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The average cost of an uncomplicated, vaginal hospital birth in the US ranges from $8,000 to $10,000. {source}

 

image courtesy- Transforming Maternity Care

 

 

With so much money involved, most people assume that hospitals provide the ultimate in birth care and there is simply no reasonable alternative.  This simply is not true!

 

The following “six myths” are based upon an article given to me during a prenatal class by my midwife, along with some of my own personal research.  Please refer to the recommended websites and resources at the end of this post for more information.

 

 

My desire in sharing this article is not to convince you that home births are right for everyone, but simply to arm you with information and resources.  

 

Every woman deserves to make a decision for her health and her baby’s health based upon truth and facts, not fear and myths.

 

 

 

 

MythsHomeBirth

 

 

Myth #1- Hospital births are statistically safer than home births.

 

 

Fact: The US, with all of its medical expenses, ranks a low 34th among nations in infant mortality.

 

The best infant mortality rates are frequently found in Europe, especially the Netherlands where 30% of women give birth at home {source}.  

Studies consistently verify the fact that home births do not rank lower in safety than hospital births.  {source}

 

 

 

Myth #2- You can get more professional attention in a hospital than you could get at home.

 

Fact: A midwife usually spends more than 30 hours assisting a woman while she is in her care. This allows much more time to attend to the personal needs of the individual, rather than making birth an impersonal assembly-line process.

 

A quick peak at the Medical Model of Care versus the typical Midwifery Model of Care gives an honest over view of what to expect with a midwife-assisted birth:  {Read more.}

 

 

 

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image courtesy

 

 

Myth #3- The more modern technology you have on hand, the easier the birth will be.

 

 

 

Fact: There is strong evidence that there mere availability of fetal monitors and other hospital tools and techniques, combined with increased concern about liability and malpractice, leads to many unnecessary interventions, resulting in complications (New England Journal of Medicine, March 1990).

 

For example, a study by the Public Citizen Health Research Group revealed that out of 934,000 Cesareans performed in a given year, 50.8% were unnecessary. This resulted in 23,000 serious infections, an extra 1.1 million days in the hospital, and costs over one billion dollars.

 

 

 

 

Myth #4- A hospital is a more sanitary place to have a baby than a home.

 

 

 

Fact: According figures from the US Center for Disease Control, between 5 and 10 per cent of all American hospital patients become infected with new diseases while in hospital.

Hospital acquired infections are killing 90,000 patients and sickening some 2 million every year. {source}

Does this mean you will get sick if you have your baby in a hospital?  Of course not!  However, stats do tell us that hospitals are not necessarily “cleaner” than your own home!

 

 

 

 

Myth #5- A hospital is the most comfortable place to have a baby.

 

 

 

Fact: Naturally, opinions on this will vary from woman to woman.  Many women are comfortable in a hospital setting; others find the comfort and luxury of a home birth far superior.

 

 

Personally, one of my favorite aspects of midwifery care is the focus on natural settings and relaxation during pregnancy and labor.  Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way offers an excellent over view of this topic.

 

 

 

 

Myth #6- It’s impossible to find a qualified person to assist you in having a baby at home.

 

 

Fact: This depends on where you live. In most of the country it’s still possible to get excellent home birth care. There are thousands of practicing midwives in the United States, plus dozens of doctors who delivery at home or in a home-like birth center.

 

To search for a midwife in your area, check out MothersNaturally.org.

 

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For further reading, I encourage you to check out the following websites and resources:

The Business of Being Born

Midwives Alliance of North America (references on Home Birth)

American Pregnancy Association

Research on Home Birth, compiled by Homebirth.org.uk

Home Birth Safety References

Home Birth Benefits

Natural Pregnancy Resources

Natural Child Birth Resources

 

 

 

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the Natural Cottage Mama

 

This post is linked at The Modest Mom, A Mama’s Story, Above Rubies, Growing Home, Raising Homemakers, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, The Better Mom, Deep Roots at Home

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15 thoughts on “6 Myths About Home Births

  1. I’ve had 1 unfavorable hospital birth, 2 birth center births, and 3 home births (my favorite). All have been low risk with no major complications.

