Interesting story today reporting that the National Health Service in Great Britain has determined that it’s MORE DANGEROUS to have your baby in a hospital than at home! At least for uncomplicated births your chances of having something bad like an infection or an unnecessary procedure are HIGHER in a hospital than at home with a trained midwife. As a pediatrician I always thought people who had these home births were nut jobs, but maybe I was just expressing my bias and didn’t have any real data to support my contention.
Here’s the link:
The story really goes back to the 1840’s when an unfortunate, brilliant soul named Ignaz Semmelweis discovered that Obstetricians in Vienna were killing women and babies at a high rate by failing to sanitize their hands after examining cadavers. They would then examine pregnant women and contaminate them causing “puerperal fever” and DEATH. Semmelweis was chastised and essentially chased out of town. He went to Hungary were he repeated his experiment (high tech at the time – washing your hands with chlorine) and replicated the impressive results. It all ended badly for him anyway as he died at 47 in an asylum.
Once again – if you go into the hospital make sure those doctors wash their hands!