Why Are Home Births Suddenly So Popular?

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Despite skepticism from the medical establishment, more and more women are opting for home births. Although home births declined from 1990 to 2004, over the subsequent four years, the rate of home births rose by an astounding 20 percent. The increase is due to what experts identify as a natural birth subculture among white women who want more control over the birth experience ...

[Home births are] ... safer for low-risk births than going to a hospital. Women who want a more individualized experience with fewer medical interventions are increasingly opting for birth at home, under a midwife’s care. These women are, for the most part, affluent and well-educated, and informed about the potential benefits of home birth. This signals a changing perception of what, before, seemed like an unsafe, illogical decision.

... home birth, once so controversial, could start to be seen as mainstream.

Women have home births for a wide variety of reasons. Some react to bad hospital experiences and opt for home births with later children; others respond to cost; others want, in the words of one woman with MS who chose home birth, to “surround myself with people who would support me as a birthing mother, rather than view me as a…patient who would be a liability in need of interventions at every turn.”

... as home birth becomes more accepted, the more options women have ... women deserve the ability to make the choice about what kind of birth they want, and having more options on the table can only be a good thing.