Ladies would you consider homebirth?

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    Today having your baby at home assisted by midwives, is becoming more popular in America.

    USA is somewhere around #30 on the list of world’s safest countries to have a baby. (Not including stats from homebirths)Making it low on the list for best maternal and baby outcomes. NEtherlands and Austraila and Israel rank higher.

    Every one out of three births in America will be by C-sec. Thus increasing the risk of maternal.

    Would you like to experience a home birth? Just curious.


    There is a reason you are alowed to drive shabbos to the hospital; its safer.

    Brooklyn Yenta

    no way, jose! yuch! why would i want to mess up my nice, clean house? besides, if ch”v a doctor was needed, he wouldn’t be there. (that’s also why i wouldn’t use a midwife). also, why would i want to subject other members of my family to the experience? it ain’t a pretty situation. uh uh. not for me.


    Nooooo. Absolutely not. You never know when you may c”v need medical intervention at the last minute; you can be in a situation that would be rather easily remedied within minutes in a hospital, but at home the same situation will not have a happy ending. Too risky for me. And potential trauma to your older children as well. Why expose them to that?

    Plus, I like my epidurals 🙂


    A midwife in a hospital is the best of both worlds.

    mom of a few

    never! Too many last minute things can go wrong even if things were fine before hand.



    Enough said!


    I just found this and thought I’d post it for statistic sakes. Its interesting.


    No way! Even if you paid me a million dollars. It’s not worth it… So many things can go wrong at a birth, chas v’shalom.




    I’ll boil the water!

    always here

    no, & I wouldn’t want my 2 daughters & 2 daughters-in-law to have home births either. (nor do I think they would).


    “A midwife in a hospital is the best of both worlds.”

    I agree!!

    Giving birth is scary. How anyone can be comfortable doing it at home is beyond me.


    ill chain smoke in the living room


    Actually in Balto. they have something called a birthing center which is a place to give birth by midwives in a home-like environment, but isn’t a medical center.

    I find the posters above are typical of the avg. frum woman. But to me it seems a little bit of hypocrisy. These women want the best OB doc, but when the doc decides to do a procedure, they all scream I don’t want it -it’s not necessary. If you don’t want to have any procedures use a mid-wife, not a doctor; that is the difference between the two!


    I just had to weigh in over here and provide some insight and statistics. I honestly think if more people were educated about the state of labor and delivery healthcare and knew more about homebirth, more women would be choosing to give birth at home or at least acknowledging that homebirth is a safe option (for most women). Obviously women who are high risk should not be giving birth at home.

    Here are a few facts: most of my facts are not up to 2011 however, they are within the past 5 years.

    2) Maternal mortality and morbidity is grossly underreported in the US. Many states have no law requiring the death certificate to state if the woman was pregnant or died within a certain length of time after birth. Research shows that the maternal mortality rate may actually be more than double of what is really reported. (There are countries many people have never even heard of that have better mortality rates than the US!)


    “These women want the best OB doc, but when the doc decides to do a procedure, they all scream I don’t want it -it’s not necessary. If you don’t want to have any procedures use a mid-wife, not a doctor; that is the difference between the two!”

    I’m sure this is news to not just me. Procedures are to be done when necessary, whether one is using a midwife or doc. If mid-wife can’t do the procedure, she calls in a regular doctor provided the procedure is necessary. If it isn’t necessary, a regular doctor shouldn’t be performing it either.

    Patients should always be pro-active when dealing with doctors. If something isn’t necessary, then women have the right to object it not get done. And that right shouldn’t be compromised just because she wants the best doctor.


    Its a beautiful idea but the baby deserves the best care and a pediatrician is not sitting in the home with you waiting for you to deliver. The best thing for the baby is to have a staff of medical professionals at its beck and call and of course that goes for the mother as well. You never know what can happen at birth. Any type of complication can arise and for frum women the husband cannot assist and frum women do not have a score of mothers, mothers-in-law, sisters, friends, etc. along for the ride, in the home and in the room for the event!

