Home Births Get Even Trendier (But Not In My House)


home birthWould you ever consider a home birth? If so, you're in growing company: The number of women skipping the hospital and delivering their babies right in the comfort of their own bedroom (or bathroom or kitchen or, for all I know, TV room) has risen sharply in the past few years, according to government data released Thursday. How sharply? Well, between 2004 and 2009, home births here in the United States shot up a full 29%.

Although overall it's still less than one percent of women who opt to give birth at home, that's a pretty dramatic trend. So, seriously, would you do it?

Me, I've come around to thinking it's not a totally nutty thing to do. And I say bully for those who successfully attempt it and swear by it. But I could probably never do it myself. For one thing, given my history of complicated births (trust me, you don't want to know the details), no doctor in his or her right mind would ever endorse my attempting a birth anywhere but smack-dab in the middle of a top-notch medical facility, with a full panoply of doctors standing by. And even if they did, I'd be afraid something would go wrong and I wouldn't get to the hospital in time. If something preventable happened to my baby because of a home-birth related delay in treatment, I would never, ever, ever, ever get over it. (Who could?)

But also, though I'm no fan of hospitals, a home birth doesn't exactly sound like bliss either. What would I do with my kids while I was in labor? Where would they go? Would they be running in and out, asking me where they left their socks? What if an oblivious neighbor stopped by to chat in the middle of it all? Also, what about the mess? The last thing I want to be worried about in the middle of one of life's most joyous moments is having to get the rugs cleaned.

OK, OK, perhaps many of these are mundane, ridiculous concerns. Maybe I'm just jealous of these women with their uncomplicated, apparently painless home births, throughout which they maintain beatific, yoga-blissful looks on their faces and from which they heal instantly. In fact, who wouldn't be jealous of them, with their certainty and their fearlessness and their painlessness?

But you know who I'm definitely not jealous of? Whoever has to clean up that mess.

Would you ever try a home birth?


Image via peretzp/Flickr

complications, delivery, labor, labor & delivery, is it safe


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nonmember avatar Jessie

1. Educated women are having homebirths because they are safe, and less traumatic for babies than hospital births. Not because they are "trendy". 2. The midwife and her assistant clean up. It goes with the job.

nonmember avatar Krista

I had a home birth with my first, went to the hospital for my second child. I much preferred the home birth, and if we have any more, I'm going back to that method.

The team of three midwives (two midwives and a student apprentice) took care of everything. They put plastic sheets on everything, and afterwards they cleaned everything up. My bedroom was spotless.

The best part was after I gave birth, I just fell asleep in my own bed, and the midwives did house calls, coming to check on me and baby every day for a week. I didnt have to go anywhere.

Also, my midwife was a licensed ND and spent 8 years in medical school, so I was never worried about sub par care. She was great in every aspect..the OB assigned to me for the hospital birth was so quick and impersonal it was such a stark contrast.

I love home births!

nonmember avatar dee

I would have considered it, but because of other medical conditions it was not an option for me. I wound up having a horrible experience in the hospital with an emergency cesarean. I don't plan on having any more but if it ever happened I would need to be in a hospital in the event of uterine rupture. I give props to the women who can. It's just not for me.

bella... bella_grace

I had complications with my first child so I don't understand how anyone can risk it. How could you live with the "what if?" if there was an emergency? I understand the appeal because I would prefer it, but it isn't worth it.

nonmember avatar zizzler

our latest kid was born in a midwife birthing center---it was amaaaazing! Can't recommend it enough. I felt like our midwife was the experts of experts, and you can't beat the fact that money and quotas were nowhere on her mind (which I'd worry about with hospital staff). As far as the "what if" factor goes, driving our 6 hour old baby home in our car seemed much riskier than the birth! (yep, they let you leave after just 6 hrs--so cool)

nonmember avatar Ashley

I had a midwife for my third delivery, but it was at a hospital-attached birthing center. It was hands down the best experience of the three (despite being a difficult delivery). Downside of the environment was being ridiculed by the anesthesiolost for "trying to be a hero" because I turned down an epidural. Loved the midwife, but liked being somewhere I could get medical intervention if things went wrong.

nonmember avatar Mike M

My mom had all 4 of her births at home without any problems, and it's something that I am very much in support of. (And I want to add that there are spirits who do give what help is needed or helpful with the process, such as initiating when labor begins, controlling/influencing the rate of labor, and sometimes or often giving the mother [and any others as well if needed/helpful] useful hints [via what we often believe are merely our own intuitive thoughts] about what she should and should not be doing and when. Note that spirits won't do everything we want them to do for us [their interactions with/through us are mainly for guidance only {which we typically can take heed of or ignore as we choose} - not so that we can be pampered with an easy life {as we learn (and/or gain) the most from the challenges that we face with little or no help from others, including spirits; having others do many/most things for you is likely to rob you of many of your soul's life lessons}] so it is best to be as well prepared as you can be.)

Kelli... KelliansMom

I would live it :). It's a very safe way to give birth. But hubby wasn't keen on the idea so I found a ob/midwife office and hospital thy fits both our needs. If I could find a birthing center close enough I would also go there. The birth of my son was okay but at the time the doc office ad hospital were not personable I felt like a number and it just wasn't what I had wanted but we lived and learned and know better for the next child

Eques... EquestrianMom

My hubby wasn't ok with a home birth with our first child, and I got that, we didn;t know how it would go for me, because it was my first. That said, I had an uncomplicated pregnancy and natural birth, the biggest complication was that the half hour drive in stalled my labor (we  left the house when my water broke and I was having contractions every 4 min on the dot, by the time we got to the center, contractions were every 20 min! ) so if I have another baby, I will have it at home. Here there is a hospital fully equipped not two minutes away (closer if you speed! LMAO!) and I am very comfortable with the idea of havin ga child at home. Both the driving and the being in a new place makes it hard for me to relax and have a good labor. I think if I had to be in a hospital (I hate hospitals) I'd stall my labor permanantly! But thats just me :)

Prett... PrettyGirlMyers

Absolutely not, and I think women who birth at home are thinking more of themselves than their baby. What if something goes wrong? What if the mom or the the baby is in distress and that baby needs to come out immediately? The precious time it takes to get to the hospital for medical intervention may mean the difference between life and death for you or your child. To me it just isn't worth it.

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