Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Waterbirth International may close doors. Here is a note from Barbara Harper of Waterbirth International
Barbara Harper wrote:.
I cannot yet imagine a world without the voice and work of Waterbirth
International - we get calls and emails every day from women who need help
convincing one hospital or another to let them labor or birth in water. If
we die - a big part of the movement dies. Waterbirth has shown us all that
women know how to give birth and babies know how to be born. Waterbirth
gave us "hands-off", sit back and let the baby out. I see waterbirth
mentioned on Blogs every single day, not to mention Baby Story on the TV. I
took Waterbirth International to ACOG two years in a row - and was the ONLY
booth showing birth films to obstetricians and especially to student
physicians. There were tears, laughter and outrage - just the thing to stir
up those young crop of doctors. I am finally realizing a life's dream.
But now I am faced with letting this dream go. Perhaps I have done enough.
Perhaps it is time to quit.
About 18 years ago, maybe it was longer, when Mothering Magazine was facing
bankruptcy Peggy did a heartfelt plea asking their readers to consider
ordering a Life-time subscription. I think the subscriptions were $1000 or
$1200, I can't remember now. I do remember that I couldn't imagine not
reading my Mothering. So, I bought two and gave one to my obstetrician's
How can you help us stay open to take the next phone call? - to convince the
next obstetrician to incorporate waterbirth into his/her practice - to work
with the nurse midwives to install pools in their facilities? To educate an
entire hospital on the benefits of allowing women freedom of movement in the
water. How much is it worth to see waterbirth become the norm in the US,
like it is in the UK? I think we only need a few more years to make that
happen. Do women really want waterbirth to be an available choice in every
hospital? I think so.
Can you help us by getting the word out on blogs and lists? I had to let go
of all of the staff except one person to process orders. Miraculously, we
made payroll today, but we can't hang on much longer. We need a miracle.
If I need to call every single waterbirth parent personally, I will. I
don't want 25 years of work to end over a measly $200,000.
The work that we have done the last few years has been phenomenal. How God
arranged for me to teach in hospitals and medical schools around the planet
- Taiwan, Venezuela, Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Holland, Portugal, China,
Trinidad, Croatia - I'll never figure that out. I laugh out loud sometimes
when I get up in front of an audience of physicians in a medical school
overseas - who all want to hear about waterbirth and the incorporation of
Gentle Birth practices and principles into their routines.
Think about what you can do and call me if you want to chat or if you have
some great ideas on how we can quickly move into the black and keep
waterbirth alive and thriving.
We need your help. Barbara Harper needs your help. The waterbirth/gentle
birth movement needs your help.
Barbara Harper, RN, CLD, CCE
503-673-0026 -office (out of US or in Portland)
800-641-2229 - toll free
503-710-7975 - cell phone
We LOVE helping women get into Hot Water!!
And have been doing it for 24 years!!
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
New National Statistics: Big increase in home births across UK<
The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) welcomes the significant rise in the number of women in the UK giving birth at home, according to official new data provided by by the Office of National Statistics, The General Register Office for Scotland and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency and analysed by BirthChoiceUK (available at www.BirthChoiceUK.com).
Across the UK in 2006, 18,953 of all births (741,952) took place at home, compared with 17,277 in 2005. This is an encouraging rise of 9.7% overall, but still only represents 2.5% of all UK births.
The biggest increase - more than 10% - has been in England, where 16,923 women had a home birth.
Scotland shows the second highest rise in the number of home births (762) with an increase of 9.2%. Wales has fallen behind with the smallest increase in home births (1177) - 0.9% - despite having the fastest growing home birth rate in the UK for 2005.
Mary Newburn, Head of Policy Research, NCT, said; "It's very pleasing to see that home birth rates are on the increase, allowing women and their partners greater choice. However, many women around the UK still find it difficult to access a home birth. There is a lack of balanced information available to enable them to make an informed choice about where to have their baby. Low midwifery staffing levels mean that too often the option of a home birth is either not being offered or services end up being withdrawn at short notice."
Local administrative areas with highest and lowest home birth rates include:-
West Somerset (England) - 14.2%
Middlesbrough (England) - 0.4%
Blyth Valley (England) - 0.4%
East Lothian (Scotland) - 4.8%
Renfrewshire (Scotland) - 0.3%
East Renfrewshire (Scotland) - 0.3%
Powys (Wales) - 10.7%
Conwy (Wales) - 0.9%
Government policy, as set out in Maternity Matters in England and the NICE Intrapartum Care Guideline, published by the Department of Health state that 'women should be offered the choice of planning birth at home, in a midwifery-led unit or a consultant-led unit.'
Mary Newburn continues;
"If the Government's choice guarantee for England is to be implemented by the end of 2009, considerable work must be done to increase access to home birth. We also welcome Keeping Childbirth Natural and Dynamic (KCND) in Scotland and the target for a 10% home birth rate in Wales as home birth initiatives."