WXXI AM News

home birth

Expectant mothers already face so many questions and uncertainty about the process of giving birth -- and in the time of coronavirus, there's even more to think about.

Ellyn Keith is expecting her first baby.

"I’m 31 weeks pregnant now," she said, "which is considered the third trimester. I’m due June 8."

She said even though she had a specific plan for a hospital birth with her husband, mother, and a birth coach present, the pandemic is forcing that plan to change. She may be able to have only her husband with her when she goes into labor.

The parents of a toddler that got into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo have taken a remarkable level of criticism and abuse since the incident. And that has sparked a discussion about parent shaming: why are we so quick to judge the actions of other parents? Why do we assume certain things couldn't happen to us? Parent shaming extends to discussions over breast feeding, school choice, even how kids are born.

Our panel discusses how to help parents make the best choices while making sure the "Mommy Wars" don't escalate. Our guests:

A new study about home births indicates there are advantages and risks. Most importantly, as the New York Times recently highlighted, the study finds that home birth increases the risk of infant death from 1.8 per 1,000 in a hospital setting to 3.9 per thousand at home. The study also finds that home birth decreases the rate of cesarean delivery, induction, and other interventions. In the past decade, the rate of home births has increased more than 50% in the United States. So what should we take from this new study? Our guests:

  • Loralei Thornburg, M.D., associate professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UR Medicine
  • Michele Burtner, M.S., midwife and senior associate, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UR Medicine
  • Alison Spath, birth doula
  • Meg Grindrod, CNM, midwife, Welcome Home Midwifery
  • Amy Haas, certified childbirth educator