Ricki Lake, home childbirth, and our money

Fox News reports (here) that Ricki Lake is under fire from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the AMA for advocating home childbirth. They contend that home is not the safest place to have a baby, instead stating that the safest place is in a hospital, birthing center, or other “approved” facility. Well, of course they would say that, not because it is true, but because if the trend continues they will lose their hold (read that as ‘source of income’) on the general public. To try to retain their hold on our money, these medical associations want to pass legislation to force us to pay them for what women have done for millennia without them: (from the article)

The AMA resolves in the statement to support state legislation “that helps ensure safe deliveries and healthy babies by acknowledging that the safest setting” is a hospital, connected birthing center or other approved facility.

This is big business taking away our freedoms in order to take our money.
We had our first two children in a hospital. We elected for natural childbirth, but in the hospital’s birthing room. Our first daughter was born with the help of two interns and myself, as the nurse refused to call our physician, even after I emphatically informed her that the baby was crowning and my wife was at 10 cm. dilation! The doctor got there well after the birth. Then the hospital personnel got upset when, after two hours, we were ready to go home. Were they worried about the baby? Were they worried about my wife? No, they wanted us to check into a hospital room, even if only for a few minutes, so they could charge us for it.

Our next child, a boy, was born at the same facility. We had instructed the doctor and staff NOT to give my wife any drugs, such as Pitocin. Pitocin is commonly used to make the uterus clamp down to stop bleeding. Interestingly, if you just let the baby nurse right away, the mother’s body releases a substance which does the same thing, naturally and gently – unlike the ‘hard’ clamp-down of Pitocin. Pitocin is also transferred through breastfeeding to the baby. You can’t make me believe this is good for a newborn.

Well, the nurse tried to give my wife Pitocin anyway. I grabbed her wrist to stop her and asked what she was doing, as we had specified NO drugs, unless we approve. She was shocked that I would question her. This is the prevalent attitude in the medical profession. They think they are in charge of your life. My wife nursed our new son, and the bleeding stopped. No Pitocin. God knows what He is doing!

We had the rest of our six children at home. We had a reputable midwife there on hand and a hospital transport plan if anything went wrong. Since my wife and her family had a good childbirth history we did not expect complications. You have months to check the woman’s and the baby’s progress – if there are indications of problems then by all means make informed decisions to protect the health of mother and child. But if all is well, I would urge you to go for home childbirth. Why? To start with you will have a tremendously reduced stress load to deal with. Home births are more relaxed. You are in a familiar environment. Family can be present. The baby won’t be traumatized by the bright lights, etc. The mother will get more rest. You will save a bundle of money that could be spent on your baby or put into a college fund (can you imagine several thousand dollars invested for eighteen years?). And – very important to me – strangers won’t be making your decisions for you.

Now let’s explore the conditions in the hospital: The bright lights, cold air, and abundant equipment cause a rise in stress – not good for a woman in labor. If you get conned into staying in one of the hospitals’ enormously expensive and utilitarian rooms, you or your insurance company will be paying some serious money out. This is an unnecessary drain on your wealth and that of the other insured people out there. You will lose control – they will tell you when family and friends can visit. You will have the possibility of being exposed to all sorts of diseases, in spite of the best efforts of the staff. Your baby will enter the world and spend its first days there in harsh, bright lighting – a bit of a shock for a newborn (go ahead, research it!). Your baby will be handled by people you don’t know. You will be handled by people you don’t know. You may be given drugs that you don’t really need ($$) or don’t have any idea what the long-term effects are.

Our experiences with home birth have been absolutely wonderful. My second son was born on the second birthday of our second daughter. That was 21 years ago TODAY! Happy birthday Crista and Paul!!The family was over at our little house for her birthday, my wife had been in labor since that morning. Our midwife came over, we went into the bedroom, including my mother and my wife’s mother, and had another birthday. I caught the new baby. He came out with his umbilical cord in a knot around his neck. Our wonderful midwife deftly reached over and slipped it over his head. I caught him as he emerged and laid him on my wife’s belly to nurse. When the cord stopped pulsing we knew he had his full blood supply from the placenta, so I cut the cord. We allowed the placenta the time it needed to detach naturally instead of pulling on the cord to make it faster, as our impatient doctor had done with our first boy. Due to this my wife had minimal bleeding and needed no harmful drugs. We brought the new child into the world in a quiet, warm, dimly-lit and comfortable world. Then we had a double birthday party!

Mom and her new baby

Our last child, a girl, was born eight years ago in a little unfinished 20’ by 20’ cabin out in the woods. A midwife stood by. My wife’s two close friends were there. My other children got to witness this miracle. All were blessed. Above is a photo I took moments after the birth: Mommy seeing her new baby for the first time. My eyes tear up even now at the wonder of it. And I am so glad it was not ruined by harsh lights, uncaring and brusque medical personnel, unfamiliar surroundings and sounds, and most of all the lack of loving family present.

If you have your babies in that so-called “safe” hospital you have no idea what you have missed, or what damage may have been done. Ricki Lake, I salute you!

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