    So although the thought of it sounds more peaceful and calm, it won’t turn out to be that way if there is a problem.


    its so messy and gross, why would u want to? and also….so many things can go wrong. I work for a peds dr and we see sooo much go wrong! its not worth it


    flowers – I don’t disagree with your post, but you misunderstood MY Post. After reading coffeeaddict’s post (who is probably one of these doulas) you would think every medical professional wants and are doing unnecessary procedures. Most of us are ethical and don’t do unnecessary procedures. The point I was making -is that time and again when the doctor decides it’s necessary for the patient to have one -the frum lady most of the time starts with this screaming they don’t want it and it’s not necessary. If you don’t want procedures, even when deemed medical necessary, then don’t use doctors, use midwives!


    Aries, if a serious problem arises and mother/baby are in danger, the husband isn’t only allowed to give assistance, but he is required to do so.


    Use a midwife in a hospital…we did…and, as it turned out, while all went well, B’H, there was a scare at the end of birth & our midwife called for a Dr., who was just a few feet away on the Labor & Delivery Floor, to assist.


    Lastly, Birthing Centers are a good alternative, as they are equipped for emergency situations, and they can offer natural & modern options, such as birthing in a pool, etc.

    tomim tihye

    and forfeit my 48-hour hotel stay?!

    anon for this


    I chose to birth in a hospital with an OB because I trusted her to decide which interventions were necessary (but if I chose a miwife I’d also want one who’d recommend medically necessary interventions). Of course I carefully chose an OB who was less inclined to intervene unnecessarily. Personally I avoided most interventions though I was hooked up to “the machine that goes ping” (external fetal monitor).


    Just my opinion, but while laboring in water can be great, I’d avoid an actual waterbirth. Risks of waterbirth include infections caused by inhaling infected water or just hyponatremia (which can occur after swallowing a couple of mouthsful of clean water).


    Think of birth in 1800’s Poland. Transylvania. These mamas had other kids around in the house. They could not hide the facts of life. They obviously weren’t inviting the kinderlach to cut the cord or be present at the birth of their new sibling. My point is for the folks who argue they don’t would not want to expose their other children to it, this use to be a natural part of family life, in the shtetl life. The circle of life and death was real and all around them and today we lack that. Its like we’re allergic to the idea of it and its not as gross after all.

    We have a industrialized mentality in that we are far removed from birth and trust in our bodies and witnessing and being around the circle of life and death. We are separated by the sterile walls of modern medicine. Its a topic best left for the medical experts. Some of us are uncomfortable with the idea of accidentally spilling bodily fluids in our wall to wall carpeted homes.

    Would it damage a kid to be sent out to a neighbor so mommy can geborgen a nia pitsy baby? It wouldn’t damage a teenage girl to run to the car, for the midwives oxygen tank, if asked, or to fetch more plastic bedcovers. This was the way it use to be. (minus the car and o2 tank)

    But what Health was saying is correct. In fact if listen to what Ina May Gaskin has to say about birth and fear (she is America’s Pioneer in Midwifery, having revitalized it) she compares the act of birth to other natural bodily functions which also operate by the Sphincter Law. Any sphincter like opening that operates involuntarily to let out, needs privacy. WHich is why we have private toilet stalls and don’t go in public. Have ever seen a 2 year old quietly disappear behind a corner to make, its just instint.

    Having said that, compare that to the hospital situation. Its a wonder anything can naturally open up without fear. Its possible a lady can have 2-3 interns/residents plus her doctor, and 2 nurses, and then an anesthesiologist all standing around looking at her. WOuld you like that even if it were only to have a BM? I wouldn’t be able to produce.

    This is the theory behind why we see some ladies who remained at home in labor for a while can proceed to 5 or 8 cm dialated say, but then get to the hospital and then close back down. Fear.

    THen the Doctors may say its time to add pitocin to get things going. But wait! SHe was laboring fine at home. What happened? WHy did things stop? Staying on the bed is one inhibitor as the body needs natural movement for comfort measures to help with pain, for example. And walking speeds up the process. Thats why ladies are recommened bed rest for premature labor.

    Pitocin induction usually means that epidural is the next step, as this is almost an indescribable an unbearable, unnatural pain. This is not natural labor from Hashem. Its from man and his medicine. Very violent contractions.

    I thought I would put this up for everyone. I found some world statistics for maternal mortality.

