Monday, April 10, 2006

So why are you Doctors....

... so against home deliveries then?

So said our MP a month or two back, to a room of GPs convened to discuss, inter alia, the threatened closure of our local DGH. The question came on the back of plans to move maternity services out to Borchester (some 20 miles away) which in the Hebrides I grant might appear a trifling matter, but not so here.

It was clear she was a fully signed up follower of the New Labour (no pun intended) "choice" agenda, and was firmly of the view that women should have the "right" to deliver wherever and however the fancy took them.

It was also clear she was the only person there who has not been in a room with a mother and a newborn, dead, infant.

Now such events happen in or out of hospital granted. But at least in hospital, we all felt, there are the kit and the facilities to try to prevent such an outcome in a way that is just not possible at home. Also for most of us the only deliveries we had attended in the past decade had been those of our own offspring-- all hospital delivered, and not by us.

It is perhaps regrettable that as GPs we are becoming ever more remote from one key aspect of family doctoring, but on balance many of us feel we lack the up to date skills and adequate backup to offer such a service. However, it remains the case that in Borsetshire 10 out of 10 GPs would recommend Hospital Delivery.


pink said...

speaking as a parent who gave birth to 2 children in hospital, and 1 at home, i have to say i would recommend a home-birth to anyone.

but what do i know?

Doctor Jest said...

pink-- You know plenty. And if your chronology reads two hospital then one at home sounds great, assuming good support from folks who know what they are doing.

In these parts that would not (sadly) include GPs. But then we have no practice attached midwives (service withdrawn to save costs in the late '80s) and no real working relationship with our community midwives either. I hope and trust it was different for you.