At-home childbirths surging in popularity

Sunday, March 23, 2014 by: L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
Tags: at-home childbirths, pregnancy, midwives

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(NaturalNews) As contemporary hospitals cling to hasty, drug and surgery birthing procedures, more women are deciding to take a natural approach to birth. Women are beginning to feel more comfortable giving birth in their own home under the care of a midwife, rather than succumbing to surgery-based hospital care, which practically treats birth like a disease. In a 21-year period, the U.S. cesarean rate rose from 4.5 percent in 1965 to 24.1 percent in 1986. The C-section rates have climbed ever since.

Home births at highest level in nearly 40 years

According to CDC statistics, the number of US babies born outside of hospitals has hit its highest level in almost 40 years. Marian MacDorman, a CDC statistician for the National Center for Health Statistics believes that women are wanting "less medical intervention during their birth experience," Live Science reported.

That's exactly what home birth is all about -- prevention over intervention. The birthing process can be a peaceful and exhilarating experience. It doesn't have to be about spending days in the hospital, lacerated open and wacked out on drugs.

Northwestern states, Oregon, Washington, lead the way

Women deserve better, and they are beginning to strive for that better care by taking a nutrition-based approach that incorporates a peaceful birthing experience right in their own home.

"Some women would rather be at home, so they feel more in control," MacDorman said. More women see how hospitals schedule deliveries for efficiency reasons, forcing the pregnancy to go under the knife. Women may not want doctors to mediate birth like this using drugs that artificially strengthen contractions, reduce pain or break water.

The number of home births rose from 1.26 percent to 1.36 percent between 2011 and 2012, suggesting a rise in awareness. In fact, the rise in home births has been evident every year since 2004 and is at its all-time highest since 1975. The highest percentages of home births come from northwestern states like Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, which deliver double the amount of home births as other states.

Home births have a lower incidence of babies born preterm

The less intrusive approach to birth is remarkably safer. New findings from the CDC show that home births have lower rates of nearly all complications. The percent of babies born with a low birth weight are drastically higher in the hospital setting (8%) compared to home births (4%). Preterm pregnancies are also twice as high in hospitals, around 12%, compared to home births at 6%. The small percentage of babies that were born preterm at home were the result of unplanned and unexpected pregnancies.

Home births cost 60 percent less

Not only are home births less complicated and less intrusive, but they can be drastically cheaper as well. The American Pregnancy Association reports that uncomplicated vaginal births cost 60 percent less in a home than in a hospital, and that doesn't even factor in the heightened costs of hospital C-sections, which can spike the cost of birth multiple thousands of dollars more.

Health insurance rarely covers home births

The only thing holding some women back from having a midwife and an in-home birth is that health insurance plans rarely cover it. In fact, only four state require that health insurance plans include home birth: Washington, Florida, New Hampshire and Vermont. Usually though, the less expensive home birth can be cash flowed into one's budget.

The sad part about this arrangement is that the health insurance industry is obviously in bed with the mainstream medical industry. By keeping home births uncovered, in the dark and outlawed in some states, hospitals and health insurance win out. The industry is put before the mother and her baby.

Home birth resources are available for those striving for a natural approach

Still, home birth is not for every woman. If a mother doesn't take the time to care for her and her baby's health during the months leading up to pregnancy, then complications during birth may require the medical intervention services of a hospital. A woman with unchecked health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity may be better off giving birth under monitor at a hospital.

For women who want to experience birth naturally, there are great resources available for proper eating, nutrition and safe delivery. Here's one great resource that I highly recommend.

Sources for this article include:

Null, Gary, PhD. Death by Medicine. Mount Jackson, VA: Praktikos, 2010. Print.

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