After Stillbirth, Courts Try to Put a Price on a Mother’s Anguish

THIS story in the NY TImes this morning has got me going this morning. As an advocate for home and natural birth it’s truly upsetting. The C-Section rate is SO high in this country because of law suits like this. It forces Doctors at the first sign of distress to get the baby out ASAP. I’m not saying still births are a horrible, horrible, thing. My heart goes out to these woman still though to sue over it because of emotional damages?! When you decide to have your baby in a hospital you’re choosing to put yourself in that environment. Brooklyn hospitals are particularly notorious for how horrible they are. Mothers make this decision going in.

If you look deeper into this case you’ll notice this: “she delivered a baby at home on July 1, 1997, unattended by medical personnel.” and  ”The complaint alleges that plaintiff’s baby was born alive, and names the baby’s estate and the baby’s father as co-plaintiffs.”. They say the baby was Stillborn because of being born breach. A trained a qualified midwife would have not only taken this woman’s complaints of pain the hospital ignored serious she would have been able to deal with the situation get the baby OUT naturally even if breach AND if there was any issue be able to properly treat the child (even at 32 weeks god forbid) which seems to be where the issue lays really. 

There is other options of birth centers and PLANNED home births. When you get to have your baby the way you choose, in a relaxed environment your body will just do it’s thing, let go. Fact is even with home birth there’s stillbirths, many many less compared to hospital births being there’s no drugs forcing our bodies to do things it’s not ready to like inducing labor. Again still births are horrible horrible things but to sue over them is plain ridiculous it’s a step backwards for woman taking control of the devastating state birthing is at in our country. You want a healthy, relaxed, safe birth and not have to depend on a Doctor who could F up? Want all the attention on you when you’re birthing rather then nurses switch shifts every few hours and caring for 15 other people on the birthing floor? Do it naturally, get a midwife (even if she comes to the hospital) to have a voice for you if things get hard, take control of your birth rather than getting the care we all know Brooklyn Hospitals shell out, and please don’t sue the hospital when it was your decision to get that kind of care in the first place when there’s better options.

I know some of you maybe thinking “well what if these woman couldn’t afford a home or natural birth?”, FACT: NYC medicaid covers $7,500 worth of a home birth’s that cost $8000. $500 is well worth a safe birth if you ask me.

Birth is NOT a sickness, we need to stop subjecting ourselves to environments meant to treat sickness and expecting anything more from these doctors. Thoughts?

Kirby Costa Campos