Was My Last Home Birth Illegal? (I Need Your Help!)

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Read my affiliate policy.

Was my daughters birth illegal
Wellness Mama » Blog » Motherhood » Was My Last Home Birth Illegal? (I Need Your Help!)

In short… yes. My amazing last home birth experience that saved me from an 8-week c-section surgery recovery was not legal in my state. If you missed my birth story, the birth (of my now one-year-old) was a breech home VBAC and my 8 pound daughter had perfect APGAR scores.

This post is different from my normal posts and I’m asking for your help and activism today. I would not have had the option to birth naturally in any of the medical facilities in our state. And I need your help to make sure other women have the option to birth at home in my state in the future!

Here’s what to do and scroll down to hear the rest of the story:

  • Call 1-800-372-7181 (especially if you live in KY or are a healthcare professional) and say “I’d like to leave a message for all members of Senate Licensing & Occupations Committee: “Please vote yes on SB 105 to license Certified Professional Midwives.”
  • If you live in Kentucky- Leave a message for your Senator: “Please support and co-sponsor SB 105 to license Certified Professional Midwives.”

Was My Birth Illegal?

Sounds like a crazy question… but thanks to the laws where we live (in Kentucky), home birth is not technically a supported birth option like it is in 31 other states. I should clarify that it wasn’t technically illegal for me to birth at home, but that my state does not currently license certified professional midwives (CPMs). This makes it difficult (and risky) for these midwives (who are often certified in other states) to serve families and have access to necessary supplies.

Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) are nationally credentialed midwives who provide primary maternity care. CPMs are the only maternity care provider specifically trained to attend births outside the hospital.

They are trained to provide health-promoting and preventative care that is evidence based and avoids unnecessary use of drugs and interventions. CPMs are licensed in 28 states but not yet licensed in Kentucky. Licensing Certified Professional Midwives is the best way to ensure that those families who choose out-of-hospital birth will have access to quality maternity care.

Homebirth IS Happening

Kentucky women (and women all over the US) are choosing home birth. In fact, last year, the percentage of KY home births was above the national average, yet women are not supported in this option, having to find midwives through word of mouth or choosing to birth unassisted (without a midwife) if they are unable to find a midwife near them.

In a state with one of the highest c-section rates in the country, home birth midwives offer a safe alternative and we’ve been working to change the laws and support this option in KY. The World Health Organization, the American Public Health Association and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (in the UK) all support home birth as a safe birth choice, yet some states in the US make this option difficult or impossible for women, despite evidence of its safety.

With the WHO calling for the US to work to lower its unnecessarily high c-section rates, supporting home birth as a birth choice is increasingly important. Women are already choosing this option and will continue to do so, and supporting these options with access to lab testing, ultrasounds and necessary medications will help keep moms safe. Consider these studies and the difference in intervention rates in home births vs. hospital births:

is home birth safe

and this one…

safety of home birth

VBAC Safety


My Birth: The Bottom Line

Home birth is not for everyone, but it should be a supported option for women who choose it. My birth would not have been possible in a hospital in my state. I did not even have that option. My midwife’s VBAC rate is 99%. My local hospital’s VBAC rate is less than 20%. My hospital’s breech rate is approximately 0%.

No matter what type of birth you have personally chosen, please help me and others give the women in my state the right to choose their own birth options. I’m happy to do the same for you and your state if it is ever needed.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


100 responses to “Was My Last Home Birth Illegal? (I Need Your Help!)”

  1. Lindsey Avatar

    I don’t live in Kentucky, CNMs are legal here I’m not sure about CPMs though, I used a CNM for my VHBAC. That birth was my easiest, quickest and earliest! I was overfue with my other ones but the lat one I had a couple of days early. I had light contractions throughout the day with quiet stretches in between I knew labir was coming earlier than expected but once my water broke and active labor started it took only 1.5 hours for my baby to come out while I squated!
    My VBAC before that was in a hospital with a Dr. However my CNM was the ad a labor coach, I was induced at 41w, they are pushing m e to do every possible intervention, which I had to fight with tears. The Dr. had no intention of a vaginal birth they thought labor will take so long thst they’re going to do a repeat c-section. (We overheard him tell the nurse!) I’m greatfull for my birth coach who helped me through and was almost ready to catch the baby since the nurse didn’t believe I was actually ready to push. The room was not prepared for a birth, they had to call a resident dr to make sure that is true! They refused to let me squat which I was ready to do but my dr wasn’t there yet! And then he still cut the which my CNM told me how unnecessary it had been.
    If I had not been strong about what I wanted in my birth then I could’ve been in a worse position. I’m greatfull hour my midwife since my next birth I first went to a different dr. who I thought would be more understanding especially with my vbac but guess what he insisted I schedule surgery! I said no and then had my homebirth, relaxed and calm, it went so smoothly. I’m due in a couple of weeks and hope to be doing another homebirth.
    I did recently hear that in this state VHBAC isn’t legal or something but my midwife is confident that I’m still a good candidate since she did experience both my vbacs one better than the other. I’m greatfull that God sent her to me and is helping us have the best and healthiest birth for me.

  2. Melissa W. Avatar
    Melissa W.

    PSA for those who live in Kentucky: If you are close enough to the Louisville area to drive there to give birth, there is a wonderful hospital just five minutes from downtown Louisville. Clark Memorial Hospital is located in Jeffersonville, IN, and the OBs and midwives (CNMs) at WomanCare (right next door to the hospital) have privileges there. I don’t know how exceptional other parts of the hospital are, but the Family Birth Place is much better than anything within 200 miles. All of the midwives and doulas I’ve spoken with in this area recommend it. I don’t work there or anything–but I’ve had two natural births, three natural miscarriages, and one emergency D&C after a missed miscarriage, and they have been wonderful through all of it. They respect my medical choices (such as no vaccines for our family, no vitamin K shot, etc.) even when they don’t align with their ideals. They promote kangaroo care, delayed cord clamping, and VBACs. They turned a blind eye to my blatant eating and drinking during my labors. The L&D nurses are very experienced in assisting women who want to labor naturally and they have two “natural birthing suites” set up with a tub and other amenities to make a natural labor more comfortable. We didn’t hire a doula for my second child’s birth, but the L&D nurse assigned to me stuck by my side the entire labor, exactly like a doula would have done. She even got me through transition and talked me down from my blabberings about getting an epidural. Anyway, if you are within a reasonable driving distance of the Kentuckiana metro and want a natural birth, I highly recommend this place.

    1. Drina Avatar

      Yes, Clark Memorial is a great place to give birth naturally. So is Flaget Hospital in Bardstown. The obgyns are very supportive of natural birth, intermittent monitoring, using the birthing ball, squat at, showering during labor, whatever. And I think they do vbac. It’s good to know about these options.

  3. Tanya S Avatar

    All emails have been sent! However for Darryl Owens I just received an email stating that his inbox is full and he can not receive new messages. Have a great day! Thank you so much for all that you do and for all of the crucial and helpful information that you share!!!

