Many of you fellow birth junkies probably recognize the title of this blog post as being similar to the blog ostensibly run by Dr. Amy Tuteur that supposedly is a place to debate the merits and demerits of giving birth at home. (I say “ostensibly” because the name of the blog owner is concealed, although other blogs attributed to this woman are not concealed. Why hide it, unless she’s just a front? Oh, I’m not saying she’s not in it up to her eyeballs — her condescending tone of writing reeks through anything I’ve read from her, on that blog or any of her other blogs, or any comments to articles or other blogs I’ve happened to read. But why hide it?) I say “supposedly” because it is hardly a fair debate — Dr. Amy is apparently the moderator, but she’s about as far from unbiased as a person can be.
If you don’t know who I’m talking about, count yourself as blissfully ignorant, and feel free to skip to the next post. 🙂 I won’t link to her site, because the more hits she gets, the higher her rating goes. That’s also why I’ve sworn off looking at it, regardless of what I know must be being said on her blog as I type.
Here is a good summary post from a new initiate of Dr. Amy’s, written just today. Also today, someone on one of my email lists asked who Dr. Amy was. This is my response (slightly edited):
Dr. Amy Tuteur is virulently against home-birth. From what I can find, and some of what I’ve read on lists and things like this, she’s a former OB who quit her practice for some reason, and is no longer licensed. In addition to the aforementioned blog, she also has her website “Ask Dr. Amy” where women can pay to have her answer ob/gyn questions. (Is that legal? — since she is not a licensed physician but is still charging to answer medical questions?) She’s rude and haughty, and anyone without a medical degree has about the IQ of soap scum, judging from her posts. And medical professionals who disagree with her are quacks.
Here’s a link which sums it up quite well.
Problems with her “debate” website basically boil down to her extreme one-sidedness. Since the title sounds like it should be fair and open, many people are caught off-guard by the bias. Among other things that I have seen with my own eyes, she deletes posts that she disagrees with (I learned to save a copy of every post I did and just repost it — eventually it would go through — I guess she realized I wasn’t giving up?), gives incomplete information which is tremendously skewed towards her view, discredits what pro-homebirth or pro-natural birth people say while allowing similar types of comments from her minions (for instance, she told me I couldn’t play with numbers and statistics because I didn’t have the appropriate background in statistics, but one of her followers did precisely that and she didn’t jump down her throat, much less mention it). And she lies.
Some people might call it merely “skewing the information”, but she repeatedly says that the Johnson & Daviss CPM Home-Birth Study (published in the British Medical Journal in 2005, undertaken in 2000) shows a 2.5/1000 neonatal death rate, but that only happens if you count the intrapartum deaths as . However, intrapartum deaths are by definition stillbirths; and stillbirths are by definition *not* included in the NMR, but that doesn’t stop her from saying that these intrapartum deaths should be counted as NMR because they would have been born alive had they been in the hospital. (Oh, did I mention she sometimes confuses herself with God? Actually, from some of her comments, I have reason to suspect she’s an atheist or agnostic, and she’s extremely demeaning to those who mention religion at all, specifically jumping down the throat of someone who said that the female body is “designed” to give birth — she took offense because she believes in the blind chance of evolution and bristled at the term “design.” I’m not meaning this in a flaming way to anyone who may also be atheistic, agnostic, or believe in evolution, just showing that she can’t even respect religious beliefs or differences…. or at least, not as long as they’re espoused by pro-home-birth people.) I repeatedly asked her for stats that showed what the intrapartum death rate is in hospitals, because it isn’t mentioned in the Vital Statistics Report (intrapartum deaths would be a subset of stillbirths), but of course she never provided any evidence to back it up. And one of those intrapartum deaths happened because of AROM in the hospital. But that shows that homebirth is risky, right?)
Anyway, another thing she does is to require documentation of everything her opponents say, while providing none of her own, nor requiring her cronies to give any either. In a discussion on breech birth, I presented 3 different studies that showed that vaginal this post about her which has some links, including one to that article about vaginal birth being safe for most breech babies (although ACOG recommends C-sections for all breeches).in some cases should be considered a safe alternative to C-section, and she basically said I had no right to post those studies since I couldn’t understand them (not being a doctor nor a statistician). She also said that the first study I mentioned (from the 80s) had been superseded by “many larger and more recent studies” that contradicted the conclusions of the study… but of course, I’m still waiting to find out which ones. The other 2 studies I posted were from 2001 & 2004, and didn’t breathe a word about any study along the lines of what she claimed. And the kicker? She wrote an article about breech birth that says that “Most babies will do very well during a breech delivery,” instead of by C-section. Oh, if I had known that article existed when I was in the middle of *that* discussion….!!! Anyway, you can go to my blog and read
I used to go to her blog, but no matter what the particular topic was, the discussion would always end up being about the CPM 2000 study, with the same arguments for and against it. Plus, the more people that click on her blog, the higher on search engines she is, so it’s like feeding a monster by going there. So I’m taking the “ignore her and she’ll go away” tack. 🙂