I'm sharing this article on THIS blog not to argue in favor of homebirth or say that choosing hospital birth is wrong. Like *most* things I post, it's purpose is to educate, share and make you think. Leave your constructive comments below.
Anyone can admit that we are easily influenced and swayed by what seems to be a popular opinion. Most people would agree that it is much easier to be a PART of the masses than to be APART from them.
"What is popular is not always right,
and what is right is not always popular."
When it comes to parenting (specifically birthing and infant care) we are led to believe that our instincts are no longer necessary and that technology knows better than nature. But who profits from this philosophy? Certainly not mother and baby. Instead, there is a very large LITERAL profit to be made off of influencing you in your choices.
There is money to be made off of where you birth, how you birth and also, how you feed and treat your infant. The hospital makes a very large portion of their profit from the labor and delivery ward and let's face it, hospitals are businesses. They do NOT want to lose that money, even if it might mean safer outcomes can occur at home for low risk women. Obstetricians make thousands of dollars off your birth (and prenatal care) whereas homebirth midwives make around $4000 (for both the birth and prenatal care total). A cesarean can cost you more than $20,000 and only costs your OB 30 minutes of work (and a nice early bed time if you aren't "progressing" fast enough). Vaccinations, routine exams and procedures (episiotomy, circumcision, forcep delivery) all take just a moment to do/perform and net a nice profit.
Now, before you stop reading and get angry and tell me I hate OBs and that I think hospitals are evil, let me say, no. OBs are SPECIALISTS. They are INCREDIBLY skilled in saving what needs to be saved BUT for that, I think *most* of them have a difficult time knowing and trusting that birth is normal. If your focus of study is all that can go wrong with something, it's hard NOT to want to act in a precautionary manner. For this, I believe that most OBs truly have women's best interest at heart with certain things. However, there are a few scenarios that are indisputably self centered and dangerous, serving the woman absolutely no benefit.
To continue, it is ignorant to think that every ad or persuasion doesn't have an underlying hidden meaning. Formula companies for example want to make money. They do not care about you and your baby, they care only for the profit. At the beginning, when infant formulas were first introduced, they provided a way for the women who could truly not breastfeed or have a wet nurse a way to provide for their infant children. Again, just like the hospitals, this can be and was life saving for those infants. However, there was profit to be made, a feminist movement of choice and a desire to no longer have to feel tied down to your children...and they marketed that. Today they advertise with such sayings as "Just as good as breastmilk" or "Has all your baby needs!" Stop. Think. Who profits from promoting breastfeeding? The mother and child who nurse. Who profits from promoting formula feeding? The industry.
Am I going to lose sleep over another parents' choices? Nope. But as a parent who did things this way and that way before stepping back and evaluating the choices, I wish only to share the other side of the glass with you. I would never tell a woman what choice she should make, I can only share what I know and what I continue to learn, because I care.
To say that homebirthers are selfish or that it's dangerous, because that is what those who profit from your hospital birth tell you, well...that makes you sound not only uneducated, but silly.
Remember who profits from routine interventions in normal birth: it's not you...and it's certainly not the baby.