SASKATOON – Midwives in Saskatoon will no longer offer home births if a patient has previously had a caesarean.
The decision has sparked outrage among some birthing groups but the Saskatoon Health Region says it comes down to safety.
“Its patient safety both for mother and infant,” said Leanne Smith, director of maternal services at the health region.
Smith says the changes were brought about after recently engaging in a new risk management program.
“The information in there talks about things that you should do if you’re planning a vaginal birth after caesarean section which includes electronic fetal monitoring, immediate access to an OR or blood bank so in discussions with our group we realized that those aren’t things we can provide in home,” she said.
Head of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive services Dr. Thomas Mainprize said the risks are very real.
“Probably the biggest risk that they were concerned about was the rupture of the uterus and the rupture of the uterus means a baby will potentially lose its life so still birth or neonatal death and there’s potential for mom to lose her life as well,” said Mainprize.
Local birthing and education group, Birth Rhythms pregnancy and parenting health centre has raised concerns about the decision and is organizing a community meeting where people can further discuss the issue.
“If you’re prepared to take that risk on your own I think that’s safe but I don’t think it’s safe to involve other people in an unsafe situation,” said Mainprize.
The health region admits there could have been more community consultation.
“You know I think that’s a point taken, you know we didn’t have a widespread consultation partially because it’s really impacted so few people in our community,” said Smith.
A community meeting will be held at Birth Rhythms at 248 3rd Avenue South in Saskatoon on Thursday night.