Thousands more women are choosing home births

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More women in the United States are choosing to give birth at home in recent years.

... home births increased by 20 percent between 2004 and 2008.

... Women may be seeking to give birth in a familiar environment without a lot of medical intervention ... They may like the idea of being surrounded by family and friends or they may have cultural or religious concerns.

“Lack of transportation in rural areas and cost factors may also play a role as total costs for home birth are about one-third those for a hospital birth,” ...

... women seek home birth options because they have a desire for more control over their labor and delivery process. “They want to avoid what is called the ‘cascade of intervention’ where one intervention [at the hospital] leads to another which leads to another which leads to another,” ...

... “More women are realizing that having a baby in the hospital can be risky, now that our C-section rate is about 1 in 3.”

... benefits of home birth include: fewer complications and unnecessary interventions including lower C-section rates, lower infection rates, greater breastfeeding rates, easier sibling adjustment, heightened sense of autonomy, control and satisfaction with experience and lower postpartum depression rates.

Authors of the study noted that they believe that this increase in home births that will be of interest to practitioners and policymakers.

Benefits such as low intervention rates and continuity of care are really features of the chosen model of care, rather than the place of birth. It's quite possible to have a low-intervention, continuity of care hospital birth - these benefits aren't exclusive to homebirth. However ... hospital will never be home the comfort, privacy, security and warmth of home can never be replicated in a hospital environment.