  4. Christy Avatar

    Helpful and insightful, we need to be reminded what is the most effective way to be heard and stand up for what we believe in. Thank you.

  5. Jana Avatar

    Katie, not sure if you got my follow up comment or not because the sight booted me telling not me I was commenting too fast lol. Please don’t publish my first comment on the legislative process. It’s just something that’s personally aggravating to me and I commented in frustration. However, the more important issue is getting people motivated and talking about this very important issue. Thanks so much, and my apologies.

  6. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

    Jana- this is a great point, but this bill is still in committee, so the only people that have any say on it at this point are the committee members. As the health and welfare committee represents the wishes of all of us in the state, I feel it is important to contact them too. Thanks for your work in Indiana!

  7. Tanya S Avatar

    This is empowering. I sigh as I read the political thumb on this very imortant issue. I have had 2 vaginal births and 1 c section. The c section was in the middle of my vaginal births. I live in IL and didn’t receive much support for have a VBAC however by word of mouth I meant a lady who, during that season in my life, greatly encouraged me with stats and testimonies of our bodies and it’s ability to succeed in a VBAC…I’m so thankful she did! I had to sign a form at my hospital stating I was aware of the many complications with a VBAC and was even offered to still have a c section at any time during my VBAC delivery. Not VBAC encouraging! If we are able to get pregnant with another babe, I would completely love a home birth! Unfortunately it’s not welcomed in this area 🙁 though I do know a lady that had a home birth in IL one hour away…I guess its about finding the right support system in this state. I will email for you Katie!

  8. Maria Avatar

    We are also currently working to license CPMs in South Dakota (CNMs are already licensed). The bill (SB136) made it through committee two days ago! Exciting times!

  9. Ella Avatar

    I have to say and I am THANKFUL for my perinatologist who performed my repeat c-section. I’ve been a type 1 diabetic for almost 40 years now. My first child was a planned c-section because being diabetic and pregnant caused a lot of strain on my retinas. My specialist team did not want me pushing. But once our baby was safely removed, my uterus did not clamp down and I almost bled out on the table! I literally almost died.

    We had our second child very soon after the first. But this time, my doctors were ready for my weird uterus and they took care of me PERFECTLY. No problems whatsoever.

    I am so thankful for my doctors who performed a repeat c-section on me. Both of my child (AND MYSELF) are perfectly healthy because of them. I am NOT a proponent of all doctors. I think many are just pawns for the pharmaceutical companies. HOWEVER, obstetricians/perinatologists AND ER doctors are worth their weight in GOLD.

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      I agree and I’m glad you are ok and that your second birth was great! I also had a c-section that saved my life and my sons. But not all births need to be surgical and women who can birth naturally should be able to choose to do so.

  10. Savannah Avatar

    Thank you so much for bringing this to people’s attention.
    I’m not going to be having any more children; but I still do what I can to support KY women’s safe birth options.

  11. Dana Avatar

    Hi Wellness Mama!
    Would you consider doing a post on Moms & lack of sleep during the early years, and how to stay well during it?
    I am really interested in how to keep the body healthy when normal sleep is not achievable. Thanks!

  12. Miranda Avatar

    I live in Canada and while home births are legal midwifes are very hard to find. It is very difficult to become a certified midwife and in the area I live there is 1. Currently she is on maternity leave which may become permanent (which I totally understand as I am also a stay at home Mom!) But that would leave this area with no midwife. Basically the only option for me to have a midwife now (my baby is 2 months away from being born) would be to travel 8 hours and deliver in a birthing hospital run by midwives. My last baby 2 years ago was born at home with the midwife (my first home birth and first midwife experience) and I was blown away at the difference! I would choose a midwife and home birth again if I had the choice. I hope that the laws change in your state!

    1. Veronica Avatar

      I’m curious about where in Canada this is. I’m in Ontario (Ottawa) and have a plethora of options for midwives who will do hospital, birth centre or home births!

  13. Valeria Z Avatar

    It is the family’s right to decide what kind of birth is best for them!
    My Most IMPORTANT QUESTION is: “WHY?” It is so sad and it makes me mad! :'(
    ~~Why would someone (the govern) would make illegal a home birth???~~
    Women are FREE
    Women own their BODIES and can do whatever they want with them!
    I will have my baby anywhere I want!

    We are all together in this. WE ARE ONE!

    1. Elizabeth Avatar

      To Riri, Christy and Valeria Z – Although Katie’s tittle to her article “Was My Last Home Birth Illegal? (I Need Your Help!)” is very misleading, if you read further you will see she admits it is not true. In other words if Katie’s neighbor overheard her screams and decided to call the police and the police discovered what she was doing. They would not through her in jail and/or fine her for “breaking the law” because as she admitted in the article it is not “illegal”. Nor was it “illegal” for her “midwife” to help her at home through her labor. I use quotation for midwife since I don’t know how an uncertified person can say that is what they are. Instead what Katie is asking all of you to do is for NON kentucky residents to influence and encourage the local state government to get involved, to impose rules regarding independent contractors such as midwives to get a state certification since currently there is only a National certification called “North American Registry of Midwives” (NARW) that any person can get (of course once they meet the criteria necessary) regardless of what state they live in. Katie wants you to call this state and ask them to get involved to force these women to get certified in that state since it sounds like they don’t feel like getting the national certification. FYI these people are private independent contractors, in other words do not work for a large organization like a hospital so what that means is that the only ones who supervises them is…. themselves. So they have the freedom to not choose to get certified. Idaho and Nevada are example of very few states that do not require X-ray techs to be certified to radiate the population… yet most hospitals do, therefore these people do not take a state certification but rather the national one that is available to everyone.

      1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

        Actually, I made that clear in the post. It wasn’t illegal for me to give birth, but an aspect of my birth (the midwife attending) isn’t technically legal in our state. Also, to clarify, my midwife is a Certified Professional Midwife who is certified under NARW. The issue is that our state doesn’t issue these certifications so midwives go to other states to get certified. Because midwives aren’t able to be certified, it is hard for women to know without a lot of research the degree of training a midwife has. More importantly, because of the attitude in our state toward home birth and midwives, there is not adequate communication between hospitals/doctors and midwives. Many women are afraid to transfer to a hospital in labor if needed for fear of how they will be treated. Certifying midwives in our state would begin to open the door for this communication and establish CPMs as part of the birthing community in our state and encourage communication between them and other birth professionals. It would give them easier access to important things like ultrasounds and physical consults if needed and in the long run, make birth safer for women in Kentucky.

    1. Christy Avatar

      I am afraid it will always be a struggle to keep our rights as woman human beings. Thank you Katie for bringing issues like this to everyone’s attention.

