At This Rate Home Birth May Overtake C-Section Rate


home birth pregnantWow! We've known for a while now that home births were shedding their hippie stigma and slowly entering the realm of acceptable childbirth choices, but the statistics show they're even more popular than we thought. Between 2004 and 2008, the number of home births in America increased by 20 percent.

This is huge news, ladies! For decades, mainstream medicine has handled childbirth with the same alarmist regulatory practices they use for procedures like open heart surgery. The thing is, said practices are appropriate in the case of a multiple bypass or, say, the removal of a brain tumor, but the only similarities childbirth has with major surgery are pain and the propensity for bleeding. Our bodies are built to deliver babies. Finally, women are taking childbirth back!

Disclaimer: Yes, I know that having a baby can be dangerous and hospitals are the best place for some high-risk women to give birth. Having said that, though, many home births are nearly as well-staffed as their more conventional counterparts, by exceptionally knowledgeable midwives with as much experience as the average OB/GYN.

I'm not saying one is better than the other -- in my opinion, it's a case-by-case thing -- but the fact that more and more moms-to-be are opting for home births is nothing short of an evolutionary leap for womankind. And to think, all it took was going back to what we did thousands of years ago!

Just in time, too, with c-section rates skyrocketing. Many pro-home birthers feel that the jump in c-sections is due to unnecessary medical interventions in the hospital setting, such as women being restricted to one or limited positions or being diagnosed with "failure to progress" (often one leads to the other, ironically).

Interestingly, the infant mortality rate for home births, 2 out of every 1,000 births, is about the same as that for hospital births. So wherever women choose to have their babies, the great news is that we're waking up to the fact that we have a choice at all!

Did you have a home birth?


Image via moppet65535/Flickr

c-sections, homebirth, labor & delivery


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar me

I did, but in 2001.

Ladyw... Ladywithtwo

I like the trend for a less invasive birth when there is a choice. However, most women that want a home birth are first time moms. First timers are not good candidates. They have no past successful births. They don't know if they can handle birth or if the baby will even fit! I am in school to be a nurse and eventually a midwife.

jagam... jagamama0710


I really disagree with Ladywithtwo on that first timers are not good candidates. I also disagree the majority of home birthers are first timers. I don't have time to get into it all right now though. 

GertieK GertieK

Been a midwife for 30 years.  Not a nurse.  A midwife.  First timers are like any other candidate... case by case.  Have done many first timers.  They just need a little more attnetion than experienced birthers. Used to, anyone who had a baby was a 1st time home birther.  I hope that Ladywithtwo will come to have a true confidence and belief that a woman's body was made to have a baby.  Confidence and trust in the birth process will be THE MOST IMPORTANT tool in her bag.  Babies fit.  Very seldom will they not.  Learn to trust and believe.  I know you think I sound like a nut case, but one of these days...years from now, you will probably understand.  In my eyes, it is that lack of trust, that lack of belief, and the idea that medical science is smarter and knows better for woman than women do for themselves that has gotten us into such a pickle.  Birth, by its very nature, is not medicine or medical.  Approach it from that aspect.  Approach it as a natural event, as part of the process of life.  Approach it with respect, with knowledge, and with trust.  Be proactive and careful in your care of women, but trust in their body and their ability to birth their baby without intervention, or drugs, or even you.  If you can find your way to that belief, you will be an amzing midwife.

AmyTu... AmyTuteurMD

If homebirth is so safe, why is the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), the organization that represents homebirth midwives, REFUSING to release the death rates of the 23,000 planned homebirths in their database? If their data showed homebirth to be safe, they'd be shouting it from the rooftops. Instead they are hiding just how many of those 23,000 babies died at the hands of homebirth midwives.

Water... Water_geM

OH NOES...its amy tuteur

jagam... jagamama0710

LMAO @ amy tuteur. Surprise surprise...I was wondering when the troll would leave her bridge. 

GertieK GertieK

Personally, been hearing crap like hers for years  Typical.  Nothing new.  The troll is out.

GertieK GertieK

Oh, I did it 3x (out of 4)  1975, 1980, and 1981  The last 2 were unattended because the hospital birth in 1978 was the most horrendous experience of my life  It was safer and much better to be home alone than to be in a hospital.  It was birth #2 that completely wiped out any trust in the medical system and their ability to handle a low-risk, healthy birth.  They took a normal birth, and turned it into a dangerous situation.  Had I been able to find a midwife for that one, I would have had her at home too.  Couldn't find one for the next 2 either, but was not going to subject myself or my baby to the medical environment again. 

GertieK GertieK

  Here ya go, doc straight off of the MANA web site:

Data from 2004 through 2007 is available. The Division of Research is also accepting applications for data access for prospective studies.

Interested parties can find more information in the following documents:

Completed forms and additional material must be submitted to the Administrative Director of the Midwives Alliance Division of Research via email. There is a non-refundable $50 application fee. Details are in the Handbook and on the Application Checklist.

Contributors and organizations of contributors (such as state professional midwifery associations) may access summary statistics of their own data at any time.

The Midwives Alliance Division of Research advocates for Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR). CBPR is a collaborative approach in which research takes place in community settings and involves community members in the design and implementation of research projects. Such activities demonstrate respect for the contributions made by community partners and for the principle of “doing no harm” to the communities involved.

For further information about access to Midwives Alliance data, please contact

1-10 of 77 comments 12345 Last