Grassroots Network Message 908042

TODAY show in bed with ACOG

Dear Friends,

Friday morning’s TODAY show included a segment about the “perils of home birth.” The show included a sad home birth (with a nurse-midwife) where the baby died of a cord accident, without mentioning that such deaths can happen in the hospital also, or addressing the US’s high perinatal mortality rate. Representatives of ACOG described home birth as “the equivalent of a spa treatment”! Definitely not even-handed reporting, but looks like ACOG is out to get media for their biased beliefs.

You can watch the segment at http://today. msnbc.msn. com/id/26184891/ vp/32795933# 32795933

You can read comments about the show (and add your own) at: http://www.newsvine .com/_question/ 2009/09/11/ 3252633-is- choosing- a-home-birth- with-a-midwife- worth-the- potential- risk . Almost all of the comments are pro-midwife.

And if you want to e-mail the Today show and let them know the real reasons more women are choosing home birth, or that you’d like to see an HONEST segment on home birth, you can write to them at Today@NBCUNI. com.
Finally, true to form, the Big Push has fired off an eloquent Push Alert, which is pasted below.

As the saying goes, any attention is good attention, or at least a great opportunity for getting more and better attention!

Thank you to the several individuals who brought this to my attention, including the links.

Sincerely,

Susan Hodges, “gatekeeper”

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http://www.thebigpu shformidwives. org/pushnews
PushNews from The Big Push for Midwives Campaign
CONTACT: Katherine Prown, (414) 550-8025, katie@thebigpushfor midwives. org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, September 11, 2009
Physicians Take Anti-Midwife Smear Campaign to the Airwaves
Home Birth Mothers, Celebrities, Insulted on National TV
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 11, 2009)­Referring to women who choose to give birth in out-of-hospital settings as “hedonistic” and likening childbirth to a “spa treatment,” members of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a trade group representing the professional and financial interests of OB/GYNs, took their anti-midwife campaign to the airwaves in a Today Show segment rife with insults, stereotypes, and misinformation, using one family’s tragedy as a platform for the organization’
s well-funded assault against choices in childbirth.

“About the only thing ACOG has right is that women are choosing out-of-hospital deliveries in record numbers,” said Steff Hedenkamp of The Big Push for Midwives Campaign. “What Erin Tracy and other apologists for the group’s anti-midwife position fail to see is that one of the forces driving women to seek out-of-hospital care is the paternalistic, profit-driven model of maternity care that far too many of its own members provide.”

During the segment ACOG reiterated its claim, which has been thoroughly debunked by a large and growing body of medical literature, that out-of-hospital delivery is unsafe. Describing women who choose to give birth in private homes and freestanding birth centers as “hedonistic” mothers who knowingly put the lives of their babies at risk for the sake of an “experience” they believe will be like a “spa treatment,” members of the group echoed last year’s position statement claiming that women who choose out-of-hospital deliveries base their decisions on what’s “fashionable” or “trendy.”

“ACOG clings to this ridiculous fantasy that women choose to deliver their babies outside of the hospital because they want to be like Ricki Lake, Demi Moore or Meryl Streep and that if women would only watch enough fear-mongering stories on morning television they’ll be brainwashed back into hospitals,” said Katherine Prown, Campaign Manager of The Big Push for Midwives. “Insulting our intelligence and promoting policies that deny us choices in maternity care are not exactly winning strategies for stemming the tide of women seeking alternatives to standard OB care.”

Earlier this year, a New York City couple lost their baby during a planned home birth under the care of a Certified Nurse-Midwife. Licensed and regulated in all 50 states, Certified Nurse-Midwives are trained to provide hospital-based maternity care. By contrast, Certified Professional Midwives, who undergo specialized clinical training in out-of-hospital birth, are legally authorized to provide care in 26 states, although outdated regulations effectively prevent them qualifying for licensure in the state of New York.

Legislation to license and regulate Certified Professional Midwives is currently pending in an additional 18 states, despite staunch opposition from the American Medical Association, which has joined with ACOG in adopting position statements that would deny families who choose out-of-hospital maternity care legal access to nationally credentialed midwives with specialized training to provide it.
The Big Push for Midwives Campaign represents thousands of grassroots advocates in the United States who support expanding access to Certified Professional Midwives and out-of-hospital maternity care. The mission of The Big Push includes educating national policymakers about the reduced costs and improved outcomes associated with out-of-hospital birth and advocating for including the services of Certified Professional Midwives in health care reform. Media inquiries: Katherine Prown (414) 550-8025, katie@thebigpushfor midwives. org
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The Big Push for Midwives Campaign | 2300 M Street, N.W., Suite 800 | Washington, D.C. 20037-1434 | TheBigPushforMidwiv es.org
If you would rather not receive future communications from The Big Push for Midwives Campaign, let us know by clicking here.
The Big Push for Midwives Campaign, 2300 M Street, N.W., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20037-1434 United States

Tags: ACOG, Action, Homebirth, Midwifes, Press, Show, Take, Today, publicity

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Replies to This Discussion

You know what really pisses me off about this?
They call having a homebirth "trendy".
That is so ridiculous and it has my blood boiling.
I feel SO bad for that family, but bad things happen to babies at hospitals too. I work there. I see it every day.
Poor Cara, to come under all of this bad publicity. Ugh, this is so aweful!
While I do agree that showing this one story should not equate to out of hospital birth = bad, I would like to know if it is normal to allow someone to be in labor for 4 days without sending them to the ER?

Is it safe for the baby? I thought I read somewhere that after so long there is an increased chance for infection due to water being broken for so long or the baby ingesting meconium.
Hi Christy:
From what we understand about the bias of the reporting, the estimation of "four days of labor" is likely intentionally under-explained. In a first time mother, it is common for labor to start slowly and stop-and-go over a period of days. Sometimes the baby is in the posterior (sunny-side up) position and needs some time to turn around in the womb. Many times, the cervix just takes a long time to ripen in a first time mother and for the contractions to become effective and organized. So, the reference to 4 days of labor would not necessarily be a state of "active labor." It's impossible to know exactly what they were referring to, but you are right that the description makes it sound dangerous - which was probably the point. We also found it very irresponsible to hold up Demi Moore as a leader of the "celebrity homebirth" trend when actually Demi had NONE of her 3 children at home. Demi had all three of her children naturally in the hospital and went home a few hours after their births. So you can see the fact-checking was quite sloppy all around.

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