  14. Sara Avatar

    Basically, the only ones who benefit from VBAC are doctors and hospitals. I had 4 VBACs and no problems with me or my babies. Everyone, please take a few minutes to use the above contact information and let your voices be heard in order to give moms in Kentucky the freedom to choose whatever birth method they like. The government has NO right to dictate how or where women give birth! Let’s make a difference right now! 🙂

    1. Adrienne Provent Avatar
      Adrienne Provent

      I live in Florida and have a background as an OB/GYN nurse. I had the most wonderful experience of working for a doctor who lowered the rate of C-Sections in our county and was the only doctor who performed V-BACs and also was the head of the only birthing center in our county. VBACs did not benefit him, it was a fight with the hospitals, and when a VBAC patient went into the hospital, he had to stay on the hospital premises for the entire duration of labor. (Not okay when he was a private doc and there was a crazy schedule of patients and surgeries for the day)! He did what he did because he was a compassionate doctor.
      I birthed my youngest daughter alone when I was employed under him. I had the keys tobthe birthing center, I went in, filled the tub, and proceeded to have a beautiful water birth, regularly checking fetal tones and my cervix, and most of all, listening to my body. She had a double nuchal cord when she came out, which was easily taken care of as I unwrapped the cord as she was still under.
      It was the most inspiring event that left me high for days and my daughter, she had a perfect APGAR score, and is a healthy young lady.
      There is a time and a place for hospital births, that is agreed. My first experience with my oldest daughter was a fight with the staff. In my opinion, the nurses and staff were overbearing, threatening, and did not respect my decision enough to hold back their condescending attitudes. Life is not by the book…..in any medical situation…It is an art, even with EBM.
      I have seen both situations, hospital, and birthing centers go wrong, and it is horrible on both ends. But the numbers at the hospital are higher.
      Women know what to do if they listen to their bodies. We have been given birth for hundreds of thousands of years. I believe women should have other available options besides a hospital.

      1. Brittany Avatar

        That was a beautiful perspective, and an amazing birth story! I think you are spot on in your story, which kind of gives a picture of homebirthing within a hospital, and sounds like an ideal scenario. I suppose this is how it should be in all hospitals. I had a similar situation to Katie, where choosing the hospital for my third childbirth experience would have meant an indefinite csection. My second was a surprise breech and came so fast that it was too late for the cesarean, which I believe was extremely lucky (the on call doctor who delivered her was the only person there who had ever seen a breech birth prior to that, and it was decades prior). So with the third I knew I had an increased risk of breech again, but with the help of an amazing and very experienced midwife and some other natural techniques, I was able to get baby flipped head-down on her own two weeks before she was born. If we had a birthing center or anything remotely like it in my area, I would have gladly chosen it. Fortunately my homebirth experience was a very good one. I dream of a day when midwives and doctors can join together in creating the best and safest birth experiences, and making them available to all women. I would like to also clarify what some others have said here in regards to whether or not doctors are well trained. Based on my birth experiences, the opinion I’ve formed is that at my local hospital the drs are very well trained at medical interventions, but not very well trained (or at least way out of practice) in midwifery practices like palpating baby’s position, (which two different drs failed at with my second baby, who in hindsight had been breech for at least two weeks leading up to delivery but was mistaken for head down), and natural interventions and supplements that can be so amazingly beneficial to a natural birth and post partum care. I learned so much from my midwife, who was able to spend time with me and know my history and my concerns and my intentions, which is unfortunately lost when you’re only allowed five-ten minutes per visit with a prenatal checkup squeezed within 20+ other patient visits that day. It says some things about our health care system I suppose.

  15. Rukiyat G Avatar

    Thank you for shedding light on the important topic! I had no idea the level of restrictions on giving birth naturally… just doing what a woman’s body was designed to do.

  16. Christy Avatar

    Thank you for raising awareness on this issue. I have telephoned and left the message with the receptionist.

  17. Elizabeth Avatar

    It is sad that in this day an age people still choose to play Russian roulette with the lives of their babies and their own lives. I do ultrasound for a living and unfortunately I have too much knowledge of what can go wrong which is very crippling when planning a family. I can say first hand that too many things can go wrong in a matter of minutes if not seconds that an ambulance would not even make it in time to your home to save the baby and/or the mother from bleeding to death or the baby asphyxiating to death from a wrapped umbilical cord that can happen minutes before delivery. People all the time say to me “well what did our great grandparents do out in the field” and I am shocked that my answer surprises people, like it never occurred to them = They died. That’s what they did, they either died and/or had several babies die. Of course there are plenty of people who have normal pregnancies just like there are plenty of people who don’t get cancer but how many do each of us know that do! so it is not rare. There are those who have complications during delivery, guess what… you wont know which one you are until you are faced with it in the moment and will you have qualified people who can handle worse case scenario? Now if that is a risk you are willing to take because it is fun or more enjoyable to have it at home then I guess you like to gamble on lives that I find are way to important to gamble with. FYI getting ultrasound throughout your pregnancy to make sure all is well does not guarantee squat when the day comes to deliver and something unforeseeable happens nor does ultrasound identify all complications at any time such as placenta percreta or a baby who stroked or an umbilical cord shocking him. This scenario is not rare by any stretch of the imagination but lets say it is one in a thousand, if you think your baby is worth that statistic ask yourself why? Why would I not want the best equipped team to handle anything that might go wrong to ensure the survival of my newborn and of me to raise him/her.

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      I can totally see where you are coming from, but there are a couple of important points to understand:
      -Home birth with CPMS would only be allowed for low-risk women who meet certain criteria and there are times it would not be suggested
      -Repeat c-section is just as risky, statistically, as VBAC (some sources say it is more risky). For me, my only option in hospitals where I live would have been repeat c-sections, which would be just as risky and totally unnecessary. When hospital start listening to the World Health Organization and other respected organizations and start having reasonable rates of c-sections and VBACs, we can start to have the conversation about if home birth is needed.
      -Your argument doesn’t account for the unnecessary interventions that happen in a hospital that lead to problems for mom and baby. Nor does it take into account the microbial transfer at birth and how the microbial environment of a hospital is much different from home. In a world with skyrocketing rates of allergies, obesity, autism and more, this is a factor that should be considered.
      -You also make the assumption that midwives are unqualified, which I find highly offensive. My CPMs have been by far the most well studied and competent birth professionals I’ve ever had. It is the doctors who are truly un-qualified to deliver breech babies anymore as they’ve never done it.
      -Many medical systems in the world (including Canada, the UK, and Australia) have midwives as the first line of care and only call on a doctor in actual times of need. It should be noted that these places all have better birth outcomes and lower maternal and infant mortality rates. In other words- the US standard of care in hospitals actually does not have the best outcomes for moms and babies and is not the best way to “ensure the survival of my newborn and of me to raise him/her”
      -In your profession, you likely often see what goes wrong more than what goes right. Birth, by its nature, is a natural process and the culture of fear we have surrounding it actually only compounds the problems for women.
      -At the core of it- just as you should have the right to birth in a hospital with the birth team you choose- women who make a different choice than you should have the same right.

