LA Times chimes in on rise in Home Birth

July 11, 2011: Writer Olga Khazan highlights the usual pros and cons of home vs. hospital birthing. Some of the usual suspects appear, including some quotes from me.,0,7182324.story?page=1

I did comment to the writer on the story as follows:

Olga, I saw your article today. I think it was objective but there are some clear disputes to some of the statements and facts presented. Risk of uterine rupture is 0.5 % and of those only a small fraction actually end up as disasters. This risk is similar to the risk of requiring an emergency in any mother having her 1st baby according to the NIH study. I am not sure why someone thinks that over 35 is a risk factor for home birth. Your 2 pro-hospital experts continue to espouse the anti-CPM biased position of ACOG but I do not know where else the USC doctor gets his information. As for Dr. Tuteur, did you actually check out her current credentials or did she just tell you her background? I do not believe she is a Fellow of ACOG nor is she practicing. When was the last time she was actually seeing patients? What do you really know about her? She has her web following but is a provocateur who oftens throws vitriol publically at home birth parents and advocates. I have had many encounters with her and have asked her on several occasions to debate. She has never responded even when asked through an academic intermediary. You quote her as saying "all the existing scientific evidence...that home birth increases the risk of death" but then go on to point out a major study that does not. Also, even if you accept ACOGs conclusion of a 2-3 fold increase risk of neonatal death it is still far less than 1 in 1000! You also point out a single tragic outcome from a homebirth but fail to describe multiple similar tragedies occuring in hospitals despite all that technology and often caused by the interventions that push the uterus and baby beyond normal. After our discussions about these issues I am disappointed that you decided to use an anecdote as something against home birth when clearly these things happen in hospitals as well. Just ask my partner. I know you are limited by the number of words you can write so I do understand your position. I hope you understand mine. Maybe someday you can sponsor a public forum where Drs. Ouzounian and I can debate. All the best to you, Dr. Fischbein

I think the recent increase in stories and publicity about home birth is a sign that the public interest is rising. Watch for those opposed to raise the canard of safety and push back with fear based rhetoric. Dr.F