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  Home  > Child/Family Wellness  > Myth: Hospital Births Are Safer than Home Births

Myth: Hospital Births Are Safer than Home Births

Fact: The same hospital that offers superb medical care to those who are ill almost inevitably provides an environment for childbirth that introduces unnecessary risks, interferes with normal healthy biological processes, and fosters anxiety, dependency, fear, and loss of self-control in women giving birth.

Homebirths with prenatal care and a skilled birth attendant, show a mortality rate as low or lower than hospital births, and a much better record in terms of complications and harm to the baby. Studies of birth center deliveries show clearly the superiority of fewer interventions. Unfortunately these studies do not attempt to measure the emotional, spiritual, and transforming qualities of the birth, which are as important to health and wellbeing as is the physical experience of giving birth.

The United States trails far behind other countries that have neither our technological resources nor our numbers of sub specialist physicians in perinatal and neonatal care� Despite all the resources we have thrown at intensive care, we have slipped continuously in the past decade in the number of healthy babies born in this country. We've gone from ninth to twenty-first place. We have one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the developed world, and we continue to slide� despite the fact that we boast the most sophisticated medical care in the world. - Suzanne Arms

While research shows homebirths to be as safe or safer than hospital births when attended by a skilled birth attendant, most women in North America give birth in a hospital with a doctor. Few of these women know that while the sophisticated equipment and professional skills available in hospitals can be life-saving for a small minority of babies, many routine hospital birth complications are iatrogenic, i.e., the result of the interventions and treatment themselves. Research clearly shows that most routine hospital practices initiate a vicious cascade of interventions, disturbing the natural process of birthing and increasing the likelihood of complications and the need for increasingly complex (and more dangerous) interventions, as well as more pain-relieving drugs. For example, the expulsion of the baby from the womb is a reflex process much like the peristaltic movement of food through the digestive tract. This reflex is blocked when the sympathetic nervous system (the flight/flight/freeze response) is activated - which occurs almost inevitably when birth is treated as a medical condition rather than a natural process. (continues)

Birth: An Instinctual Process
Effective Aids to a Natural Healthy Birth

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