Are Home Births in America Safe?

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According to a recent New York Times article, women giving birth at home in the United States has a perinatal death rate of at least three times that of hospital births. BTW-I just learned “perinatal” means the death of the baby in the last weeks of pregnancy or during birth. The writer, a Harvard Med School instructor, believes this is due to poorly trained midwives in the United States, Certified Professional Midwives, who only recently had to prove they had a diploma to do their job. Certified Professional Midwives are not to be confused with Certified Nurse Midwives, who may be the best trained midwives in the world.

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What do you think?

4 Comments

  • It would be interesting to actually see the data. I do believe that there is a huge difference in care between a nurse midwife and certified professional midwife. I would guess that outcomes for nurse midwives are as good as OBGYNs and may even be better for many markers.

  • In my case, both of my children were born at home and both births were an incredible blessing. We had a midwife, recognized by the State (Charleston, SC) and I also had to be ok-ed by the medical university hospital within the last 6 weeks of pregnancy (to ensure the baby was in proper position and to have a “plan B” at the hospital if necessary). Both births were blissful and the peacefulness I felt at home with my family member present to support me had a huge impact on both myself and my children. The midwife monitored the baby constantly and was in contact with the hospital to let them know of how things were progressing. I felt safe and she made sure the baby was safe as well.
    For those interested: Here’s is our midwife’s webpage http://www.heartfeltbirth.com/Home_Page.html

  • Margo, I agree it would be great to see the research. I agree with the author’s statement that midwifes need to be better trained. I also believe that for routine births, a woman may have a more positive experience giving birth in her natural surroundings, not under the bright lights of a hospital room.

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