Birth Setting

Homebirth as Systems-Challenging Praxis: Knowledge, Power and Intimacy in the Birthplace

Abstract In this article, I examine the processes and motivations involved when women in the United States choose to circumvent the dominant obstetric care paradigm by delivering at home with a group of care providers called direct-entry midwives. Using grounded theory, participant observation, and open-ended, semistructured interviewing, I collected and…

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Narratives of Risk: Speaking Across the Hospital/ Homebirth Divide

Find the full study Open source. To access the full article, click here Citation Cheyney, M. and C. Everson. (2009). Narratives of Risk: Speaking Across the Hospital/ Homebirth Divide. Anthropology Newsletter 50(3): 7-8.

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Reinscribing the Birthing Body: Homebirth as Ritual Performance

Abstract In this article, I examine the clinical practices engaged in by U.S. homebirth midwives and their clients from the beginning of pregnancy through to the immediate postpartum period, deconstructing them for their symbolic and ritual content. Using data collected from open‐ended, semistructured interviews and intensive participant‐observation, I describe the…

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Homebirth Transfers in the United States: Narratives of Risk, Fear and Mutual Accommodation

Abstract The purpose of this study was to explore the contested space of home-to-hospital transfers that occur during labor or in the immediate postpartum period, as a means of identifying the mechanisms that maintain philosophical and practice divides between homebirth midwives and hospital-based clinicians in the United States. Using data…

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The Crusade Against Home Birth

Abstract A recent study by Grunebaum et al examined the relationship between place of birth and adverse neonatal outcomes (Apgar of 0 at 5 minutes, and neonatal seizures or serious neurologic dysfunction—hereafter referred to as neonatal seizures) as reported in birth certificate data from 2007 to 2010 for term newborns (n  = 13,891,274)…

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Transfer from Planned Home Birth to Hospital: Improving Inter-professional Collaboration

Abstract Women’s heightened interest in choice of birthplace and increased rates of planned home birth in the United States have been well documented, yet there remains significant public and professional debate about the ethics of planned home birth in jurisdictions where care is not clearly integrated across birth settings. Simultaneously,…

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Of Missing Voices and the Obstetric Imaginary

Abstract In this commentary, I respond to an ethical analysis of a case study, reported by Jankowski and Burcher, in which a woman gives birth to an infant with a known heart anomaly of unknown severity, at home, attended by a midwife. Jankowski and Burcher argue that the midwife who…

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Understanding Recent Home-Birth Research

Abstract In the past month, two new studies have been released—one in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM; Snowden et al., 2015) and the other in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (Hutton et al., 2015)—comparing out-of-hospital birth outcomes to hospital birth outcomes. These studies join a growing body of…

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Making US Out-of Hospital Birth Safer Requires Systems Change

Abstract Birth is as safe as life gets. – Harriette Hartigan, direct-entry midwife What one deems “safe” is inherently subjective, involving a series of judgments and a relative weighing of multiple (and sometimes conflicting) factors. Find full study Subscription only. To request a copy, contact us here Citation Tilden, E.,…

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Vaginal birth after cesarean: neonatal outcomes and United States birth setting

Abstract BACKGROUND Women seeking VBAC may find limited in-hospital options. Increasing numbers of US women are delivering by VBAC out-of-hospital. Little is known about neonatal outcomes among those delivering by VBAC in vs. out-of-hospital. OBJECTIVE(S) To compare neonatal outcomes between women delivering via VBAC in hospital vs. out-of-hospital (home and…

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