      1. Elizabeth Avatar

        -there is no way to link obesity,autism,allergies and more to hospital births since by the time these are diagnosed the variables in this child life are astronomical.
        -“unnecessary intervention” I don’t know how you would or could quantify this since a good outcome without it could be luck.
        -I don’t make the assumption that midwives are unqualified but rather I have seen first hand when these professionals have failed in providing good maternal care ie. incompetent cervix. In my profession what I see is near misses making me wonder how many midwives who provide care like in the 1900’s do miss preventable complications and I wonder what the outcomes are. Also in my profession I follow up on these babies that end up having problems because modern medical maternal care wasn’t provided during pregnancy but rather midwifery.
        -of course pregnancy is natural. So is death…

        1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

          -There is an entire emerging field that does in fact link those conditions in part to birth. Check out the movie Microbirth to hear from some of the scientists leading taht research.
          -It would be tough to scientifically quantify. For me, I would say that in most cases epidurals, pitocin and episiotomies are a few that are vastly overused and unnecessary in some cases.
          -There are midwives who are untrained- this is partially what we are trying to remedy. This bill would license TRAINED midwives in our state, give families legal recourse for inadequate care, and most importantly, give these midwives easier access to things they need to ensure good outcomes (like labs, ultrasounds, etc). Home birth is happening already. We are just trying to make it legal and safer.
          -I would submit that people should, in most cases, be able to choose where to die as well.

      2. Holly Avatar

        Thank you for your knowledge and response to these comments. I’ve had 2 successful VBACs and so glad I did Bc recovery from a c-section is not what you want to be dealing with when trying to enjoy a new precious baby. I had my babies in TN but live in Alabama where home birth is illegal. What can I do to help in my own state? People here go across the state line to MS or TN to have their babies in a birthing center.

    2. Rebecca Avatar

      In my opinion, you should seriously apologize for your description of birth as “Russion roulette” and the like denigrating terms. Has it occurred to you, since you have no experience with actual home birth or non-intervened births, that perhaps your opinion is not fully informed? I could give you a long list of reasons why my home births were better and safer, but you seemed to have made up your mind based on false assumptions. I have had BETTER prenatal care, not less, better birth preparations, and better attendance, taken care of by midwives than most women report having experienced in hospitals. My husband has caught 3 of my children because I labor so quickly that I labored alone – and wow, we did it so well and so safely. No question this was safer than rushing to the hospital in a car. People who support home birth are NOT supporting ‘risky’ behavior. Having a baby is not the same at detonating a bomb or some kind of crisis. Midwives are trained – well trained – to deal with complications and women who are at risk for some known issue are NOT encouraged to birth at home or stay at home. I could go on and on, but your comments are just seriously hurtful.

      1. Elizabeth Avatar

        Ignorance is bliss…. you describe your experience as “I labor so quickly that I labored alone” do you honestly think that is a common experience? where people labor “so quickly”. Of course not, everyone wishes that was there story. Do you think there is an exam on this planet or somebody’s knowledge/experience that can foresee that, foresee the future? of course not. In reality things can get scary and difficult in a heart beat. Not knowing that fact is… well awesome for you. Knowledge is not the only thing required in life to get the job done, tools are also required and I don’t mean kitchen tools. Also everyone keeps saying that if there are complications they are not encouraged to have the baby at home, everyone keeps missing the fact that these complications can surface and do surface only during birth and the pregnancy itself was complication free. Good for you for having 3 easy pregnancies and you are very fortunate, I see pregnant women daily (and I don’t mean my one or two friends and family) who have had 5 or more kids and not one delivery was like their last. And when some of them loose a baby and I see in their eyes they blame themselves, I can honestly tell them you tried everything humanly available, it is not your fault. There are plenty who have successful deliveries at home, there are also plenty of lucky people in life that nothing goes wrong. When it does go wrong and the baby and/or mom does perish… is that reported? is there date being collected on that? who reports it? the uncertified midwives in these states? Would I risk my newborn on luck, nope. Sorry that I am not warm and fuzzy about that hard fact. Not being prepared for worst case scenario IS playing Russian Roulette. But everyone here keeps stressing the fact that it should be THEIR right to die at home and in that regards I agree 100% with you, the government should not be responsible for your best interest that should be up to you. And if you choose to not use everything available to you that the 21st century has to offer, I most definitely agree that should be your choice. I am a huge believer that a lot of our technology has created a more unhealthy way of living such as computers, phones, plastics, tainted dead food, etc. and it has saved tons of lives that would have died in the 1900’s. I also agree that knowledge empowers and cripples. The flip side on knowledge, it allows you to make an inform decision such as to knowingly not use the available resources at your disposal due to a belief like Jahova witness choose to not allow blood transfusions readily available to survive and make an informed decision to die instead for their beliefs. Of course people survive every day without blood transfusions but they are informed on their options and choose accordingly, and THAT should always be their right. No doubt on that. I agree the government should stay out of being everyone’s nanny.

        1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

          I’m glad we agree on the fact that the government should not be too involved. Of course, bad things can happen during birth, but they are not the norm. The World Health Organization and many other medical organizations around the world agree that home birth is a safe and reasonable option for many women. Not to mention you are more likely to die in a car accident than even to get a uterine rupture (much less to die) in childbirth “Your risk of dying in a car accident, over the course of your lifetime, is between 1 in 42 and 1 in 75. This is roughly 4 to 5 times greater than the risk of uterine rupture.” Of course, statisticians could argue forever about the variables of these risks based on frequency and dozens of other factors, but using the base numbers of two activities a person may choose to do, a VBAC is statistically about the same risk as driving a car.

          It is also statistically more risky to have a repeat c-section than a VBAC and in my state it is virtually impossible to have a VBAC in a hospital. Additionally I’ve personally seen, as a doula, dozens of unwanted interventions and c-sections happen in hospitals, including c-sections where there was a long-term injury to the mother as the result of the doctor’s actions. Birth in a hospital is not without risk either, and when VBAC is not an option in a hospital (and even when it is), a woman should have the right to birth where she wants to.

          1. Tiffany Avatar

            I agree hospitals should not ban vbacs. The picture you posted of the hospitals that do csections and the repeat csections ,it’s sad to me. I support vbac and also support a mom’s right to choose if they want a repeat csection. But they should also know the risks and benefits to both and the parents should choose.
            I agree homebirths should be legal and we should have trained midwives. I also believe that doctors should have more training in breech births.
            Just because doctors are worried about the risks for breech births doesn’t mean they don’t need to be trained. The Mom should be able to choose if she wants a vaginal breech birth or a csection breech birth. and there could be a case when a Mom has a surprise breech birth that the should be trained what to do.
            My second I tried for a vbac but ended in another csection because I should up fully dilated and had a surprise breech.
            I didn’t know anything about breech and I was told at the time that my water could break and bc of cord prolapse I needed a csection. I can’t go back to the future and change my csection and I won’t know for sure if the csection was truly needed or not bc they didn’t let me try to push. My 3rd I switched to a CNM
            And at a teaching hospital and I had a vbac at a hospital almost an hr away.
            I should up at 10 cm again .
            In my state I couldn’t have a vbac at home or in a birthcenter. We can have homebirths but they don’t take vbacs.
            It would mean a lot to me to have a birth at a birthcenter or home with my next.
            But I am still very happy and blessed with my vba2c hospital birth. I used no epidural just laughing gas. And I didn’t even have time to get an IV started.
            I got to do skin to skin and my baby was never gone from me.

