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A Case for Home Births

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I just received the review of the book Pushed written by Noah Berlatsky ["The Obstetric-Industrial Complex," June 29] and I cannot agree more with Mr. Berlatsky.

We have had five children born in a hospital in Lake County, three miscarriages at the same hospital, our sixth live child born at home with a Certified Professional Midwife in April 2006 and our seventh child due to be born in late February 2008 will hopefully be born at home as well.

With my hospital births, with half of them, I was blessed to have a very understanding OB, who respected my desires and enabled me to have good hospital births. This is a rare occurrence though. With our fourth child, my OB even told the nurses what I wanted, what I didn't want, and to let me eat and drink whatever I wanted during my labor. The nurse was rather taken aback. Her response indicated that this was not the norm and that she was surprised.

In the fall of 2003, after the birth of our sixth child my OB left obstetrics to just practice gynecology. That was a hard blow after being with her for seven years. I was able to be referred to another OB, but it was not the same and we had a terrible experience with the new OB's two partners during our last two miscarriages, causing us to seek out a midwife and the option of home birth.

Finding a midwife here in Illinois was rather difficult. We did not have the choice we did in finding an OB. We did eventually choose one, who ended up being exactly who we needed in order to heal after a miscarriage at 18 weeks with our son Matthew. She will probably be our birth attendant for our baby due in February. I say birth attendant because she really did not do much. I am the one who gave birth, my husband waited on me and helped me get washed up. She attended me and helped catch the baby, who was delivered into my husband's hands, which is what I desired. Birth is normal in most cases. When it is not then that is when there is a need for an obstetrician.

We are thankful to still have the option of home birth here in Illinois, even though it is a hostile state for midwives to practice in. The way we were treated in the hospital, after our last two miscarriages, we have no desire to lose another baby in that setting nor to bring a baby into the world in it.

Home is the best place for babies to be welcomed into the world. Surrounded by family and in the comforts of the mother's own space. More babies need to be born at home.

Anonymous

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