Now I’m no OB/GYN; however, I do a fair amount of background assists when it comes to fertility and pregnancy. Once we’re through the screaming like girls and congratulations, she always asks who I would recommend.
Of course, I reply, that depends on the type of birth you want to have.
You see, out here in Portland, Oregon, home births are relatively common. Sure, we have huge, wonderful, state-of-the-art hospitals, but many expectant moms are choosing to deliver at home. Where, you might ask? Well, in their bed, a birthing tub, or wherever the baby decides to come out and they’re in position.
A recent article in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health reported that 1 percent of American women are opting out of hospitals and into their own home. The most common reasons cited were: 1) safety 2) avoidance of unnecessary medical interventions common in hospital births 3) previous negative hospital experience 4) more control 5) comfortable, familiar environment and 6) trust in the birth process.
Women tend to feel safer and more in control when they are at home instead of in a hospital. Does this mean home births are not without risks? Does this mean a home birth can not transfer into a hospital birth? Of course not! There are risks at home just as there are risks in the hospital,and it’s my job as a physician to educate my new moms on the options.