HealthWatch: Home Births Are Increasingly Popular, But Have Risks

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — New government figures show that more women are choosing to give birth in the privacy of their own homes, Dr. Max Gomez reports.

One of those women is Kayti Lathrop. She’s the mother of five children, and delivered each one at home.

“My husband and I were looking for just a personal, quiet, no drama experience to have a baby,” Lathrop said.

New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show home births are up 20 percent.

“They’re going to be at home, they’re going to be in a very soothing physical environment, they’re in their surroundings,” said Dr. Jacques Moritz of St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital.

Most moms who give birth at home use a midwife. That way sterile instruments are used and there’s oxygen on hand, but doctors warn there can be complications.

“Even the most seemingly normal, low risk delivery can become an emergency at a moment’s notice. And having the ability, or a blood bank, equipment, hi-tech nurses, if you need it is absolutely essential,” said Dr. Steven Goldstein of the NYU-Langone Medical Center.

Studies show the risk of newborns dying can be higher during home deliveries. Doctors also recommend that only women with low risk pregnancies consider them.

Lathrop had minor complications with her last delivery, but has no regrets.

“Women have been doing this for centuries. And they’ve been doing a really good job at it. I just trusted that i could do this,” she said.

Many doctors, however, warn that natural is not always better.

“Nature can be very cruel. I spend much of my day trying to circumvent nature. Nature lets mothers die in childbirth. Nature lets babies die in childbirth. I don’t want natural unless natural is going the right way,” said Dr. Goldstein.

Are you considering a home birth? Sound off in our comments section below…

More from Dr. Max Gomez
  • rita ray

    I seriously want my home-birth.But I do not know how can I make it .Please guide me.Thank you.

  • mike goeke

    thats because the hospital extorts you for outrageous money

  • guido

    “Studies show the risk of newborns dying can be higher during home deliveries.” I can’t be positive but I would guarantee that those studies were conducted and paid for by doctors who want people to come to the hospital for financial gain.

    • David

      If you don’t know, then don’t guess. I do know the rate of women dying in childbirth along with babies was much much higher before modern medicine came along. Go look it up.

      • guido

        Home birth and less intervention has been much better in industrialized nations. America, as an industrialized nation, has the one of the worst infant mortality rates in the world. Look that up.

      • Jim Black

        @Guido – there’ s a big difference between infant mortality and neonatal mortality. Infant mortality includes deaths up to 1 year of age. Neonatal mortality rates are rates of death after birth. Neonatal rates are higher for home births, for obvious reasons (when complications do arise, even being 5 minutes away from a hospital can be 5 minutes too long.)

  • leena

    I had 4 home births with midwives and 1 hospital birth for my twins. the home births were by far the best experience. I had much better care from the midwives than I did from the doctors.

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