The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
Statistics have demonstrated that, for the majority of women, home birth with the presence of a skilled attendant is a reasonable and safe option. "The American Public Health Association's policy statement on Reduction of Unnecessary Cesarean Births encourages the expanded use of midwives and out of hospital birth settings." Sakala, Carol. Citing the American Journal of Public Health 80, 225-2, 1990 in Midwifery Care and Out-of-Hospital Birth Settings: How Do They Reduce Unnecessary Cesarean Section Births? Social Science and Medicine 37, 10 (1993c) 1233-50 A Study of 3,257 out-of-hospital births attended by Arizona-licensed midwives from 1978 to 1985 showed a perinatal mortality rate of 2.2 per 1000 and a neonatal mortality rate of 1.1 per 1000. Sullivan, D. & Weitz, R., Labor Pains: Modern Midwives and home birth. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1988, pp. 125-126
These rates are substantially below those for the U.S. as a whole, which had an infant mortality rate of 10.5 per 1000 in 1987. Another study compared 1046 planned home births attended by California midwives with a similar group of 1046 hospital births attended by physicians. The two groups were matched for mother's age, education, number of children, risk status, etc. There were no significant differences in perinatal mortality between the groups. But the midwives achieved lower rates of fetal distress, postpartum hemorrhage, birth injuries, and the need for infant resuscitation. While the hospital sample had 30 cases of birth injuries, including skull fractures, facial palsies, brachial nerve injuries and severe cephalhematomas, there were no such injuries at home. The home birth statistics included those couples who began labor at home, but ultimately needed to be transferred to the hospital.
Mehl, L., Ramiel, J.-R., et al., "Evaluation of outcomes of non-nurse midwives: Matched comparisons with physicians," Women and Health, 5:17-19, 1980
In the United Kingdom, the 1992 House of Commons Committee on Maternity Services stated in the Winterton Report that "this committee must draw the conclusion that the policy of encouraging all women to give birth in hospitals cannot be justified on the grounds of safety" and further in the report stated that "There is no convincing or compelling evidence that hospitals give a better guarantee of safety of the majority of mothers and babies. It is possible, but not proven, that the opposite might be true." We realize that, while birth is inherently safe and that with minimal intervention 85-90% of all births result in a healthy mother and infant, there are risks associated with birth that include but are not limited to; maternal or fetal death, neonatal death, maternal or neonatal morbidity. In order to minimize those risks and avoid any unnecessary interventions which may disrupt the normal birthing process, we have chosen to birth at home with a midwife who is skilled in recognizing circumstances which require referral or assistance from other health care providers.
Should circumstance arise that would make it unsafe for us to remain
at home, we expect to transport to XXXXX Hospital into the care of XXXXXX
Obstetric-Gynecological Associates, P.C.. Under no circumstances will we
hold you responsible for events that occur prior to our arrival at XXXXX
Hospital and we will not hold you responsible for an outcome that may have
been improved with an earlier admission to the hospital and your care.
We recognize that if hospitalization becomes necessary, interventions in
the birth are warranted, but we expect that you will honor our request
that those interventions be kept to a minimum.
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