    I already put up the link above.

    Number of Maternal Deaths per 100,000 births

    Italy 3.9

    Canada 6.6

    U.K 8.2

    United States of America 16.7

    USA ranked the lowest in this particular article.


    Thank you coffeeadict for taking the time to type out these statistics. My wife is a doula, and worked in a hospital for years, she saw so many unnecessary c-sections in her time there. OBs are trained in the medical side of birth and the age old tradition of midwifery isn’t taught or attempted to be understood. She always says that she can tell exactly where a mom is in her birth by observation, but the nurses and doctors, who are too busy, only go by the numbers of the machines.

    Once there was a mom who was stuck at a certain point in her labor. The doctor put a time limit on her and they would be headed for a c-section within a certain amount of time (maybe an hour?) being stamped “failure to progress”. The nurses were watching the machines and, it was true, the baby wasn’t progressing. My wife asked the nurses if she could try a couple things, because she knew the baby wasn’t aligned right to drop into place as the mom was told to stay on her back. The mom was “allowed” to have a couple contractions on her side, the baby fell immediately into place and she had a natural delivery. The baby was stuck and there was no way on her back that the baby was going to fall into place. Something so simple, is rarely paid attention to, and if they are, it’s done with skepticism. She has many, many stories like this.

    I would liken many OB’s and nurses to reading Torah without any knowledge of the Oral Torah. There’s a rich knowledge of birth through thousands of years of midwifery that gets overlooked in the name of medical births, which has only been around for a couple generations. They are trained very well in what to do if something goes terribly wrong, but not how to prevent these situations it in a more natural way, as they have always been done.

    As for a home birth, they don’t have to messy. Our last child was born at home and we would never want to go back to a hospital birth. It was so calm and peaceful for the baby to have time to sit with mom and bond quietly. It wasn’t a lot of cleanup at all, but even if it were, I would happily have a baby at home, as all of our ancestors did.


    I had midwives, and I had c-sections. It’s just the way it went for me. I wouldn’t have done it differently, although if I would have qualified I would have squatted in a field just to keep them from unnecessarily checking me over and over.

    If someone is very low-risk, with support at home and access to a hospital, there’s no reason not to attempt a homebirth. I wasn’t low-risk enough to consider it.

    People who consider homebirth/midwives/birthing centers are generally very educated about the birthing process. They are committed to a healthy labor and birth for both mother and baby. I didn’t care what other people think. But I’ve never really cared about peer pressure…


    @ Health – I am not “one of these doulas” as you put it. I am a woman who went thru a completely unnecessary c c-section, was unable to see my baby for over 24 hours after birth because not one nurse thought it was important to help me get up to see the baby, and not allowed to nurse her for almost the whole time I was in the hospital due to the drugs they had me on. I then did significant research and reading to make my next labor better. I feel empowered with the knowledge I have and I feel bad for those who are left in the dark. Homebirth is not for everyone but the stigma attached to it makes people not even bother looking into it and judge others who have done it.

    “I would liken many OB’s and nurses to reading Torah without any knowledge of the Oral Torah. There’s a rich knowledge of birth through thousands of years of midwifery that gets overlooked in the name of medical births…” Maybe frumladygit can confirm but I don’t believe Ina May Gaskin has actual medical training, rather everything she knows, does, and teaches is thru “learning on the job.” It could be she eventually received training but when she first started delivering babies her only knowledge base was from reading.

    Again, homebirth is not for everyone but the stigma associated with it is absolutely ridiculous and I have found that women who choose homebirth are extremely educated about labor and delivery.


    coffeeaddict, when was the last time you had an epidural? With every epidural that I’ve had, I stayed in a sitting position, was allowed to move around without a problem, could change positions and even get out of bed – there’s a reason they call it a “walking epidural.” Plus, I’ve had epidurals that actually sped things up rather than slowing them down, and I know others who have had that too.

    Yes, it has its risks, but I’d be curious to see the number of epidural-related deaths and/or extreme complications (read: paralysis or other permanent conditions, not week-long headaches) compared to the number of deaths and/or extreme complications in home births (or those not attended by a doctor).

