Friday, March 5, 2010

The Office Baby Episode: Reason For Home Birth


I want to thank the writers of The Office for reminding me why we had our home birth three weeks ago.  The first half of the episode was all the usual junk around labor, like packing bags, rushing to the hospital, panic and hysteria for everyone around the mom, water breaking, it goes on and on.  The second half dealt with Pam and Jim in the hospital with their newborn.  I had to contain myself from throwing a shoe through the TV because of the nurse.  The main nurse exemplified all the reasons post birth not to have your baby at the hospital.  This woman's only lines were "Do you want me to take your baby to the nursery", "do you want me to give her a bottle."  To Pam and Jim and really the writer's credit, Pam and Jim kept their baby in the room and never gave up on nursing.  Instead of being an encouragement to Pam, the nurse wanted to snatch her baby and stick a plastic nipple in her mouth and feed her formula, thus depriving baby of the important co lustrum and baby/mom bonding time.  And when Pam tried to explain her thought on why her baby might not be nursing, the smug nurse looked at the camera to let us know that she and not mom knows best.   To sum up the nurse’s belief, it is better that a child sleep separately from its parents and receive its first nutrients synthetically.  Yuck.  I was also reminded how uncomfortable the hospital is for both parents as I saw Pam and Jim snuggled in her hospital bed for one while baby sleeps in a plastic tub wrapped in blankets.    Also, not only do they have to deal with the endless parade of hospital staff coming in to check on them, they had to share a room with another couple.  Nothing says intimacy more than a shared room and no door lock. 
Speaking on behalf of my wife, our experience at home was awesome.    We were able to have the entire experience in the comfort of our own bedroom.  We had only the people we wanted and needed in our room at the time.  We were able to nurse and sleep with our baby in our bed without having to fight a medical model of delivery and aftercare.  I might add that our newborn seemed more well adjusted post-birth than any of our other children.   I’m thankful my wife had the courage and desire to pursue this method of delivery and if Pam and Jim have another one, maybe they will do it at home.

5 comments:

zackzilla said...

You have got to be kidding me...

You are comparing a TV show to what happens in reality?? Because your experience of having a baby at home was good, doesn't diminish the fine experiences millions and millions and millions and millions of people have each day giving birth at hospitals.

We bottle fed Z from day one. And that first night I rolled him into the nursery so the wife and I could get a good nights sleep. And you know what?? Z turned just fine.

How does the view look from atop your soap box? How do you get up there: escalator, ladder...elevator??

I'm glad you had a good experience with the at home birth. To each their own. But don't step on my experience...

jrchaard said...

I hat to say it, but I don't know if you can say that synthetic milk is comparable to what God equipped woman with. The heart of my point is that as we did experience with our other children, there are many that push the nursery and bottle. Why wouldn't the push nursing and staying in the room. That's all. And Jimmy, while I'm on my soap box, can you tell me why it is that we have the worst infant mortality rate in the industrialized world and push the most medical model on births. I happen to think that while millions of millions have fine experiences, perhaps many other may have had a better outcome if it was at home.

jrchaard said...

Though, let me be clear, it is awesome that hospitals, bottles, and nurseries are there for circumstances warranting them. I just think it should be the exception and not the rule

Kansas Bob said...

Yeah.. that hospital room may be representative of those in your area.. the ones in JoCo are pretty much 5 star.. and ditto what ZZ said.. if God leads someone to do something then they should do it.. but home birth may not be advisable for certain at-risk births.. always good to check in with HQ before you do something.

Tasty Italian Cook said...

I just wanted to say thanks for your post, I had the same feelings as you while watching that episode of The Office. I had my baby six months ago and although I planned to deliver in a birth center with no medical intervention, I had to have a cesarean and was put under general anesthesia... so...very different outcome. Even though the birth didn't go as planned, the hospital I delivered at is very pro-breastfeeding, they even have signs around that say not to give your baby a pacifier or bottle until he is at least a month old. That being said, I breastfed exclusively and kept the baby in the room with me all night for the entirety of my stay. I was horrified at the nurse on the tv, I wanted to punch her in the face. I also was shocked that the discharge guy was trying to force Pam out of the wheel chair so he could get to other patients. Where is the respect for a new (and most likely terrified) mother?

I have had to supplement my baby on occasion with formula because of severe problems with breastfeeding...but I am happy to say after 4+ months of struggling with it we are now a great breastfeeding team and I have no desire to stop anytime soon.

Maybe I will be able to have a natural home birth for my next child, we'll see.

Anyways, thanks for the post. It's so nice to see a male perspective on such an intimate and controversial topic. If more people were educated about the benefits of what is most natural and best for baby, we wouldn't have some of the problems in our country and the world that we do.