Friday, October 2, 2009
Are Hospitals Giving Credence to an Argument in Favor of Out of Hospital Birth?
As public health officials start to panic over the H1N1 virus (formerly known as swine flu) hospitals are responding by restricting visitors who may be sick, from the maternity wards, so as not to infect newborns. A link to the story from KSL TV, can be found here. http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=8127580 One of the major reasons for having birth in an out of hospital birth center or a homebirth, is that a hospital is a place where sick people are congregated, and you would not want a pregnant woman or a newborn infant to come in contact with the sick people or their germs or viruses. We know that hospital personnel are often the carriers that spread diseases between patients. In fact, there's a fight brewing in New York State, because healthcare workers are being forced to be immunized against the H1M1 vaccine or be reassigned. Public-health officials are so concerned with healthcare workers spreading Swine Flu, they are making immunization mandatory. So here's the question: "is Swine Flu the worst possible disease that can be spread to newborns?" I believe that there are a lot worse viruses, diseases and infections that you would not want your infant to come in contact with, including: staph infections, seasonal flu and conjunctivitis. In fact, birth advocates have argued against taking the baby away from mom and putting them in the nursery with a bunch of other babies. In a homebirth or birth center the baby is not exposed to other babies. Having run a very large birth center, I can tell you the secret to an almost ZERO percent infection rate. No equipment and almost no personnel were moving between rooms. As an example, each room had a number of stethoscopes and those stethoscopes stayed only in that room. There were no medical personnel with stethoscopes around their necks moving from room to room. More about keeping infection rates near zero in future postings. Have a wonderful weekend Alan