The Hospital Birth - Why most women are putting themselves at risk

Sunday, June 24, 2012 by: Victoria Moore
Tags: hospital births, risk, injury

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(NaturalNews) The population has been led to believe that birthing in the hospital is the best option to having a safe delivery for mother and baby. While hospitals may provide the best environment for high-risk pregnancies (which account for six to eight percent of births worldwide), there are healthier alternatives for pregnancies that are considered low risk.

Hospital vs. Non-Hospital Births:

Hospitals are under the control of the administration and doctors and have unusually strict policies and schedules that are meant to be at the convenience of the staff, not the birthing mother. The setting offers an intimidating and impersonal atmosphere, which can prevent a woman's body from progressing during labor and causing complications. Birthing centers and home births give the mother access to a more relaxed environment allowing them to change positions, eat and drink during labor and even the option to labor in tubs. Midwives also come armed with knowledge of persuading the body to release natural oxytocin to speed up labor and to safely deliver a breech baby.

Unnecessary interventions can put mother and baby at risk and cause short and long-term complications. Between 50-80 percent of births in the U.S. involve one or more surgical procedures furthering proof that doctors are fueling the epidemic of making labor a surgical event. This creates tremendous increase in revenue for the hospitals. In reality fewer than 20 percent of births that occur would require these medical events.

Midwives are shown to be more effective than physicians in facilitating a successful labor with no complications. Midwives trust in the ability of the women's body and understand the importance of preserving normalcy, whereas doctors trust in drugs, machines and high tech assistance and focus on searching for abnormality in the event. Among low-risk pregnancies midwife attended births have 33 percent fewer infant deaths compared to physician-attended births with Cesarean rates at 8.8 percent for midwives and 28.7 percent for physicians.

Most hospitals require the mother and baby to spend two to five days for deliveries without complications compared to birth centers, which allow discharge after just a few hours after birth. Hospitals are associated with higher rates of illness and infection than their non-hospital substitutes. One example is the case of a Florida woman who after she delivered her baby was told she had contracted a flesh-eating bacteria and was transferred to have her arms and legs amputated. All done without her or her family being provided any information as to what happened because it would infringe on other patient's privacy.

As reported by Natural News in 2009, the rate of antibiotic resistant superbugs, specifically superbugs have increased over 300 percent in fewer than 10 years. Which leaves mothers and children born in hospitals with a high risk of contracting these infections. Choosing to avoid a hospital birth, unless medically necessary, can prevent developing deadly infections and other illnesses.

Scientific evidence is showing that it is safer for the 80 percent of women who show no serious medical complications during pregnancy and live within 30 minutes from the nearest hospital to achieve a successful home birth without the need for hospital transfer. According to the CDC, Home births increased 20 percent between 2004-2008; While birth centers have grown 20 percent in the past five years. Birth center and home birth C-section rate is 4.4 percent, but low risk pregnancies in hospitals end in C-sections at double that rate.

Despite the overwhelming studies that show the advantages of labors that occur outside of the hospital, many women still have the misconception that a hospital birth is best. The truth is that for most women, birthing in a non-hospital environment would result in superlative laboring conditions and maternity care with the true interest of the mother and baby. Women who have healthy, low risk pregnancies should consider alternatives to birth that would allow them to have more control over the type of birth experience they desire.

Sources for this article include

About the author:
Victoria Moore is natural health researcher/blogger, yoga instructor and Usui Reiki master. Her passions include empowering women on how to prepare for natural labor, teaching yoga to adults and children and learning about alternative approaches to health and lifestyle. Through her website she enjoys connecting with other like-minded people and sharing information about health and wellness, natural parenting, alternative medicine and organic living.
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