Home deliveries have grown in popularity over the past ten years. Even though the number of deliveries that actually occur at home is still minute (around 2%), I receive a lot of questions about this subject. I, like many doctors, do not do them. In today’s article I’m going to discuss some of the intricacies of home birth and expand on why I don’t do them.
Home birth isn’t for everyone. In fact, it’s not for most. According to Mayo Clinic, home births result in up to 2-3 times as many infant deaths or serious injuries than births that occur at hospitals. Women who have previously had a C-section are not candidates for home delivery. Women who are pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets, etc.) should also not have their babies at home. Even when you thoroughly plan a homebirth with your doctor or midwife, often times they may suggest that you be moved to a hospital after labor begins due to a variety of possible outcomes: your baby is not positioned correctly, you desire more pain relief, labor isn’t naturally progressing, the baby is showing signs of distress, etc. Additionally, often times your insurance will not cover as much of the associated costs that come with home birth as they do a hospital birth.
I respect a woman’s desire to deliver her baby where she feels most comfortable. That is her right and she deserves it. But considering the amount of studies and data I’ve seen over the years, I personally do not recommend it if it’s within your control. The birthing process is messy. Things go awry. The benefit of having a medical staff and an unlimited amount of resources on hand is invaluable.
If you have more questions or if you’re seeking an OB doctor, reach out to me here: