In case you missed it, the Today Show featured a fantastic segment on Home Birth on their #BornTODAY feature earlier this week. The feature stated that while home birth only constitutes about 1% of total births in the U.S., births at home have risen 50% since 2004! The Midwives of New Jersey are thrilled to be part of the growing home birth movement in this country, not only because it offers women an opportunity to have the birth they desire, but because it puts the control back into the hands of the birthing woman, giving her options and a choice. To be clear, a hospital birth can be just as wonderful of an experience as a home birth as long as the laboring mother has options and support to labor in the way she wishes. Alanis Morissette also shares this view stating, “I think once people know it’s quite possible to have a really amazing home birth — and in my case I have no regrets and would do it again and in the same breath it wasn’t the easiest experience of my life — I think having it be an option is really exciting,” Morissette said.
There is one other piece of information that was included at the very end of the segment which mentioned a study that concluded that home birth as compared to hospital births were associated with worse outcomes. It went on to say that bad outcomes are extremely rare in either setting but it leaves the viewer or reader feeling that home birth can be quite dangerous. However previous studies, including a 2009 study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), found that midwife-assisted births are as safe as conventional hospital births, if not safer. The study also concluded that having a hospital birth attended by a team of physicians is almost twice as risky, as far as mortality rates are concerned, compared to having a home birth with the guidance and care of a midwife.
In the end, every couple must do their own research and make a choice that they are comfortable with. No matter the birth setting, we’d like to see more women be given options for this very important and significant life event and mainstream media coverage like this gives us hope that that time is coming soon!
Click link below to view a clip from the show that features Morissette’s home birth story: