There is one huge, glaring reason why many moms are turning to home birth: lower rates of surgical birth. With about one-third of mothers delivering babies surgically via cesarean birth, whether planned or unplanned, some mothers simply want to lower their chances of having a c-section. Moms who birth at home have extraordinarily low rates of surgical birth, which is not surprising because some studies show that the biggest predictor of c-section is not any specific maternal risk factor, but rather in what hospital she gives birth. Because c-section rates vary greatly depending on hospital procedures, the less-invasive approach tends to get rid of a lot of the risk.
Laura Richards, a mother of four from Framingham, Mass., says that after the cesarean births of her first three children, she was set on having a vaginal delivery with her last child. But she soon realized that birthing in the hospital was not her best option to do so. “I was told I would kill my child and would not be allowed to labor since I previously had c-sections. [The hospital staff] said horrible things to me.”
But when she began looking into home birth, she realized that the birth she wanted was completely possible. Even though she says the birth was complicated, she was able to avoid another surgical birth. “The home birth midwives were wonderful and had knowledge beyond what any hospital midwife did,” she says. “I avoided a c-section and I hope other women take charge of their care.”