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Suzanne Arms, author and advocate of home childbirth, told a crowd of over 100 at Hilles Auditorium last night that childbirth conducted at home instead of at the hospital is both safer and more humane for the mother and the newborn child.
Arms, author of "Immaculate Deception," a study of modern childbirth, said she is "sick of seeing women robbed, ripped off, deprived of the experience of childbirth."
"We are a nation of sheep," she said. "We are willing to believe everything the professionals tell us," she added.
Connie Beane and Judith Luce, members of Birthday, a pre-home childbirth organization, joined Arms in her criticism.
Arms cited better support from husband and family, more room in which to move around, a far more familiar and intimate setting, better care, more self-confidence for the woman and less fear of the childbirth as reasons for choosing home childbirth.
Showing slides of one family's home childbirth, Arms told the audience that the naked presence of the husband, the comfort of children and relatives, the absence of drugs and medical technology make the conception "a memorable, educational, enjoyable family experience."
Arms said far too many unnecessary Caesarians births have been conducted, that unnecessary drugs have been administered to women during childbirth, that medical care itself is often haphazard and careless, and that hospital rules and procedures inhibit the mother and the family from experiencing a normal, natural, more comfortable childbirth.
The meeting was organized by Anthony Stern '77. Parents, physicians, students, and couples considering home childbirth attended.
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