Two highly influential bodies of the Orthodox medical world seems to be at odds over this recommendation though, The Department of health is actually plans to actually encourage home births whereas the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) wants to issue the warnings the hazards involved in home births, they were later blamed for scaremongering. NICE says that the DoHs request that women should be given more choice as to where they give birth, means that they should also informed of the dangers involved with home births. What dangers? I hear you ask. Well, if during the birth your babies heart stops or there are serious breathing problems, or the mother cant stop bleeding and there are no qualified doctors around, then the mother and the baby are put at grave danger, so they say.
However, what they fail to mention is that once you tell your GP you want a home birth, they tell you that if you and your baby are in very good physical health at 37 of pregnancy, that is when they will allow you to have a home birth, (they cant really stop you, but would you really go ahead if there were a real risk, women arent silly you know). Once you are assigned a midwife to assist you in giving birth, you are normally informed of the nearest hospital should anything go wrong and you will normally be check every few weeks commencing your due date.
Now, with all these precautions in place, the risk of a problem at the birth are dramatically reduced to few percent of births.
The other major factor that isnt even considered by NICE and many other orthodox medical professionals is that the whole business of labour and child birth is a major psychological event for the mother, and what she goes through mentally, will physiologically effect the baby.
Basically, when a women goes into labour, either by contraction starting or her waters breaking, she will immediately be very weary and possibly anxious about the impending birth. Therefore it is of utmost importance that her whole environment, including the people in it are set up to relax and reassure the mother as much as possible. Now consider these 2 situations.
1.The mother goes into labour, call the hospital, is told to come in to hospital. They gather their hospital bag, get in the car, endure a possible bumpy ride while having contractions, possibly get stressed by traffic or their drivers driving, arrive at the hospital stressed and then introduced to possibly 4 different midwives and maybe a few doctors before being allow to relax and get into a hospital gown.
Then the internal examinations are carried out periodically, their maybe strangers (midwives and doctors) popping in and out to check on you. The mother is in the most pain she is even likely to be in, in a strange place with no real personal thing around her, unable to really roam freely about, with normally bright lights and artificially sound around her and people who she may have never met before telling her what to do. How relaxed would you be?
2. The mother goes into labour at home. She calls the midwife to come to the house. At home with all her personal things around her, she is able to roam freely around her house, knowing where all her comforters are (bed, bath, food), able to play all her own music, or do what ever she wants to in her own environment. The mother is totally in control of her environment, surrounded with only those she wants there (bar the midwife). There are still periodic internal examinations, but apart from this, the mother has every opportunity to be as ease in her own surroundings, relaxed and in control. How relaxed would you be?
In situation 1 all the stress felt by the mother will be passed on to the baby, which frequently leads to longer harder labour.
Doulas or the more natural alternative to a midwife, are trained on how the mother body actually works and the best way to create an environment conducive to the health of the baby and the mother, before during and after birth. It has been found that things like the trip to the hospital, being taken out of the home environment, being bombarded with questions, lights and noises at hospitals can effect the condition of the mother very negatively. Contact one of our doulas for more information.
The article however ends with a quote form the chief executive Belinda Phipps from The National Childbirth Trust, which is a well accomplished pregnancy charity, say that NICE does not have any firm evidence that home pregnancies are riskier. If it were anymore dangerous there would be statistic the prove it. On the contrary, home births were up 7% last year (2005) from the year before (2004) with no increase in incidences.
She continues There is no anecdotal or otherwise screaming evidence that says that it is dangerous. There just isnt concrete evidence that it is safe It is safe to say that there are many procedures that orthodox medicine do which are admittedly unsafe.