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Home Birth: A Story of “Infinite Love and Enormous Rejection”

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This article calls for a new way of looking at the home birth debate by challenging the underlying assumptions and beliefs that lead to the polarized discourse. The debate around home birth is about more than place of birth or perinatal mortality. It raises deeper and more complex issues that need to be explored. This article moves the debate about home birth from one about death to one about human nature, from one about statistics, to one about why the statistics will not end the debate. It explores less familiar discourses such as confirmation bias, group polarization, fear, risk, scientific paradigms, and power using insights from disciplines such as philosophy and psychology for guidance as to why “infinite love and enormous rejection” have come to fill the discourse about home birth. If we do not try and understand why the home birth debate is so polarized and develop new strategies to overcome the great divide, we will never make progress with important decisions such as how home birth should safely be made available to women.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2011

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Childbirth is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal publishing original research, reviews, and case studies concerned with the practice of midwifery, women's health, prenatal care, and the birth process. The journal encourages the exploration of the complex and contextual issues surrounding childbirth provision and outcomes and invites manuscripts from a wide range of clinical, theoretical, political, methodological, psychological, public health, policy, and multicultural and interdisciplinary perspectives.
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