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.