There Is Nothing Feminist About Homebirths

I just discovered an absolutely brilliant post that dispels the idiotic myth about home birth as some form of a feminist statement:

Home birth as a way to find a loving supportive environment and fight the enslavement of the patriarchy is absolute, utter nonsense.   It’s one of the only medical scenarios I can think of where women place health and welfare in jeopardy in order to feel “in control” and avoid intervention. . . Infants born to the lowest risk women at home are 2x more likely to die than a cohort of infants delivered in hospital, which includes some of the highest risk pregnancies.

I’ve had some home births fanatics visit my blog in the past. I also read their pseudo-feminist screechings about how they bravely place themselves outside of the patriarchal and controlling spaces of the hospital because they are so liberated. In reality, these are simply very immature women who have no idea how to function in public spaces and are never comfortable anywhere outside their homes. They get exploited by the mercenary and extremely irresponsible doulas who are dedicated to squeezing as much money as they can (and it’s usually a lot) out of these simpletons, and consequences be damned.

I’ve had an opportunity to hang out with a group of such home birth midwives (educated at super prestigious schools, mind you) and I got to know them very closely. So for me it has always been crystal clear that for such folks it is only and exclusively about the money they can get out of silly, infantile women who are most comfortable while barefoot, pregnant, and in their kitchens.

13 thoughts on “There Is Nothing Feminist About Homebirths”

  1. I actually had one of those home birth cheerleaders delete me from her facebook because of my views on vaccines. Above all else, they’re terrified of someone shattering their precious precious opinions with facts. That’s their version of the glass ceiling.

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      1. Now, I don’t believe that correlation equals causation, but the root of both ideologies seems to be strongly tied to the idea that going into labour and birthing a small human automatically makes you more qualified and insightful than every single doctor and CDC researcher in the world.

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  2. I’ve heard a few stories of simple hospital deliveries being deliberately delayed because the right doctor hadn’t arrived yet. Hospital deliveries are about money too.

    The “vaccines cause autism thing” will bring traffic and controversy to your blog, but do you have time to deal with the comments you’d get? How willing are you to put up with the extremists?

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  3. This seems unnecessarily insulting to me. If you truly believe everyone is entitled to their own birth choices, why describe someone who feels empowered and comfortable to give birth in their own home a simpleton? What on earth did we do before hospitals existed? I’m sorry that my comment on your blog is a negative one, because I read it a lot and find it interesting. I am a well educated woman and find your position extremely polarizing.

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    1. ” why describe someone who feels empowered and comfortable to give birth in their own home a simpleton?”

      -How is being stuck at home “empowering”?

      “What on earth did we do before hospitals existed?”

      -Died in massive numbers from childbirth by the age of 25.

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      1. Being at home does not necessarily constitute being “stuck”. That’s where you’re wrong. Being a feminist and valuing family or home life are not mutually exclusive.

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  4. My mother-in-law is a doula, and according to her multitude of clients over the years, also apparently a miracle worker. She, as well as many other doulas, have been able to help women who want to have vaginal births after prior C-sections achieve it safely and with nearly 100% success.

    I’m disappointed to know that there are so many doulas and midwives who have the mindset that you describe, but I’m not convinced they make up the majority. I don’t particularly care whether or not home births are “feminist,” (because what is that even supposed to mean, anyway?) but with an experienced midwife or doula, they can be absolutely fantastic for the women who want them. If I have children, I plan to have my mother-in-law deliver them if my pregnancy is not risky.

    Many hospitals also offer a sort of alternative to the standard childbirth “experience,” too, by having a midwife area. This is an idea I like a lot, because if there are any medical emergencies, there are doctors and surgeons just around the corner to help, if need be.

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  5. In the UK homebirths are available on the nhs, but its a fight to get them. Much less risk of unecessary interventions for low risk births.

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  6. “A Florida mother of 6 died in the wake of an attempted homebirth. ”

    http://skepticalob.blogspot.com/2011/08/mother-of-6-dies-in-wake-of-attempted.html

    “The latest needless, senseless, utterly predictable and totally preventable homebirth death is currently being discussed on the Birth Without Fear Facebook Page, which links to the original story and a picture of a beautiful baby who looks to be sleeping but who is actually dead.”

    http://skepticalob.blogspot.com/2011/07/another-needless-senseless-utterly.html

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