    Posted on April 16, 2013 at 8:39 am
  2. I had one home birth, and three in hospital (twice attended by a midwife, my first by a doctor). By far the best experience for me was the home birth. However, that being said, that was a low-risk pregnancy and I had my Dr’s okay. I am looking at doing a home birth for our next child.

    Thanks for sharing this article and your thoughts. I think it is important to know there are options for women.

    Posted on April 12, 2013 at 7:52 pm
  3. Both of my little girls were born at home, with midwives in attendance, surrounded by two grandmas, and their daddy. My first labor was more than 30 hours, with no medication, of course, and looking back, I would not change it and go to the hospital for meds. Due to her size and positioning, the labor was long and arduous, and would have ended in a cesarean if I’d been at the hospital, meaning that the second one would have also been a cesarean. Instead, the second time I chose to try a water birth (something I should have done the first time), and delivered my second daughter in eleven hours. Childbirth is the hardest physical labor a woman can do, but it is not a dangerous and scary experience. In fact, it is deeply spiritual and natural, and rarely do complications arise when the mother is not being treated like a cow in a slaughterhouse. Eighty percent of complications in the hospital are BECAUSE the birth is taking place in a hospital, not because of any real problems.

    And, for the record, the midwife or doctor does not deliver the baby in a normal vaginal birth. The MOTHER delivers the baby; her assistants CATCH the baby she delivers! Just saying, give credit where credit is due:)

    Posted on April 11, 2013 at 10:51 pm
  4. Love this post Kristy! I’ve had three babies, one at home, one at the hospital and one at a birthing center. All three experiences were positive, and I can definitely attest to the fact that just because a birth is at home doesn’t mean you get less professional care. My midwife is amazing!

    Posted on April 11, 2013 at 2:32 pm
  5. Loved this! I had both of my little girls in the comfort of my home 🙂
    Blessings,
    Amber

    Posted on April 11, 2013 at 9:53 am
  6. When my son and daughter were born, there were no home birth midwives available in my area. I had to have a hospital birth for both and unfortunately disproved myth #4 when my son was born.

    Posted on April 11, 2013 at 8:44 am
  7. When we were having my first baby, we couldn’t find a midwife that did home births, so we chose to deliver with a midwife at the hospital. I can attest that the level of care far surpassed that of my friends and family that have gone with OB-GYNs. I was in labor for over 24 hours, and our midwife was there nearly all of that time (she left for potty breaks and to eat). Most everyone I know that has gone with an OB-GYN has had a lot of interventions, and given the way my labor went, I have no doubt we would have had a c-section many hours earlier, if we hadn’t gone with a midwife. I was fortunate enough to give birth vaginally (although we did end up having to do vacuum-assist, since baby just wouldn’t come out), which allowed me the opportunity to have a second vaginal birth that went very quickly. We are using the same 3 midwives for our 3rd baby that is due in August, and we have nothing bad to say about them!

    Posted on April 10, 2013 at 10:46 pm
  8. This is delightful, informative, and factual! I will definitely be showing this to the unconvinced members of my family! Thank you for the time invested in putting this together for us!

    Posted on April 10, 2013 at 8:09 pm
    1. You’re welcome, Niki! Thanks for the feedback.

      Posted on April 10, 2013 at 9:30 pm
  9. Great information!

    Posted on April 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm
    1. Thank you, Jill!

      Posted on April 10, 2013 at 6:44 pm
  10. great post! thank you so much!

    Posted on April 10, 2013 at 8:58 am
    1. Thank you, Shelby!

      Posted on April 10, 2013 at 6:45 pm
  11. I’m going to pin this, Kristy. Awesome.

    Posted on April 10, 2013 at 7:14 am
    1. Thanks, Bambi!

      Posted on April 10, 2013 at 6:45 pm