My mom left a comment in my post about home births that I had to share with you. She is a particularly good resource for this topic, since she has been a labor and delivery nurse in a hospital for 35 years. She also acts as an assistant to the two midwives in her town when they do home births, and is quite knowledgeable and VERY experienced. And she's my mom, which makes it double cool. Here is what she had to say:
I'm becoming more and more aware of the scary microbes we are exposed to in hospitals - as more and more of them become resistant to antibiotics.
Here's a scarey example I experienced at work yesterday. 4 women were using our 2 breast pumps. 2 of the babies had been readmitted to the hospital - one for a group B strep infection (bad enough to cause a repiratory arrest) and the other for jaundice (with mom who had a cold sore).
The other 2 women had delivered in the past 48 hrs. The 2 breast pumps were in and out of these 4 rooms off and on all day.
The potential for the brand new newborns being exposed to gr B strep or herpes simplex (which can be fatal in newborns) seems pretty high to me. It was crazy busy on the ward so the staff had no time to come up with the safest solution here-including me. Today I emailed my boss with my concerns.
Anyhow, all this to say....and people think hospitals are safer than home to give birth in? Give me a break!
Also, in my 35 years of working on maternity wards, even in emergencies, time is almost always on our side. Most obstetrical complications give plenty of subtle and not so subtle signs long before things get urgent. Its women who do not have one on one experienced knowledgable constant support (aka midwives or labour nurses) who end up in trouble. Yes, interventions and c/s can save lives in the rare events of hemorraging or prolonged lack of oxygen but even then there are usually signs and symptoms that give you time to get the necessary help from home or the labour room.
And as you point out Melissa, despite what we see on ER, nobody just grabs a scalpel and starts to cut! The 30 min standard is quite realistic in hospital settings, and often takes longer. Very rarely, every second counts, but being in a hospital gives no garentee of a good outcome.
The emotional state and sense of safty a woman feels during labour effects how labour progrsses. So it just makes sense that women should be encouraged to give birth wherever they feel safest, emotionally and physically - be that home or hospital.
So ends my rant!