    Pashuteh Yid

    Frumladygit, Geborgen??? No Geborgens are allowed in the CR. Period.


    LAer, there are two type of epidurals. One is a walking epirdural which allows you to move around from the waste down. Many hospitals dont even offer walking epidurals so yes most epidurals that laboring women receive do not allow them to have any sensation in their legs and walk around.

    I cut and pasted a study from Canada below. go to to see full study for the full text. While it doesnt compare specifics of epidurals, it compares hosiptal births attended by doctors, hospital births attended by midwives, and homebirths attended by midwives.

    Methods: We included all planned home births attended by registered midwives from Jan. 1, 2000, to Dec. 31, 2004, in British Columbia, Canada (n = 2889), and all planned hospital births meeting the eligibility requirements for home birth that were attended by the same cohort of midwives (n = 4752). We also included a matched sample of physician-attended planned hospital births (n = 5331). The primary outcome measure was perinatal mortality; secondary outcomes were obstetric interventions and adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes.

    Results: The rate of perinatal death per 1000 births was 0.35 (95% confidence interval [CI] [RR]

    Interpretation: Planned home birth attended by a registered midwife was associated with very low and comparable rates of perinatal death and reduced rates of obstetric interventions and other adverse perinatal outcomes compared with planned hospital birth attended by a midwife or physician.


    smartcookie, l’chatchilah a wife becomes nidah very soon into hard labor or if she sees the mucus plug earlier. B’deved a husband of course is allowed to do what is necessary. However, WE don’t count on doing things that we are not allowed to do l’chatchilah. So we have to take that into consideration and because anything can happen and because frum people do not invite a crowd in at birth, as I mentioned before l’havdil to the goyim, you have to take into consideration that the midwife will need the help of the husband. Since we do have to take all issues into consideration and plan for all events, we have to take that into consideration as well and not just say, “well in the case of an emergency, we can ignore the fact that the wife is nidah”. You can’t, that fact is always a given. Even so much as “hold the baby while i cut the cord”. Is that mutar if the baby is still connected to the mother? Yes of course, in an emergency situation everything is mutar, but to plan it that way???????????

    We can all say how this is nice or that would be nice, but WE can’t give a couple a heter to do that. If a couple is planning to have a homebirth with a midwife they had better also discuss it with their Rav so they know exactly what is mutar and not and how to be prepared for all occurrences. Hatzlocha to all whichever choice they make.


    We need to bring back the Profession Of Shifra and Puah back to the Jewish World.


    Sorry LAer, I actually know a lady who was left paralyized from the waist down in the 1980’s from a simple epidural which happened to go into the wrong place in her spine. Today she can barely stand and shift her feet as she moves along the kitchen counter for stability. She has her car adapted for handicap.

    The famous story of the Meah Sharim mother who was wrongfully accused of starving her child actually gave birth recently (within the past 12 months) to another child in the midst of that crisis, and was left crippled from the epidural, as well. Who are we to ask Hashem why? But yes, this mother has suffered a lot.

    In the news a few months ago there was a very big story about a lady in labor with epidural in place, who just suddenly died. She came back within 3 mins, but there was mass hysteria and panic on the floor as they called code blue for a young mother in the prime of her health and life, who was dead as a result of the epidural. Here are some bits from the article on BBC website that had the story last year.

    “Her husband, 37, said his wife was tired after receiving an epidural during the labour but after closing her eyes, she “wasn’t waking up”.

    She stopped breathing and she is believed to have suffered a heart attack before her heart stopped beating entirely.

    A mother from Colorado who doctors said had died while giving birth to her son, has said it is a miracle that both she and the boy are alive.Tracey Hermanstorfer’s heart stopped beating and her son Coltyn appeared lifeless after the Caesarean section on Christmas Eve (24 December). However a few minutes after he was delivered, both began breathing again. Dr Stephanie Martin told Good Morning America she could not explain how the pair survived. “


    Ina May Gaskin held a M.A in English until her calling as midwife. WHich leds me to suspect she was anyways an avid reader, educated and capable of interpreting information. As a intentional community she just got involved in the births of the families out of sheer necessity. They didn’t have money to go to the hospital, didn’t believe in taking welfare and didn’t believe in leaving debts behind. So they gave birth in their caravans and school buses which were converted into homes, in the early 1970’s. What came out of it, was that once they bought land and started to build their community they got involved with a Doctor in the area who guided and instructed them. THey basically read anything they could on birth, including William’s Obstetrics, the classic text book for doctors, but more overly they operated on the laws of energy, observing what worked and what didn’t. And seeing that relaxing attitudes and environments produced positive results… Todate the farm midwives have delivered somewhere near 2,000 births and have the best statitics for mother/baby outcomes in all of America.

