The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) released a statement yesterday reiterating its stance that women should not deliver their babies at home among other chafing comments. The statement is linked here: http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications/press_releases/nr02-06-08-2.cfm.
So ACOG with an Executive Board of 24 with various districts and committees underneath, believes it is allowed to dictate for the millions of women each year where they are to deliver their babies (hm two days ago the American Association Birth Centers decided not to revisit allowing VBAC's in order to appease ACOG).
Personally and professionally, I am appalled that a group that sets out to provide excellence in care for women throughout the childbearing years, has continued to band together and make policy that negatively affects the entirety of childbearing women in the US (through lobbyists, self-serving studies and treating the healthy full-term pregnant woman as a hostile host to her baby).
Amazingly most women and babies are low risk in pregnancy and birth. These women and babies can be cared for by family practitioners, midwives (CNM's, licensed, registered and direct entry) or by the mothers themselves who choose to take the highest level of responsibility and birth unassisted. If a mother or baby become high risk, she is sent to an OB/GYN for care. If things unexpectedly occur in birth, often the issues can be handled safely by a skilled provider outside of the hospital environment.
Today the usual standard of care many women receive (non-medical induction, continuous monitoring, epidural, non-medical cesarean) by ACOG members actually make the low risk mom and baby high risk. These practices increase complication rates and the need for more intervention than would occur normally in birth. Essentially the abnormal becomes normal.
By continuing to support and utilize care providers who believe we should only deliver our babies in the hospital or accredited birth center, we are allowing our decision making to be undermined, being limited in our parenting choices and putting ourselves and babies in the path of unnecessary iatrogenic risk. Not all ACOG members believe we should be limited and do offer a great service, however, they do belong to and pay dues to an organization that does.
Spread the news. Don't ignore the truth.