dconrad000 wrote:...some thoughts about mortality rates...
As is the case with respect to child mortality rates and vaccination, traditional medicine likes to take credit for mortality rate improvements for child birth. I believe in reality overall however, that the improvement in rates has more to do with living conditions, better nutrition, and other factors -- not whether the babies are born in hospitals, under their care or not.
As I stated earlier, both settings have different kinds of risks. Neither setting is risk-free. For a normal, healthy mother -- however -- I believe the hospital to be far riskier -- and the interventionist approach taken there, quite often is the cause for the complications; including oxygen deprivation; permanent brain damage; and even death.
However, as I also stated before -- I feel that parents should exercise their moral agency to study the issues, employ the Spirit -- and choose whichever options seems right for them under their various circumstances.
Here are some revealing statistics comparing home birth in a modern setting with hospital birth in a modern setting, which some of you might appreciate.
Statistics About The Safety Of Home Birth
•“Every study that has compared midwives and obstetricians has found better outcomes for midwives for same-risk patients. In some studies, midwives actually served higher risk populations than the physicians and still obtained lower mortalities and morbidities. The superiority and safety of midwifery for most women no longer needs to be proven. It has been well established.” (Madrona, Lewis & Morgaine, The Future of Midwifery in the United States, NAPSAC News, Fall-Winter, 1993, p.30)
•“In the U.S. the national infant mortality rate was 8.9 s per 1,000 live births [in 1991]. The worst state was Delaware at 11.8, with the District of Columbia even worse at 21.0. The best state was Vermont, with only 5.8. Vermont also has one of the highest rates of home birth in the country as well as a larger portion of midwife-attended births than most states. ” (Stewart, David, International Infant Mortality Rates–U.S. in 22nd Place, NAPSAC News, Fall- Winter, 1993, p.36)
•“The international standing of the U.S. [in terms of infant mortality rates] did not really begin to fall until the mid-1950s. This correlates perfectly with the founding of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist (ACOG) in 1951. ACOG is a trade union representing the financial and professional interests of obstetricians who has sought to secure a monopoly in pregnancy and childbirth services. Prior to ACOG, the U.S. always ranked in 10th place or better. Since the mid-1950s the U.S. has consistently ranked below 12th place and hasn’t been above 16th place since 1975. The relative standing of the U.S. continues to decline even to the present.” (Stewart, David, International Infant Mortality Rates–U.S. in 22nd Place, NAPSAC News, Fall-Winter, 1993, p.38)
•The Texas Department of Health’s own statistics show that midwives in Texas have a lower infant mortality rate than physicians. (Texas Lay midwifery Program, Six Year Report, 1983- 1989, Berstein & Bryant, Appendix Vlllf, Texas Department of Health, I 100 West 49th St., Austin, TX 78756-3199.)
•In the state of Oregon from 1975-1979, there were approximately 3-4 neonatal s per 1000 births in home births attended by midwives, as opposed to approximately 9-10 s per 1000 births for all residents. The same figure indicates approximately 5 infant s per 1000 births in home births attended by midwives, as opposed to approximately 12 s per 1000 births for all residents. (Research Issues in the Assessment of Birth Settings, Institute of Medicine, National Academy Press, Washington, 1982, p. 175)
•“In The five European countries with the lowest infant mortality rates, midwives preside at more than 70 percent of all births. More than half of all Dutch babies are born at home with midwives in attendance, and Holland’s maternal and infant mortality rates are far lower than in the United States…” (“Midwives Still Hassled by Medical Establishment,” Caroline Hall Otis, Utne Reader, Nov./Dec. 1990, pp. 32-34)
•“Of the 3,189 midwife-assisted deliveries studied, episiotomies were done on 5 percent of the women, the Caesarean section rate varied from 2.2 percent to 8.1 percent, and perinatal mortality (the number of babies who die during or shortly after birth) averaged 5.2 per 1,000. Compare these numbers to those for New Mexico obstetricians and physicians during the same period: nearly routine use of episiotomies in many hospitals, a Caesarean rate that varied from 15 percent to 25 percent,and a perinatal mortality rate of 11.3 per 1,000. Looking at these numbers, Rebecca Watson, the maternal-health program manager at the New Mexico Department of Health commented, ‘I sometimes wonder why [we bother compiling statistics on midwives], since their statistics are so much better than everyone else’s. ” (Sharon Bloyd- Peshkin, Midwifery: Off to a Good Start, p. 69, Vegetarian Times, December 1992)
•Records kept from 1969-73 in England and Wales indicate still birth rates of 4.5 per 1000 births for home deliveries as opposed to 14.8 per 1000 births for hospital deliveries. (The place of Birth, Sheila Kitzinger & John Davis, eds., 1978 Oxford University Press, pp. 62-63)
•‘Mothering Magazine has calculated that using midwifery care for 75% of the births in the U.S. would save an estimated $8.5 billion per year.” (Madrona, Lewis & Morgaine, The Future of Midwifery in the United States, NAPSAC News, Fall-Winter, 1993, p. 15 November 23, 1996 issue of the British Medical Journal.)
•“Our research has shown that, for women with low risk pregnancies in the Netherlands, choosing to give birth at home is a safe choice with an outcome that is at least as good as that of planned hospital birth.” (Ibid. p.13)
•“During delivery, the home birth group needed significantly less medication and fewer interventions whereas no differences were found in durations of labour, occurrence of severe perineal lesions, and maternal loss.” (“Home Versus Hospital Deliveries: Follow Up Study of Matched Pairs for Procedures and Outcome”, p. 1)
•“The mean Apgar score, five and 10 minute, babies in the planned home delivery group had higher scores.[over planned hospital delivery]” (Ibid. p.
•“There was no evidence that the more liberal use of episiotomy in hospitals prevented severe perineal lesions.” (Ibid. p. 9)
•“The lower rate of interventions in home births meant a lower risk of subsequent complications for the mother.” (Ibid.)
http://www.cmomb.com/statistics-about-t ... ome-birth/
Here are some excellent books that were very helpful to my wife and me on the subject:
http://www.amazon.com/Immaculate-Decept ... 0890876339
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3222 ... lternative
http://www.amazon.com/Childbirth-withou ... 0953096467
http://www.amazon.com/Pollys-Birth-Book ... 1576360199
(Some, if not all of those books should be available through inter-library-loan -- at your local library.)