I have a friend/doula client who is due to have her baby in November. We had been discussing what kind of birth she was going to have and while she liked the idea of homebirth, she was a little apprehensive, for the same reasons that many women are. Then she found the piece of information that swayed her to the way of homebirth - if there is a flu pandemic going on, that can be especially hard for third trimester women, why on earth would you give birth in a hospital? with a bunch of sick people???
I think that this flu outbreak could/should be a wake-up call for women to why having a baby in an evironment that contains only the family germs is the best possible place for baby and for mom.
Any one else thinking about this?

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This is crazy! I can understand the need to protect the baby, but there must be a better way. Perhaps I will email Dr. Jack Newman and see what he has to say on the subject...
This is the email response that I received from his clinic. Make sure other women know about this
"Dear Jamie,

Of course not. It’s an inane approach. Mothers and babies need to be together. Babies are stressed when separated from their mothers. I thought we had learned this years ago. Stress increases the risk of infection. Do the policy makers imagine that the mother and baby were separated before birth? How ridiculous! And it won’t be just H1N1; any mother with a runny nose will be separated from her baby.



The baby should be at the breast. It’s the best protection he can have.



This is another example of H1N1 hysteria.



For general breastfeeding information, see www.drjacknewman.com or www.nbci.ca



See also the attached chapter on maternal illness and breastfeeding from my book, Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding (HarperCollins, 2nd revision 2005) as it's called in Canada, or The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers as it's called in the US (now out in a new edition, as of November 2006).



I now also have a new book out, published by Hale Publishing, called The Latch and other keys to Successful Breastfeeding. Ordering information is available at www.drjacknewman.com or www.nbci.ca



We have an instructional DVD for breastfeeding called Dr. Jack Newman’s Visual Guide to Breastfeeding. For a preview and more information, see www.drjacknewman.com or www.nbci.ca. The DVD is now available in English and French (on the same DVD) as well as subtitled (on the same DVD) in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.



Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC



We no longer receive government funding for our clinic and are in real danger of having to close. If you value this service, please consider a donation to the Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation (registered charity) and earmark the donation for the Newman Breastfeeding Clinic and Institute. You can donate through their website http://www.canadianbreastfeedingfoundation.org/"
Jamie,

Thanks for getting that email! It just didn't seem right to me that mothers were/are being separated from their newborns. The crazy thing is that a lot of my friends (and husband) think that this policy is a good way to protect the baby. I will mention that most of my friends (and husband of course) have never given birth or nursed a baby so I don't think they quite understand.

This is the link my midwife posted:

http://www.nbcactionnews.com/news/local/story/H1N1-Concerns-Keep-Mo...
I've heard from friends from my hometown, who are due in January 2010, that their local hospital isn't going to allow sibling visits after delivery b/c of the flu season/H1N1. I recommended researching a homebirth midwife;)
I think the older siblings have and need just as much to be a part of the early postpartum time in order to be a part of the growing family, and to experience the "newness" of the baby, and not just have a baby arrive in their home 3-4 days later.
I wrote a piece about this very topic. Here's a snippet:

"While balancing the information you get from medical and holistic sources is crucial and each family needs to make their own decisions regarding vaccinations or nutritional support, the one clear truth is: those that are the sickest with H1N1 (“swine flu”) will be in hospitals. Considering and choosing a homebirth takes on an urgency not previously needed.

Women who have thought homebirths were for hippies and counter-culture crunchies now find themselves thinking hard about having one of their own. If you are one of the women who have thought a homebirth might be a good idea, but you were not sure of the safety aspects, it is time to fill in the information gaps. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to not have to worry that the person holding your newborn might be carrying a virus that can seriously harm you and your newborn?"

You can read the entire article here: http://navelgazingmidwife.com/H1N1-Pregnancy.html - feel free to send it around. It's more relevant now than it was when I wrote it 6 weeks ago!
That's awesome.
I attended the birth that I mentioned in this topic last Saturday, and everything was perfect. It was The mom, dad, son, two midwives and myself. No strangers, no weird germs and nothing to fear. Mom did beautifully and hasn't had to leave the house since giving birth.
I'm thankful for everyone who has replied to this article. As this situation progresses this is a topic that needs to be brought to more people's attention. Homebirth is something that has needed to be considered far more often than it is and I can't think of any more pressing situation that I have encountered that makes this more true. Along with the messages that say "if you are sick, stay home" people should be told that if you are pregnant and well, stay home. Have your baby somewhere safe and free from freaky viruses.
It is so wonderfully obvious right now that homebirth is indeed safer, especially considering what is being said about the effect of this virus on third trimester women.
Ya Homebirth!!

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