        2. Paige Lewis Avatar
          Paige Lewis

          For you to call those of us who choose home birth ignorant is actually quite ignorant of you. We have chosen home birth because of the vast amount of proven research we have studied on the subject. You use adjectives like scary and risky to describe a natural process that had taken place without the intervention of doctors and hospitals until less than 100 years ago. You practice out of fear and instill fear in the women you care for. More often than not ultrasounds are inaccurate and interventions are completely unnecessary most times lengthening labor. If you did your research and fact checking you would find that home birth is far safer for mom and baby in low risk pregnancy. Here in NM we are lucky to have one of the most forward moving home birth awareness and availability in the US. The Doctors at the hospitals here are educating themselves and getting on board as well. The nurses who care for moms and babies that do end up being transferred during labor say that the patients coming from the birthing centers and home births are more educated, more confident about birthing and require less or no pain medication. It’s time to wake up and read the statistics. It’s nurses and healthcare workers like you that make birthing a fearful event. My first child was born in a hospital, my second was born at home. We chose homebirth for many reasons but one of the most important being that we do not believe birth always has to be scary or risky and we wanted providers who were on our side. My son was born in our hot tub outside with a midwife and a doula and I caught my son myself. Home birth was the most empowering event of my life.

      2. Aubryn Avatar

        Oh, her opinion is fully formed-she formed it on a foundation of her own biases, her need for job security and a healthy (or not) helping of faer mongering. She is willfully uninformed. I was one of the first homebirth VBAC’s in California in 1981, and yes, it was illegal.

        1. Elizabeth Avatar

          Aubryn… The definition of bias = “cause to feel or show inclination or prejudice for or against someone or something” Obviously that describes everyone who has posted here including me so thank you for pointing out the obvious. huge contribution to the discussion.
          Regarding your other informed comment, ultrasound images the entire body from literally head to toe in adults and children. Very rarely do sonographers work for an OBGYN, not enough work, they usually work at a hospital and the OBGYN refers them to the hospital sooooo….. OB ultrasound are a tiny fraction of my job. Your opinion of healthcare does not jeopardize it but thanks for looking out. My comments are coming from the same place as everyone else here which is it is my opinion and it is based on my experience and it is a genuine concern. I did not major in statistics which is an actual field that people study for years therefore I will not sit here and presume that I can read some regurgitated second hand statistics and pretend they inform me about everything I need to know. Especially when nowhere in the article lists the stats of the hospitals failure rates for completely routine pregnancies that they decided needed a c-section. Since we should compare apples to apples. Not bundle up every c-section they do for tons of reasons and look at their outcomes to a routine healthy normal home birth and say the failure rate comparison is accurate. Just says more than routine low risk home births… that’s vague.
          So giving birth at home in California in 1981… if the authorities had found out, they would have put you in jail? or given you a fine? I mean those are the two consequences to doing something illegal and there is no way you don’t know the definition of that word either. Or did you mean the government didn’t want to pay for it and send someone to hold your hand? big difference.

          1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

            Elizabeth- please be kind to other commenters in your replies. If you want to bring out the claws against me, that is fine, but please be kind to them.

            Often, home birth being illegal may not mean jail time or fines, but that it isn’t a supported birth option or that the provider can face jail time or fines even if the mother doesn’t. By definition, by the midwife being there, that part of the birth would be illegal.

            On the stats- neither of us is a trained statistician, and we could both go around forever talking about what is safer by tiny percentages, but again, that is not the main point here. The point is that just as you got to choose to birth in a hospital, I should be able to choose to birth at home and have a trained attendant there without her risking her freedom to help me. And she should be able to actually take the test and get certified in our state and coordinate care with doctors if or when it is needed. If we wanted to get into the stats and compare apples to apples, many hospitals would be more dangerous that home birth in many cases while others may be better. There is no perfect solution. Bad things happen sometimes during birth no matter where it is. The bottom line is that mothers have the right to choose where to birth and they should be supported in that. And to be clear, for me, this has absolutely nothing to do with having the government pay for my birth or even my insurance company. I’ve paid for each of my home births without government assistance or insurance assistance and even if the laws change here would not expect anything differently. It isn’t about the money and I’d rather have my toenails ripped out than have someone from the government come hold my hand while I’m in labor. This is about safety and birth options that are currently severely lacking in my state with a 35% first time c-section rate and a 92+% repeat c-section rate.

    3. tori Avatar

      This is re Elizabeth’s response:
      I am actually on the side of letting the family choose the birth environment, and I really wanted a home birth starting with my second child. To be honest, the only reason I didn’t do it was that it was not covered at all by my insurance, and a hospital birth was covered completely.
      BUT: My second baby would not have made it had he not been born in the hospital. He needed immediate attention because of an incident with his umbilical cord, which may or may not have happened had I birthed at home.
      Also, I HATED the loss of control I felt having him in the NICU, and I was not happy with how what I wanted for MY baby was pretty plainly disregarded by medical staff. But my baby is alive and well today, and it still starts gets my heart racing to think that I would not have the same story had he been born at home.

      1. Elizabeth Avatar

        Exactly! I had a similar experience that you did regarding my son had health issues discovered one week before he was due. All his ultrasounds were normal up to then (I made sure of that) so it was a last minute development. When he was born I didn’t get to see him for 3 days at all!!! Just the first ten minutes while they were sewing me up. He was immediately taken to a different hospital for more specialized care and I had a c-section so I could not leave my hospital just yet… Nothing happened like I had envisioned for 9 months, not did it happen like tons of women told me it would. The staff did not do everything I had hoped for and definitely in my eyes did not do what I would have done. But like you said, he is alive and my ego is small enough to say thank you!! to all the staff and doctors who put up with me and kept him alive because that was their job and they did it. They helped him, and had him fed, changed, clothed, warm and ready for me 3 days later when I picked him up. Did they hold my hand? nope I had a husband to do that. Did I get to do skin to skin with my son, nope and I love him like he is my own son because well… he is my own son so I don’t need a ritual to love him. The hospital would feed him my milk throughout the day and night that I shipped via my husband everyday. My husband reported back every night with pictures and videos of him and the nurses always took all my phone calls with updates. So are there negative things I can say about both hospital, you better believe it! but at the end of the day my son is 4 years old and I am smart enough to say thank you doctors and nurses for making that happen!!

