Home birth. Is it advisable?
We are inundated with Whatsapp messages,about a tragic death of a mother while trying for a home birth in india.
Meanwhile the mainstream Televison channels ridiculously allowing fake doctors to make atrocious pitch favouring the so called “natural delivery”, and “Home Birth”.
What astonishes me is not the statements of the fake doctors, but the general public that believes them. People are just so ready to be their victims.
This is not just confiined to India. This is universal.
UK is not an exception. For decades women have been brainwashed to embrace the concept called ” natural birth “. It systematically aimed at avoiding all the measures put in place for emergencies, if it were to happen. Midwives are a powerful lot in the UK. They were the strong advocates of “home delivery and natural delivery”, just like the fake doctor ” Healer Baskar” the strong advocate of “Marundhilla Vaidhyam ” ( concept of complete cure without any medicine).
Now things are changing. Midwives are back pedalling on the concept of home delivery and natural birth. Last year, the UK’s royal college of midwives (RCM), and quietly withdrew the long standing campaign to promote” Home Births”.
“Wait and watch” – “Let the nature takes in own time”- “Let the care giver (midwife) trust her intuition” – “For millions of years we have done this at home”. These are the wrong ideologies that are at odds with the implementing the safety guidelines on how to check the baby’s wellbeing and to pick up the danger signs early so that swift actions could be taken to avoid disaster.
Ignoring such guidelines are fraught with grave danger. The evidence is striking. An enquiry in the UK into 1136 deaths of babies in 2015 concluded that 75% of these deaths were avoidable, with better care.
Unfortunately, one of the campaigners for “natural birth” Mr James Titcombe lost his own baby, at a hospital in the UK in 2008. The enquiry further revealed the over prioritisation of natural births by the midwives, leading to 12 avoidable deaths.
The evidences from the UK are just the tip of the iceberg. Worldwide there are millions of babies die, just because of birth related brain damage. Asphyxia has been the third leading cause deaths of newborn babies. WHO estimates that 4 million neonatal deaths occur yearly due to birth asphyxia (birth related brain injury), representing 38% of deaths of children under 5 years of age.
Do we really think our children are our last priority? Not at all. But why do people succumb to such cheap tricks of the fake doctors and well meaning, but ill informed midwives?
It is because of the comfort of the “Programmed thinking”. We get comfort with the most simplistic answers to our all our important questions.
Programmed thinking that comes through ingrained bias is natural to all human beings. In this day of information overload, it is very comforting to hear from some one like “Healer Baskar ” mention the word “Natural” and “Marundhilla vaithyam” (Forego medicine). To believe the simple but devious advices, is very comforting for many.
Our lives revolves around our children. Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children . But a good start is the most precious gift ever we could offer to our children.
India the land of freedom for the “fakers and the Quackers”
Think wisely!! and we shall never take risks with our children’s health !!
Dr M Saravanan D.C.H., MRCP (Paediatrics) UK
Rio Children and Maternity Hospital