I want to be very clear, again – if you have a Registered Nurse Midwife, you are in good hands. The word ‘nurse’ is key, which signifies that they have real medical training.
The red flags are ‘certified professional midwife’, ‘lay midwife’, ‘direct entry midwife’, or ‘doula’. Sometimes people with these titles happen to be registered nurses as well, but these are not protected terms – so be sure to ask that question!
Here is the study cited in the Skeptic Magazine comic clip to the left, which is tragically titled: “Term neonatal deaths resulting from home births: an increasing trend”
Long story short: homebirths are more dangerous even with a nurse at hand. With an “other” midwife, they are especially dangerous. But the numbers don’t capture the full scope of the problem for many reasons.
Number one, most states don’t require midwives to report their outcomes and even those recorded are likely underreported. Second, any birth emergency requiring a dash to a hospital counts against the hospital’s total, not the homebirth or delivery center. Third, hospital totals include all high-risk and pre-term deliveries, the worst-case scenarios.
The good news is that on average, 9982-ish out of every 10,000 deliveries have good outcomes regardless of where you have them (perhaps not with wild dolphins). But if you’re one of the tiny fraction that something goes wrong – the time between your baby and lifesaving medical care is all that matters. And here’s the worst part, lay midwifery programs contain LITTLE TO NO TRAINING in identifying or handling emergency situations. Read a randomly googled curriculum for yourself, and I hope you note the valuable electives of homeopathy, massage, reflexology, and aromatherapy.
For my friends in Europe and other countries, don’t worry – most countries protect the term ‘midwife’ like they do ‘doctor’. The US is a special case where anyone off the street can call themselves a midwife after receiving a certificate, then practice legally in half of the states.
And just in case you wanted to see the “What To Expect When You’re Skeptical and Expecting” comic in Korean, here it is:
Before you go, I wanted to show you an alternate delivery option.
Other than the hospital?
Oh no, wouldn't you rather have a natural, drug-free labor in our soothing bathing tub? With some aromatherapy and relaxing salts?
Wylona, isn't this your apartment?
-and a state licenses holistic birthing center!