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Homebirths grow more popular in US

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Interesting article today on NPR.

Home births increased by 29 percent between 2004 and 2009.  Still, births at home remain pretty uncommon. Only 0.72 percent of births in 2009, or 29,650, were at home, up from 0.56 percent in 2004, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

The report didn't examine the reasons for the increase. But some experts said that it may be partly a reaction to the sharp increase in caesarean section deliveries in recent years. Some women may hope to avoid a C-section, and other medical procedures that often occur in hospital deliveries.   Women who are married and have already had a child are also more likely to have a home birth, the report found.  

The two big concerns are making sure the midwife delivering the baby at home is qualified to spot a problem quickly and can get help in time.

Have you ever had a homebirth?  If so, was it with your first child, or subsequent pregnancies?  If not, would you ever consider one?

by on Jan. 26, 2012 at 7:22 PM
Replies (181-190):
by on Jan. 29, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Hospitals are NOT sterile!!!  I am in no way arguing that anyone here should attempt a homebirth if it is not what they want but please don't have the reason that the hospital is sterile... it is not.  The germs in your home are the common everyday germs that you come into contact with every day and your body is used to fighting off, the germs in the hospital are antibiotic resistant superbugs that are much more a threat to your body and your babies than what is in most homes.  If you want to birth in a hospital, great but please don't do it under the false impression that it is safer because it is sterile because it isn't.

For me... I would love a homebirth and hope to have my next at home :)

by on Jan. 29, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Quoting TonyaLea:

Quoting azeventdiva:

I've had ALL 4 of my children at home (the oldest is now 13). I initially decided to have home birth for several reasons. First off, I had attended the births of both my younger brother (in a hospital), and my younger sister (in a free standing birth center). I saw the total and complete difference between the two. That couples with the increas in c-section births at hospitals, and the ready availablity of drugs I didn't want to be tempted with (that have a tendency to lead to avoidable c-sections), made it clear that I would much rather be home. My oldest was born when I was only 18, and I made the decision then. I never regretted it, especially since it was snow & ice outside and would have been a pain to get to the nearest hospital an hour away on a nice day (that was in WA). My other 3 children were all born at home in AZ (a state much further behind on the midwifery movement). I loved being able to be at home, and with the last one was able to go for walks around the block during the majority of my labor. I didn't go inside to my birthing tub till I was really readu to push, and then she was here within an hour. I can only contribute that to the walking & fresh air. Especially since all 3 of my other children were roughly 6 hour labors.

I'll also add that my mom is an RN in the ER, and sees how many hospital births are avoidable c-sections. She feels that homebirth is a safer way to birth. When my husband was asking her to be here for our first daughter together, because he didn't know if he could handle it, she thought it was because we were going to have a hospital birth. When she found out it was going to be at home, she asked what the problem was then :)

I know the statistics are crazy, but also I think about the fact that many of those were ELECTIVE by the mother.  Situations like when a mother labors for a really long time and the doctor tells her a C-section is an option, and she takes it.  You know what I mean?  

I had one item on my "birth plan,"  NO C-SECTION (unless baby was in distress).  I labored for 42 hours, and they never once mentioned the C-word to me.  Then, when I started pushing, the doctor realized why it had taken so long:  My daughter was faced sideways (transverse presentation), stuck behind my pelvic bone, and I was in arrested labor.  Most women are offered a C-section at that point.  Instead, they gave me two options, trying different positions to push (hand and knees, squat bar, etc) to to turn the baby, or vaccum extraction.  If I hadn't been so against C-sections, I could have just easily said "I give up."

Yes, unfortunately elective C-section has been on the rise for several years too. The ones that plan a c-section before even entering the hospital are the ones that frustrate me. My mom labored with me in the hospital for over 30 hours, and the nurses tried to get her to do a c-section, and she refused :) Her doc was luckily on her side. Sounds like you had an awesome hospital experience, but a lot of them disregard your birth plan, and it's fairly common practice these days to start suggesting c-section after only 3 hours. Or, to make things seem like they are worse than they are. I have one friend who they were telling that her baby's heart rate would go down during contractions, so she ended up with a c-section. The sad truth is, babies heart rates DO go down during contractions. I was there (been to several births over the years of friends & family, as an assistant...unfortunately most of those have ended up c-section in hospitals when they didn't need to be), and the heart rate wasn't in the danger zone, nor had it even been very long. It was also a pitocin induced labor, which doesn't help things either. I think hospitals have a place in child birth when it's needed, but the majority of women would be able to do it just fine if not easier in the comfort of their own home, surrounded by things that will help them to relax.

