Wednesday, 22 February 2012

"It is time to stop worshipping machines"

I came across a copy of the Nursing MIrror from nearly 30 years ago during a quick half hour of clearing out yesterday. I'm not sure why it was kept (probably contains an article on dementia written by my dad), but it's been an interesting read as it contains a number of articles on home births which has recently become a topic of interest to me!

Back then, as now, the consensus was that highly-technological births in hospital were safer than home births. And in 1981, according to the piece, 94% of births in the UK were subject to active obstetric management.

One of the articles mentions the irony that the lack of home births back then meant that there was very little scope into research into their safety, leading to a catch 22 situation and a prevailing wisdom that anyone who gives birth at home - particularly for their first baby is "eccentric or irresponsible". (For the record, I am the former!).

The magazine also has a case study from 1985 with a story that sounds almost identical to our own home birth a couple of months ago. If only I had found this magazine sooner, it would have saved a number of sleepless nights throughout my pregnancy!

There's also an interview with the wife of natural birth advocate MIchel Odent. Quite honestly, she was never going to have a conventional birth, but the effect of the midwife's personality on each birth is a fundamental part of her story and if you have one that is supportive of your aims, then you're well on the way to a lovely birth.

It's a great magazine and I've offered it to Claire, the wonderful homebirth group co-ordinator who proved so supportive to me. If she doesn't want it, it's going on eBay as one of the messages from it is particularly pertinent for our straitened times - that of the financial savings available to the NHS from home births!

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