"Wow you are so brave" and other stupid things people say when you tell them you are planning a home birth
I remember being pregnant with my third baby and pretty often, after telling someone was I birthing at home I would get met with the following comments:
WOW YOU ARE SO BRAVE (not said as a compliment)
AREN'T YOU WORRIED ABOUT YOUR BABY?
OH, I JUST COULD NEVER TAKE THAT RISK
aaaand many many more.
And I would sit there pretty shocked that
a. they thought it was appropriate to say that to a pregnant person
b. that they thought their opinion mattered to me
c. that they thought their opinion was one based in truth
d. that they actually thought hospital birth was the safer choice
Let's bust some hospital birth myths shall we?
Whenever home birth comes up in conversation, it almost always goes straight to the safety of home birth which I can understand as home birth is still something that, while growing in popularity, goes against the grain of what most people do.
But here's my question - do those same people worry about the safety of hospital birth too?
Birth holds risks. There is no such thing as a risk free birth - no matter where you birth, who your care provider is, how much weight you gain, how much you move during your labour, what kind of pain relief you get, waiting or inducing birth... it all has risks. It is about getting the information on the risks and benefits and then making an informed choice - and that choice should be yours - not your midwife or doctors.
So many people are just automatically choosing hospital birth thinking it is the safer choice with out doing one once of research to the pros and cons of both home and hospital birth. If after researching, you still feel safer in the hospital, then that is perfect! You do that! Birth where you feel safest but make sure you actually understand what the truths are.
Here's some pros and cons of hospital birth:
Here's some pros and cons of home birth:
Shared from this pubmed article:
"Hospital birth* has not undergone rigorous scientific scrutiny, yet is commonly believed to be safer than planned homebirth, even for low-risk women. A commonly promoted notion is that there are rare complications, which can arise at birth, making a hospital birth safer for low-risk women. There is no published research to support this notion. Where trained and equipped birth attendants are available, and hospital transfer is closer than 30-45 minutes, a planned, attended homebirth is safer for low-risk women than a planned hospital birth. Currently available published research suggests planning a hospital birth is not safer than planning an attended homebirth for women with one head-down fetus, between 37-42 weeks, no high blood pressure, no previous cesareans and no serious medical conditions that affect pregnancy outcome."
So please, can we stop with the stupid home birth comments?
Samantha Garcia Gagnon is a birth worker in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia. She has a special focus on supporting physiologic home births and shares her years of experience and knowledge in this blog.
Proudly supporting home birthing families in Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam. Port Moody, Langley,
Surrey and New Westminster.
Filled with gratitude to be living and working in the unceded and ancestral home of the Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Matsqui, Kwantlen, and
Semiahmoo First Nations.