Birth. Choices?

Why does it matter if someone chooses planned home birth for their child?

pregnancy-testJust a few weeks ago, we got acquainted to the practice of planned home births in our country. Not because of any special personal interest or even experience. We were simply puzzled by a strange piece of information that appeared sparingly on social media.

Apparently, the Union of Midwives/Obstetricians of Thessaloniki, Greece filed lawsuits on 79 people (71 of whom are new parents, 7 are doctors and 1 midwife) that chose to give birth at the comfort of their own homes.

The accusations so far seem to be two-fold:

First there is an innuendo about environmental pollution. Parents are accused for choosing to manage their placenta themselves, thus endangering the “ecological imbalance” of the city…

It is worth to notice that the placenta, the organ that helps nourishing and maintaining the fetus inside it’s mother’s body, is referred as “dangerous infective waste”. In the lawsuit it is suggested that the “correct” way of dealing with the placenta after the baby’s birth, is to hand it over to “authorised waste management companies”.

The choice those parents consciously made (to respectfully -and often ceremonially- bury the remaining of the organ that helped bringing their babies to life) is one of the reasons they are now faced with accusations of environmental pollution!

Secondly, they are accused for the way they declared their babies’ births to the Registry Office – suggesting they did so in a manner that favours infant trafficking…

The trial was set to take place June 11th- however, it got postponed for January 10th 2014.

We are going to be monitoring this very curious story with great interest, in the hope that understanding the reasons behind this lawsuit and its implications will shed some light to the status quo of planned home births in Greece .

For more info (currently only in Greek):

Keep in touch….

Birth. Choices? from MediaTerraNea on Vimeo.

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