When Home Birth Goes Wrong, It Goes Really Wrong

Sasha Brown-Worsham

baby AlanI like to say that I could have had a home birth and there's no doubt in my mind that is true.

I had very uncomplicated childbirths with my children and my midwife caught my babies. No drugs were used, with no doctors or medical intervention of any kind.

But when birth goes wrong, it goes very wrong. A recent study revealed that in more than 500,000 births in North America and Europe, death rates for babies in planned home births were double that of those in planned hospital births.

"But the risk was low, at 0.2 percent," according to the BBC.

That's good to know, but I'll have all of my births in the hospital. It's not that I'm against home birth, but I'm against it for myself.


Because going to the hospital is a bit like being in a spa. They bring food and underwear and pads and all of those things you need after baby to make you happy. They take the baby away at night so you can sleep. And most of all, I felt safe.

I was the kind of laboring mother who dilated faster rather than slower once we hit the labor room (some moms say the stress of being in the hospital slowed them down).

That said, I know many people who have had wonderful home birth experiences. I don't think it's unsafe, I just don't want to do it.

Studies like these concern me because they do feed that fear we all seem to have that makes us want to overmedicate birth. Women have been doing it since the dawn of time in and out of hospitals.

So study or no study, I say do what feels good and right to you.

What do you think of home births?

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