Friday, November 14, 2008

Grassroots Network: Home Birth Article in The New York Times

Dear Friends,

The rumors turned out to be true! The New York Times, the nation's paper of record, published a long article on home birth in yesterday's edition. It's available online here. (You must register for free to access the whole article.)

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the article is that the reporter, Julie Scelfo, writes about the increased interest in home birth of late, confirming the sense that we all have in the birthing community. She writes that, "local [NYC] midwives...have been swamped with calls and requests in recent months, in some cases increasing their workload from two, three or four deliveries a month to as many as 10," that one local childbirth education center is seeing twice as many couples planning home birth as they did six months ago, and that ", one of the biggest online purveyors of birthing pools...said its sales have doubled since last year." Also, that "the increase is coming not so much from the dyed-in-the-wool back-to-nature types as from professionals like lawyers and bankers."

The piece is pretty fair-minded, focusing on the increased interest in home birth in NYC, with attention given to both the risks and benefits of home birth; there's also a good deal of space given to the supposed problems of birthing in a small New York City apartment, with neighbors and thin walls and such (although the article goes on at length about these issues, none of the families interviewed report actually having problems with neighbors or mess, etc.).

Let's keep working for midwifery and home birth so that women all across this country can choose the safe option of home birth with a licensed midwife for their families.

Arielle Greenberg Bywater and Susan Hodges, "gatekeeper"

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