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Homebirths are on the rise in the United States, the New York Times reported this week. Unlike countries where the midwifery model of care is widely practiced, like the Netherlands and Canada, homebirths still only make up one percent of the number of total deliveries. But, between 2004 and 2008, the annual number of families who choose to deliver their babies in the comfort of their own homes went up to 28,357.

The New York Times article reported that saving money is not the primary reason for choosing homebirth. Even though homebirth midwives are not always covered by insurance policies, when taking into account co-pay, delivering at home may still mean paying less out of pocket. But what really drives homebirth mothers to have their babies at home is the desire for a peaceful and natural birth, in an environment they are fully familiar with. The New York Times, of course, shared stories of several families who delivered their children at home.

Here, at SteadyHealth, we have our own stories to share! I gave birth to both my children at home, with the attendance of a wonderful midwife. Indeed, my primary motive was wanting a gentle entrance into the world for my children, free of the interventions that have become commonplace in hospitals. Induction and augmentation of labor, not giving women in labor the freedom to walk around to ease the pain, and policies that disallow eating and drinking in labor, all played a part. Cesarean sections are becoming increasingly common, and many women feel the need to avoid major abdominal surgery unless is it actually needed. Is homebirth safe?

Studies have shown that homebirth is as safe as hospital birth for low risk women. Having an adequate transfer plan in place if a woman does need hospital care is integral to ensuring a safe delivery, as is a professional and experienced birth attendant. For a growing number of families, bringing their babies into the world at home is the choice they consider to be best. You might also like to take a look at: Homebirth what kind of midwife should you choose?

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