I wanted to share links to two articles that I accessed on the BBC News website today. The first, Home births 'as safe as hospital', shares that "The largest study of its kind has found that for low-risk women, giving birth at home is as safe as doing so in hospital with a midwife. Research from the Netherlands - which has a high rate of home births - found no difference in death rates of either mothers or babies in 530,000 births."
The second was originally published last month: Women 'unprepared for childbirth'. From the article's opener: "Many women are going into labour vastly underestimating how painful it can be and overly optimistic that they will be able to manage without drugs, a study suggests. How has this happened?"
As a childbirth educator, I definitely have lots of thoughts about this. In fact, there is a very telling segment later in the article: "Much evidence suggests, however, that women who are well supported by midwives and partners throughout their labour and made to feel at ease are the ones who manage their pain the most effectively and require the fewest drugs."
My short take on the question "How has this happened?" is that many hospitals simply do not support the six care practices that support normal birth (care practices that greatly add to women's ability to cope with labor) and that women's access to the Midwives Model of Care is very limited!