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Learning to love math…

This morning I called my friend Paul a local physician and anesthesiologist, we talk for a little while and then he says “Hey did I tell you about my brother?..oh Tanya, you’re going to love this!”

His brother Carl, father to three children all born at home, read the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) July 2010 meta-analysis reporting the risk of homebirth, and he just couldn’t believe the information could be true. Being a physicist he had the skill to find the study, research how it was performed, and truth be told…find the error!

The thing about Carl is, he didn’t just toss this information aside and let the rest of the thousands of readers who had access to this poorly conducted study believe the information. Oh no…Carl wanted the record set straight. I love this guy!

After little success with communication from ACOG, Carl went to the Midwifery Department at UBC. Still, even with the support of a whole University Faculty no response from the journal, ACOG, or the author. Eventually ‘Nature’ International Weekly Journal of Science picked up the story…
Home Birth Study Investigated
make sure and follow the link to the initial study. To learn more about the man behind the math go here…
Seeking clarity for the toughest decisions of all
Does that just blow your mind? Why is a physicist who has been described to me as a “bug enthusiast” doing more calculations than the authors of this study? I mean come on? Seriously an online statistic calculator? People…just do the math okay…or hire somebody to do it. I know, I know, the error in calculations didn’t effect the study enough to change the conclusion. That’s not the point. I read the study in July, and it just didn’t sit right with me. After reading lot’s of arguments for and against the study and still not having the background to do the math for myself I resorted to “it’s an American study and I live in Canada” I still believed the findings, and so did a lot of other birth professionals. It looks like I’m going to have to take a few statistics courses…great.
Lastly, I just want to thank Carl for…
being good at math and computer programing,
following through & most importantly…
trusting birth.