Saturday, September 12, 2009

RANT: The great homebirth debate in the media

Of course, I may be bias, but I think this "investigation" by the Today Show about "The Perils of Homebirth" was poorly executed and completely undeveloped. If you decide to watch it, I hope you will consider the following techniques the broadcast team employed for story to increase the drama level:
* They sought out a worse-case homebirth scenario to spend the most time focusing on during the segment. Essentially, they sought an extremely unique and unlikely personal story and used that to spin the entire story.
* While they pointed out that the percentage of baby and mother deaths are higher in hospital settings rather than home settings, they failed to talk about the shear volume of complications that occur from interventions in the hospital and have lasting effects on mothers' and babies' health.
* If they would have objectively been telling this story about the debate of homebirth safety, they would have placed the interview of the couple who was statistically in the majority of likely outcomes of homebirth in the beginning and NOT lead with the couple who was in the minority. Can you imagine if they would have been debating the safety of hospital births and led with a couple whose baby died? Most of the babies born in both settings live ... the real question revolves around the safety of the medical inverventions used in a hospital setting that increase complications for the mother and baby.
* They did not talk to any Certified Nurse Midwives who operate under the most extreme cautions during childbirth. My CNM continually checked our baby's heart rate during our birth with the doppler radar, and had the baby showed any signs of distress, we would have been transported to the hospital. Our CNM does not mess around with safety. She wanted us to have the birth we wanted, but she more wanted the outcome of a healthy mom and baby in whichever setting that would have given way to that outcome. (Click here to read our homebirth story.)


  1. Babies die. It is a tragedy. Home birth is not a fad. Midwives are medical professionals. Ask any OB about bad out comes. They have them. It sucks.

  2. Yikes. This is, however, why I don't watch the news anymore. Everything is so slanted and with an agenda -- generally finding ways to sell more advertising at a higher price -- that the integrity of it is lost. They do the same thing with so many vaccines and autism and oh the Obama speech and ugh. It's so sad and really makes me worry about how our kids are going to grow up and think about the world when this is now the norm.

  3. The media really seems to do more harm than good. Why can't they bring more positivity to the airwaves?

  4. I wonder if this means the ACOG is getting scared that we're making a difference? This segment really made me mad, I wished they had interviewed me about my hospital birth and how I'm still mentally recovering from an unnecessary c-section. Keep getting the word out ladies, midwives are the way to go!!


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