player...

No comments:

Post a Comment