Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Big Medicine's blowback on home births

Why do U.S. doctors strong-arm women into our standard maternity care system?

Planning a home birth with a midwife may sound old-fashioned, but a solid body of research shows that for healthy women who seek a normal, nonsurgical birth, there are several benefits.
At home, a woman can get one-on-one care and monitoring from a midwife trained to support the normal labor process.
The mother-to-be is free to move about, eat and drink, sit in a birth tub -- Britain's national health guidelines call water the safest, most effective form of pain relief.
A woman will be helped to give birth in positions that are effective and protective: sitting, squatting, on hands and knees, even standing.
But hospital maternity care in the U.S. is typically not supportive of this process.