Why Home Birth?
I always ask this question to every expecting mom that comes to meet me: “What made you decide to have a home birth?” I get different responses:
“I don’t like hospitals at all!”
“I realized I couldn’t trust my OB on supporting my decision of having a natural childbirth”
“It just came to me very instinctively right after I realized I was pregnant”
Whatever the response is, many of these women make an informed decision. One of the main reasons women and their families choose to have a home birth is because they want to be active participants of the birth process. They want to have their loved ones present at the birth in the privacy and intimacy of their home.
Having a homebirth is not about a trend or following a movement. Homebirths and midwives have existed from the very beginning of time. It wasn’t until about the mid 1900s that birth moved to hospitals, and it was then that people started to question; ‘is a birth at home as safe to me and my baby as a hospital?’. There has been research conducted to prove that indeed births at home can be as safe as being in the hospital. Below is a list of studies that validate the safety of home birth and why people are choosing to birth at home.
Home births in the United States, 1990-2009
Homebirths increased by 29% between 2004 and 2009, shifting the overall rate of home births in the US from 0.56% to 0.72%. In 2009, about 1 in 90 births occurred at home for non-hispanic, white women and most home births are attended by midwives.
Outcomes of planned home birth with registered midwife versus planned hospital birth with midwife or physician
Planned home birth attended by a registered midwife was associated with very low and comparable rates of perinatal death and reduced rates of obstetric interventions and other adverse perinatal outcomes compared with planned hospital birth attended by a midwife or physician.
Outcomes of care for 16,924 planned home births in the United States: The Midwives Alliance of North America Statistics Project, 2004 to 2009
Low-risk women in this group experienced high rates of physiologic birth and low rates of intervention without an increase in adverse outcomes.
Outcomes of planned home births with Certified Professional Midwives: large prospective study in North America
Planned home birth for low risk women in North America using Certified Professional Midwives was associated with lower rates of medical intervention but similar intrapartum and neonatal mortality to that of low risk hospital births in the United States.