Recently, I received a link about a michigan woman who had a stillborn daughter 3 years ago. The DEM encouraged her to continue on, ending up at 44 weeks. Of course, this leads to comments about how the mother should of researched her provider and educated herself. When any homebirth horror story is shared, this line is constantly thrown around, c-o-n-s-t-a-n-t-l-y!! Nothing grates my nerves more. This line is used to take the blame away from negligent midwives and to pacify advocates who think it can't happen to them. Well, guess what advocates?? You are just as likely to have YOUR baby die as we did.
What research didn't we do?? We ask our midwives about outcomes and credentials. We have references. What else are women suppose to do? They cannot look through all the midwives "patient" records. We also know is some states it will only show if there has been a sanction, no mention of who brought it up, or what happened, just what the ruling was. Faith Beltz's said something to the effect of not writing something down, nothing about a dead baby. So, since advocates know so much, can they please tell women how to research their midwives ahead of time?? How many are handing clients the names of mothers who lost babies due to their negligence?? My guess is NONE. Women are not nind readers and cannot predict that their midwive will fail them and their baby. If I had known Brenda would fail Mary like she did, I would of run away quickly.
As for educating ourselves- how didn't we do this? Oh, you may have a point. We read Ina, Jennifer, and Henci's books. We watched BOBB (not me, but I know others who have). We saw the summaries of various studies like the Johnson Davies and Netherlands which said homebirth was as safe or safer than hospitals. We learned all about pregnancy and childbirth. We ate perfectly and kept ourselves in shape. We learned why hospitals and Doctors are bad. We learned why cesareans occur. We educated ourselves just like advocates do now. We hung out on homebirth boards. So, what makes you think we were uneducated? It sounds like you are telling us that a mother is uneducated if her baby dies. How logical is that??
Now, one of the things I have noticed is you all are your own cheering section. Women are encouraged to have homebirths even in high risk situations. Instead of saying "This is high risk and you should have your baby in a hospital", women are told "Oh that's a variation of normal", "stick garlic in your vagina", "practice the brewer diet", "Gestational diabetes doesn't exist", etc. Then, if there is a bad outcome and the mother speaks out, she is automatically villianized. She listened to others who reinforced what her midwife was telling her so how is she to know that something is actually dangerous?? By educating herself?? Mind you, homebirth websites don't even tell or encourage hospital birth. Homebirth sites tell you how walking into a hospital means pitocin, an epidural, fetal distress, then a c-section. Women are conditioned to fear doctors and hospitals. Do you not see what kind of environment you, as a homebirth advocate, create?? So, then baby dies, you go on to mistreat the mother and blame her for her baby's death??
When a baby dies, it's death can be laid on the shoulders of the incompetant midwife and the advocates who encourage homebirth at no cost while telling mom lies about the medical system. Stop blaming parents. Blaming them won't make you immune, so just stop. Would you be happy if one of these mothers totally cracked and ended up in the psych ward, intensive counseling, or dead from suicide?? You are so worried about PPD from c-sections and traumatic births, but don't care if YOU push a grieving mother into having this. I can promise the mother blames herself all the time and carries that weight, even when all she did was choose a provider. Yet, you insist on making sure that weight she carries is unbearable, just to try to push your agenda. I would never dream of blaming a mom for her child's death, yet homebirth advocates do this all the time. Perhaps all of you need to take a step back and put yourself in another person's shoes for two seconds. Your ASSumptions about lack of research and lack of education have absolutely no credibility.
If you cannot handle these stories, start holding incompetent midwives accountable so they stop occurring. Stop lashing out at us. Lashing out at us doesn't make a midwife practice any differently. We aren't hurting the movement, negligent midwives are and your support of them is just the final nail in the proverbial coffin.