Pregnancy and Parenting Features

Home Births Increasing


Since the beginning of the human race, childbirth has been the most natural activity we engage in. For the bulk of the history of humanity, childbirth has taken place at home. The concept of going to a birthing center, hospital, or other medical facility to have a baby would seem strange to most of our ancestors. It’s a fairly new idea. Many women today can and do have their babies at home without any risk to themselves or their baby.

The CDC indicates that the number of home births is increasing. Over the past four years, home births have increased by about 20%.

What, exactly, is causing home births to rise? There are probably a number of factors. For one, it’s likely due to the growth in popularity of natural childbirth. More and more couples want the birth experience to be a human, not a medical, experience. More and more, expectant parents are becoming educated about the entire birthing process. They then make choices that fit their own desires, rather than just the “normal” assumed medical activities.

There are a few risks in home births for some women. Women who have a high-risk pregnancy should think long and hard before giving birth outside of a hospital. There are many medical problems today that would have taken the life of both mother and child just a century ago that birthing in a hospital can prevent or fix.

A woman without any history of pregnancy complications, however, may be able to have a happy and healthy home birth. The largest risks when it comes to home births have had to do with premature babies and teen mothers. Both of these categories have seen a drop in the number of home births over the past few years as well.

A home birth is usually done with the assistance of a midwife. During the four years in this study, physician home-based deliveries actually declined significantly. In about one third of cases, the home birth was actually delivered by a person who’s not a medical professional at all.

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