One hundred years ago, it was common for all children to be born at home. In fact, 19 out of 20 of all children born in 1900 in the United States were not born in a hospital and instead were born at home (Holden). Today, less than one percent of all children in America are born outside of a hospital. However a growing movement is reversing that trend, and more women are opting to have children at home. One of the keys to a successful home birth experience is the hiring of a midwife. A midwife is a trained medical professional with expertise in supporting women during their pregnancies. Midwifery is becoming more common because women want a more comfortable experience in giving birth, they want specialists that take mothers’ wants and desires into consideration, they want more control in the child-birth process, and they want to lower health care costs. While some may think it is unusual to forgo modern medicine, the reasons for hiring a midwife and having a home birth are compelling to many people.
The increasing number of home births comes in a time when medical science is reporting miraculous science in reducing the number of infant deaths. Where once children and mothers routinely died during child birth, it is almost a rare occurrence now. That is thanks to the incredible advancements in science that are available to mothers who chose to have their child in a hospital. That is why it is counterintuitive that home births and the use of midwives are increasing. From 2004 to 2008, the number of home births in the nation increased to 20,357. That is still less than 1 percent of the 4.2 million births every year, but it was a change in the trend (Rabin). Home births are not for every mother and every child, and there are some dangers. But in certain circumstances, a home birth with the aid of a midwife makes a lot of sense.
Some women are choosing home birth as a response against the clinical setting of a hospital birth. These women are turned off by medications, IV’s, and other medical equipment. They are trying to return the birthing process to a natural and beautiful life event. Women are more comfortable in their own homes, tend to have shorter laborers, and use less pain medication when they are at home. At the turn of the century, the birth of a child was something that happened in people’s homes and was a common memory for a family. Yet no one is suggesting that women return to the 1900s. Instead, the suggestion is to return to a key a successful home birth with the employment of a midwife.
A midwife is a health-care professional that works with the women and her family during the childbirth process. Midwifes can be used in hospitals and home-births, but are usually only hired for home-births. The midwife model of care is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes (Citizens). A midwife works with the women throughout the pregnancy, not just at the time of labor. The midwife provides the mother counseling...