It is always troubling to me when celebrities release books or other information about medical problems for which they have no training. Jenny McCarthy, the actress, told parents in a book not to immunize their children because the kids could become autistic. Now Ricki Lake, a former TV talk show host is about to re-release a film about the joy of home births. Does she have any idea of the damage she could cause?
When I was in private practice as a pediatrician, I frequently had to make a fast trip to our local hospital to be in the delivery room when a high-risk baby was being born. If those babies were born at home, how many would have survived or if they had survived would they have some form of birth injury or cerebral palsy? I often think of a good friend, a medical school classmate, who suddenly developed severe bleeding in the late stages of her pregnancy becasue of problems with the placenta. Fortunately, she was quite near a hospital and because her husband was also a doctor, she got to the hospital in time to save the baby. I doubt the infant would have survived if she had not been so fortunate. That infant now has children of his own and I am sure his wife would never have risked a home birth.
Babies who are born prematurely, twins or triplets or other multiple births would be greatly at risk with home births. Having cared for many hundreds of children born with disabilities, I do not understand why any mother would risk having a home birth. I wish Ricki Lake would re-think the release of her film and DVD.