Safest place to birth? Your choice.

The American Medical Association has introduced a resolution decrying home births and is now out to “develop model legislation in support of the concept that the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period is in the hospital, or a birthing center within a hospital complex…”.

The natural living community is rightly up at arms in pointing out potential legislation to this effect is contrary to scientific evidence and would be an egregious violation of women’s civil rights. A petition to keep home birth legal was created and has subsequently garnered over 10,000 signatures.

I did not have, nor did I want, a homebirth, but still find this outrageous. Studies have shown that homebirths are as safe as hospital births. Birth is not an illness, it is a natural and normal process, and in most cases doesn’t have to be a medical event. In other countries, including many with better birth outcomes than our own, midwives attend births at home on a regular basis. In addition, some people give birth unattended. There is little scientific evidence to suggest the hospital is the ideal location for birth, and in fact there is evidence to suggest otherwise!

More than likely this comes down to the AMA attempting to protect their interests rather than consider the best outcome for the patients. Why is the medical community so opposed to anything that doesn’t fit their model?

Just as they do not have control over where and how we reproduce, our government should not have control over birthing options. The decision of where to birth is a choice best left to the parents-to-be, ideally made with the full support of their doctor or midwife.