Good for you for having a succesful hospital birth with little interference. I wish it was like that everywhere. Where hospital staff would actually listen to their patients. I also have a friend who's been a nurse for many years, and she is shocked at the younger nurses who come into the field. Seems like they are being taught in school or something that a woman can't labor for very long without intervention. She feels like she needs to re-teach all these nurses who have it in their heads that they need to start pushing for c-sections the moment women walk in the door.

by on Jan. 29, 2012 at 10:11 AM

 I have 2 children and 2 hospital births, however, if I ever convince hubby to have another I am really hoping to have a homebirth.

by on Jan. 29, 2012 at 10:15 AM
Since both my babies couldn't handle labor first heart rate kept dropping couldn't handle contractions, second cord around her neck, I had two emergency c-sections. Homebirth scares the s*it out of me.
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by on Jan. 29, 2012 at 1:24 PM
My first and second were in a hospital delivered both vaginally without pain medication and with a midwife. My third was a Homebirth what a different experience. The key is finding a great midwife and doula and I had to fight with my insurance company to get it covered. That was the biggest headache. Even saving them all that money was still given a hard time. I think more women would chose this route if insurance didn't get in the way. My Homebirth was not at all scary and I felt so much more involved through the whole process and had such an amazing relationship with my midwife. My kids had the choice to be there and see there baby sister be born.
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by on Jan. 29, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Depends on what type. CNM's are covered, CPM's (which I am, and am also a military spouse) are not :-(  We almost succeeded in getting them covered last year, but it takes an act of congress to add/drop a provider type from tricare (a real act of congress!) so we lost.....sigh.

And tricare does not cover homebirth either, so they will pay for the prenatal/postpartum care only.

Quoting lil_mom2010:

They are covered under Tri-Care! I had one with my daughter. 

Quoting BekaBug:

we considered one with our first but dd1 was suppose to have several medical issues. (shes perfectly healthy but bc i did birth in a military hospital i was giving pitocin without my knowledge; my doc had a flight, which caused my heart to "wacked out" leading to iv drugs and eventually an epi to stabilize me. i was also stuck on my back the moment i walked in. my birth plan was not followed and my nurses were rude) i had ds with a midwife in a birthing center and dd2 will be born in a birthing center with a midwife. the only reason i didnt/dont birth at home; w/ds we were living over seas in military apartment housing and with dd2 i will be staying with my mom and shes against home birth. (midwives are not covered by our insurance so we do pay out of pocket and its worth every last cent)

by on Jan. 29, 2012 at 2:05 PM

3 of my 6 have been born at home, as will this one.  To the PP who stated you have risk of infection at home as well, yes but it is MUCH more minimal.  You are never going to see a story like this one:  after a homebirth! 

Even when you have a seperate wing of a hospital for birth, unless it is on a completely different air flow system, has cleaning carts that are ONLY for that area, and staff that completely change (including shoes) going from one area to another of the hospital they are going to bring some NASTY germs around!  I know when I and my husband worked in the hospital we used to strip down outside our house and throw everything right into the washer to avoid bringing the nasties in to my family!

by on Jan. 29, 2012 at 2:43 PM
Well said, Allie_kat1! My thoughts exactly!
I know lots of mamas who ended up with MRSA and other super nasty infections following their hospital births. My fellow home birthing mamas? Nada!
I'm a doula and I change out of my scrubs and shoes before I get back in my car and shower IMMEDIATELY after I get home! I go nowhere near my kids when I get home! Ick!

Quoting Allie_kat1:

Quoting TigerofMu:

I would if it was an emergency, but I'm kind of a fan of the sterile hospital.  And as I read this, I am just imagining my children all gathered around watching.  A heck of an anatomy lesson, but not something I want to do!

Hopitals are NOT sterile! You and/or baby are much more likely to pick up a nasty infection in a hospital full of sick people than in the comfort of your own home, where your immune system is generally used to the germs that are around. And if you don't want your children in the room you could always have a friend or family member keep them occupied in another room, or even at their own house.

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by on Jan. 29, 2012 at 2:45 PM
My second was a surprise breech, planned HBAC. Wouldn't change it for the world and want to do it again and again! Quite thankful I was home considering his presentation. Instead of being re-sectioned needlessly, he came out easily in 12 minutes with my skilled midwife at the "helm."
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by on Jan. 29, 2012 at 3:13 PM

I had two hospital births and I want to have a home birth next time, maybe even a water birth.

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