Are Home Births in America Safe?

baby bassinet

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.

baby bassinet

What do you think?


  • 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

  • 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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