        1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

          Elizabeth- I also had an emergency c-section that saved my life and my son’s and I’m glad that your story turned out well. I’d ask you, as you mentioned you don’t let your ego get in the way, to consider that the very emotional situation of having a child that needed special care for a few days and the realization that things could have turned out differently might be shaping your views on this issue more than statistics or ultrasound training. Also- at the core of this issue is the fact that just because you would (and did) make a different decision, women should be allowed to make a different one. Would you want to be told you could not have birthed in the hospital if you’d wanted to? Babies die at home and babies die in the hospital. It is horrible and a very sad fact of life. But it doesn’t negate that women should be allowed to choose where and how they birth. I actually staunchly defend a couple’s right to choose an elective c-section (even though I strongly disagree with the reasoning for doing so) because it is their decision. I wish that those who feel the opposite would consider supporting the right of women to birth at home even if that isn’t what they’d choose.

    4. Meagan Avatar

      Elizabeth- Katie and others have done an excellent job of outlining why home birth is a valid and safe option for low risk mothers. Midwives are experts is low risk pregnancies and are better equipped with providing care to those mothers than in fact ob-gyns are.
      I live in a Canadian province with certified midwives that are integrated into our health care system. They are regulated, funded by our health region and follow strict protocols for transfer of care when attending home births (which is always done with two midwives and a EMT trained in infant resusitation). I’ve had two home births and had fantastic and life changing experiences with each and the level of care was amazing. I am so thankful to have had that option. I understand that with your experience with birth you are coming at this from a place of fear. Please educate yourself rather than confine to breed ignorance with regards home birth. Just because you are an ultrasound tech doesn’t make you any more equipped than a plumber to educate on this subject.

      1. Lisa Avatar

        I am a board certified OB GYN. I recommend VBAC as much as possible as I agree in the right setting it is safer than cesarean section . But remember each pregnancy is different and cannot be merely placed in a category of itself . The reason for the previous cesarean is important and can give us insight to success rates . For example a previous cesarean for breech position shows 80% VBAC success vs failure to dilate past 3 cm = 30%. The type of incision also makes a difference in risk. I believe it’s worth the try if the patient wishes as I have seen success in all circumstances .
        The American College of OB GYN has found that home births are more dangerous (slightly) than hospital births . I would NEVER condone a home birth on a VBAC patient . Why would you risk it? I advise patients to come to the hospital and we will be hands off if she wants . In my hospital we are a bit more progressive with a nice birthing suite with hotel like facilities. At least if something happens she can quickly be attended to. It is unfortunate that your state is not more progressive in recommending and providing a safe VBAC environment. All that would be required is excellent education to risks and benefits with excellent consent forms to those patients wanting to take the risks beyond what we feel is normal. I shudder to imagine that you would deliver a VBAC BREECH at home as I have seen the catastrophic results of those types of deliveries . Babies have died and that is sad.
        I take offense that you would make the claim that I am less trained than a midwife . I guarantee that your midwives would be very happy to see me if your baby’s head were entrapped in the cervix or if her patient were bleeding to death. I can deliver a baby in less than 1 minute by cesarean if needed! Many excellent maneuvers are available for a hemorrhage . anesthesia availability as well as blood products and sophisticated meds are often needed to save the mother’s life .
        I agree that we can take a step back and allow a more natural labor process especially in the low risk moms but when bad things happen time is of the essence in the pregnant laboring patient .

        1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

          Thanks for chiming in Lisa. I’m glad to hear that under the right conditions VBAC is safer that repeat cesarean. To help you understand my situation… my c-section was with my third (after two successful natural births). It was due to placenta previa and unavoidable. My body was obviously capable of vaginal birth, the incision was double stitched and all tests and ultrasound showed it had healed wonderfully. Yet, despite all of that, there was no hospital or doctor in my state within reasonable driving distance who would “allow” me to try for a VBAC. They quote liability, though the reality is that a state law makes them stay on site when a woman is trying to have a VBAC and many don’t want to be at the hospital for the 12-18 hours it often takes. I’ve had three births since my c-section. Three births that would have been repeat c-sections simply because doctors in my state don’t want to hang around the hospital. As you know, 4 c-sections is much more dangerous and carries much higher risk of long term problems than one c-section and three VBACs.
          The bottom line is that women do not have options in our state (especially in hospitals) and the brave midwives who do assist in VBACs give women their only chance at one in most cases. Our state has a 35% c-section rate and a 92+% repeat c-section rate (and most of those VBACs are unintentional. I’m so glad to hear how respectful you and your hospital are of patients, but that is not the case here. In our local hospitals, as a doula, I’ve seen doctors physically punish women for making decisions that the doctor didn’t agree with. One time, a woman asked that the cord be allowed to stop pulsating before it was cut. The doctor scoffed at her and said no. She insisted and he said “Fine, but it is going to hurt,” and pulled the cord to detach the placenta before it was ready (she had severe bleeding after). I’ve seen doctors say things like “That’s cute that you want to do it God’s way, but when I come back in the room, we are going to do it my way.” I’ve seen a woman who even I could tell was in the throes of transition and about to push tell a nurse that she needed to pus and the nurse tell her “Oh, honey, no you don’t, you were just a four centimeters a few minutes ago,” and then get mad when her baby shockingly emerged. In those instances, is a woman really safer in a hospital?

          I’m sure you are very highly trained and I wish all doctors had the level of respect that you do for women. Unfortunately, I (and many others) have had experiences with those who don’t have that level of respect. I think that an intangible here is that a woman will birth differently (and more safely) in an environment she considers safe and with a provider she trusts. This is where i feel midwives shine. They view birth as a normal process and have a level of calm that I don’t often see in doctors. They view birth as a normal process and expect it to progress as such (and of course watch carefully in case it doesn’t), while so many doctors view birth as a problem and wait for something to go wrong. That is how you end up with a 35/92% c-section rate when the WHO says it should be 10-15% max. I’ve also seen these midwives tell their patients to transfer and the patients listen. These are patients who would have chosen to give birth unassisted at home if a midwife could not have been there. These are patients that only went to a hospital BECAUSE a midwife told them too. These are patients who were safer because of the midwife. The fact is that homebirth is happening and that having well trained CPMs for women who will already choose home birth is in fact drastically better than women birthing unassisted.

          At the end of the day, unless we are going to put women in jail for not birthing in a hospital, it should be (and must be) up to a mother to decide where she births. Women will choose home birth. I did. I researched it and fully understood the risks. I also understood that my alternative was surgery because no doctor anywhere near me was willing to let birth be a natural process. The point is that it was my choice to make, just as it is every other birthing mom’s choice to make and since women can and do choose homebirth, they need licensed midwives .

      2. Laurie Avatar

        I as well have had home births…5, in fact, and some without midwives as they (licensed) are only allowed to operate within the city 1 hour away. I am glad that I had the opportunity for both!

