Home Births Rising, Trend or Enlightment?

There is no doubt that home births are on the rise. Although in small numbers, it speaks to a change in mind set.  A change in perception of how birth has been perceived in the minds of women since the induction of hospitals, and the act  birthing in the presence of a “professional”.  What would cause a woman to gravitate away from the established “norms” of society? After all safety is the principle, motto and creed of hospital births, the one thing ALL moms desire for their newborns and for themselves.

Many are calling this a trend. I’ve also heard the term “savvy moms” applied to these group of women who have chosen home birth. The increase of 20 percent in home births hardly makes it popular, in fact home births still make up for one percent  of births.  Calling this a trend, in any instance, implies that it is temporary and I truly don’t think it is. I think the term savvy moms is the defining light of home birth. Savvy, which means to understand, is  the element behind the increase in home births.  This is not an over night “trend”.  This “trend” is a effect of a cause, and the cause is the broken “health care” system that has monetized birth into a industry, by which women have become baby machines.

I’ve discovered a fascinating article called “The Rituals of American Hospital Births”  by  Robbie E. Davis-Floyd, Ph.D it states…

…The rising science of obstetrics ultimately accomplished this goal by adopting the model of the assembly-line production of goods as its template for hospital birth. Accordingly, a woman's reproductive tract came to be treated like a birthing machine by skilled technicians working under semiflexible timetables to meet production and quality control demands. As one fourth-year resident observed:

We shave 'em, we prep 'em, we hook 'em up to the IV and administer sedation. We deliver the baby, it goes to the nursery and the mother goes to her room. There's no room for niceties around here. We just move 'em right on through. It's hard not to see it like an assembly line.

This analogy is so spot on. Women who have responded in kind to this cause arrive at their hospital births armed with questions and birth plans. Seeking further protective advocacy, women began to arrive with doulas and midwives in tow. Others choose to avoid the hospital altogether  and birth in sanctity  of their home, where their bodies are celebrated, not exploited.  No, this is not a trend….it’s a response and has been for years in the making.

Women whether they birth at home, or in the hospitals, as a whole, are becoming more and more savvy. They see the through the “safety” principle touted by  hospital births as more and more procedures/drugs are questioned as safe for moms and babes. They see the ever rising cesarean rate. The rising number of preterm babies.  They see the high infant and maternal mortality rate for a country as advanced as ours. They see the high number of hospitals that are not baby-friendly and the campaign to make more hospitals baby-friendly. They see maternity wards full of sponsored material, brands of formula and the like and question the hospital’s integrity as a care-givers as a truly safe place to birth. All of these things evidence an industry and not a  health-CARE facility. Is there any WONDER home births are on the rise? Follow the path of birth plans, doulas,  and questions…there you will find home births at the end of the rainbow and the women seeking sanctuary from an industry knee-high in it’s own mire.

Just so I’m clear on this issue, I’m not in any way , shape or form attacking moms who want hospital births. I am spotlighting the error of the assumption that hospital births can be the safest place to have our children. Our health care is riddled with serious problems that are motivated by serious integrity issues to boot. How CAN anyone trust to safely birth in hospitals that functions for-profit ?

And I bet , five more years down the line, you’ll see this “trend” alive and well. Women have had enough. It’s bad enough we have to birth, such an intimate act by the way, in accordance to “policy”, but we have to pay for it too! A LOT of money at that!

In no way I’m saying we need to do away with hospital births, that’s unreasonable, 99 percent of women give birth there. Some want hospital births others need hospital births. It’s high time to demand change. To be treated with respect and catered to like the high-paying, VIP customers we are.  Without mothers, society would literally cease to exist. (Yes, the same is exactly true for men! This is my official shout-out :))

I leave you with this thought, how far has women’s lib come when nearly all women expensively birth in places where they must conform to rules and regulations that do not recognize the autonomy of birth? That doesn’t sound very liberating to me.



  1. I would love to do a home birth this time around, but since I'm attempting a VBAC, that's not really a plausible option.

    Last time, we decided to compromise and wanted to go with a birth center, but our insurance didn't cover it the same way as a hospital birth and we simply couldn't afford it. I ended up with an emergency c-section due to placental abruption so I would have ended up in the hospital anyway though.

    When I handed the first nurse my birth plan though, she hardly even looked at it, then immediately strapped me to the monitor (which I had clearly said I didn't want). It's things like that that are driving more and more women into home births. They're our bodies and our babies and we should get to make the decisions.

    New follower from the Super Sunday Stalk by the way :)

  2. Connie from Girl Tech Divas is your newest fan from the Sunday Blog Hop. Would love it if you can hop by www.girltechdivas.com and follow back!

  3. I am now following you(kport207) from the SSS hop. If you haven't already, I'd love for you to come visit my blog, Just the Two of Us and Deals and if you wish, follow me in return. Thanks.


  4. I enjoyed your article. WEll written and informative. My sister and her friends in their 20's who are having babies are really serious about how mistreated they felt and also had their birthplans totally ignored when they were in the hospitals...but of course we are all aware that hospials are driving profits, not accomodating individuals. :(
    Following you on GFC From super stalker Sunday.

  5. @bluebellscreams
    best wishes on your up coming birth! I hope you get the birth of your dreams, or at least pretty close to it!

    Thanks! It's a serious issue. One with repercussions...usually on the our end and it needs to change. Hoping the best for your sister & friend!

    Thanks for following! I'm following you all back :)

  6. I'm a new follower on GFC! I just wanted to say thanks for linking up at Super Stalker Sunday! Hope you found some great blogs! Have a great week!

    April @ Mama on a Green Mission

  7. Hello from Cairns Australia,

    I am following from the bloghop too.

    It is interesting to think of home birthing- it would be too scary for me- especially the first time when you have no idea what is happening!

    We have also just posted on Germaine Greer- I would love to hear your thoughts.

    I'll look out for you on Technorati too!


  8. Hi Jill!
    Thanks for stopping past and following!

    If you should ever choose to homebirth I hope you would never go into it unprepared!

    Women who do plan to homebirth are always prepared. They read, research and counsel with their midwives.

    My 1st HB was not scary at all. It was truly empowering as I delivered my own son :)

    My hospital births were definitely scarier!

    Heading over to follow you back :)

  9. Hi! Just stopping by. Liking you from the Get Wired Wednesday Blog Hop. Would love a like back! https://www.facebook.com/flightlessgoose

  10. I enjoyed your post. I had a hospital birth with my first and am preparing for a home birth with my second. I felt like the hospital did not support natural childbirth and made me feel rushed. Here is my full blog post on why I now want to do a home birth http://www.mindfulmakeover.com/home-birth-were-preparing-for-one/
    I agree that home birth is here to stay and encourage everyone to consider it!

  11. Loved your post! I think its much more than a trend :) I would love to have a homebirth, and considered it with my 5 month old. Unfortunately, I have really fast labors, and the nearest midwives were two hours away. I would love to see an increased access to trained midwives, so that all women could have the freedom to choose where they want to birth.

    I'm so glad to have found your blog through the Super Sunday Stalker blog hop. I look forward to reading more of your posts! Now following you via GFC :)



  12. I had difficulty delivering my first baby, eventually went to cs. I always wish for home birth though.

    Stumbled upon your lovely blog and following it. You may also visit Olah Momma! (http://olahmomma.com), or add your website and deals (coupons/giveaways), and meet more moms at Momma's Lounge (http://olahmomma.com/momlounge).

  13. Just found your blog (am now following) and wanted to say that I love this post! My first was a hospital birth, and while it was a good one, my next two were born at home (unassisted, actually) and the difference was AMAZING.


Post a Comment

Comment Moderation is enabled.
1. Speak respectfully.
2. No spam links.
3. No spam comments.
4. Enable email notifications if you're awaiting a response.

I Use Florihana in My DIYs!