    Very low c-sec rates.

    you can see their website at


    Aries- I get your point. That is true.

    Speaking about pitocin, I had one of my labors progressing nicely B”H. After a while the dr said that if things don’t move by a half hour, shell give me pitocin to speed things up.

    I said “NO . I will stay here all day and night as long as my baby isn’t in stress, but I won’t take the pitocin.”

    She plain and simple had no patience!!

    I nicely asked her to please stay out of my room until I call her back in!(And you better believe I didn’t call her in until my baby was ready to be born.)

    (I had a doula with me who gave me the confidence to be firm with the dr., otherwise I would just trust the dr’s orders.)

    Unfortunately, many doctors today don’t care about their patients. They care more about their money 🙁


    Yes, I’ve considered it with my current pregnancy.

    Hospitals are disease ridden. Many people go in for simple procedures and contract terrible diseases (my grandmother went in for surgery which was BH successful, but contracted c. diff and died from it).

    Most people don’t do an unassisted home birth – they have a midwife. Then the same way you handle niddah in a hospital, you do at home.


    coffeeaddict –Health - I am not "one of these doulas" as you put it.

    If you would have been, at least your opinions would have been somewhat quasi professional. You are just someone who feels they have been burnt by the system. Even if what you say is true (we don’t know because you didn’t even give us your version of what happenned, let alone we haven’t heard the other side), your personal story doesn’t make this the case all the time. A lot of your so-called statistics you don’t even bring any proof for. Eg.:

    You haven’t brought any proof for this statistic except for one frum doctor once saying so. Before you are motzay shem rah on medical professionals, find out the truth. The truth is most OB’s don’t work alone and they do rotations for weekends/holidays. So almost all don’t care if someone delivers on the weekend. If a doctor comes in to deliver a kid on fri. and it’s not progressing, they don’t have to hurry it up like you say; all they do is leave and have the doctor who is on call for the weekend take the case. Why does everyone become a know-it-all because of their experience?! Like I said before, if you don’t want a procedure, use a mid-wife! They can deliver at your home, birthing center or hospital.


    SJS –Hospitals are disease ridden. Many people go in for simple procedures and contract terrible diseases (my grandmother went in for surgery which was BH successful, but contracted c. diff and died from it).

    This is true; hospitals are full of disease; it’s called nosicomial infections. Again, someone making a generalization from a one time incident. Unfortunately for you -C. diff isn’t one of the organisms under this category. It’s actually an bacteria that lives in people’s gut. When the flora is decreased in the gut, usually because of antibiotics, this bacteria can cause disease. Another know-it-all blaming the hospital and the medical professionals without even knowing any basics. There could have been negligence in your grandmother’s case, as in any case were things have a bad outcome, but the way you presented it shows no negligence!


    Yes, of course there are cases of epidurals causing paralysis and/or death. I never said that there weren’t. I was just wondering how the statistics measure up against deaths and serious injury in home births. I think that many hospitals do offer the walking epidural, you just have to ask for it. Even if you don’t get a walking one, you’re not confined to lying on your back – that’s not true anymore. You can sit up and change positions.

    Anyway, the argument here isn’t only concerning epidural complications. I know a few people whose “routine” births would have ended tragically if not for the presence of a doctor. I’d much rather not take the risk. If you can stand up for yourself, like smartcookie said, and not just go along with what the doctor says, I’d stick with hospital births. Just in case.


    Health, I agree with you, and since no one has stated the statistics of unfortunate outcomes of homebirths this has been a one-sided discussion which obviously does not give all the true facts.