        There are a lot of women in my province in Canada who requested midwives outside of the city when the health authorities were first doing consultations. Since then, even more rural hospitals have been shut down or no longer do in-hospital births. To be accepted by the midwives, you have to meet mysterious criteria as well. Many low risk women get refused here. High risk (the conventional medical idea of high risk) is definitely out. Due to my age alone, most of mine were high risk (according to them). All my pregnancies were good…no issues except when I saw a doctor (they were pushing drugs that were harmful to both of us and trying to strike fear into me by lying to me…I have printed proof on that). Inducing was pushed. I did not comply. All of my births were largely good, no need for their interventions or meds. The cord issue was manageable…BTW…water birth facilitates a nice summersault out of the cord wrap.

        Anyway, some of these women I spoke of earlier are up to 3 hours from a hospital. We (a collective “we”) have no access. More are opting to do homebirths without any trained help because of the situation they have been placed in. It is very much a health authority created movement.

        I had traditional midwives for my first baby. I prefer these if having a midwife. They are knowledgable, most having done many births in many situations worldwide…and some specialize in difficult births. Mine had over 750 births between them. You could choose whom you were most comfortable with, which is important.

        I feel that EVERY woman should prepare for birth at home & have an alternate hospital plan. It is unwise not to have two plans in place. Some babies come fast. Sometimes weather or road conditions or other things interfere with a safe transfer. Women need to read, read, read, ask questions, question everything, know the risks, know how to deal with emergencies (example: cords can easily be dealt with…we did twice) and know how to recognize a problem. A great resource to start with is midwiferytoday.com.

        There will always be those who will oppose, either not knowing all the aspects of home birth, nor changes that have happened since the “old days” that make it safer, or having experience that does not show the good side as they work in emergency and only see the worst cases…hospital birth or otherwise. There is also fear. There are many reasons there will be opposition. But, women need to have choice. Choice to birth where THEY feel safe, with those who make them feel safe & loved, with much knowledge and comfort.

        I do believe that fully alone is not a good choice. I believe there should be the husband and other knowledgable people present.

        We do not choose this path because it is “fun” nor because it may seem romantic. Often it is chosen out of need, & often convictions (not necessarily religious).

        If one chooses home to birth, it is imperative that she has excellent support, and knowledge. Very important.

        I could talk on this forever.

        I welcome a response from the author privately if she so wishes, but will not be replying to others comments here…Life is busy with 5 kids. lol

        I would like to wish you, Mom, a hearty congratulations! May you stand strong with those who chose an alternate path. We are many and growing! It is a hard path to choose, but one of which to be proud.

      3. Elizabeth Avatar

        lol you think I know as much as a plumber regarding pregnancy… There are some comments too dumb that I don’t even know where to start.

        1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

          Her point, which I think is valid, is that just being an ultrasound tech does not, my definition make you any more qualified than a plumber (or especially than a mother), to dictate what is the best birthing choice for a woman. You apparently don’t even understand what a Certified Professional Midwife is because you called them unqualified. CPMs are recognized in 31 states and are certified and receive training.

          1. Elizabeth Avatar

            So you keep saying that in all your reply’s to me: “You apparently don’t even understand what a Certified Professional Midwife is because you called them unqualified.” not to mention Rebecca’s comment. Also Paige didn’t read my comments well either since she says and I quote exactly “More often than not ultrasounds are inaccurate and interventions are completely unnecessary most times lengthening labor.” So I went and actually read what I said thinking maybe my memory is failing me since I don’t recall saying that… I looked every comment I made and copied exactly what I said on all of them that would have given you and others that false impression…
            – “will you have qualified people who can handle worse case scenario?”
            – “FYI getting ultrasound throughout your pregnancy to make sure all is well does not guarantee squat when the day comes to deliver and something unforeseeable happens nor does ultrasound identify all complications at any time such as placenta percreta or a baby who stroked or an umbilical cord shocking him. ”
            -“best equipped team to handle anything that might go wrong to ensure the survival of my newborn and of me to raise him/her.”
            -“I don’t make the assumption that midwives are unqualified but rather I have seen first hand when these professionals have failed in providing good maternal care ie. incompetent cervix. In my profession what I see is near misses making me wonder how many midwives who provide care like in the 1900’s do miss preventable complications and I wonder what the outcomes are.”
            -“Do you think there is an exam on this planet or somebody’s knowledge/experience that can foresee that, foresee the future? of course not. ”
            -“Knowledge is not the only thing required in life to get the job done, tools are also required and I don’t mean kitchen tools. ”
            In all my comments I do NOT questions there qualifications or skills or capability to handle a routine healthy average best case scenario pregnancy which are common and you yourself say that is when you would see them. Instead, every single time I stress that even I doing my best cannot with ultrasound or anyone else with anything can say that anyone will be that scenario. I know you think there this checklist that if you meet it all will be well, and good for you. I am saying I don’t believe in that based on my “bias” opinion as Aubryn pointed out so astutely and it IS swayed by my job, personal experience, all of my co-workers experience and the dead babies that the midwives have brought to our hospital. I know doctors make tons of mistakes, so do nurses and so do ultrasound techs including me because well we are human and we have sleepless nights, heartaches from home, debt, irritated by certain patients, see more patients in one day besides you, probably got yelled at five minutes ago, and many more excuses. I am sure midwives are not plague by such mortal problems. Nor I am saying they are valid excuses for not treating you and the ten other mothers that day anything other than VIP. So do not misunderstand that statement as well. So all these days of commenting, my whole point is M.D., ultrasound tech, midwives, RN’s, and PLUMBERS need TOOLS!!! to handle the common unforeseeable last minute complications that happen on routine healthy low risk OB’s. To break it down further to squash this misconception I don’t think midwives are unqualified as low risk delivery aids – I would also gladly say an M.D. is useless in your living room if something went horrible wrong. I would be just as useful in your living room as a PLUMBER if you or your baby were bleeding to death from a complication that YOUR above stats say happened to 60% of the
            I’ve never argued with you or anyone else that I vote for the right for all humans to make decision on every aspect of their lives including where to deliver their baby so lets not beat that dead horse. I only argue the safety which you brought up numerous stats and study results in your article and that is what I have been disputing all along. THE SAFETY that 3/4 of your article is about, not the “RIGHT” to do it, call me a fear mongerer as several commentators brought up but how can I dispute your data as inaccurate without the inevitable side effect of opening the realization that birthing is scary. Impossible… Anyway back to your stats that you have been using as the weapon to prove your point – using only your data above I see that from 16,924 women who planned to birth at home – 1,861 had to be transfered to a hospital of those women 1,097.99 (59%) where do to something other than “failure to progress” you didn’t prove what that means. “Only 1.5% of newborns had a low APGAR score (less than 7)” doesn’t say if that is of the 16,924 or of the transferred ones or the birthed at home. But lets assume the whole group so that equals 253.86 babies had low APGAR scores. The article does not state any demise so either it is incomplete or that is 16,924 lucky women who ONLY had 253.86 low APGAR scored babies under 7 which I don’t know how many were a 1 or 0. I emphasize ONLY since the article also made a point of saying only. So back to the U.S. being far inferior to Finland (2.2/1,000) and England (3.2/1,000) (we have established not inferior to Canada since U.S. is at 4.2/1,000 and Canada 4.9/1,000). So to combine both data’s – if we brought down the 16,924 planned home birth’s outcome to “per 1,000” then it was 14.9 babies with lower than 7 APGAR score of 1,000 women who planned to have homebirth. Since the data of death was not provided I can’t completely use apples to apples. Also I am assuming these 16,924 were planning home birth since they were low risk right? Your are right Jill “Wow! If numbers don’t speak, I don’t know what does.”

