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Myths In Homebirth

The thing about myths — including homebirth myths — is that they seem to have sticking power. 


Home Birth Statistics

Let’s set the scene with a few figures about home births in America. According to the CDC:


  • There are about 45,000 (0.9%) homebirths every year.

  • The number of hombirths rose about 1% from 2004 to 2019.

  • Due to the coronavirus pandemic, interest in and rates of homebirths went up a lot. In 2020, there were over 45,000 at-homebirths, which is a 19% increase from 2019.

  • In 2022, the most recent year for which complete data are available, there were 46,183 home births, a 56% increase since 2016.


Increase in high-risk home births

The number of home births in the three high-risk situations called out by ACOG — VBACs, breeches, and twins — are still relatively small, but have increased dramatically in recent years.

In 2016, the earliest year for which there is data, 1,257 babies were delivered at home to mothers who’d previously had a C-section. By 2022, that number increased by 63% to 2,043.

In 2016, 217 babies who were born in the breech position were delivered at home. By 2022, that number more than doubled to 456.

And in 2016, 229 babies who were twins were born at planned home births, and by 2022, that number increased 68% to 384 babies.


Increase in high-risk home births

Number of outcomes for intended home births

YEAR

BREECH

TWINS

VBAC

2016

217

229

1,257

2017

196

204

1,214

2018

236

266

1,238

2019

236

228

1,277

2020

324

278

1,628

2021

397

325

1,887

2022

456

384

2,043

Note: California didn’t start reporting whether a home birth was intended or unintended until 2021. Table: J. Emory Parker/STAT Source: CDC


Setting the Record Straight on Homebirth Myths

It’s important that myths surrounding home birth are debunked. The only way you can confidently make the weighty decisions related to your childbirth experience is if you know the truth. 


Here are some home birth myths — that are constantly making the rounds — and why they aren’t valid or aren’t painting a complete picture. 


Myth 1: At-Home Birth is Expensive

However,

  1. Insurance often covers hospital , though you’re likely still going to be on the hook for at least part of the bill. (You’d have to check with your provider for specifics in your case.)

  2. At-home births are frequently less expensive than mainstream hospital-based care even with your insurance deductable.



Myth 2: Laboring at Home is Dangerous for Moms & Babies


Certain health or personal conditions may make a hospital birth a safer option.

However, for many women and babies, at-home birth isn’t riskier and may actually be a better option. At Moon Phases Of Life, we do an extensive screening and intake questionnaire to ensure you’re a good candidate for home birth.


Homebirths may be suitable if you have PCOS, a thyroid disorder, are 35 or older, have had a Cesarean, or used IVF or other fertility treatments to become pregnant. We take it on a case-by-case basis to make sure home birth is a healthy fit for each mom-to-be.

It’s also important to note that — for those for whom home delivery is deemed safe — emergencies are rare. Plus, we monitor the well-being of both moms and babies throughout labor.


Also, the chances of getting an infection are higher at a hospital than at home.



Myth 3: At-Home Birth Means No Medical Oversight

If you include a professional midwife in the childbirth process, you and your baby are getting qualified healthcare attention. Midwives are highly trained, licensed or certified. Moreover, they spend all day every day providing prenatal care and facilitating healthy deliveries.


Also, midwives carry many of the same supplies as hospital nurses and doctors might use. For instance, I carry IV equipment, antihemorrhagic herbals, newborn resuscitation equipment, suturing equipment, and lidocaine.



Myth 4: Home Births Are More Painful than Hospital Births

You aren’t going to get an epidural with an at-home birth. But midwives have plenty of other ways to help reduce pain.


Additionally, if you need sutures, your midwife can administer lidocaine.




This is not at all true. Many women are more comfortable and at ease during childbirth when they’re at home. Being in your own space, with people you care about, can be a truly special experience that you can’t have in a hospital setting.


Plus, you have a lot more say in what happens with a home birth.



Myth 6: Only Flower Child Hippies Types Do Home Births

Oh so wrong! All kinds of people opt for home births for all kinds of reasons.



Myth 7: Home Births Are Messy

You probably won’t have too much to clean up. As your midwife, I have done this routine many times and knows how to keep the mess contained and minimal. 



Myth 8: Home Births Aren’t Legal

Is it legal to give birth at home? Yes, it is! There’s no requirement to go to a hospital or birthing facility. It is always your choice where to have your baby. 



Myth 9: The Pros & Cons of Home Birth Prove Hospital Births are Better

This just isn’t so. Each family has its own needs and preferences. This means that for some, the balance tips in favor of a home birth. The determination is personal and requires careful evaluation of available, relevant information.



Home Birth Facts You Can Trust from Home Birth Experts

We know it can be difficult to sort the bogus myths from the correct information sometimes. You’re busy. Life gets chaotic. And knowing which resources are legitimate and trustworthy can be tricky, too.


Moon Phases Of Life is here to assist you on your journey. I have specialized extensive training and experience in home births. So, I'm able to share the latest and most thorough details and data about at-home births.

Let us help you get the answers and attention you need and deserve. Schedule a consultation with us or take an online childbirth course today!




**updated statistics- febuary 2023

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