There wasn’t anything about me or about my daughter’s birth that was expected to be ‘high-risk’. I wasn’t over 35. My baby girl was in good position. I was of good health. But I hemorrhaged. I lost 60% of my blood in delivery. And then had emergency surgery for an internal hematoma. I would not have been a good candidate for a home birth. I would have given even the most amazing, experienced midwife more than a few stressful moments, and I would have required a transfer to a hospital, assuming I would have made it.
But the truth is, I had chosen the hospital because that was the environment that felt the most safe for me and my unborn child. It turned out to be a good decision for me personally. On the other hand, I know many women who have had beautiful experiences in their homes.
According to the CDC, the number of home births increased by 29% between 2004 and 2009 alone. They say roughly one out of every 90 births to non-Hispanic, white women happen in the home. Additionally, in 2009, 62% of home births were attended by a midwife and 19% by certified nurse midwives.
Based on everything I have read, the statistics on the actual safety of home births vs hospital births are difficult to truly interpret….it seems as though, when pulled apart, both sides can claim the statistics support their positions. There are many articles that refer to the increasing popularity of home births but question its overall safety. And there are equally a large number of people, both women who have given birth at home and midwives who facilitate the births who firmly believe it is at least as safe, if not safer than a hospital environment.
What makes women choose one over the other? The opportunity for a peaceful, homey environment instead of a sterile, potentially unwelcoming one? A natural experience? A desire for the latest technology? Fear? Finances? I would love to know what you think (of course, without slamming the opposition).
My thoughts in the video
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