    As far as epidurals are concerned, obviously there are risks with any procedure but they have been greatly improved since the 1980’s. In addition YOU can choose NOT to have an epidural. YOU can choose to have your child completely without any drugs at all. That is your CHOICE as the patient and the mother. WE did it way back when, it was called Lamaze. We used breathing techniques to help us through the labor pains. Others used hypnosis.

    The point is that YOU should be in control of how you choose to deliver your baby. But that has to be an educated choice with consideration of the advice the doctor you CHOSE and supposedly trust has given you. If you prefer not to use drugs CHOOSE a doctor who has the same mindset and methodology as you. Don’t go with one doctor and then complain about his normal procedures. It is up to you to do your research when choosing a doctor in the first place. Discuss everything before you get to the end of your pregnancy and make sure that you and your doctor are on the same page.


    Health, there is a high corrolation between elderly in hospitals or long term care facilities developing increased colonization of c. diff, causing extreme diahrea and often death. But feel free to say I am blaming this on medical negligence.

    Lets face it – hospitals are places where sick people go. My OBGYN encouraged me to use a local, community hospital during pregnancy for non-extreme emeregencies. She said that if I would come in to Columbia, I would be exposed to a lot more lethal diseases when all I needed was an IV and antibiotics.

    Hospitals are not these sterile zones we think of them. There are sick people there. Your home is generally safer.

    That being said, I will most likely end up with a (hopefully medical intervention free) birth in a hospital. With my OBGYN, who respects my wishes to be as intervention free as possible.


    you have to ask the women… but i’d say whatever makes the yoledes more happy… no?


    From a World Health Organization (WHO) report – subsection on Place of Birth:

    It has never been scientifically proven that the hospital is a safer place than home for a woman who has had an uncomplicated pregnancy to have her baby. Studies of planned home births in developed countries with women who have had uncomplicated pregnancies have shown sickness and death rates for mother and baby equal to or better than hospital birth statistics for women with uncomplicated pregnancies.

    Pashuteh Yid

    FrumLadyGit, please don’t make sweeping statements about the starving mother’s supposed innocence, since many here disagree with you.


    Frumlady & PY, please lets not discuss that case here. Yes we have differing opinions and they are most probably very fierce on both sides. Are WE entitled to opinions? How much do we really know? WE really do not have the facts and we never will. The information we were able to get was devastating and no child deserves to go through what this child went through. The fact that she had another child after that incident proves nothing about her mental status nor her ability to parent or mother children. Those that defend her and say it was the hospital at fault, do not have any information other than the charedi community complaining about the hospital. They are there WE are here. We don’t know the woman, we don’t know the hospital staff involved. We just know the conclusions WE each individually have realized. Is there something wrong with her or is the hospital covering something up on their part? Only the parties involved and Hashem know the truth.


    You know something? THe one reason I am hesitant to ever truly consider a homebirth is in the case of a very rare but life threatening situation called placenta accreta. This is when the placenta has actually grown abnormally into the uterus and beyond the walls. It requires immediate hysterectomy. Also hemmorhage is not wanted in a homebirth. Homebirth sounds so nice, but truly these issues I just mentioned are things that cannot be screened out by a health care provider before hand. No one can know if a woman’s uterus will contract down normally and stop bleeding after delivery. It’d be a tragedy….


    Coming from a family where homebirth is almost the norm, i can say it is a beautiful experience, not messy or yuchy!Ask those who do it! They will tell you!there are more and more frum women doing it!However if you are not comfortable with it dont do it! Yet there’s no reason to bash it! Look at the facts, and for a low-risk mother there is nothing to lose!! Birth is an experience not a sickness, there is no reason it has to be done in a hospital!


    i was personally involved with home births for about 6 months, and hospital births for a year. i knew all the lines about the infection rate and c-sec rate in hospitals, the unfounded aggressive nature and surgical orientation of obs. all true. but i would never recommend someone to have a home birth, (almost)never.

    on the other hand there are some terrible unnecessary things that go on with hospital births. for now the best answer is a compromise. a birthing center that is truly understanding of the process, a midwife directed birth, or an ob who has some sense, or a combination of all three

    but never a home birth unless absolutely necessary for some reason


    I would have a kid at home any day of the week.

    What is the big deal? It is like pulling out a baby tooth.

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