Less than a hundred years ago, it wasn’t even a choice as to where a woman would give birth: most babies were born at home attended by a physician or midwife. Hospitals had yet to get into the business of delivering babies.
Today, 1.36% of pregnant women nationwide choose to birth at home or in a birth center, an increase in the past few years according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Four reasons women choose to birth at home:
- They had a negative birth experience in a previous birth
- They feel safer birthing at home
- They want as natural a birth as possible
- They don’t want to interrupt labor with a car ride to a birth center or hospital
Home births are assisted by licensed or certified midwives who have been trained in the process of natural, normal birth. Midwives have also been taught about the complications that can arise in labor, and how to recognize the signs of a complication early on so that mom can be safely transferred to a hospital.
Safety is the main concern of all pregnant women when it comes to their labor and birth. Recent studies conclude that homebirth can be as safe as a hospital birth for low-risk women, with transfers for an emergency cesarean at about 4%, far less than the record high national cesarean rate of 32% (2009).
Deciding where to have her baby is one of a mom’s most important decisions when it comes to the type of birth experience she and her baby will have. Gathering information from various resources and perspectives is important. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has a very different opinion about homebirth and believes that a hospital birth is the safest place for a woman to birth her baby.
There’s nothing like hearing about another mom’s birth experience to help make decisions about our own labor. To help expectant moms find information about the quality of care at hospitals and birth centers, a nationwide Birth Survey is now underway. See if hospitals, birth centers or caregivers from your area are listed.
Explore other birth options here: