06/06/2005 01:13 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Home Birth is Safer

Not every time, maybe. But, for healthy moms and families, hospitals are often very intrusive. The NY Times ran a very informative article about home births this week.

I just returned from late Sunday evening rounds at a large Los Angeles hospital. A hospital with a good reputation. I was there to check on three normal healthy newborn babies.

One of the babies was removed from mom's room because he had a temperature of 100.6 which was taken after he was unwrapped from his 4 blankets. I blew on him like I would on a cup of hot soup, his "fever" went away and the staff backed off their desire to do blood tests and keep the baby in the nursery. His temp was normal and has stayed normal.

The second baby had his blood sugar drawn and was found to be lower than the staff wanted. (In fact, the lab value was normal as normal can be.) The staff gave this baby formula and scheduled repeat blood sugar determinations every 2-3 hours. I was lucky enough to be there in time to cancel these unneeded uncomfortable heel sticks.

The third baby was deemed too large and also was scheduled for blood sugar tests. Dad's 6'3" and mom's not teeny. This baby came by his size honestly and needed no further scrutiny.

Home birth is definitely not for everyone but hospitals should respond to the needs of babies and families better to make a healthy birth a more pleasant experience. I have worked in a couple dozen hospitals during my career. I have yet to see one which responded well enough to the needs of medical "consumers," as our patients are called. For this reason, and many, many others, home birth and alternative medicine are getting closer looks.