Increasing Homebirth Rose to 20%

“Homebirths are currently rising and has increased by 20%, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

There are those who are opting for such method because it is much less expensive, while there are others who dread unneeded interventions in hospitals, most especially those women who formerly had to give birth by caesarian method or those that have small medical issues that could lead doctors eager to carry out interventions. White women apparently are more in control of their births with 1 in 98 having homebirths as opposed to black women with only 1 in 357 and Hispanics with only 1 in 500.

Several doctors state that homebirths can risky especially if the house is situated in an area without nearby hospitals or if the mother has conditions that makes the delivery high risk or if the birth attendant lacks the necessary skills and experience to deliver the baby. Doctors question whether this choice of homebirth is not a “Feminist Machismo”. However, even though there could be horrific stories, a lot of the concerns are matters that can be prepared for ahead of time. Aside from that, there also are a lot of examples of mothers being forced to agree to interventions.

Those who choose homebirth, on the whole, claim they would like to be free from IVs, drugs, fetal monitors and also pressure to hasten their labor so that busy doctors and maternity wards can be satisfied. They would rather have labor in water on their hands and knees, there are also those who would rather walk about in the living room or simply lie down in their bed as they are surrounded by family and friends with some relaxing music playing in the background. Another popular choice is hypnosis as well those women who are called “doulas” who are not really medical professionals but provide support to the mother as she undergoes labor.

According to Dr. Joel Evans, a board-certified OB-GYN who is pro-homebirth, founder as well as director of the Center for Women’s Health in Stamford, Connecticut, and an associate clinical professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, the medical organization has turned out to be “resistant to change, resistant to dialogue, resistant to flexibility”. He goes on saying that women are now searching for alternative methods where they can cared for like individuals compared to being made to conform with protocols, that, even though they mean well, can have the effect of both medicalizing childbirth and adding both anxiety and stress during delivery.

In the U.S. back in 1900, at 95%, homebirth was the main choice for most women. This figure went down to half in 1938 and by 1955, was only 1%. However, comparing survival rates to these former years would be unfair given that our knowledge and understanding with sanitation and medical procedures greatly exceeds that time.

Presently, a lot of births happen in hospitals where these are attended by midwives and a lot of midwives are registered nurses. Take note however that about 1,700 midwives do not practice in hospitals. 27 states have “lay” midwives who do not necessary hold nurses’ training but are registered as professional midwives and they legally can attend births.

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Daisy Jane Antipuesto RN MN

Currently a Nursing Local Board Examination Reviewer. Subjects handled are Pediatric, Obstetric and Psychiatric Nursing. Previous work experiences include: Clinical instructor/lecturer, clinical coordinator (Level II), caregiver instructor/lecturer, NC2 examination reviewer and staff/clinic nurse. Areas of specialization: Emergency room, Orthopedic Ward and Delivery Room. Also an IELTS passer.

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