014 was a good year for Birthing Instincts and Dr. Stu. There was growing awareness in the media and community that out of hospital birthing is a reasonable choice for many women. Articles supportive of the benefits of home birth were numerous and at least as prevalent and as prominent as some of the anti-home and anti-water birth articles. Especially timely were the research articles emphasizing the benefits of the microbiome and the long term risks to both mother and baby of cesarean section. Dr. Stu was a guest speaker in June at the “Life in the Microbiome” conference in Wisconsin and gave many talks on normal birth and breech birth locally in Southern California.
AB1308 was passed in Sacramento allowing midwives the freedom to practice without supervision only placing a restriction against them assisting at breech, twin and pre and post term deliveries. Birthing Instincts was able to assist some of these clients in collaboration with the SoCal midwives. In the last few months we had beautiful home deliveries in several women well beyond 42 weeks. Breech deliveries were up in 2014 with 16 families choosing the vaginal route at home with 14 (87.5%) thus avoiding cesarean section. We traveled to Bakersfield, Temecula, Newhall, Ventura and Orange County to support birth choices. In December Dr. Stu traveled to Sacramento for the interested parties meeting on AB1308 and found the process tedious but supportive of the ability of midwives to practice independently within the scope of their guidelines.
Birthing Instincts web site www.birthinginstincts.com continues to act as a resource for women around the world. The volume of emails requesting information on birth choices has grown steadily. Our Facebook page, Dr. Stuart Fischbein, OB/Gyn, passed 1000 likes and some of our posts were viewed by nearly 20,000.
Dr. Stu’s Podcast www.drstuspodcast.com with Brian Whitman took at a look at the issues from a humorous point of view with some great guests including Jen of VBAC Facts, Ana Paula Markel and Dr. Elliot Berlin to name a few. We were on hiatus over the fall but are set to resume at the end of January 2015. We spent time with luminaries in our field such as Sarah Buckley, Barbara Harper and Kelly Brogan. Holistic Parenting Magazine featured us in an interview.
The Mother-Friendly Childbirth Symposium 2015 which will be held October 14 & 15, 2015 at California Endowment Center, invited Dr. Stu to be a panelist and speaker. We recently submitted a paper for publication as a clinical series titled, “Home Birth With an Obstetrician, A Series of 100 Births”. We are hopeful that it will be published in early 2015 and are optimistic that the coming year will show growing acceptance of the logic of trusting normal pregnancy and birth as a normal mammalian function, a growing awareness of the detriment of such a high and unnecessary cesarean section rate and the continued realization that home birth is a reasonable alternative for many of us.
Finally, Dr. Stu and all his staff want to express their gratitude to all the mothers and fathers and birth professionals who have supported the Birthing Instincts mission. Your trust is heartfelt and provides the sustenance that keeps us going at all hours of the night. Thank you!
We have included the 2014 Birthing Instincts Statistics for you to review. Comments & questions welcome.
2014 Birthing Instincts Statistics
Total Clients in care: 48
Transfer of Care prior to labor (TOC): 5
1) Breech, Oligohydramnios, 41 weeks - cesarean
2) Breech –Dr. Fischbein Out of Town - cesarean
3) 42 weeks, Unfavorable Cervix - successful induction SVD
4) Breech, Oligohydramnios, 41 weeks – cesarean
5) IUFD, 39 weeks – induction SVD
Deliveries: 43 (Where the primary responsible practitioner is Dr. Stu)
Vaginal: 40 (Rate 93%) (Home Success Rate 90.7%)
Primips: 32 (Includes 1st time mothers and VBAC mothers)
Vacuum Assisted VD: 3
Twins: 3 (All Vertex/Vertex)
Breech: 14 (2 assisted with Piper Forceps)
VBA2C: 1 (vacuum)
Transports: 4 (Rate 9.3%)
Cesarean: 3 (Rate 7%)
Vaginal: 1 (vacuum)
Summary: 48 clients entered into care in 2014, many late in their pregnancy because of newly discovered breech position or beyond 42 weeks. 5 of these women developed problems prior to labor and so their care was transferred to a hospital based physician. Of the 43 remaining, 40 delivered vaginally, 93%, including 87.5% of breech labors at home. Overall home success rate including VBAC, twin and breech deliveries was 90.7%. The transport rate was 9.3%. There were no newborn transports. Dr. Stu was also called to 9 deliveries postpartum to assist the midwife in a repair of a laceration. We continue to act as a consultant to many California midwives to answer questions or perform ultrasound and fetal testing. Birthing Instincts, Inc. is honored to be of assistance and provide these services to the families of Southern California.