Knoxville mom, doctor each weigh in on pros and cons of home bir

Knoxville mom, doctor each weigh in on pros and cons of home birth

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Little Shiloh Dunn of Knoxville was recently born at home with the help of a midwife. Little Shiloh Dunn of Knoxville was recently born at home with the help of a midwife.
"You go to the hospital when you're sick. Giving birth, you're not sick. You don't feel good during labor, but you're not sick," Raquel Dunn said, explaining her decision. "You go to the hospital when you're sick. Giving birth, you're not sick. You don't feel good during labor, but you're not sick," Raquel Dunn said, explaining her decision.
Dr. Leonard Brabson says giving birth at home is too high a risk to take. Dr. Leonard Brabson says giving birth at home is too high a risk to take.
Debi Church, the midwife who helped bring Shiloh into the world, is a "Certified Professional Midwife." Debi Church, the midwife who helped bring Shiloh into the world, is a "Certified Professional Midwife."
By LORI TUCKER
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - More women are choosing to give birth at home or in a birthing center rather than a hospital. It's a trend the Centers for Disease Control says has been on a steady rise since 2004.

The CDC says the number of women giving in a non-hospital setting has grown by 56 percent over the last 10 years. While it also says births outside the hospital carried lower risk for premature and low birth weight babies  in 2012, a recent Cornell study says the risk of a baby dying is nearly four times higher when delivered by a midwife at home, than by a midwife at a hospital.

Little Shiloh Dunn of Knoxville was recently born at home with the help of a midwife. She came into the world in a pool of water, fulfilling the wish of her mom Raquel to not just labor in the water, but actually give birth there.

"She came up right out of the water and just kind of laid on my chest," Raquel said.

Raquel is among a growing number of women who want to give birth as naturally as possible at home, not in the hospital.

"You go to the hospital when you're sick. Giving birth, you're not sick. You don't feel good during labor, but you're not sick," Raquel said, explaining her decision.

In fact, Raquel didn't go to an obstetrician for any pre-natal care.

"To me, an obstetrician is a surgeon. They are there when surgery is necessary, and I wish more OBs were open to working with midwives," she said.

Dr. Leonard Brabson is medical director of women's services at Tennova Hospitals and director of the Birth and Midwifery Center, the only facility in our area that offers the services of midwives but only in the hospital.

Dr. Brabson says giving birth at home is too high a risk to take.

"I think the unexpected, not being able to control it or react to it once a problem occurs, so I'm definitely a fan of birth in the hospital instead of at home," he said.

Midwives that practice in hospitals are usually "Certified Nurse Midwives" who have their RN degrees plus their master's and certification as midwives.

Debi Church, the midwife who helped bring Shiloh into the world, has a different license. She is a "Certified Professional Midwife." That certification is recognized in 30 states including Tennessee, but that type of midwife cannot deliver babies in a hospital setting.

"These midwives just deliver at home and they are not necessarily nurses to begin with," explained Dr. Brabson.

Church has delivered more than 1,200 babies in her career.

"This is a normal, physiological process, and if you leave it alone, which in the hospital it doesn't tend to happen that way, because they want to speed it up, they want to slow it down."

Church is quick to say if problems arise during a birth...

"We are in 2014. If something is looking not right then we go and get medical help."

Thankfully everything went well for baby Shiloh.

"It's just very peaceful," said Raquel. "And her name means peaceful and tranquil and that's what my hope was for this birth, and I got exactly that."
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