          2. Elizabeth Avatar

            Sorry I left the 60% just hanging there… to many thoughts at once. The 60% (actually is 59%) of the women (1,861) that were transferred to a hospital where other than for ” failure to progress” . Whatever that means… I am full of questions now cause my imagination is telling me all kinds of reasons.

      1. Elizabeth Avatar

        Funny you posted that link because that is the one I was looking at the other day to cross-reference Katie’s stats. If you look at the very first graft without reading how it was taken it says that the US ranks 6.1 neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births. Finland (The country with the best record) 2.1 deaths per 1,000 live births. Then when you read the article they have more graphs, why? the reason is because most European countries do not include deaths when the delivery is under 24 weeks gestational age. SOOOO…. now the numbers change when you compare apples to apples… Finland is 2.1 and the U.S. is 4.2 with Canada worse at 4.9 death per 1,000 and England close at 3.2 death per 1,000. Now everyone is saying how awefull U.S. birth rates based on ONE PERCENT difference of England and two percent difference of the ideal country in the world!!!= Finland. Crazy how stats work… Now do you know how Finland does healthcare? I don’t… I don’t know if their population smokes as much as the american women do, or drink as much or have as big of a drug issue. I don’t know if their whole population has insurance because I do know for a fact ours doesn’t and Obamacare didn’t change that. I don’t know what their population attendance rate on prenatal care is like. I don’t know if they get a huge influx of illegals that come only to have their babies with no prior prenatal care and their outcome is factored in. I’m sure you know all this or you would have not posted willy nilly but I don’t know these variables to compare a country I have never been to to ours where I live. But I do know that we are one percent away from England which some people here think is faaar better and we are better off than Canada according to YOUR link. Assuming that any of these countries report the same as the U.S. and keep diligent records of every death especially when they have it at home. So who is making sweeping statements Sarah? Also if you read further you will see that the U.S. is better when the moms had to deliver under 24 weeks gestation, do you think they had them at home? nope. The U.S. was “compared favoribly with most European countries” according to your link when moms delivered 24-31 gestational age. Do you think they delivered a 6 month gestational age at home? nope. The U.S. death rate was 2nd highes between gestational age 32-36 and the highest death rate when delivered after 37 gestational age. OH WAIT!! so the gestational age when they are willing to deliver at home because they are term is when the U.S. numbers look the worst. CRAZY! read your own link Sarah!
        In case you want me to break it down further and tell you where the U.S. ranks after 37 weeks gestational age. Finland 0.97 deaths per 1,000 live births and the U.S. 2.2 deaths per 1,000 live births. I hate talking stats which is why I have avoided it thus far because what is 0.97 of a baby?!

        1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

          If you are talking about home birth, we shouldn’t include deaths that happen before 24 weeks, as those would obviously not be home births and would occur in a hospital anyway. The US is highest in mortality after 37 weeks, though all countries had much lower rates of infant mortality after 37 weeks than in all categories before then. Statistically, as most US births still take place in a hospital… the majority of those deaths are in a hospital, so you can’t logically make the argument that home birth is to blame for those. To be clear- moms and babies die in hospitals each year too… but that isn’t what this is about. This is about if parents should be allowed to choose where they birth their children. I would hope that even though you would make a different decision and may not even see why I would make the decision to birth at home, you would not go so far as to want to take away any woman’s ability to choose where to birth. Or, to allow a committee of 15 men to do so (as the case is here in our state).

          That said, in all of the charts, even once you adjust for births before 24 weeks, our rate is still DOUBLE the rate of those countries, despite the fact that we have more hospital births and that is only looking at perinatal mortality, which I would argue is not the only or even the single most important factor in this discussion.

          I would submit that the mother’s health and risks to her should also be factored into the equation and we know that home birth is, in fact, safer than hospital births for low risk mothers. The video in this post explains it well: https://birthmonopoly.com/home-birth-perspective-massively-safer-for-mothers/

          but if you want the transcript, here’s the written version:

          Elselijn Kingma: “Science can tell us something about mortality rates, or it can tell us something about morbidity rates. But [only] once we figure out how we value those mortality rates and morbidity rates can we implement the policy.
          “One thing that I always notice and that I find worrying in that respect is when the focus is only and ever on perinatal mortality—and much of the focus in the debates these last two days have been about that. And we can fight over and over about whether there is an 0.1 increase or a 0.4 increase or no increase or even a reduction in perinatal mortality rates in home birth. But what is very rarely mentioned is the overwhelming evidence that home births are safer for mothers. Not a little bit safer but massively so.
          “Now, that tells us something about the values in our society. Those facts are there, but how we interpret those facts tells us something about how we value saving, very occasionally, one life of a child versus inflicting lots of harms on other people: namely, the mothers of those children.
          “It is one thing for mothers to routinely make that choice, to put themselves at risk fro their children, and that is always and ever an act of extreme altruism. But from a policy level a society has a duty to value all its citizens and all its humans equally. And from that point of view it is not at all obvious that we should always be so focused on perinatal mortality.
          “So that’s the interpretation point.”

    5. Ninon Avatar

      I live in The Netherlands where homebirth is completely natural. I am sorry but I don’t hear the people that are completely pro hospital births and against homebirths… With all the stats spatting of my screen I would like to give you another point of view, from a European country that has one of the highest homebirth rates. Homebirths here are said to be no more dangerous then giving birth in a hospital. All of our midwifes ánd hospitals confirm this and even want you to try home birthing. I don’t know numbers and stats – and I don’t even feel like looking them up, because again, homebirths here are completely normal and even encouraged. I wouldn’t have it any other way and I think many, many, many other Dutch women agree with me. With a certified midwife, and an assistant helping him/her, I never heard of a homebirth going wrong. And everyone I know births at home. To be clear: they do check us every week from 36 weeks on and if there are certain issues they might tell you to give birth in the hospital. You are cleared to give birth at home when you are 37 weeks+. When your baby is growing normal, in the right position and all other things are good, homebirth is what is rooted for!

  18. Jill Avatar

    Wow! If numbers don’t speak, I don’t know what does.
    I believe strongly in the family’s right to decide what kind of birth is best for them. When we allow the state to overstep their bounds into our families, we allow them to slowly chip away at our rights as parents to care for our children the way we believe is best for them (pre or post birth).
    Great job standing up for your rights and protecting child both before and after her birth. These precious gifts are OUR responsibility, and a great responsibility it is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *