I understand that home birth is a controversial topic. As Americans we have the widely held belief that childbirth is extremely dangerous and that medical doctors are the only ones qualified to deliver babies. Beliefs doctors hold and are all too happy to have us believe (their livelihoods depend upon it).
"The obstetric tale goes like this: Birth is a risky business. Up to the early 1900's, many women and babies died in childbirth. Then doctors took over maternity care from ill-trained and ignorant midwives, and childbirth moved into the hospital. As a result, maternal and infant death rates plummeted, and today almost everybody lives healthily and happily ever after thanks to the skills of obstetricians and the superior resources available in hospitals.
The only problem with this story is it isn't true.
First, death rates did not decline as birth began to move into the hospital and under the control of physicians. They rose. In the 1920s in the United States, middle-class women began having babies in hospitals with physician attendants. By the mid-1920s, half of urban births took place there, and by 1939, half of all women and three-quarters of urban women, gave birth in hospitals. In 1915, prior to the major changeover, 60 mothers died per 10,000 births. Despite the shift, the 1932 U.S. maternal mortality rate reached 63 deaths per 10,000 births, and in cities, where hospitalization for birth was more common, it stood at 74 deaths per 10,000 births, substantially worse than the overall rate. Meanwhile, between 1915 and 1929, as the shift in birth site and attendant occurred, infant deaths from birth injuries increased by 40 to 50 percent.
Maternal mortality in the United States did not begin to fall until the late 1930s . . . Many factors contributed to reducing maternal deaths, including better living conditions and nutrition, child spacing, and the development of blood transfusions, but moving birth into the hospital and under doctor control was not one of them.
In fact, several studies suggest that the doctor takeover and institutionalization of birth actually retarded improvements in mortality rates." - Excerpt from "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth"
And these are just a few of the statistic. We live in a country where women spend more time researching what kind of a camera to buy, than they do researching where and how to give birth. So after two heavily medicated hospital births I finally got around to doing my research and was compelled to do things differently, for my safety and that of my baby. And in the event of a legitimate emergency I willingly would have went to the hospital. That's what hospitals are for: medical emergencies. Birth however is a natural process, not a medical emergency! Sure you hear home birth horror stories, but I have heard far more hospital horror stories and they are usually caused by some hospital intervention meant to prevent something horrific -- very ironic. And yes, true emergencies do occasionally occur, but far less often than you'd think and sadly most of them could be prevented with the right know-how. Knowledge that is being lost because medical doctors don't learn the information in medical school.
So call me crazy, but until you've actually read the facts you're likely to fall victim to the plethora of misinformation out there as I did (twice!).
Knowledge is power so do your homework. And don't assume that just because "everybody is doing it" makes it your best option. And try not to judge others (as I used to) until you have ALL the FACTS.
A few resources to start with:
Watch: "The Business of Being Born" (I've heard you can view it for free on Netflix.)
Read: "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" by Henci Goer
"Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May Gaskin