Though I haven’t had an operating-room birth or an unassisted road-side birth, I have given birth in just about every other location with just about every type of birth attendant. For those who may want to know how my births compared, I thought I’d give my pros and cons for each scenario. Before I do, however, I’d like to emphasize that I don’t think birth location is as important as who you choose for birth attendants. I believe most women can have a positive birth experience in any location as long as the people they are surrounded by are kind, supportive, and capable. See my post on this topic here. Keep in mind that these were my personal experiences, and I do not intend to imply that my experiences would be expected to occur in every hospital, birth center, or home birth.
My sister emailed me a link to an article about electronic fetal monitoring this morning: “Unnecessary C-sections performed due to fetal heart rate system” from KSL.com. The article explains: “Maternal-fetal medicine specialists believe fetal heart rate patterns may not be a good indicator of a baby’s health, and may lead to . . . unnecessary interventions and higher health care costs.”
I’ve heard this many times before in my own research, so I was glad to see it getting more attention in the mainstream media. While it’s definitely important to ensure our babies are weathering labor well, the current system of monitoring and interpreting eletronic fetal monitor tracings has proven itself unreliable. I blogged about this issue in July of 2009 on my old blog. Here’s a re-post: