The United States reportedly spends more money on childbirth than any other nation, yet it has one of the world’s worst records for infant mortality and maternal mortality. With modern medicine treating childbirth more like a medical illness than a natural event, and Cesarean birth at an all time high of 32% of all births, more and more women are making the choice to give birth at home. Yet, while most choose a midwife to attend their birth, a growing number of women are making the decision to birth at home without the assistance of a medical professional.
Mothering Contributing Editor Jennifer Margulis delivered her first child in the hospital. Her second and third births were at home with a midwife. For her fourth child she chose to give birth at home with no one in attendance other than her husband, James di Properzio. With a friend who is a midwife standing by to be called if needed and the hospital a short drive from her home, she delivered a beautiful, healthy baby girl. Says Margulis, “Human women have been having babies unassisted for more than 200,000 years. I’m not strong or brave or exceptional. If I can do it, you can too.”
Read Margulis’ story of her unassisted birth in her blog and in her interview with Jeff Barnard of the Associated Press.