|where do so many people come up with the courage to homebirth???
Now the real question is, where do people come up with the courage to birth in the hospital?
Research published in the summer of 2005 showed that for low-risk pregnancies and healthy moms, mortality for homebirths and hospital births is the same, and morbitidy (i.e. injury(ies)) to mom and baby are HIGHER in the hospital. (this is from that study posted in the third reply to your post, I think)
So basically, if you're low-risk, you and/or your baby just as likely to die in the hospital, AND you and your baby are more likely to be injured in a hospital birth.
Also, if you believe that birth is more than just "mom and baby survived, so it's a good outcome" then homebirth may be something you want to consider. Women are often disrespected in the hospital and subjected to unnecessary interventions such as pitocin augmentation, AROM (doctor breaking the bag of water), and epidurals that ultimately may result in a worse birth experience and cause some of that "morbidity" we're talking about above - like unnecessary c/s, vaccuum, forceps, episiotomy, etc.
I'm sure I'm not saying anything the pps haven't said already, but the truth is that homebirth IS safe. Many women who are educated about birth realize that some risks may be higher in the hospital.
Also, if your really look into the kinds of birth complications that may occur in a low-risk pregnancy, very rarely would you find a better outcome at a hospital (and clearly, if this is true, then based on the numbers, just as many times you may end up with a worse outcome at the hospital for something that could have been handled better in a homebirth). Think about that emergency c/s, for one. Every woman has to be prepped, an anesthesiologist called, surgeons, nurses, and the OR prepped . . . even with an emergency c/s, it usually takes 20-30 min before mom is on the table. If you're doing a homebirth, your midwife or doctor will call the hospital as soon as the need for c/s is apparent and as long as you live within a reasonable distance of a hospital, by the time you arrive it simply means the surgeon, staff, and OR are ready for you and there probably will be very little difference, if any, in how many minutes elapse before the c/s begins regardless of whether you were at home or at the hospital when the need for c/s became apparent.
Also, midwives and homebirth doctor's don't just bring skill and expertise to the home. They also bring basic medical equipment - essentially everything but the OR. They can provide an IV, pitocin (for hemorrhage), oxygen for a baby in trouble, vaccuum or forceps if necessary, etc. They generally arrive with medical equipment standard to a labor and delivery room.
The only reason the decision to homebirth is "courageous" is because most people don't realize homebirth is just as safe or safer, and therefore anyone who makes that choice is going against the norm. But for women who have spent time to become educated about birth, the choice to homebirth is usually an obvious one.
There's an emotional element to it, too. If after doing the "facts and statistics" research as well as the "anectodal" research you still feel that you would be uncomfortable or afraid doing a homebirth, then don't do one! The most important thing is to have a healthcare provider who shares your philosophy and desires for your birth and will be supportive, and that you birth in an environment where YOU feel most comfortable. For many women, that turns out to be home.
dd almost 10 mos